Posts Tagged ‘Excerpts’

Dark Legacy Excerpt–Time to Meet Jarred Keith!

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Okay, okay okay! Stop nagging me ;o)

I’m glad you love Maddie Temple. And I get it. You wanna taste of her hero, too… Thanks for the excited emails and blog comments. Those of you who want to see some the dreams I keep talking about, hang on for just one more week. Until then…

Heeeeere’s Jared!

This scene immediately follows the last excerpt I posted, so scroll back in the Dark Legacy category if you haven’t read that yet. This isn’t the beginning of the book (can’t give that away), but it’s an important get-to-know Jarred scene. And the lovely thing is how much more you get to know Maddie, too ;o) And then there’s Sarah, the psychotic, psychic twin whose nightmares are haunting Maddie, even during the day…


Dark Legacy
on shelvels August 25th!

There’s something you’re not telling me.” Jarred was staring at Maddie from his expensive chair, behind his expensive desk. Maddie stared back, swallowing the instinct to trust him. To invite him deeper into her messed up life. Into her mind. (more…)

New Dark Legacy Excerpt!

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

The excerpt on my website is Dark Legacy’s prologue. I think it’s time everyone met the grown up Maddie Temple. You’re going to love the romance between her and her hunky psychiatrist!

Check out the prologue and other goodies on my site: . Don’t miss the other posts in the blog Dark Legacy category! Or the chance to win an ARC and Dream Flutters jewelry by leaving a comment any time this month.

Enjoy this new glimpse into Book 1 of my Legacy series!!!


Dark Legacy
Chapter Six

Maddie’s breath misted in the frozen morning air. She’d been up for hours. It felt like she’d been standing there forever. Shivering in the hospital parking lot. Still not ready to go inside. Not ready to pretend for another day that her life wasn’t falling apart.

Anger bubbled beneath the calm that people expected from Dr. Madeline Temple, ER Trauma Specialist. Her twin’s anger and insanity had come only in the dreams at first. But echoes of Sarah owned more of Maddie’s waking mind every day. No matter how hard Maddie fought, her comatose sister’s demented memories kept taking more.

Or maybe it was Maddie’s own mind. Maybe it was simply her turn. Like Sarah and her mother, this was her destiny. Maybe that was the prophecy Phyllis had been so terrified of. Maddie had managed to do some good with her life. It was time for the darkness to take the rest. Could it really be that simple? That hopeless?

She squared her shoulders against the ridiculous thought.

She was a grown woman, not a scared teenage girl. She didn’t believe in curses and phantom prophecies. Besides, she had real problems to deal with. Problems like Dr. Jarred Keith, who’d become St. Christopher’s Chief of Psychiatry less than a year ago. Notorious for keeping to himself, he’d surprised her by wanting to take their casual dates to a level she hadn’t been ready for. He’d found the calm, sweet Maddie she’d been too charming to resist. She’d told him she needed to stay focused on her career. Then she’d stopped returning his calls. Ignored his repeated voice mails. Until last night.

Last night, Jarred hadn’t left her a choice. He’d said he was sorry that it had come to this. He was sorry, but they’d find a way to clean up her mess of a life together.


Shrugging off a shiver, Maddie marched up the granite steps that led to the wall of windows fronting St. Christopher Memorial Hospital. Focus on what’s important. Forget about everything else. She had a residency to save. After scraping and fighting for years to get where she was, she refused to let everything slip through her fingers. She wasn’t losing herself now. She wasn’t weak like her sister.

Maddie would handle Jarred Keith. Then she’d handle her nightmares, the shadows from her past, and her family’s penchant for instability—alone. Whatever it took to not let the darkness win, the way it had with Sarah…

Winter Heat: Excerpt 3, and A Cool Video to Watch!

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

One final Winter Heat Excerpt, to brainwash you into going and buying the book if you already haven’t ;o)

And for those clammoring in the comments and my inbox for more news on Dark Legacy–coming soon to a blog near you, I promise. Just as soon as I get the draft of the book into my editor… All 400 pages of it…

And so you’ll know a little what the last few weeks of a deadline this big feels like, here’s a fun look at what water does when a single drop hits a hard surface… It’s kind of like trying to weave (read POUND) a single change or idea through 400 pages of a story, lol!

Wish me luck everyone! Dark Legacy cover and promo news and descriptions and all sorts of good stuff soon. Until then, enjoy a bit more of Felicia and Tony’s story (and, by all means, read all of it, after you BUY THE BOOK ;o)

Winter Heat
Scenes Three and Four

“I’ve lost my mind,” Felicia insisted several hours and twice as many second thoughts later, at the welcome dinner’s cocktail reception.

“It’s the altitude.” Willard smiled up a passing waiter, then shamelessly checked out the guy’s butt.

“It’s your bad influence.” Felicia straightened and re-straightened her fucia Versace minidress.

“Enjoy.” He eyed the non-existent back of her outfit. “You fit in perfectly here. Forget about Rossi. It’s very chic to—”

“Make an fool of myself?” First in front of Rossi, then the poor bell man.

“To wear your fabulousness with daring and pride, darling.”

“Kind of like humiliation is the new black?”

“You’re talking as if you went streaking through the lobby. You deserve to let loose a little.”

“Is that what they’re calling it these days?”

“You’ve come this far. It’s just dinner, Fe.”

“Yeah, and it was just a few sips of wine in the car. Just a dare to loosen me up. Just a kiss.”

“No, honey. That was straight up sex with your clothes on. Whatever crawled up Tony Rossi’s ass after you lifted your spell on him, that man’s the hottest thing in pants I’ve seen in a long time—and you had him melting all over you.”

Yeah, except who had been melting whom?

Willard had egged her into entering her sonnet in the contest in the first place, after he’d shown up at her door late one night on his way home from clubbing. She’d been in her rattiest guy pajamas—a pair of her ex’s, actually—and that’s when she’d finally gotten it. Her best guy friend had a sexier wardrobe and dated hotter men than she had in years. It had been time to stop wallowing in the efficient, business side of her personality that Phillip had found so boring. Time to mine for passion, before the well dried up.

But a secret part of Felicia wondered even now if it wasn’t already too late.

“Don’t throw in the towel!” Willard insisted. “I won’t hear of it. Men will be crawling all over you and your couture tonight, gay or straight. If you’re not going to work this fabulous makeover for you, the least you can do is be my arm candy, until I land myself a live one.”

It was a beautiful dress. One of her favorite purchases for the trip. When she’d tried it on at Bergdorf’s, she’d felt a forgotten piece of herself coming back to life. The same passionate piece that had kicked into high gear downstairs, in the arms of a man who’d left her feeling giddy, then completely forgotten—dismissed—once he’d decided she didn’t suit his PR plans.

The judgmental bastard!

She was a guest for the weekend. She could quit this scene any time she wanted. But that would mean walking away with her designer tail between her supermodel-long legs.

Was she really going to prove her ex and her own subconscious right—by conceding that leave-them-panting sexy had never been her talent, and never would be?

Hell no!

She snatched a glass of champagne from a passing waiter’s tray, and raised the flute to salute Willard.

“Let the games begin!”


