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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Wild Texas Wind

Another fun blast from the past for Throwback Thursday, this time from my first historical western, Wild Texas Wind...


All Raz Colt wants is land, a quiet peaceable existence and to put his life as a hired gun in the past. When the chance to earn a sizable fortune by rescuing a kidnapped heiress comes his way, he seizes the opportunity. Trouble is, the heiress doesn't want to be rescued. Offsetting Arden O'Hara's beauty is a rattlesnake personality and shrewish temper. Despite her claim that she faked the kidnapping so her fiance would ride to her rescue, Raz knows someone is out to kill her. And if anyone gets the pleasure of wringing her lovely neck, it's going to be him.
Arden O'Hara is desperate to go home. Her fiance was supposed to ride to her rescue, proving it's her---and not her father's money--- he loves. Instead an arrogant stranger, with weapons strapped gun-fighter low and a decided lack of sympathy for her situation, shows up spouting a ridiculous tale about someone trying to kill her. It's infuriating when Raz Colt's claims prove true after not one but several attempts are made on her life. She has no idea who this fast gun with the deadly aim is, or why he makes her feel as wild and untamed as the Texas wind. But like it or not, if anyone is capable of getting her home alive, it's Raz Colt.

~~~

Arden couldn’t be certain the exact moment she realized the approaching rider was watching her. But the chill crawling up her spine was the doing of the man lying unconscious beneath her. He’d deliberately tried to frighten her.
And for the moment, she was stuck. Her chin hovered mere inches from his chest. No matter how she struggled she couldn’t free her hair from beneath his dead weight.
“Wake up.” She tried to squirm free, to kick him—anything. She reached awkwardly around to slap at his cheek, but to no avail. He didn’t stir. Only the steady rise and fall of his chest assured her she hadn’t killed him.
The rider moved closer, slowing his pace to take in the scene before him. It was too late to play dead. She had a funny feeling it wouldn’t have done much good anyway.
The metal of the .44 grew warm against her palm, but her hand, pinned awkwardly between her body and the man she lie upon, was numb and tingly from lack of circulation. The rider stopped a few feet away and dismounted. He walked closer, then stopped, studying her with a smug expression. When the corners of his mouth turned up, she had the oddest feeling he considered himself the cat to her mouse. Every instinct screamed the truth. This was the killer.
In one grand attempt to remain alive, she rolled to one side, ignoring the sting of her scalp, and freed her arm. Cocking the hammer with her thumb, she trained the gun on him. “Don’t come any cl—”
A hand on the back of her neck slammed her face down on the ground. Her finger was squeezed tight against the trigger as he—the arrogant ass she’d been unable to rouse a moment ago—closed his hand over hers. Three shots rang out almost simultaneously, the kick from the gun lurching her arm as it fired. Something warm buzzed past her ear, like the hum of a bumble bee but much too fast and much too hot. She opened her mouth to scream but inhaled a mouthful of dust and dirt instead.
Silence reigned for only a second before he rolled off her, one hand pressed to his head where she’d struck him. “Son of a bitch.”
Sputtering, Arden sat up and wiped an arm across her mouth. The rider lay slumped at an odd angle in the dirt. She turned to the suddenly-conscious stranger “You killed him.”
He stood, hand still on his head. “You’re welcome.” With a motion of his finger, he wordlessly told her to stay put. Gun in hand, he approached the dead man, then nudged him with the toe of his boot. He bent to press two fingers to the side of the man’s neck. “He’s dead.”
“So I gathered.” She noted the precision of the two holes, one square in the chest, the other right between the eyes. Either would have been a lethal shot. Another chill slithered down her spine despite the sun’s merciless heat. Who was this man with such deadly aim?
“Do you know him?”
The sight of the corpse, already taking on a chalky hue, began to sour her empty stomach. She drew her knees up to her chin, shaking her head in answer to his question. “Do you?”

He glanced down at the man’s face, cocked his head as if considering. “By reputation only. At least I think it’s him.” He rose, reloaded, and holstered the .44. with a smooth motion that told her he did it often and without thought.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday - The Model Man

For Throwback Thursday, one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite stories.  This scene was so much fun to write...

