I'm thrilled to welcome Linda Andrews to my blog on her tour. She's a prolific sci-fi/fantasy author with yet another new release,
Looks like she might have company:
Linda Andrews: Hello everyone! Thank you for joining me on Bella's fabulous blog. Today, I'm interviewing Mary--
Rae: Hold it right there! (she bounces out of her chair) You will not tell anyone my ridiculous name. I'm Rae, not MaryJane, and definitely not Radiance. I'm Rae Hemplewhite.
LA: Okay, Rae. Let's talk about your latest adventure.
Rae (slowly sinking into her chair): Adventure? I don't call being infected with alien bugs, kidnapped and killed an adventure. I call it torture. In fact... Wait a minute. You're the author you did this to me.
LA: Um, I actually think I just transcribed what you told me happened.
Rae: No. No way! (Jumping from her seat, she plucks at her microphone) I didn't ask for any of that craziness. I lost a toe, you know. A toe!
LA: I gave you the technology to grow it back.
Rae: I'm so out of here. (Tossing the microphone aside she stomps to the door)
LA (waving a yellow bag and a two liter bottle): I have Funyuns and grape soda.
Rae (stopping. She pauses then storms back to the interview chairs and grabs the bag out of my hand. The bag opens with a small pop and she inhales deeply): I want ice for the soda and a big cup.
LA: Sure anything you say. Now--
Rae: Uh-uh. (She shoves one yellow round in her mouth and crunches) I'm doing the interviewing today. What you did to me made me grumpy. Real grumpy and I want answers.
LA: Okay. What do you want to know?
Rae: Why me? I was quite happy believing alien abductions were all a big government conspiracy to cover their real black ops projects. I was happy believing the government was the bad guy. Now, I know that there are even worse humans from outer space that come down here and dink around with other people's lives.
LA: You seemed like the perfect person.
Rae: Me? Are you nuts? I'm the last person who should star in a scifi novel. I don't understand warped speed from a facial-time thingie. My eyes must have glazed over six or seven hundred times when you blabbed on about the technology stuff.
LA: You're exaggerating. This is scifi light. Not a lot of technology.
Rae: You're forgetting the tattoo. (shoving up her sleeve she flashes the blue celtic knot on her forearm)
LA: Oh, yeah. The extraterrestrials can store data in the light wave.
Rae (pointing to her face): See. My eyes have glazed over.
LA: Sorry, but some people will find it interesting.
Rae (snorting): And some lunatics like history. I have a hard enough time remembering that Romans are from Italy not Romania, you had to throw in thousand up thousands of years of human history. (She pours her soda until the fizz mushrooms over her cup) There better not be a pop quiz anywhere in my future.
LA: You may benefit from reading some of that history.
Rae: I would benefit if you have a lobotomy. Then you couldn't torture me any more. My toe still hurts when it rains. That's why I wear the slippers.
LA: Well there are benefits.
Rae: Yeah. Like what? (She sips the fizz then smacks her lips)
LA: Like you're no longer unemployed. And I gave you two gorgeous hunks to pick from.
Rae (tilts her head): I suppose. Of course, it would have been better if both of them hadn't tried to kill me.
LA: They both kissed you, too.
Rae: Neither kissed me good enough to make me forget about the killing part.
LA: Well, they have four more books or so to make it up to you.
Rae (leaping to her feet): What! I didn't sign up for that! You're a monster! I may be a character but I have rights. (Grabs her chips and soda) I'm leaving and don't expect me to be around for the next installment.
LA: Don't worry about that. She'll be back for the sequels. She likes Tobias and Victor. Don't believe me? Read on.
Mother Goose must have laid an egg on my forehead, when I'd tripped. But why had I fallen? I was much too careful to stumble over a tree. I glared at the large limb, basking in the dawn like a black and white crocodile on the river of green.
Obviously my rational mind had been affected by frustration. It couldn’t be Karma. Nothing I’d done would deserve this. And now my body would have to pay the price on the long slog back to my condo. I set my hands on the ground. Muck oozed between my fingers. As I levered myself up, static crackled inside my skull. The world dipped and swayed on the personal Tilt-A-Whirl that made up my equilibrium.
