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Tuesday Teaser – Coyote Whispers

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As it’s just over a week until Coyote Whispers releases I thought I’d pull a snippet from Steve and Doc’s story today. Unedited. Enjoy.

*****

He trailed his tongue along the shell of her ear before sucking the lobe between his lips and nipping with his teeth. She arched into him and her bottom cradled his erection, the hard length pressing into the crease between her cheeks. Heat pooled in her abdomen and moisture coated her folds. Gordie wriggled around until she faced him. Reaching up, she ran her fingers through his hair.

“Hi.”

“Hi, yourself.”

She smiled. “Did I miss anything important?”

“Yeah. This.” Steve lowered his head and kissed her.

At first he kept the kiss slow and easy but it soon wasn’t enough for either of them and he thrust his tongue between her lips to probe inside. She met him stroke for stroke, demand for demand. Sucking hard, Gordie pulled his tongue deeper, used her teeth to scrape the sides as she let go. Steve groaned into her mouth and angled his head for a better fit.

Gordie splayed her fingers on his chest, the hot muscles rippled as she explored his body. Moving her hands lower, she toyed with the washboard abs he’d earned from honest work. She detoured farther south, to his narrow hips and the delicious valleys leading the way to the prize hidden between his legs.

Steve’s mouth left hers to graze over her chin and down her throat. He nipped at her collarbone, licked to soothe the slight sting before moving to the other side and repeating his actions, making her gasp. Her fingers curled around his hips, her nails digging in and his pelvis bucked toward her. His cock rubbed over her clit, the material of her shirt abrading the sensitive nub setting off sparks of delight.

She moaned and moved with him, rocked to find the friction she needed. Her pussy clenched and spasmed with longing and Gordie increased the pace. Steve tugged at her shirt with his teeth, pulled it off her shoulder to lick the skin beneath. Frustrated by the barrier between them, she shoved him away and turned to wiggle out of the top. He helped and in their haste the cloth tore apart at the seam.

He wrenched her free and tossed the shirt over his shoulder. In a second he rolled her under him, slipped his knee between hers and spread her legs wide. His thighs brushed hers, the rough hair tickling her soft skin. Gordie lifted her pelvis to bring her sex in direct contact with his shaft. Hot and hard, the silky length slid along her slick folds, bumping her pulsing clit. She cried out and he covered her mouth with his hand.

“Shh. They’ll hear you.”

Gordie sucked her lips between her teeth, bit down to hold them in place and nodded. Steve removed his hand and gripped her chin.

“I want to hear you scream. Want to hear my name on your lips when I make you come, but I don’t want anyone else hearing that cry of pleasure. That’s mine and mine alone.”

*****

Book three in the Coyote Hunger series.

Gordie has tried to keep Steve McKenna at arm’s length, but the sexy coyote shifter is under her skin, in her blood and in her heart. No matter how much she fears what he makes her feel, she can’t bear to stay away. After he rescues her from a vicious attack, Gordie is helpless to deny the sizzling attraction burning between them.

There hasn’t been a day Steve has not wanted Doc in his bed, but bruised and bloody is not what he had in mind. The need for revenge is riding his coyote—almost as much as his aching desire to finally claim Doc as his own. But that will have to wait. He must first convince Doc the safest place for her is by his side. When a second attack draws them together, suppressed needs explode, leaving no doubt where they both belong.

But danger is never far behind and Gordie is forced to make a fatal decision that could destroy all they’ve worked so hard to discover.

**

Rhian Cahill

www.rhiancahill.com

I’m Okay

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Poor Little Me

Everyone has left me. Three little divas fled the nest, headed south for the winter and the cold climes of Melbourne for the RWA Conference. None of them seemed worried about the one left behind. They didn’t write. They didn’t text or tweet. No wish you were here, gee it feels like we’re missing a limb without you, no how will we get through this without Sami. But I don’t mind, really. I’m tough. Sniffle. I’ll keep the home fires burning, keep the blog alive while they’re off having a grand time in a swanky hotel talking to other writers, listening to the awe-inspiring wisdom of Bob Mayer and Susan Wiggs. Buying loads of books, possibly getting them signed. Sniffle. I’m not jealous.

I’m not.

Anyway, I’m much too vital here to go galavanting off to other cities. I’m running my workshop at the online version of the conference tomorrow. Writing Hot Scenes by Sami Lee. It’s going to be a doozy. People are going to be hanging off my every word, mmmmwwwwhhhhaaaa!

Oh did I say that out loud?

But seriously, hope everyone in Melbourne is having a great time. Really.

But not too great.

Have a great… or maybe an okay weekend.

Sami

This One’s For You…

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Dear reader,

Like it says in the post title, this one’s for you. And it’s a simple one.

It’s just one very, very large thank you.

Ok, maybe I lied. Maybe it’s not that simple.

It’s more personal than that.

This is a thank you to every reader out there who has bought one of my books. More than that, to every reader who has taken the time to read my books. It’s because of you that I get to continue doing what I love doing. Writing.

But it’s more than that.

This is a thank you to all of those readers who have reached out to me and simply said hello. Or written to say, ‘hey, I really enjoyed your book.’

You have no idea how much that means to me. (And I think it’s pretty safe to say there isn’t an author alive who wouldn’t agree with me.) I write because I can’t not. I love it. But to feel appreciated by the very people I write for… well, that is a gift.

But it’s more than that.

This is a thank you to all those readers who have now become friends. Perhaps not friends who sit and chat on the phone for hours each day, or share a deep  & meaningful over coffee and cake. This is for those friends who are always around in that great big universe known as the internet. The ones on Twitter and Facebook and Yahoo groups and blog comments. Who always have a friendly word to throw in and help make my day a little happier. I may not tweet or facebook or yahoo group very often, but when I’m there, I love being there. Because you’re there too.

But it’s more than that.

This is a thank you to all you readers who have made an effort to meet me in person, maybe even asked for my autograph. (Although why anyone would want my autograph is one of life’s little mysteries.) Who’ve travelled some distance just to say hi in person. Wow!

But it’s more than that.

This is a thank you to all you readers who have enjoyed reading romance so much you’ve started blogs just to spread the word. Who’ve taken the time to invite me over to your blogs. To review my books on your blogs. What an enormous gift.

And yes, you know what’s coming next…

But it’s more than that.

This is a thank you to all you readers out there who make me want to write more. Who inspire me to write more.

But it’s more than that.

This is a thank you to that one reader out there who gets to see my books before my editor does. Who takes time out of her busy life to give me an honest opinion of where the story works and where it doesn’t. Who makes my books better.

This is a thank you to all of you. For me being my readers and my friends and my inspiration.

Jess

(Oh, and if you think this post is soppy and over the top, blame that reader who emailed yesterday, said a few nice things, and inspired me to write another book. It’s her fault I got to thinking about how grateful I am to you… the reader.)

RWAus 2011

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I leave for the Romance Writers of Australia national conference tomorrow. My bag isn’t packed and I have no clue what to put in the bloody thing either. *sigh* As usual I’m running behind on a few things but I don’t care because in 24 hrs I’ll be hanging with like-minded people! I’ll get to indulge my love of romance with those that love it just as much. I’ll get to catch up with women I see once a year and some who I’ve never met in person before. It’s gonna be a blast. AND Mr.C is coming with me! Woot! I promise to try to remember to take plenty of pix to share when I get back next week. 🙂

Guest Blogger – Erica Hayes

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Erica Hayes is, without doubt, one of the coolest people I’ve ever known. She writes utterly amazing kick-arse urban fantasies (the Shadowfae series is amazing), knows how to dress to blow people away AND is a fellow Novacastrian (that’s a resident of Newcastle for those not in the know). You can’t get much cooler than that. Actually, you can. Go take a look at her webiste. Just the way she describes herself is cool. I wanna howl at the moon, I really really do.

Just to add to my envy of her coolness, she’s written a blog post that not only made me laugh, it introduced me to a website I’ve become utterly addicted to (warning: when you go there, make sure you have hours to spare. Trust me)

*****

I was browsing though tvtropes.org the other day – if you’ve never been there, you should – and I came across this entry on the Moral Event Horizon.

(A quick recap, for those who’ve missed it: tvtropes.org is a site that celebrates tropes in fiction, those common elements that crop up again and again in stories (from movies, books and comics as well as tv) and make them so much fun. Warning: click with caution. You will lose hours of your life. And probably your keyboard, as you snort coffee out through your nose laughing.)

