Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Medical Advances vs The Common Cold by Diane Burton

"I'm late, I'm late...for a very important date," says the White Rabbit in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland
from Wikipedia

This post is late. The above quote popped in my head since I'm reading a book by Josie Brown (The Housewife Assassin's Killer App) in which a hacker quotes Lewis Carroll's works to get the good guys' attention. 

Can I blame my tardiness on my cold? My head hasn't been "in the game," so to speak. How is it I can escape a winter cold yet get a summer one? 


For the past week, I've gone through the stages of a cold--sneezing, stuffy nose, headache, coughing. It's just about run its course. (Hubs so kindly shared his cold, given to him--probably--by one of the grandkids.) 

Since I write science fiction, I subscribe to The Medical Futurist, an online magazine about the future of medicine, hoping it will give me some ideas for my stories. 

I've learned about using virtual bodies to test drugs, how digital technologies impact medical specialties, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for health care. But I've yet to see that the future has a cure for the common cold.

Almost everyone gets a cold. We muddle through it, feeling wretched and unproductive. So, where's the cure? Or, better yet, the prevention?

In the grand scheme of things, a cold is an inconvenience. It's not life threatening. We're miserable, but after a week we're better. Meanwhile, we've probably shared the virus with whomever we've come in contact. (Sorry, family.)

All I can say is in my imaginary future world, colds--no, wait, all viruses--have been eliminated. No more colds. 

Stay healthy, my friends.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Love in a Time of Madness by Jane Kindred

Writing about love and magic often seems like a frivolous endeavor while so many awful, frightening things are going on all around us. Fascism, racial hatred and white supremacist terrorism are on the rise against a backdrop of melting polar ice, out-of-control forest fires, and devastating hurricanes. How can I justify writing silly stories about sexy shifters and love at first sight in the midst of what often feels like the prelude to the apocalypse?

The alternative, unless one is moved—and versatile enough—to write nonfiction or political commentary, is writing nothing. And a world in chaos needs love more than ever. When everything else is awful, escaping for a few hours into a place where love is the most important thing may be the only way some of us have of not succumbing to the madness.

This isn’t the most novel thought, I suppose, and I’m sure plenty of writers have said it more eloquently. But as I tried to think of a topic for this post, I realized I was feeling guilty about writing it. Just as I’m feeling guilty about writing my current work in progress. So much awfulness has happened in the past few days that it feels audacious to write about romance. But it’s also my job—the writer’s job—to create stories that go out into the world and try to change the world, if just a tiny bit in a tiny corner of it. And maybe romance won’t change the world in any spectacular way—it won’t help someone out of poverty, end racism, or save lives, but if makes just one person feel a little less alone and hopeless in the midst of all this madness—if it gives someone pleasure—then I guess I’ve done my job.

So I’m heading back to work in my little imaginary world of jaguar spirits, dark entities, and people who can talk to the dead—yeah, I know, that doesn’t sound very romantic, but the times do tend to influence the words, don’t they? And I promise, there’s sexual tension and desire and love in there, too. But there won’t be if I don’t get my butt in gear and get it done.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Last Sale of the Summer



August is upon us, and the summer is winding down—almost as quickly as this sale. 

If you haven't had enough time to get in some summer reading, I have a treat for you. Even though it’s not even Halloween—and you don’t need a costume. NOT A CHANCE is on sale for .99cents for a limited time.


Not a Chance in book #2 in The Enchantlings series, so if you want to start Hope's journey from the beginning then don't forget to pick up Destiny Calling—two books for under $8.




The last thing Hope Hallows wants is to become the latest headline. Living in a town that likes secrets, she prefers to keep hers hidden. Avoiding a nosy reporter’s questions about her ability to infuse euphoria or despair with a single touch, and those who crave this bliss, is nothing new. But having her brother’s annoying girlfriend, Berta, go missing is—especially when it makes Hope suspect number one. 

As a triplet, her resemblance to her beloved dead sister causes her family to grieve even more, and her escalating supernatural skills makes Griffith, her half-human-half-Oppressor boyfriend, wary. He wants to put his unsavory past behind him—this could include Hope—since her abilities remind him of the Underworld. 
In her desperate search to find Berta, she stumbles across a tunnel. Phantom voices within whisper that evil has been waiting for a new leader—and isn't she lucky, they've chosen Hope.

