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I'm giving away 2 ecopies of my Eppie Winning Novel Rapture - it's easy - leave your email with a comment and you could win.
A New Year tradition in our house is a family walk with the four children in a nearby park. I always love to do this when the weather is nice and the hike isn’t full of snow but no matter what, we MAKE our children who range from 8-17 years of age, to come with us. I will admit it’s not easy to get out the door with the teens screaming, “No way,” but in the end they all have fun and it’s usually only an hour. And in that hour I always find out something interesting either about my children or a new story idea begins to emerge.
I hope you enjoy my book Rapture:
Mermen aren't real. That's what biologist Jamie Winters thinks until a gorgeous Greek god enters her life and drowns her, forcing her to rapture into a Siren. Used to logic, she can't quite come to terms with Seth Cutter's magical undersea realm or the fact that he's a macho Titan.
Being a Siren causes Jamie's hormones to go into overdrive, which isn't good when she realizes that's exactly what Seth was hoping for. Sure, the sex is out of this world, but she's not about to change her character.
As Prince of the North Seas, Seth is used to having his commands followed. A decade of exile on land was easier than having to deal with the sexy-as-sin Siren who tips the scales of his existence and doesn't listen to one word he says.
They must overcome their prejudices to recover stolen relics that are key to the undersea kingdom, stop a deadly plague and destroy an underwater diva who wants to rule the roost. Are they two souls destined for each other or will the Fates decide otherwise? Seth knows firsthand, Fate can be a bitch.
After a month working with Caskett at the Institute of Oceanography, Jamie still took the long way to get to her desk. She didn’t care if the other researchers teased her for avoiding the elevator, the wharf or any of the vessels berthed at the two docks. She simply avoided the people. She had been hired because her cutting-edge research on immunological diseases in sea mammals was excellent. She knew that and so did the rest of the researchers.
No, there was nothing wrong with taking the scenic route to her office. After all, it was located on the basement level and there was no other way unless she took the elevator, which was not going to happen. Highly claustrophobic by nature, she avoided elevators at all costs.
At five-thirty in the morning she wasn’t expecting anyone to greet her anyway. Sliding her security card through the outer door’s electronic slot, she then punched in her code and took the long corridor, which led to Caskett’s floor. She heard the commotion long before she spotted anyone. With a swipe of her second electronic key, she punched in another security code and waited for the small click. Straining, she pushed open the door. Instead of the usual quiet, the place was in chaos.
People she didn’t know were running from one place to another. Like chickens with their heads cut off.
“Jesus Christ, make sure those oxygen tanks are working properly. Bunch of dimwits!” screamed Caskett, to a group of young men cowering under his gaze.
“Shit! Shit! Shit! Why can’t things go right, just once?” he screamed again. This time the verbal attack was aimed at Trevor, who had the nerve to blush when he spotted her.
“Thanks for the sleep-in tip, Trevor,” said Jamie sarcastically, trying to back out the door she’d just sauntered in through.
“Oh no, you don’t. I need you. Come here, Jamie!” screamed Caskett, brushing Trevor off with a disgusted look on his face and a wave of his hand.
That should have made her feel better but it didn’t.
In the short time she’d been working for Caskett, she had learned to despise him. She knew he had hired her more for her looks than her research, and she hated his habit of reading over her shoulder as she typed in her findings. She had tried numerous times to make it plain as day to him she wasn’t one bit interested in him, and would never in this lifetime sleep with him. No, she knew Caskett’s reputation for tarnishing interns, as he jokingly referred to others who had held her illustrious position as student-in-residence.
Realizing she hadn’t responded, Jamie looked up to catch Caskett staring at her.
Great, of all days to be caught wearing shorts and a tank top. Silently, she made a mental note to keep a stash of extra clothing in her car. Her plan to go into the office early to get some work done in quiet before any of the weekend crew arrived was now out the window. Still wearing her jogging gear didn’t help.
“Nice of you to join us on this luscious Saturday morning, my dear. Do come in. I have a surprise for you,” said Caskett.
Her skin crawled as she caught Caskett’s eyes following her every movement. At six foot one, with long athletic legs and a slim waist, she usually went out of her way to look demure. This morning she hadn’t even bothered putting her long black hair into its usual no-nonsense ponytail.
Walking forward to where Caskett was standing, she was very conscious of her waist-length curly hair moving of its own accord. Reaching into her pocket, she thanked herself for having put extra elastic bands from the file folders she had been reading at one in the morning in her pocket. Slipping the elastic into her hand, she deftly grabbed her hair and had it tied into a tight ponytail just as she reached Caskett. She could tell by his face he wasn’t one bit pleased.
Go to hell. She bravely asked, “What’s up?”
“Um, not as much as I’d like,” he whispered, standing on his toes to be eye-level with Jamie.
Height has its advantages. She enjoyed seeing him squirm for a change.
“Caught a beauty this time. A real keeper. Come and see,” said her boss as he tried without success to steer her by the arm to another door—his private, do not enter door.
