Thursday, August 16, 2007
Sex and the Psychic Witch by Annette Blair
SEX AND THE PSYCHIC WITCH is a National Bestseller:
For the first week of sales, it ranked
~ No. 12 on the Barnes & Noble romance mass market bestseller list.
~ No. 13 on the Borders Group Inc romance mass market bestseller list.
~ No. 21 on the BookScan romance mass market bestseller list.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Annette Blair took a twenty-year roller-coaster ride to overnight success, which makes each contract, writing award, and bestseller list that much sweeter. Yes, her tenacity is legendary, though some just call her stubborn. Her Bewitching Romantic Comedies started with a root canal and a reluctant trip to Salem Massachusetts. Though she had once proclaimed she’d never write a contemporary, Annette stumbled into the serendipitous role of ‘Accidental Witch Writer’ on that trip. Funny how she managed to eat her words, even with an aching jaw. Magic or destiny; My Favorite Witch, her twelfth novel, became her first National Bestseller. SEX AND THE PSYCHIC WITCH is the first in her Triplet Witch Trilogy.
Visit her website at: www.annetteblair.com
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Psychic witches with attitude SPELL identical-triplet trouble in spikes!
He's her psychic pot of gold . . . In an island castle haunted by a malevolent ghost, the magnetic attraction between a powerful castle-owner and the psychic witch who can read him leads to the fulfillment of unspoken fantasies and a struggle for dominance in and out of bed.
He caught her disturbing withdrawal, her long ginger lashes at half-mast, her eyes the smoky blue gray of doubt. She bit her bottom lip as if . . . seeking a plausible excuse. He could almost see the lie forming.
“Um . . . vintage clothes,” she said in a rush. “Got any lying around the castle?”
He’d never heard a worse excuse for a fake accidental meeting. “Bullcrap.”
“Oh oh, you just invited a bunch of poop down on you.”
He gave her a look. “Methinks its name is Harmony.”
“No, people love old clothes. Some collect them. Some use them for costumes. I sell them.”
Hell, she was making it up as she went along.
King went back to his laptop and took a sip from his empty foam coffee cup. Crushing it with his embarrassment, he shot a basket in one and decided to play the scented sexpot’s way, to see if he could wrap his mind around her tactics . . . or himself around her.
“I’ve got rooms of old clothes,” he said, pretending to ignore her for his computer. Hiding from her, was he? Hell, he was gonna need a shrink after an hour in her company. “You’re stuck here anyway,” he said, typing nonsense in his spreadsheet, “so you might as well look around upstairs and see what you can find. Go ahead. The place is nothing if not sound. Just stay up there until I come for you. Contrary to what you’ve seen, a construction site is dangerous.”
“Good Goddess!” she said. “I have a castle to pillage?”
King raised his head and caught a smile that could melt glass.
“That’s it!” Short-circuiting, and forfeiting whatever wits he had left, he indicated that she should precede him up the circular stone stairs, out of hearing and sight of his men. At the landing to the balcony above the great hall, he stopped to press the elevator button. He hadn’t wanted his men to see them get on the elevator downstairs. Too cozy, which he didn’t intend. He intended to get the truth out of her.
She peeked toward the balcony. “One more flight to the living quarters?” she asked. Oblivious to his fury? Or pretending to be?
She preceded him into the elevator, and he pressed Five for the tower.
“Retro elevator,” she said, tracing the diamond shape of the gated door. “Turn of the century? The twentieth century, I mean?”
“Good guess,” he said. Halfway up, he hit Stop.
“Hey, we’re between floors.”
He pinned her to the wall, one arm on each side of her head. “You pillage, and I plunder? Is that your game?”
She frowned, her confusion real enough. “I beg your pardon?”
Confused as well, King forged on, stubbornly entrenching himself. “You are way out of your league, here. I don’t know which one of my ex-friends is playing matchmaker this time, but I’m not in the market.”
“You sure think a lot of yourself, Your Heinieness.” Her deep curtsy made him feel like a horse’s ass, as she intended.
He gave her a hand up, and held on too long, but she didn’t pull away. One or both of them stepped closer. He wasn’t sure which, but he did know that he wanted to kiss her . . .
Out of the question.
With an apology on the tip of his tongue, her ring caught his eye and he became transfixed. He ran a thumb over it. “Where did you get this?”
She pulled away, flipping her hair, hitting him in the face with corn silk and giving him a peppermint high.
His body went on red alert. All systems go.
