Please help me welcome Robin Michaela with the moments that changed her life, and her new release, BABY, THAT’S THE SPIRIT!
10 Moments That Changed My Life by Robin Michaela
Getting married the first time. I was wayyyy too young (I was 19 and he was 20), but we came from the era before everyone lived together – you had to get married, it was horrible if you “lived in sin”! Eventually, we grew apart, but we’re still friends and we got two wonderful children out of the deal.
Giving birth to my son. It took me a while to get pregnant, so finally holding him in my arms was such a blessing!
Going to work for a dentist. Sounds weird, right? But I had been changing jobs every year or two, trying to find out where I “fit.” No one in my family had been to college and I wasn’t qualified for a professional type of job, so this allowed me to be in a health-related field without the schooling (that comes later – see #6).
Giving birth to my daughter – blessing number two!
Moving to Colorado. I was born and raised in Florida, so when we moved to the majestic Rocky Mountains, I was hooked on the beauty of the state. It was awesome to see Pikes Peak every day of the year.
Graduating from dental hygiene school. After we moved to Colorado, my first husband and I divorced. I was still working in the dental field as a receptionist and my boss encouraged me to go to college to get my dental hygiene degree. I worked full time while attending college at night and raising two kids as a single mom. Then, when I was accepted into the program, I went to school full time and worked part time for the dentist, doing his bookkeeping at night. Trust me, there were a lot of ramen dinners and penny pinching! All the sacrifice was worth it, though. This is my twentieth year as a practicing dental hygienist.
Meeting my handsome prince. He was in the Air Force and stationed overseas with a friend of mine from my neighborhood. They maintained their friendship after they were reassigned and, three years later, my now-husband was stationed in Colorado, where he hung out with our mutual friends. They thought we would be perfect for each other and introduced us. We were married ten weeks after our first date (yes, you read that correctly!) and we’re still head-over-heels for each other seventeen years later.
Having a romance author as a patient. One of my patients writes for Harlequin’s Kimani line. She encouraged me to pick my writing back up again (I’d written a historical romance years ago and gotten some interest from a publisher, but I was going through my divorce, so I’d never followed up). I’ve been hard at work ever since.
Losing my parents. I’ve lost both of my parents in the past four years (my dad passed earlier this year). It’s very strange not to have them around on holidays and birthdays or for important events, like my daughter’s wedding.
Publishing my first book last year!
Oh my gosh, Robin – Fascinating!! It’s interesting how the paths we take in our lives can lead to new and wonderful roads we never expected. Your meeting with your future husband and your taking the job that resulted in launching your writing career. Fortunate choices! I’m sorry about your parents, I know that must be difficult. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on your debut novel!!
When free-spirited clairvoyant, Amethyst Raines, comes to Sweetness to tell fortunes at the fall festival, she crosses circuits with hunky contractor, Adam Burkett. While she’s drawn to him, she has no intention of getting involved with the sexy single dad. The problem is, she has a message for him from beyond the grave…and, she’d deliver it, if she could just get the infuriating man to believe she can speak with the dead.
Cynical skeptic Adam is tired of deceitful women. All he wants to do is finish out his job contract and settle his beloved grandmother’s estate before saying good-bye to Sweetness forever. And, he’s definitely not going to be tempted by a woman who claims she can talk to spirits. But when his little girl goes missing, Adam will do anything to find her, including putting his faith in the seductive medium he can’t seem to resist.
She’s trying to solve a century-old secret; he’s trying to find his daughter. If they can work together, their relationship just might stand a ghost of a chance.
Hell, if she affected him this much after two days, it would be stupid to spend any more time with her. He was selling Nana Millie’s property and going west. Amethyst was heading to Florida for another fair in less than a month. Nothing could come from his attraction to her. If Adam had the good sense God gave a flea, he would just get through the corn maze, make it an early evening, and put her out of his mind.
He’d have given that particular idea a good shot, too, except she grabbed his hand. “C’mon, let’s see if we can beat them to the finish,” she said, pointing to Beau and Jenna who were already turning the corner at the end of the first row of the maze.
At her touch, that weird tingling sensation snaked through his fingertips again before shooting straight up his arm and ricocheting straight down to his groin.
Her eyes went wide and her lips formed a surprised circle. Which made Adam start thinking about what she would taste like if he kissed her.
Robin Michaela has been reading romances since her teen years, when she first snuck her aunt’s copy of The Flame and the Flower, by Kathleen Woodiwiss. She’s married to her own Handsome Prince (a military airman) and has lived everywhere from the sunny shores of Florida to the wild crags of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. She currently resides in the Deep South. By day, she’s a dental hygienist and by night, Robin can be found eating chocolate, training for her next half marathon, and crafting her next novel (although not necessarily in that order).
Robin’s stories have been called “a simply delicious escape”. Sparks fly and desire sizzles when her irresistible heroines challenge the men of their dreams.
Robin loves to hear from readers. Connect with her at:
Please help me welcome today’s guest, Caroline Clemmons, author of THE RANCHER AND THE SHEPHERDESS. She’s written books for Kindle Worlds, something I would love to do again soon. Maybe she’ll inspire me. 😉 So happy to have you, Caroline!
Thanks to Alicia for hosting me today.
You probably realize authors love, love, love to talk about their books. I’m no exception. ☺THE RANCHER AND THE SHEPHERDESS is linked to my earlier book AMANDA’S RANCHER. Both are part of Debra Holland’s Montana Sky Kindle World. What this means is that—except for my characters—the other characters and the locale are from Debra’s Montana Sky series. Since I love that series, writing in Debra’s world was an honor for me. In keeping with Debra’s series, these are sweet romances in which the bedroom door is closed.
In this book, Gormalith (pronounced Gormley) McGowan is an Irish immigrant who’s lived in America two years since marrying the man her father chose. Now she’s escaping a desperate situation after the accidental death of her brutish husband. Her late husband’s mother and bullying brother believe she should remain in New York and marry the brother. If not, they vow to make Gormlaith pay by accusing her of killing him. After two years with her drunkard, gambling, and wife-beating husband, she has no intention of remaining in that family. She escapes by immediately leaving for Montana to become a mail-order bride.
Unfortunately for Gormlaith, while she’s on her way to Montana, the man who wrote for a bride dies. She arrives in Sweetwater Springs with no money, no place to live, and no groom. What a situation. The Sweetwater Spring’s sheriff comes to her assistance and convinces bachelor rancher Garrett McDonald to marry Gormlaith. Once Garrett sees the beautiful woman and hears her lilting brogue, he’s convinced.
In AMANDA’S RANCHER, Garrett was foreman on the Kincaid ranch. Now he’s bought his own place from a large family moving to California. Luckily for him, they left some of their furniture in the six-bedroom log home. He’d planned to write for a mail-order bride in the spring from the same agency Preston Kincaid used so he takes little convincing to wed now.
Confession time: I made a terrible mistake with the names. Both have GM as initials. That’s something I usually strive to avoid and hope no one is confused. My beta readers have given excellent feedback and I hope other readers will feel the same way.
Here’s an excerpt from the morning after Gormlaith and Garrett arrive at his ranch when she’s prepared breakfast while he cared for the animals:
Gormlaith was beside herself with worry. Though she was certain the stove was a wonder, she hadn’t learned to regulate the beast. After she set the food on the table she wanted to break out in tears. She’d so wanted to impress her husband.
He came in and hung his coat and hat on pegs by the back door. “I’m hungry as a bear coming out of hibernation.”
She wrung her hands. “Sit down and let me explain.”
He took his chair and stared at the food. “Well, this looks different.”
She poured his coffee and set the coffeepot on the table. “I had a little trouble figuring out this fancy stove. I’ll learn to use it, but… today didn’t turn out as I’d expected.”
He picked up a biscuit and dropped it onto his plate with a thud. He met her gaze and raised his eyebrows. “I thought you said you were good with bread.”
“I am… I was in New York… and in Ireland. In those places, the stove was tiny and hardly compares to this one. I thought this big one would be easier and I’m sure the beast will be once I get used to the thing, but there’s more to regulate and figure out.”
“Sit down and we’ll eat what we can.” He took a piece of bacon so crisp it broke when he tried to pick it up. “I do like my bacon crisp, but this is overdone even for me and likely to break a tooth. How are the eggs?”
She twisted her napkin. “They turned out a bit better than the rest. And we have potatoes fried with onion. There are a lot of potatoes in the cellar and quite a few onions also. I remember you bought more potatoes so I thought you must like them.”
“I do. I guess any Irishwoman knows how to cook potatoes.” He picked up his fork and dug into his food—except the biscuits.
Throughout breakfast, she kept glancing at him but he didn’t speak. She picked at the meal on her plate. After he’d eaten his fill and had a second cup of coffee, he pushed away from the table.
He rose and put his hand on her shoulder. “Save all those biscuits and put them in a basket by the door.” He kissed her on the head. “We can use them for ammunition if we’re ever attacked.”
He donned his coat, clamped his hat on his head. She picked up a biscuit and threw it him. The missile hit him on the thigh.
He used his hands as a shield, but he was laughing. “Ow, ow, mercy, please. If that had hit my head I’d have a concussion.”
She threw another at him but he sped out the door, his rumbling laughter drifting her way. Ammunition indeed. She’d show him. She’d learn to deal with this beast of a stove and cook the best food he’d ever eaten.
Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.
Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys time with family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, and Pinterest. Subscribe to her newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE.
Hello and welcome to my version of the game, ‘F*@#’, Marry, Kill. This week we are WWW’ing the second-fiddle hotties from Vampire Diaries.
Myself and some of my friends are sharing our Want, Wed, and Waste choices from this week’s list:
Jeremy Gilbert, Matt Donovan, Tyler Lockwood
Click on book titles below to learn more and to be taken to a buy link
Me (Alicia Dean). Author of two Vampire Diaries Kindle Worlds books: What the Heart Wants and Divine Enemy – While Damon and Stefan try to control Elena’s blood-lust, the race for the cure takes a shocking detour
Want: Jeremy Gilbert. I have to be sure to focus on the character, not the actor. (I think it would be cool to be married to Steve McQueen’s grandson, if I had to be married, but the ‘character’ is not his grandson. Plus, the actor is a bit of a party animal, although he’s really fun and friendly, so he might make a good husband when he’s ready to settle down.) Back to ‘Jeremy’ – He is a cutie, with an amazing body, but he can be a pain when he goes all hunter and tries to kill Damon. Besides, he dies way too often. What kind of marriage would that be? I mean, how often can a girl be widowed by the same husband and keep her sanity? I would have to put him in the “Want” category.
Wed: Matt Donovan. He’s precious and adorable. He has had a LOT of bad luck and he needs a good woman to make him happy. He is an excellent friend, very loyal, so I think he would make a great husband. Besides, he’s one of the only humans left in Mystic Falls (Even though the Travelers have been inhabiting his body, he’s still ‘human’), and we humans have to stick together. (Unless I get lucky and Damon or Klaus decide to turn me…then bye-bye humanity!)
Waste: Tyler Lockwood. UGH! While he is definitely good-looking, I am SO done with him. He’s just a weasel, the way he keeps leaving Caroline. And don’t get me started on his betraying Klaus. Anyone who mistreats my guy (who I would definitely cheat on Matt with (sorry for ending the sentence in a preposition)), is on my SH*% list! So, Tyler, you get the ‘Waste.’ But then, it’s about time. I mean, you’ve screwed with Klaus so much, you’re living on borrowed time anyway.
Want: Well, I can genuinely see me wanting all of them. That’s the beauty of WWW Wednesday. I’m in the driver’s seat! I’m going to take Matt as my want. He’s such a sweet character and he never seems to end up with the girl!
Wed: Easy! Jeremy, (Or Jermy, as we call him around here). SO cute and I would just want to keep him around forever. He plays the hot younger brother well!
Waste: Tyler! He’s good looking but I’ve never been able to get beyond the rich, spoiled boy he started out as when TVD first began. Plus, he’s a hybrid. You’d never know what to expect from him. Come to think of it, that could be a plus…
Want: Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig)–who doesn’t love the underdog?
Wed: Tyler Lockwood: (Michael Trevino) – He was in Alice–I mean, Malice in Wonderland and Charmed before this. Seems like that’s a good combination. Plus, think of what a good guard dog a Werewolf would make. 😉
Waste: Jeremy Gilbert – Steven R. McQueen. Seems like a nice kid, party boy thing aside. Well? Since he’s a vampire hunter and the vampire diary characters are our heroes, we can’t root for him. So, he’s outta here this time (poor kid).
**** The first 5 people to share their WWW choices for this week in the comments will receive a #FREE Kindle copy of my Kindle Worlds story, ‘We All Fall Down’ – If you have the book or don’t watch the show, you can choose any of my other titles****
WANT: Chuck Bass. Oh my…I love that intense, broody, unpredictable thing he has going for him. I think marriage with him would be exhausting, but I would definitely enjoy that angsty, steamy, on again-off again thing he and Blair had going on. I adore bad boys, and I would enjoy our angry times almost as much as our ‘not angry’ times. And, think of the make up sex! I also love that he calls Nate Nathaniel. It’s a little thing, but it’s delightful for some reason. Lastly…can we say ‘limo scene’? Enough said. 🙂
WED: Nate Archibald. He’s gorgeous and sexy and funny. I think he’d make a better husband than Chuck, but hopefully, mine and Chuck’s thing could continue after the wedding. Nate was the inspiration for my bad boy vampire in the Isle of Fangs series. I just completely and totally adore him!
WASTE: Dan Humphrey. He’s a cutie, and I hate to waste him, but he’s the least appealing of the three, although, he’s definitely appealing. He’s a writer, and he’s sexy and the whole Lonely Boy thing makes him vulnerable and charming. I know poor Dan has been kicked around enough, but yes, I’m afraid, he would be the one to go, out of the three.
