Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Greetings from Pitcairn Island and author, Nadine Christian! (PDF copy of her book as a giveawy to one lucky commenter)

Imagine yourself living in a tropical paradise, surrounded by birds, endless flora and blue ocean. Now imagine yourself living on an island that has 48 people (as of 2012). The isle of Pitcairn, in the South Pacific is located south of the equator, and west of South America. This is where you will find author, Nadine Christian! She's here today to share her talent with her latest release, REMEMBERING LOVE! Also, Nadine is generously giving away a .pdf version of her book to one lucky commenter. So please, leave a comment for Nadine with your email address so we can notify you if you win. 

 
 
Nadine's bio:
 
Nadine Christian lives on Pitcairn Island, a small isle in the middle of the South Pacific, with her husband, five children, four goats, two cats and thirty chickens. With its rich maritime history, Pitcairn's romantic past comes alive in her novels, capturing the taste of life on an isolated tropical island, miles from the rush and bustle of normal city life.
 
 
Blurb for Remembering Love!
 
When all is lost, how do you remember love?
 
When her beloved foster parents pass away, Holly discovers a past both shocking and heartbreaking: the murder/suicide of her biological parents on the South Pacific island of Pitcairn, famous for the HMAV Bounty mutineers. Travelling to a home she does not remember, Holly reconnects with long-lost childhood friend Jack. An old friendship quickly becomes more...until a dark secret is uncovered.
 
Will joyous love remembered become heartbreak? Can she find out the truth before someone else is hurt?
 
 

 
 
 
(available as an ebook or print book)
 
 
** Special note -- Nadine will also have another release coming soon, titled Quintal's Return.
 
 
If you would like to follow this amazing author, you can find her at:
 
Twitter: @pitcairngirl
 


 


Sunday, July 21, 2013

An amazing woman and great interview - Dianna Bellerose!

DIANNA BELLEROSE
 
 
 
 
 
Dianna, you are such an intriguing woman and I'm happy to have you as my guest today! Born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria you now reside in Seattle, WA and you've written an incredible book -- FIRE AND ICE. It's romance, strength, perseverance, and abusive relationships all rolled into one powerful tale! Please tell us about the journey to write this book:
 
It was an incredible journey for me. My book, "Fire and Ice" is a product of my inner calling. There was a voice inside of me so persistent, and it came at a time when I was so lonely and desperate to find what my purpose was in life. I remember, it was a sunny day in October, and I was sitting on the bench in my back yard, looking at the trees and bushes, so desperate to find answers. The same evening, I sat at the computer and started to write. It was the day my life changed completely.
 
It was the greatest satisfaction for me, everything was so easy, the plot, the names, the whole story. I am so grateful for having this opportunity to write this novel because life should be lived with happiness and joy, not with suffering and pain.
 
There is so much to learn from this book and I hope the readers will find a lot of useful information to apply in life. People who have read my book and have had to deal with abusive relationships were so thankful to me because my book impacted their lives. The other issue covered is that some women are perceived to be subservient to man and consequently treated in a relationship like that and not allowed to have time for themselves to pursue their dreams.
 
FIRE and ICE was an Award Winner, NABE Winter 2012! and you were featured on the pages of Woman's Essence Magazine under Women Who Love to Write in the August 1, 2012 issue. Those are some memorable accolades! Can you share your joy regarding them?
 
When my book was published on November 9, 2011, the most memorable day in my life, I was referred by a dear friend to enter my book in this contest for a chance to win. I had no idea if I would win, but I remember the day I received an email very well because I started to cry. My tears were falling and I could not believe that I was a winner.
 
There was another surprise when I was offered a spot in Women's Essence Magazine. The editor contacted me and told me I was chosen to be published on the pages of their magazine. It was another memorable day for me, and I did not expect to be in their anniversary issue, so it was an additional joy.
 
Your Amazon bio says that you also enjoy gardening (one of my fave's too), but also photography, drawing, exploring other cultures, visiting interesting places, languages, and yoga. Can you share some tidbits about these passions? What do you like to photograph? What do you like to draw? Are you fluent in a few languages? Do you often do yoga?
 
When the weather in Seattle is nice and warm, I love to work in my garden. Usually, I have tomatoes, paprika, parsley and other vegetables. Most of my childhood was spent with my grandparents, and I learned a lot about gardening. My love for my garden comes from them and I enjoy spending a lot of time surrounded by nature. 
 
