Okay, so I'm not going to win this year, but you know what, I'm really happy with that wordcount. I know where my story is going and what I've written so far is not half bad, if I say so myself.
And if it wasn't for Nano, I wouldn't have written this much, I'm sure. I've been the queen of procrastination lately and Nano has shaken me out of it. I'm forever telling other people that having a busy life is no excuse not to write and here I was doing just that!
Okay, so the baby is exceptionally cute, when he's not teething that is, and some days I don't know whether I'm coming or going, but I should manage to write at least 1K a day, when I'm not editing. I really should! So bearing this in mind I have signed up for Sally Quillford's 100k in 100 days challenge.
Once I finished Lucas' story I have to get back to my naughty boys. I also have an idea for a naughty fairytale kicking about in my head and one of my publishers has a submission call for virgins behaving badly, which has planted another seed of an idea in my overactive imagination.
And as I have now sold Too Hot To Handle I need to revisit the sequels and in the case of Too Devious To tame actually finish it!
Talking of sexy Alex, when I last blogged I was filling in my coverart request. Well, this is the result of that request.
Evernight has requested that I spice up the story a little more and I reckon with that inspiration I shall have no problems achieving that! I am positively looking forward to edits.
I shall leave you with a little excerpt of my nano effort. Those of you who've read Lure Of The Blood, will find some familiar faces.
Bear in mind this is an unedited, first draft :-)
“You’re incredible Coralie.”
Her face lit up in a tired smile.
“You’re not too bad yourself, for a man your age.”
Lucas laughed out loud in genuine amusement and tucked her back into his shoulder.
“Next you’ll be saying I need my beauty sleep.”
“Well, don’t you?”
“I could do this all night, but I do want you to be able to walk tomorrow, so you need some sleep, young lady.”
He sensed the change in her, even before she spoke. It was there in the way she clung to him and he had to strain to hear her next words.
“You’ll stay with me, won’t you? When I’m asleep? I don’t want to be on my own.”
He propped himself up on one elbow better to see her face and the fear he saw in her expression tore at his just awakened heart.
“Qui, mon chere. I won’t leave until I absolutely have to and then I’ll only be two floors down. I ‘ll keep you safe, I promise.”
She nodded, her expressive eyes filling with tears, and he answered her unspoken question.
“Jerry and her daughter too. I’ll die before I let anything happen to either of them. Jacomo will not win this time.”
“But how can you be so sure? If Suz really is his daughter, then he won’t stop until he gets her. Lucas, she’s just a child.”
“Oui, but she is well protected. And I don’t believe she is as helpless as you believe her to be. She will have powers, powers that Jacomo will want to harness, but that ultimately may destroy him. Now, sleep.” He smiled at her and traced the outline of her luscious lips with one finger. “We’ll discuss this in detail when you’re not half asleep. I do appear to have worn you out.”
He grinned at the half -hearted slap aimed at his chest and an answering ghost of a smile kicked up her lips briefly, before she yawned and snuggled closer into him.
“Look who’s talking, old man.”
Lucas watched over her until the first rays of the sun forced him to leave her alone in her bed. But not before he let Ion into the house.
“You look like hell, Lucas. Get some sleep. You won’t be any good to her if you don’t."
“I know that, Ion.” Lucas snarled his response, but his old friend just chuckled.
“Save it for those that are impressed with that show. Now sleep.” And he all but shoved Lucas down the rickety old wooden stairs to the cellar.
Coralie woke up to the aroma of brewing coffee and the low hum of noises. Who was in her house? She turned over and inhaled deeply. The sheets still held Lucas’ scent and she smiled, recalling last night. He had been so passionate and tender, that she had felt cherished and safe enough to engage into sexual acts she would never have dreamt of doing before. She welcomed the soreness in unfamiliar places. It served as a welcome reminder that she was still alive and she gingerly walked to the bathroom to run herself a bath.
Half an hour later, she padded down the stairs and followed the muted sounds of conversation to the kitchen. Marnie and Ion were sat at her kitchen table tucking into a huge full English breakfast and Coralie’s stomach grumbled loudly, reminding her how hungry she was. Ion smiled at her and winked, his gaze running over her body, as if to check she was okay. Marnie jumped up and pushed her into the chair she had just vacated.
“Here, sit down, before you fall down and I make you some breakfast. Knowing Lucas you’ll need the sustenance this morning.”
