Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Today, I m super excited to bring another giveaway to you!  My very good friend, and first critique partner in the pbusiness, Karen Erickson has a fabulous book out this week called Worth Everything.  I got it on my Nook yesterday and had a terrible time putting it down to go pick up the kids from school :)  So check it out-- and leave a comment/tweet/facebook about it for a chance to win a copy!

Here's the blurb:

Can two lost souls find their way to love?
Worth It, Book 4
Anastasia Renaldi’s life is a complete lie. Disinherited from the family fashion accessory business and informed she’s the illegitimate daughter of the famous—and long-dead—Michael Worth of Worth Luxury, she has no one to turn to. No real family, no job, no identity to claim. Lost and confused, she turns to the one man who can help her obtain what is rightfully hers.
Attorney Gavin Westmore is hired to discover the truth. Does Stasia Renaldi have a stake to claim in the Worth empire? From the moment he meets her, Gavin knows what sort of woman Stasia is. Calculating, devious—she won’t let anything or anyone get in the way in her pursuit of a fortune. As long as he can collect his generous fee, he’s fine with it.
But Gavin soon discovers his perception of Stasia is wrong. She truly is confused, a sweet, ambitious woman who wants what rightfully belongs to her. Soon they’re spending lots of time together—and it goes beyond the attorney/client type meetings. The only question is, after untangling the web of lies to get to the truth, if there will be any room left for love?

And here's a fun little excerpt:

“Let me go.” The curvy, wet bundle of pissed-off woman struggled against his hold, her backside brushing against his front, sending a fresh surge of lust straight through him. Obliterating the anger and absolute frustration he’d felt toward her only minutes ago.
Irritating as hell, this connection he had with Stasia. Gavin didn’t understand it. Couldn’t ignore it no matter how much he wanted to.
“You’re mad.” He hauled her close, his mouth just above her ear. “What I said was really shitty.”
“Terribly shitty,” she agreed. The more emotional she became, the thicker her accent grew. It was sexy as hell.
“I was angry. You’ve put me in a spot I really don’t want to be in.” If she didn’t stop rubbing that delectable ass against him, he was going to lose it.
“I’m sorry.” She stiffened, tension radiating from her in not-so-subtle waves. “I’ve been put in the same spot, you know. And I’m not happy about it either.”
“I know.” Really, he did. Taking a deep breath, he decided to do what normally didn’t come naturally for him. Apologize. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.” He loosened his grip on her but still kept her close, enjoying her wet, warm skin pressed to his. His hands rested just below her breasts and without thought he lifted his thumb, caressing the underside of her breast.
She jerked against him. “Stop it.”
“Stop what?” He pulled her with him further out, till both of them were treading water, the waves rocking them back and forth. She felt good nestled against him. He’d wanted to strangle her when she admitted what she’d told her mother. It felt like this entire case was nothing but lies piled on top of lies.
Yet here he was, falling into her seductive trap. Funny how he found her even more attractive when she was madder than hell at him. He never knew he was such a sadist.
“Stop—touching me.”
He swiped his thumb slowly across her nipple, felt the bit of flesh harden beneath his touch. He was a complete jerk for doing this to her, but he couldn’t seem to stop.
“I can’t help it. Every time I get near you, I need to put my hands on you.” He gave her a little squeeze. “Maybe this isn’t such a bad idea after all, pretending we’re together.”
“I thought you hated it.”
“I don’t like lying to your mother. I don’t like lying to anyone.” He drew his finger upward, along the outer edge of her breast, to trace the string that tied at the back of her neck. “It’s not such a hardship, though. Touching you, wanting to be close to you.”

Don't forget to comment/tweet/facebook about the giveaway for a chance to win a copy :)  Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Soulbound's Book Birthday!!!!

Yay! My baby is finally on the shelf-- I can't tell you how excited I am that Xandra's story is finally out! And also, today is my real baby's birthday. My oldest turns sixteen today, which is really, really hard for me to imagine (yes, I was a child bride ;) He's celebrating with the keys to a car and I'm celebrating by freaking out, LOL.

But back to Soulbound. Here's today's excerpt. And don't forget to comment, tweet and/or FB about it to get extra points for the gift card and book giveaway!!!!

Have a great Tuesday :)

Excerpt #2:

“Is something wrong?”he finally asks, letting his hand fall back to his side. There’s no impatience in the question, no condescension. Just an honest concern that has me forgetting the whispers about him. Or at least putting them aside for a while. Despite my best intentions, I lower my guard.

“You mean besides the fact that I just humiliated myself in front of my entire coven?” I answer, settling down beside him as he takes off his socks and shoes.
“And what looks like a fair amount of outsiders as well, don’t forget.”

“Gee, thanks. I was totally in danger of forgetting that, so I appreciate the reminder.”

“I do what I can.”
“And not a thing more, I bet.” I narrow my eyes at him. “You need lessons on how to pretend to give a damn.”

“Oh, I give a damn, Xandra. I just didn’t think you’d want me to lie to you. I can try, but I warn you, I’m not very good at it.”
“Someone like you doesn’t have to be.” I, on the other hand, have spent my whole life living a lie. Trying to be who my parents want me to be no matter how hopeless I am at it.

“Someone like me?” There’s a dangerous note in his voice now, but I don’t care. I’m feeling reckless.
“I’m not stupid. I know who you are. Someone like you doesn’t have to answer to anyone.”

This time it’s his eyes that narrow. “You’d be surprised.”
To the side of us a peach tree bursts into flame. For a moment, Declan looks stunned, like he can’t imagine how it happened. I wonder what that would be like, to have so much power that it could just leak out like that without me even noticing. I don’t think I’d like it—I’m too much of a control freak.

A second later, the fire goes out as suddenly as it started. He doesn’t say anything else and neither do I. Instead, we just sit here, the tension between us ratcheting up with each minute that passes.

“So, why did you come?” I finally ask. “You don’t know my family, don’t know me. You aren’t even part of our coven. So why did you travel halfway around the world—”
“Halfway across the country, not the world. I was in New York before this.”

“Whatever.” I couldn’t care less about semantics when there are questions I want answers to. “So why, out of all the places you could be right now, did you choose to be here?”
“Because you’re here.”

My gaze jumps to his. I’ve been careful not to look him in the eye since those first moments, scared of what I might find. Now, I know that fear is justified. Power—overwhelming, unimaginable power—swirls in the obsidian depths and I can’t look away. I’m pinned, as trapped here as I was back there on that stage. More so, really, because here it feels like there’s no escape route. No back door to scuttle out of. Nowhere to run.
I desperately want to look away. But the pull is intense, like he’s reached out and grabbed me and there’s nothing I can do about it.

I’m playing prey to his predator.
Even worse, there’s a strange lethargy pulsing through me. Pulling me into him. Pulling me under. I start to fall . . .

No! I don’t know what game he’s playing, but I won’t be anyone’s pawn. Not anymore. When I jumped off that stage tonight and ran away, I started a new path for myself. A new life. Instinctively, I know that this isn’t it.
I finally find the strength to wrench my gaze from his and as I do, I feel this pop, like I’ve ruptured something deep inside. I gasp, wrap my arms around myself in an instinctive bid for comfort. Declan doesn’t react at all, doesn’t move a muscle, but I think he felt it too.

When silver sparks of energy whip through the air around us, I’m sure of it.
Reaching a hand out, I capture one of the sparks. I can’t stop myself. I want to know, for just a second, what that kind of power feels like. It sizzles against my skin, crackling and spitting, burning me, until I open my fingers and let what’s left of the spark fall back out into the air.

My palm throbs where it touched me, white hot and painful. It takes all my energy not to flinch, but I manage it. It’s my turn not to react. Except, Declan knows—just as I did with him. He reaches out, gently cups my hand in his own. Strokes the fingers of his other hand lightly over the burn.
It should have been smooth, easy, but the second his skin brushes against my palm, the entire world ignites. Fragments of memories I shouldn’t have rush at me—terrifying, fascinating, compelling. I close my eyes, try to block them out, but they’re still there behind my eyelids. Still there, deep in my mind as every nerve ending I have lights up like it’s Christmas at Rockefeller Center.

I order myself to pull away, to break the connection this one last time, but I can’t do it. The pleasure, woven as it is amidst the pain, staggers me and I can’t do anything but sit there and soak it all in.
The pain dissipates as suddenly as it came, but in its place . . . in its place is a silver Seba, identical in all but color to the one on Declan’s neck.

