Who Is That Romance Author Anyway?
First, thanks very much to Eden Bradley aka Eve Berlin for graciously inviting me to blog today at the Smutketeers.
Where do I start? Many authors have a brand…a type of writing that readers indentify them with readily. I defy definition with a big ugly fork. Why? I just can’t stay in a box and be happy. My mind demands I run in different directions, whenever and however the muse takes me.
I have enough books floating around out there that it gets hard to know which books to discuss first. I’ve been published since ’99, and my first foray in the hotness of erotic romance was when I wrote The Dare.
Over the years I’ve also written historicals that defy definition. Love From The Ashes is set during the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Dark, Deadly Love (Jack The Ripper’s London), Before The Dawn (1850’s Pennsylvania), For A Roman’s Heart (Roman Britain). Yada, yada!
So, because I have so many books to choose from, I picked an excerpt out of the hat. This one is from Treacherous Wishes (available now from Ellora’s Cave) which is the second Taggert Security Team novel. Hope you enjoy!
Just when you’ve stopped looking over your shoulder…
Evil finds a way…
Tammy Carter lost her psychic abilities in the aftermath of tragedy. Now, years later, her power resurrects when evil returns to her town. Everything in her comfort zone is disintegrating, except for one thing—the searing attraction she feels for one man. The one man who might stand between her…and death.
Bodyguard Kyle Hawthorne doesn’t believe in the supernatural or in Tammy’s psychic gift, but when her life is threatened he’ll do anything to protect her. Professionalism requires a platonic relationship with his coworker at Taggert Security Team, yet the sizzling connection he feels for Tammy demands exploration every time he’s near her.
Tammy harbors lightning-hot fantasies about Kyle. Suddenly their sensual desires and emotional connections are too powerful to ignore, and as they seek to sate the long-denied sexual hunger, they spark a chain reaction of events that may bring them together, or allow the evil to consume them.
Less than two minutes later, the phone rang again. Once more she ignored it.
She thought of something that sent her heart into a rapid jig.
Was the front door to the office locked?
Putting her mug on the counter, she trotted out to the front area. When she reached her desk, she saw the door unlocked. Damn! This might be a secure building, but Tammy never left it unlocked when alone in the office.
Before she reached the door, a blast of scorching, vivid red blinded her and she stumbled back, falling to the floor and landing on her butt. She gasped, startled by the force.
Whoever or whatever had called her had entered the building and was close. Too close.
Tammy struggled to unscramble her senses as another wave of scarlet splattered across her vision. Power flooded her system and she stood, legs wobbly and step uncertain. Dread surged through her veins like electricity, and she knew she must reach the door and lock it before the fiend with the blood red aura could arrive first.
Now. Go. Hurry.
The crimson retreated, draining away like the lifeblood of the dying. She closed her eyes and the burning sensation left her body. Relief made her almost as dizzy as the vision, and Tammy took another step. Must lock the door. The person may come back.
She stepped forward and had just touched the knob when the door came open.
Tammy jumped back, a startled yelp leaving her throat. Her heart slammed in her chest as her heel snagged on the carpet and she started to fall backwards. Before she could make another sound, the big man in the doorway leapt forward and caught her in his arms. He hauled her against his chest.
“Tammy?” Concern drew Hawthorne’s dark brows downward and his lips thinned into a frown.
“You,” she said, sighing in total relief.
No red. No colors at all. She never saw colors when she was around Hawthorne.
“Were you expecting someone else?”
“No,” she said weakly. “I was going to lock the door when you came busting in and scared the bejeebers out of me.”
“You’re trembling.” He tucked her a little closer and the heat of his body warmed her.
“I think the air conditioning was up a bit high. I-I got cold.”
Although stunned, Tammy couldn’t ignore the fact she pressed against his tall, rock-hard body. The soft, denim shirt couldn’t hide the evidence of broad shoulders under her fingers.