I have these moments when suddenly I want to draw, so I sit on a chair in the middle of my yard and draw whatever catches my eye. It is the same  with photography. I take pictures of the dog, he loves to pose. We find places around the yard, next to a flower or pot with strawberries that I have in my back yard.
 
Sunday is a day for yoga. I used to do it more often, but I do not have as much time now. I have two radio shows on A2Zenfm, and I use my three languages on every show. I am fluent in English, Bulgarian and Russian. The first show is about powerful women, and we have had huge success with it. There are a lot of people from so many countries who are our listeners and callers.
 
The purpose of the show is to empower women globally and help them cope with any situation. That is why; our guests are successful women who had been in difficult relationships or had to deal with a lot of obstacles, sharing their stories.
 
You're currently working on your second novel. Can you whet our appetites with a few details? When do you think it will be released?
 
I'm working on the second book. It is going to be a sequel to Fire and Ice. It is going slow, but I am thinking it will be released at the end of August, 2013. It is a surprise with a lot of information, so many twists and turns. The title will be Ashes and Ice. What is next for the characters in "Fire and Ice"?
 
There is another book before that one, coming soon. I am a co-writer. It will be titled, The Monster in the Mirror. It is a heart touching story, so much life drama is incorporated. I cannot wait to see what readers will say about it.
 
You have a unique website/blog where you can hold a chat with a reader/writer/anyone wanting to discuss anything! That's a sweet feature. Please tell us about that and about the rest of your site.
 
I love to interact with the readers, but I noticed that they are very shy and need special ways to overcome this barrier and respond. My observation is that most of the comments are coming on Facebook and Twitter. I create special ways of asking questions and people respond. I wish there were more comments from readers because I want to know their opinions about my book and what I do. This will help a lot and give direction not only to me, but to all authors who I am sure are ready to receive feedback.
 
There are authors that I talk with on a daily basis. They ask about marketing and publishing. I have gathered so much information because I do a lot of marketing also. When authors are guests on my website, we support each other and do a lot of cross promotion. It saves time and allows authors to work on their books and do other things.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring writers? Is there anything that you've learned along the writing/publishing route that you would do differently?
 
First, I want to say that writing a book is not the only thing involved. It takes time and dedication also. New authors should be prepared for a long journey and hard work, most of all, persistence. If you need help, ask other authors. They are always ready to give you the best possible answer. It is a good idea before publishing your book with a publishing company to learn about them. Do not hesitate to research, and I strongly recommend this; it saves time and trouble.
 
I am happy so far with how things have unfolded for me, I am so grateful for everything; the publishing company, people I've encountered and the opportunity I have been given to have my message heard around the globe.
 
Thank you so much for this opportunity and good luck to everyone.
 
                                             Love and Light, Dianna Bellerose  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
To follow or contact Dianna Bellerose:
 
                    http://www.nomoreabuse.info
 
 
Twitter:  @diannabellerose
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




Thursday, July 18, 2013

An interview with prolific author, Amy Gregory!

Today I'd like to welcome author, Amy Gregory, to my blog with an interview. She comes with great news regarding her Racing to Love series -- she has just released the fourth installment to the series: Eli's Honor.

 
 
 
 
 
Amy: Oh Jan, it is an honor (no pun intended - I promise!) to visit your blog. I fell in love with your work and pounce each and every time you release a book! Above and beyond that, I'm so proud to have gotten to know you, and call you my friend!
 
Jan: Thank you so much, Amy! Happy to have you here.
 
Amy, your Racing to Love series is obviously geared around racing. Can you explain what kind of racing and how this awesome series came about?
 
There are several types of racing, so great question! This series pertains to dirt bike racing. To give you an idea of what these bikes can do, our son races on the "little bikes" on a KTM 50cc bike. It will top out at about 67mph - for an 8 year old. LOL He's always had a fascination with racing and we've always enjoyed watching the pros race, as well as the freestyle variety where backflips are pretty common!
 
You have four books in the series: Carter's Treasure, Jesse's Soul, Brody's Love, and Eli's Honor. Are the characters that inspired these books real people? Or characters that came alive in your imagination once you came up with the idea for the series?
 
