Writing During the Holidays? Are You Kidding?

With the stress of the holidays upon us, it is hard to focus on writing.  You are most likely overwhelmed with plans for family gatherings, getting gifts together, et cetera.  So, how do we keep writing in such a maelstrom?  It has always been hard for me to focus during the holidays as well.  There is a lot going on.  But, isn’t it necessary?  I think some would argue that if you don’t exercise your writing muscles, they will atrophy.  

So, what keeps you focused?  An impending deadline?  I’m sure that helps.  It has for me before.  Sometimes the threat of failure is incredibly motivating.  LOL.  I wonder, though, if that is apropos in every case.  With the prevalence of indie publishing and one book contracts, some writers have self-imposed deadlines rather than official ones.  Then, how do you stay accountable to yourself?  Maybe you have a project or two in the works.  Maybe you don’t, and they’ve sat on the back-burner for awhile.  How do you make yourself move forward, especially during the holidays?  Maybe a few basic techniques would help to keep you focused.

     1.  Freewriting.  If you’ve never done any freewriting, you’re about to be surprised.  Freewriting isn’t brainstorming or anything like that.  True freewriting is writing whatever comes into your head, however crazy or mundane, without the use of your internal editor.  Forget grammar.  Forget punctuation.  Just write for ten or twenty minutes.  If none of it is useful, that’s fine.  The idea is to get past all of the jumble of thoughts and worries we have every day, to dig deep in order to find something substantial.  It may take a few tries before you see something interesting form there.  It may read like a journal or diary entry at first.  It may sound like a crazy person wrote it because it probably won’t make any sense.  I usually leave the freewriting exercises alone for awhile and come back to them later, much later in fact.  Occasionally, I’ll see a tidbit I can use.  Maybe it’s just a piece of imagery, a metaphor that could really work.  I have used some of them in poems before.  I have also used them in fiction.  Mostly, it’s nice to see what I was thinking then.  Heck, even if you start with “I don’t know what to write” and follow that train of thought into uncharted territory, that works too.  Remember:  freewriting isn’t supposed to make sense.  It’s just supposed to wipe away your mental cobwebs so that you can get down to something that you can work with.  

     2.  Brainstorming.  Everyone knows what brainstorming is.  You create a list of random ideas.  I suppose they could be related to a topic as well.  I always found bubbles kind of interesting and effective.  You take a topic then free associate with that topic.  Use the first words that come to mind and branch off until you have an entire paper full of words and bubbles.  That could work for a poem or a piece of fiction.  There is bound to be something there you can work with.     

    3.  Lists.  This time of year, I think we all make lists of what we need to make for a gathering or what gifts to buy.  Take that a step further.  When I am really working on a project, I make lists.  What do I need to work on specifically?  Research specific topics?  Focus on characterization?  What element of the story needs work?  Make a list of what you need to do for your current project, even if it’s just an overview.  You can always make detailed lists later.  Believe me, it will help you feel more organized.  This really helped me when I worked on the sequel to Upon Your Return, which I finished writing recently.  I made lists of specific things that I needed to focus on.  Most of these lists were research related, of course, because the story is a historical romance.  But, I knew which sections of the manuscript needed more detail.  If you want to make notes such as “page 25 – focus on this aspect of the character”, that is fine.  Whatever will help you move forward should work.  I find these lists incredibly motivating.  It actually puts the whole project into perspective for me.  Instead of looking at the book as this daunting thing, it suddenly seems feasible.  The goal is in sight, and you can work on each individual item.  Make a list of what you think you need to work on.  You may make more lists later; you may not.  It just depends on what stage you are at in your project.  But, I still find lists to be a pretty effective tool.

I won’t bog you down with more information.  There are a lot of ways to help you focus, especially during the holidays.  Sometimes I go back through my shelved writing projects, read them and wait for a grain of inspiration to come.  Another technique is to grab a line from any book you own and start writing from that point.  You will have to make a note to reword the line so you’re not plagiarizing, but you get the idea.  The point is there are techniques to help you move forward.  Go online and search “writing prompts”.  This is a good way to jumpstart a new project or help with an old one.  I have seen suggestions about starting with a random list of book titles and seeing what you come up based on each title.  Even if you’re only coming up with story ideas and you haven’t gotten down to the meat of the writing, you are making progress.  We can always use more ideas as writers, right?

