MuseItUp Bookstore

MuseItUp Bookstore
The place to find quality novels and short stories in a variety of genres.

Monday, August 6, 2012

MuseItUp Publishing: The Burning Seal Excerpts

MuseItUp Publishing: The Burning Seal Excerpts:      Hello and thank you for stopping by to read some excerpts from my Paranormal Romantic Suspense, The Burning Seal. My first excerpt g...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Jenna Storm Paranormal Romance Author: JD Brown's visiting...stop by for a chance to win ...

Jenna Storm Paranormal Romance Author: JD Brown's visiting...stop by for a chance to win ...: Welcome JD! Thank you for visiting my blog and introducing Dark Heirloom to us. I'm excited to announce three lucky commenters will b...

JD Brown's visiting...stop by for a chance to win a copy of her Urban Fantasy Dark Heirloom!

Welcome JD! Thank you for visiting my blog and introducing Dark Heirloom to us.
I'm excited to announce three lucky commenters will be picked at random to receive a copy of JD's urban fantasy Dark Heirloom so don't forget to include your email address along with your comment. 

Thanks again JD for visiting!

Where’s the Romance?
Hello and thank you, Jenna, for having me on your blog today.

You know…vampires seem to have taken over Fabio’s roll as the expected romance hero in today’s media. I have no problem with that, I love vampires. I’m addicted to The Vampire Diaries and the Sookie Stackhouse series. But does it always have to be romance? Do they always have to be the sinner fallen in love with the virgin?

I hope not.

My debut novel, Dark Heirloom, is full of vampires, almost NO humans, and is an urban fantasy – not a paranormal romance. I know, what’s the difference, right? Sometimes my book is accidently miss-categorized by others as paranormal romance. Sometimes I correct the person and ask them to change it to urban fantasy, and sometimes I let it go because I also figure the similarities between the two genres are basically one in the same.

However, there is a key difference between urban fantasy and paranormal romance that could potentially piss-off a lot of readers, specifically readers looking for a romance story.

Before I continue, let me just say that Dark Heirloom does in fact have a romance thread, but that thread does not tie into a cute little happily-ever-after at the end of the book.

And that is where the major difference between the two genres lay.

Paranormal romance is and will always be a love story with a deep attraction that quickly explodes into a die-hard passion and ends with an unconditional perfect unity.

Urban fantasy, on the other hand, can have some or all or none of those things that paranormal romance has because the romance isn’t the main point of the book. So when a PR fan reads a vampire urban fantasy, they may be disappointed when the romance thread isn’t as heavily sated as they’d like.

But I’m not worried about it. After all, Dark Heirloom is only the first book of the series and Ema and Jesu’s relationship will develop at a natural pace – you know, after she’s beaten all the vampires and other things after her. A girl’s got to stay alive if she wants a relationship.

If you love vampires but are sick of the Bella’s, want to see a girl kick some ass instead of kiss it, and want a new twist on the lore and magic of vampirism, Dark Heirloom might just the choice for you. Try it before you buy it! Read the first ten chapters for FREE from the author’s website or download the first 10 chapters onto your e-reader for FREE from

About Dark Heirloom:
“You’re a vampire” is so not what Ema Marx wants to hear when she wakes from a two-day coma in a cryptic yet exquisite castle in northern Finland. Unfortunately, it explains a lot. Like why she’s able to see in the dark and walk through solid objects. What she doesn’t understand is why the other vampires expect her to have all the answers. It’s their fault she turned into one of them…right?
Jalmari’s hatred for his old-man intensifies when he’s ordered to bring that troublesome girl to their castle. He has a clan to run, there’s no time for babysitting newborn vampires no matter how they were converted to their culture. But when a two-thousand-year-old premonition threatens to take the crown and his life, Jalmari sees no other choice than to take out the catalyst. Ema Marx. Fortunately for Ema, she could also be the clan’s only savior.
The race to figure out her vampiric origins is on. And maybe she’ll get the hang of the blood-drinking gig along the way…

Dark Heirloom is available in paperback and ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, and most other book retailers.

About the Author:
J.D. Brown graduated from the International Academy of Design and Technology with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her two Pomeranians. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, her writing is influenced by the multicultural urban society of her youth which she continues to visit each summer. J.D. loves paranormal characters; from vampires and werewolves, demons and angels, to witches and ghost. Her writings are often a combination of suspense and romance.

