Saturday, January 26, 2008

Next week is the release of HER DANGEROUS PROMISE!

Being published by Cerridwen Press, this is not an erotica story as many of my other stories have been. Rather this novel length story is romantic suspense. Action, suspense, romance, passion... all those wonderful elements that make romantic suspense such a marvelous escape.

Want a little taste? A little teasers?

Here's a little snippit of Chapter 1. You can get the full novel from Cerridwen Press on Jan 31st.

Chapter 1

Mary forced herself to breathe as normally as she could with her wrists tied to the headboard. Inhale. The dank smell of a moldy basement. Exhale. The echo of her breathing bounced off close walls. The blindfold was loosely tied, permitting the light to peek underneath but even with focusing at that slim opening, she could see nothing. If she rubbed her head hard against the pillow she would be able to remove it but she dared not attempt it.

Not with him snuggled up beside her.

Deprived of her sense of sight, Mary felt trapped within her own body. She could be anywhere or nowhere. Terror streaked like a crazed animal along her nerves, numbing her skin to any sensation, save the pain in her head and wrists and the pressure where her captor touched her.

Mary heard him breathing evenly but doubted that he fallen asleep yet. The heat of him spread against her right side, and she physically had to force herself not to cringe away.

She swallowed with difficulty. Thirst scratched her throat raw. How long had it been since she’d had anything to drink. Hours? A day? She had no way to determine.

Her neck ached from where he’d strangled her. The attack in the parking lot had been swift and brutal. She hadn’t seen it coming, hadn’t even heard him approach her from behind. One moment she’d been happily going about her life and the next she was helplessly snatched away, like a butterfly snagged in the whip of a frog’s tongue and swallowed into blackness. At any moment he might explode into violence again. Mary choked back a sob.

The man beside her stirred and Mary forced herself to remain perfectly still, fearing what her whimper might have aroused in her abductor.

“Don’t be scared, okay?” he said.

In that single sentence, Mary heard the voice of a man with the mind of a child. She squeezed her eyes closed. As a teacher, she communicated with children all the time. If she was careful, perhaps she could reach this man-child. This very dangerous man-child who may very well kill her at the slightest provocation. Forcing herself to focus on what that could mean for her chances of escape, her exhalation came out ragged.

“Are you sad?”

Mary opened her eyes beneath the blindfold. Softly, carefully, she replied, “Yes.”


She nearly lost her composure at that. Why, indeed. Could he really not know what she must be feeling? She concentrated on keeping her breathing as normal as possible. Sweat slicked her skin. That question gave her an opening. For the first time since the ordeal began, Mary felt the bud of hope. Carefully, she warned herself. You must tread very carefully. Coax him like a six-year-old with a gun to trust you enough to lay it down. Unfortunately, if he was developmentally retarded, like she suspected, he could be just as likely to harm her unintentionally as let her go.

Quickly she considered and disregarded several responses to his question before replying, “My cat…” she began and then belated asked, “Uh, do you like cats?”

“Cats are nice.”

She nodded to herself. “My cat is sick. I’m supposed to give him a pill every morning and every evening or he could die.” Mary waited, listening to her captor while he silently considered her claim. He might not have followed her logic, so she spelled it out for him. “I’m sad because I know my cat is crying for me right now. He has really bad pain if I’m not there to give him his medicine.”

The silence lingered as the man shifted closer. His breath, sickly sweet like chewy caramel, pooled on her face when he spoke again. “Can’t someone else give him the pill?”

Mary shook her head tightly, careful to not bump into his mouth, which had to be only inches away. Why was he so close? Would he kiss her? Bite her? Taking shallow gasps to avoid inhaling his hot breath, she pleaded, “He’s too shy. He’ll only come to me. No one else.”

A weight pressed on Mary’s shoulder. A hand? No, his head. She ached to jerk away but remained still. He mustn’t know how deeply she feared him, how she would do anything to escape him or he might turn her own fears against her and use it to leverage whatever dreadful scheme he’d concocted to spirit her away and claim her like a thing. Like a possession to store in his secret basement and take some disturbed pleasure in the possession of her.

“You’d tell on me if I let you go.”

“No, I wouldn’t. I promise, I’d never tell on you if you let me go.”

“People break promises sometimes.” He said this softly to himself. He was doing something. She could feel the slight twist and tug of her sweater. Was he pawing at the material or toying with a button? Her dread roiled in her stomach.

Mary gritted her teeth, unable to hold back the tears that slid down her face and escaped under the blindfold. She’d seen the light of hope but now it was dimming again. If she lost this chance, he might never let her go. If he kept her here, he would certainly harm her and probably eventually kill. She sobbed, “I would never break this promise to you. If you let me go, you’ll have saved my cat’s life.” She swallowed back her next sob and managed to whisper, “I’d owe you one.”

“Promise on your cat’s life you’d never tell on me.”

The image of her cat swam before her mind’s eye. Sweet, little Fizgig, named after a character in a Frank Oz movie. She cherished him and so despised her weakness when she said, “I promise.”

“Promise on the lives of the kids in your class you won’t tell on me.”

Terror knifed her heart with a cold blade. “Please don’t hurt the children.”

“Just keep your promise.”

If she made this promise, she could never break it. Not with the lives of her children at stake. Her freedom was so close. She could feel it. He was going to release her but only if she swore.

Look for HER DANGEROUS PROMISE by Amanda Sidhe on January 31st from Cerridwen Press!