Excerpts

First Glimpse of Pryor-The Brothers Bernaux Trilogy

Want to see Elita’s first glimpse of Pryor Bernaux? 😉

Blood covered her fingers when she brought her hand back around.

Gravel crunched and she looked up, nearly swallowing her tongue when she saw the man headed her way. Long, lean and shirtless, sweat glistened on one of those ripped abdomens she’d only really seen in movies. Colorful tattoos started on the right side of his chest, cupped his shoulder and wrapped his muscled right arm. Chestnut hair, short and spiked, showed blonde highlights in the glaring sun. He wore small, dark sunglasses.

“Bienvenue chez nous.”

His voice, deep and melodious, sent the oddest shiver down her spine. Then she focused on his words. He’d said welcome home. Like she lived here, which was just weird. Or maybe it was welcome to our home… she wasn’t sure which. Surprise lifted her eyebrows. He was most definitely under forty—possibly younger than her—so the French was a shocker. The older people around here always peppered their speech with French, but the younger generation had mostly dropped the habit.

She held her breath. Watched the ripple of muscle in his jean-clad thighs as he moved with a lazy grace that stole the moisture from her mouth.

This man was walking, talking, bad boy sex and he strolled toward her with a crooked grin that let her know he already had corruption in mind.

 

 

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REPLICANT- Opening Scene

How about something fun now? 😉

I’m seeing searches for Replicant and am THRILLED some readers liked Kithra enough to look for the sequel. So, how about a sneak peek?  This one features a Gwinarian woman who spent seven years trying to right a horrible wrong and thinks she’s hard enough to follow an escaped prisoner back to her home planet–where she lost everyone she loved. But is she?

 

Opening scene:

“Jarana?”

My back was to the woman as I walked the long, drab hall to the rental bunks of the small supply space station. I’d heard she was the pilot in charge, recognized her voice immediately. Lux Moyans. Someone who’d been a huge chunk of the most annoying part of my life—yet one of the happiest, too.

I no longer did happy.

“Jarana, I know it’s you—even with that leather mistress helmet thing you’ve got going on.”

I closed my eyes. Counted. Which was exactly how I spent most of my flight college years around Lux. The woman drove me nuts. I’d have to deal with her sooner or later, so I tightened my fingers on the faux leather boots dangling from my hand and turned, knowing my bare feet looked ridiculous with the tight red and black skin suit. The flooring in this station was made of interlocking metal hexagons, like an Earth beehive, and my high boot heels had forced me to go barefoot.

“Still a bitch, I see.” Lux stalked to face me, her flat-soled boots loud on the metal floor. Narrow features and pretty olive skin paled when she got a good look at my face. To say I’d changed would be an understatement. I’d been nicely round—or lush—as my lovers had liked to say. I’d liked my body that way, but years of hard work and fury had turned me stick-thin and changed my once round, attractive face blade sharp. Everything was harder about me now and I didn’t care.

“Captain Moyans.” I inclined my head, knowing she wondered how I’d fit all that Gwinarian hair into the tight, red shell cap.

“So, it is you.” Her eyes were so wide they had to be drying out in this docking station’s piped-in wind—which was supposed to be breezier to make it feel natural. Something was obviously wrong. Plus, nothing would make the gun-metal gray walls and floors feel natural anyway.

I winked at her. “Close your mouth. I’m pretty sure they pipe in Earth gnats along with these silly breezes.”

She pulled strands of black hair out of her mouth. And then the toughest woman I’d ever met sent shock through my system when she blinked back tears. The low, green florescent lights placed five feet apart down both walls gave her eyes a shiny, lime-colored tinge. It wasn’t her best color and I tried to focus on that instead of the tiny clenching somewhere in the vicinity of where my heart used to be. But it hurt. Snarling, I moved to go around her.

She grabbed my arms and it did make me pause. Lux hadn’t been the touchy-feely sort either. In fact, the only way I’d gotten what I wanted out of her had been through a fantastic beverage from the Toquerian section of the known galaxies. My lips twisted at the memory. Was a good one. Everyone knew the famous pilot, Lux, did what she had to in order to get her way. But Gwinarians are a stubborn race, too.

