Excerpts

Surprise- Snippet in the Rough

Crux Survivors #3 has no title yet. I’ve always come up with titles fast in my books and this one is being elusive. The story, however, is not. I have a feeling this is going to be the sexiest, most emotional Crux story yet. And today, I’m sharing a tiny rough draft snippet. Because I’m a tease. 😉

Log house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cad’s hair slid forward. He’d let the blond strands grow out even more—they touched his shoulders now—and the sun had put light streaks throughout. Tripp couldn’t see his expression, could only see those pouting lips and something took him over, something he never would have expected. He ducked his head, looked up into the shadow of Cad’s face, darkened by that fall of hair on either side. “What’s going on with you, huh?”

Cad shut his eyes, clenched his lips even more.

Even if he’d wanted to, Tripp couldn’t have stopped his next slight movement closer. Those lips called to him. Tightened his chest, sent blood south. He stared at Cad’s mouth and tried hard to back away. The guy had been through hell, had been forced to do things against his will. It had been some time ago, but Cad still sometimes made noises in his sleep–ones that awakened Tripp all the way across the room. Sounds that reminded him that Cad needed anything but Tripp’s messed up libido problems right now.

It took everything Tripp had to take two steps back. He put his palm on the log wall of the cabin, closed his eyes tight and tried to reign in the harsh breaths that had taken over his lungs. He’d grabbed Mac and kissed her, knowing what she’d gone through, and had felt the fires of guilt ever since. He still wondered if that kiss had made her take off that last day at Cad’s farm. And now, he wanted to kiss Cad. Wanted to run his tongue over that full bottom lip, wanted to put his fingers on the new muscles revealed by the ridiculously ripped T-shirt.

Since when did he want to make out with his best friend?

“Tripp?” Cad’s voice, hesitant, deep and velvety, brushed over him.

“Just wait, okay?” Tripp didn’t mean to sound harsh as he turned away from Cad and leaned on the warm wood. The sun beat down on the top of his head, not helping to lessen the heat tearing up his insides all of the sudden. He needed an outlet for this surge of sexual need he’d felt lately. Needed it badly. The only other single woman here at their home was Georgia and he just didn’t feel that way toward her.

Georgia, like Cad and yeah, Mac, had all been used against their will. But even if Georgia had given him the green light, had wanted to try something with him, it really wasn’t there for them. He’d seen the way she watched the other married couple, Lynn and Jake—seen them returning the looks. He’d walked in on them just last week, curled up together on the big couch in the family room, watching a movie, Lynn’s hand on Georgia’s thigh.

“I’m okay, Tripp. Sorry I worried you.” Cad’s fingers, hot and calloused from all the work lately, wrapped around his wrist.

Tripp sucked in a breath, closed his eyes tight. Maybe sharing this new cabin with Cad was a bad, bad idea.

 

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Origin Excerpt-Getting To Know Siri and Her Pirates

I had fierce insta-love for the space pirates Anders and Clay the second they showed up in Catalyst. I know, they sprang from my imagination, but it’s hard to explain just how hard they sprang. Fully formed and tangled up in all these overwhelming feelings of friendship and more–I wanted to write their story immediately. When Siri came to me, I knew these three were perfect for each other. This book comes out in April and I’m not sure I’ve been more excited about one of my menage romances. Origin is M/M/F in a big, big way. 😉

Here’s a rather revealing glimpse into their world. I can’t wait to share this book with you all.

Origin72lg Origin. Releases April 2014!

I couldn’t move. Pain wracked every muscle and joint, my entire left arm nothing but one excruciating throb. No, it had gone beyond throb to constant, white-hot agony. The box, smaller than the last, had two holes for air, so even when I did manage to stay awake, lack of oxygen kept me dizzy. Boots sounded as my owner stomped across the room, her scratchy laughter growing louder as she bent to rap her knuckles on the wooden top.

“Like the coffin, little girl? I plan to bury you in it.”