These books and events aren't based on anyone, although, there probably is more of me in each of the girls than I'd like to admit. In Eli's Honor, there is a secret that is revealed that leads to the final book in the series - Alex's Destiny, due to release this November.
 
I will admit freely, I set out with very little in mind when I write. I do prefer to write in a series, so I had each of the characters names, but there is no plotting that I do in advance at all. I start typing, then one scene leads to another twist, and that may bring in a new person and so forth.
 
What inspired the first book?
 
Initially, it was due to lack of sleep! My husband travels a fair amount for work and so between tossing and turning, over the course of that week, I kept having this recurring dream, but each night more was vivid, the story more real. I woke and started just sketching it out so I didn't forget it -- to this day I don't know why I did that. I'd never written before so it was just a whim, that when I was finished I had over 400 written pages. I couldn't give up on it and shove it in a drawer. I learned the hard way how to publish and so now here I am.
 
Are there more stories brewing to continue the series?
 
The final book in the series is Alex's Destiny. I've been pretty quiet about that book, mainly because of a secret twist to the series. I couldn't answer any questions about it without giving away that big "secret". Everyone asks about my guys, Carter, Jesse, and Eli...well those that have now read Eli's Honor -- are in on it.
 
I love this family so much, I won't say that I won't revisit them with some short stories, but I will say that there is a certain detective that not only I fell in love with, but I had several requests for more of him. So the series will spin off into my second series -- Finding Perfect. The first book is about Detective Mike Sterling! Yes...He's back ladies and gentlemen. That book will actually release in September, I think.
 
You lead a very busy life. Do you schedule writing time? What helps you get in the writing zone?
 
Well, I will admit, this summer has been my "off time" because I require silence to write. So with three kids -- that's impossible. I used to get up at 4:00am and write, but after awhile, my body decided sleep was going to happen one way or another! LOL. I will say, for Christmas last year, my husband gave me a unique gift that I never would have asked for. A really nice set of noise cancelling headphones. So now, when I am taking kids to and from activities and have to stay due to distance, I can sit comfortably in a local Starbucks and the headphones allow me to write during those several hours that were before wasted time.
 
What is your biggest writing challenge?
 
Honestly, I am probably my editor's worst nightmare! I can write a story -- no problem! However, everything I learned in school regarding grammar, sentence structure, story structure -- yeah, all of that is gone...I remember nothing.
 
You've whet our appetites for Eli's Honor. Can you share the blurb and an excerpt?
 
Happy to!
 
 

 
Blurb:
 
How can you miss something you never had?
 
Retired pro motocross racer Eli Hunter had it all; at least that's how he chose to look at things. His life revolved around the sport he loved and he had been catapulted to rock star status. Eli loved the feel of a bike under him as he raced, even...when it almost killed him.
 
After fighting back from a debilitating injury, Eli has devoted his life to The Noland Racing Academy. As far as Eli was concerned that was all he'd ever need, that is until he sat across from Dallas, a young up and coming racer, and his widowed mother, Honor. It was then that Eli realized exactly what he had been missing.
 
The prospect of sending her son off to The Noland's Racing Academy was daunting enough without being faced by the devil in a pair of blue jeans. When Honor held the door open for Eli Hunter she knew she was letting him walk right into her life, but she refused to let him into her heart.
 
Eli has never backed down from a challenge and he wasn't about to stop now. Not when those long auburn curls and shy violet eyes were the answer to his unspoken prayers.
 
Excerpt:  (Airport)
 
