Healer’s Garden

Since Healer’s Garden just got it’s release date. I thought I’d share an excerpt with you from Chapter One …

May 2267

Jahara Hriznek’s life was over. The evidence weighed heavy in her hands. In the time it had taken to do the retinal scan, her future had been stolen from her.

As she stood at the tall bank of windows, staring at the distant mountains, Jahara knew nothing could change this new course of her life. She felt the hollow reality as obviously as the barren expanse of desert stretching between her and the horizon. There was nothing to break up the monotony of the landscape. Nothing to take her mind off the inevitability of the days to come. Nothing to bring back the future she’d thought lay before her when she woke this morning.

No helo-vehicles were out this time of day. It was still much too hot for people to leave the climate-controlled confines of the buildings in the city on the other side of the mountains. It would be a few more hours still before the sun sat low enough to make the commute across the blistering sands a safe one. Then the nearly empty roadway, three stories below, would bustle with solar powered helo-vehicles and buses.

She wouldn’t be among the commuters winding their way from the Eastern Territory’s capital city of Lexington into her little village. Jahara had taken a much-needed day of rest from the healing facility.

The city’s new government expansion had brought with it careless male workers whose stupidity forced them to the hospital in droves for emergency services. Those healers not completely repulsed by the men’s presence were forced to work overtime to treat the injuries. Jahara had been fielding complaints and filling in for overworked healers for weeks.

For one day she’d wanted to think about nothing more taxing than what music selection she would pull from her computer files. She’d planned on using some of her monthly water allotment and soaking in a hot bath rather than her daily chemical wash. Jahara had even considered calling Merenith and convincing her to take the day off from the animal clinic and lounge around with her. She had no doubt her current lover and she could find ways to entertain each other.

But none of that had happened.

The messenger service had shown up at her door early this morning, delivering the wretched news. Had she known they were making their way to her, Jahara definitely would have worked at the hospital today and long hours into the night. Using her hands to heal males was preferable to holding this retched projection disk.

Now, as Jahara glared at the palm-sized disk, fear burned the back of her throat and trembled along her chin. Hot tears of anger welled in her eyes. She shouldn’t be so upset. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t known this was coming. Her twenty-eighth birthday was next month. It was law. Her birth-mother, the Dame of her family, had held off the inevitable as long as possible. Jahara’s position as medical director had, up until this day, kept her from fulfilling the horrid obligation. But no woman, no matter how prestigious her position, ever ran from it. The thought soured in her stomach.

She’d known what the packet contained the moment she’d opened the door to find the government currier standing in the hall. Jahara had wanted to flee, to shut the door and hide from the responsibility, but instead she calmly leaned forward and let the android do the eye scan that proved the disk had found its way into her hands. She stared down at the official government seal over her Dame’s image on the disk. Even offspring of the chief administrator of the Eastern Territory weren’t exempt from this law enacted by Congress nearly a century and a half earlier.

Throwing the disk at the wall, she let out a feral sound of frustration.

As if chastising her, the bells chimed at her door. The normally soft chirp sounded loud in the silent womb of her living abode where she’d closed herself away. Jahara didn’t want to answer it. Didn’t want to know there was more to fulfilling her obligation. When it rang again, the sound almost persistent, she reluctantly skirted around the couch and slammed her hand on the touchpad, retracting the pneumatic door.

“Having temper tantrums, I hear.” Merenith leaned in for a quick kiss. “I heard you all the way down the hall.” The short crop of blonde swished about her chin as her lover shook her head in disbelief. Her pouty lips were pulled tight between her teeth to mask-humor? Concern? Jahara couldn’t be sure.

“You have no idea what kind of a day I’ve had.” Jahara stepped back and invited the willowy beauty through the door. “The worst day of my life, as a matter of fact.” As she passed, Jahara marveled as always at the beauty of Merenith’s body. A descendent of the Olakuma clan, Merenith’s ancestors had long ago lost any semblance of body hair. It was unnecessary in their life in the desert heat. Merenith’s skin was all tawny satin, save for the velvety blonde eyebrows and thick lashes that once protected her people from the harsh sand thrown up in the hot winds.

The woman stared at her, arching one of those elegant brows, the skeptical expression marring the flawless contours of her face. “Worst? I think you’re exaggerating just a bit.” Merenith bent to brush the dust of the desert from her heavy work boots.

“You have no idea.”

Straightening, Merenith tenderly pressed her lips to Jahara’s and wrapped her in her arms. The comforting scent of jasmine, hay and the animals Merenith tended filled Jahara’s nose. She pulled Merenith in tighter, wishing they could stay this way forever and ignore the projection disk.

Merenith might be four years her junior, but Jahara wanted to believe that what they shared was the stuff made of fairytales. At her age, Jahara was desperate to find the woman who would complement her in every sense of the word-a woman who could be the sun to her moon, the color on her drab canvas, the shadow that moved in synchronized harmony with her-a woman who would satisfy every part of her. She had hoped Merenith would become that person. But their relationship was still so new. There was no doubt fulfilling her obligation would have some affect on her career, but that she could rectify. Jahara just wasn’t sure she would survive if it stole from her the one thing she wanted most-true love.

Two years ago my first book was published. Mind you, it wasn’t the first book I wrote, but the one a publisher thought worthy to send out into the world. “Healer’s Garden” is one of those books that has been with me for a very long time.

Brenimyn is the hero of my dreams. No, he’s not perfect, but he certainly wraps his heart around Jahara’s and works very hard to get her to fall in love with him. *sigh* I don’t tell my other guys, but I think he’s my favorite hero of all my books.

“Healer’s Garden” received wonderful reviews when it was released and has gone through a complete rewrite which only improved, tightened and certainly spiced up the story! Here’s the new cover from Ellora’s Cave designed by the most awesome Seneca!

Isn’t it beautiful??

I just finished edits and got the wonderful news that this book will be released by Ellora’s Cave on JANUARY 13!!

Here’s the blurb:
In the female dominated society of the twenty-third century, mating with a male, even if it is to save the human race, is a distasteful task and one Healer Jahara Hriznek has successfully avoided-until now.  

Brenimyn is a gifted breeding instructor at the Garden of Serenity. Forced to copulate with all females requesting his services, he yearns to find the one woman who responds to his touch. When Jahara arrives with the new class of breeders, Brenimyn’s body immediately aches for her, but convincing the stubborn healer that sex between a man and a woman is more than just an act for procreation proves to be a challenge he refuses to fail.

Jahara doesn’t want to enjoy the sinful rapture only Brenimyn brings to her body. Brenimyn has no intention of dousing the flames of desire licking at them until Jahara is completely his-body, mind, and heart. But when the government finds their loving relationship a threat to the natural order, there may be more than their stubborn wills at stake.

Now I guess it’s off to update the book trailer and find some excerpts to share!

Oh, and Happy 2010 one and all. May it bring you enough tears to appreciate the good times, enough sadness to appreciate the joy, many hugs to wrap your life in warmth and love abundant to fill your heart to overflowing.

I love making book trailers. And in case you’re surfing the Internet and looking for a little something to entertain, here are the three trailers for my books. Enjoy 😀

Blue Moon Rising:

Tilling Passions:

object width=”425″ height=”344″>The Healer’s Garden:

I love to write. Really I do. Okay, so not every day, but hey, it’s a job and everyone hates their job a couple times a month.

But then there are the days when everything comes together, the stars align, the characters promise to behave, settings pop off the page and your prose just shines! I love those days. It’s during those times I come up with some gems that make their way to the pages of my books.

So this list is 13 of my favorite lines from my books.

Healer’s Garden

1. But damn, he’d been treading water a hell of a long time while he waited for destiny to change the course of his life.

