I promise to post photos soon from my Memphis trip! In the meantime…
Maybe you hadn’t noticed, but the first of the 2008 Jewels of the Nile anthologies from Ellora’s Cave is out!
My story, Making the Madam, is one of the featured novellas in this fun release. The cover didn’t arrive in time for me to get it out there ahead of the release, but that doesn’t matter. The book is out and ready for you to snap up your very own copy. If you’d like to take a peek inside at all the stories, follow this link: Jewels of the Nile I
Here’s an excerpt you won’t see on the website. The West was where men were men and women were every bit as adventurous!
Unedited; may vary from the final.
Note for Readers: You must be of legal age in your country of origin to read this excerpt.
“I suppose,” Merry said, drawing out her response in an attempt to tamp down the surge of excitement his words had generated. “But could we douse the lights first?”
“Of course.” He strode to the desk without looking her way and turned down the oil lamp until the flame snuffed out. Then he walked to the bed and bent to blow out the candle. “Is it dark enough now?”
Moonlight sifted through the curtains, but she breathed easier without the harsher light to reveal every flaw. She eased the chemise over her hips, taking down her drawers at the same time and at last standing naked before him. “I’m ready.”
Nathan turned slowly, and she nearly cursed because now she couldn’t see his expression, couldn’t know whether she pleased him or not. He held up his hand and beckoned her closer.
Merry slowly closed the distance between them and slid her hand along his palm. The rough texture sent a shiver rippling along her spine as she imagined how it would feel to have that roughness rasp her tender skin.
Her nipples beaded, drawing painfully erect. Moisture seeped between her folds. She stood so near she could feel his warm breath gust against her cheeks, and she breathed deeply to draw in his masculine scent.
Near enough now to see his face in the shadows, she watched his nostrils flare and realized he probably savored the same things about her. Somehow, that knowledge helped ease her trepidation.
His hand slipped up her arm, caressed her shoulder then slid beneath her hair and cupped her head. He bent to take her mouth and slowly pressed every inch of his front against hers.
With his cock snuggled against her, fine tremors shook her belly, her knees grew weak and she reached for his shoulders to steady herself, but she needn’t have worried.
Nathan clamped an arm tightly around her back, taking her weight.
At first, his kiss was tender, his lips rubbing hers lightly, tempting her to open. When she finally did, it was as though she’d opened a flood gate. His body shuddered and he drew her tighter against him. His cock ground against her body and his tongue shoved past her lips as his kiss turned brutal.
Merry’s nails bit into his flesh and she strained upward, rubbing her body against him. It wasn’t enough, not nearly what her body demanded. She needed him inside her.
She scraped her nails down his back and latched onto his buttocks, telling him without words she was ready.
Nathan dragged his mouth from hers, kissed her forehead, then bent and scooped her off her feet. Half a dozen steps and he knelt on the mattress, lay her across the bed and came over her immediately.
Merry didn’t hesitate. She opened her arms to embrace him, spread her legs wide to invite him inside, and eased up her knees to cup his hips as he nudged her folds then slipped the head of his cock inside.
The muscles of his arms and back bunched, and a tremor rippled through him. He drew a deep, ragged breath. “Merry…” His voice was soft as a sigh.
She thought she understood how he felt. The primal urge to couple drove them here, but she knew their strong attraction and quickly blossoming affection made them wary of causing harm to the other. Nathan didn’t want to hurt or frighten her. The passion gripping his body radiated in the tension of his shoulders and thighs.
Her trust in him gave her the courage to follow through. She could no more deny her nature than he could. “I’m glad Mr. Regis suggested you instruct me,” she whispered. “I could have no better teacher.”
I’ve made progress on the new WIP (Work in Progress, for those of you who don’t know writer-speak!). The first chapter is complete to my satisfaction and includes the necessary elements–the introduction to the heroine’s ordinary world and the inciting incident that launches her on her journey of self-discovery.
Did I mention the heroine is OCD? I invited the ladies on my chat loop to tell me about the people they know who cope with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and man! I didn’t know how many deal with it from minor little quirks to severely debilitating problems. I sure hope I capture Briana’s personality and tics correctly so I can do her justice.
I’m counting down to my road trip to Memphis. Shayla and I have reservations for a hotel about half a mile from Beale street and will have to take the trolley to get there, but that’s going to part of the adventure. I’ll be taking a notebook and a digital camera to make sure I don’t forget a thing I should include in the story I’ll start right after OBSESSED. If anyone has tips for places that would be a good setting for something spooky, let me know!
Thought you might like a peek at the cover of the anthology I’ll be in. This one comes out sometime this summer. My offering is a short story featuring one of the MIK characters.
As you can see from the wordmeters above, I finished the project for Mammoth Books yesterday (yay!), and am getting ready to plow through the next project, a novella for Zane. Yes, the same folks who will be releasing Purple Panties in May, which includes a short story by yours truly. Amazingly, the book is already making #1 lists at Amazon last time I checked, and it won’t be out for months!