If you have not read Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, I definitely recommend it.  In my classes in college, it was the Creative Writing bible.  Goldberg gives you a lot of helpful techniques to jump-start your writing.  For me, Goldberg’s words were so inspirational that I bought several more of her books.  But, that is neither here nor there.  If you can’t obtain a copy of Writing Down the Bones, at least consider the above techniques if you are stuck with your writing.

We all need a little push sometimes.  During this time of year, I think we can use all the help we can get.  Happy writing, everyone!

LEATHER AND LACE Excerpt on Eat Sleep Write - Chapter 1

*This originally posted here.

November 30, 2013

Leather and Lace - Chapter 1 by Erica Sutherhome
posted by Adam Scull

Beacon Hill, Boston

When he got to the crime scene on Warrenton, Detective Dreyling got out of his car. He muttered a customary greeting to the officer near the black and white unit stationed outside and headed into the club, Venu. Despite the fact that it was a pretty hot club, he wasn’t really surprised shady things were going on. Venu was placed in a pretty nondescript area of Beacon Hill, and crime wasn’t really location dependent.  
Patrick was the first investigator on the scene, though he imagined the second officer inside had had his own questions.  Patrick’s partner was away for the night because his wife was down with their second baby. The doctor had put her on bed rest and even though her sister helped out often, his partner Nathan understandably wanted to check in on her from time to time.   
Patrick made inquiries to the owner, a Mr. Francis, and was motioned to the back.  According to the man, the victim was seen leaving the establishment.  He put his gloves on in preparation, then opened the exit door to the back alley. 
            When he stepped out, it was clear the exit let out onto Charles Street, a pretty heavily trafficked street.  It was not far from the Milner Hotel.  By now, the crime scene had been taped off, but there was no officer around to patrol.  The familiar smell of blood and death drifted into his nose as well as the combination of dirt and trash. Stealing himself against it, he headed down the walkway. 
He stopped as he saw a figure leaning over the still form.  He wondered if it was another cop.  As he got closer, he saw the long hair, knew it was a woman.  The lamplight hit her face and his heart stammered.  She was a beauty, for sure, with a heart shaped face and long, wavy brown hair.  But, what drew him the most was the look on her face.  The tears swimming in her eyes, the deep regret. 
She certainly did not dress like a cop. She wore black skinny jeans and a matching top as well as stiletto boots as she kneeled over the body. The clothes she wore were elegant somehow. She struck him as powerful.  She probably had a powerful job as well.  “Ma’am?”
            She recoiled, gasping and turned to run, effectively breaking the police tape.
            “Hey, stop!  Police!”  He suspected she might know the victim and so might provide some information.  He doubted she was the suspect, mostly because of her compassion toward the man.  But, he had to give her credit as he broke into a run after her.  The woman could sure run in heels.  It was impressive.  He followed her a good three blocks or so until they reached Lagrange.  He saw her enter through the back of a club.  Cursing, he propped his hands on his knees and got his breath back.  Well, he knew where to find her.  And with a body like that, he assumed she was a dancer.  He knew the place, The Glass Slipper.    
            Reluctantly, he headed back to the crime scene, though her escape really got to him.  He had given chase to many suspects and hadn’t lost once. Well, he certainly wouldn’t be floating the story around at the precinct.  She was a person of interest in the case, but no one needed to know about it.  He didn’t bother to wonder why a woman of her looks and character should be a mystery he very much wanted to unravel.  He was a cop.  It was his job to figure people out.
            When he returned to Venu, the medical examiner had already arrived.  June Tremont was clear that it was a stabbing, but she informed him she wouldn’t know what kind of knife until she did the autopsy. The body was bagged and sent away. 
            Patrick had recovered enough belongings to know the victim’s I.D. and little else.  He interviewed the patrons of the club, then spoke with the owner, informing him the CSU would still need a couple more hours to process the scene.  It was possible hair and other tissue could be found, but Patrick really didn’t consider it likely since the street was so busy.  He would put Nathan on the 911 call tomorrow to try to determine who had phoned it in.  The club owner had seemed far too surprised when the first car came on the scene. So, who had called it in? The murderer? A witness?  Someone who’d just stumbled across the body? 
            An image of that woman came to mind.  Long legs, enough curves to make his throat suddenly dry.  He shook it off.  It didn’t matter how attractive she was.  She could be any of those things.  He still had a job to do.  The clear emotion on her face had moved him, he had to admit.  So, it was very possible she had only come upon the victim in his final moments.  That couldn’t have been easy to see.  In any case, he would find her and figure out how she’d been involved.
            He returned to his District A-1 precinct on Sudbury Street.  He updated his Captain, filed a report and headed home.
            Patrick entered his early 1900s home on Park Street and threw his keys on a nearby table. He had loved the layout since he’d bought it.  He hoped to fill the rooms with children some day, but there was time for that.  It was a gray two story home with white and burgundy accents.  The master bedroom was located on the first floor while four other bedrooms were on the second. The backyard was decent-sized and there was a massive deck behind the house. He had invited Nathan and his family over for barbecues several times. 
            On many evenings, only when he was off duty, of course, he liked to sit before the fireplace in the living room and sip a glass of red wine.  His partner didn’t understand why he would buy such a big house when there was no one to fill it.  He simply hadn’t found the right person yet.  He often wondered if there was a woman like that out there, one that would accept the unpredictable hours of a cop. 
His father had been a cop too, and it had ensured that his mother would run off with the first man who could make her life easier.  It had also ensured that his father would drunk himself to death.
            Patrick had never been in a committed relationship exactly.  He and Jennifer, his last girlfriend, had drifted apart because of their different work schedules.  He hadn’t really felt much of a spark with her, though he didn’t mind the sex.  Mostly, he had grown tired of her complaints.  “You have this big house,” she would say, “but, you never spend your money like you should.  Why don’t you come to the dinners with some of my clients?  I’m sure we could get you into investing.”
            He only had the house because a lawyer showed up one day, claiming he was a relative of a woman he’d never known.  She was supposedly his aunt.  He wasn’t naïve so he’d done his due diligence.  Scams were so prevalent, of course, and his luck had never run that way.  But, it was the truth.  Somehow, he’d had a wealthy aunt and never knew.  Delilah Jennings had left a lot of money around, and had no living heirs.  He was the lawyer’s last resort.
It hadn’t mattered to him one bit though.  It kept him comfortable in the house, but he rarely used any of the money.  He wasn’t an investor though.  He also wasn’t into the kind of work that Jennifer had wanted him to do.  He was a cop, plain and simple.  Having money had never changed that.  He didn’t do it for the glory.  He liked the puzzle of figuring out a crime.  And he sincerely wanted justice or a sense of closure for the families of the victims. 
            Patrick picked up the phone, ordered takeout and settled down for the evening.
            The next day, he spent a lot of time learning more about the victim, Danny Richland, and where he had been for the past week. African American, late twenties and he worked here and there.  The man had had a girlfriend, but she was pretty close-mouthed about what he did for a living. His mother couldn’t provide much information either.  She hadn’t spoken to him in a very long time. 
            He spoke to Danny’s random employers, but they didn’t seem to know much about him either.  He was very private, they claimed, but he was also someone you didn’t want to cross.  The fact that he’d had enough funds to go to Venu didn’t really surprise him.  The motive for the murder could have ranged anywhere from a drug deal gone wrong to a crime of passion. Danny’s girlfriend Rose insisted he’d been loyal to her, but women had been wrong about men before. 
            He received the report back from the medical examiner, and Danny had been stabbed multiple times in the chest. There were no hesitation marks so that meant that the murderer had planned to do it, or felt no remorse.  They had narrowed the kind of knife down to a Boker Plus BO160, which could be used for anything from hunting to self defense.  No weapons had been found on Danny, which pointed further to a cold-blooded killer if the man had been attacked unarmed. There were also very few defensive wounds, which meant the first few blows must have crippled Danny enough that he couldn’t fight back.
            Patrick shook his head. Occasionally, he was still amazed what humans were willing to do to each other.
            Nathan was able to pin down the 911 caller to a female. They could only guess she was mid to late twenties, possibly early thirties, but it was hard to judge by voice alone. 
             A couple of hours after Nathan left, Patrick went back to Lagrange Street. He staked the place out for awhile, hanging around across the street, lighting the occasional cigarette, then stamping it out.  Men frequented the joint mostly. The women who went inside entered through the back door.  Bouncers stood around the doorway as if to guard their treasures.  He knew The Glass Slipper was a strip club mainly from word of mouth, though he imagined Cinderella wouldn’t be caught dead in a place like that.
He grimaced. The woman he’d seen had seemed dominant, yes, but far from the kind that would objectify herself for a quick buck. She had seemed graceful, beautiful yet poised as if she was used to luxury. The company she kept left much to be desired.  He could have sworn she’d been a high class woman, the wife of a rich man or even an executive herself.
The fact that he’d misjudged her rankled him. It wasn’t like she was a prostitute, but her job didn’t exactly make it look like she respected herself much either. He hoped he was wrong.  Perhaps it was possible that she was simply visiting a friend then.  It was possible that last night, she had come to this place as a safe haven.  It wasn’t likely though. His job had taught him that the most unsavory conclusion was usually the right one. And if the establishment she had entered was any indication, she had to be a stripper.
He shifted on his feet, unsettled, shoving his hands into his pockets.  It really wasn’t any of his business.  He should leave her alone.  It was her life.  But, he had missed finding out her identity and she still might know something, though his instincts told him she probably knew little of the victim. Perhaps she had been a passerby? Wasn’t it his job to find out though?  In a way, he also felt responsible for her safety.  It couldn’t hurt to check it out, see if everything was as it should be. If she wasn’t there, he could ask around, see if anyone had seen her. 
It was possible she was a stripper. He didn’t exactly agree with the profession she’d chosen, but there was little he could do about that.  Hard on the decision, he stalked across the street and went straight up to the door of the building.  He flashed his badge at the door and with a curse, the bouncer let him pass.
Once inside, the room was covered with spots of fog and smoke.  The smell of sweat permeated the air along with cheap perfume and other things not worth mentioning.  His gaze skimmed the customers, and every man seemed to be typical. They all came for one thing, to get away from their lives, whether they were married, workaholics, old men or young men.  They were looking for a cheap thrill.  Of course, it wasn’t that cheap really.  But, the cost wasn’t worth it.  It wasn’t real.
Patrick thought that a man should devote himself to one woman in a meaningful relationship and by doing so, all of his desires would be fulfilled. He was not delusional enough to think that all relationships were satisfying or that they were perfect, just that loyalty was required. Of course, his job usually kept him from enjoying the luxury of such a relationship. His relationship with Jennifer had been evidence that things didn’t always work out.
As he looked around the room, he could see several women dancing around poles. Others were scattered around the edges of the room, offering lap dances to customers.  The men were eager to shove bills into the dancers’ lingerie, grabbing what they could before a bouncer stepped in. There was one positive thing he knew about such establishments. The dancers were usually pretty protected, at least as long as the club’s owner felt the safety of the strippers was necessary. Since he did not know much about this club, he could not vouch for its security.
On one table, he spotted her.  Her long, brown curls fell down her back, nearly to the middle, where the hooks of her bra lay.  She wore red lacey fabric for lingerie along with thigh-length red fishnet hose, and her feet were strapped into red high heels.  Her steps were purposeful, seductive, and she was serious in her task.  Her dark brown eyes were also alluring. The makeup she wore was not heavy, but applied precisely to add a dramatic effect to her appearance.  She looked sexy yet mysterious, the way she had seemed before.  His groin tightened in response and his mouth went dry.  Satisfied that his equipment was working well, he casually inspected her.
It was her eyes that gave her away.  She was angry beneath that seductive exterior.  He wondered who she was angry with. Or, was it something she was upset about?  Was she dissatisfied with her job?  Was she angry at herself for having to resort to such a profession?  He didn’t know, but he wanted to. No, he needed to know.  He would not be able to let it go until he did know what was bothering her, how she truly felt about her job.
Suddenly, a man grabbed her hard and she stumbled into his lap.  “Come on, baby.  Make it good for me.”
Instead of screaming, she smiled.
There was something in that smile, Patrick realized.  A strange sensation ran over his body.
The woman managed to elbow the jerk in the face, then struggled back on the table.  With a well placed heel in the man’s chest, she nodded to the door. One of the bouncers shortly hauled her assailant out of the club.
Patrick was relieved. He would have stepped in, but he knew she would have recognized him.  He was only going to give it another few seconds longer, but she had handled herself.  A strange sense of pride moved through him.
But, he disliked the circumstances.  He had seen her flee before, but she now struck him more as a stubborn person and he knew that if he approached her now, she would tell him nothing. He wanted her to trust him for some reason. He didn’t allow himself the luxury of analyzing his motives though.  He simply decided that he would be involved in her life on some level.  He had to ensure she was safe, not only from danger, but from predators like the men at the club. He wouldn’t hurt her by forcing her out of the business. He would have to be patient, and convincing. 
There was one thing he could do.  He could make sure she was protected by watching her himself. And he knew just how to go about it.  He flagged down the nearest waitress, requested to see the manager, then followed the woman back to a small office.  He would arrange to see her again and this time, everything would be on his terms.


