Come and be #BreathlessOnThursday
today, with Kirsten S. Blacketer and A Shadow's Kiss
Torn between duty and desire, a knight and his lady fair must decide if their love is worth the price of treason.
Madeline Campbell has been whisked away from her uncle's barony to be reunited with her family in the Scottish Highlands. Her happy reunion quickly sours when she realizes her father intends to present as a bride to the winner of the Highland Tournament. With no one to turn to for comfort or guidance, Madeline chooses to do her duty to her clan as well as her father and marry the winner.
An English knight has no place on Scottish soil, but Alexander must complete the mission with which he was tasked. Find Madeline and ensure her safety. When he finds her, he must decide between his honorable duty and his love for Madeline.
No one can deny their attraction and their desire for one another, but when it sparks jealousy in the other clansmen, they have no alternative but to run. Secrets emerge from the shadows of the past and threaten to tear their happiness apart. How can one choose between their duty and their heart?
a wee tease...
"I am merely a possession to be bartered and traded." She sighed. "Evelyn was right. Tis not fair." She wiggled against him, trying to find a more comfortable seat.
"Madeline," he groaned. "Do not do that."
"What?" she asked innocently, glancing at his face. He had drawn his lower lip between his teeth, his eyes had drifted closed. She released his shirt and touched his unshaven cheek. The rough prickle of new beard scratched her palm.
"Cease your torture, lass," he said, his voice hoarse and breaking.
"Am I hurting you?" she shifted again, bracing her hand on his thigh. His hand tightened, gripping her waist tightly.
"Stop. Moving." He grounded out the words.
"I do not mean to hurt you," she said sympathetic. She truly had no idea what she was doing to cause him pain.
"If you would stop your wiggling," he rasped out.
She pulled away from him in an effort to give him some space. Madeline slipped, nearly tumbling from his arms when he caught her, his palm cradling her breast. She felt the heat of his hand through the fabric of her gown. A knot formed in the pit of her stomach, twisting and pulling, threatening to tear her apart. She gasped, grasping his plaid to steady herself again. As soon as she settled, his hand released her, resuming its grip on her side.
"My apologies, my lady," he said as their mount climbed the hill toward the keep. Madeline could see Angus and Heather ahead of them, but far enough their words were a whisper on the breeze.
"Twas my fault I nearly fell," she said, the heat rising in her cheeks.
"I meant for..." He coughed, unable to finish the sentence.
"Oh, that, well," she stammered, her face enflamed. The darkness hid her embarrassment, but it also emboldened her. "I must admit, I liked it."
Alexander said nothing, but his fingertips digging into her side belied his reaction. She felt daring in the moonlight.
"Did you like it as well?" she whispered, her gaze fixed on his face. He bit his lip again. A familiar tingle shot down her spine, landing in the pit of her stomach.
"My lady, twas naught but an accident," he replied stiffly. "It will not happen again."
She leaned closer to him, curling against his warm body. "Your touch warms me the way strong wine does. Making me feel weak and helpless and happy, all at once. I cannot help but want more." She reached her hand up to caress his face again. "Would you kiss me again, Alexander?"
She felt his breathing quicken. His heart beat louder beneath her cheek, and his jaw twitched beneath her touch. "You want it as much as I do," she said, feeling wicked and wanton. She had wanted him for so long, to have him so close now and not take a chance seemed wrong.
"I do," he whispered so softly she almost missed his confession.
"Then I am yours." Her breath hitched when he glanced at her, his eyes as dark as the skies above them.
"I cannot," he replied, regret evident in his tone.
"You can," she pleaded. Her body ached for his touch, her lips burned for his kiss. For two years she pined for him, forcing herself to be content for the chance of seeing him around the keep. Ever since he kissed her, she knew he wanted her with as much passion as she desired him. Her fingertips journeyed into the soft curls at the nape of his neck, twisting them. "Please, Alexander."
My typical day as a writer starts with coffee. Must have coffee or I cannot function. This isn't an option; it's a necessity. I limit myself to one cup every day, so I enjoy it while I check my email and Facebook messages. Interacting with other authors and readers is an intricate part of my daily routine. It keeps me grounded and focused. They motivate me to keep writing, to make my work better and my stories more interesting.
Once I've gotten my office chair thoroughly warmed and my coffee cup drained, I shift gears to start writing. I cannot write without music. So I have playlists set up on Spotify to keep me motivated. Yes, I can write while I listen to music with lyrics. I used to do homework while I watched television and listened to the radio simultaneously. But I can't write when my kids start arguing in the next room. Weird, isn't it?
Anyway, as soon as my kids decide to find something to occupy themselves, I write. My daily goal is at least a thousand words. If I can hit that goal, I consider it a productive day. I don't count blog posts or plotting toward my word count goal. Only text that goes directly into a story gets counted. I'm very specific on that point.
Sometimes I need motivation or inspiration. That's where my earlier networking comes into play. I have a great group of women on Facebook who keep me focused on my work and are always at the ready with a sexy photo to inspire me. When I'm feeling especially unmotivated, I write with a friend on Skype. We set the timer and write for that amount of time. No stopping, no editing, no conversation, just the sound of our fingers clicking away on the keyboard and maybe a random giggle from one of us when our characters say something particularly witty or defy us completely.
There's nothing glamorous about my writing routine. It's simple and straight forward. No, it doesn't work for everyone, but it works for me. I try to push myself to get a decent word count or finish a story quickly. But life has a funny way of overturning even my best laid plans. I guess that's what happens when you're a mom, wife, volunteer, and author.
What I do know is that I love this life...my writer life, and I wouldn't trade it for all the gold in El Dorado.
Thanks for having me, Raven. I hope my little tale didn't bore your readers too much. Feel free to leave me a comment or question below. I love hearing from readers.
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Buy Link for A Shadow's Kiss: http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=22&products_id=756
Stick her in the middle of a chaotic home with two children, a hyperactive dog, and a camouflage wearing husband, and she can cook and clean with the best of them. But when the sun goes down and the children are nestled in bed fast asleep, she tucks away her pots and broom and like Cinderella she transforms.
Her characters creep forth from the dark recesses of her mind taking their places in the castles and forests built from her words. No simpering heroines linger there with forlorn gazes turned to the horizon, waiting for their Prince Charming. They straighten their spine, arming themselves with blade and bow, prepared to do their part in defense of their honor and destiny. She breathes life into the women she believes our ancestors to be, showing how they lived and loved with passion and grace.
Never bored by the tales still left to tell, she battles the ever sarcastic muse in her quest for romance.