Still chuckling, she plugged one of the holes. Within seconds, my lungs raged for air. I wanted to claw at my throat, but she’d stuffed me in the small space with one arm squished under me and the other bent wrong. The pain of the elbow snap had knocked me out—I didn’t know for how long. Hot tears spilled from my eyes, the ones from the right eye dripping and burning the left because of the angle of my head. I tried to think of my mother and father, to remember their comfort, but my mind was funny these days. It distorted memories until sometimes, I dreamed of them as creatures reaching out to me with nothing but smooth skin where their faces were supposed to be. Terror slithered through my chest like a serpent before it expanded, growing thick, filling every part of me until I sucked in the last of the stale air and screamed.

“Wake up, sweetheart. Shh. Fuck, please stop whimpering like that.”

Big hands lifted me from the bunk and every muscle in my body went taut as I buried the urge to fight. Fighting made it worse.

“No Siri, you can fight me. Fight all you want.” He let me go.

Realizing I’d spoken aloud, I blinked open eyes, gummy from tears, and stared at Anders. He sat on the side of my bunk, wearing black shorts and another sleeveless shirt like before—this one white. He’d chopped off most of his hair, leaving it shorter in the back, longer and messy around his eyes. He blew long blond bangs off his forehead, his smile kind. “You were having a bad dream.”

There was movement behind him, and I stretched to look over his shoulder to find the captain hovering in the doorway. He wore only soft blue pajama bottoms, and he’d obviously been awakened from sleep because his black hair was flat on one side. He had a crease down one cheek. My gaze involuntarily slid down his naked chest, taking in the rippling, lean muscles, the sprinkling of dark hair between his nipples. He had tattoos—a knife on his side, a symbol I didn’t recognize on his shoulder and colorful tattoos between his elbow and hand on his left arm.

I closed my eyes, shame heating up my neck and cheeks. “Sorry I woke you two.”

“Don’t be. Anyone making that kind of sounds needs a good waking.” Anders smiled and stood up, the loss of his big frame shifting the bed. “Want to talk about it?”

I shook my head, rubbing the spot on my elbow where the break had left a permanent scar because it hadn’t healed correctly. The memories of the “box years,” as I called them, weren’t for anyone other than myself.

Why share the nightmare of exchanging one tiny box for a slightly larger one as my adolescent frame grew? Why share the terror of broken bones and living in your own waste? Shuddering, I tried to shake off the very physical, cloying sensation of fear the dream memory had brought.

The men shared a look, and my belly flip-flopped as I took in their concern. We were strangers, so their regard didn’t make sense, but it also nudged something inside me I thought hadn’t developed. I didn’t feel desire, not like what I’d witnessed in others. As I looked at them standing beside each other—one short, ripped and dark and the other broad-shouldered and big with that sexy spill of silky blond hair—I felt something new. A curling of warmth in my limbs, an empty ache between my legs…and my breasts suddenly felt heavier. I sat up, shocked, and had to stop myself from cupping my own breasts. I bit my lip, entertained by the image that would have given them.

And like that, the fear was gone. My cheeks twitched, so amused was I over the thought of their shock if I’d suddenly grabbed my breasts, that I couldn’t stop the smile I aimed their direction. It felt strange on my face.

Anders sucked in a breath. “Gods woman, you have the smile of an angel.”

Wrinkling my nose, I shook my head. “You have an awfully sweet tongue in your mouth.”

“So I’ve been told.”

Clay rolled his eyes. “Don’t give him any ideas.” His shoulders relaxed as if he accepted that the possible crisis had been averted. He leaned against the open doorway and crossed his arms over his chest. This made his biceps bulge.

I wasn’t the only one looking at them. Anders had turned when the captain moved, and his shuttered stare sent a shiver down my spine. What was their story? My curiosity surprised me as much as the desire had.

“So, you’re okay, Siri?” Clay ignored Anders’s fiery stare, focusing on me.

“I am.” I pulled the soft Drenellian cotton blanket into a bunch I could cuddle to my chest. “It’s all a little overwhelming. I don’t remember…being free before. I can’t quite grasp the concept.” I frowned, looked down at my lap. “It’s hard to describe.”

“I imagine you have a lot of crazy emotions going on.”

