Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lust at First Sight


This is just a quickie to say... Wahey, both GEMINI HEAT and GOTHIC HEAT are published in America today! They're the two books that span my fourteen years as a Black Lace author and I'm thrilled to bits that they're available together like this... :)

To celebrate this auspicious day, here are two brief clips, one from each book, each containing the heroine's first impressions of the hero... and in each case, as the title of this post says, it's lust at first sight!

First, from Gemini Heat... Deana turns around and finds exotic Jake de Guile at her side...

'Chatted who up?'

The voice from beside her was soft and light with an insidiously husky catch. Pure sex, filtered through human vocal chords, and Deana knew exactly who it belonged to. Slowly, almost reluctantly, she turned around.

Her moments-only impression hadn't done him justice. She'd formed a sketch in her mind but what stood before her was a masterpiece, a living composition more fine and sensual than anything in this mad bad collection.

'Who were you going to chat up?' her vision in black persisted, but for several seconds all Deana could do was stare at his smiling lips, his large dark eyes; his hands, his body, his crotch. His narrow black eyebrows lifted in enquiry and amusement, and after a century she recovered her voice.

'You,' she said sharply, making a split second decision to be her usual unflinching self. He was raw eroticism on two legs, but she wasn't frightened of him. She wanted him, yes - instantly and unequivocally - but she didn't fear him. Although a small voice inside her said ought to.

'Yes,' she went on as she faced him. Panicking creatively, she said the first thing that came into her head. 'Although "chat up" is purely a figure of speech. You seem to be one of the few people here genuinely interested in the exhibits... so I thought it would be nice to "chat you up" and get your opinions. I'm an artist myself and I wanted to compare... compare my reactions with someone else's,' she paused, flustered, realizing that she was rabbiting on and that he was still smiling his slow, indulgent smile, 'You are interested, aren't you?'

'Of course. It's my specialty.' He accompanied this cryptic utterance with a elegant flip of his fingers. Deana noted the slenderness of his hands and how beautifully kept they were, and suddenly she imagined them slipping knowledgably over her body, seeking out the most sensitive places and stroking her to climax after climax. She could almost see her own shine on his narrow toffee-coloured fingertips.

'Is that a fact?' she answered pertly, feeling the blush rise again, then fall as it had done before, to the place that now yearned for this strange dark man, 'Are you an artist yourself? Do you paint? Or draw?'

'No, sadly I have no talent. I merely observe beauty,' he replied, his eyes roving almost crudely across her body. As his gaze returned to meet hers, Deana met dark, electric-blue fire and was shocked. Not just by the blatant desire there, but by the fact that with his colouring she'd been expecting brown eyes, or grey.

The shape of his eyes was unusual too. In a Caucasian face, they were slanted, oriental, almost catlike. Wide-set and with thick, sooty lashes, they had a slight over-folding of the lids at the inner corners. Mr Mystery here had the east not too far back in his heritage, and his eyes bore the epicanthus to prove it.

His hair was also eastern. Steel-black and straight as water, it was smoothed back closely against his head and caught at the nape of his neck in a ponytail. Its hard, unruffled shine reminded Deana of a seal's coat, but almost instantly, she revised her assessment. Seals were cuddly and playful, and this man just wasn't. He was a shark or a king cobra, hovering to strike or kill, smiling and deadly. Suddenly, she knew she should fear him.

'Me too,' she said, responding belately. He must think I'm a complete ninny, she thought, annoyed by her own inability to impress. 'Why don't we get together?'

And now, in Gothic Heat, Paula has an 'across a crowded room' moment when she spots Rafe Hathaway in a grotty, insalubrious nightclub....

The man by the dance floor was still there, and the sight of him still made her catch her breath and wonder. Now he seemed to look entirely different.

What she’d seen before must have been an hallucination.

Raven Club man didn’t have the aristocratic glamour of ‘Count AndrĂ©’ and he didn’t even have the long, exotic locks. His dark hair was cropped quite short, and it made him look earthy and dangerous. He had the aura of a conscious outsider about him, a rebel, and a bit of stud maybe, but in a raw, maverick way. In contrast the boring but colourful designer outlet finery around him, he was wearing a battered black leather biker jacket, narrow black jeans and some kind of heavy, buckled work boots.

A pair of dark, narrowed eyes scanned the room just as hers had, their hooded lids predatory and jaded-looking. His mouth was rather hard, and thinned a little, as if the club inspired just the same sense of distaste and disappointment in him that it did in her.

Yeah, I know, it’s a dingy old sump, isn’t it? thought Paula. So what the hell are we doing here? We should be elsewhere. Together.

She watched his hands. They moved quickly and edgily, even though his large body was still and poised. First he tapped his fingertips against the smudged railing in time to the music, and then went through the motions of patting his pockets, reaching into them, digging about. Only to be snatched smartly back out again.

Ah hah! A smoker - or an ex smoker - searching for his ciggies. Having done hard time giving up herself, Paula recognised the tell-tales. Maybe the tall, hard-looking, and vaguely biker-ish man wasn’t quite as calm and self assured as he looked? The urge to smoke was a natural reflex when ill at ease.

The large hands appeared again, and suddenly he cracked his knuckles. The sound of it shouldn’t have been audible over the cacophony of the music, but even so it echoed across the room as if they were the only two people in it.

Hands still clasped, the tall stranger looked straight up at Paula.

Connection hit her like a thump in the solar plexus. Lines of force zipped between the two of them, and the man down below cocked his head as if listening to their hum.

A powerful urge to run gripped Paula, but then died again.

Connection hit her like a thump in the solar plexus. Lines of force zipped between the two of them, and the man down below cocked his head as if listening to their hum.

A powerful urge to run gripped Paula, but then died again.

Take him, he’s yours, the voice of Isidora purred beneath her skin. And Paula’s eyes and limbs obeyed it. Holding the tall man’s gaze, she glanced towards the club’s emergency exit, and then, not looking back, she began to walk quickly towards the steps to the lower level.

So... two guys, two naughty books... hope you enjoy both of them equally! Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of a book from my back list.


Still labouring at the Black Lace coal face to bring you sexy and romantic treats!


AuthorM said...

Congrats on the years, Portia! :)

And those excerpts...*fans face.*



Portia Da Costa said...

Thanks, Megan! I'm glad you enjoyed the clips. :)

I'm always nervous, juxtaposing examples of my early writing against examples of my current writing. I'm always afraid that a] my earlier writing will seem fresher and feistier and make my current work seem inferior or b] my early writing will make everybody cringe at how bad it was...

Sort of a no win, really. Although hopefully, my writing will just appear *different* and yet somehow also the same.

Er... does that make sense? I'm not sure it does to me... LOL

abc said...

When you've got it, you've got it.

And you sure have it, Portia!

It started hot, and you've honed your craft. Congratulations!

Portia Da Costa said...

Thanks, abc!

That's what I hope for. That I still have the same 'it' but it's a tad more polished these days. :)

Sabrina Luna said...

Oh boy, do I feel the *heat*! LOL! WTG, Portia! ;)

Sabrina )O(

Tara S Nichols said...

Congratulations on your success!
I have to say I'm always very happy when one of your titles comes out!

Portia Da Costa said...

Thanks, Sabrina! It's fun to have two 'heat' titles coming out on the same day... :)

Portia Da Costa said...

Hope these two live up to your expectations, Tara!

There are more in the pipeline... ;)

Madeline Moore said...

Alright Portia! I'll take one of each (the guys, I mean). The books I'll have to buy.

ps - Happy upcoming birthday! What a great birthday prezzie for you, from Black Lace.

Kate Pearce said...

I'll be facing them out at my local Borders as soon as I see them :)

Lil said...

Hearty congrats, Portia!

Weather has taken a dreary turn so it was nice to come across these excerpts to get a little heat. Very nice.

Portia Da Costa said...

Hi Madeline! I'm thinking of instituting a new way of dealing with birthdays... no years, just the pressies! LOL

Portia Da Costa said...

Wow, that's kind of you, Kate! Next time I'm in our local Borders or Waterstones, and I see your books, I'll do the same. :)

Portia Da Costa said...

Thanks, lil... The weather here is pretty grim too. Not very Springlike at all!

Deanna Ashford said...

I love your writing Portia, the old and the new.

limecello said...

Woohoo - congratulations, Portia! Loved the excerpts, and I'm so glad I can get those books now :D

Sweet Samantha said...

Congrats! 14 years is a long time. . . I was 5 years old when you started :P

I've never read your writing before, but I'm definitely interested now lol. Though I live in a small town where Black Lace books aren't exactly avialible, so it's not surprising that I haven't read a lot of the books I see/read about here.

I loved the excerpts <3

Anonymous said...

congrats portia great covers.
hot excerpt
kim h

Portia Da Costa said...

Thanks, Deanna! Your kind words are much appreciated. :)

Portia Da Costa said...

Hope the books live up to your expectations, limecello. They were both fun to write... although it's hard to remember precisely what was going through my head 14 years ago. :)

Portia Da Costa said...

Wow, Samantha... now that does bring the passing of the years home to me. LOL

But I hope you're able to get hold of the books... I too live in a small town, with no bookshops, and even in bigger town, nearby, there's only one shop that stocks BL, and then not many. :(

Thank heavens for the internet!

Portia Da Costa said...

Thanks, Kim. Glad you enjoyed the excerpts. :)

juliemt said...

Portia, I loved Gothic Heat and have Gemini Heat on order!

Congrats on your 14 year anniversary!

Portia Da Costa said...

Thanks, Julie! I'm so glad you enjoyed Gothic Heat... Hope you like Gemini Heat too. :)

Kat said...

I can't wait to read these, especially since the first was recommended by Anne in an previous entry!

Portia Da Costa said...

Hi Kat

Hope you enjoy the books!