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Friday, May 14, 2010

PHANTASM FRIDAY


*Make sure to leave a comment to be eligible for Tina's contest. Contest details are below.*

~~~~~

Fighting for Her Man. . .

In every good romance, there has to be conflict, someone or something keeping the hero and heroine from a fast resolution and a declaration of love.

Although the romantic moments are always nice, it’s the path to them, the struggle for the characters that provides the most interest. Readers flip pages faster and faster when they sense their wait is at an end.

All writers strive to make the journey as entertaining as possible, and I’m no exception. In my newest release, Lush Velvet Nights, Nathan is attracted to Adriana but because of an event in his past, he’s afraid to give up his heart. Adriana, on the other hand, knows he loves her. She just has to convince him of it.

Here’s a blurb (for background) and an excerpt to show you how Adriana fights for her man:

BLURB:

Lush Velvet Nights - When wanton desires & love demand all…

During the day, Adriana’s a lonely corporate heiress, helming a supermarket empire. At night, she hires escorts, scripting provocative fantasies of kidnapping, lust, submission and endless longing. It’s all she has to excite her until she meets Nathan Wynn. Tall, blond and muscular—like a modern-day Viking—Nathan’s a labor relations attorney representing Adriana’s union employees. His imposing presence intensifies her basest desires. When he protects her from an escort he believes is an attacker, she knows he’s wonderfully dominant and unrestrained. Fascinated by Adriana’s underlying sensuality, Nathan brings her to his secluded mountain estate, determined she submit fully to his hunger. At a gentleman’s club, he makes certain she denies him nothing. Engaging in a seductive sexual journey, Nathan’s caught off-guard by his stunning need for Adriana. An attraction he fears because of past events in his life. A growing emotional connection she will not let him deny.

EXCERPT:

For the remainder of the day, Adriana forced herself to concentrate on Greco’s myriad budgets and profit margins, behaving like the automaton her father had hoped to raise and felt most comfortable with. At eight p.m., she tossed her reading glasses on her desk, locked her office door against any interruption, flicked off the lights and sank in her chair, turning it to face the window. Given the glare of the city, only a few of the brightest stars sparkled in the sooty sky, ready for her to wish upon them as she had the night at Nathan’s estate.

Turning her cell phone over in her hand, she let down her guard finally, allowing her concern to filter through the confidence she’d tried to nurture all day. On a sigh, she whispered, “Please let him answer.” Please let him show how happy he is to hear from me. She didn’t doubt Nathan’s feelings for her. She worried his fear of another betrayal and the possibility of losing a future child might be greater. Her thumb shook as she punched in his number. With a trembling hand, she brought the phone to her ear. After six rings, his voicemail came on.

Heart sinking, Adriana ended the call and told herself she was behaving like a fool. Maybe he was speaking to a client or to Echo. He wasn’t going to stop answering his phone just because he knew she’d be contacting him.

She took several calming breaths to steady her voice prior to her next call. Her feet tapped the floor during his voicemail message. At the beep, Adriana smiled, then spoke softly, and she hoped, seductively, “Hey, it’s me, calling like I said. I thought you’d be finished with work by now. When you are, give me a call.” She gave him her private work and cell number, repeating both slowly to make certain he knew how to reach her. “I’m looking forward to hearing from you, Nathan. As I said this morning, I had an amazing time. I can’t wait for what comes next. Call me to talk about it. I do have some ideas. Bye.”

She closed her phone, placed it on her desk and wrapped her arms around herself, appreciating what millions of men went through everyday because society still expected them to make the first move with a woman. Nevertheless, she’d done it with Nathan. All she had to do now was wait for his call.

Sometime later, she jerked awake in her chair. Panicked at the hour—eleven p.m.—she checked voicemail on all her phones. Empty. Her shoulders slumped. She waited another half hour, dropped her phone in her jacket pocket and left her office. Despite her disappointment and fatigue, Adriana wasn’t about to give up. She hung on to what she knew to be true and what she couldn’t live without—hope.

* * * * *

Without asking, Joe cooked her favorite childhood foods during the long weekend. He heaped mounds of macaroni and cheese, lamb burgers and pork gyros on her plate, not commenting when she finished just a bit of his feast. Only once did he ask if everything was all right, not going further or probing for details. Adriana assured him everything was fine. And it would be, once she made her next move.

* * * * *

Monday morning, she sat in Steve’s office, confessing what had happened between her and Nathan—sort of. She glossed over the intimate parts and eliminated all the kinky ones. Less cautious in her summary of Nathan’s life, she explained how he now supported his parents and had educated his siblings, sending them to Ivy League schools, his divorce from Hayley and losing Echo. Exhausted and breathless, Adriana slumped in her chair, awaiting Steve’s advice.

