Archive for September, 2011

Men In Uniform: Need I Say More

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Hey everyone! I had a difficult time knowing what I wanted to post today and was going off in all directions. I’ve had two crazy weeks. First with some computer issues which took some considerable time. Plus, I was sneaking in some time off here and there to fill the creative well.  I’m also getting the website ready for the Halloween Spooktacular which starts October 1.

So I thought for Friday I’d give you a wee taste of men in uniform, because I know you like military men and cops. Today it’s the first hero in my Hot Zone series at Samhain Publishing. Enjoy! Warning, this excerpt is explicit.

* *
Her sexy letters are his only lifeline in his dangerous world…

Successful computer software engineer Eve Carmichael melts under yet another hotter than hot letter written by Reserve army soldier Sean O’Callahan. Yet Eve can’t take the thought of his life in danger overseas, and she resolves to get a sex life—and a life period. That means forgetting Sean before anything bad can happen to him. To celebrate her thirty-fifth birthday, Eve plans a trip to Male Call, a male review club. Still, she worries about Sean. She hasn’t received a letter from him in too many weeks. And oh, how she longs for those flirtatious, hot letters. Sean finds Eve’s letters to be the only lifeline in his increasingly chaotic world. As their feelings grow hot and heavy, he can’t wait to return home and kindle that pure firepower. When Eve receives a letter from Sean saying he’s been wounded, her fears are realized. But fate and a little mischievous planning by her friends will serve up the greatest surprise of all.

* *

Sean,
Glad I could float your boat. You’ve paid me a great compliment. I doubt any man before you has had that reaction to my photograph. What did you do with all that pent up sexual need after you saw my photo? I wish I had a photograph of you. Something in uniform and macho, if you please. Anyway, I had a dream last night, and I’m blushing right now as I recall it. I was lying on this silky white king-sized bed. Lying on it utterly naked. Okay, I wasn’t totally naked. All I had on was this skimpy red bra and tiny thong panties. A filmy purple and red gauze material draped over the four-poster bed. But the ceiling above the bed is mirrored. The beautiful room is Victorian, with dark wood and green velvet. There is soft flower scents, rose and maybe lavender. Some parts of the dream were beyond hazy, as all dreams are. This one felt special. Anyway, I’m off track. That black dress lay on the foot of the bed. I should have been cold, but the room felt comfortable on my bare skin. I was really excited and frankly, horny as hell. Okay, I’ll admit it. I knew you were coming to see me. How I knew that, I don’t know. Then the bedroom door opened, and you stood there. Naked. Honestly, since I don’t know what you look like naked…oh, wow, I can’t believe I’ve told you about this dream. I’d better quit now before I say something ultra incriminating and you decide to stop writing me.
Hugs,
Eve

She sighed, still somewhat embarrassed by the letter. Then she remembered she hadn’t phoned Male Call.

She’d promised to make reservations and something held her back. Maybe she should find it exciting to watch male strippers dance half naked for her, but the only thing her imagination could conjure was a half-clad Sean performing an erotic two-step. She slipped off her athletic shoes and stretched out on the bed so she could enjoy reading his letters. Suddenly, she felt way too warm. She unbuttoned her shirt slowly and unfastened and unzipped her low-rise jeans. Ah, that’s better.

Eve,
You’re killin’ me here. I’ve enclosed the picture you wanted, though I got the razzing of my life when two of the guys found out why I wanted them to take it.

His photo fell from the envelope onto her lap, and she quickly retrieved it. Oh, oh, man. When Eve had seen the photograph for the first time, it had floored her. Stunned her. Turned her on like no other picture of a man she’d seen before. She’d seen plenty of attractive men in her life, and she’d always thought Sean could be cute in a nerdy way. This picture blew away her conceptions about Sean belonging to geek city.

