Welcome back to Sneak Peek Sunday where authors share short, six-paragraph excerpts from their books. Again I’m sharing a snippet from Rogue’s Hostage, my sensual historical romance set in Colonial America during the French and Indian War.
Last Sunday we saw Mara’s first impression of her captor: strong, virile, and dangerous
In this week’s snippet from Chapter 2, she tends his wound:
Jacques watched as the woman walked to the bed, grabbed the bandages in her trembling hands and carried them to the table. She picked up a bucket by the hearth and poured water into a bowl.
“Sit down,” she ordered.
He did as told, amazed at her sudden transformation from terrified victim to willing nurse. Was she up to something? He might be a fool to trust her, but his shoulder burned like hell.
Her hands shook as she cleaned his wound and washed the blood from his arm. Without thinking, he relaxed his guard, lulled by her touch, the soft sound of her breathing near his ear, and her scent… When had he last smelled lavender?
“I see this is not the first time you’ve been injured,” she said suddenly.
Jolted out of his reverie by her words, he grunted and fingered the jagged scar on his right side. It was an all too visible reminder of that morning on the field of honor, nearly eight years ago. At times, it seemed like yesterday. His gut twisted at the memory of cold steel slicing through his flesh. In that moment, his life had been forever changed.
And as always, click here to read more Sneak Peek Sunday snippets.
Linda / Lyndi
Today I am guest blogging over at Close Encounters of the Night Kind, about how Tova’s Dragon came to be written.
Drop by to read an excerpt and to enter the rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the ebook and a $10 Bath and Bodyworks card.
Welcome back to Sneak Peek Sunday. Again I’m sharing a six-paragraph snippet from Rogue’s Hostage, my sensual historical romance set in Colonial America during the French and Indian War. Last Sunday Jacques introduced himself to Mara and informed her she was his captive. First the blurb:
In 1758 the Pennsylvania frontier is wild, primitive and dangerous, where safety often lies at the end of a gun. Mara Dupre’s life crumbles when a French and Indian war party attacks her cabin, kills her husband, and takes her captive. Marching through the wilderness strengthens her resolve to flee, but she doesn’t count on her captor teaching her the meaning of courage and the tempting call of desire.
French lieutenant Jacques Corbeau’s desire for his captive threatens what little honor he has left. But when Mara desperately offers herself to him in exchange for her freedom, he finds the strength to refuse and reclaims his lost self-respect. As the shadows of his past catch up to him, Jacques realizes that Mara, despite the odds, is the one true key to reclaiming his soul and banishing his past misdeeds forever.
In this snippet, we see Mara’s first impression of her captor.
Mara inhaled sharply, panic building inside her. This couldn’t be real. It was all a bad dream. She would wake up soon and tell Emile about it, and they would laugh. And laugh and laugh and… She swallowed the hysteria engulfing her.
“Madame, are you listening to me?”
The Frenchman’s voice, sharp and insistent, demanded her attention. “There is not much time. My companions are not patient men. We must leave soon, but first I want you to bind my shoulder. Where do you keep bandages?”
Her mouth and throat were dry when she swallowed, but she choked out an answer. “The trunk. Under the bed.”
He squatted beside the bed, pulled out the trunk and rummaged through it. She watched his every move, unable to take her eyes off him, alarmed by the physical threat he represented.
He was a tall man who dominated the cabin as Emile never had, and his state of undress revealed nearly every inch of his lean and powerful form. Not only was he bare to the waist, but his breechclout and leggings failed to completely cover his thighs and buttocks. He had a wide-shouldered, rangy body and long, sinewy legs. He looked strong, virile, and dangerous.
And as always, click here to read more Sneak Peek Sunday snippets.
Linda / Lyndi
Welcome back to Sneak Peek Sunday. Today I’m sharing a six-paragraph snippet from Rogue’s Hostage, my sensual historical romance set in Colonial America during the French and Indian War.
In this snippet, my hero Jacques introduces himself to the heroine:
Holding the towel to his shoulder, he walked over and stood by the bed to check on the woman, who was still in a faint. Despite her pallor, he noted that her skin was fine, her nose straight and thin. She had a lower lip just full enough to entice a man to taste it, and a stubborn chin that dared him to try. Under different circumstances…
She was perhaps not as lovely as he’d thought when he first saw her standing in the clearing—her hair, the color of corn silk, shining in the sunlight. Still, she was tall and fair, with slender curves and shapely ankles visible beneath the short skirts of a farm wife.
