Sunday, January 30, 2011

#SampleSunday ~ Forever Mine (The agreement)

This sample is also being featured over at the IAU (Indie Author's Unite) website. With all the other Valentines excerpts but I decided to share here today for anyone that's been following the Forever Mine excerpts.

The set up: Sarah is still trying to wrap her mind around the idea that popular school jock Angel Morena has shown interest in her. So his request on this impromptu romantic picnic comes as a huge surprise.

“Come here,” he held out his hand, smiling, “I promise I’ll try to control myself.”

She lay down facing him, propping herself on her elbow and smiled. He rolled off one of his elbows to face her, and took a deep breath.

“Sarah, I hope this doesn’t sound too crazy, but I like you a lot.” He stopped to kiss her fingers. “It’s insane, I just met you but I feel like I could spend every minute with you… if you’d let me.”

Sarah stared, gulping hard. Her heart was swelling by the milliseconds. Was she dreaming? She didn’t want to blink, she was afraid he’d disappear. He didn’t wait for a response. Instead, he went on, staring right at her.

“Last night, you said you didn’t have a boyfriend. I know it’s way too soon for that. You don’t know anything about me. I know I have no right to ask you this, but,” he paused. “You said you’re only gonna be here a short while… so, would it be too much to ask that until then we have an agreement?”

“Agreement?” Sarah had a feeling what he was getting at, but she was done making an ass of herself. She wanted absolute clarity.

He cleared his throat and it was obvious he was uncomfortable. “I mean, would you be okay if we agreed to be exclusive, while you’re here?”

Sarah couldn’t believe it. She stared ahead but not at him, shaking her head subconsciously, trying to take it all in. When she focused back on him his expression had changed. “Is that a no?”

She shook her head even harder. “No.”

Angel sat up quickly. “Are you seeing someone?” His voice was almost a whisper.

Before she could say or do anything stupid again, she sat up to face him and she spoke right in his face “I like you too. I can’t even begin to tell you how much. Last night was the first night I’ve gone out since I’ve been here. It’s been a long time since I laughed that hard.”

Her expression turned more serious. Her next statement was a risk, but one she felt was necessary. “I don’t have a problem with not seeing anyone else Angel, but I know all about you, and your brothers, and your friends. I don’t know if you’ll be able keep up with your end of the bargain. I just don’t want to get hurt.”

She saw Angel’s eyes narrow and his lips press shut. He leaned forward and spoke with a bit of affliction. “You may think you know me but you have no idea. So, I’ll let the assumption slide this time. But if I say I’ll be exclusive, I mean it.”

As much as Sarah wanted to believe him, she was terrified. There’d been so many broken promises in her life, so many let downs. She couldn’t bear another one. He must’ve seen the look on her face.

“Sarah I don’t lie.” He was firm. “You can ask anyone that knows me, if it’s one thing you can count on, it’s my word.” 

The stab to her gut was deafening. How could she sit here and be such a hypocrite, when she herself wasn’t exactly being forthcoming? She smiled faintly then decided right then and there she would allow herself to be happy, very happy for the first time in too long. And then she was grinning from ear to ear. “Okay.”

He stared at her blankly. Then, as if it suddenly hit him, his grin matched hers. He put his hand behind her neck, pulling her gently closer to him. He groaned as his lips met hers and then pulled her down again with him.

Night Owl Reviews has listed Forever Mine as a "Top Pick" 5 Star read. What they said? "I can't even begin to express how much I loved this book." Read entire review here.

Forever Mine is available on Amazon US, Amazon UK,  and B&N The Nook.  

Thanks for reading and don't forget to comment.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

#SampleSunday - Forever Mine- The party

This week witness Angel and Sarah's first real conversation, or a portion of it anyway.

Set up: Angels only bumped into Sarah at school a few awkward times. This is a backyard party after a school Friday night football game. Surprised she's even there, he takes advantage to finally get to talk to her a little longer.

He walked around behind her, and moved in closer. She smelled heavenly, a soft delicate fragrance. Not overpowering, like some of the girls he'd hugged earlier.

He wanted to put his arm around her waist, and pull her up against him. Instead, he leaned over and talked in her ear. “Hey, you made it.”