Tony had heard of men buzzing around a woman like bees near a honey pot. And he’d spent the last twenty-four hours running interference between Maddy Lov and the hard-partying crowd that trailed after her. But he’d never seen anything like Felicia Gallo, wearing Versace’s finest as if it were a second skin. Or the effect she was having on the rising testosterone level in the banquet room.

She’d wrapped herself up in his mother’s favorite designer. She was wearing matching heels so high, every step she took without mishap was a triumph of fluidity and grace.

Versace was on the wilder end of the designer spectrum. But it was a must-have wardrobe staple for the adventurous socialite. Or so Tony’s mother insisted every time she spent a new fortune on the label’s newest line. Too bad Gabriella Rossi had never showered the same attention on her husband and only child. Not that Tony’s father had minded.

The two still lived the same jet-set lives as when they’d relegated Tony to boarding school at too young an age—alternating their time between Aspen and Milan, Florence and Madrid. New York and Paris during fashion season. LA for the awards shows, which were the few months out of the year during which Tony sporadically saw them.

Their empty relationship was the envy of everyone they met, and his mother’s glamorous, sophisticated façade was their crowning, glittering glory. A facade the romantic Ms. Gallo had obviously honed to her own advantage. Gone was Felicia’s skin-tight snow suit, which he doubted had seen the first flake of winter ice. In its place were swirls of severely cut color and silk that invited a man to smooth his hands over every restless curve and valley.

She’d collected quite a bevy of admirers throughout the cocktail hour. A room full. And her friend, Willard, dressed to kill in what looked like Armani, was scoping things out for himself.

Actually, he was headed Tony’s way!

“She’s really something, our little poet, isn’t she?” The man held up a copy of the program Tony had carefully designed, complete with a border of hearts and flowers that reeked of romance.
Tony had spotlighted Felicia’s sonnet on the cover page. He glanced at the poem again, trying to match it to the woman sipping a cocktail and flirting with the besotted men standing on either side of her.

“She’s…unexpected,” was the best reply he could manage.

Wickedly complex and appealing in a primal way that he couldn’t take his eyes off of. But, unexpected or not, she was nothing more than a principle player in his business plans for the opening. A means to an end, that it was his job to control.

“She’s not the only unexpected distraction tonight.” Willard sighed in response to Tony’s scowl. “You’re gorgeous. A young Paul Newman, but rough enough around the edges for some flavor. You clearly have a sense of style most heterosexual men refuse to own. But you’re straight as an arrow, aren’t you? Pity.”

Willard was a straight-shooter. Right up Tony’s ally. And he seemed to have a precarious hold on Tony’s star poet’s leash.

“It doesn’t matter what I am.” Or what he wanted outside the job. Tony’s gaze tracked the way the curve of Felicia’s bottom rounded against the hint of a skirt that finished off her dress. “I’m working. When I’m working, focusing on anything or anyone else is out of the question.”

“Uh huh.” Willard was watching Tony watch Felicia, his knowing smile almost as wicked as his friend’s ass.

“Listen—” Tony turned his head to make it clear that he didn’t have time for whatever games Willard wanted to play.

But out of the corner of his eye, he saw Felicia stumble—right into the waiting arms of one of the bachelors panting after her.


Winter Heat: Excerpt 2–Meet Felicia, And I’m “Raising the Bar”

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

I loved opening Weekend Meltdown in my hero’s point of view.

That’s not how my first draft started out, but my Silhouette editor asked me to throw the reader more into the story right off the bat (I only had 100 pages to work with), and I loved the result. And it sounds like from your comments, the hook did it’s job just fine ;O)

But, now you have to meet Felicia. Well, you already met her, and Tony REALLY met her. But get inside her head a litte in this next excerpt. I think you’ll like the ride, LOL!

Oh, and since the new TV season’s coming on strong–those of you who haven’t watched “Raising the Bar” yet, make sure to get you some this month. Do it. Yes, it looks a lot like Law and Order from the outside, and it is gritty. But the writing. The anti-heroes you still want to root for. The new twist on what’s good and what’s bad and what is grey and in between and we just have to accept it that way or go mad… Yeah, I like it. If feels more St. Elsewhere to me, than modern legal drama. Scrapping and scraping and no real heroes to light the way, except maybe for some of the clients. I promised I’d share more of what I watch and read, so there you have it. My start. Can’t wait to raise the bar some more. Make sure you listen to the dialogue. Really. Just close your eyes and listen to what they’re saying. It’s amazing stuff.

Oh, and I can’t wait for “Mad Men,” too. Weird little show, but not so little, and really not that weird, since they’re focusing on human beings, once you get past the amazing sets and wardrobe and the kick ass acting. The human element. Flaws. Redmeption. My kind of stuff, I guess.

So, here’s more from my Winter Heat anthology, due out on Jan. 13th. There are chats and guest blogging coming up to help us celebrate it’s realse next week. But for now, you get to read what’s not even on shelves yet ;o)

Weekend Meltdown
Chapter Two

“You’re drunk, Ms. Gallo.”

Felicia was drunk all right, swimming in a golden, sensual haze. But not from the few glasses of expensive wine she’d imbibed between the airport and the lodge. Blinking, she tried to clear the dazzling glare from her vision. Glare that had nothing to do with camera flashes.

“Ms. Gallo?” prodded the sinfully-sexy man holding her.

His mouth was near her ear, so no one but her would hear. The wash of his breath over her sensitive skin wrecked her balance even more.

“I’m per…perfectly fine,” she insisted.

And just to prove it, she didn’t shamelessly throw herself at Tony Rossi again. No matter how badly she wanted to.

This was Willard’s fault. All of it.

“Of course you’re fine, darling,” insisted the mastermind behind her humiliation. Willard hitched a supportive arm under her elbow, then batted his lashes at Rossi’s Steve McQueen glare. “I’m sure this fine specimen has a valet at his disposal, to fetch our bags away while we get you checked in.”

“Everything’s exactly as described in your prize package.” Rossi stared down the photographer who was still snapping away, until the poor guy gave up and got lost. “If you think you can manage, Ms. Gallo, I’ll help you register, then take you to your suite so you can…rest. I’m sure you’ll want to be at your best for tonight’s activities.”

And Felicia’s best clearly wasn’t good enough at the moment.

Steve McQueen seemed to have forgotten his enthusiastic participation in her Willard-inspired naughtiness.

No fear this weekend, Willard had insisted ever since they’d jetted away from Manhattan. Willard and her, and the brand new wardrobe she’d purchased to ramp up her battered sexual confidence. No holding back.

She was a goddess, she reminded herself. Not a woman so wrapped up in her high-powered career that her fiancé had dumped her for the coat check girl at Willard’s East Village trattoria, Viva!

Too kiss-wobbly on her fuck-me platform sandals to make another scene by stomping away—but determined to remind Rossi that it had been his tongue inspecting every inch of her orthodontist’s handiwork—Felicia sidled closer. She ran an acrylic nail down the yummy fabric of his expensively distressed shirt. Batted her own heavily massacred lashes.

“I think you’ll find that I’m always at my best, Mr. Rossi.”

Willard’s wicked chuckle was a dear thing, no matter how pissed she was at him. She let him lead her into the lodge. He’d pay later, when they were alone and she’d reclaimed enough brain cells to punish him for baiting her into embarrassing herself. But for now, she needed his sass to feed her own.

