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Greetings and Happy New Year! I’m doing some relaxing, visiting and also planning for my Release contest, which begins on Jan 11.
I’m about to take off for a few days, so for the contest this week, I’m reminding everyone of the big one I’m running for the Sony E-Reader. The drawing will be this Thursday, so you’ve still got a few days to get your name/number in the random number generator!
Here’s hoping that the last week in 2009 makes the entire year fabulous for you (or tops it off spectacularly, at the very least). 🙂
And 2) the winner’s E-Reader will be loaded will ALL my ebooks, including Wicked Burn, Daring Time, Sweet Restraint and Paradise Rules!!
To qualify for the drawing on New Year’s Eve, please answer the question “What is the name of the plaza where Alex and Angeline reunite in Chicago at the end ofHOLIDAY BOUND? (next to the giant Christmas tree?)
No purchase is required to enter.
Forward the answer to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll keep a weekly update on my website as to who has entered. In the subject line, please put Sony Reader Contest.
You must enter by midnight on December 30th. The winner will be randomly chosen by a random number generator and announced on New Year’s Eve!
This contest is open to international entries. One contest entry per participant.
Hello all! Sorry, I’m a day late with my Friday Book Give Away, which this week was for a Highlander Christmas. The winner is #7 Chelsea B! And Lisa Marie’s winner is #3 Amy H!! Ladies, write to me at email@example.com with your addys. Chelsea, I’ll send you your book from Amazon, and Amy H, your addy will be forwarded to Lisa Marie, who will send you your book! Thanks to those who participated, and special thanks so much to Lisa Marie for visiting us during the busy holiday season.
I had a wonderful Christmas and am looking forward to a relaxing week coming up. It was gorgeous in Chicago today, snowing like crazy. We went down to Michigan Ave. and walked around, then I took my hubby to lunch with some of my Christmas money. 😉 I hope you all are enjoying this special time of year.
I hope you all will join me in welcoming talented author Lisa Marie Rice to my blog!
She has a holiday treat in store for us, an excerpt from Into the Crossfire, which comes out next year. Leave Lisa Marie a comment, and qualify to win a copy of Dangerous Passion this Saturday!
Thanks for the special visit, Lisa Marie, and Happy Holidays to you and yours.
* * * * *
First of all, Merry Christmas to all! May your holiday season be joyous, may your 2010 be serene.
The holiday season is a very special time for everyone—a season of light, a season of celebration with loved ones. Music, brightly-colored decorations, a certain gentleness in the air, too much food…that’s all part of it. And that’s the holiday season most of us enjoy, and what we picture when we think of it.
But of course, not everyone is so fortunate. Not everyone is loved and cared for, safe in the bosom of a caring family.
That’s the background to my trilogy The Protectors—three men, closer than brothers, who looked after each other growing up in a brutal foster home and have had each other’s back ever since. Sam Reston, Harry Bolt, Mike Keillor. Hard men, tough men, who grew up rough and who saw brutality and cruelty close up—particularly to women and children. The instant they were legally able, they took off. Sam to be a SEAL, Harry a Delta Operator and Mike a Marine. Now they run a highly successful security company with a secret side to it—an underground railroad they run to help abused women and children disappear.
They’re making money hand over fist with their new company because they are very good at what they do. But make no mistake—it’s their ability to take women and children away from the heart of darkness and set them up in a new life that makes it all worthwhile.
When each man meets his mate, that protective instinct goes into overdrive.
The first book of the Protectors trilogy—into the Crossfire—is the story of the founder of the company, Sam Reston, and his unexpected, totally precipitous and very scary slide into love with a woman who is beautiful inside and out, a woman who is caring for a very sick father—Nicole Pearce.
Here’s an excerpt from Into the Crossfire, which comes out in August, 2010. I hope it’s a book you all enjoy. I also hope it’s a book that makes all of us reflect on our blessings and be thankful to those who protect us.
Peace, Lisa Marie Rice
The sky had turned pewter, a shade lighter than the ocean that still carried the darkness of the night.
Nicole opened one eye, then closed it quickly.