Get Your Copy of NOT A CHANCE for .99 cents today!

About the Author:

Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four
seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebook & Twitter

Be the first to know about Maureen’s book sales and new releases by following her on BookBubAmazon and/or signing up for her newsletter

Thursday, August 1, 2019

More NASA Stuff by Diane Burton


I hope you aren't tired of my posts about NASA. During Amazon's Prime Days, I grabbed a copy of the DVD, First Man, about Neil Armstrong that culminated in his walk on the moon. From the film, I learned so much I didn't know about him. Since I love the bonus features on DVDs, I learned even more. 


photo: IMDB

Watching the film last week was appropriate since we just celebrated the 50th Anniversary of that momentous event. Fifty years! That is so hard to believe. In a little over 15 years, the U.S. went from watching the Russians put Sputnik in orbit to putting a man on the moon. Amazing!



Because my formative years were spent watching the "space race" and my classroom was always plastered with photos of the original astronauts, I've been geeked over humans leaving Earth to explore space. Gene Roddenberry called it "The Final Frontier." We've explored everywhere on this planet, but that's not enough. What else is out there?

When my mother-in-law died at age 102, I remember thinking that in her lifetime she'd seen the beginning of flight with the Wright Brothers to men walking on the moon. How fast were the advances in flight.



Will there be habitats on the moon? How soon? With the Artemis program (that I wrote about last time) we're going back to the moon. The crew will stay on a space station-like platform orbiting the moon then travel back and forth gathering info and doing experiments. What will they find? Scientists are hoping to discover something about the origins of life.



I wonder if, from the moon, they'll build another space station as a stopover on the way to Mars. Babysteps. Each mission building those before. I'm thrilled to read about new missions. But, sadly (for me), I probably won't live to see all those advances in space exploration. 

So, I'll continue to write about what I think will happen. What I hope will happen. And I'll teach my grandkids to be awed by NASA's new missions.

http://amzn.com/e/B00683MH5E


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

51 Ways to Laugh


By now most of you must have heard about the call to storm Area 51 in September. If you haven’t, here’s the Reader’s Digest version: A few weeks ago, the FB event “Storm Area 51 – They can’t stop all of us” was set up…and the crowd went viral! At the time of writing this blog, 1.9 million people have indicated they will be going to help free all the aliens allegedly being held captive at Area 51. (I couldn’t help but notice that some of those signed up are FB friends of mine. You know who you are.)


On many levels, this is the most awesome—and hilarious—event ever in the history of events. I mean, who doesn’t want to know what’s really at Area 51? And the plan of attack is genius. Attendees will be divided into attack waves: The Kyles, Anti-vaxxers, Guys from Florida, Minecrafters, and Karens, just to name a few. I have no idea what group an anti-vaxxer from Florida named Kyle will be in, but hey, if you’re that guy, let us know what happens in the comments. 






Needless to say, my family has gotten a bunch of yuks out of this, and some of my nerd herd has been practicing Naruto running. Before this event, I had never even heard of Naruto running, but supposedly running low with your arms streaming out behind you enables you to outrun bullets. Seriously. My youngest swears it’s true. <insert mom eyeball roll here>







A-n-y-w-a-y, as you can imagine, the US military has stated very clearly that trespassers will be shot persecuted to the fullest extent of the law. [Hint: “They can’t stop all of us.” Um, yes, they can.] And the state of Nevada has quickly pointed out there is no way their roads can support the influx of two million people. Heck, even the dedicated alien hunters aren’t attending this thing—and that more than anything should tell people something.

And here’s a thought: What if this whole thing is actually a government conspiracy to feed the aliens? Betcha didn’t think of that one, did ya?



Yet and still, there are people—including celebrities I’ve never heard of—who say that they’re going, which leads me to wonder how many people will actually show up? I think Trevor Noah of The Daily Show sums up what’s going to happen very succinctly here.




So, what are your plans? To go, or not to go? As for me, I’ve paid up my cable bill and stocked up on Costco popcorn. Nom, nom, nom.


Video by Refik Mehmeti purely for fun


~*~*~*~*~*~*~

USA Today Bestselling Author, Lea Kirk, loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her sci-fi romances. When she’s not busy writing about the blue and green aliens of her Prophecy series, or reading about dragons, she’s hanging out with her hubby, five kids (the nerd herd), and spoiled Dobie mix puppy.

