The pale material of Liliana’s nightgown clung to her body as if gusts of wind were blowing in the night. But there was no wind. The air was still.
Madison shut her eyes and rapidly opened them again. The woman hadn’t moved and her gaze kept drilling through the mental defenses Madison had erected around herself. She wasn’t ready to see this, to meet her. Not tonight.
The thought of Camilla and the baby sprang in front of her. They were running out of time. And there, ten feet away from her, Madison had the answers to all her questions.
“Who are you?”
“You already know.” Liliana’s voice was clear of any Italian accent. She spoke in plain English.
“Your name, yes. But I don’t understand what happened to you. He never came back for you? Henry?”
Her question hit the olive-skinned woman harshly because she startled. “He didn’t. In that lifetime. He married another, the only one he really loved.”
“But then you found each other again. You had a child together.” Hope seeped through Madison’s question.
“We did … but that wasn’t meant to be. Again.”
“You got married. I know that. In Oxford, not that long ago.”
The ghost joined her hands tightly in front of herself, while the nonexistent wind kept ruffling the dark mass of her hair. She looked exactly like the young Florentine girl Madison had seen in her visions of Henry. Not one day older. How Liliana had looked in her other lifetime, Madison couldn’t say. And in her vision of the couple in twentieth-century Oxford, Madison had only seen the blurred features of Henry.
“You must not get involved, child.”
The order unsettled Madison. Surely Liliana would want to keep Henry from hurting another woman. “I have no choice,” she said. “He threatened people I know, an unborn child, a baby girl. I’ve ignored warnings like that in the past. I won’t make that mistake again.”
“Don’t you value your own life?” Liliana’s words fell harshly between them.
The woman didn’t understand. “Please help me. They’re innocent.”
A thick fog rose and whirled around Liliana. Madison smelled the putrid stench of tepid waters, and disgust made her nostrils flare. Liliana rotated her body slightly as if to start retreating.
“There are so many questions I want to ask you. Please stay,” Madison pleaded.
“Save yourself while you still can. That is not your story.” Liliana turned her back on Madison and vanished into the heavy mist.
A cry of despair erupted from Madison. “Liliana,” she begged.
Desperation burst out of her heart and propelled her toward where the woman had stood. Madison rushed into the fog, her sight blurred. Fear replaced anger and her mouth turned dry. Ignoring her weakness, Madison ran forward, calling after the ghost again.
“Come back. Please, come back.”
She hurried forward, breaking into a run to reach the place where Liliana had stood, struggling with the hem of the dress dangling at her feet. She tripped on it and collapsed forward. She expected to crash against the surface of the ground. She didn’t. The freezing waters of the lake swallowed her instead
Her study appeared to shrink once Rupert started marching across it, back and forth, back and forth. Madison ordered herself to stay put and not give up a single inch of ground. However, the hollowness that had built up since their argument at Blenheim spilled out of her heart and welled up in her eyes. A betraying tear fell over her cheek. She bit her lower lip to wrest control and lowered her head to hide her weakness. The hatchet of rejection—rejection by Rupert—always hung over her head. The fear of losing him—his love or whatever he was ready to give her—dragged her down.
Too late. Rupert was already camping in front of her. His fingers cradled her face and forced her to stare up and meet his gaze. “I can’t stand you crying. Forgive me.”
Trusting her towel to stay put, Madison laid her hands on his and shook her head. “No, it’s me. I’m a sissy with all my insecurities.” A sniffle punctuated her confession.
“I must be a sissy too because I’m rotten with insecurities. You know that better than anyone else.”
“Come on. You’re the king of the jungle. You don’t talk, you roar, and everyone bows down before you.”
His response was a muffled laugh. “I don’t care what anyone else thinks about me. I only want you to look up to me, to be proud of me.”
He locked his words with a kiss. A fierce, devouring kiss. One that radiated his need for her and smashed her self-doubts into a thousand irrelevant pieces. His hands shifted from her face down along her neck to settle in the nook by her collarbone. His fingertips tickled the tips of her shoulders. His kiss deepened, and she had to step closer to him and let her head tilt backward for him to explore her mouth. Rupert teased her tongue with his, challenging her to let go, to open herself to him.
