Monday, May 23, 2011

She could be his greatest downfall...or his greatest treasure

Amaranth of the Wild Things
by Brieanna Robertson

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He was hewn from cruelty and violence.

He felt nothing, he was nothing. He was wild, untamed, a shadow, a hand of death, a law unto himself. He had never known love. He had never felt love.


For the amaranth flower. Perfect, undying, beautiful. The only soft thing in his hardened world. The only thing he had ever held in reverence, and the only thing to ever offer him solace.

He had never faltered in his assignments. His hand had never wavered. But that was before he'd been ordered to kidnap her. A woman of unique disposition, undaunted in the face of her adversity. A woman bearing the same name as the immortal flower he so cherished.

She could be his greatest downfall…or his greatest treasure.


An owl hooted outside, it's call low and mournful. For some reason, that made her shiver also.She frowned, wondering where her jitters were coming from. She hadn't been scared of the dark since she'd
been five, and she usually found the sounds of the night calming and peaceful. She shook her head. She was probably just on edge because of her worrisome thoughts. It would do her well to get a good night's

Turning away from her vanity mirror, she moved toward her bed, but stopped with a gasp when she saw a shadow pass across her window. Her heart stuttered in her chest, then thumped hard against her rib cage. She blinked and kept her eyes on the window for several seconds. No other movement came.

She debated on her course of action and knew she should leave her room to go find a servant or a guard, but she was no cowering child. Besides, she didn't even know if she had actually seen anything at
all. She was exhausted and there was a very good possibility that that, coupled with all the worrying she had been doing all day, had made her eyes play tricks on her.

Taking a quick glance around her room, she snatched up a heavy, silver candlestick. It wasn't the best weapon, but it was better than nothing. Clutching it tightly in her hand, she approached her window, which lead out onto a balcony.

Tentatively, she poked her head out and scanned the area. Nothing.

She breathed a sigh of relief and stepped out onto the balcony,letting her eyes gaze across the moonlit gardens of the castle. She smiled and turned to go back inside, but in-stead of finding the open window
granting her access into her chambers, she bumped into a solid object that caused her to gasp and stagger backwards.

She grasped the candlestick tight and raised it, ready to swing away, but her hand stopped in mid-air as
her eyes fell upon the face of the stranger before her.

He was very tall and dressed all in black, almost as if the night itself was cloaking him, and his face… It was wicked. Demonic almost in its darkness with green eyes that seared her…like jade fire. His black hair framed a face harshly and cruelly beautiful and shivers broke out all over her body. Shivers of fear.

The menace that radiated off of him was almost nauseating in its intensity and her shock abated into horror. Something clicked back into place in her mind and she swung her arm at him in an attempt to hit him with her weapon.

He shackled her wrist easily with his own large, gloved hand, and he squeezed until she was forced to drop the candlestick. It fell to the ground with an echoing thump. His burning eyes never left her face,
causing her heart to hammer in fear as his sculpted lips broke into a malevolent sneer. He stepped up close to her, trapping her with his presence alone, and she felt a scream boil up her throat. She opened
her mouth to release it, but no sound emerged.

He grasped the back of her head and pressed a cloth over her nose and mouth, restricting her air supply and replacing it with something noxious, something that made her stomach turn and her vision go blurry.

She squeezed her eyes shut, vaguely aware of the fact that she was fighting against him, not that it did any amount of good. The stranger was as solid and unmovable as an oak tree. Slowly, her consciousness slipped into dim confusion. Then…darkness…

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Who would hurt the good doctor?

Find out in Lethal Dreams by Anne Patrick

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Dr. Erin Jacobs is making a name for herself in the sports world. Drawing on her own life
experiences, she encourages and inspires athletes to recover from career ending injuries. So why would someone want to hurt the good doctor?

Detective Logan Sinclair is determined to find that answer. He's been mesmerized by Erin from the moment she found him and his partner shot in an alleyway. Since that night their lives have never been the same. Will Logan be able to solve the puzzle of who wants Erin out of the way before it's too late? And if so, what impact will those answers have on their lives?


Erin was within a few blocks of Safe Harbor Homeless Shelter when the first drops of rain began to fall. She inhaled the delicious scent and blinked as droplets peppered her face. She loved thunderstorms. Shifting gears, she started down the hill, figuring to take the alley as a shortcut.

Two loud pops echoed from the surrounding buildings.


They sounded close, but in the maze of tall buildings, she couldn't tell what direction they'd come from. She slowed down in order to make the left turn into the alleyway and heard the squeal of tires coming from the alley to her right.

A pair of headlights sped toward her.