Head high, adding extra sway to the undulation of her hips, she tossed her hair over her shoulders and left a frowning Rossi at the curb.

“Well played, my dear.” Willard lead her into the luxurious lobby that wasn’t exactly the tranquil, Gatsbyesque scene she’d expected. “How come you never put that weenie Phillip in his place like that?”

“You promised never to say that name to me again.” She fake-smiled through her teeth at a passing couple.

“Well, your Big Mistake of 2007 didn’t deserve you. And you haven’t deserved beating yourself up over the asshole for two years. How did it feel, propositioning the first hunk of a man you saw, then leaving him in your dust?”

“Mortifying.” And unsatisfying.

It had to be the sparkling wine they’d found waiting for them in the Town Car, making her crave more.

Two glasses of champagne?


That’s why she felt so woozy.

Rossi, the real culprit behind the buzzing in her brain, had a backside as amazing as his front. And of course, she couldn’t keep her eyes off him. He flanked the bell man and their cart of bags as far as the elevators. Then he headed Felicia and Willard’s way, oozing such intoxicating intensity, she realized she was panting for air.

“Why did I let you talk me into this?” she whined.

“Because it’s a freaking dream weekend, girlfriend. And you’re going to take advantage of every second. You’re more in need of a winter meltdown, than any woman I know—including myself.”

“You just want to swap lip gloss secrets with Maddy Lov.” She ignored her gay husband’s wounded moue. Out of the corner of her eye, she tracked Rossi’s approach, and every amazing thing his body did to the tailored slacks he wore. “This farce is about you storing up tidbits to share with your divas in Manhattan.”

“You’re the only diva I care about this weekend, love.” Willard caught her tugging at the fur-trimmed neckline of her top. His eye-roll destroyed the last of her champagne’s golden glow. “You’re wearing Cloe played with Blahnik. Very, Shut your mouth, I’m not an uptight lawyer freaked out about being the main draw at the party of the season! Now own it. Take some chances. Let me see you slinking back into your lawyer’s shell, and mama’s going to slap your hand—or some other part of your anatomy.”

The threat came with another affectionate wink.

Felicia laughed.

Even being annoyed with Willard called to creative, exuberant parts of her. The parts she usually draped with classic Chanel suits and St. John dresses, when what she secretly lusted after was Prada and Cavalli.

“How are we doing?” Tony Rossi asked at her side.

Speaking of lusting…

“Never better.” She focused on her surroundings, rather than the impulse to run her hands through the guy’s caramel-brown hair again.

Romantic couples cuddling by firelight would have been a bit much, she supposed. But Winter Pass’ aura was more like Manhattan’s high-energy dating scene, than a quaint venue for the poetry readings, elegant dinners, and the wine and cheese cocktail hours described on the lodge’s Webpage. Willard was right. It was going to be the party of the season.

He drew her to the registration desk, an arm draped supportively about her waist. A whoop went up from the lobby’s wood-paneled bar. Gales of laughter followed. Felicia glanced toward the mayhem, the skin on the back of her neck tingling at Rossi’s nearness.

Maddy Lov was one of her father’s law firm’s top celebrity clients. At one firm VIP function, Felicia had watched Maddy drink men twice her size under the table, daring her besotted admirers to keep up. And Rossi thought Felicia needed a nap so she could rein in her inner wild child?

The kind of alluring wild child she’d let her ex-fiancé’s rejection convince her she’d never be.

Suddenly fed up with years of weak second-guessing, she left Willard to handle things with the registration attendant and turned on Rossi. She thrust the plunging neckline of her halter top out and smiled her best siren’s smile.

“This place isn’t exactly how things were described in the prize package,” she challenged. “I must say, I’m a little disappointed.”

“I know exactly how you feel.” Rossi stopped checking out her cleavage and consulted what looked like a vintage watch. Then he took in her over-the-top ensemble again, making her even more determined not to let him know how unsettled she felt in her risqué fashion. “Why don’t I show you to your suite, while your friend finishes taking care of the particulars. I’m already late to help set up for the welcome reception, and—”

“No need.” Willard took her hand and kissed her fingers. “But once I help this lovely creature freshen up, maybe you and I can get better acquainted.”

Rossi’s answering annoyance went no further than the chill in his gaze.

“I’ll look forward to it.” He sounded as if eating dirt would be more appealing, but his congenial smile was rugged perfection. “Especially since Ms. Gallo’s due to recite her grand prize winning poem after dinner.”

“I’ll try extra hard to make it a memorable moment.” She pushed past Rossi, annoyed by this all-business side of him. Where was the passion and lust from before? “I’ll look forward to your critique afterwards.”

Critique? Willard’s raised eyebrow asked as they neared the elevator.

Eat shit!, she smiled back, feeling Rossi track their progress toward their third floor suite. Once inside the elevator, she turned and met his gaze, shivering.

What kind of man made even blatant disapproval look sizzling hot?

The doors whooshed shut. Willard watched her rub at the chill bumps skittering up and down her arms.

“The first man wasn’t the old guy at the concierge desk,” he quipped. “That’s a plus.”

She punched him as a reward, nearly missing his forearm while her body shivered in awareness. He’d dared her to seduce the first unsuspecting guy she saw. And like a fool, she’d played along, just for fun. What could it hurt?

The elevator slowed, then stopped.

“I just sexed up the most obnoxious man in the place,” she reminded her friend as the exited. “The guy’s acting like he’s ready to toss us both out, when he was crawling all over me outside. I’m an asshole magnet. What’s wrong with me?”

“Absolutely nothing, except you need to relax and enjoy the ride. Stop worrying. I wouldn’t mind finding someone that obnoxiousof my own to spar with this weekend.”

“He’s all yours.” Felicia needed someone less…everything, to test her battered self-esteem on.

“Ah, good.” Willard ushered her toward their suite. The cart with their things on it was positioned outside the open door, the bell man still unloading. “See, darling. We get to stay the night, despite you shamelessly making the most fantastic man I’ve ever seen your love slave.”

“I did not make Tony Rossi my love slave!” Felicia turned into the suit in time to catch the shocked expression on the bell man’s face as he screeched to a halt in front of her…

Winter Heat: Excerpt 1, And A Monday Chance to Win

Monday, January 5th, 2009

I’m including an excerpt below from Winter Heat–my Jan 13th Silhouette release that’s already hitting the Amazon best seller lists, on pre-orders alone.

Pretty cool, huh? And I always share the good stuff with my online friends ;o)

And speaking of really good online friends who love sharing, make sure to visit Michelle Buonfiglio’s birthday party tomorrow (Monday the 5th) on her blog–Romance B(u)y the Blog:

She’s going to be hosting great fun and giving away great prizes. You don’t want to miss out.

And here’s a touch of Winter Heat to warm up your chilly night ;o) Keep checking back. I’ll be teasing you with more, off and on, until the release date–and I’ll be posting a pic soon of the the AMAZING prize I’ll be drawing a winner for, from thise who leave comments through the end of the month.

Enjoy the excerpt and Michelle’s party!