Callie Hutton, author of Miss Merry’s Christmas ON SALE for ONLY 99¢ – The Duke of Penrose is not happy with Miss Meredith Chambers, the American governess his new wards have arrived with. He quickly replaces her, happy to have his unwanted attraction to the unsuitable woman behind him. Until his mother hires her as a companion…
(Callie graciously agreed to play along, even though she’s never seen the show :))
Want: Chuck Bass, cause I love a man in a suit (Alicia sent me pics of these guys).
Wed: Dan Humphrey, cause he looks cute, and why not marry a cutie?
Waste: Nate Archibald, only because he looks like someone I wouldn’t like.
My daughter and GG fanatic, Lana Clary.
Want– Nate. He’s a mini Ian Somerhalder and ridiculously sexy. I’d give anything to run my fingers through that hair and look into those eyes. Oh…and of course we would have to re-create the entire Blair-Nate scene when they made love for the first time and Apologize by One Republic was playing (you thought I was going to say Nate-Serena scene on the bar….didn’t you??).
Waste– Dan. Sorry bro. You’re kind of whiny, a bit of a backstabber, you’re up against Nate and Chuck, and you’re a writer (no offense to anyone reading this….just doesn’t do it for me).
Wed– CHUCK. BASS. Yes please! Um – where do I start? Hot, sexy, gorgeous, smart, ambitious, rich, exciting, great sense of style, amazing in bed (yes, I do KNOW this for a fact…I have my sources), emotional enough to be cute and vulnerable but not whiny like Dan, mean, ruthless, charming, hot one-liners, deep sexy gaze, has been with Blair Waldorf whom I would also wed if she’d let me, rough…just enough……oh…..and…..he’s Chuck Bass.
My sister and GG fanatic, Christi Perryman
Want-Chuck Bass -He is not the marrying kind, he is powerful, rich, gorgeous and wonderful! Who would not want this bad boy! But not the marrying kind.
Wed-Nate Archibald. I know the Archibalds have had their share of “issues” I would still proudly carry the Archibald name!! Nate is genuinely a good guy-I think he would be a loving and loyal husband. And ummmm, look at him…he is beautiful!
Waste-Dan, mostly because he is not athletic and therefore less manly in my opinion. I do not see the attraction to him and how he managed to get Serena, the hottest girl in the world??? I will never understand.
Now we’d like to hear from you….which of these Sexy GG Guys would you Want, Wed, and Waste?
The night breeze blowing in from the ocean brought with it the intoxicating aromas of suntan oil and blood. Although there weren’t a lot of humans on the beach now that dusk had fallen, the heady scent of the rich, red fluid was strong enough that the vampire could still smell it just beneath the surface of their flesh. He drew in a breath and slowly exhaled. Delicious.
The moon drifted in the black sky and shone on the white sand, providing enough light so that, even if he weren’t a vampire, he could still see clearly. He strolled along the beach, blending in with the handful of human tourists hanging about. He’d been itching for the sun to go down, had barely slept all day. He was hungry. Jonesing for a feed. Mostly, though, he was anxious to put the next phase of his plan in motion. Slow and steady. Wasn’t that how the tortoise had won the race?
He strode across the soft sand, looking out at the glassy surface of the ocean. A sight he would never see the way it was mean to be seen, in sunlight. The cruel irony of being a vampire on a tropical island wasn’t lost on him.
Ah well, he might not be able to enjoy the daytime, but fortunately, beautiful, tasty women were always out in abundance, even after darkness fell.
As if to prove his point, he spotted two girls in barely-there bikinis at the edge of the ocean. They kicked water on one another, giggling and squealing in oblivious delight.
Girls. They were the easiest.
They passed a bottle of Lambrusco back and forth, chugging straight from the neck. He grinned. How fitting. In a matter of moments, he would be chugging straight from the neck.
He approached silently, not speaking until he was within a foot of where they frolicked. “Ladies? Enjoying yourselves?”
They turned startled eyes on him. The expression on the tall brunette’s face became a flirty smile when she saw him. The shorter of the two still looked wary.
“Tons,” the brunette said. She held out the bottle. “Want a sip?”
His lips spread into a grin. “More than you can imagine.”
She laughed and released the Lambrusco into his grip. He put it to his mouth and drank. The wine was a cheap, sweet red. The taste couldn’t compare to the sweet red of the blood flowing through the girls’ veins. Veins he would tap into shortly.
“Skyler, we’d better be heading back to the hotel,” Miss Blond, Short, and Skeptical said to her friend.
He moved closer to the blonde, walked into the ocean, ignoring the unpleasant feel of water-soaked shoes. He stared down, letting his eyes capture hers. “Why is that? The party’s only just begun.”
She swallowed audibly, and the pulse in her neck jumped with the movement. Excitement bloomed in his chest. He hadn’t been sure which one would die, but now he knew. This one had spunk. She would not only taste delicious, conquering her would be more exciting.
She started to look away, but he gripped her chin in his fingers. “What’s your name?” he asked softly.
“Mine’s Skyler,” her friend said from behind him, as if he hadn’t just heard the blonde call her by name. “She can go back to the hotel if she wants and—“
“Silence!” He whirled on the brunette. She blinked at him in hurt confusion. Sensitive little thing. For God’s sake. It wasn’t like he said her bikini made her look fat.
Still holding the blonde’s chin, he focused on the brunette’s eyes. “Look at me and listen carefully.” He kept his voice low, commanding. “Stand there quietly and don’t move. Don’t make a sound until I tell you it’s okay. Understand?”
“Hey,” her blond friend said. “You can’t tell her what to do.”
He let out a frustrated breath. Mesmerizing two chicks at once was not an easy feat.
He turned back to the blonde and made sure they were eye to eye. Made sure he had her complete attention. “You will also be quiet. Do exactly as I say. Understand?”
A frown marred her brows, but she gave a quick, jerky nod. Barely under. Good. He didn’t want her too docile when the time came.
Back to the brunette, he said, “No matter what happens, no matter what you see, you won’t make a sound. You won’t move. Got it?”
She nodded slowly and immediately quieted. The only sounds were those of crashing waves and distant conversations of other humans.
“Your name?” he demanded again.
“Patrice,” she finally muttered.
“Well, Patrice, because you’re so enticing, so remarkable, you will have to be sacrificed. But take solace in the fact that your friend will be spared.”
She blinked rapidly. Her mouth dropped open, and little mewling sounds came out. “What? I…you’re going to…?”
He released her chin and gripped a handful of hair at the back of her head. “Not a sound, I said.” She fell silent, and he reveled at the terror in her eyes. So easy.
He yanked her to him, tugged her head back. With a growl, he protracted his fangs and drove them deep into her flesh. Hot sweet blood with just a hint of wine flowed into his mouth. He nearly moaned in satisfaction. The feeding was good…great, but being another step closer to exacting revenge…well, that was about as good as it got.
She struggled silently, clawing at his shoulders, trying to shove him away. Nice. He liked a little fight. But the fight soon fled. Her body went limp. The flow of blood slowed. Her heart no longer pumped it to him. He released her, and her body hit the water with a splash.
He turned back to her friend, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. Silent tears coursed down her cheeks. Her body trembled violently, but she remained silent, standing where he’d left her.
He ignored the flicker of sympathy crowding its way into his soul. He was a vampire, after all. It was in his nature to feed…to kill. No room for a conscience. No room for weakness.
He stalked to the brunette and grabbed her shoulders, looking down into her eyes. “Listen carefully, he said. “I want you to wait ten minutes, then run up the beach, screaming. Report this to the police. You understand?”
“Good. And this is what you’ll tell them…”
Liberty Van Helsing could almost believe last night had been a dream—that she hadn’t hunted vampires, hadn’t actually killed vampires—had it not been for the aches in every muscle of her body and the bandage on her arm that covered a bullet wound.
Business was slow tonight at the tiki bar. But of course her boss, Jerome, wouldn’t let her off early. The Perfect Getaway had to be fully manned at all times, with the bright smiling faces of a staff eager to serve. All she felt like doing was going home and pulling the covers over her head, sleeping for a week.
“How are you making it?” Ryan Kelly spoke at her shoulder as she loaded plates from the warmer onto a tray.
Her pulse quickened at the sound of his voice. She glanced up to find his dark eyes roaming over her from head to toe, worry evident in their black depths. “I’m fine.”
He frowned. “I don’t think so. Tell me how you’re really doing.”
She swallowed back a lump of tears. There’s no crying in vampire hunting…
She’d learned less than a month ago that she was a descendant of the vampire hunter, Van Helsing. She’d traveled from her small Oklahoma hometown to this strange island to meet the father she’d never known existed. And gotten so much more than she bargained for. Her father passed away before she really got to know him. And here she was, destined to take up where he left off. Hunting and killing vampires when she was barely out of high school, had never even had a fist fight, and the sight of blood made her hurl. Some hunter she was.
“Well, how I’m really doing is that I’m a little freaked about what I did last night. My arm hurts like hell, and I’ve barely slept. Better?”
He shrugged. “More honest, at least.” He covered her hand with his. “I’ll do whatever I can to help you through this. You know that, right?”
She nodded. “I’ll be fine. Really.”
“Let me take that. You don’t need to be lifting with that arm.” He took hold of the tray and scowled at her. “You should have called in.”
“I’m fine. I can get this.” She tugged on the tray, but he didn’t release it. “Ryan, you can’t coddle me. And you can’t do my job. You’re tending bar tonight, and I’ll just have to suck it up. Jerome would murder me if I’d called in.”