     Eli paced. Checked the monitors for arrivals, looked at his watch and paced again.
     The movements had been the same for over the last half-hour. The plane was due any minute, and Eli felt like a little child impatiently waiting on the word go to open a present. When he had spoken to Honor on the phone the previous night, she gave him no reason to think she'd back out, but a piece of him wasn't going to be at ease until he saw her with his own eyes. 
     The anticipation of the plane's arrivals was also uncommon. Most students that came to the academy came for a week. Most students that came were brought by their parents in an RV, hauling their bike or bikes, depending on their financial situation. Most students came with a need to improve on the basics or their parents had the money to send them because of the academy's reputation.
     Dallas Graham wasn't...most students.
     Once in a lifetime there was an exception to every rule, and Dallas was that exception.
     So was his mother.
     Eli grinned picturing the sweet shock that had swept across her face when he'd grabbed her hand. He'd fallen for the way her violet eyes went wide in surprise at his touch, the tilt of her chin waiting on his reason for holding her hand. Eli melted at the soft surrender he witnessed in her when he'd whispered the one word please. In that simple moment, she let out a faint sigh, a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth, and she gave a slight nod.
     Even with Molly's words in the back of his mind, he had gone to their home prepared to meet a mother who was going to beg him to help her son. Instead he stood begging her to come to him. Seeing the plane's nose, he grinned to himself and his heart sped at the sight of the plane slowly lining up at the gate.
     They finally arrived.
     Suddenly his head went blank, he blinked several times and felt his palms go clammy. If he didn't know better, he'd think he was having a heart attack, or at the very least a panic attack. He knew differently.
     He was nervous.
     Excited but nervous. About a girl. Actually a woman, but still, same damn effect. Cruising down the straightaway and getting closer every day to the big three-O, one would think he'd outgrown that by now, but as he watched Dallas come around the corner of the jet way, his pulse quickened with anticipation. Seeing Honor round it just behind him had Eli's heart pounding double-time.
     She looked beautiful. Her hair was down this time and his breath caught, seeing the long, loose waves that reached her lower back. She had worn very little makeup when he'd met her last week, looking very much the girl next door, but today she was anything but. She was in nothing more than a simple t-shirt and jeans, but her eyes were killer. She looked amazing.
     Unfortunately for Eli, his wasn't the only head that had turned. He watched as the man behind her tried several times to strike up a conversation just in the short time it took to walk up the jet way. Eli chuckled to himself watching her politely nod then ignore the man, getting more visibly frustrated with each passing moment.
     Always one to help a lady out, Eli swooped in.
     As she walked out of the secured area with the stranger still on her heels, Eli snaked his arm around her waist, pulled her close and kissed her cheek.
     "Hi, honey. I've missed you so much. I'm so glad you're home." His voice was loud enough for the eavesdropper and laced with the promise of welcome-home sex.
     He nuzzled against her, keeping eye contact with the stranger behind her. A little old-fashioned, but he claimed her publicly for all to see. He had marked his territory.
     Honor's face went wide with surprise, but quickly relaxed. He assumed she'd caught on to his ploy. Eli nodded to the man not far behind her, tempting him to dare say another word to the woman he still had in his arms. Eli guessed Honor thought it was an act, but in reality he didn't like the thought of another man around his woman.
     His.
     That thought would have scared the shit out of him years ago. Hell, even a few months ago. Just like Carter and Molly, then Jesse and Emery, it was the right person at the right time. Eli thought about Honor for days, processed his feelings, and came to the conclusion with absolute certainty. Honor was his. He was pretty sure that she was entirely unaware of the fact but he had a month to convince her. A month to make her fall in love with him. A month to persuade her to stay in Pennsylvania.
      Suddenly the confidence he had in his plan wavered. A month didn't seem like near enough time.
     "I missed you too, Eli." Her voice was quiet and sweet, not nearly as embellished as Eli's had been.
     His stomach clinched at her admission, reading way more into what she probably meant, but it was music to his ears.
     With her back to the stranger, the other man couldn't see the deep red in her cheeks, but it made Eli's heart soar. Something about the flush and embarrassed smile made her seem innocent and young. Poor Dallas had turned his back to keep from laughing, and Eli took a long minute to take in Honor's presence. The gaze proved to be too much for her. She grinned and broke the eye contact.
 
 
About the Author
 
 
Amy Gregory leads an incredibly active lifestyle in Kansas City with her husband and their three fantastic kids who keep them running in three very different directions. Amy is known for her snarky, off the cuff sense of humor, which you'll find shining through in the characters she's created.
 
 
I've spent my whole life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and now I've finally found it. -- Amy Gregory
 
 
 
Twitter:  @amygregory548
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Monday, July 8, 2013

An interview with Lily Bishop, author of No Strings Attached!

Today, I welcome author, Lily Bishop, to my blog with an interview!

 



Q. Lily, according to your bio, you lead a very full, interesting life! When it's time to write, how do you get in the creative zone? (Some writer's rely on music or hide in their offices with the door locked; others can read or write while life swirls around them)

A. If I didn't write when life swirls around me, I wouldn't get anything done! I have a netbook that I take with me anywhere I may be waiting, whether it's a doctor's office, my daughter's dance classes, or even a long car ride, and I pound out first drafts. For editing, it's better if I have less distractions and I tend to work on paper.

