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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Savvy Saturday With Keith Willis, Author of Traitor Knight, and a Dragon

Welcome faithful readers to the wonderful Savvy Saturday! Today we have Keith Willis and a special, fiery friend to chat with us. If you don't know, Keith is one of our newer authors with his book Traitor Knight. Although this book is new, the reviews have been great! We are lucky to have Keith, even if his friend looks like he might eat us. Traitor Knight can be found on Amazon, Kobo, and at the Champagne Bookstore.
  Hello Keith! And…who is that next to you?

Keith: Meet Wyvrndell. He’s stretched out on the floor because you don’t actually have a couch that’s quite big enough. He’s—um…he’s a dragon. In case you might not have noticed. A rather large one…

Wyvrndell: (raises his head on a long snake-like neck to regard the interviewer through green faceted eyes)  (telepathically):  Of course the scales rather tend to give it away, eh?

Keith: Along with the wings, long spiky tail and the bits that breathe fire. Yeah, those are usually a pretty good indicator. Dragon in the house.

Wyvrndell: Well, yes, those as well, I suppose. (Shrugs apologetically).

Great! Welcome to the interview Wyvrndell. Please refrain from breathing fire if you don't like a question. How are both of you today?

Wyvrndell: Quite well, thank you. Feeling my age a bit, but who doesn’t? 

Keith:  (whispers) He’s about a thousand years old. Not terribly old, as dragons go, but he does get a bit touchy about it.

Wyvrndell: I heard that. And I don’t get touchy about it. I simply prefer not to dwell on it. (snorts a small gout of flame).

(Snickering) Ready to get started?

Wyvrndell: Certainly. Bring on your inquisitor. I’ll wager I can withstand his torment.

Keith: (whispers again) Wyvrndell, I told you, it’s NOT that kind of interview.

Wyvrndell: I don’t need an alibi? They’re not going to shine bright lights in my eyes and ask where I was on the night of the twelfth?

Keith: Not this lot.

Wyvrndell: Well where’s the challenge in that, then?  (regards the interviewer quizzically). Very well, proceed.

Ah, well...ok. First question: What is your biggest complaint about your job?

Wyvrndell: Ah, I’m so glad you asked. Bad press. We have a terrible reputation, you wouldn’t believe. Everyone thinks all we do is toast knights in their armor and snaffle maidens.

Keith: (eyerolls) And just what do you do, then?

Wyvrndell: (cocks his head thoughtfully, as a plume of steam escapes from his snout) Hmmm. I see what you mean. But be fair—you must admit, I haven’t devoured a maiden in centuries. And the only knights I incinerate, well, they started it. I mean, I’m quite willing to live and let live. But when some big oaf comes charging up waving a pointy sword at me, well I’m not just supposed to stand about and let him turn me into dragon shish kabob, am I?

Keith: Perhaps we’d better move along.

That might be best. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

Wyvrndell: (grins a toothy dragon grin) That’s an easy one. Curl up in a nice spot of sun outside my cave, while one of those maidens reads to me. (holds up short forearms) We dragons have a rather difficult time with turning the pages. And we do love to listen to stories. Especially ones about heroic dragons. (regards Keith plaintively) Perhaps in your next book? Heroic dragons?

Keith: Told you, I’m on it. But wait a minute. Do you remember the last time a maiden read to you? Her voice finally gave out and…

Wyvrndell: Oh, I wouldn’t have actually eaten her. (tosses head) You humans take things so literally.

What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?

Wyvrndell: (glances slyly at Keith) I love to watch Monday Knight Jousting. The kabob’s on the other skewer, so to speak.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Wyvrndell: Shish ka… Oh, all right. Actually, I prefer a nice roasted ox, thank you. Medium well, with lots of onions.

And finally, if you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?

Wyvrndell: Seriously? Think about it. I can fly. I can breathe fire. I live to several thousand years old. I have impenetrable armor. What could be better than that? I would think any self-respecting  super-hero would want to be ME.

I guess you are right! Thank you both for coming out, this was a lot of fun.

