Shiloh Walker

Let me tell you a story…

Shiloh Walker - Let me tell you a story…

Something I’m playing with…

In my copious off-time. O.O

It’s …well, a slightly erotic SF.  She’s an assassin.

If I finish it, it will probably be a J.C. book.

“I hated to admit it to myself, but there are only two people who would have done this. Only two who would benefit.  My son and his wife.”

Arching my brows, I edged in closer, searching for weapons.  So far, I’d yet to see a single one.

“I cannot tell if the look on your face is curiosity or merely an attempt to distract me.”  He sighed and then reached out, pushed a plate toward me.  “If you are any good at your job, you’ll recognize this.”

My eyes moved to the plate, a thin disk of what looked like hammered gold.

The sight of the three small berries there made my belly clench, even if I was there to kill him.

Death’s seal, the most poisonous plant in three systems.  Deadly, and outlawed on almost every planet in those three systems.  Just the tongue of it on the tongue was enough to kill a child.  Half of a berry could kill a woman my size.  Three berries could kill three men.

“I’m going to make this easy,” he said quietly.  “My son seeks to kill me, thinking he’ll inherit.”

Cree reached for a berry.

“Wait,” I said, the word ripping out of me despite my intention not to speak.  “Why?  If you wish to fight him, then why do this?”

“I don’t wish to fight him.”  He smiled, rolling the berry between his fingers.  “I wish to deny him what he tries to take by betrayal.”  Then he shrugged.  “And I refuse to let him use another in his endless vendetta against me. Do you know…it’s our belief that for every life you take, you must save two more if you want to leave this existence with your soul intact?”

I inclined my head.  “I have no soul left.  You do this for nothing if you try to spare me.”

“If you had no soul, it wouldn’t concern you to see this berry in my hand.”

He smiled at me as he tossed it up in the air.

I don’t know why I did it.

It should mean nothing to me.

I could easily claim his death as my own.  Poison wasn’t unknown to me.  I suspected I even knew who had provided him with those three priceless, deadly berries.

But my hand moved, almost as though it had a mind of its own and the sliver-thin dart stole the berry from the air and I quickly used two more darts to destroy the other two berries.  He could still lick the plate, I supposed, but somehow I didn’t see this regal, elegant man choosing that route.

“Why?” he asked, his voice puzzled.

Staring at the plate, at the thin stalks of the darts, I shook my head.  “I don’t know,” I murmured.  Then I looked at him.  “Do you count now?  As one half of a life?”

He cocked his head.  “Well.  I suppose I would, even though you came to kill me.  Do you plan to walk away now?”

Walk away.  I’d never walked away from a job in my life.  I had failed before.  Twice.  And I’d suffer more pain than I cared to recall.  The breaking of my bones was a sound that had haunted my sleep for years.

But to walk away?  Never. Doing so meant my life.  It wasn’t much of a life, but it was the only one I had and as though the son of a bitch who held my leash already knew of my failure, I started to sweat.  It didn’t work like that.  I had time, weeks even.

But if I didn’t kill Cree, my handler could choose to end me.

It was as simple as that.

Staring into Cree’s wise old eyes, I made a decision.

I turned my back.

“How peculiar,” he murmured.

I didn’t stop.

Kindle

Even the nights are better…

Saturday snippet time…steamy scenes…

Hmmm.  How about one of my older ones?

His Every Desire

His Every Desire

 

“Imagining things,” she muttered to herself as she walked through the house one more time, checking all the locks, checking the windows.

She even got her gun out. Emery hated the cold, lifeless feel of it, but she’d be damned if she didn’t feel a little better as she checked the chamber.

Passing by the hall mirror, she paused and studied her pale reflection. She looked like a ghost.

A scared ghost.

How in the hell could just seeing a car do this?

Shaking her head, she started up the stairs, leaving the lights on behind her as she went.

Moving into her room, she closed the door and started toward the bed. She needed to get some sleep. Tomorrow…

“Hello, Tracy.”

That voice…swallowing, she turned slowly, lifting the gun and leveling it at the man who had been hiding behind the door.

Joel! For one split second, she almost flung herself at him. She stopped just in time…it had been three years. Three damned years.

“What are you doing here, Joel?”

A slow smile creased his face. “Watching you. But you already know that. You saw me earlier, didn’t you?”

“Is Vincent here?”

His dark blue eyes flashed at her as he snarled, “If he was, do you think I’d just be standing here?”

Emery swallowed and shook her head. “I don’t know. Joel, it’s been a long time…”

“Three years,” he murmured. “I’ve been trying to find you for a year now. You hid well.”

A year… “You’ve been looking for me?” she asked, her voice tight and rusty.

A slow smile spread across his face. She knew that smile. Knew it well…seconds later, he pulled her into his arms and she moaned as he slanted his mouth across hers, pushing his tongue deep inside, kissing her deeply, his tongue rubbing across hers, sweeping over the roof of her mouth, across the surface of her teeth.

Tasting her—like he had been starving for her.

Whimpering she pressed against him. Heaven knew, she had been starving for him. That worry, the gut-deep fear slowly faded away as he touched her. When he touched her…it didn’t feel as though even a minute had passed since he had last kissed her.

He paused just long enough to mutter, “Fuck, I’ve missed you.”

His hands stripped her clothes away as she rose onto her toes, burying her fingers in his hair. Cool air bit her flesh and then his hands were on her hips as he spun around. She felt the wall against her back, and then…oh, please. She whimpered as he let go of her for a second–

 excerpt

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
TJ Michaels
Leah Braemel
Felicity Heaton

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From Broke Blade… in the doghouse

BrokenBlade72 (1)

“Go ahead.” Shoving away from the shower, he came closer. Violence, danger and anger radiated from him and fear pulsed inside me, despite the fact that I knew, deep inside, that he wouldn’t hurt me. Damon was one of the few people who was safe.

Too bad my body didn’t get that message.

He reached up and my breath froze in my lungs as he slid a hand inside my vest. The back of his hand brushed against my breast and the black band of terror grabbed me, held tight.

“You’re so fucking afraid now, Kit,” he whispered, dipping his head to murmur into my ear. “It’s killing me.”

Then he lifted his head and reached down. He caught my left hand and pushed one of my knives into it. “Bloody me.”

I jerked my hand away—or I tried. He still held my wrist and he wasn’t letting go.

“That’s a silver blade, you son of a bitch.”

“I know.” He guided my blade to his chest, his grip relentless. “Bloody me. I’d feel better for it. And if it would do something to take that fear away…” A muscle pulsed in his jaw and he was standing close enough, I could hear the thunderous sound of his heart, racing far too fast. I didn’t have ears as sensitive as his—if he’d been standing any farther away, I couldn’t have heard it. As it was, though, the roar of blood in my ears, the racing of his heart, the adrenaline crashing inside me and the torment I saw on his face…the torment I felt in me…it was too much. “Sam’s not the only one who owes you blood, baby girl.”

Once more, I tried to twist out of his grip. “Damn it, let go.”

Swearing, he dropped my wrist. I put the knife away and darted toward the door.

He slammed it shut before I managed to get it open an inch.

“Kit…”

“Don’t, okay?” I leaned my brow against the wood and closed my eyes. “I need to get out of here. I need to breathe. I need to…”

His fingers brushed across my shoulder and he pressed his head to the back of mine. “I miss you.”

Tears burned my eyes and although it didn’t seem possible, the ache in my heart spread.

I really, really wish that what I’d told Chang was true. That the woman I’d been was dead and gone, that nothing of my old life mattered. If I could believe that, then it wouldn’t hurt so much to stand there.

But I wasn’t going to make myself better, or stronger, or fight my way out of this hell I currently lived in if I kept lying to myself. About anything. “I miss you, too.”

He reached up, resting a hand on my hip.

“But that doesn’t mean anything,” I told him. “Not if I can’t find me again. I’m still lost, Damon. I have to find who I am…I have to find my way again.”

Easing around, I stared into his eyes. Close. He was so close.

And even though I knew he wouldn’t hurt me, the fear was there. He went to pull back and I surprised us both by reaching up and fisting my hands in his shirt, holding him there.

His eyes widened and he stilled, stayed there, one arm braced on the wall by my head while his hand rested on my hip. I could handle this, I decided. The fear was there, but I couldn’t expect that to go away so easily. And…hell. It was Damon. Just having him this close had my heart racing and not all of it had to do with fearful things.

Curious, I placed my hand to his chest and as his heart slammed against my palm, I felt the way my own sped up in answer.

I did miss this…even when it wasn’t a spur of the moment kiss. I missed this. I missed us.

But I wasn’t ready.

“That day, up in the mountains,” I said quietly. “I told you that I was broken…so far from me that I didn’t think I’d ever find my way back.”

A harsh, ragged breath escaped him. “I know.”

“You told me you’d find it for me.” The heat of him scalded me, even as it warmed me. “I didn’t want to hear it then…and I can’t be sorry for that. I can’t let somebody find my way for me. I just can’t. I’ve got to do it for myself. But I’m trying. Okay?”

He stroked a hand down my hair. “I told you…I’ll be waiting.”

“It may never happen.” Turning my face into his hand, I kissed his rough palm. It hurt more than a little as I pushed him away. “You have to understand that.”

He was quiet as he stepped back.

Just before I slipped out the door, he asked softly, “Do you want it to happen?”

The question stopped me in my tracks and I looked back at him. “Do I want what?”

“Us. This.” Those eyes watched me, so carefully. “I’ll wait. Forever. It doesn’t matter how long. But is that what you want from me? Are you coming back to me?”

“I…” I licked my lips and shook my head. It shouldn’t be such a hard question. “I don’t know.”

He smiled sadly, looking away. “That’s fine. Like I said. I’ll be waiting.”