Winter Heat

Chapter One

“You’ll have the romantic getaway reputation you’re paying me for.” Tony Rossi flashed Tom Walker a confident smile. “I guarantee it.”

A whoop heckled him from the lobby’s oak bar, where rock star Maddy Lov was holding court. Lov was A-List Publicity’s problem for the weekend. Not Tony’s, thank God. But the lodge’s floundering PR firm had figured what better way to grab Winter Pass an Internet full of tabloid attention, than to leverage the latest pop princess du jour for all the viral press they could get.

The ensuing chaos was dangerously close to running off the romantic couples the Walkers wanted drawn to their lovely jewel in the mountains.

“A Weekend of Poetry and Romance, huh?” Walker asked.

The theme had been his and his wife’s brainchild. So was the online sonnet contest, the winners of which were the weekend’s guest of honor. Now Tony’s job was to promote his ass off at the eleventh hour, to counter A-Lists’ missteps. He was a one-man show, an insanely-expensive PR gun for hire, and he never let a client down.

Walker’s attention shifted to a buxom ski bunny prancing by. The party girl’s snow suit was unzipped so close to nirvana, Lov’s contingent of paparazzi had her under round-the-clock surveillance.

“Well.” Tom clapped Tony on the shoulder. “You’re our closer. Get it done!”

With a glad I’m not you glance, he headed behind the Tucson-inspired registration desk and disappeared into the lodge’s offices.

“No luck to it,” Tony reminded himself.

Luck had revealed its mercurial ways to him at a tender age. He’d made his own success ever since, screw the odds against him. Winter Pass might be a mess, but it was his highest profile account yet. His professional future was riding on delivering on the promise he’d just made.
Maddy Lov had been watching Tony’s exchange with his anxious client. She smiled from the epicenter of her sea of admirers, as if she’d heard every word and relished the trouble her girls-gone-wild approach to ski resort chic was causing Tony.

The day kept getting better and better.

Liz Song, the author of one of the contest’s winning poems, was snowed in somewhere not Colorado. The second contest couple, whom Tony had wanted settled in before that afternoon’s welcome festivities began, was MIA. At least Felicia Gallo and her guest were on their way in from the airport.

She and her amazing poem were the real deal the Walkers needed to show the lodge off. And Tony, and the events schedule he’d created and subsequently leaked to the press, was determined to make sure that’s exactly what happened.

He’d gladly left classic literature behind after high school. But poetry was the language of lovers. And twenty couples were arriving at Winter Pass, expecting the luxury poetry weekend the Walkers had dreamed up. A romantic vibe he wasn’t letting Lov’s full-tilt-boogie mania tarnish.

The Walkers would have their dream, despite A-List’s bungling. He’d organized a flurry of expensive, last-minute publicity on every available travel magazine Website. Couples bookings had quickly surpassed the flurry of singles coming to Party with Lov. The sonnet contest winners were going to romance the socks off the guests. That’s just the way it was going to be.

He jerked at his lapels, resettling his black wool sports coat on his shoulders. Or as settled as the jacket could look, considering the distressed finish of the shirt he’d thrown on beneath it—without a tie. Appearance was an essential part of the PR game. He did his job and kept the wrinkles at bay. But dawning a conservative shirt and tie every day wasn’t going to happen. Neither was getting excited about the arrival of a hard-core romantic like Gallo.

But as he headed for the carved wood and stained glass doors that opened onto the lodge’s portico, he caught himself smoothing the front of his tailored slacks.

Damn, man!

Felicia Gallo’s coming with the date the Walkers urged her to bring. Get her settled, give her weekend her itinerary, then get back to Maddy Lov before one of her groupies torches the lobby!

Except all day, while Tony had been keeping an eye on Maddy’s boom-baby curves, it was Gallo’s soft features he couldn’t get out of his mind. He’d studied her head shot as he’d designed and distributed a flurry of press releases. Soft waves of dark blonde hair. Sparkling, princess-blue eyes. Her smile was sugar-sweet.
So why did it make him think of wicked sex and satin sheets? Why did he keep imagining the warmth radiating from her expression, smoldering into nuclear waves that could melt even a frigid Colorado January?

She made him think of sex and drama, and he never let his sex life get anywhere close to dramatic.

Standing at the curb, Tony checked the time on his Tag Heur Manaco. Then he checked himself. Gazed at the snow-covered landscape he’d spent the last three weeks hyping to anyone who’d listen.

Felicia Gallo, and the warm intelligence dripping from every word of her poetry, was arriving any minute. He’d work her pedigreed business success and romantic heart to the resort’s advantage. If a part of him wanted to sample any of her warmth for himself, he’d deal with it. The same way he dealt with the few things that ever managed to surprise him. He’d ignore the impulse to indulge in weak feelings that would only bring him trouble, then he’d get back to work.

A speck on the frozen horizon crept closer—one of the Town Cars Tony had reserved for the weekend’s VIP’s. The corporate lawyer with a lover’s soul would be inside, along with the man she’d invited to share her romantic prize package.

But the poet from Ms. Gallo’s poignant biopic didn’t emerge from the luxury car. Out teetered a high-maintenance fashionista instead, wearing four inch heels and the kind of severe style he’d seen firsthand on Madison Avenue.

Nothing turned Tony off more, than the brittle kind of bombshell striding toward him.

Her hips swayed as if she was on a mission to captivate every man in sight—because she knew she could. Gallo’s smile zeroed in on Tony, as if she were playing a role, and his part in her production was to do her bidding. She wrapped a hand around the back of his neck, meeting him eye-to-eye—a woman who had no intention of being ignored.

Then she leaned in to whisper, “Hello,” with both her wicked perfume and a husky, sensual voice.
Turned off or not, Tony’s body instantly helloed back.

He found himself sipping the taste of champagne from her lips, groaning while she licked, then sucked, at his tongue. Her bottom wiggled beneath the vibrant purple of the catsuit-come-snowsuit she’d worn with her skyscraper stilettos.

Actually, a firm cheek had found it’s way beneath each of his palms.

His hands skimmed across the softest female flesh he’d ever touched, and kept right on skimming, encountering not the barest trace of panties.


His fingers clenched, and her breath hitched. A rough sound that brimmed with wicked promise. Then she jerked away, shock vibrating through her body, her pupils expanding, her head slowly shaking.

Tony’s body screamed for more. A spark of reason argued that his hands were better off in his pockets. His palms settled the matter by pulling the enticing globes of her ass closer. She squirmed, but in the next second her body brushed his hardness, and her resistance evaporated. She burrowed her head against his neck, her teeth nipping. Lost in the rush, he settled her tighter against his straining flesh and lost what was left of his mind.

Wrapping a fist in her wildly curling hair, he pulled until he had her lips again. Her taste.

“Good Lord, Fe,” a masculine voice chided. “Get a room before you devour the beautiful man for dinner.”

Tony opened one eye, then the other. The woman in his arms panted, her legs sliding down his thighs and calves until the toes of her outlandish shoes touched the sidewalk, then the heels. A wave of uncharacteristic protectiveness had him pulling her head to his shoulder, shielding her face, while she pulled together whatever wits she still possessed.

