Monday, January 14, 2013

No Strings Attached Blog Hop

Welcome to the No Strings Attached Blog Hop hosted by I am Reader, Not a Writer.
This hop runs from January 15th to the 21st.

To win all you need to do is leave a comment with your email address. (So I can contact you if you win.) The prize is an e-copy of one of my books, (see the side bar) your choice which.

Visit the other sites listed below and wind more great prizes.

Thanks for playing! Good Luck! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Free Fiction Friday- Bait Part Six

Sorry , I missed Wednesday. Back at the day job after two weeks off left me pretty busy this week. So first things first, the winner of the Happy New Year 2013 Blog Hop was Amy Craft. Thanks to everyone who followed and left a comment. Much appreciated.

So on to part six of Bait. Not sure if I'll keep posting on Fridays. I might start posting more frequently (Tuesdays and Thursdays, maybe) otherwise I'll be posting chapters of a Christmas story in April. :-) We'll see. In the mean time, here is part six. Remember to leave a comment, and I'll draw a name at the end of the month for a copy of Blood and Bone. The more you comment, the better your odds of winning. Enjoy!

Copyright © 2012 Dawn Brown
Part VI

For a moment, Ella stood frozen, unable to move, staring at the man dressed only in a pair of faded blue boxers hanging from his narrow hips. She should say something, or at least look away. Instead, she let her gaze move over the length of him, taking in each hard muscle, the smattering of golden brown hair on his chest, the smooth column of his throat until at last meeting his wide eyes. Who knew that under those rumpled suits waited a body like his?
            She gave herself a mental shake before she started drooling.
            “What are you doing here?” she hissed, putting herself back on task and keeping her voice low. “You didn’t have him under surveillance.”
            He snorted. “Obviously.”
            “Then why are you here?” And why wasn’t he making any effort to cover himself? Something stirred low in her belly, bringing with it the memory of his lips on hers. Heat crept into her cheeks, but she refused to look away as if doing so would somehow give credence to the sensations swirling inside her.
            His mouth curved into a slow smile. Had he guessed what she’d been thinking? Probably. Her face burned hotter.
            “I’m here for you, Ella.” His quiet voice wrapped around her and her nerve endings hummed.
            She swallowed hard. “I don’t need you here. I know what I’m doing.”
            “I don’t think you do.” He took a step forward. Instinctively, she tried to take one back, but the closed door behind her kept her from moving away. “You’ve put yourself in a dangerous situation and I’m not going to let anything happen to you.”
            Not going to let anything happen to her? Who the hell did he think he was? She’d been on her own since she was eleven years old and done just fine. She didn’t need anyone. Except maybe for Phoebe. “I can take care of myself, thank you very much.”
            “Not this time.” He advanced on her again, just one step, but eating up the space between them too quickly. Her heart thudded against her chest so loud he had to be able to hear it too. She should leave. Get out of this room and regroup. But with a slow dawning horror, she realized she didn’t want to. In that moment, she wanted him against her. Those strong arms wrapped around her. She wanted him to engulf her in his warmth, to melt against him. And for one desperate instant she wanted someone to take care of her.
            “I need you to leave.” She didn’t like the note of desperation in her voice, but there was nothing she could do about it now.
            “I can’t my car battery is dead. Besides, by now the roads would be unsafe to travel on. I’m here for the long haul. Merry Christmas.”
            Ella sat on the edge of her bed, clutching the handful of sleeping pills she’d stuffed into her pocket earlier. When her chance came, she hadn’t been able to bring herself to do it. Hot tears pricked the corners of her eyes.
            She’d failed. Lost her nerve and let her sister down. Squeezing her eyes closed, she tried to keep her tears from falling.
            “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she whispered over and over again like a mantra. The only person she loved, who loved her, was gone, and the man responsible slept down the hall.
            She looked down at her closed fist, then opened her hand slowly staring down at the capsules. Why hadn’t she used the pills?
            They’d sat in the silent living room, sipping wine and engaging in awkward conversation, with only the fire and white lights on the Christmas tree for light, listening to the storm rage outside.  Andy’s hot amber gaze never left her face, even when Luke spoke to him directly.
She hadn’t lost her nerve. Andy’s endless scrutiny hadn’t given her the opportunity to act. Tomorrow the storm would let up, and he would have no excuse to stay. Then she could do what she came here for.
            With shaking fingers, she returned to the pills to the yellow plastic vial. She changed into a blue silk night-gown, climbed into the wide double bed and clicked off the lamp. The room was cold, even beneath the heavy quilt. Outside, the wind howled around the house and whistled through unseen cracks around the window.
            She forced her eyes closed, willing her mind to shut down and allow her to rest. Please, just one night of peace. Instead, Andy filled her thoughts.
            She wanted to go to him. She wanted to slip into his room and into his bed. To feel his body move over hers, fill hers, To have his hands, big and warm, gripping her against him.
She threw back the covers, stood in the icy black of her room and crossed to the door.
She would have this one night for herself. For one night she wouldn’t feel alone, she would feel like she mattered to someone. It might just be an illusion, just sex, but she would take it.
            Cold to her soul, she crossed the short distance from her room to his. Her feet padded across the smooth hardwood. At his door, she hesitated. Should she knock? She didn’t want to risk alerting Luke.
            She looked down. Warm yellow light seeped from under the door. He was awake. Her hand closed on the brass knob. She turned it, pushed open the door and stepped into his room.