She is currently working on two short stories and the fourth book in her series.



Monday, July 29, 2019

Faeries and Demons, Oh My! with @meganslayer #pnr #faeries #romance #hot #love

Faeries... I'm a sucker for faeries. I like stories that feature some sort of faerie creature - flora, fauna, love, etc. I love them. So when I was given the opportunity by the characters to write a faerie, I jumped on it.

Faeries allow the author to write the character how they want. I know, aren't all characters like that? Not really. There are constraints with human characters. They can't fly unassisted, can't change form...can't regenerate, stuff like that. But paranormals can. That's why I like them.

I also love putting characters together that shouldn't work. For my book, Jessica, I put a faerie and a demon together. It shouldn't work. They should cancel each other out. But what if the faerie isn't a sweet, innocent lovey-dovey kind of faerie? What if the demon isn't all bad? It might work.

Want to know more? Then check out Jessica!


Jessica by Megan Slayer 

Faeries Wear Boots
An After Dark Novella, Book 4
Contemporary, Paranormal Erotic Romance
M/F
 An After Dark NovellaCan a faerie running from trouble and a demon full of it make love work?Jessica's never been the favorite faerie in the family. She's rough around the edges and runs with a dangerous crowd. She wants to be loved, but who wants the daughter of the head faerie? She's got secrets that could be deal breakers. Guys don't want to date faeries and she's tired of dead ends. Isn't there one good man interested in being with a dark faerie?Although Lane plays a mage on television, it's just a role. No one cares that he's a demon—not even Jessica. He senses the darkness within her, but there's something else. She's not like the others he's met before. He wants to save her, even if only from herself. Will she accept the love of a demon, or run away before he has a chance to prove he's worthy of a faerie? Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/bP0rBlAmazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SPR6P9M/Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/jessica-51BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jessica-megan-slayer/1131936672?ean=2940156592609&st=AFF&2sid=Draft2Digital_7968444_NA&sourceId=AFFDraft2DigitaliTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/jessica/id1466734841?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 ©Megan Slayer, 2019, All Rights Reserved


Saturday, July 27, 2019

New Release and Rimrider Free on Amazon for Limited Time Only


Rimrider Adventures Book 1

by L. A. Kelley

Free on Amazon Through July 28




Orphan, pirate, spy.

Awakened by her father, teenager Jane Benedict is ordered to memorize a mysterious code. Hours later, Mathias Benedict is dead and Jane and her brother, Will, are wards of United Earth Corporation. To evade the company’s murderous clutches and uncover the meaning of her father’s last message, Jane leads Will on a desperate escape across the galaxy aboard the Freetrader smuggler ship, Solar Vortex. After swearing allegiance and joining the crew’s fight for freedom, Jane saves the life of young smuggler, Mac Sawyer, and learns her father’s code identifies a secret cargo shipment. The trail leads to the planet Rimrock and the massive prison complex of Golgotha. Undercover as a spy, Jane stumbles into a conspiracy that can spell doom for the entire Freetrader cause and the extinction of an alien race. Can she escape the prison confines and deliver a warning before it’s too late?

Piracy, intrigue, romance, space battles, and a daring rebellion from Earth wait on the galactic rim. Will Jane answer the call to adventure or is death for high treason her fate?
                      
Rimrider is the first book in the Rimrider Adventures Series. It's an old fashioned space opera. Expect action, sweet romance, and some sassy humor, but no whining. I hate that.

New Release
3.99 on Amazon

Big Easy Shaman Book 4

“Life always has the possibility of bloody death. One simply must learn to duck.”
Shaman Clovis Landry

It’s Christmastime in the Big Easy and all budding shaman, Peter Whistler, wants is to find the perfect gift for Amelie, but a distraction arrives in the form of a mysterious stranger bringing a threat from abroad. What connection does this new evil have with a hideous painting that falls into Peter’s possession? And why is something that ugly so desperately sought by local criminal, Blinky the Dip? Meanwhile, the New Years’ first full moon means trouble in Bayou St. Gerard. A creature prowls the swamp with unknown designs on one of the Benoits.
                      

Réveillon, rougarous, and ghostly voices from the past. Will the Law of the Claw make peace between ancient enemies or only hasten the destruction of Peter and his friends?




