With the release of RED HAWK’S WOMAN in Tradepaper, I feel it only right to give away a free copy of the Tradepaper copy of the book, which is a $16.00 value. But a word about this give-away, please.
The give-away is for US residents of the greater 48 States only and you must be 18 to enter into the drawing. Names are drawn at random and is a matter of pure luck. All you have to do to enter the contest is leave a comment. The give-away is also void where prohibited.
Another detail I need to go over before we get into the blog today, is please check back tomorrow, Wednesday evening, to see if you are the winner. If you are the winner, but don’t contact me, then I cannot get the book to you. I know that some blog sites will contact you if you are the winner, but in this particular give-away, you must check back tomorrow (Wednesday eve), where I will announce the winner and leave instructions on the blog on how to contact me so that I can get the book to you. If you have any questions, please feel free to say it in your comment, or contact me personally through email.
That said, two weeks ago, my blog was an excerpt from the book, RED HAWK’S WOMAN, and today, I’m going to post another excerpt of the book. Hope you enjoy!
He wanted to laugh at her, for she looked so stubborn and yet so forlorn. Indeed, at this moment, he thought she resembled a rabbit, staring up into the eyes of a wolf. Unfortunately for him, he was that wolf.
“You are frightened,” he told her, “especially after what happened a few nights ago. And because you do not understand why I am here, asking you these questions, you fear for your safety, even with me. I only hope you will give me a chance to prove myself to you.”
“I hope so too.” She rose to her knees. “Now if you will excuse me, I must get back to my hotel. The others will wonder about me.”
When she made to get to her feet, he did not stop her. Instead, he gave her one quick nod, which appeared to keep her from leaving, at least for the moment.
“Thank you for combing my hair.” She smiled as if to ease the tension between them. “I could all too easily become accustomed to such things.”
That smile was his undoing. Was she some sort of enchantress that she could ensnare him with an action so simple?
He wanted to get lost in that grin, to bask in it. Moreover he longed to spend more time with her, wanted the rest of the world to go away when he was with her. He swallowed hard. “You are most beautiful when you smile.”
She opened her mouth to speak, but even she seemed at a loss for words, and her lips, now parted, looked inviting.
He cleared his throat, started to say something, but had second thoughts.
She mumbled, “I never forgot you.”
“Nor I, you. I waited for you that day.”
“And I came back to that pool day after day,” she confessed. “You never returned.”
“I was gone from that country by then.”
“Gone? But I thought you lived there.”
What could he say that she might understand? Certainly not the truth.
Not knowing what to tell her and what not to, he simply gazed at her. At length, however, he uttered, “I, too, have my secrets. Perhaps tomorrow evening we will unburden ourselves.”
“I would touch you, if you would let me.”
Shyly, her gaze locked on to his. “Would you? How?”
What was she suggesting? He closed his eyes briefly. Swamped by a craving to know every little thing about her, he tried to speak. Nothing happened.
For lack of knowing what else to do, he brought his hand to her cheek, smoothing the backs of his fingers down toward her neck. With the action, desire, hot and urgent, raced through him. Her skin was soft, delicate, fragrant with femininity. He swallowed. “It’s not enough.”
“I thought a simple touch would be plenty—that it would last me…several days. I was wrong. It’s not enough.”
She shut her eyes then slowly drew in toward him. Her lips parted, she swallowed and she whispered, “Then how else would you touch me? That is, if you could?”
Did she, too, want more? The thought sent him quietly out of his mind. “Perhaps I might stroke you like this.” Bending, he brought his cheek to hers. “Or maybe like this,” he mumbled, as he wrapped his arm around her and drew her closer. Haiya, he needed to feel her flesh against his.
But it was not to be. It could never be.
He should let her go. He would let her go.
And then from out of nowhere came her words. “Do you kiss?”
“Of course I kiss.” Hardly able to believe he was having this conversation with her, he tried to gulp down the lump that had formed in his throat. “Are you going to let me kiss you?”
She murmured, “You might try it and see.”
He lowered his head; she lifted hers. Gently, his lips sought the silky texture of her mouth, and he thought that pleasure might surely burst within him.
Everything about her was right—the way her lips fit against his, the clean taste of her breath. He hungered to know more of her.
She groaned. The sound excited him, and in reaction to it, he thought he might explode.
He nipped at her lips once, again, his tongue darting in and out of her mouth, teasing her, testing her. How much of this could he take before he demanded more?
She leaned in toward him, and he caught her, pulling her closer yet. But he didn’t continue his foray of her. Instead he brought her body in as near as he possibly could—given the fullness of her swimming attire—and hugged her. “I have dreamed of doing this from the moment I first saw you.”
It was her turn to gasp, as though she couldn’t quite breathe in sufficient oxygen. “Now or back then?”
“Both. But neither has been a good time for us. Back then we were too young, and now we have secrets from one another.”
He set her away from him, but he couldn’t let her go completely, and the backs of his fingers came up to smooth over her cheek. Downward he caressed, toward her neck.
He knew what he should do, what he should suggest. He only hoped he had the courage to do it, to say it.
Do not be lured by matters of the flesh.
White Claw’s words echoed in Red Hawk’s mind. But was this a simple matter of the flesh? Red Hawk argued with himself. Or was this more?
Deep within himself, he knew the answer, as surely as he knew his heart. After a few moments, he gulped down air and summoned his nerve. “We should marry.”
RED HAWK’S WOMAN by Karen Kay