Ugh! Maybe I could unscrew my head and pack it in foam, before attempting to stand again. Maybe Prince Charming would ride to my rescue and carry me home.
What I wouldn't give for a do-over. I closed my eyes, while my insides quivered in the aftershocks of my movements. The battle of the metal bands raging inside my skull prevented any thinking—positive or otherwise. How on Earth could I walk from here to my condo without moving?
Fly? Like that was going to happen. I sighed and my chin dipped. The world shuddered, measuring about twelve on the Richter scale. "Oh, God!"
"Women usually only call me that, after we've met." A man's voice rasped against my nerve endings.
Smooth, rich and deep, just the way I liked my chocolate. Had the head banging caused hallucinations? A shadow blocked out the pink sunlight shining across my closed lids moments before an acrid odor mingled with a musky scent. Male. My nose twitched.
My imagination wasn't good enough to conjure up a picture.
Maybe I'd switch from positive thinking to positively avoiding more than my quota of bad events.
Grass shushed and the shadow fell away from my eyes.
Had he left? No, I turned my head slightly. A punk metal band joined the jamboree inside my skull. Still my ears didn't detect any sound. Yet I felt him move closer. Man, the guy was quiet.
"Can you open your eyes, obecht?"
Obecht. The exotic word swirled around me and sliced through the pounding. Did it mean my love, or beautiful, or honey bunch? Fingers swept over my brow. How I dreamed of having a man's caresses explore my dips and curves as if he were an artist and I his greatest sculpture. Calloused fingertips traced my cheek then ran lightly over my jaw. Pleasure skittered through me, sowing warmth that liquefied my muscles.
Part of me screamed to fight the spell he'd woven around me and reminded me that I was alone in the park at dawn. Primetime crime hour. For once, I could see why others found the rational part of me annoying. Besides, I needed help to get home.
"Obecht, you must open your eyes." Steel laced the velvet chocolate voice. His touches morphed into insistent probes. One finger lifted my eyelid.
Light penetrated my skull, obliterating my view. Fear shoved into the vacant spaces created by my blindness. Could a whack on the head really knock the sense from me? I pulled free of his touch. Once I was certain I wouldn't vomit, I opened my eyes. My heart thumped against my ribs.
The man was a shadow, no discerning features at all. Adrenalin chased fear's chill from my skin. I had to get out of here. Back to the safety of my condo. To the presence of other people. Flattening my palms against the gunk on the ground, I pushed myself up. My muscles wobbled and I landed with a splat. Oops, I'd forgotten the whole ‘needing help’ bit.
"Easy." He shifted, not further away as my fear wanted but closer to me. So close, I felt the heat emanating from his skin. "I'm just going to support you so you don't sustain further injury. Okay?"
My stomach performed crazy acrobatics, while the world spun. I could use support. I could use a lift home. I blinked in the dim light and made out his broad shouldered silhouette.
I had asked for help.
And here it was.
Something told me I would never get home if I refused it. "Okay."
"Let me know when you've recovered." The deep timbre of his voice blanketed my fear like a balm and his arm settled around my shoulders. His fingers stroked my spine briefly, before tickling my nape and slipping under my hair to massage my scalp.
Hmm. That felt nice. The vestiges of my fear melted away, leaving only a building ache inside me. When was the last time a man had taken care of me? I wasn't surprised when my memories turned up empty. Maybe being strong and independent was overrated, if it deprived me of massages.
Even if they were by a complete stranger who banished rational thoughts with his caresses and held me awfully close. A fissure of alarm bubbled up. Stranger, smanger. Someone who smelled like sunshine and soap couldn't be all bad.
"We'll just stay right here, until the nausea passes." Peppermint-scented words stirred the hair on my neck.
"Nausea?" Was that my voice? It sounded a bit rusty and lower than normal. It definitely didn't match the one inside my head. And just what had the man seen? Good grief! Didn't witnesses to my humiliation have an occupancy limit?
Blue Maneuver available now: