I’ve heard it said that we all have a tribe. I didn’t always get what that meant until the first time I walked into a Roamnce Writers of America meeting in Orlando, Fl. I was surrounded by people who were like me. They loved books. When I talked about characters like they were real people they responded the same way. I had found my spiritual home in a way.
I also made some lifelong friends there. Last fall six of those women and I had an idea to write a series of collected novellas together. It was so much fun to work together with them. That brainchild is ENCHANTED BY AN EMERALD and is out now. It’s on sale on all platforms for .99.
The over-arching element of the book is an emerald that Catherine Kean’s hero Hugh brings back from the crusades to medieval England. He wants to start a legacy, little does he realize that the legacy will be to unite couples in love through the centuries. The collection ends with my contribution CHARMED BY THE THIEF. It’s a lighthearted riff on To Catch A Thief—the Cary Grant movie. Jules and Devlin reunited all the pieces of the emerald which was smashed on a pirate ship in Caro Carson’s entry in our saga.
The pieces are found by a wounded WWII pilot in France, a beachcomber in Georgia, a secondhand shop owner in Florida and travel to a graphic novelist as well before they are all brought back together.
Here’s a little teaser.
“Gotcha,” a deep male voice said. At the same moment, a heavy hand wrapped around her wrist, jerking her to a halt and pinning her against the cold brick wall.
She looked up into eyes that were the same emerald green as the Brigonne. Of course they were, she thought with a touch of sarcasm.
“Whom do you think you’ve got?” she asked, pitching her naturally high voice lower and huskier. She’d also tried to disguise her British accent, but she thought she sounded a bit silly.
“I think I’ve got myself a jewel thief,” he said.
She didn’t know the big, muscly American man. He had a bit of five o’clock shadow on his cheeks and thick dark hair that was longish on the top but barely brushed his collar in the back. His eyes, she fancifully imagined, could see straight through her disguise. God, she hoped he couldn’t. Though they’d never met before tonight, there was something familiar about him.
“Wrong. I’m just out for an evening stroll.”
“In a mask?” he asked.
“I have a kinky lover,” she said, putting her free hand on the side of his neck and stroking the length of it with her finger. “He likes it when I wear the mask.”
He shivered, and she felt his pulse speed up the tiniest bit. Flirting wasn’t her strong suit when she was herself, but as the Black Cat she’d always felt free.
“Kinky lover or not, I’m going to need that emerald back,” he said, running his free hand down the side of her body.
She slithered against him. “I think you just wanted an excuse to fondle me.”
“Why would I do that? You’re a thief—”
“I thought we agreed I had a kinky lover,” she said. “You shouldn’t make up stories about me.”
“We haven’t been introduced,” he said. “Whom would I tell these tales to?”
“How would I know?” she said, trying to free her hand from his grip, but he wasn’t budging.
“Maybe Interpol? I’ve read your profile, Black Cat.”
He smelled good. Better than her enemy should. His aftershave was a distinctive blend of an exotic spice and man. His skin was warm, and his body heat enveloped her.
“I’m flattered,” she said. “Really, I am. I don’t even know your name.”
She knew that every second he detained her was a moment closer to her ending up in jail. And that wasn’t going to happen.
“Most people call me The Devil.”
“Not very popular with folks,” she said. “Must be why you’ve taken to attacking women on the streets.”
“Not likely. Give me the emerald,” he said.
The pouch she’d tucked it into was locked, and unless he produced a knife and cut the shirt from her body, he wasn’t getting it. And she didn’t think that was his way. She could tell he believed himself to be clever. It was just his bad luck that she was the slightest bit more so.
“I can see this is getting us nowhere,” she said, lifting her leg with the intent of kneeing him in the groin, but he stopped her with a very hard grip on her knee.
He shoved her leg back down and pinned her to the wall with his body. She was running out of time before she needed to be back at the party. She didn’t want to talk to him any longer. There was too great a chance she’d give something away.
She pushed her fingers into his hair at the back of his neck and shifted her head forward, brushing her lips over his. She felt the surprise in him, and for a second he loosened his grip. She tugged on her hand, but he tightened his fingers around hers, and she rubbed her tongue over his.
He tasted good.
He was kissing her back.
She was helpless to resist it, as he angled his head, and his mouth moved over hers.
Passion was clouding her judgment, and for a moment she wanted to let down her guard, which was stupid.
His tongue brushed over hers as his hand moved down her side, and she realized he was using the kiss to distract her while he searched for the emerald.
Sorry, buddy. Not today.
She pulled back, sucked his lower lip between her teeth and bit down lightly. Just enough to get his attention before she tugged her hand free, pushing him hard so that he lost his balance and fell to the ground. She stepped out onto the street and, with a jaunty wave, slipped between the cars on the main thoroughfare. She ran to keep up with one of the slow-moving vehicles until she disappeared and left him behind.
Enchanted By An Emerald
Charmed by the Thief
I’m giving away a copy today to three lucky commenters. Tell me about the place that feels like your home. Is it a readers group? Your family? Writers?
***Katherine's winner is Lil! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing details!***