Thanks for the chance to visit today, Marsha! After a few years away from the publishing industry (I took the mother of all maternity leaves, LOL) I’m excited to be celebrating a new chapter in my career. I’ve joined the indie revolution and I’ll be e-publishing my entire backlist this year, starting with my Stolen Brides series of medieval romances.
In FOREVER HIS (Stolen Brides Book 1), Sir Gaston de Varennes wants a docile bride who will fit into his plans for vengeance and justice, but a trick of time finds him married to a thoroughly modern American lady who turns his castle, his life, and his heart upside down. Will her desperate secret tear them apart after only a few bittersweet weeks of stolen passion—or will they conquer mistrust, treachery, and time itself to discover a love that spans the centuries?
The Detroit Free Press called this book “one of the best romances of the year”and the All About Romance website named it one of their “Desert Isle Keepers.” Here’s a sample.
An excerpt from FOREVER HIS by Shelly Thacker
Before she could gather up the scattered confetti of her senses, she felt herself slipping deeper into the kiss. Into him. Into this stranger in the darkness who teased her and laughed with her, touched her, awakened her, electrified her in a way no man ever had.
Before she could stop herself, her arms slid around his back and she was holding on to him as much as he was holding her.
His kiss became bolder, more intense. The first touch of his tongue against hers dragged a soft moan from her lips. She felt his arms tremble, as if he were fighting for control. His tongue flicked against hers, retreated, then returned, sliding, seeking. She tasted him, breathed him, felt hot needles of unfamiliar hunger. His bristly five-o’clock shadow rubbed roughly against her chin and jaw.
If ever she had had cause for nervousness, uncertainty, fear, it was now—but that was not what she felt.
She felt longing, she felt tenderness, she felt … right. She wanted this. As if she had been waiting her whole life.
And in her heart, she knew that she had.
She felt alive. More alive and whole than she had for as many months as she could remember. She nearly sobbed with the joy of it. She must have made some sound, because he broke the kiss and lifted his head.
He didn’t say anything for a moment. Neither of them did. They just stood there, clinging to one another in the dark, breathing hard. The heat between them was so tangible it felt as if the furnace had been turned on, full blast.
After a second, the sensual fog that he had spun around her cleared a bit. “Wait,” she whispered. “I-I can’t … I mean, I don’t—I’m not—”
“Nay, do not pull away.” He lowered his head, nibbled at her lower lip, then nudged at her chin, urging her to tilt her head back. “You are all I could wish, little flower. You are fire and softness and you taste of a sweetness beyond any I have known. Stay with me,” he asked. “Touch me. Let me touch you.”
“Please, I-I think I should tell you … I mean, no matter what my sister told you, I’m not what she … I’m not …”
“Not what?” he urged.
“I’m not …”
“Not this?” He kissed her again, more powerfully this time.
A moan escaped from Celine’s throat at the feel of that hot, deep joining of his mouth and hers, the rough stubble of his beard abrading her sensitive skin. The feelings radiating from deep within her, the pent-up yearnings, the wild fever, all constricted into an ache, focused in the center of her body. Her hands grasped his rock-hard arms and she grasped wildly for reason as she felt herself tumbling over the edge. I can’t do this! It’s insane! I don’t know this man! I can’t even see him!
But when he finally raised his head and ended the sweet torment he was lavishing on her, she slumped against him. He held her easily, gently.
“My God,” she whispered.
“Heaven,” he promised.
“But … I don’t even know your name.”
“Gaston.” His mouth claimed hers again, demanding her response with a kiss that sent the last shreds of sanity whirling away. His name barely registered, except for a brief, fleeting thought that it was old-fashioned. Uncommon. A name not heard much anymore.
His hand stroked upward, his fingers tracing over her back, her shoulders, and the silk and lace and spaghetti straps of her teddy. “Saints’ breath, but ‘tis strange, this garment,” he murmured against her mouth. “This land of yours, this ‘Chicago,’ must be a far place to have such wonders as this that I have never seen. You must tell me of your home.” He kissed her again, laughing. “Later. For now, let us greet the new year properly.”
Celine was surprised that he had never seen a teddy before. She also meant to ask how it could be that he had never heard of Chicago, but instead found herself sighing in agreement. “The New Year.”
He nipped a hot rain of little kisses down her neck. “I can think of no better way to celebrate the dawn of the first day of a new century.”
Celine’s mind was spinning, but not so much that she missed what he had said. “New century?”
“Aye, the first day of the year of our Lord 1300.”
Her heart pounded so hard she couldn’t breathe.
The darkness, the cold, the strange furnishings, the straw on the floor, his unusual speech, his old-fashioned name—
“What did you say?” she sputtered, pulling out of his arms.
“Chérie, mayhap it is you who drank overmuch last night, if you have forgotten already the reason for the feast. This day is the first of January, 1300.”
Celine stumbled away from him, barely aware of the pain in her ankle, gasping for breath as she felt her way to the far wall, over to the left, to the window.
Or where the window was supposed to be.
She found a pair of wooden shutters.
“Are you unwell, chérie?” Gaston asked, a hint of irritation creeping into his voice.
Celine tore open the shutters. The stained glass was there. She yanked it inward on its hinges and a blast of cold air poured into the room, along with a spill of silver light. The moon above looked normal, clear, full—
But the city was missing.
Celine stared, opened her mouth, couldn’t utter a sound. Cold dread knotted her stomach. The town of St. Pol had vanished! Where there had been buildings, paved streets, people, motor scooters, neon, noise—there was now only silent forest.
Her gaze fell on the courtyard below. The Lamborghinis and Mercedes and Aston Martins were gone. The neatly plowed circular drive was gone. The guest villas. The tennis courts. The swimming pool. One entire wing of the chateau was missing!
There was only the stone keep. A smooth blanket of new-fallen snow. The moat. The wall—which didn’t look crumbling and ancient, but solid and new.
The first day of January, 1300.
This couldn’t be happening! It was a dream! A nightmare!
Celine turned at the soft query.
It wasn’t a dream. And the man coming toward her out of the shadows was certainly no nightmare.
As he stepped into the shaft of moonlight that framed her from behind, she saw him from the ground up: first his feet, then a pair of strong, lean legs sprinkled with dark hair, then heavily muscled thighs, then …
Cheeks scalding, she immediately lifted her gaze to a broad, deep chest, matted with that same dark hair, impossibly wide shoulders … and she felt smaller and more fragile than she ever had in her life as he came completely into the light, the moon illuminating a full six sinewy feet of bronzed, taut, hard male.
His face was every bit as powerful and chiseled as the rest of him. Handsome in a rough way, with that bristly five-o’clock shadow, a mane of tousled hair as dark as his voice, and eyes that … She had never thought of anyone having potent eyes before, but that’s what they were. Potent. Made for sending seductive glances across crowded, smoky rooms. He stopped just inside the edge of the light, smiling at her, a dazzling smile that crinkled the corners of those thickly lashed, hypnotic, coffee-hot eyes.
“Demoiselle, if you keep running out of my arms that way, you are going to greatly damage my confidence as a lover.”
Celine swayed dizzily. “Did you say you were … but you couldn’t be … not that Gaston!”
“Sir Gaston de Varennes,” he confirmed, a note of pride in his voice. His smile widened. “Did you not realize that you were about to make love to the lord of the chateau?”
Amazon link for FOREVER HIS: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006NG0GXQ