She spun around, nearly losing her drink. Her expression went immediately from startled to pleased. “Yeah, they cancelled.”

Angel couldn’t get over how amazing she looked. If he gazed at her all night, it wouldn’t be long enough. “I almost didn’t recognize you with your hair down,” His eyes took it all in.

She nodded. “Yeah, it’s too long, especially when I’m running. It gets all over my face.”

Angel wanted it all over his face. “It’s beautiful though, you should wear it like that at school.”

She hesitated for a second. “Thank you.” He noticed she avoided his eyes again.

He didn’t want to, but he decided it would be better to change the subject before she got uncomfortable and made an exit. He had no intentions of letting her run away again. Not this time. He glanced at her cup. “What are you drinking?"

She smiled timidly. “Wine.”


She laughed. “Why does everybody say it like that?”

Her smile somehow had a calming effect on him. “Out of a cup though? You can’t drink it straight out of the bottle?”

“It’s not a cooler.” Her expression challenged him. “It’s the good stuff.”

She turned to her friend, and then glanced into her cup. It was almost empty. “As a matter of fact,” she said, “I need more.”

She bent over to a medium sized ice chest and pulled out a small jug of wine.

“Nooo,” Angel put his hand over his mouth in disbelief. “Oh, you’re sick. You come to a party with a jug of wine in an ice chest?”

She laughed even more now. Her friend laughed with her. Sarah caressed the jug lovingly. “How else am I supposed to keep my little Precious cold?”

Her demeanor was refreshing, especially since she had seemed so apprehensive at school. Maybe it was the wine. Whatever it was, he loved it. He watched as she poured the wine in her cup, noticing how little she poured in before stopping. She put the jug back in the ice chest and pointed at her friend. “She brings one too.”

Her friend opened her mouth wide, as if Sarah had just snitched on her. Angel raised his eyebrows in exaggerated disbelief. “You too? But you’re drinking beer, you don‘t need an ice chest.”

Her friend smiled and tapped her bottle. “I can’t drink beer unless it’s ice cold.”

“By the way, Angel, this is my cousin, Valerie,” Sarah said.

Angel nodded. “Yeah, I know Valerie.”

He saw Valerie’s eyes widened slightly in surprise.

“Sure,” he acknowledged her surprise. Glad that Sarah had said her name. That, he would’ve never remembered.

“So, why don’t you just put your drinks in the same ice chest?”

Valerie rolled her eyes at Sarah. “Sarah doesn’t like her Precious to be disturbed.”

“She’s very fragile,” Sarah held her cup close to her.

Angel nodded, and then put his hand up. “It’s a she? Okay, well, now that makes sense.”

Sarah smiled, as she took another quick sip of her wine. Valerie got pulled away by another girl.

Angel took his last swig of beer and threw the empty bottle in a trash can near by.

“Are you out?” Sarah asked.

“Yeah, that was my last one.”

“Well, here,” Sarah bent over to Valerie’s ice chest. She giggled pretending to be sneaky, “let’s steal one of Valerie’s.”

Angel turned to see if Valerie was watching. “No, it’s cool. I don’t wanna take her beer.”

Sarah shook her head. “She’s not gonna finish all this. She never does, and then we’re gonna end up throwing it out later tonight.”

“Throw out beer? Are you nuts?”

“Well, we can’t take it home, my aunt would kill us.”

“Oh, well, in that case, let me help the cause,” He held out his hand.

Her finger brushed his hand as she passed him the bottle. That’s all it took to ignite him. His hand trembled, as he took a swig of his beer. He watched her the whole time. Her eyes were so big, her lashes so dark and heavy; everything seemed to slow down when she blinked. His insides smoldered and he gulped his beer hard.

“So, are you here alone?” She asked.

He looked around. He had to; if he stared at her any longer he was afraid he’d freak her out.

“Nah, my friends are here somewhere, we just got split up.” He turned back to her. “How ‘bout you? Is it just you and Valerie tonight?”

She sipped on her wine again. “Yeah, well, I came here with just Val, but we’re supposed to meet up with friends later.”

Angel took another swig of his beer and looked around casually, “Guys?”

“No. Some of her girlfriends; they’re not here yet though. That’s why I’m here. I really don’t like these kinds of parties, but none of her friends could get here until later, so she talked me into coming with her.”

Angel smiled, gazing in her eyes. “I’ll have to thank her later for that. So, where do you like to go?”

She held his gaze for a moment and then smiled, making Angel’s legs weak. “I love the beach,” She sighed. “I just moved out here a few months ago, from Arizona, so the beach is new to me. I could spend every night there watching the sunset. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the sunsets in Arizona are just as beautiful. It’s just the newness of the cool salty air, and watching while listening to wave’s crash, and the birds…quack?”

Angel was puzzled. “Quack?”

She burst into laughter. “Squawk? You know what I mean!”

“God, you were doing so well,” he teased, pretending to gaze out into the sky. “I mean, I could almost hear the waves crashing and everything.”

Sarah continued to laugh. Angel wondered if she was getting tipsy but he continued to tease her. He loved hearing her laugh. “I mean peep would’ve been closer, but quack? Really?”

Sarah’s hand was over her mouth, but there was no muffling her laughter. “I got the point across, didn’t I?”

“I’m just saying. The wind was blowing in my hair and everything, look.” He pretended to hold his hair down.

“Stop!” she squealed.

He couldn’t help laughing with her. It was such a cute laugh and so contagious. She was refreshing. It wasn’t just that she was enjoying his jokes, but that she didn’t mind laughing at herself. So many other girls would’ve been too busy trying to be seductive. She didn’t even have to try. He could tell being seductive was the last thing on her mind.

She wiped the corners of her eyes. She’d literally laughed that hard. “Is my mascara all messed up?” She opened her eyes wide.

He stepped forward to get a better look. Her makeup had smeared slightly on the bottom corner of her right eye. “Hold still,” he moved closer to her.

He wiped the bottom of her eye very slowly and gently with his pinky. He was so close to her face, he could smell the wine on her breath. She held her cup right in front of her, and he felt her tense up when his body touched her hand. He examined her other eye.

“Your eyes are amazing,” he said without moving back.

She held his gaze for just a second, and then backed up slightly. “Thanks.”

Forever Mine is available on Amazon US, Amazon UK  and B&N The Nook.

Visit the IAU website for  info on our upcoming  "14 days of Valentine" promo!

Friday, January 21, 2011

100 Words Exactly

Haven't updated my blog in over a week so I thought I'd share this little tidbit. Critique Circle , a writing website I've been a part of for quite some time. Has weekly writing excersises. Anyone who wants to can participate anonymously and other members vote on the best entry. At the end of the week the winner is announced. The prize? Bragging rights. Well I get to brag now because (clears throat loudly) I won. This was a while back but still, it's never too late to brag right? =)

The rules to this excersize were as follows:

Some think it's easier to write shorter fiction, but that's far from the truth.
I'd like everyone to write a 'drabble' a piece of exactly 100 words (title of maximally 5 words not included) on a chosen subject with a twist ending that's so common in this form of fiction. Hyphenated words and contractions like "I'm" count as one.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that every word needs to count... 
I read this and thought easy peasy! Yeah, right it was much harder than I thought.  
My entry:

This was it. She was going to do it this time no matter what. She wasn’t giving up. Biting her lip she concentrated hard. Up, around, over and in. Darn. Feeling the tears she took a deep breath. Don’t cry; remember what mom said about that.
She wiped her nose with the back of her arm and tried again. Up, over, in, around. It was working. The corners of her lips lifted slowly, and her eyes opened wide as she finished.

She looked around excited. There she is. “Mommy, mommy! I did it! I tied my shoe all by myself!”    

Sunday, January 16, 2011

#SampleSunday - Excerpt of Forever Mine

This week sample is another excerpt of my debut YA romance novel Forever Mine available on Amazon   and B&N Nook .

The set up:  Sarah has already gushed about the best friend she longs to go back home to Sydney, more than once.  However Angel assumes Sydney is a girl. For now Sarah has let the assumption go without correcting him. In this scene Sarah and Angel are on their first real date strolling the shops in Old Town San Diego.

Angel walked over to where Sarah had stopped and was looking at little turtle figurines with heads that bobbled. He tapped the little head to make it wiggle.

“You like that?” He grimaced.

“It’s cute.”

“My sister has a bunch of those. Ever since her friends found out she liked them they’ve started buying her more. So she collects them now.” Angel chuckled. “I remember the time some idiot brought one to the restaurant for her. My brother Alex broke the head off.”

Sarah looked at him weird. “Why’d he do that?”

Angel was still smiling. He picked out a couple the turtles for his sister and turned back to Sarah, “She was only fifteen. That’s way too young for a boyfriend.”

He watched as Sarah crinkled her nose and she got that little wrinkle between her eyes. He was beginning to love all her expressions. “Maybe he was just a friend.”

“No such thing.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean there’s no such thing as guy’s and girls being friends.” Angel moved along the aisle still not seeing anything that grabbed him. He stopped when he noticed Sarah hadn’t moved.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” She walked toward him. “You really believe that?

“Believe what?”

“That guys and girls can’t be friends?”

Angel stopped looking through all the junk on the shelves and turned his attention to Sarah. “Yeah, don’t you?”

“No. I think it is possible.”

“Really?” He lifted an eyebrow. “You have a lot of guy friends, Sarah?”

Sarah cleared her throat and glanced back at the souvenirs on the shelf. “Not a lot. But I have some.”

Sunday, January 9, 2011

#Sample Sunday - Excerpt from "Charli"

I thought I'd try something a little different this week.

This is a WIP that's been sitting on the back burner until I can get my Moreno Brothers series completed. It is a paranormal romance. This is actually based on something I overheard my mother and aunt talking about when I was a little girl. I don't remember what the story was but what stayed with me all these years was the eerie description of the strange woman and her dogs that my aunt had seen one night.

Premise of the story:

Seventeen-year old Charlotte (Charli) has been sent to live with her estranged bachelor uncle in Los Angles after her father has been sent to a mental institution. This is her first morning in her new room at her uncles and she recalls the dream she had the night before, triggering a eerie memory from her childhood. Enjoy and don't forget to comment. =)

I must’ve been more tired than I thought because I didn’t even remember falling asleep and even when I woke the next morning I was so tired. It was unusual for me to remember my dreams but last nights dream was so vivid. It was almost as if I’d been awake but I couldn’t have been.

In my dream I was sound asleep when I heard the annoying barking of a dog. I tried to ignore it but when I heard other dogs joining in and the barking getting really panicky it reminded me of something. A memory so vivid I remember everything down to the finest detail.

When I was a little girl about six years old, my grandparents dropped me off at a friend’s house, a couple they’d known for years. I was told my father was ill and they were taking him to the doctors. I spent the entire day there. It was a bit unusual because if my dad needed a sitter there was always a closer friend that could help out but that day none of them were available.

After a long day of playing with their twin daughters, I must’ve knocked out because the next thing I remember was waking up in my grandpa’s arms as he carried me out to the car. My head rested on his shoulder and I heard hushed voices as he walked. It was late and someone had thrown a blanket over me. The barking is what woke me. The same as in my dream, first one dog then others joined. I heard my grandpa’s friend try to hush his own dog by the side of the house.

I was finally in my grandpa’s truck. He buckled me in and put the blanket over me. He was parked on the street and he walked around the back of the truck to his side. That’s when I saw her. A very tall woman wearing what looked like a long dark raincoat coat with a hood. She stood in the middle of the street, absolutely still. The hood somewhat shrouded her face. But I could see the red lips and few strands of long dark hair that straggled out from under her hood.

The fact that she was standing perfectly still in the middle of street at night time wasn’t the oddest thing about the scene. It was the dogs. I’ll never forget the dogs. There were six of them. And they all sat just as still as she was in front her, in perfect lines of two. The image of Santa’s reindeer had come to my mind. I didn’t know much about dogs but they were huge. What struck me most was that as much as the neighborhood dogs were going crazy barking, her dogs sat there calmly, looking straight ahead, completely unaffected by the noise the other dogs made.

My Grandpa got in the truck and tried starting it up. Even though she was standing just a few yards away he hadn’t noticed her. The old truck hacked as he turned the key in the ignition. I was used to it taking a few tries. The whole time I couldn’t’ take my eyes off the woman and her dogs. Then she moved. It was so slight if my eyes hadn’t been fixated on her I would’ve missed it. Her head moved up a bit but just enough to unveil a pair of big dark beautiful eyes. They were penetrating but in a such good way. She was …magnificent. Instantly I felt my breath taken away. And then just as suddenly I was locked in her gaze. Her eyes somehow got bigger, darker. I couldn’t look away, move, or even speak. I’m not sure if I even breathed for those few moments.

Everything went absolute silent. And then I heard her voice. I don’t know how. Her lips didn’t move, she was still yards away and the doors and windows of the truck were closed but I heard it as clear as if she were sitting right there next to me.

“It is almost time, little one.” Her voice matched her face. It was like silk, it was music, it was… intoxicating. It felt so good in my ear I smiled.

The next thing I remember I woke up in my bed in my grandparent’s house. In the small room I shared with my dad. Only that morning I was alone. When I asked my grandpa about the woman with the dogs he had no idea what I was talking about.

I found out years later, the day I’d spent at there friends was first of several interventions my family had, had for my drug addicted father. Of course at the time I didn’t even realize my dad had a problem. All I knew is he was...different. He did things and said things sometimes that didn’t make any sense. But he’d been that way as long as I could remember so it didn’t seem odd to a six-year-old.

As the years passed he got worse.

I shook my head refusing to dwell on those memories. Instead my thoughts went back last nights dream. In the dream the barking woke me and so I sat up in my bed. I waited to see if the barking would stop but it only got louder. I stood and walked to the window and there she was in the middle of the long driveway. My memories had kept her exactly as when I’d seen here so many years ago. The dark coat, the dogs, the red lips. I could see now the dogs were Great Danes. No wonder they’d seemed so big to me as a child. I waited almost holding my breath for her to move to look at me like she had that one night.

Then she did. Again her movement was so slight, and her eyes came into view. They were just as enchanting as they’d been the first time only this time there was something different. I didn’t know what it was but it worried me. Somehow I could sense that she was anxious, frightened. I felt her fear run through me and I shivered.

Our eyes locked and I was paralyzed where I stood. But it didn’t scare me. I welcomed it. Everything went silent and her voice flowed in my ears like a beautiful song.

“It is time.”

That’s when I woke up. In my bed under my blankets just as I had lied down the night before and I knew I’d been dreaming. But I was so tired.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

#DaSample "Shades of Gray" By Joleene Naylor

Today's sample is brought to us by Joleene Naylor. Vampires!

From Shades of Gray by Joleene Naylor, Book 1 in the Amaranthine series: Where vampires live in the shadows and don’t sparkle.

(Jorick and Katelina are attacked by a pair of vampires while staying in a motel room. Jorick defeats the vampires just as his friend shows up to give them a ride…)

The men returned to the car and Jorick slid into the front passenger seat. As the door banged shut, he glanced over his shoulder to offer Katelina a tight but reassuring smile.

She wanted to ask him what was going on but figured it was pointless. Besides, she wasn't sure she really wanted to know at the moment. She did, however, want away from the horrible place; away from the pink motel and the ugly carpet and hideous orange drapes and bloody footprints.

The driver climbed in and asked Jorick quietly, “Are we ready?”

Jorick nodded and dropped back into the seat. He closed his eyes wearily as the car shuddered into gear and they pulled out of the parking lot.

“I take it they found you?” The driver glanced sideways for a moment and Katelina could see his perfect profile. His strange eyes and golden brown hair made him look like a lion. It wasn't just his appearance, though. There was something very feline about him, the feeling of controlled power lurking beneath a peaceful exterior, like a cat coiled and ready to spring on its prey.

“Yes.” Jorick opened his dark eyes. The street lights flashed past them and splashed dark, twisted shadows across his weary face. “They found us.”

With this pronouncement the car fell silent except for the sound of the motor and the wheels on the pavement. They soon left the small town of Dunwick behind them. As it shrunk in the darkness, Katelina began to relax. Though, she longed for a cigarette to sooth her nerves. She knew that it wouldn’t really make things better. How many times had Sarah lectured her about that, after all? But somehow things would seem saner if she had one. She wanted a cigarette and her own bed and her telephone. She wanted to curl up under the covers and call Sarah and tell her about this horrible nightmare she’d had, and then she wanted to call her mother and make arrangements for Grave Day like usual. She just wanted reality.