Thursday, July 25, 2019

We Never Talk Anymore . . . by Nancy Gideon

If you’re in the ‘real’ world and hear voices in your head, you see a therapist and go on meds, but it’s perfectly normal to hear the continual conversations of those who don’t exist if you’re a writer. When you’re driving to work, when you’re watching your kid play Little League, and especially when you’re trying to get to sleep – yammer, yammer, yammer – and usually never when you’re near paper and pencil. Talkative characters are a writer’s best friend, telling you who they are, how they feel, filling in your word count to make every sit down at the keyboard a little easier. Giving you direction and CONTENT. Sometimes, you just wish they’d shut up and let you work (or sleep!).

But what happens when they fall silent.


I don’t know what happened. I don’t remember an argument. Was it something I said or did? Suddenly, I stopped hearing those snippets of conversation that had me rushing (but not speeding!) to the office to scribble down those pithy quips. It was unnerving, that absolute lack of inspiration. I’d sit at the keyboard and nothing would come to me. I’d lie awake to the sound of the cat snoring. The drives to work were filled with traffic noise. It’s not like I had nothing to write about. I was chapters deep in the final book of 15 in a series. I had plotlines to tie up, characters to revisit and enjoy. Where did everyone go?

Moody and frustrated, I started filling in those hours between 4:30 and 7:30 a.m. scrolling social media and binge-watching TV series (Riverdale, Castle Rock, Bosch and Luther – highly recommend!), and the conversations I heard at night were from other authors’ characters. Mine had nothing to say. Never in my 30-year career had I felt so . . . alone. Did I still want to write? Maybe it was time to put that childhood dream away. I had plenty to do with a high-stress new job, the approach of Medicare years and retirement, TV series to watch, books to read, family to take care of. The Golden Years. Why beat myself up struggling to find an audience amongst the hoard of indie authors who slapped up new titles every month without a single edit? After over 70 manuscripts, maybe the word well had gone dry.

I stopped going to writer meetings, quit engaging on my media sites, started sleeping in, began labeling myself as a legal assistant instead of a published author. I became one of those people I’d never understood – an author who had nothing more to say and voluntarily walked away.


But I’m not a quitter. I’ll never go quietly into that good night. I wanted my voices back, my passion back from wherever it was hiding. I had to flush the suckers out. But how? Give it no place to hide.

Things weren’t happening at my home office so I took my laptop on the road – to a critique group weekend, a former co-worker’s lake house, and finally to a king suite in a hotel. I reread and outlined the chapters I’d already written. I ignored blog posts in favor of impromptu three to four-page scenes from later in my W.I.P. And words appeared on the screen, a few painfully wrung out sentences at first and then a steady stream. But the minute I was back in my day-to-day, they dried up. Time to change that forced time at the keyboard to a little self-discovery of motive (Hey, I do it with characters all the time!) What was keeping me from my writing? I narrowed it down and confronted those things head-on.

I made my writing time sacred again. I faced the fact that while I loved the income and benefits, the setting, and the people, I really, really disliked that dream job I’d had for eight months. I was a people person trapped in data entry hell. I checked job search sites – and there it was – that opening I wanted in a field I understood where I’d be dealing with clients. I interviewed. And while driving home on that same road I’d traveled for three years just down the street from the last small firm I loved, I heard whispering in my head. Dialogue. I start the new job June 5th. A ton of tension dropped off my shoulders. I got back into daily mini-meditations. I went to a day-long Write In and created not just words but pages of them!!

I’m baaaack!


Don’t let roadblocks stop you! Identify what’s in your way. Look for alternate routes. Make repairs and continue on. If you’re characters aren’t talking, maybe it’s because you’re not listening.

What advice or tricks can you share on how to deal with that sudden wall of silence?

