Hello Readers! Today I have a special guest, Author Stephanie Julian, author of the Lucani Lovers and Forgotten Goddesses series. A former reporter for a daily newspaper, she enjoys making up stories much more than writing about real life. She’s happily married to a Springsteen fanatic and is the mother of two sons who love her even when they don’t have any clean clothes and dinner is a bowl of cereal.
Stephanie is one of the featured authors attending Author’s After Dark in New Orleans. For more information about AAD2012, click HERE.
Please help me welcome Stephanie to That’s What I’m Talking About. And be sure to check out the end of Stephanie’s post for a special giveaway! Take it away, Steph…
Last Sunday, I took my 16-year-old son and his friend to see their favorite band in Philadelphia.
My youngest son and I share some musical tastes, such as a love of Bullet For My Valentine, Slipknot and Avenged Sevenfold, but we diverge on the subject of rap. He loves it. I can appreciate some of it, but much of it makes me grit my teeth and want to knock idiot male heads together.
For three hours, I sat in the balcony of the Electric Factory, alternately grimacing and shaking my head as Insane Clown Posse sprays gallons of Faygo soda on adoring fans while they bopped around on stage in clown makeup. This is not my first time at this rodeo. Last winter, I took my son and two friends to see ICP at this same venue. It was the coldest night of the year. The boys were soaked so badly, their clothes were literally frozen by the time we reached the car. I had a splitting headache.
Why do I subject myself to this?
Because I love my son. And we all know we do things for love that we would never do otherwise.
Which leads me to the actual reason for this post.
In Spell Bound, Shea Tedaldi is working as an exotic dancer because it pays the bills and she has a 6-year-old brother to take care of. Their parents were murdered by men who want to use her brother and his magical powers for evil. Shea believes those men somehow found where their parents were hiding through some fault of hers.
Shea needs a hero and Gabriel Borelli is the man, so she’ll do whatever it takes to make him protect her brother.
If that means putting up with the man’s arrogance, she’ll grit her teeth and do whatever he says, even if she wants to punch him while she does.
She never thought she’d fall for the too-macho, overbearing, way-too-handsome man who treats her brother like he was his own. And who looks at her with an intensity so hot it burns.
Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie. Stephanie is graciously giving away one (1) electronic copy of her newest release Spell Bound. Please leave your comments for Stephanie by Saturday October 22, 2011, at 9:00 PM EDT to be eligible for the contest. One entry per person, winner will be selected from eligible entries using random.org. Contest is open internationally; please leave your email address so we can send you the book. Thank you to Steph for this fun giveaway!
For more about Stephanie’s latest, Spell Bound, here is an except:
“I’m not going to hurt you. I’m here to protect you. And take you to talk to someone. I’ll let you go when you stop struggling, then you’re going to come quietly.”
Shea finally made sense of the words the dirty, rotten ceffo had whispered in her ear, and anger replaced her fear.
Her heart still beat at heart-attack pace, but she forced herself to relax and he released her the second she stopped trying to get away.
Instinct took over and she jabbed her spike heel into his combat boot as she stood and faced him. The guy didn’t even flinch.
“Vaffanculo. You are a Grade-A bastard. What makes you think I’m going anywhere with you?”
Crossing her arms under her breasts, forcing them tighter against the straps, she watched his gaze dip for a few brief seconds, making her nipples ache against the leather.
He smiled as if he’d read her mind. “You came to me for help, babe. Either you take it or they take the kid. I’ve seen what’s after him.”
Damn him. Her stomach rolled and, for a minute, she thought she might throw up. He was deliberately trying to scare her.
And since she’d seen first-hand what those men would do…she was terrified.
They could be anywhere. Sitting in the audience. Next to her on the street. They were close. She could practically feel them, like a dark presence that lingered on the outer edges of her consciousness. They’d killed her parents. There was no way she’d let them have Leo. But if something happened to her, Leo would have no one.
Unless she trusted this man with the steady dark stare and rock-solid jaw under a finely trimmed beard that covered his chin and continued up to meet his sideburns.
She sighed. “Why are you here now? You made yourself perfectly clear last night.”
He shook his head. “No, I didn’t. Look…last night…I wasn’t expecting you. I was tired and…” He sighed. “I didn’t mean to offend you. So, may I please offer you my protection?”
Her lips twitched at his apology during which he never apologized and at his purely male look of exasperation. He had to know she wouldn’t say no. There was too much at stake.
“Can you at least tell me your name? And who wants to talk to us?”
His head inclined the slightest bit. “Gabriel Borelli. And all your questions will be answered when we get where we’re going. But we gotta go now.”
“Fine. Just let me change—”
Borelli held up one hand to silence her as his eyes narrowed. He turned toward the door, revealing, for a brief second, the armory beneath his coat.
A brief flash of memory sparked as she recognized a few of the weapons under that coat. Her father had had many of the same in his own collection. Gabriel Borelli was a warrior, exactly who she needed to keep Leo safe.
His intense concentration as he listened to something outside the room actually calmed her. She didn’t hear anything but he obviously did. Something that set him on edge.
After a few seconds, Borelli made a sharp motion with his head for her to follow him.
Slipping off her heels, she watched as he opened the door and looked both ways. Then he waved her into the hallway that connected these small rooms to the dressing room at the end.
Where Leo waited.
Borelli dogged her heels, a gun the size of a small cannon in his hand. They reached the dressing room in seconds. No one appeared in the hall as they slipped inside.
“Leo,” she whispered. “Come on, we’ve got to go.”
His dark head popped up from under the vanity table where he’d probably been playing his PSP. His eyes widened when he saw Borelli and he looked back at her with fear in his eyes.
“It’s okay, bud.” She smiled at him as she shrugged into her hoodie and pulled on her sneakers. No time to change the shorts. “He’s here to help.”
Leo looked again at Borelli, who swiped a quick look at Leo before returning his intent gaze to the dressing room door. Her brother took a second to make up his mind before he moved to her side.
She grabbed his hand and her backpack…
And froze as her skin tingled. Someone was using a spell to search for them. Someone powerful.
Oh, shit. They’d been found—
Borelli grabbed her shoulder and shook her, breaking through the fear that’d nearly paralyzed her. He didn’t say a word, just motioned toward the door at the rear that led to the back alley.
She didn’t need to be told twice. Holding tight to Leo’s hand, she’d barely pulled him through the door when the shooting started.
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