All right. No rants this week. Instead, I want to talk about my next book. If you haven’t heard, Seal All Exits is coming out in November. It’s Tangled Web #3, and I think readers have been waiting for it longer than they’ve waited for any other book from me. Come November, I will put you out of your misery!!!
But…I really don’t want to say too much about the book. Why? I definitely want you to be excited for it, but there’s so much in there I don’t want to give away! I thought about posting the first chapter but even then…I want to keep the secrets a little longer. 🙂
To make up for holding the cards close to my chest, I’ll post all the excerpts we’ve shared on Facebook in case you missed any of them. The good news is you don’t have much longer to wait!
“You from around here?”
Heather looked back at him then. She couldn’t ignore him if he was talking to her. “No.” Hmmm…she wondered why he was asking. Probably because he’d never seen her here before. She was definitely sensing an interested vibe. He looked kind of familiar…those eyes. But she’d never been to Winchester before. There was no way she knew this guy.
He nodded and took a swig of his drink. “What’s your name?”
She couldn’t help the slow smile that spread over her face. She knew it was seductive. “Do we really want to go there—I mean…considering you’ll never see me again?”
He raised his eyebrows, a smile growing on his face as well. “Why? What do you have in mind?”
Holy crap. Could he sense Heather’s dark side? She’d tried so hard to be good, but…there was that part of her that just couldn’t resist. It was strong—stronger than her resolve. She took a huge gulp of her drink and then looked at him again. God…his eyes were smoldering. “I’m open to a lot of things.”
Sage was tapping on the edge of the pool table, and Kiefer knew without even asking that he was drumming out the beat to a song. Mickey was setting up a shot and, as Kiefer approached, Sage looked up at him. He just nodded his chin at first, but then his eyes lit up. “God.” He looked over at Mickey, pounding on the green felt. “Dude…look at this pussy.”
Mickey looked up from the pool cue. “What the fuck, man? You destroyed my shot.”
“So what? Look at our man over here, Mick. Tell me if you see what I see.”
Mickey looked up, frustration wrinkling his brow. But then his expression softened and he looked over at Sage. “Naw…”
“Yeah. That cute little blonde waitress who’s been following you around?”
Kiefer could only imagine what he looked like but he wasn’t going to give them what they wanted. “What? No. She wanted an autograph and I gave it to her.”
Sage started laughing. “Yeah, I’ll bet you gave it to her, all right.”
Kiefer found his sense of humor wasn’t with him…not at all. In fact, he felt himself getting a little pissed. “I didn’t touch her, all right?”
“Sensitive,” Sage said, standing up straight. “So what the fuck is the grin all about?”
Kiefer felt his brow furrow. “What grin?”
Mickey finally made the shot and looked up after the cue ball did its job, knocking a stripe into the corner pocket. “He’s right, man. You look like the Cheshire Cat.”
“He looks like he ate the Cheshire Cat…”
He moved close to her but didn’t touch her, save not letting go of her hand. “So what have I gotta do to get you to tell me your name?”
She couldn’t help but smile. “I’m not telling.”
“I could do lots to you to make you tell.”
She laughed. “Oh, I’m sure you could.” She lowered her voice. “How about you just call me Angelica?” Angelica?! What the hell was she thinking? What a stupid name. Not really…but stupid for her. Well, she’d never been very good at thinking on the fly. That was Katie’s bag. And Katie would have a cow if she knew what Heather was doing right this second.
He got closer, this time letting go of her hand and placing his on her cheek while he brought his body close to hers. Oh. His hand felt hot against the tender flesh of her face, and she knew now there was no denying the desire buried deep within her. She felt the tempo of her breathing increase as her eyes scanned his. He seemed so sincere. She wasn’t used to that look in a man’s eyes. “Angelica, huh? So you’re like an angel.” Suddenly, her breath stopped. She wasn’t able to pull air any further down her lungs, because this man had her imagination in his grasp. His face got even closer to hers and he said, “God…it feels like I know you.”
If something about him hadn’t been grabbing her by her heart and loins and captivating her attention, the fact that he kept thinking he’d met her before would have started to make her question him. But before she could think anymore, his lips touched hers. And that was it. If—if—she’d been trying at all to resist him before, just the warm brush of his tongue on her lips would have ended that notion.
Heather wondered if Katie and Johnny had invited the entire city of Winchester, and she didn’t quite know what to expect when she walked into the great room, but she was surprised that there weren’t many more people than she’d seen when she’d first arrived. There were more people standing, but the place wasn’t packed like it had sounded.
There was laughter as well, and that made her feel more at ease, but she wanted to see if maybe Katie needed her help getting things ready for dinner. She walked to the dining area but noticed that Katie was standing closer to the spot where everyone had been playing a game earlier. Heather started walking toward her friend to see if she could help her with anything, but then she stopped cold, dead in her tracks.
Holy Mary, Mother of God.
It was the guy. The guy. The one she’d fucked at the bar not three hours earlier. What the hell was he doing here?
She felt her eyes grow wide. No way in hell was she going to keep walking forward. No way. She didn’t need Katie to know what slutty thing she’d done. She decided she’d head to her bedroom and maybe come out later. If nothing else, she needed a safe place to sit and think quietly until she could figure out how to deal with this mess. Fortunately, he hadn’t spotted her, so she knew she had a chance of making a clean getaway.
She turned, noticing how shallow her breathing had grown, and began walking away. Then she heard Katie. “Heather. Hey, Heather. Come here. Don’t you want to see Kiefer?”
Heather stopped. Kiefer had been in that group of people? And how could she talk with him without seeing the other guy?
They walked off the deck and Kiefer said, “So what did you want to talk about?”
“Hmm. I’m not even sure where to start.”
“No pressure.” Kiefer looked up toward the mountain across the road. It was covered in evergreen trees and the sky above was a light blue, clean and clear. He could see why Johnny wanted to live here. Regular worries were gone, far and away, and it was like regular shit just didn’t matter.
Heather stopped walking, so Kiefer slowed and turned to face her. “Um…I have a proposal for you.”
He raised his eyebrow. “Yeah?”
“Yeah.” She drew in a deep breath and looked in his eyes, but he could tell it was hard for her. “I, uh…I don’t want or need a relationship. But I’m so glad you’re my friend.”
Kiefer smiled. “Ditto.”
“So…just so we can get it out of our systems…why don’t we, uh, explore our attraction, but…when we leave here, things go back to the way they were.” Kiefer drew in a long, slow breath. Was she saying what he thought she was? “That sound okay?”
Honestly, no, it sounded like a copout. He thought some of telling her that, but he wanted her. He wanted her to continue to be a part of her life and he also wanted to step it up a notch after what they had experienced last night. This might be his only chance to convince her that a more intense relationship could be a good thing. So he nodded. “Yeah.” On impulse, he took her hand in his. He wanted to start now.
Heather had other ideas, though. “Not here.” Kiefer couldn’t help the look of confusion that he knew appeared on his face. She let go of his hand but got a little closer, almost as though she were afraid someone would be able to hear her. “If we’re going to go back to the way things were after this week, then I don’t want to give anybody here any bright ideas, and I don’t want to answer any questions or deal with any looks.”
He nodded, saying nothing. He could live with that. And that also gave him several days to see what he could do to change her mind.
If you’re excited for Seal All Exits, here’s how you can get ready. 🙂 Read or reread Tangled Web and Everything But, Tangled Web 1 and 2…and might I also suggest you read Punctured, Bruised, and Barely Tattooed? Yes, it’s not necessary reading, but Punctured is a companion novel, and you will be glad you read it when you read Seal All Exits.
Okay, I need to get back to writing the novel. Catch ya later!