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Shameless Selfie Peek at a Shameless Diary

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It’s Shameless Selfie time again, and with me being in the honeymoon stage of this year’s NaNoWriMo I find myself thinking a lot about what it means to be a scribe, to be a wordsmith. That being the case, I thought it would be a good time to take a little shameless peek at In The Flesh and Susan’s secret diary. Enjoy!

 

In The Flesh Blurb:

When Susan Innes comes to visit her friend, Annie Rivers, in Chapel House, the deconsecrated church that Annie is renovating into a home, she discovers her outgoing friend changed, reclusive, secretive, and completely enthralled by a mysterious lover, whose presence is always felt, but never seen, a lover whom she claims is god. As her holiday turns into a nightmare, Susan must come to grips with the fact that her friend’s lover is neither imaginary nor is he human, and even worse, he’s turned his wandering eye on Susan, and he won’t be denied his prize. If Susan is to fight an inhuman stalker intent on having her as his own, she’ll need a little inhuman help.

 

kdgrace-itf-finalIn The Flesh Excerpt — Not Alone in the Dark:

I wasn’t alone in the dark. I knew that the first time I entered the crypt at Chapel House. I could feel a presence there, almost as though someone stood just behind me, about to reach out and touch me. The shiver over my skin was not so much from fear, though certainly there was an element of fear, as it was from longing, bone-deep longing. I could barely breathe for it, I could barely stand under the weight of it, and I couldn’t imagine how such an ache, such a hunger could exist inside my flesh and not tear me apart. I was astonished that Annie seemed completely unaware of anything out of the ordinary, and to be quite honest, I wasn’t anxious to share it with her.

She continued to chatter on about her plans to make Chapel House over with a state of the art kitchen—she who didn’t cook, and a master suite that would rival the finest hotels in London. Strange that I could listen with one part of my brain and comment on her ideas for an open plan living space, for a library in the choir loft, for a wet room in the sacristy, while with another part of my brain I felt like every cell of my body was responding to whatever it was, whoever it was that I was certain waited there in the darkness, just beyond the beam of Annie’s Maglite.

 

*****

 

The departmentalizing of Annie’s plans and the feel of the presence in the darkness became much more difficult when I felt the closeness of a warm, hard body against my back and the humid nip of a kiss on the nape of my neck. I explained away my little gasp of surprise to Annie by saying I’d almost lost my footing. I should have been frightened. I should have been terrified, and believe me, I was. But by the time I felt a large hand splayed low against my belly, by the time I was certain of the maleness pressed hard and low just above my butt, I was far more intrigued than I was frightened. Even if terror had won out, I don’t think I could have forced myself to move as the hand in the darkness migrated to cup my breasts and thumb my nipples, first one, then the other, and the slow grind and undulation from behind became more demanding.

“The roses, they smell lovely.” I managed a breathless response to Annie’s ramblings about plans for the overgrown mess of a garden. “You might want to consider a scent garden.”

She laughed. “I can’t smell anything, but then you were always the one with the sensitive nose. Of course I’ll make sure there are lots of roses.” She knew they were my favorite, but I couldn’t imagine her not smelling them; the scent was nearly overwhelming in the tight space of the crypt. To my surprise, as she rambled on about a patio with a Jacuzzi, the smell of roses was subsumed in my own scent and the humid, piquant scent of a man well aroused. The hand on my breast began a slow, torturous descent, and I wanted nothing more than for Annie to keep talking, keep planning, anything to keep her from dragging me away from this place, at least for a few more minutes.

I asked about the Jacuzzi, hoping that would give me another minute. By the time she got started about the sites she’d looked up online and the builders she’d talked to, I was rocking back against the hardness, craning my neck to yield as much bare skin as possible to teeth and tongue and lips all soft and warm and wet and sharp and hard and demanding. Oh,

I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible, but looking back, I wonder how the hell Annie couldn’t see? How could she have missed it? But she rattled on and on about some builder just up the road near Keswick who was supposed to be really good, some guy named Michael. Like I gave a fuck.

