|Cover Art - Samantha Groom|
I’ve recently taken some time out to write in genres beyond my usual category of contemporary romance. You can read an extract from my historical novel, Jewel Under Siege, by clicking here. My current work in progress, Bright Danger, is a full-length contemporary thriller with a romantic twist.
Josh Ambrose turned to law-enforcement after a tragedy in his turbulent past. When mysterious woman-without-a-history Sophia Hope finds a dead celebrity at a local make-out point, she proves more dangerous to Josh's peace of mind than any murderer. He's in trouble, but her predicament is about to get a whole lot worse...
OPENING OF CHAPTER ONE, BRIGHT DANGER
'...but I love you!'
That was the last thing she wanted to hear, especially from him. She put on a spurt, desperate to get away. Would this guy never take the hint? She’d moved here to start a new, blameless life. He’d ignored every instruction not to follow her, from gentle hint to firm refusal. What was wrong with the man? He stuck like human chewing-gum.
I’ll have to get nasty, she thought. Really nasty.
The track ahead led up a bony limestone spine. Kicking on, she left her unwanted shadow for dead. The winter air burned her face, but she dragged it into her body like vodka.
‘I’m serious!’ his voice drifted up like cigarette smoke from a long way below her.
Something always managed to stop her running right to the summit of this heartbreaking hill. Today, that fawning fruit-loop wanted to hold her back–but it wasn't going to happen. Today, she was determined to find out what life was like at the top...
Josh Ambrose groaned and opened his eyes. It didn’t make any difference. His room was as black as an informant’s heart. Without much enthusiasm, he tried to extract himself from the duvet’s warm embrace. Then he remembered it was Sunday.
Next minute, an unholy racket punched a hole straight through his head. Falling out of bed, he groped across the room. After ripping back the curtains, he killed the alarm clock. When the only thing still ringing was his ears, he dragged his hand down over his face. Then he went over to his bedside chair, and inspected the clothes he’d stripped off after coming home from the match. They were alive with the smells of quattro stagioni and Black Pepper bodywash, but good enough for what he had in mind.
Throwing his underpants aside, he got into his jeans. As he moved, he caught sight of his reflection in the mirror. Light ran over his body like honey. The double-headed eagle etched across his back roused as he flexed. It had taken a total of seven hours, eighteen minutes and twenty-seven seconds to get that inking done. The pain had been exquisite. He’d only endured it to fit in with the Anderson gang. All along, they’d thought they were using him. They'd realized too late that Josh was the one in charge, playing them like fish on hooks. In the end they’d lost everything. He’d walked away with the biggest prize of all.
Pulling on his shirt, Josh thundered downstairs. He almost filled the small kitchen, bouncing from light switch to radio, toaster to kettle and back again.
In all that time, his new dog never moved a muscle. Brought up to expect nothing but trouble from men, she was screwed into her bed, still and silent.
He strolled toward her, braced for her usual morning routine of flinch and growl.
This morning, it didn’t happen. His mouth dried. He dropped into a crouch beside the dog-basket. Was she sick? Instinctively, his hand went toward the danger zone, then he stopped himself. He could afford to lose a few minutes, but he wanted to keep all his fingers...
Josh Ambrose soon finds out that in a world where public faces hide private sins, he can’t count on loyalty from anyone. And the woman he wants has a lot of history, and it's catching up with her fast.
How do you think Bright Danger is shaping up so far?
Christina Hollis writes both contemporary and historical fiction - when she isn't cooking, gardening or beekeeping. You can catch up with her at http://www.christinahollis.blogspot.com, on Twitter and Facebook, and see a full list of her published books at http://www.christinahollis.com