Heat rose in Coralie’s cheeks at the implied suggestion and Ion laughed.
“Do as you’re told. When she gets like that it’s not worth arguing. She barged in here about an hour ago, insisting on cooking breakfast to keep your strength up.” He leant forward and flicked Coralie’s hair off her neck with a low whistle. “And looking at those, she was right, as usual.”
Coralie pulled her hair back over the tiny wounds and then thought better of it. She wasn’t ashamed of Lucas’ marks on her body and she twisted her hair up with the hairband on her wrist. Ion’s smile deepened at her actions, his eyes once again resting on her neck and she stared him down. What was his problem?
She jumped when a huge plate filled to the brim with eggs, bacon, sausages and toast appeared in front of her. Marnie’s warm hand caressed her shoulder as she urged Coralie to eat.
“Go on. I want to see all of that gone and I’m not leaving until you’ve eaten it all. You may want to stock up on iron too. It’ll take you less time to recover that way.”
“It what?” Coralie squeaked her response and her hand went to her neck involuntarily. “I’m fine, really. He didn’t do anything I didn’t want him to.”
Ion’s smirk in response to her protests earned him a slap upside the head from Marnie. His wolf growled in response, but he smiled at his wife and envy poked Coralie with a red hot stab out of nowhere. The look of love the couple exchanged—she wanted that so badly her insides twisted in on themselves. She raised her coffee cup to her lips with unsteady hands and glanced towards the door leading to the cellar. The sunlight streaming into her kitchen just confirmed the futility of her thoughts. He was a vampire, an ancient one at that. He would soon grow bored and move on and even if he didn’t—he didn’t age—she did. Every day she grew older and one day he would wake up to an old woman and then…
She screwed her eyes shut, disgusted with herself and her rambling thoughts. It wasn’t as though he’d declared his everlasting love to her. Circumstances had thrown them together and he felt honour bound to protect her. And he was a man— of course he’d take the sex on offer. It was her own stupid mistake that she’d fallen in love with him. He’d never made any false promises to her. She swiped away the tear running down her cheek, with an impatient wave of her hand and opened her eyes to find Marnie and Ion both watching her.
“Really, I’m okay. He didn’t hurt me.”
Ion simply raised an eyebrow at her. Manie’s eyes darted to Coralie’s neck and she smiled, before she looked away, seemingly lost in thought. Ion took her hand and murmured something that Coralie couldn’t quite catch. Marnie cupped Ion’s cheek tenderly, before addressing Coralie with a smile.
“Of course he didn’t. Lucas is in love with you, any fool can see that.”
Ion choked on the swig of coffee he’d just taken and Coralie wasn’t at all sure she wasn’t staring openmouthed at Marnie. She couldn’t be serious.
“Forgive Marnie. She sees romance in the air everywhere. “Ion’s amused tones filled the kitchen, but his wife simply pulled a face at him.
“Don’t listen to him. He’s a typical male—can’t see anything unless you hit him over the head with it.” She dismissed Ion’s warning growl with a wave of her hand and leaned forward to emphasize her point. “Is the great Lucas not slumming it right now in your basement?” She clapped her hand at Coralie’s reluctant nod. “Well, then… Don’t you think he could have stayed in any number of places, should he have wished it? Why do you think he’s so insistent to stay close to you? The pack could handle your protection detail just fine.” Marnie flicked a strand of her hair off her face with an impatient shake of her head and fixed her chocolate eyes firmly on Coralie. “No, this is personal and I couldn’t be more delighted! It’s about time he settled down.”
“Settled down?” Coralie didn’t seem able to project her voice with any conviction over the blood rushing in her ears. Marnie had to be imagining things. “He doesn’t seem the settling down type.”
“Of course he is. Just takes the right woman to make these stubborn males see sense.”
“Watch who you’re calling stubborn, little one,” Ion interrupted his wife and Coralie mumbled her excuses, whilst Ion kissed Marnie senseless.
The kitchen door closed behind her with a soft click and Coralie stopped in front of her mother’s portrait in the hallway. If only she could ask her for advice. The how to of dating a vampire whilst being hunted by a murderous demon hadn’t come up in their many talks about men.
“Tell me what to do, mummy,” Coralie whispered. The slightest touch of cool air skittered across Coralie’s bare arms and she wrapped them around herself, hearing her mother’s voice inside her head.
“All good things are worth fighting for Coralie. Trust what you find in your heart…”