I'm so thankful for the support you offered when I left traditional publishing and went indie last year. That was a very big step for me. And, considering how long and hard I worked to break into the traditional publishing industry, it was a little bit scary, too. But you were there, cheering me on every step of the way.
I wish you knew how often you've made me smile on tough days and how often you've made good days absolutely fantastic simply by mentioning you enjoyed my latest release or were looking forward to the next one, or told me you were laughing with your sister the other day over something Bastien said or Zach did in this or that book. (The bad boys seem to be particularly popular. 😀) Thank you for every message, email, comment, review, shared joke, shared picture, and everything else you've done to spark a smile. Don't ever think I take it for granted.
Did you . . . by any chance . . . know that self-published authors are small business owners? (So subtle, I know.) Because we publish the books ourselves, we're both authors AND publishers. (That's right. I'm a publisher now. Isn't that cool?) So I hope you'll keep indie authors in mind while you're making lists and buying gifts. I have always been a voracious reader, so I admit books are my number one favorite gift to give, regardless of the recipient's age. When you give a Kindle book as a gift, you can decide the delivery date and everything, so you can buy the ebook now and have it delivered on any day you choose. I think you can do the same at other retailers, but am not sure because I'm not as familiar with them. And I just so happen to have two lovely self-published titles:
A Sorceress of His Own
The Gifted Ones Book 1
Rendezvous with Yesterday
The Gifted Ones Book 2
I'll be doing some shopping of my own this weekend, but won't brave the crowds to do it. I intend to stay nice and comfy at home and use ye old computer to make my purchases. 😀
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It's time once more for Favorite Quote Friday! For those who are stuck standing in long lines this weekend, I thought I'd share an excerpt of my latest release Rendezvous with Yesterday, a time travel romance in which bounty hunter Bethany Bennett travels back in time to the Middle Ages, to entertain you:
“I can’t bathe with you here,” she protested.
“I will not watch you, Beth,” he informed her patiently. Though the temptation would be great, he felt confident he could resist it.
“Then go wait for me at the campsite. I can find my way back.”
“I cannot leave you unprotected.”
“Have you forgotten this?” Reaching down to her ankle, she removed the smallest of her weapons from her boot. “I have my twenty-two. I’ll be perfectly safe.”
He eyed the silvery object doubtfully, unsure exactly what such a weapon did. “You are not familiar with these woods and know neither the dangers they possess nor how swiftly they can come upon you. I will not leave you alone.”
Her expression darkened with a mixture of frustration and dismay.
He loosed a heavy sigh. “I am here to protect you, Beth, not ravish you. Had the latter been my intention, I would have already done so. I vow I have never taken a woman by force in my life.”
A flush mounted her cheeks.
“I have already told you I will turn my back. If ’twill make you feel better, then leave your undergarments on, though I assure you such is not necessary.”
A moment passed. “Fine,” she grumbled, scooting off the rock and stepping onto the grassy bank. “I guess it’s nothing you haven’t seen before anyway. Just don’t take this as an invitation.”
“As you wish.”
Robert learned something new about her then. When Bethany decided to place her trust in someone, she gave her full trust.
After placing her twenty-two on the ground a few feet from the water’s edge, she proceeded to disrobe without even asking him to give her his back. She discarded her boots and odd, thick, ankle-high white hose first. Then she parted her long-sleeved tunic down the middle and shrugged out of it.
He stepped forward and extended one hand.
A question in her gaze, Bethany handed him the jacket, he thought she called it.
“I thought to wash it for you whilst you bathe.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Are you sure you’re real?”
“I do not understand.”
Shaking her head, she lowered her hands to the sides of her odd vest. “You’re too good to be true, Robert. First you say you would give your life to protect me.” Rrrrip. “Then you kneel in icy water and wash my hair.” Rrrrip. “And now you’re offering to wash my filthy clothes for me.” Rrrrip. Rrrrip. She lifted the vest over her head. “No man is that nice.” Tossing it aside, she reached for her belt. A few nimble pulls and it joined her vest at her feet.
Robert stood rooted to the spot, his mouth dry, breath quickening, as she tucked her fingers beneath the hem of her tiny sleeveless tunic, then dragged it up and over her head.
Heat seared him, racing through his veins and pooling in his groin.
Was that a bra? Those two tiny scraps of sleek black fabric that cupped her full breasts the way his hands itched to, barely covering the pale pink crests and held in place by the thin black straps whose purpose had eluded him earlier? More plump, pale flesh than he had anticipated rose above the edges, the shadowed valley between them drawing his hungry gaze.
Despite the fact that almost every inch of her skin was coated with dried blood, Robert found himself consumed with lust the likes of which he had not experienced in years.
“Mayhap I am not as honorable as you think I am,” he admitted hoarsely.
Unconcerned, she handed him the sleeveless tunic, then started unfastening the front of her breeches.
“Mayhap I only offered to wash your garments in hopes of distracting myself from”—his gaze returned to her breasts—“other things.”
Her eyes met his, then slid away. “Oh.” He thought her cheeks darkened a bit. “Well, just pretend we’re at the beach and this is a bathing suit,” she mumbled, tucking her thumbs in the waistband of her breeches.
“You make a habit of walking along the shore garbed so— By the saints!” he practically bellowed.
Bethany jumped. “What?” Eyes wide with alarm, she scanned their surroundings.
Try though he might, Robert could not look away. He knew he should, but he could not. Nor could he pick his jaw up from where it had landed on the ground. All he could do was stand and stare and go up in flames.
Bethany’s breeches now lay bunched around her ankles, leaving her long, slender legs and almost everything else bare. The only thing that shielded her… modesty… was a V-shaped piece of shiny black material that formed a triangle at the juncture of her thighs and narrowed to two thin strips that disappeared over her hips.
For a moment, he thought he would not succeed in dragging his gaze away.
How those black scraps tempted him, beckoning him to abandon all honor and let his hands and mouth go exploring.
“Robert? You’re starting to make me a little nervous.”
He imagined so, slavering over her the way he was, like a wolf wishing to dine on a ewe.
“Not to mention self-conscious,” she added.
At last, he managed to close his mouth. Clearing his throat, he tried to remember what he had been saying. “You wander along the shores garbed so sparsely?”
She glanced down and stepped out of the breeches. “Actually, no. I sunburn too easily. But I’ve seen women at the beach who wore less.”
“Less than that?” he asked incredulously.
Her brow crinkled slightly. “Aye. Lots of times. Especially during spring break.”
He didn’t know what spring break was, but surely she jested.
“Are you all right?” she asked, eyeing him dubiously.
All right? Nay, he was not all right. He trembled with need. He was on fire. He was a breath away from losing both his control and his sanity. And she seemed completely oblivious to the effect her near nudity had on him.
Have a wonderful weekend!