26 May 2009

EXCERPT: Claim Mate

I'd like to introduce my one and only mystery cross-genre story (so far...I'm working on a second story from the same world), but let me hook our lovers of the genre into a new read...first week out! That would be COMING TOGETHER: AGAINST THE ODDS...available in e-book now and coming in print next month.

Like all Coming Together anthologies, the authors, editors, and cover artists take not a thin dime from the publication of the book. All royalties (for all of those people) go to the charity designated for that issue. The charity for this anthology is Autism Speaks. Since I have two high-functioning autistic kids and three nieces/nephews thus afflicted, it's very near and dear to my heart. It's a great gift for mystery erotic romance lovers, especially if they have autistic family members.

My excerpt is from this book, BTW. It's from "Claim Mate" from my Born Investigators world!

HEA-yes, VIOLENCE-moderate, LANGUAGE-moderate, SEX-lightly erotic
Did I mention that I use a rating system on my site to help readers find books that will appeal to them? I do.

Sheara L'Lun stepped out of the pod, smoothing her uniform skirt. She hadn't bothered with primping in yars, but Dahv was at Command Level Surian again, and the last thing Sheara would allow was her former cohab seeing her in less-than-pristine form. Dahv H'Liah hadn't left her much but her pride, and vexed if she'd shed that final skin before him now.

It had been a quarter moon-turn since he'd returned to Surian. Sheara hadn't seen his detestable form since then, but it would only be a matter of time. Cool and unaffected would be the order of the day, when the moment arrived. She just had to remember not to show her hatred when she saw him.

Or anything else.

The silence of the office cut through her internal musings first. Sheara felt the fuzz on her arms rise in warning then the soft hair at the join of her head and neck. She slowed, looking around at abandoned work stations in unease. Had there been an emergency, the pod would have rerouted her. There were interlocks to avoid injury.

This is something else.

The first of the stony-faced I.I. techs had her heart stuttering in apprehension. Her mouth went dry in the realization that something was very wrong...and on her watch. Internal Investigation was only sent in for criminal acts within the Military Ministry.

Before she could find the words to question them, the one she'd spotted first nodded to her.

"You may join the others in West Ten, Captain L'Lun."

Sheara cleared her throat. "My thanks, Sergeant." She turned crisply and glided toward the conference main in question, as if she had not a care in the world.

In truth, a med-tech would set her to rest-bed status at the count of her pulse.

Internal Investigation was bad news for several reasons. The most obvious was that I.I. had no boundaries. If they were called in, there would not be an end for anyone until there was an arrest warrant...preferably an arrest.

I.I. was also Dahv's department. Of course, there was no reason to assume Dahv's team would be assigned. There were typically three full teams in the Ministry building in Surian, and Dahv's was the highest-ranking of them. Still, her department was Command Level. Any criminal breach here would bring either the mid-level or highest of the teams. Since Dahv's team was the highest currently in Surian, there was an even chance he was in charge of this investigation.

Sheara slid the door to West Ten open and stepped inside. She presented her palm for ID verification to a level six I.I. tech whose badge pronounced him H'Vet.

"Ah, L'Lun," he noted. "You may be seated."

Though it rankled not to know what the accusations were, she moved to comply. One didn't question an I.I. team. They questioned you.

Her turn toward the waiting chairs was cut short by a most unwelcome voice.

"Running late today, L'Lun?"

Her heart pounding in sick resignation, Sheara faced the brute. All her plans to stun him for naught, she was meeting Dahv H'Liah at a disadvantage. Her department was under an I.I....and he looked better than any man had a right to.

His gold hair lay in silken waves over his shoulders, and his blue eyes bored into her. If anything, her memory of his body didn't do him justice.

And... Damn the stars! She didn't want to hate him. After everything he'd done, the urge to crawl into his arms and bed clawed at her.

"L'Lun?" he questioned.

Sheara forced her jaw to unglue. "Oh, it's you."

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