It's cold. Snow covers the ground to my knees outside. I'm house bound and suffering a raging case of cabin fever. Writing - and reading - are about the only things that hold my attention. Reading isn't a problem - in the last few days, some excellent books have debuted from Evernight Publishing including POSSESSION by AD Blackburn and THE TASTE OF BLOOD by Jenika Snow. So I have some good books on my to-read-list and with the weather, I should get to them very soon.
In the meantime, anyone who is caught without reading material, I can reccommend any of the Evernight authors and their books. I can also suggest reading my debut novel, WOLFE's LADY for those who haven't. Read it now so you'll be ready to read the next one, LOVE TATTOO upcoming in April from Evernight.
To sweeten the pot and tempt those readers, here is a new - never before revealed online -excerpt from WOLFE'S LADY (copyright 2010, Evernight Publishing, Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy):
If you like it, buy the book, just $3.99 on Evernight Publshing and in the Amazon Kindle Store.
“Darien, would you like to do something tonight?” Stella asked, confident that he would. After all, they loved each other and no matter what his secret might be, she knew it would be nothing she could not handle. She had visions of a romantic dinner at an old inn she had heard about but he shook his head before she could tell him about it.
“Stella, my star, tonight is impossible. I can’t see you at all this weekend, not until Monday.”
His tone was mild, even contrite, but the words stung like gravel tossed against a window with force. Her hurt feelings gave her courage to fight back.
“Why? Why do I have to wait until Monday?”
Darien’s sad eyes pierced her heart.
“Star-of-my-heart, you must. I will tell you then, if I can.”
“Have I offended you?”
He looked shocked. “Of course you have not, Stella.”
“Did I do something gross or gauche?”
“You did nothing of the kind.”
“I don’t understand.” She did not. To her, his behavior was incomprehensible. “Are you ill?”
Darien looked as if he could be, his eyes were dull and his face paler than normal. He acted restless and strange. Her question hit him like a shot and he rubbed a hand over his face.
“I don’t feel well, that is true. I never do, really, when the moon is full. Stella, please. I promise that I will see you Monday, maybe even Sunday evening after the full moon wanes. Right now, though, I must go, my dear.”
He would have gone then but she could not let him go without saying something more.
He had turned as if to go but now hesitated, face turned toward her with his eyes veiled and haunted.
“What is it?” He sighed, his impatience to be gone evident in his hurry and in his contant nervous movements, the twitch of his feet and the twisting of his fingers.
“I don’t like secrets.” There, she thought, she said it and it was out. She loathed secrets because holding back important information derailed her last relationship and had damaged others in the past. Alex, her ex-boyfriend, who kept both an addiction to alcohol and his second lover, from her eroded any desire to keep secrets, large or small. Secrets, she thought, had an eerie way of growing until they became too massive to hide any longer and then exploded, shattering worlds and hearts.
“Dearest Stella, neither do I but for now, this one must remain.” He sounded weary but she pressed him anyway.
He exhaled with force, enough that she thought she might have succeeded in making him angry too.
“If I could say, it would not need to be a secret and I shall tell you, all of it, very soon but I can’t now. Please try to understand”
Simple for him to say but not easy to do, Stella thought.
“I can’t.” She said with honesty. “And I won’t. Do you love me?”
His topaz eyes kindled brighter with ire. “Yes, I do. This has nothing to do with whether or not I love you – “
She interrupted him. “It has everything to do with it, Darien. People who love one another trust each other and they don’t keep secrets. If we are going to have any kind of relationship at all, everything has to be open between us, no dark secrets and nothing held back.”
“Stella.” He spoke her name in such a sad voice that her anger faded a fraction. “I do love you and I believe that you love me. I agree with all of that, but – “
She squelched an urge to stamp her foot with outrage. “But you still don’t plan to tell me why I can’t see you this weekend, do you?”
Darien looked down at her, his expression unreadable.
“I will but not now. Let that be enough.”
Stella shook her head. “I can’t. I have to have trust and that means no secrets. Don’t go like this, Darien.”
He sighed. “I must, my darling star.”
He pushed past her, without a touch or a kiss. Stella stood in the empty hallway, listening as his rapid footfalls descended the stairs, heartsick and afraid.
What, she wondered, remembering his earlier remark, did the full moon have to do with anything?