Eyes closed, she tried to process what she’d seen.
A train wreck, that’s what she’d seen.
She opened her eyes each morning to her calm, orderly bedroom, with the four-poster that she’d slept in in seven countries, with its French lace canopy and Frette sheets. The 17th century armoire and 18th century Italian madia. The vases with fresh flowers, the ceramic bowls of potpourri, the big Baccarat crystal vase full of multi-colored sand. Her mother’s lovely watercolors and a collection of photographs taken by an old school friend who was now one of the top fashion photographers in the world.
Everything in its place. Cool and quiet and neat, exactly as she liked it.
This room looked like it had been at war, particularly the bed. She looked down at herself, naked, one leg trapped by the powerful, hairy leg of an equally naked man. A man with hormones instead of blood, she’d swear.
Sam Reston did not have an off button. He’d finally stopped a few hours ago because she was ready to go into a coma, after too many orgasms to count.
Time out, she’d gasped and he’d laughed and slowly pulled out of her, the act so sexy she’d mourned the absence of his penis immediately, though she’d been the one to call a halt. He’d disappeared for a moment and come back with two glasses of chilled white wine and a plate of ripe grapes.
Even after dinner, even after the impromptu midnight picnic on the terrace, she’d been ravenous. Nonstop sex, it appeared, was an appetite stimulant, in more ways than one.
As she sipped the wine, she couldn’t help but give an admiring look at him sitting beside her, muscles bulging as he fed her grapes, big, thick, erect penis dark, engorged with blood, twitching when she looked at it.
She’d glanced at his lap then looked away again, but she could feel the flush rising from her breasts to her face. She thought she’d stopped blushing in her teens, but apparently not. Close proximity to Sam Reston made the blood pound through her body, rise to her face, color her nipples deep pink.
He’d looked at her, really looked at her, from her flushed breasts, the left one moving slightly with the hard pulses of her heart, the vein beating in her neck, the pearls of moisture in her pubic hair, a mixture of his semen and her excitement.
His eyes had lifted to hers and her entire body thrummed. But it was like asking a car to start on fumes, after having been pedal-to-the-metal running straight through every molecule of gas in the tank. She was sore all over, particularly her sex, and the desire she felt was only a faint echo of the all-consuming drive to have him in her she’d felt all night in his bed.
There it was. She’d hit her own personal wall. Finally. It had been a night of excess that had astonished her, but she had her limits and she’d reached them.
Sam had moved his free hand to her knee, cupping it, narrowed dark eyes burning into hers. He’d brought his mouth to her ear.
“Nicole?” The deep voice had been like a caress. How incredibly sexy it had sounded in her ear while he’d been moving heavily inside her. Her stomach had clenched at the memory.
Oh God, he was ready for another round. How could he? With a sigh, Nicole realized she wasn’t being fair. She’d nearly crawled into his skin up until now, matching him heat for heat. If she’d reached the end of her rope, and he hadn’t, it wasn’t his fault.
“Lie down,” he’d said softly.
Heart pounding, she let her back settle on the mattress. How to do this? Maybe she could psych herself up for another round.
He shifted on the mattress and she controlled a wince. But instead of climbing on top of her, as she expected, he smiled and positioned his glass of wine over her belly and slowly, slowly, poured a thin, cold stream of the fragrant Chardonnay over her.
It felt good on her overheated skin, the fragrant fruity notes rising to her nose.
And then Sam had bent to lick the wine off her stomach, slowly, like a cat lapping cream. She’d tried to rise on her elbows, but he’d simply put a big hand on her chest and gently pushed her back down.
He lifted his head and smiled at her. “No, honey,” he said, his voice a deep, dark whisper. “You don’t do anything at all. You just lie back and let me pleasure you.”
That was good, because her muscles felt like water, incapable of holding her up.
Sam’s tongue moved lower, lower and she gasped as he licked around her sex, gently, as if aware of the fact that she was sore.
“Close your eyes.” The deep voice came from far away.
“Okay.” She closed her eyes, heard the faint click as he turned the bedside lamp off. Her eyelids turned from pink to black.
