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

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.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spooky mood...let's talk ghost stories, movies, experiences!

I'm in a spooky mood...

Translation: Let's talk about hauntings and our personal experiences, tours or places we've visited that are touted as haunted and any recommended books (fiction or not) and movies with a ghost premise.

I'll go first...the house I grew up in had some strange occurrences that my family still talks about when we get together. We've heard a man and woman arguing repeatedly in an upstairs bedroom, a heavy bureau mirror taken down from the wall and placed on the bed, numerous evenings when light switches were heard going on and off and the spontaneous flight of a ball from the corner of the room. I was a toddler at the time and the one that got hit with it so my mother who was the only one home at the time scooped me up and made a spontaneous decision to spend the day out! I don't know maybe I was a disruptive child or the 'ghost' <grin> wanted to play ball. Who knows? We certainly don't.

We lived there for 18years (approximately) and have wonderful memories of our childhood home. When we reminisce about the house's oddities it's with a light attitude as we were never truly frightened there. Maybe it was our mothers, sisters, brother, cousin, aunt and uncle's (I don't think I forgot anyone who experienced the house's uniqueness).

Have any of you had a strange experience in a place you were living or visiting? Do you have a haunted tour you would recommend? Personally, I would love to go to New Orleans and tour some of the mansions, restaurants, B&B's and cemeteries believed to house restless spirits. Okay I'll be honest I would just love to go there and walk the French Quarter, drink a Cafe Au Lait at Cafe du Monde, visit some plantations and soak in the city's fascinating history.

Sorry for the long post. I like to keep them short since we're all so busy. If you have some books or movies you recommend I would appreciate reading them!

Here's a few off the top of my  head...(there are so many more that I didn't list)

Movies: Stir of Echoes, What Lies Beneath

Books: Ghost Story (Peter Struab)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Jenna Storm Paranormal Romance Author: Happy Mother's Day! Leave a comment for a chance t...

Jenna Storm Paranormal Romance Author: Happy Mother's Day! Comment for a chance t...: Happy Mother's Day! I hope all of you busy mom's out there treat yourself to downtime. Enjoy your time with family or if you simply choose a...

Happy Mother's Day! Comment to win a copy of THE BURNING SEAL, Paranormal Romantic Suspense ebook!

Happy Mother's Day! I hope all of you busy mom's out there treat yourself to downtime. Enjoy your time with family or if you simply choose a quiet place to relax alone. Maybe watch a movie, workout (only if it's what you want to do!), take a nap, or read a good book.

Personally, I will spend time with my beautiful girls and my family (mom included!). I plan on treating myself to a new book or two since buying books is one thing I absolutely love to do! Which explains why my "to be read" shelves are numerous. I can't help it I'm a book collector but not the rare, way out of my financial realm type, but a "hunter and gatherer" of authors in my networks and my long-time favorite authors. I use the term "hunter and gatherer" because I've recently joined Triberr and have this crazy desire to strap on a grass skirt and drink out of a coconut. I also see book hunting as a quest of sorts. One I enjoy immensely!

I'd like to give away a copy of my paranormal romantic suspense, The Burning Seal, (e-book) to a random commenter. So please leave a comment for a chance to win a download of my book! Be sure to leave your email along with your comment so I can contact you if you're the winner.

Okay everyone have a wonderful Sunday and if you're a mom then have a wonderful Mother's Day too! Take a moment to realize all the positives in your life and know I'm wishing you many more.

Leave a comment with your email address to enter drawing:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Burning Seal, Paranormal Romance, 40% off at Coffee Time Romance Bookstore!

Today I'm wearing my self-promoting hat and letting everyone know that my Paranormal Romantic Suspense, The Burning Seal, is 40% off right now at the Coffee Time Romance Bookstore! Yay!

This is a great site to visit and there's a lot going on this month as they celebrate their 8th Anniversary. Even if you don't visit the bookstore they have chats, blogs and contests going on along with a wide variety of romance genres to browse.

I'm partial to the paranormal and suspense genres. Demons, vampires, psychics and anything magical coupled with the suspense of a "good vs evil" or a "hunt for the killer" plot thread. No matter your interest just hop over to Coffee Time Romance and check out what they're offering!

Have a great day!

Detective Danni Keegan is plunged into a dark, demonic world where survival depends on deciphering the connection between ritual killings, and a demon terrorizing her for a “gift” she wasn’t even aware she possessed. She must unravel her dreams of another woman who lived during ancient times and battled a bloodthirsty demon—the same demon who now hunts Danni. The loss of her body and soul looms imminent as her only chance to destroy the demon depends on changing her new partner’s convictions. He is a sinfully sexy man, who exudes power and self-assurance with the ease of breathing and has an iron-willed determination not to believe in the paranormal.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Jenna Storm Paranormal Romance Author: Rosanna Leo's debut novel, For the Love of a God!

Jenna Storm Paranormal Romance Author: Rosanna Leo's debut novel, For the Love of a God!: I'm happy to welcome Rosanna Leo to my blog today to talk about her debut novel, For the Love of a God , a paranormal romance. I'm going t...

Rosanna Leo's debut novel, For the Love of a God!

I'm happy to welcome Rosanna Leo to my blog today to talk about her debut novel, For the Love of a God, a paranormal romance. I'm going to have to check out your book Rosanna, I love mythology and reading about the battles between gods and goddesses. It only gets more intriguing when you add a mortal female to the mix who captures the attention of a god in hiding. 

Hello friends of romance!  I’m so excited to be here!
My debut novel, For the Love of a God, is now available!  You can find it at:

If you love a sexy paranormal, full of love-starved Greek gods, then this is for you! My story was inspired by a trip to the local museum where I fell in love with a statue of one of the Greek gods.  It was so beautiful, so manly, and I couldn’t help wondering what might happen if Greek gods were real. 
I live near Toronto, Canada and am passionate about mythology (although I’m also partial to vamps!)  I just love it when the geeky, awkward girl gets the hot guy, and I’ve made it my mission to see this happen in my books as much as possible. Please check out my blog at

     Conservator Maia Douglas is an expert on ancient Greece and its mythology. She would never tell anyone at the museum where she works, but she's always had a secret crush on the mythical Eryx, Greek god of love. There is nothing she loves more than to tend to her favorite statue of him, and her nighttime dreams are filled with luscious images of Eryx making love to her.
     One day, the peace at Maia's beloved museum is shattered when a new director arrives. A man who looks exactly like her image of Eryx. As Maia watches, he manages to upset her ordered museum world, at the same time he inflames her with unwanted desire.
     Maia does not know that her new boss is actually the god Eryx, disguised as a mortal so he may work in antiquities. Although he is the god of love, he has forsaken his sexual nature because of a curse that has killed any woman he's dared to love. Though he fights it, Eryx is drawn to Maia with a force he's never experienced in a thousand years. But can he convince her of his true identity? And can he protect her from a vengeful goddess who seeks her destruction?

