Monday, August 31, 2009

First Excerpt A Highlander Christmas

Hi all!
Okay, here goes. The first excerpt--the meet and greet-- between Isobel and Prince Daegan. As Prince of the Night Sidhe, Daegan can shapeshift, and his beast is a gorgeous White Hart. (Imagine a majestic stag, that's pure white)

In this excerpt, Isobel has gone into the woods at night to search for her hart, after her twin tride to hunt it. This is Isobel meeting Daegan for the first time, in his Hart form....

She’d saddled her mare quickly, retrieved the bag she kept hidden for her secret moonlit rides, and threw on a cloak and scarf, which she secured with her clan pin. Then she charged the short distance to the woods where she tethered her mare to a tree.

Whatever Alistair had said about people going into the woods, never to be seen again, she didn’t care. She needed to find her stag and make sure he had survived the hit from Ewan’s arrow. The hart had consumed her thoughts. The memory of his eyes haunted her. There was an almost human quality to them, and that look he had given her before running off? She didn’t understand it, but it compelled her to find him, to make certain he was still alive.

She didn’t think she had been gone long from the house, but when she looked up and saw the darkening skies over the barren tree tops, she knew she had tarried too long in the forest. But her senses, the same ones that told her to flee, were certain that the white hart was close by.

Carefully she stepped between the exposed roots of the giant oaks, holding on to their trunks for support. The caw of a bird startled her, and she looked up to see an enormous raven lift off the branch of a tall Scotch pine. It circled above her, dipping low, flying between the trees, then circling back. Despite the waning light and the dim moonbeams which could not penetrate through the thick canopy of pines, Isobel saw, or rather felt, the bird’s predatory gaze boring into her.

I only want to see my hart, and then I shall leave this place.

Stumbling over the roots and the thick underbrush of hawthorn, Isobel walked deeper into the woods, conscious of a sense of foreboding that worked its way down her spine.

The raven, she saw, continued to follow her, but he no longer circled her like a hawk circling a mouse. Now he flew from branch to branch, following her progression into the forest, its head cocking with what could only be described as curiosity.

Curiosity had killed the cat.

She hoped tonight she was not the feline in question.

Rounding a group of rowan trees, Isobel stopped abruptly. In a shaft of moonlight, beneath the leafless canopy of an old oak, lay her hart. He was asleep on the ground, hind legs buried beneath his great, muscular hide. His forelegs curled like that of a dog. His head, with the enormous rack, was pillowed on the snow that glistened with crimson drops of blood.

Its eyes flew open, and for seconds, the animal didn’t move. Its hide did not even flicker in agitation. There was nothing to show her that the animal was startled. No evidence that he would run from her.

Creeping forward, she extended a hand, whispering softly, “I won’t hurt you.”

He watched her, his large black eyes following her every move until she was a few steps from him. Then he lunged to his feet. His head dipped low, and she reached out to touch him, running her fingers down the slope of his muzzle. The stag allowed the touch, and she saw his eyes close as if he savored the feel of her fingers on him.

He was incredibly soft, his pelt like silk, the color unlike anything she had seen before. In the daylight he had been white, but in the moonlight he glowed almost silver, an incandescent color that was beautiful and otherworldly. It was as if his pelt absorbed the moonbeams and turned them into glistening crystals.

She studied the rack that Ewan had wanted as a trophy. It was wide and heavy. Awe-inspiring. Capable of impaling her and shredding her to bits. She trembled at the thought of feeling the thrust of his antlers through her chest, and she shrieked when she felt the warm wetness on her hand. When she looked down, she half expected to see her own blood on her palm, but there was nothing there save the stag’s mouth gently nuzzling her hand. Then the flat of his head was in her palm, and he was brushing against her like a kitten. His eyes were closed, nostrils flared, taking in her scent as he pressed closer to her, encouraging her to touch him.

“You are the most beautiful beast I have ever seen,” she whispered as she stroked one of the curling antlers. His hide flickered, shivering, and he lowered his head farther, encouraging another touch. “Such strength and power,” she murmured, “yet grace and gentleness, too.”

His head lifted, and he looked down at her. Standing beside her, his chest broad and lean, he dwarfed her with his size. He was any hunter’s prize kill, yet the thought of this magnificent animal slaughtered and stuffed made her feel ill. This regal stag was made to run free.

“He did hurt you,” she whispered as she saw the angry red mark on the animal’s side. She brushed her fingers over the wound, which looked superficial. While no doubt painful, it would not prove deadly. The stag sidestepped her touch, prancing just far enough away to evade her fingers, yet he kept close to her, circling her. She felt him at her side, her back. The ends of her hair tangled in his antlers, and she thought she heard him inhale deeply of the heather-scented soap she had used that morning.