Read more… Broken Blade

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Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
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Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
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The Protected…Author’s Choice!

Snippets!

Due out next week…The Protected

 

Gus had planned to do . . . something.

He didn’t know what.

But he’d planned to do . . . something when she came inside.

She came inside, a dazed, almost drugged look on her face, like she didn’t know where she was. Who she was. Part of him wanted to grab her and shake her, scold her for her carelessness, because she didn’t even look around.

He wasn’t hiding. The room was dim, but he stood in the corner, leaning against the wall, and all she had to do was look around and she’d see him.

But all she did was shut the door and flip the locks.

Then . . . she stood there.

Her back to him. Her shoulders rose and fell rapidly, and distantly, he was aware of the harsh sounds of her breathing filling the room. She leaned forward and pressed her forehead to the door. A sob ripped out of her. She slammed a fist against the door and the sound of it caught him off guard.

Anger and grief rolled from her, and he felt frozen there. Guilt flooded him and part of him wanted to slip out of the room, disappear, and leave her alone with whatever hurt her.

The other part of him wanted to go to her and haul her against him, make her tell him what had hurt her . . . so he could kill it. Fix it. Whatever. He didn’t know which one he was supposed to do. He was good at killing things, but fixing them? Not so much.

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

He wasn’t supposed to care . . . not for anything or anybody.

She wasn’t supposed to matter, yet she did. More than anybody or anything, save for Alex.

He didn’t want this inside him, but there it was.

She slammed her fist against the door and screamed and he just couldn’t take it anymore. Shoving off the wall, he crossed the floor. He didn’t know what he was going to do, what he was going to say—

“Damn you, Gus.” The words came out in a ragged sob.

His heart jumped into his throat.

She was crying . . . over him.

He almost tripped over his feet, his shoes scuffing on the hardwood floors.

She gasped and whirled around.

He saw her hand go to the weapon strapped to her waist, and he moved, catching her wrist and pinning it to the wall.

Her eyes went wide as she stared at him, damp and glinting with tears. Her mouth fell open.

“Gus . . .”

“Damning me finally?” he whispered.

She sucked in a breath and reached up, fisting her hand in his shirt. “You . . . you’re okay.”

Reaching over, he caught the weapon and tugged until she let go of her Glock. He laid it down on the small table to his left. “I wouldn’t go that far.” Reaching up, he cupped her face in his hands. “Why are you crying, Vaughnne?”

She sniffed and reached up, swiping the tears from her face. “I’m not.” She lifted her chin and glared at him.

“Of course you’re not.” Unable to resist another moment, he lowered his head and pressed his mouth to hers. She tasted of tears and her and he was starved for her. He lifted his head a fraction. “If you don’t want this, then you better stop me . . . now.”

Her response was to reach for his shirt and strip it off.

If he were any sort of decent, he’d slow this down. Talk to her. He’d be lying if he tried to tell himself he hadn’t come for this. He hadn’t come only for this. He’d wanted to touch her, feel her underneath one more time . . . to take her in a bed and take his time with her.

One night. One night when he didn’t have to worry about all the burdens he’d carried for so long. One night when all that mattered was the two of them.

But Gus had stopped worrying about being decent a long, long time ago. So as his shirt fell to the floor, he reached for the neat little line of buttons marching up the center of her prim white shirt. “You look so neat and put together, Vaughnne,” he murmured, freeing first one button, then another, watching as he bared one inch of skin at a time. “I’m going to enjoy watching you come apart for me.”

She leaned back against the door, her hands falling to hang loose at her sides. “I’ve been doing that almost since the first second I laid eyes on you, sugar.” A smile curved her wide, sexy mouth, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes, and if he’d let himself look, he knew what he would have seen.

She knew, he realized. Had some idea of just why he was there.

And it just made him that much more of a bastard. But he didn’t care.

When he reached the final button, instead of pushing the shirt off her shoulders, he let it hang open, revealing the narrow line of her sleek torso, the lace edging of her bra. He traced one finger down the midline of her body, stopping when he reached the waist of her trousers, the sturdy leather of her holster. Still holding her gaze, he unbuckled it, unbuttoned her trousers.

Vaughnne stood there, silent and watching him with solemn eyes. He leaned in and nipped her lower lip, pressed a kiss to her neck, moving in a line straight downward until he was kneeling in front of her.

She wore a pair of low-heel ankle boots and he tugged them off, setting them neatly by the door. Vaughnne kept a tidy little nest, something he’d noticed when he let himself inside. He wouldn’t leave any sign of himself when he left . . . other than what he was doing to her now. Glancing up at her, he saw her lashes were closed, her head was tipped back, and her hands were braced against the door, curled into tight fists that left her knuckles bloodless.

He wanted her clutching at him that tightly.

Wanted to hear that smart mouth, the cocky attitude that had driven him insane the past few weeks.

But when he tried to reach for the words to say something, anything to tease it out of her, he couldn’t find them. So instead of saying anything, he leaned in and pressed his mouth to her belly as he caught the waist of her trousers and dragged them down over the swell of her hips, her thighs, down until she could step out of the puddle of material.

Rising, he stood in front of her, arms braced on the door by either side of her head, waiting for her to look at him.

Seconds ticked away, and finally, she lifted her lids, staring at him with dark, unreadable eyes.

He opened his mouth, determined to find something to say. Something. Anything. It shouldn’t be this hard to find a handful of words. He’d lived most of his life by them. Glib lies, charming little half-truths . . . all of them said to people who meant less than nothing. And here he stood with a woman who meant everything and he couldn’t find anything to ease the pain he sensed was inside her.

Before he managed to find even one damn thing to say, Vaughnne reached up and laid her hand on his cheek. “Take me to bed, Gus,” she said quietly. “We can have that one night now, right?”

Please note if you wish to get this book in print from your local store, you might want to make sure they pre-order it.  A lot of stores aren’t carrying as many of my books in print.  Thank you!

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
Shelli Stevens
Jody Wallace
Felicity Heaton
Leah Braemel
Mari Carr

Kindle

Stop draggin’ my heart around…

 

Gus…like I said, he’s a sexy, sexy bastard.  I really loved this son of a bitch.

The Protected

She was going to miss him.

Every day for the rest of her life. It shouldn’t happen like this. Damn it to hell, it shouldn’t happen like this. If she was going to fall for a guy, why couldn’t she have fallen for one she could keep?

She rolled onto her side and watched him climb out of the bed and her heart skipped a beat. Wistful, she bit back a sigh. Then again, she was being stupid. She had absolutely no desire to undo a minute with him. Maybe she couldn’t keep him, but the days she’d spent with him burned brighter on her memory than any other she could recall.

If she had to settle for something vivid like this that would end in heartache, or something just . . . mediocre that she barely recalled a few months, a few years later? This was better, she thought. She hoped she could remember that later on down the road when she was cussing him out for leaving her.

He didn’t speak as he dressed. She didn’t bother saying anything. There was no point in trying to get him to change his mind. He’d already decided what he needed to do. He wasn’t there looking to see if she wanted him even. If he’d shown any sign of that, then she’d be all over him, giving him all the reasons he needed to stay.

But he’d come with a purpose in mind.

So fine.

Let him go.

Swallowing around the knot in her throat, she told herself she could get through this. The first few days would be the worst, right? After her father had thrown her out, once she’d gotten through the first few weeks, the first month or so, she’d figured out how to get along and she’d been okay. This couldn’t really be any worse than that.

In the dim light, he turned to face her after he’d pulled his shirt on, and she rolled onto her back as he came to sit on the side of the bed.

He reached up and touched her cheek. “Thank—”

“If you say thank you to me, I’m going to break your nose,” she warned softly.

A faint smile danced across his face, there, then gone. “Do you really think I can leave without saying thank you for helping me with Alex?”

She sat up and leaned in until they were nose to nose. “Anything else and I’m punching you, Gus. I did my job. Period.”

Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks | Indiebound | The Book Depository

Please note if you wish to get this book in print from your local store, you might want to make sure they pre-order it.  A lot of stores aren’t carrying as many of my books in print.  Thank you!

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
Felicity Heaton
TJ Michaels

Kindle

talking about smooth operators today…

Saturday Snippets! I don’t think I have anybody as smooth as Gus. His edges are kind of rough right now, but he’s under a lot of pressure.

The Protected

Seconds later, the bathroom door closed at her back.

And then, she seemed to be the one who needed protection.

Gus went from the quiet protector to the warrior who’d leveled a gun at her, fully prepared to kill her. Before she could even catch her breath, he slammed her against the door, his forearm at her throat, pressing hard enough that she couldn’t draw her breath to scream.

She could have fought back.

She knew that.

And she knew how.

But as his misty eyes stared into hers, her heart slammed against her chest and she couldn’t breathe, could barely even think.

It wasn’t fear that seemed to crowd out all of her thoughts, though. Fear she could have handled.

This was so, so much worse.

“You need to understand something.” He leaned in, pressing his mouth to her ear. “And I want you to listen to me, very, very closely . . . Vaughnne. Is that even your name?”

She was pleased that her voice was almost steady as she said, “Yes. It’s my name. I gave you a false last name, but my first name is Vaughnne.”

“Hmmm.” He nuzzled her neck and little licks of pleasure shot all the way through her. “And FBI . . . are you really FBI?”

“Yes.” She closed her eyes as he pushed his thigh between hers. Oh, hell. What the hell was this? “You can call DC. They can verify.”

“They routinely give out names of their agents, Vaughnne?”

He licked her. What . . . the . . . hell? She shuddered as he crowded in closer. His forearm was still wedged against her throat, preventing her from moving, but it was no longer pressing against her so tight that it was a chore just to breathe. Well, it was, but that was because of the sheer, burning weight of lust. He traced his tongue down the line of her neck. “You did not answer me.”

Accent, she noticed dimly. He had an accent—she hadn’t ever heard it before. And she would have noticed, too, which meant the man’s skills just went from Category 4 strange to Category 5. At least.

Swallowing, she focused on his question. “Generally, no. But if you call and ask for the man I tell you to ask for, he will verify.”

“And isn’t that convenient?” He laughed a little, resting his free hand on her hip. His fingers flexed and she felt the imprint everywhere he touched. Every single place, from his thumb, to his little finger, curving over her flesh, kneading back and forth . . . “You give me a false number. A false name. So easy to fool me, you think?”

As his mouth came to cover hers, she averted her head. Finally, her brain was engaging.

Sex as a weapon. Not something she’d ever had directed at her, but whoa. Damn. That’s what this was and he was potent as hell. “You can look the damn number up on Google. I’m pretty sure I can’t control Google, although if I can get them to give me some major shares in the stock, hey, I’m game to try. You call that number, I’ll tell you how to get connected to the man who can vouch for me.”

His knee pushed between her thighs, and this time, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t keep from shuddering. Couldn’t keep from whimpering as he drew her in until she was all but riding his thigh. Oh. Hell.

“And what will he tell me when he vouches for you? What happens then? Somebody comes in here to take the child from me? I don’t think so, Vaughnne.”

“Nobody wants to take him away,” she snapped. And then she curled her hands into fists to keep from reaching for him as he shifted and settled his hips squarely between her own. She felt him now. All of him, the ridge of his cock, hot and thick, and damn it, if he hadn’t been aroused, this would have been easier, so much easier.

But sex as a weapon wasn’t really useful if the weapon wasn’t primed and ready to fire, she supposed.

Summoning up what little strength she had, she closed her eyes. She went through her options and discarded all but a few. As she was busy with that, he shifted the forearm he had wedged across her upper body. Cooler air kissed her flesh and she hissed as she realized he had freed the top button of her shirt.

No. Absolutely no.

As he reached for the second one, she opened her eyes and stared at him.

He stared right back at her.

Read more… it’s due out next month.  FYI, for those who enjoy this series, if you want the book in print from your local bookstore, you might want to have them pre-order it.  More and more stores aren’t carrying as many of my titles.

Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks | Indiebound | The Book Depository

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
Shelli Stevens
Jody Wallace
Felicity Heaton
TJ Michaels
Leah Braemel
Mari Carr

Kindle

Can’t Fight This Feeling… (and some winners)

Tying this up all nice & neat… cuz this was a double-trope book, even.  It was a secret baby with friends to lovers, which is this week’s Saturday Snippet.  I’ll post the winners from last week at the end.

HerBestFriend'sLover

The snippet!

“Lauren, how come you and I have never gone out?”

“We go out all the time, Dale. We went to the mall just last weekend.”

Keeping his eyes fastened on the ceiling, he said, “That isn’t what I meant. I mean like on a date.”

If he had been looking at her, Dale would have had the rare pleasure of seeing Lauren totally shocked. Her eyes widened, her mouth fell open and she just stared at him. Finally, she managed to close her mouth. “Ex…excuse me?” she stammered out, sitting up straighter, her feet settling on the floor.

He swung his legs over, now looking her in the face. She looked perfectly normal to his eyes, that creamy complexion the same, those clear gray eyes the same.

That mouth…Nope. Better off not thinking about the mouth, he decided. “I meant like on a date. I buy you dinner, take you to a movie, a play, a concert. How come we’ve never done that?”

Calmly, she smoothed her hands over her legs, a faint, mocking smile on her mouth. His eyes dropped to those lean legs as she crossed them elegantly at the knee, then his gaze slowly rose until he was staring at that amused little smile as she said, “Dale, I’m not exactly your type. I’m only a few inches shorter than you, I don’t have red hair, and I’m not about to let you pretend I’m a substitute for a woman you can’t have.”

He narrowed his eyes at her, started to open his mouth to say something pithy, only to snap it shut. How many of the women he had dated fit exactly that description? The vast majority. Granted, Lauren was tall for a woman, but he rarely dated anybody taller than five foot six. And so he was attracted to red heads. Lately, that midnight black hair of hers looked mighty tempting. He was tempted to tug it down from its knot and bury his face in it.

But he was mildly insulted at the last part of her statement. Whether it was because it was the truth or because it wasn’t, he didn’t know.

So he took a deep breath and said, somewhat cautiously, “Maybe I’ve decided it’s time I changed my type.”

“I don’t want to be your guinea pig, Dale. If you’re ready to start looking for a real relationship, fine. I’m happy for you. But you’re not going to use me as a test drive,” she stated, flatly, her eyes expressionless.

Now he was more than mildly insulted. “Is that what you think of me? That I’d use my best friend just to find out if I’m ready to get back in the swing of things?”

“Isn’t that what you’re doing?”

“No,” he snapped, shooting to his feet. “I was trying to work up enough nerve to ask you on a date, but now that I realize what your opinion of me is, I think I’ll just forget that idea. I’m going home.” He barely made it three feet before she was standing next to him, her hand reaching out to him.