Keith: Thanks for having us. I hope you don’t mind the charred parts on the couch too much…

Wyvrndell: Oooh, sorry about that.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Publisher's Choice: When the Dam Breaks

When the Dam Breaks
Cathy Coburn
$3.95 eBook
Mystery/Suspense

~~~***SALE***~~~ This book is on sale for 50% off through the end of the week only at the Champagne Bookstore!

Available on:
Amazon
Kobo
Champagne Bookstore
Barnes & Noble

Kelly Martin should feel safe in the protecting arms of her homicide detective husband, unless her husband is a cold blood killer and the very one she needs protection from.

When Kelly’s husband, homicide detective Bob Martin, starts to pursue a serial killer it soon becomes clear that his new found passion, the one which ignites his sexuality into a raging force is his passion for the kill itself.

Her world spirals out of control as she realizes the murders are not the work of an amateur, but of a manipulative, well-organized, and lethal mastermind. What Kelly doesn’t realize, is that Bob is only the tip of the iceberg, for what lies beneath the surface, is more sinister then anything she could have ever envisioned.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Savvy Saturday with DJ Davis and a Special Friend

Courageous Cain and DJ Davis are new to Champagne, and we warmly welcome them to the nut house! Her book is now available on Amazon, Kobo, and at the Champagne Bookstore for any who are interested. Today, DJ has brought one of her characters to tell us a little bit more about the book and to give us a little bit of a behind-the-scenes look. 

Welcome DJ! Why don’t you give us a little introduction to whom we are talking with today and the book he or she is from?

Hello. Allow me to introduce Deputy Gordon Wolfe from “Courageous Cain.” Gordon was born and raised in the village of Rockglen, deep in the mountains of Colorado. It’s an idyllic place, peaceful. But like the mountains themselves, things aren’t always as they appear.

Nice to meet you! I’m sure you are excited about all of your new popularity.

I’m 10-41. Pardon? Oh, that means I’m on duty, but I can spare a few minutes. I’m not wild about all this popularity, but if I’m going to be with Josie Shepherd, I’ll have to learn to manage. Come to think of it, she’s always pulling me into new things. Like dancing. She all but dragged me out on the dance floor. First time I ever danced with anyone and with everyone staring at us. But you know what? I loved it.

Well, why don’t we kick off this interview with a bang? If you had to choose one person to live with you on an abandoned island, who would it be?

My beautiful Josie. But she’s so much more than that. She’s strong and confident. Courageous, really. That’s what she calls the gigantic dog of hers, Courageous Cain. Considering what happened, I’d say she’s every bit as formidable as the dog. That girl doesn’t know the meaning of “quit.”

So yeah, stick me on an island with her any time, but not for the reasons you’d think. Okay, not for only those reasons.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

Family Christmases with everyone gathered around the table. My family, the Wolfe pack, has always given me confidence. And now they’re here for Josie, too, although it’s taken her long enough to accept them. She never had a family of her own. It was always her and her dog against the world. Josie’s now learning that the pack gives the wolf strength and vice versa. Sometimes she’d rather be at the kennel than with my folks, but that’s okay. Our dogs are family, too.

What's the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of love?

Asked Josie to go on a picnic with me. Big deal, right? But for me it was. Scariest thing I’d ever done. No, I’m not joking. It was more difficult than anything I’ve ever faced on the job. I just knew she’d run, or worse, laugh at me. It’s this birthmark and my size, you know? I’ve heard every Frankenstein joke there is. Heard those things all my life, but not from Josie. She came this close to socking Darby, her best friend, in the mouth once when she called me that. Darby’s lucky Josie walked away. Can she throw a punch! Go ask Tucker, the FBI agent. about the time Josie laid him out.

Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion? Why?

Ha! Sure. Wide-brimmed, floppy hats. Big sunglasses. Bandanas. Something, anything, to cover up this side of my face. We get plenty of beauty and beast jokes now, but they don’t bother Josie. She slams it right back and with that mouth of hers…well, once you get to know her, you’ll understand. Josie speaks her mind and if you don’t like it, that’s just tough.


Last question, we promise. What three things do you think of the most each day?

