EXCERPT: NeoGeisha (Phoenix Rising 2)

Hello, kittens! This week is very special, not just because it’s nearly Halloween (the Belle’s favorite holiday), but because the 2nd book in the Phoenix Rising series is out on Thursday, Oct. 26th! I wanted to give you guys a sneak peek at what you can expect from this 2nd installment by posting a little bit for your reading pleasure.

In this little blurb, Phoe is attempting to escape from a dangerous captor, Mr. Smith. She’ll use her feminine wiles to set the honey trap, but will he fall for it? And is Mr. Smith all that he seems?

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“Dance for me as you did before, little firebird.”

“There is no music,” she said.

“Close your eyes. You can hear it down below.” She did hear music coming from the great hall somewhere beneath them. A strange melody with a heavy, sexual rhythm. “Hear it, little one?”

Phoebe nodded, opening her eyes.

“No. Keep your eyes closed. Feel the music, don’t listen.”

“But I…”

“Come closer,” Smith commanded, rising from the chair and moving toward her.

There didn’t seem to be enough air in the room as Phoebe took in the size of the man. He could crush her head easily with one of those enormous hands. He wore a fitted black tuxedo that looked so out of keeping for a man of his size. He looked like a bully cartoon character come to life. When he stood before her, his shadow completely obliterated her form. He pulled off the silk bowtie around his neck and Phoebe’s heart skipped a beat. Her fear almost got the better of her, but she stood firm. “When you feel the music, your body is free.”

Phoebe didn’t understand what he meant, but he reached around and tied his bowtie around her eyes. It was tight and completely blinded her. She started to panic, but then something…there was something so familiar about his scent. It was clean and woodsy and spicy. And masculine. God help her, the corners of her jaw ached and her mouth watered. “There. That’s better.”

Phoebe could hear his footfall as he paced around her. She could imagine his eyes scanning over her body, taking in every inch of her. Part of her wondered what he was thinking as he watched her here in the dark. Was he aroused? Incensed with a lust for her blood? The stories she’d heard from the other geisha didn’t seem to fit with this person.

“Now dance. Dance for me, geisha.”

The programming sequence immediately flooded her brain with information. Phoebe could almost see the code flash in front of her eyes. It was commanding her body to move and she found herself obeying, listening to the music downstairs. She was slow at first, simply swaying to the rhythm. Then she circled her hips in time to the music, sliding her hands across her midsection. She imagined that it was Cage sitting in that chair watching her; his eyes cataloguing every turn of her wrist and pop of her hip.

“Very good, little one. Very good. Now turn for me.”

Phoebe did as she was told, turning away from Smith as she stretched her arms out to either side. The gauzy folds of fabric parted and she could feel the cool air against her skin. She should be embarrassed, but whatever they had done to her brain had deadened her inhibitions and she reveled in her nakedness.

“Don’t you want to dance with me?” she asked. Her voice took on a deadly timbre and her heartbeat slowed. Phoebe could hear Cage’s voice in her head, reminding her that fear was good, but panic would get her killed. Right now she needed Smith close. Her first kill would be intimate.

“I don’t dance,” Smith replied.

Phoebe giggled and twirled, pulling the long pin that held her hair in place, letting the piles of curls spill down over her shoulders. “Everyone can dance,” she teased. “You just have to move your body.”

“Why don’t you move your body over here.”

**********************

Go HERE to order your copy now. And if you haven’t read NAKED already, you better get on it!

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Top 5 James Bond Movies

cropped-naked_home1.jpgI always describe my new sci-fi romance, NAKED, as James Bond with vampires, werewolves, and librarians. That’s because the protagonist, Cage St. John, is a slightly angrier version of 007. At least, that’s how he was intended. He’s a genetically altered super-spy that’s on the outs with MI6 (or SIS if you prefer) when he meets Phoe the librarian who needs his help to rescue her sister. Why did I want to write a book like that? Because I’ve been obsessed with James Bond movies my whole life. The gadgets, the double-crossing, the witty English banter– these are the elements I’ve tried to incorporate into my own spy thriller romance. So which Bond movies are my favorites? I’ve compiled a list for your weekend binge-watching pleasure!

#5– Never Say Never Again: This Bond film is one of the first I ever saw, which is probably not a shining testament to my supervision as a child. It stars Sean Connery as Bond for the final time and is regarded by many as not being an “actual” Bond film. It wasn’t produced by Eon Productions and while it’s a remake of Thunderball, it’s almost a comedy. I mean, an aging James Bond in a health spa with sadomasochistic nurses?! WTF?! But I do love it.

#4– Spectre: Two words: Andrew. Scott. If you know anything about me at all, you know
I’m a Sherlock fangirl. Andrew Scott became famous playing the creepily sexy and evil James Moriarty to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes. In Spectre he plays Max Denbigh, a slimy little pencil pusher that wants to turn MI6 into a global spy organization called “9 Eyes (I wonder if it’s supposed to sound like a Chinese triad gang)” and shut down the “outdated” 00 program. There’s lots of twists and turns and Christoph Waltz as the villain Blofield is just amazing.