♚♚♚♚♚
Nancy Gideon on the Web


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Love's Trap by Francesca Quarto

Thom Love was an unusually clever twenty-five-year old.  Even as a young boy on the fast and furious streets of Brooklyn, in 1911, he was considered a sharp kid.  He had a reputation for always besting the local gang of bullies.  After years as the avenging angel for his baby brother, Albert, he had plenty of time to perfect his tactics.
The fates were unkind to Albert.  He came into the seething cauldron of  poverty and ignorance, generally known as The Devil's Parlor, blanched as white as a rich man's sheets.  Seeing the tears leaking from Albert's pink eyes, moved Thom to greater schemes to protect him from the brutes that targeted him endlessly for his difference.  
Albert enjoyed little in his pale life.  Bunty Park, a patch of scraggly trees fighting for light under the shadows of the tenements, was his favorite place.  Women, hanging laundry on endless rope lines, set like fluttering islands between the buildings, saw everything. They often spotted Thom, his hand wrapped protectively around Albert's, making the painfully slow journey over four city-blocks, to this green Mecca. Watching the sturdy ten-year old and his spindly, freakishly, white brother, brought some of these life-hardened wives to tears. To others, it made them raise a thumb and forefinger in their ignorance, to ward off the devil.
Thom found ingenious ways to foil attempts to harm, or tease his Albino sibling.  He became astute at reading the signs of planned ambush along their walk to the park.  Some of the gang members shadowing them, would grow bored with their pursuit, or frustrated with Thom's ingenuity in avoiding their traps.  With little to occupy immature, cretin minds, others persisted in their efforts to fool young Thom, in hopes of tormenting the ghostly looking brother.
Thom prevailed in these bouts between brains and brawn.  After years of protecting the milky-white Albert from harm, he became something of a folk hero, using his unique talents to protect other social misfits up and down the street car line that was the demarcation of his neighborhood turf. Thom became a copper.
Called "Lovey" on the street when he was in short pants, as a man wearing a police uniform, his incredible sleuthing talents soon transcended his nickname.  He rose quickly in the ranks to become a highly decorated Detective, earning a new name on the streets. The Ghost.  His area of expertise was organized crime. To Thom, that still meant gangs.
He'd already scarred, maimed and terrified several of the notorious criminals roaming the gritty streets like war-lords.  Many were well-known to him as the thugs from his childhood days.  What The Ghost didn't reveal, was his stealthy revenge on any of these men, guilty of harassing Albert, and casting long shadows over his short, tortured life. 
After several years on the force, Thom managed to ferret out any man from the old neighborhood, who had been part of Albert's years of misery as a freakish target.  The ring-leader of those local urchins, passed from street bully, into politics.  A seamless transition in Thom's mind. Thom watched as this man now wielded his thuggish powers over his neighbors, from behind the Mayor's desk. 
Thom was obsessed with bringing his revenge to the man who orchestrated the slow killing of Albert's spirits, eventually making him so desperate, he took his own life in the fast-moving waters under the Brooklyn Bridge.  The Ghost would complete his revenge by luring the Mayor into his own trap, an ambush he'd never survive.
A letter found its way onto the Mayor's desk, listing the political cover-ups and crimes he was engaged in for his own profit.  The letter was clearly an attempt at blackmailing the politician, asking for ten-thousand-dollars in small bills and directing him to arrive at two the next morning, at the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. 
Thom waited behind a small wall, below the street-level approach to the bridge. The Mayor's sleek, black Packard, slid out of a haze of street lights and onto the darkened entrance to the bridge. rolling to a stop.  He wasn't alone, as Thom had predicted.  The burly figure that exited the vehicle, was quick to melt into the shadows. All went according to Thom's plan.  
The portly Mayor walked slowly to the side of the bridge where the money was to be left on the high railing.  One hand carried the brown bag with the money, the other kept close to his side, held a small revolver.  The Mayor was prepared to kill his blackmailer, again, as Thom predicted.
Thom waited until he saw the bag placed on the ledge.  Knowing the bodyguard was watching for him to make a move toward it, he put the next phase of his trap into play.  Holding two flashlights as far apart as possible, he pierced the gloom where the thug hid.  He surprised both the bodyguard and the Mayor, who reacted by lumbering toward the car. 
Thom arrived earlier to disable the the few lights leading onto the bridge, so the area was filled with deep shadows.  He switched off his lights, quietly moving toward the large car.  The Mayor jumped into the front seat and started the engine, ready to abandon his thug to his own fate.  As he drove forward, the tires of the heavy Packard were ripped to shreds on a long plank of nine-inch nails, laid by Thom, anticipating the coward would make a run for it. 
The Mayor threw open the car door, getting out and screaming for the lurking bodyguard to help him.  Thom heard the big man panting as he ran like a dog to his master. Thom grabbed the huge bucket he now carried and came up behind he Mayor as his man was removing the spike strip from the road, dumbly pulling the nails out of the ripped tires. 
Thom poured the thick, white paint, weather proofed to be used on the bridgework, over the sputtering Mayor's head.
"Remember the albino?  You made his life a living hell until he ended it here. Care to join him?'
Without another sound, the Ghost shoved the blinded, starkly-white figure toward the edge of the bridge and told him to walk forward.  The thug stopped his futile efforts when he saw the ghostly apparition approaching, moans and gurgled words coming from it. 
The shots from his gun filled the night. The apparition tumbled into the waters below.  Love's trap was sprung. The Ghost faded back into the night smiling at the sound of a heavy splash.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Rogue King - New Release Excerpt