But, her reality wasn’t pretty. She’d just been attacked by two vampires and the two packs of cigarettes she’d bought had been abandoned in the motel room with the food; her last twenty dollars gone for nothing, after all. Somehow this was a deeply disheartening thought.

She leaned her face against the cool glass and stared out into the night flying past them, the trees illuminated and ghostly in the harsh brightness of the headlights. The rhythm of the tires on the pavement droned in her ears. She closed her eyes and tried to relax to the vibrations of the car. She hadn’t been awake for very long, but she was already as exhausted as Jorick looked. Her muscles were taut, and her left shoulder was aching again.

The driver’s voice interrupted her thoughts, his tones low enough that he probably thought she couldn’t hear him.

“So this is the... erm... her?”

“Yes, this is Katelina,” Jorick answered.

“What are you planning to do with her?”

The question hung in the air and Katelina felt herself wanting to know what he’d say, her ears tensing for the sound of his answer. Finally, after what felt like uncountable minutes, Jorick cleared his throat. “I don't know,” his voice was sad. “I admit I didn't expect things to happen this way.”

“I told you it was a bad idea, Jorick.” His tone was flat, as though they’d discussed it too many times already.

“I know, I know.” Jorick said quietly. He seemed resigned to this fact. “I just hated to leave her hanging, never knowing what really happened to him. Besides, who's to say that Claudius wouldn't have gone after her sooner or later? She is a reasonable suspect, you know. Would it be better for it to come as a complete shock?”

“And I suppose you broke it to her gently?” The driver snorted. “I understand your reasoning, Jorick, your true reasoning, but I still stand by my original opinion.”

“I'm sure you do, Oren. I'm sure it wouldn't have haunted your dreams, but we're different.”

“We didn't used to be, not before....” Oren trailed off.

“Yes, I know. I'll bet you don't even dream anymore, do you?”
There was silence and then very quietly he said, “No, Jorick. I don't.”

Buy the book:

Amazon US (paperback)

Amazon US (kindle)

Smashwords -


Joleene Naylor grew up in southwest Iowa surrounded by corn and very little entertainment – so she made her own. She’s been writing and drawing since she was a child, with a leaning towards fantasy, horror and paranormal. It’s this love of all that goes bump in the night that lead her to write the Amaranthine vampire series. In her spare time she’s a freelance artist and photographer. Joleene does freelance book cover art, maintains blogs full of odd ramblings, illustrates a webcomic and hopes to win the lottery. However, unless she starts buying tickets she may never actually win anything.


To read sample chapters and more, visit my website!

You never know what you'll find in the shadows.....

Monday, January 3, 2011

#DaSample- Cattitude by Edie Ramer

Todays daily sample is brought to us from Edie Ramer.

Edie Ramer is an award-winning indie author whose short stories have been published in national magazine. She’s gotten a lot of great reviews for CATTITUDE, which is about a cat who switches bodies with a woman and keeps her cat attitude—even as someone tries to kill her and she falls in love with her former owner. It’s on sale at most online places for only 99 cents.

Enjoy the excerpt!

Belle jerked her head away from Max’s chest. Wasn’t it bad enough she was inside this human body? With these clumsy arms that didn’t propel her forward when she wanted to leap and run? With this ugly furless skin? And now Max wanted to take her to the hospital. How could he do something so horrible?

Three years of sitting on Tory’s lap, being petted while they watched Tory’s favorite TV show, The Love Chronicles, had taught Belle what happened in hospitals. People would poke and prod her and stick her with needles. Plus, she might fall in love, lose her memory, be murdered by someone disguised as a doctor, and maybe have a baby. A human baby.

No! She was not going to let that happen.

Belle’s arms dropped from around his back. Her palms slammed into his chest and he lurched backward. The blanket slid off her shoulders and pooled around her ankles. She leaped, twisting to face the ditch and thicket of trees. The heaviness of her new body made her land with a stagger. Then she followed her feline instincts and sprang forward.

“What the hell—” Max shouted.

Belle lurched. Her human legs didn’t want to obey her. She tried to force them to move faster, but it was like wading through snow. Crouching to avoid low tree branches, she darted into the trees at a fraction of her normal speed.

