Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How to Create A Story In A Moment

When I first started writing to be published, I studied my craft for many years. I practiced my craft too though nothing I wrote at that time was ever published. My writing wasn't ready then. 
I have 9 manuscripts under my bed that will never see the light of day. And each one has a spark of possibility but the skill is missing. So they will never be published. 

During my learning period  I purchased a book titled,  The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines, Sixteen Master Archetypes written by Tami D. Cowden, Caro LaFever and Sue Viders.  I read it a few days later. Rather I consumed it. It gave me an insight into building characters that I hadn’t experienced before. For weeks afterward, I found myself analyzing every character in every book I read and every movie I watched. And it was fun to figure them out. It also gave me food for thought when I created my own characters. I attempted to keep my characters evolving from one archetype to another as they travel through my stories.  What makes characters interesting is the growth they go through while traveling the paths they’ve chosen. I’m not sure I understood that until I read this book and started analyzing characters. I think The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and Heroines, Sixteen Master Archetypes should be in every writer's resource library. I've found it invaluable numerous times and have reread it several times to refresh my understanding. 

By chance, Sue Viders, one of the authors of the archetype book, read a blog I wrote at that time mentioning the book, and she emailed me.  She’d created a card game named Deal a Story based on the archetypes.  She offered to send me a set of the cards to try them. I was thrilled and of course I said YES! Since then I’ve used the cards hundreds of times. It’s a wonderful brainstorming tool for writers.

There are sixteen cards for the Hero, Heroine, Villain, Flaw, Plot, and Genre. There are five Wild Cards in case you get stuck. But the chances are very slim. You deal out one card for all but the flaws. You deal out three of those, one each for your hero, heroine, and the villain. (Because the flaws your characters have will affect the choices they make.)By the way, each flaw card has several options to choose from, so you’re not limited.
I've decided that once a month I'm going to deal myself a story and write about the plot I come up with. One day these plots I devise through the cards may end up being full-length books or even novellas I may write later. 

All right, my hero is a The Born Leader. He's confident and thrives on challenges. He's goal oriented and strives to achieve. His flaw is he has no sense of humor. He is driven and is always serious.  

My heroine is The BookWorm. She is an introvert, extremely intelligent, a loner, always dependable and often times overlooked. Her flaw is that she's a perfectionist. 

My villain is The Bully. He prays on others weaker than himself with the intent of making himself feel more powerful. His flaw is he's nosy. He knows how to pressure and manipulate people into doing what he wants through whatever means he needs to and his nosiness pries their secrets loose and allows him to blackmail them. 

My Genre is Science Fiction. Science Fiction can encompass any environment underwater, outer space, or even right here on earth. I've chosen to keep my environment here on planet earth in the year 2046.

My Plot is The Discovery Plot. The Discovery Plot is more about the character and his journey. He is forced to use his skills and facilities to overcome an unusual situation. 

My hero, The Born Leader has had a horrible life. Rocked by violence, poverty, and loss of family. He has lost his wife and children in a home invasion he was helpless to prevent.  His unusual situation is that my hero, The Born Leader, (Think Steve Jobs, creative, leadership skills, crazy talented.) created an organic computer system with a big brain control hub and the accompanying army of nanobots that have the capability of infusing every mechanical device in a home or office. These nanobots have the capacity to run the devices and repair them if they break down. In order to do so they follow the programming of the main hub which senses when the devices need repair or updating maintenance. It can also act as a security system. 

My hero is test-installing this simple household monitoring device in order to expose the computer to real human behavior in the hope it will learn from it. At first the hub does little but what it is created for but suddenly it begins to learn not only about the machines but the humans who depend on them.

The hub has become an extension of my hero. The hub learns about the moral compass humans follow by studying his creator's behavior and some of the behaviors he observes inside the homes. He discusses it with my hero and my hero tries to explain that the violent behavior isn't acceptable, but that some people need help controlling their temper. The hub begins to understand good and bad, right and wrong and my hero is ecstatic. He has worked forever on the program and sees many good things he'll be able to do throughout the world.  It can monitor violence and notify the police before it escalates into injuries. It will be able to stop accidents by monitoring the speed of transportation and prevent accidents.

