Thursday, December 10, 2009

Meet Our Heroes!


This excerpt is from a book that came out last year - All I Want for Christmas:

Perfectioniso much work to do and organizing the office Christmas party are stressing her out. When Dt Erin usually loves Christmas, but this year things aren’t going exactly as planned. Lost gifts, too much work to do and organizing the office Christmas party are stressing her out. When Dex Mitchell, the gorgeous Director of Finance, who she’s had a crush on forever comes by, she turns into a stammering klutz. What more could go wrong this Christmas?

How about too much to drink at the Christmas party, a sexy encounter in the ladies’ room and an embarrassed hangover the next day? Can anything turn this around so Erin gets what she really wants for Christmas?

Erin leaned back and put her hands over her face for a moment. Just for a moment. If she had to go buy presents, she’d be even more broke. But perhaps after Christmas when the other stuff showed up she could return it. Sure, that’s what she’d do.

The deep, masculine voice startled her, and she almost fell backwards in her office chair. She quickly dropped her hands and stared up at Dex Mitchell, director of finance, standing in the door to her cubicle.

God, the man was insanely gorgeous. For a bean counter. No, for anyone, actually. Every time she saw him it was all she could do to keep from drooling. Ever since she’d started working at ICS Software Development, she’d had a crush on Dex Mitchell.

“Um, yes, yes,” she finally stammered, straightening up in her chair. “I just have a tiny little headache, that’s all.” Yeah, tiny like sledgehammers being swung inside her skull.

“Need some painkillers?”

“I…have some,” she replied nervously. She smiled. “Thanks, though. Really, I’m fine. I’m just about to go for lunch. Probably that’ll help. Sometimes when I don’t eat I get a headache, and all I’ve had today is a banana, and that was at seven‐thirty this morning….” She realized she was babbling like an idiot, and her voice trailed off. She stood up and grabbed her coat off the coat rack in the corner of her cubicle then pulled her purse from the bottom drawer of her desk where she stored it.

“I was just looking for someone to ask about some payroll questions,” Dex said, moving aside so she could exit her cubicle.

She carefully squeezed herself small so she wouldn’t brush against him, although she wanted to.

“You seem to be the only one here.”

“No kidding. Everyone else is either off today or out for lunch.” She winced at the bitterness in her tone.

“Okay. I can check back later.”

“Maybe I can help you?” She stopped with her coat half on, her arms hung up in the sleeves.

His lips twitched. “You need to go for your lunch,” he reminded her.

“Yes, but I can wait…what is it you need?”

“Go,” he directed her firmly, his beautiful lips curved into a smile.

She was about to argue more, but the look in his eyes made her change her mind and, with a nervous smile, she whirled around and scurried out of the office. She waited for the elevator and gave a big sigh. She always felt like such a goof around him.



Here's a first glimpse of the hero—Pete Toleffson,From Wedding Bell Blues

Blissful people made Pete Toleffson want to puke. Normally, he spent his days getting bad guys convicted and saving good people from being victimized. He considered that world to be the real world and “bliss world” to be something like a parallel universe for the clueless. Blissful people lived in la-la land. Blissful people needed to be rapped upside the head.

Which was unfortunate because his brother Cal was currently the most blissful person in Konigsburg, Texas. Well, maybe the second most, after his fiancée, Docia Kent.

Pete studied his brother as he sat smiling beside him in the booth at the Dew Drop Inn. Cal was so blissful he made Pete’s teeth hurt. At least Docia hadn’t come in yet. The two of them together could induce sugar shock.

"Pete felt like telling them to get a room, but they already had one, or rather they had a house together on the edge of town. Pete was staying in Docia’s old apartment above her bookstore in downtown Konigsburg. Of course, his residence in Docia’s apartment was strictly temporary. He was only here for the wedding. After that he’d head back home to Des Moines and the real world again.

Konigsburg was closer to something out of Disney. He kept expecting to see cartoon bluebirds twittering around over Docia’s head, and maybe a couple of bunnies hopping along at her feet. A far cry from the Polk County Attorney’s office.

Pete took a swig of beer and ignored the urge to check his cell phone messages that he felt every time he thought about being an assistant Polk County Attorney.

