Winner of DESIRE UNCHAINED = Vicki! (Profile says "aspiring writer, lives in Florida", in case there was any doubt which one.) Note: this is book two in a series. I recommend reading PLEASURE UNBOUND for maximum enjoyment, but DESIRE UNCHAINED is capable of standing alone. Vicki, you need to email me to claim your prize.
Now, I have some general contest news. In case you've been living in a cave or just discovered the joys of the internet, I have a contest running on my blog all this month. It's a two-parter with some really serious prizes. If you talk up my contest or blog about it (with widget) you could win $100 in book money (or other cool prizes). If you make me a book trailer for Blue Diablo, you could win a $250 Visa gift card. As of right now, I haven't received a single trailer entry, so your chances of winning are really good! See my blog for details.
Today -- limited time only -- you could win an advanced reader copy of BLUE DIABLO. You have 24 hours to leave a comment. I strongly recommend you hightail it over there and try for a copy. I'm really proud of this book and I can't wait to hear what readers think of it.
So just for fun, I'm going to offer an excerpt (never before seen!) The first three chapters are available on my message board. Right now it's mostly inactive, but I hope that will change as I release more books. Anyhow, on to the brand-new excerpt:
“It’s best if you let me do the talking. Chance is here for obvious reasons.” Yeah, I knew why—to make it more likely we’d run across someone willing to part with information on Montoya, and to pay the bribe when we found the guy. “I think maybe we should’ve left you at home with Eva.”
I snorted. Like I’d have gone along with that. I had too big a stake in this to permit them to form a boy’s club at this juncture. Plus, you never knew when my gift might come in handy.
Before I could bitch, Chance shifted, elbow on the back of the seat, and put in, “Yeah. Those jeans are a felony.”
“That bad, huh?” I glanced down at the worn denim. Chance never appreciated my sense of style.
A slow smile curved his beautiful mouth. “That good. Do you know there’s a rip
on the back of your left thigh?”
“Ah, no.” Great, now I’d worry all night whether my ass was hanging out.
“Sexy,” he told me. “Shows just a hint of skin.”
I quirked a brow. “I thought you wanted me in suits from Lord and Taylor.”
“Once I did. Now I just want you.” Beneath the rumble of the motor and the rush of the tires against the pavement, his words crushed me with their candor. Need laced his tone, shot straight into my nervous system.
God, I hated he could move me like this. My chest hurt, so I rubbed it, and then cursed silently when I saw his gaze tracking the movement like he’d kill to touch me again. For Christ’s sake, why me?
My pained bewilderment must’ve shown because Chance turned around without another word. I stifled a sigh. Like too many dark chocolate truffles, he was rich, sinfully delicious, and bad for me…his gift might kill me; I knew that, but I couldn’t quell my longing altogether.
“We’re almost there.” Cutting in when he did, Chuch did me a favor.
I sat quiet as we drove the last few blocks and found a place to park. Even in the dark, La Rosa Negra didn’t look promising. It appeared to be a crumbling stucco building, painted an unlikely shade of green. To my surprise, shiny new cars lined the curb outside.
This wasn’t just any seedy little corner bar, stashed beyond a warren of one-way streets and seemingly pointless construction. The men who congregated inside had money to burn; they just didn’t want to do it conspicuously. Our cherry Mustang looked right at home along side the other sports and muscle cars.
I could guess what it was like inside. I’d been inside a dozen cantinas like this in Mexico City. Sometimes, on nights when dreams kept me awake, I wandered out into the neighborhood to nurse a beer, letting the susurration of other people’s lives wash over me.
“Let’s do this.” Chance climbed out of the car and offered his hand, which I took. He pulled me from the back seat easily. Whipcord built as he was, I didn’t doubt he could carry me off like a Sabine woman, should he take a mind. I exhaled and took a long look at the Corona neon sign flickering in the window before calling myself ready.
Chuch was already headed for the door, paying us no attention. This appeared to be familiar ground for him. Maybe he even hung out here on his own when Eva let
To my surprise, the strains of Reik’s Invierno greeted me when we walked through the door, a more soulful song than I expected to hear in such a place. Three couples danced to it in the small space before the bar. Not a boy’s club.
As my eyes adjusted to the light, I took stock of my surroundings. Low ceilings were hung with amber paper lanterns, giving the room a warm glow. Scarred tables had clearly seen better days, and countless high heels had left their marks on the wood floor. None of the chairs matched, and the décor consisted of various neon signs. Apart from the painting of the maiden holding a black rose between her teeth, La Rosa Negra could’ve been transplanted to any border town.
Chuch was calling the play, so we followed him to a table. He signaled the waitress for a round while the regulars studied us. Guys dressed in black sat in groups of three or four; they didn’t look likely to strike up a conversation.
“Do your thing,” he murmured to Chance.
I had no idea what I should be doing, if anything, so I took my beer with a nod of thanks and waited for some sign from Chuch. He merely sat there, quiet, drinking and looking watchful. I guessed you couldn’t hurry something like this. Chance, on the other hand, fairly crackled with purpose. What must it be like to be able to focus your will and shake whatever you needed from the cosmos?
I listened to the music purring from the vintage-style Crosley CD player. As we waited, a mellow Franco de Vita ballad melted into Shakira singing Ojos Así. I’d never been able to resist its rhythm, but I tried to keep my butt-shaking to a minimum. The dancers broke apart and started gyrations that suited the tympanic melody.
Chance touched me on the arm. “I can do this and dance at the same time,” he whispered. “You want to?” I must’ve looked astounded because he added, “I can, you know. I just never did. Not with you.”
What do you think?