Remember how I’ve been promising you something to hold you over until the Nov. 5 release of Striking Distance? Well, here’s your first glimpse. I hope you like it!
First Strike, which I’m working on right now, is the erotic prequel to Striking Distance. And here’s the story of how it came to be.
When I wrote Striking Distance, I originally started with a prologue set in Dubai City in 2009. The prologue would tell how Javier Corbray and Laura Nilsson, the hero and heroine from Striking Distance, met and show the intensity of the attraction between them — some sensuality to hold us over through the action in the earlier parts of Striking Distance.
But the prologue didn’t work. For starters, it was too long. Also, it created a situation where another prologue was necessary to launch the story — that’s the current prologue for the book. Rather than have two extraordinarily long prologues, I realized I had to cut this one.
It was the right decision.
Laura, a dual U.S. and Swedish citizen who works as a journalist, and Javier, a Puerto Rican-born Navy SEAL, both think back to this weekend throughout Striking Distance. It was supposed to be a no-strings-attached fling, and yet both of them left Dubai City wishing wanting more — a way to stay in touch, a phone number, an email address. Before they have the opportunity to reconnect, the horrors of war intervene, and Laura is kidnapped by insurgents.
Given how important the weekend was to them, I decided before I even finished Striking Distance to take take this first prologue, to develop it, and to tell the full story of how Laura and Javier met and that first weekend when they got to know each other rather well.
Here’ what Javier remembers of the weekend early on in Striking Distance before he and Laura are reunited:
He’d been touring Dubai City on his way home after a long deployment. She’d walked into a hotel bar where he was having a steak and a beer and had sat at a table nearby. He’d recognized her instantly. When two big Russian men had wandered over and started hassling her, he had intervened. It had pissed her off—but it had also gotten her attention.
What had followed was a weekend of the most amazing sex Javier had ever experienced. She might have seemed cool and reserved on the outside, but beneath her skin Laura Nilsson had been pure fire, igniting Javier’s blood, sending him into a kind of sexual meltdown, the two of them risking not only their careers, but also flogging and prison time to be together. Unmarried sex was illegal in Dubai, even for foreigners.
If he closed his eyes, he could still taste her, still feel the softness of her skin, still hear the breathy sound of her cries as she came. She’d been a fantasy come true, more woman than Javier had ever hoped to hold in his arms. He was nothing more than a kid from South Bronx who’d enlisted in the Navy to give some meaning to his life, a simple man who drank beer and played guitar when he wasn’t deployed. She’d been classy, refined, and sexy, all silk and sophistication.
She had blown his mind.
The only thing that had kept Javier from calling her and trying to see her again was their agreement that the weekend came with no strings. Laura had told him flat out that she wasn’t interested in marriage or motherhood. That had been fine with Javier. He already had one divorce under his belt—a hazard of being a frogman—and didn’t want another. He’d flown back to the U.S. hoping they could get together again.
Two months later, she’d been gone.
First Strike will be out by October 1 as an ebook-only special. My first erotic novella, it will be about 15,000 words long and only 99 cents. It will give readers the full story of that wild weekend when Laura and Javier risked everything as they gave in to their attraction to one another.
I’m writing the story right now and am eager to share it with you and to introduce you to the two characters who’ve taken up all my time and all the space in my imagination for the past year and half.
Stay tuned for updates on First Strike, Striking Distance excerpts, and I-Team games!