It took him longer than it should have to do the same. Then he took stock of the man the wanton in his arms had arrived with. A man dressed as expensively, and as vividly, as Felicia Gallo herself.

Tony made his hands drop to his side.

“I suppose,” he rasped, “that this is the muse for your words of enduring love. The date you were encouraged to invite to share your romantic getaway with?”

“Wh… What?” Afternoon sun shone fire-red in the deep blond of Gallo’s hair. Her features softened in confusion. Something of the woman in the picture Tony had studied emerged.
“Your new boy toy wants to know if he has competition for the weekend.” Gallo’s flamboyant friend winked, his gaze skimming from Tony’s laced-up dress shoes to his untamable hair. “And I want to know if you plan to share the wealth.”

A strobing flash of light momentarily blinded them.

“Kiss her again, Rossi,” demanded one of the photogs constantly cruising the lodge. “That was hot!”

More flashes followed, attracting the attention of passers by who otherwise might not have noticed Tony’s insane reaction to the kind of female he wanted nothing to do with. The nexus of his wholesome PR plans for the Walkers.

“Rossi?” The hard-core sex goddess who’d been mauling him blushed from the diamonds winking in her earlobes, to the tantalizing cleavage spilling from her top’s plunging neckline. “Oh-My-God!”

Winter Meltdown Excerpt and another Hunky Guy Pic

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Hope everyone had a GREAT Mother’s Day.

We disappeared up into the mountains, slept in a B&B beside a water fall (it was a working Grist Mill), and hung out all day Sunday (my husband, son and I), being a family in the sunshine and fresh air (and of course the flea markets and antique places along the way ;o) It was heaven. Perfect!!

Then we came back and celebrated my husband’s birthday yesterday. And my son winning awards at his 6th Grade Honors ceremony. Let me just say, I’m such a proud mommy.

As promised, I’m including a excerpt of my VERY early Winter Meltdown draft (just received revision notes from my New York editors), to tease you ;o) You’re going to love this one, my friends–due on shelves next January! Let me know what you think of this tiny taste, LOL!

Also, check out what another gifted artist I’ve also gotten to know through the Romantic Times conference, Maida Reyes from Crossing Realms, ( did turning one of Steve’s and my late-night shots into a sample book cover.

Don’t she and Rose (
) make a great team! And of course, Steve ( ).

The Crossing Realms site is under reconstruction, so keep checking back to see more of her Maida’s fabulous work. She’s a true talent, and as she comes up with more samples from my little experimental walk through the publishing world beyond writing my books, I’ll be sure to share!

You can check back to the May 5th post ( ) and see how much work was done on ME (my jeans and T-shirt are gone, I have makeup on now, and it’s not so obvious that I work out 4 or 5 times a week, LOL!), and how amazing Steve looked right from the start ;o)

So, just one more glimpse for my faithful readers into the work that goes into getting our books and covers out on the shelves for you to enjoy. Without all these creative artists making us visually appealing and relevant, no one would pick up our books. Maida, Rose and Steve–you rock!!!

Enjoy the Winter Meltdown draft excerpt–more to come ;o).

Remember, all comments go in the running for Snow White and Grumpy and the Grumpy T-shirt giveaway. New prizes with the next post, too, and we’ll keep it going through the end of the month. If you haven’t bought your copy of Mothers of the Year yet, it’s still available in some stores and on Amazon (see the link to the right) and I’m hearing RAVES from readers–it’ll make you laugh and cry!!!

Then, keep an eye out for my To Protect the Child release party in June!!!

Winter Meltdown

“Chloe played with Prada. That’s a fierce outfit you’re almost wearing. Very, Shut your mouth, I’m not and uptight lawyer freaked out about being the main draw at the party of the season!

“It’s not a party,” Felicia Gallo corrected her best friend, over the rim of the champagne flute Willard had kept filled with Cristal during their winding drive from the airport. “It’s a—”

“It’s a freaking dream weekend, girlfriend.” His discriminating eye catalogued one of the many designer outfits her last-minute shopping spree had produced. “And you’re going to take advantage of every second of it.”

“What do you care?”

Felicia hadn’t cuddled up with champagne in ages. When would she have found the time? She’d forgotten the warm, golden glow of it. The expensive bubbles that effervesced into her thoughts, making it more trouble than it was worth to obsess too much about anything.

“As long as you get to swap lip gloss secrets with Maddy Lov,” she snarked, “you’ll be the talk of every Diva in Manhattan.”

You’re the only diva I care about this weekend, my dear.” Willard caught her tugging at the fur-trimmed neckline of the purple snow suit that fit her like a second skin. His eye-roll of frustration admonished some of the champagne’s golden magic. “You agreed to take some chances again. Let me catch you slinking back into your shell, and mama’s going to slap your hand—or some other part of your anatomy.”

The threat came with an affectionate wink.

Felicia laughed.

Laughing with Willard always called to the creative, exuberant parts of her. The parts she covered up with Channel suits and St. John dresses, even though she secretly loved Cloe and Roberto Cavalli.

Willard was tall and pretty-boy-meets-gym thin. An outlandish risk-taker in both business and expressing his personal style. Unabashed about relishing the success he’d willed into reality. Midwest born and bred, he owned three of the top restaurants in New York. He traded on his connections to power players from industries as varied as entertainment and sports, as a child swapped baseball cards. Effortless should have been Willard’s drag name—then again, his current moniker, Vivid, wasn’t far off the mark.

“To fun.” She raised her glass in a toast that the wine kept her from questioning.

“To my goddess friend embracing her fabulous self.” Willard clinked and drank. “And, to you propositioning the first gorgeous hunk of man you see.”

She sputtered at the challenging arch of his eyebrow.

“No more dares.” She sighed when Willard emptied the rest of the bottle into her class. “Dares and booze are what got me into this mess in the first place.”

Her gay husband, as Felicia’s friends affectionately referred to Willard, chucked her under the chin with his forefinger.

“You’re confusing being drunk,” he said, “with hiding behind your brains and daddy’s legal empire for five years.”

“Six.” She stared at her empty glass.

Six years already?

“That’s right. The asshole with the teeny, tiny penis was your big mistake of 2003.”

“And 2002. And 2001.” She raised her champagne flute in an empty salute to Phillip Rhalston Bowen IV, a man of sizable ego and ambition. And equally sizable genitalia, no matter the rationalizations she’d needed to survive their breakup. “Hell, we’ll just call him my big mistake of the millennium.”

“Nonsense.” Willard popped the cork on more Cristal and poured for both of them. “You have much better mistakes in you. This weekend for instance. You agreed—”

No holding back,” she recited. “I know.”

The mantra had been her talisman for weeks. Without it, she’d have called off the first vacation she’d planned since nixing her engagement to the asshole with the teeny, tiny penis. It had gotten her and all her new clothes into her father’s Towncar and to the airport. Then on the plane, when she’d almost bailed on Willard in the Crown Room.

Too bad it wasn’t silencing the second-guessing now.

“Hiding’s not for you, darling,” Willard insisted. “What a waste of that mind and refined sass of yours.”

“You couldn’t care less about my sass. If it weren’t for Maddy Lov, you—”

Hiding’s beneath you.” Willard’s glibness evaporated. He set his drink aside. “It’s definitely beneath me, and we’re supposed to be attached at the hip for this romantic getaway in the snow. It’s time to live the exciting, lust-filled life a successful woman like you deserves—and a successful man like me.”

