Thursday, April 27, 2006

Blurb, Excerpt & Cover for Tempting Fate

 Clotho Moirae is weary of spending eternity with her two sisters on Mount Olympus.  More than ready for a break, Chloe craves a good vacation.  This time, however, she wants to go to the one place she's never been, and for good reason--one visit by a Fate has the potential to spark titanic problems.  What's the hot vacation spot that tempts Chloe?  Earth.   
   Tanner Danner had spent most of his life trying to watch out for his too-trusting innkeeper mother.  When she is brutally murdered by one of her tenants, Tanner becomes a hermit, shunning contact with humanity--especially the eccentrics who had been drawn to the inn.  Eschewing the family business, and with nothing much to hold him to life, he tries to find refuge in his solitude and at the bottom of a liquor bottle. 
   But when Chloe shows up at Tanner's inn, they both find that Tempting Fate has never been so good. 


In her room, as Chloe was readying herself for a day spent shopping--ah, the glorious wonders in which mortals could engage--she was still chuckling over the fact that her host's name was Tanner Danner.
   She supposed she should stop laughing at him. After all, his mother had recently passed away.
   And why hadn't she known that?
   As a Fate, she should have been in tune with those around her, especially those who were coming close to their own mortality or had just lost someone significant.
   That she hadn't recognized that about Tanner immediately did worry her a bit. She held her cell in her palm and considered calling her sisters, but she didn't want to worry them.
   Instead, she tucked it into her purse.
   Apparently her powers on Earth weren't what they were on Olympus.
   She'd do well to remember that.
   And not tell her sisters.
   Grabbing her purse, she ran downstairs, called a quick goodbye to her host, and left the small Oceanside Inn.
   She made her way directly though the sand dunes to the beach.
   It was beautiful. It was still early in the day, but in a few hours, she knew that the beach would be full of people. She should know; she always had to keep an extra special eye out for snags in the threads of Spring Breakers. But she didn't have to worry about that right now.
   She was on vacation.
   Smiling to herself, she bent down and unlaced her sandals so she could walk unfettered through the warm sand.
   Her first vacation in a few thousand years.
   “This isn't your first trip to the ocean, is it?”
   She was shocked to hear Tanner's voice directly behind her. Apparently her powers were really out of whack down here.
   It was her first trip to a real ocean. They had ocean-like things up on Mount Olympus, but they didn't duplicate the salty sea air, or the constant yapping of seagulls. Or that smell. A few hours into her journey and Chloe already knew she was going to miss that smell.
   “Actually, it is.”
   “Really? Well, then, you've got to put your feet in.”
   He smiled at her, but it was a sad smile. It didn't reach his eyes at all. This man was really suffering and it was killing her that she hadn't known.
   “Race ya,” she said before taking off down the beach.
   She slid to a halt just before the water touched her toes. Turning, she saw Tanner strolling through the sand towards her.
   He looked natural as a beach bum.
   His blond hair was sun-kissed and several days' growth of beard covered his jaw. He moved naturally through the sand, not almost falling every other step like she had done.
   He was still wearing the faded jeans he'd answered the door in, but he'd paired it with a shirt so faded that she could barely make out the words Crab Shack.
   “How did your mother die?”
   She didn't mean to blurt it out like that. He almost looked peaceful for a second there and she had to go and ruin it. The expression on his face changed as surely as a steel cage had dropped down over him.
   He was silent so long that she didn't think he was going to answer. When he finally did, his voice cracked and he looked away.
   “I don't want to talk about it.”
   Millions of questions flittered through her mind, but even with her senses as dull as they were, she knew not to ask them. So she remained silent.
   She couldn't say she was sorry. She was a Fate. She was the one that had woven the thread of his mother's life. It was her fault that this man in front of her was in so much pain now.
   This was why her sisters warned her that she didn't want to come to Earth.
   When she opened her mouth, she wasn't sure what she was going to say, but it certainly wasn't what ended up coming out.
   Cold water hit her in the calves and splashed up to the backs of her knees. She took a step forward, but her foot got mired in the saturated sand.
   She headed straight down, face first.
   But then, instead of getting a mouthful of grainy mud, she remained standing, though she had thumped against something hard.
   “Water scare you a little bit?”
   Okay, so maybe she acted a little bit foolish. It was just a little bit of water. Things like that were bound to happen when you were standing with your back to the ocean.
   “It startled me.”
   For the first time since she'd met Tanner, he smiled a real smile. A smile that went all the way to his baby blue eyes.
   She didn't even so much mind the fact that he was laughing at her.
   “Yeah, that water, it can jump up and get you.”
   She felt the rumble begin in his chest; it was hard not to as she was plastered against him. Then it escaped--a deep masculine laugh that had her tingling in places that had lain dormant for a very long time.
   She wasn't a virgin; she'd dare anyone to live for several millennia and remain a virgin, but she could honestly say she'd never felt this way before.
   Tanner's arms around her, though she no longer needed his support, made her feel warm and protected. Things she'd never really thought about before. You didn't have to think about being warm and protected on Mount Olympus.
   His body was hard. She could feel the muscles under his shirt, though he hardly looked like a gym rat. And something there, below the waist, was getting much harder.
   Before she could stop herself, she whimpered.
   “Sorry,” he said, practically pushing her away. The laughter died and he went back to being that same closed off Tanner.
   “It's okay,” she said when she desperately wanted to launch herself back into his arms.
   “Were you going somewhere?”
   He took a few more steps away from her. He stood at the water's edge now. The water flowed over his feet, soaking his jeans, but he didn't seem to notice.
   “I, uh, I was going to meet a friend. We were going to go shopping and then to lunch.” She took a stab in the dark with her next question. “Would you like to join us?”
   Her heart sank when he gave her the answer she'd been expecting.
   “No thanks, but have a good time.”
   He turned and trudged back up the beach. She watched until he disappeared over the sand dunes.


Blogger Sherrill Quinn said...

Sounds great, Emma!

4:16 PM  
Blogger LISA WILLIAMS said...

Wonderful excerpt.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting portrayal of one of the Fates. Had never imagined they would feel guilty.

Little lamb lost

1:18 AM  

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