You are mine, she heard whispered on the winter wind that made its low howl through the leafless branches.

Suddenly she felt warm, her legs weak, her belly fluttering with the sudden release of butterflies. It was a man’s voice. Dark. Sensual. Compelling.

Stay with me.

She trembled once more as the stag pressed closer, his muzzle now bent to her neck. Puffs of gray vapor rose between them and she closed her eyes, disconcerted by feelings that swam in her.

Stay forever.

Something touched her, a hand on her shoulder, the press of lips against the bounding pulse of her throat. She felt the harsh exhalation of a held breath, followed by the movement of her hair over her shoulder.

The raven cawed loudly and swooped down between them, drawing the stag’s attention. Confused and frightened, Isobel bolted and ran over the uneven ground, falling to her knees over large, distended tree roots. Branches tore at her hair and the tartan scarf she had wrapped around her neck. Pulling the wool, she continued running, never once looking back until she broke free of the branches that seemed to have tried to keep her within the forest.

When she at last turned back, she saw the white stag standing on the edge of the forest watching her, his great chest heaving. His black eyes compelling her back to him.

She walked away, unable to stop looking back over her shoulder. The stag was still there, still watching her.

Next time, she heard through the night sky. Next time you will not run from me.

It's the day after, and in this next excerpt, in Daegan's pov, he meets her as a man....

She was the loveliest woman he had ever seen. Despite the fact that her glorious red hair was covered by the hood of her velvet mantle. Even with the shadows that concealed her pale skin and wide blue eyes, Daegan knew it as the truth. Isobel MacDonald was stunningly beautiful.

He had seen that beauty last night, when he had come to her in a dream. He had tasted her sweetness as her lips parted beneath his. He had felt her passion as he pressed her back on the bed and touched her.

Even now, he could still feel the tentative touch of her fingertips against his cheeks, his shoulders. She was innocent, but beneath her purity, there was a passion that burned hot.

Her gloved hands came up to her hood and she shoved it back, revealing a cascade of auburn ringlets that fell artfully from her coiffure. Her eyes were just as wide and clear as last night, yet he saw something different in them—awareness. That she was aware of him, that the memories of them together were flooding her consciousness made his blood hot. The animal in him wanted to press her back against the tree and mate with her. The Sidhe in him wanted her thoroughly enchanted before he claimed her and made her his. A quick rut was not what his Sidhe half desired. Only a full night exploring her body would satisfy him.

“How did you come by my pin, sir?” she asked breathlessly.

He could tell she recalled the dream and what she had allowed him to do. It was there in her eyes, the way her body seemed to grow lax. The perfume of her arousal that seemed to cloak him.

It was fortunate he had found the clan pin, for with his magic he had used it to enter her dreams. Once she had the pin back in her possession, the spell would cause her to return to him night after night in the groves of Annwyn.

“Sir?” she asked warily. “How did you come by my pin, and how did you know it belonged to me?”

“Are you not Isobel MacDonald of MacDonald Hall?”

She lifted her chin. “Yes.”

“Then this is yours. I found it while wandering the woods on my morning walk.”

“You have me at a disadvantage, sir.” she said, her gaze taking him in from head to toe. “I don’t believe we’ve met.”

He smiled as he stepped closer to her. “Is that true, Isobel?”
She sucked in a breath as he came to stand directly before her. “I . . . I do not recall being introduced, sir.”

“I am Daegan, prince of these woods. Perhaps now you recall our acquaintance?”
Her eyes flared and her breathing grew harsh. “I am quite sure you are not known to me.”

He reached out and she flinched. He soothed her with a whisper as he attached the pin to her cloak. “I know you well, Isobel. And I intend for you to know me just as intimately.”

Isobel could hardly breathe. How could he be here standing before her. The man from her dream. Daegan. She remembered his name, that he had claimed to be a prince. She had thought it a bit of fancy, a remnant from a young woman’s childish fantasies of being a princess swept off her feet by a handsome prince. She hadn’t truly believed that the man was real, nor could she have imagined him being even more handsome and virile in person.

“Ah, I think the lady doth remember,” he murmured as his knuckles raked along her cheek. “Is it all coming back now, muirnĂ­n?”

“I. . .I dreamed of you,” she said. Blushing, she immediately looked away, but he lifted her chin to have her look upon him.

“More than that. Last night, I came to you in your sleep.”

His thumb, warm and soft, caressed her chin, then slid upwards toward the corner of her mouth, eliciting a warmth that rushed through her veins. “And . . . and . . .” Isobel swallowed hard, unable to finish or concentrate on anything other than Daegan’s thumb stroking her.

