Tag: snippet (Page 1 of 2)

More of a sneak-peek at Heart of Flame

Guyyys my little paranormal romance novel is coming out soon. But I still can’t tell you when, so here’s something to nibble on until then.

Emotion and desire had stolen Misha’s voice, and for a long moment all she could do was stare at Chuck, breathing hard, tracing the hard planes of his face and the exquisitely sculpted line of his lips with her gaze.

He had no idea what he was. He’d been turned, his Broken sire had been rightly executed, and Branch Zero had scooped him up and done a spectacular job of convincing him he was nothing more than a useless, troublesome stray.

“Chuck, listen to me.” He frowned, his unblinking eyes never leaving hers, and she balled her fists in his shirt. “You are a vampire. I know it sucks in so many ways, and you don’t have to like it, but it’s what you are now. You’re the ultimate apex predator. You are fast and strong and deadly, but you are also beautiful and powerful and immortal. Your kind practically run half the world, and they use little more than their magic to do so, and the only reason they don’t run it all is because they’re too lazy to bother.” Chuck’s eyes had gone wide, and Misha tightened her grip on his shirt. “You think you have nothing because that’s what Branch Zero wanted you to think. The truth is, you could have almost anything you want, all you need is time and training in how to use the power you have now. But you have more than that too.” As he searched her face, Misha unfurled her fists and rested her hands on his shoulders. “You’re brave. And kind. And good.”

Chuck’s eyes blazed with some barely checked emotion, and his embrace turned to stone. “I’m not,” he whispered.

In his distress, his fangs had lengthened. Misha reached up to stroke one of the sharp tips, and he hissed, eyes going sharp with arousal. “You are,” she said gently. “Brave and kind and good. Also, your hands are extremely talented, a fact which I’ll admit I’ve thought about a lot these past twenty-four hours, and—”

The growl that escaped Chuck went straight through her, stopped her breath in her throat. His hands tightened on her. “Have you now.”

Misha’s stomach flipped. She knew he’d never hurt her, but that didn’t stop the surge of adrenaline as Chuck locked onto her with predatory focus. She managed to nod her head and make a vague affirmative noise, throat gone too dry for words. He drew her closer, wedging his torso between her knees, until her bunched-up skirt stopped him. With a distracted snarl he dropped both hands to her hips and went to push the skirts out of the way, his palms skimming her bare thighs. Sweet Mother, Misha thought, how could such a simple touch make her heart race even faster?

Then he stopped. He bowed his head, touching his forehead to hers, muscles in his neck and shoulders thrumming with tension. He breathed in, seeming to drink down her scent. “Misha?”

She let her fingers drift over those thick shoulders, marveling at the coiled strength in them. “Hmm?”

He pulled back. “Do you want this?”

Author rises from the grave to post the Wednesday snippet

Just kidding, they hadn’t buried me yet!

Seriously though, I’ve been very ill, but I’m on the mend and am powering through the final line edits for Heart of Flame – for which I’ll have a release date in the next couple of weeks! Hint: it’s gonna be sooooon,

Speaking of Heart of Flame, here’s a snippet.

With an armful of jeans, T-shirts, and trunks in various sizes, Misha knocked on Chuck’s door. When he didn’t respond, she knocked again, harder. If he was still in the shower, he might not hear her in spite of preternaturally good hearing—the walls of the Wayward Heart were thick and reinforced with privacy warding for added discretion. If the bathroom door was closed and the water was running, he definitely wouldn’t have heard her.

Her stomach grumbled. She’d burned through a hell of a lot of energy tonight, and the slice of apple pie before had barely touched the sides. She wasn’t going to wait around for Chuck to finish marinating just so she could personally hand him the fresh clothes. While he stood there in a towel, wet and steamy from the—

Definitely not going to do that. Not when she should be downstairs grabbing something to eat so she didn’t get any grumpier than she already was.

Misha let herself in. Yep, shower was still running. She plopped the fresh clothes on the bed and was about to hightail it out of there when she noticed the neatly folded pile of Chuck’s old clothes on the chair by the bathroom door. May as well take them down to be laundered. He’d taken the holster, his belt, and his unloaded gun into the bathroom with him; his boots and socks were under the chair, placed with precision.

For some reason imagining the big, rough-looking vampire carefully folding his dirty clothes and tucking his socks into his boots made Misha’s heart twist.

She gathered the clothes up and resisted the urge to lift them to her face and get his scent. What the hell is wrong with me? Instead, she headed resolutely for the door. That was when the shower shut off. Her heart skipped a beat and she shot an irrational look over her shoulder, sure the bathroom door was going to open. Then she smacked into the end of the bed, smarted her knee on the wooden post, and hissed a very dirty word in a language that had been dead for at least three thousand years.

The sound had barely left her when suddenly Chuck was standing right there.

He’d moved so fast, he was in front of her before Misha’s brain even registered the sound of the bathroom door slamming open. His eyes blazed black with twin points of gold burning in their depths, the vampire instincts in full control, his stark face devoid of any recognition.

Misha went utterly still, not even daring to breathe. The overhead lights flickered, responding to Chuck’s power. She’d startled him. He’d been in the shower—naked, warm, unable to hear anything over the water. In other words, vulnerable. And she’d startled him.

The next sound she registered was the wet, ripping snarl rolling out from behind Chuck’s bared teeth.

Speaking of wet . . .