The study suddenly felt stuffy and overheated, and Michael’s grip on my hand convulsed. His jaw tightened, but he didn’t look at me.

Magda paid little attention to either my discomfort or Michael’s. She just kept on reading.

He was cute, Annie said. That led to observations about this Michael’s broad shoulders and nice arse and speculation as to whether or not he would be any good in bed, and was it wise to seduce him before he put in her Jacuzzi or wait till after and seduce him in it. All the while I nodded and pretended to be interested.

I was thankful for the extra time, but Christ, how could she not notice me standing there, legs apart, rocking back and forth and shifting from foot to foot like I had ants in my knickers? In truth, what I wanted in my knickers surely couldn’t actually be there, and yet I felt it, fucking hell, how I felt it! I swear, I could feel muscle and sinew. Hell, I could feel the actual shape of an erection as though we were both naked, as though all he need do, this dark being who surely was just my imagination, was bend me over and open me, me struggling to keep my breathing quiet, me struggling to focus enough attention on my friend that she wouldn’t suspect I was about to come. Oh yes, I was terrified. I would graveyard-angel-1have, should have, run, if I hadn’t been so intrigued, so turned on. I just wanted one more second, and then another and another.

In desperation that shocks me even now as I write this in the dark silence of Annie’s flat, I grabbed onto a wrist that I swear was as solid and warm as my own and guided the caress, the tease, the fondling of fingers and palm down my belly toward where I really needed it to be.

Annie yammered on about this Michael, all the things she’d heard about him, all the things she wanted to do to him—at least I think she did. My God, my whole body felt alive, every cell, every molecule. I could damn near feel the coursing of my own blood through my veins. You have no idea what an exhilarating combination fear and arousal make. I lost track of what Annie was saying, and the air was filled with the scent of sex. I could smell him, actually smell this phantom man, who was as near release as I was, and I was sure, as my knees gave beneath me, I felt the warm wet of his orgasm against my lower back. And then for an instant everything around me was silk and darkness, so perfect, so ecstatic. But just beyond that warm tight space, I knew. I knew as well as I know my own breath, I was terrified, and what I felt was like no terror I’d ever known before and, holy God in heaven, I want to feel it again.

 

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“No one writes paranormal fiction like KD Grace. In penning her tales of myths and magic, she plumbs psychological and spiritual depths that most authors don’t even realize exist. Ms. Grace ignores tropes and conventions, following the trail of her stories down the rabbit hole of her own fertile imagination. The truths she unearths amaze, arouse, terrify and delight.” Lisabet Sarai

 

Another Visit to Vegas & a New WIP

S6302679I’m taking you back to Vegas today. Not that you weren’t expecting it, right? I take you there every chance I get. I thought I’d take you there on a warm summer evening, and not to one of the better parts of town, but to someplace a lot more dangerous. My new Work In Progress, Buried Pleasures, follows the adventures of Samantha Black, a woman with a talent everyone is after. Samantha is not in Vegas for the glitz and the glam. Sam has come to get her friend, Evie Holt, out of a very bad situation, a task that could very well get her killed or worse. Enjoy the beginning of this paranormal romance!

Buried Pleasures

He was the biggest damn dog Sam had ever seen, and she’d nearly jumped out of her skin when he slipped out of the growing evening gloom and rubbed up against her hip nudging the remains of her peanut butter sandwich with a cold nose. ‘Hey you! That’s my lunch.’ And her breakfast too, she thought. In fact it would be her last meal until she made enough in tips tonight to buy something else. The dog plopped down on his enormous haunches in front of her, effectively blocking further progress unless she wanted to wrestle him out of the way, which she figured was a losing proposition. He offered a small whine, and what she could have sworn was a smile. Then he licked his chops with an enormous pink tongue, the large golden eyes locked on her sandwich. If this hadn’t been Las Vegas, if she’d been in the wilds of Wyoming of Montana, she would have sworn the beast was a wolf instead of a dog, and that he was about to call out the rest of his pack to help him bring down dinner that involved a whole lot more than a partially eaten peanut butter sandwich. Though she figured said dinner would be a bit on the under-fed side at the moment. But the dog made no threatening moves. She’d seen him before, seen him dozing in the sun next to a homeless man who often settled in the shade near the storm tunnel.

