Welcome to this stop on the Rites of Spring Blog Hop! Read to the bottom for details on how to enter to win a Kindle Fire! For your enjoyment, here is an excerpt from Botanicaust; the first moment Tula sees the hero, Levi.
Tula jogged up the stairs from Confinement two at a time, headed to the duster pad outside. Heat from the tarmac slammed into her like a fist as she exited the climate controlled building, and she had to lift a hand to shield her eyes from the sudden sunlight. Two Med techs wheeled a screaming woman down the ramp on a gurney. Tula stepped aside so they could pass, assessing the prisoner’s swollen belly and shaking her head sadly. They’d keep the baby. But the woman was another matter.
At the door to the duster, Mo gestured to one of the other techs, hand on his weapon. He saw Tula and smiled broadly. She grinned back and loped across the asphalt.
“Hey, baby,” he said, pulling her close to his side with a one-armed embrace.
Inside the duster, two techs urged a male prisoner to his feet. The big man sat on his knees, palms pressed together as he mumbled. A flash of dizziness passed over Tula, and she swayed.
“Whoa,” Mo looked down at her. “You haven’t even kissed me, yet. Another Burn Op beat me to it?”
He liked to joke that she only stayed with him for the high of his kisses. She smiled weakly at him, glad to look away from the prisoner. “I can make my own drugs if I need to, thank you very much.”
He laughed and planted a kiss on her forehead. “Not if you never come out for air. You need me, baby.”
“What is this?” She indicated the man in the duster. The techs had him on his feet, but he kept his hands together and his lips moving.
“Hey, if they’re not struggling, I bring them in. I’d just as soon flash them all.”
She shuddered, well aware of his position on cannibals. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to prove consent?”
Mo shrugged and handed her a notebook. “That’s your job, not mine. He had this with him.”
She frowned at the book. Paper books were primitive, but cannibals were not known for their literacy. He must have found it in some ruins. She tucked the book under her arm and stepped within reach of the prisoner. Although he was huge for a cannibal, the captive remained incredibly docile. She spoke the Cannibal dialect, similar to, but simpler than Haldanian. “You hurt?”
The man continued his singsong drone, looking at the ground and ignoring her.
“He was with the mother?”
“Standing right over her. Didn’t put up one gram of resistance. Maybe you can convert a whole family,” Mo teased.
Tula pursed her lips in thought. A whole family? What a novel idea. She put a hand on the man’s shoulder. His sing-song grew louder, the cadence familiar in a way that made her tremble. She dropped her hand and backed away. Swallowing to regain her composure, she turned to the tech. “When the mother comes out of labor, put her and the baby in the cell with him.”
“The baby can wait for conversion a few days. We don’t often have a chance to study cannibal family dynamics. If we can better understand them, we might lower the reversion ratio.”
The tech raised his brows but nodded and herded the man across the tarmac. Mo grabbed her hand and pulled her the other direction. “Can you take off, now? Let the techs handle it tonight?”
“I have two children I really ought —”
He halted mid-step and pulled her into his arms, seizing her mouth in a kiss. The euphoric chemicals passed into her in a rush, making her head swim and her body flush with desire. He pulled back and she looked with blurred vision into his tawny eyes. “You really are high, aren’t you?” she asked.
“Want some more?” He kissed her again, running his tongue along her gum line. She swayed in his arms. “You’re a lightweight,” he murmured against her lips.
“Shut up and take me home.”
Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for the Grand Prize of a Kindle Fire! Second Place will be a $50 gift certificate at Amazon. In addition, Click here to be entered to win your choice of either a paperback copy of Botanicaust. I will contact the winner via email. (I promise not to send you any emails unless you win or otherwise request to be contacted.) Winners announced March 24th.
Click the link below to continue onto the next blog!
And the winners are: Grand Prize: Kindle Fire — Entry #4 – Karl
2nd Place: $50 Amazon gift certificate — Entry #187 – Chum B.
Signed paperback of Botanicaust — Entry #5 Mary Roya!