Snippet Saturday – Sweethearts

This week’s Snippet Saturday features some of the most awesome authors I know. Be sure to visit them via the links at the bottom of this post. Now, back to business – this week’s theme is Sweethearts. Valentine’s Day just passed and while I don’t have any books with that particular holiday, Valentine’s Day just wouldn’t be the same without some romance leading up to it, right?

So, here’s a Snippet from Silk Road where Larien allows himself to be as vulnerable as any Fallen can be — by showing his true self to Jayla.

Enjoy!

Excerpt from
Silk Road
Seals of Destiny Book One
by TJ Michaels

Out of the blue, she asked, “So you can change your form, right? Like the asshat that jumped me? He looked human one minute and a freaking giant the next.”

“Of course. All Fallen can take human form or revert to their working form.”

“Working form? What’s a working form?”

“I am a warring angel, so my working form is for battle. It is the form I take most often, or would take often if I still had my old job. We can also transform to celestial bodies, unless we go demon.”

“What happens if you choose Fallen demonhood rather than Fallen angelhood?”

“We lose the ability to take our celestial forms ever again.”

“Can I see? Your celestial form, I mean.” Her honey brown eyes sparkled, full of mischief. What was she up to? He tilted his head and tried to read between whatever lines he was sure were there. “Well, can I?”

I can refuse her nothing.

Without another word, Larien rose and padded to the living room with Jayla on his heels.

“Why the living room instead of the office?”

“You’ll see.”

The moment she settled on the couch he let the change explode from his very cells. His body stretched and expanded. The familiar burn of the emergence of his wings was followed by an awed gasp from Jayla.

“Wow. You have wings?! And you’re so big, uh, bigger.”

But even at eight feet ten inches this body was still restricted by flesh.

“This is my battle form.” His voice, deepened by the transformation, caused her eyes to widen even more, yet the stink of fear was absent. Humans usually pissed themselves if they managed to glimpse an angel’s battle form, Fallen or not. “But I want you to see my true form though it is dimmer than when I was eudaemon.”

Nodding enthusiastically, Jayla simply sat with her eyes aglow with wonder. The eager acceptance in her gaze never ceased to make him feel special. Proud, even, of what he was. Or rather, what was left of him.

* * * * *

Jayla was fully along for the ride. Energy crackled in the air, rode along the ridges of her spine and then sank into her blood. It pumped through her heart, infused her cells and then burst forth like an explosion of moonlight and starlight behind her eyes. It was peaceful yet so beautifully vibrant she could almost hear the hum of electricity in the room. The tips of Larien’s beautiful wings trailed the floor and then snapped out to fill the room. A variation of black she’d never seen before, the color seemed alive and swirled with luminescence. Lethal-looking talons on the end of perfectly sculpted feathers were a-glow with shimmering gold.

Wow, how did he ever walk away from such power, she wondered. Larien outshone anything her mind could even possibly conceive. When Improbael had morphed from his human form he’d grown at least a good two feet, just like Larien, but where Larien’s skin was an almost-glowing dove gray, Improbael’s Fallen demon skin had become as dank as cement—lifeless and cold like the dirty ash that remained in the bottom of a grill long after the charcoal had burned itself out.
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Snippet Saturday – Endings

How about a Snippet from Silk Road that gives us some insight into Chel’s life? In Seals of Destiny Book One, Chelriad is a secondary character. But in this Snippet we get a glimpse of why she’s going to be such an interesting leading character in the next book. Yes, people, the next book is Chel’s story. And she’s quite broken…and it’s all due to this particular ending.

Chel’s eyes flew open but the dream continued to play in her head like a bad movie.

Sadness. Those she’d always known, had always felt down to the marrow of her bones now turned on her with such a vengeance it was unfathomable. Such ferocity had never been focused on her. Had never been directed at her.

Even when learning to fight, as every angel must, her body had never experienced such pain. It was as if a layer of herself had been skinned away leaving her raw and exposed to feel the full impact of each blow. The blows reverberated down through her body, through skin, muscle and bone, down to the cellular level they vibrated through her.

She felt them—some brimming with righteous indignation, disgusted and appalled at the thought of rebellion, others full of sorrow at what they were doing even as she was filled with the anguish of betrayal. Her people had turned on her.

Then the rending began. Not just the tearing of flesh, but also the decimation of spirit as she was ripped away from the consciousness of the family that she had felt from the moment of her first breath.

And with the rending came crippling loneliness and despair. It felt like she’d been marooned, closed off. The pain of being alone came in waves of absolute crushing agony.

She’d never been alone before. Even if she’d sat in one of the training halls with no one around, she’d never truly been by herself. Had never called out to her brothers, sisters, and cousins only to have the sound of her own voice bounce around in her head and then echo into nothingness.

The last she’d seen of her home was the bottom of an Archangel’s boot. And then she Fell. The stars flew past until they appeared to be one long streak of light. A second before she understood what waited, she turned her head toward the earth. It rose up fast to meet her.

This was no graceful floating down to the ground. No, it was as if she’d been blasted through time and space until even the very air passed over her skin so quickly it burned, left rifts and welts behind.