Toronto, Present Day 
Maia Douglas woke with a start. She looked around, disoriented. Then she remembered. She’d only put her head down on her desk for a minute. Her brown eyes bleary, she peered toward the clock on her office wall. Seven o’clock. “Dammit. Naps at work. Bad idea.”
It may have been after hours and the last tourist may have already been long gone, but she knew she was playing a dangerous game. One of these nights, she’d sleep right through and wouldn’t get her work done.
It was her fault for insisting on working late. She could work during the day like a normal person, but she loved the tranquility of the museum at night. Besides, she hadn’t been sleeping well lately anyway. Might as well work through the night.
She rubbed her eyes and gathered her wits. She took a sip of her cold coffee and stared at the wet spot on her blotter where she’d dribbled a little. “Ugh. Real dainty, Douglas.”
She pushed away from her desk. As foggy as she was, she knew it was the perfect time to do her preliminary inspection. She hated doing her work when people were milling about anyway. She gathered up her collapsible stool, a notebook, and her Holly Hobby satchel, the one containing her pencils and various tools of the trade. Thus armed, she stumbled out of her office.
Maia looked around the conservation office. All the other conservators were already gone for the day. No surprise there. She was the only one who kept such ungodly hours.
Taking the stairs up to the fifth floor, she made her way to the new Gallery of Greece. This part of the museum wasn’t open to the public yet, and the entrance was still shrouded by opaque drop cloths. She knew it wouldn’t open officially until it passed muster with the new director.
His Lordship was due any minute, and everyone at the Toronto Museum was nervous. There was a reason for it. Eric Lord’s reputation preceded him. He was from a family of museum experts, although she’d never met him in her travels. She’d read articles by his grandfather--—another Eric Lord--—when she was a student, and had been impressed with his keen insight into the ways of ancient Greece. But the current Eric Lord was known the world over for his slash-and-burn style of museum administration. She’d heard he was a downsizer, a ruthless one. Why, last year he’d eliminated a whole department at one museum in New York for their so-called inefficiencies.
Maia sniffed. “Well, Eric Lord’s not the only museum royalty around here. And no one knows this place like I do.”
Maia’s father, Dr. Jim Douglas, was the famed archaeologist whose work formed the basis of the Toronto Museum’s Greek collection. Maia had basically grown up within its walls. So if Eric Lord was planning a cull in Toronto, he’d be a fool to get rid of her.
Pushing aside the cloths at the entrance, she entered the Gallery of Greece. One of the cleaners was just finishing up in the gallery. She made sure to sashay around the trail from his wet mop. “Hey, Wally. How’s business?”
The older man looked up. “Miss Douglas, what are you still doing here? It’s Saturday night! How come a pretty girl like you doesn’t have a date?”
“Tonight, I have a date with Poseidon’s testicles.”
Wally pulled a face.
“They’re about to fall off,” she explained. “The statue, I mean. Poor guy has some nasty cracks on him. I’ve got to fix him up for the big opening.”
Wally just waved her away with a smile. “I’ll leave the fun stuff to you conservators. I’ll stick to my mopping.”
Maia made her way through the empty gallery, wondering why every word out of her mouth always seemed so awkward. But as she pulled out her collapsible stool and placed it in front of Poseidon and his cracked gonads, she didn’t worry. Staff at the museum had long ago ceased their speculation about Maia’s quirks. After all, she was Jim Douglas’s daughter. She was excellent at her job, which rendered her many quirks negligible.
She knew the collection of Greek antiquities so intimately they could have been siblings to her. Quiet, somber siblings. Certainly there was nothing she valued more. She was an expert conservator, specializing in marble sculpture. After she’d completed her studies, the Toronto Museum administrators had been falling over themselves to offer Maia the job. Sure, there had been enticing job offers from as far away as the Hermitage and the British Museum. But she knew she’d never leave her beloved museum. It was her second home.
It was her life.
Before she began her inspection of Poseidon, she walked over to one of the other sculptures. It was the statue of Eryx, the Greek god of love. She stood before him and sighed, letting her appreciative eyes rake over his nude body. Absorbing the warmth he created in her. Feeding off his beauty.
This was her ritual and had been ever since she was a little girl. Ever since her father discovered the perfect statue in a long-hidden cove in Greece.
She remembered her dad’s excitement after the find. He’d led her through the museum after hours. She could still hear the sound of her Mary Janes clicking on the marble floors. The museum had been shrouded in darkness, but Maia didn’t mind. Even at five years old, she already knew every square inch of the place.
“Come, sweet pea,” Dr. Douglas had said as he walked with her. “I have something new to show you.”
Green lollipop in mouth, she’d scrambled after him. She’d always loved these night-time walks. As a curator, her dad often brought her to the museum at night when the tourists had all gone home. He showed her all the ancient gold jewelry and terracotta pieces and told her wonderful stories full of myth and magic. To the little girl, being with her father was the greatest adventure on earth.
Especially since mother had left them.
“Is it a big statue, Daddy?”
“Life-sized. And in amazing condition. It’s as if he was just waiting in the cave, hoping to be found.” He motioned toward the entrance of the Greek gallery. “And he’s right through there.”
Little Maia had spotted him right away. The sculpture was the new centerpiece of the gallery and had been given a prominent spot. Her jaw had dropped open and her lollipop had tumbled to the floor. Jim had grinned and picked it up, glad his little girl shared his passion.
She’d stared up at the statue of the man. He was so handsome. The way the sculptor had angled his head made it feel as if he were gently smiling down at her. Maia had smiled back, immediately smitten.
Jim walked up to her and placed a hand on her back. He spoke in hushed tones. “He is the god Eryx, son of Aphrodite. He was in love with the mortal priestess of his temple. And she was…?”
“Chloe, silly. I know that,” she’d replied. After countless bedtime stories, she knew all the myths.
“Good girl,” he’d smiled. “And do you remember the story of Eryx and Chloe?”
“The bad goddess Nemesis killed Chloe because she was jealous.”
“And Eryx?”
“He was sad. Forever.” She’d rubbed her little tummy. “Daddy, I’m hungry.”
He’d laughed. “Of course you are. It’s late, sweet pea. Let’s get you some dinner. We’ll come back and see Eryx again.”
Maia’s face had fallen. As much as her belly was rumbling, she didn’t want to go. She liked the statue of the beautiful, smiling god. Even though, all of a sudden, he looked a little sad.
What happened next, Maia had never told her father. Never told anyone.
As she had followed her dad out of the gallery, she’d turned to look at Eryx one more time. Because she was five, and because it had seemed like a fun idea, she’d poked out her green-stained tongue and wagged it at him.
The statue had winked at her.
Now, as an adult, she knew the wink was probably just the overactive imagination of a precocious, little girl. Perhaps the fleeting shadow of one of the pigeons haunting the window ledges of the museum. But it had felt so real at the time. And now, every time she came to work in the gallery, she made a pit stop before the statue of Eryx.
Just in case…
“You’re such a spazz,” she told herself as she pulled her long brown hair into a messy ponytail on top of her head, affixing it with two crisscrossed pencils. “Get to work.”
She turned and seated herself before Poseidon and let out a sigh. With a gentle hand, she cupped the water god’s balls and inspected the extent of the cracks. She’d have to fill them in a little, as well as beginning a general cleaning of the statue. He was starting to show his age.
Soon, between conducting her inspection and making notes, she was lost in her work, oblivious to everything else around her. Once again, she gingerly touched Poseidon’s testes.
“How about inspecting mine?”
Maia jumped when the deep voice whispered in her ear. She snapped her head around, almost wrenching off the statue’s balls in the process. “Who’s there?”
There was no one. Beyond the entrance, Wally was still mopping, but had headphones on now and was mopping to the music on his iPod. He hadn’t heard her cry. The gallery was empty, peopled only by the many statues.
And right in front of her stood the statue of the god Eryx, still bearing the same grin as when she first saw him years ago. The grin which now appeared decidedly randy from her perspective.
“You,” she breathed, feeling her heartbeat regulate after her scare. “If any of you old rocks could find a way to talk, I should have guessed it would be you.” Dismissing the voice as a symptom of overwork and stress over the incoming director, Maia turned back to Poseidon.
Even with her back to Eryx, she felt a warm sensation along her spine. As if she was being watched.
Doing her best to ignore it, Maia continued her work.
Within minutes, she knew it wasn’t working. Her back was burning.
She should have expected it. She felt the same way each time she was in the presence of the Eryx statue. It wasn’t just her love of antiquities making her heart palpitate each time she saw him. Ever since she’d thought he’d winked at her all those years ago, she’d developed a ridiculous crush on the gorgeous statue. In a way, she thought of him as her own.
Of course, he’d always been her favorite of all the Greek gods. She loved the stories about him and couldn’t help falling a little in love with him from an early age.
The statue merely enforced the feeling. She loved the perfection of it. The way his curls fell about his strong face. The clean lines of his muscled abdomen and legs. Even the enticing length of his marble erection, as if the sculptor had wanted him captured in a state of eternal arousal.
He was the sexiest goddamn statue she’d ever seen. Michelangelo’s David was an effeminate pansy by comparison.
She shook her head. It was pathetic, how she mooned over him.
Over it.
She could never tell anyone Eryx was one of the reasons she’d chosen to remain with the Toronto Museum, rather than working for another. Since the first time her father showed her the sculpture, she’d felt oddly connected to it. It had been her inspiration as she planned her education and career. She looked forward to seeing him every day, even took extra shifts whenever she could. Just to keep an eye on him and make sure no other conservators got their mitts on him.
Let administration think she was just a devoted worker. She’d keep her strange infatuation a secret.
Frowning, she turned back to face Eryx. He looked so proud on his pedestal, so vibrant. As if he might simply walk off it. His shoulders were squared, and his face angled down toward the viewer. Although he was made of white marble, Maia had no trouble picturing what he might look like in color. Somehow, she just knew those thick curls would be honey blond. Those flashing eyes would be green and his nude body would be tanned. His generous penis could fill her, stretch her … a velvety pillar of lustful strength.
“Oh, man, I need to get out more.” She ran a hand over her hot forehead. “This place is playing tricks on my mind.”
She heard a deep, manly laugh.
Automatically, her eyes shot back to Eryx’s statue. Why was it the laugh seemed to come from his direction?
“Okay, I’ve had enough. I’m outta here.” She folded up her stool and walked right up to Eryx. “You don’t fool me, buster. I know you winked at me all those years ago. Now you’re talking to me? Maybe I am losing my mind, but if you have something you need to say to me, just get off your perch and say it. Stop messing with me.”
Then, feeling foolish for admonishing a piece of marble, she turned on her heel, and left.

For the Love of a God, available through Liquid Silver Books at