Okay, so you know what’s coming up?
The Missing releases in mass market.
Now it’s already out in trade, still available in a few places, although if you wait until it releases in paperback on 7/6/10, it would mean lots and lots to me.
I’m going to be posting some excerpts between now and the end of the month. If you haven’t read it yet, maybe you’ll decide to check it out when the book hits the shelves in July.
As a teenager, Taige Branch was able to do things with her psychic gift that others couldn’t understand—except for Cullen Morgan, the boy her stole her heart. He did his best to accept her abilities, until his mother was brutally murdered—and he couldn’t forgive Taige for not preventing her death.
Now a widowed father, Cullen Morgan has never forgotten Taige. But what brings her back into his life is another tragic event. His beloved little girl has been kidnapped, and Taige is his only hope of finding her.
A LOVE THAT NEVER DIED
Working together against the clock, Cullen and Taige can’t help but wonder whether—if they find his daughter in time—it isn’t too late for the overpowering love that still burns between them…
Her mind started to wander away from the story, daydreams intruding on reality, and she never realized she was drifting off.
The caffeine in her system, the cold shower, none of her attempts to stay awake made a bit of difference under the weight of her exhaustion. She fell asleep with the midmorning sun shining hot on her face, and when the book slid from her slack hands and hit the ground, she didn’t notice.
“You push yourself too hard,” he murmured as he leaned down and pushed a few wayward strands of hair back from her face.
His voice had changed over the years, deepening just a little. His face had changed some, too, but he was still just as beautiful to her now as he had been when she was sixteen and he had come running to her side the night Joey and Lee had tried to rape her.
She didn’t know where Cullen came from, only that one second she was alone, and then she wasn’t. They were outside, and Taige was lying on the hammock, with Cullen standing over her and staring at her with dark, unhappy eyes.
In some part of her mind, she panicked. She knew that she’d fallen asleep, and now he was here. Now she’d have to face him, face the memories she tried so hard to bury and the longings that had never faded. But the rest of her? The rest of her was so happy to see him, she figured that if he crooked his finger at her, she would willingly strip herself naked and plant her butt in his lap.
The idea had a lot of merit, but Cullen seemed more interested in scowling at her than making love to her.
“Figures,” she muttered. “Even in my dreams, you’re going to be a pain in the ass.”
“You’re one to talk.” He glared at her, and Taige had a feeling he wasn’t impressed with what he saw, somebody far too skinny, far too tired, and now scarred to boot. The midriff tank and low-rise shorts she had pulled on earlier didn’t cover the ugly scar low on her belly. It had faded some, no longer the angry red it had been a few years ago. The scar tissue was darker than rest of her skin, calling attention to it, and belatedly, she tried to cover it.
But Cullen wouldn’t let her. He crouched down by her side and wrapped his fingers around her wrist, pulling her hand away so he could press his lips to it. A shiver raced through her. “You worry me,” he whispered, his breath dancing across her skin like a faint, teasing caress. “You don’t eat. You hardly sleep. You drink too much.”
Tensing, she tried to move away from him. Cullen wouldn’t let her, though. He ended up crawling into the hammock with her, cradling her up against him. He made it seem easy, and Taige lay there wishing the damn thing would flip them out onto their butts. “I eat enough. And I drink because I don’t want to dream. I hardly sleep because I don’t want to dream. You don’t like it, then stop showing up in my dreams.”
He sighed, and when she looked up at him, she saw that familiar look of frustration, worry, and want. It hurt to see that look on his face. He was just like the ghost of Rose that Taige had conjured up out of her loneliness. Nothing more than a figment of her imagination, and the love she thought she saw on his face was nonexistent.
These dreams weren’t any more real than his love for her had been. She knew that, so seeing him looking at her like she was the center of his world was like plunging tiny, needle-sharp shards of glass into her skin.
His hand came up, cradling her face for a long moment, and then he smoothed her hair back. “What happened this time?”
Taige flinched as though he’d jabbed her with a hot poker. She shook her head and tried again to pull away. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“You never do.”
She sneered at him. “You’re nothing more than my imagination, you know. Since I imagined you, wouldn’t it make sense that you’d already know what happened?”
Slowly, Cullen’s thumb passed over her lower lip. “I’m not your imagination, darlin’. Tell me.”