And now she was a widow. He stared down at the woman and silently vowed to see that no more innocents died today.
The woman gave a soft moan and opened her eyes. When she spotted him, she shrank back against the wall, arms folded defensively across her breast. His gut tightened. He didn’t enjoy terrifying women, but fear should make her easier to control. She had already proven unpredictable.
Terror, stark and vivid, glittered in her eyes. “Who are you?”
“My name is Jacques Corbeau, lieutenant in the army of France. And you are my captive.”
And as always, click here to read more Sneak Peek Sunday snippets.
Linda / Lyndi
UPDATED: Due to popular demand the Book Lovers’ Buffet has been extended through Sunday, May 5. Load up, you won’t gain a pound!
The Buffet’s “Bouquet of Books” sale will be open May 1-3. More than 175 e-books, all reduced in price to just 99 cents. Save in categories such as Young Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense, Erotic Romance, and more, including my historical romance Rogue’s Hostage!
PLUS, visit the website (or enter Rafflecopter below) to win gift cards to your choice of online retailers. $400 in gift cards up for grabs!
Enjoy! I know I’ll be loading up my Kindle!
I’m thrilled to reveal the gorgeous new cover for Lady Elinor’s Escape, designed by the wonderfully talented Lacey Savage.
Lady Elinor’s Escape
by Linda McLaughlin
Sweet Regency Romance
Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him.
There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin’s life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a rescuer of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with his secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party.
Lyndi Lamont w/a Linda McLaughlin
Welcome to Sneak Peek Sunday. Once again I’m sharing six paragraphs from the beginning of How To Woo… A Reluctant Bride, my sexy historical short story, set in London in June 1885. In last week’s snippet, Evan was caught lusting over his bride-to-be at their engagement party. This week’s mini-excerpt shows Lydia’s reaction to his intent stare, and her mixed feelings about their upcoming union.
Armed with a copy of the Kama Sutra, Evan sets out to seduce his reluctant bride into passionate surrender.
She turned to check her appearance in the drawing room mirror, an excuse to avoid his intense gaze. Earlier her maid had somehow managed to shape her normally long, straight, blonde hair into a curly, fashionable style. It would not last the evening, if experience were any guide, but for the moment it looked good. Her visage stared back, skin wan, eyes wary. What did he think of her appearance tonight? Despite her deep resentment at being forced to wed to save her family from ruin, she couldn’t help but worry what he would think.
“Stop fussing, you look lovely tonight.”
Lydia turned and smiled at her sister Phoebe, who truly was beautiful in her pale pink gown. “As do you.”
“But I am not the one being devoured by a pair of dark eyes.”
Lydia felt a flush on her cheeks. No man had ever looked at her with lust in his eyes, and she found it both alarming and exhilarating. “Then it is not my imagination?”
Phoebe laughed softly. “No, dearest, your intended can barely take his eyes off you. I begin to envy you your merchant prince.”
Vampires Aren’t Dead, Silly
by E. R. Davis
First, many thanks to Lyndi for risking her social reputation by hosting my vampires on her blog today. I peeked at Amazon’s paranormal romance best-sellers last weekend and noticed shape shifters are in and blood suckers are out, so I’m doubly grateful for a spot on the guest list!
Second…what do you mean, vampires are dead? I don’t buy it. A vampire is as classic as a little black dress. Never out of fashion, comes in a variety of styles, and looks good with his fangs in anybody. I mean, looks good on anybody. I mean…er. Ok, yeah, I mean both those things.
Point is, vampires aren’t dead. You know what else isn’t dead? The serial novel. As someone who loves reading in shorter chunks (short stories, novellas, serial novels), the return of the serial novel makes me ridiculously happy. I don’t watch TV so I miss out on all the anticipation of waiting for the next episode of True Blood or Supernatural (ok, I do watch those on DVD), but the serial novel has reminded me how much fun I can have talking about the previous episode with my friends and speculating about the next episode with everybody else who’s squirming in their seats counting down the days until next Tuesday night (or Saturday afternoon for the DVR’ing and On Demand crowds).
Because I’m still in lust with Eric Northman and I still enjoy a high-anticipation serial novel, I’m really excited to announce the release of my paranormal romance serial. CHALICE BLOOD: HIDDEN (#1) is available right now at most online e-tailers. Even better? I’m going to give you a chance to win a free digital copy of the entire novel. Read on to find out how!
