Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday Updates and "Watch Over Me" Excerpt

Good Afternoon Everyone,

Have you ever had one of those days when you feel like taking it easy and relaxing with a good story? Today just happens to be one of those days at the Lucy office and I thought to myself - Why not offer a couple quick reads. That being said, I have posted an excerpt from Watch Over Me and Valentino's Love Child!!! I hope you enjoy...

On a final note; Lucy will be posting tomorrows blog with some really exciting updates for her latest release Watch Over Me. You will want to check that out!!! Have a great weekend, stay safe, and I'll see you on Monday.



"Watch Over Me"

“I know I am.” Lana bit her lip, looking adorably sleep tousled. “Why would you suspect ETRD’s benefactor?”

“I don’t.” Not that Myk didn’t wish he could think of one really solid reason to believe the mysterious Mr. Smith was involved.

However, Smith lacked discernable motive. And more to the point, Myk had a hard time believing that if Smith were involved in some way, anyone would have ever found out about the Vega Cartel’s interest in Lana’s enzyme. No matter how accidentally.

Her brow furrowed. “You told that person on the phone that Mr. Smith was a suspect.”

“He is.”

“That means you suspect him.”

“No, it means I’m not ruling him out.” A good agent was thorough. And Smith just pissed him off on principle.

She finger combed her strawberry blond hair, making an abortive move to contain it in another ponytail. She didn’t have a scrunchy. “What about me, are you ruling me out?”

He didn’t laugh, but the urge was there. “Yes.”

“Why?”

“For one thing, if you were feeding the Vega Cartel information on your project, they would know it didn’t really transform metals.”

“We don’t know for sure they’re interested in a literal interpretation of my note. Doubling their drug crops would be almost as good as turning lead into gold.”

“True, but even if that were the case, if you’d told them about the project, they would know you didn’t have enzymes developed for their crops either.”

“I could be working on their enzymes on the side. In secret.” She looked so sincere, he just wanted to kiss her.

He refrained. For the moment. “You aren’t.”

“I know. What I don’t understand is how you can be so sure.”

He scooted his chair back and then grabbed her wrist, tugging her toward him. She settled into his lap with a minimum of fuss, but her expression was wary.

He kissed the furrows on her forehead and they smoothed away. “If you were involved, the cartel would have no reason to target Elle, would they?”

“Perhaps.”

“Listen. In the field, you can’t always get proof of what your gut is telling you, so you have to go with your instincts. Mine tell me that you are one of the world’s true idealists.”

“You trust me. Implicitly.” She looked horrified by that possibility.

“That bothers you. A lot.”

“I’m worried you’re going to believe in the wrong person.”

He stared at her and then shook his head. For a woman who had such an unjustified optimistic view of the world, she had major trust issues. “You’re worried I won’t do my job right.”

“You’re awfully trusting.”

He laughed, the sound harsh even to his own ears. “I’m not.”

“Well, no, you’re right. I mean you seem to have this really cynical view of people. Even Mr. Smith is a suspect, but you trust me.”

Why did she find that so hard to believe?

“Lana, you have been through hell and yet you maintain a view of the world that is staggeringly positive. You cried for the men who died when you broke out of the prison they put you in, even after they had tortured you.”

“You can’t know that.”

“Are you saying you didn’t?”

She frowned and looked down at her lap. “No.”

“You still love your family though they don’t accept you and didn’t stand by when you needed them the most. I saw the pictures you have of them on the mantel of your fireplace, the birthday cards they sent you still sitting upright on display on top of your neatly dusted dresser even though your birthday was months ago.” He listed his evidence before she had a chance to question his knowledge again. “You never turned your ex-boyfriend in for his collusion in your kidnapping. No way in hell would you ever willing work with a drug cartel.”

“You sound like you think all of those things are good.”

“I so do.”

“You don’t think I’m a wimp?”

“You are stronger than any other woman I’ve ever known.” How could she not see that? Lana had survived hell and not only lived to tell the tale, but lived – didn’t just exist.

“No.”

“Yes.”

“What about Elle?”

“My sister is fantastic, but, sweetheart, you? Are amazing.”

Lana shook her head.

Myk kissed her. It was a biological imperative he wasn’t about to ignore. Her lips were sweet and soft and he was ready to take it deeper when his computer chimed the alarm to alert him he had a new email from someone on his case list.

She lifted her head. “What was that?”

“I’ve got mail.” He’d misquoted a romantic comedy his baba had thought was sweet and tried to get him to watch.

Lana grinned and winked, showing she got the small joke. “From a sexy woman interested in you?”

“The only sexy woman I’m interested in right now is sitting in my lap.”

“Seriously?”

He cupped her cheek and looked into her hazel eyes, understanding how she could doubt. He was no player, but she wouldn’t know that. “Seriously. I’m not a good candidate for long term, but I don’t cheat. I won’t be touching another woman as long as I’m sharing your bed. And I expect the same in return.”

“One, I don’t touch other women. I only swing one way.”

He shook his head and found himself smiling again, it was becoming a habit. He wasn’t sure he liked that. But her sense of humor got him every time. And her grin was too sweet not to enjoy.




"Valentino's Love Child"

Faith drove like an automaton toward Pizzolato. They’d met? They knew each other?

Each word that Tino had used to answer his mother’s innocent questions had driven into her heart with the precision of an assassin’s dagger. And the wounds were still raw and bleeding. As they would be for a very long time.

How could he dismiss her as if she meant nothing to him?

But she had the answer to that, an answer she wanted to ignore, to pretend no knowledge of for the sake of her lacerated heart. She only wished she could do it – that she could lie to herself as easily as she had deluded herself into believing things were changing between them.

