I love my fans...
I'm working on increasing the number so I don't feel I'm stretching the limits when I use the plural of fan. LOL But, in all sincerity, I'll never forget those who've been around from the beginning of my career, and those who are the most vocal.
Debbie is one of these.
So when she asks me what I'm working on, telling me to hurry so she can have another one of my books...I'm inspired. I start working. And to prove to her just how much her support means--I'm posting a sneak peek of what I'm working on in honor of her.
::big hugs:: I'd love to hear your thoughts, good or bad.
All my best,
Introducing the early version of my WIP: My Savage Taking (My first erotic in first person.)
Pulse pounding, I rose from my chair near the hearth and walked to my window. I peeked out of the hole in my shutters, but couldn’t see anything. My panic rose, but I reminded myself how often random sounds in the night were only animals foraging for food. Still, in these uncertain times, with the South fallen and the North taking over, I knew I’d do best to send out my dog.
I crept to the door and opened it just enough to peer out and let Joe search the grounds. I still didn't see a thing, but Joe’s head lifted in warning, and like a shot from a shotgun, he barreled into the woods a few feet from my dilapidated porch.
I strained to hear news of his attack, pacing as I teetered between wanting to go out with him to help keep him safe, and blinding fear.
Joe found something, for I heard rustling and could see the faint outline of something moving. And then nothing.
The Silence haunted me. I couldn’t even hear Joe running through the brush any more.
“Joe?” I whistled for him, but he didn’t heed my call. Oh gods! I contemplated going to fetch him, and then thought better of it. Whatever took him down was sure to do the same to me, and without the aid of light, I’d be an easy kill.
I looked to the sky, searching for the promise of dawn, but finding only the pitch. The sun hadn’t finished its turn. Damn.
My fear for my dog warred with the urge to run into the house and bar myself in. Even if I found him lying hurt somewhere I wouldn’t be able to lift him. My arms were too sore from hanging deer meat in the smoke shed after a successful morning hunt. The work had been hard and grueling, harder than I’d thought and my body paid the price of my ignorance.
Everything was harder now that I was completely alone.
I closed the door and ran to the corner of the room where my shotgun waited, cursing my husband with every step. If he hadn’t run off to join the Confederates a year earlier, I wouldn’t have need of a shotgun.
We were supposed to be making a good life for ourselves. Brandford had been so sure the trapper’s life would bring in a fortune with his skills, and I, if I married him, would want for nothing.
That plan died the day Bradford’s friends left the fort, and him along with them.
At least he’d taught me how to shoot and how to trade furs, but as the months passed, the activity at the fort dwindled, and supplies were lacking. Most of the essentials were given over to the Union.
When I learned any furs I traded aided the army my husband fought against, I ceased trading for money. Not out of love, for there was none in my heart for Bradford, but out of a sense of self preservation.
My husband knew I didn’t support the Confederate cause. I’d been foolish enough to let that bit slip and received several swats on my backside because of it. If he came home and discovered I’d helped supply the Union soldiers, I imagined he’d do more than take a switch to me. So instead of money for my furs, I traded for food and other supplies I needed to survive.
I checked the barrels to make sure they were loaded, and then pushed a few errant strands of my hair behind my ear. With a sigh, I made my way back toward the door, having no other choice than to face the danger alone.
Bradford left me to this, and now, whatever fate lay outside, was mine to deal with.
Most likely, I was about to be attacked by savages. They’d kill my chickens and goat in hopes that I’d run off just like my neighbors. Well, I wasn’t going anywhere. I couldn’t afford to.
With my shotgun in hand, I squared my shoulders, and opened the door again.
Were it not for the clouds, I would’ve been able to see, but only the candles from inside my cabin illuminated the area, which—with the shutters mostly closed—wasn't much. I stepped a few paces away from my porch, but lost the nerve to go further.
I wanted to call out a warning to whoever lingered in the darkness, but wondered if he—or even they (for I had heard they traveled in war parties)—would understand a word of my English. Raising my shotgun to nothing in particular, I tried to look threatening, believing if they saw I was serious, they wouldn't bother with me.
My shotgun bounced in my trembling hands.
Well? Where was the attack?
The crickets near me stopped chirping, and my streak of bravado left me for dead.
I backed toward my cabin again, thinking I would have a better chance inside with walls surrounding me instead of standing out in the open, begging for an arrow to the chest.
The hairs at the back of my neck prickled, and I rushed the last few steps through the door.
A hand grabbed my arm and pulled me the rest of the way through the threshold and into my home. I shrieked and tried to turn toward my attacker to get in a scratch or two, but I didn’t have control over my body. My weight slammed the door closed as my chest was pushed hard against it, and I could feel my only weapon pinned between me and the solid oak. My enemy plucked the shotgun out from beneath my breasts and tossed it across the floor, a good distance away.
Now, even if I managed to move, I’d have nothing to fight him off with. Nothing.
Tears stung my eyes as all sorts or horrible images of what my attacker would do clouded my calm.
He’s going to kill me…he’s going to kill me.
Jerking me around to face him, my gaze absorbed only muscled, bronzed chest. Oh no…The blood drained from my face and rushed into my chest. A savage. Bloodthirsty and…saying something under his breath, drawing my attention to his face.
I almost gasped, confronted by exotic perfection. Arrogant nose, high cheeks, and a strong jaw. Fierce.
He wasn't painted like I heard they were when they went raiding, and he looked to be alone. He looked at me as if he was as fascinated by my gray eyes as I was by his dark browns. Earth-colored-—no, darker, like healthy soil after a rain.
I heard him unsheathe a blade, and when I would’ve screamed, he held just the tip to my throat and shook his head.
Messaged received. Besides, screaming wouldn’t bring anyone to my rescue.
He took a step back and glanced from the crackling hearth to the small dining table nearby, and a quick look given the doorway toward my bedroom. I knew he was making sure no one else was around and when his search came back to me his lips twisted with something close to amusement. A language barrier between us, perhaps, but I knew a mocking smile when I saw one. He found it humorous someone had left a perfectly good white woman behind for him to harass.
For some reason, this made me want to smack his face and damn the consequences. After all, he came here to kill me, what did it matter if I rushed his intentions?