It’s always exciting to introduce debut authors to readers, and I have that treat in store for you today. I’m so pleased to host paranormal romance author Mary Behre, whose debut book, Spirited, is out tomorrow! Listen to some of the advance praise for this book:
“Spirited is an intriguing blend of romance, mystery and ghosts to keep you up late at night.” New York Times bestseller Dianna Love
“Great! A real-page turner.Be prepared, once you sit down to read, you won’t want to get up until you’ve finished the book.” – NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lynsay Sands
Lynsay Sands, people! And I completely agree with that assessment. I know Mary and she’s a superbly talented author. She’s here today to share an exclusive excerpt of Spirited. Pull up a chair and enjoy!
Jules sat dumbfounded in the bedroom of a Greek god. He had espresso brown eyes, curly black hair, a long nose that had probably been broken a time or two, and a sexy, dimpled chin. His tan, muscular body was covered by a chest full of springy hair that begged to be touched. Dang! He even smelled good, like soap and the salty Tidewater air.
Ohmigawd, he’s a walking condom commercial.
He scowled at her, waiting for an answer. Although to save her life she couldn’t think of anything. Where was she? More important, what was she doing here? Then a mental switch flipped and it all became clear.
That freaking ghost! Jules couldn’t very well tell a cop she stumbled into his apartment because a ghost made her do it. He’d haul her off to the loony bin.
“Well.” Jules fidgeted against the cuffs and tried to adjust to a more dignified position on the bed. So not happening. “No, not really. I was trying to go home but, uh . . . locked myself out.”
He arched an eyebrow at her but didn’t say anything.
“I know this looks bad but just ask Big Jim. He’ll vouch for me.”
“And Big Jim? Who’s that, your pimp?”
“What? No!” She laughed and shook her head at the absurd thought. “He’s my dad.”
“Is that what they’re calling them these days?” He scoffed but didn’t give her time to respond. “There’s no one named Big Jim in this building. Try again, the truth this time.”
“Ernie Ward! Ernie is my dad.”
“I thought his name was Jim.” He shook his head. He made a sound like a buzzer. “Wrong again. I’ve known Ernie for years but I’ve never seen you before. Want to try another name, honey?”
His biceps flexed, arms still folded across his chest, as if he wanted to move but barely restrained himself. The sight was distracting. He wasn’t exactly muscle-bound, just finely honed. He stood fierce and masculine like an ancient warrior. Intimidating but ruthlessly sexy. It made her want to . . . She shook herself inwardly.
Why couldn’t she think straight? This so wasn’t like her. She didn’t go gooey over any guy, regardless of how ruggedly handsome. But her heart pounded at an erratic pace and she’d once again lost the thread of the conversation. What had he just asked?
Think, Jules! Ignore the instant pull of pointless physical attraction. It had never done her any favors in the past anyway. Something about him must be repellent. Find it!
She looked at him again, this time skating her gaze past his naked chest and sexy arms and moving down.
Oh, it couldn’t be.
She blinked, astonished.
He wore bright yellow pajama pants, covered in lambs.
Resisting the urge to laugh, she latched on to righteous indignation and straightened her shoulders. This condescending jerk treated her like a criminal, handcuffed her and called her a liar. Oh, he was going down.
“My name’s Jules. Not honey,” she snapped. “And Big Jim—Ernie—is my father. He lives in this building and I live with him.”
“I highly doubt it. Hookers don’t live here,” he said, tugging a red T-shirt over his head.
“Excuse me?” she yelled. “I’m not a hooker, and you owe me an apology!”
“Really?” he said, giving her an obvious once-over, his gaze settling on her bustier.
Her cheeks burned.
“Wait. I can explain.”
“Enlighten me.” He narrowed his eyes, doubt etched on his face.
“See, there was this costume party and . . .” Her words trailed off. How to explain the theme of her college reunion without sounding like an imbecile for dressing in the ridiculous outfit just to win a blue ribbon? Now that she thought about it, stupid might aptly describe her decision-making skills tonight. “Well, there was a Pimp and Ho party earlier tonight. I was on my way home from it—”
“And you just happened to climb into my window?”
Jules opened her mouth to respond, but doubted he’d believe her anyway. So she settled on a half-truth. “It was a mistake. I meant to climb into Big Jim’s window, but it was jammed and yours was . . . open.”
“Ah ha!” His mouth twisted into a satisfied grin. “You admit to breaking and entering.”
“Not breaking. Just entering. And who in his right mind sleeps in this city without a screen in his window anyway?” Oops! She hadn’t meant to say that last part, but she pushed on. “If you’ll just let me go find Big Jim—”
“Don’t think so.” With a grim expression on his face, he tugged her to her feet. “Time to go.”
“Where are we going?” Jules dragged her heels, her stilettos scraping the wooden floorboards.
Still in his pajama bottoms, he jammed his feet into a pair of loafers.
Jules gaped. The gladiator image of him fizzled with each passing second. “Are you really planning to go out in public dressed like an overgrown four-year-old?”
“Shut. Up,” he growled, jerking on a knee-length, brown leather coat. “Say another word and I’ll charge you with resisting arrest.”
“Wait, uh, I think there’s been some mistake.”
“You bet your sweet ass, there has.”
“Where . . . where . . .” Jules swallowed in an effort to keep her voice from shaking. “Where are we going?”
“You’re gonna spend the night in lockup.”
“Please, not jail!” Her words ended on a squeak, but she couldn’t help it.
Earth-bound ghosts, bent on driving the living crazy, seemed to love hanging out in graveyards and jails. When they realized she could actually hear them, she’d be defenseless.
Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Here’s the blurb:
She’s running from who she is…
All Jules Scott wants is to live a normal, quiet life–preferably one that doesn’t include ghosts. Jules’s ability for communicating with the dead has brought her nothing but trouble. Despite her best efforts, needy spirits always find her and draw her into their otherworldly drama. When one implicates her in a series of deadly crimes, she may need to entrust her secrets to the person least likely to believe her…
He’ll do whatever it takes to catch her.
Detective Seth English can’t get distracted from the big case he’s working on, not even by his alluring new neighbor. He doesn’t believe that Jules had anything to do with the string of robberies-turned-murders that he’s investigating, but when she keeps showing up in all the wrong places, his gut tells him she knows more than she’s letting on. To solve his case, he’ll need to expose what the sexy redhead is hiding–no matter how impossible the truth may be…
For my readers today, Mary is giving away a copy of Spirited, book one in her Tidewater Series. Just tell us about some of the books you’re looking forward to in the next few months for a chance to win!
PS. I’m visiting with the lovely ladies at The Romance Dish today, with an exclusive excerpt from my upcoming book, Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom. And the ladies are also giving away an ARC of Confessions. After you comment on Mary’s excerpt, stop by and visit with me at The Romance Dish!