Decked out in desert battle dress uniform pants and boots, but without a shirt, he held an automatic weapon in front of his chest in a rough and ready pose. The grin on his face was cocky but charming. His espresso eyes held an intense, badass gaze. His military short, silvery blond hair defined his high cheekbones and made his perfectly cut jaw more prominent. And oh, his chest and arms. Sean owned well-muscled arms and a gorgeous chest sprinkled with dark blond hair that trailed down over his six-pack stomach and into his waistband. Oh, my, my. He was delicious, but in a rough, sharply angled way that shouldn’t have turned her on like this. Most women at the office talked behind his back about his tousled messy hair and too-big shirts. Maybe those too large shirts had been hiding this kick ass physique all this time.

He looked dangerous.

Seriously hot.

If the office ladies could see him now…if they even knew what fantastic shape he was in—that his body was this fabulous…

She groaned and jealousy flashed through her. Oh, man. She had it bad.

 

Paranormal Is Normal: Haunted Souls

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Hey everyone! My Halloween Spooktacular is creeping up in two weeks. October 1 you can stop here and discover ghoulish delights, excerpts, prizes and other goodies every single day until Halloween. In the meantime, I’m going to remind you that I love to write paranormal themes and always have. Here’s a snippet from HAUNTED SOULS, the third book in my vampire trilogy, Deep Is The Night. Pardon the weird format on the excerpt. Couldn’t get it to work right. Still, hope you enjoy it.

As Halloween approaches friends will band together to defeat an evil more potent than anything they could have imagined.

A last battle is brewing…
Clarissa Gaines remembers Pine Forest as a sedate, creepy little town of her childhood. Determined to add Pine Forest to her book of haunted places, she wanders the night in search of the supernatural. Vampire Ronan Kieran has fought the ancient one and knows he must make a mortal woman fall in love with him in order to defeat the world’s oldest vampire.  While necessity and overwhelming desire bring Ronan and Clarissa together, she fears the powerful emotions she is starting to feel for him.  And Ronan finds he will do anything to protect her, do anything to make her his as a battle between good and evil rages around them.
* * *
The drip, drip of water landed on Clarissa’s forehead like Chinese water torture.  A jumble of impressions bombarded her.   She only knew she must flee the darkness and the horrible choking sensation that clawed at her throat and stole her air.
Succubus?  Incubus? A demon of unfathomable hate?
Jumbled words floated through her mind.
Must get out of the darkness.  Must.
How much time passed she couldn’t be sure. A dull pain in her head persisted.  Impressions returned with distressing slowness as she realized she lay flat on her back.  She reached up for her camera and discovered when she’d tumbled into the abyss she’d lost it somewhere.
Her mouth tasted like it had been stuffed with cotton and she licked her dry lips.  She trembled as cold seeped through her parka.  As she opened her eyes she couldn’t see much in the gloom.
Light shimmered down from the hole she’d fallen through.  Instead of full sun the light was watery.  She wondered if Jim had gone for help; if she’d been unconscious for long assistance might be on the way.
“Jim!” She waited, hoping for an answer.  Nothing.  “Jim, I’m down here!”
Again, nothing.
As full consciousness returned so did pain.  She felt battered and bruised.  She groaned and touched her temples with her fingers.  Her skull might fall off and then she’d be a ghost like Anne Boleyn, wandering this subterranean hell moaning and looking for her head.
Now I know I’m okay.  I have my sense of humor.
She groped in the semi-darkness for her fanny pack and rummaged for her cell phone.  She turned it on but when she tried dialing 9-1-1, static buzzed in her ear.  She tried two more times, but the phone wouldn’t cooperate.  The display lit up, so maybe the signal didn’t reach down here.  If the walls acted like a cave, she doubted anyone could hear her unless she kept shouting.  Glancing into the blackness around her, she realized light disappeared, swallowed up not far in either direction.
“Drat.”
After stuffing the phone back in the pack, Clarissa shifted her fanny pack from around her stomach to around her back.
“Stay calm and everything will be all right.”  She tried once more.  “Jim, can you hear me?  Jim!”
Nothing.
Sighing, she decided she couldn’t sit there and wait for rescue.  There had to be something she could do.  She stood and leaned against the rocky wall.  Refusing to panic would keep her alive and kickin’ one way or the other.
“See if I ever go into another crypt without a flashlight.”
Seconds later she heard a strange noise, something like an exhale, but not quite.  She waited, her hearing zeroing in on the sound lingering in the air.  An echo? She took a shuddering breath.  Keep calm.  The way to make it out of here is to stay tough.  Anything less is foolish. Drawing a cleansing breath, she tried to think about what she could do to get the hell out of there.  Damp, dark, and smelling like earth, the chamber was cold.  Glad for her long parka, gloves and stocking hat, she decided standing would be preferable to lying or sitting on the hard packed earth.
Rather than leaning against the wall, she stood within the circle of pale light streaming down from the hole above.  Clarissa paused, searching her intuition for answers.  While no one in their right mind would like this place, she felt vulnerable here.  As if something or someone watched her from a spot too dark for human eyes to detect.  This place seemed odd, out of sync.
Come on.  It’s just a hole.
A dungeon.
No.  A strange crawling sensation heralded rushing emotions that didn’t belong to her.  A few whispers touched her ears.
Then she felt it.  People had been down here before, searching for someone else, though she couldn’t say how long ago.  With reluctance she allowed her senses to accept and catalog, to discover what resided here in the blackness.  For no one would ever stay here, if they valued sanity.  She didn’t dare close her eyes while experiencing the heavy emotions caressing the edge of her senses.  Like a lead weight negative feelings touched her, starting first with panic, despair and disbelief.
It made sense in the grand scheme of things. Anyone who’d been trapped here for long might know all these thoughts.  She didn’t have to worry about approaching any of these emotions.  Jim wouldn’t leave her down here to die.  Seconds later came a wave of repulsion.  This time she couldn’t say if the feeling came from her or from another soul that had once tread this dark corridor.
No matter what happened, she wouldn’t allow insecurity to take over.  Drawing another breath deep into her lungs, she plotted how to escape this nasty place and pushed away the disturbing feelings.
After she shivered she realized her hands felt cold.  She located her gloves in her coat pockets and slipped into them.
She heard a strange popping noise not that far away from her, and she jerked in surprise and alarm.  The same sound she’d heard in the graveyard last night when—
Ronan stepped out of the blackness, his eyes ablaze with yellow fire.