“I am sorry I woke you.”

Anders shrugged. “I wasn’t asleep, so don’t worry about it.”

“Don’t even worry about it if he was. There’s a lot for you to take in, get used to. There’s a whole world out there just waiting for you to do something in it. Something of your choice.” Clay winked. “I’d be having some wild dreams myself if I were facing that.”

As both men shuffled out of my room, I hugged that beautiful blanket, wondering if these new feelings the men raised in me would give me a new kind of wild dream.

One with touches that were offered with love.


Surprise Sole Survivors Snippet!

Surprise snippet from Sole Survivors. It releases January 14th–less than a month away!!! You can pre-order it now with a 30% off discount at my publisher’s. They offer all ebook formats and it’s only $3.15.

SoleSurvivors72lgShort Excerpt:

She’d made the decision to risk bringing all these people to her home. Once she made a firm choice, she always followed through, but Keera couldn’t stop her hands shaking as she led the two other vehicles to her warehouse. Built to blend, the green and brown building nestled in the midst of a thick stand of trees. The small clearing let in enough sunlight to power the solar panels on her roof. From the outside the warehouse didn’t look like much. Just a square, metal building with a large garage door on the right side. Her fenced-off garden was on the right and wrapped around the back. In the spring and summer it would be overgrown with plants, but now it was bare. She parked her car, jumped out and opened the garage door so she could pull her car inside. But she hesitated, left the car out when she remembered they had yet to unpack her gifts. She held up a hand to tell Chase and Ross to stop their vehicles. They’d have to leave them outside. Her warehouse held the car, but with the built-in apartment, there wasn’t room for more.

The noise of their engines sounded so foreign in her normally quiet home. She hugged her arms to herself, trying to calm her nerves.

Tripp and Cadmar jumped out of the RV as soon as Chase turned the engine off. They walked up to the open garage, Tripp looking inside while Cadmar chattered at him. She wondered if the younger man had once taken his eyes off Tripp—even in the RV.

Chase got out of the RV, his gaze going to her first, then around the area, before coming back to her. He looked so tough standing there with his muscles bulging in his crossed arms and his scruffy hair and beard picking up light from the sun. He’d pulled on a long-sleeved flannel shirt over a T-shirt that had faded to a grayish color. Neither shirt was thick enough to ward off the chill in the air today.

“Oh,” she breathed. “I forgot to give this to you right away.” She opened one of the back doors on her car and pulled out his jacket. “Thanks for loaning this to me yesterday. I have another in my car I think will fit you too.”

“Thanks.” He took the jacket, lifted it toward his face, then stopped abruptly to squeeze it in his fists.

She thought he almost sniffed his coat. Butterflies filled her stomach at the thought of him trying to get a whiff of her.

“This place is great,” he murmured, faint red filling his cheeks as if he realized she’d caught his intention.

“My father picked this heavily wooded spot when I was little. He called it our private getaway and we kept only the places close to the warehouse trimmed while letting everything else grow wild.”

“It was a good idea. I couldn’t see the place until we were right up on it.”

“Nice garden area.” Dorian said as he came up to them. He’d tied his shoulder-length black hair into a short tail. His eyes looked huge and dark in his narrow face. “Do you have a greenhouse?”

She shook her head. “No, but I grow some stuff inside the warehouse with growing lamps. Herbs, tomatoes and peppers.”

“Any fruit trees?”

She nodded. “Out back. Peach, apple and avocado trees.”

“Really?” He came up on his toes, excitement making his dark eyes sparkle. “Please tell me you’ve saved avocado seeds.”

When he grinned, Keera’s eyes widened. Holy shit, the man was a looker. “Of course. I’ve even got a couple of small trees growing in pots. Feel free to go see. The adult trees are around back. The babies are inside the warehouse.”

“Thanks.” He turned, his long, elegant legs moving quickly.

Keera watched him go. She couldn’t help it.

“I know. It’s hard not to look at him, isn’t it?” Jenna came up to her and lifted her hand to shield the sun from her eyes.

“Sorry,” Keera murmured.