Water trickled down from Chuck’s short hair, down his thickly corded neck, over shoulders wide enough for Misha to perch on. His vast chest was inches from her face and beaded with moisture, his light golden skin still smooth as silk—a human male’s skin would be pebbled from the contrast of heat and water and cooling air. His pecs were huge slabs of muscle, his nipples dusky and flat, practically begging Misha to brush her fingers across them so she could watch the fine muscles in his torso clench in response. A dusting of dark hair trailed from his chest down toward his navel, and lower . . . and then Misha slammed her eyes shut.

No towel.

This Wednesday’s snippet is spoilery and also the last

No major plot points, but we’re getting on into it now, so if you reeeeeally don’t want any idea what the book’s gonna be like, don’t read the snippet! Sadly I’m really running low on stuff I can post that is fun but doesn’t give major plot/character stuff away, and I’m heading into the downhill-run of the book now I’m past halfway, so snippets will have to be put on hiatus. Probably I will resume snippets once I have the final edit of Heart of Flame and can start posting teasers for that one!

Anyway here it is, enjoy Xoxo

Three long, narrow benches each sat to the left, right, and dead ahead of the entrance, set way back to leave the middle of the vast room clear. The floor was flagstone, no rugs. Heavy tapestries covered the walls. Huge wall-sconces added firelight to the buttery glow of the overhead chandeliers.

The crier finished his whole shout-and-blow routine, and the silence was deafening. Not to mention eerie – so many people, not a sound.

Put me down, Emma sent to Fern – then noticed he’d gone so still she couldn’t feel his breath. Did I miss something?

Her feet touched the ground. Fern’s hands tightened on her. They didn’t announce you. Or me. Or the maidens. We’re servants.

I’m counted with the servants, right?

Wordless affirmation pulsed through the bond.

Hmm. Emma aimed her thoughts at Red. You know these guys best. Should I be offended?

His anger felt like the first tremor of an avalanche rumbling beneath her feet. Or the psychic equivalent of her feet. They want you to be offended.

Okay. Rule number one: don’t get offended.

How likely are they to take a shot at me right now?

Red gave a sub-audible growl. Flower –

Those odds sound good to me. With that she pushed between Alexi and Seshua. Seshua’s nostrils flared in alarm; Alexi’s scarred face tightened with the stifled urge to smile. At least one person here trusts me, she thought in Red’s general direction.

The guards parted for her. Leah brushed the back of her hand as she passed. Fatima’s eyes flared gold. Ricky and Anton didn’t spare a glance for her, too focused on staring down a feast-hall full of hostiles, most of whom could probably turn into thousand-pound killers.

Emma and Fern reached the maidens at the head of their group. Most of them wore identical expressions of bored resentment, which if you didn’t know them, you might mistake for neutral calm. Rish’s eyes were sharp as knives. Felani’s golden face was a frozen mask, twin spots of color high in her cheeks.

Emma touched her shoulder. “It’s all right, Felani.”

The maiden’s chest rose and fell with her rapid breaths. She met Emma’s eyes. “Is it, my lady?”

Emma gave a slow nod, willing Felani to understand. “Yeah. It is.”  Then Emma lifted her head and got her first good look at the Cantiaci.

It was obvious who was in charge: at the head table, there was a raised dais and three thrones, the middle set higher than the other two, and the woman who occupied the head throne lounged so thoroughly she seemed to have been poured into her seat. She appeared larger than life; everything about her was bigger, richer, deeper than her surrounds. Her hair was the color of fire, the most vibrant natural ginger Emma had ever seen. Her eyes were huge and lavender blue. She wore a cream Roman-styled gown, elegant and simple, and it was the perfect compliment to the crowning glory of all those wild orange curls. The body beneath the gown was sumptuous, plump and round, and the woman had the face of an angel, her expression cherubic. A golden torc graced her throat, looking like it weighed more than Emma’s right arm.

Yup, this was the queen.

She tapped the arm of her throne with one sandaled foot, met Emma’s eyes after giving her own once-over, and smiled sweetly before letting her gaze wander past. Emma felt the impact of her stare hit Red Sun, felt it through the Pledge bond, felt it with some other part of her that was human and simple and very, very female.

She waited until she saw the queen’s ample chest lift with an indrawn breath. “Your invitation was addressed to the Caller of the Blood,” Emma said loudly.

The queen looked at Emma and exhaled with a touch of irritation. She said nothing.

“Well,” Emma said. “Since we’ve never been introduced, I thought you might not know I’d come. People tend to be a little underwhelmed by me. Expecting more, I dunno, just more.” She put up her hands and shrugged. The black starburst mark in her right palm looked black as spilled ink under the glowing lights. She crossed her arms. “I realize I’m not much to look at, but thankfully these guys make up for that.”

A murmur of something that wasn’t quite laughter ran through the crowd at the tables.

The queen smiled a small, indulgent smile that didn’t reach her eyes. “So, young lady, you are the Caller of the Blood.” She spoke with the mildly disinterested tone of a distracted parent inspecting their kid’s macaroni-and-glitter painting, and her accent was the kind of haughty British drawl all Americans expected when a Brit opened their mouth.

And she thought she could piss Emma off by treating her like a child? It was almost kinda cute. Emma routinely pushed around a bunch of possessive, dominant, arrogant ancients who all thought they knew better than her, and she had several annoying nicknames to prove it, all variations on the “little girl” theme – her threshold for getting pissed off at that kind of shit was sky-y-y high, thank you very much.

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