Guts up, Toleffson. They’ll get along without you somehow.
Wedding Bell Blues cover


This scene is from Let Me Count the Ways. This description of the hero (from the heroine's perspective) is one that Mrs. Giggles described as "lovely" in her review of the book.

At least I still look fit, I thought, taking a step back so that I could see my reflection in the glass. I sucked in my tummy, tucked in my buns, pivoted from side to side. “Not bad,” I murmured as I thrust back my shoulders and studied my breasts, wondering how much longer I could get away without having them lifted. “But you’re not what you used to be, that’s for sure.” Still, things could be worse, and no doubt they will be, in time.

“Nonsense,” a male voice insisted from somewhere behind me. “You’re as beautiful as ever.”

I spun around, startled to find Mike Sherman watching from the doorway—which just goes to show you the kind of funk I’d been in all day. I’d totally forgotten his standing, bi-monthly appointment to go over the books, three p.m. every other Thursday.

“Sorry,” he mumbled, his face flaming. “I didn’t mean to intrude.”

“Don’t be silly.” Calling on all my training to hide my own embarrassment, I rolled my eyes and grimaced slightly. “Actors, you know.” I waved my hand in a negligent gesture as I seated myself—not in my chair but on the edge of my desk—where my crossed legs would appear to their best advantage. “We’re always so focused on appearances.” And ain’t that the truth?

“Well, you have to be, don’t you? The same way singers have to take care of their voices.” He looked so sincere as he said it too. As if he really might mean it.

“What a nice way of putting it.” I beamed at him as he crossed the room to his own desk. “How are things with you, Mike? How’s your day going?”

He didn’t answer right away. A small smile played over his lips as he slid his briefcase beneath the desk and seated himself. Then he glanced up at me, his eyes twinkling. “It’s always a good day when I know I’m going to see you, Claire. Don’t you know that?”

“Flatterer.” Laughing, I leaned forward a little, just enough to flash some cleavage in his direction. Call it a reward, if you will. “You have all the right answers today, don’t you?”

If they ever make a movie of my life, no doubt they’ll get someone like Danny DeVito to play the part of Mike, which will be a shame. Don’t get me wrong, I think Danny is a fine actor and he’s got the bald head, the soulful brown eyes and the teddy bear physique the part calls for. He’ll do a fine job of catching the nervous, slightly awkward exuberance Mike exhibited when we first met. But there’s so much more to the role than that.

For starters, Mike is big. Brian Denehy big. With Denehy’s surprising gracefulness—when he’s not acting all nervous. Mike, I mean. Then there’s his impeccably trimmed beard, the wicked twinkle in his eye and his rare and wondrous smile, all of which bring Sean Connery to mind.

But, even though Sean would be a dream to work with, if I were casting for the part I’d go for something different. I’d pick someone like a young James Earl Jones, for example. For his eyes and his smile and his size. For his astonishing ability to shift from fearful to fierce, from stern to boyish, from gentle to regal to commanding to jovial—or back again, or all at once. But, more than anything else, for his voice. For that deep, dark, delicious river of sound that could never be anything but male and can’t help but leave you wondering, why all the fuss about Tenors?

Read the rest of the scene here.


Meet the Hero—Adam Steele from Erin’s No Matter What

Adam is a passionate man and a dedicated, protective single dad who has a major guilt issue about the surgery that landed his daughter in a wheelchair. This scene gives us a peek into his head and feelings about his daughter, Emily and her rehabilitation with Jaden, our heroine.

“What is this all about?” Adam demanded the minute Jaden arrived in his office.

The desire to kiss her was nearly as strong as the desire to shake her.

He wasn’t sure how much of her he could take.

“You are getting in the way,” she told him bluntly.

She had no idea how in the way he could get. “I refuse to let you do this to Emily.”

“I’m doing this to Emily? She’s becoming an invalid. Don’t you see? She doesn’t need that elevator. You should never have installed it.”

“She can’t go up and down the stairs in that wheelchair. What else could I have done?”

“You came up with a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The more permanent the fixtures—like an elevator—the harder it is for Emily to believe that her disability is short term.”

He leaned closer and glared at her. “Her lack of a leg is not temporary, Jaden.”