“And we kissed. Touched.”

She licked her dry lips, remembering how, and where he had touched her. “Am I dreaming now? I must be, for how can any of this be possible?”

“No. You are not dreaming. ’Tis real, this meeting. ’Tis fate.”

The sound of twigs and branches snapping beneath heavy footfalls shattered the tension that had grown between them. Daegan narrowed his eyes and growled at the disturbance.

“I cannot see you again,” she said, glancing at the open space where any second the earl might happen upon them.

“But you will, Isobel. You will. Tonight is the winter solstice, and when the moon is full, you will come to me, and I will tell you all you wish to know, and I will make you mine.”

Highlander Excerpts!

Well, I've had a 'why didn't I think of that?' moment!

Lori suggested an exerpt of each, one each day! Brilliance! (Sometimes I'm braindead)

So, I've put on the coffeepot and I'm going to go trolling through the book for three good excerpts. Not sure what today's will be....

Anyway, look for an excerpt later today. Then another one on Tuesday, and then one on Wed!

Thanks Lori for the suggestion!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

EXCERPT, A Highlander Christmas!

Okay, that title was a tease, I admit. This post does not contain an excerpt. It would have, though, if I could have one I wanted to put up. Fact is, I'm just not sure. so, I'll leave it up to you lovely hussies to decide what you'd like.

Here's your options, majority rules, and I'll post the excerpt Monday afternoon/evening.

A) A first meet between Isobel (the heroine) and Prince Daegan

B) A sexy, hussy satisfying scene

C) A taste of Daegan and Bran, who is the hero if Velvet Haven

I aim to please...let me know what' you like!
Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm a Wicked Writer...

So, I'm over the moon about this! Yesterday I got invited to be part of the Wicked Writers group with Sylvia Day, Shayla Black, Karin Tabke, Cathryn Fox....oh, man, I can't tell you how excited I am.

It's a busy list, with a lot of romance fans. They're talking hotties, and love scenes, and their man candy....Lord have mercy! WOW!

If you're interested in joining, here's the link, Wicked Writers

There is some author promo from time to time and some giveaways, but mostly it's alot fun with authors and readers just chatting about whatever they want!

Don't be shy, c'mon over!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Velvet Haven Widget

Look what a gorgeous little Dryad sent me! Dryads, in case you're wondering, are voluputous and highly sensual water nymphs in Annwyn! Bran bribes their queen for a posey of their special flowers for Mairi-- orchids, with petals that resemble the naughty bits of female anatomy. They also possess an intoxicating heady scent that reminds Bran of Mairi. He sends the posey with with a note...'thought of you as I picked these. Can't wait for tonight. Want you to open and weep for me like these flowers'...
Naughty Bran!!!!

So, thanks to my little Dryad who made this up! It's divine!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Higlander ARC winners!

Hi everyone,
Thanks to everyone who responded with email addies and snail mail addresses. I worked night shift all weekend and am just waking up! I'll be getting to your emails either later tonight or early tomorrow!

Have a good night!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

And the Winners Are...

Okay, well first off, thanks to everyone who entered to win a copy of my novella, Yuletide Enchantment. The good news is, my agent was also sent some printed ARC's and she's offered to cough them up to me to give away for reviews. So, I now have three print ARC's to give away, as well as three pdf versions of my novella.

So, without further adieu, I have these entrants

Ashley Ladd
Rachie G
My Blog 2.0 (Dottie)
Ms. Moonlight
The Book Queen
Heather D

So some of you specifically asked for an electronic copy of the novella, so I separated your names from the print list. The winners are random, as picked out of hat by my 10 y/o.

So, the print ARC winners are....

The Book Queen

The winners of the PDF electronic version are...

Rachie G

Congrats to all the winners. And remember if you name wasn't chosen this time, there will be other chances to win through contests, and blog visits etc. If you want, you can sign up for my newsletter as I'll be letting readers know if winning opportunities there, or you can continue to visit my blog for futher updates.

September will see more Annwyn content on my website along with new excerpts.
Thanks for all the interest, and be well this weekend!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Last Call....

Morning all....

Don't be shy, cause it's last call for ARC's for A Highlander Christmas for review on a blog, or Amazon, or Chapters or Barnes and Nobles etc...

My novella in this anthology is entitled Yuletide Enchantment. It's not erotic, but pretty steamy, it's historical, and it's a 'prequel' to Velvet Haven. It releases this Nov.

I have one print ARC, and I can now give away three copies of my electronic ARC of the novella for review.

So....last call, I'll annnounce winners tomorrow. Just leave a comment here if you're interested. I've already had a few sign up, so the more the merrier!

Be well, and enjoy the day....It's FRIDAY!!!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Plot Thickens...

