Joan Swan recently got some great news about her book, Fever, and I’m happy to give her the floor to announce it today, along with an excerpt and a giveaway!
A big thanks to Kristin for allowing me to share my celebration at My Bookish Ways today!!
FEVER has been chosen by Amazon for inclusion in their Top 100 program! Why is this awesome? Because it means FEVER is sale priced at $3.99 for the month of May! Now you can try a new-to-you author (me) at very low risk!
I find choosing a new book to read terribly difficult. Deciding is always easier when I can take a novel that sounds interesting out for a test drive. You know, read an excerpt to get a taste for the style and feel of the story and meet the characters.
So, I’ve included an excerpt of FEVER here for that very reason! You can also read the entire first chapter on my website.
Celebratory Giveaway: For everyone (FEVER fans included), I’m happy to offer the chance to win 1 of 3 Amazon Gift Cards ($25, $15 and $10) for your help in spreading the word about FEVER’s inclusion in Amazon’s great promotion!
**Everyone can enter! All you have to do is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below.
Good luck & enjoy!
** Note: In this scene, Teague still thinks Alyssa is a woman named Hannah, who he abducted for a specific purpose. (So, he calls her Hannah )**
Alyssa tried for the phone again. Managed to catch the spiraled cord between her fingers. Yanked the receiver off the base. It hit the floor with a kerplunk just as the door to the room swung open again.
“Goddammit.” Creek dropped two armfuls of the supplies on the floor and kicked the door closed. “Can’t you hold still or shut up for one fucking minute?”
Alyssa recoiled as Creek picked up the receiver and slammed it back onto the base then raked his fingers across his head and paced. She watched every step, her emotions toggling between fear, anger, guilt, frustration and empathy.
Without warning, Creek swung around and approached her. In automatic defense, Alyssa’s hand came up. But he didn’t strike. He released the cuff around the lamp and pulled her into the bathroom. Her heart rate spiked again as his angry gaze scoured the small space. With a hand on her shoulder, he pushed her to sit on the closed toilet lid and dragged the free cuff below the sink. The ratchet of metal signaled its closure around an exposed drainpipe.
“What are you doing?” She twisted her wrist against the metal, trying to position her body to alleviate the strain on her side.
Creek stripped off his shirt, balled it up and chucked it into the corner then pushed the curtain aside on the shower/tub combination and bent to flip on the faucet. The muscles beneath his skin flexed and rolled. That’s when a fresh form anxiety wedged in. She couldn’t sit here and watch him get naked and shower. She really couldn’t.
“I can’t sit like this,” she complained, hoping to play on the vague sympathies she’d seen. “It hurts my side.”
Without acknowledging her, his hands moved to his waist, unbuttoned and unzipped his jeans and shucked them so fast
Alyssa didn’t have time to look away. And, okay, yeah, maybe she could sit here and watch after all.
He wore burgundy boxer briefs that clung to his muscular ass. He was tan everywhere but for a pale line mid thigh where he’d obviously worn shorts. She could swear every muscle was outlined in perfect relief. Her gaze traveled over the lines and dips and swells and curves. God, he was beautiful.
A beautiful racist murdering escaped convict.
Alyssa grimaced. Before he took off his underwear and Alyssa lost her last shred of human decency and ogled the beautiful racist murdering escaped convict, she laid her elbow on the edge of the sink and pressed her eyes to her forearm. “Why couldn’t you just leave me in the other room?”
Her only answer came in the swoosh of the plastic slides on the shower curtain rod as he closed the drape.
Alyssa stayed there, resting her head on her arm, for what seemed like endless minutes. Without any immediate threat, her adrenaline flagged. When her butt went numb and her arms tingled from lack of blood supply, she finally raised her head. Steam filled the room, creating ethereal clouds she could barely see through.
Searching for Creek behind the clear, frosted shower curtain, she discovered him sitting on the tub floor, knees drawn up to his chest, arms wrapped around his legs, head bent.
She’d seen many a broken man in her line of work—the distraught father, the grieving husband, the heartsick son—and the man behind that curtain had all the signs of a broken man.
Alyssa stared, unable to assimilate this man with the one who had wrapped a chain around her throat. Or the one who’d killed Taz right in front of her. That one was a force to be reckoned with. This one looked overwhelmed. Vulnerable. Defeated. Her compassionate streak—the one that most of her coworkers swore she didn’t have—flared to life, urging her to give him the benefit of the doubt against all common sense and good judgment.
“Cr—“. Her voice caught. At some point she needed to tell him she wasn’t who he thought he was. Or she needed to do something to make sure he never found out the truth. She cleared her throat and tried again. “Creek? I need to…um…talk to you about something.”
His head came up, eyes peered at her over the edge of his arm. “It’s Teague. My name is Teague.” His voice was soft and flat, void of animosity. He lowered his head again. “And not now.”
“O-okay, but when you’re done. It’s…important.”
No response. No movement. With no other options, Alyssa put her head back down and closed her eyes.
She woke to the rake of the plastic curtain rings. Her head jerked up to find Creek staring at her from the tub, a white towel wrapped low around his hips. She rubbed her eyes, trying to clear them. And when she did, the sight that met her nearly made her drool.
This was the first time she’d seen his chest bare in any substantial light, and she wasn’t disappointed. His shoulders were wide, his chest strong, his belly flat. A thin cluster of golden hair formed a vertical line down the center of his abdomen starting just above his belly button. Oh, yum, was the first, involuntary thought to flit through her mind. Amazing, the second.
Peeking out from beneath the towel, spreading over his right hip and pelvis where his leg met his torso, a deep red streak of skin, much like a healed burn but with more style, more design, tempted her eyes. Curiosity spiked over the extent of the mark, its shape, its origin. Then about his body as a whole. How hard, how often, did a man have to work out to obtain to that level of fitness?
She forced her gaze to his face, pleased when she only lingered on his chest and the dusting of dark gold hair over his pecs for…okay, more than a moment. That’s when it registered. He looked…different, but she couldn’t figure out exactly how. He looked…cleaner, more human. More attractive—if that were possible. But there was something else, too. Something in his eyes, a dullness, a veil. Something flat. Distant. Pained.
He stepped out with a key in his hand and reached for the cuff holding her hand to the sink. The scent of soap drifted to her nose. He no longer smelled of kerosene and sweat and blood. And as he leaned in to access the cuff, the warmth of his body floated close. Her eyes lingered on his head. On the swastika covering his scalp, which was noticeably lighter. Confused, she brought her free hand up and ran her fingers over it. His short, soft hair prickled her skin.
Creek jerked away. “What the hell?”
Frowning, she inspected his body again, this time with attention to the other tattoos. The ones on his chest, his arms, his belly, they’d all faded. Instead of that intense black, the images had turned a strange shade of brownish-gray.
“How…? What…?” When reality dawned, she looked up at him and found his eyes averted. “They aren’t real?”
He reached down to take the other cuff off her wrist, and neither met her eyes nor answered.
“Why would you do that?” She rubbed at her wrists where they had grown raw from the chafe of metal, but her mind was still unraveling this new knot in Creek’s personality. “Why would you pretend to be something you’re not? What’s the point, anyway, if they wash off so easily?”
“It wasn’t easy. I had to scrub my skin raw. Come in here.” He straightened and walked ahead of her into the other room. “I’m going to make a phone call.”
Her mind dropped the confusion over his tattoos and refocused on the immediate problem. “Who are you calling?”
He didn’t answer. When he reached the bed, he dropped his towel without warning and reached for a pair of underwear from the bag on the floor. And the seconds between seeing him naked and seeing him step into those boxer briefs seemed to stand still.
He had the most gorgeous ass she’d ever seen. Muscle definition, shape, size, the way his body was so flawlessly proportioned, he made her mouth go dry. And that scar or birthmark or whatever it was and the way it curved around his hip, the tip of a pointed section touching high on one perfect glut, was way too intriguing.
With heat kicking up in her body, she forced herself to turn away and pressed her fingers to her eyes. “Can’t you warn me before you do that?”
“It’s nothing you haven’t seen before.”
She dropped her hand and rolled her eyes toward the ceiling. He was dead wrong. He was like nothing she’d ever seen before. “Are you done? I want to talk to you.”
“In case you haven’t noticed,” he said, his voice muffled behind what Alyssa guessed was a tee-shirt coming over his head, “I’m a man. I do ‘talk’ about as well as you follow directions.”
Oh, she’d noticed—the man part, at least. She took a chance and looked his direction from her peripheral vision. He was dressed again in fresh jeans and black tee. She breathed a sigh of relief then stiffened again as he picked up one of the cell phones he’d bought at Wal-mart.
“Wait.” She held out a hand, anxiety heating her neck and face.
“Be quite, Hannah. This call is as important to you as it is to me.” He set a serious look on her. “If you want to sleep in your own bed tomorrow night, or Luke’s bed, or…whatever,” he waved the idea away with an irritated fling of his hand, “then keep your mouth shut.”
Dr. Alyssa Foster will admit to a bad boy fetish. . .
But when she finds herself face to face with a convicted murderer with a ripped body, a determination for freedom and an eye on her as his get out of jail free card, Alyssa knows she’s in deep trouble. . .. Not just because Teague Creek is a prisoner desperate for freedom, but because his every touch makes her desperate for more.
A man with a life sentence has nothing to lose. . .
Teague Creek has one shot at freedom, but his plan to escape with a hostage develops a fatal flaw: Alyssa. On the run from both the law and deadly undercover operatives who know of his strange abilities, he needs to avoid trouble, but every heated kiss tells him the fire between them could be just as devastating as the flames that changed him forever.