She nodded. “Yeah, it’s you. I recognize that shit-eating grin. And I know what caused it, so let’s not go there.”

“Go where?”

This voice caused every nerve in my body to go on alert. The deep tenor was like music to my ears and it sang of my home world deep into my soul. I closed my hands into fists, the boots in one hand making a loud crunching sound. Resisting the urge to jump into Egan Lothbrun’s arms made me shake. The younger me would have already been wrapped around him—or carting him off to the closest bed. Restraint burned along my nerve endings, causing my heart to beat painfully on my ribcage. I sucked in stale, manufactured air, worked to school my features as long, luxurious Gwinarian-red hair and amber eyes filled my vision. His hair was the color of the tawnlet flowers on Kithra, deep, dark and stunning.

I stared at Egan as a starving woman stared at her last slice of gorvo fruit. I hadn’t seen anyone from my home world in seven years and to see this man I’d called friend…alive. My gaze flicked down and I caught the scars on the side of his neck and closed my eyes.

“Jarana?” He did what I couldn’t. Pushed Lux aside and wrapped long, strong Gwinarian arms around me tight. “Jarana,” he whispered in my ear. “The sun is bright on Kithra today.”

Another Snippet of Raisonne Curse

Silence moved like a wave over the bayou. At night, the place was usually a symphony of sounds, some so loud a person couldn’t hear herself think. But tonight, the quiet started at the water and rolled out over the earth as if some great being slowly smothered all noise with a heavy blanket. And when all sound stopped, Elita stepped onto the stone path, shining her flashlight on the ground, looking for roots and snakes. She swung the light left and right because that oily smudge of a presence had hovered around her all afternoon, its anger prickling her skin. The hex removal spell must have pissed the creature off.

If Ma’man Raisonne had been here, she’d be clucking all kinds of disapproval over Elita walking toward the water in the middle of the night. But Elita felt compelled. Pulled by some powerful force because something in her gut told her those cries were from someone in the water. And worse, she thought they might be from Pryor.

Just then, another yell ripped into the quiet, this time strangled and hoarse as if the person fought to suffer in silence. Elita picked up the pace, passing the outbuildings. Instead of running onto the pier, she veered left and slipped into the trees, keeping her flashlight pointed to the ground.

The bayou smelled strange. The summer heat scents lingered but the over-cooked earthy smell was wicked strong tonight. The humidity was so thick, Elita felt moisture weighting down her eyelashes, sticking to her skin, creeping under her clothes. And the mosquitoes should have been eating her alive, but they too were strangely absent.

When she lifted her flashlight toward the subtle splashing noise in the water, terror froze her in place and she understood why.

Snippet of Replicant

REPLICANT is still on submission, but these characters recently came up while writing the third one in the series which is tentatively called Catalyst. I really, really enjoyed writing Jarana, Maska and Erik and am looking forward to finding out if my editor likes the story, too. I didn’t have a beta reader for this, so the only person to read it so far is my agent and she was pretty enthusiastic. Yay!

Until then, how about a short snippet of some angst. I do loves me some angst. 😉

When I heard him snore, it was all I could do not to get up and smash my fist in his face. Instead, I got up and left him there, lurching toward the door and slapping my palm on the panel.

I stumbled through the doorway and tripped over something in the dark tunnel. “Fuck,” I ground out, my teeth so tight, my jaw hurt.

“Did you?”

I rolled over and nearly crawled out of my skin when I saw glowing, opaque eyes. They were like Kithran flowers, soaking up the moonlight and reflecting it back into the tunnel. Maska sat slumped against the dome wall, and he listed to the side like he’d just slid down the wall and stayed the way he landed…like he was too weak to sit back up. He’d plaited his long, ropy black hair and it pooled on the floor beside him. I reached out to help him and he hissed at me.

“Did you fuck him?” He pronounced each word sharp with a pause between.

“No.”