And It Isn’t Even Halloween Yet

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Hey everyone! It’s not even Halloween yet, and the creep fest is upon me. I haven’t posted a blog in a while because it’s been a nut house. I’ve been working hard on finishing revisions on my Asylum trilogy. Today I can say I’ve accomplished that! Woot! Plus, my server or my computer or both are acting seriously weird. Haven’t figured out what’s going on there yet.

Top that off with getting a new cover ready for Love From The Ashes, and a hot, hot cover ready for the new launch of Forevermore on October 31 and…wait for it…the blog ready for my Spooktacular which starts October 1…and you could say I’ve had a fun time keeping up. Whew!

Okay, everyone have a great day! Talk with you very soon.

Covers Are Important

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

I’ll admit it.  The cover for Love From The Ashes, though a really nice cover and well done, seems to be giving the impression that the story is sweet romance and maybe even an inspirational.

Tell me what you think. I wanna know. And yes, I am getting a new cover.

Plus, while you’re at it, get your free copy from Amazon or Smaswords! Free I say! And if you love it, please write a “love it” review.

Thank you in advance for giving me your opinion.

Saturday Snippet: Marshall’s Law

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Today’s Snippet Saturday features weather. The hero and heroine of Marshall’s Law have a run in with a tornado the first time they meet. Be sure to read to the bottom and click on the links of other authors participating in today’s snippet Saturday.

