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Guest blogger: Sandy Curtis

16 June 2013

Sandy CurtisLike most people I know, multi-tasking has become ingrained in me, so while I was preparing my notes for the Creative Writing Masterclass to present as part of the Noosa Long Weekend Festival, I was also trying to write this blog. I’d written a fair bit before realising that I really needed to talk about what leads up to the first sex scene.

In my books the hero and heroine have what they consider good reasons for guarding their hearts and not letting love in, but when faced with what they truly desire—love and the consummation of that love—they find fighting it is a futile exercise. A few examples:

Deadly Tide coverDeadly Tide

Sam had walked up behind him. She didn’t speak, just stood there, looking at him. The naked longing on her face was so intense he shuddered with his own reaction. Need shimmered between them, hot and breathless. But so did fear. He could see it in the deepened green of her eyes, vying with the desire.

His own fear was just as great. He was living a lie. When she found out, she might never forgive him. She’d told him about Justin’s disappearance and presented him with an ethical quandary. There was no proof Justin had died, but if Chayse reported what Sam had told him, it would initiate a police inquiry and expose Sam’s secret. He was grateful that, for the moment, he didn’t have to make that decision.

No, the decision he had to make now was twice as hard. If he made love with Sam, it would change the boundaries of their relationship. This would be no casual bedding like some in the course of his work. This was the woman he loved. The woman he would willingly give his life to protect. The woman he would never make love to if it meant he would hurt her.

She stood perfectly still, only her face expressing the emotions that churned through her. Then she said softly, ‘Chayse, I love you.’

His heart soared. She loved him. Oh, God, did she love him enough to forgive what he was about to do? He wanted to be honourable, to walk away, come back to her when this was all over and no lies lay between them. But he needed her more than he needed to breathe; and he needed her love to become the man he’d once believed in.

Dance with the Devil coverDance with the Devil

Emma shook her head, stood up and turned off the taps. Drew tried to be a gentleman and look away from her naked body with its slender waist, high full breasts and dark curls partially obscured by her folded hands, but his own body instinctively reacted. Desire flashed through him, hot and sharp. He took the towel off the rack, handed it to her.

She took it without saying a word. She felt as though she were splitting in two. Exhaustion had caught up with her as she’d stood under the running water, the heat seeping into her bones, lulling her senses.

But her mind still raced, tumbling scenes over and over. Her father’s still body; his words of loneliness, of loss, scrawled across a child’s notebook. The comfort of Drew’s arms around her, the feel of his kiss. The adrenaline rush as Mary’s child slipped into her waiting hands; the crocodile’s stare and its relentless intention of death.

It was only when Drew had pulled the curtain aside that Emma realised she’d sat down. And she’d been too dazed to try to cover herself. Now she hurriedly wrapped the towel around her breasts and squeezed water from her hair. She picked up their sodden clothes and tossed them in the bath, muttering, ‘They can drain overnight.’ Then she grabbed the lamp, picked up her boots and carried them with her into her bedroom.

She was about to place her boots on the floor when the gaping holes riveted her attention. As though in a dream, she watched her finger push into the large hole on top, and imagined the tooth cutting through the leather, slicing into her foot. She looked down. Blood was seeping from the cut.

Something inside her shattered.

She threw the boot against the wall. Tears coursed down her cheeks. She could hear herself crying—a strange sound. A part of her mind registered that she could never remember having cried aloud before.

‘Emma! Emma!’

Drew was shaking her, shouting into her face, forcing her to look at him.

‘They’re ruined!’ she cried. ‘My boots.’

He nodded, but she knew he didn’t understand. Couldn’t understand.

‘My father—he gave them to me. The last thing he ever…’ The words broke into body-wrenching sobs. She couldn’t think any more. There were only feelings. Feelings tumbling around and around inside her.

As the sobs ceased, she became aware that Drew was holding her. His hands were warm on her shoulders, his chest damp with her tears. She looked up into his face, saw worry, saw caring. Saw ice-blue eyes that branded her deeper than any flame.

He kissed her face. Slow, gentle kisses meant to comfort, to heal. She moved her head, met his lips with hers. She tasted the salt of her own tears…and Drew. A fire ignited deep inside her.

She gave in to desire, to need. Opened her mouth, her soul, to him.

Fatal Flaw front coverFatal Flaw

Her tension was almost unbearable as she led him into her bedroom. She knew she was taking a risk. Making love with Mark could be the start of something new, something potentially wonderful. But it could also mean the end of their friendship. Once they crossed that line, their relationship wouldn’t, couldn’t, be the same again. But it was too late now. She’d suppressed her need for him for too long.

She stripped off her clothes, watching his reaction, hoping she would see no revulsion at the silver striations that flecked her abdomen. But all she could read in his eyes was desire.

When Mark’s jeans followed her shorts and tee-shirt to the floor, Julie suddenly realised how unprepared she was for love-making. ‘I’m not on the pill,’ she blurted out. ‘Do you have a condom?’

Mark blinked as the question focused his thoughts, hitting him with the reality that this woman, so attuned to the essential part of him, was his friend, his best friend. She was no longer the girl who had listened to his troubles and consoled him when his father drank himself into oblivion or his dates proved disastrous. He looked at the nervousness in her smile, the defiant tilt to her head as she stood naked before him. A faint tremor ran through her body at his scrutiny, and the blood rushed through his veins when her breasts quivered. Almost involuntarily, his gaze focussed on the dark curling hairs that hid what his body desperately sought.

Now was his chance to step back, to return to what they had previously shared. If he wanted to.

John Cory and Kate Maclaren, the main characters in my forthcoming book, Grievous Harm, are given no choices when they first make love. It’s a confronting scene, and some readers may be shocked by it, but it is essential to the story. John and Kate are strong characters, the kind like fine steel that is forged in fire, but that fire can also burn into their souls and destroy them. John is first introduced to readers as a minor character in Fatal Flaw, and little is shown of his true depth, but in Grievous Harm he is forced to make decisions that cost him more than he was willing to lose.

Sandy’s sixth book, Fatal Flaw, is published by Clan Destine Press in print and e-book, and her first five books are available as e-books from Clan Destine Press, Amazon, and other outlets. Grievous Harm will be released later this year.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win an ebook of one of Sandy’s titles. (The giveaway is now closed. The winner is Mary P.)

16 Comments
  1. 22 June 2013 6:30 pm

    That’s so nice of you to say that, Barbara, and thank you for getting Fatal Flaw. I hope you enjoy Mark’s and Julie’s story. I’ve love to hear what you think of it.

  2. 22 June 2013 3:23 pm

    I have Fatal Flaw on the ereader… Looks like from the comments here I had better put at the top of the pile

  3. 18 June 2013 12:41 pm

    I’ve read and enjoyed most of your books, Sandy, but I don’t think I’ve read Dance with the Devil. I must remedy that!
    I’m looking forward to Grevious Harm, too. it sounds intriguing.

    • 18 June 2013 4:52 pm

      Dance with the Devil has a particular place in my heart, Heather, as my first print book. I also had a lot of trouble letting the characters go after I got to the end, so two of the minor characters became main characters in books two and three and Emma and Drew featured briefly in those books so readers could find out what happened to them after their HEA. My characters become so alive for me that I had to know too 🙂

  4. Sue-Ellen Pashley permalink
    17 June 2013 9:59 pm

    Sandy, I loved Fatal Flaw. The development of the relationship between the 2 main characters against the backdrop of murder kept me turning the pages. Can’t wait to read the new one, especially with the scene that caused so much compromise…

    • 17 June 2013 11:03 pm

      That’s great that you loved Fatal Flaw, Sue-Ellen. Thank you for telling me. Mark and Julie had a tough road to their happy ending, and John and Kate have an even tougher one in Grievous Harm. But they are strong people – have to be considering the villains they are up against.

  5. 17 June 2013 7:45 pm

    Sandy, I LOVE Black Ice. It’s one of my favourite books. Kirri is divine, a most gorgeous character. I’ve never been into those amnesia-type romances, but this story just takes your breath away. She’s so beautiful and courageous. And your murder mystery plots are very smart, especially this one. Your books are like Agatha Christie and Nora Roberts rolled into one. I adore the romance, but I love the danger that leaps across every page.

    • 17 June 2013 10:59 pm

      Cheryse, you’re a darling, thank you for your comments. I loved writing Kirri’s character, she is definitely courageous, and I particularly loved her reaction when she told Daniel that as he could remember seeing her naked and she couldn’t remember seeing him naked it wasn’t fair and she demanded he take his clothes off. Just loved writing that scene, it was so visual for me. My editor for that book told me that Daniel could put his boots under her bed any time 🙂

  6. 17 June 2013 9:34 am

    Looking forward to Grievous Harm, Sandy. I’m Interested to see what is so polarising about it. As you know I am a big fan of all your books 🙂

    • 17 June 2013 1:04 pm

      And I’m a big fan of your books, Sara. Love the way you get so much suspense in your historical romances. The scene in Grievous Harm has led to a difference of opinion with my publisher, hence the delay in publication, but we’re working on a solution that will hopefully satisfy all concerned. It’s not easy when a writer believes in their story and their characters’ journey and the publisher has a different view, but we’re both happy to compromise, which is how it should be.

  7. 16 June 2013 10:06 pm

    Hi Sandy great to see you blogging. All your book have been fabulous stories & I look forward to reading Grievous Harm later in year! The main characters sound interesting !

    • 17 June 2013 12:15 am

      Great to hear that you’ve enjoyed my stories, Trish. Thank you for letting me know. Grievous Harm has been a difficult story to write because it deals with a very sensitive topic, and my main characters have to go through a lot to get their HEA. For quite a while it didn’t look possible, but where there’s a will … 🙂

  8. Mary Preston permalink
    16 June 2013 3:17 pm

    These lead ups are all just fabulous. I like your writing style and I am most surprised to find I haven’t read any of your works yet.

    • 16 June 2013 4:33 pm

      Thanks for your lovely words of praise, Mary. I’m glad you like my writing style, and I hope you continue to do so if/when you have a chance to read more.
      Sandy

  9. helensibbritt permalink
    16 June 2013 11:28 am

    Sandy

    I really enjoyed Fatal Flaw and love the way it was written the tension and the journey to their HEA I don’t think I could ever write a story but I do love reading them 🙂

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • 16 June 2013 4:31 pm

      That’s wonderful that you enjoyed Fatal Flaw, Helen. I think tension is so important in story, whether it’s emotional tension or plot tension. I’m glad you love reading stories – we authors would be lost without you great readers 🙂
      Sandy

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