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Veil of Shadows

cross posted from my blog…


“Is it this?” He reached up and touched the patch covering his eye. “More than one person has had a hard time meeting my gaze because of it. Although I would have thought you were more accustomed to those with unsightly scars.”

There was no inflection in his voice, and though the light was dim, she could see his face well enough to know there was no expression on it.

“Your scars don’t bother me at all. They aren’t unsightly—I’ve seen far, far worse. God knows, we all have our share of them.” She jerked a shoulder and said, “Some of us have scars much uglier, although many carry them on the inside.”

“Then why do you never look at me?”

Syn felt the blush once more start its slow climb up her neck, staining her cheeks, her face. “I do look at you. I am looking at you.”

“Because I’ve all but made you,” he replied, his brow arching. “Truthfully, if I wasn’t touching you, if I wasn’t asking you for a straight answer, what would you be doing?”

“Truthfully.” She tore her gaze away from him. Truthfully—she didn’t want to tell him truthfully. But what was she to do? Lie? Somehow, she suspected that unless she gave him an answer, he could wait forever.

She could break his hold and she knew he wouldn’t force it, but she felt foolish doing that.

Swallowing, she looked back up at him and said flatly, “If you weren’t touching me, if you weren’t pushing for an answer, I’d be clear on the other side of camp.” On the other side of camp. Alone. And cold. Again. Always cold. Except when you touch me. How sick was it that the highlight of her days now centered on when there was training and she could put herself in the circle with him? She’d spar him, and only him, every damn day if it wouldn’t have looked so suspicious.

“Why? Again, I ask you, have I offended you?”

“No.” She forced the word past her tight throat.

“Then if it isn’t that, if it isn’t my scars, perhaps it is just me.”

“No.” The word slipped out before she could stop it. Idiot. If she was half as interested in self-preservation as she should be, she should let him think just that. If he thought she had a personal problem with him, maybe he would leave her alone.
But I don’t know if I really want him to leave me alone. And her body already knew it didn’t want to be left alone.

“Then what is it?”

He was closer now, Syn realized. When had he moved closer? She swallowed, aware that her throat was terribly dry, that her heart was racing. Her head was spinning, too. Damn it, he smelled good.

She had to tip her head back to see him now, he stood so close. She could feel that seductive heat of his, shimmering between them. The heavy intensity that made up his being had surrounded her, slammed at her shields. Through them, she felt something she really didn’t need to feel. Not if she wanted to keep her distance.

He was every bit as aware of her as she was of him.

Every damn bit.

Her control shattered and she reached up, hooked her hand around the back of his neck and pulled his head lower. As she slanted her mouth against his, she felt his surprise—it lasted all of two seconds before he wrapped both arms around her body and hauled her close. He straightened and her feet left the ground.

Their mouths opened and she shuddered as she traced her tongue along his lower lip. Male. The heady male taste, his scent, all of it flooded her and she wrapped her other arm around his shoulders, straining to get closer.

Want.

Need.

It dominated Xan’s every thought and he was just a heartbeat away from forgetting everything—himself, where they were—a heartbeat away from forgetting everything and everybody who wasn’t Syn.

She tasted like honey and heat. Her mouth was soft under his, but there was nothing hesitant in the way she kissed him. Nothing at all nervous. She kissed him like she craved him. She kissed him like she absolutely had to do it, or die.

Off in the distance, he heard voices. Instinctively, he moved, walking blind until they were lost in the shadows between two buildings.

There, he backed her up against a wall and leaned into her.

Syn wrapped her legs around his hips and rocked against him.

Xan was utterly convinced the top of his head was going to come off if she did it again. Sliding a hand down her side, he cupped her hip and growled against her lips, “Do that again.”

Borders |BAMM | B & N | Book Depository | IndieBound | Amazon | Powell’s

Shiloh

(cross-posted from my personal blog)

So July is a month that I always expect lots and lots of presents. My birthday… and my anniversary is also this month. I always expect to score, big. Yes. I am materialistic. I admit this…I own this.

But this year, I’m actually going to give away a pressie.

