Welcome to Gem Sivad. Since she was last with us at HEA, her books have become barn burners, receiving top review ratings and winning awards. Read the excerpt she shares with us below, and you’ll know why.
By the way! This Wednesday, April 27th, is the release date for Quincy’s Woman.
Thanks for having me on your blog, today! I’m very excited about my new Ellora’s Cave release, Quincy’s Woman, the latest title in my Eclipse Heat series. It’s a about the first year of marriage between Texas rancher, Ambrose Quince and Boston debutante, Lucille McKenna, a bride of eighteen who knows nothing about ranching, cooking, or bedsports.
When I wrote Intimate Strangers, I had no idea I was beginning an erotic western series. Five titles later, Eclipse, Texas is still calling to me. Quincy’s Woman is chronologically, Book One because I travelled back in time to 1866 to explore the year the unlikely couple met and married.
For those who are already familiar with my 19th century town, Eclipse, Texas, and the many characters you’ve met there, I hope you’ll read the beginning story, Quincy’s Woman and watch for the expanded versions of those you’ve already enjoyed.
As of May 26th, three titles, Intimate Strangers, Wolf’s Tender and Breed True will become unavailable in both print and ebook format as I add new scenes, brighten them up with new covers, and prepare them for re-release. For readers who haven’t sampled any of the series yet—here’s the blurb and excerpt for Quincy’s Woman:
Fresh from the post-Civil War salons and drawing rooms of Boston, Lucy McKenna considers herself a sophisticated young woman. But when she meets Texas rancher, Ambrose Quince, she turns into a flustered girl. He’s too old, war roughened and unrefined—and she has no idea how to deal with the sensual hunger he arouses within her.
Ambrose falls fast and hard for the innocent debutante visiting Eclipse, Texas. Persuading Lucy to accept his pursuit becomes a duel of wits and passion as he awakens her desire.
Lucy leaves Boston and childhood behind when she becomes Mrs. Ambrose Quince. Her lonely days on the Double-Q ranch are filled with work and frustration. But the nights are spent in her husband’s arms learning carnal awareness one molten caress at a time.
Copyright © GEM SIVAD, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
One day, as father looked through his spyglass at the herd of mustangs, I stood apart, watching the wild horses from the crest of the bluff above where they grazed. From a distance, they seemed a motley group. Nothing distinguished them but the red stallion leading the herd. He arched his neck and trumpeted a challenge as though he knew we watched. Then he snorted and circled his mares, urging them into a gallop as they fled.
“Beautiful, aren’t they?” Mr. Quince stood behind me, close enough so that I could feel the heat of his body.
I moved away, putting space between us and he said, “Hot out here for a woman with such delicate skin. I imagine you’d like to shuck some of those fancy clothes right now.” He made statements like that often, not seeming to understand the inappropriateness of his personal observations.
As for my fancy clothes, I’d worn my Boston riding livery, certainly not as elegant as my hunt dress. Mr. Quince’s remarks irritated me almost as much as the hot sun beating down on the heavy dark material. I was perspiring beneath it and miserably aware of the damp material clinging to my body. I ached to return to the shade of the hotel.
But I refused to admit my state of discomfort to the rancher. “I’m perfectly fine, Mr. Quince, but thank you for your concern.”
He shrugged and walked to where Papa stood, still following the progress of the horses. “There’s a cave hidden in the rock formation behind us. Would it be all right if I show it to Lucy? It’s a lot cooler inside than out here.” He asked permission from Papa without even suggesting it to me. I would have declined immediately had I been given the choice.
Papa waved vaguely in my direction and said, “Go along, Daughter. I suspect you’re bored and I expect Ambrose is right. The shade will be a pleasant respite for you.”
Mr. Quince looked smug and took my arm before I could make excuses. The cave was dark until Ambrose lit a torch by the entrance. I immediately experienced the drop in temperature, shivering in delight at the balm of cool air. Once inside, we stood in a pool of flickering light. I gazed around the massive cavern, pretending interest in the rocks rather than look at him.
He stepped closer and turned me to face him. Later when I recalled the event, I experienced the same trembling ache his next actions wrought. Ambrose Quince kissed me. Without my consent, he brushed his lips across mine. When I didn’t respond, not really knowing how, he draped my arms around his neck and pulled me closer.
A different kind of heat seized me. My internal temperature soared as my body brushed against his. My womb tightened, clenching as a shudder rippled across my flesh and I looked up breathlessly.
Mr. Quince’s stature being much greater than my own, he seemed to engulf me in the embrace as he molded my body against his. I later assured myself that had he not kept claim to my mouth and held me secured against his frame, I would have fled his intimate conduct.
But he held me fast, and I didn’t struggle for release when he continued the kiss. He savored my lips and murmured sounds that vibrated across my nerve endings. At first, I felt the barest stroke of his tongue—a not unpleasant sensation of wet heat touching my bottom lip. Nudging against the seam of my closed mouth, he muttered, “Open for me.”
Heat pulsed through me and I leaned into his kiss, obeying his order. It was as if I had no will of my own and must comply. He slid his tongue with shocking smoothness through the narrow space I allowed. My whimpered distress didn’t deter his intent. He tasted me, stroking my tongue with his in the most startling fashion.
“Kiss me back, Lucy,” he said against my lips.
It frightened me how easily he invaded my person, mastering my will. I melted against him, enjoying the feel of his tongue tangling with mine. It was intoxicating, making me heady and weak. Clutching the back of his shirt in my hand, I clung to him, needing to anchor myself lest I swoon.
When he tipped my head even farther back and arched my body over his arm, my breasts pressed against my dress, creating friction. I had the terrible urge to move against his chest and purr like a tabby cat, stretching and rubbing on him.
At last releasing my mouth, he stepped away from me and I almost fell. I had been so enthralled by his attentions my limbs seemed turned to liquid.
He drew me back in his arms but refrained from a second kiss. “You taste so sweet,” he growled in a voice even deeper than usual.
“You take liberties you shouldn’t,” I whispered, stepping away and putting distance between us. My breath was constricted and I almost panted the words.
Ambrose closed the distance I’d gained and covered my mouth with his again. This time, the kiss was a feathery stroke that ended up a nibble as he pressed his lips along my chin and up to my ear.
He nuzzled the sensitive lobe and murmured, “Shouldn’t I?” Brushing his mouth across mine again, he sought to make me recant my words. He delivered soft caresses to my face and neck, all the time emitting a low rumbling sound.
I swayed on my feet, completely undone and speechless until he growled, “Your skin is as soft as a kitten’s belly.”
The image of Ambrose Quince caressing my stomach popped into my head and finally I wrenched free, backing toward the cave entrance as though the devil stood before me. His image, outlined by the flickering torch, strengthened the comparison and I whispered desperately, “I do not favor your attentions, Mr. Quince. Please desist from further pursuit.”
When we left the cavern, my lips were numb, swollen from his kisses and my own excessive response. I prayed Father wouldn’t notice. I need not have worried. Papa was so elated by the stallion he’d marked for his possession he spoke only to Ambrose.
AVAILABLE on April 27th at Ellora’s Cave.
Gem Sivad at Ellora’s Cave
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Along with yours truly, Gem is a contributing author at the ROMANCE WRITER’S BEHAVING BADLY blog.