J.D.’s books are available in print and ebook formats from Muse It Up Publishing Inc. and major book retailers. She loves to hear from readers. You can reach her via email to or visit her website at

You can also connect with J.D. and get all the lasted news about Dark Heirloom and her other books by joining her facebook fan page at

Monday, July 9, 2012

Jenna Storm Paranormal Romance Author: Lisa Blackwood's love for writing opened the door ...

Jenna Storm Paranormal Romance Author: Lisa Blackwood's love for writing opened the door ...: Welcome to my blog Lisa! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your passion for writing and the work you do with Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue...

Lisa Blackwood's love for writing opened the door to another passion: Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue

Welcome to my blog Lisa! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your passion for writing and the work you do with Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue. This sounds like a wonderful organization. 
Life Events and Writing
First off, hello Jenna and thanks for having me on your blog today!
As writers, one thing we hear a lot (or get asked a lot) is how life influences our writing. Today I’m going to talk a bit about the reverse: how writing influenced my life, or at least changed it up a little—in a good way.
But I have to back track a little first—a few years actually. When I was first learning how to write, I submitted chapters of Betrayal’s Price to an online workshop where other writers could critique it and offer advice, suggestions, etc. One day, a fellow author mentioned that if my main character was supposed to be a ‘good’ horsewoman, could I please write the scenes that way. My horsey bits were off and she being a horseperson found it a tad annoying. She suggested I take some riding lessons or something along that line to help research the topic for my writing since my novel was a fantasy world with a medieval-type setting. And horses (or horse-like beings) were a main mode of transportation.
Like most girls, I always thought horses to be among the most beautiful of creatures, but never had the opportunity to interact with them. So in a nutshell, I knew zip about horses or horsemanship. So that crit partner’s advice sounded like a good idea. 
I didn’t run out and take riding lessons right away, but the idea was now on my to-do-one-day-in-the-not-so-distant-future list. It wasn’t too long after that suggestion when I first heard about a horse rescue run by a fellow Haldimand County employee, and thought, ‘why not volunteer and learn some horse stuff?’
The horse rescue is Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue ( ) and they use the Chris Irwin Methodology of training.  It’s a training method for people more than horses (Chris even calls his workshops Equine-Assisted Personal Development. LOL) Here’s a snippet from his website ( ) to better explain...
“...Chris’s work involves the horse directly as a teacher. A horse’s respect, trust, focus and willingness is only earned when a human learns to balance their predator-based behaviors with the horse’s prey-based behaviors. What a horse needs to see in the one it willingly elects as its leader, be it horse or human, is the same character traits we want to see in ourselves. Learning to be the better horse translates literally, not just metaphorically, into becoming a better person.”
When I sat in on my first clinic, there was talk of buttons (?) crossing lines (??), and where, when and how to aim your core (???) to move a horse without pulling on its lead rope or reins. Heck, you can do a lot without even touching the horse. To put it mildly, I was confused and a touch doubtful, but after seeing it in action I became a believer. Mind you, believing your eyes and actually mastering it yourself are two entirely different things. LOL.
Thankfully, horses naturally communicate using the silent ways of body language. In fact they ‘read’ the humans around them all the time, and unfortunately for us, we naturally speak ‘predator’ or ask for one thing verbally while our bodies are telling the horse something entirely different.
Two years later, I now know more about horses (maybe about 15 percent of what there is to know. LOL.) and I even adopted one. A sweet-natured six-year-old standdardbred named Oakley.  
Yes, horses take more time from my already sadly anemic writing time, but they’ve enriched my life and my writing so much that the good far outweighs the bad. I look forward to continuing to become a better person through horses. 
Humorously, one of the main characters in the sequel to Betrayal’s Price is a horse-like shapeshifter.  I wonder how much Chris Irwin methodology has worked its way into the book that I’ve have to edit out since there is such as thing as too much non-plot related details. Oy!
While you’re here, don’t forget to leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win a FREE copy of Betrayal’s Price.
Thanks for having me Jenna!
If you’d like to know more about Lisa, pop by her website ( ) or blog ( ) and say hello.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Singing Camp Songs for MFRW's summer camp!

Guess what I'm doing today! Practicing my summer camp songs at AJ's Notes blog! I'm roasting marshmallows, talking about MFRW and getting ready for the Summer Camp on July 14th and 15th. Take a break and visit me...

Anyone know this camp song...

"Little bunny Foo Foo Hopping through the forest Scooping up..." :D big grin

What's she scooping up folks??? 

Do you have a camp song you want to share?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Jenna Storm Paranormal Romance Author: Six Sentence Sunday...a shattered world.

Jenna Storm Paranormal Romance Author: Six Sentence Sunday...a shattered world.: Hi to all SSS readers and authors! Thanks for stopping by. In this excerpt my lead character just suffered an experience that change...

Six Sentence Sunday...a shattered world.

Hi to all SSS readers and authors! Thanks for stopping by. In this excerpt my lead character just suffered an experience that changes her world and her future...

She didn’t believe in the paranormal. 
Until tonight. 
She was a left-brain thinker. She worked off evidence. 
He had red eyes, a touch that burned and superhuman    
strength. He took her back in time to another battle, and a 
woman named Sara. 

Thanks for stopping by! There are some wonderful excerpts from participating Six Sentence Sunday authors just follow the link and enjoy! Six Sentence Sunday

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Insecure writer blog hop...things I tell myself for productivity.

Insecure Writer's Blog Hop

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


I'm new to this blog hop and crazy busy at this time but this is such an important topic I couldn't resist joining. We're all insecure at some point from newbies to bestselling authors. One issue that's been nagging me the last few weeks is the need to increase my productivity. I write every day so the problem isn't finding the time or discipline to write but getting more done in the time I'm at my computer. 

It took some time to figure out why I wasn't finishing my WIP faster. For one, I'm a new author and still trying to formulate my work process which is no doubt second nature to a seasoned author. So...I started a list in progress of what to do and not to do when I'm writing my WIP. The tips below may or may not be helpful to you as we all write differently. Hopefully, you'll find some of them useful. 

Happy writing!
(remember this is a work in everything in life is!)

* Turn off the internal editor and just get the rough draft done.

* Stop trying to make the scenes "perfect" and just write. 

* Every once in a while remember this... "You are way too hard on yourself! Have faith in your writing and quit being so damn critical!" 

* On that note...give yourself permission to do one thing at a time. You don't have to multi-task every minute of the day. 

* Don't worry too much about foreshadowing. It will click into place when you read through the rough draft. This goes for creating twists/surprises they will materialize as you go through the rough draft.

* Know your outline (if you outline!). Realize you will alter the outline at some point and it's okay to do it!

* Interview the characters if they feel distant.

* Go somewhere quiet, close your eyes and let the scenes play through your mind like a movie. (this helps me with my characters emotions and dialogue)

If you have tips please write them in your comment. I like hearing how others work!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Heather Haven talks about her new release, Death Runs in the Family!

Welcome to my blog Heather! It's so nice to have fellow Muse authors over to visit. Congrats on your new release, another in the Alvarez Family Murder Mystery series!

Hello, Jenna, and what a lovely name! Thanks so much for hosting me today on your blog to tell your readers a little bit about my latest novel in the Alvarez Family Murder Mystery series, Death runs in the Family. Death Runs is my favorite so far, but this is probably because the latest is usually an author’s favorite! Lee, Lila, Richard and Tío  – the whole Alvarez Family - are up to their eyeballs again in dead bodies here in the gorgeous Bay Area and beyond! Peril is everywhere. Even Tugger is catnapped! Take a gander at my book trailer if you don’t believe me:

Lee Alvarez’ ex-husband, Nick -- a man she divorced with joy in her heart and a gun in her hand – sprints back in her life only to disappear again. She’d love to leave it at that, but could he be responsible for the recent death of her cousin, who keeled over at the finish line of a half-marathon in front of hundreds of spectators? As PI for the family run business, Discretionary Inquiries, Lee follows the clues to Vegas, where she joins forces with Shoshone PI, Flint Tall Trees.  Together they uncover a multi-million dollar betting syndicate, a tacky lounge lizard act, and a list of past but very dead runners, plus future ones to off. At the top of the ‘future’ list is the love of her life, Gurn Hanson. Hoping to force the culprits out in the open, Gurn and Lee’s brother, Richard, vow to run San Francisco’s famous Palace to Palace footrace in only a few days. Can Lee keep the two men she loves from hitting the finish line as dead as her cousin? With more at stake than she ever dreamed possible, Lee is in a battle against time to stop the Alvarez Family’s 12K race with death.
Heather's blog at:!/heatherhaven!/PILeeAlvarez