There’s only one substance on earth that can create a new vampire–the blood of a Chalice, a rare individual with magic in her veins. Atlanta’s human-vampire Civility Laws demand that if a Chalice is found, she must be destroyed.
Heiress to a family tradition of ward-working, house painter Dessa Collier has spent the past twelve years pretending vampires don’t exist. When a friend-enemy walks back into Dessa’s life after a decade-long absence, everything Dessa has been hiding from comes crashing down on top of her.
Don’t miss the rest of this exciting, darkly erotic paranormal tale. BITTEN (Part 2) will be available April 30 2013.
Now, about that opportunity to win! All you have to do to enter your name in the random drawing to win the entire novel (delivered in serial installments as they’re published) is “Like” me on Facebook and leave a note on my timeline to let me know you came from Lyndi’s blog.
Easy, right?! I hope to see you there!
Emily (E.R. Davis)
Can’t wait for the drawing? Start reading CHALICE BLOOD: HIDDEN (#1) right now!
A note from Lyndi:
My thanks to Emily for visiting my blog and writing such a fun post. Don’t know about you, but I’m ready to go vampire hunting. Or at least go hunting for a copy of Chalice Blood!
This is my first time doing a Sneak Peek Sunday. Today I’m sharing six paragraphs from the beginning of How To Woo… A Reluctant Bride, my sexy historical short story, set in London in June 1885. In this snippet, Evan lusts over his bride-to-be at their engagement party.
A marriage contract, nothing more…until darkly handsome Evan Channing and demure Lydia Blatchford meet. Yet the rules are simple for an arrangement such as theirs. There should be no misunderstanding, no illusions of anything more.
Lydia Blatchford wants the kind of love and romance she reads in books. Fortunately, she didn’t specify which book. And her darkly handsome groom has just the right one: the Kama Sutra.
Evan Channing stood next to the fireplace in Lord Blatchford’s parlor and studied his fiancée as she sat on the settee talking to his mother. Lydia Blatchford wore blue tonight, bringing out the color of her pale eyes. She looked beautiful, yet untouchable, in her fashionable silk gown. The low-cut bodice revealed the smooth white skin of her shoulders and a hint of cleavage. The lines of the gown showed off her firm breasts and small waist, and the bustle emphasized her rounded hips.
When she looked up, he smiled at his intended across the room. Her lips curved slightly in answer and a blush stole up her face, adding color to her porcelain complexion before she turned away. Tonight her dark blonde hair had been curled into a fashionable upswept hairstyle, softening her appearance. When he’d met her before, her long mane had been pulled back into a bun. He wasn’t sure the curls suited her, but of course, he’d prefer to see her hair down, spread around her on his bed. His pulse raced at the thought she’d soon be his.
He could hardly wait to peel off her layers of clothing, revealing the woman underneath, her smooth skin and generous curves. Taller and larger boned than most women, she’d fit perfectly against his own lanky frame. Perhaps he’d find an opportunity to steal a kiss tonight. Surely that was allowed to an engaged couple.
Evan started and turned to see Lydia’s brother Harry standing beside him. “Sorry.”
Harry raised a blond eyebrow. “You should be. If you weren’t already betrothed to my sister I’d have to call you out for the way you were undressing her with your eyes.”
Next week I’ll share Lydia’s reaction to Evan. Click here to read more Sneak Peeks.
Fiery Nights by Lisa Carlisle
“…Get ready to be hooked on the series.” ~ Sizzling Hot Book Reviews.
Here’s my latest release with Ellora’s Cave, Fiery Nights.
He may own a goth nightclub, but Tristan Stone avoids people—the darkness that surrounds them drains him. When he sees Maya for the first time, alone on the dance floor, a light surrounds her. He must discover who she is and what gives her power.
Maya sees a man with haunting eyes watching her from the back of the club. She feels their connection, but thinks it’s merely physical attraction. Their passion ignites, overpowering them, and they must work together to understand their connection. The heat of their passion reflects their fiery personalities, which could send their world up in flames.
I hadn’t been back since the fire.
Whoever had bought the club had kept the black brick exterior with the painted black windows, ensconcing the club in mystery. Passersby down this hidden alley might think it an abandoned warehouse, unless they got close enough to look up into the recessed doorway to see it flanked by two watchful gargoyle statues.
I felt a moment of hesitation before I walked down the alley. When I used to come with Nike, I never felt threatened. We’d come after long shifts at the firehouse to unwind and dance off some steam. I’d practically bounce down the alleyway so I could get inside sooner.