Still, today’s the day I stare at a blank page and try to dream the first scene of a new story. It’s a little frightening. I love and hate new starts. Trying to find that perfect first line can really get to me. I play with it, turn it sideways, brainstorm a dozen alternatives. When I get beyond frustrated, I force myself to push on past and write the rest of the opening scene. But I really do have a process, and I hate to break with it. First, I have to have the right title. Then I have to have that perfect first line. The rest flows naturally from that start.
The Zane book is already pretty intimidating. The Purple Panties short was actually my first non-romance piece, but it was only 5000 measly words. This one will be 35,000, and I know I’ll be sweating every one of them to get the emotional intensity I need. I can usually count on the romance developing between a hero and heroine to provide that spice. Not this time.
I’m sure I’ll fly through this week and look back and wonder what the heck I was worried about, but for now, I get to whine and angst. Poor little insecure author me.
I saw something like this over at the Avon Romance Blog, and thought it would be fun to tag some of my “sister” writers. Be sure to check out the blogs of Sasha White and Cathryn Fox to see how they respond and who’s next!
Four jobs I’ve had in my life:
1. Car Hop at a Dairy Queen
2. U.S. Army Officer
3. Social Studies Teacher
Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
1. Die Hard
2. The 13th Warrior
3. 28 Days More
Four favorite places I’ve lived:
1. Zweibrueken, Germany
2. Heilbronn, Germany
3. Portrane, Ireland
4. Hill Country, Texas
Four favorite places I’ve travelled:
1. Greek Islands
2. Paris, France
3. Rothenburg, Germany
4. The Florida Keys
Four places I most want to see before I die:
3. Venice, Italy
Four of my favorite foods:
1. Menudo (Mexican soup with tripe–yum!)
2. Lamb with Greek tsasiki
3. Korean Kimchi
4. Fajita tacos
If you’d like to join the fun, leave your answers here or a blog URL where we can read your posting!
First, thanks to everyone who joined me at Access Romance’s All-A-Blog where I talked about my upcoming road trip, and the Avon Romance Blog where so many of us talked about dreaming and where our inspiration comes from. As a way of thanking you for being there for me, I drew a name. Rasha Hamdi will receive a signed copy of SEDUCED BY DARKNESS if she’ll Email Me!
I made a little poll, including my favorite hotties. Let’s see if we agree.
Who would you prefer to spend a night with? Poll Results
Scott Elrod, Men in Trees – 6 votes
Josh Holloway, Lost – 7 votes
Naveen Andrews, Lost – 3 votes
Dule Hill, Psych – 3 votes
I admit, I’m a TV junkie. Only I really don’t have time to watch a lot of shows. I TIVO everything I love, then watch them like a woman who eats chocolate–all in one luscious gobble.
I have my favorites: Psych, Monk, Men in Trees, Lost. If Eureka and Blood Ties ever come back, they’ll go to the top of my list again. So, I was wondering why I love these particular shows and figured out I really, really love the men.
In PSYCH you have two wonderful comedians, but I lean toward wanting Dule Hill more because he’s so put upon, and so very, very fine. If you ever saw the movie HOLES, you’d fall in love with him.
Tony Shaloub’s MONK would make me want to commit murder, so I’m not the least attracted to him, but I have to watch him out of morbid fascination. I love his quirks, cringe right through them, and I love the “And this is what happened” summation moment in every show. But he doesn’t make my hottie list.
MEN IN TREES is my new favorite. Anne Heche is great. The ensemble cast loveable. I want to move to Elmo, Alaska! Even if the concept of a New York writer settling in a small Alaskan town doesn’t appeal to you, glimpses of Scott Elrod will make it totally worthwhile.
Then, of course, there is LOST. The show totally exhausts me. I’m ready for it to end. I’m dying to find out what the ultimate mystery is, because I’ve guessed my way through so many scenarios, I want to know if ANY of them was right. One thing the show has in spades is hot men. Daniel Dae Kim, Josh Holloway, Naveen Andrews. All drool-worthy.
As you can tell from my little wordmeter, I’ve made dismal progress on the story I HAVE to turn in by Sunday.
I spent Wednesday with the daughter shopping. *shudder* But have to admit, I’m glad I went. I let her choose everything, and she picked some cute clothes. Not what I would have bought (sweat pants and tee shirts), but she has me just about ready for conference. Now if I can find that pirate shirt and corset, ooh, and a pair of little black fairy wings, I’ll be set.
Yesterday, we went to Little Rock for eye exams. I found out I have a blind spot in my vision. Might explain why I never see cars in the right lane until I hear them honk. Guess that means I need to schedule time with an opthamologist (did I even spell that right?).
Anyway, today, my butt is planted in the chair. I will write, and blog, and write some more. Be sure to join me at the Avon Romance Blog today. I’m going to be talking about dreaming and how it helps me write. You’ll get just one more clue about the fact I may not be wrapped too tight.