“And what kind of woman would that be?”



Stylishly unapproachable? A force to be reckoned with in the boardroom? Or lonely as hell—every night she crawled into her king sized bed alone, aching for a man’s hardness next to her?
Willard took her glass.

“A woman who should be blasting out of her comfort zone,” he said. “Not tiptoeing around inside it, following all your stupid rules and locking your heart away. Screw how badly no-nads took you for granted. “

Felicia watched the Colorado scenery whiz by. The complimentary limo that had retrieved them from the airport had been steadily climbing toward the their resort ski destination ever since. The quiet, isolating snow that covered the world outside her window called to Felicia, not the excitement that supposedly lay ahead.

Had Phillip simply been taking her for granted, when she’d caught him sampling the leggy brunette who manned the coat check at Willard’s East Village Italian trattoria, Viva!? Or had Felicia just not been enough to keep his attention?

You’re a tiger in the boardroom, Fe, he’d said. But sometimes a man needs more…

“Kick that shell to the curb this weekend, gorgeous.” Willard motioned over her shoulder. They were pulling up to Winter Pass Lodge. “Remember, you’re going after the first hunk you set eyes on. I’ll accept nothing less from you than a total weekend meltdown…”

Free Online Story, Winner, More Giveaways, Snow White and Grumpy!!!

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

I know, That’s too much for a blog post title–but for those just cruising by, I didn’t want you to miss out on anything. So, stop and hang for a few minutes while I take us through it.

I WAS going to excerpt Baby Steps some today (my novella in Mothers of the Year, out now from Superromance), but… It’s I have something better to share, and if you go to my website ( and scroll down just a smidge and click Read an Excerpt below the Mothers of the Year cover, the first chapter’s there for you.

In it’s place out here, click on this link

to access “The Sheriff’s Wife” — a FREE Daily Read I did for Harlequin when my first “Daughter” book came out in 2004. The sheriff/hero in this twenty-segment online short story is a minor character in The Unknown Daughter, and he has a critical role in the last of that series, The Perfect Daughter (the entire out-of-print Daughter series is avialable via Amazon’s used bookstore network, if you want to check it out). I’m soooo excited they have it up on eHarlequin again!!!

Also, if you’re into the newer technology, in addition to each of my Superromances now being avialable in ebook format (Kindle, from Amazon, and also on eHarlequin–(, in
2003 I participated in something called a Writing Round Robin contest Harlequin used to sponser. I didn’t realize they were making these avaialable electronically, too, but I just found the one I “won” a chapter for. check it out:

Even if you don’t partake of the electronic medium, you have to admit this is pretty cool ;o)

My randomly-drawn Snow White winner from the May 1st through May 5th post comments??? Jennifer Yates, who commented at 3:45 for the May the May 1st post. Keep leaving comments–I’ll draw again, and the more times you name’s in there the better chance you have to win. Two prizes up for grabs this time:

One randomly-drawn commenter for this or my next post will receive a plush set of Snow White AND Grumpy ;o)

Another… This great XL Grumpy T-shirt!!!

Okay, one final pic of Steve and Me… One of my favorites, because it looks like I might actually be posing for a yummy book cover (except what’s going on with my hair, and my manly yoga hands and forearm…relax your hand, Anna!!!).

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post, where I exposed just how little I know about what I was doing ;o) Someone mentioned actually interviewing Stelve–I think that’s a GREAT idea! Maybe I could do a series of interviews with some of the great guys I’ve met in the business.

So, there ’tis. More stuff than one blog entry (certainly on title) should hold, but I’m a busy girl. We’re all busy. No one has time to waste spreading content out, right?

Come back tomorrow–I’ll give you a tasty, hot bite of my Winter Meltdown (the hot, hot, hot novella I’m writing for a Harlequin Single Title anthology release due to land in stores in Jan.). Plus, more RT photos (of model and author friends I met there). More winners… More prizes…

Now go read that free online story, if you didn’t when it came out years ago…

More Baby Steps…

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Not sure, but I think I may have shared the opening to Baby Steps before. For those who’ve been asking, here ’tis. Scroll back or use the link below to read the first scene… This is my Mother’s Day novella (out in a collection with Lori Handeland and Rebecca Winters in April) AND my Snow White and Grumpy story… Sigh…

Oh, and here’s the Dear Reader letter I’ve written for up front, for those who weren’t around when I dreamed this one up ;o)

…There’s something beguiling about fairytales. Something addictive, if you will, that even grownups don’t really want to be cured of. The timeless themes from our childhood stories are the backdrop for dreams and desires we spend our lives pursuing.

When I began searching within for what motherhood meant, my wacky writer’s mind locked onto an unlikely motif from my favorite fairytale—Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Unlikely, because Snow White was never a “real” mother. Evidently, my Baby Steps heroine wasn’t going to be either.

You see, Snow White not only took over the care and nurturing of an entire band of little people who didn’t know they needed mothering until she came along. She picked the crankiest, most cantankerous of the dwarfs as her special project—Grumpy. Grumpy wasn’t bad in her eyes, just misunderstood. With a little extra effort, he could become all he and the other dwarfs needed him to be.

And Snow White was in. Not just for the challenge or because she needed a little extra stress to add to the burden of watching her dreams disappear before her eyes. But, I think, because she understood how scary it was for Grumpy to trust again. How much he must have been hurt to have developed such a hard, hands-off shell. They had a lot more in common, these two, than the reader first realizes. Snow White was determined not to give up until Grumpy let love in again, and by helping him she never really let love go herself.

It’s Grumpy who ends up leading the charge that destroys the wicked witch—saving both Snow White and her prince in the process. In fact, if it weren’t for Grumpy, Snow White’s happily ever after might never have happened. Amazing stuff.

I hope you enjoy my very contemporary interpretation of this timeless fairytale theme. Mothers of every kind out there, know that you have my admiration. Being a Mother of the Year is as simple as opening your heart and making a difference in a child’s life. And it’s just that complicated. Loving so deeply makes you all fairytale princesses in my book!

Okay, Excerpt #2–


“Because she’s a teacher,” Tyler Brooks explained to his gym class truant. Lily was also the most beautiful woman Tyler had ever met, not that now was the time to make that point. “And even if she wasn’t, she’s an adult. Don’t talk to adults that way, period, and you might tunnel out of detention before the end of the school year.”

“Oh, okay,” the kid spat back. “But Nathan Grover can call me a bastard all he wants!”

“Of course he can’t.”

“Nathan called you what?” Lily stepped closer. A petite dynamo, she was barely taller than the kids she taught.

“Some of the boys were playing four square, and Dakota’s our new all-star.” Tyler dragged his attention away from his wife’s peaches and cream complexion and dark auburn hair, and nudged Dakota’s shoulder. “Seems Nathan doesn’t take kindly to losing, so—”

“So! He cheats. And he calls me names when you’re not looking. And—”

“You kicked him, Dakota, right before you bolted out of the gym without a pass.” Tyler watched his wife circle a gentle arm around the fourth grader’s shoulder. Caught up in the day’s latest injustice, the child forgot to resist the nurturing that came as second nature to Lily as breathing.