She’d slammed into the earth. Lay there barely drawing breath. Each shallow pant sent new agony streaking through every limb. Her organs felt flattened in her body. Her wings had been snapped off before she’d been kicked down here, so this current cracking of bone was something else—likely every other bone in her body.

If she’d ever wished to be a human, it was now. At least she could have died to escape the hell of her new existence, the desolation of her plight.

Instead, she lay there, healing slowly even as a simmer began in her soul. Hatred. Pure burning hatred, but not for man. No, her anger was at the asshole that had talked her into rebelling. As the sun rose and set in what seemed like endless days, Chel lay in the middle of the desert, thoughts focused on the angel who had held the highest office in their world. One who walked with the creative Source themselves. So handsome, perfectly formed, with a voice that brought one to ones knees in reverence as he sang to those that had made him. He’d been called the Son of the Morning because the glory of his being had been like the rising of the sun whenever he walked into a room.

Lucifer.

And that fucker had been the cause of her worst nightmareChelriad, Angel of the Second Tier, Virtue and commander of the elements, had Fallen.

Snippet Saturday authors
Lissa Matthews
Rhian Cahill
Myla Jackson
Caris Roane
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
HelenKay Dimon
Shiloh Walker
Delilah Devlin
Eliza Gayle
Lauren Dane
Felicity Heaton

Snippet Saturday – Talk talk talk

Ever look at a friend who was running their mouth, yet all you could hear was Charlie Brown’s teacher saying “Wah wa wa wa waaaaah”? Well, welcome to Snippet Saturday, a brilliant collaboration of Lauren Dane and a fabulous group of authors that she’s invited to join her in posting book goodies every Saturday, of which I am thrilled to be a part of. This week’s Snippet Saturday theme is—Talk, talk, talk (dialog).

I think this is one of my favorite dialog scenes from my newest release, ‘Silk Road’. Enjoy, and then grab a Snippet from all the Snippet Saturday authors via the link at the bottom of the post. Tally ho!

The following morning Larien awoke to a sleep-warmed, delicious smelling woman tucked against his body. He nuzzled Jayla’s neck as he whispered against her skin. “God, I could kiss you all night.”

He felt her smile against his skin where she nibbled him right back. “You did kiss me all night. Time to get up already?” She yawned, but looked bright and ready for the day.

They should both be tired as dogs who’d been hunting for two days without a break. But Larien noticed that Jayla charged him up somehow. He mentally added the whole “energy thing” to his list of questions for Gabriel when he delivered his next status report.

“Speaking of getting up in the morning,” he said as he rolled her beneath him yet again, “I forgot to tell you that Talan said you’re all healed now and it’s okay for you to travel. I went ahead and updated our train reservations. We leave day after tomorrow.”

“What? When did this happen?”

“He told me last night.”

“Where is Talan?”

“Sleeping on the couch.”

“Wait. Did you say day after tomorrow?” She was out of bed so fast he tumbled off to the side, caught completely off guard. She stood, fists jammed into her hips. The skimpy spaghetti-strapped camisole left nothing to the imagination. And he could imagine quite a bit now that she’d had those pretty breasts pressed against his body. They were a little more than a handful, soft with puffy nipples that became stiff cocoa buds and…

“Larien! Stop ogling my boobs already. I can’t be ready in two days. I haven’t done laundry in forever, more accurately, since the unhealthy incident at the hands of a no good winter Fallen demon. And given you haven’t let me lift a finger since I was injured I don’t even want to know what my house looks like with you and Talan taking care of everything. Oh my God, I have a news piece due to my editor. Shit!”

“Are you insinuating that I’m messy?”

“Out of all that, all you got was that I think you’re messy? Hey, I’m the one that’s been out of commission for weeks.” A sharp index finger pinned him in the chest. Damn. That almost hurt. “You don’t get to make this about you. Then again, it is about you and you not bothering to ask me if I can be ready to go in barely forty eight hours.”

“Ask? For what? Anything you need, I can get or fashion for you.”

“Ask for what? For what?”

Was she turning colors?

He rose and gently stroked his hand down her spine to calm her. That earned him her back and an elbow in the ribs as she walked away, grabbed a robe off the little bench at the end of her bed and practically ripped a sleeve off as she jammed her arm through it.

“Can you clean my house with a sweep of your hand, too, then?”

Larien was at a loss. Sure he’d had plenty of experience with women but nothing like the spitfire glaring daggers at him just now.

“Jayla, are you angry?”

“Answer my question, damn it,” she snapped.

“No, I cannot clean your house with a wave of my hand. I am a warring angel, not Harry Potter.”

“Didn’t think so. And for the record, making decisions for me when I’m perfectly capable of making them myself falls firmly into the assholery department, damn it. And Talan told me that you two have been sharing dinner duty. I don’t know about you, but I can guarantee Talan hasn’t washed a dish since he’s been here! Goddamn men! Think you know every damn thing in the whole damn world and—”

He should have pretended to miss out on the rest as she stomped out of the room and down the hall. Soon her words were accompanied by various banging and slamming of pots, pans, and what sounded like the stove and dishwasher.

So much for spending the morning kissing in bed.

“Talan, get in here and help me,” she yelled from the kitchen, and then grumbled, “Before I break something…like a plate over your bonehead. Talan! Wake up.” Followed by a splash, a yowl and a sputter in what sounded like old Gaelic. But it didn’t keep Larien from laughing as he fashioned some clothes and moved toward the racket with a shake of his head.

Snippet Saturday Authors
Rhian Cahill
Shelli Stevens
Anne Rainey
Jody Wallace
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Lauren Dane
Shiloh Walker
Leah Braemel

Snippet Saturday – The First Ever I Saw Your Face

This week’s theme is first meetings, when our guy and gal meet for the first time. Enjoy this bit from my upcoming release, Silk Road, an Urban Fantasy with some good romance stirred in. After the excerpt, be sure to visit the other Snippet Saturday authors via the links at the bottom of the post!

Oh, and the ZART Countdown contest starts tomorrow – so keep your eyes peeled!

Snippet (unedited) from
Silk Road, Seals of Destiny Book 1
by TJ Michaels

Energy with a bit of a dark bite blazed off the oversized man who practically spilled out of her cute little vanity chair. He seemed unmistakably unhuman. Not evil – she knew full well what that felt like – but not quite nice either.

Sporting a stylish leather trench coat, black jeans and scuffed motorcycle boots, this whatever was rough-and-tumble gorgeous. He looked like one of those Wolverine types rocking the almost-bald look. Definitely a man that could woo a woman in ten seconds flat then go out and chop a forest full of wood without breaking a sweat.

And right now he seemed to spill all that all maleness over her bedroom…uninvited. Annoyance at having her private space invaded trumped his yumminess by a long stretch.

“So, let’s get down to it. What the hell are you doing in my house? And I don’t even want to know how you know my name.” Though she did like the way it had rolled off his tongue when she’d turned on the light…

Get a grip, girl. Uninvited guest, remember?

“What are you?” she snapped.

“Which question do you want me to answer first?”

Oh, and the man was a smart ass to boot?

“Look, you’ve got two seconds to clear out or I’ll have to call my boys in to kick your ass. Then I’ll throw you out.”

He folded his arms across his chest and huffed as if she’d inconvenienced him, as put out to be here as she was about his unknown intentions. Huh.

“So, are you going to…?”

“Jayla, my name is Larien,” he said, cutting her off.

“Larien?”

“Yes, and I am to assist you in a task.”

“What task? And why should I believe you?”

He stretched out his hand. A folded piece of shimmery-looking paper slowly floated by itself from his fingers to hers. Neat trick but…

“Too damn slow,” she mumbled as she stomped the remaining distance between them and snatched the note out of the air. “Sorry,” she mumbled when Larien mumbled something about her manners or lack thereof. Great, and now she was blushing. “While I may not be afraid of you, I didn’t mean to disrespect you…even if you are in my house, in the middle of the night, in my bedroom with nothing more than a piece of paper to recommend you.”

The landscape of his face went from amused to taut to wrinkled forehead to slate smooth face. She’d managed to confuse a supernatural?

Wow, I am good!

“You look like you’re wondering what my deal is. It’s all over your face.” Okay, the smirk she tried to suppress morphed into a full-on grin. “Well, not anymore. Guess you’ve gotten your shit together and now you’re doing the stoic I’m-a-bad-ass face. No worries.”

Good lord, she was doing the feisty thing with an unknown man broadcasting a serious me-no-play-well-with-others attitude. She must need to go work off some energy or something. First order of business in the morning — go hit a heavy bag at the gym or something.

Remembering the piece of paper in her hand Jayla read it and cocked her head sideways in disbelief followed by the curiosity that never ceased to get her in trouble. She read it again for good measure then flew to the window. With her back to Larien, she was suddenly quite aware of how the little hem on her gown ruffled as she raised the pane and yelled down to Ambriel and his crew in the yard.

“Hey guys, is this for real?”

Ambriel grumbled back, “Yes, Jayla, it is genuine. He is being honest in his intentions…for once.”

Well that didn’t sound good, and when she whirled around to face Larien he didn’t look as if he cared in the slightest, but she didn’t miss the tail end of a curse or two as he coughed into his hand.

Rather than wary, it made her smile.

Back across the room, she settled down on the bench at the foot of her bed, crossed her arms over her chest and sat her pseudo-prickly butt down with an expectant huff. “Okay, Larien, I’m listening.”

“There is an ancient artifact that you are tasked to find and my job is to help you acquire it.”

Genuinely confused, Jayla said, “I’m so not Lara Croft. Seriously, I own a gym and write for the local paper. The university has an archeology department where I’m sure you can find someone more suitable. I’ve never even been on an expedition before though Egypt is on my bucket list.”

“You are more than suitable. In fact, you are the only one we know of that can handle this job.”

 

Snippet Saturday Authors
Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Rhian Cahill
Jody Wallace
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
Mandy M Roth
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Lauren Dane
Leah Braemel
Shelli Stevens
Shiloh Walker
Zoë Archer