“Don’t be. I’ve been watching him since we were kids and look.” She pointed at Ross, who stood next to the back of the semi-truck. He’d paused while opening the back to watch Dorian stride toward the backyard. “Everyone watches him. I’ve even caught Cadmar peeking a time or two. Dorian just has a way about him.” She waved at the warehouse. “Damn, it’s so exciting to meet you people. And this place is so cool! You know I’m dying to see inside, right?”

Keera grinned. “Come on, I’ll show you all. Should we wait for Dorian?”

Her blonde hair bobbed in its ponytail as she shook her head. “He’ll wander in after a while. He’ll explore the garden first.”

Pride filled Keera as she led them in through the open garage door. The plans for the place were originally created for a type of construction office with a big, open space and stairs that led up to offices. Her father had built the office part as a two bedroom apartment instead. She had a fully functioning kitchen, bathroom and anything else she needed.

Chase hadn’t said a word but he’d followed them and he stood inside, big arms crossed as he took in the long tables built against the entire left wall. They broke only for the stairs, then continued on to the other side. She’d installed the grow lamps herself and the long surfaces were covered in plants she grew throughout the year. “I keep tomatoes and peppers going all year. Lots of good nutrients in them. Cucumbers too.” She pointed at the trellis where huge, green leaves peeked out from the vines that had wrapped the white wood. “I also grow a lot of herbs for cooking and tea.”

Chase touched one of the ripe tomatoes, walked a couple of steps and just stopped.

She followed his gaze to the green bell peppers. “Those have done really well this year. I’m letting some turn red, but there are so many feel free to pick as many as you want.” She looked at Jenna. “You too. The tomatoes are good. I have way too many of those so I’ve canned a lot of them. I have enough canned to last years, but I grow them fresh because there is nothing like eating them right off the vine.”

He still didn’t take anything. “I haven’t had a fresh tomato or a pepper in a long time. I think I’ll wait until I can sit down and enjoy them.” He turned to look down at her. “Thank you.”

His low, deep voice and the intensity in that sharp, blue stare drew the air from her lungs. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Jenna smile and wander to the herb end of the indoor garden. Keera stared back at Chase, wondering if he was feeling even an inkling of the crazy emotion that ran through her. She could see his attraction to her in the way he looked at her, in the flare of his nostrils. He’d stared at her body back at the creek…but any man would have stared at the way that wet shirt had fit her.

Nerves hit her so hard, she stepped back.

Chase frowned.

Sole Survivors Teaser

Crux Survivors #2 is now called Sole Survivors and it’s due to release in January. This one was slated to be a novella, but the story kept going, so it’s nearly twice the length of After the Crux. The best part? You get lots of Dorian, Ross and Jenna as secondary characters. I’m still pretty nuts about that trio. 😉

So, here’s a small teaser to grab your interest. 😉

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When Jenna didn’t say anything else, Keera looked back to find affection shining from her eyes as she looked across the fire.

Ross had buried his face in Dorian’s neck and the younger man, eyes closed, had turned just enough to rest his cheek on Ross’s forehead. Her stomach tightened, warmth flooded her chest. The love coming off this trio touched her.

“Do you ever get jealous?” Keera bit her lip when the question popped out.

“You’d think I would, but I don’t. We just fit. I know the both of them love me as much as they love each other. But the um…intimacy with Ross is still pretty new.”

“What do you mean? I thought you said you’d been together most of your life?”

“We have. But Dorian and I were together sexually for years before the relationship changed. Ross thought of himself as our protector, felt he didn’t have any right to want us that way.”

“What changed his mind?”

Jenna chuckled. “We didn’t play fair. He didn’t have a chance. My only regret is not doing something like that five years ago. So, you’ll have to excuse us. We’re still in the honeymoon phase.”

Keera could not imagine what it would be like to have two men like that in her bed, but her mind instantly threw up an image of her in bed with Chase. She went hot. So hot, she worried her flush couldn’t be explained away by the fire. Clearing her throat, she abruptly stood. “Will you excuse me a moment? There’s a lot of steam coming off that gumbo, so I’m sure it’s ready. I’m going to grab some bread. It’s flat bread, but I made a lot yesterday.”

“Sure.” Jenna didn’t look at her though. She was too busy getting up to walk around the fire to snuggle in with her men. Keera glanced at Tripp and Cadmar, found them still talking.

She turned and walked toward her home, leaves crunching under her shoes as she sped up when she reached the warehouse door. She walked inside, took the stairs two at a time and then stopped dead in the hallway once inside the apartment.

The shower was on.

Her imagination went wild, throwing out images of that scarred, scruffy man in her shower. Naked.

Steam trickled from under the door as the smell of her homemade honeysuckle shampoo filled the hallway. When she’d extracted the oils from the flowers, she’d never expected their scent would turn her on at some point.

She closed her eyes and leaned her head against the wall. She wanted to see him in her shower so badly, her hands tightened into fists. The water shut off and she couldn’t make her feet move, couldn’t scurry back down the hall so he wouldn’t know she’d sat out here smelling the air like a fool. It was like she’d stepped in wet cement that had dried instantly and kept her feet planted.

The door opened and she heard his intake of air, felt his gaze on her. She closed her eyes, didn’t turn to look.

“Thanks for letting me use your shower. It’s been a long time since I’ve bathed in hot water. I’m not sure there’s anything nicer than—”

He broke off and she finally looked up at him. He’d put on the pair of sweats and the long-sleeved thermal shirt she’d given him. The pants were a little big, so they hung low on his hips, revealing a strip of skin at the top that made her mouth go dry. A trail of light brown hair, the same color as his beard looked soft, intriguing. She forced her gaze up, enjoying the muscles revealed by the slightly too small shirt. Dax’s pants worked, but her father had been a lot smaller than Chase. “I should have given you one of Dax’s shirts too. Or others. We stored a lot of clothes. There are a bunch in the car ready to be loaded into your RV. These were already in here…” she trailed off, realizing her nerves were making her rattle at the mouth.

“This is perfectly fine.”

That it was. The shirt showed the muscles of his arms and chest off nicely. Before she could think to stop herself, she walked toward him until the scent of honeysuckle shampoo and warm, just-showered male was so strong, so heady, she had to stop and just breathe him in.

“Keera?” His voice had a slight growl to it.

This turned her legs to jelly and she took that last step until their bodies touched. She looked up to find his eyes narrowing, his breaths coming faster and those beautiful, sharp blue eyes locked on her mouth. She licked her lips and he groaned, then gripped her upper arms. Not hard, but tight enough she knew she’d have to pull hard to get away.

She stood on her toes at the same time he lowered his mouth.

Ima Tease

Because you guys are asking me so, so sweetly. Here’s a glimpse into Origin. A little unedited space pirate time for you. 😉

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The old-fashioned door slammed open and a broad-shouldered, tall man with wild blond hair stormed into the room. He turned and fired at someone behind him before slamming the door and leaning against it. His wide chest rose and fell fast as he breathed hard, his sharp green eyes going over the human’s body. “So, you’re fine. Good.” Tension left those shoulders as if he were relieved. “We seem to be cornered. Really think we should have followed your plan.”

“Now you say that.” Light blue eyes rolled. “Gods, Anders. I told you to stay back. I’m much better at sneaking into places than you are.”

“That’s because you’re small.”

“I’m not small, asshole.”

“There you go, getting all sexy with those old terms.” The big blonde’s gaze landed on me. He tensed up again, standing straight away from the door. “Oh.”

Silence filled the room as he stared, while outside the sounds of fighting grew louder. I couldn’t believe they weren’t doing something. Hiding, holding their guns on the door—anything. Fear made my stomach clench and it wasn’t fear for me. I had no idea who they were or why there were here, but something told me they didn’t deserve what my owner would do. Swallowing the heavy lump in my throat, I opened my mouth to beg them to leave, and stiffened when the blonde’s eyes snapped to my mouth, his nostrils flaring, his eyes narrowing. Pure shock zapped my system as once again, my body started to respond. What was it about these two?

The human behind me chuckled. “First time I’ve seen you stunned into silence. Pretty, isn’t she?”

“Pretty don’t come close to the right description for this one.” Green eyes roamed my body with warm appreciation, until he got to the long wounds on my thighs. Big hands closed into fists as he took a step toward me, eyes narrowing. “You with Para Lashin, sweetheart?”

He talked funny, his deep, sexy voice drawing out the vowels like they came out of his mouth on curves. My belly fluttered.

“You ask for those lines on that pretty skin?”

The dark-haired man growled. “Of course she didn’t, Anders.”

Anders quirked one eyebrow. “Really? Did you forget we’re on an entertainment ship? Some people like pain. She could be a customer.” He looked at my legs again. “Though, those don’t look none too pleasurable. Too thick. Too deep. One looks bad.”

I didn’t have to look down to know which one. It burned deeper than the other five, had bled a lot more. Without med glue, bandages or a needle to sew it closed, I’d had to tie scarves tight around my thighs to hold the wound closed.

He clenched his jaw. “Lashin do that to you?”

Something crashed into the door behind the blond man and I gasped, expecting my owner and his guards to barrel through the door and kill these humans. I didn’t want to see anyone else killed, especially not them. Knowing I’d probably be slain for this, I ran to the corner of the room and swiped all electronics off a shoulder-high shelf, revealing a keypad built into the wall. I typed in a series of numbers and letters. A paneled wall slid open and I pointed inside. “There are weapons in here and another way out. Please hurry.”

“Aw, our rescue is becoming hers.”  The dark-haired man walked toward me with purpose and intent in every taut step. Face down, eyes cast up toward me, he didn’t stop until he stood close enough for me to feel his breath brush over my lips. “Anders, this woman isn’t with Para Lashin on purpose. She called him her owner.” His eyes dropped to my lips before that dark frown returned to his face. “We came to watch Lashin being carted off to prison.”

“We were just supposed to locate him and turn him over to the enforcers, but the captain here decided we should sneak aboard to make sure the piece of varmin didn’t get early word and escape.”

One black eyebrow lifted. “And you didn’t want to come? What was that about finding files off the grid?”

“Yeah, well,” he said, looking around the opulent room my owner called his lounge. Long, gold couches stretched in every direction, vid screens peppered the walls. “I don’t see anything worth stealing in this room. Other than the obvious, of course.” He locked his gaze on me.

The captain nodded. “We won’t be stealing her.” He looked at me. “Will you come with us? We’ll take you home.”

“You’re asking her?” Anders released a loud, long-suffering sigh. I got the feeling he did this a lot with the other human. “Claybourne, just grab her and go. I’m sure Juniper and the others can hold Lashin and what guards he has left back, but I’ve changed my mind about letting the government take him. Between this woman and what we saw upstairs, he deserves worse.” He turned, knuckles white around his laser gun. “I’m gonna kill him.”

“Anders!”

The blond ignored him, striding toward the door. My heart beat so hard in my chest; I was terrified it would push through my ribs.

The man—Claybourne, Anders had called him—hurried to Anders and grabbed his arm. “Listen to me. There are too many out there. Besides, think about Lashin on Bastilleen, the absolute hell he’ll go through. There are probably former victims of his there, and within hours, the worlds will know about what he did to Kithra.”

What had he done to Kithra? I burned with questions but had spent too many years conditioned to keep silent.

Anders stared down at Claybourne, glanced at me, then returned to the shorter man, his expression softening. True affection blazed through the anger. “Grab the pretty girl, Captain.”

“I’m not going to leave her, but grabbing her is probably not the best way to handle her either. Let a little of that manly protective urge go and look at her. Really look at her. She’s still got fight, Sullivan.”

They stood talking when any second the most vicious, bloodthirsty men could spill in here and cut them to pieces. I scowled at them.

“She has a choice,” Claybourne said quietly.

Catalyst is Done!

There is NOTHING like finishing a book. In the case of Catalyst, I wrapped this one up filled with chaotic emotions. Laughing, crying… I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I did writing it. It’s longer than Kithra and Replicant which will make a few readers I know happy. 😉

Catalyst is due to release December 11, 2012 from Samhain Publishing. It’s not up for pre-order yet, but I’ll let you know as soon as it is. Until then, there’s an unedited sneak peek of the opening prologue here and how about a sexy  little teaser with all three characters?

 

The slight grunt of disappointment that escaped Jacks when Bastian slid his arms into the sleeves made me grin.

As if he sensed it, Jacks turned back to me. I lifted an eyebrow and the silent agreement over the kid’s beauty passed between us like a whispered secret. We both watched Bastian then, as he leaned to the side and squeezed the moisture from hair that touched the small of his back when dry but landed lower from the weight of the water. He tied that long strip of thick, soaked hair into a knot at the back of his neck, and reached for the first connector at the bottom of his shirt. He hesitated when he caught Jacks staring, and I could almost hear the older man willing Bastian to leave that strip of defined stomach bare because even flashes of that alabaster skin were better than none at all.

Bastian looked from Jacks to me and desire flared, instant, powerful. I couldn’t stop the roll to my feet. I skirted the small, square pool, the wide, leafy plants that had outgrown the water to rest on the stone sides, and walked close enough to slide my hands over his stomach, under his open shirt and around his waist. Tilting my head back, I ran my gaze over his face, watching his expressive features as he reacted to my touch. I moved my hands up his back, loving the smooth, warm skin. His eyes closed and he tilted his head to the side.

I knew him now, knew that he did that to better focus on the feel of skin on skin.

 

Replicant Goes Live

Replicant went on sale today! I’ve got the usual new release jitters, wondering if readers will give my prickly Jarana a chance. Maska, a man who has every reason not to do so, does. I just loved him. 😉 How about a snippet?? (BTW, Samhain offers a discount on their website this first week and they are good to go again! Replicant is also available at Amazon. Click on the cover to see.)

Ignoring Maska’s protests, Erik slid his arms under the Replicant’s legs and behind his back and lifted him from a straight squat. Impressed, I followed along. Erik was big, but Maska was taller and looked heavy. Plus, a few minutes ago, Erik was passed out drunk on my couch. He’d probably drop the man. I told myself that’s why I followed, but the truth was I wanted to watch more of their interaction.

Maska was no longer protesting, instead staring at Erik. He didn’t hold on to the blond man, didn’t snuggle—just held himself stiff and stared. His long braid slithered over Erik’s arm to brush Erik’s hip as he walked. The style left Maska’s face so clear, his sharp features looked carved from stone. Except for that mouth. Kei was right, he really did have a fantastic mouth. The top lip had an intriguing dent in the middle, the bottom lip full. Together, they were kind of heart-shaped, though he looked too masculine to appreciate the description, should I decide to share. I smirked.

Milky eyes met mine.

Shock sobered me fast when I realized there wasn’t any hatred aimed in my direction. In fact, he seemed to study me with curiosity more than anything else. His eyes dropped to my chest, and more surprise hit me when my unbound breasts responded to his look. My nipples hardened and his eyes narrowed. He stared another few seconds before that languid gaze crept back up to my face. I should have ignored the hint of amusement that curled that pretty mouth of his. Normally I would have, but there was a shitload of whiskey floating in my system. “Like what you see?” I drawled.

“Yes.”

The simple answer carried no hint of flirting, no dishonesty. Nothing but truth. And a hint of sadness.

Frowning, I crossed my arms over my nipples.

“You’re very similar to the women Erik saw before he met me.”

“You just said I wasn’t his type. So now he’s into skinny and bald?”

He shook his head. “Broken and lonely.”

I stopped walking, frozen in place as Erik glanced over his shoulder. “Trust me, Jarana isn’t broken.”

“Then you aren’t looking closely.” Maska’s words came on a whisper, and he slumped. Erik staggered and I reached out to help. He swore and pulled Maska out of my reach.

“Don’t touch him. Just don’t.” He gazed down at Maska’s slack face.

 

EDIT: I’m giving away two sets of Kithra and Replicant over at The Deadline Dames Blog! http://www.deadlinedames.com/release-day-and-giveaway/