Thursday, July 19, 2007
Everglades Wildfire by Isabelle Drake
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Thrill-seeking risk takers, heroes with the dark past, sexy locales, untamed women! Isabelle Drake writes stories featuring men and women who aren't afraid to go after what they want. An avid traveler, she'll go just about anywhere--at least once--to meet people and get story ideas.
To read more about Marie, visit her website at: www.isabelledrake.com
ABOUT THE BOOK:
After a summer of hot sex with alligator rancher Rick Belleair, Amber Hill returns home to complete her graduate studies. As much as she wants to forget the dominating man who haunts her reckless fantasies, she must go back to him, one last time. Her plan, get what she needs, then leave.
Dark family secrets keep Rick tied to his painful past and make him determined to protect those he loves, even if he has to hurt them to do it. When Amber returns to the Everglades, asking Rick to release her once and for all, he agrees to her request, but he has one of his own.
Rick braked sharply, shaking Amber out of her thoughts. He turned off the engine, tossed the single key onto the dash.
Instead of getting out Rick fixed his blue gaze on her, obviously trying to tame the storm brewing inside him.
A flash of shame overwhelmed her. She’d been so ready to believe what he’d told her about himself. That he was a poor gator rancher living from day to day. She’d never even tried to learn the most basic things about him. Like where he went to high school, or what his dreams were.
Unable to bear his scrutiny, she looked away.
“Like my family?” His voice was low, held a note of challenge.
She pressed her lips together, trying to hold in the painful mix of emotions twisting her insides. Why hadn’t she tried to get to know him?
Maybe she’d been glad that he, like her, had no childhood ties. Believing him to be a kindred spirit had made things easier. But he wasn’t abandoned as a child like she’d been. He’d had a family.
The oppressive temperature inside the cab weighed Amber down. The call of an egret and the buzz of a fly that had flown in through the open window broke their silence. The palms next to the cottage shifted in the wind.
Finally, unable to take the strain any longer, she turned. His blank expression was gone and in its place was a startling blend of longing and vulnerability. For the first time that day, she saw raw, untamed honesty.
Struggling against the hunger he brought to life in her, she sought words, anything, to break the pull of her attraction, to keep her from falling back under his spell.
“Maria and your father seem nice.”
He didn’t respond to her words, instead touched her cheek with the tips of his fingers. When he rubbed his thumb across her lip, his gaze lowered to study her mouth.
The easy touch sent shock waves through her, lighting a fire in her belly, as hot as the one he ignited with his demanding kisses. She opened her mouth. He pressed his thumb inside for her to lick. Unable to resist him, she eagerly complied. His rough skin tasted salty and of him.
“You know how badly I want you, don’t you?” His voice, low and husky, sent a shiver of pleasure down her back. He grinned with male pride when she reacted to him so openly.
He shifted over and pressed his mouth across hers. In the back of her mind Amber knew something was wrong, but as he ran his tongue ever so lightly across hers all rational thought fled.
She moaned with pleasure when his callused hand moved under her shirt and caressed her midriff. His fingers curved around one breast and squeezed gently.
Her body kicked into overdrive sending her pulse racing, her senses reeling.
She twisted to get closer to him, frustrated by the small confines of the truck’s cab.
He sensed her need, dropped the hand from behind her head, to push her down onto the bench. Once he had her settled, he jerked off his T-shirt, tossed it to the floor and grabbed at hers.
Within seconds, it joined his on the floor. He loomed over her, his gaze on the lacy white bra holding her breasts. He bent to trail kisses across her collarbone, then moved his hot mouth lower. Amber sucked in a breath, arched up to him, wanting more.
She reached for him, tangling one hand in the blond curls falling across his back.
Her other hand possessively squeezed his thick shoulder, urging him to take what he wanted.
His shaking fingers struggled with the front clasp of her bra. Cursing, he gave up, yanked the lace down, freeing her breasts. He took one nipple into his mouth while he pinched the other with his fingers. The combination of the binding pull of her bra and his hot touch sent fresh waves of need through Amber. She bucked against him.
He lifted his head to rub his bristled cheek against the side of her smooth face. “I know honey,” he whispered in her ear.
He braced himself with one hand while he loosened his pants with the other. The split second break was enough to bring Amber to the brink of reality. In her passion drunk state, she reasoned that this was exactly what she needed. Making love to Rick was the perfect way to get him out of her system.
When she felt him pulling down the zipper of her shorts, she knew she’d arrived at the point of no return. Willingly she crossed it.
Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I just love stories - all kinds. I think the dream to be a writer came from loving to read at a kid, but I didn't actually start writing fiction until I was in college.
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love finishing. That moment when you can sit back and say, "ahhh, it's done." Of course then you start another one right away...working like crazy until that next "ahhh..." moment. Dislike...things like keeping track of receipts for taxes and other paperworky type things.
How do you balance your personal and writing time?
It varies a lot, but I usually write at night. It's easier for me to work when the world is quiet--and my kids are in bed.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
I usually just sit down and start writing. Then when the story slows, I print off what I have, reread it a couple times and then figure out what happens next. That said, every story is different. Sometimes I plot the whole thing before writing a single word.
What genre(s) do you write?
Mostly contemporary, but I do have a couple time travels.
Why do you write the stories that you write?
The stories usually come to me from a place or situation. Once I have the place or situation, I ask why and who over and over until I have a story. So, I guess the stories come to me.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
Definitely a mixture but even if a character starts out as a person I've met or known, he or she always turns into his or herself as the story develops.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
The hero and heroine in the book I'm working on at the moment. I always love them best!
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
Excitement and satisfaction.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Think about writing the story, not about getting published. Also, write a story you love. That's something you hear alot, but I think you hear it often because its true. If you love the story others it will too --- and you'll do a better job writing it.
What are you reading right now?
Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson. Its about the use of language.
If you could be anyone or anything that you wanted, who or what would you be?
A world traveler. I'd go from place to place, staying long enough to get a sense of the people and their culture, then move on to another adventure. Maybe someday that will be me.
5 stars: "I found Everglades Wildfire unexpectedly alluring. It's the kind of story that the reader slips into like a warm lounging robe after a good soak in the tub; the kind of story that ought to be read while one is curled up on the chaise longue and reading by candlelight. It's warm, comfortable, very, very sexy, and enticing. In addition, there's plot twists and turns galore to satisfy any reader's craving for suspense, and desire to see the story progress toward a happy ending for two very different, yet similar, individuals, Amber and Rick. Author Isabelle Drake has penned a wonderful story. I highly recommend Everglades Wildfire, as it is a real treasure, and a book I am proud to put on my Keeper Shelf of rereads. "
4 1/2 kisses: "Everglades Wildfire is a sweet, fast paced story of a love that's forced to meet special challenges. Rick and Amber both have secrets in their past that they’re insecure about which cause them to feel vulnerable. Facing their fears and loving one another is a huge risk but they prove that in the end, it's worth a chance at deep and unconditional love. With hot chemistry, scorching love scenes and sweet confessions, Isabelle Drake has penned a definite must-read."
-- Kerin, Two Lips Reviews
Everglades Wildfire by Isabelle Drake
$5.20 from Ellora's Cave
Purchase Everglades Wildfire by Isabelle Drake HERE!!