#3– Goldeneye: The first outing of Pierce Brosnan as James Bond (my 2nd favorite Bond btw). I particularly love this one because it addresses the issue of “what does 007 do now that there are no more Russians to fight in post- Cold War Europe?” It has probably the smartest Bond girl sidekick in Izabella Scorupco’s Natalya Simonova. She’s a computer genius and an ordinary girl who steps up to the plate to do what’s necessary. She’s a great partner for Bond. This movie also exposed the world to the amazing Alan Cumming as the annoying hacker/programmer stoolie, Boris Grishenko.

#2– Skyfall: Now, Daniel Craig is not my favorite Bond. He’s okay, but he lacks the refinement that I feel is necessary. That being said, Cage St. John is probably the most like Craig’s Bond than any of the others. But this movie is AMAZING. The mystery focuses on Bond, which is something that I’d never seen in a Bond movie before that. Skyfall has two other things going for it– Dame Judi Dench and Javier Bardem. Who doesn’t love Judi Dench? She began playing M, a traditionally male role, with Goldeneye and continued through Skyfall. Her tough love approach with Bond is one of the things that offered these movies, which have the potential to be very shallow and misogynistic, a wonderful depth, taking them from good spy stories to great movies. And Javier Bardem is probably the scariest Bond villain I’ve ever seen as Raoul Silva. Bond villains have a tendency to be very “muahaha!” (see Gert Fröbe as Auric Goldfinger), but Bardem plays Silva as a complete psychopath that is driven to insanity by what he perceives as M’s betrayal.

#1– A View to a Kill: Go ahead, make fun of me. This Bond movie may as well be called “Bond Does The 80s.” But it is my absolute favorite. Probably because it was the first one I ever saw in the movie theater. But it is completely a product of it’s time from the theme by Duran Duran to Shannon Tweed’s wardrobe. And then of course, Christopher Walken as Max Zorin. They even cast Grace Jones as Zorin’s lover, May Day. This one is probably the most blatantly sci-fi Bond of the series. It’s all about genetic manipulation to create supermen (this may explain a lot about the Phoenix Rising series…). Zorin is a super-genius and May Day has super-human strength. The master plan is also about flooding Silicon Valley to force the computer industry into business with Zorin (kind of like Derek Machine letting Others in to force the human population to his colonies… just sayin’). And at the time at which View was made, computers had just exploded into the mainstream and everyone thought they were magic.

So there you have it. The best Bond movies, IMHO anyway. So AFTER you get your copy of NAKED, curl up on the couch with your sweetie or your cat and have a little marathon.

New Release: Naked (Phoenix Rising #1)

Happy weekend! So I can finally say that the “Cage book” is now free in the wild. Though I really hope it isn’t going to be overshadowed by April the Giraffe FINALLY giving birth. On this momentous occasion, I thought I’d post a little excerpt and then compel you (in the words of John Hartness) to BUY MY SHIT! Seriously, though. I’m so excited for you guys to read this book. It’s been fighting its way to publication for more than four years now and to finally see the light of day— that’s so special. So here. Enjoy!!

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“Hey…” she sighed, taking the curve of his jaw in the palm of her hand and raising his eyes to meet hers. “I’m okay. You saved my life. For like… the millionth time.” He didn’t move, so she didn’t pull away, finally able to observe him. His jaw was set, tense as he stared at her with those dusky, changeable eyes. But Phoe could feel a tremble there. A fear lurking underneath that she would never have expected a man like Cage to possess. “I’m fine.”

“And what in hell were you doing?” he said, snapping his head up to glare at her. “I told you to run away and you did exactly the opposite of what I said! You could have been killed! Or worse, bitten! You just… you don’t understand, Phoe. I’m supposed to protect you, and I didn’t protect you. I can’t lose another…” His words trailed off. She could tell he wanted to say more but wouldn’t. She held his gaze, but he looked away, as if he were hiding some weakness he couldn’t stand for her to see. There was some trauma lurking there.

“What are you talking about?” she said. “Help me understand.”

“I can’t,” he said, pulling back and shaking his head as if to clear it. “I won’t.”

“But why…”

He rolled back on his heels and rose quickly, his shoulder brushing against the bedside table and nearly toppling the glass of tea, an uncharacteristically clumsy movement. “Just leave it alone, Phoe. My demons are my own.” The weakness was gone, and now that hard-edged, barely contained anger returned. She knew if she pressed him that he would lash out. She was starting to understand, to be able to read his moods that had seemed so random and mysterious when they’d first met. There was a scab, healed over but still burning. “Rest up,” he said, turning to walk away. “We’ll leave at sunset.”


So wanna read more? I thought you might. *whispers* It gets sexier from there… Anyway, here’s where you can find it–

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Phoenix-Rising-Book-1-ebook/dp/B071CRSKV2/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1492262731&sr=1-3&keywords=naked

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/718364

Boroughs Publishing Group: http://www.boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/naked

Others will be added soon (print, Kobo, iBooks, etc.)