Seriously, it was a hard, wet ride for all of the horses, with the high temp and humidity working horses and humans alike into quite a “lather” before the race even started. Bodemeister held the lead through most of the race, but in the end, “I’ll Take Another” won the roses.
Mint Julips, anyone?
Now, let’s REALLY talk about being ridden hard…
I have tons of writing to do, including this blog, and I did say I’d give you a teaser for Trial by Fire as a follow up to Marilyn’s post last week updating our recently approved EC series, Passion’s Portal.
In a nutshell, each book in the series revolves around the happenings at Shadowling Manor, a secluded estate in coastal Maine and those who are drawn there have special abilities. With help from the Elemental Goddesses, those abilities are enhanced by the same sex-magick that opens portals to the mysterious and exotic locations where the stories unfold.
As the title implies, ( “Trial By Fire”) my story involves the element of fire, so here’s a little sample that I hope “sparks” your interest…enjoy!
Blaise Keegan carefully surveyed her surroundings and evaluated everyone in the grand foyer of Shadowling Manor. She saw no immediate threat despite the gnawing in her gut that warned otherwise.
Old habits were definitely hard to break.
The shrink at the veteran’s hospital said she needed to ease back into a normal, civilian life and recommended someplace quiet. Blaise got in the car and drove, but she knew she couldn’t get far enough away from the memories of her men.
She was their commanding officer and all she knew for certain was that they were her responsibility and she failed to bring them home safely. She was also the only one who made it out of the flames.
Survivor’s guilt. That’s what they called it but it didn’t make much difference to Blaise. Guilt was guilt no matter what kind of pretty paper you wrapped it in.
“It wasn’t your fault…”
That voice. She’d heard it in the back of her mind guiding her during her drive here.
“The answers are here, just up the stairs. You need only to accept the truth…and your destiny.”
Blaise didn’t resist the urge that compelled her, she simply turned and went up the stairs. When she reached the top she found herself surrounded by the sounds and smells of war and a stifling heat took her breath away. It was surreal, but somewhere to her left she heard the cries of her men and she ran toward that sound. In front of her she saw a red door with a strange flame-like symbol carved deeply into the surface. She paused, trying to comprehend why a door, red or any color, was in the middle of a desert road. The agonizing cries grew louder and the door itself burst into flames.
She knew her men were on the other side of the door and this time she was determined find a way to bring them home.
Or she’d die with them.
“Come to me, Blaise…I’ll help you find the truth.”
Blaise braced herself and leapt into the flames.
She felt no resistance, no heat, no pain and yet she could see the red and orange and gold tendrils swirling around her, stroking her body like a teasing lover. She looked around and saw the charred, lifeless bodies of her men. She wanted to scream. She wanted to help them, but she knew they were far beyond rescue.
And still the flames roared around and through everything in sight.
Everything except her.
A blue spark within the depths of the golden flames caught her gaze and she watched as it grew into swirls of blue flame within the gold. The blue rose higher and grew larger, spreading out like giant wings for a fleeting moment, and then suddenly blue to turned red. As she watched, a writhing form took shape and walked toward her.
The form was large and very, very male with broad shoulders and red-gold hair that swirled behind him as he moved, nearly indistinguishable from the flames. He was dressed in red leather that hugged every curve of his well muscled body. He stopped near the body of one of the fallen soldiers, then held a hand out to her.
“Don’t be afraid, Blaise. I’m here. I’m with you now.”
She took his hand. It was smooth and cool despite the fire roaring around them. His eyes were the startling blue of the flames he emerged from and staring into them made her feel safe, comforted her.
The sound of his voice helped her to focus, but that was not necessarily a good thing at that particular moment. She knew it was some sort of hallucination or flashback of the explosion, it had to be—but it felt real.
In fact, it felt exactly like it did when it happened. Right down to her wandering through the flames looking for her men.
And emerging completely unharmed, while everyone else perished.
In that horrible instant she remembered everything. Her mind rebelled, fighting what she knew with absolute certainty to be true.
“That’s impossible. Human beings can’t do that. They can’t walk through fire.” Her world began to spin and blackness threatened to overtake her.
“W-what am I?” Blaise was losing her battle with oblivion.
* * * * *
That’s all ya get for now, but please let me know if you want to know what happens next.
It starts with fire and I promise you, it just gets hotter from there!
Time for a “beach break”.
Oiled up half naked, hot men sprawled out in the sand.
Sounds like research to me!
(Just what I need to recharge and get back to work on “Trial By Fire!”)
Yessss…I DO love my job!
Happy Sunday to all!