Hopes, Dreams and Writing Resolutions…Oh My
January is the month of resolutions and dreams for a new and better upcoming year. We vow to quit smoking, lose those last five pounds, drink less, and be happier. Typically by February, all these resolutions are tossed into the dumpster, buried under life, and we return to our former, more comfortable selves.
While I might let my diet slide, I do continue to reach for my hopes and dreams in my writing career. Each New Year, I compile a list of goals—both large and small. This year I plan to write more, promote less. I hope to dip my toes in the self-publishing waters. And I want to break into a big NY publishing house.
One goal I already reached this year when two of my books reached print. The Tempest and My Sexy Valentine are now out on Amazon. Woot!
In my personal life, I hope to make more time for those I love, effectively train a puppy (coming in April!), and to go a more holistic route with everything I put into my body.
I won’t lose sight of my goals, but will plow forward. At times my hopes might morph into something new, and that’s okay. I’ll roll with it! In the end, I know I’ll have a very happy 2012!
What are your hopes and dreams for 2012? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment telling me and you’re in the running to win your choice of ebook from my backlist. Giveaway is open international.
Please read on for an excerpt from my latest release Outlaws of Love.
Upon traveling west to marry, Annabelle Stephens longed to leave her nickname of Sweetheart Annie and the strict rules of Boston society behind, but the taboo freedom she faces wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. When a sexy outlaw storms into her rented room and kidnaps her, she’s embroiled in a dangerous game with not one man, but two.
Until now Xander Hollis wanted one thing—or maybe two—to stop the Southern Gorge Railroad from stealing the homesteaders’ land, and to act on his desires with his partner in crime James. Like Robin Hoods of the old west, he and James embark on a mission to rob from the rich and give to the poor. When he refuses to let go of the woman who could identify him, he finds he’s in true danger. Danger of losing his heart to the heiress of the very railroad corporation he struggles to bring down.
EXCERPT RATED PG-
With a shiver of apprehension, Annabelle sank into the hip bath that was filled with tepid water. She glared at the wooden plank door of her rented room, daring anyone to come through it uninvited. What kind of place was this? She’d heard the West was uncivilized, but had never dreamed that there wouldn’t be locks on the doors. What was she going to do tonight?
She cast a glance around the small, dingy space, hoping to see a piece of furniture substantial enough to stop an intruder but light enough she could shift on her own. Her gaze lighted on the single set of drawers — tall and as broad as a man. Well, she mused. Not any man. She’d seen her fair share of stout, pasty men on her travels across the country by stagecoach. Knowing she now had the freedom to look at whomever she chose without the intrusive gazes of society on her sent a thrill through her.
Of course, there was the small matter of her escort, a newly married couple who were friends of her father. But they were often too caught up in each other to notice where her gaze landed. Now the Clarks were on the other side of the hotel, and she couldn’t help but wonder if they’d gotten a room with a lock.
She wished she had thought of the unlocked door before slipping into the bath. She should have moved that chest of drawers first. But the heated depths had called to her. After her dusty travels, she wanted nothing more than to peel off her grungy clothes and enjoy a soak. It wasn’t until she had gotten into the water that the problem occurred to her. After all, she didn’t need a lock to bathe back in Boston.
Quickly, she lifted the linen cloth she’d brought all the way from home and began washing. At one time the cloth had been white as a dove and scented with lavender. Now it was stained from the road dust that had caked her skin daily for the past month. But it was the cleanest she had.
She hastily swirled the cloth in the water and ran it over her sticky throat and down her shoulders. Just as she reached the crest of her breasts, the door burst inward.
A shrill scream bubbled up her throat. Before she could let it out, a huge brute of a man stomped across the room and clamped a hand over her mouth. She struggled beneath his steely grip, tasting the salt of his flesh and drowning in the musky scent of male mingled with leather and horses.
She jackknifed into a ball instinctively, curling up like a possum as she tried to hide her soft, womanly parts from this monster’s gaze — and worse — his touch.
Again, she opened her mouth to scream.
He leveled his gaze on her, the depths of his eyes speaking to her loud and clear.
If she wasn’t quiet, he’d kill her.
She swallowed the cry, staring over his fingers with horror as he one-handedly unbuttoned his shirt and tore it off. The thick cloth hit the floor in a cloud of dust. And then he was stepping into the tub with her, lifting her and plopping her smack dab across his hard thighs to claim her mouth.
Her heart drummed nearly out of her chest. What was he going to do to her? At this point, death seemed a better alternative to being violated by this man. She’d be soiled forever — and her fiancé wouldn’t accept her.
A squawk escaped her, and her attacker sealed his mouth more securely over hers, cutting off all noise and air.
At that moment, the door burst open again. A whoosh of cool breeze washed over her bare shoulders and back. Help me! Before she could utter a sound, the man restrained her further by slipping his fingers around her throat.
To an outsider, it might have seemed a loving gesture, but any thought of escape fled as his rough fingertip settled over her pulse. His thumb pressed the hollow of her throat. If she dared to move, he could choke the breath from her. Or snap her neck. Judging from the hard muscles beneath her, she knew a flick of his wrist would break her neck.
“Oh! Sorry, madam.” A man gulped a breath of air from the doorway. “I mean no disrespect. I was looking for a criminal.”
The man in the tub with her kept on kissing her like they were alone, angling his head and plunging his tongue deep into her mouth until she was dizzy for air.
~where words mean so much more~
BUY: OUTLAWS OF LOVE