She hit the brakes hard, hoping to avoid a collision.
Aw man, this is going to hurt.
The bike skidded on the wet pavement and she leaned sideways to lay it down. She winced as her left side made contact with the concrete, gravel and dirt penetrating the tender skin of her thigh and forearm.

The black SUV crossed underneath the streetlight. The driver looked down at her and his dark eyes widened. Both irritated and angry, she stared at the guy. "Jerk," she hollered as the SUV sped away.

A second pair of headlights in the alley caught her attention. The car was just sitting there. Its
passenger door opened. She immediately recalled the gunshots just prior to the SUV exiting the alley.

Oh no!

Erin jerked her backpack off and ran to the car. She spotted the passenger on the ground, saw a leg move, then looked at the driver who was completely still. Going for the driver, she jerked open the door and froze at the sight of the gun and badge pinned to his belt.


Erin stared at the crimson stain spreading across his chest. A wave of nausea washed over her. She shook off the reaction and checked for a pulse with one hand while unbuttoning his shirt with the other. He had a chest wound, but his pulse was strong.
She got on the car radio, gave their location, and reported officers down and in need of immediate medical attention. She then gave a description of the SUV and driver.

"Can you repeat the description, ma'am?" the female dispatcher asked.

"Early to mid-twenties, tall, stocky build…athletic, black hair, mustache, black t-shirt, diamond stud in his left ear. There was a passenger, but I couldn't see them. I don't know if it was a male or female."

"Can I get your name, please?"

"Addison," a male voice spoke from the other side of the car.

Erin hung up. The voice sounded weak. She ran around to the passenger side of the car. He'd
managed to sit up and was leaning against the front wheel. She opened his shirt. He had a bad
shoulder wound, but would live. "Sir, I need you to lie back down."

"My partner, is he…"

"He's going to be fine. So are you." She looked around for something she could use to elevate his feet. She spotted a wooden crate near a dumpster and dragged it over. With her arms wrapped around him, she eased him back down, then lifted his legs onto the crate. He started to stir again. "Please, you must lay still." Grabbing the keys from the ignition, she went to search the trunk for a first aid kit and blanket.


Logan drifted in and out of consciousness. His shoulder felt like it was on fire. He never imagined getting shot would hurt this bad.

"It's not a serious wound. You…you're going to be fine."

He looked up at his rescuer. Moments ago, she'd sounded so calm and collected as she'd given a
detailed description of the driver over his police radio. She was far from that now. Even her hands shook as she applied pressure to his wound. Though she avoided looking at him, he had seen the tears glistening in her eyes.

She had a gentle touch, soothing even. And she was beautiful. The rain had drenched her green
scrubs, and her dark, shoulder-length hair was matted to the sides of her face and neck. She was wearing credentials. The photo ID turned so that only Mercy General Hospital could be seen. "Are you a nurse?"


He heard sirens drawing near. "A doctor?"

She started to stand, but he tightened his grip on her hand. "Where are you going?"

"I'm sorry. I've gotta go." The words seemed ripped from her lips. As if she had no choice.

Logan watched her run awkwardly the length of the alley. She was hurt. Had she been shot too? She stooped over, picked up a backpack, then slipped it over her shoulder. His eyes narrowed. He saw a bike lying on its side. Relief swept over him. She hadn't been shot, only wrecked her bike. He recalled the description she'd given of the shooter—so much detail. If she'd gotten that good a look at the shooters, then they had gotten an even better look at her. As he watched her disappear into the darkness, he prayed the Lord would watch over her until he was back on his feet and could find out who she was.

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Release: Crossed Lines

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*Warnings: Graphic violence and sexual content*

Baby Jane should have been just another statistic in the annals of New Orleans history, but the infant survived abandonment. A few years later she should have been a basket case after years of sexual abuse at the hands of a foster father, but she found a way to get free of him without losing her sanity.

Or did she?

Set in the charming hospitality of northern Mississippi, CROSSED LINES is a most inhospitable story of seduction, mystery, and revenge.


Jane had paced the floor for almost an hour waiting for her husband to return. When he finally arrived, she said nothing at all, but stomped into the kitchen and dished out his food. He avoided looking her in the eye as they ate in silence.

He attempted small talk several times, but each effort sputtered into nothingness when she glared silently at him. Finally, after dessert, he got up his courage and asked, “Janie, why are you being so hostile?”

“Hostile? I don’t know what you’re talking about. Little ol’ me, hostile? I think not.” She cleared her throat. “Why should I be hostile? Just because you were an hour late for dinner and came home with the overpowering smell of some female on your clothes? Why, indeed?” Her dark eyes were smoldering embers.

