Snippet Saturday… author’s choice…

Going with BROKEN, one of my older titles…

broken

He opened the door—

And stopped dead in his tracks as somebody all but fell into his arms.  Somebody…a woman.  And not Theresa.

He caught her just above her elbows, automatically steadying her.

“I’m sorry,” she said, her voice soft and low.

Then she lifted her face and Quinn found himself gazing into the biggest, brownest eyes he’d ever seen in his life.  Feeling a little dazed, he studied her face while she stammered out another apology.

Quinn barely heard it.

He was too busy staring at her mouth.  A very pretty mouth, a cupid’s bow mouth slicked with deep, vibrant red.  Under his hands, he could feel silken smooth skin and unable to resist, he stroked a thumb along her inner arm.

Her skin was soft, soft and warm.  He was also pretty sure she had the creamiest, most flawless skin imaginable.  Her shoulder-length hair was a shade caught between blonde and brown, nondescript, but for some reason, he found himself thinking about tangling his fingers in that hair and holding her head still while he kissed that red-slicked mouth.

Well, hello…he could all but feet his libido kicking up as he stared at that mouth.  Every last one of his senses tuned in on her—

The way she looked…sex and sin.

The way she smelled…sex and sin.

The way she sounded…sex and sin.

The way she felt…the way she might taste.  Sex and sin. He knew it without a doubt.  She’d taste like sex and sin.

His mouth was all but watering.

“Ahhh…excuse me,” she said, tugging against his light hold.

“Uh…yeah.”  He uncurled his fingers and let go, although he hated every second of it.

She immediately backed away, putting a good five feet in between them and eying him nervously.  In that moment, he was acutely aware of the fact that he hadn’t bothered shaving that morning, or the morning before.  He was also acutely aware of the wrinkled state of his gray T-shirt and the worn jeans he wore.  He hadn’t gotten into the habit of wearing the unofficial uniform worn by most of the guys who worked for Gearing, but he’d swapped out the black T-shirt that read Bond Enforcement for a plain one. Wearing those particular shirts outside of work had ended up causing him a headache or two so when he remembered, he changed out of them before leaving the office.

She continued to stare at him, her face expressionless and her eyes measuring.  She might have just continued to stare at him indefinitely if Theresa hadn’t come bustling down the hall.   “Quinn?”

Tearing his eyes away from the unknown woman, he smiled at his landlord.  It no longer seemed so weird to smile at somebody—as in he didn’t worry his face might crack if he wasn’t careful.  Still, the smile on his face did feel odd.  “Hey, Theresa.  I didn’t know you had company.”

She beamed at him.  “This isn’t company.  This is your new neighbor.  She just moved in to the upstairs apartment. Sara…I’d like you to meet Quinn Rafferty.  Quinn, this is Sara Davis.”

Sara.

Neighbor.

Staring into Sara’s dark brown eyes, his heart sank just a little.  Great.

Some people collected books.

Some people collected knickknacks.

Some people collected coins.

Theresa collected lost souls, as evidenced by the fact that he was living in her basement after she’d charmed him into changing her tire outside Dierburg’s a few months earlier.

The last woman to stay in that apartment had ended up being a battered woman hiding out from her ex.  Before that, it had been a girl who’d been all of nineteen, with two kids and a third on the way.   When that one had left, she’d ended up stealing from Theresa and skipping out on the piddling amount of rent that Theresa had coming.

If Sara Davis was living in Theresa’s upstairs apartment, that made her pretty much off limits.  It didn’t matter that his dormant sex drive was all of sudden flaring up on him.

The last thing Quinn needed to be around was another lost soul, not when he still struggled to find his own.
Read more

Other authors to check out…

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

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Randomness….on Tumblr and on Broken

I dunno what exactly Tumblr is supposed to do.  I did see that I could import my blog feed and twitter.  That’s pretty easy.

And I see that I can update things from Uberr-which updates twitter, tumblr and facebook, COOL!  Anyway.  I did it.  I’m on Tumblr.  Sorta.

Now about BROKEN.  I got home from the hospital Saturday and my phone was ringing. I ignored it.  I just didn’t feel good enough to talk.  But I should have answered.  It was a call to let me BROKEN had finaled in the romantic suspense category of the GDRWA‘s Bookseller’s Best contest.