“What do you mean?” she asked, biting her lip nervously. She wasn’t sure she wanted access to the off-limit room. Across the room she noted Trevor’s evil glare as he stared at her in awe, as did a few other of the weekend scientists.
If Caskett let her in this room that would be a first. She’d be the first scientist since the lab had opened a couple of months ago to be granted access. Why her stomach was churning, she put down to nerves. It made her angry that Trevor’s heated gaze was a promise of retribution but she deserved this after his lie telling her Caskett wouldn’t be in today.
So she did what she always did when faced with a challenge. She squared her shoulders and followed Caskett.
“Are you going to show me those shells now?”
Instantly, Caskett stopped. The shells had been a sore topic of conversation ever since she’d found out about them. No one from the institute had seen them and almost everyone wanted an up close personal peek.
“Don’t ask me again about those shells. They’re gone,” he said, almost grabbing her arms.
A quick movement to the left enabled her to avoid his touch. “So what is it? Did you catch something?”
“You bet. A bottlenose dolphin. She’s charming. She’s got some sort of tattoo or something on her dorsal fin, and she’s gone into shock, so I’m hoping you might take a look at her first. I’m also arranging for a marine specialist to come and look at her. There’s something very unusual about this dolphin, Jamie, and I want you as my witness to help verify my findings,” he said.
The look of disbelief on her face said it all. “Look, I’m not really qualified…my research is on…”
Caskett turned to look at her. She watched as his eyes narrowed. “I know all about your research, don’t forget I hired you. I also know that you’re the only one I have on staff that’s studied dolphins extensively, so you are going to help me. Am I clear?”
Clear as mud, she wanted to say. Instead she meekly nodded.
As he resumed his walk to his private door, he continued talking. It took all of Jamie’s concentration to follow his line of reasoning.
“When the specialist gets here, I want you to ask him to take pictures to document that tattoo. I also want you to ask if he’s seen anything like it before. My bet is he hasn’t. Then in the morning we’ll start the dissection process…”
That stopped her cold. “You mean to kill the dolphin…”
“I mean to find the truth no matter what,” stated Caskett, as he punched in his security code to open his private chambers.
There was an audible creak as the large steel door slowly opened. Inside the concrete room Jamie’s sensitive nose caught the rank odor of rotting seaweed and chlorine. She fought the urge to gag.
“Oh my god!” she said, her eyes adjusting to the dim light in the room.
Directly across from her in a large, but not nearly vast enough circular tank was a small bottlenose dolphin. The dolphin barely had room to complete a full turn. With a quick glance she knew it was sick, as if its life force was being sucked out of it.
“I said she was a beauty. Now come here. Take a look at that,” said Caskett, willing her to march up the steel ladder with him.
Towering over the dolphin, she looked at what he was pointing at. It looks like a tattoo, but that’s ridiculous.
“Dolphins don’t have tattoos. It’s probably a birthmark or an old wound that didn’t heal properly,” muttered Jamie.
“It’s a goddamn tattoo. I want to know why and how it got there! You got that? I want real answers. Can I count on you, Jamie?” asked Caskett, marching down the ladder.
She knew she nodded, but for the life of her she couldn’t pry her eyes away from the sick-looking dolphin. Her gut clenched with an unfamiliar feeling. She didn’t realize Caskett had left until the door clicked shut, breaking into her thoughts. Still clutching the ladder’s handrail, she leaned over the aquarium. Her heart was beating irregularly and try as she might, she wasn’t one bit happy to see the wild, beautiful creature caged. It unnerved her.
But isn’t this my dream? The chance to study a real, wild dolphin up close and personal. Gulping, she took another glance over the edge. That’s definitely a tattoo. Dangling precariously over the tank’s edge she realized what she felt for the dolphin—sorrow. The intensity of the emotion washed over her, causing her to tremble.
The words flashed hard and intensely inside her head, causing her to almost let go of the railing. Sucking in a deep breath, she tried to gather her senses. She took a calming breath, and slowly backed down the ladder. The uneasy feeling in her stomach didn’t lessen even when her feet were firmly planted on the concrete floor.
Taking another deep breath, she tried to get a hold of her emotions. Shaking her head, she realized how foolish she was being.
Help me, please.
Jamie almost wet her shorts. There was no way she could mistake that. A “help me” could be a figment of her imagination, but not a “please”.
“Wha…wh…” She couldn’t make her tongue form the words, as she sputtered nonsense.
Please, help me. I’m dying.
She hadn’t even realized she had moved until her legs backed up hard against the steel door. Panic was seizing her heart, making it impossible for her to take a breath.
“Jesus, Jamie. Get your cute behind in here now. I need you to analyze this!” came the screaming voice of Caskett from behind the closed door.
Jamie was only too happy to oblige. Work. The best thing to get my mind off what most definitely did not happen in there. She yanked the door open and took one last look at the creature as it turned in the water.
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What genres are you interested in reading for 2013? What myths would you like us authors to write about? Leave a comment with your email and you could win an ecopy of Rapture.