Q. I love that the setting for your book, No Strings Attached, starts in Las Vegas and progresses to Miami, and even travels to a remote Bahamian island. Is there anything special or surprising that you learned about those locations while writing your book?

A. My husband and I traveled to Las Vegas when we had our tenth anniversary. Initially I wasn't excited about the trip and expected it to be rather slutty. But we spent three or four days just walking around the various casinos and resorts, and I was amazed at the glitz. When I started researching some of the higher-end suites for my characters, I was thrilled that some of the suites offer butlers, and I was sold. Who wouldn't love a butler?

A good part of the book takes place on a large yacht, and when my family went to the Bahamas a few years ago, I became quite the stalker taking pictures of mega-yachts docked in Paradise Island. I kept waiting for someone to call security, but no one did. I guess the owners weren't famous enough. I kept imagining sailing on one of those, and how isolated you may feel if you weren't necessarily there by choice.

Q. Does your hero or heroine have something unique that developed organically as you wrote their story; something you didn't see coming?

A. Laura's fear of flying came out of nowhere. I didn't plan it, but it happened. Many people might be excited to travel by private jet, but Laura wants none of it. Fox inherited an office full of clutter, and felt oppressed with all the paper around. If you could see my work area, you would know he didn't get that trait from me.

Q. As writers, we transfer some of our personality traits, beliefs, etc. to our characters. If a relative of yours read your book what would they pick out and say "That is sooo Lily?"

A. My sister was a few pages into it and pointed out that Laura's leg bounces when she is nervous. Busted! It's a family trait that we all inherited from my dad, who can't sit still under any circumstances.

 


The cover art for No Strings Attached is eye catching! Can you whet our appetites with a blurb and an excerpt?

Blurb:

Laura Todd attends a conference in Las Vegas and meets Fox Thornton, a consultant to the hotel industry. Far away from her normally quiet life, Laura is swept away by her strong attraction for Fox. They both know the score, and neither expects to see the other again. After their hot weekend, circumstances bring them back together in Miami, where Fox is investigating a suspected embezzlement and Laura is the prime suspect. Can their brief romance rekindle in the real world, where suspicions and misunderstandings lurk behind every corner? Will their no-strings-attached affair evolve into a strong relationship, or is it destined to stay in Vegas?

A little tease:

     As usual, the reception tested the limits of Fox's endurance. This time, instead of combing the crowd for potential clients, he looked for those blonde curls from the blackjack table. Over a thousand people jammed the ballroom, and a sea of dark suits pushed in waves toward the two food and drink stations. He threaded his way past the six-foot tall display of high-tech security systems, his eyes on the tops of the heads that went by.
     A shiver crossed his back, and he spotted her talking to a salesman on the other side of the exhibit hall. Her eyes widened and she smiled before looking away. In that split-second connection, he felt like a trapeze artist catching his partner after a breathless spin. Timing was everything. He started toward her.
     "Are you sure you don't want to go to dinner?" He could hear the man's whiny, nasal voice from ten feet away. Fox dismissed him as being of no import and nudged his way into the conversation.
     Laura looked relieved to see him, and she stepped forward to take his arm. "Fox, sweetheart, this is Julian from Omaha. I told him we already have dinner plans. Are you ready?"
     He followed her lead without skipping a beat. "When you are, darlin'." With his arm around her waist, he steered her toward the exit. Robert expected him to stay at the reception and work the crowd for more leads, but Fox didn't need the money and taking Laura to dinner appealed to him more.
     "I thought I was stuck. Thank you for rescuing me," she whispered. "Again." She met his eyes over the rim of her wineglass as she took a sip and the hair on his neck rose.
     "That's my thing. I rescue damsels in distress." She had changed into a navy blue suit with a bright pink scarf hiding the dip of cleavage. "Although I liked the silver dress better."
     "I'm sure you did," she said, laughing. "Yes, well, now that I've gotten away from Julian, I'll just get back to mingling."
     She would have pulled her hand away, but he lifted it to his lips. "Oh, I can't allow that. Conference trolls lurk behind every display. Seriously. Have dinner with me."
     "Maybe I'm meeting someone," she challenged.
     He wouldn't be put off that easily. "That might have worked for Julian, but I'm not buying it." He eased them around the line of blue suits crowding around the last food station before the double doors.
     He hadn't won yet. Laura still hung back. "I don't know anything about you," she protested.
     "I'll tell you all about me at dinner." He lifted the edge of her scarf, twirled it in front of his noise. "Don't make me call Julian back," he whispered, his eyes mere inches away from hers.
     "That's low." She laughed and her eyes crinkled at the corners. "I suppose I owe you. Dinner it is." Her voice dropped lower and barely masked a little bit of a tremor. Did she want him as much as he wanted her?
     Her lashes fluttered down and she ran a finger around the edge of her glass. Her nails were short with white tips, and he blinked at a mental image of those white tips circling his... He forced the thought away or he wouldn't be able to walk.
     "I've got just the place in mind with a rooftop view to rival the Stratosphere. Besides, dinner with me is the least you can do after I lost all that money at blackjack."
     Her cheeks pinked slightly at the compliment. "Oh, so that's my fault."
     "Either that or I'm a terrible blackjack player."
     "Maybe I'm just that good," she countered.
     He leaned into her as they left the convention hall, committing her fresh scent to his memory. "I hope so," he whispered.