And then tonight…er, well, early this AM, actually, I got an email…apparently BROKEN is also a romantic suspense finalist in the Golden Quill Contest with Desert Rose RWA.  Um, yay!!!!

 

 

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Qs for Broken

Have you read Broken?

If so, can you help me out?  (FYI, if you haven’t, you might not want to read the questions-they’ll probably involve some spoiler stuff).

A friend of mine heads up a book club and she wants to put together a page on book club discussion questions for books in the genre and she asked me for 10-12 questions on a book of mine-we decided on Broken.  But I’m clueless about what to ask… can you help me?  Here’s a link to her site if that will help give you ideas.  Toss out your suggestions… help me save my brain… O.o

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Wow… how cool… about Broken

I saw this today.  How very, very cool…

Best Literary Fiction Book
Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel

Best Eclectic Book
Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins

Best Non-Fiction Book
Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women, by Harriet Reisen

Best Cultural Book
Girl in Translation, by Jean Kwok

Best Kidlit Book
Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?, by Audrey Vernick, Illustrated by Daniel Jennewein

Best Speculative Fiction Book
Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins

Best Spiritual/Religious/Inspirational Book
Her Mother’s Hope, by Francine Rivers

Best Young Adult Book
Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins

Best Audiobook
Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins

Best Thriller/Mystery/Suspense/Crime Book
So Cold the River, by Michael Koryta

Best GLBT Book
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green and David Levithan

Best Historical Fiction Book
Cleopatra’s Daughter, by Michelle Moran

Best Romance Book
Broken, by Shiloh Walker

It’s over at the Book Blogger Appreciation Week site and they’ve got a lot of really awesome things going on in book blogger land this week.  I don’t know who nominated Broken, but thanks so much.

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This entry was posted in Broken.

BROKEN…now available

Broken 3.02.2010

With his belly rumbling a reminder at him, he sauntered down the walkway and followed it around the house. His nostrils flared and he caught the scent of something absolutely divine—spaghetti. The lady was making spaghetti and when she made spaghetti, she also had homemade garlic bread.

Suddenly, Quinn was damn glad he hadn’t hung around after he’d turned over Blanford. If he’d been given another job, he would have missed out on what was rapidly becoming his favorite meal, with a woman who was rapidly becoming one of his favorite people—and that was no small feat. Quinn could count the people he really liked on one hand. Until Theresa had smilingly bowled him over, he would have had a finger left over after he counted up his friends.

He opened the door—

And stopped dead in his tracks as somebody all but fell into his arms. Somebody . . . a woman. And not Theresa.

He caught her just above her elbows, automatically steadying her.

“I’m sorry,” she said, her voice soft and low.

Then she lifted her face and Quinn found himself gazing into the biggest, brownest eyes he’d ever seen in his life. Feeling a little dazed, he studied her face while she stammered out another apology.

Quinn barely heard it.

He was too busy staring at her mouth. A very pretty mouth, a cupid’s bow slicked with deep, vibrant red. Under his hands, he could feel silken smooth skin and unable to resist, he stroked a thumb along her inner arm.

Her skin was soft, soft and warm—the creamiest, most flawless skin imaginable. Her shoulder-length hair was a shade caught between blonde and brown, nondescript, but for some reason, he found himself thinking about tangling his fingers in that hair and holding her head still while he kissed that red-slicked mouth.

Well, hello . . . he could all but feel his libido kicking up as he stared at that mouth. Every last one of his senses tuned in on her—

The way she looked . . . sex and sin.

The way she smelled . . . sex and sin.

The way she sounded . . . sex and sin.

The way she felt . . . the way she might taste. He knew it without a doubt. She’d taste like sex and sin.

His mouth was all but watering.

“Ahhh . . . excuse me,” she said, tugging against his light hold.

“Uh . . . yeah.” He uncurled his fingers and let go, although he hated every second of it.

She immediately backed away, putting a good five feet between them and eying him nervously. In that moment, he was acutely aware of the fact that he hadn’t bothered shaving that morning, or the morning before. He was also acutely aware of the wrinkled state of his gray T-shirt and the jeans he wore. He’d finally gotten into the habit of wearing the unofficial uniform—a black shirt with Bond Enforcement printed on the front and back, and either jeans or black fatigues—worn by most of the guys who worked for Gearing.   He wore the Bond shirts for work, but usually changed before leaving. Wearing those particular shirts outside of work had ended up causing him a headache or two.

