Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Exclusive Peek: Julian's Jeopardy by Marie Harte

From Marie Harte:

Julian’s Jeopardy was a book that never should have been. The original Circe’s Recruits books were about four Marines who volunteered for a government project to turn them into super soldiers. They became men who could shapeshift into creatures not human and became something else entirely--Circs. I wrote four books, and that was going to be that. But in the fourth book, another group of Circs appeared. Four Navy SEALs needing to get out of a bad situation helped one of my heroes. Julian Hawkins led that group, the team of Dawn Endeavor, and I had a feeling then that he’d need his own story.

Sure enough, readers started asking when I was going to write about the next batch of Circs. And Jules wouldn’t shut the heck up. He demanded that his four-man team find some happiness, considering all the hell they’d been through. They were SEALs and now men who turned into warriors with claws, fangs, and armored skin. Their senses became super acute, and they developed mating heats—a need to procreate with anyone Circ.

Jules watched his teammates eventually find mates. Fallon found Olivia. Hayashi found his match in the aggressive—and male--Morgan Reynolds. Tersch continued to swear up and down that he didn’t need a wife, girlfriend or partner. But Jules wanted someone special in his life. He never intended to find her while being tortured in a cave, chained up like an animal. Heck, for that matter, I was surprised myself when he and Sheridan hit it off after that introduction.

It should have been easy to write. But it wasn’t. What I wrote only mucked up matters. To say my first draft needed work is an understatement. I revised and reedited. Deleted a chapter, reshaped several plot points, and submitted. I thought I’d struck gold. Only I didn’t. My editor kindly informed me I had more revisions to make. A lot of wacked out plot lines that didn’t mesh, characters not acting to type, and more confusion than there needed to be. I restructured the beginning. I had the hero recognize the heroine when they do meet again, because heck, he knows her. And she started acting like the heroine I’d intended and not some bonehead too in lust with the hero to see straight.

It was a painful, lengthy process. The third book also had to be read as a standalone, so readers coming into the story at book three aren’t baffled at who’s who and what’s going on. But finally, my editor was happy, the line editors and final line editors liked it, and Jules had his happy ending.

I’ve included a short excerpt from Julian’s Jeopardy, and I hope you like it.

Exclusive Excerpt:

A low growl sounded, as if from a wounded animal. Chains rattled again, and she frowned.

“Hello?” she whispered.

No one answered, but as her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she spied something -- someone -- held against the wall across from her.

Oh my God, Pedro was right! There’s a man trapped here in this cell. And he’s hurt. I can sense he’s truly injured. Her palms itched, the need to soothe, to heal so strong, she couldn’t ignore the compulsion. The intensity of her need should have shocked her -- she’d never felt so drawn to pain before -- but she couldn’t think past the overwhelming urge to heal.

She darted through the moonlight into the shadows against the wall, where he stood. Except he wasn’t so much standing as fighting to stand upright. The scent of blood and infection hit her hard, and tears filled her eyes.

“So much pain,” she whispered. She reached out to him and laid her hands on his slick chest. Moist from blood or sweat, she couldn’t tell.

He jerked, amazing her that someone who felt so much hurt could still be awake and aware. Then he straightened to an imposing height several inches taller than her.

“Don’t touch me,” he growled.

Light gray eyes so bright they looked white blazed down at her, almost glowing in the darkness. The preternatural shine should have scared her, but she couldn’t stop staring at the giant man bound to the wall. He was huge. He had large muscles, a well-conditioned body, and the headiest scent she’d ever smelled. Sheridan swayed closer, wanting to inhale him, and quickly stopped herself. Come on, Sheridan, focus. She wished she could see him better, but she’d take what she could get.

Unable to help herself, she ran her hands over his chest, trailing heat over his skin, allowing the healing to pour through her fingers into him. The faint scent of vanilla filled the air. Sheridan sniffed again. An earthy combination of grass and vanilla, as if nature had approved of this male and set him in wait just for her.

Slowly, the infection she’d sensed in the man faded, and the vanilla scent grew stronger.

She continued to caress him, lost in a haze of wonder. Always before when healing, she grew tired, as if giving away a piece of herself. But now, with him, that wasn’t the case. He -- she had no other word for it -- intoxicated her.

“Who are you?” he rumbled, his low voice quiet but burning with intensity.

“Sheridan,” she answered, lost in the feel of him. He needed so much, and she had so much to give.

“God, what are you doing to me?” he rasped. “Your hands are so hot. Or is that the drugs they pumped into me? Hell if I know up from down anymore,” he muttered.

“Shh, it’ll be all right. Let me help you. It’s okay,” she crooned and kissed the spot directly in front of her face, over his broad chest.

She couldn’t have said why she did it, but she had to put her mouth on him, to taste some part of him. It dawned on her then that he wore nothing at all. Stunned, she didn’t know what to think.

He froze, and the heat leaving her palms returned full force, centering in every pleasure point in her body.

“Don’t touch me.” His voice sounded stronger. “I won’t help you, no matter what you do to me.”

“Please, let me finish.” She tried to concentrate on him and not the unfamiliar lust coursing through her body, but she couldn’t. Especially when she moved closer and felt something firm prod her belly. Good Lord, the man was aroused. She glanced down. Aroused and naked and huge.

Summary from Publisher's Website:

Genetic manipulation has created the first super soldier, the Circ. The second generation of Circs, able to transform into hulking, inhuman beasts at will and psychically gifted is much more dangerous than the first. Under Project Dawn Endeavor, the secret four-man team belongs to the mysterious Mrs. Sharpe who is bent on cleaning up science gone wrong around the globe on behalf of the United States government. But there’s more to her agenda than patriotism. If only the team knew what she really had planned.

As leader of the Circs of Dawn Endeavor, Julian Hawkins takes his responsibilities seriously. With two of his Circs now mated, life for his team is evolving, slowly but surely, into something with which Jules is unfamiliar, and he's not sure what to do about it. As if personal strife wasn't enough, an old enemy has Jules in his sights.

Kidnapped and held prisoner in the remote Amazon jungle, Jules comes perilously close to dying when a woman made of light saves him. She has the purest aura he’s ever seen, a body made for loving, and a heart made just for him. Except she's not real. But months after his rescue, when Mrs. Sharpe introduces the woman as a new part of the team, can he trust what he sees? Or is the woman there for another reason entirely, one that will put his team, and his heart, in dire jeopardy?

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices, menage, voyeurism.

Available now at Loose Id (ebook).


jeanette8042 said...

This definitely sounds like a good read and I'm glad Julian demanded his story :)

dor said...

Yes, this sounds very good. Sounds like a lot of hard work and long hours went into this baby.

dorcontest at gmail dot com

Darlyn said...

It sure takes a lot of effort to write the best thing for readers, no?

CopperGoddess said...

I haven't read the books yet. I have been waiting for Ms. Harte to finish writing the Navy Seals before I tackle the guys one by one. However let it be noted, that I have purchased almost her entire arsenal of ebooks. The latest one was Namesake and it was AWESOME. Can't wait to read about the foxes in Cougar falls.

Marie Harte said...

This was a fun and hard book to write, to do the series justice. CopperGoddess, glad you liked Namesake. Now that story has a history...

:) Happy Reading!


Carol L. said...

Well , I definitely want to read these books and can't wait. This excerpt was great. Thank you.
Carol L.

gamistress66 said...

not my usual preference, but admit am intrigued after reading this :)

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