Q. Are you working on another project?

A. Yes. I linked romances that don't re-use the two main characters. No Strings Attached is the first in a trilogy that shares some elements between books. The second book, which I'm calling No Time for Love, tells the story of Lee, who is Fox's brother. It's over halfway completed. The third and final book in the series tells the story of Lindsey, Laura's sister, and it will be called No Ordinary Man. Both of these characters are prominent in the first book, and I think readers will enjoy getting to know the real story behind the siblings. In the first book, readers suspect that what Lindsey told Laura happened in the Bahamas isn't necessarily what really happened, but they will have to wait and see.

Bio for Lily:

Lily Bishop was born in a small town near Athens, Georgia. She attended the University of Georgia and received a Bachelor's in English, and then enrolled in the MFA program in Creative Writing at Purdue University. After a year, she left the program and moved to Atlanta. Like a siren's call, Athens wanted her back, and she returned to Athens where she received her Master's in Public Administration. She now lives in the Upstate of South Carolina and works full-time as a database administrator for a university. She is married to her best friend, and they have two children. When she is not writing, she and her family are playing German or Euro-style board games.

Lily writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense, and her goal is to blur the lines between romance, chick lit, and women's fiction. Her books are peppered with family members who make things complicated and couples who can't seem to find a way to be together. Lily writes with a Southern flair, but her characters find themselves in exotic locations and sometimes dangerous situations. She loves to interact with readers about her characters and stories.



** A fun picture of Lily at the beach with a print copy of her book, No Strings Attached.


If you'd like to follow Lily:

Website/Blog: www.lilybishop.com

Twitter: @bishoplily

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLilyBishop  
    


 
 


Friday, July 5, 2013

With exaggerated mutiny...

This is one of my favorite scene's from...

 
LUCKY DUCKS
 
 
 
     In two fluid strides Kasen was at the small, round table injecting them with suspicion. "What the hell are you two up to?" Before either could formulate a response, he bit into Riggs. "I know what you're up to." He moved on to Claire.
 
     Before he could zing her, she zinged him. "Riggs and I are having a clandestine affair, you pinhead." She cranked up the volume. "He was about to ring my bell right here in this coffee shop."
 
     Kasen's eyes turned a murky shade of blue.
 
     Riggs threw a blanket on the inevitable fire. "As fun as that sounds, Claire, you might want to rethink the fib." He chuckled and leaned back in his chair. "Kasen will toss me into a wood chipper if I touch the love of his life."
 
     "Love of his life? Ha!" The concept made her tremble but Claire was determined to stay in control. With exaggerated mutiny she slurped an overlarge sip of coffee. Oww! Oww! Oww! The coffee scalded her tongue and possibly gave her taste buds third-degree burns. Foolish and stubborn, she swallowed the coffee and tipped her chin. Her defiance was short-lived when their eyes met again. For a few remarkable seconds she saw beyond the shadowy depths of his anger, and detected...pain?
 
 *If you'd like to experience Claire and Kasen's story, you can find it at: