This month I'm looking forward to the release of Catching Meara the first in The McKenna Clan series.
I will have a two day prerelease sale at Rogue Phoenix Press. Catching Meara will be $0.99 on March 8th and March 9th. More about that later.
Catching Meara will have a review tour with Goddessfish, starting March 18th.
Meara Thorton was a feisty, world-class computer hacker—cornered by the FBI and shockingly given the chance to be their newly acquired technical analyst. Brilliant and intuitive, yet aching with the loss of everyone she has cared about, her restless heart led her to discover a love she fought and a world she didn't know could possibly exist.
Jace McKenna was an enigma, a loner, impossibly handsome, sincere and committed. The Apache shapeshifter blood running through his veins burned hotter than the blistering Sierra Madre sun. Jace knew the moment he caught Meara's scent she was his for eternity.
Meara had been seconds from revelation, mere seconds. Now quivering with terror, she huddled in the corner of her electrified office while lights flashed and popped all around her, knowing there was no where to run. Monitors flashed and burst, exploding and sending shards of liquid fire into the air. A cop entered the small room, his arms stretched forward, gun in both hands and a flashlight on top of his gun.
Three more cops followed behind. No, they were government agents. The logo printed in white across their chest announced their profession.
Bright lights swept the room in a slow steady arc, searching for her. Finally resting on her face, she shielded her eyes. Smoke from the crucified computers filled the cubicle, making the agents choke. Sweat from fear beaded on her forehead, and her heart lurched to her throat. She closed her hands over her heart as if she could slow the furious beating.
"Hewitt, check this out. There might be more than this one. Barrister go search through the other rooms."
"My name is Jace McKenna," the man said as he approached cautiously, kicking debris from under foot until he stood above her. "Put your hands in the air."
His voice held so much authority and sounded so calm. For a moment she thought he meant to reassure then she remembered she was his prisoner. Well, she would be as soon as she complied with his demands.
Jace, appeared dark, dangerous, handsome and tall, she noted at first. Very tall, which was hard to miss, since she was skinny and short. His eyes were an amber color with a hint of green. He towered over her. Beneath the deceiving bulkiness of his bulletproof vest, she observed next, his shoulders were very broad, and though his hips were lean, his thighs, tightly hugged by his jeans, were muscled and powerful.
His hair was blacker than the midnight sky, nearly indigo with its sheen, his amber eyes were cast into a rugged face that appeared naturally tanned. He was probably somewhere in his late twenties or early thirties. He seemed fierce, alive with a striking tension and a volatile energy that seemed to exude from him.
Shaking, sweat dripping down her face, Meara slowly raised her trembling arms. "D-don't shoot--me, please" She heard the pathetic whimper in her voice as she blinked the stinging sweat from her eyes where it melded with her mascara. Her heart pounded so hard against her chest she was sure it would burst through her ribs.
"Stand up, slowly."
"I can't--sleep. I can't close my eyes."
"Why ever not?"
"I'm afraid that cat will show up again. Any suggestions? Any besides keep all the doors and windows closed?" Like a drill sergeant, she marched through his open front door.
She didn't hear footsteps behind her, but she did hear the door close. He was always as silent as cat stalking a mouse. She didn't sense his presence until his hands were on her and he was spinning her around. Surprised, she cried out. The spinning sensations caused her to stumble. She fell down to the floor and he followed.
She was beneath him and he was sprawled over her, taut, tense, his chest naked and the muscles rippling. She wanted to trace the rosettes on his body. They were everywhere and she'd never noticed how many he had. His eyes seemed to blaze, searing, into her. "Meara," he began. "Dear god, Meara." Then he fell silent. He groaned as his fingers moved into her hair...and he was kissing her...really kissing her.
