Mormon girl Leesie has life figured out--until devastated Michael lands in her high school. CAYMAN SUMMER is the third novel in Michael and Leesie's romance that began with TAKEN BY STORM. My readers rallied around me—giving me the guts to release UNBROKEN CONNECTION (Book #2) independently. I launched this blog because I wanted them with me every step as I wrote CAYMAN SUMMER. I posted the novel as I wrote each scene. Now this blog is devoted to all things Michael and Leesie.
To celebrate finishing SLIPPED again, I want to introduce you to Jag, my intoxicating villain. At least he starts out as villain. This is a romance. You know he's not going to stay like that. Okay, here he is. Everybody says he's my hottest hero yet. What do you think?
from SLIPPED, Chapter Four
[If you missed my post of Chapters 1-3, go read that first! When Meg accidentally timeslips, she falls from the top of the tower. Enter Jag.]
The crowd around me seems to magnify and shrink. Bigger. Smaller.
The arguing continues louder and louder. My moans increase. “Oh, God,” I pray
again, “save me.”
Then a face is quite close to mine. At first I think it is
Byron—that I have somehow dragged him down to hell with me. The young man has
dark hair, long but straight, not curling like the lord’s. Not dripping from
the rainstorm. His eyes are golden brown like a jungle cat’s. His handsome,
dark face is youthful but serious. There is nothing soft, pampered or boyish
He is not Byron. The poet is surely safe in the tower back
in Switzerland with Rosalyn. And I am here—purgatory? This is no Heaven. My
body, rather than lying inert in my former existence, is broken and bruised,
unable to move, in more agony than I can describe.
And this boy—for the young man seems to be quite close to my
own age—is speaking. “What the hell are you doing here?”
I try to turn my head away but can’t move it. All I can
manage is to close my eyes to block him out. Why are any of us thrust down to Hell?
Perhaps I read one too many forbidden novels. He curses me in English—though he
uses a strange accent. My only answer to him is an uncontrolled moan.
“Can you move?”
I moan, “No.”
Without warning, he pours a vile substance between my lips.
I choke and sputter. He raises me to a sitting position. I scream with pain,
but he holds me upright. “Swallow it.” He takes a cup of wine a wiry crone offers
and puts it to my lips. I swallow.
“Relax. Remember T3-DV takes a minute to get into your
system.” He spits the words at me in disgust.
“Don’t play dumb with me. Shut up. You’ve made enough of a
scene.” He places an arm under my legs, supports my back with the other, and
lifts me off the ground.
I wince but bite back the shriek from the painful jarring. A
soothing warmth begins to emanates from the center of my body. I catch sight of
an odd-shaped boot dangling high on a scaffolding above me. I blink and look
again. My mind is clearing. Yes, that boot is most like Byron’s. I turn to my
He ignores me.
I gaze up at the scaffolding searching for the boot again
but see only the faces of dirty men leering down at me. Imaginings. Foolish
vision. As if Byron would come for me.
My rescuer carries me out of the courtyard. “How did you
find me?” His angry face frightens me.
I cower—hide my face against his chest. The warm feeling
spreads throughout my body dulling the pulsing pain.
“You must be a new recruit.” His voice seethes with menace. “No
one I knew in the corps is fool enough to time slip from the top of a tower
that is under construction in the target era. The place must have gone to hell
since I left.”
I am confused by his constant references to Hell as if it is
another place from where we currently exist. Me a recruit? To the corps of Hell?
Time slip? Target era?
“Your gown is early nineteenth century—more than five
hundred years off.”
I am bewildered, so I remain silent. He continues to carry
me across the courtyard.
As we progress, strength and vitality flow into my
extremities. I begin to feel self-conscious for my face presses hard against
this young man’s muscled chest. The beat of his heart pulses beneath my cheek.
His strong arms support my body. An exotic and beautiful scent emanates from
his person. I breathe deeply and impulsively cuddle closer to him. I always
wondered what Mrs. Austen’s Marianne felt when Willoughby carried her from the
field. I now know. I fill with desire for my strange rescuer. My lips are close
to his neck. It is all I can do to stop myself from pressing them against this
angry stranger’s skin. I pull away from the sweet temptation. Stare at his
scowling face. Inhale the intoxicating aroma of his breath.
My hand lifts. A finger touches his smooth tanned cheek. He
scowls and clenches his teeth. I draw my hand back, capture it with my other
hand, writhe with shame that I desire this creature who obviously loathes my
existence. This is Hell for sure.
I'm back! Conference presentations and travel have kept me away from blogging. Apologies, apologies. I also had to dig into SLIPPED one more time. When I last blogged, I told you I'd sent it off to my agent floating on a cloud thinking at last it's perfect. Erzsi sent me back 12 pages of line-edits. Now that's a good agent. Thorough. Demanding. Helpful. So, I'm happy to say I finished the revision--again.
SCBWI-AZ's Welcome to our House was great, and I enjoyed presenting for SCBWI-UT the following week in Salt Lake City. Then I went up to Preston, ID. Oh, what a blast. It was freezing cold, snowing and rainy the morning I drove from SLC to Preston, but I got such a warm welcome. It is a cozy little town. And, the best thing, I got to speak on Napoleon Dynamite's stage!
I snapped this shot of it to prove it. I actually spoke in front of the stage, but I touched it, sat on it, even put my books on it. Preston, Idaho is where Napoleon Dynamite was filmed. They used the high school a lot and this auditorium. Preston high's principal told me that when it was time to film Napoleon's big dance scene, Jon Heder kicked everyone out of the auditorium because he was so embarrassed. That dance is now legend!
Preston is starting a new dance legend. I met a writer at the workshop I presented that evening for adults who started a ballroom dance troupe in Preston. They dance in Napoleon's footsteps! I love ballroom. I guess these kids do, too. They get up early every morning so they can dance before school starts. That's dedication.
More soon. I owe you a taste of my hero from SLIPPED, Jag. I think he's the hottest hero I've written yet. He starts out more of a villain. Maybe that's what makes him so appealing.