So I am really pleased to have Lynda as my guest today. Lynda writes Scifi romance which is one of my favourite sub genres. Here is an excerpt from her latest book. Enjoy!
Stranded on an alternate Earth, architect and Jill-of-all-trades, Liane Gautier-MacGregor must find her way back to her homeworld before she's enslaved...or falls in love with a man who is the exact duplicate of her ex-husband.
Devyn MacGregor's alter ego as the Reiver Lord is the only way he can fight the Qui'arel and their nefarious Bride Bounty, a tax paid with human females...until he meets the oddly familiar woman who claims he is her husband. And who sets in motion the rebellion that will either free his countrymen or destroy them.
As she watched the comet-star, a buzzing, tickling sensation swept over her. Her scalp tingled, her hair lifted. She looked around uneasily as the wind died. Even the waves, so restless moments ago, hesitated, stuck in mid-curl.
Her gaze, drawn to the sky, settled on the not-star as it sped toward the moon. Liane’s throat filled with dread as, with a flash of blinding whiteness and an utter lack of sound, the moon exploded.
She gasped in terrified awe as fragments whirled silently through the sky. Get inside! screamed the primitive part of her mind, inside, inside, inside. Obeying the silent command, she sped toward the sea stairs but the wind came at her like a battering ram. She stumbled, fell back, and caught herself as her shoes filled with cold ocean water. The tide surged, slammed into her knees.
With a supreme effort, Liane dragged herself forward then–
The sea, the beach, the moon and stars–all spun in rapid circles around her. A queer, sideways slide, a wrenching shift, threw her off-balance.
From somewhere came her ex-husband’s startled yell followed by the deep mechanical growl of his BMW.
She flailed as a kaleidoscope of color burned across her eyes and drummed through her skull. Swept up, she clawed empty air. Tiny zaps, electrically charged, sizzled over her, around her, through her. Then, as if a giant hand reached out to snatch her from the maelstrom–
Liane reeled in broad daylight, the sun beating over the waves and blinding her with its brilliance.
“They that rise wi’ the sun hae their wark weel begun.”
260 AQ, Virginia Coast, New Alba
Dizzy and off-balance, Liane had a single moment to gape at the suddenly day-lit beach before a man-shaped wrecking-ball slammed into her, dumping her into the chilly surf. “Erp!”
“Guh!” The man sprawled on top of her. A frothing wave crashed over her, filling her nose and mouth with the briny taste of seawater. The man levered himself up and gaped at her through a pair of startling green eyes--her ex-husband’s green eyes.
“Blethering hell, woman! Where did you come from?” He leaped to his feet, staring at her with an equal mixture of irritation, astonishment and concern. He offered her a hand up. “Are you hurt?”
The last thing she wanted to do was touch him–unless she had a two-by-four in her hands–so she ignored him. She stood, brushing her wet clothes with sharp flicks of her hands. Movement from the corner of her eye had her turn in time to see a dark bay horse scaling the bluff. What the hell was a horse doing here? For that matter, she turned to her ex, what was he doing here? “What are you doing here?”
His green eyes narrowed. “I might ask you the same, lass.”
His Scottish burr startled her. So did his clothing–a red and black kilt, a blue coat, unbuttoned to reveal a snowy white shirt, wetly plastered to his chest, argyle socks over silver-buckled boots. Her gaze settled on his bare knees. Even if he was a two-timing snake, Devyn had gorgeous knees...for a man, she added grudgingly. Sneering, she said, “Cute outfit. Where’d you get it? Scots R Us?”
“‘Tis flattered I am you approve of my clothing.” His burr deepened and sent shivers licking over her skin. She'd always loved accents and the Scots accent was the sexiest of them all. When it was real. Devyn's couldn't be real. He'd been born in Chicago after all. His green gaze roved over her, assessing her denim jacket, jeans and tennies. She waited for the insult–he’d never liked her casual choice in clothes–but when he spoke, concern colored his voice. “Where is your escort? Your men?”
“Men? I’ve only had one and, trust me, you were more than enough.” She squeezed water out of her short brown hair. There was something strange about Devyn, something beyond the phony accent and the costume. The ocean wind kicked up making her shiver again.
“Me? Have we met afore, lass?” He groped inside his jacket. A moment later, he unfolded a pair of glasses. The frames were slightly askew so they settled crookedly on his face. The effect was boyish and rather charming. But–
“When did you start wearing glasses?”
His head tilted. A smile teased the corners of his gorgeous mouth. “I’ve a good mind for faces, particularly on beautiful women, but I dinna seem to recollect yours.”
“Don’t be cute.” That smile sent freshets of pleasurable heat dancing over her skin, heat she hadn't felt in years. She reminded herself he did have a good mind for faces–as long as they had blond hair, big boobs and long Barbie-doll legs. She had the boobs but not the hair or the ridiculously long legs. And she didn’t have the patience to deal with this nonsense. “Answer the question. What are you doing here?”
“Aside from running you down? I’m on my way to Seagate, lass. May I introduce myself–Devyn MacGregor at yer service.” Leg extended, he swept a courtly bow. “And might I ask what you are doing here? Alone and unprotected?”
She cocked her eyebrow. “What’s there to be protected from?” Then added, skeptically, “You?”
“Nae, lass. I’m harmless as a wean.” He smiled again.
She didn’t know what a wean was and didn’t care. Her mind felt clouded, foggy but an uneasy prickle skated up her spine and she couldn’t pinpoint what caused it. Unless it was Devyn. She took a step back.
“Dinna be scairt, lass. I willna harm you.”
Scairt? He meant scared, she realized, and she was, but she didn’t like letting him know it. She inhaled, deeply, through her nose, and caught the scent of spice and...and something so intrinsically male it could be bottled and sold for hundreds of dollars. She fought the sudden urge to run her hands over the rich blue of his coat, to feel the solid body underneath. No way was she going down that road again. She stuffed her hands in her wet pockets, then hastily pulled them out and sneered.
“Riighht. Okay, fess up. What kind of game is this?”
“Game?” His gaze settled on her mouth. Intently. A do-you-wanna-have-fun smile curved his lips. “What did you have in mind?”
That smile and voice could seduce a whole bevy of women even without the Highland lilt. She knew. She’d seen it happen. And, damn it, she felt it happening to her all over again. Disgusted, she shook her head and winced as a needle of pain shot between her eyes. “You are one piece of work, aren’t you? For the last time, what’re you doing here?”
“I’ve found a lovely, if a wee bit barmy, lass on a deserted beach.” Devyn shifted to stare up at the bluff. An expression of patient suffering crossed his face. “And I’ve just lost my bluidy horse.”
Barmy? Bluidy? She wasn’t sure what he was talking about but it didn’t sound flattering. And the closest he’d ever got to a horse was her Ford Mustang. She needed to get this conversation back on track. “I thought you left.”
“Left?” His gaze licked over her face and her mouth again leaving a warm trail in its wake.
“You took the Beemer and left–” She waved her hand in a vague gesture. Had she fallen, hit her head on a rock and passed out? Was this some kind of dream or nightmare? “–last night. Now you’re back. Did you forget something?”
“I took the Beemer?” he asked slowly.
“B-M-W?” His handsome face remained blank.
She rolled her eyes. “Your baby. The car of your dreams.” Between last night and this morning, he’d clearly lost a couple of IQ points. “What are you made up for? It’s too early for Halloween. And what’s with the phony Scottish accent?”
He frowned, straightened to his full six-foot, four-inch height. “I dinna have an accent.”
Exasperated, she threw her hands into the air, turning her back on him. Whatever Devyn was up to, it was clear he wouldn’t tell her. No surprise there.
The flesh between her shoulders tingled as he touched her hair, a whisper touch that slid into a slight tug and she fought the urge to lean back. She’d always loved having her hair touched. But she didn’t want him, shouldn’t want him, to do the touching. Not anymore. She whirled, fists clenched.
“‘Twas in your hair.” His green eyes widened with innocence and he dropped a small, wet twig. Folding his arms over his broad chest, he met her glare evenly. Then, as if in afterthought, he gave her that charming smile again. “It’s clear we’ve some misunderstanding–”
“I don’t understand why you’re doing this charade.” As she spoke, she turned toward the bluff, then froze, halting in mid-tirade. Her blood drained into her toes, her ears roared. “My God! It’s gone!”
“What’s gone, lassie?”
“Everything. The cottage–the sea stairs.” She fought to keep the hysteria out of her voice. Gautiers didn’t have hysterics. They were strong and self-reliant. Fearless. She tried to convince herself that two out of three wasn’t bad, but her knees wobbled and her heart threatened to tear out through her throat.
“Lass, there’s nae a cottage here.”
“I can see that,” she snapped in a spurt of desperate anger. “But there should be. You know it was. Don’t try to tell me you don’t know it was.” Her voice rose to a pitch only small dogs would make. Swallowing, she struggled to lower it. “Devyn, what's going on?”
Disgusted by the quaver in her voice, she took two long steps toward the bluff. As if that small a distance would bring the cottage into view. She was such an idiot. Such a coward. And she hated him to see her this way, hated to expose her weakness in front of a man who would use it to humiliate her. Again.
Whoa! Thanks Lynda! You've got my attention! I want to know what happens next!
Hey readers...what do you think?