The Moral Event Horizon, otherwise knows as The Line. As in, a character has done something that’s crossed The Line – he can’t be redeemed from that. That character is no longer heroic, or a ‘good guy’. Named after the theoretical boundary of a black hole – once you cross it, you can’t escape. Ever.

At tvtropes, the Moral Event Horizon crosses paths with such fabulously-titled concepts as Draco in Leather Pants, which is where we hold on to our favourite characters, defending them vociferously to others long after their behaviour descends into outright villainy. Usually including the phrase “Yeah, but…” followed by protestations about the character’s undoubted sex appeal.

As in:

“Eric Northman rips the limbs from innocent people! Right on screen! What a bastard!”

“Yeah, but he looks so hot without his shirt…!”

Or:

“Damon Salvatore killed his brother’s best friend out of spite? Jesus, he’s a real prick.”

“Yeah, but he’s so cute!”

And also Retconning. Y’know, like the drug in Torchwood? Never mind that pesky continuity, we’ll just forget that bad shiz happened and carry on. Eric gets Retconned in season four of True Blood, by losing his memory and ‘becoming a different guy’. How effectively depends on your point of view. IMO? His amnesia doesn’t change the fact that he did it in the first place. Does it make him any less hot? Mmm…

Anyway. Do I have a point? Sure. It strikes me that in romance fiction, the Moral Event Horizon is more treacherous and easier to cross than in other fiction. There are more things our characters simply shouldn’t do, especially the hero. A romance hero can’t be selfish, or vengeful, or cruel, at least not without a very good reason. And he certainly can’t cheat on the heroine, or be violent towards her. No matter how screwed up he is, and no matter how much he regrets it or tries to make up for it afterwards.

Romance readers just don’t want to read that sort of story, and they don’t want to read about the kind of heroine who would want a HEA with a guy like that. They’re unforgiving of Retconning and refuse to fall for Draco in Leather Pants beyond a brief flirtation. In romance fiction, there’s a clear difference between hero and villain. And yes, even when the hero is a dark, tortured, bloodsucking, drug-dealing pimp in an everlasting bad mood. Romance readers are smarter than that. If the dude was irredeemable, they wouldn’t love him.

And that’s one major difference between paranormal romance and urban fantasy, at least for me: the way we deal with redemption. In fantasy, pretty much everything is treated as redeemable, at least to the point where the ‘good guys’ can deal with a fallen character, if not accept him/her as a friend. The Moral Event Horizon is still there, but there are worse things than crossing it. The good guys will Retcon the bad guy if necessary, and join up with him to defeat a greater evil. And as for Draco In Leather Pants… hell, yes. Shagging the evil dude is a standard device, used to make the heroine (usually) think about the Darkness Within Her, and How Far She’s Prepared To Go.

Still, it’d be a brave UF author who’d have the heroine herself cross the Moral Event Horizon – Ethical, yes, but not Moral – or have the heroine and the irredeemably bad guy declare eternal love and then have it work out happily in the end. In UF, right and wrong might be blurred – but good and evil are not.

Unless, of course, it’s a total downer of an ending. And who wants that?

So what counts as irredeemable for you? Do you have a once-favourite character who crossed the line? Or are you still steadfast in their defence, no matter what?

*****

You can find out more about Erica here at HERE site. And trust me, you have to have to have to read Shadowfae. Like, have to!

Back to that old drawing board

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Would it sound insane if I say I love revisions?

Probably. Most writers I know hate getting revisions, having to go back to the drawing board on a manuscript they thought was done with. Admittedly upon first receiving news that something I’m sick of working on needs, alas, more work, I groan in dismay, feel sorry for myself, consider chucking the story and or give up writing altogether. But I don’t attack the problem straight away. I allow myself the luxury of burying my head in the sand. I write something else, go away and read, immerse myself in family life. I give myself a deadline, a point in time when all this procrastination will have to come to an end, but until that day arrives I have permission not to stress over what needs to be done on that other annoying piece of work that didn’t quite hit the high points like it should have. During that time, my subconscious is diligently working on the problem (or so I hope), so that by the time I sit down to tackle it some of the answers will be clear.