“What did you do?” I gasp, looking at the new mark on my palm. It shimmers in the moonlight, is the most beautiful—and frightening—thing I’ve ever seen.
“That wasn’t me, Xandra.” But he looks shaken as his fingers close around mine in a grip so possessive it makes my breath catch in my throat. I start to pull back—this is too weird, even for the daughter of witch royalty—but then I realize his hand is shaking even worse than mine. It’s enough, that hint of vulnerability, to keep me here when every instinct I have screams at me to flee.

“What—” My voice breaks and I clear my throat, try again. “What’s happening?” The sparks aren’t stopping. In fact, they’re spinning all around us like a freak, midsummer snow flurry—growing hotter, more plentiful, the longer we’re touching.
Declan doesn’t answer, just shakes his head. I get the impression, right or wrong, that for all his power and experience he doesn’t know what’s going on any more than I do. I take a step back and electricity arcs between us, flowing from him into me and back again.

Every cell in my body is vibrating with it, every nerve ending screaming with the agony of it. Just when I think it’s over, that the electricity is going to rip us apart, he does something even more unexpected. He leans forward, and slowly lowers his mouth to mine.
Rockefeller Center turns into Mardi Gras, the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve all rolled into one. Too bad I never thought to wonder what happens after the ball drops.

Monday, February 4, 2013

My New Urban Fantasy Comes out Tomorrow!!!!

Hi Everyone :) Thanks so much to everyone who has been out to see me at booksignings in the last few weeks. It's been awesome to meet all of you.

Today, I'm excited because the day has finally arrived for my new Urban Fantasy series to hit the shelves. Soulbound, the first book in the Xandra Morgan series, will be out tomorrow and I couldn't be more thrilled. It's a dark, suspensey, witch story that takes place in my current hometown of Austin, Texas and it was a blast to write. I know the name is different-- Tessa Adams vs. Tracy Deebs-- but it's still me, just a psuedonym I write under :)

Here's the blurb:

As the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter—and a member of Ipswitch’s Royal family—Xandra Morgan should be a witch of incredible power. But things don’t always turn out like you expect…

While she hasn’t lived up to her family’s expectations, Xandra has come to terms with her latent magic and made a life for herself in Austin, Texas, running a coffee shop where she makes potions of a non-magical nature. While things aren’t perfect, Xandra is happy—until she runs into powerful warlock Declan Chumomisto.

Xandra hasn’t seen Declan in years, and though she’s still overwhelmed by his power, she doesn’t trust him. And when her own powers awaken one night and lead her to the body of a woman in the woods bearing the symbol of Isis—the same one that has marked Xandra since the day she met Declan—she’s filled with a terrible suspicion, soon confirmed: the woman is connected to him.