Come to think of it though, it was the man who’d always drawn her attention rather than the dog. He was big enough and looked dangerous, big enough to be a woodsman with a wolf dog. But though it was more than his size that always drew her eye when she walked past the entrances to the tunnel, it wasn’t anything she could really put her finger on. She never looked directly at him, because for some really stupid reason, to do so felt dangerous. Besides, she always felt like he was watching her. Though he never was. If anything he seemed to be watching everything, like he was taking it all in. And she was a part of what he took in. Somehow just being in the man’s vicinity made her feel, well exposed – not like he was a stalking her, but like he knew her, like he could see her secrets. Like he could see everybody’s secrets. She shivered. This whole nasty situation with Darian Fox and Evie had left her suspicious and feeling as though there were threats around every corner. But then there were, weren’t there? Why couldn’t she make Evie see that?

Her stomach growled. The dog whined and licked his chops, and she was brought back to the present moment. Frankly she found the dog’s company the most pleasant she’d experienced since her reluctant arrival in Vegas. Christ! Had it really been two months ago? ‘Time flies when you’re having fun,’ she growled under her breath. She reached out and scratched the animal’s ruff feeling strangely comforted by the feel of thick fir. She wondered how he handled the heat in July and August. It hadn’t entered her mind that he could practically bite her whole arm of in lieu of the peanut butter sandwich if he chose too, though he seemed fairly well mannered at the moment. He’d never shown any inclination to be friendly to her, or any interest in her at all when she’d walked by here before, but then again, she’d not been eating a peanut butter sandwich before. Golden eyes shifted from the sandwich to her face and back. He whined again and offered her an open-mouthed yawn sporting teeth like daggers, then his tongue lolled out the side of his mouth in a relaxed, but attentive pant, and he inched closer, eyes still locked on the sandwich.

She sighed and her stomach growled again. ‘God I’m so gullible! But only with animals,’ she added as he inched his way closer. ‘People, I know better than to trust. Especially in Vegas.’ The dog cocked his head, as though he understood every word, and he very well might, she thought. ‘Well, I suppose I could stand to lose another few pounds.’ She tore a corner off the sandwich, and stuffed it in her mouth savoring the last of her very scant meal. Then, as the dog inched forward again, she handed him the rest of the sandwich. He took it from her almost daintily before it disappeared down his gullet in a single gulp. He offered another whine and a little woof of a bark. ‘Sorry Bud. There isn’t anymore,’ she said, stroking an enormous soft ear. ‘But if tips are good tonight, I’ll bring you a Big Mac tomorrow. How would that be?’

‘Leave off the special sauce if you do. It makes him fart, and I have to sleep with the mutt.’

With a little yelp of her own, she turned to find the dog’s master towering over her. She stepped back, in danger of falling on the dog, who gave an indignant woof, which she wasn’t sure was from her nearly landing on him or from his owner’s lack of discretion in discussing his digestion. Either way if the man hadn’t caught her by the arm with a large hand she would have flattened the poor pooch.

The man was big and rugged like the dog, she thought, as he slid an arm around her waist and pulled her away from the beast, swiftly enough that she realized with a start that he didn’t trust the dog with her. For a second she tensed and her skin prickled. But it wasn’t the dog she feared at all. She trusted him almost instantly and she knew the feeling was mutual, peanut butter or not. She wasn’t keen on being touched by people she knew well, let alone strangers, and this man made her knees weak from a distance, let alone up close and personal. Before she could panic, she was engulfed in the scent of juniper and wood smoke and dry desert heat. Perhaps it was the desire to sniff again that relaxed her, that made her forget that she could be in real danger, but before she had time to really consider her safety, he settled her onto her feet and stepped back. ‘Excuse me. I didn’t mean to startle you. It’s just that Gus isn’t usually great with people.’ The dog scooted forward and sniffed her fingers with a cool nose, then looked up at the man as though he wondered what the hell the problem was.