Thankfully that seems to be what’s happened with my fireman story, yes that one I’ve been fiddling with since November of last year. At least I hope what seems like clarity to me is not complete delusion. I hope I’m fixing the problems with the manuscript and that this go around I might at last have all my ducks in a row. I do finally feel like I know what I have to do. All that remains is for me to do it.

Ought to be a snap, right? Yes, yes, I assume it’ll be easy from here on in (head goes in sand again)

Here’s to a great weekend full of writing and reading,

Sami

Savage Transformation – Available Now in PRINT!

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For all you out there who still love the tactile joy of holding a book in your hands, the second book in my Savage Australia trilogy, Savage Transformation, is out now in PRINT!

I love this book. I love the mystery of the heroine, Jack Huddart’s shifter ancestory, I love the statement it makes about man’s treatment of animals and I love the hero, Texas PAC agent, Marshall Rourke, but most of all I love the journey it takes the reader through Australia’s most beautiful state, Tasmania, a tiny little island situated on the bottom of Down Under (you can’t get much down under than Tassie).

To celebrate here’s a little contest. Leave a comment either here or on my personal blog and you’re in the draw to win a signed copy of Savage Transformation AND Book One in the Savage Australia trilogy,Savage Retribution. I will draw the winner’s name this time next week.

Savage Transformation

She thought she had a life—until being hunted shows her she’s never really lived.

Savage Australia, Book 2

Jacqueline Huddart has spent her entire adult life on the run. Not from the law, or even a jealous lover. From herself—and what she is. That strategy works for her until a funeral demands she return to home ground, and her best friend disappears. Finding Delainie means Jackie must confront the truth…and accept the help of a mysterious, sexy-as-sin Texan.

Marshall Rourke isn’t the only one flying under the radar. He’s on an off-the-grid quest to track down a rogue ex-partner who hunts paranormal beings for the joy of the kill. Convincing the unexpectedly feisty Jackie to trust him isn’t easy, but there’s no better way to lure the hunter into the open than to dangle as unique a target as Jackie—the last Tasmanian Tiger shifter in existence.

Trouble is, Marshall hadn’t counted on Jackie’s brutal right cross. Or the fact that her simmering sexuality calls to his inner wolf on every imaginable level. And that the killer is about to use their desire to add them both to his trophy case…


Product Warnings
This title contains the following: explicit sex out in the bush, wild shifter sex in an abandoned shack, passionate sex in a hotel shower. Plus a Texan hero with a very big secret, an Australian heroine with an even bigger one, a significant amount of violence and as always, Australian sarcasm.
Excerpt
Her thylacine growled, surging though her being with rapid ease. Snatching back control had been hard. She’d shoved the need to transform down into the pit of her existence and half-walked, half-ran down the hotel’s stairs into the car park, scanning the area for any sign of Delanie.

And now here she was, walking around her best friend’s car, breathing shallow for fear of losing herself to her inner animal when she knew she should be breathing deep to detect any hint of Delanie’s location.

Then stop being a chicken shit and do it.

Coming to a standstill, wishing—again—she had her gun, Jackie closed her eyes and pulled in a long, slow breath.

There! Delanie.

Faint, almost dispersed to nothing, but there. To her right. Delanie’s scent tinged with…

She turned, lifting her head slightly and pulling in another breath.

Her heart clenched. Fear. Delanie’s scent was tinged with fear. The acrid kind of a sudden fright.

God, what is going on?

Following the scent, the thylacine inside her itching for release, she moved through the car park. Clapped-out combi-vans stood beside shiny hybrids. Dented station wagons shared the asphalt with lovingly looked-after sedans. Each waited for their owners to return, the setting sun casting their paintwork in a fiery orange glow.

Jackie pulled in another breath, tasting the air. Del had been here.

She narrowed her eyes, approaching a low red convertible. Heat rolled from it in unpleasant waves, the stench of burning motor oil almost choking her. Reaching out, she placed her right palm on the car’s hood. Hot. Hot enough to tell her the engine had only recently been running.

She took another breath, separating the car’s fumes from the delicate scent of her best friend. Delanie’s scent grew stronger here. More concentrated.

Jackie’s chest squeezed tight. It wasn’t just Del’s scent that was more potent here. Her fear tainted the air like a thick mist.

Damnit, Del. What’s going on?