She gave a heavy, exasperated sigh. “It’s no wonder she thinks she’s a cripple. You have her labeled as one in your mind and you are treating her that way. No surprise that her rear end is glued to that chair.”

“I did not bring you here to judge me and my decisions. I’ve done my best for her.”

His best had always been enough too. Always. Emily had never had a need he couldn’t fulfill. Until now. He couldn’t give his daughter the only thing she really needed…her leg back.

But he could, by God, give her the chance to have her life back. “I brought you here to make her better.”

“Then let me. You can’t coddle her,” Jaden said. “I know that it must be hard seeing her unhappy and struggling, but you’re not doing her any favors.”

“She’s been through enough already, Dr. Monroe. I want this therapy to help her, not hurt and

frustrate her.”

“I thought you were going to call me Jaden,” She said, her irritation clear. “You’ve both been through a lot. But now it’s time to get past it. It’s not going to get better unless Emily gets up out of that chair.”

“Lower your voice!” How could he want to kiss her even more now?

Read the rest of this scene here!



The following excerpt is from Midnight Savior, the fourth novel of my paranormal romance series, The Watchers, releasing on December 15, 2009 through Samhain Publishing. Since today's blog is about meeting the hero, this scene is where Marie DeVeux comes face-to-face with Kern, a Watcher who'd been held captive for eight months.


Marie’s relief at finding a light switch was quickly doused. What overhead lighting existed in the hallway seemed to be barely operational. She ran her hand along the wall as she took short, slow steps. Holding tightly to the screwdriver, she used the object to bolster her resolve to keep moving.

A low moan drifted through the hallway, and she stopped. In front of her was a door with a small window. Marie stood on tiptoes in order to peer through the thick glass. The room was dark, so she held up the flashlight and aimed its light inside.

What she saw made her heart stop. A man sat on the floor, leaning against the wall, his head slumped over his chest. Marie could see the glint of metal on his wrists and feet. He was chained to the wall. Oh my God, is it him?

Frantically, she yanked open the door, hurried inside and knelt by his side, laying the screwdriver on the floor.

“Mister. Mister, can you hear me?” Marie lightly tapped his face to coax him into opening his eyes. When that didn’t work, she looked down, grabbed his thigh and shook.

A slow, venomous hiss came from his mouth. Marie’s gaze flew to his face as he snapped his eyes open and glared at her.

Through the faint glow of the dim hallway lights, Marie stared into cold, dark irises, which showed no mercy. In her dreams, she had seen that look on the man directed at one of his tormenters.

Marie’s heart raced, and her mind roared. The man’s suffering had most likely driven him insane, and she was in grave danger.

Before Marie could react, he grabbed her by the throat, his strong hand cutting off her air. Panic had her gasping and tugging at his hands as she flailed about.

Midnight Savior - The Watchers, Book Four
Ebook coming soon - December 15, 2009


MEET THE HERO: Detective Taran Lloyd, Kiss and Kin

Lark has known Taran all her life - they're stepcousins. This is the scene where the reader first meets him:

“What are you doing here?” he growled softly.

Those words, that voice, just hours after the dream, freaked Lark right the hell out. She started so violently her perfectly chilled Cosmopolitan sloshed the front of her dress. Her nipples stood at attention. He didn’t even notice.

She grabbed a handful of napkins. “Damn it, Taran, what—”

“Quiet,” he said fiercely as he stole her breath with a smile. He never smiled at her like that. He rarely smiled at her at all. She stared up at him, dumbfounded. He clamped a meaty paw on her elbow and dragged her away from the bar toward an empty table.

The dark blue pinstriped suit, a fitted European cut, and the custom-tailored, crisp white dress shirt looked great on his long, muscular frame. Taran didn’t live on his detective salary alone.

“Act like we’re having fun.” Irritable as always, he still wore that stutter-inducing smile. It stopped short of his luminescent green eyes. “Why are you here, and who are those wolves?”

“None of your business…” she grinned gaily, “…and I don’t know.”

A few golden strands of hair drifted across his eyes. He wore it halfway to his shoulders; HPD grooming regulations exempted werewolves. She always itched to brush his hair aside. One day she’d do it, just to watch him react.

“I’m serious, Lark.”

