I’m just transitioning from the end of Chapter Six into the opening of Chapter Seven, of Branded Rose, the new sensual Paranormal Romance I plan to release in June.
So far the book has been a challenge because a) there are no vampires, b) the creatures that do inhabit this universe are new to me and the reader and I have to slow down the story to define their culture and universe every time I turn around, c) there’s only one hero and d) the hero and heroine aren’t making out like bunnies every second scene.
Laugh if you will, but after writing erotic romances for…nearly ten books in a row, changing gears and writing a straight sensual book, with just one hero, takes some mental shifting and adaptation. But I like stretching myself every now and again with a book. It ensures I “stay awake” as a writer and stay fresh.
Here’s a snippet from the end of Chapter Six to whet your appetite.
“No,” Asher said, and coughed. “Park Avenue. 836.” He tried to push himself up on the seat and pull out his wallet. “Give him whatever he wants,” he whispered. The wallet dropped to the floor.
Charlee gave the driver the new address.
He shook his head. “You trouble,” he stated.
“I’m not the trouble,” Charlee told him. She shook Asher. “You really need a doctor now,” she whispered, looking at his hand clutched to his belly. His eyes were closed. He lay curled up on the seat. “You need to go to Emergency.”
“No. That’s not the way.”
“Damn it, you need medical help, Asher—something!”
“Park Avenue,” he repeated, his voice weak.
Charlee bit her lip. The cab was already heading north. She looked around at New Yorkers going about their business, wrapped up against the December cold, enjoying the winter sunshine. How little they knew of the real world!
She perched on the edge of the seat, and rested her hand on Asher’s shoulder. “Park Avenue,” she assured him softly. “All right, then. Don’t die on me until we get there.”
A smile curled the corners of his mouth, even though his eyes were closed. “I’m not dying.”
“You’re doing a damned good imitation of it, Asher.”
“Not until I’ve—” He coughed again, and spots of blood appeared on the seat by his mouth. “Until you…” But he spoke no more and his body grew still on the seat.
Charlee could feel trembling wanting to break out all over her body. She picked up Asher’s wallet and found more money. Lots of it. She pulled out notes, big ones, and pressed them up against the plexiglass. “Get me there in the next ten minutes and this is yours, too,” she said.
The driver’s eyes widened in the rear view mirror. He glanced at the clock in the dashboard. “Cannot be done,” he said. “Fifteen minutes.”
“Ten,” she said flatly. “Stay on Central and cut over north of the park. You don’t get this if you don’t make it by ten twenty-three.”
She gripped the grab rail conveniently mounted on the back of the front seat as the cab lurched forward, accelerating.
It was barely ten-thirty in the morning, she had already wounded a second man in the neck and Asher was once more horribly injured because he refused to let the Herliefr just take her. It was shaping up to be a great day.
What was at 836 Park Avenue?