Sam nuzzled her sex, nose against her clitoris, tongue gently swirling, dipping into her, where his penis had just been. Her breath came out on a sigh, his own murmur of satisfaction echoing hers.
Soft plashing sounds came through the open French windows, gentle and regular, as if the sea were breathing. There were soft gentle sounds coming from down her body as Sam worked her with his mouth.
Such a strange sensation, slowly becoming aroused while the mantle of sleep bore down on her, as she drifted further and further away, to a land of pleasure that grew ever darker…
Unlike the other contractions of orgasm, so sharp at times they poised on the knife-edge of pain, this climax was gentle, dreamy, her body a boat rocking on the soft waves of the sea, rocking, rocking…
It was the last thing she remembered.
The sky was growing lighter by the minute. Soon it would be dawn.
Nicole rose slowly from the bed, wincing at all the sore muscles, making her halting way to the bathroom. She passed a mirror and winced at the sight of the unknown woman in the mirror, clearer by the minute as the world outside lightened, like an image emerging from the fog. Wild, dark hair tangling around her head, huge eyes, swollen lips.
She looked back at the bed, at him. He was so long, his feet hung off the bed. Even his feet were gorgeous, long, lean, high-arched. One thick arm was over his eyes, the other outstretched to her side of the bed. Deeply asleep, completely still except for the expansion of his broad chest with each breath.
Well…he’d made love all night. Literally. She’d had no idea that any male over the age of 15 would have been capable of that, capable of coming so many times she’d lost count. Even now, in complete repose, in a sleep so deep it could have been a coma, his penis looked full, veins visible, semi-erect on his thigh.
If Sam’s eyes were to open right now, and if he were to see her naked, that penis would swell fully erect in an instant. She’d bet the bank on it.
Something in her seemed to set him off. Certainly, something in him set her off. She looked like she was making love right now. Her breasts were swollen, nipples red and hard. And oh, God, just looking at him, like some Greek statue come to life, her thighs trembled.
She had to get out of here. Fast.
For a second, she looked with longing at the bathroom door. A shower. A shower would go a long way toward making her feel like herself again, washing away the smell of him permeating her skin. He’d touched every inch of her last night, marked her irrevocably, inside and out. She wasn’t used to not feeling fresh and she definitely wasn’t used to smelling of someone else.
She stared at herself in the mirror, this face she’d never seen before, eyes wide, pupils dilated.
And then she was aware of something else. Wetness between her legs, running down her thighs. For a moment, she thought she’d unexpectedly got her period, that her body had simply disobeyed the pill and gone ahead and had a period, breaking the hormonal schedule. An entire night of wild sex surely would be enough to knock her for a loop, hormonally speaking.
She looked down at herself, expecting to see drops of blood, but all she saw was a gleaming wetness.
Sam had shot a small lake into her during the night. At the memory, her knees wobbled. She gasped for air, the sound loud in the quiet room. Nicole’s head whipped around to see if she’d somehow woken Sam up, but he was out like a light.
The thought of that—of Sam waking up and finding her here, of having to face him after last night’s excesses…Oh no.
It wasn’t that she wasn’t still attracted to him, it was that she was attracted too much. The Nicole Pearce of last night—the woman who had wallowed in sex, who had tuned out the world to focus narrowly on Sam Reston and his luscious, utterly male body—she had to simply put that woman away. That Nicole was an aberration and she had to disappear, right now.
Speaking of disappearing…
She looked around wildly. Her dress was on the floor, crumpled, bra on top. Jacket on the back of a chair. One sandal was toppled on its side next to a big, sleek chest of drawers and its mate…where the hell was its mate? Walking barefoot out of Sam’s house was too awful to contemplate, but the other sandal was nowhere to be found. Two sweeps of the room and no shoe. Just one place left to look. She crouched and yes, there it was. Halfway under the bed. Under Sam’s very large, very low bed. It took a full minute, but she finally got it.
She couldn’t possibly walk out looking like this, but on the other hand, there was a drumbeat inside her, insistent and loud. Get out now. Get out now. Before he woke up, because she had no clue what she could possibly say to him.
Dress and go, now.
She slipped into the bathroom, leaving the door open, so that a little of the faint morning light could seep in. If she turned the lights on in the white-tiled bathroom, the glare could wake Sam up.
A splash of cold water on her face, a quick wash between her legs—and oh my god, the nap of the washcloth felt incredibly rough against her super-sensitized flesh—a comb hastily pulled through her hair was all she allowed herself time for. Bra and dress went on in under a minute.
Holding her sandals by the straps, she tiptoed her way to the front door. On the floor was a silky mauve slash of material. Her panties. Her beautiful La Perla panties, ripped apart. And how she’d revelled in Sam tearing them off her, because they’d been this unacceptable barrier between her and Sam’s hard flesh.
She closed her eyes for a second, then opened them, intent more than ever on getting out as fast as she could, like someone fleeing from the scene of the crime.
The door. She eyed it warily. Last night, getting in had been like getting into some secret room at the Pentagon. Palm print, key pad, five-digit code. She had no idea what the numbers were. Her mind had been utterly lost in mists of lust.
If she needed a secret code to get out, she was in trouble.
The idea of having to walk back into the bedroom, wake Sam up and ask for a code made her focus, concentrate. She studied the door, narrow-eyed. A door had to work both ways, didn’t it? You have to be able to get out, not just in.
There was no security panel. No door handle either, for that matter. She stared at the door, willing it to yield up its secrets.
Did it open by remote control? Did she have to go back into the bedroom and root through Sam’s pants? That would be the last straw.
There was one button on the wall next to the featureless door. She held out a hesitant finger, hovered over it, then gathered her courage and pressed it, hoping it wasn’t connected to something dangerous, like a siren. Or a bomb.
A crisp click and the lock disengaged, the door sliding open.
Nicole tiptoed through, then quietly slid the door closed behind her.
She stood in the hallway, breathing heavily, as if she’d just engineered a jail break. Her heart was pounding so hard it was a miracle the sound didn’t echo in the quiet corridor.
It was utterly ridiculous, but she couldn’t do anything about the way she felt—panicky and broken, as if running away from something dangerous.
Mindful of the clickety-clack of her heels on the shiny hardwood floor of the corridor last night, she walked barefoot to the elevator and called it up, wincing at the little ping as it reached Sam’s floor. It sounded so loud in the silence.
In the elevator, she clutched her pochette tightly, like a shield, and stared mindlessly at the elevator doors.
When they opened, she stepped out into the huge, glass-encased lobby. The sky was now a dark pearly gray and she could see the beach not fifty feet away, the small waves curling like lace on the sand.
Nicole jumped and barely managed to suppress a scream.
“Miss? Can I help you?” The tone more pointed, with a slight Hispanic accent.
A security guard, dressed in some security company’s livery, surrounded by a circular polished-wood barrier with lots of video screens showing empty hallways, looking at her with a frown.
Nicole heroically refrained from looking down at herself in dismay but she knew exactly what he was seeing. A dishevelled woman who had obviously been up to no good, tiptoeing away shoeless from a night of excess in one of the apartments.
This was just so unfair. Nicole was the epitome of a proper lady. Even in the midst of a hot affair, she always kept her decorum, it had been drummed into her. She prided herself on the fact that a casual observer would never know what she was thinking, what she was feeling.
Right now, she might as well have had babe after a hot night tattooed on her forehead.
The only thing to do was brazen it out. She straightened, put on her best Ambassador’s-daughter polite smile and lifted her head.
“Good morning,” she said evenly. “I wonder if you could call me a taxi?”
“Sure thing, ma’am,” the guard said, punching out a number on the phone keypad without taking his eyes off her. Presumably in case she made off with one of the stone planters that must have weighed 300 pounds each.
“Thank you,” Nicole said primly, and walked to the front of the lobby, sitting down on one of the long, gleaming oak benches. She carefully put on her sandals and stared out the two-story windows at the beach. The sky was cloudless, pale blue, the ocean light gray. It was going to be a glorious day, as so many days were in San Diego.
She stared out at the ocean, thinking of absolutely nothing until she heard the guard call out. “Taxi’s here, ma’am.”
She turned her head and sure enough, a cab was coming around the circular driveway. Nicole nodded to the guard and got into the cab. She gave her address to the driver and stared blindly out the window as he took off.
This part of San Diego was beautiful, but she barely noticed the white sand beaches, lush vegetation, the light dancing on wavelets over the ocean, the runners on the beach.
All she could think about was Sam Reston on top of her, nose an inch from hers, staring at her fiercely as he moved in and out of her. And the fact that all last night, she hadn’t thought once about her father.
* * * * *
Leave Lisa Marie a comment, and you will qualify to win a copy of Dangerous Passion this Saturday!
Happy Monday to you! It looks like the city is wearing a wet, gray cloak today. But things are cheery inside, with the fireplace going and Christmas tree up…and writing to be done. I’m working on the final stages of EXPLOSIVE, which will come out from Berkley this time next year. It’s turned into an interesting book. While it was well-plotted beforehand, I’m finding I’m making a lot of in the moment story decisions based on my hero and heroine’s complex characters. They really come to life at some point and start doing things on their own, I swear.
Since I probably only got to know most of you with my first New York publication last December of Wicked Burn, I wanted to take the opportunity to let you know about two other of my contemporaries that I wrote for Ellora’s Cave, Come to Me Freely and Exorcising Sean’s Ghost. Both came out in Kindle edition last week at Amazon in addition to being available in ebook format from Ellora’s Cave. I often categorize the two books together in my mind, but I really can’t say why. Come to Me Freely has more of a family-oriented saga as the backdrop, while Exorcising Sean’s Ghost has more of a psychological suspense element. I’m not really sure why I think of the two books together a lot. Both were well reviewed and well received by readers, and probably are the most similar in my backlist to my Berkley contemporaries. I’ll include Sandy M’s reviews of both from The Good The Bad and the Unread, as she sort of championed me as an up and coming author, and was kind enough to begin reviewing my ebooks, and later, my Berkley books. I believe Sean’s Ghost was her first book of mine she ever reviewed.
I’m going to be giving both away this Friday in ebook format to one commenter on this, or any other blog posts during the week. (I don’t think I can buy a Kindle edition and send it to your unit, so we’ll just have to go with e-book, unless someone knows something about Kindle I don’t).
Here’s a bit about both, but I only put up an excerpt from Sean’s Ghost in the interests of space!
Belle is forced to mourn in secret after her lover, Attorney General Sean Ryan, is murdered in a terrorist plot. When she has an irrational, intense sexual response to the mysterious stranger Jack Caldwell, Belle wonders if it’s due to delayed grief for Sean. Sean was the only man she’d ever responded to so completely, after all. When she finds herself submitting wholly to Jack’s dominant, demanding manner in bed Belle begins to live on the sharp edge of doubt and certainty…even to the point of questioning her own sanity.
Because Belle can’t let go of the crazy, impossible idea that Sean Ryan and Jack Caldwell are one and the same man.
If Belle persists in her obsession about Sean, Jack will have no choice but to cut all ties with her. He wants Belle for his own… and Jack refuses to share her with a ghost.
Belle opened her mouth to question him but her attention was diverted when her usually sedate, calm dog suddenly pranced and leaped forward with a playful bark. Copenhagen loped after her energetically. Belle looked over in surprise at the man beside her and they shared a smile.
“I think your dog is seducing mine,” he said quietly. “What’s her name?”
“Ellie.” She’d thought of defending her pet’s honor but instead she just shook her head in amazement. “She really is acting like a flirt, isn’t she? I’ve never seen her behave this way. Has Copenhagen been…neutered?”
When he didn’t immediately reply she glanced over at him. His expression looked vaguely guilty. “Uh no. I kept meaning to get around to it but…”
Belle couldn’t help but smirk.
“What?” he prompted with a slow grin that made her thighs clench together to still the sudden acute stab of desire between them. All that just from a smile.
She shrugged, hoping to look nonchalant, and kicked the toe of her shoe idly in the grass.
“Professional cliché. I’m a psychologist, so…”
“Oh I get it. You’re going to make some annoying remark about me projecting my castration fears onto my dog. Is that it?”
She laughed, pleasantly surprised by the astuteness of his comment. “Well I did say it was a cliché. I hate to be predictable so I won’t say another word. Or I’ll allow you to interpret me since I have also been remiss in my pet ownership and never had Ellie spayed.”
His eyebrows rose in a sardonic expression. “Guess we better keep a close eye on them or nature is going to take its natural course.”
For a few seconds his heated gaze held her in a sensual spell. Her mouth fell open in deepening sexual awareness. Her tongue swept anxiously over her lower lip. She had to repress a soft moan when the man’s eyelids narrowed and he trailed the movement. His eyes grew hot. She blinked once, disoriented when she realized he’d spoken again.
“What about you?”
“Excuse me?” she asked, dazed. Surely he wasn’t asking her if her reproductive organs were intact or not.
“Your name. I’m Jack. Jack Caldwell.”
“Oh. I’m Belle March.” The early summer morning was cool but Jack Caldwell’s hand was warm when he fully encompassed hers in a handshake. It struck her after a moment that he hadn’t let go. She forced herself to reclaim her hand. He re-crossed his arms and rocked back on his heels casually.
“Do you and Ellie walk out here often?”
“Yes. It’s our regular haunt.”
“But not at night.”
Belle gave him a puzzled look. His tone had been almost stern. “Sometimes, but usually not this far into the park. I try to stay closer to North Avenue.”
Jack frowned at her answer. “You shouldn’t come into the park alone. It’s dangerous.”
Belle choked back laughter. Not only his words, but his sudden hard expression took her completely off guard. The thought struck her that it was the type of thing that a person said to another when they were in a relationship, not when they were complete strangers like she and Jack were. Hadn’t Sean used to preach to her about where she took Ellie out at night?
“Why would you say something like that?” Belle asked with amusement tinged with wariness. “This neighborhood isn’t dangerous. I’ve lived here for almost two years now and never seen any crime.”
“The worst kind of crime is usually invisible. I wouldn’t expect that you would see it,” Jack answered impassively.
“Are you a cop or something?” Belle couldn’t shake the idea that she knew him. How else could it possibly make sense that a complete stranger would sound so natural admonishing her for her personal habits? Not to mention that her body was responding to him as though it knew him in the most primitive way.
Jack grinned mirthlessly, adding to his piratical air. “Much worse, actually. A lawyer.” Belle stilled when he pinned her with icy blue eyes and shrugged negligently. “That is, unless you have a thing for lawyers. They say some women do, despite the complete unnaturalness of it.”
A whirlwind of unexpected emotions rose up through her gut and stifled her lungs, preventing her from inhaling.
“What’s wrong?” Jack’s expression of grim amusement vanished only to be replaced by tense alertness when he saw Belle’s stricken expression. His dark brows drew together with concern when Belle suddenly moved away from his side.
“Come on, Ellie,” Belle managed in a strangled voice. When the Irish setter ignored her she managed to get out a second request in a louder voice.
She didn’t turn at the sound of his husky voice but busied herself with fastening Ellie’s leash on her collar. “Yes?”
“I asked you a question. What’s wrong?”
Belle stood up too briskly, making half of her precariously balanced hair came loose from the fastener that secured it. She muttered irritably and reached for the hair clip to release the rest of it. A curly tendril caught. She pulled at it too hard, making tears spring up in her eyes.
“Nothing is wrong. I just need to get going, that’s all,” she muttered as she yanked at the clip in increasing agitation.
Belle blinked and stilled. Jack Caldwell had just issued an order, no matter how softly it had been murmured.
He leaned down over her. She held her breath as her entire awareness focused on his fingers gently removing the errant tress from the teeth of the clip. For a split second his piercing eyes left his task and met hers. Knowing full well that she watched him, he glanced down at her heaving breasts.
“Nice t-shirt. Did you go to Yale?”
Belle’s breath froze but she managed to shake her head. “Northwestern. A…friend went to Yale.” Her nipples pulled tight as he continued to caress them with his eyes. Belle had always been self-conscious about her breasts, feeling like they were too large for the rest of her body. It was rare for her to be in public without a bra on but she hadn’t really figured on running into anyone—let alone a man like Jack Caldwell. But he didn’t seem to mind her size. If anything, his expressive gaze was downright wanting. He dropped one of his hands from her hair. Belle tensed.
Dear God, he wasn’t going to…
Belle moaned shakily when he ever-so gently pinched a pebbled nipple between a thumb and forefinger. His eyes slowly rose to meet hers. He carefully studied her dazed, aroused expression as he rolled her nipple between his fingers. Belle inhaled raggedly at the exquisite sensation, breathing in the scent of Jack Caldwell.
“What the hell?” Jack muttered half in alarm, half in amazement when Belle stumbled as she abruptly pulled away from him. It took him a second to fully absorb the expression on her face. His hand immediately went out to her shoulder to steady her.
“Christ, you’re shaking,” he added in disbelief when he felt her tremor through the thin material of her t-shirt. “Belle? I know how that must have seemed to you but you’re not afraid of me, are you?”
“Y-you-you smell l-l-like…” She immediately stopped when she realized she was stuttering. Her gaze scoured his face, unconsciously undertaking a desperate search.
His eyes became crescents of cool flame when he narrowed his eyelids to study her.
Belle swallowed with effort. “Nothing. I’m s-s…” Her eyes shut in frustrated concentration as she tried to overcome the shameful reoccurrence of a childhood stutter. “Sorry. Come on, Ellie.”
She had to tug on Ellie with uncustomary harshness to get her to part from her new friend. Belle never turned around to see if Copenhagen—or Jack, for that matter—followed until she safely entered her condominium lobby. Once there a backward furtive glance told her that she and Ellie had made the return trip through the park utterly alone.
COME TO ME FREELY
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
A passion that won’t be denied despite the circumstances.
Though Leigh cared deeply for Jim, it was his fiery older brother Tre who held the key to her heart. For the past ten years she’s lived with the daily pain of knowing that Tre’d turned his back on the passion that had flared hot and bright between them.
A second chance at a once in a life time love.
Tre knew from the moment that he first saw Leigh stroking his half-wild horse that her elegant, delicate appearance belied the depth and strength of her spirit. He’d dared to make Leigh his own, showing loyalty to nothing and no one beyond the laws of nature that clearly decreed that she was his. But when Leigh denied what should have been undeniable, he first knew the bitter taste of betrayal.
Now a family tragedy has forced Tre and Leigh together once again. Guilt, anger and betrayal rage between them, but so does a desire hot enough to incinerate all else in its wake.
Leave a comment for a chance to win both ebooks! Oh, and if you haven’t entered the Sony Holiday giveaway yet, why haven’t you? Click on Lea’s cute widgit in the right hand corner. It’s not a hard contest to enter…
It’s Friday, so that means someone won something around here!
This week, the winner is #15, Dottie! Dottie, you won an ARC manuscript of RELEASE! Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address. Thanks to everyone who entered, and once again, big thanks to Lea for her hard work and artistry on the Release video!
Using the random number generator got me all excited to use it on New Year’s Eve, when I get to announce who won the spiffy E-Reader!! Have you entered yet? Go on, give it a shot! The worst thing that could happen is you lose, but you still get a hot, sexy Christmas story for your troubles. Here’s a new excerpt from my latest, Holiday Bound, to tempt you into spending a holiday evening basking in front of the fire with Alex and Angeline while a blizzard rages outside. Enjoy!
The Oedipal Complex has never been so sexy…
Alex Carradine can’t believe his father wants to come and visit his ski resort. Could it be that after so many stormy years, “slick Mitch” Carridine wants to offer an olive branch? Maybe the old man is mellowing, settling down with the new lover he’s bringing along.
Then Alex realizes the acid truth. This is no warm family visit. His father’s latest conquest is none other than the woman of Alex’s sexual fantasies, meant only to dangle tauntingly in front of his face. At least an unexpected blizzard has frozen his father out of the picture entirely.
Angeline Kastakis was looking forward to taking the next step in her relationship with Mitch. Too late she realizes she’s been led into a familial battle zone. Now it’s Christmas and she’s marooned in a blizzard with an insolent, gorgeous hunk of man whose blazing blue eyes tell her loud and clear he wants her in his bed. Preferably tied to it with a bow.
There’s no escape in sight. But as Alex stirs her secret longing to be mastered by a man, escape is the last thing on her mind…
“What are you doing?”
Angeline nearly dropped the steaming teapot she held in her hand at his terse question.
“What does it look like I’m doing?” she asked, giving him an irritable, exasperated glance. Her gaze stuck and remained glued to his face.
“Damn,” she mumbled when the boiling water she’d been slowly pouring into his coffee pot overfilled the filter and splashed onto her hand. Suddenly Alex was beside her. He took the teapot and tossed it onto the stove before he grabbed her wrist. The next thing she knew he was standing next to her at the sink while he held her burned hand beneath the flow of the frigid water.
She grimaced in discomfort. “That water is like ice. Don’t tell me you actually took a shower in that.”
“It did the job,” he muttered.
Angeline inhaled shakily. He was right. He stood so close she breathed his scent, and he smelled fantastic—like spicy, clean male. She glanced up nervously into his face. The single kerosene lamp cast it in as much shadow as fiery glow.
“You trimmed your beard.” The sight of the neat goatee that surrounded his firm, sensual mouth had been what had caused her to burn herself. It was nothing more than a shadow and revealed the stark, chiseled lines of his chin and jaw.
He ignored her breathless observation and just continued to hold her hand under the cold water. His grip on her was strong and warm. It struck her just how tall he was as he leaned down over her. Her face was inches away from his heart. She wasn’t used to feeling so petite next to a man. She laughed about the casual Amazon jokes regarding her height, but Angeline had always been a bit jealous of petite females, wishing she could experience what it was like to feel super-feminine when she was with a man.
Her gaze skittered anxiously over Alex’s wide, flannel-covered chest.
The truth of the matter was Alex had caused a secret, shameful desire to bubble to the surface of her consciousness. What would it be like to be mastered by a man in bed? She’d never met a male before who made the forbidden longing seem like anything but a hot, but highly unrealistic fantasy.
Heat flooded her cheeks when she recognized the direction of her thoughts. How could she entertain such raunchy thoughts about Mitchell’s son?
I’m so excited to premier the video for Release today! It was created by Lea and she did a terrific job, didn’t she? Thank you, Lea.
Release comes out on February 2 of 2010. I was lucky enough to have quite a few awesome authors do cover copy for it. Here’s what they had to say…
“A web of sensual suspense…wicked good storytelling.”
~ Jaci Burton~
“Scorchingly erotic, packed with raw tension, and star- ring a hotter-than-sin hero, Release is an intoxicating read. Beth Kery has become an auto-buy!”
“Powerful emotion and scorching hot sex makes for an irresistible combination! I was drawn in from the very first page. Release is a compelling read!”
~ Eden Bradley~
“Beth Kery is a powerful and engaging voice in erotic suspense. Her natural talent shines through in this sophisticated, erotically-creative novel and will keep readers feverishly turning pages.”
“Release is a sleek, sexy thrill ride of passion and danger. A poignant tale of love lost and found, not to be missed. Beth Kery is a rising star.”
~ Jo Davis~
So with no further ado, here is the video. Oh…turn up your speaker volume. 😉
Read the Release blurb and excerpt here.
For this week’s contest, leave a comment here and I will draw one name to win an advanced, signed Release manuscript on Friday. Check back over the weekend to see if you won. And remember, if you pre-order Release and send me a receipt for your purchase to email@example.com, you qualify to win a SONY E-READER. (Rules for entry here).
12/7/9 P.S. Julie James is throwing a contest for a 25 dollar Barnes and Noble gift certificate, and all you have to do is guess what type of Christmas cookies Julie and her son made. It might be more of a challenge than you think, but it’ll be a fun. 🙂