“You’re hurting me, Taran.”

He let go instantly but continued to stare at her, knowing she’d answer him.

She heaved a dramatic sigh. “I’m here with my friend Eloise, who’s into some Euro werewolf whose name I don’t remember, and he’s with his bros, and they’re all creepy and boring, and one of them keeps trying to pick me up, and after you replace the Cosmo you made me spill, I’m going home. This just is not my night.”

“Are you driving?”

“No, I’m talking to you. Why? Do I look like I’m driving?”

He didn’t laugh. He never laughed.

“El drove. I’ll take a cab home. Where’s my cosmo?”

His sharp cheekbones and strong chin, and the pale, thin scar scoring his left cheek from his ear almost to his mouth, gave him a look of menacing power. That disappearing smile, though, made him look like a fallen angel. A hulking, six-foot-six fallen angel who could change in five minutes in broad daylight—the mark of a powerful alpha wolf.

“Don’t tell anyone you know who I am,” he ordered. “I’m working a case.”

“What kind of case?”

“Fine, whatever. I won’t tell anyone I know you.”

He nodded and turned to go.

“Um. Hello?”

He turned back. “What is it?”

“You owe me a drink.”

He pulled a ten from his wallet and held it out, staring at her eyes as he did so. She snorted at the cheap shot power play, but it worked—a human couldn’t maintain eye contact with an alpha.

She looked at the bill in his hand. She didn’t take it. Instead, fueled with courage from her first cosmo, she put her hand on his outstretched arm and leaned in, her head grazing his cheek. Their bodies almost touched. A werewolf’s normal body temperature was one hundred five point three; for the millionth time in ten years, she fantasized about snuggling up to his warmth.

Her pulse hammered in her throat as she whispered, “Taran? If you want people to think your cousin is a hooker, you could at least pretend I’d get more than ten bucks. Otherwise, go buy me a drink, you lazy bastard.”

He growled low in his throat. She peeked up at him. Taran meant “thunder” in Welsh. It fit him when he looked like this.

Kiss and Kin, from Samhain Publishing


Meet Detective Reece Prescott from Say You're Mine

“Evening, Ms. Calder.”

Violet tensed at the deep, unmistakable voice directly behind her. She slowly turned around, all too conscious of the thinning air in the room. “Good evening, Detective.”

Short, dark brown hair, a five o’clock shadow that suited him entirely too much, and bottomless brown eyes that sucked you right in when they weren’t slicing a person in two, all combined to make a package Leslie liked to refer to as “sex on a stick”. There was only one problem with him.
He was a serious pain in the ass.

Read more HERE!


Meet Detective Tony DiMarco from Strip Tease

Well, tonight had been a massive waste of time. She bent over and reached for her purse, which had migrated under the table during the evening. Her fingers brushed the straps, but it was beyond her reach. Cursing under her breath, she twisted underneath the tabletop and stretched a little further.

Suddenly, music blasted from the ancient sound system, startling Caroline and making her jump, smacking her head against the underside of the table. Tossing out a few more curse words for variety, she wriggled out from under the table, rubbing her head.

Then she stopped, riveted on the stage in front of her. She was tempted to pinch herself, just to make sure she wasn’t fantasizing the man who’d appeared onstage.

And oh, what a fantasy he was! The faux police uniform looked spray-painted on, showcasing a drool-worthy body. His arms flexed and bunched as he released each button on his tight shirt one by one. It fell open to reveal a wide, muscled chest, with the perfect amount of hair—not too fuzzy, not nonexistent—and sleek, lightly tanned skin that begged to be touched.

He stripped off the shirt, tossing it away as he began to work on the fly of his pants. Caroline swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry, as she noticed that the rest of him seemed as large as what had already been revealed.

he music throbbed in the air around her, the theme from a popular police show adding a strong drumbeat as he stripped down to a well-filled-out, and extremely small, brief.

Caroline was gripped by a sudden urge to scream for him to take it all off, even though she knew this was as far as he was going to go. The other strippers had all stopped at their skivvies, which hadn’t bothered her a bit.

Not until now.

Now, she would buy a round of screaming orgasms for the whole room if she got to see Officer Friendly do the full monty.

 Read more here.

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