Today there are three new releases from Beachwalk Press, my newest, Never Say Never, is included. The lovely Tamaria Soana and Imogene Nix have given me never before seen excerpts from their respective stories, Southern Embrace and The Plan. Oh, and I’ve added a cheeky excerpt from Never Say Never.
Southern Embrace, by Tamaria Soana
It was a beautiful Friday afternoon. Van grabbed her purse and headed out to the mall. Nikki's shower was the following weekend, and Nikki had been on her to get a new dress for days, threatening to drag her shopping kicking and screaming if she didn't go herself.
Once at the mall, Van picked up some last minute gifts for Nikki. After trying on a few dresses, she found a knee-length, strapless coral dress. She purchased it and was off in search of a pair of shoes. When she found the perfect pair of coral and silver heels, Van concluded the trip to the mall a complete success.
Her cellphone rang as she was leaving the shoe store. She dug around in her bag to find it. With her head down and her steps brisk, she ran right into someone.
"I'm so sorry. I'm such a klutz," she said as she looked up into the brown eyes of her first love. She gasped and took a step back, surveying him. His light brown hair was a little shorter and he was built like a man now, not the boy she used to know. She stood frozen in place, staring at him. This can't be happening. A tidal wave of emotions rushed through her at once. Anger, resentment, hatred, but mainly pain…so much pain.
"Lance? Oh my God!" She took another step back. "How?"
"I-I talked to Nikki. She told me you would be here. I needed to see you. When I heard what happened…" He paused. "I knew I couldn't stay away any longer. I'm so sorry."
The more he talked, the more Van's anger flared. Who does he think he is? He left me! Turned his back on me when he cut all ties!
"What exactly are you sorry for, Lance? That my husband died or that you broke my heart all those years ago?" The words she spoke were full of acid. "You have a lot of nerve just showing up here like nothing ever happened. Go away." She turned to leave.
"Please, Van, just talk to me. Give me a chance to explain," he begged as he reached for her hand.
"Don't you dare touch me," she said through gritted teeth, yanking her hand away. "What do you want from me?" She stared at him while plotting all the ways she was going to torture Nikki for her betrayal.
She seethed as he looked around. "Calm down, Van. People are starting to stare. Please, can we go somewhere more private and talk? There is so much I need to tell you."
"What could you possibly have to say to me that would make up for what you did? I mean, I know you had to move, but you cut all ties with me. Like the three years we spent together meant nothing to you, like I meant nothing to you. Damn you, Lance, you didn't even try to make it work."
"Please, Savannah. Give me a chance to explain."
"Give me one reason why I should."
"Because I still love you. I. Never. Stopped. I cut all ties with you because I had to. Long distance relationships never work out. I was afraid you would wake up one day and resent me. Being apart from you was killing me. I thought this way we would both be able to move on. But I was wrong, I never was able to move on. I let the love I have for you consume me. I wanted to come back sooner, but then I heard you'd gotten married. When I found out what had happened, I wanted to rush here and be by your side, but I figured you would need some time."
His words shocked and confused her. After she took a few moments to process everything, she shook her head. "I can't do this." She turned and walked away, then stopped. "Go back to wherever it was you came from and leave me alone."
"I won't give up on you. I won't stop trying, and I most definitely won't ever leave you again."
"Just go away, Lance. You're good at that," she snarled before she walked away. She didn't dare turn around because looking at him as he begged her to give him a chance to explain would certainly weaken her. Van needed to focus on how she was going to kill her so-called best friend.
The Plan, by Imogene Nix
The man that arrested her, Captain Jonah Fielding, she had heard of. A straight man, everyone agreed. He didn't associate with the old, corrupt Authorities. But at this point that's cold comfort. How can I possibly explain that I have nothing else except my little Sugar Plum Fairy and that's why I took the chance? Her stomach rebelled and she dry heaved right there in the cells as catcalls and laughter from other prisoners filled the air. Thank the Lights at least I am in a single cell. Her head ached brutally and she wavered slightly, waiting for Captain Fielding to send for her.