**

As the unrelenting storm pounded the car, Dana decided she would make a mad dash for the front door. She scrambled out of the car. Rain soaked through her short denim jacket and T-shirt. Lightning rammed across the sky. She flinched as thunder rattled her nerves.

Good. She’d made it to the porch intact. Sighing in relief, she clasped the ring suspended on a chain around her neck. She fingered her father’s gold college ring and looked into the dull blue glass facets. How many times had she touched this jewelry and polished it for luck like a superstitious person rubbed a bald man’s head?

As she shook water out of her hair, she rang the doorbell. Several moments passed. Lucille didn’t answer. Dana tried knocking on the door and ringing the doorbell again. Nothing. She shivered. Right now a hot tub and a steaming cup of green tea sounded great.

“A hot tub, a cup of tea and a sizzling man.”

Now wouldn’t that be a nice combination? She smiled.

Thunder cracked overhead. She put her hands over her ears and squeezed her eyes shut. Rain slanted onto the porch, splattering her shoes. She let her hands drop from her ears.

“Oh God.” Funnel clouds, ripe to create havoc, lowered over Macon. “This is not good.”

Dana knew what she had to do. Get inside to the basement. She remembered Aunt Lucille kept a spare key hidden inside the garden shed.

More rain landed on her legs and shoes. She had to take shelter. If a tornado came, she couldn’t afford to be caught in the open.

“It’s now or never.”

She ran down the steps and rounded the left side of the house to the detached garage. To her surprise, Aunt Lucille’s garage door was open about three inches. After she yanked up the garage door, Dana rushed inside the dim interior. Her aunt’s station wagon sat inside.

“What on earth?” Mild panic, supplied by the storm lashing outside, surged into Dana’s system. “If Lucille’s car is here—”

A burst of light and thunder heralded a close hit that almost vaulted her out of her shoes. She gave a startled shriek. She left the garage and ran for the shed nearby.

She’d gone three steps when a branch ripped from a pine near her and sailed through the air toward her. She lunged sideways. Not good enough. The limb caught her across the top of the shoulders and the back of her head. Pain slammed through her, and as she landed face first onto wet pine needles, her breath whooshed from her in a rush. She gasped for air and blackness threatened. Struggling for oxygen, she managed to suck air into her lungs. She groaned, reaching for consciousness and the awareness of rough ground beneath her cheek. Dana’s fingers dug into the earth as she pulled herself up on her hands and knees and shook her head to clear the fuzziness. Stumbling to her feet, she staggered toward the garden shed. She couldn’t afford to pass out now.

She jerked open the door and reached inside where the light toggle should be. She flicked the switch and got—nothing. Electricity out. A terrific crash of thunder made her start. She fumbled around trying to prop the door open. If she couldn’t see, how would she find the little metal key holder Aunt Lucille promised to leave inside the door? Touching a metal garden shed while lightning streaked overhead wasn’t exactly a good idea.

Seconds later, she found the key holder and let out a hoot. “Hot damn!”

She left the shed, slammed the door, then ran toward the back of the house. Aunt Lucille had said the key opened the back door only. Not only did Dana need to take shelter, but if something had happened to Aunt Lucille, she had to get inside and help her. Dana knew she’d never forgive herself if she didn’t check on her aunt.

Shaking off dire thoughts, she pulled open the screen door and jammed the key in the lock. For a moment it wouldn’t go all the way in and she made an impatient noise. “Come on, come on, come on.” She twisted the handle. It wouldn’t budge. She tried pulling the key out of the doorknob. It came out halfway then stuck. She gave the key another yank and it slid from the doorknob, and took a healthy chunk of the skin on her index finger along with it. “Ow!”

Pain lanced through her right hand. Blood seeped from the side of the offended digit.

“Sheriff’s Department! Hold it right there!”

Another yelp erupted from Dana as her heart crammed into her throat. She whirled around. “What the…”

A large, mean-looking dude stood several feet away, leveling a gun at her. He held the weapon in his right hand, his left hand supporting his right wrist. His stance, slightly bent at the knees, suggested law enforcement. His attire did not.

Water dripped off the man’s tan baseball cap and straight into his just-below-the-collar length dark hair. His red-checkered flannel shirt over a tight, dark T-shirt said lumberjack, and so did his slim-fitting jeans and brown boots. With a week’s worth of beard and mustache on his face and a don’t-mess-with-me scowl, he looked ready for anything. Including shooting her where she stood.

Now that she thought about it, she’d been A-number-one stupid for whirling around like that. He could have gotten trigger-happy and shot her butt off.

Her hands went up. “Hey, wait a minute—”

“Don’t move.” His words came like bullets fired without mercy. “What do you think you’re doing, breaking into this house?”

Fear slid into instant hacked-off and ready to rumble. She’d about had enough of today. She glared at him. “Trying to get inside before I drown. What does it look like? In case you haven’t noticed, it’s raining like Beelzebub, and it looks like a tornado—”

The warning siren went off, wailing over her words. Fright rocketed through her. Any minute now she’d either be sucked up by a tornado or arrested by this weird-looking lawman. She could see the headlines now. Best-selling horror novelist inhaled by tornado. The body has yet to be found. Or best-selling horror novelist’s fame cut short by out-of-control policeman in little Wyoming town.

The so-called lawman uttered a curse and ran toward her. “Get in the house now.”

“But—”

“Don’t have time to argue.” He ran onto the small porch and stuffed the gun back into a shoulder holster under his lumberjack flannel. “Get inside.”

“It won’t open. That’s what I was trying to do when you showed up and scared me half to death.”

Sending her a searing, I-don’t-give-flying-flip look, he jiggled the doorknob, then grabbed the key out of her hand when she held it out to him. He tried jamming the key in the lock. “This isn’t the right key. Stand back.”

He growled as he took a swift kick at the door and it flew open, sailing with a tremendous bang against the wall. Before she could protest, he grabbed her right arm and shoved her inside. He latched onto her arm again. “Gotta take shelter.”

“The basement?”

“The basement.”

He tugged her through the utility room and into the living room. One set of stairs led upstairs, the other down. She went down the steps ahead of him. On the carpeted stairs she almost lost her footing and overcorrected as she leaned back.

He caught her arms to steady her. “Watch out. Hurry up.”

“I am hurrying.” Dana plunged down the steps and almost fell forward into the basement.

“The bathroom.” He grabbed her hand and raced past the pool table, the ping-pong table, and the bar.

As they passed a king size, heart-shaped bed, Dana rammed her toe into one of the legs, and as pain zipped through her she let out a howl. She hopped on one foot. “Damn it all to hell.”

Law Man pulled her into the tiny bathroom and shoved her toward the bathtub. “Get in.”

She held back. “We need the mattress as a shield.”

“No time and it’s too big. Won’t fit through the door.”

A roaring sound echoed overhead, and Dana let out a gasp. “Oh God. It’s coming. It’s coming.” For a few seconds stark terror arched through her, and she linked gazes with the man. His dark, chocolate eyes registered that same fear, then cleared into determination.

She hopped into the bathtub.

Before she could say a word, he climbed into the tub and stretched over her, his weight smashing her. She wanted to protest, but she knew he had a good reason for plastering himself to her like moss on a log.

Along her length Dana felt nothing but rock-solid man. He covered her head with his arms and buried his face in her neck. As the roar above them increased, she felt a shudder ripple through his body and into hers. She thought she might suffocate.

His voice came harsh and rough. “Keep your eyes closed. Hang on to me.”

She followed the stranger’s command, wound her arms around his trim waist and held on with all her strength. Above them, the roar increased and Dana’s heart hammered. Her ears popped, and she couldn’t get her breath.

Darkness swirled in front of her vision. Oh, damn. As the earth seemed to tremble all around them, she let the blessed blackness envelop her.

Anne Rainey/a>
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