I'm celebrating two new releases. One today Adrift from Loose Id and one tomorrow Spend The Night With Me from Ellora's Cave. Here is a taste of both new books:
This is my first book with Loose Id. I'm very excited about this book and enjoyed writing about a heroine who wasn't Barbie sized.
“I expect everyone to be there.” Mr. Carlton stood up and continued talking to the small group in the conference room. “My wife looks forward to this every year, so I don’t want to disappoint her. There will be boats at the dock to take people back and forth to Carlton Island.”
Kari cringed just thinking about getting into a boat and being escorted over to her boss’s island. The last thing she wanted to do over her weekend was spend it with him and fellow coworkers. Kari enjoyed the peace and serenity of her apartment. She didn’t have to make small talk except with Pepper, her cat.
Last year she’d been able to get out of the company picnic, but something told her this time she wouldn’t be so lucky.
“This is bullshit.”
Kari swiveled her chair to see who else felt like she did, but was brave enough to voice his opinion. She was met with the most amazing blue eyes.
Her heart caught in her throat. Was he speaking to me?
Ben Eckhart hadn’t uttered a word to her in the three years he’d worked at Carlton Technologies. Kari had admired him from afar, knowing he’d never be interested in someone like her. She wasn’t a size 2 pinup model like Ben probably dated.
“Does he think we don’t have a life outside of work?”
He was talking to her.
Hanging out on her deck with a book wasn’t in the cards for her this weekend.
“Have you ever been?” he asked.
“Once. I’ve managed to escape all the other yearly get-togethers, but I don’t see that happening this weekend.”
“I heard people have gotten let go for not attending.”
She’d heard that too, but thankfully it hadn’t happened to her. With the economy in dire straits, she wasn’t risking it this year. “That’s what they say. I can’t afford to take any chances. I’ll be going.”
“Me too, I guess.”
Kari groaned inwardly. She didn’t want to spend the weekend lusting over Ben. At work she could cover up her scars, but on Carlton Island she’d be expected to dress more casually.
Maybe she could think of a way out of this.
“Spouses and significant others are more than welcome too,” Mr. Carlton continued.
Kari turned her attention back to her boss. Right about now, she wished she had someone in her life she could bring along to ease the pain of watching Ben. Fortunately he wasn’t aware of her feelings for him.
He leaned closer to her chair and whispered in her ear. “You bringing someone?” Heat from his breath trickled down her neck, straight to her core. Images of Ben wearing only swim trunks filled her mind. She pictured a hard, smooth chest and abs of steel she could run her fingers along.
“No,” she snapped.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.”
She swiveled her chair slightly and glanced over her shoulder. His lips were close. Close enough that if she leaned just a little bit, she could graze them with her own. “I didn’t mean to snap. I’m just really frustrated about having to go this weekend. I’m going alone.”
“Hmmm. I guess I’ll see you there.”
Mr. Carlton ended the meeting. Kari gathered her notebook, pen, and coffee mug before heading back to her office. She wondered if Ben would be coming alone or if he would be bringing some lucky lady.
She prayed he came alone. He’d broken the ice by talking to her in the meeting. Maybe they could get to know each other better over the weekend.
As she sat in her chair, she realized she was fooling herself. Ben would never be interested in a size 12 disfigured woman. Even if he did show an interest, Kari couldn’t take her clothes off for him. Her scars were a reminder that she’d never have a love life again. It was bad enough that the memories of that horrible night still haunted her; visible scars stared back from the mirror. They screamed at her, taunting that she’d be lonely the rest of her life.
This will be available Sept 15th
It’s time to put these away. I need to move on. It’s time for closure.
Brooke stared at the pictures scattered all over the floor. They’d haunted her for over eighteen months. Memories of what she had lost. Memories of what she should’ve had. The one and only love of her life. Carl.
He’d been gone for a long time. She would never forget that dreadful day when her future mother-in-law had called with the news. Carl had been killed by a suicide bomber. He was only days away from coming home. Instead he’d returned in a body bag.
It was time for her to get back to the living. She needed companionship. She wanted to feel a man’s strong arms around her again. The need to feel safe and secure grew with each passing day. And if she was honest with herself, she needed sex. Down-and-dirty sex.
She’d been lonely for so long. She wanted to remember how it felt to have a man ravish her body.
Kim, one of her best friends, had been offering to set her up in a room over at Freedom Fantasies forever. Freedom Fantasies wasn’t just any old place. It was a Manor where women went to live out their fantasies.
Paige, her other best friend, had recently rekindled her marriage there. Maybe it was time she had some fun—even if for only one night.
Looking around the apartment she’d once shared with Carl, she realized how much of him was still there. Pictures were everywhere. On the entertainment center, the end tables, even in the kitchen. There were constant reminders of their life together. It wasn’t healthy for her to continue to obsess over him. He was gone and he was never coming back. It was time she realized the truth.
Quickly, she got off the floor and started collecting all the photos. She placed them in a big pile on her bed. From the closet in the spare room she retrieved an old empty box she’d kept for future storage. This was the perfect time to pack away Carl’s photos. It was time to let go.
She stacked the photos one by one neatly into the box. Once they were all safe, she tucked the box away in the closet. She didn’t want to forget Carl, she just wanted to move on.
His closet had been emptied because his family wanted some of his belongings. She’d kept a few shirts, which she occasionally wore around the house. She liked having his scent lingering. His dog tags hung around her neck as a constant reminder of what they could have had—what was taken away by a suicide bomber.
She removed the tags and brought them to the closet where she packed them away with all his pictures.
As she passed the mirror, she stopped. When had she started to look so old? At thirty she wasn’t old. She looked tired and worn-out. She examined her reflection more closely. Her blue eyes were cold and empty. Her blonde hair appeared lifeless. Had she really been presenting herself to the world looking like this?
She rushed into the bathroom and turned on the shower. After giving her hair a thorough shampooing and conditioning she blew it dry. Using her large round brush, she added volume. She added makeup to her drab complexion.
Upon inspection she liked what she saw. She looked more her age again. She didn’t look old and beaten. It was time to put on some sexy clothes and hop over to the Manor. While she wasn’t going to have Kim set her up, she was going to mingle in the bar area. Maybe she’d find someone who intrigued her all by herself. There was nothing Brooke despised more than being hooked up.
While she was there she’d pop in on her friend and see how she was doing.