Can’t you guess? I’ve been talking about it this whole time. Josie, of course. She’s everything to me. Also my job. Rockglen is a quiet town and the “Kennel Killer” nearly tore it apart. I still think about him every day. Can’t get the case out of my head. Those poor women. I dream about it sometimes, how they were so horribly mutilated. I remember how I lost Josie. If it wasn’t for Cain and his loyalty to her⎯but you didn’t come here to hear about that. I think about my future. This is a good town, with good people, and I want to keep it that way. I’m running for Sheriff next year.

Thank you both so very much for being here today, we know your fans appreciate your time.

Thank you for having us. Look at that, Deputy Wolfe is back to work already. You’ll have to pardon him, he’s in a rush to get home. Josie and the rest of the Wolfe pack are waiting for him.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Publisher's Choice: Haven

Haven
Celia Breslin
Tranquilli Bloodline Series
eBook $4.95
Print $14.95
Paranormal Romance

Available on:
Amazon
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Champagne Bookstore

~~***SALE***~~ This book is 50% off at the Champagne Bookstore this week! 

When a witch brings danger to her door, a streetwise nightclub owner begins a dangerous dance with vampires out to protect, love, and kill her.

San Francisco nightclub owner Carina Tranquilli works hard, plays hard, and never allows the death of her parents and her twelve-year memory gap to get her down. But her life takes a left turn when a witch attacks her on her twenty-fifth birthday.

Three hauntingly familiar vampires emerge to reveal she possesses a latent power. To protect her from their enemies, they admit to wiping her memories clean and abandoning her as a child, but now they need her help. As she struggles to evade her new protectors and even newer enemies, she meets Alexander, an enigmatic, undead musician. Insta-lust flares, leaving her wanting more.

With evil’s minions hounding her every move, and everything she thought she knew turned on its head, Carina must harness her burgeoning power, unravel her vampire family’s web of deceit, and fight to have a love life...without getting killed in the process.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Savvy Saturday with Elizabeth Fountain and Jane Margaret Blake

You, Jane is a story of love, loss, regret, and renewal. When a story Jane writes puts her best friend's son in danger, she must come face-to-face with her personal demons and her past.

You, Jane is available on Amazon, Kobo, and at the Champagne Bookstore.

Today we have the author of You, Jane, and Jane with us to tell her readers a little bit more about herself.

Hello Elizabeth, and Jane it is absolutely lovely to see you.

Elizabeth: Lovely to be here, thank you!
Jane: Yeah, thanks. Will there be snacks?

No, no snacks unfortunately. Jane, can you tell us a little about yourself?

You bet. I’m five-nine, 120 pounds, blue eyes, straight teeth, and blonde hair that always glows as if back-lit by a setting sun. What? No one can really see me, right? So yeah, no mousy brown hair that won’t stay out of my eyes no matter what I do. No curves that make it tough, on occasion, for me to button my jeans. And definitely, no odd green eyes that give away all the secrets I try so hard to keep.

How do I spend my time? Well, let’s say I’m in a transition stage.  Searching, you might say, for what it is I’m meant to do. While I seek, I try very hard not to give in to this weird ability I have to fall into a trance and write fables that come true in my real life. But don’t tell my psychiatrist about that – say something like that to a shrink, and the next thing you know, guys in white coats are hauling you away for experimental treatments. I just tell him, you know, “I’m engaged in man’s search for meaning,” to be sure he sees me as just another normal neurotic.

Since this is an interview, I’m going to ask you some questions. Starting with: what is your biggest fear?

Oh, geez. Thanks for that. I love talking about my deepest darkest fears right off the bat. Who doesn’t? Well, okay, I agreed to this interview, so I’ll cough up an answer. Um. Moths. Yup, that’s it. My biggest fear is that a mothone of those giant black things that looks like it’s been around since the Stone Agewill fly into my face at night. And, you know, it’s all over if that happens. Those evil black winged beasts just suck the life out of you before you even wake up all the way.

Oh sure, I’m also terrified that these little fables I write will come true in ways that will hurt the people I love. That’s why I drink so muchnot that much, my drinking isn’t out of control, or anything, I mean. It’s just that after a beer or two or five, that fear seems to recede behind a very cozy fog. A fog with no giant black moths in it, either.

What would you change about yourself if you could?

Am I allowed to say “taller”? Because I would really love never to have to ask one of those gangly boys at the grocery store to reach the Honey Bunches of Oats cereal from the top shelf for me again.

Did you think I was going to say “get rid of this weird ability to go into a trance and write stories that come true in ways I cannot control”? Ha! Just because that’s the source of my deepest fear, doesn’t mean I really want to change it.

Honestly, if I could change anything about me, it would be whatever I need to change to make my best friend, Charlie, happy. And if he’d be happy with me, that’d be… but it’s too late for that, isn’t it?

So, yeah. Taller. I’d like to be taller.

What makes you laugh the most?

No matter what kind of mood I’m in, my friend Sam can make me laugh. Ever since the first day we met at the ashram, and he snuck me out to find real coffee, he’s known just how to make me laugh. I love him for that. Also, my bartender, Mollywe call him that because Mollone is too hard to say after a couple of beersMolly has these two beautiful, wonderful, goofy dogs, Coke and Dodge. Molly rescued them both, and Coke and Dodge run his bar in return. You know how dogs can make you laugh without even trying? They just cock a head or wag a tail or let a long pink tongue loll out of their grinning mouths? Yup, Coke and Dodge do all of that.

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

Gather all my friends at Cherry’s house by the lake, Charlie and Sam and Molly and the dogs, and sit outside in the warm late summer sun and eat and drink and talk and laugh and swap stories until the sky is swarmed by stars and then keep eating and drinking and talking and laughing, all night. That is my idea of heaven.

Finally, a fun question. Would you rather vacation in Hawaii or Alaska, and why?

See, this is why I hate being a grown-up. Grown-ups are always being forced to make choices. Why choose one or the other? Let me tell you, with a friend like Sam by my side, we’d take on bothwe’d take the ferry up to Alaska, jump on a helicopter, hike a glacier, make friends with the moose, and then fly to Hawaii, hike a volcano, learn body surfing, and then toast it all with a mai-tai on the beach. (Okay, Sam would probably choose a beer over a mai-tai, but you get the picture.)

Thanks for joining us today ladies! Don’t be strangers.

Elizabeth: We’d love to come back any time. Jane loves to talk about herself, as you can see…

Jane: Me? Talk about myself? I don’t have any idea what you’re on about, author-lady. Nobody talks about themselves less than I do. I mean, I was raised to be quiet and polite and I’ve never changed, not a bit…

Elizabeth (tugging at Jane’s sleeve): Come on, love. Time to let them interview the next character.

Jane: There are other characters?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Hidden by Amy McKinley Review from Reading Romances


https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/17613089-hidden-by-amy-mckinley

The author created this erotic romance with some very welcomed surprises and twists. The heroine, Jade, in the beginning of the story starts struggling with her inner beast, plus, someone's out to kill her. She has an interesting connection to painting, which I particularly adored! The connection between the main characters is very sexy.

I really enjoyed to see the use of greek mythology as part of this series. Some might feel lost with all the characters but since it's a topic that I LOVE, I didn't have any difficulties.

It sets a strong series that will continue to develop in other books. I'm eager to read them.

Hidden by Amy McKinley Review from The Reading Addict

3.75 out of 5 stars

http://thereadingaddict-elf.blogspot.ca/2015/11/hidden-by-amy-mckinley-excerpt-review.html?showComment=1447421961275#c3442950352720962351



Hidden by Amy McKinley is an erotic paranormal romance that centers on one of five sister demigoddesses who have been targeted because they have been cursed by the Fates to be a threat to the gods.  Jade is the first of them to have her beast awakening, seen through the effects of her paintings.  She has to find her balance before the beast takes over completely, but she never suspects the major role a Worr demon named Roen will play in her struggle against the Oneiroi who seek to kill her. Finding a way to deal with Jade’s challenges and keep her alive long enough to explore the attraction between her and Roen is complicated, especially since there are so many beings who have a vested interest in the outcome, and not everyone wants the same result.

This paranormal story is a fascinating twist on the concept of the Olympic gods and their relationships with various generations of offspring.  It was startling to realize that this very sensual and intense relationship that is unfolding between two very strong personalities who each have remarkable talents reflects the events taking place between non-human beings.  The author does a wonderful job of personifying many of the beings that are normally seen only in myths, and the story provides intriguing insights on the conflicts between the various factions.  There are great twists, such as Jade having a ‘step-demon’ in her life who is wonderfully protective of all of the daughters that came with the female he married, her gift that allows her to effect changes, and the motivation for the Oneroi Nightmare’s actions. 

I think that this is theoretically the introductory tale to a series that features all five of the sisters, and as such, it is chock full of details that can be somewhat overwhelming, because there are so many conflicts and opposing factions that one almost needs a diagram to keep track of alliances and connections.  The action gets a little jerky and chaotic because so many different facets are included and I suspect that things would be better if the story was a little longer so that events were able to unfold more sequentially. I am a little puzzled because it seems that two different pantheons are involved, as I thought that Helios and Apollo were the Greek and Latin names for the same deity but two different individuals are cited in this story, yet Helios is referred to as a god instead of a Titan.  There are multiple strings dangling that hopefully will be addressed in future stories, and perhaps a brief index will also be included with subsequent tales to assist in keeping track of who each character is.  This is a refreshingly novel look at some of the beings who populate traditional mythology and an entertaining introduction to a multiplicity of mysteries.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New Release: The Rose Hunter

The Rose Hunter
Ciara Gold
Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
$4.99
Amazon: http://goo.gl/vvFPYb
Kobo: https://goo.gl/PX4kbZ
Champagne Bookstore: http://goo.gl/8XqrHm

When magic and love collide, love can be as elusive as hunting for a long lost talisman?

EXCERPT

Simon led him down a long corridor until they arrived at a closed door. “Here ye be, lad.” He tapped the door with his cane. “Ye’ll find the accommodation sparse but clean. Just call out if ye need anything. Most Beings have exceptional hearin’, so ye need no’ worry ye won’t be heard.”

Lucian pushed the door wide and gazed down at Simon to thank him when his eye caught movement. Lyerra rested her arms on the balcony rail farther down the hall. Her shoulders heaved. Did she cry?

He pushed past Simon. “Lyerra?”

Tears streamed down her cheeks. “Go to your aunt. I’m not fit company.”

“I don’t understand.” He was at a loss. She’d been nothing but rude to him, and yet he felt a strong need to offer her comfort. “You should be well pleased with your efforts on Noreen’s behalf. You delivered a beautiful baby, a true miracle.”

“But I didn’t finish the task.”

“Did the delivery take too much out of you? Is that why your powers failed?”

She wiped at the tears. “Don’t worry over me. Please. I don’t think I could bear your concern.”

“Is it just my concern you can’t bear?” He laid a comforting arm on her shoulders.

She jerked from his grasp. “Don’t touch me! You can’t touch me. Not until I understand better why you affect me so.”

“Affect you? We’ve only just met. How can a human affect you?” He found her reaction puzzling. Her emotions fluctuated from one extreme to another. Her mental state indicated intense confusion. Did her heart beat irregularly? Was her breathing labored? Her pulse thready? Once again, a strong desire to discover what ailed her overwhelmed him. How could he examine her if he couldn’t touch her? “You seem overwrought. Maybe you’d better sit. I could fetch you a glass of water.”

“Water? You think a drink will fix me? Oh Freyr, save me from this human.” She rolled her damp eyes to the ceiling then leveled her gaze on him. “I don’t know you. I don’t want to know you. And I absolutely refuse to allow you to be my mate. I won’t allow you to fall in love with me or vice versa.” She turned and flew down the stairway.

His jaw dropped, and he gaped at her retreating figure. Mate? Where had that sentiment come from? As if he would even consider taking someone with such spiraling emotions for a wife. When the shock dissipated, he shouted after her. “Good. Because I-I have a fiancée.”

She stumbled on the last step and disappeared amid a sea of ribbons.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Publisher's Choice: Braless In The Buick

Braless In The Buick
Jenna Leigh
$2.99 eBook
$9.95 Print
Contemporary Romance

Available on:
Amazon
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Champagne Bookstore

50% off on the Champagne Bookstore! Make sure to get your copy today.

An undercover agent's investigation into mob contacts leads to titillating revelations about a single mom.

Allie Stephenson is starting over. After years of trying to make her marriage work, she’s single and settling down in the suburbs with her son, M. J. Unfortunately for her, other forces have decided that it is just the right time for a man to slip into her life, home, and heart.

When Jake Donally moves into the neighborhood, the ladies all take notice. So far, he’s kept a low profile. However, that all changes when Allie breaks his Bonsai, and the wall he built around his heart, come tumbling down. Unfortunately, Jake is not all that he seems, and he’s been looking for a chance to get to know Allie much better.

Monday, November 9, 2015



Blog Tour
Title: Must Remember
Author: Colleen S. Myers
Release Day: November 2nd






Nineteen-year-old Elizabeth ‘Beta’ Camden is a survivor.

When the E’mani—those pale alien freaks—destroy Earth with a plague of madness and scoop up the remains, Beta is one of the ‘lucky’ ones. For years, she endures their tortures, experiments and games. Then one day, she manages to escape their ship with her life, and no memory of her time with them.

Stranded on their world, Beta wanders the mountains, looking for a way home. She stumbles onto the Fost—the E’mani’s ancient enemy.  Their war with the E’mani is old and rooted in magic that the Fost once had and the E’mani crave. Magic Beta soon discovers she’s developing along with strange tattoos and disturbing glimpses of her past. The Fost take her in and train her in their ways. As she spends more time with them, she falls in love with their culture and with Marin—he of the hot hands and slit eyes.

But the E’mani took her for a reason and they want her back—dead or alive. If Beta doesn’t remember that reason soon, they’re all going to die.





His eyes were ghost white, with slit pupils, face smooth and hairless. A large tattoo on his neck spread up onto his cheek, and resembled claw marks. His eyes appeared much too big for his face; the brow pronounced, jaw thin, cheekbones sharp.
Those eyes rooted me; their milky color caused a distant memory to tug at my mind, and then fade away. They could have been fake lenses, but his slit pupils contracted as he focused on me,
and a sinister smile wreathed his face.
Nope, those puppies were real and his expression was not reassuring. His eyes glistened with what looked like glee. I watched those eyes track up and down my body. His nostrils flared and he
stalked in my direction, his movements slow and deliberate, but a little disjointed given the length of his limbs. He reminded me of a predator that had sighted its prey. I froze, his eyes mesmerizing me
for a second before looking away.
Then it dawned on me. Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. I should’ve realized it sooner. I kind of did realize it sooner. The suns, the rocks, the grass, the everything. This was not Earth. This guy was not human, the posture, the movement, the eyes. He was definitely
not human.
Holy shit!
The fear I suppressed earlier rushed through me. My hands shook and my heart raced. I stumbled backward and turned to run, barreling smack dab into the tree. Graceful-R-Us.
The tall guy reached me as I staggered back and he blocked my escape. The other men twisted to stare then glanced at each other. Nobody looked happy to see me. The ones hunched near the press appeared frightened, their eyes wide.
“Who are you? How did you get here? Are there others?” The tall guy’s voice was strange, echoey. With a sick start, I realized he wasn’t speaking English, but I could still understand him. His
voice was deep and rich, like aged whiskey, the echo the same. The effect was odd, a bit off- putting, and not even a little attractive.
Nope.
The tall guy pressed close, just short of touching me, his slit eyes alert and a snarl pulling at his lips. He had his hand on his knife but was not brandishing it. Santa slid to my right, flanking me. The other two men remained crouched by the apparatus.
I backed up and held out my hands. My ass smacked the tree behind me. A chill raced through me. I stared at him until his questions registered.
The breath I’d been holding rushed out. “My name is Elizabeth, err, Beta. I’m—.”
“What are you doing here?” he interrupted.
“I’m not sure. I woke up out there-”I pointed around me, then pointed to my head. “I was hurt, I think, I don’t know. Where am I?”
Running my hands through my hair, I probed the back of my neck. Nada. My head didn’t hurt. Huh. Hadn’t there been a cut?
The tall guy laughed, “You did not wake up out there. You had to have traveled here. This is nowhere. Tell me the truth.”
The last was a shout. The more he talked, the more agitated he became. He almost stuttered his words. Or maybe that was just me? How could I understand him? His right hand clenched and
unclenched around the hilt of his knife. He edged even closer, pushing me farther back against the tree.
Compared to me, he was huge, at least six feet tall. There was no trace of fat on him. His muscles rippled as he leaned in and placed his face next to mine. I remained still, trying not to piss him off. Tears threatened, but I blinked them away. Damn allergies. His eyes ignited at my silence.
“How did you get out here?” he gritted out between compressed lips.
“I told you the truth. I don’t know how I got here. I woke up
out there. I heard something thumping and moved toward it.” I gestured, looking at him and the others who surrounded us.
“Are there more of you?” he pushed. I recalled the laughter, the crash, and the cold from earlier, but…didn’t mention it. I hadn’t seen anything.
“Are there more of you?” he growled.
“No, when I woke up, no one else was there.”
“That is not an answer.”
“Yes, it is,” I retorted. It really was an answer.
 “No, it is not,” he snarled at me. His hand gripped his knife harder, knuckles whitening. He took the blade out of its sheath and flipped it backward. His nose grazed mine and heat spread in its
wake. My heart skipped a beat. I stared straight ahead.
Minty breath wafted across my face and his teeth were not bad, a bit pointy, but otherwise normal. At least he brushed, or I hoped he did because he was at kissing distance. The rest of the men remained motionless. Barbarian Santa’s gaze darted between the tall
guy and me. I was splayed against the bark like road kill.
“Tell me!” he shouted.
And with that I was done. All the tension, all the fear, all the questions rolling through my mind and this guy was yelling at me. Screw him. Plus there was something about him I liked but didn’t, all
at the same time. It was confusing. My stomach churned. I didn’t need this. None of this was my fault.
“What do you want from me?” I screamed back. “I said I was alone.”
He reared back a bit, startled by my answering shout and glare, which he couldn’t miss, since he was still right there in my face.
“I do not believe you. You are an E’mani.” The tall guy spit the name out as if it left a bad taste in his mouth. Who the hell were the E’mani? A vague silhouette formed in my mind, then faded away. Something else I didn’t know; great. I added it to the list.
“You wear E’mani clothes. You are an E’mani spy!” His words were triumphant as he pressed his knife against my throat. When I swallowed, I felt the prick of the blade and a trickle of blood dripped down my neck. My head swam and my bladder loosened a bit but I refused to give him the satisfaction.
His eyes flickered, confused, as the moment stretched on.
We maintained our desperate eye contact.
I panted and the longer this went on, the more my muscles lightened until my fingers went numb. I tasted violence on the wind. Neither of us moved. Ten seconds. Twenty. He blinked first
and let his dagger drop with a growl and spat next to me on the grown. “E’mani treza.”
I didn’t know what he just called me but it was too much. I was done. I snapped and started shoving him across the field. “I’m not E’mani. I don’t even know who or what that is. You asshole. I’m
from Earth. I don’t know where I am, I don’t know how I got here. I don’t know anything! I need help and you aren’t helping me. Please, help me.”
At this last, my voice cracked, and I fell to my knees,
shoulders falling.
The tall guy seemed so stunned by my response, he’d let me push him back to the mine. He stared at me for a long second. One. Two. He brought his blade up again. It pressed into my neck forcing my head back. Then with nary a word, he dropped his arm.
My throat burned.
Oh.
Huh. Everything started to fade and the world turned black.
 









Colleen plays many roles. Not only is she a veteran, a mother, and a practicing physician, but she is a writer of science fiction and contemporary romances. Colleen’s dreams include surviving her son’s teenage years, exploring every continent on this planet, except Antartica, cause that’s way too cold, and winning the Nobel peace prize. Dream BIG! Currently she is getting ready to publish her first novel, MUST REMEMBER in November of this year (cover reveal soon.)  Until then look for her at Three Rivers Romance Writers, at Facebook  Colleen Myers, and at @ColleenSMyers.



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