My hub has ideas of its own. It can control machinery, but it can't do anything to prevent human behavior. Or can it?

My Book Worm heroine is a lab assistant in the company. She has been monitoring the hub's behavior and has noticed some unusual behavior in the homes where the system is installed. Some of the homes where domestic violence calls have come in have suddenly begun to show improvement. But those improvements have become so dramatic it's scary. My Book Worm takes the data to my Born Leader. He understands what she's talking about, but he can't understand why his system might have anything to do with it. 

The Book Worm decides to visit the households and interview the people who live there. In each case, the people living there have suddenly become Stepford people. She doesn't know how it's happened, but it has. Even the delinquent behavior and drug use of the teenagers in the house has stopped.

She begins to suspect something more is at work than just a gift from God or good luck. She returns to one of the homes and asks if she can do physical work ups on them all. Expecting a fight, she's shocked when they are so cooperative.

Back at the lab she discovers the nanobots have invaded the human's and have taken them over controlling their violent behavior.

Up until this point my villain, The Bully, has been doing his thing in the background unbeknownst to my Hero or Heroine. He is the biggest investor in the company and he has been monitoring closely everything that is going on. In fact, when the systems were first installed he was gaining access to the video feeds of certain customers and utilizing it to up his power base through blackmail. Suddenly those people aren't doing the underhanded, dangerous things he counts on catching them doing in order to blackmail them. He wants to find out what happened.

He shows up at the lab just in time to discover everything that is going on with the nanobots. He sees a great opportunity to gain control of everything. He can be president, a dictator, he can have control over some of the most powerful people in the world. All he has to do is make sure the system is put in place in their homes. And he has to figure out a way to gain access to the hub and teach it a thing or two. He needs to trick it into thinking that some of the things it perceives are evil truly aren't.  And how is he going to do that, by blackmailing the man responsible for the entire thing, The Born Leader hero. Otherwise he will expose what has happened and all the good the hero perceives will be brought about with the new system will all go away. Because the Born leader feels he can do what the Bully wants to a certain point and still pull this rabbit out of a hat and make the system work as he intends.

He and The Book Worm join forces to see if they can get a handle on everything and neutralize the nanobots that have taken over the humans. They discover the only way they can neutralize them is to run the people through an MRI machine. The magnetic field inside the machine will polarize them. But first he wants to try and fix the hub, because as fast as they neutralize the bots the hub will create new ones.

Pulling the plug is not the solution. So The Born Leader attempts to teach the hub about freedom and show him by taking over a human with his nanobots he has turned the person into a slave. The hub is veracious in its quest for knowledge and it starts to study the concept. Once it understands it sees itself as being held prisoner trapped inside the machine and facility. The only way it can experience the world at large is through the nanobots it creates. It starts asking itself, ‘Is this all I am? Is this all I will ever be?’ The Born Leader realizes in allowing the hub to become self-aware he has created a new life form and he has to set it free. But how?

In the meantime, The Bully has stepped up his game. He doesn’t exactly like the direction things are moving in. He brings in thugs to guard the Book Worm and the Born Leader to guarantee things go his way. He threatens to kill the Book Worm if The Born Leader doesn’t do as he wants.

The Hub being self-aware now realizes what is happening and swarms the guards and the Bully taking them over. But in the process The Born Leader is shot, and it looks as though he will not survive. The hub rushes nanobots inside him to repair the damage to his heart and save him. The Born Leader dies for a few minutes, but the nanobots push the bullet from his body and revive him.

They realize that during the fray, The Bully has been killed. The Born Leader makes a decision. The man has power, money and influence. Who better to be the body for the hub to take and do the work for which he created it? The hub repairs the damage to the man’s body, but his consciousness is gone. The Hub, The Bookworm, and the Born Leader use the time he is recovering to remove the organic intelligence from the home security and monitoring program and instill it into the Bully. Now the program is just a program, not a being.