She continued to stare at him, her face expressionless and her eyes measuring. She might have just continued to stare at him indefinitely if Theresa hadn’t come bustling down the hall. “Quinn?”

Tearing his eyes away from the unknown woman, he smiled at his landlord. It no longer seemed so weird to smile at somebody—as in he didn’t worry his face might crack if he wasn’t careful. Still, the smile on his face did feel odd. “Hey, Theresa. I didn’t know you had company.”

She beamed at him. “This isn’t company. This is your new neighbor. She just moved in to the upstairs apartment. Sara . . . I’d like you to meet Quinn Rafferty. Quinn, this is Sara Davis.”

Sara.

Neighbor.

Staring into Sara’s dark brown eyes, his heart sank just a little. Great.

Some people collected books.

Collected knickknacks, or coins.

Theresa collected lost souls, as evidenced by the fact that he was living in her basement after she’d charmed him into changing her tire outside Dierburg’s a few months earlier.

The last person to stay in that apartment had been a battered woman hiding out from her ex. Before that, it had been a girl who’d been all of nineteen, with two kids and a third on the way. When that one left, she’d stolen from Theresa and skipped out on the piddling amount of rent.

If Sara Davis was living in Theresa’s upstairs apartment that made her pretty much off limits. It didn’t matter that his dormant sex drive was all of sudden flaring up on him.

The last thing Quinn needed to be around was another lost soul, not when he still struggled to find his own.

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Broken…. Final Snippet!

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Broken 3.02.2010

“Go to hell,” she snarled.

“I told you I’d find you,” he said again.

“I told you . . .”

“I told you . . .”

“I told you . . .”

Sara came awake with a start—she was alone in the bed.

Some dreams she forgot before she ever woke.

Some dreams lingered with her for days. She wasn’t entirely sure which one this was. A jumbled mess of images bounced around in her mind and she slowly forced her body upright. Various aches and pains made themselves known and she grimaced. The muscles in her legs screamed at her and between her thighs, she was swollen and sore.

It was dim in the room, only the faintest light seeping in from under the curtains. There was one wall sconce on, the light so faint it served no purpose other than illuminating the way should somebody need to make a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night. She squinted at the clock on the bedside table and blanched as she realized it was past ten.

Shit. She should already be on a train, heading to New Mexico by now.

Pushing her hair back from her face, she swung her legs over the edge of the bed. That was when she saw Quinn.

He was standing at the door, his back resting against it.

She swallowed the yelp that tried to come free and made herself smile. “Hey.”

He didn’t respond.

It was quiet in the room, one of those awful, weighted silences. She hated it. Frowning, she reached out and grabbed the blanket, wrapping it around herself. “The silent treatment is starting to piss me off, Quinn.”

He shrugged. “I asked you some questions earlier and you wouldn’t answer them.”

“I can’t.” Or at least, she wasn’t supposed to . . . but she could, and she wanted to, and if he’d just stop acting so fucking weird . . .

“Maybe if I give you an idea on where to you start, it might be easier for you to answer those questions.”

His voice sounded almost normal. Her heart skipped a beat. Seeking out his face in the dim room, she strained to pick up some kind of clue. Some kind of warmth. Tell him—

It was time. That was for damn sure.

She licked her lips and tried to figure out where in the hell to start.

He reached out and hit the light switch. She flinched at the sudden brightness, turning her head away. That was when she saw it. A piece of paper sitting on the little bedside table. It had several creases on it, like it had been folded up for a while.

Dread flooded her. Blood roared in her ears as she stared at the paper. It looked so innocuous—something she could tear to shreds, something she could set a match to and it would be gone in seconds.

A piece of paper and just the sight of it made her gut clench. She recognized the picture immediately. One very similar to it had been carried in her wallet for ages. It had been two years since she’d seen that image the last time.

She skimmed the brief paragraphs on the page, the blood in her veins turning to ice. Her heart went crashing down to her feet and suddenly, Quinn’s bizarre behavior didn’t seem so bizarre.

Sure hoped you remembered to pay Theresa her rent before you split.

We shouldn’t do this.

You shouldn’t do this.

You can’t be mine.

There was a laugh bubbling up in her throat, hysterical laughter, the kind that too easily turned to tears. Closing her eyes, she thought silently, You fucking moron.

But she didn’t know if it was directed at him . . . or at her.

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Broken…Random Snippet #9

Broken 3.02.2010

You can’t run forever.

She hadn’t wanted to run forever, but the one chance she had at stopping kept eluding her.

The words chased her as she made her way to the bus station. Chased her, haunted her, mocked her.

Even with those words echoing in her head, even with the memory of Quinn’s face with those somber, quiet eyes, she managed to get to the bus station without breaking down.

She got through the ticket line without breaking.

She even managed to hold it together for the first few minutes as she paced in endless circles, watching the clock tick away the minutes. But then, as the hour hand began to creep closer to the 3, it got harder and harder to hold the tears back.

They burned her eyes, lodged in her throat, threatened to choke her, and finally, she couldn’t fight it anymore. Dashing into the bathroom, she locked herself in a stall and broke down. Harsh, ugly sobs tore from her throat.

The tears blinded her. The pain deafened her. Lost in misery, minutes ticked away and by the time the storm of grief began to ease, her throat was sore, her eyes burned, and her head pounded.

She slipped out of the stall and hoped nobody had come in while she was indulging in her breakdown. Her hopes were dashed as a woman slipped out of the stall next to hers.

Studiously ignoring the other woman, Sara made her way to the sink, rolling her little carry-on behind her. The strap of her duffel was cutting into her skin, but she wasn’t about to take it off. She’d had one stolen before and if she hadn’t already learned the lesson of keeping her cash on her body, she might have been up a creek.

With a flick of her wrists, she turned on the tap and bent over the sink, splashing cold water in her face. A quick glance in the mirror told her that the water hadn’t done much to help, but at least there weren’t dried tear tracks on her face now.

She braced her hands on the sink and stared at her reflection. Red-rimmed, unhappy eyes stared back at her. Her mouth was unsmiling, her face was paler than normal. Her hair, that nondescript, drab brown, fell into her face and she shoved it back, fighting a wave of helpless anger.

She looked pretty much like shit.

Fitting, since that was precisely how she felt.

You can’t run forever.

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Sorry…no snippets over the weekend!

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Broken…Random Snippet #8

Broken 3.02.2010

God, was he ever falling for her . . .

“Man, if you looked like you were going to spit nails a few minutes ago, now you look like you’ve been hit across the head with a two-by-four.”

He lifted his eyes away from his plate and found her staring at him, her chin propped on her hand. “Huh?”

A smile curled her lips. “I said you look like you’ve been hit across the head with a two-by-four. Thinking those same heavy thoughts?”

“Thinking about you.” He caught her free hand, rubbed his fingers over the back of it.

She grimaced, her nose crinkling. “Man, I don’t know if I like being the source of heavy thoughts, Quinn.”

“I kind of like it,” he said. He lifted her hand and nibbled on her knuckles. “Beats out a lot of the miserable shit I’ve had trapped inside my head.”

“Wow.” She cocked a brow at him. “That’s flattering.”

Scowling at her, he replayed those words through his head and then winced. “Hell. That does sound a little less than flattering, doesn’t it?”

“Hmmm.” She continued to gaze at him, but her eyes danced with suppressed laughter.

Fuck. He loved those eyes. Loved seeing the smiles that danced there, hated the sadness that too often broke his heart. He could look into those eyes every day for the rest of his life . . .

Son of a bitch.

Son of a fucking bitch.

Right there, right in the middle of a meal he didn’t really want, in the middle of a crowded, mom-and-pop diner, he realized he was in love with her. He’d already gone and put his heart in her hands—and he was terrified.

Floored, his mouth dry and his heart racing, he leaned back against the padded bench and stared at her. Unable to tear his eyes away from her face, unable to speak, even when she started to squirm around under the weight of his stare.

“Ahhh . . . you’re doing it again,” Sara said, licking her lips. “Doing that drift off into outer space or something.”

“No, I’m not,” he answered, forcing the words past his dry throat.

