Over the next few days you’ll be seeing me and thirteen other incredible authors talking about a new writing adventure that we’re on… It’s been super secret up to now, but this week we’ve been able to talk about it…
Are you ready? (more…)
Over the next few days you’ll be seeing me and thirteen other incredible authors talking about a new writing adventure that we’re on… It’s been super secret up to now, but this week we’ve been able to talk about it…
Are you ready? (more…)
Today’s theme is Romance and I have to tell you, romantic is the very LAST thing I’m feeling right about now. Between laundry and other Saturday morning chores and the migraine forming, romance is the least the of my concerns, however…
I think romance means different things to different people. It might be cooking for someone or the chocolates and flowers. For others it might be a partner that cleans the house for you or just sitting with you while you watch a movie. It’s an individual thing. For me, romance is, well, at the moment it would be having everything else (house, kids, food, pets) taken care of for me so I could concentrate and get some work done…lol. But another day when I’m not so frazzled and stressed, romance would be just being together, laughing and talking.
Romance doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. The best kind of romance to me is simply thinking of or being thought of and letting the person know it…
How about a conversation by firelight, though as you’re trying to figure out how to have both the man sitting opposite you and the career you love? How about truly connecting on a level neither of you fully understands, but know is there…
She sat curled in the corner of the couch, closest to the fire while Carson lay stretched out from the other end, one foot on the floor, one on the cushions with his knee bent. He was relaxed, once again just a gorgeous man, and not the predatory one that looked as though he wanted to devour her. For the moment, that part of him was sated. “There are no polar bears in the interior of Alaska,” she said, running her fingers along the soft suede arm of the couch. “There are some up around the Arctic, but not here where you and your family make your home.” She was trying to understand things about them, trying to connect dots inside her head and sometimes the best way for her to do that was to talk to herself, hear it out loud. She knew Carson knew there were no polar bears in the vicinity and that they were farther north, near the water. It was simply her own need to figure some things out, reason them out.
“No, there aren’t.”
“Why do you live here then? Why don’t you live farther north or even around Hudson Bay in Manitoba, or in other parts of the world where they are?”
“My ancestors believed it would be too interesting for people to see us with our hair color and black eyes being around the bears. Over in Manitoba along the bay is where the research was being done, where the splicing happened. We have only been here for the last fifty or so years. My uncles and father built the town and started the supply line. I was born here, and it’s all my brothers and I have ever known. My family didn’t want other people getting suspicious, seeing any kind of curious resemblance to the bears themselves. They have a habit of…wanting to get close to us.”
“The bears? They sense you are kin?”
“Maybe. I don’t know. We are safe here. We have adapted to the slightly warmer climate, and there is a place up along the edge of the Arctic that the men in my family go once a year for a few weeks. It is sacred. There are a few bears, and we care for them. They aren’t tame but they are of no danger to us. Overall they are endangered and fighting to survive. We must do all we can to protect them.”
That was it! That was exactly how she felt about him. Protective. She must protect him. She couldn’t get it out of her head just how special he was, and that her being his mate was an open invitation to experience that specialness every day for the rest of her life. She’d be a fool not to accept.
“Does anyone ever talk about how you and your brothers look alike?”
“Sometimes. We nod and smile. We don’t confirm or deny. For most, we are just part of the tourism, part of the lore and otherworldliness of Alaska.”
“What can I do? What would I do?” She blurted it out without meaning to. She knew he didn’t have any answers for her, that she would have to come up with them all on her own. Whatever decision she made, had to come from her. He couldn’t make it for her, and she knew he wouldn’t.
“What do you mean?”
“Melanie can live and work in Alaska. She studies whales and is a frequent traveler here and to the Pacific Northwest. I, on the other hand, work in museums, libraries, universities. I travel to Greece, Egypt, Europe and all over the U.S. for my work. I write. I…” Her words trailed off at the last, her mind drifting to what ifs and probables. It was the world she lived in best. Always wondering, always trying to put the puzzles together for others. Her own life was very simple. She worked. She went about her routine. She didn’t deviate outside what was the norm for her. Carson, on the other hand, was way outside the norm for her quiet life and she couldn’t deny that she wanted to deviate with him. A lot.
His eyes zeroed in on her face and she was caught, snared, unable to look away. “What do you write?”
“Papers, articles, research. I freelance from time to time about myths and fairy tales, visit fantasy conventions, sit on panels, offer my expert opinion.” She could write more if she so chose. She could write from Alaska and travel to other places. She could even look into creating a small museum in their little town, myths and legends surrounding polar bears or something. There were incredible possibilities here in the vast reaches of North America.
There was no reason she couldn’t relocate and make this her home base. She was just looking for reasons not to. Change didn’t suit her well, and she didn’t adapt to it easily. Hell, until now she hadn’t been outside Chicago any length of time for at least six months, maybe more. Her introvert personality didn’t allow for it. The last trip she’d taken had been for a month to Greece. A dig had uncovered some new drawings and writings depicting the Gods and Goddesses. While she loved the work, the research, the history, she’d spent most of her time alone in her hotel room. She’d been holed up in her apartment writing and conducting online workshops ever since her return.
She always seemed to need a period of time to collect herself again.
“You couldn’t do that here? I can get you anything you need, give you anything you require for your work.”
He was so earnest in his offer, so willing. He firmly believed in the idea of fate, of them being meant to be. He even said he’d wait for her, that it was ingrained in his kind that once they met their mate, they would wait if need be. How was a girl supposed to say no to that?
“I was just thinking about that. I don’t know. It’s quiet here, and I’m used to the noise of the city. I’ve never lived with anyone, slept with anyone for any length of time. I’m a loner and get lost in my work, ignoring or avoiding others sometimes for days or weeks on end. The urban areas make me feel not so alone. I guess that doesn’t make much sense. I’m a loner, but I like the noise.” She shrugged and fiddled with her fingers in her lap. She was suddenly nervous and unsure of herself and of all the possibilities life with him presented. Of all the things she didn’t do well, putting herself out there, being vulnerable to hurt or pain were at the top of the list. “I don’t know how to be someone’s mate, girlfriend, lover.”
“I don’t either. Know how to be a girlfriend, I mean.”
Shock widened her eyes, and her head snapped up. When she saw the serious look on his face, she laughed. He had a sense of humor. Dry, deadpan, but a sense of humor. She loved it. “Well, no, I don’t imagine you’ve been a girlfriend, and I have to say I’m glad about that.”
“Good.” His grin was fleeting but bright in the firelight. “I’ve never lived with anyone, been a long-term lover. I’ve never been anything like I am meant to be with you.”
“Because it is fate or destiny or brought on by dreams?”
He shrugged. “Yes, in part. One cannot fight it. But there is more, Ruby. You feel it, too. I know you do.”
She did. She just wanted to hear him say it. She pulled her knees up and under her body then crawled across the couch to his lap. He welcomed her with open arms when she straddled his thighs. He was a beast—raw, primal, part animal, all hot and hunky man. “What more is there, Carson?”
His fingers slid under the shirt she wore. “You don’t need me to tell you that.”
“No. I want you to though.”
“Well, there’s this,” he said, fingers gripped and pulled at her nipples, rubbing them, pinching them.
Yes, there was that. “And?” She tried not to squirm.
He bucked under her. “This.” He did it again, and she moaned, grinding herself on the bulge in his pants.
Right again. “Anything else?” Her voice was raspy, her throat dry. Her tongue was even dry, and she couldn’t lick her lips.
“Everything else, Ruby.”
Now, while I go take something for the pain in my head, you should click around to the following blogs for more Romance snippets:
Have a wonderful Saturday!
Welcome to Snippet Saturday. The theme today is Cold Places. For Winter, this is very appropriate.
I was talking with my friend Selena Blake a few days ago about how last week we were in sandals and short sleeves and this week it’s been all we could do to stay warm with long sleeves, socks, blankets, and sometimes the space heater and a cat or two. This has been the craziest Winter. I either need all cold or all mild, but this going back and forth stuff has got to go!
There are many cold places in the world, but I haven’t written about them. I have only written about two places that get rather cold. Alaska and Colorado. Today’s snippet is coming from Alaska. When my editor read the opening to the book, she said she could feel the cold through the screen. When I look at the cover, I can feel the cold and would not hesitate if he offered to warm me up!
Ruby shivered. She might be riding in a truck and the heater might be cranked up to high, but the cold permeated the windows and it was all she could do to keep her teeth from chattering. “I can’t believe Mel would still be up here. There’s nothing except snow and woods and not a whale to be found. Her work is down by the water. It was only supposed to be a weekend trip.” The last was muttered into her hands as she exhaled warm air into her glove-covered palms trying to warm them.
It was only October, and winter hadn’t set in yet, but snow was beginning to accumulate on the ground and temperatures were a balmy thirty-something. Even though she lived in Chicago where it got bone-chilling cold thanks to the lake, this cold was different.
She couldn’t quite explain why or what it was that made it different, she just knew she’d never been this cold in her life. Their, Ruby and Mel’s, parents hadn’t had much luck getting direct answers from Mel’s boss about her exact whereabouts the last time he’d heard from her, but Ruby hadn’t been content to take his half-ass answers. She had dogged his every step, called him day and night until he finally gave her what little information he had. In the end, he hadn’t been very helpful at all. Even Ruby had known Mel was supposed to be in and around the Kenai Peninsula. It was what happened after she left the Kenai and Cook Inlet area that Ruby wasn’t sure about. Things had gone silent. The last communication Ruby’d had from her sister was that she was taking a few days to go up to Mount McKinley in Denali National Park with a local man she had the hots for. But even Mel knew if she didn’t check in or get back to work, someone would notice and contact their parents and their parents would contact Ruby.
Mel had booked an air tour and had gotten on the ground in a little town inside the forest area, not too far from the main park entrance, but well enough off the beaten path that only the locals could get anyone there. And that little town was where Ruby was headed.
“You said your sister was up here doing research?”
“Back along the coast, yes. Here in the middle part of the state where there are no whales? No. Which is why I don’t understand her not being back from her trek to the mountain.” The last was said more to herself than to Joe, the local she’d hired to drive her.
“Maybe she got caught up with one of the locals, and she’s holed up in his cabin.”
As if. Though if either of us were likely to do such a thing, it would be Mel. “No. She loves that job too much to jeopardize it and disappearing off the face of the earth would seriously jeopardize it.” Ruby looked around at the snow-dotted trees. “And what locals? Aside from you and me, there’s no sign of human life anywhere.” She’d seen a fair amount of moose, caribou, some small white foxes, but no humans.
Joe laughed. It wasn’t a pleasant sound either and made her feel a bit uneasy.
“Oh, there’s life out here all right, little lady. Don’t you go forgettin’ it either. And there are…human types. They just blend in with the scenery so’s you can’t spot ’em. They don’t like to draw attention to themselves.”
Blend in with the scenery? Human types? Her interest was piqued. She didn’t want to admit it because Joe seemed a little kooky and creepy now, but she was a glutton for a good tale. “How do they do that? Everything is white for miles and miles, and it’s kind of hard to blend in with a tree unless you’re in brown from head to toe.”
“Well, they change form when they don’t want to be seen.”
“They change form?” She was having a hard time containing her curious enthusiasm. She was from the city where people were people and there was very little blending into the surroundings. There was no such thing as humans that could change shape around where she lived. But in the myths and legends she’d studied in her life, in her career…they were full of shape-shifting beings. Humans to animals. They were just stories though. They didn’t really exist, never had.
“Yeah, they shift, you know? Change.” He took a last puff from his cigarette and tossed it from the truck and into the snow. “You mean you never heard of shifters?”
“I’m afraid not. Not real ones, anyway.”
“Huh. Well, no one has been able to prove they exist, but they do. You mark my word. They’re here.”
“How do you know? I mean, if it’s never been proven?” All she wanted was to find Melanie and make sure she was okay, not to go myth diving. She couldn’t let herself get carried away with the intrigue and curiosity, couldn’t act like she cared. But dammit, he was tempting her bad habit of inquisitiveness. And since myths were right up her alley…
She loved delving into old tales. It was how she’d become a mythologist. Hardly anyone knew what that was, but the libraries and museums loved her. She was always asking questions, always looking for new answers, new avenues of thought.
The whys and what ifs defined more of her life than reality and right now. She had a natural curiosity and simple one-word answers never worked for her. It was probably why she liked reading so much, too, getting her hands on everything she could about whatever she was studying and trying to figure out.
He shifted behind the wheel as if her question made him uncomfortable. “I just know.”
“What kind of animals?” She shouldn’t have asked any more. She should have let the subject drop, but he had her hooked and she wanted to know more. Were they wolves? Bears? Moose? Caribou? Or were they smaller like some of the fox she’d seen along the side of the road?
“Like Kodiak bears?”
“Polar bears. Ice bears.”
He had to be pulling her leg, but the serious, low tone of his voice told her he wasn’t. Still, though… “This is too far south and too far inland for polar bears.”
Joe shot her a pointed stare and she shivered in a way that had nothing to do with the cold. “You mark my word, they’s more polar bears than any other kind. Wolves too. But not so much down here in these woods. The wolves are farther north and deeper in.”
He shifted again, and his jaw tightened. Soon after, he lit another cigarette. If she didn’t know better, she’d think he was trying to frighten her, but she chalked that feeling up to just being tired and irritable. They’d been on the road for what seemed like forever, and she’d had enough. Enough of Joe, of the cold, of nature, of being so far out of her comfort zone and what she knew. She wanted warmth, one of her books that made her feel at home and comforted, and to sleep for a week. “How much longer before we reach the lodge?”
“Just ’round that bend up there. You’ll be able to hire someone to take you farther into the wilderness. You make sure to be careful and watch out for them shifters. ”
She’d already been in contact with someone at the lodge about needing a guide. “Yeah, I’ll do that.”
Be sure to bundle up before checking out the following blogs for cold snippets:
Have a great weekend, y’all!
I am having a really hard time with this one. I didn’t think this through when I signed up for it. I don’t see my characters having anything quirky about them. I mean, there is Vinter, who has piercings galore, but I don’t think I can talk about those and detail them in Snippet Saturday. So then, a friend of mine and I were wracking our brains trying to think of something in some book of mine that would be considered quirky or odd…
I had wanted to write a shifter book. Try my hand at something different. I enjoyed writing it. I enjoyed researching it. I enjoyed creating this family of polar bear shifters that are protective to a fault, have a thriving little community inside Denali National Forest, and fall in love with the most unsuspecting women. One who lives, eats, and breathes science and one who studies myths and legends.
For my snippet, I decided that the heroine, Ruby and her addiction to sugary breakfast foods and hero Carson’s admission to having never eaten a Pop-Tart is about as odd as I get… I’m going to definitely have to work on this character trait in future books.
“I thought we were going to have breakfast with your family?”
“It’s well beyond breakfast time at their place.” He winked at her and she felt the heat creep up her neck.
Bacon sizzled and pancakes bubbled on the griddle. Carson flipped a spatula in his hand waiting patiently to flip the pancakes. If she stayed up here with him, lived with him, she’d be putting on a lot more weight given the way he cooked. There was no Special K in his cupboards. There was no cold cereal or convenience food period. Everything had to be made and often from scratch. She was still marveling at him in the kitchen, long and lean, tall and well defined, but moved in a kitchen as if he’d been born to it.
“It’s been ages since I had pancakes and bacon.” Ruby sat on a stool at the kitchen island.
“What do you normally eat for breakfast?”
“You know, cereal, Pop Tarts, frozen waffles, instant oatmeal.”
“Sounds exciting. I’ve never had a Pop Tart or instant oatmeal.”
“Nope. No need to. I can make anything I want. And homemade is always better.”
“I can’t live without my Lucky Charms and my frosted cherry Pop Tarts.” And she couldn’t. She often took one or the other or both with her when she traveled. She hadn’t this time though and while she might have missed them had she not met Carson, she certainly didn’t miss them now that she had.
“Okay, well, I’m sure we can get some. If Fairbanks doesn’t have them, we can send James looking for them next time he goes down to Anchorage. Otherwise, there’s always Amazon.”
Carson flipped the pancakes and drained the bacon on a paper-towel-lined plate. “You can get Amazon stuff delivered up here?”