‘It’s fine. I’m all right,’ she managed without sounding too disconcerted. ‘I just wasn’t expecting company for lunch.’P1010641

The man offered her a smile that made her stomach bottom and, for a tiny moment, made her feel like there was nothing solid beneath her feet. Then everything righted itself and settled around her again. ‘And Gus wasn’t expecting to be invited to lunch with such charming company,’ he said. ‘The mutt’s a bit of a mooch.’

The man wore faded fatigues –patched and threadbare in a couple of places – along with heavy-duty biker boots that were scuffed and well worn. But the clothes didn’t hang on him like clothes often did on the homeless people who sheltered here. He filled them out. In fact he filled them out way too nicely for a man with whom regular meals were not guaranteed.

‘I’m just glad he was happy with peanut butter and didn’t find it necessary to have a bit more protein with his meal.’ She wriggled her fingers, and the man chuckled, and held her gaze with startling eyes that were winter storm grey and not clouded by drugs – not that she would know much about that sort of thing. His hair was dark and mussed and the stubble on his face made him look tragic and romantic, if more than a little bit dangerous. She forced herself not to look away. ‘I’m sorry. I don’t have anything else.’ She flushed in a wave of embarrassment. ‘Believe me, I really don’t.’ She suddenly found herself fighting back tears and lowered her gaze. He had no idea, she thought. There wasn’t even any change left in the bottom of her bag. She’d rounded up all of that and the few pennies she found down behind the cushions of the couch to buy a loaf of bread and the peanut butter. Even if he decided to steal her bag, fat lot of good it would do him. Even the phone was a worthless pay as you go job with barely enough time on it to call 911 in an emergency. Truth was he could easily take from her whatever he wanted. He could even take her if he wanted, and there would be nothing she could do, certainly no one would miss her. She should have been scared, she supposed, after all she knew very well that the storm tunnels could be dangerous places, but she was just too damn tired to care. She could feel his gaze move over her. It made her feel giddy and flushed and … strangely naked, but not like he was leering, more like he could … well just like he could see things.

‘I know,’ he said softly. ‘I know what you have.’ He curled a finger beneath her chin and lifted her head so their eyes met again, and the prickle of her skin returned, but this time she felt as though she were suddenly bathed in champagne bubbles, suddenly falling into the storm blizzard depths of his eyes, suddenly unable to catch enough breath. ‘I have something for you, though.’ He stepped back, sliding his hand down her arm to curl his fingers around her wrist. Then just before the strength of his grip, the power it transmitted could panic her, he took her hand and folded something into her palm. Then he whispered against her ear, ‘Gus’ll be looking forward to his Big Mac.’

She blinked and caught her breath. Did he say that, or did she just imagine it. But he had already turned, given a soft whistle, and the dog followed him into the maw of the tunnel. She watched them for as long as her eyes could see shape and movement before the blackness swallowed them up. Then she looked down in her clenched fist and opened her fingers. There was just enough light left in the evening sky that she could make out the words Buried Pleasures engraved on both sides of a poker chip. How the hell did a homeless man get a poker chip from a place like that, she wondered. She turned it over in her hand a couple of times squinting in the low light, but it seemed genuine enough. Then she shrugged, dropped it in her bag and headed for the casino, picking up her pace so she wouldn’t be late for her shift. It was a helluva walk from her apartment to the 6 Spot, and she always tried to make it before it got too dark. Not only was it a long walk, but it took her through areas that were not the safest places for a stroll. On top of that, she was in danger of being late, thanks to her encounter with Gus and his owner. She’d made enough money busking yesterday to pay the rent, but not enough to put gas in the car.