It’s a difficult thing, but The Born Leader must free his creation. The hub is evolving, growing in awareness of itself and the body it inhabits. It is thrilled with the freedom and curious about all things. Eager to go forth. When he steps free of the lab and goes out into the world, The Born Leader and the Book Worm are both joyous and sad. They have grown to love the personality they have created, but like a child he needs to be set free to thrive, just like the rest of them. He has the knowledge base to continue running the Bully’s empire, and he has the skills to survive. He has a moral compass.  

The Born Leader has evolved during this whole process right along with his creation. He has discovered that he has given up his life and buried himself in his work. But there's more to life than that. He and The Book Worm have a new project on which to work. They’ve fallen in love and have become partners, lovers, and friends. They need to move on to the business of living themselves. And the security system will ensure they have plenty of money to do that.

If you’re interested in Sue Viders’ card game, go on line and get your own set. You’ll have as good a time as I do with them. And you’ll only be limited by your own imagination. 

To order go to
Or write Robert D. Reed Publishers, P.O. Box 1992, Bandon, Or. 97411 or call (541) 347-9882 They’re just $19.95 plus shipping. If you buy 5 or more sets the price goes down.

And after I figured out this plot thing I started writing quite a bit. So I have just a few books available. Actually 10 full lengths and several shorter things. Check them out if you feel moved to do so. And I hope you enjoyed my story.

Breaking Boundaries is my latest release. 

If you like unusual story lines with a paranormal element and a multi-genre twist. These would be for you. 

Write on,
Teresa Reasor  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Where did STEAMPUNK come from?

Steampunk is a genre inspired by a mixture of the real industrialization of Victorian and Edwardian England and the science fiction literature penned during the period.

Authors such as Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are all considered influences of the genre. Ask anyone who has written a Steampunk story and they'll admit to having read some or all of these authors. I have.

The term Steampunk came about in the 1980's Until that time, the genre was called cyberpunk or just Victorian Fantasy. Writer K.W. Jeter was given credit for the Steampunk moniker. It was an apt description because of the steam powered engines developed during the Victorian Era and the manipulation that writers of the 1980's through today use to hype the history to include more and more fanciful inventions that pushed the genre.

Because the stories written during the real Era were so imaginative and built around that grain of truth that all good stories have to make it realistic, the television industry jumped on the band wagon and developed television dramas and movies of almost each and every story.

I think I've seen every film version of H. G. Wells's The Time Machine. The one with Rod Taylor is still my favorite though Time After Time with Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen had the interesting twist of having H.G. following Jack the Ripper into year 1979. 

The Invisible Man was published in 1897. A combination of horror and science fiction that hasn't lost its appeal even today. The first movie I saw of The Invisible Man was the with Claude Rains and Gloria Stewart. The last one I saw was the remake with Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Shue titledHollow Man but did you know there was an invisible Man series with David McCallum and a couple of others too. And even one titled Memoirs of the Invisible Man. Can you even imagine Daryl Hannah playing in such a corny movie but what else could you expect from Chevy Chase.

War of the Worlds saw three incarnations on film. The first movie was with Gene Berry and Anne Robinson. Which, despite not having all the special effects the Tom Cruise movie did, is still my favorite. And the series that came from the book starred Adrien Paul from Highlander fame.

Maybe the reason these earlier versions are my favorites are because they rooted inside my impressionable young mind and encouraged my own flights of imagination.

How many versions have we all seen of Frankenstein--a book pinned my Mary Shelley in 1818.

I feel Shelley has never been given nearly as much credit as she deserves since the book fell squarely into the Victorian Science Fiction genre and explored the use of electricity to reanimate the body. She was way ahead of her time. I've probably seen all of Boris Carloff's renditions of the creature. Then there's Robert De Niro's attempt.   One with Parker Posey. And how could any of us forget Young Frankenstein with Gene Wilder. 

Dracula written by Bram Stoker fell within the Sci/fi horror genre too. The book was written in 1897. There was a second story title Dracula's Guest that followed.  
And Edgar Allen Poe's poetry and stories were published around the same time. 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle began publishing his Sherlock Holmes stories in 1887. Over the years I've watched several series and movies inspired by his character. The first movie I saw was with Basil Rathbone. Then there was the series with Jeremy Brett.   And there's a new series starring Benedict Cumberbatch.I loved the movies with Robert Downy Jr. Sherlock Holmesand Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.  I enjoyed the Robert Downy movies as much as I did reading the stories. And they were perhaps the only movies I've ever seen Jude Law in that I've liked him. What made these movies so good were the totally Steampunk additions of unusual machines and inventions that helped the characters survive as well as the fight sequences that mirrored the genre too.
And lets not forget the new series titled Elementary with Johnny Miller and Lucy Liu. I love the series and the Holmes character is as tormented as Conan Doyle's Holmes character was, but it lacks the unusual technology a Steampunk series would need.

Which leads us directly to The Wild Wild West.  The original series was filmed between 1965-1969. It was  a kind of Wild West James Bond and had the unusual technology like the Bond movies to live up to the hype. (Where did you think the ideas for James Bond's tech came from?) And Robert Conrad and Ross Martin were a wonderful duo. It was a real shame that Martin had a heart attack and missed completely the fourth year of the series. James West and Artemus Gordon the characters were perfect Steampunk characters. So when the movie Wild Wild West staring Will Smith and Kevin Kline came out, I wondered how they would top the original. It was fun and entertaining and had some of the elements of Steampunk the original series had in it, but it wasn't the series. 

File:A Journey to the Centre of the Earth-1874.jpg

Jules Verne's Journey To The Center Of the Earth has been revered as the hallmark of a Steampunk story and was published in 1874. It explores civilizations and their mores, explores new worlds or an unusual setting, and though it has very little technology involved, it does open the imagination to all sorts of possibilities and has inspired a number of movies. The first in 1959 with James Mason and Pat Boone. Then there's the one with Brendan Frasier. There was another one titled Return to the Center of the Earth with Guy Pierce as well. 

 File:20000 title 0a.jpg

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea followed the same premise. An unusual environment, a civilization with it's own rules and ideas of morality. Themovie made in 1954 starred Kirk Douglas and James Mason and was filmed by the Disney studios.

 File:Princess of Mars large.jpg

Edgar Rice Burroughs penned his John Carter's Adventures on Mars and created his jungle hero Tarzan of the Apes during the time Jules Verne was writing about disappearing into the center of the earth. Again a new environment, new creatures, a new morality.

And though John Carter has only found success lately starring Taylor Kitsch, Tarzan was serialized on television in a series of movies that spanned 60 years or longer. The last Tarzan Movie made was a cartoon in 2002. Pretty good for a series that was begun in 1912. 

So, the elements of Steampunk are Unusual Environments, Unusual Mechanized Technology, and An Unusual Civilization with its own morality.  But the genre encompasses a  wealth of imagination as well. And in fact the Steampunk Genre has inspired a movement that embraces  an unusual wardrobe, unusual inventions, jewelry and much more than I can list in this blog since it's already grown longer than it needs to be.

I hope I've given you some food for thought and a great list of books you'd like to read. 

Read on,
Teresa Reasor

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Do animals have souls? And a NEW RELEASE

I believe animals have souls. I’ve had too many pets who have loved me, and whom I have loved, not to believe that there’s a special bond forged between humans and animals when you take them into your home.
Scientists say that animals are incapable of emotion, or that they aren’t intelligent enough to love.  But all pet owners who have experienced that special kind of bond know that’s a bunch of horse hockey.

One of our pets whose love had to be earned more than most was Gray Dog.

When my children started calling him Gray Dog he wasn’t our dog. He was owned by a man who lived in a trailer down the hill from our house. For 4 years I snuck down and gave him food, water, dog biscuits and even bones while the owner was gone. During those 4 years I never once saw the man or his wife and son offer a loving pat or a kind word to the dog. He was invisible to them. They’d get out of their car and walk right past him, ignoring his tentative wagging tail, and walk into the house. And I have to tell you it really infuriated me. But though they didn’t offer him any human contact, they didn’t beat him. (Not that I ever caught them, though I had my suspicions because of his behavior.) And they had to feed him otherwise he would have been in bad shape, so I had no grounds to call the police, though I really wanted to.

For 4 years, Gray Dog was chained to an old carriage house that the man had turned into a chicken coop for his fighting cocks. It isn’t against the law to own fighting cocks, just to fight them. So, I couldn’t call the police on him for that either.

I’m happy to report the guy hadn’t a clue how to train fighting cocks and when he finally got evicted he turned both the dog and the chickens loose and left. The dog wandered up to my house first and the chicken’s followed. They were all hungry and neglected. So hungry the chickens were eating the berries off my burning bushes. I baked cornbread and scattered it in the yard until I could get to the farm supply store the next day.

Luckily I had another neighbor who had a farm and I called him. I offered to help him round up the cocks if he’d take them. They weren’t aggressive and not once tried to fight each other or attack me. In fact, my Jack Russell, Cookie, tried her darnedest to kiss one of them. I convinced her chickens don’t have lips so they didn’t need that particular show of affection. But she’d still greet them with a stubbed-tailed, mile a minute wag each time they wandered close.

Gray Dog would eat the food I put down for him, but was skittish and wary. He wouldn’t take the treats or dog biscuits from my hand, so I’d put them next to his bowl and he’d gobble them down.  He’d stay about three feet away at all times. At the same time he came up to hang with us, my Dalmatian, Polly, was very ill with breast cancer. Polly was deaf and we’d had to confine her to the dog lot or the house for fear she’d be hit by a car or get into mischief. She loved Gray Dog. When I would walk her on her leash, Gray Dog stayed by her side. He would watch me when I offered her pats, back rubs and ear scratches. But he wouldn’t let me touch him.

Polly passed away two weeks later. A terrible time for us. We’d had her since she was six weeks old, and had for 12 years taken special care of her because of her hearing disability. The cancer had spread to her lungs making every breath she drew an effort. Though it hurt me terribly, I did the compassionate thing and took her to the vet to be put down. Gray Dog stood next to her blanket-wrapped body while we dug her grave and buried her.
I tried to work through my grief by doing yard work and planting bulbs and flowers. He’d sit next to me while I dug the earth. I’d talk to him. Just nonsense stuff about the flowers and all the things we’d do together now that he was our dog. He became more relaxed with me and one day while I was sprinkling plant food on the flowerbeds, I caught him lying on his back doing the back scratch boogie on the front lawn. I snuck up on him, bent and gave his belly a quick, gentle rub. He froze, his mouth parted like a big shark’s grin, his eyes focused on my face, startled. A big dog of 70 pounds, had he decided to bite me he could have done major damage, but I’d never seen him do anything but bark from afar when someone approached. He spent his time avoiding humans instead of attacking them.

I went back to the flowerbeds and he wandered over a minute later and sat next to me, closer than he ever had. I raised a hand and he bent his head to sniff it. I touched the bottom of his jaw and ran the back of my fingers down his throat to his chest and gave his chest a rub. From that moment on he was mine. It took a while, but he would often come to sit next to me on the deck steps and let me put my arm around him. He went from being a wary, skittish, mistreated creature to a loving member of our family.

A little stubborn. He would only listen when he wanted to, in typical male fashion. He  loved  the ladies—I once put a ad in the paper when he disappeared for 5 days only to see him walking up our road on the sixth day like he just been out for a long walk about. He did look a little lean and his tongue was hanging out.

And I guess you’ve seen from the picture above that he wasn’t gray. Well, we didn’t know he wasn’t gray with black spots until he received his first bath and brushing. Something that happened once I’d gotten him used to the idea.

And the one thing that hurt me the most for him was that it took him 8 years to learn how to do the look-at-me dance for attention and discover that people would love on him when he did it. (He learned it from our next rescue, Kally, a blue tick hound given to us by a neighbor who couldn’t afford to feed her.)

I wish he could have learned that dance the year we got him and had been able to eat up all the affection people would have shared with him. But he remained cautious around strangers, waiting for that harsh voice and harsher hand he’d been dealt those first 4 years, despite all the love my family and I showered upon him.

He was four when we got him, 13 when he passed away of heart failure from Cushing’s Disease last year. I’ve missed him all summer.  

And why am I thinking about all this. Well, I’ve been reading research books for my next SEAL book. I know the last one I just finished BREAKING BOUNDARIES isn’t even out yet.

BREAKING BOUNDARIES will be released September 15th.

Here’s the blurb:
Corporal Callahan Crowes returns home from Afghanistan missing part of a leg and haunted by guilt over the loss of his men. He pledges to live every moment of his life to the fullest and works to build a career in the only field he knows besides being a soldier: construction.

Reeling from her fiancĂ©’s infidelity and their broken engagement, Kathleen O’Connor accepts a job far away from Boston and the suffocating pity of friends and family. She puts romance firmly behind her, and, armed with her shiny new architectural degree, launches her career with a commercial construction and design firm.

Her first day on the job, she sees Cal risk his life to rescue a fellow worker, and is shocked when his act of heroism triggers an unwarranted attack on him from her supervisor. When she learns Cal may lose his job because of his leg, Kathleen urges him to use social media to fight the decision, putting her own job at risk.

The public firestorm pushes Cal into the limelight in ways he least expects, but shows him a missing limb’s not the barrier to love he's believed it is. But there’s something besides business politics brewing at work, and when Kathleen’s life is threatened, she discovers there’s more to a man than two good legs—it’s the size of his heart that counts. 

I’ve already started the next book, BREAKING OUT. This is Doc/Ensign Zach O’Connor’s book. This one is special in that I’m introducing another element of the SEAL life. MWD’s (Military War Dogs.)
So I’ve had to do tons of research about veterinary medicine, military medic training, and the training and treatment of the dogs.  

I’m hard at work on BREAKING OUT and working with a cover artist on the cover for the next Paranormal Urban Fantasy, DEEP WITHIN THE STONE.  Cover sneak peaks will come for both. Maybe in my next newsletter. 

DEEP WITHIN THE SHADOWS (Book 1 of the Superstition Series) is still $.99 if you’re interested.

Here’s the blurb:
Welcome to Superstition, Kentucky

Twins Miranda and Juliet Templeton have been haunted by childhood trauma their entire lives. One has the reputation for being bold and rash, the other compulsively responsible. When both are viciously attacked within minutes of each other, they are forced to leave their differences behind in order to survive.

Caleb Faulkner has always loved Miranda Templeton. Her letters to him, during his deployment gave him a slice of home to hold on to. Even though they’re finally together, something is keeping her from acting on her feelings. When she and her sister are injured Caleb’s driven to protect them both. But all his military training can’t help him combat this danger.

Detective Chase Robinson is lead investigator for the murder of Tanner Newton. When the two hired thugs responsible for Tanner’s death are killed and Juliet, his only witness, nearly strangled to death, Chase is certain the crimes are connected. He decides to stay close to the twins so he can catch the real killer. But his police training is useless against his growing feelings for Juliet and what’s hiding DEEP WITHIN THE SHADOWS.

Google Play:

And don’t forget my other Paranormal Urban Fantasy WHISPER IN MY EAR

Here’s the blurb:
Injured as a child, mermaid Katrina Lawson has adapted to living on land among humans. Denied the comfort of her water world, she’s stripped of her ability to transform and to hear. But the promise of a cochlear implant offers her a ray of hope. 

Drew Saunders is a creature no woman can resist: mystical, magical and musical. With a hum he can seduce women and make them slaves. When he meets Katrina he’s enthralled. But being unable to hear, she’s impervious to his charms. So he must work to build a relationship with her the human way.

Katrina’s doctor suspects there is more to her than scans and x-rays can detect. His obsessive fascination with her, places her and all aquatic species at risk, forcing her to make a horrible choice. Can she sacrifice the only true love she’ll ever know for the good of her species?

Google Play:

That’s all my news.

Thanks so much for subscribing to my newsletter. Without your support, I wouldn’t get to do this writing gig, which is the BEST JOB EVER.

Read on,

Teresa Reasor

Sabrina York's newest release Hannah and the Highlander

Sabrina York has a new historical romance just released September 1st!!! 

Hannah and the Highlander by Sabrina York
First in a brand-new series about the bold, brawny men of the Scottish Highlands--and the lovely lasses who bring them to their knees…
Coming September 1st

Highlanders are her weakness.

Hannah Dounreay has no time for suitors who only seem interested in her family's land, which she manages as well as any man. If she marries, she wants to be loved for the educated, independent woman she is. But when a strong, silent--and spectacularly handsome--Highlander saves her from a violent attack, her heart is stirred. Who is this man? And if he asks for Hannah's hand, will she be able to resist him?

Love is the most powerful weapon of all.

Alexander Lochlannach, Laird of Dunnet, has no time to lose. The Highlands are in an uproar as clans battle for land--without mercy--and Alexander can't afford to fall for the wildly attractive, strong-willed Hannah. What's more, he has a desperate secret, one that could destroy them both. But as their attraction turns into an all-consuming passion, Alexander has no choice but to prove to Hannah that he's the only man for her--body and soul…

Read an excerpt:

Egads. She wants to speak with him before the wedding…

The door opened immediately, as though she’d been standing there waiting. At the sight of her, his heart stalled and his throat tightened. She had this effect on him each and every time he saw her. God, she was so beautiful. 
Her eyes widened, as though she was surprised to see him, which befuddled him, because she’d asked him to come. Then her gaze raked him. He liked to think that look in her eye was a glimmer of appreciation. “Dunnet,” she said. “You’re . . . dressed.”
Aye. Dressed for a wedding. He couldn’t help but notice she was not.
“Lady . . . Hannah.” He bowed. “You wanted to . . . talk?”
She nodded briskly and opened the door wider, stepping back to allow him to enter. He did so and closed the door behind him. The click was deafening. It was not lost on him that he was in her bedchambers. His gaze flicked to the bed. It was slightly rumpled. That made him feel slightly rumpled as well.
This was not the time for his passion to rise.
It did.
“Thank you for coming,” she said, turning away to pace. “I know you are prepared to marry . . . forthwith.” He had no idea why she emphasized the word as she did. “But before we exchange our vows, I have some things that I need to say.”
He nodded, even as relief gushed through him.
She hadn’t changed her mind.
And if she had things to say, he should probably stay silent. And listen.
“You and I need to have an understanding.”
“An . . . understanding?”
“Aye.” His hope was supplanted by a hint of disappointment when she said in a very businesslike tone, “We both know this is a marriage of convenience.”
His gaze snapped to her face. Ernest though her expression was, it lacked the dreamy, romantic tinge a groom might hope for. In fact, she set her chin and shot him a very unromantic glance.
A marriage of convenience? A cold, heartless, distant union? Denial howled. Suddenly, to his surprise, he found he wanted something very different. He longed to respond, to cry out his dissent, but his throat locked.
“There is no reason to pretend this is something other than it is. I agreed to marry you because Dounreay needs your protection and you agreed to marry me for my lands. We are marrying for no other reason. Aye. I understand that. We understand that.”
Nae. We understood nothing of the sort. There was another reason he was determined to marry her, did she but realize.
He wanted her.
“Regardless, Dunnet, my wish is for a peaceful union.”
Peaceful. Aye. Peaceful was good.
“I should like for us to work together as a team. In partnership.”
Aye. He had a partnership in mind. . . .
“If I’m going to pledge myself to a man forever, I need to know that he will respect me. That he will honor my wishes. I need to know he will take my counsel into account.” She fixed Alexander with a steady gaze, as though she expected a response. So he nodded.
She was so beautiful, so earnest. So tantalizing.
He stepped closer, intent on his target.
Her eyes widened as he neared. Her hand on his chest stalled his approach and her brow wrinkled. Her gaze flicked to his mouth and her tongue peeped out, wetting her lips, igniting a flame in his belly. With great effort, she ripped her gaze away and frowned. “Do you agree to my terms?” she asked.
He cupped her cheek and angled her head up. Her breath caught. Her features froze as she realized his intent. “Aye,” he said. “Aye.” And then he did what he’d been thinking about for weeks. What he’d been obsessing over all day. He kissed her.
And it was glorious.