“You make it sound like we’re on another planet. Of course we can get deliveries. We sometimes have to drive to Fairbanks for packages, but for the most part, we do very well. We have satellite TV and Internet. We are our own entity up here, but we are also well connected and have access to anything we need or may want. You will not be deprived here, Ruby. I promise you.”
Ruby shook her head. “I’m not worried about any of that. You told me last night you’d get me anything I needed and I believe you. I just… I guess living in the city, I don’t think of such remote areas as being well supplied and often imagine… I don’t know. It’s just so different.”
He set the plate of pancakes on the island along with the bacon. It all smelled good, and she was glad she could only feel her stomach growling and not hear it. Talk about embarrassing. “Dig in.”
He filled his plate, slathered his pancakes with butter, and drowned them in syrup. After a few rather large bites, he looked over at her. She was still buttering her own small stack of two pancakes. “You okay this morning?”
She glanced in his direction, confused. “Yes, why?”
“I was kind of rough with you last night and wasn’t much better the second or third time around either. Just want to make sure you’re all right.”
He took another big bite, and she ducked her head, more heat filling her cheeks at the memories, especially earlier in the shower. He’d soaped her up, washed her down, then knelt on the floor of the shower stall and pulled her toward his mouth. He ate at her pussy and wasn’t satisfied until he’d made her scream. He’d gotten her out then and bent her over against the window and taken her from behind while she looked out at the Alaskan morning.
Someone would have to clean the glass where her hand, mouth and cheek prints were surely marring it. Now that they’d had sex, it just didn’t seem to be enough, for either of them. They both went at each other equally fierce and hungry.
“Oh. Yeah, I’m good. A little sore, but, good.” She couldn’t believe he’d brought it up over breakfast.
Tension simmered between them as they finished eating, and she couldn’t help wondering how his cock would taste with syrup drizzled on it. Of the things they’d done, that was one thing they hadn’t. She didn’t have a lot of experience with it, but she had some and would love to improve her skills. His cock was beautiful—not too thick and not too long. It fit inside her as if it had been made to and if one took fate and destiny into account, it had been.
“You keep looking at me like that, Ruby, and we’ll be going at it again right here.”
“Oh. Sorry.” She looked down at her plate, for some reason surprised to find it empty.
“Don’t be.” He winked. “I’m not.” He kissed the top of her head and began clearing the dishes when the doorbell rang. Carson looked over his shoulder and grinned at her. “Saved by the bell, huh?”
Please enjoy snippets from the following authors:
Megan Hart — Read in bed!
Have a great weekend!
Today’s snippet is to be about family. Family is on my mind a lot this time of year. Though actually, family is always on my mind. More so this year than most any other. I’ve gained new family and at times feel as though I have lost other family.
I don’t write a lot about family in my books, but there are a few that have mention or the characterization of family. For today’s snippet, I have chosen to pull out Arctic Shift. The hero Carson, has three brother and the heroine Ruby has a sister she’s very close to. I have always wanted a close relationship with my sister but we are such different people, live such different lives… I miss her a great deal and haven’t done the best job at trying to maintain the relationship, however, just as in Arctic Shift, I would travel to the ends of the Earth and far outside my comfort zone to help her if she needed it.
Now, I know readers are waiting on the next one, so, maybe going through it again will spark something in me to think about the second one…
“Are you really okay with this, Mel? Living up here, working from here? Being married to a shifter? I mean… What did you tell your friends? What are you going to tell Mom and Dad?” Ruby and Melanie sat on the couch in Carson’s living room, the same couch she and he had… The heat crept up again. Damn. She was turning into a regular old slut. Inwardly she smiled. If it meant sex with him wherever and whenever, being a slut was okay with her.
Luckily, Melanie hadn’t been looking at Ruby or there’d have been some explaining for Ruby to do about the color in her cheeks.
“Yes, I am really okay with this. Ruby, it was love at first sight for me when I met James. I can’t explain it and I never fought it. Not like I had with other men. Whereas I always wanted my independence with most of my boyfriends and lovers, one look at James and I wanted him all the time, every moment I was awake. I have to say though, I’m very surprised that you are fighting it with Carson.”