But now, on my own, the creepiness of the alleyway set in. I wrapped my long black leather trench coat tightly around my body to shield my fishnet-covered legs as if protecting myself. It could be dangerous walking alone through warehouse alleys near the waterfront.
No wonder Vamps was hidden back here. You wouldn’t want an underground club on the main drag, would you?
My Mary Jane heels clicked loudly on the cement. The further I walked, the closer the clicks were.
Easy, Maya, I chastised myself. You’re going to break into a trot in a second.
Finally I made it to the front entrance and pulled on the heavy wooden doors with steel bars intersecting in the middle and was rewarded by a familiar figure.
“Byron, you’re still here!” I said to the extra-large bouncer who had an extra-large heart.
“Maya, where have ya been?” He threw his enormous arms wide and I rushed in, aware that I was grabbing him tighter than warranted, probably due to relief after my misgivings walking here alone.
“Whoa, girl, you must have really missed me,” he said before he let me go.
“Of course I did. It’s been forever. How have you been?”
“Been survivin’. Taking odd jobs here and there while they rebuilt this place. You saw the damage from the explosion.”
“Yes, I remember.” It wasn’t something I could forget any time soon.
“Why you here alone tonight?” he asked. “Where’s your partner in crime?”
“Nike? I haven’t seen her since the fire.”
“Are you kidding me? It’s been what—a year?”After I nodded, he asked, “What happened with her then? One of the bartenders told me how she saw her go upstairs with the former owner that night. What do you think—they hooked up?”
I didn’t know how much to tell about Nike and Michel, even though I was still hurt that I hadn’t seen heard from her in months. Sure, she sent postcards from time to time, but it wasn’t the same. We were like this—if you could see me, you’d know I was wrapping my index and middle fingers together. I know Byron was concerned about her, but I also didn’t want to perpetuate any rumors.
Word spreads quickly around here, doesn’t it?” I chose to avoid the juicy part of the question and answered, “Last I heard she was traveling around Europe.” I left out the part that she was with Michel.
We were interrupted by a couple who opened the door. He was wearing a red velvet smoking jacket a la Gomez Addams, but didn’t pull off the look completely with his dirty-blond hair. While they showed their IDs to Byron and paid the cover charge, I looked at her outfit to see if she was sporting a Morticia-like dress. To my surprise, she was wearing a cowgirl outfit—hat, tassels, boots and a very short khaki shirt. Not a usual costume for a goth club, but she pulled it off.
Note to self: see if you can pull off a sexy cowgirl outfit.
After they passed through the next set of doors, Byron asked, “So you’re solo tonight?”
“Hopefully not all night,” I lifted an eyebrow. “How’s the eye candy in there?”
“You know, the usual. Lots of weirdos.”
“Just my type.”
“Who you kiddin’? I’ve never seen you leave with anyone besides your girl Nike.”
“Byron. I haven’t been out in months. I went on some crappy dates this past year and realized I’m happier just being on my own. So all I’ve done lately is work. Which means the only males I’ve encountered are coworkers and they smell pretty rank after a twenty-four-hour shift. Since Halloween is on a Saturday this year, and Halloween was always the best night of the year here, I decided to climb out of my self-imposed isolation and make an appearance.”
“Well then, get in there and be a naughty girl.” Byron smacked me playfully on the ass to push me on. Then he said, “Wait.” He took my hands and extended them out to the side.
“Let me get a good look at you. See what outfit you’re sporting tonight. Are you wearing a costume under there?”
I cocked my head as I took my hands back to open my leather trench coat shawl, which could fit in just perfectly at a gothic club or a Renaissance fair, but not too many other places. Tonight I was wearing a sexy little pirate wench costume, with a laced-up corset top and short leather miniskirt. “Does this warrant your approval?”
He put his hand on his chin as he sized me up. “Not bad. I’ve seen you in worse. Still trying to forget the blue velvet gown, black combat boots debacle.”
“That was hot,” I protested.
He raised an eyebrow before his gaze moved up to my hair. “And you’ve gone back to black hair, I see?”
“Technically blue-black. There’s only so much color I can get away with at work, being a professional and all.” I winked. Lately, I’d been alternating between blue-black and a magenta tint, which was about as much as I could manage without the chief giving me the look. If I was feeling spunky and wanted to sport a hot pink or blue, I had to wear a wig. Could you imagine a firefighter with pink hair coming to your aid to deal with your distress call? I didn’t think so.