She took another breath. There was more on the air than Delanie’s fear-laced scent. There was something else, something she couldn’t put her finger on. A scent that wasn’t a scent.

That doesn’t make sense, Huddart.

No, it didn’t, but she didn’t know how else to explain it. There was a void to the air, as if something had erased the particles of which it was comprised. Removed them from existence.

Her pulse quickened. Removing something from a crime scene—and worryingly, this is exactly what this seemed to be—meant Delanie wasn’t just missing. She was…

“Taken,” she whispered.

Her stomach rolled and she ran her stare over the red convertible. She could do one of two things. She could call the local police force and report Delanie as missing, and aid them in finding her by following standard police procedure. Or she could track Del herself. Alone.

She straightened, removing her hand from the car and turning into the gentle breeze at her back.

It blew against her face, barely strong enough to move the strands of her hair. Closing her eyes, she drew in another breath, through her mouth as well this time, tasting Delanie on the air. No, it wasn’t just on the air. It was on the ground as well. Whoever had taken Del had left a scent trail on the road.

On purpose?

The question slipped through Jackie’s mind, making her already fast pulse thump faster. Who would do that? Who would take her best friend and leave a scent trail?

She ground her teeth. No one. She was being dramatic. Ridiculous. She had to stop standing here wasting time with stupid notions of malevolent intentions and find Delanie. Find her and then teach the bastard who took her what happens to those who mess with a cop’s best friend.

Heart racing, she began running, nose into the breeze, Del’s scent flowing into her body.

Four blocks passed. Five. Six. The houses flanking her became light industrial buildings and warehouses. And still, Delanie’s scent pulled her forward. Faster. Her inner animal ached for release. Hungered to track, to run…

She ran, her blood roaring in her ears, and skidded to a halt, heels digging into the now gravel road when a man stepped toward her from behind a big black van. A tall man with impossibly broad shoulders and narrow lean hips.

The very man she’d caught looking at her inside the airport terminal yesterday. The same man who’d driven away from the airport car park in a black Audi an hour later.

The same man she’d seen standing under a snow gum at Pyengana’s cemetery.

Cold fury ripped through her. “You’ve been following me.” She bunched her fists by her side and took a step closer to him, fixing him with an unwavering glare. “What the hell have you done with Delanie?”

A tiny dimple creased his left cheek beside lips curled into a small grin, giving Jackie the impression he knew a secret he found entirely humourous. Dark honey-blonde hair fell over his forehead in a tousled mess, brushing straight eyebrows a shade darker. “I have, Detective Huddart. But I’m afraid I haven’t taken your friend.”

He studied her from behind impenetrable black sunglasses, the intensity of his unseen but wholly felt inspection making Jackie want to shiver.

And smash her fist against his far too square jaw.

“I’ve seen you three times in the last twenty four hours and now my best friend is missing.” Her heart thumped hard in her throat. “That’s not coincidence. Who are you and how the hell do you know who I am?”

She could hear her control cracking, hear the violence of her animal’s soul cutting each word she said, but she didn’t care. He—whoever he was—had the advantage over her. She didn’t like that. Not as a cop. Not as an animal. She didn’t like it at all.

He however, seemed unaffected by her obvious aggression. His lips curled into a broader grin. “Marshall Rourke, at your service.”

Jackie didn’t return his smile. “You’re American?”

Long, straight fingers came up to tip an imaginary hat. “Texan, actually, but it’s pretty much the same thing.”

“Enough of the charm, Mr. Rourke.” Jackie snapped. Damn, she wished she had her gun. And her badge. She’d wipe that far-too-sexy grin from his face in two seconds flat. “Time to tell me why you’re following me, how you know who I am and where the hell Del—”

Her best friend’s name slipped from her lips before she could stop it and she bit back a sharp curse. Damn it, cop law 101—don’t give away information not already revealed. She clenched her fists, glaring at Marshall Rourke.

“I know you have no reason to trust me.” He removed his dark sunglasses, and Jackie’s chest squeezed. His eyes were stunning. Piercing light blue the colour of Antarctic ice. “But if you want to see Delanie McKenzie alive again, I recommend you come with me.”

***
You can buy Savage Transformation in print at Amazon, the Samhain store,  the Book Depository and all other awesome bookstores.

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