He stared at me, his mouth so tight, his full lower lip nearly disappeared.

“Let me help you back to the med pod. You aren’t in any condition to be wandering the tunnels.”

“Wasn’t wandering, Tracker.” He braced his hand on the floor, sat a little straighter. “I was looking for you. Just didn’t expect to find you on top of Erik.”

That’s right, I’d left the privacy panels open. I opened my mouth to tell him Erik had moved on, to start the process of getting them used to the idea of Maska not staying and instead I shocked myself. There was just something about this man, something that tugged at my heart in the strangest way. “He’s drunk. Thought I was you.”

His lip curled. “How could he possibly mistake you for me. Even in the form he loves, I’m very different.” He raked his gaze down my crouched form. “You’re bony. Hard. Not his type at all.”

“Don’t worry, he clued in fast.” I let him insult me. The throbbing ache in my groin should have had me snapping his head off, but the four whiskeys and his obvious resentment over his helplessness touched me.

Damn, I had to get off this planet.

AFTER THE CRUX Teaser

If you want to know what AFTER THE CRUX is about, check out the blurb here. The sexy menage novella is currently on submission, but I am toying with the idea of self publishing the post apocalyptic series. The first book is more love story than action, but book two has turned into a huge mix of both. 😉

But here’s a little teaser…

“Dorian, we need to hike out and make sure our tracks are covered on the road. Jake and I were in a hurry and didn’t stop to take care of the obstacles either.”

“Tomorrow?”

Ross nodded and sat up slowly. Dorian was happy to see he didn’t seem to be in as much pain. Nerves snapped in his entire body but he waited until Jenna was out of the shower and wrapped in her favorite red terrycloth robe. The woman did love red. She was a stunner in the color with her light hair and skin. She perched on the edge of the brick fireplace and watched him spread out towels on the end of the huge bed.

Ross watched until curiosity must have gotten the best of him. “What’s up?”

“If I’m freeing you from the confines of this room tomorrow I’m going to make sure you’re ready.” Dorian doubled up on the towels because he also planned to enjoy the oil. He couldn’t stop a slight grin.

Narrowing his eyes, Ross tugged the sheet higher as he rolled to his side. Dorian didn’t know why he covered himself. He’d insisted on wearing shorts since the first morning.

“I could have gotten up and walked out of here days ago,” Ross said on a growl. “I only stayed because you said please.”

Dorian stopped, rolled his eyes. “No, I threatened to start the wound cleaning process from the beginning.”

The corner of Ross’ gorgeous mouth turned up. “Yeah, there was that, too.” He sighed and slowly eased onto his back. “Still hurts to lay on it, but it’s nice to be on something other than my stomach. I’ve never stayed this still so long before.”

“We know.” Jenna tugged her robe sash tighter. “You’ve been an ass.”

Ross closed his eyes. “Sorry. You guys don’t deserve to take the brunt of my frustration. I’m just ready for action. I’m sick of lying here.”

Dorian sent Jenna a quick glance and didn’t miss the way her cheeks turned red with Ross’ mention of action.

“So, what’s with the towels?” A thread of trepidation laced Ross’ deep voice and again Dorian had to smother a grin. This time, nerves helped cause it.

Because this was it.

After today, Ross would be clear on how Jenna and Dorian felt and he could either go for it, or run.

 

Tiny Glimpse of The Corn Mother

Working on several projects and a couple are really serious and HOT. So, when I’m in a goofy mood, I work on a project called The Corn Mother. OMG, this character is such a blast to write. My poor Luca–he’s a no-nonsense cop who isn’t really sure what to do with Sydney. Here’s a tiny glimpse of her personality. This is serious rough draft stuff, but fun. 😉

Excerpt from The Corn Mother:

“Earth is our mother. She provides. If she isn’t providing, rituals must be performed to appease her.”

The corner of his mouth lifted. “Appease her?”

“Did you know that type A blood is a direct mutation from human’s planting rather than from working with the mother? Changing the way we eat changed us.”

“Woman, you’ve lost me.”

Black hair swung as she turned to get in his face. “My name is Sydney.”

“Sydney, you went from ritual appeasement—a term that raises the hair on the back of my neck by the way—to blood type. You lost me.”

She rolled her eyes. “Changing the system of giving created a mutation.”

Luca held back his amusement. Took effort. She was a loony, no doubt about it. A hot, sexy loony who made his dick throb, but still as whacked as they came.

“Luca, listen. It’s simple. In order to appease her, we need to perform rituals. You see, we dig into the earth, we tear up natural roots…we aren’t polite to Mother Earth.”

“So what sort of rituals—another term that’s making me nervous, by the way—will make her feel better? Good stuff like you dancing naked under the full moon or scary stuff like goat sacrifices? I do want a good harvest, but there are lines I won’t cross.” He lifted his beer to his mouth.

“I would never sacrifice a goat. Never!”

“So then what works?”

“Ritual sex. It’s the best way.”

Lucas choked on his next gulp of beer. “Excuse me?”

“Sex. Directly in the fields. At midnight.” She bit her lip. “The midnight part is my addition but I like the night and that’s the best time with my kids sleeping. Ava’s fourteen and can listen for Aiden, but I have a baby monitor.”

“Wait.” He blinked. She wanted to have sex in the field next to her baby monitor? He bit down on his tongue to stop a grin. “So…what did you do to help my aunt with the harvest?”

“Luca, she was eighty-three!”

He stared. Stared until he could wrap his head around her answer. “Are you saying that if she had been younger…”

Snippet of The Replicant

First thing I did was disable the ship. No one was sneaking off planet with my prisoner. The removal of three key wires shut the electrical system down flat. Heading toward the Med Pod, I tried to ignore the explosion of glowing color on the other side of the dome walls. Kithran plants thrived on moonlight, soaking it in and turning leaves and flowers into luminescent hues that ignited the night sky.  Nothing on any other planet came close.

Then I hit a tunnel I knew well.

Too well.

Halting mid-stride, I held my breath and tried not to blink, suddenly terrified that if I closed my eyes, I’d see ghostly images of a six year-old me playing chase with my sisters through the tunnel systems. I slowly walked through the tube-like area and discovered I didn’t have to close my eyes at all.

Wisps of memories drifted past–spectral little girl giggles and tiny, phantom bells that we’d tied in our long, red hair. This time, I couldn’t help but squeeze my eyes shut tight. The ache in my chest turned white hot, spearing my lungs, stinging the backs of my eyes. I stopped long enough to pull up the section of floor that hid a compartment. I didn’t even look inside, just shoved the wires in, closed it and left the tunnel.

Lux was annoyingly smart. She’d find the problem, but hopefully, it would buy me some time.

My heart was pounding when I got to the Med Pod and I halted down from the open door because everyone stood inside the pod watching Kei. Everyone except Erik, who hovered in the doorway. He stared at the replicant, expression unreadable. My own recent upsurge of emotions strangled me as they clawed for release and I suddenly didn’t want to deal with any of these people. I turned and strode toward the living quarters, figuring I’d just hold my palm to each door panel until I found the one coded to me. I made it around the corner before I was grabbed, spun and pushed against the dome side.

I met Erik’s furious blue eyes as he leaned his body against mine and wrapped his hand around my throat. I poked him in the side with my gun before he could blink. “Strangling me isn’t going to solve the problem.”

“I’m not planning to strangle you, just keep you still long enough to hear what I have to say. Put the gun away.”

“Take your hand off my throat.”

He did, but he didn’t back off. I lowered the gun but kept it in my hand.

“Look,” I said, voice low. “You can be angry with me, but it doesn’t change the fact that your Maska is an escaped prisoner and it’s my job to find him and bring him in.” The heat from his body seeped into me with relentless determination. A raw, answering need built low in my body. My breasts actually started to feel heavy, to ache. My reaction to him was so powerful, too powerful. It didn’t make sense. But then, it was coming in on the tail of potent, emotional anguish. The strongest urge to spread my legs hit me.

I needed the distraction. I gave in.