I Thought It Was You

I Thought It Was You

Grimm’s Circle, Book 2.5

The events of this free short story take place between the events of No Prince Charming and Ren’s story, Crazed Hearts. It turns out both Ren and Elle had some loose ends they needed to tie up…and that’s what this story is about. It’s not Ren’s happy ever after. That’s in Crazed Hearts.

This story is available for free via download @ Samhain Publishing, and I think will also be at places like Amazon, via the Kindle, BN via the Nook, etc. It’s just a short story, but it tied up some loose ends Ren had.

You don’t need to read it before you get his story… but hey, he’s so much fun to write. Maybe he’s fun to read, too.

Wanna read it? Here ya go…have at it!

And now… Ren’s story.

FYI… I adored Ren. And noooooo. I’m not telling you who he is. You’ll need to read it to find out.

And when you’re done… NO SPOILERS!!!!

Crazed Hearts

Crazed Hearts

He’s no fairy-tale prince. But he just may be the hero she needs.

Grimm’s Circle, Book 3

Ren has always danced along the fine line between being a little bit crazy and being overcome by a darkness that’s haunted him since his mortal days. As an empath, he prefers to live far from people who would leak their emotions all over him, so he’s not expecting the woman who drives right into the heart of his wood. She has a cursed book with her and demons hot on her heels. Even more surprising are her abilities and the reaction Ren has to her.

Aileas is on the run. She just isn’t certain if she’s running from something real or imagined. One thing is for sure, her brother is dead and she’s certain the book she found has something to do with his death. She really starts to doubt her sanity when she meets a hot but somewhat crazed man in the middle of nowhere.

He calls himself Ren, and although he doesn’t seem to be out to hurt her, he definitely seems to want something. She just doesn’t understand what. She does know what she wants though. She wants him, and the shadows and darkness she glimpses inside him don’t matter. At least, right up until he claims to be a guardian angel.

And she thought she was going crazy.

An excerpt…

Crazed Hearts

“Where in the hell did you come from?” she asked, eyeing him suspiciously.

“I was out hiking,” he said, gesturing toward the hill. He lifted a hand and whistled. “Me and my sister.”

Mandy peered down at him from the top of the incline a minute later. He could see the disgust in her eyes and if he wasn’t so disturbed by the ever-darkening ripples he could feel moving through the air, he might have been amused by the silent fuck-you he saw in Mandy’s eyes.

“Your sister. Hiking.”

“Hmmm.”

She started to back away, eyeing him like he’d grown an extra head and razor sharp teeth. Ren acted like he didn’t notice, but he mentally commanded Pan and the dog obediently padded forward and placed his bulk in front of the door of the car. She couldn’t go traipsing off. Somehow she was in this mess up to her pretty neck, which meant she was in danger. He couldn’t have that, even if he wasn’t feeling strangely, almost insanely protective of her.

“Why would you hike around here?”

Now that he could answer.

“Oh, because I live around here, that’s why.” He flashed her a grin, tried to temper down the raging maniacal edge and pretend to be friendly, perhaps even charming. Did he remember charming? No. He was quite sure he didn’t. He didn’t know if he’d ever known charming. Well, other than a prince, of course. Still, he really didn’t want to show the crazier side of his nature. He needed to keep that under wraps.

“Just over the rise, a few miles down.”

Up said rise, Mandy was swearing as she started to make her way down. Tripping, too and not particularly happy. But as she moved to the busted, uneven road, she fell silent, picking up on something.

The mortal wouldn’t pick up on Mandy’s tension, but Ren had spent months with Mandy and he knew her well.

Well enough at least.

The look in her eyes was one of fear…and resignation.

She was staring not at the woman though.

She was staring just past her, at the car.

Ren shifted his gaze, focused on the car.

Yes…there. There it was, he realized. He lowered his shields, and that was when he sensed what Mandy had sensed.

That black, nasty vibe.

Something shuddered, twisted from the car.

Could a whisper have a stench, a feel? Could it make the air quake and wrench around you?

It seemed so.

“What have we here,” he mused, narrowing his eyes.

The whispers grew louder—an ocean of them. They flooded his mind, flooded his soul.

The darkness… It was all but reaching for the woman, trying to wrap itself around her like a boa constrictor.

Like hell, Ren thought.

He extended his gift, touched one of the distant minds in his territory. It was a bear cub, perched high in a tree and trembling, shaking. There was a smell in the air the cub didn’t like and

Ren understood why.

There was a car drawing closer to them that had some unpleasant bastards in it. They looked human on the outside, but that was it. Soul-sucking monsters. Orin. They fed on souls, stank of death and evil.

He watched through the cub’s eyes for a moment and then returned to himself.

“Holy fuck.”

Reaching up, he touched the leather band he wore around his wrist. It held a silver medallion in it. Under his touch, it pulsed once with an answering warmth, but he didn’t know if that was any sort of reply. Two women with him, and his animals. One of the tomes.

And it seemed this woman had orin trailing after her. Either her, or the book. Perhaps both. Ren wasn’t sure and there was no way for him to know. The minds of the orin were too alien for him to connect with, and they had nothing that even remotely resembled human emotion.

It made his skin crawl to think they might be after her directly.

They can’t have you, he thought, his mind teetering dangerously close to that dark, dark edge. Too close.

What in the hell? He pulled himself back under control.

He needed to focus, needed to think. Needed to get these two women someplace far safer than here. Back to his home. They’d be safe there and he could deal with this mess. Then he could figure out what was going on with—

Later. Problems now, woman later, Ren.

So…you want? Go buy…

And to head the question off….this will come out in print, but it’s probably about a year down the road. It’s not long enough on it’s own, so it will be paired up with Grimm Book 4, Tarnished Knight, which won’t be out until October-so, the print release will be at least 6 months after that. Spring or summer at the soonest… sorry!

Shiloh

http://shilohwalker.com/website

Cross-posted from my personal blog

The Missing releases in mass market on July 6th…

Now it’s already out in trade, still available in a few places, although if you wait until it releases in paperback on 7/6/10, it would mean lots and lots to me.

I’m going to be posting some excerpts between now and the end of the month. If you haven’t read it yet, maybe you’ll decide to check it out when the book hits the shelves in July.

And…if you haven’t seen it, do you know about the contest?

LOVE LOST

As a teenager, Taige Branch was able to do things with her psychic gift that others couldn’t understand—except for Cullen Morgan, the boy her stole her heart. He did his best to accept her abilities, until his mother was brutally murdered—and he couldn’t forgive Taige for not preventing her death.

PASSION FOUND

Now a widowed father, Cullen Morgan has never forgotten Taige. But what brings her back into his life is another tragic event. His beloved little girl has been kidnapped, and Taige is his only hope of finding her.

A LOVE THAT NEVER DIED
Working together against the clock, Cullen and Taige can’t help but wonder whether—if they find his daughter in time—it isn’t too late for the overpowering love that still burns between them…

“You’re going to have to let me in. You’re going to have to deal with me.”

Pushing her hair back from her face, she sneered. “I already have dealt with you, Cullen. There’s no damn reason for you to come down here. You said your thanks. Your daughter is safe. Go live your life, and let me live mine.”

“Life? That’s exactly why I’m counting the days until I come back for you, Taige. You are my life.”

He moved closer, close enough that if she leaned forward, their bodies would be touching. She held herself still, completely still, even though everything inside her yearned for him. It should have been so easy to reach out to him, so easy, but it wasn’t.

Staring into his clear blue green eyes, she held his gaze and then took a slow, deliberate step back. “I’m not your life, Cullen. I never was.”

A faint grin curled his lips upward, and he reached up, caught a wayward curl, and tucked it behind her ear. “I miss your braids,” he said softly. Then he skimmed a fi nger over the soft, delicate skin under her left eye. “The swelling’s gone.”

She gave him a sardonic smile. “Been a month. It ought to get better.”

Cullen shrugged restlessly. “A month? Yeah. I guess. Seems longer–and not. I see your face almost every time I close my eyes. And I see that bruise some bastard left on your face. Because of what you are, what you do. What I forced you into.”

Taige tugged against the arm he’d wrapped around her belly, but he wouldn’t let her go. “You didn’t force me into this, Cullen. It was my choice.”

