Galleys for Once Burned arrived on Friday. For those of you who don’t know, galleys are the loose yet formatted pages of a manuscript that are used to create Arcs (Advance reading copies). They are also one of the last chances an author has to make changes, though we’re encouraged (Read: warned) to limit those changes to grammar, spelling, or correction of factual errors. Every time I get to this stage, I feel confident that I won’t need to make many changes because I’ve tried very hard to be thorough in copyedits. And every time, I’m wrong and cringe at all the lingering errors that will appear in the Arcs because my changes won’t be implemented until after Arcs are printed. Early readers and reviewers, you have my apologies. One day I’ll get it right! Also, speaking of Arcs, they’ll be available in a couple months. As usual, once I have them, I’ll hold contests giving them away. Currently I have a contest up on Goodreads that runs through May, so if you’re interested in scoring an early copy of Once Burned, go here for details. This won’t be the only chance to win an Arc, so if you’re not a Goodreads member and/or you live in a country that’s excluded, never fear. I’ll hold a couple more contests that will be open to everyone no matter where in the world you live.
Anyway, back to the reason behind the “apology” in the subject line. On Friday, I promised my Facebook readers that I’d go through galleys this weekend and post some quotes from Once Burned. Due to a nasty two day migraine followed by catching my husband’s cold (Thanks, honey! Grr) that didn’t happen. To make up for this, I’m posting a scene snippet instead of only a couple quotes. Warning: This snippet contains adult content. Use caution if you’re reading at work or if you have kids lurking nearby.
Now, onto the scene. As stated on the back cover description, Leila has unusual abilities like giving off electricity and being able to pull psychic impressions from touch. Most of the time, this “gift” shows her horrible images from the past. Sometimes, though, touching an object – or a person – will give Leila a glimpse of the future whether she’s ready to see it or not ;-).
Vlad stopped when he was only inches away, still nailing me with that hard, copper-colored stare. Then he held out his hand.
I put it in his palm, forgetting to switch it to my left hand before touching him. A current sizzled into him with the contact, which I expected, but I didn’t expect what came next.
The gothic hall vanished, replaced by the hazy cocoon of midnight green drapes encircling the bed I was on. I wound my hand into the thick fabric while a moan left my lips, sharpening into a cry at the incredible pleasure shooting through me. My grip on the drapes tightened as I writhed under the erotic combination of wet, deep strokes and lightly chafing stubble against my most sensitive flesh.
“Please,” I gasped.
Vlad lifted his head, his hair like dark silk against my thighs and his gaze lit up with emerald.
“No,” he said throatily. “More.” And he lowered his mouth again.
Vlad’s face crystallized in front of me, but instead of green drapes all around us, we were back in the hall and he was staring down at me, frowning.
“I know you caught a glimpse of something when you touched me. Your mind went silent. Tell me what it was.”
My cheeks flamed with heat. At the same time, disbelief washed over me.
No. Not me and Vlad like…like that!
His frown cleared, replaced by a brow going up. Damn his mindreading. Think of something else! I mentally screamed, avoiding his stare. ANYthing else!
I no longer looked at Vlad, but I could almost feel his gaze roving over me, noting my newly tight nipples, accelerated heartbeat, and probably picking up on that damned lingering throb between my legs, too.
“Not surprising,” he said at last, his voice thicker with things I didn’t want to name. “I predicted the same thing myself.”