So, I know I'm supposed to be reading for pleasure, and I am, but that Muse of mine is here for a visit. She always comes when I'm feeling physically and mentally worn out from writing. Gotta love her, my muse is a Dom! lol!

So, when I was initially was writing Velvet Haven, I wasn't sure which character's journey I would write next. The plot can go in many different directions. But the then the muse steered me down a certain path.

Currently, I'm thinking Rhys MacDonald and his Shadow Wraith, Keir will be next. I like how these two are entwined, and the conflict one of them is holding inside. Plus, I'm imagining the bedroom scenes, and how they're going to extricate themselves from one another when their existence is entegral to each other. Rhys btw, is Bran's great-great nephew (and Daegan from a Highlander Christmas' great-great grandson) I think it's a natural progression, from Daegan's story, to Bran's then to Rhys, who is only part Sidhe, and that part is REALLY dilute, or is it??? :)

His heroine would be from Annwyn, and I'm thinking she's part of the Dryads which are water nymphs in Annwyn. So, lots of possibilities there.

Now, I just have to organize my thoughts and see what my editor says. Not sure if she had someone in particular in mind....

Enjoy the pics of the men. Rhys is on the lounge, and Keir has those 'otherworldly' eyes. I should be reading, not thinking about this two....

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm Done!!!!

Ok, I gotta share~Velvet Haven is revised and the book has been sent off to my editor!!! Oh, hell yeah!!!!!

I don't mind sharing with you guys that this revision was BIG. Like tear my hair out big. I love Bran. I really do, but he just wouldn't talk to me. I had such a hard time getting into his head, and with Suriel...he just wanted to take over. The only scenes that were really shining we're the verbal sparring scenes between Bran and Suriel. So, I had to go back and rework, rethink, and pull Bran by his long hair and give him hell till he started yapping.

And he did. And he's beautiful and sexy and now I love him. Of course, I'm talking like he's real. But when you're a writer, the person in your head, speaking to you, IS lifelike. They do become real to you and you get attached and pissed off when they won't do what you want them to do.

Bran has been the ONLY hero I've ever written that wouldn't talk to me. I mean, even Wallingford spewed his guts and disassembled brilliantly. Bran? No way.

In the end, I wrestled with him and won. I've just come back from the cool little coffee house we have here in cowville, and heard this song on the radio. It made me smile, and I imagined Bran singing it, while thinking of me!

Enjoy! There's some language so you might want to be careful where you're at.
This will get you smiling for the start of your weekened, especially when you see the poor dweeb in the red T-shirt...
Do we REALLY do this to guys????

Puddle of Mudd-She Hates Me.

YIPPEE, I'm done!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Come One, Come All...

Okay. Bran is a bad boy. Suriel, the fallen angel is...REALLY bad. And I'm having SO much fun writing them that way. I like the struggle between the two leaders. Bran co-rules Annwyn, and Suriel is a fallen angel who has been roaming around earth for a thousand years, 'influencing' humans! :)I like them both, but one character is struggling to take over.

Sometimes this happens in writing, a secondary character lives so large, becomes so clear in your mind that you're gravitated to him. Notice I said him. It's always the guys who do this to me!!! For instance, the second Wallingford appeared in Addicted, seated like a pasha at the masquerade ball, he planted himself firmly in my mind and heart. He never really tried to take over Lindsay's book, but he was always a very strong prescence. Interesting, since all the mail I've received from readers make comment of him. Garrett, has gotten himself a few fans, but no where near the amount that Wallingfor has. And I find that interesting, since Garrett got more page time.

And this is where I am at with Suriel.

And yet, I love Bran and his strength and sexuality. I guess they're just different characters. And that's neat, that they can be 'born' so different, yet sprung from the same mind.

Anyway, that's my musing for the day. I've got VH on the brain as I'm nearing the end of revisions. I love the way it's turning out. Romantic. Sexy. Sensual. And I'm getting some good angst and emotion in there. Gosh,I love angst! And very intense heroes, as well!

So, because I'm in the whole Annwyn world, and because Yuletide Enchantment in the anthology A Highlander Christmas is a prequel to Velvet Haven, I'm giving away two ARC's. One electronic, and one a print copy. These are un-corrected ARC's from the publisher, so the print cover is just a plain pink one. Not the one with the sexy Highlander on it (who, btw, looks exactly like Prince Daegan!)

So, two ARC's, only stipulation is that you have a blog to post a review on (good or bad). And....tell me what you love in a bad boy.

I'm going to pick randomly, and I'll leave this up for a week so people have a chance to enter. Good luck!!!!

Now back to bad boy Bran and that sexy fallen angel!