“And what I said to you, what I accused you of, had nothing to do with that choice?” He rested his hands on her hips, stroking absently. He didn’t even seem to realize he was touching her, and that was just another little torture, because she was so damned aware of him, she could hardly follow the conversation.

“So what if it did?” Taige stiffened her body and tried again to pull away. This time, he let her go, and she got a good five feet between them before she turned to look at him. “You gave me a kick in the ass, a much-needed kick.”

“You didn’t need to be forced into a life where you’re constantly risking your neck, your safety–your sanity. You live in hell, doing what you do.”

Bitterly, Taige thought, I’ve lived in hell all my life. It’s pretty much about all I know.

But that wasn’t entirely true. The few years she’d had with him hadn’t been hell. Not until she failed him.

She glanced at him from the corner of her eye as she turned to stare out at the rolling blue green waters of the Gulf. The water was rougher than usual today, and the waves crashed into the sand. Turning her head, Taige stared back over the beach where they had walked. Already, the waves had washed away their footprints. It was like they had never walked there. If only something could come and wipe away her memories that easily. Memories of Cullen, memories of the people she’d failed to save–including his mom.

“I’m not in hell, Cullen,” she said quietly. Granted, there were times when she would agree with him, times when she was certain she did indeed live in hell. But then there were times like when she had looked through the curtain in the hospital and seen Jillian’s sleeping face. She hadn’t dreamed of the girl once in the month since she had left Cullen in the hospital with his daughter.

Looking back at what she’d done with her life, she knew it was worth it. It would have been worth the heartbreak, the rage, and the tears if she saved even one life. Instead, she’d gotten to see dozens of kids safely home to their parents. Kids she had pulled out of their own hell. Whatever hell she had to live in, it was worth it for that.

~*~

Shiloh Walker

http://shilohwalker.com/website

Book Run…

cross posted from my personal blog..

So… with my trip coming up, I have to make sure I’m stocked up on books. Yes, yes, I’ve got an entire case of books I’m still working on, but that isn’t the point. The point is… I’m going on vacation and I need to make sure I have books…

I’m reading this:

Jennifer sent it to me, it’s out next week-first book is Spider’s Bite-like UF? Try it. Loving these books.

At Waldenbooks, I picked up

I’ve been wanting to read Jill Myles since I saw her bio on twitter, which reads:

I write the Succubus Diaries for Pocket Books. PW says I approach Saturday morning cartoon levels of unsophistication, which means I am AWESOME.

Also got

Which I picked up after reading some of the comments over at Karen’s blog about one of the author, Laura Resnick’s, older titles.

My TBR tower…it begs for mercy. o.O Oh well.

Shiloh

http://shilohwalker.com

Cross posted from my personal blog… make sure you check out my blog (http://shilohwalker.wordpress.com) on 4.27.2010 for contest info… it’s a nice prize.

I’m going to be doing a contest for the release of this book…kind of a big one, especially for an ebook. Even if you’ve already bought it, you might wanna think about buying it again-buying it gets you multiple entries, and this is a nice prize… The contest will be open across the globe and it won’t matter to me if you buy it through Samhain’s store, Amazon, the Nook store, Sony…as long as it’s a legit etailer and you follow the contest rules. And did I mention…it’s a nice prize.

No Longer Mine has been revised-a lot. Re-edited. A lot. I think it’s a better, cleaner read this time around. And pretty, pretty new cover… *G*

And to help count down the days, I’ll be posting some excerpts between now and release day, 4/27/10

Nikki jumped involuntarily when a hand settled on the curve of her hip. Stiffening, she tried to move away, but the crowd had gotten a little too close.

She aimed a quelling glare up at Wade, only to find him talking to Abby. All around the crowd talked, music played, children laughed. The noise buzzed in her ears, but she heard none of it

A tiny shudder raced up her spine as his thumb moved up and down. On bare skin. The bottom of her top barely touched the waistband of her shorts and now his hand was kneading her naked flesh. Long, clever fingers played over her waist while she tried hard to ignore it.

She wasn’t succeeding. Her stomach felt warm and jittery, her heart pounded harder, her skin felt far too tight, hot and prickly.

Damn it, how much longer until this thing’s over? she thought wildly as her insides continued to do a slow meltdown

Her shoulders ached with the effort to keep tension in her body, to keep from relaxing against him. It would be so easy just to let her head fall back against his shoulder, let him wrap her in his arms.

Why was he doing his? Hadn’t she made it clear she wanted nothing to do with him? Why was she still standing here? Abby no longer held her hand in a death grip, wasn’t looking at her every few seconds as if to say “isn’t this fun?” Nikki could have left several minutes ago, so why she was torturing herself?

She stood frozen as Wade shifted until he was standing just behind her and slightly to her right. That hand slid around her middle and exerted enough pressure to pull her flush against him. The heat of him was enough to brand her flesh.

Her eyes closed as Wade leaned down and whispered in her ear, “You don’t want to stay away from me any more than I want you to. Don’t keep running away, baby.”

“Stop it,” she bit off, her own whisper harsh.

“Stop what? Stop dreaming about you? Loving you? Can you stop thinking about me? Is it really that easy for you?” he asked in a low voice, nuzzling her ear gently.
Her eyes flew open as Wade’s hand slid under her shirt again, now caressing her midriff with agile, knowing fingers. She grabbed his hand, stilled it with her own, and slipped away from him.

“The parade’s over,” she said, her voice hoarse, heart pounding. Her palms were damp and her hands were shaking. And he had hardly touched her.



The past few weeks have been insanity, but thus is my life, I think.

I finished the next book in my Grimm series-titled Crazed Hearts, and it will be going to Samhain.

I finished a paranormal/psychic novella for Ellora’s Cave, was titled Shades of Gray, now may be Never as It Seems, dunno yet.

I’ve got a contemp I may finish in the next week or so and I’m not sure where I’m sending that.  And I’m working on the first few chapters of my romantic suspense trilogy, book 2, which is with Ballantine.

I’ve got a re-release coming out this month…no Longer Mine, my first romance, coming out from Samhain-revised, A LOT, shiny, pretty new cover, and a kick butt contest, (I think, hope) to help spread the word and I’ll post more about that later on.

No Longer Mine

I’ll be in Columbus this month for Romantic Times and there’s a HUGE book signing on 5/1, open to the public, where you can meet dozens of authors…details are here. Per the site, from 11-2 on Saturday, 5/1 @ :

Hyatt Regency Columbus
350 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
USA
800 989 8816 x12

GIANT BOOK FAIR
SATURDAY: Where can you meet your favorite authors, get your pic taken with them or a cover model, or get a sneak preview to what’s coming out in the wonderful world of women’s fiction? At the one and only RT Booklovers Convention Book Fair! Over 300 authors will autograph books, posters and bookmarks, and you can bring your favorite “keeper” books to have your fav author sign them!!

For those bringing collectibles and “keeper” books, we will clearly label the books for you, so as not to mistake them for new books!

This event is open to the public for a small fee of $5.00 at the door. All registered attendees will enter 15 minutes prior to the public opening.

And I think I’ve rambled enough…  O_O

Hope you’re enjoying spring!

Shiloh

http://shilohwalker.com

From Samhain. It’s been revised. HEAVILY.

It’s not longer, though…I did some pretty heavy rewriting in some areas, but it didn’t add to the length. It’s a cleaner read, though. And has a prettier cover. Much prettier.

No Longer Mine

It’s due out in ebook in April, and yes, it will probably go into print at some point, but it won’t be this year.

Blurb:
Born on the wrong side of the tracks and dealt a fair share of hardship, Nikki Kline never gives up a fight. Even when her reason to keep going is ripped from her, Nikki tries desperately to hang on. But when the man who broke Nikki’s heart comes back into her life she doesn’t know how much she can take. Especially since that man seems determined to win back her damaged heart.

Wade Lightfoot is a man who knows he’s made more mistakes than most. As much as he would like to repair the damage he’s done to those he loves, Wade also knows there is no going back. But when he sets out to put things right the last thing he’s prepared to find out is that he had a son. A son he’ll never get the chance to meet.

When the truth is out and all the old wounds are bared, it seems impossible that Nikki and Wade will find their way back to each other. But true love is an undeniable force that even past hurts can’t destroy.

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