All hell broke loose when her towel slid to the floor and the air brushed over her naked flesh. Her nipples hardened. She wrapped her arms around Rupert’s neck while his hand took hold of her ass and pulled it so her hips crashed against him. His other hand twisted her damp hair into a ponytail and pulled her deeper into his kiss.
Madison almost lost her balance when Rupert knelt at her feet. On his way down, he traced a path with his lips from between her breasts to her navel. He circled her waist, and the heat of his gaze burnt at her naked body.
“I dream of you, Maddie … I dream of being inside you.”
They made it to her tiny bed, but only later.
So now I can share the stops for the Oxford Shadows blog tour! It has all been masterminded by ATOMR.
Monday, May 6, 2013:
- Pink Fluffy Hearts: Diary of a Coffee Addict: Review – Oxford Shadows
- Literati Literature Lovers : Author Interview
- Peace, Love, Books: Review – Oxford Shadows
- Buried Under Books: Review – Oxford Shadows
- All in One Place: Review – Oxford Shadows
- Bookworm Dreams: Review – Oxford Shadows
Tuesday, May 7, 2013:
- Young Adult Book Reviews: Review – Oxford Whispers
- Bound by Words: Review – Oxford Shadows
- Not Just a One Night Stand: Review – Oxford Shadows
Wednesday, May 8, 2013:
- A Diary of a Book Addict: Review – Oxford Shadows
- Beauty but a Funny Girl: Review – Oxford Shadows
- Ever and Ever Sight: Review – Oxford Shadows
Thursday, May 9, 2013:
- Books, Bones, & Buffy: Review – Oxford Shadows
- The Reading Vixens: Review – Oxford Shadows
- Nomi’s Paranormal Palace: Review – Oxford Shadows
- Teen Blurb: Review – Oxford Whispers
Friday, May 10, 2013:
- Once Upon a Book: Review – Oxford Shadows
Saturday, May 11, 2013:
Here we are… One week to go and we will be able to step back into the Oxford trilogy. We left Madison and Rupert in their “Happy For Now” but I guess it was pretty clear to everyone these two were just at the start of the journey… So much more is coming their way: more ghosts, more voodoo and more challenges for their love. And sometimes it will be all happening at the same time!
A lot of people have said how excited they are to read about the Tudors, so hopefully I’ll make a few people happy.
Now, of course, there will be a few presents for those of you who will follow the blog tour next week.
* a signed copy of Oxford Whispers
* a signed poster of Oxford Shadows
* a $10 Amazon gift card* an Oxford University t-shirt
I’m very excited for the release. Will get in touch later this week with some teasers and the blog tour stops.
Lots of love,
I can’t believe it’s almost the time. Ten days to go and I will hit the “publish” button on Amazon and will make Oxford Shadows available for [wide] consumption. It will be out on May 6th.
Oxford Shadows is the sequel to Oxford Whispers and picks up a couple of weeks after the end of Book 1. Remember Madison and Rupert seemed to have found their “Happy For Now”? Well, well, emphasis on the “for now.” Because a certain royal dude from the sixteenth century isn’t really ready to let go. And, as always, it always strikes close to home. How close? You’ll soon find out.
I had a blast writing Oxford Shadows. I always get very excited when I see a film or a book about the Tudors, so I thought I should write one. That said, OS is also very much about Madison and Rupert’s love story. These two are learning about each other and about themselves, and of course, they’ll make mistakes! Add to that a a stronger dose of Voodoo than in Book 1, some seriously steamy scenes, and we’re good to go!
So just to refresh everyone’s mind, here is the cover and the blurb again:
Still recovering from her last tango with the afterlife, Louisiana-born Madison LeBon struggles not only with her life as an Oxford postgrad but also with her budding love for Rupert Vance, aristocrat extraordinaire. One thing is certain, though: she won’t run away from her powers anymore. From now on she’ll face the music …
When a sixteenth-century ghost makes an appearance during a classical concert Madison attends and threatens her boyfriend’s family, she sets out to explore the dark mysteries of the Tudors, even if that means confronting their most royal and homicidal character.
Her plans take an unexpected turn when her voodoo heritage catches up with her. With horror, she understands what her fate was always meant to be.
The question now is: Can Rupert be part of it?
I’ll be back soon with more details on the blog tour, the giveaway and some teasers!
I’m so excited today. The cover reveal for No Reverse is now officially scheduled for April 18th. If you’re a blogger and would like to feature the awesome cover created by PhatPuppyArt, then that’s the link for you here. Julie at ATOMR is an amazing host and she’ll make sure it’s like a stroll in the park for everyone involved. There’ll even be a couple of giveaways.
No Reverse is very, very special to me. I’m planning to release it in August as I want that little puppy to be just perfect (so a few rounds of edits are in the pipeline). This is the story of Cassie and Josh. I can’t tell you how much I love these two. They’re far from perfect… actually they’re flawed, but I had to share their story. So to give you a little taste of their crazy love, this is a little teaser… the blurb…
A girl who needs to undo the past.
A boy who wants to forget it.
In love, there’s no way back.
At high school in Steep Hill, Kansas, Cassie O’Malley and Josh MacBride were the poster couple for quarterback/cheerleader romance until they starred in their own tale of teen pregnancy. No need to say: their shotgun wedding was low-key. But when there was no baby anymore, they went their separate ways.
Five years later, Josh has breezed through Georgetown and is about to finish his post-grad degree at Oxford University. He is set to join a lobbying group on Capitol Hill, owned by his new fiancée’s father. For Josh, the sky is now the limit… only he must first take care of a tiny legal matter: technically, he’s still married to the girl who broke his heart.
Meanwhile, Cassie has been waiting tables in Steep Hill to pay for her sick grandmother’s care. On the day of the old lady’s funeral, Cassie is served with two sets of papers. Josh is asking for a divorce. Her heart squeezes, but, well, he moved on a long time ago. But the second envelope shakes Cassie to the core. So, for the first time, she leaves Kansas and heads to good ol’ England.
There, Cassie finds that Josh has not just “moved on,” he’s freakin’ engaged to some blue-blooded heiress. The feelings Cassie had buried deep rush back to her. But no matter if he keeps thrusting the divorce papers under her nose, she needs him to save the only person she loves more than Josh, more than life itself…
So today I’m taking part in the Spring Forward Blog Hop organized by Gliterary Girl. GG is an amazing on-line magazine for people who love books, with a preference for romance of course. What else? Check it out (click here).
The reviews are always spot on (IMHO) and smart and sassy. Yes, I love them. Plus if you’re a blogger or an author (or a business owner, because EVERYONE needs some glitter!), check out the services offered by Gliterary Girl Media Group, from editing to website creation. They know what they’re talking about.
Sara (THE Girl behind the glitter) wanted us to talk about something springy. I’m sorry but I can’t: I live in England, and you know what? During this Easter weekend, it was colder here than in Greenland. Go figure! So no flip-flop for me quite yet, I’m afraid. But Sara lives in sunny California, so we don’t have the same weather constraints. And yes, I am extremely jealous.
Now, there are some TOTALLY AWESOME prizes to win, including up to $200 of GG gift cards and a Mary Kay beauty basket. Seriously what are you waiting for? CLICK HERE AND HAVE SOME GLITERARY FUN!
And because I want the spring to come, even here to bl**dy rainy England, I’ll give 2 people an ecopy of Oxford Whispers, the first book in The Oxford Trilogy. Just leave a comment below sharing your experience of spring so far. If you’re already wearing flip-flops, I won’t get angry, I promise.
Lots of love,
Had a wonderful weekend… spent with two very sweet characters: Avery and Cam. Yes, they are the protagonists in J.L. Armentrout’s first (?) NA novel. Wait for You is my latest #bookcrush.
Here is my short review on GR: “J L Armentrout has set a new standard in NA. She shows that you can deliver emotion and sexual chemistry without being graphic and over-dramatic. A new favorite of mine (plus I liked the fact that Cameron wasn’t another bad boy;-))”
That’s true. After really falling for Drew in One Week Girlfriend, I have such a soft spot on Cam. He’s patient and mature and true to himself. A nice departure from all these bad boys out there
So now I’m looking for my next #bookcrush. If you can suggest something to me I haven’t read yet, then I’ll gift you Wait for You via Amazon.
Looking forward to hearing from you.