Hi everyone. I came into 2014 on a slippery slope with lots of rough patches along the way. But the earlier ordeals have smoothed out and been replaced by happier times.
The toxic chemical spill that polluted rivers in West Virginia is under control and the water declared safe to use. Hubs and I are still drinking and cooking with bottled water, but we’re using the tap for bathing and washing clothes. (Trust me this is a BIG HAPPY).
I replaced my ailing SUV with a new Range Rover Evoque. Yeah, the picture sucks. Hubs wanted to know why I I ran outside last night to take pictures during the latest snow storm. Even in good weather and lighting I’m not a great photographer. But I wanted to share because so many of you were so sweet with your concern and best wishes and now I LUV my new ride.
Adding to my happy fest, I received notification that River’s Edge, Unlikely Gentlemen I, is a nominee for a RONE AWARD.
Be sure and leave a comment below and tell me how your year is moving along. I’m giving away 3 prizes today: Reader’s choice of my backlist, 2 print copies of River’s Edge, and one set of Unlikely Gentlemen Books I and II–River’s Edge and Outrageous Pride.
Here’s a snippet from River’s Edge:
As River peered down at the cowboy through the screen of the willow branches, he unbuckled his gunbelt and removed the chaps he wore over his denims. Piece by piece he shed the rest of his clothes, discarding them all before reaching into his saddlebag and pulling out a sliver of soap and a drying cloth.
Grasping her pencil, River leaned forward, almost falling from her hiding spot as she prepared to draw her first live nude subject. She had studied Hellenic art, copying pictures of naked gods and men. Hermes of Atalante, the Roman statue by Lysippus, remained her favorite. But the sun-kissed figure below eclipsed the one-dimensional depictions in her books.
Standing thigh deep with his back turned toward her and his shoulder muscles rippling, the cowboy reached low, scooping water to wet his face and chest. The fiery red color of his shoulders and back contrasted with the pale skin on his rump and thighs. He bent to cup water and rinsed white soap from the dark tufts of hair sprouting from his armpits.
River stared at the taut muscles in his buttocks, a jagged scar ruining the contour of the left cheek. And then he turned around, displaying a form more magnificent than any pictures of sculpted perfections she’d studied. Her gaze roved across his body, greedily examining and cataloguing the earthy reality.
He rubbed soap over his chest, swirling white lather around his nubs, pausing to squeeze the tips between finger and thumb. Rough laughter escaped him as his manhood bobbled in response.
River’s left hand lifted of its own accord, cupping the material covering her bosom. Though only plump in wishful dreams, her breasts each sported a dusty areola, darkly ringing a sensitive tip. She imagined him caressing her flesh, pinching her nipples as he had his own and a surge of need clawed at her belly.
She bit her bottom lip, concentrating as she detailed the heavy shoulder muscles, the sprinkling of dark chest hair, and the sharp hipbones framing the flat belly. Feathering strokes lightly she mimicked the fine hairs circling his navel before arrowing toward his groin.
As she watched, a line of water trickled from shoulder to chest and glistening drops collected in the dark thatch surrounding his manhood. His penis appeared more robust than the hairless groins of the marble statues she’d studied in her books.
River swallowed, trying to quell her breathless fascination with his maleness. As though her scrutiny had caused the action, he fisted his hand around his shaft and stoked the flesh between his legs until it became engorged.
She wasn’t prepared for the erotic motion and the pencil she gripped too tightly snapped into two parts. River stifled a moan and forced her gaze away from the intimate act and back to the harsh planes of the cowboy’s face.
Almost casually, he rinsed, walked out of the water to his pile of clothes, picked up his gun, and pointed it at the approximate place where she crouched in the tree.
“Come down from there now or I’ll start shooting.” His tone bore little resemblance to that of the easy-going cowboy she’d spied on all morning.
“Please go away,” she called to him, hastily cramming her sketchbook into her satchel. She had every reason to believe this stern-voiced stranger might actually carry out his threat. The sound of her voice identifying her gender seemed to jar him a bit.
He lowered the gun, pulling on his trousers and stepping into his boots before walking beneath the willow.
“You coming down?” he growled.
“No,” she answered, estimating the distance to the ground from the limb where she perched. She might have to jump and run. Cloaked behind a screen of leaves, she couldn’t see his actions or anticipate his intentions.
“Guess I’ll have to come up to meet you, then.” The tree swayed under his weight as he began to climb.
“I’d rather you didn’t,” she called to him.
“I’d rather peeping-toms didn’t watch me bathe. It appears we all get disappointed sometimes.” His voice held an unexpected edge of humor, as if he thought the situation funny.
“In point of fact, you’re trespassing,” River protested, prepared to defend herself with the broken pencil stub.
He paused in his climb and the willow stopped swaying. “That I am. Beg pardon.” Instead of arguing or continuing up the tree, he began a retreat.
Both relieved and disappointed, she waited until he’d climbed down, retrieved his loose pile of belongings, pulled on his shirt, and mounted his horse. Then she shouted another message. “Bathe in green tea tonight. It will take the sting from your burn.”
From River’s Edge, Unlikely Gentlemen I
Available @ Amazon: http://amzn.to/X41UMr
Voting in the American Historical category takes place this week. Thanks in advance if you have time to show River and Edge some love. Here’s the link:
VOTE HERE: http://indtale.com/2014-rone-awards-week-one