No, he’d never be model handsome, but perhaps that was what made him interesting. Most women found Hawthorne’s dangerous air mixed with a sharp sense of humor almost mouth-watering. His face had a mixed-up perfection that belonged in the movies. Dark and deep, his brown eyes could switch from amused to frosty in a heartbeat. His almost too long nose matched well with his uncompromising jaw. Cocoa brown hair was cut close enough to his head to be neat, but not quite military length. Tammy had a notion if he let it grow much longer the waves would go wild. Despite his looks, his face could turn hard and unforgiving. No one could ever call him boyish.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” he asked, his eyes narrowing.
His touch, his nearness had wiped away the terror. “I feel good.”
As she gazed up into Hawthorne’s eyes and cursed the gods that gave some men long sexy lashes, she saw something change within him.
A sudden, shocking warmth ignited in his eyes and flickered into full flame. “You feel great.”
Her mouth dropped in surprise. Was he flirting with her again?
Hawthorne’s mouth turned up in his trademark quirky smile. Between tender and hard, his mouth looked undeniably masculine. His hands moved in a caressing motion over her back, then held still, keeping her pressed to him.
Suddenly Tammy was downright breathless. His warm, spicy scent had teased and tantalized her many times before, but now she felt every inch of him, every nuance. Something had changed and it sent waves of heat straight to her toes. His six-foot-four frame towered over her five foot six inches. Her body responded despite the fright, as her breasts mashed against his muscled chest and her thighs plastered to his.
Lean without being skinny, big boned and perfectly muscled, Hawthorne looked capable of kicking anyone’s ass. His jeans slicked along narrow hips, tight butt, and long, powerful legs. Tammy licked her lips and swallowed hard as another fluttery sensation darted into her stomach.
Maybe she should say something before he thought she had lost her mind. Tammy pushed against Hawthorne’s chest and eased from his arms.
“Where are you off to in such a hurry? I thought you were waiting for me?” he asked.
“I got another one of those phone calls and I remembered the door wasn’t locked.”
It didn’t help when he came close, standing so near she inhaled a whiff of his aftershave again. He cupped her shoulder. “You look a little shaky.”
She realized that she’d been rubbing her arms. “I’m fine.”
As if to contradict her, her body rebelled and a wave of nausea replaced the desire she’d felt moments ago.
“Can’t fool me.” His quiet voice soothed her senses. “You’re pale as the dead.”
Barb’s grave. The caller had awakened the dead. “I’m okay, Hawthorne.”
Hawthorne didn’t look convinced. He shoved a hand through his already mussed hair. “What did the caller say?”
“Stupid things. It’s nothing.”
He looked doubtful. “All right. About ready to go?”
“Yeah. Let me get my coat.”
But then the queasiness increased and as Tammy turned, she pressed her hand to her stomach. Before she could say or do a thing, dizziness assaulted her.
Darkness blotted every color from her vision.
And now, for those things you really want to know about me:
Steak or sushi?
Elegant fop or rough-edged rogue?
Tropical beach or mountain cabin.
Always a mountain cabin.
Cowboy or fireman?
Now, the contest! Answer the following question below, email me the answer at email@example.com and I’ll pick the winner from those who answer correctly. The winner will receive a trade paperback from my backlist. I’ll announce it here in the comments section on the night of the 11th.
Contest question: What rank of soldier is Terentius in For A Roman’s Heart? You’ll find the answer on my website!
Be sure to check out Denise’s latest release, her paranormal romance FOREVERMORE, which just came out on October 31st!
Sometimes one lifetime is not enough…
American Mae Sutton travels to Scotland to investigate tormenting dreams that have plagued her since childhood. Once in the shadowy, misty land, she discovers a brooding Highlander—and a secret that threatens her very existence.
A dark castle ruin haunts her nightmares…
Mae discovers Moor Castle is the same ruin in her nightmares, and knows she must learn why she’s been drawn to Scotland and the crumbling castle that whispers her name. She experiences an intense and immediate attraction to Aidan Ramsay, conservator of the evil castle. She’s shocked to find out she is the spitting image of a Ramsay ancestor, and that maybe her nightmares are past-life memories.
Mae and Aidan have lived before, and the dark legacy that destroyed them once, may destroy them again…
You can read an excerpt and see more information HERE.