“All right, you get my seal of approval. And you know that’s not so easy, princess. Go on in.”
I kissed him on the cheek and walked down the dark tunnel lit by candelabras attached to the stone walls. A new sign adorned the door leading to the main club area. Dante’s quote was carved into the wood: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here.
“But Maya,” he called after me. “Leave some of the pretty boys for me.”
“Obviously,” I said, rolling my eyes. “So not my style.”
* * * * *
Much of Vamps looked the same, yet much of it had changed. Gargoyles still guarded from their perches around the club. The three smaller dance platforms were replaced by one larger stage. They now had live bands perform up there as indicated by posters adorning the walls. Or when the stage was free as it was now, it was covered with uninhibited dancers who wanted to be watched.
I was worried that the vibe of the club wouldn’t survive the transition. Some clubs try too hard and end up seeming phony. Vamps always had its own style. Some called it goth for the prevalence of goth-inspired dress and music. But they played other music as well.
Others called it a fetish club for the freaky revealing outfits many chose to wear. Black duct tape pasted over nipples has been seen more than once. And the sexy futuristic outfits with hulking boots were a common choice. But to me a fetish club alluded to kinky sex out in the open, which wasn’t the case here. I’d never caught anyone doing it—but I have seen some couples get pretty close on the dance floor or in a corner.
I’d call it more of an underground club. One that was frequented by people who didn’t stick to conventional dress and music and followed their own path, rather than worrying what other people thought. Whatever the club was, it was where I fit in.
But I wouldn’t want my fellow firefighters to see me in my sexy pirate outfit tonight.
Continuing to look around and assess the club, I thought it still had an authentic feel. The red marble bar hadn’t survived the fire, I noted. But it was still manned—or womanned—by the hot bartender with pink hair and a nice rack. I looked over the drink menu posted above the draft beer.
“What’s in a Tempting Fate?” I asked her.
“Southern Comfort, Amaretto, vodka, pomegranate juice, pineapple juice, grenadine,” she rolled out in a velvety voice that was as sexy as she was.
“Sold,” I said, banging an imaginary gavel.
“You won’t regret it,” she said.
After she gave me my drink, I toasted nobody in particular, well, I guess myself, thinking here’s to tempting fate. Then I watched the crowd as I tasted the drink. It was exquisite and I took another large sip. Maybe I’d pay for it tomorrow, but it was gooood.
When I heard a remix of Type O Negative’s Cinnamon Girl, I left my drink at the bar to slink my way amid the gyrating bodies. My favorite band, one of my favorite songs. Tragic that the super-hot singer died so young.
In a sea of black-clad bodies, I blended right in. It had been months since I danced, but I quickly found my rhythm and lost myself in the music, dancing with the crowd. I didn’t feel the least bit self-conscious that I was alone.
That is—until I felt his eyes on me.
You know the feeling when someone is watching you and you’re suddenly aware of it? I felt that and looked up. A tall guy dressed all in black—naturally—stood alone at the right side of the bar.
Something about that gaze arrested me and I stopped dancing. Dark eyes, almost black, on a face that looked as angelic as a young Jim Morrison. The black hair was a devil-may-care length, past his chin but not quite to his shoulders. Instead of the rock star’s signature black leather pants, this guy was wearing a cape over dark clothing.
His eyes defied the angelic appearance. Dark, penetrating eyes. The eyes of someone who was troubled—maybe haunted.
Why was he staring at me like that? Didn’t he know my weakness was a dark, brooding bad boy?
My lips parted as if they wanted to say something. But what did I want to say? And he couldn’t hear me anyway.
And then with a swoop of his cape, he was gone.
I stood there for a few more moments trying to process what just happened. Was some hot guy in the corner watching me? Who then took off with a flourish of his cape?
It seemed very Bela Lugosi-ish—another dark, brooding bad boy. I tried to shake off my confusion as Cinnamon Girl ended.
The DJ mixed in a version of David Bowie and Trent Reznor’s I’m Afraid of Americans. It took me another moment or two to brush off the effect that dark stranger had on me. I thought to hell with that guy and then got back into my groove.
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Other books in the series include more lovable paranormal characters, including more vampires, shapeshifters, gargoyles, and more. I love to stay in touch with readers. Visit visit www.lisacarlislebooks.com and follow me on your social media of choice to stay tuned.<br /><br />
Hope you enjoyed the excerpt. Today I’ll be at Lisa’s blog sharing an excerpt from Rogue’s Hostage.