He could dismiss her as someone of no importance in his life because that was exactly what she was. She was his convenient sex partner. Nothing more. Friends? When it was convenient for him to think so, but that clearly did not extend to times with his family.

They’d met. The words reverberated through her mind over and over again. A two-word refrain with the power to torture her emotions as effectively as a mental rack and bullwhip.

She did not know why he had slept with her that night in Marsala. She had no clue why he had taken her to his bed in his family home, but she knew why he hadn’t called her for two weeks and had ignored her calls to him.

Because he regretted that intimacy and perhaps even because he was hoping to end their association.

The pain that thought brought her doubled her over and she had to pull to the side of the road. Tears came then.

She never cried, but right now, she could not stop.

She sobbed, the sounds coming from her mouth like those of a wounded animal and she had no way of stopping them, of pulling her cheerful covering around her and marching on with a smile on her face. Not now.

She had thought maybe it was her turn for happiness. Maybe this baby heralded a new time in her life, one where she did not lose everyone who she loved.

But she could see already that was not true.

She had lost Tino, or was on the verge of doing so.

Her body wracked with sobs, she ached with a physical pain once again no one was there to assuage.

What if Tino’s rejection was merely a harbinger of things to come?

What if she lost this baby too? She could not stand it.

The first trimester was a risky one, even though her doctor had confirmed her pregnancy was viable and not ectopic. The prospect of miscarriage was a dark, scary shadow over her mind.

Falling apart at the seams like this could not be helping, but she didn’t know if she had the strength to rein the tears in. How was she supposed to buck up under this new loss?

The pain did not diminish, but eventually, the tears did and she was able to drive home.

She had not lied when she told Agata she felt the need to create, but the piece she did that night was not one she wanted to share with anyone. Especially not a woman as kind as Tino’s mother.

Faith could not make herself destroy it though.

Once again it embodied pain she had been unable to share with anyone else.

It was another pregnant figure, but this woman was starving, her skin stretched taut over bones etched in sharp relief in the clay. Her clothes were worn and clung to the tiny bump that indicated her pregnancy in hopeless poverty. Her hair whipped around her face, raindrops mixed with tears on the visage of a mother-to-be almost certain not to make it another month, much less carry her baby to term.

The figure reflected the emotional starvation that had plagued Faith for so long. She’d tried to feed it like a beggar her empty belly in the streets. Teaching children art, sharing their lives. Her friendship with Agata. Her intimacy with Tino, but all of it was as precarious as the woman’s hold on life in her statue.

Faith had no one to absolutely call her own and feared that somehow the baby she carried would be lost to her as well.

She could not let that happen.

***

Valentino called Faith the next day. He’d tried calling the night before – several times, after Gio had gone to bed, but she had not answered. He’d hoped to see her, but she had been ignoring the phone.

It was the first time she had done so during their association. He had not liked it one bit and had resolved not to avoid her calls in the future.

This time however, she answered on the third ring, just when he thought it was going to go to voicemail again.

“Hello, Tino.”

Carina.”

“Do you need something?”

“No, ‘How was your trip?’, or anything?”

“If you had wanted to tell me about your trip, you would have called while you were away…or answered my calls to you.”

Ouch. “I apologize for not doing so. I was busy.” Which was the truth, just not the whole truth.

“Too busy for a thirty second hello? I don’t think so.”

“I should have called,” he admitted.

“It doesn’t matter.”

“If it offended you, it does.” Of course it had offended her.

He would not have cared with any of the other bed partners he had had since Maura’s death, but this was Faith. And he cared.

“I guess you didn’t have time for phone sex and saw no reason to speak to me otherwise,” she said in a loaded tone.

He had already apologized. What more did she want? “Now, you are being foolish.”

“I seem to make a habit of that with you.”

“Not that I have noticed.”

“Really?” She sighed, the sound coming across the phone crystal clear. “You must be blind.”

Something was going on here. Something bad. Perhaps he owed her more than a verbal apology for avoiding her as he had done. It was imperative they meet. “Can we get together tonight?”

“For sex only, or dinner first?”

What the hell? “Is it your monthly?”

She was usually disconcertingly frank about that particular time of month and did not suffer from a big dose of PMS, but there was a first time for everything. Right?

She gasped. There was a few seconds of dead air between them. Then she said, “No, Tino. I can guarantee you it is not that time of month.”

Rather than apologize for his error yet again, he said, “It sounds like we would benefit from talking, Faith. Let’s meet for dinner.”

“Where?”

He named a restaurant and she agreed without her usual enthusiastic approval.

“Would you rather go somewhere else?” he asked.

“No.”

“All right then. Montibello’s it is.”



10 comments:

flchen1 said...

Ah, thanks, Andre and Lucy! I was hoping for a Thursday pick-me-up and got two! Woohoo!

Judy said...

Two very different excerpts, both tugging at me to re-read the books. Thanks Andre, and looking forward to what Lucy has to share.

booklover1335 said...

Thanks for those excerpts. Both sound soooo good! I was wondering if we were going to be lucky this week and get another sneak peek :)

Michele L. said...

A double feature! Both books are awesome!

Thanks for sharing these fantastic excerpts and keeping us entertained. I will never tire of reading your books Lucy! You are amazing!

CrystalGB said...

Loved the excerpts. Thanks for sharing them with us.

red said...

I read Valentino's Love Child as soon as it was available on Harlequin and I just loved it!

Jane said...

Thanks for the excerpts.

robynl said...

“For sex only, or dinner first?”

I like that question and totally understand where it's coming from.

great excerpts.

stacey said...

Very good excerpts the valentino's love child is very dramatic.thanks for the read.
sasluvbooks@yahoo.com

Amy said...

Loved both books. Great excerpts