"Kadie Frost? Captain Fielding wants to see you." The clank of the cell door told her someone was coming; she struggled to her feet, lifting tired, sore eyes.
A young man, little more than a boy really, with a freshly pressed uniform marched in, unfastened her from the restraint loop, and pulled her out the door and into an anonymous corridor.
Hoots and hollers met her ears as she allowed herself to be paraded down the long walkway. As if cattle in a moon-cow yard, she thought, closing her eyes as the Authority man pulled her toward a heavy, metal door at the end of the corridor. He stopped there and she opened her eyes, reading the sign on the door.
Interrogation Room One. What a great name, she thought snidely. Really inventive.
The door opened slowly and she was quickly thrust inside. The door snapped shut behind her as she looked around the bare room. A table and two chairs sat, scarred and ugly, in the middle of the floor. The metal was cold and glittering in the cool air as the air circulators pushed currents around the frigid room. She made her way over and sat down, waiting for the captain to enter. Her head drooped to the table and she let it rest, seeking the refreshing cool on her overly hot skin.
Her hands stung and her eyes burned. She felt sorry for herself as she thought about the mess she had gotten into, and she turned her stinging hands to check the damage. They were bright red and radiated heat. The deep scratches were swollen and weepy; sticky drops of goop coated the raw skin. Never a good sign, she already knew that.
She started. Obviously, the woolly, heavy feeling in her head had overtaken her and she had dropped off to sleep as she waited. Her skin burned against in the coolness of the room.
"That's me." Her head hurt viciously, but now she realized her throat burned too.
"Captain Fielding is my name. I believe you and I can discuss BXM parts?" He lifted an eyebrow and she noted the captain had the most amazing blue eyes she had ever seen, teamed with long, black hair fastened at the back of his neck, high cheeks, and impossibly chiseled features. He had full, pink lips that would make a woman cry when they moved over hers. Huh? Where did that thought come from?
She blinked, dazed by the thought, and considered her plan of attack. "What? Oh, the BXM parts." She swallowed and felt the razor blades she was sure were in her neck slashing from the inside which then proceeded to burn. "They aren't mine. They never were."
Never Say Never, by Me
Sander pulled Chloe back into his arms, ignoring the club full of celebrities and high rollers. She felt right molded to him, and he didn’t give a damn who saw their exchange. This was about proving to her she wanted him. He’d seen it in her eyes when they’d been pressed together, chest to chest. Felt it in her shiver when he brushed his lips against her smooth skin. Saw it now, in the dilation of her pupils. And dammit, he had the same response. It’s why he’d released her.
But her scowl changed that. How could she insinuate she hadn’t enjoyed being close like
he had? She looked up at him, her hands fisted in the front of his shirt—probably in anger—but her dark golden eyes gave away her feelings. Her lust. And he wanted her to acknowledge it wasn’t just him who felt it.
He slid one hand up her back and into the silky waves at the nape of her neck. With his
other arm, he tightened his hold and drew her so close every staggered breath pressed his chest against her breasts. The twin peaks pressing into his skin was as much evidence of her arousal as the thumping of her heart.
He lowered his head and slanted his mouth against her gloss covered lips. She opened up, sighed, and her hands slid around his neck. Arousal crashed through him, and he deepened the kiss, feasted on the sweet, erotic taste of her, and dipped his tongue in to experience it more fully.
Shit. He didn’t think it would go this far. Hadn’t expected her response to fuck with his
head like it did. But her fingers slid into his hair, pulled him closer, made his wavering control snap. His groin tightened along with his trousers and he knew she felt it pressed against her flat stomach.
He was lost in her, in the torrent of hormones racking his body. There wasn’t a time he’d
kissed a woman and felt so…much. Whether it was because she tried to hide her reaction, or he’d been kidding himself thinking he would be able to keep his hands to himself, he couldn’t seem to stop.