Chapter Seven
I Don’t Know Who’s the Bigger Idiot
Without much conversation, we jostled Nick out of the room and down the stairs. As a precaution, we used the back exit, Flint flinging boxes of DVDs every which way so fast, the clerk only managed one “hey” before we were out the door. The exit led to a narrow back alley filled with garbage, trash, and more small scurrying animals that should be calling the SPCA to complain about the conditions under which they’re forced to live.
While Flint went to bring the car to the side of the alley, I waited in the shadows next to Nick and pulled out the Glock. The irony of the situation hit me like a double charge on a credit card bill for shoes not only too tight to wear but last year’s style.
On the left, a disgusting dumpster; on the right, an even more disgusting ex-husband. And me stuck in the middle as usual—a reluctant PI if ever there was one. 
Rather than inhaling the stench of fly-ridden garbage, I’d really rather be sniffing out dastardly doings of computer sabotage or thievery, in particular, long after said dastardly deeds have gone down. It’s my idea of a good job, especially when I get to zip off whenever I want and have a great lunch. 
The part I like best—besides the food—is sitting at a highly polished, recently vacated mahogany desk in an air-conditioned office, sifting through the rubble of high-tech deceit and betrayal. I like gathering enough evidence to point a manicured fingernail at the culprit and shout j'accuse! Backlit by enough briefs, memos, emails, and other telltale papers, the culprit is mine. That is a real high. 
This was a real low. But I had to think about Stephen. My cousin was dead, and Nick knew something about it. Hell, maybe he even had something to do with it. And, of course, there were the cats. If Nick was in any way responsible, I might do him in myself and save whatever goons there may be the trouble. 
All these things were flitting through my mind when Nick—the stupid idiot—made a lunge for my gun, muttering he could take better care of himself than I could. Sometimes an ex-marine, like an ex-husband, needs to get over himself. 
One of the first lessons you learn as a PI is to not to carry a gun if you’re going to let anybody take it away from you. All the years I’ve been carrying, ten to be exact, people have taken all sorts of things from me—including my virtue—but never my gun. 
So when Nick came at me, my knee went up fast, strong, and accurate. Ex dropped to the ground in a fetal position. God only knows what else was lying there with him, but I left him on the dirt, anyway. He was busy moaning while I cocked the Glock and gave a 360-degree spin, prepared to do whatever was necessary to keep the jerk safe. At least, for the moment.
Fortunately, no one showed up except a passing rat or two, excluding the one I stood over. After what felt like a lifetime, I saw Flint’s headlights, although I’m sure it didn’t take him more than three minutes to get there. I helped Nick up. He limped to the car, and Flint, bless him, raised an eyebrow over Nick’s condition but didn’t say a word. What a guy. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday...The Burning Seal, Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Thanks for stopping by for my Six Sentence excerpt and a glimpse into my new Paranormal Romantic Suspense, The Burning Seal... 

An eerie silence pervaded her home. Even the walls breathed a warning. Voice raised, the concerned operator continued to ask questions while a second round of adrenaline coursed through Danni and sent her body on a roller coaster ride. The room shrank as her vision narrowed and the only noise she heard now was the blood careening through her body as already tense muscles ached as they pulled even tighter.
He's coming back.  

Friday, May 25, 2012

Huge Welcome to Danita Minnis, Author of Falcon's Angel!

Thank you Danita for visiting my blog! Your paranormal romance debut, Falcon's Angel sounds like a fun and suspenseful read. It's wonderful how you blended two passions, music and writing together.

In Danita's words...
If you asked me which is easier, writing songs or writing novels, I would say it was the former. Melodies and rhymes are second nature. What my characters want is another thing entirely. With my debut paranormal romance novel Falcon’s Angel, I learned to listen to my spunky heroine and sinfully confident hero. They’re funny and in danger, and that’s just the way they want it. Lesson learned: don’t try to save them.
When I’m not writing, I exercise my lungs at my son’s soccer matches and our favorite theme park, because everyone knows it’s easier on the stomach to scream your way down a roller coaster.

Like reincarnation, mystery, chills and hunks? Falcon’s Angel is for you! It’s Romance Through the Ages. It is available here: on May 28, 2012.

See what’s happening here:

After a jaunt on New York City’s nightclub singing circuit and working in the health field as a risk manager in South Florida hospitals, I realized I’ve got it bad.

I’m in love with love!

A powerful human need, love is the purest form of communication. I love thinking up ways to throw lovers together and create the world my characters live in!

Looking for a soul mate? There are plenty of them in my stories. If I had my way, we’d all have our very own soul mate in every lifetime. That’s why I write about lovers who knew each other when. From one era to the next, they love. From one corner of the world to the next, they may not recognize one another at first but they always come home in the end!

I am fascinated by the evolving soul. I think we are all here for a reason. Why not learn the lesson instead of continuing the fight into the next lifetime? 
I met a very wise woman recently who put it simply: we are energy. Keep it positive or you generate negativity. In other words, you don’t learn your lesson, whatever it may be.
I so want to be a good student, but sometimes it is not easy. If I follow the wise woman’s reasoning we are all on various levels of the journey. You might think that caveman at work may have a few more lessons to learn than you, but consider this. You are both here in this situation at this time and in this place for a reason. It takes two to tango.  
It also takes a lot of practice to send that negative person on their merry way with a smile. Well, the smile is optional, but if you think about how you’re closing the negative loop with that certain individual so that you won’t have to duke it out again, you will soon be grinning like the Village Idiot! Good vibes, remember. And love, lots of love to you!

If Angelina had her way, she would not be the daughter of a dynasty. She would go to Italy and spend all her time playing the Stradivarius on the steps of the Pantheon.   

If Falcon had his way, she wouldn’t be a thief, they wouldn’t be lying to each other and a devil-worshipping cult would not want them dead.

Falcon and his Angel are two sexy, funny liars who haven’t learned in two hundred years that they’re better on the same team. The action keeps coming in this suspenseful romance as Falcon tracks the stolen violin to Italy where the two of them are caught up in the heart of a mysterious and ancient evil. 


Naples, Italy

Falcon stood in the shadowed courtyard of the Naples Conservatory.
She left the building right on schedule. She had arrived early and stopped by the panetteria to pick up breakfast. She preferred the sweet rolls. When she left the music school, it was near dark.
Her schedule of classes wasn’t that bad. It was the time she spent practicing alone in whatever unoccupied classroom she could find that kept her there all day. She was dedicated, and very beautiful.
She had bumped into him in the hall two days ago on her way to class, “Scusi, Signore.” He did not know which was more shocking; the sound of her rich contralto or those huge liquid gold eyes, a striking contrast to the midnight waterfall rippling down her back.
He had purposely stepped in her path that day to confront her about the Stradivarius she carried. When he got a better look at her, he smiled “Perdonami,” and let her pass. Her lithe form glided down the hall.
If this goddess is a thief, she won’t have to take anything from me. I’ll give her whatever she wants, and more.
Although he allowed her to see him just that once, he had been watching her ever since. He did not know her name yet, but he called her Angel. Her unusual eyes made her seem like a fairy. Her fluid grace only enhanced the impression of an ethereal wood sprite.
The warm breeze lifting her summer print skirt silenced those thoughts.
Damned if he was not holding his breath waiting for the end of those legs before the gentle curve of her hips.
She crossed the darkening piazza and her full breasts danced under the white camisole top, making his mouth water. She was on her way home now.
She was staying at the Casa di Città on Piazza Avellino and now so was he. The apartment, a few avenues away from the Conservatory, was in the cultural Greco-Roman district, where the buildings themselves looked like archaeological finds.
Falcon emerged from the cluster of fig trees in the courtyard. He stopped when a man exited a side door off the Conservatory. The man started walking behind Angel.
Turning toward the fountain in the courtyard, he gave the man a head start. He fell in step behind the man, who carried no books, no instrument. Is he a teacher, or a lover? No, not a lover. The man didn’t even call out to the girl. He did not know her.
Falcon strolled along, looking into shop windows he passed. The man ignored a streetlight, but Falcon stopped, making sure no one followed him. With an idle shift from side to side, he waited for a car to cross the intersection.
Across the street, a teenager sat on the steps of a closed shop. He’d been there for the last few days. The car stopped at the curb in front of the teenager.
Someone should pick him up.
He would not jeopardize his cover for drug trafficking. He would leave that to the local polizia.
The light changed and Falcon crossed the street, satisfied that the man following Angel was alone.
They were walking through the ancient Roman marketplace, which was deserted now. When the girl got closer to the church built on the site of an old temple, the man began to close the distance between them.
Falcon shook his head as she reached the church corner. She never noticed the man who was just a few feet behind her now. When the man pushed her into the gloom around the church corner, they were lost from his sight. The girl screamed.
Sprinting, he rounded the corner. About ten feet away, the man was trying to wrestle the violin case from her against the wall.
Falcon pulled out his gun and aimed. “Let her go.”
The man turned toward him, and the girl pulled at his ear. The man bent, holding his stomach. He made an inarticulate sound before running away along the side of the building into the darkness.
Falcon darted past the girl and followed the man into the shadows.
What the hell?
Something flitted overhead, darker than the darkness in which he now stood alone. He pointed the Glock upward even as a figure walked up the side of the building. It looked like a black cloud but more solid than it should be.
Before he could get off a shot, the darkness disappeared over the side of the roof.
Staring at the dead end in front of him, Falcon put his gun away. No doors or windows on either side.
Where is the guy? Must be a hidden door somewhere, he’d check it out later.
Falcon turned back toward the girl. Beyond her, across the street, the man he had been chasing got into a car.
“No way,” he murmured as the car sped off. No way could the man have gotten past him in the alley.
The girl had both arms wrapped around the violin case in front of her. She was leaning against the church wall, crying.
A street lamp flickered on above them, belatedly bathing the passage in revealing light. She did not seem to realize that he was there.
“Did he hurt you, Signorina?”
She looked up. He lifted his gaze from her heaving chest.
“Grazie,” she whispered, wiping her face with the back of her hand. She shook her head. “I am fine.”
“You should not be walking alone at night.” The harsh reprimand in his voice surprised him. She was very young. Her tears wrought such vulnerability that he softened his tone when he came to stand in front of her. “Do you know that man?”
“No, I have never seen him before. But ... he knew me.”
“What did he say to you?”
She looked down at the violin.
He stared at her until she looked up. Ah, she had just found her story. It was in her eyes, and it was not the truth. The fear in her eyes told him that story would never change. 
“He didn’t say anything, but the way he looked at me...”
Her chest heaved again. He almost smiled; she was having a hard time with this lie.
She stared at him. “You are from the Conservatory. I saw you the other day.”
“Antonio Russo, Tony to my friends.” She did not hesitate to shake his hand, and he did smile then. She might be lying to him but at least she did not see him as a threat. She continued to stare at him. She must want more. “I’m taking classes at the Conservatory,” he added. “I play piano.”
“Oh yes, I’ve seen you in Signor Gattano’s class.”
He had signed up for the class because it was right next door to hers. So, she had noticed him, too. He smiled wider.
“Signorina, I could call you Bella, but that would not satisfy my curiosity.”
She lowered her eyelashes over cheeks flushed the color of the terracotta tiles on his mother’s sunlit patio in Tuscany. She tanned well for one so light. He almost lifted his hand to touch her cheek. There would be little satisfaction in knowing her name now that her skin was singing a siren’s song to him.
“My name is Angelina Natale.”
“Ah. You are an angel, after all. I have not seen you around here for very long. Did you just fall from heaven?”
He watched her full lips while the sound of earthy laughter, though shaky, amped up the adrenaline coursing through his veins. A vision of her lying naked beneath him, her golden eyes glazed in passion, teased him.
“I am from England. I’m here for the symphony.” Her Italian was excellent.
“Angelina Natale, I would be honored if you would let me escort you home.”
She put the violin case under one arm. “I would like that.”
There was blood on her closed fist.
“Are you hurt?” He moved closer.
She moved her hand behind the folds of her skirt and backed into the wall.
He waited, leaning his hand against the wall above her head, inhaling her perfume. A beguiling combination of ... amber, apples and musk. The scent suited her, organic, delicious. He wanted to lift her skirt right now and take her against this wall, those long legs wrapped around him.
Angelina examined the buttons on his shirt that were in such close proximity. Stepping away from him would be cowardly, and he would guess she was made of sterner stuff. When she looked up it was with the defiance he expected from a cornered tigress.
He held her gaze, reaching behind to bring her fist out from the folds of her skirt.
The bloody gold in the center of her palm was a heavy medium-sized loop engraved with a stylized dragon. She had pulled it from the man’s ear and he had not made a sound.
“A memento?” He whispered in English close to her lips.
“I don’t want it. You can have it,” she answered in her native tongue. Now, that was the truth. Her British accent was tinged with a weary sadness. He wanted to pick her up against his chest and carry her home.
She had courage. Even while his mind worked to figure out what her role was in the mystery of the Stradivarius, he admired that.
He couldn’t leave her alone now. Not on a street where men escaped him when cornered in an alley and black clouds slid up church walls.
“Are you hungry?” Their lips were inches apart and he wanted to kiss her, but that would have to come later.
“I forgot about lunch. I had caffe at four. I’m starving,” the beautiful tigress admitted.