Things are heating up…

April 25, 2010 at 8:12 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

Well, it has been a productive couple of weeks. I have finished reviewing edits for my new novel, Shadows of Ecstasy, which will be out July 1, 2010. I also finished writing my new young adult novel. Now, I get to decide which project to work on next!

If you would like to come and visit, I have a booksigning planned for May 8th at the Borders in Altamonte Springs from 2-4 pm. And if you miss me there, you can swing by B&L Books in Altamonte Springs on May 23th from 2-4 pm.

I hope to see you there!

Excerpt 21

The air between them felt charged as they watched Jacob disappear down the hall to his room.  Jackson took a seat on the couch, looking completely at home in her inner sanctum.  Nervously, she sat down beside him, not knowing what to expect after what happened between them the other night. 

He turned to face her, his leg easing onto the couch.  His knee brushed against the outside of her thigh.  Memories flashed through her mind.  Memories of his mouth covering her breasts, his head between her legs, his body filling hers.  Every nerve in her body was on ultra-sensitive alert. 

She wanted him. 

Maybe she had denied herself for so long that it made her overly receptive to his advances, but deep down she knew she couldn’t fall back on that stale excuse.  Jackson Hart had always been able to drive her wild with a single touch.  The other night she had practically begged him to take her to the dizzying heights she knew only he could sustain. 

And he had.

Her body still hummed with the satisfaction those hands and lips brought.  But it wasn’t just that.  It was more.  It was the boy she had fallen in love with and the man he had become.  She would never be able to erase those desperate moments, no matter how much she wanted to, but it seemed at least for now that they had come to a truce.  He had fulfilled his long ago promise.  He had come back with enough money and fame to bury all of them. 

But he hadn’t. 

Instead, he had done the one thing she would never expect.  

He offered her help.

She still couldn’t believe that he had actually agreed to a signing after all that had happened between them.  In truth, she had only been half serious when she suggested it.  Sure, it would do wonders for her business, and the revenue it brought in would get her father off her back for the time being. 

But one question created a black cloud over her head. 

What was in it for him?

Why was he doing this?

Instantly, she thought of his earlier warning.  He had told her that he wouldn’t leave until he had the answers she denied him fifteen years ago.  She stiffened. 

The only thing he wanted was the one thing she could never give him. 

Were they truly doomed to repeat the past?

“What’s wrong?” he asked innocently.

She shook her head.  “Nothing,” she lied softly.

Turning to face him, she slid her arm along the back of the couch.  “Jackson, I was only half serious about the book signing.”

One corner of his mouth tugged up in amusement.  “What?  You don’t think I’ll be a big draw?” he teased.

A blush crept into her cheeks, as her tongue snaked out to wet her lips.  “No, it’s not that.  I know you will.  I just don’t want you to feel obligated,” she admitted, her voice low.

Adjusting his position on the couch, his leg brushed against hers again.  His arm slid onto the back of the couch, his fingers almost touching hers. 

“Mallory, you should know by now that I don’t do things out of obligation.”

Her lips curved into a begrudging smile, and his eyes followed the movement.  “Jackson, the things that happened between us…” she trailed off not knowing how to end or even where to begin.  The emotions between them were too raw, too vulnerable. 

He held up a hand to silence her.  “Not tonight.  That conversation will come in time.” 

When his hand resumed its place on the back of the couch, it covered hers.  His long fingers slid in between her own, stroking, caressing.  He entwined them with hers raising her hand so that his thumb could trace lazy circles on the sensitive skin of her palm.  Her eyes met his and her lips parted. 

“Jackson,” she said.

“What, baby?” he answered.

The sound of that rich baritone drifted over her skin like a lover’s caress. 

God, would she ever get enough of him? 

Would she ever be able to turn him away in the interest of self-preservation? 

She was afraid that she already knew the answer. 

It was the same one that had doomed her fifteen years ago. 

His thumb picked up speed, the circles becoming deeper, more intense.  She felt the movement in every part of her body.  Her pulse quickened.  He had promised to be a boy scout, and here she was thinking about ripping off his clothes. 

“I…” she breathed, the sound almost coming out as a moan. 

Suddenly, his movements stopped, and he got to his feet with difficulty from the burgeoning erection that was clearly straining against his pants. 

“I should get going.”

Blinking, she tried to clear her head as she walked him to the door.  When he stood in the entryway, he turned to face her.  His hand came up to caress her cheek as her gaze lifted to meet his.  When his head began to descend, she realized that she wanted this. 

She wanted it more than anything.   

His mouth hovered over hers for a minute before sealing the distance between them.  His tongue stroked the line of her upper lip.  She inched closer, drawn to the heat of his body wanting to feel him against her, needing to feel him against her.  When he pulled away, she released a small moan of protest.  Lust glittered in the depths of his green eyes and she felt a small amount of satisfaction in knowing that he wanted her as much as she wanted him.

“Good night,” he said, turning and disappearing into the darkness.

She hadn’t seen him in a week. 

She couldn’t deny that it had been a productive week.  After all, she had had a lot to do to get ready for the signing.  All of her regular customers got a mailer and she posted flyers throughout the town square.  Everywhere she went someone was asking if Jackson Hart was really going to be at her shop.  The buzz she had created was definitely gratifying. 

After a week of frenzied preparations, the day finally came.  She set up a table in the front of the store stacked with her own stock of his books.  Finally, the bell chimed alerting her that he had arrived.  Feeling her stomach tighten, she watched him come in.  His dark hair slightly ruffled from the wind, he wore a dark green polo shirt that matched the deep color of his eyes.  Holding a box, his muscles flexed in the overhead light.   

“Hi,” he said, his eyes lighting up.

“Hi,” she replied in a strangled tone. 

Thankfully, he didn’t notice. 

Sitting the box down on the table, he glanced around to make last minute changes to the setup for a better flow.  He pulled some books out of the box along with other promotional items bearing his picture.  Insecurity washed over her.  It was obvious that Jackson had done his fair share of signings, while this was her first. 

Had she done something wrong? 

Had she made some terrible mistake that screamed newbie? 

“Is everything okay?”

He glanced over his shoulder.  A grin teased his lips, making her ache to kiss them. 

“Fine, why?”  

“Well, I’ve never actually held a book signing before.  I guess I wasn’t sure what you would need,” she admitted shyly.

Taking a step toward her, he tilted his head to the side.  “It depends.  I mean, when I first started, I think I maybe had five people buy a book throughout the entire signing, and two of those just did it out of sympathy.”

She chuckled.  “Well, things have definitely changed since then.”

“Not so much.  I mean, it’s true that more people know my name.  But it still feels the same.  It still feels like I’m putting myself out there, on display.  And that is never comfortable.”

“I didn’t know.  I guess I just thought…” she trailed off, unsure of how to phrase her thoughts clearly.

One corner of his mouth tugged up.  “What?  That having a certain amount of fame is fun?”  He snorted out a harsh laugh.  “It has its perks, I won’t lie.  Once I even got out of a traffic ticket because the officer was reading one of my books and wanted to discuss who the killer was.”

“Really?” she asked, her eyes widening.

Nodding his head, he gave her a teasing smile.  “I couldn’t believe it either.” 

Taking another step toward her, his body came dangerously close to hers.  His gaze lowered to rest on her mouth.  “But there are other times, times when I want to be alone, and I can’t.  Fame changes things.”

“How?” she couldn’t stop herself from asking.

He reached out to tug on a lock of her hair.  “Well, there’s the women,” he explained.

“Women?” she gulped.

His finger teased the sensitive skin of her earlobe.  “There have been a few,” he taunted.

“I know,” she replied, crimson filling her cheeks.  “I mean…” she stumbled over her words.  Jealousy swept through her as she thought of how many women there had been.  “How many?” she asked, before she could stop herself.

His grin deepened, before turning somber.  “Enough to wonder why they’re with me,” he replied.

Her eyebrows furrowed together on a frown.  “What do you mean?”

His head descended further, bringing their mouths dangerously close to each other.  “Well, are they with Jackson Hart, the man?  Or are they with the writer?”

Her lips parted involuntarily at his nearness.  His hand curled around the nape of her neck, and she knew that she was lost.  He had a power over her that only he could wield effectively.  His lips hovered over hers, teasing her, making her want him to press them against her own. 

“So, what about you?” he inquired, his tone husky.

Her eyelids fluttered closed.  “What do you mean?”

Sliding his other hand around her waist, he kneaded the sensitive skin he found there.  “Are you with the man or the writer right now?” he demanded softly, his voice barely a whisper.

“I…”

Before she could respond, his lips met hers, his tongue plundering the depths of her mouth.  Her arms instinctively rose to circle his neck pinning him against her.  She couldn’t deny it.  She wanted him.  She had always wanted him, and it wasn’t going away no matter how hard she fought it. 

Jackson Hart was the one man she should never have.

And the one man she desired most. 

When his hand rose to cup her breast, she should have stopped him, but she didn’t. 

She couldn’t. 

She had always been powerless to resist him.

And this time it might truly destroy everything.

 Stay tuned for more Choices…

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