June 1st officially kicked off the Sizzling Summer Reads Party, hosted by the good folks at theromancereviews.com. There are literally hundreds of authors participating in Sizzling Summer and they are fabulous. Every day, a handful of books are spotlighted with a quick quiz. You can find the answers by clicking on the helpful hint links, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll forget the question once you start exploring those sites. There’s fun and prizes and cake and lots of authors you can’t wait to read yet. (The cake is a lie.) So tell your friends and be sure to check back with them every day to explore some fresh sizzle and share your favorites!
In the meantime, every Monday and Thursday in June, I will celebrate the summer of sizzle with some sizzling samples from each of my books. I warn you right now: Some of them are weirder than others. Today, I’m going to give you a sneak peek at The Last Hour of Gann, which is on schedule to be released at the end of summer. In this excerpt, relatively early in the book, Meoraq is giving Amber a wilderness lesson in how to cure hides when he notices stormclouds growing…
* * * * *
“I want you to sleep in my tent tonight,” he said, frowning at the sky.
She looked up, brains dripping down her raised arms. “What? You what?”
“It means to rain. The hides should be kept dry.”
“Oh. Put them in your tent. Right.” She laughed a little. “I thought you told me to sleep in there.”
“I did,” he said, puzzled. “If you can’t mark my words, tell me so that I can repeat them. You need to sleep on the hides so that your weight and warmth—”
“In your tent?” Her face was very pink. Drops of brains fell lightly on her blood-stained thighs. “With you?”
Some great invisible hammer came clubbing down on the whole of his body, leaving him to stare foolishly back at her as if asking a woman to share his bedchamber, even if it was just a tent, had no special significance at all. How could he even say that without realizing how it could be perceived? If he’d said this to a dumaq woman—any dumaq woman—she would be bowing herself there right this moment to receive his fires.
And with this unplanned thought, the warmth in his loins became flame.
‘I only want her out of the damn rain so the hides won’t get wet,’ he thought stubbornly. He wanted the hides to stay dry while they cured and he would admit to nothing more, but when Sheul wanted him to make leathers, He provided the rend, and when He wanted His chosen to breed, He gave them women.
‘And she is a woman, no matter what else she is,’ he thought. ‘A stubborn woman, an insufferable woman, a human woman, but a woman and when I order a woman to my room, by God and Gann, she goes!’
His head tipped warningly. “Do you not mark me?”
“I understand you just fine.”
“Then you will sleep in my tent.”
“What? Why do you think?”
She did not answer and the silence gradually stole both the edge from his voice and the urgency from his constrained member. He leaned back, scratching once, needlessly, at the side of his snout.
“Why do you think?” he asked finally, quietly.
“I think,” she said, not meeting his eyes, “you know you can sleep on these things without me.”
He looked at her without really seeing her. His mind was like the clouds, heavy without weight, in constant motion but unchanging. He did not think, exactly, but after a certain span of time, he said, “Come to my tent tonight.”