Lest you think I spent all my summer writing, think not. I did escape to the land of sun and sand for a week with my extended family. I captured various sunsets along the California coast and share my vacation in sunsets with you, along with a couple extra photos!
I can't spend a day at the beach without taking a picture of a bird!
And this was the largest Hydrangea I've ever seen in my life. This beauty was as big as a basketball.
July 18 marks the one-year anniversary of the official release of my young adult suspense novel Vigilante Nights! Woohoo! To celebrate I’m giving you the first kiss excerpt!
Setting up the first kiss: Lucas rescues his next door neighbor, Tara, from her bad date at the first dance of the school year and drives her home. But he has more on his mind…
I couldn’t stop staring at the opening of her blouse, the creamy upper swell of her breasts. “I wanted to take you to the dance.” I wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans.
“There’ll be other times, right?” she said softly, shyly, too freaking cute.
Endorphins sprang to life. “Definitely.” Side by side, we walked up to her porch. Landscape lights radiated yellow beams across the walkway and newly filled planters of funky tall grasses and late-blooming flowers. “Tell Denny, case he forgets, we’re not meeting tomorrow.”
“Sure. Alyssa told me you’re all going on a yacht trip in the Bay, an annual thing your father’s law firm does. Sounds fun.”
“Doubt it. But my parents insist we go as a family,” I mocked with no real conviction. “I’ll be hard pressed to keep my mind off tonight.” I slanted toward her. “Or off you,” I whispered in her ear, inhaling her tropical fruit shampoo into my senses, willing it to drown out the lousy night.
The length of her quaked against me. “Try. They have no proof.”
“I feel guilty. And I don’t even know what was taken.” My lips toured her silky neck, along her jaw line toward her mouth.
“Dalton made you feel that way.” Tara made a clicking sound in her throat. “I . . . believe you.”
I touched my lips to hers, firm, soft, tasting spearmint. “Thanks,” I said against her lips. Drawing closer, I kissed her gently. Her mouth parted slightly, her tongue darted out then hid from me as if afraid. A hot stream of desire fed my blood, and I was useless to cut it short. Easing away before I turned her off, I released her hand.
Dazed, I strolled home. Another seed of life sprouted in my barren soul, replicating as fast as those dragsters had snuffed out my light. For the first time since the Summer of Delirium, I felt like I might be okay one day. For real.
Praise for Vigilante Nights:
Red herrings throw suspicion on various characters until the action culminates in a page-turning climax … A multifaceted story of revenge, violence, romance–and a touch of the paranormal–that will appeal to a broad audience.~School Library Journal
VIGILANTE NIGHTS is brilliant for a Young Adult book. It faces the pressure and craziness of teenagers in horrible areas. It's a mystery book with twist and turns at every path. The ending was amazing. It was beautiful… Let just say it involves peace.~Alice/KittiKat Reviews
The premise of VIGILANTE NIGHTS is absolutely fascinating. It's part contemporary urban street gang, part ghost story, part haunting journey from grief to hope. An action-packed second half should appeal to readers who enjoy urban thrillers with a hint of supernatural.~YA Books Central
On July 4th, 1776
This great nation, the United States of America,
In a struggle for what was right and free,
Was proudly born...
May we celebrate that precious freedom
For which our forbears fought so bravely...
The freedom that is inherent
In the Stars and Stripes, our revered flag...
This Fourth of July!
For my new blog feature, I will be providing excerpts from my published fiction or even my works in progress. For my first post, what better than to give you the first kiss scene from my first novel, romantic suspense, CHASING SHADOWS. No book is complete without a first kiss, and no romance really begins until that first kiss…at least not in my books!
Alex rose and turned to stare out the windows. Several uniformed officers stood by a row of marked police cars, bantering and laughing, preparing for a night patrolling the streets.
Moments later, Juliana’s warm hand touched his arm, coaxing him around.
“I’m so sorry, Alex,” she said softly. “I know how this hurts.”
He turned around, fists clenching. “Do you really?” he snapped.
She flinched, and he instantly regretted the words. She’d been through enough criminal cases to know how they affected the victims and their families. Despite his harsh words, she stepped closer and wrapped her arms around his waist.
Instinctively, his arms encircled her, and he rested his cheek on top of her head. Her light berry-scented shampoo smelled heavenly, and he breathed in deeply. His initial embrace was unforgiving, and he didn’t loosen his hold until Juliana made a small sound in her throat, and he realized he was hugging her too tightly.
She unfolded an arm from around his waist and ran her fingers through his hair, smoothing the chaotic spikes. Her touch was almost unbearably gentle, and her hug settled him more than he should allow.
Regret flashed inside him. He hated that Lisette’s kidnapping was the reason that had brought Juliana back into his life.
Alex cupped her face, and he looked deep into her sultry eyes and lost himself in their depths.
Sighing, he drew her closer still until her breath grazed his mouth. With growing insistency, his lips met hers, and he felt a matched hunger in her. The kiss deepened as control melted, and they abandoned themselves to the fever that had lain dormant for over a decade.
She stroked his back, her hands searing his skin through his shirt. Her breasts crushed provocatively against his chest, kindling a desire he raged against. The heady scent of her familiar floral fragrance created mayhem with his senses.
Not until his tongue slipped between her soft, luscious lips did her arms wrap around his neck, pulling his mouth harder onto hers. Her mouth tasted of mint and simply Juliana as his greedy tongue probed and battled hers. When his hands moved to cup her firm, rounded butt, reality whacked him.
What the hell was he doing?
Abruptly, he broke off the kiss and jerked out of her arms. The ties that once bound them were racing back with such velocity that his tightly-held control had slipped.
Uncertainty tinted her rosy cheeks.
“I’m sorry.” He stared at the posters on the wall, the files stacked on his desk, at the carpet, anywhere but at Juliana.
The energy between them proved volatile. He feared breaking the fragile bond if he moved, yet he needed distance from her.
As if she felt the same need, Juliana eased back and the air stirred around them, tension-laden. She bumped into his leather chair, caught the back with her hand. “I…it’s okay.” Her voice was thick, husky.
Silence loomed between them, and Alex experienced an intense desire to read her mind.