Usually I do one Charity Sunday per month. However, Dee S. Knight, one of our most regular participants, didn’t join last week’s event because she’d already told her readers her charity post would be on the last Sunday of the month.
You can find her post here: http://www.nomadauthors.com/blog/2020/05/30/alternatives-violence-palouse/
Please take a few minutes to visit and comment. Every comment is a donation to help victims of domestic violence.
Meanwhile, I’m supporting the Sierra Club this week. For each comment I get, I’ll donate one dollar to the Club, one of the oldest environmental organizations in the United States.
Appropriately, my excerpt comes from my paranormal novella Hot Spell, which takes place in the mountain forests of California.
The flames of passion are more than metaphor.
The city swelters In the grip of an unseasonable heat wave. Sylvie endures her solitary urban existence for the sake of her career, but the prospect of a hot, lonely three day weekend proves unbearable and she flees east to the pine-shrouded mountains. Far more at home in nature than in the city, Sylvie doesn't mind being alone in the wilderness, but she's not the only being haunting the glades and the trails. Her plans for a midnight dip are interrupted when she discovers a handsome stranger in the stream near her camp site. Hidden in the shadow of the trees, she can't help watching as he pleasures himself – or indeed, surreptitiously joining him in auto-eroticism. By the time she recovers from her climax, however, he has vanished.
Aidan finds her the next day as she sun bathes nude in a high meadow. It's obvious that his desire burns as fiercely as hers, yet he resists his own lust, refusing to make love to her. The muscular, sun-bronzed man with the red-gold hair is cursed with power he fears will destroy her if they give full rein to their passion. Can earthy, voluptuous Sylvie refrain from tempting him? Or will she risk being being literally consumed by love?
Sylvie awoke in the grey light of dawn, sticky with sweat and pussy-juice. Her clit still throbbed from her intense dream. She half-expected to see livid burn marks on her breasts and belly. However, her dusky olive skin was as flawless as ever.
I’ve got to find myself a lover, she told herself as she showered and dressed for work. Two years is too long. It was so difficult to meet people here in the city, though. She hated the bars and the parties—all the gym-toned guys wearing Abercrombie and Fitch, flashing their iPhones and bragging about their stock options. She had scarcely any friends, aside from Alice and Jill at work, and, really, they were more like acquaintances—not people with whom she could share her heart. For the thousandth time, she wondered whether she’d made the wrong decision, moving to the metropolis from the farm town upstate where she’d been born. She’d done it for the sake of her career, and that, at least, was thriving. The rest of her life, however, felt bleak and empty.
The sun was just peeking over the hills when she climbed to her rooftop garden. Even here, four storeys above the street, not a hint of morning coolness stirred the thick air. Her basil and oregano drooped, limp and sad, beaten down by the unseasonable heat…just as she was. A coating of dust dulled the normally shiny foliage of her dwarf lemon tree. The leaves of her strawberry plants were edged with brown. Only her morning glories appeared to be unaffected by the soaring temperatures, their iridescent purple blooms opening to welcome the rising sun.
Sylvie turned on the hose and gave her beloved plants a good soaking. The herbs perked up and a faint, welcome scent of growing things reached her. Humming an old folk song, she sprayed the dust off the lemon leaves and gently irrigated the strawberries. They’d both flower soon, she noted. One small benefit of the heat wave.
Seating herself on the wrought-iron bench in the centre of the garden, she filled her lungs with the smells of green plants and fertile earth. A familiar sense of peace stole over her. If only I could stay here all day. Alas, she had a staff meeting at nine, and an appointment with a potential new client at two-thirty. But I could leave after that, she realised. It was Friday. No one would miss her if she ducked out a few hours before normal quitting time, especially since Monday was a holiday. She expected that quite a few of her colleagues would want to get started early on their long weekend.
Sylvie had no plans, though. For her, it would be an endless, lonely three days…and oppressively hot, too, according to the forecasts. All at once, she couldn’t bear the notion of spending the weekend by herself in the sweltering city.
The hills, normally a brilliant emerald at this time of year, had turned a premature yellow. Sylvie gazed off to the east, imagining soaring pines and gleaming white summits. A yearning seized her—an almost physical need to be in the woods again. She smiled and brushed her unruly hair out of her eyes. Camping would be just the thing. It was barely Memorial Day. There wouldn’t be any crowds. There might even still be snow.
She bounded down the stairs to pack her gear, singing to herself. Being alone in the mountains didn’t bother her at all. In fact, it was just what she needed.
Please don’t forget to leave a comment – or to visit Dee’s Charity Sunday Post: