How has your week been? Mine has been busy! Lots of writing-related tasks with only a little real writing. Actually, I reviewed and revised both of my upcoming Montana Born titles, but mostly I did a lot of running around and housekeeping and organizing. (I bought colored folders and pretty boxes!)
But let's get on with things. The next excerpt in this #SampleSunday series for The Sheikh's Sinful Seduction is below. But first, a few pieces of news:
New Four-Book Contract!
I'm excited to report I've signed another four book contract with Harlequin Presents! My first two books are a duet that, for now, I'm referring to as #SecretBS. I'm a bit superstitious and don't like to jinx anything so we'll keep it vague and mysterious for a little longer. But I'm really excited about the concept and will share more in due time.
Feb 1st is the day that I've set aside to officially dig into that, which actually means continuing on from the proposals that I had submitted to get the thumb's up from my editor. I'm pleased to report that, after this week of cleaning up my desk, for once in my life I feel like I'm (mostly) on top of my game. In theory, this means I'll have few distractions while I work on that duet.
Montana Born - Four Books, All Platforms!
I finished and submitted my fourth Montana Born title (His Blushing Bride) and can't wait for May to share it with you.
In case you missed the news last week, my first two titles in this series are going all platforms.
Blame The Mistletoe is still in the queue, but you can find Hometown Hero here:
The Bachelor's Baby will also release on all digital platforms March 13th. (I had this wrong last week when I said it would be exclusive to Amazon.)
Please watch Tule Publishing's Coming Soon Page for a cover reveal for the entire Bachelor Auction series tomorrow (Feb 1st!).
I'll have pre-order links soon, too. This is going to be an amazing series, readers. I promise you, you don't want to miss it.
Newsletter and Contest News
I've started working with Writerspace to help with promotion. They'll be formatting and distributing my newsletter (I'll still write it!) and they'll run a monthly contest off my website for the forseeable future.
This means a few changes for you, the most noticeable being that my newsletter will come out monthly on the 10th. If you're not signed up yet, please email me and I'll make that happen. I don't have the new link yet.
Other giveaways will come up from time to time through Goodreads and Facebook and I expect to still draw for a signed book from my subscriber list.
Speaking of giveaways, there will be a ton at the Feb 12th Valentine's Day Party hosted by Tule on Facebook.
I'll be there at 6:30 Pacific time with a fun, Valentine's themed giveaway that includes chocolate. But plan to be there as long as you can. Each author will have a new giveaway about every thirty minutes. These parties rock.
Now here's today's excerpt...
Here's what has happened thus far:
~ * ~
Fern wished Zafir would take a hike so she could figure out what was going on.
Obviously she found him attractive. Who wouldn’t? He was gorgeous. And he’d taken note of her fascination, obviously, because she was useless at disguising her thoughts and feelings. That’s why she preferred to hide behind books and library desks and had taken a job a million miles from home so she’d only have two students and hardly see any men at all.
Men made her nervous. Not outright afraid. They’d have to notice her for her to feel threatened, but she’d learned the hardest way possible not to beg for approval. As much as she might have a curiosity about dating and mating, she was highly reluctant to put her hard-won confidence on the line. It had been far easier over the years to stay home and not rile her mother by going out with men. Instead, she had excelled at her studies and worked hard to help pay rent and, yes, had even taken a martyr’s pride in being the dutiful daughter. She’d told herself she was too busy for romance, but really, she’d been too cowardly.
Or perhaps, hadn’t met a man exciting enough to provoke her past her reservations. The fact that something had been awakened in her today, making her want to be noticed and appreciated and found worthy, made her anxious. Emotionally vulnerable.
And disturbingly aware of herself physically. She’d never responded to a man in such an animal way. Her knowledge about sex was mostly gleaned from the deliciously graphic passages in romance novels. They always gave her a nice flush of pleasure, but thinking about doing those sorts of things in real life, wondering what Zafir liked to do to women and what it might feel like to have his hands and mouth on her naked body, made sharp sensations pierce her nipples and between her thighs. Heat that was both embarrassment and excitement throbbed painfully in her, making her feel all the more defenseless and exposed.
It was so unnerving.
This was why her mother had always said sex was dangerous. Fern had wondered why so many people did it if it was so bad, but until today she’d never had a man touch her. Not really. Not so she felt it like a lightning bolt into her belly. That was why people did it. The sensations were compelling enough to overcome logic and common sense.
She desperately wanted to move away from him and take time to examine exactly what was happening to her, label it, then put it in storage forever. Especially because some primal part of her felt like he… But no. She was making it up. Fretting because that’s what she did best. She was misinterpreting basic courtesy as…
She didn’t even know the words for what she thought she sensed, only that she felt like she was trapped in a tiger’s cage and he was pacing around her, curious enough to sniff, but not genuinely hungry. Bored maybe. Looking for something to play with.
He walked across to drop her bags by a red bundle.
Oh, dear. Was that her tent? Well, she wasn’t above reading directions. She tried to retrieve the card from its plastic pocket.
“I’ll do it,” he said, looking disgruntled as he picked up the bundle, opened the drawstring and shook the contents onto the sand. He discarded the nylon outer bag.
“I’m sure I can work it out.” She picked up the empty bag and turned it over to see the card was covered in foreign cursive.
“Do you read Arabic?” he asked dryly, then handed her a corner of the tent and backed away to shake out the large square.
“Not yet,” she answered, moving to extend the other corner. As she did, she picked up the bag of pegs so they wouldn’t be caught underneath. “Is there really no English? Because this doesn’t look like traditional Bedouin accommodation.”
“No, these modern designs are too lightweight and practical to ignore for the sake of custom.” He snagged the small mallet she drew from the bag of pegs. “Even the nomads have moved to lighter fabrics than woven camel hair, but you’ll see more authentic tents when they come through.” He held out his hand for a peg.
“I can manage. I’ll ask one of the other men if I can’t. I don’t want to inconvenience you.” There. She had an assertive side. It was very polite and obliging, but it got the job done when she needed it to.
He flicked his sharp gaze around the camp as though looking for one of these men she might enlist when really, she’d probably ask Amineh’s maid for help before she’d find the courage to approach a stranger and beg a favor.
When his gaze came back to hers, he seemed disapproving and vaguely challenging. “I’ll do it,” he stated.
She locked her teeth, having learned long ago to pick her battles.
At least she was able to hurry the process. She willed her fingers to be nimble as she followed him down the side and across the back of the tent, struggling all the loops onto the pegs as he hammered them into the sand. The feeling of having her every action scrutinized was her own baggage, she reminded herself as she moved toward the front. He wasn’t watching her. He was having some kind of manly back-to-nature moment, indulging his instinct to prove his superiority over nature.
Nevertheless, as she straightened from making the last attachment, the tension was killing her. She glanced at him and his green eyes were waiting, snagging her like a hook, with a pierce and a tug.
She caught her breath, limbs paralyzed with shock.
He calmly continued what he was doing, lengthening a pole in increments with a smooth stroke of his hand and a light twist of his wrist, eyes staying on her like they’d been there a while.
He lifted the opening of the tent and slid the pole inside.
She blushed. God help her, she blushed hard.
~ * ~
If you're on Netgalley, you can download a review copy of The Sheikh's Sinful Seduction here.
Please pre-order The Sheikh's Sinful Seduction here:
Congratulations to Michelle who won my Hustled To The Altar giveaway for January.
Writerspace will be running my monthly giveaway. The next one starts tomorrow, Feb 1st. You can find it here:
If you're on Goodreads, you can enter here before Feb 13th:
Want to browse all my titles? Find them here:
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That's it! I'm seriously thinking of taking the afternoon off, I have completed so much good work this week.
What are you doing this weekend?