He twisted nervously in his chair. Its leather creaked beneath his heft.

Knowing he wanted to run, Adriana pinned him with her stare. “Come on, Steve, you’re a guy and I know you have an opinion on what my next move should be. Do I call him again, go to his office, send him flowers, a bottle of booze, a piece of my lingerie, what?”

“Have you thought about giving up?”

She gripped the arms of her chair. “Screw that. I know how the man feels.”

“He told you?”

“His eyes did.”

He started to roll his then stopped, apparently thinking better of it. “You’re certain he has feelings for you?”

Tears threatened, causing her voice to crack. “I’ve been with a lot of bums. I know when someone’s trying to con me. He wasn’t, Steve. The man needs me as much as I need him. So how do I get through to him? How do I convince him that what happened with Hayley won’t happen with us? That he’s a good man and he deserves a second chance?”

Steve loosened his tie and tightened it again. “Ah…”

“What?” Adriana leaned up in her chair. “Tell me. Please. As a friend. Don’t hold anything back. I’ll do whatever it takes.”

His lips fluttered with his hard exhale. “My best advice is for you to chill. Do not stalk him.”

Adriana’s head slumped forward. She pressed her fingers to her temple and spoke through her teeth. “I know I haven’t had great luck with men, but I’m not that desperate.”

“I’m only saying—”

“Yeah, I know. You’re never going to let me forget hiring Ed and what it cost this company. And now you’re worried I’ll act like a maniac with Nathan and he’ll sue us into bankruptcy and we’ll all be out on the street looking for work.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Just a minute.” He sounded offended. “As far as I’m concerned, the Ed incident never happened. And I do hope someday, well into the future, you and Nathan will have a good laugh about it.”

She tilted her head to see his face. Angry red blotches covered his cheeks and forehead. However, his expression registered hurt that she’d think his feelings for her ran only as deep as the company’s bottom line. “I’m sorry.”

Almost magically, he calmed down and waved his hand, dismissing all the nasty things she’d said. A typical guy response. Adriana knew most women would be pissed for weeks.

“You’re in love. I understand,” he offered. “It affected Francine the same way when she fell for me. She blew everything way out of proportion. Worse than PMS.”

So, he did have a feminine side after all. Adriana decided to let his bitchy comment slide. “You don’t think I should contact Nathan again?”

“He knows how you feel about him, right?”

“I didn’t say the words, but he’s fully aware. I saw it in his eyes.”

“Then don’t call him again. Wait for him to get in touch with you. That’s what I’d want if loving a woman frightened me. I wouldn’t appreciate being crowded. It would just make me run faster. Give him time to think about the two of you, what you shared, the good time you had. Give him a chance to miss that.”

* * * * *

Steve’s advice comforted Adriana until lunch. By dinner, she was too restless to eat. The following day, a wave of longing hit so hard she could barely function. Her thoughts kept returning to the voicemail she’d left him. What exactly had she said? She’d been so nervous, her words hadn’t registered. They’d just fallen out of her mouth. Maybe she said she’d call him again. Was he waiting for her to phone?

Why would he? Nathan wasn’t the type of man to wait for anything he wanted. He’d just take it.

At nine p.m., Adriana was the last one in her office and unable to think or worry anymore. Her sore muscles screamed for rest and a bit of peace. Removing her reading glasses, she went into her private bath and splashed icy water on her face to rouse herself for the lonely drive home. Her head was still hanging down, her fingers gripping the edge of the porcelain sink when she heard a noise. A faint creaking as if someone had just opened or closed a door. Steve? Had he returned to his office for something he’d forgotten? Was he back here to see if she was all right? She caught herself before she sighed, listened hard and heard more creaking…or was it tinkling? Like her cell phone ringing? Nathan calling?

Quickly, Adriana ran a towel over her face, tossing it aside as she hurried to her desk. Halfway there, she stopped with a jerk. Her heart jolted. She stared at Nathan standing in front of her closed office door, wearing a look of desperation as though he didn’t want to be here but couldn’t stop himself. The wind or his fingers had tousled his blond hair. He’d loosened his tie and unbuttoned his collar. His eyes bored into hers, they feasted on her as they did in her Viking fantasies.

He reached her before she could get to him. Hands on either side of her face, he tipped her head back and pressed his mouth to her throat, suckling her, branding her, his groans of delight wonderfully vulgar. Lusty moans poured from the back of her throat. Panting noisily, Nathan lifted his head and stared.


In Lush Velvet Nights, Adriana’s convinced Nathan loves her, despite his misgivings. And through it all, she fights for him, determined to win his heart.

Lush Velvet Nights is available from Ellora’s Cave

Buy link:

Website/blog/YouTube video trailer for Lush Velvet Nights: http://www.tinadonahue.com/

Scavenger hunt: http://www.tinadonahue.com/?p=550

Monthly contest: http://www.tinadonahue.com/contest/

~~~~~

ONE of the commentors will win a choice of one of the following books by Tina:

1. Adored - ebook
2. Deep, Dark, Delicious - ebook
3. Close to Perfect - mass market paperback
4. Bad Boys with Red Roses - trade paperback
5. Take My Breath Away - trade paperback

Tina will ship anywhere in the continental US. If the winner is
outside the continental US, then that person will have a choice of one of
the ebooks.

To be eligible to win, all you have to do is leave a comment. Tina will pick a winner randomly.

27 Moonbeams (comments):

Tina Donahue said...

Hey all, welcome to my blog and contest today - and thanks, Gracen, for having me!! :)

Just want everyone to know, the contest will run until next Friday...plenty of time for you to comment.

So, please, do drop by and definitely comment for a chance to win one of my titles!

Molly Daniels said...

Already on my TBB list, Tina:) Wonderful excerpt!

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Molly - thanks for coming by and for your kind words!! :)

Rebecca Rose said...

Tina I've been hooked on your novels since I read my first! Thanks for sharing. :)

Becc

Paris said...

I can't wait to find out more! You've hooked me with this excerpt.

Tina Donahue said...

How sweet of you to say that, Rebecca!! Thanks for stopping by. :)

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Paris - so glad to see you here today!! Glad you liked the excerpt - it was a whole lotta fun to write. ;)

Tiffany Green said...

Love the excerpt, Tina! You kept my eyes glued to the screen. I gotta have this book!

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Tiffany - I feel the same about yours!! Thanks for stopping by. :)

Patsy said...

I really enjoyed the excerpt. I am so hooked! My curiosity is screaming at me. I have to get this book, so I will know how things turn out.
mom1248(at)att(dot)net

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Patsy - I'll give you a hint - it turns out even spicier than the excerpt. :)

Thanks for dropping by!!

Hales said...

Ohh it looks so good! I hope I'm picked

Tina Donahue said...

You twisting my arm, Hales?? :)

Thanks for coming by, sweetie.

Lauren Fraser said...

Great excerpt. It's going on my TBR list.

Lauren Fraser said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Lauren - thanks for coming by! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. :)

Tamsyn said...

Hi Tina, that was a great excerpt. Got me wanting more. Thanks for sharing.
BTW, I'm international.
tamsyn5@yahoo.com

April Ash said...

I've loved this cover since you first showed it. It's one of the most erotic ones I've seen. The imagery is wonderful...and his hand is perfectly placed to give women readers that "warm hand" feeling just by looking!
Marianne/April

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Tamsyn - thanks for dropping by! So glad you liked the excerpt! :)

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Marianne/April - I soooo have to agree with you. EC has the best covers, don't they? Syneca does an awesome job!

She said...

Wow, you've whet my appetite for more! The excerpt is fantastic. I also love the cover. It is sexy and sensual.

stacey said...

Looks good and i like the cover.

sasluvbooks(at)yahoo.com

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, She - thanks for dropping by. Glad you liked the excerpt and cover!! :)

Tina Donahue said...

Hi, Stacey - the cover is great, isn't it? I squealed when I saw it. Thanks for dropping by! :)

Cathy M said...

Hi Tina,

Congrats on your new release and great job on the trailer.

I really enjoyed Adored and am looking forward to reading more of your stories.

caity_mack(at)yahoo(d0t)com

Tina Donahue said...

Hi, Cathy - thanks for stopping by and commenting. Glad you liked Adored - I enjoyed writing it!

Tina Donahue said...

Okay, drum roll...I put everyone's name in a cup and pulled out the winner - and it's STACEY!!! Yay!!

Stacey, I've emailed you asking what book you want. Congrats! :)