This past Monday was release day for my taboo erotic romance novel Incognito. I’m celebrating with an exclusive (PG) excerpt today – plus a giveaway where you can win a $10 gift certificate or free books. Read to the end for the details, and for links to all the other authors participating in this week’s Book Hooks blog hop.
Shy and serious by day—insatiable by night.
During the day, Miranda Cahill works diligently on her doctoral thesis. At night, she has sex with strangers. Her secret life explodes when she realizes her masked partner at a kink club and the charismatic colleague courting her are in fact the same person – the one man who can teach her to accept her diverse desires, as well as to trust her heart.
She took her plate and a glass of white wine back to her desk, where the brass lamp made a warm pool of gold in the darkened room. A mild night breeze ruffled the drapes and whispered in the corners, fragrant with spring. Intoxicating. Voices soft in the alley, the creak of a door hinge, the distant wail of a saxophone—the city breathed outside her window, full of mystery.
Miranda felt alert, wired, electricity in her veins. She ate thoughtfully, pondering her actions and feelings over the past few days. I thought that I knew myself, knew what I wanted, knew what was important, she mused. Now everything is unclear, everything except this lust, which blazes up in me without warning.
She had an inspiration. Perhaps she should write about it, record her feelings and experiences, externalize it all. Through most of her childhood and adolescence, she had kept a journal, using it as a mirror to confront her fears and her desires. Only after Geoffrey left her had she stopped. It was just too painful to write and to remember.
Miranda recalled the leather-bound Victorian diary. Perfect. The irony somehow pleased her—a modern student of Victorian excess using the historic journal to chronicle her own lustful explorations. She retrieved the diary from her desk drawer, located her fountain pen, opened the volume to the first page.
The blank, velvety parchment invited her. Confide in me. Trust me with your secrets.
How should she begin, though? Miranda sat for a long time, pen poised over the paper, reviewing the events and emotions of the last few days. Heathcliff sat on the corner of her desk, fixing her with his typical unblinking stare.
Miranda ignored the feline, her eyes focused inward. Heathcliff’s gaze became a challenge. Still, she did not respond. Deliberately, the cat reached out a striped paw toward her wine glass. With the graceful economy of motion typical of his species, he nudged at the stem, just enough to send a torrent of Pinot Grigio spilling over the desk and diary.
“Heathcliff!” Miranda sprang from her seat to avoid being drenched with wine herself. “Bad cat!” She rushed to get a towel to sop up the moisture. “Oh, Heathcliff,” she said reproachfully, “how could you?”
The cat curled up on the corner of the desk, looking not the least chagrined. Meanwhile, the diary, though wet through, did not appear to be damaged. Miranda arranged it under the lamp, hoping that the heat from the incandescent bulb would help to dry the pages, and went out to the kitchen to wash her hands and refill her glass.
She returned to a marvel. The cream-colored pages baking in the lamplight were no longer blank. Even as she watched, writing darkened and became more distinct.
The hand was even, ornate, old-fashioned. And definitely feminine. Miranda could hardly breathe with the excitement. Someone else had confided in this diary, someone so chary of her secrets that she used disappearing ink for her confessions. As Miranda watched, the date at top of the page became clear.
June 12, 1886
I scarcely know how to commence this account of my adventures and my sins. Indeed, I do not fully understand why I feel compelled to commit these things to writing. Clearly, my purpose is not to review and relive these experiences in the future, for in twenty minutes’ time these sentences will be invisible even to me. Perhaps in the years ahead, I will trail my fingers across the empty parchment, colored like flesh, and the memories will come alive without the words, coaxed from the pages by my touch like flames bursting from cold embers.
I have a secret life, another self, and that secret has become a burden that I clutch to myself, and yet would be relieved of. So, like the Japanese who write their deepest desires on slips of rice paper and then burn them, I write of secret joys and yearnings, and send that writing into oblivion.
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B1N7CTMQ
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0B1N7CTMQ
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940165857058
Win a $10 bookstore GC or free books in my INCOGNITO giveaway. Contest runs from June 1 to June 15.
To enter, do any or all of the following. (Each action is one entry.)
o Join my VIP email list:
o Follow me on BookBub:
o Email me, telling me what book of mine you’d like to read:
On June 16th, I will randomly select one grand-prize winner who’ll get a $10 gift certificate, plus two runner-ups who can choose any ebook from my indie back list.
Check out the other authors joining today’s Book Hooks!