Monday, October 8, 2012
LAUNCH PARTY: THE TROUBLE WITH HIGHLANDERS BY MARY WINE
Change is in the air.. All the trees are wearing their fall colors and the summer heat is finally on its way out. It’s that time of year when the seasons change and as an added bonus, I’ve got a new book releasing. The Trouble with Highlanders follows The Highlander’s Prize.
I deal a lot with changing seasons in my books too. Fun fact that I learned while researching the Highlands. Wool retains ninety percent of its insulating ability when it’s wet, cotton only ten percent. It’s easy to see why wool was the choice for kilts and cloaks.
I attended Lora Leigh’s reader appreciation weekend in Pittsburg last week and it was raining. I do believe I was the only person out playing in it but we haven’t seen rain here in California for several months. Wherever you are, I hope you take a little time to stroll through the park as the leaves are turning.
Excerpt from The Trouble with Highlanders
“Well, it matters naught. Yer father will likely be well on his way to selecting another bride for ye and I do nae need any rumors linking us.”
“I rather enjoy the memory of the facts linking us.” His voice had dipped low and deep, just as it had the night they…
“Ye should nae voice such things,” she sputtered.
He was amused by her, his eyes twinkling with pleasure. “And why nae? Ye enjoyed making those memories—a great deal.” Now there was a hint of pride in his tone.
Daphne fought the urge to shiver. Emotion wanted to wash away her sense and leave her helpless in front of him.
“Enough, Norris. The priest is already threatening to write to the bishop about me transgressions.” She bit her lip, stunned by how easily she was sharing personal information with him. “I have enough to worry about.”
“I see…” he muttered in a tone she recalled instantly from their more intimate moments. “Ye mean the man is threatening to write about our transgressions, do ye nae, lass?”
“No,” she snapped and side-stepped once more to avoid him. “Father Peter would never accuse ye.”
He paused for a moment, his expression turning pensive. “In that case, the man is a hypocrite. I recall being deeply involved in your transgressions. In fact, I’m very tempted to add to the list. If the man is going to carry tales to his superior, I believe we should make sure he has something unique to report. I know a few positions he’s likely never heard of.”
Her eyes widened. “Ye’re going to end up locked in the stocks for saying things such as that.”
Norris grinned, flashing his teeth at her. He shook his head, irritating her. She couldn’t seem to shake the urge to argue with him. She stepped forward, pointing her finger at his wide chest.
“Don’t think being the son of an earl will save you. The church will no doubt double their efforts to make ye repent so ye set a good example. Mind yer words and do nae be grinning at me like that.”
“I’m grinning because I assure ye, lass, if I get locked in the stocks for impious behavior, it will be for me actions, not just me words. Which means, I would nae be alone.” He caught her up against him in a motion that was almost too fast to see. One moment she was pointing at him and the next moment his arms bound her against him. She had only a moment to inhale the warm scent of his skin and notice just how solid his body was before his mouth claimed hers.
His kiss was demanding. His lips pressed hers apart while he cupped her nape and angled her face upwards for the assault. She struggled against him, trying to push him away but he held her prisoner. It was a desperate attempt to maintain her sanity. A moment later her discipline crumbled beneath the teasing motions of his lips. He wanted her mouth to open and she had lost the will to deny him. What was worse was the fact that she wanted his kiss, needed it to be harder. She curled her hands into his doublet, holding him close as she kissed him back.
The kiss changed instantly. He became more demanding and it fanned the flames smoldering inside her. Passion leapt to life between them, as though they hadn’t parted for weeks. It twisted and bit into her, unleashing a potent poison. But she wasn’t the only victim, Norris growled softly, the savage sound one she recalled from the darkest hours of the night they’d spent together. He trailed his lips along her jaw line and onto her neck where he bit her gently. She shivered, the reaction instant and uncontrollable. His grip held her in place as he raised his head and locked stares with her. For a moment, he let her see what the darkness had prevented her from gazing upon the night they shared his bed. Hunger glittered in his green eyes making them glow. She was mesmerized by the sight because it echoed her own longings so closely.
“Since ye kissed me back so passionately, ye’ll be in the stocks beside me.”
His words were arrogant. She tried to shove him away and would have bitten the beast if he hadn’t released her. Her skirt got caught beneath her feet and she stumbled further away.
“Ye insufferable marauder.”
He tipped his head back and roared with amusement. Her temper sizzled, turning her cheeks scarlet.
“Take yer demands somewhere else, Norris Southerland, for I do nae care whose son ye be or what title ye’re set to inherit.”
He smirked at her but it was a very personal expression, one that reminded her that he knew her… intimately.
“Since yer father is dead and yer brother has yet to show his face, ye’ll face me demands, Daphne MacLeod, as a vassal should. I’m here to see what condition yer land is in.” He closed the gap between them, gripping a handful of her skirt to keep her near so his last words could be shared only between them. “But if ye’d like me to run ye to ground, I will be happy to do so. So turn yer back on me lass… I dare ye.”