I am so excited to announce my (coming in 10 days) new release--The Rogue King! The first book in my Inferno Rising series features dragon shifters kings and clans. This is a crossover from my Fire's Edge series, but they don't' have to be read in order, so jump right in!
This is also my first book in mass market paperback. You can preorder both print and eBook now!
Kasia Amon is a master at hiding. Who—and what—she is makes her a mark for the entire supernatural world. Especially dragon shifters. To them, she’s treasure to be taken and claimed. A golden ticket to their highest throne. But she can’t stop bursting into flames, and there’s a sexy dragon shifter in town hunting for her…
As a rogue dragon, Brand Astarot has spent his life in the dark, shunned by his own kind, concealing his true identity. Only his dangerous reputation ensures his survival. Delivering a phoenix to the feared Blood King will bring him one step closer to the revenge he’s waited centuries to take. No way is he letting the feisty beauty get away.
But when Kasia sparks a white-hot need in him that’s impossible to ignore, Brand begins to form a new plan: claim her for himself…and take back his birthright.
    
EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT
Brand crossed his arms. “Are you going to run again?”
No. The thought punched through her. Kasia paused, trying to figure out why her gut reaction would be adamantly against leaving this man when logic told her she should run at the first opportunity. Not that she’d tell him that.
“I haven’t decided,” she murmured instead.
If he could find her, so could others. Possibly others who’d be worse.
“Why’s that?” he asked.
She gave him a direct look. “I’d rather the devil I know than the devil I don’t.” Did he flinch? Before he could comment, Kasia kept going. “I have mixed feelings about it. Some tell me to trust you, and some tell me not to.”
“Trust me?”
She almost laughed at the deep doubt in those two words, not that she blamed him. “Yes.”
“Word to the wise…”
She felt that gaze again, almost like a caress, and her skin prickled. What was wrong with her?
“Don’t give your trust too easily in this world. More often than not, people like me are out to harm you or use you.”
“Aren’t you trying to stop me from running away?” she pointed out. “You might want to work on your sales pitch.”
Brand frowned, and she got the distinct impression he’d surprised himself with his honesty, and not in a good way. Interesting.
Kasia leaned back on her hands and swung her feet, even while she watched him closely. “I do know some things about you.” She stood, intending to make her point, though now she was uncomfortably aware of how close that move brought her to him in the tiny room. Why’d they make this room so small? “You want to know what you were doing in every vision I’ve had of you?”
His shoulders stiffened, his biceps stretching out his T-shirt a little more. “What?”
“Protecting. Sometimes me, sometimes others. Big ways. Small ways. But always protecting.”
Brand jerked, though his expression didn’t change one iota.
Kasia kept pushing. “Look at how you handled our first meeting. Your instinct was to help me.”
Now he scowled. “My first instinct was to claim you.”
They both froze, gazes locked, as his harsh words lingered in the air between them. If he’d meant to shock her, prove her wrong, all he’d managed to do was give her ideas. Ones that aligned way too closely with those fantasies she’d indulged in about him all year long.
Wrong, wrong, wrong ideas, but her body tingled in all the right places. However, he’d also hit on the fact that confused her the most. He was a dragon shifter, a creature she had to avoid, someone she shouldn’t put her trust in regardless of the visions.
After a long, uncomfortable stretch of silence, she realized how carefully he was holding himself. From touching her? She cleared her throat.
“You won’t hurt me,” she insisted.
“You’re right. I’m going to take you to the king, then you’re no longer my problem.”