Monday, January 7, 2013

One Down, Forty-Nine to Go

One of my new year's resolutions this year is to make a point of reading more. With that in mind I decided to do the Goodreads reading challenge for 2013. I'm aiming to read fifty books this year--actually, I'd like to read more than that, but I figured 50 was totally doable. I hope I didn't just jinx myself with that.

So I finished the first of my fifty books--Animal Farm, by George Orwell.

I read 1984 last year and it quickly shot to one of my favorite books of all time. Animal Farm touches on many of the same themes, but focuses on the corruption of ideals with power, and how that power goes unchecked when confronted with ignorance and apathy.

Now, it's probably not fair to compare the two books, and perhaps had I not read 1984 so close to reading this one, I wouldn't be. But I did and I am. I enjoyed the book. It was cleverly written, and  Boxer's plight nearly brought me to tears, but it just didn't have the same intensity that 1984 did. That said, there are certain books that I think everyone should read, and Animal Farm would be one of them.

Anyone else doing the Goodreads challenge? How many book would you like to read this year?  

Friday, January 4, 2013

Free Fiction Friday - Bait Part Five

It's Friday, and unfortunately the last Friday before I'm back to the day job. It's been nice putting all my time into writing again. I'm going to miss it once I'm back to work. But in the meantime, here is the latest chapter of Bait. Remember to leave a comment to be entered in a draw for a copy of Blood and Bone at the end of the month. The more you comment, the better your odds of winning.

Also, there is still time join in the Happy New Year 2013 blog hop with lots of great prizes.

Copyright © 2012 Dawn Brown
Part V

 From the window of Luke’s guest bedroom, Ella watched the snow drift softly to the ground like a veil of white in the dying light.  A deep expanse of forest surrounded the A-frame chalet like a fortress wall, tree’s tangled, skeletal branches grasping at the blue gray sky above, leaving her feeling isolated, shut off from the outside world.
A shudder rippled down her spine.
            She closed her eyes and leaned her forehead against the cold glass. Tonight was the night. Tonight she would have the answers she’d wanted for so long.
            Could she do it? She swallowed hard and did her best to ignore the way her hands trembled as she let the drape fall back into place. She turned away from the window and knelt next to her suitcase, checking she had everything she needed for about the one millionth-time since arriving.
            Pulling pack the flap on the lid, she inspected the contents. The bottle of sleeping pills her doctor had prescribed for her when Phoebe first disappeared. She hadn’t used them long, feeling groggier and more muddle-headed than she had before taking one. Plastic ties used for securing wires that she bought at the hardware store. She’d considered rope, but didn’t know anything about knots. Besides, Luke wouldn’t be able to wriggle free from these. The only way ties like this would come off would be if she cut them, and she wouldn’t do that until he’d told her everything she wanted to know. And finally, the hammer also purchased at the time she bought the ties. She hadn’t brought any other tools. If the hammer failed to produce the results she wanted, she would improvise with whatever she found around the chalet. She remembered seeing a hatchet on the mantel of the stone fireplace in the living room.
            Her stomach lurched and she ground her teeth together to keep from throwing up. She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t.
            You can. Think of Phoebe. Think of that bastard’s smug expression when you showed up at his door. Think about what he must have done to your sister. And think about the next fifty years not knowing what happened to her while he gets away with it.
            She drew in a shaky breath, plucked the pill bottle from the pouch in her suitcase.  After unscrewing the child-safe lid she shook a half dozen capsules into her hand. How many did she need? She wanted enough to knock him out for a few hours, but not send him into a coma.
            She stuffed the entire handful into her pocket. If a few didn’t work, she’d give him more until he passed out.
            The doorbell downstairs chimed, making her jump and her heart start to pound. Who in the hell would that be? They were out in the middle of nowhere during a snowstorm, not terribly conducive to drop-ins. Had Luke invited someone else to join their merry little party? That would throw a real wrench in her plans.
            She left the bedroom and walked to the rail overlooking living room. The fire crackling in the fireplace reflected orange off the gleaming wood floors. Candles on the mantle and in the center of the coffee table between the two couches glowed warmly next to a bottle of wine and two glasses.
How romantic. Did he actually think she’d mess around with her maybe dead sister’s husband? A man she’d less than a month ago accused of foul play in her sister’s disappearance.
            She shrugged off her annoyance. His ego actually worked to her advantage. The wine would be the ideal opportunity to begin drugging him. Or it would be provided whoever was knocking at the door left.
            Male voices drifted to her ears as she descended the stairs to the front hall where the men were speaking. Mid-way down both men came into her line of vision. Luke faced her, dressed in black pants and black turtleneck sweater. His eyes gleamed in the dim light like neon and his sculpted lips thinned into a straight line as he eyed the other man.
            She froze on the bottom step. Her heart started to pound. Even with his back to her there was something horribly familiar about the other man’s messy brown hair and wet, rumpled coat.
            “Ella,” Luke said, catching sight of her. “It would seem we have a guest for Christmas dinner."
            The other man turned. Hot golden eyes, the color of whiskey, locked with hers.
            “Andy,” she half gasped half squeaked.
            Of all the times for her to start using his first name. Andy glanced over his shoulder to gauge Luke’s reaction. If he thought there was anything strange in her reaction to him, Summers wasn’t letting on.
            “Ms. Martin,” Andy said. “I must admit, I’m surprised to find you here.”
            She gaped at him for a long moment, then cleared her throat and said, “Detective, I assure you the feeling is mutual.”
            “It seems,” Summers cut in, drawing Ella’s attention him. “Detective Harlowe has had some car trouble.”
            “I see,” she said, her gaze shifting from him to Summers then back again.
            “Do you?” Luke snapped. “Because I don’t. What are you doing out in this neck of the woods on Christmas Eve, Detective?”
            Andy gave him a hard smile. “Watching you. You’re under surveillance. Didn’t you know?”
            “Is that really the sort of thing you march up to your quarry’s front door and announce?” Ella asked, resting her hands on her hips.
            “Not usually.” He’d pissed her off. Whatever game she was playing she hadn’t wanted him to see it. “But the battery in my car died and the idea of sitting outside and freezing to death wasn’t terribly appealing.”
            “So phone for a tow,” Luke ground out.
            “Can’t get a signal on my phone. Probably the storm. It’s supposed let up by morning. Surely, you wouldn’t turn out a police man on Christmas eve.”
            Andy smiled wide, his gaze bouncing between two silent, furious stares.
            Luke spoke first. “Of course not. It seems it will be the three of us celebrating. How surreal. Let me show you to a bedroom. You’re soaked through. I should have something you can wear. I’m taller than you and wider in the shoulders so what I have might be a bit big.”
            Jesus, maybe they should whip out their dicks to see whose was bigger and just be done with it already. “Whatever you have is fine.”
            Luke led him to a small room at the end of the hall made smaller by the sharp wall angle of the A-frame. After dropping a pair of jeans and a gray turtleneck on the bed, Luke left, closing the door behind him.
            Alone at last. Andy’s shoulder’s sagged and he nearly flopped onto the bed until he remembered his wet clothes. As he peeled the cold material from his skin, the sound of hushed voices carried through the door—unfortunately not loud enough for him to make out actual words. After a few minutes the voices faded as the speakers moved away.
            Well, he was in. Next step, stop Ella from getting herself killed and get her as far from that scumbag Summers as possible. He yanked open the fly of his wet pants and shimmied out of them, leaving them in a heap on the floor.
            Without warning, his door clicked then swung open. He spun around to face his uninvited guest in nothing but his boxers and a curse on his lips. He froze, the words dying on his tongue as Ella slipped inside, closed the door and leaned back against it. Her pale green gaze moved over his nearly naked body and a flash of need heated his blood.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Party's Over. Back to Work

Hope everyone had a lovely, safe New Year. It was a fairly quiet one around her. The kid had been down with a cold, so we elected to stay home and bring in the new year quietly. We had a nice dinner together and managed to stay up until midnight to wish each other a happy new year. Though, if I'm honest, I barely made it. We have a new kitten and he's far more effective of having me awake between six and seven than any alarm clock I've ever owned. :-)

So with the new year well under way, I have set my goals and started working toward them. This year, I'm determined to wrap up My Devil series and--hopefully--see all three books released. I'd like to write three books this year from first to final draft. (I'm almost done The Devil's Shadow so I'm not sure if I'll count that as one of the three. I'll decide closer to the end of the year, I guess.) Keep posting regularly on the blog. And get my website up and running again.

What does everyone else have planned for the new year?

Don't forget, there's still time to take part in the Happy New Year 2013 Blog Hop, and lots of prizes to be won.