“Bloody dingo,” he muttered.
Liberty smiled. Although she didn’t understand all of his Australian idioms, she was sure the insult fit their boss perfectly. “Come on, get behind the bar, and let me do my job. I appreciate your concern, but if I’m going to be a hunter, I need to suck it up, get tougher.”
He winked and flashed his adorable grin, making the laugh lines around his eyes more pronounced. “I like you soft, just like you are.”
Warmth spread through her lower belly. She liked Ryan. Maybe not as much as he liked her, but he was ten times better than the cheating boyfriend she’d left behind in Oklahoma.
She lifted the tray and instantly regretted not taking Ryan up on his offer. The wound on her arm screamed with the weight, even though she was using her good arm to bear most of it.
Gritting her teeth against the pain, she headed to the table. Female laughter shrieked through the room, and Liberty knew exactly where it came from. She smiled at her customers, but inside she seethed. Eli was here with two girls. How dare he show his face after what had happened last night? It wasn’t like the Getaway was the only bar on the island.
“Jerk,” she mumbled under her breath. “Can I get you anything else?” she asked the two couples she was serving.
“We’ll have another round.”
“Coming right up.” She put the empty tray on the rack and started toward the bar to order the drinks, glancing at her other tables to make sure they didn’t need anything as she tried to ignore Eli Barkley.
But in spite of her determination, her eyes strayed to his table. He was leaned back in his seat, arms draped on the backs of the bamboo chairs on either side of him. Each chair held a female—one blonde and one with flaming red hair—both with envy-inducing curves.
Eli’s dark blond hair was in its usual disarray, his silvery eyes glinting as he laughed. His pose was relaxed, like nothing had happened. Like she wasn’t in the room. Like he didn’t give a damn.
Fine. She didn’t give a damn either.
Lips compressed, she stalked to the bar. “Two margaritas, a hurricane, and a Bloody Mary.”
Ryan peered at her, eyes narrowed. “You okay?”
She nodded. “Yeah, I’m okay. It’s just that Eli is getting under my skin.”
“Did he say something to you?”
“No,” she admitted reluctantly. “I just think he could have picked a different place to drink and whore around after what happened last night.”
“You know, it’s really not his fault. It was kind of a dick move for me to tell you he used to be one of the Evil Ones.”
She compressed her lips. “No, it was a dick move that you didn’t tell me in the beginning. I had a right to know who would be training me. Who I’d be spending hours alone with.”
“Yeah, but he’s different now. He’s on our side.”
Her gaze went back to the table. Irritation tightened in her throat. “I think Eli is only on Eli’s side.”
Ryan slid the drinks onto her tray. “He’s not a bad sort, really.”
The friendship between Ryan and Eli baffled her. A thoughtful, sensitive human and a lying, heartless, jerkwad vampire. Go figure. She stole another glance at Eli and his companions. “Who are those girls?”
“I don’t know the blonde, but the redhead is Grace. She’s a…friend…from Eli’s past. They met during the Civil War.”
The Civil War? Even though she knew of the existence of vampires, she couldn’t help but be stunned at the reality of it all.
“How old is Eli?” She’d never asked the question. It hadn’t really occurred to her that he could possibly be centuries old.
“Twenty-one in human years. In vampire years, he’s about two-hundred and fifty. He was turned in the 1700’s.”
She shook her head. Unbelievable. He’d been around in the Revolutionary War. It seemed implausible, but she knew it was true. The last month had taught her that nothing was beyond the realm of possibility.
“I know.” Ryan grinned. “Hard to accept, right? It took me a while. I would say you’ll get used to it, but I still haven’t.”
“I totally get that.” She took the tray of drinks to her table and dropped the check. “I’ll take care of that whenever you’re ready.” Maybe they would get the hint. It was closing time, and there were only a few customers left, Eli and his friends included. At least they weren’t in her section. She could go as soon as her last table left.
“Here, we’ll take care of it now.”
Relief flooded her when one of the men handed her a credit card. She could finish up her closing duties and take off. Finally.
After clearing her section and settling her money for the evening, she headed to the parking lot. Her first several weeks on the island, she’d had to depend on rides from others. But Antoine—the manservant she’d inherited from her dead father—had insisted she have her own transportation, and they’d purchased a nearly-new red cobalt for her use. She was still nervous driving in a strange country, but it was damn convenient to have her own wheels.
The Perfect Getaway sat on the beach, and the parking lot was lined with palm trees and red and pink hibiscus plants. The scent of vanilla orchids hung in the air. Such a paradise, yet it held such darkness and evil. She shivered.
She jumped at the sound of Eli’s voice. Speaking of darkness and evil…
She turned a glare on him. He stood directly behind her, hands shoved in his pockets, yet he’d been chilling in the bar only seconds ago.
“Don’t do that,” she snapped. She looked back at the tiki bar. “How the hell did you…?” She shook her head. “Never mind. You’re a vampire. You move with the speed of light.”
He grinned and slanted his upper body toward her. “Yeah, but we’ve got all that darkness brewing inside. Ironic, isn’t it?”
She swung away from him and lifted the handle to open the door. “Whatever. I’m tired, so you’ll understand if I don’t feel like hanging out and bantering with you. Besides, your dates are waiting for you.”
She snorted a laugh. “No. Sympathetic. Better them than me.”
“Why is it I don’t believe you?”
“Maybe because you’re delusional?” She gave him an overly sweet smile before turning away to jerk the car door open.
“I see you’re still pouting because I didn’t tell you I was once a big, bad vampire.”
“It doesn’t matter. You warned me early on not to trust you. I should have listened.”
“And now you should put on your big girl panties and get over it. You’re a hunter, Liberty. You need to toughen up.”
Toughen up? Was he kidding? She’d risked her life last night, had worked her ass off training, and he was calling her a wimp. To hell with him. She started to slide into the car, but his voice stopped her.
“You can be mad at me all you want, but you can’t completely shut me out.”
“Watch me,” she bit out, not turning around. “Let me ask you something. What difference would it have made if you’d known in the beginning?”
She slammed the door and whirled on him. “At least I’d have known who—what—I was dealing with.”
“Would you still have let me train you?”
She shrugged. “I’m not sure. But I had the right to know. To have all the facts before making that decision.”
“If you had chosen not to let me train you, how do you think you would have fared last night? Not knowing the truth was for your own good.”
She gave a bitter laugh. “Yeah, and I’m sure you’re all about what’s best for me.”
“Look, you’re going to have to put all that behind you. Like it or not, you still need me.”
“No, I don’t. I’ll keep practicing. I’ll be fine.”
“You can’t take that chance. If I hadn’t saved your ass last night, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
Just like him to throw that in her face. She huffed out a sigh of irritation. “Thanks for that, but from here on out, I can take care of myself.”
He stepped closer, backing her up to the door. The only way she could get away from him was to climb into the car. But she didn’t.
“What’s wrong?” He raised his eyebrows, amusement lifting the corners of his mouth. “Are you afraid of me now?”
She tilted her chin up and met his eyes. Eyes that looked like molten silver in the semi-darkness. “Not afraid. Pissed off. There’s a difference.”
He chuckled. “Well, it’s nice to know I have an effect on you.” His gaze dropped to her throat. “Your pulse is beating like crazy. Right here.” He stroked a finger down her neck, sending heat skittering over her flesh. Damn him. She sucked in a breath and clenched her teeth.
“I can see it.” He dropped his hand, and his gaze locked onto hers. “No matter how much you’d like to be, you’re not immune to me, Liberty Van Helsing.”
She swallowed hard, trying to slow her racing pulse. “I need to get home. Let me go.”
His lips curved in a grin, and his voice lowered to a near whisper. “I’m not touching you.”
I hope you enjoyed the excerpt, please feel free to leave comments if you would like…thanks for dropping by!
CHANCE TO WIN A FREE COPY OF BOOK 1 in the Isle of Fang Series – The first 5 people to email me at Aliciamdean@aol.com with the subject line: ‘Liberty Awakened’ will receive a free Kindle version of Liberty Awakened, Isle of Fangs Book 1.
Blurb for Liberty Awakened:
Evil lurks beneath the surface in the beauty of the tropics…
After graduation from her small, Oklahoma high school, Liberty Delacort is looking forward to a fun-filled summer before college. But when the people she trusts the most betray her, and a letter arrives claiming her deceased father is still alive, she jumps at the chance to travel to an exotic island to meet him.
But her excitement is short-lived. Her father is dying, and he doesn’t want her around. And, in spite of its outward tranquility, the island is filled with danger and ominous secrets. The secrets soon begin to unravel, and she discovers she is a descendant of Van Helsing, the vampire hunter.
The one up side is her budding romance with the sweet and sexy Ryan Kelly. But even that is threatened when—in spite of her fear of him—she finds herself attracted to an insolent, formidable vampire. Her plan to stay away from him fails when she learns he is the only one with the ability to train her to fulfill her destiny—to save humans from a faction of vicious vampires.
Will her inexperience lead to her death—and the death of others—or will she rise to the challenge and realize her full potential as a Hunter?
It has been one week since Kindle Worlds launched their new platform. Having two Vampire Diaries and one Gossip Girl story in the launch has been such a thrill! I enjoyed writing about my favorite characters and visiting their worlds. Another very cool thing…one of the Vampire Diaries sites is following me and they are RT’ing some of my tweets. Woohoo!
I am one of the launch authors for the new Kindle Worlds platform. And, I must confess, I am THRILLED about this opportunity. I have been excited to share the news since Amazon contacted me in early March and commissioned me to write for the platform. Finally, the day has come that I can announce my part in this new venture, but with all the negative buzz going around, it now seems as though I should be ashamed. But I’m sorry. I’m not. I mean, Amazon offered me an opportunity to write and earn royalties for stories about The Vampire Diariesand GossipGirl…two shows I LOVE. Are you kidding me? Why wouldn’t I be thrilled?
Some of the negative comments I’m hearing are…
Amazon retains rights to the story for the entirety of the copyright.
SO??? I would not plan to publish the story anywhere else. I have a lot of other stories to write. Amazon is welcome to these. Amazon is the only reason I am writing them.
The concept is unfair.
To whom? The World Licensor earns royalties. The author earns royalties. Amazon earns royalties. Readers can enjoy stories about their favorite shows. One of which, Gossip Girl, is no longer airing. This gives fans who miss the show a way to continue enjoying it. Who is suffering in this scenario?
This is unfair to the license holders.
The license holder AGREED to this. That is why Amazon only has three World Licensors they have announced thus far. Only three have entered into an agreement with them. Amazon is not taking anything from anyone. They are making an offer and those interested are accepting. It is just that simple.
Amazon will acquire rights to your new stories, characters, scenes, events.
Uhm…so what. Why would I write something into these Kindle Worlds stories that I planned to use in any of my other works? I would never write a Vampire Diaries character and then stick that character into my other stories. They belong in the TVD world.
If they use one of your ideas, you will not receive further compensation.
FINE by me! These tv episodes are written with a room full of writers tossing out ideas. Only a certain number of the writers are credited. They get paid a salary, just like we will get paid our royalties. Again, not seeing a problem here. Besides, trust me, if I ever had the privilege of watching Joseph Morgan or Ian Somerhalder acting out one of my scenes, I would not complain. Not even a little bit.
The fanfiction community will never accept this
These stories are not ‘only’ for the fanfiction community, although we would love to have them as readers. These stories are for fans of these shows, whether or not they read or write fanfic. It is another venue to enjoy shows that we are obsessed with and a way for authors to share their love of that show with the public.
This is not what the fanfiction community is all about, among other problems with this venue, Fanfiction is building on one another’s stories
I think the fanfiction community will enjoy the stories and the opportunity. The authors writing these do not need to build on one another’s stories. We want to create our own, based on the shows we love. I feel certain this will appeal to many in the fanfiction world, and most definitely to many TVD, GG, and PLL fans. Of course it will not appeal to all. But that’s okay.
If I correctly understand the fanfiction world, pretty much everyone who reads it writes it too. That is not necessarily the case here. These stories are for all readers, even those who have no desire or intent to write, but would love to read more about characters and worlds they’ve fallen in love with. After all, we authors who wrote these stories are just those kind of fans.
This new program is being touted as a way for fan fiction writers to finally get paid. My situation is a bit different. I have never written–or even read–fan fiction. Rather than a fan fiction writer who now has a way to publish my fan fiction stories, I am an obsessive tv fan who now gets to write about two of my favorite shows. Oh yeah…did I mention I’m getting PAID to do it? No matter how many ways I say it, or how many negative comments I hear, it still seems pretty freaking awesome. You know another really awesome part of this? Maybe some TVD and GG fans will read what I write and like it. Maybe I’ll present a new take on the shows that they will love. GG has been canceled, and fans of the show miss it. I’m delighted to bring it back to them, even in a small way.
This really isn’t much different from the tie-in novels of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Star Trek, etc, which has been happening for years. Right? Or am I missing something?
I’m afraid I just do not understand all the panic and backlash. Seriously. Lighten up folks. This is fun stuff!
Maybe this isn’t for everyone. I would say if you disagree with the program, then you probably shouldn’t submit a story. But for those of us who are ecstatic about the idea, we will continue to write about the characters and the worlds we love. And guess what? We’ll make money doing it. Win-win in my book.
Speaking of submitting stories. When the program launches, submissions will be open to all authors. Click on this link to learn more: Amazon Kindle Worlds for Authors
Please feel free to share your thoughts on the topic…negative or otherwise.
(Something to note, I keep hearing comments about ‘indie authors’ in relation to this new platform. The launch authors who wrote the first stories are not self-published authors, at least not exclusively, and I have a feeling there will be several authors, indie or otherwise, who will write and submit Kindle World stories. Not that there is anything wrong with being a self-published author, I have quite a few self pub titles and plan to have more. It’s just that this program would be a great opportunity for ALL authors…at least, those who are interested.)