Quick NaNoWriMo update: Yesterday, I hit 30,310 words. And I ironed out the issues with the start of the paranormal story I’m working on. No worries!
I’m very close to releasing the first installment of Bad Moon Rising. If you haven’t already done it, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. I’m loving the story so far, and I think you will too. Here’s a little about the story to whet your appetite! It’s short, but I can’t give too much away. You only meet the first hero in this scene, but you know it gets hotter pretty damn quick!
Here’s what the story is about:
On a whim, romance author DiDi Devereaux decides to travel to remote Louisiana bayou country to take possession of a house she inherited from a reclusive relative. But before she reaches her destination, she drives her car into a ditch to avoid a large animal that leaps into her path. Rescue comes in the form of a sexy sheriff, whose gruff demeanor seems to hide a feral attraction. As DiDi settles into her new home she finds herself torn between her attraction to the sheriff and the raw, handsome bad boy whose offer to help her renovate her home is a little too convenient and tempting.
Nothing in Bayou Noir is what it seems. When strange things begin to happen, her natural curiosity leads her into danger…
DiDi’s driving on a small donkey track of a road deep in the Louisiana bayou country late at night …
Things were looking bleak. She considered pulling to the side of the road at the first rest stop, if she ever found one, or at a widening of the road’s shoulder and sleeping in her car until the morning. Wouldn’t be the first time.
David D was giving her a headache, so she glanced down to eject the CD.
When she looked back up, something large and black darted into the road in front of her then stood there, caught in the headlights.
She slammed on her brakes, causing her car to swerve onto the soft shoulder. Her tires caught the edge of the road and sank, spinning the rear of the car around. Before she could compensate, her car left the road, crashing into the ditch, water splashing up the hood and drowning her windshield in water and long grass.
The engine sputtered to a halt. The headlights dimmed. Then water seeped through the floorboard.
DiDi lifted her feet, clutched the steering wheel hard and closed her eyes. Just for a moment, just long enough to still the thoughts racing too fast through her mind to process.
The car was stuck. But the water wasn’t deep enough to drown her. She had time to react.
She flicked her ignition, but the starter sputtered. Using the battery alone, she lowered her window. She bent and reached to the floor and swung her hand around until she caught the handle of her purse. Straightening, she clutched both sides of her window and climbed out.
She stepped into stagnant, swampy water that filled her shoes and soaked her jeans to the knees. “Shit. I hope the alligators won’t like the taste of me,” she muttered. “Or that whatever jumped in the road isn’t looking for dinner.”
In the distance, she heard the roar of an engine. She slung her purse over her shoulder, grabbed handfuls of the grass at the sides of the ditch and crawled up to the side of the road.
Headlights blinded her for a moment, but she lifted her hand, praying she wasn’t flagging down a serial killer and hoping if she was that he’d spare her life long enough for him to tell her his story.
A car pulled alongside her, the passenger window whirred downward. An emblem on the side of the car had her sighing with relief. A police car had halted beside her.
“Ma’am, do you need help?”
The soft southern inflections in the deep, rasping voice soothed her fears. She leaned down and braced her hands on the open window to peer inside.
“My car’s in the ditch,” she said, eyeing the large shadow of the man behind the wheel.
“I can see that,” he said calm as could be. “Need a lift?”
“I need a tow. And probably repairs. Water’s in the engine.”
“Get in. I’m heading into Bayou Noir. Henri’s gas station isn’t open this late, but you can get a room at the motel for the night and figure things out in the mornin’.”
She nodded, hesitated for a second, hoping he wasn’t a rapist posing as a cop, and then opened the door to slide onto the bench seat. When she closed the door, she turned to get a better look at her savior. Her mouth dried in an instant.
Even shadowed, she could tell he was handsome. Strong, rugged features, a blunt nose and square chin. A dark full head of hair, cut short and with a slight curl to it.
Probably married. Nothing that delicious wouldn’t have been wrestled to the altar long ago.
He studied her while she stared back, his dark gaze flicking over her hair, and she lifted her hand to comb through it, feeling suddenly self-conscious. Then her mind began to click as she inventoried the person beside her, thinking she couldn’t have found a better hero for her next novel. “I’m DiDi Devereux,” she said holding out her hand.
“Sheriff Mason Breaux.” He gave her a quick, impersonal clasp that left her palm burning. “Anything you need from your car?”
Not a flicker of recognition had glinted in his eyes. Good. “Um…my suitcase. It’s in the trunk.”
He put the squad car in park. “Give me your keys and I’ll get it for you.”
Handsome and a gentleman. Mmmm. “I left them in the ignition.”
He nodded, let himself out of the car, and she watched as he plunged down the bank.
Things were indeed looking up. Already her fingers were itching to tap on keys and capture her first impressions of her backwoods cop. Her mind leapt back to the cause of her current dilemma—the large animal that had stood defiantly in the center of the road.
If she hadn’t known it was impossible, she would have sworn it was a panther. A black panther. But they didn’t exist in North America outside of folktales, and tawny Florida panthers no longer roamed this part of the south.
No, it was far more likely that she’d spied a large dog. Her imagination had simply traded one prosaic image for the fantasy her artist’s soul craved. But what would be the harm in creating a story, wrapped around the tale of a stranded tourist who found a strange enchanted land deep in a Louisiana bayou where black panthers roamed?