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ESCAPE INTO ROMANCE AND DANGER
Did you ever have one of those days? Or a lot of those days? Days when you thought your head would explode at the monotony of your life? You rise at the same time each day, go through the same morning ritual, then it’s onto your job. Maybe you’re a corporate drone and cubicle dweller as I was. Mind-numbing. Boring.
Many a morning as I drove to work, I’d fantasize about something extraordinary happening to relieve the boredom. I don’t mean any earth-shattering event, or anyone’s getting hurt. Just something different. Like I’d come upon a bank robbery in progress and be taken hostage by one of the robbers. Oh, wait, I could get hurt. I didn’t want to escape my cubicle-dwelling world that badly. Maybe the robber is really a sexy undercover FBI agent. That led to other kinds of fantasies I won’t go into. But you get my drift.
Escape, romance, danger. Don’t we all need a little of that in our lives? My life isn’t altogether boring, and of course, I’ll take mundane over dangerous. But isn’t it fun to escape once in a while?
That’s where reading comes in. It gives me the escape I crave. As a child, I devoured everything I could find to read – cereal boxes, billboards, clothes tags. It didn’t matter. If it had words on it, I was hooked. Reading opened a whole new world to me and allowed my imagination to soar.
Within the pages of a book, we can be the FBI heroine fighting a deep secret from her past while trying to bring the bad guys to justice. Or we can be the ordinary woman thrust into extraordinary circumstances, caught up in international intrigue and murder. Or we can go back in history and be a young, unmarried daughter of a duke who wants freedom from the constraints of the rigid mores of her class.
And then there are time travels. I love them. Don’t you? I love fantasizing about going back to a time before all our modern conveniences and learning to deal with a more primitive way of living. I’d probably fall apart if I time-traveled, but the heroes and heroines in the time-travel romances I read always cope with their new environment. And they find love along the way. Pure escapism.
Paranormal books and movies are scorching hot now. There are the Twilight movies and books and Harry Potter and the vampire shows on TV. Some popular culture experts say the uncertainty in the modern world makes people gravitate toward the supernatural. Maybe they’re right. Or maybe the paranormal taps into that dark part of us that civilization can’t completely suppress. I enjoy reading paranormal romances. I love witch stories and shifter stories and fallen angel stories. Vampire stories - not so much. I’m afraid of vamps and believe they exist.
Regardless of what sub-genre I read, a good love story is central. I crave happy endings as much as I crave escapism. If, in addition to the romance, the book also has twists and turns, a mystery, maybe a murder or two, and a ghost, werewolf, or witch, that’s even better.
Do you sigh when reading a hot romance and imagine yourself in the arms of that handsome rake of a duke, that sexy tortured werewolf, that pirate who wants to plunder your charms? Then you know what I mean.
Do you ever fantasize about escaping your routine world? And when you do, do you pick up a book and allow it to fly you to exotic places? I hope you do.
I feel like going to Regency England today so I’ll read that book about the duke’s restless daughter. Tomorrow I might want to meet a sexy werewolf. And after that, I may just meet that hunky FBI agent who’s working undercover and takes me hostage.
What about you? What are you reading?
Excerpt of Cursed mates.
England, the outskirts of York, 1530
The ancient witch began her chant. They were sacred words, passed from mother to daughter through the centuries since men had claimed this mystic ground. Her song vibrated through the small hut as the smell of burning peat filled her nostrils, and the iciness of the winter night burned her skin.
"Wood spirits, come to me, I beg. Hear the plea of your servant. Help me take my lord's pain as my own." Wisps of blue smoke curled around her, changing solid walls into mere shadows. Without warning, a sharp blade of pain shot through her veins. She welcomed it, had begged for it. His pain. Nicholas Radford. Her liege lord. Her body convulsed, and she cried out.
She lay over him and closed her eyes. "I beg you, mighty powers, keep my master from death, and show me the way to undo the Demon's curse."
There was nothing angelic about Heavensent, Maine. Kyla Yaeger felt evil all around her, watching, waiting. A hell of a lot more was going on here than one werewolf. Her stiletto heels clicked on the sidewalk as she hurried up the street, but she couldn't outpace the feeling of malice. She had to block it out. Nothing could distract her from her mission. As an elite were-hunter, she had one job—slaughter the werewolf haunting this strange little town.
Anticipation of the next hunt pulsed through her. She hungered for it as an addict craved the next hit. Maybe someday she'd find the peace she longed for . . . but not until she had vengeance.
The fresh smell of pine from the surrounding woods wafted by on the slight breeze. The aroma brought the memory of that hunt in the Adirondacks. Foreboding chilled her. Her breath caught. Would she meet the black wolf again? This time, she wouldn't miss.
Quickening her steps, Kyla reached the homey-looking restaurant, a welcome touch of normalcy in this place tainted by wickedness. As she grabbed for the door handle, someone on the other side pulled the door open. Losing her balance, she wobbled in the entrance as a hand cupped her elbow, steadying her. An electric charge coursed up her arm.
"Sorry." The deep voice was definitely male, with a trace of a British accent, and so close to her ear she could feel his warm breath. She inhaled his scent of spice, familiar, yet exotic.
The timbre of his voice ignited a spark of recognition in her. She was eye level with a very masculine chest covered by a black T-shirt that stretched over hard muscles and defined biceps. Slowly raising her gaze, she met deep topaz eyes—eyes touched with sadness that spoke of pain and unbearable loss. Thick, black hair framed the rugged beauty of his face. The large, jagged scar on his neck saved him from being too perfect. She didn't know him, yet she felt as if she did.
He stood holding the door, not moving. The awareness in his eyes gradually changed to shock, then fear. Rooted to the spot, Kyla couldn't look away.
A roaring noise filled her head, and pain stabbed her temples, signaling a vision. The man, the restaurant, the street wavered. Disjointed scenes flickered before her. A tall man, his face shadowed, his long, black hair blowing in a rush of wind, stood before an empty grave. She felt his crushing grief as if it were her own.
She blinked, and the vision left her. And so had the mysterious stranger. The restaurant door closed slowly behind her, leaving her alone on the sidewalk. She looked both ways down the street, but the man seemed to have disappeared.
"Hey, I thought you were going to get us a table. I found a parking spot a few blocks away." Todd, her best friend and business partner, sauntered toward her. He frowned. "What's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost, or maybe a werewolf."
"I don't know what I saw." A shiver ran through her. Had the man with the topaz eyes caused her vision?