“Dale, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. Or imply anything.” She sighed and closed her eyes briefly before continuing. “Dale, you’ve lived next door to me for five years now. Why in the world are you asking me out now?”

“I wasn’t aware I was required to explain myself, “Dale said coldly, looking over her shoulder to the door.

“Under the circumstances, Dale, I think maybe I’m entitled to a little explaining. I’m three months pregnant. This isn’t exactly the time for me to start dating, “Lauren said drolly, continuing to block his way. “Is that what this is about? Is it because I’m safe? Because you don’t have to worry about me getting serious?”

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Others on feelings…

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
Shelli Stevens
Jody Wallace

And my winners from last week…I need you to email me at shilohwalker2011 at gmail and put HBFL Winner in the subject. Please let me know which format you’d prefer.

Thanks!

I drew one per 20 (rounded up to 60 since we were close) comments.

1) Lisa with the email… luvd…@ho…..com
2) AmyR with the email… r……amy@ho…..com
3) Gia S denis….@g…..com

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It ain’t over ’til it’s over…

Contest is now closed to entries.  Winner to be posted this weekend.

So… this is my only secret baby book.  You’ve been warned, cuz I know a lot of people hate them.

HerBestFriend'sLover

 

:)

Dale was thoroughly shaken as he escorted Lauren from the doctor’s office. He had never, never, in his life wanted anything the way he wanted the baby Lauren was carrying. When he heard the heartbeat, he thought his own heart was going to explode. It was pure instinct, but everything in him shouted, Mine!

As he opened the car door for Lauren, a different type of instinct was shouting the same thing. He crouched down beside her and spoke her name. She turned her head to look at him, her shiny black hair swinging with the movement before settling around her shoulders. He reached up with one hand, threading it through that dense thick hair, pulling her face to his.

Dale kissed her gently, sucking at her lower lip before seeking entrance to her mouth. The taste of her, something innocent and sweet, touched lightly with the dark heady taste of sex. It was the same as her scent, a complete contradiction in every way. He craved more of it.

He wanted her.

And he was realizing that it wasn’t just some temporary need. He wanted her always. He wanted the baby that was growing inside her. He wanted to see her face in the morning when he woke up and wanted to lay down next to her at night. He wanted to make love to her, with her. He wanted to have a family with her and grow old with her.

Gradually, he ended the kiss, pulling back to study her face. She looked at him out of confused eyes, her mouth wet, her cheeks flushed. He decided it was best that the baby’s father wasn’t interested. Dale Stoner had every intention of taking his place, in both Lauren’s life, and in her baby’s.

Also, it’s dawned on me that this book has now been out ten years.  I’ve been published for ten years.

So I’m going to give away some copies of this.  Up to 10 copies, depending on how many comments I get.  So, comment away…

Other people doing the snippet thing…

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
TJ Michaels
Myla Jackson
Felicity Heaton

Kindle

Saturday Snippets… The Unwanted

The boys of summer…

Unwanted-The72sm
No nightmares.

There were dreams, but she couldn’t call them nightmares.

Hot, sexy dreams where Caleb put his hands on her and she returned the favor. They were the kind of dreams that had her kicking off the blankets and when she woke up sometime near two a.m., hovering on the edge of orgasm, it took a great deal of willpower to keep from climbing out of her bed and finding him in his.

It took almost as much willpower not to push her hand between her thighs and bring herself to the climax she could feel hovering just out of reach.

She ached with the need for it.

For a long, long time, she’d existed without any of that. It wasn’t even that hard. After what had happened with Dawn, she’d turned herself into a tool. Focused on the job, on making herself better so that she never made such awful mistakes again. She’d always acted on impulse, lived by the emotions that guided her gift, actions that led to the awful mistakes she’d made.

In response, she’d cut off those emotions. She couldn’t stop feeling but she could damn well stop letting them control her and it became second nature. Sexual desires, pleasure, even simple happiness had all become obstacles that were in the way of the job, so she shut them off.

Odd and random dreams about Caleb would slip in, but they were forgotten almost as soon as she woke up, and when she didn’t forget them soon enough, she reminded herself about what he’d done. How he’d hurt her. How he’d left her. That made it even easier.

But it was almost impossible to brush this dream away, this need away, when he was sleeping just a few yards away.

She missed his heat.

She missed his quiet strength and the way she felt so much steadier when she was near him.

She just plain missed him.

And you didn’t say a thing to stop me. Every step of the way, I waited for you to say something, Destin. Every damn step.

His words echoed in her mind and she had to wonder, how much different would her life have been if she’d given in to that impulse? She’d always thought that he’d changed his mind.

He’d told her that he loved her, and she’d almost believed him. Almost. But Destin had had people tell her they loved her before. Like her mom and dad. And then her abilities had started to surface and their love hadn’t been all that real, after all. They’d hated her. Feared her.

Had even thought maybe she was as bad as some of the monsters out there. Monstrous little thing—

It wasn’t so far a stretch for her to think that the man she’d thought she might have loved had changed his mind about them. If she had reached out to him, then, would things be different now?

“It’s too late to worry about that,” she whispered. “No do-overs allowed.”

He didn’t seem all that different. A few more lines around the lines and maybe a little more serious, but all in all, Caleb was just as he’d always been. Solid, strong, steady.

She was different, though. She was completely different and if she needed any reminder of that, it was in the mirror. Stroking a finger down the scar, she closed her eyes and curled up on the bed and waited for the miserable, achy need to subside. It took too long. By the time she was able to fall back to sleep, hours had passed.

Come dawn, she woke to hear him moving out in the sitting area; she didn’t bother trying to go back to sleep. She opened the door and almost swallowed her tongue when she saw him. He was wearing nothing but a pair of running shorts and another old T-shirt with the sleeves torn off, leaving his biceps bare.

A fine sheen of sweat highlighted his muscles and she watched, mesmerized as he lowered himself to the floor and then pushed himself back up. Slow, steady.

Talk about a perfect push-up. The man could have done a TV infomercial, the way he looked.

Of course, he’d always looked good.

Get over it, Des, she told herself. Squaring her shoulders, she made herself walk past him into the small kitchenette. She desperately needed coffee. Coffee, and a psych eval. She went about making the coffee and tried to pretend she wasn’t watching him as he did a good fifty more push-ups beyond however many he’d already done and then shifted around to lie on the ground and do crunches.

The hotel had a perfectly good gym. Why couldn’t he do his workout there instead of in here?

Five more minutes passed while she stayed in the kitchenette and drank her coffee. She passed the time by studying an absurdly boring abstract painting and hoped by the time she had her coffee done, he’d have his workout done.

But she planned it a little too perfectly. He finished up his workout at exactly the same time as she finished her coffee, which meant they ended up running into each other at the refrigerator.

“I didn’t wake you up, did I?”

Destin shrugged. She almost told him the truth, but she figured that would have just given him more of an excuse to keep talking and she wanted to go hide in her room while she got her treacherous body under control.

He didn’t seem fooled. “I take that means yes,” he said, shifting so that she couldn’t go around him unless she brushed up against his body.

A body that was damp with sweat and way too hard on her self-control. “I was already awake.”

Caleb studied her face. “You don’t look like you slept well. Nightmares?”

Shit, no. But she wasn’t about to tell him that she hadn’t slept well because she kept having lurid sexual fantasies with him as the one and only star. “Some dreams did keep waking me up, but it’s nothing I can’t handle,” she hedged.

A sympathetic look entered his eyes and he reached out, skimmed his fingers down her arm. “Need to talk about them?”

“No.” Talking used to help. Or rather, talking with him had helped. But no way, no how was that happening now, even if it had been nightmares keeping her awake. Nope.

He squeezed. “You sure?”

“If I wanted to talk about them, I’d talk about them,” she snapped. Lack of sleep, need and general moodiness were quickly eroding any politeness she might have started out with when she climbed out of bed. She jerked her shoulder away and shoved past him. “We’re not together any more, remember?”

“Just because we’re not together doesn’t mean I can’t listen.”

Destin stopped in her tracks and turned back to him. “Yes. It does. I laid my soul bare for you because I felt safe doing so. Then. But that’s changed now.”

Caleb narrowed his eyes. “So that means you don’t feel safe doing it now?”

“That’s exactly what it means,” she said. Destin rubbed her hands over her face and then drove her fingers through her hair. The words danced on the back of her tongue, fighting to be free, and for once, she decided, to hell with pride.

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Lauren Dane
Shelli Stevens
Leah Braemel
Jody Wallace
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
Mandy M. Roth
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
TJ Michaels
Myla Jackson
Felicity Heaton

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Snippet time… The Unwanted

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Big city… hey, some big cities are mentioned. That counts, right?

Unwanted-The72sm

“Look, I don’t know why he dumped me. For all I know he got bored with me—” The rest of the words wanted to stick in her throat, but she forced them out. “Maybe he found somebody that was a little less neurotic to deal with. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. It’s over. It’s done.”

“Destin, if it didn’t matter, I wouldn’t have you in here. Like you said, it’s been five years. I’m not asking just because I’m bored, or because I’m going to reprimand you for having an affair with a colleague. It’s because—” Her eyes cut to the door.

A second later, Destin heard the door open.

The skin on the back of her neck crawled and she squeezed her eyes shut. Her heart started to race and her skin felt too tight, too small. Something that might have been happiness bloomed inside her heart before it withered and died as reality shifted and settled into place.

Even before he spoke, she knew.

Opening her eyes, she glared at Oz.

“Good afternoon, ladies.”

 

 

The flight from D.C. to Dallas was a bitch and not just because he hadn’t ever planned to return to Texas.