He blushed, avoiding her cold stare. “Smell of some female?” He sniffed his shirtsleeve. “Oh, that. That’s no female; that’s, uh, Samantha.”

“No female? Samantha’s about as female as any female ever I saw.”

“Uh—I mean, well, I got me some help with my homework, Janie. Sam was still at school and offered to help me grade papers. She always wears a lot of perfume. I guess I didn’t notice it on me.”

“I guess not. Dogs usually don’t sense the smell of the bitch they’re laying with.”

He stiffened. “Hold on there, darling. Don’t you go accusing me of improprieties with Sam.”

“I didn’t accuse you of anything, sugar. I was simply using a metaphor, one that you use regularly, if my memory serves me correctly.”

When he didn’t rise to the bait, she smiled coldly, adding, “So now you’re calling her Sam?”

“Sam’s her pen name. Sam Lowes.”

As he turned to go to the drawing room, she remarked, “Oh, I almost forgot. I have a new student writer. Remember the inquiry I received last spring? That Martin Spieller fellow from Memphis? I got his bio sheet and cover letter today. Nice-looking young man from his picture, maybe twenty-five. Do you suppose maybe he’d like to come down and visit, maybe help take care of my personal needs around the house while you’re busy grading papers with Miss America?”

“Now I know you’re teasing me.” He smiled, but looked down as his expression wavered.

“Surely I am, sure as the world. Don’t need any help around here. Lord knows it’d be too bad if I did.”

Like a switch being flipped, he turned on the charm. “Janie, speaking of help, don’t suppose you’d reconsider sending my new manuscript to your editor? I wish you’d help me even half as much as those so-called students of yours.”

“Sorry, John. You know my feelings on that subject. If you’d listen to me and do some rewriting, maybe a little editing, I might be inclined to help. But your epoch, what’s it called, ‘Tale of Two Tarts’, needs way too much work. I can’t risk turning my editor off just because you won’t pay attention to my advice.”

He slammed his fist on the table. “That’s just fine! Help a damn stranger, some kid who needs a mama to clean his nose. But don’t help me. That sure is a hell of a way to treat your loving husband.”

“John Rivers! Don’t you dare go shoutin’ and swearin’ at me!”

“I need some fresh air!” He turned on his heel and slammed the door behind him. A moment later, she heard the station wagon as he spun out of the drive and onto the road.


Sam heard the knock on her door as she was headed for a glass of wine. John was standing there when she looked out the tiny peephole. She swung the door wide open.

“John, what a pleasant surprise. Did you leave something behind?”

“No.” He hesitated, then uttered in a hoarse voice, “Well, in a way, I did. Yes, darling, I surely did!”

Without another word, he pulled her to him and kissed her fiercely on the lips. She accepted his kiss passively for a moment, letting him set the pace. Then, she melted into his passion with her own as her arms folded around his shoulders. She opened her lips to accept his exploring tongue, meeting and dominating it with hers.

After several seconds, she pushed him away and he watched her emerald eyes sparkle. “John Rivers! My goodness, you surely do have a way of sweeping a girl off her feet! What in the world’s got into you?” She stepped back to let him into the room.

“I think you know, Samantha, but I need you to tell me one thing. If I’m wrong, I’ll apologize and leave. This evening, when you were in the bedroom changing clothes, did you leave that door open on purpose so I’d see you naked?”

She feigned a surprised look. “John? Indeed! Why would a lady do something like that? With a married man, of all things.”

Her eyes teased him as she spoke, confirming that he was right. “Sam, damn it! Don’t toy with me. Tell me the truth. Did you want me to come back here tonight?”

“Yes, John. I truly hoped you’d come back.”

As she spoke, she opened her arms for him again. Beyond words, he pulled her close and kissed her. His lower body responded instantly, pressing the growing intensity of his passion against her body. As their hands began mutual exploration, she unzipped his trousers and reached in to expose the part of him she was most interested in.

“Oh goody! You really are long, John! I just love a long, tall man, don’t you know? Are you going to be my Long John lover?”

He only grunted, releasing her long enough to pull her sweatshirt over her head and toss it aside. Like a kid in a candy store, he sampled her charms, treat after treat. Time slipped by as they advanced, retreated, parried and thrust into a soaring cataclysmic cadence of lust. On the floor, on the sofa—on the kitchen table.

Next verse, same as the first.

He went home late, well sated and unabashed, resplendent in the smell of his female. But he was no fool. John slept on the sofa—the one Jane had made up for him after his hateful exit.

A practice that would soon become a daily habit.