Ruby nodded. “So am I. I’m the believer in the family, and you’re the scientist. Of the two of us, you should be the one having issues, not me.” So then, why did she have issues? They weren’t as prevalent right now as they had been before last night. Something shifted, gave way, opened up during sex with Carson and where before she was concerned with logistics and how it would work, now it didn’t seem as important. Yet, she was clinging to it for all she was worth.
“What exactly is it you have a problem with?”
Melanie nodded. “I understand why that would bother you. I’m used to being off in remote regions sometimes, out in the middle of the ocean others, but you’re used to being surrounded by people, the city, culture. This would seem a little daunting.”
Yes, daunting. Looking out the large floor to ceiling windows of Carson’s living room, the mountains in the distance, the trees surrounding the cabin, the vast sky stretching as far as the eye could see, daunting was a very good word for it.
She was often lost in her own mind, a private person, an introvert, however she was quite at home in a crowded apartment building with people living just on the other side of the walls.
“Is quiet your only issue?”
Melanie’s words brought Ruby’s attention back to their conversation. Was it? Each time she thought about it, she came up with nothing else. Surely there was some other thing keeping her on the fence, something much more substantial than the fact that it was quieter in Alaska than it was in Chicago. “Well, I don’t know Carson all that well. I mean, I’ve known him for what, four days? Or is it five? See I can’t even tell you what day it is. I’m so turned around up here.”
Melanie laughed and hugged her. Ruby clasped her sister tightly, glad to have her solid and strong and familiar there with her. Mel pulled back but held on to Ruby’s hands. “I know. It’s fast. It hits you right between the eyes and doesn’t let go. These men are like magnets and once one of them sets his sights on the woman he is meant to be with, there’s nothing to be done about it. In his mind, the die has been cast and there’s no out. You feel the same pull I did with James, Ruby. You feel the same pull Carson does.”
“His is different than mine.”
“No, Ruby, it’s not. Not really. He feels it in his blood, coursing through him. You feel it in your gut, in your heart. It’s a part of both of you.”
“His is… I don’t know.” Ruby shook her head, failing at finding the right words she was searching her brain for.
“Okay, let me ask it this way. When you first met him, what did you think? What did you feel?”
Hot. Hard. Sexy. “Well, he was naked in my hotel bed.” Melanie laughed and so did Ruby. “I felt safe, no panic, no fear. I thought he was gorgeous, the most beautiful and striking man I’d ever seen.”
“And you trusted him, yes?”
Ruby nodded. She had. Immediately and without question. Thinking back on it now, it seemed rather stupid. He was a perfect stranger, the emphasis on the perfect part because he’d never really felt like a stranger. She should have been scared, full of panic, but it wasn’t until sometime later that the absence of those feelings actually dawned on her.
“He’s your own hero, Ruby. Your own Prince Charming. This is your fairy tale, and he’s his own legend, just like the rest of the men in his family. They are living legends.”
“And no one can ever know about them.”
“No,” Melanie shook her head. “No one can ever know about them, at least not what makes them so very special.”
“You still didn’t answer me about mom and dad. What are you gonna tell them? Hell, I don’t even know what to tell them. ‘Hey, Mom, Dad, Mel and I have shacked up with a couple of ice bear shifters’.”
Melanie laughed. “Yeah, I’m not sure the parental units are going to understand, but you know them, they live their own lives in their own little world. The farm has always been everything to them.”
“Look, Ruby, I have a confession to make. I didn’t call or answer your calls because…because I needed you to come find me. I needed you to see them for yourself. I needed you to meet Carson.”
“I saw the way he looked at the pictures of you I had. It was the same way James looked at me the day I met him. It was an all-knowing look, and I knew that you were the one. The way he would go completely still when he heard your voice on my voicemail saying that you were coming to find me. He got this intense look in his eyes. James said it was the animal kicking in, the need for his mate.”
“But bears don’t really have mates. Not for life anyway. The males don’t even stick around.”
“These hybrid bears do. Fiercely loyal and possessive, protective. They were humans first, but the need and animalistic urge to mate… Once it kicks in, it’s there for good. Besides, Carson’s a catch.”
Ruby couldn’t argue with that, but she wanted to know why Melanie thought so. “Why?”
“Oh don’t pretend you don’t know why. Honey, the man can cook.”
Have a great weekend, y’all! And enjoy the snippets from the following authors: