Harlie is a happy woman today! One of her favorite writer buddies is on the blog. I’m so happy for Kary and her latest release and the start to a great series. Without further ado…Ms. Rader!
The Light brought her to him, but does he have the faith to make her his queen?
For twenty years, Avant plotted revenge against the dark king, but when a mysterious woman suddenly appears, everything changes. Although his prophetic Gift reveals she’s the Seed of Light chosen to restore the Crown, his overwhelming attraction to the woman threatens his long-held plan for revenge and two decades of fidelity.
Abby Randall is inexplicably transported from Dallas to the medieval land of Jastain. There she meets Avant, who claims she’s the foretold champion of his people. While the hot guy has her hormones pumping, his crazy talk of defeating an evil king leaves questions to his sanity. Through his supernatural Gift, Avant transplants his memories into her, but neither are prepared for how their hearts intertwine.
Together they embark on their quest, but when Abby and Avant come face to face with destiny, will they sacrifice what matters most to provide a happily-ever-after for the people of Jastain?
When Avant climbed back to the cave, his hair was wet. He’d slicked it back from his face and tied it into a little ponytail with a leather string. The sexy shadow of a light beard softened his angular jaw, and the thick waves of his hair shined with chestnut highlights in the morning sun. It was a good look for him, but then again, what wasn’t? Abby ran her fingers through her own tangled tresses and pulled her hair back. What she wouldn’t give for a hairclip.
“Would you like a thong for your hair?”
She giggled at the word thong, certain that what she pictured was not what he referenced. “Do you have an extra one? I’d like to get it out of my face, and I don’t have anything.” Actually she had her own thong, but she sure as hell wasn’t putting it in her hair.
He immediately unlaced the tie at the neck of his shirt and handed it to her.
She gasped and put a hand to her face to hide the heat in her cheeks as his shirt fell open below his breast bone. “You don’t have to do that.”
Her blood coursed wildly at the sight of the smooth muscles of his chest. A soft sprinkling of dark hair beckoned her fingers. She swallowed hard.
“It’s all right. Please use it. It will be a hard day’s journey with hair in your face.” His words rang in her mind so sincerely she forgot her embarrassment, but her eyes kept flitting to his heavenly chest.
“Thank you, Avant, and not only for the lace but for everything you’re doing to help me.”
Holding her gaze, he nodded once, and her heart fluttered. Was it getting warm in the cave? She wiped the beads of sweat from her forehead.
“It is time to be off if we are to make it to the next shelter before nightfall.” He picked up his pack and walked to the mouth of the cave. She grabbed her bag and followed.
Climbing down proved to be more difficult than going up. The muscles required to lower herself from one level to the next worked her thighs and butt like no gym equipment she’d ever experienced. It was like doing hours of squats. She trudged down the mountain with the previous day’s tumult weighting her down like the “freshman ten.” Avant helped her along on the steeper steps, but, for the most part, she made them on her own, clippity-clopping in those damned Docinis all the way.
When he reached the bottom, he disappeared around an outcropping. Abby took the last little step to the base and hurried after him. As she turned the corner, Avant grabbed her arm and spun her around. Driving her back against the rock, he pressed the length of his rigid body against her. His face, barely three inches from hers, clenched in thin lines of stress. Her heart raced…with fear.
She was pretty sure it was fear.
Kisses: The Instant Messaging of Romance by Kary Rader
Marika – thank you so much for having me on your blog! I always love being here with you and your great readers.
As romance readers we all wait with baited breath for that one moment when the hero and heroine first kiss. The immediate lead up and the kiss itself should build tension and romantic chemistry. A well-crafted kiss causes us to hold our breaths and then exhale with a satisfied sigh. Whether the romance is sweet or sexy, the first kiss is an absolute necessity. Without it, what’s the point?
I’ve read so many great first kisses. It seems there are an infinite number of ways to express a great kiss. But my all-time favorite first kiss is written by Karen Marie Moning in How to Tame a Highland Warrior. If you haven’t read it, it’s worth it just to read that first kiss in the fog. Amazing.
In my current release, Queen of Jastain, Abby and Avant, the hero and heroine, first kiss at the Wine Harvest Festival. The kiss, which begins as a perfunctory kiss of tradition in front of a crowd, quickly becomes an act of intimacy where the characters convey things with their bodies that they aren’t prepared to verbalized for many more chapters.
Here is an exclusive excerpt of Abby and Avant’s first kiss from Queen of Jastain. I hope you hold your breath and enjoy.
“So what happens, after this dance?”
He narrowed his eyes and a devilish smile stole over his face. “I’m going to kiss you.”
“Kiss me?” Abby knew from his memories it was a perfunctory kiss of tradition, but she suspected Avant just wanted to see her flustered, which, admittedly, she was. The thought of touching him, lips to lips, for any reason caused her stomach to turn flip-flops.
His smug smile irked her. Armed with the boldness of several glasses of wine, maybe she could turn the tables on him for a change. Shifting her gaze sidelong at him, she allowed herself a tight-lipped smile and searched his face for any hint of revelation.
When the song ended, everyone cheered and clapped. Abby pushed her intentions to the back of her mind and hoped to God Avant didn’t read her thoughts. Her heart hammered with anticipation. She was going to get him good.
A tall man in military regalia handed Avant a wreath of grape leaves, which he in turn placed on her head. Then he gracefully bent and pecked her on the lips. But as he pulled away, Abby wrapped her arms around his neck and drew him into a real kiss.
Her lips embraced his with exuberance. Her senses heightened in awareness, reaching for a full experience of him. His touch. His smell. His taste. He expelled a sigh into her mouth and seemed too stunned to do anything but kiss her back.
Surprisingly soft and warm, his mouth responded to the light rhythmic pace she set. His lips parted, and the moist expanse engulfed her to breathlessness. His arms encircled her waist and drew her closer. Her breasts brushed against him. Intensity radiated between them. Their bodies buzzed with awareness like a live wire split in two and held in close proximity. A feeling of being, all at once, too close and not nearly close enough warred within her. Their breaths became labored as he deepened the kiss. For a precious stolen moment, she lingered in her fantasy and pretended he belonged to her. But all too soon reality set in. The murmur of the crowd broke the spell and reminded her of where she was.
Reluctantly, Abby slid her arms from around his neck, and placed her palms flat against his chest. His heart thundered beneath her fingers. She pulled from him. A groan escaped his lips. She got the feeling that, had she not pulled away from him, he wouldn’t have stopped. Looking into his surprised blue eyes, she bit her lower lip and smiled sheepishly.
The crowd roared with laughter and applause.
The raw desire in his gaze gave way to fury as he yanked her hand and pulled her to the receiving line in front of the dais. Not sure if he was angry that she’d started the kiss or ended it, she couldn’t help but giggle. He’d blushed! She did a mental fist pump.
Thanks for stopping by. Leave me a comment about your favorite first kiss. And don’t forget to get a copy of Queen of Jastain available in digital and print formats at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance ebooks and many other places.
Kary Rader is a part-time Twitter sage, stay-at-home mother of three, and slave to the characters and worlds inside her head. Always creative, she’s drawn to stories with fantastical worlds and creatures. With a little bit of magic and divine guidance, there isn’t anything that can’t be accomplished with words. It’s the power of words that creates and destroys. Vanquishing evil and injustice while finding eternal love in the process is all in a day’s work. With the help of her critique partners and master cartographer imaginary places come to life.
You can find her at: