Thank you all so much for the great suggestions! The winner of the free pendant is Jackie! Jackie, send me your snail mail address and I’ll ship your prize!
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If you post a comment today, you’ll be entered to win an altered art pendant made by me!
I’ve been wondering what I can do for a contest to run alongside the release of Shattered Souls. Something that will entice you to stop by and check out the excerpts here, and something that will encourage you to talk the book up with your friends.
I love this book. Adore the characters. The hero and heroine are very strong individuals. The supporting cast is fun. I loved writing them all into the next story and having Cait find her witchy footing, albeit reluctantly.
So what might help you decide to read the book? Yes, I’ll share excerpts to tempt you. How about you tell me what would entice you to talk up the book and post it on your FB or website? Does anyone know how to run contests on Goodreads? What sort of prizes stimulate interest there? I’ve never spent much time there because I feel lost. I don’t know how to take advantage. I need advice! But in the meantime, meet Sam and Cait.
[Right now, you can save $7.00 on the Kindle version of Shattered Souls. Follow the link!]
Hands gripped Caitlyn O’Connell’s shoulders and shook her. “Get up, dammit.”
The gruff voice was familiar. Felt right, hearing it in her bedroom—for all of two seconds. Then she pried open her eyes, wincing at the overhead light, and stared at Samuel Pierce.
Same taut expression, same hard body. Brown hair cut short, freshly shaved, and not a crease in his pale dress shirt or dark trousers. A silk tie ringed his strong neck. Strong lines bracketed his mouth, the corners turned down.
He didn’t seem particularly happy to be here. Which was sort of sad. Once upon a time, he’d sworn there was nowhere else he wanted to be more.
“How’d you get in?” she muttered. Was he aware his thumbs caressed her shoulders? She glanced down, then back up again.
Sam looked down at his hands, let go of her shoulders, and straightened. With his gaze still on hers, he raked a hand through his hair and sighed.
Now all six feet two inches of his sturdy frame loomed, bristling with ill-concealed impatience.
“Damn, Caitlyn, you still have a spare key on top of the door frame. I told you it wasn’t a good idea a long time ago. Anyone can let himself in.”
“Only person ever used it was you,” she grumbled, rubbing a hand over her eyes. “What time’s it?”
“Time to get your ass out of bed.”
“I don’t work on your schedule anymore.” She glanced at the clock on her nightstand and pulled on a scowl that would have had a lesser man backing up. “It’s eight fucking o’clock. Whatever it is can wait.”
“Sweetheart, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. Your choice.”
“Always preferred it hard,” she purred, but the sound was a little too raspy for sexy.
“Cut the crap, Cait.” His gaze lifted to the ceiling and his jaw tightened, a muscle flexing along the hard line. When his eyes locked on her again, for just a moment, something warm but haunted shone in the blue depths.
She stared back, wishing he still loved her. But hey, wishes were like elbows—everybody had ’em. Cait hoped she hadn’t drooled, but knew she had bed-head, and dark mascara likely rimmed her lower lids. Just great. First time she’d seen Sam alone in months and he had the advantage.
“How much did you have to drink last night?” he asked quietly.
“What do you care?” she said thickly, hiding her face with her arm. “Enough. Slept good.” A faint, staticky whisper sounded inside her head, and her hand shot out for the glass on her nightstand.
The glass slid out of her fingers before she had a chance to grab tight.
“No way, babe. I need you sober.”
Now she was pissed. Her head began to pound. She came up on her elbows. “I’m not your partner anymore. Not a cop. And I don’t get out of bed before noon.”
With a quick move, he peeled away the sheet covering her.
“Agh.” She fell back to free an arm to stop him, not sure what he’d see, but hoping that at least her underwear was clean.
But he was fast, and the room spun.
She opened her mouth to deliver another complaint when she was yanked upright by a grip on her upper arm. “Sam, what the hell do you—”
A grunt sounded as he pulled her over his shoulder and stomped toward the bathroom.
Upside down, her stomach lurched. “Stop moving. I’m gonna throw up.”
He came to a halt at her shower, rustled the curtain, and turned on the faucets. Then he dumped her on the tiled floor under a spray of cold water.
The water made her jump. She sputtered, cursing, and pushed back her hair to scowl up at him. “Why are you doing this?”
“Get washed up.” Sam’s lips twisted in disgust. “You’re coming downtown with me.”
Sitting in the bottom of the stall, she firmed her lips, ready to tell him to go to hell.
His stark, angry expression halted her.
“I need you.”
Just those three words were all it took. She sighed, put her face into the water, and let it sluice over her before gathering her armor around her and giving him a glare. “Do you mind?”
A look came over his face, but before she had a chance to put a name to it, he turned away and stalked back to the bedroom. The sounds of drawers slamming told her he wasn’t letting her off.
“What’s this about?” she shouted, beginning to shiver. With a jerk, she pulled her sodden T-shirt over her head and tossed it outside the stall. Her underwear followed, and she slid up the tiled wall to turn on the hot water.
“Just hurry it up. I don’t have all day to wait on you to get your head straight.”
Cait turned her face in to the spray again, closing her eyes as the water warmed, and she swayed. Her legs stiffened, catching her before she slid to the floor again. If she passed out now, he’d just shove her into her clothes wet.
She’d seen him this mad a time or two. Quiet fury made his movements jerk. His face became a tight, scary mask. She loved that look…when it wasn’t directed at her.
Must be something big for him to be in such a foul mood, but what did he want with her? The way he acted, she wondered why he hadn’t slapped on cuffs. He treated her the same way he did scumbag suspects.
Still, he hadn’t Mirandized her. Maybe he just needed her expert opinion, which set her stomach roiling even more. The only area of police work where she’d had a specialized skill set was the “full moon” cases.
Trying to remedy the dehydration that would keep her head muzzy for hours, she opened her mouth and drank down the warm water. She’d really needed that gulp of Scotch before she got out of bed, but she didn’t think he’d buy that she needed it to think.
The curtain flew back. Sam reached in, turned off the faucets, and tossed her a towel, his frowning gaze sweeping her body only briefly. “Five minutes. Your clothes are on the bed. I’ll be in the car. Don’t make me come back in here.”
She watched the stiff set of his shoulders and wondered if seeing her naked again after all this time had bothered him. Seeing him fully clothed set all her dormant hormones firing, even if they were swimming in alcohol.
Cait sighed and blotted her body with the towel. If he’d been even the least bit nicer, she might have asked him to join her for old times’ sake. However, she guessed they both needed to hold on tight to their anger or they’d never get through the day.
Anger was the deepest emotion either one of them could risk. Anything else would hurt too damn much.