He’d spent most of the trip telling himself he could handle walking into Oswald Group just fine and he knew he’d lied every single time. He could handle it, yes. But just fine? Not an icicle’s chance in hell.

Caleb hadn’t seen Destin since he’d walked away from her five years earlier, not even a glimpse. The case he’d just been assigned had him in a different part of the country for nearly three months and he’d been leaving that very day.

Once he’d finished, he’d put in for some personal time and then requested a transfer to the other unit that worked with psychics. It had been headed by Special Agent in Charge Taylor Jones and the man had a reputation for being a brutal, cold son of a bitch to work for. It had suited Caleb just fine—he needed work to forget, after all.

Oz and Jones had worked together to get the first unit going and for quite a while, they’d worked together, but then eventually, they’d split into separate units, handling different areas of the country.

Being in a different part of the country had sounded ideal, and working with somebody who’d work him into exhaustion had sounded even better. There hadn’t been a shortage of work, that was for sure.

The world in general was mostly oblivious of the weirder element that functioned within the FBI. Telepaths, empaths, others who connected with the spirits of the dead.

Caleb’s abilities fell somewhere in the middle. He was psychic, but his gift was classified as a sub-ability. He could pick up on random vibes and he had unusual insights, and every once in a while, he’d get a solid, real connection but his main skill was filtering.

He worked with people like Destin who had powerful but erratic abilities, let them cut through the white noise, the pain, everything that might block them from finding what they needed to find.

There had been just as much a need for him in Jones’ unit as there had been in Oz’s unit and he’d buried himself in the work, hoping to forget. Hoping, pointlessly, praying that nothing would send him back to the other unit.

But just a year after his transfer, Oz left the Bureau and when she did, several agents abruptly quit. Others came to work with Jones and the second unit was disbanded.

There had been terse whispers and rumors, but none of Oz’s former agents would talk and Jones had been there to make sure of that. Caleb had been fine with it. He didn’t want to hear about his old unit. The one thing that mattered to him, he already knew. Destin was working with Oz. She was no longer with the FBI and that probably suited her better, anyway. She’d hated rules, had felt stifled by the structure.

The freelance group took on investigative work and although very few realized just how specialized they were, they made a killing and they had a rep for being the best in the business. Which wasn’t surprising. Psychics were going to have a leg up on the competition.

As he cut through the rather posh offices, he studied the faces. More than a few were familiar. A couple waved. The others, people he knew, deliberately turned their backs on him. A nice, subtle fuck you if he’d ever seen one. Okay, then.

The others watched him with no small amount of curiosity. Ten employees. And to his senses, they all felt psychic. He might not have one of the flashier abilities, but the skill he didhave was reliable. Every person in here was a psychic and he had a feeling Oz used them to pull in some high-profile cases. All without explaining just how she managed to have a stellar rep.

He didn’t bother to ask where he’d find her. He’d seen the neat little office tucked in the back when the administrative assistant had led him up here and he knew without a doubt where Oz would be. She’d want privacy, but she’d also want to be close to her people.

The door was closed, but he didn’t knock.

Destin was there.

He felt it in his gut. And he wanted one look. Just one look at her before she managed to compose her features and hide herself away from him.

As he pushed the door open, his hands were practically sweating and his heart was racing away somewhere in the vicinity of his throat. Racing, pounding. Dancing…

Oz’s gaze cut to him and as desperate as he was to see Destin, he looked at Oz first, braced himself.

She hadn’t changed much. She was still all steel and ice, elegant beauty and deathly self-possession. Unlike his current boss, Oz did have a serious psychic talent, although it was unreliable as hell.

Caleb didn’t think she’d retired, at least not willingly. He suspected she’d come up against something ugly and the higher-ups had told her to let it go. That fit more in line with his memories of Oz. There had been several times when she’d bashed heads with people and she had lacked Jones’…diplomatic skills.

Something ugly had happened, he knew. Either she walked…or they pushed her out over it.

But Elise Oswald looked like she was doing just fine, regardless.

He was painfully, acutely aware of the woman sitting off to his side.

Shifting his attention to her, he found himself staring at her profile. Her gaze was locked on some point just above Oz’s head, like she couldn’t be bothered to look at him and he guessed he couldn’t blame her.

After all, he’d walked away from her.

He’d walked away from this woman he’d loved more than anything…Destin Mortin…the woman who had slowly been killing him inside. She just hadn’t realized it.

His heart had withered away to ashes inside his chest over the past five years and he hadn’t ever planned on seeing her again. If it wasn’t for Oz, he could have probably managed to do just that.

Now? Shit, now he couldn’t remember how he’d felt just five minutes ago—when he’d been almost level. Not happy, never that. Not without her. But he’d existed. He’d been level.

Now it was like he was freefalling all over again.

And she still wouldn’t look at him.

Read more

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Other people visiting the city today…

Lauren Dane
Shelli Stevens
Leah Braemel
Jody Wallace
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
Mandy M. Roth
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
TJ Michaels
Myla Jackson

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