Denysé, thank you so much for having me. I’m thrilled to be here to celebrate the release of my new erotic romance Passion’s Poison. This story was a challenge to write in so many ways, the first of which was because my heroine Bea has poisons she releases when she has intercourse that cause her partners to become ill. Since the book is Erotic Romance, that certainly presented some interesting challenges, and no, Zach is not immune to her poison, so no help there. :)
Another challenge I had was that it is my first real contemporary (the only paranormal element being the poisonous heroine), so that meant all my key characters had to have real occupations. The story takes place in the upper half of New Hampshire and I have no super rich characters. Okay, maybe one, but everyone had to work (that side effect of reality). The hero and heroine were the easiest. Zach is a former logger turned chainsaw artist and in all actuality, he doesn’t have to work. Bea is a general manager of three inns owned by an eccentric couple. That pays for her small apartment, but she tends to spend most of her time at work. Oh, and Chris, the man who has wanted to date Bea for a long time is a local police officer, which is convenient for him and a pain in the neck for Zach.
The others were a bit more difficult. Why? Well, Bea has six fathers and occupations were critical to distinguishing each one from the other: Andy is a contractor, Charlie is a mechanic, Jim owns his own company, Tony is chief financial officer for a catalog company, Mathew is a real estate agent, and Gerry owns a bar (and a Harley). The occupation helped distinguish the look and character of each father since they all have a scene or two, but no individual father is a focal point for Bea. In fact, they have all played a role in her development since they have been in her life . . . well, all of them except Jim. So needless to say, I did a little research on each profession, just to be sure I wasn’t too far off base.
There were other challenges with this story, but I’ll keep those to myself. Let’s just say that there were no computer crashes and no drinks spilled on the computer, so overall it was a smooth creation (except the cat walking across the keyboard a gazillion times). I’m going to give one ecopy of Passion’s Poison to a lucky commenter, so leave a comment and tell me what occupation(s) you’ve had. I may just need an expert for a future book J Here’s a short excerpt to get a feel for Passion’s Poison.
Excerpt Passion’s Poison
Bea’s brain kicked into gear at Zach’s words. She wanted him too, but not for just a night. Her pleasurable heat turned frosty. How could that be? She didn’t even know him, but her heart already named him hers. She pushed against his chest to break his embrace.
He let her go.
She staggered back, her knees shaky, her breaths coming fast. “I’m sorry if you got the wrong idea,” she rasped.
He stared at her quizzically. “What idea would that be? That you’re as attracted to me as I am to you? That this,” he motioned with his hand pointing between them, “is great?”
She shook her head, trying not to look at the large bulge in his jeans. “I-I don’t know. It’s too fast.”
He stared into her eyes. “You mean too hot, don’t you?”
She gulped as his words sent fire racing through her veins. She nodded.
He took a deep breath and jammed his hands into his front pockets. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. But it’s not something we can ignore.”
His gaze changed from polite to possessive. “I want you, Beatrice Rappaccini. I want you naked in my bed. Once you’re there I want to taste you, smell you, feel you and pump into you until I lose myself.”
At his words, Bea’s legs turned to slush and she sank into the nearest chair.
He hunkered down in front of her and took her hands. “Bea, is there any reason why we shouldn’t get together?”
Oh, was there. But none she could tell him. He wouldn’t believe her if she did. Her last long-term relationship back in high school ended with her boyfriend in a coma. Despite his eventual recovery, she still carried a pile of guilt around with her. As much as she wanted Zach, she couldn’t be happy with one night. This wasn’t about her need to cleanse the toxins she produced. This was about the idea of having one special man in her life. The only obstacle standing in her way was her deadly body.
Zach dropped her hands. “What is it? You hesitated for too long.” He stood abruptly. “Are you already seeing someone?”
She jerked her head up, surprised by the anger in his tone. “No, I’m not. It’s complicated.”
He walked away from her and stood behind the other couch. “Why do people always have to make things complicated? This is simple human nature, two adults who are attracted to each other. What’s so complicated about that?”
She straightened her shoulders. “First, I’m supposed to be here on business. I don’t think it appropriate to kiss a vendor on company time. Second, I don’t know anything about you except that you can create amazing statues with a chainsaw and you used to be a logger from Maine. I like to know a lot more about a person before I have sex with him.”
How little she knew about her one-night stands stabbed at her conscience, but she ignored it.
He grinned and came around to sit on the couch perpendicular to her chair. He took her hand again. “If those are your only concerns, I can work with that. You’re being very reasonable and I’m being impatient. Forgive me. You’re so damn beautiful, it’s hard for me to control myself.”
Heat rose in her cheeks and she looked down to see his big calloused hand holding hers. She wished it were so simple.
He raised her chin with his other hand. “Bea, I’ll try to be patient if you’re willing to give it a chance.”
She stared at him, this incredible man that her body and her heart seemed to crave. A man who would suffer if she gave in to her own needs, but she was weak. Her head nodded of its own accord while her mind screamed no.
He leaned forward and brushed a featherlight kiss upon her lips.
She wanted to cry at his tenderness and she silently cursed her deranged ancestor again for the poisonous nature he had inflicted on her, on so many Rappaccinis. “I better go.”
He stood with her hand still in his. “I’ll walk you to your car.”
She let him help her up, wishing she could figure out some way for a relationship to work, but a deep-rooted fruitlessness settled deep in her stomach.
He let go of her hand to cup her face in his palms. “You look as if you’re going to cry.”
She put her hands on his chest. “No, I—oh no.”
His brows drew together in concern and his hold tightened on her face. “What’s wrong?”
She stared at the scene over his shoulder. “I don’t think I’m going anywhere now.”
He turned toward the great windows, his arm coming around her, but he remained silent. He squeezed her waist.
Outside the snow fell hard, and on his massive deck a foot of the beautiful white flakes announced her imprisonment. The Tamwick roads would be impassable. How could she stay in his house overnight without sleeping with him? “Maybe, it’s not as bad as it appears. You must have gusts up here, right?”
He raised his brow. “Study the snow. It’s falling straight down. There’s no way you’ll make it back to Meriden in your vehicle.”
She stared at her silent jailer, unable to fault the large white flakes defined against the dark grayness outside. He was right. In his home with the snow piling up, it was as if they were the only two people on earth. But if that were the case, he would be dead within the week.
She shook herself and the foreboding that flooded her body. They weren’t the only two people in the world. In fact, she needed to call Craig. “I better make a few calls. Let people know where I am.”
He stepped away, the energy in his body palatable. “Sure, I’ll go downstairs and get wood for the fireplace. I’m thinking it’s going to be a cold one.”
Zach gave her a reassuring smile that did everything but reassure her. Then he headed downstairs, leaving her body in jitters, her heart aching and her mind frantically searching for answers like a chickadee caught inside a house, desperate to find a way out and accomplishing nothing but harm to itself.
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