2. “Are you finished speculating? Because I can tell you the facts if you’re interested or I can just wait here while you try to attempt to put together a puzzle with missing pieces.” He lifted a shoulder. “Either way I’m good.”

Blind Love

3. “A man intent on conquering a woman and adding her to his proverbial notched belt holds no credibility with someone as innocent as Julie.”

4.  Damon laughed and held his hands up. “I’ll go willingly. Please, just promise you’ll hurt me.”

5.  The hurt tumbled over anger, rolling into an emotional snowball that plunged headlong without regret into Meghan’s feelings.

Love’s Bounty

6.  He’d abandoned all pretense and now was as focused on getting laid as he was on collecting information from the bimbo. He figured she swung whichever way the wind was blowing. And the way he was feeling, he hoped she’d think a monsoon had swept in her direction when he found her.

7.   Biting back a smile, Ayden watched her glistening tears turn into fury. That he could handle. An angry woman was one hundred times easier to placate than a despondent one.

8. Her long, muscular legs that he’d admired in the great room, started somewhere around her neck.

Arranging Love

9. Peter wasn’t sure if the guilt weighed on his facial features like it did on his heart. 

10. Heat flushed her cheeks. “Peter, making love in the kitchen is one thing. But playing tortured slave girl to your master fetish, well … I’m just not sure that’s something well-adjusted adults do.”

Blue Moon Rising

11. Jayda Kynslan sauntered into the Whip and Bull Tavern wanting only two things: a cold beer and a hot cock.

12. Men, she’d come to believe, were nothing but scumbags of trouble on the garbage heap of misery.

Shadows of Fire

13.  Firemen fought fires as a team. They hung by their balls as a team. Go team!

When people interview me one of the questions that always seems to pop up is “why do you write in different genres?” The question surprised me. I thought, writing a story is writing a story. But then I started reading marketing advice for writers. Branding is a word that continued to be bantered around.

Did I have a brand if I was supposedly bouncing all over the spectrum of erotic writing? I panicked. Who was I?

Then I stepped back and looked closely at the stories I’ve written.

The Healer’s Garden – Takes place in a future earth where a man and a woman are trying to find their way in a world that doesn’t believe they should be together. But riding on that relationship is some mystery that carries through the story.

Blind Love – A contemporary romance about two people discovering who they are and falling in love with each other. But the heroine is working to unravel the mystery behind her friend’s death.

Love’s Bounty – Centers around drug running up the Maine coast, but in the thick of it, two people discover love.

Arranging Love – An engaged couple discovers love isn’t always enough and fights to hold their relationship together. But a stalker infiltrates their lives and threatens everything they’ve become together.

Blue Moon Rising – A woman with a battered heart isn’t looking for love, but she finds it with a man who claims to be a wolf shifter. When a slaughtered body is found on the property where she’s vacationing, he has to wonder if she’s somehow involved.

Huh.

I relaxed. Those aren’t different genres in my opinion. The thread tying them together is the mystery/suspense part of the plot. I’m all about the puzzle. Weaving the story in such a way that hopefully the reader falls in love with the book while the main characters fall in love with each other. But on the coattails of the romance is something that keeps the danger up, the questions running through the reader’s mind…the mystery if you will. And of course there’s the added heat of the sex. *g*

Erotic suspense.

Not different genres. The same genre with a change of characters. It doesn’t matter to me where the story is set. Future, present or past. (Nope, haven’t done an historical yet … but I’m thinking about it.) The occupation of the character changes, but I can’t see how it matters if my hero is a breeder, a modern day piano player, wolf-shifting cop, or my current … a vampire firefighter. Isn’t it all about the sexy guy falling for the kick-ass girl next door and the life and death situations I throw them into?

So, what do you think? Should an author brand themselves and stay within one genre … say paranormal? Or do you mind picking up books by the same author that have different flavors to them?

Cause now I’m curious.

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