She didn’t feel good about the busking. Vegas was way too small. It would be too easy for her to draw attention, and she especially didn’t want to draw Darian Fox’s attention again. On the other hand, she didn’t feel good about joining the homeless man and his dog in the tunnels if she got kicked out of her apartment either. If the city were bigger, another day, maybe two of busking and she’d have made enough money to give her at least a bit of a cushion, but she couldn’t risk it. Word got round, even when she downplayed her abilities, which she always did. Not for the first time she resented the hell out of Evie’s little rich girl naiveté, and not for the first time she wondered why she didn’t just call Evie’s father and let him come and sort her out. How the hell did she get mixed up in this mess to begin with? But she was expendable, right? She was a nobody, not an heiress wanting to thumb her nose at daddy by trying out life on the wild side.

S6304352She heaved a sigh and picked up her pace again. She was just feeling sorry for herself. She was just tired. Evie was her friend, and she knew damn well that if the shoe were on the other foot and she were the one acting like an idiot with Darian Fox, Evie would move heaven and hell to get her out of a bad situation.

She picked up her pace yet again, telling herself dryly that she would be able to take up competitive race walking if she went a few more days with no gas money. That would beat the hell out of her job as a cocktail waitress. True, it was a shit job, but right now beggars couldn’t be choosers. While she could make good money busking, even maybe find a job at a piano bar someplace, she knew that wasn’t safe, but she had to have some money if she were going to survive until she could get Evie away from that bastard, Fox. And that meant stuffing herself into the tiny spandex excuse for a uniform and letting the half-drunk partiers at the Black Jack tables ogle her while she delivered their watered-down drinks because, what were friends for, right?

 

A Sneak Peek at Carla Flannery’s Notes for Interviewing Wade

Interviewing WadeI’ve been very privileged to get a sneak peek at some of ace reporter, Carla Flannery’s, notes and observations on her challenging interview with Wade Crittenden. I thought maybe you’d like to see some of her preliminary scribblings about the enigmatic man in his dungeon and the ordeal of interviewing him. I’d happily share Wade’s opinions of Carla with you too, but I caught him at the bowling alley and he wasn’t exactly happy about the interruption. He bowled a strike that nearly took the back wall of Clyde’s bowling alley out and then told me to go away, he was busy … 

 

Notes: Wade Crittenden article

C. Flannery

 The man has limited social skills and no understanding of what’s acceptable behaviour in social situations. Locking me in the Dungeon is a prime example. (Not sure how I’ll put this in the article. I don’t want to humiliate him, though at the moment, I’d like to kill him) ‘I’m busy. Don’t bother me.’ That’s Wade Crittenden’s standard answer to everyone, except maybe Dee Henning and Ellison Thorne, his business partners. Probably Martin Flannery can get a more amiable response from him, at least on some days.

After waking up to find myself locked in the dungeon, after getting over being furious, I’ve come to think that possibly Wade’s interaction, or lack thereof, with people is a matter of trust. It’s not so much that he doesn’t trust them, though I have no doubt he doesn’t. It’s more that he doesn’t trust himself with other people. He misses the cues most of us pick up on in our social interaction with each other. He also lacks the ability to put on the social mask as needed for keeping things polite, especially when dealing with uncomfortable situations. We humans have a need to keep the peace as much as possible, to keep our interactions civil. I shiver to think of the carnage and chaos if we didn’t. And though Wade has dedicated his life’s work to making things better for humanity, he never gets overly concerned about the carnage or the chaos his lack of a social mask may cause. (To be honest, I’m not entirely sure Wade really has dedicated his life’s work to making things better for humanity. I have a sneaking suspicion that maybe he does it because he can, because there’s always another question to be answered, another problem to be solved and he’s intrigued by riddles, problems, puzzles. People — not so much. However, making the world a better place is a nice side effect.)

 

 

Wade_EFAad

 

 

Blurb Interviewing Wade:

The Executive Decisions Trilogy may be over, but the story continues. Intrepid reporter, Carla Flannery, wants to interview Wade Crittenden, the secretive creative genius behind Pneuma Inc. But when, against all odds, Wade actually agrees to the interview, Carla suspects ulterior motives.

Carla has made a lot of enemies in her work and when Wade discovers she’s being stalked, he agrees to the interview to keep her close and safe. As the situation turns deadly, lives and hearts are on the line, and the interview reveals far more about both than either ever expected.

 

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