This was her environment. As fast as Max was, he wouldn’t catch her unless she let him, even with his clumsy limbs.

“Get back here,” he called. “I’m trying to help you.”

“She looks pretty damn healthy to me.” The amusement in Ted’s voice carried to Belle. “If she wants to go, let her.”

“I’m not leaving until I find her,” Max said.

Crashing noises came from the trees near the road. Max. She put her hand over her mouth, to stop a cry from coming out. She’d never thought she’d run from him. Never thought he’d be the one that made her heart thump in fear.

Her human feet made noises too. She glanced down at them. They were covered with soft-soled tie shoes like the ones Max and Ted wore. Maybe if she walked on the balls of her feet, she wouldn’t crunch with every step. She’d be quiet . . . like a cat.

For two steps she tried, but walking this way was slower than stalking an ant. The crashing noises moved to her left. Close, too close. Belle spied a tree with low branches, grabbed the closest branch and pulled herself up. Her arms ached, as if they didn’t want to do this. She set her mouth and commanded them to obey.

This human body was so clumsy. No stretch, no agility, no energy.

Belle hated it. Where was her cat body? She wanted it back.

Max smashed through the woods, leaves crunching beneath his shoes, branches cracking. Belle changed her opinion that dogs were the clumsiest creatures. Her muscles straining, she pulled up to another branch, then another.

None of the branches had leaves. If he looked up . . .

Biting back gasping breaths, Belle hung on. Max walked below her, looking at the ground, as if for tracks. Stopping, he glanced around.

“Where are you?” he shouted.

Belle clasped the branch, its bark rough on her soft human hands. She couldn’t go to the hospital. She had to stay here, find her cat body and claim it back.

Don’t look up. Don’t look up. Don’t look—

She stopped her silent commands. The last time she wanted something so fervently was when Caroline flung her into the path of the car. Her frantic plea had worked, but look what happened. If it worked this time, she might change into a bird.

Belle shuddered. Being a bird would be worse than being a human. Cats ate birds.

Max raised his head—a movement that made Belle swallow a whimper—and he called out, “If you come right now, I’ll help you. I won’t let anyone hurt you. You have my word on it.” He cocked his head, listening and waiting.

Belle clung to the branch, afraid to breathe. Her hands were growing colder by the second. She wanted to drop into his arms and let him take care of her. But she was a cat, not a puny human who let Max do everything for her like his mother, sister and sometimes Ted. Sure, she let Max feed and water her, but look what she did in return. He didn’t see any mice in his house, did he?

She didn’t need Max to fix this. She’d fix it herself.

Buy the book: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords

Find out more about Edie and her books at her website.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

#Sample Sunday - Excerpt of "Forever Mine"

The set up for this scene:  This is the morning after Sarah's first night out with Angel Moreno. He's already called her first thing in the morn and asked to see her again. She's getting ready and has a conversation with her step cousin Valerie regarding her relationship with her best friend Sydney back home and Angel's possible reaction to knowing her best friend is a guy.   

Sarah couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt so alive. Standing under the shower with the warm water running over her body she thought of Angel, as she lathered herself and smiled.

The past year had been all but hell, and the past two months had been worst, with Sydney having to drag her out of her funk every time. But now she felt jubilant. It scared her a little. She was still very aware of the fact that this was Angel. The Angel she’d heard so much about. But he said he was looking forward to getting to know her. He sounded so sincere, and his kisses, God those kisses. Just thinking about them made her quiver all over.

Sydney’s call woke her up just after seven, and they talked until Angel called. He knew she was going out last night for the first time since she’d been out here, and was anxious to see how it went. Sarah told him everything, not wanting to leave anything out, especially about the kissing. Sydney hadn’t been surprised at all that Angel was interested in Sarah and was happy she sounded so excited, but warned her to take it slow.

She got out of the shower and dressed. She went back in the restroom to get her blow dryer and ran into Valerie, still in her sleep clothes, a long t-shirt and basketball shorts. “Where are you going so early?”

Sarah’s cheeks reddened. “Angel is picking me up.” She tried not to smile too big.

Valerie’s jaw dropped and eyes popped wide open. “He is?”

Sarah nodded, smiling sheepishly. She grabbed the blow dryer and started back to her room with Valerie in tow. “Oh my God, you’re so lucky! Was that who called so early this morning?”

Sarah stopped at her bed and looked through her purse. She didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. The more she made out of this, the harder it would be if she turned out to be Angel’s flavor of the week. A faint haze of pain sunk in, just thinking about it. But she knew it was a definite possibility.

“No, that was Sydney,” she said. “Angel called while I was on the line with him.”

Valerie rolled her eyes. Sarah knew what Valerie thought of Sydney. She’d never actually met him but she didn’t understand their friendship. “There’s no way that guy is not in love with you,” she’d said, many times.

Sarah also knew Valerie resented the fact that she had preferred, literally begged to stay in Flagstaff with him and his family, rather than come and live with Valerie and her Aunt. Even now, she talked more and was closer to him than she’d ever been with Valerie.

Valerie plopped on Sarah’s bed. “Are you gonna tell Angel about Sydney?”

“I already did.” She left out the part about Angel referring to Sydney as a she this morning, and the fact that she hadn’t corrected him.

Valerie’s eyebrows shot up in surprise, “Really? What did he say?”

Sarah made a face. “Valerie, we hung out one night; you honestly think he cares?”

“I’m telling you, guys are territorial.”

She shrugged. “Well, territorial or not, I’m not his girlfriend -”

“Yet,” Valerie interrupted. “We’ll see what he thinks of Sydney once you two get serious.”

Sarah felt something tighten in her chest. She thought about how he’d gotten right to the subject of Jesse when they got to the beach. How stone faced he’d turned when she told him she’d gone out with him. But with Sydney it was totally different. He’d have to understand.

“What makes you so sure we’ll be getting serious? You, yourself said he’d never had a girlfriend. Why would he want one now?”

It was almost a rhetorical question. She didn’t really want to hear the answer. Valerie was ruining this for her. It was way too soon to start worrying about what Angel would think about her relationship with Sydney.

She’d given it some thought when she realized Angel had assumed Syd was a girl. But she pushed it to the back of her mind. She’d cross that bridge when she came to it. At the moment, she wasn’t even sure she’d ever have to.

Valerie made herself comfortable against the headboard. “It’s the way he was with you last night, Sarah. I’ve never seen him act like that before. He’s never been one for public displays of affection. But last night it was so obvious he wanted everyone to see you were with him.”

Sarah tried to hide her exhilaration.

“I’m just saying,” Valerie continued. “If you were like me, I wouldn’t worry about it. Just tell him all about Sydney and if he walks, oh well, too bad for him, on to the next. But you’re not like me. You’re sweet, sensitive little Sarah. And I saw the way you looked at him last night too, missy. You’re already falling for him. So, unless you want troubles, you should start weaning Sydney off your everlasting devotion.”

The butterflies in Sarah’s stomach stirred, threatening to take off in a wild spin. Sarah walked back to her purse, eyeing Valerie. She put her make up on silently. She hardly wore any, so it didn’t take very long. She was about to respond to Valerie’s observation, when her phone rang, making her jump. Valerie smiled eagerly.

“Is it him?

Sarah looked at the caller ID and nodded. Valerie flew off the bed and ran over to Sarah’s side, leaning in to try and hear him. Sarah looked at her and giggled. She flipped the phone open and answered.

Sarah gave him the directions with Valerie glued to her side the whole time. When she hung up Valerie groaned. “God, he even sounds hot. I swear you are so lucky!”

Sarah tried to play it cool, but the swarm in her stomach had spun out of control. She’d barely had enough time to absorb what had happened the night before, and now he was on his way to pick her up again. She smiled at Valerie and hurried to finish herself up.

She filled her aunt in on her plans, and gathered her purse together. He drove a white mustang. She could tell it was an older model but it was still nice. She looked out the window and watched him get out of the car. He wore dark carpenter jeans and a long sleeve gray crewneck shirt that hugged his chest perfectly.

“I’m leaving!” she yelled at no one in particular and walked out to meet him.

Forever Mine just recently recieved a 5 Star "Top Pick" Review from Night Owl Reviews!!

Available on Amazon Kindle US, Amazon Kindle UK and B&N Nook