It seems like only yesterday I was writing one of my favorite books, DONOVAN’S BED. It was my second book, a funny western historical that got nominated for the RITA from Romance Writers of America, the premier award of romance writing. It was a small town historical western about a man with a secret and lady newspaper editor who was determined to ferret it out. When our hero declared the heroine lacking in the qualities he sought in a wife, she decided to help him out by advertising his marital search in the newspaper. Needless to say, dozens of women from miles around showed up in town trying to become the woman in Donovan’s bed. I love that book and still chuckle when I read parts of it out loud.
DONOVAN’S BED and its sequel, THE LAWMAN’S SURRENDER, were both re-released in ebook format a few months ago. Besides being delighted that these two favorites might find new readers, I found the timing perfect because I won’t have a brand new book out until November 2013. I didn’t want my readers to think I’d fallen off the earth!
The new book coming out in November is completely different from my other work. I have thirteen historical romances in print, and now I can add a contemporary paranormal trilogy to my bookshelf. It’s not easy changing directions when writing popular fiction. Fans tend to want more of what the author has written before, and when the author needs to change directions, whether due to publisher request or for creative reasons, it’s always a risk.
When Lee asked me to write this blog post, I thought it would be a great opportunity to get some reader opinions about the new book. Here’s the setup, and below that is a short excerpt from the first book of my Atlantis trilogy, PRODIGAL SON.
SETUP: Rafe Montana is a descendent of a survivor of Atlantis and has inherited her powers. He is a Seer, with the gift to see the truth in a human’s eyes and the ability to use a side of him called the Hunter to find anyone, anywhere. Sometimes he gets extra visions that give him knowledge he needs. He works as a bounty hunter in Las Vegas. The heroine, Cara McGaffigan, has come to Vegas from NJ in search of her missing stepbrother, Danny. Rafe has taken the case because for some reason, his powers don’t work when he tries to find Danny and he wants to know why. Rafe has gone to Danny’s apartment looking for clues and finds Cara there.
“If I wanted to do something to you, Cara, I could have done it at any time. The pepper spray wouldn’t have stopped me.”
His voice lowered at the end, almost sexy, triggering a curling warmth between her legs. Holy Hannah, was she getting turned on by the bad guy?
Unnerved by the unexpected—unwanted—attraction, she jerked her head backwards and connected with what felt like his chin. She saw stars but was rewarded when he grunted, and his grip around her arms loosened for a second. She jerked free, but he grabbed her shirt and they both went down.
As soon as she hit the carpet, she scrambled forward on her hands and knees. Where was the pepper spray? Had it slid under the coffee table? But he caught her ankle and yanked her flat on her belly. Before she could right herself, he was looming over her on all fours, trapping her. For an instant his hips pressed against her rear. Her stomach did a little flip at the intimate position, muscles trembling with a sudden burst of arousal. He flipped her onto her back, then pinned her down in a primitive move that male had used on female since the beginning of time.
His face looked like stone, his body a cage of lean, hard muscle. He smelled of citrus and sandalwood and fabric softener. Heat swept through her limbs, warmed her belly.
No way. She wasn’t going there. She didn’t care how good he smelled.
“Let me up.” She bucked her hips, trying to dislodge him, and shoved at his shoulders. Her palms tingled at the contact.
“No.” He grabbed her hands and pinned them to the floor above her head, then shifted to manacle one hand around both her wrists. “You’re not playing nice, Cara.”
“Miss McGaffigan to you.” The position arched her back, giving her way more cleavage than she had ever intended in her yellow V-neck shirt. He didn’t even glance down.
“You can call me Rafe.” He yanked off the sunglasses that sat crookedly on her face and tossed them aside. “Let’s see what’s going on with you.”
Rafe tried to ignore the soft female body beneath his. Tried to pretend he didn’t notice how her hips cradled him. Or the way the neckline of her shirt pulled down to reveal a glimpse of really nice breasts and a peek of white lace bra . How her feminine scents called to him, cinnamon and vanilla and something elusive—something her—that teased him with possibilities.
The Hunter stirred, lured by the presence of female. Hungry after the most recent burnout. Curious after the vision he’d had of her at Sal’s office.
No. This is business.
He shoved the beast back. Once he had regained control, he tilted up her chin with one hand and gazed long and hard into her face.
Her eyes were amber brown and full of annoyance and fear. For a moment he got lost there, lured into warm, sweet caramel. The promise of sex shimmered on the edges of his mind. Then the vision slammed into him like a bullet.
Cara’s broken body lying at the side of a desert road, her eyes staring sightlessly at the sky as a vehicle burned nearby—he couldn’t tell what make or color. There was too much smoke, too much destruction. And the vision was in black and white.
The pain, the grief, slammed him in the gut as the emotions of the future rushed over him. Death. Murder. No, no, no. Not Cara. An innocent pawn in an evil game. Used and discarded. A bright light extinguished for greed and power.
The tinny notes of her cell phone broke the spell.
Please let me know what you think of PRODIGAL SON!