Not as he had kissed her earlier. Not lightly, but with hunger, raw and animalistic. Openmouthed, his lips moved upon hers, wet, hot, enticing a response from her. His tongue swept her mouth, thrust inside and demanded she respond equally. Then he drew away, kissing her face, the tip of her nose, her closed eyelids. His tongue rimmed her lips before slipping inside her mouth again, so deeply the inferno raced throughout her body. She needed to touch him if only to reassure herself this too was not a dream.
She wanted to feel the warmth of his body and explore the contours that were all male animal, sleek and hard. And in turn she felt an overwhelming urge, the fire, and the desperation to have him at any cost.
His lips rose above hers just a fraction of an inch. She touched them delicately with her tongue, encircling them, nipping lightly. He held still to her gentle assault then swept his arms around her. Once again their mouth melded and the tasting and sweeping and hunger were shared. When they broke apart again, his hold on her eased, but the tension in him seemed greater, explosive. His breath fanning her cheeks, he whispered. "Meara, I'm sorry. I understand it's too soon. It's just..."
Beneath him she lay still, wondering what on earth was happening to her. It wasn't too soon. Yet maybe he had the right of it. Perhaps he didn't want her in that way. She had teased and taunted him, shown up at his door and practically begged for the kiss--for sex. Still she wondered how he could just walk away. It seemed to him the kiss was a mistake, but she'd live with the mistake and cherish the moment.
He was on his feet, one hand holding tight to his towel, the other reaching down to her, helping her to stand. She gazed at him, her fingers still entwined with his, her lips swollen and soft and wet from the kiss.
"Jace," she whispered his name. He didn't speak, and his eyes focused with hers. "I'm not what you want. I know I'm not the kind of girl..." Her voice trailed away miserably. She barely knew him, and she had imposed herself after long days at work. But she wondered if his desire was great enough, if she could seduce him.
"Meara, hush, you are exactly the kind of girl I would want." His voice was a low growl, his words fraught with tension, his eyes blazing.
The gunshots woke Meara from a sound sleep. She sat up in bed, sweat dripping from her forehead. She thought she saw a strange animal-like figure staring at her from outside--a wolf perhaps. But it wasn't the jaguar. Then it vanished.
She was shivering, but she couldn't bring herself to move. She felt numb and so very empty. Jace was out there. He had gone outside to protect her, looking for a killer, so it seemed. He shouldn't have done that. He should have stayed where it was safe. Terror ripped through her.
Nowhere was safe.
He could get himself killed.
She knew Jace. He would tell himself he was trained. He would have to do it. He couldn't leave this to the men patrolling the house. And she knew he would never sit still while someone took crack shots at him. He would never wait this thing out. He could never live that way.
They couldn't live that way.
She sat on the bed and leaned her head against the headboard. It was solid and soothing. She realized Jace was going to stay out there until he caught the man. She also knew he wasn't going to stay around forever. She wasn't pretty enough, cute enough. She didn't have any curves, so to speak. It would be all over before she could blink.
And he was out there...
Risking his life for her...
She really couldn't bear it if he died. No matter what happened, she didn't want him hurt. She did love him, very much, and she needed to know he was alive somewhere.
A loud roar startled her.
At the harsh sound, she jumped alert. Scooting back on her bead as far as she could go, she cowered against the headboard for a brief second. Slowly she unpeeled herself from the bed and walked into her living room then toward the balcony.
The cat was covered with dirt, his eyes bright against the blackness of his fur. She opened the balcony doors and let the jaguar walk inside.
He let out a few whimpers then settled down on the rug, his tail moving up and down. He sounded as if he was in pain.
She arched her brows, staring at the cat and wondering if she should go to him. If it was safe. Good lord, Jace would have her hide if she approached the cat. But it wasn't one of the rules. She'd done everything just as he'd asked. Well, except for letting the cat inside her house. But the big black jaguar looked as if he needed her and he was wounded. Heck, she was more exhausted, but strangely she wasn't as terrified.
"Easy boy," she cooed as she slowly stepped toward the animal. She gritted her teeth against the creak and groan of the floorboards.