I am so pleased to be part of this hop and look forward to learning about all the great authors here today. Don't forget to comment on everyone's pages so you can enter for some terrific prizes. I can't wait to hear from each of you!
Our theme did get me thinking, I must admit. Love is a beach. That's what we've all heard before. After all, who can argue with golden sand, hot sun and palm trees? Laying on soft towels with a lover, feeling his strong hand reach out to graze your bikini-clad body. Smiling as he loosens your bikini strings....
It sounds magical, doesn't it?
What if the same setting were sinister instead?
It put me in mind of a scene from my current release, Sweet Hell. Sweet Hell is a paranormal romance about the Greek god Dionysus and a workaholic baker named Josie. Despite the face that they drive each other crazy, they are attracted to each other with a force that is new and compelling. Because of a threat to Josie, they must travel to hell on a deranged quest that threatens to tear them apart.
And hell is not what it would seem.
Read on for a short excerpt from Sweet Hell, and see what I mean when I suggest that perhaps love is not a beach at all.
“I’ve seen this place before,” she uttered, staring at the waves, feeling suddenly hypnotized. She suddenly felt the need to abandon Dionysus, wanting, for some strange reason, to throw herself into the surf. Although she didn’t know why, she felt the compulsion to swim out to the open sea and venture deeper and deeper.
As if her new home ought to be in the blue darkness.
Dionysus turned her to look at him. His gorgeous face was etched in lines of worry as he gripped her arms. “Josie. Josie! Snap out of it.”
“I don’t understand…”
“We’re in the first level of hell. They call this place ‘The Ordeal,’” he explained. “It’s different here for everyone, but one thing is the same. This is a place where you are forced to face your worst fear. You need to tell me, Josie. What is your worst fear? Something to do with beaches? Are you afraid of the water?”
She couldn’t answer. Her mind felt so foggy. All she knew was that she wanted to swim in those tempting waves. They looked warm and clear, and she couldn’t help feeling they would just envelop her and rock her.
They would make her sleep the most peaceful of sleeps.
She tried to pull away from Dionysus.
“Josie! You have to stay with me!”
“But it looks so nice in the water…”
“It’s an illusion! Remember?”
He was reaching for her, grasping, but she was already sliding out of his grip. She never thought to question how she could do so. He was a big, muscled god with powers she’d likely never fully understand. And yet, one, little pull on her part, and she was free of his strong hold on her.
She wanted to swim, even though she could feel a distant memory tugging on her brain. Warning her to stay with Dionysus on the beach. Warning her to take note of the panic in his brown eyes, of the desperate way he was reaching for her.
But why? Nothing made sense. She just wanted to be in the coursing waves, wanted to feel their invigorating lick on her skin.
Spurred on by a sense of dreadful inevitability, she raced toward the surf. Even still, she could hear Dionysus shouting at her. Yelling something about facing her fear. About not being afraid.
Promising he would find her.
It didn’t matter. She was there. The water was already drenching her shoes, lapping at her ankles. And it felt so good! Without wasting another second, she ran until she was waist-deep and then dove in.
And realized immediately she’d made a horrible mistake.
Blurb for Sweet Hell:
Dionysus, Greek god of wine and theater, is the world’s original playboy. But lately, he has been restless, moody, and he knows something is wrong. His carefree and bacchanalian lifestyle is starting to feel like one long string of meaningless sexual escapades. Even worse, he is suddenly aroused by the idea of marriage. To top it all off, Josie Marino, the mouthy, disheveled, and eternally annoying woman who serves him coffee at the local bakery, sets him on fire.
Josie, a Toronto baker of Italian heritage, is not looking for love or lust. Especially not with Dionysus Iros, the most aggravating, demanding customer she'd ever had to serve. With his rippling muscles and sexy, knowing eyes, he's obviously trouble with a capital T. Unfortunately, he's also the star of her every X-rated dream. She’s known players like Dionysus before, and one of them almost got the better of her. Josie determines she will not fall for his considerable physical charms, come hell or high water.
But Dionysus turns strangely protective when a sinister character arrives at Josie’s bakery, and they can no longer deny their unwanted feelings for one another. They are forced to embark on a bizarre, sexually-charged journey to hell itself, which threatens to either change them for the better, or destroy them.
Thanks for visiting, friends! Does everyone have their pail and shovel?