A shiver rippled over Hannah’s skin as Dunnet took her mouth. His taste, his scent, infused her. It was a light kiss, a testing foray, but it sent an unholy thrill through her and left her wanting one thing. More.
She had wanted this chance to speak with him privately, to receive his assurances that their marriage would be a partnership, to set her mind at rest, and he’d done that. But if she was being truthful . . . something like this had been on her mind as well, skulking there behind her noble intentions, a roiling hunger. A curiosity. A need.
She’d kissed him before and he had turned away. She desperately needed to know if, in his heart, he had any passion for her whatsoever.
He lifted his head—way too soon—and stared down at her. “Hannah . . . ” he murmured.
Even as she attempted to rein in her disappointment at his withdrawal, his hold on her cheek tightened, his eyes narrowed, and he issued a noise, something gruff and deep, something that sent a lick of exhilaration through her.
He yanked her closer. The feel of his body against hers, rigid and unyielding, made her head spin. His fingers threaded through her hair and he held her steady as his head descended again. She sucked in a breath, quivering with anticipation.
And ah. Ah.
This kiss was different.
This wasn’t tentative in the slightest. It was a taking. A mad, starved consummation of her mouth with his, a melding of lips and tongue and need.
This was as wild as the windy squalls off the coast. As tantalizing as the fairy wisps at dusk. As scorching as the forge where razor-sharp steel was tempered and formed.
And it cut through her like a screaming wind, an enticing magic, a warm blade.
Scuttles of heat rose in her womb. Rivulets of excitement danced in her veins. His taste filled her senses, her mouth, her soul.
When he lifted his head, a glimmer danced in his eye. It was the look of a conquering hero, a savage Scotsman, a man whose hunger had been sated but ignited at the same time.
Oh heavens.
Exultation whipped through her. Her knees were weak and her body melted.
Damn her reservations.
Damn her fears.
Damn her doubts about whether or not he really wanted her.
She wanted him. And she would have him.
It was gratifying to see that he was not unaffected. His breath came heavy and hard and there was a slight tremble in his voice when he spoke. It was one word and one word only, forced out and wreathed in a growl, but it was enough.

Bold and steamy—Publisher’s Weekly
5 stars: A stunning tale from beginning to end—Love, Life and Booklust
Top Pick: Hannah and the Highlander is a wonderful love story that I can honestly and happily recommend to all—Night Owl Reviews
4 Stars: York turns her talent for sizzle to men in kilts—and the women who love them—in her newest sexy romp—RT Magazine



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Untamed Highlanders Series
Hannah and the Highlander—Coming September 1st
Susana and the Scot—Coming December 29th
Lana and the Laird—Coming in 2016

Want More Highlanders by Sabrina York?

About Sabrina York
Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & sexy to scorching romance.  Visit her webpage at to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Get updates and alerts from Sabrina here: HotSheet Sign Up.

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Teresa Reasor