>Excuses, Excuses – It’s a Mirage

>Okay, so I’m a little lax today. I’ve got good excuses.

  • I’ve been dealing with some bad news (best left unspoken except to say, I’m handling it);
  • I’ve been fighting with insurance and their insane assumption they can offer me better care by denying care (one of these days, someone is gonna take out one of these insurance naysayers, and it isn’t gonna be pretty!);
  • I was off for the holiday on Monday (perks of a gov’t job) and now it feels like Wednesday to me.
  • Then my newest release came out on Tuesday, and I’ve been frantically playing Marketing Roulette on all the loops in getting the word out.
  • Top that off with a DH who’s out of town and I’m actually having to play Mom this week taking Oldest to a college info panel last night and dealing with Baby’s paranoia that Mom is driving like a maniac to get her to daycare on time in the mornings.

Thus, that brief glance into my world depicts a writer on the verge of losing her mind or at the least resembling that kitten from the 70s poster where the poor dear is hanging onto a tree limb with just its claws. Me, I’m hanging on with ONE fingernail. *grin*

So with that in mind, I’m cheating here and gonna do more marketing. Here’s the blurb about my new release Mirage and an excerpt that G-rated.

Mirage by Monica Burns
Samhain Publishing — ISBN 1-59998-615-9
Now Available — Coming to Print August 2008

An ancient prophecy and a sheikh’s passion. One woman will ignite the flame that fulfills them both.

A man without a country…Half Bedouin, half English, the Viscount Blakeney has always been Sheikh Altair Mazir in his heart. A victim of prejudice from both cultures, he’s learned to trust no one. But a feisty American archeologist and the heat she ignites in him is about to change all that. And more.

An independent woman hunting for a Pharaoh’s treasure…Alexandra Talbot is used to men questioning her intelligence simply because of her sex. But the mysterious Viscount isn’t like other men. He never questions her ability to find the lost city of Ramesses II, only her resistance to the sinful pleasure of his touch.

An ancient prophecy…Bound by a Pharaoh’s prophecy, desire flares between them beneath the desert stars. But murder and betrayal turn their quest into a deadly game, pushing their fragile trust to the breaking point. Their survival hinges on rebuilding that trust.

EXCERPT

His tall figure filled the doorway as she flung the door open. She fought to keep breathing. There was only one word to describe him. Magnificent. Unable to take her eyes off him, she struggled to calm her erratic heartbeat. Somewhere in the back of her mind, curiosity made her question why he was dressed like one of the natives. The thought was a fleeting one as she fought to keep her senses from responding to his commanding presence.

Dressed in the dark blue, flowing garment of the Mazir, he looked as if he had been born to wear the desert clothing. No longer the English lord, he was as lean and predatory as a leopard. A utility belt filled with rifle cartridges crossed his chest, while a pistol was tucked into a belt around his waist.

His entire appearance emanated a sense of danger and excitement. Beneath his eyes, Mazir tribal symbols stained his brown cheeks. His wavy brown hair, no longer restrained by a ribbon, tumbled down over his shoulders. The image of spiking her fingers through the dark, glossy curls sent a stream of liquid fire through her.

Good lord, she barely knew the man, and yet here she was ready to offer herself to him. She drew in a sharp breath, as she looked up into the warmth of his brown eyes.

“Good morning,” he murmured. Alarm bells went off in her head at the sound of his husky greeting. If she were to open her mouth, she was certain more than a dozen butterflies would flee their captivity in her stomach.

“Good…morning.” The breathless quality of her voice dismayed her. Oh God, she sounded as flustered as she felt. The sudden glint of satisfaction in his eyes made the fluttering wings in her stomach stir restlessly. Her voice had revealed far too much about the effect he had on her. Desperate to regain control of her senses, she swallowed the sensual urges threatening to take control.

“I…you…you look so different. Not like yourself at all.”

“And how do you think I should look, Alex?” His eyes narrowed slightly as he studied her intently.

The dark, disturbing expression in his gaze sent her heart slamming into her chest. Tiny frissons caressed her skin as his gaze slid over her. Aroused by the mysteriously hungry look in his eyes, she shook her head as if doing so would help clear her thoughts as well as the desire curling inside her.

“It’s just that you surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to see you dressed like a Mazir.”

“I find the gambaz cooler and more comfortable than my English clothes.”

She nodded at his explanation. Oddly enough, he did look comfortable. Far more so than when he was wearing the starched shirt and tie he usually wore. The gambaz enhanced the dangerous edge of his darkly handsome features.

Did the man have any idea how devastating he was dressed like a Bedouin? There was a wicked savagery about him that tantalized her senses and made her breath hitch. Trying to suppress the urge to reach out and touch him, she inhaled a deep breath.

“Is something wrong, Alex?” The gleam in his eye made the palms of her hands damp.

“No, not at all.” She forced the words past her lips, alarmed by the need building inside her.

A brown finger traced the outline of her lips as he leaned toward her. Cedarwood and sweet fennel tempted her senses. “Liar,” he whispered, as a smile of satisfaction curved his mouth. “Your heart is beating as if you were a jerboa caught in the claws of a leopard.”

His analogy was ironic given she’d likened him to a leopard earlier. Especially when she really did feel just like a mouse trapped beneath his masterful gaze. The dark brown eyes holding her gaze hostage glittered with a dangerous light. Drinking in the masculine scent of him, her lungs tugged in a sharp breath of need. She wanted him to kiss her. Appalled, she tried to find a footing on the slippery path she was treading. Diversion. That’s what was called for—a diversion.

“I…I…why do you wear the Mazir marks on your cheeks?” She almost blew out a whoosh of air as she asked the question with great relief. That would help lessen this tension between them.

“They reflect the sunlight and protect my eyes. But they’re also a sign of my respect for the Mazir.” He arched an eyebrow at her as his finger trailed along the edge of her jaw in a slow, seductive stroke. The touch singed every nerve in his path. “But that’s not what you really wanted to ask me, is it?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She took a quick step back from him.

“Ah, so you didn’t want to ask when we were to visit the Pyramids. As you wish.” As he turned away from her, she sprang forward. The man was tormenting her by making her think he wouldn’t take her to the Pyramids. Determined to halt his departure, she clutched at his arm. How soft the material of his robe was beneath her fingers.

“Don’t you dare tease me like that!”

A quick flame came to life in his dark eyes as he turned and looked down into her face. The slight smile curving his lips made her heart race. The man was far too attractive for his own good.

“How would you like me tease you, Alex?”

She took a quick step backward at the surprising question. With an abrupt shake of her head, she pressed her hand against his chest as he followed her.

“I don’t…I meant…I want to visit the Pyramids.”

“I see. So you weren’t hoping I’d find some other way to tease you?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she spluttered.

His dark hand reached out to caress her cheek. No. If he kissed her again, she wouldn’t be able to control the desire shooting through every part of her body. She took another step back. Once again, he followed her. Now the space between them was almost nonexistent. He lowered his head. Dear Lord, he smelled wonderful. He had an earthy male scent that tormented her senses. A shiver pulsed through her as the warmth of his breath stirred the wisps of hair at her ear.

“Don’t you? That’s disappointing because I’m finding it increasingly difficult to get the image of your luscious body out of my head.”

She gasped at the seductive heat of his words. He nipped at her ear lobe and reason slipped out of her head.

“Do you know what I dreamed about last night, Alex? I dreamed I was sucking on those beautiful, dusky nipples of yours.”

“Oh, God,” she whispered, unable to say anything else.

“Can you imagine what else I dreamed about? Shall I tell you?”

Don’t moan, Alex. Whatever you do, don’t moan. She swayed into him, her fingers splayed across the upper part of his chest.

No.

No. This wasn’t good at all.

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About Monica Burns

A bestselling author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

2 thoughts on “>Excuses, Excuses – It’s a Mirage

  1. >Thanks for your kind words, Cathie. I appreciate it. Hopefully you aren’t the only one who loves historicals with a touch of the paranormal.

    I confess Altair is a dreamy hero for me. *grin* He can deliciously wicked.

  2. >Hi Monica! I speak from experience, now dealing with the insurance two years now, thousands of dollars owe to them because of all this. They actually made me more sick. Just remember to take care of you!

    Now the good news, congrats on the release of MIRAGE. I so remember you being excited about this one, so keep that smile! I love these historicals with legends and all that this has! So visual with the excerpt, I could get a glimpse like being there as well as a great look of Altair! That was great when he opened up about his dream!