He could look into those eyes, every day, for the rest of his life. And do it quite happily. He was in love with her.

And Quinn was abso-fucking-lutely clueless about how to handle it.

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Broken…Random Snippet #7

Broken 3.02.2010

She was jogging down the front steps when Quinn pulled up in front of the house. His motorcycle was a shiny, slick piece of work, all black paint and silver chrome.

Geez, he was the living embodiment of a girl’s bad boy fantasy—worn jeans that clung to long, lean legs, his wheat blond hair just a little too long, a heavy growth of stubble darkening his face. Straddling that bike, he made a picture that was almost too perfect to be real.

Oh. Oh, man, girl, you gotta be careful here . . .

Her heart skipped a beat as she eyed him on the bike, then it jumped into her throat as he turned his head and met her gaze.

A slow smile curled his lips, but that wasn’t what had her heart lodged just above her trachea.

It was the very vivid, very ugly black eye.

Screw being careful. She strode over to him and caught his face in her hands, turning it to the side to better study the bruise. It spread out over his cheek and there was swelling as well as discoloration.

“What happened?” she asked, unaware that her voice had gone flat; unaware that she was gingerly probing the bone just under his eye with gentle fingers.

The only thought in her mind was that somebody had hurt him.

“Got hit,” Quinn said easily. He’d been checked over for injuries often enough to recognize when it was being done by a professional. The calm, practical tone of her voice, the steady and skilled way she examined his bruise, they both said, loud and clear, that she had training, although he wasn’t exactly sure what kind. Something medical.

He could have told her that he’d already been subjected to a quick examination by a paramedic earlier, but that might make her stop touching him. So he sat there and enjoyed the feel of her fingers, cool and competent, on his face.

“Yes, Quinn. I can see that you got hit,” she said, tongue in cheek. “What I’m wondering is why . . . ?”

“Got in somebody’s way and the guy wasn’t too happy about it.”

The guy had been built like a fucking Mac truck, too. Quinn’s face hurt like a son of a bitch. Up until he’d seen Sara heading out, the only thought in his mind had been taking some Motrin, putting a bag of ice on his face, and collapsing into bed.

It was amazing what just the sight of her did to him. How in the hell could a woman manage to both soothe and excite at the same time? Sara managed it, though. His blood heated and his heartbeat sped up and at the same time, the ache in his head started to recede. By the time Sara finished looking him over, he was no longer in the mood to fall into bed, unless she took the fall with him.

“You done playing doctor?”

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Broken…Random Snippet #6

Broken 3.02.2010

Can’t? Or don’t want to?” Quinn had asked.

Man, if that guy had any idea just how much she’d love to have the complication of him in her life . . . Even if it was just a quick, torrid affair. Hell, a fricking one-night stand, even. She’d been living without the things she wanted, the things she needed for so long, she yearned for the chance to reach out and take, gobble up any and every indulgence she could have.

Spending a night under Quinn Rafferty would be one hell of an indulgence, she already knew.

Too dangerous, though. He was too dangerous. She’d recognized that almost from the beginning. If she’d been smart, if she wasn’t so damned tired of running, she would have already left St. Louis.

Left Quinn behind before he could become a threat.

“Too late,” she muttered morosely. He was already a threat, just not the kind of threat that she was used to avoiding. He was a threat to her sanity, to her heart. He’d gotten to her. The first time she’d looked at him, she’d thought wounded warrior and she’d been right. He had scars on his soul. Wounds that still struggled to heal.

She wanted to help.

Wanted to stroke, comfort, soothe . . . and then she wanted to strip that long, rangy body naked and ride him until neither of them could take any more.

She suspected she could get lost in him.

It was a luxury she didn’t have and some of the darker dreams from last night had driven that fact home hard. Very hard. She squeezed her eyes closed as one of the more vicious scenes from the nightmares danced through her head. Fists clenched. Bruises, blood, and screams. The echo of a low, ugly voice that promised more pain the next time.

Then the knife. She hadn’t even realized she was holding it . . .

“What are you going to do with that knife?”

“Use it on you, if you come even a step closer.”

“You don’t have the guts.” He smiled as he said it.

“Take another step and we’ll see if I’ve got the guts or not.”

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