This is from chapter 3--my hero isn't used to being turned down, especially by a woman he knows wants him...

The Model Man by Nicole McCaffrey



Earlier this morning he’d decided to forget about Kelly; she’d made her lack of interest clear enough last night. Somewhere along the way he changed his mind. “I sent roses, dammit.”
He reached the atrium. Looking relaxed, happy and gorgeous, Kelly chatted with her fans. He was struck once more by her fresh-faced beauty and mesmerizing blue eyes, especially with the sun’s glow on her pale blonde hair and her face alight with humor.
The memory of her in that red dress and the soft, sweet smell of her perfume rushed back to him. The way her nipples stood at attention when she removed his jacket. He knew he’d affected her, every bit as much as she had affected him.
“If she isn’t interested, she can damn well tell me why.”
Behind him, Frankie warned. “Derek, don’t do anything stupid.”
He never slowed his pace. As he made his way to Kelly’s table, an audible hush followed in his wake. She was so engrossed with the fans she didn’t seem to notice the change in the atmosphere.
At the table, the women waiting in line stepped aside for him. Bright sunlight streamed through the glass walls and ceiling, casting his shadow as he loomed over her. She stiffened before she looked up. He heard a slight hitch in her breath when he shoved a book beneath her nose.
Without a word, she quickly scrawled her name, then handed it back to him. “Who’s next?”
He stepped to the side, blocking her view. “Why?”
Her gaze flickered over the loincloth he wore since that was at eye level. A delicate flush crept over her face as her gaze slowly moved upward. When at last their eyes met, he was fighting the stirrings of an erection—and she seemed barely able to speak.
“I—I told your...” she waved a hand in circles, “zoo keeper, or whatever she is, I have plans.”
He folded his arms over his chest, uncaring if he sounded like an arrogant ass. “Change them.”
“I can’t.” She peered around him and gestured for the next person to come forward.
He leaned closer, covering the books spread out before her with both palms. “Why not?”
The glance she spared him was as prim and proper as a schoolteacher. “Because I don’t want to.”
“Then meet me afterward.”
“No.”
Knowing he was invading her space, he moved even closer, his face inches from hers. “Don’t make me beg, you won’t like it.”
“Then go away and stop asking.”
A wicked thought came to mind. Before he even had time to second guess it, he moved around to her side of the table and scooped her up in his arms.
“What are you—?”
“You left me no choice.” He lifted her high, tilting her toward him until she had to put her arms about his neck to hold on.
“Ladies,” he said, turning to face the room of startled onlookers. “Don’t you think if a man spends the night making love to a woman, the least she can do is have dinner with him?”
“Oh God,” she moaned. “Don’t do this...”

“I warned you you wouldn’t like it,” he said in a low voice.

****

Single mom and romance novelist Kelly Michaels has no time for a man in her life. But when mega-famous cover model Derek Calavicci puts the moves on her at a romance writers’ conference, she succumbs to temptation. Common sense prevails, however, and after a few passionate kisses she turns him down; she has impressionable teenagers at home, after all, she doesn’t need a one-night-stand with a much younger man, no matter how hot he is. When photos of their passionate moonlight kiss hit the tabloids, her agent has to do some fast footwork to save her reputation. Will the notorious bad boy go along with her scheme?
Derek rarely hears a woman say “no” – it’s been that way his entire life. If Kelly isn’t interested, he’s not going to push her-- even if she does melt like ice cream on a hot sidewalk every time he touches her. But when an unexpected opportunity falls into his lap by way of Kelly’s scheming agent, he jumps at the chance. Pretend he’s in love with Kelly Michaels for two weeks? No problem. After all, the lady may say she’s never going to sleep with him... but he's got two weeks to convince her otherwise.

Monday Morning Musing: A Shot of Adrenaline

I found the review below on Facebook last week when someone posted it about Northern Temptress, and it lifted my spirits considerably. Last ...