“No matter what someone else does, there’s no excuse for—”

“Defending myself?” Dakota’s gaze slid to where Lily’s hand rested on his shoulder. He sidestepped until they were no longer touching.

“There’s no excuse for hitting.” Lily wrapped her arms around her chest. She caught Tyler’s smirk and shot him an eat me look, because she knew that he knew how much she wanted to still be hugging the kid. “And there are smarter ways to defend yourself. You let Nathan goad you into losing your cool, and you’re the one who gets caught. Meanwhile, he looks clean as a whistle?”

“Screw you!” Dakota made a bee-line for the door.

Luckily, Tyler had the reach of an albatross. A handy thing on a basketball court, where he’d made many of his best high school memories. An essential for a career in corralling hyperactive school children into organized physical activity. He snagged Dakota and turned him around.

“First.” He tightened his grip when the boy tensed for another sprint. “Apologize to Mrs. Brooks and Ms. Lawson. Second, help clean up their…” Tyler gazed at the piles of fuzzy white stuff, brown fabric and what looked like overweight chickens strewn about the floor, “…whatever. Then you and I are meeting Nathan at the AP’s office for a little chat.”

“Nathan?” Dakota peered up at Tyler.

“He started the fight, didn’t he? He’s going to stand up for his part in what happened.”

Mr. Confrontation looked younger, suddenly. Confused. Stunned, even. Tyler smiled over his student’s head, catching his wife’s nod of approval. He squeezed Dakota’s shoulder and shoved him forward.

“S…Sorry,” Dakota said to the two ladies he’d sent crashing to the mint green floor.

Sincerity and belligerent ten-year-olds… An unnatural combination, if Tyler had ever seen one.

The kid began clearing his mess, mumbling under his breath. Something about how stupid adults were.

That kind of spunk was a good thing, Tyler reminded himself, not a pain in the ass. A child like Dakota learned to be tough from the cradle. Had to stay that way just to get through the day. Tyler understood that better than most. More than he cared to.

Lily motioned him closer to the door.

“New student?” Her chocolate brown eyes drank him in. When they were in their nineties, she’d still be able to bring him to his knees with just one look.

“Dakota started with Alma Rushing’s class on Monday. He’s having a little trouble settling in with the other kids.”

“So it would seem.” Lily held his gaze until he was the one to look away, hiding the need to pull her closer. “Sounds like he and Nathan’s problems are more than just boys being boys in PE. You’re going to make sure that Ms. Emory gives him a break?”

“Yeah, I’ll handle it.”

“You always do.”

He frowned at the accusation, then started when she took his hand, reaching for him for the first time since she’d moved out. Their fingers tangled together out of habit. A perfect fit.

“You’re amazing when you’re fighting for one of your kids.” Her smile was hesitant, as if she wasn’t sure of its welcome. “You’re going to make a great father.”

Tyler’s throat stung against the urge to start a conversation they couldn’t have. Not there. Enough of their personal issues had already followed them to school, if even his newest student knew about their separation.

Temporary separation.

It had only been two weeks. It just felt like forever.

He squeezed her fingers and kissed them. Kept the rest to himself. The sparkle in her eyes dimmed at his non-response—eyes he’d once read so easily.

“Ready for our appointment at four?” she asked.

It wasn’t really a question.

“How about I meet you there, as soon as I get things settled in the gym?”

It wasn’t really an answer.

With a worried nod, Lily turned to help clean up whatever she and Ashley had been working on. Tyler dove in, too, his mind racing with the two battles looming before him that afternoon. And he’d be damned if he felt ready to tackle either.

He had to find a way to motivate a little boy to fight for the second chance only Dakota could make for himself. Then he had to convince his wife to accept the truth that had come as a crushing blow to them both, before what was left of their marriage slipped away.

Last Release Party Winners–Baby Step Excerpt 1

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Yesterday got away from me–but no worries. The final prizes are out here today, so no worries ;o)

Nad D (who commented at 4:39 in the Saturday post)–I have one last RT tote bag and it’s yours.

Donna (who commented at 9:30 in the Saturday post)–I have one final selection of books from RT ‘07 coming your way.

Emma (who commetned at 12:36 in the Sunday post)–a Borders Gift certificate has your name on it.


Belinda Peterson (who commented at 2:13 in the sunday post)–there a few of the fabulouse promo items from RT ‘07 left, just for you ;o)

Keep emailing me your mailing addresses, ladies. I’ll post a summary of all the giveaways and who I haven’t heard from yet either tomorrow or Wednesday (along with more blogging of the daily but still partying kind, lol!)


Now, because I promised, a taste of Baby StepsI may have excerpted this before, so it may sound familiar to some, but we’re through revisions with the publisher, which means things are really strating to come together…I can’t wait for this one to come out!

So, let’s meet our Snow White (or Lily, as the case may be in this version of the fairytale story…)


“Lily, the chicken’s bottoms aren’t fat enough. Do you have any more stuffing?”

“If I had a dollar for every time someone’s asked me that…” Lily Brooks looked up from her portable sewing machine and handed over a bag of cotton batting. “And for the last time, Ashley. They’re hens. Happy mothers, all.”

The stars of her Mother’s Day surprise for Silent Springs Elementary’s upcoming Spring Fling.

“Okay, then.” Ashley Lawson crammed a brown, corduroy bottom with more fuzzy, white filling.

“I don’t think top-heavy hen’s toppling over and smothering live chicks is what Ms. Emory had in mind when you suggested doing something special for the K-3rd grade moms.”

“Good point.” Lily grabbed a handful of cotton, plumped the nearest chicken’s tush to find the hidden Velcro seam and pried it open. “I’m going for memories the families can look back on and cherish. Not scarring children for life.”

She’d pitched the assistant principal a booth where carnival attendees could stop and play with baby chicks, then smile for commemorative photos that the younger kids could decorate for a Mother’s Day present. Another fabulous idea, Gayle Emory had cooed. I’m sure you’ll pull it off as effortlessly and successfully as you do everything else.

Lily stuffed and sighed.

She’d lined up a local farmer to provide the chicks, arranged to rent a tent from the same company providing the dunking booth, and she and her best friend Ashley would be spending their lunch hours for the next two weeks effortlessly sewing and painting a picturesque barnyard motif for other women to enjoy with their kids.

A perfect idea that would take forever to execute.

She glanced around the cluttered, colorful art room. Ashley put her energy into exploring and enjoying the school day. Getting the most out of each moment. Not so much with the planning and worrying that everything be perfect. Lily had the corner on that obsession.

She tossed a chicken at her carefree friend.

Ashley giggled and lobbed the lovingly-stuffed bundle onto its growing pile of peers. “So, what’s next?”

“Mr. Palmer offered to bring enough animals for a petting zoo, if we could find the space for him to set up a corral.” Last year, Lily had been his granddaughter’s third grade teacher, and she’d encouraged Molly’s parents to test her for Dyslexia. Since starting treatment, the formally shy, withdrawn child had blossomed, and the Palmer family was convinced Lily was their angel’s fairy godmother. “But I’m not sure—”

“Do it!” Ashley ran her hand over at the bolts of bargain-bin fabric Lily was morphing into easily controlled replicas of living, breathing, pooping stable inhabitants. “Sewing everything would be a safer solution, especially once the chickens—hens—don’t look like the bad end of a funhouse mirror. But a little chaos is a good trade-off. It might get crazy, mixing things up with the kids and real animals, but everyone will love it!”

Crazy…mixing things up…

Panic surged through Lily at the mere suggestion. She was starting to hate that about herself.

“Maybe… Maybe it wouldn’t be so out of control,” she agreed, when she’d promised a calm, picture-perfect photo op. “As long as we’re careful about which animals Mr. Palmer brings.”

“Dakota, stop running in the hallway!” a familiar voice boomed, a split second before a whirlwind dressed in jeans, tee-shirt and a Atlanta Falcons cap blurred through the doorway and took aim for Lily and Ashley’s poultry assembly line.

“Look out!” Ashley dove left.

Lily ducked right. “Ah!”

The boy hit his knees and slid beneath the table, catching a table leg with his sneaker. Corduroy and butt stuffing flew into the air. The table clattered to its side. Their hen-assailant kept on sliding, until he’d crashed into the easel Ashley had set up to teach the second graders coming in after lunch.

“Ow!” he yelped.

The wooden frame collapsed on top of him.

“Are you ladies okay?” His pursuer’s emerald gaze connected with Lily’s. Tyler knelt on one knee, held out his and helped her to her feet.

His frown warmed to a heart-tugging smile in response to her nod. When he turned toward Ashley, Lily forced herself to let go and head for the struggling heap of little boy and art supplies in the corner.

“Nice touchdown, kiddo.” She extricated the easel, then the blank canvas that had been propped on top of it. The kid’s shaggy, dark hair partially obscured the bright green eyes glowering up at her. “I bet you’re a champ on the ball field.”

“What do you know about it, stupid!” His insult missed it’s mark. His scowl was simply too adorable to pull it off.

“Dakota, you know better than that!” Silent Springs, Georgia’s impossibly tall, impossibly handsome PE teacher corrected. He stepped to Lily’s side. “Apologize to Mrs. Brooks for your bad manners.”

The child struggled to feet that were covered in unlaced, hole-riddled sneakers that didn’t square with the rest of what appeared to be spanking new clothes. Lily caught a hint of embarrassment, maybe even regret, touch his hostile expression. Then everything but anger disappeared.

“Why do you care how I treat to your wife?” Dakota demanded. “Everyone in school knows you two aren’t even living together anymore.”

Release Party Bonus Excerpt 3–Final Remember Me Teaser

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

Third and final excerpt from my WIP–thanks Bellas for stopping by to take a look. Remember to leave a comment in any of today’s posts to in the running for the XOXO tote a few posts down ;o)

Don’t want to give too much away in this one, but I’ve been asked for something sexy and hot, so here’ a scene lifted from the middle of the book–Alexa (Jane Doe up until this point in the book, because she’s lost her memory…but now it’s slowly coming back) and Robert are trying hard to resist the attarction between them, but no such luck, lol!!!

Robert had brought her meal tray in himself. He’d kept the windows covered to shield her from the view of anyone walking down either hallway outside her corner room. There wasn’t a nurse in sight.

He was protecting her, as usual.

Her angel.

Ditch him! Him and your fantasies. Let him help you eat if it makes him leave faster, then get out of here!

Alexa tried reaching for the lid covering the food, but her arm gave up about halfway to the tray. She sighed while Robert finished the job and scooped up a small bite. He held it up for her to sample.

“Shouldn’t you be off daringly saving other lives or something.” She willed her hand to take the fork from him and fed herself the eggs—at least, the half of them that didn’t dribble onto her hospital gown.

He started to brush the mess away, smiling, then the barely-there feel of his touch feathered across her collarbone.

Her breath stalled.

The room shrunk around them. He slowly withdrew his hand, his gaze sharpening, heating, even as he shook his head in disbelief.

Had he felt the zing of energy arching between them?

Had she completely lost her mind?

But there was no stopping the wave of certainty that engulfed her. Suddenly, he stopped being a doctor acting more attentive than she had any right to expect, and she stopped being the patient pretending to need his help, to need him, when she wasn’t really pretending at all.

“I…” she muttered. “I’m sorry, I…”

“No need to apologize,” he said gruffly. “I…”

But he didn’t seem to know what to say, either.

What’s wrong with you!

Somehow between the dreams and the nightmares, the voices and the confusion, Robert had become something her mind had let itself need.

Every touch had been telling her. Every time she’d woken and been relieved to find him beside her. Now, with her amnesia no longer protecting her and him still sitting so close, his gaze drinking her in, her addled brain was determined to hang onto the dream. Her fingers were reaching to trace the stubble sprinkled along his jaw. Her body was clenching and then melting when that jaw tightened and his eyelids lowered at her touch, becoming piercing slits. Reflecting back the need racing through her.

It was the drugs. It had to be the drugs. She didn’t fantasize or lose herself like this in ridiculous moments of insanity.

Only her head lifting instead, her lips hovering just below Robert’s.

She had to know.

She had to have just moment with her angel that wasn’t a dream, before her falling-apart life took over completely and she never saw him again.

Robert gripped her shoulders. His gaze trailed a scorching path to her mouth.

“Jane.” A guttural groan followed. “I’m your doctor. I can’t–”

“My name’s not Jane,” she reminded him. She lifted one final inch. Her lips trembled against his. She felt his body shudder. “And I want a new doctor.”

“Damn.” Robert’s mouth took hers.

His hands slid in a too-gentle path down her shoulders. He pulled her closer. One touch of his tongue, one shared breath, and she was shaking. Then he was inching away, cursing again.

“We can’t,” he whispered. “You don’t need more confusion on top of everything else you’re dealing with. You can’t even remember who you are…”

He cut another glance toward the closed door, analyzed the readings on her monitors–all in the amount of time it took her brain to convince her hand to smooth up his chest, so she could cling to his lab coat to keep him close.



It had to be the meds. The stupid dreams.

But it had been so long since she’d let herself need anything, want anything beyond working her way out of Dmitriy Andreev’s insane world. Then saving Evie, and maybe somehow saving herself in the process. And in Robert’s arms, all she’d failed out, all she still had to make right, faded. She could lie to him, lie to herself, about everything else, except how he made her feel.

“Please.” She shivered at the roughness of his hands covering hers. “I don’t understand it either, but your eyes… Your touch. They feel better than anything I could possibly remember. You make me feel free of all of this. Please… Please don’t stop.”

And he didn’t.

She kissed him and forgot one more time, losing herself in her dream. He was there. He’d been there through every minute of the of the fear and the pain and darkness. And he was still standing between her and danger, even if he had no idea how much trouble she was leaving him to deal with.

His kiss filled her with the sweet need for more. Maybe even a little hope.

She clung to his shoulders. Shuddered at his taste and the simple goodness of a good man needing her back. She’d lost so much of herself, long before the amnesia. But Robert drawing her into his arms was a glimpse of what life could be like without the darkness. Something clean and simple and honest.

A life she wouldn’t have to run from to keep herself and everyone else safe.