Official E-book release of LEATHER AND LACE!

I am so pleased to announce the official e-book release of LEATHER AND LACE! If you would like a paperback version, it is available on Lulu.com, but will also be available on Amazon in six weeks. Here is the blurb:

When Detective Dreyling sees Evangeline Lewis standing over a dead body, his whole life changes. Determined to not only find out what she knows about the crime but also to make her his, he will go to any lengths, even bribe her boss, to have more time with her. Angie fights the overwhelming desire she feels for Patrick, but there are some things in this world you can’t fight. There are rare kinds of attraction. No matter how much she tries to keep her heart from him, she can’t help the feelings that strike her. What makes it all harder is the secret she keeps from him, the reason she has put herself in some pretty bad situations. Can she come clean with him in time or will the lie destroy any chance they have at happiness?



Every Great Story: Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender book promo

*This originally posted here.

Every Great Story: Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender

Title: Upon Your Return
Author: Marie Lavender
Genre: Historical Romance

The first page from Marie Lavender's Upon Your Return

November 8, 1853

Fara Bellamont stepped away from the bay window overlooking the harbor. She didn't want to move; she would miss her home too much. The view of the waves rocking against the hulls of the ships in the harbor had calmed her restless soul on many sleepless nights. There was something about the greenish hue of the ocean and its gentle sway that drew her to it. It was a sight she welcomed, but it was not exactly in her blood. Her parents' home was but a carriage ride away from port. Her father was a businessman who had acquired many connections with the trades' captains.

Even the sea's lullaby could not calm the uncertain waters ahead. With a heavy sigh, she crossed the room to the trunk in the middle of her chamber. She lifted the lid and kneeled, gently probing the yards of soft, blue velvet. It was her mother's gown from the night her parents had met. They had been united by her mother’s season celebration in Marseille. A woman's first introduction into society was not supposed to result in a love match, only certain options. A potential husband would have come in time when her mother had been to numerous parties and such. But, Andre Bellamont had been the luckiest suitor in the crowd. Fara had heard the story many times. Her parents often reflected on it, and she herself tended to beg them to tell her how they'd met time and time again. Nothing could have prevented their union. They had fallen in love despite her grandparents' insistence that Annabelle D'Aubigne was too young to be tied down.

Fara's throat tightened with emotion as she touched the portrait of her parents, which was rolled securely for safe storage. A sense of loss overcame her.

Welcome, Marie! Can you tell us about your book?

Fara Bellamont has been back in society for a year after leaving Cluny Abbey, where her uncle sent her long ago. When he chooses a suitor for her for marriage, she fears that she will be forced to marry a stranger and live a miserable life. But, Fara finds herself thrust into an adventure of a lifetime when unforeseen circumstances cause her to place her trust in a strange man for protection. His intervention not only saves her, but puts her in an even more compromising position. Grant Hill, a trading captain, is enchanted by the young heiress not only because of her beauty, but because she is hardly conventional. Underneath her ladylike exterior lies a tigress. Grant cannot help but offer his protection as she is in need and he is far from immune from her charms. Fara just never bargained on the passion that she feels for Grant Hill. As events unfold, she must decide whether her desires and the dictates of her heart should trump the rules of society...

In your book, who is your favorite character. What about them makes them your favorite?

Fara Bellamont is my favorite character. Despite the dictates of society, she uses her strength and stubborn disposition to create a life for herself.

Where do you find inspiration for your writing? Where did the idea for this story come from?

Usually, my ideas just come to me. This one did as well. One day, I was going to a doctor's appointment and a part of the dialogue between the hero and heroine just hit me. The book was born at that point. 

What is your favorite and least favorite part of the writing process? 

My favorite part is when the story is flowing really well. The words just spill onto the page naturally. My least favorite is editing. It is painful because you can end up cutting a lot or changing things.

What would you like any new fans to know about you and your work?

I write a lot of different types of romance - romantic suspense, historical romance, contemporary romance and romantic mystery.

Where can fans connect with you and buy your book?

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+. My book is available on Amazon in both e-book and paperback.

Happy Holidays From Solstice Publishing

RANSOM Excerpt on Eat Sleep Write - Chapter 3

This originally posted here.

Ransom - Chapter 3 by Erica Sutherhome

posted by Adam Scull

Triana awoke in the darkness.  She was bound and gagged.   She was lying on a mattress of some kind.  It was clean, but still a bit musty.  Her clothes felt different as if she’d been changed.  She shuddered at the thought that her captor might have taken her clothes off and dressed her in something other than her pajamas.  Why bother with that?  It didn’t make sense.
Triana heard footsteps nearby, but couldn’t tell what direction they came from. 
She was in an unfamiliar place, a cold and loathing place.  There was no other way to describe the ease in which it crept into her veins, into her tissues and bones, obliterating all thought of escape or all thought of further happiness.  It was probably a basement or cellar, but she wasn’t sure.  There was no other means to explain the icy blackness of night within the room and the shadows that crept toward her when there was a sporadic flash of light. 
And there wasn’t a way out.  It was fairly obvious.  She not only could hardly move from where she was, there was no clear escape route. 
Her heart slammed in her chest when she heard a door creak open.  Footsteps came close, then light spilled into the room like someone had just flipped a switch.  Her eyes burned, dimmed at first, then she got used to it.  It was a simple room, metal walls, a mattress and little else.  She had been right about not finding an escape.  If she had tried, it would only have resulted in pain and the wrenching ache of a heart longing for a warm hand in the dark.
As her eyes adjusted to the light, she saw a shape, a figure.  Her kidnapper?
Suddenly, she saw him.  He was not what she expected at all.  He had short, curly black hair and dark eyes.  He was tall and well-built, but not scary.  He seemed uncertain, not at all the way someone should have been if they kidnapped you.
He stepped closer to her.  He gave her a small smile.  He was very attractive.  The force of him hit her in the stomach, a clenching of her gut, not in disgust but awareness.  She hadn’t felt that before. 
“How are you, Triana?”
She wet her dry lips, couldn’t make out the words for being gagged.  She shook her head.
“Let me help you.” He bent over to remove the gag.  Then, he untied her bonds.
She coughed, then watched him as he stepped away.
“Triana.  That’s an unusual name.  It’s pretty, but strange.  Who named you? Your mother?”
She nodded, still unable to form words. 
“She must have been something.”
Her eyes narrowed.  How did he know of her mother?  “She’s not dead.”
“Did I say that?”
She shook her head.  She stood up slowly.  It took awhile for the numbness to go out of her feet, for the painful tingles in her extremities to creep away.
“But, I suspect she’s not around either.”
She didn’t answer, just kept watching him.  She crossed her arms.  When he didn’t say anything else, she began, “Why am I here?”
He did not reply, just watched her with the corner of his mouth lifting in a mock smile. 
“What do you want?”
Silence again.
Unease crept inside her.  “Who are you?” she demanded with her chin tilted up at him in stubborn repose.
“If I divulged that information, there would be no mystery left.”
She stamped her foot in a childlike manner.  “Why am I here?” she tried again.
“To gain someone’s undivided attention, my love.”
She loathed his method of patronizing candor.  “I am not your love, damn you!”  When his face remained impassive, she asked softly, “For ransom?”
“Perhaps.”  He approached her stealthily.  “You ask too many questions, my dear.  Yet it is said that an inquisitive mind is a healthy one.  Maybe it is not such a bother.  Still, I wonder if you are curious or only full of nervous energy.  Do you even know which?”
His hand rested on her collarbone and gently caressed her neck, tracing every arched contour.  She shivered beneath his touch and her lips began to tremble.  She felt her nipples harden instantly and suddenly she was spent with her response to this man.  Honestly, she thought, he should be struck to the bone for being so damned attractive.
Afraid of how she was responding, she shoved his hand off.  “Don’t touch me.”
He nodded.  “Very well.”
As if asking would do a bit of good when she was his captive.  She wasn’t naïve.  She knew how these situations went sometimes.  Rape would be common, she imagined.
She wet her lips again.  “Will you tell me why I was taken?”
He shook his head.
“I can’t not know!” she cried.
“Don’t bother yourself with it, dear.”
“Don’t tell me how to feel.”
He smiled at that, but she had no idea why.
Lance didn’t have a clue why he should be so amused by the girl’s spunk, but he was.  He had to play the part here or she would suspect he was not who he claimed.
“Are you going to tell me your name?”  Her voice was hoarse now.
He shook his head, then went to a water cooler conveniently placed in the room.  He filled a cheap paper cup and returned it to her.  She drank fast and water dribbled down her chin.  He had a strange urge to lap it up with his tongue.  Of course, that was nonsense.  She was beautiful, but he had no right to touch her.  And the poor girl was probably scared out her wits.
But, when she clamped a hand on his arm and whispered, “You have to tell me why I’m here,” their bodies were too close.  The desire curling in his belly could not be ignored.
He kissed her.  He actually kissed her.  Stunned into submission, Triana felt him memorize her mouth with his lips before dipping his tongue inside.  He tasted too good, and the trembling inside of her did not cease.  His arms when she touched him tightened, and as he drew her up against his chest, she had the strongest urge to let him make love to her.  Reason crept in, however, and she fought the strange desire. 
“No!” she cried, turning her head aside.  “How dare you.”
His eyes narrowed.  “You were a willing participant.”
She had to remind herself that he was the enemy and she the captive.  “I do not want you!”
He cocked a disbelieving brow at her.  “You are young, I’ll grant you that.  But you are denying what you want.  Listen to yourself, Triana.  Listen to your heart.  Then listen to what your body needs.”
Her heart said to back away, to demand that she be returned to her safe haven at once.  Her body, however, responded to only him.  She felt her will bending as his arms pulled her closer to the wall of his chest.  When his lips raced over hers, she lost the strength in her knees and quickly felt that willpower fall away like rose petals.  “Please, I cannot want you,” she murmured to no one in particular.
“Attraction is a strange power, my love…”
Surely it was for she had no fight left in her when he was around.
After a few moments of drowning in his kisses, he released her and left the room, slamming the door behind him.  She sank on shaky knees to the mattress.  Dear God.  What was the matter with her?  She had made out with her captor.  Surely that was either the evidence of a long repressed girl or a slut.
Still shaken, she moved to a more comfortable position on the cot.  She put her head in her hands.  So she was attracted to her captor.  That did not have to mean anything.  Of course, it didn’t.  That probably happened all the time.  If other women could fight it, so could she.  She would fight this undeniable desire.  She would fight it or perish.  For she’d rather give up her life than willingly submit to the person who placed her in danger.
She forced herself to recall the kidnapping, how powerless she’d felt when he’d held her down on the floor before she’d blacked out.  The anger stirred in her belly, and it was refreshing, even welcome.  Yes, she would fight this.


Taking a Break from MLB

Yes, readers, that's right. I'm on hiatus for a while. I know I haven't posted for a bit, and that's really the reason why I...