Xandra doesn’t want to believe that Declan is capable of murder, but as the body count mounts, and Xandra’s own powers spiral out of control, she’s not sure she can trust her own instincts…
And here's an excerpt:
I shouldn’t have drunk the damn tea.
I’d known it even as I took the first sip, but when I’d asked my mother what was in it, she’d sworn it was completely innocuous. Chamomile. Mint. A touch of lavender for luck.
Yeah, right.
But when I’d scented all three herbs in the cup she’d handed me, I’d decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. And while there’d been something else in there—something a little sweet that I couldn’t quite identify at the time—I’d just put it down to the agave syrup my mom’s been crazy about for months now.
I’m not a fan of the stuff but my mother looked so anxious, and so happy to see me after my six month absence from Ipswitch, that I hadn’t been able to disappoint her. I’d drunk the entire stupid cup in one long gulp to make up for the unpleasant taste.
I’m paying for it now, big time, which makes me an even bigger fool today than I was eight years ago. Back then, I’d still been trying desperately to live up to her expectations of me, to be the witch she wanted me to be. In the last few years, though, I’ve given up on trying to be something I’m not and have instead built a life for myself that I’m proud of—away from my hometown.
Away from the magic that is so much a part of this place.
Which, I suppose, makes my momentary gullibility more understandable. It’s been a while since I’ve been around the insanity and I’ve obviously forgotten how bad it can get. It was a mistake to think that I would be safe here, even for a couple of days.
After all, from the moment I walked away from Ipswitch and the magical legacy I had no hopes of living up to, my mother has been desperate to get me back. She’ll stop at nothing to find a way to unlock the powers I’m perfectly content without, will do anything to turn me into the Magic Barbie she’s always wanted me to be. Maybe if I’d remembered that, instead of thinking about how much I’d missed her, I’d be in better shape now.
Live and learn, I suppose. And just to be clear, I’d really like the chance to live through this. I send the thought out into the universe even as I wonder if the number for Poison Control is the same as it was when I was a little kid.
I reach for the phone, but it falls to the ground before I can wrap my hand around it—whether by accident or design, I’m not sure. The fact that it’s perfectly believable that my mother would have charmed the phone to prevent me from calling for help is one more glaring piece of evidence against both of us.
Idiot, idiot, idiot . . . The word thrums through my brain, a triple syllable repeating chorus that echoes the three step cramping in my stomach.
Squeeze, tighten, release.
Squeeze, tighten, release.
I didn’t know anything could hurt this much. Had my mother inadvertently given me too much of whatever this was, or had I simply poisoned myself by drinking the tea too quickly? I call out for help, then curl myself into a ball and pray for death. Maybe living isn’t all it’s cracked up to be after all—at least not if it comes with this.
“Hey, Xandra, what’s wrong?” my sister Rachael asks from her spot near the door. Though she normally doesn’t have much use for me, her most prominent power is healing. My illness must have called to her, overcoming her usual lack of interest.
“Tea,” is all I manage to say, but it’s enough. She rushes into the room and lays a cool hand on my forehead.
“Mom’s crazy,” she tells me. “I swear, your latency has pushed her completely around the bend.”
“What did she give me?”
She looks at my pupils, shakes her head. “Best guess?” she asks grimly. “Belladonna.”
I shudder at the confirmation of my worst fear. Guaranteed to bring out even the most latent magic—or so the herbal practitioners promise—belladonna has been a staple in witch gardens for centuries. I know my mom grows it, but I thought she burned it to get to its essence. Never in a million years did it occur to me that she would actually go so far as to feed me the toxic plant. Especially since, so far, the only thing it’s brought out in me is my breakfast—an experience I really could have done without.
“What do I do?” I ask between cramps, forcing the words out from between my clenched jaws.
“I’m not sure. I need to look it up, and talk to her, find out how much she gave you. Probably no more than a berry or two, which isn’t enough to kill you when brewed in a tea—it’ll just make you really uncomfortable.”
Another pain hits and I pull my legs even tighter against my stomach. “I think . . . uncomfortable . . . is an understatement,” I gasp.
“I know, sweetie.” She heads into my bathroom and comes out a few seconds later with a damp washcloth, which she lays across my forehead. “I’ll be back in a little while, hopefully with an antidote to make this all go away.”
“Pilocarpine,” I tell her, because while I’m no good with actually wielding magic, I’m still up on all the plants and other ingredients that witches deal with—a leftover from when I was trying to be super-witch.
“I know. I’m just not sure if I can get my hands on any. I wouldn’t put it past Mom to have gotten rid of all of it before you got here. You might have to suffer through this without it.”
Terrific. I grit my teeth against another influx of pain and swear to myself that I am never coming back here again. I don’t care about command performances anymore, don’t care how much my mother pleads with me to return for special occasions. She’s crossed so far over the line this time that there is no way I’ll be able to overlook it. Winter Solstice or not, I am out of here the second I feel better.
If I ever do feel better, which seems doubtful right now. The pain is increasing as the belladonna works its way through my system, and I try not to think about what’s coming next. Blurred vision, dizziness, hallucinations, convulsions. Already, I can see the edges of the walls bending, curving in on me. I tell myself it isn’t real, that it’s just another side effect of the belladonna, but the truth is I don’t know what’s real anymore and what’s illusion.
There will be more excerpts posted all week, so stop by and see what Soulbound is all about :) And leave a comment for a chance to win a $50 gift card to Amazon or BN and a signed copy of Doomed. Tweet and Facebook about Soulbound for extra chances to win and then let me know about it here. Thanks so much :)