“What do you care?” she snapped. “You’re not in the market.”
* * *
Harmony had suspected that the ring might be her ticket to fulfilling her psychic mandate, and judging by her host’s shock, she might be right. “Are we getting out of the elevator?”
Paxton backed against the control panel, denying her access, and slipped his hands into the pockets of his classy black slacks. “That’s up to you.”
She shivered at the hottie’s frosty demeanor; talk about a contradiction. His square, unforgiving chin, and his soft-worn tee, as black as his hair—despite the dusty construction site—made him look like Satan come to call.
Granted, the negative energy in this place had long ago created a type of karmic quicksand, the kind that sucked you under before you could call for help, but her presence had calmed some of it, so why was he so upset?
She had a psychic job to do, whatever it was, yet her host seemed to be doing his best to stop her. She couldn’t tell him the real reason she was here, a lie of omission he probably sensed. Between the two of them, there were enough karmic vibes and raging pheromones to hamper anybody’s endeavors, never mind a mandate as nebulous as hers.
The pheromones, she couldn’t help. A physical sexual pull was just that, and theirs carried enough energy to light New York. She’d deal with that later . . . or not.
She did, however, need to understand his karmic vibes. “I realize you’re a Paxton,” Harmony said, “but how closely are you connected to this place?”
“I own it, lucky sucker that I am.”
When she attempted to circumvent him and hit the Down button, Paxton took her wrist in a grasp she found both gentle and stimulating. Now she was more turned on. No. That couldn’t be right. She hated being touched, except by her sisters . . . and, apparently, by Brass Ass McGrumpy.
Slam it! He’d breached her protective circle of light, and she hadn’t realized it. She’d forgotten about keeping herself protected, or her sphere of white light remained intact, and she didn’t need protecting from this guy.
As she watched, Paxton’s luminous whiskey eyes probed hers . . . and didn’t she want to give him . . . everything he wanted. His gaze touched her physically, stroking her brow, her lips, parting them . . .
Harmony struggled from her sensual stupor. She knew better than to meet a man on a spiritual plane. Yet this didn’t seem to be the same man. Had she dreamed his ego trip of a short while ago, his certainty that this was a setup? Because now he was simply annoyed . . . and horny . . . and curious . . . and horny . . . no ego involved.
Given his captivating gaze, not to mention his charisma and his body sculpted by a master, she could see why unwelcome setups might plague him. She also understood why he ran. Women chased him. Not the other way around. Sometimes he let them catch him, and when he did, he used them—for sex, nothing more.
Not a one had ever touched his heart. Sex for sport, as he’d thought outside. Wait! She’d heard his thoughts? Her heart skipped a beat. Oh, oh.
News flash—she could read him.
Hot flash—mutual-attraction city going up. High rise under construction. Hold on to your underwear.
Good Goddess, she was sensually, sexually, and most important, cosmically hot-wired to the hunky tight-ass. If she let her emotional barriers down, she was screwed . . . literally.
Why didn’t that sound as bad as it should?
She might ordinarily think about jumping his bones, but under the circumstances, in the midst of her psychic mandate, she shouldn’t even consider it. Should she?
Um, yeah. He was the best prospect she’d had in . . . Withering witch balls, he was the best prospect she’d ever had.
Warning! When flying into the teeth of a cosmic sexual attraction, mistakes . . . of cosmic proportions . . . could be made.
Slow down, she told herself. No knee-jerk reactions here. Take a deep breath. Think. And try to make some blooming sense of this.
Why, of all the people she came across, could she read him?
She usually read people who owned the old objects into which she came in contact—dead people. Long dead. So why could she read this living, breathing hunk of hundred-proof testosterone, this earth god who filled his molded black T-shirt like a workout model?
“You own the place alone, right?” she asked, to be sure. “No partners or siblings co-own it with you?”
“That would be too easy,” he said. “I’d love to pawn the nightmare off on a relative. There isn’t a one of them who doesn’t deserve it.”
Her suspicions were getting the better of her. “Did you spend a lot of time here as a very young child?”
“If you must know, I was born here.”
Holy astral plane! “Why not in a hospital?”
“I arrived early in what the record books call the hundred-hour snowstorm, February 26, 1969. Storm surges of hurricane proportions. Couldn’t get my mother to the mainland, but what does that have to do with—”
His beeper went off. “My foreman needs me.” Paxton hit the elevator’s Down button and stopped on the second floor. Before he got out, he turned to her. “Stay.”
“Woof,” she replied, as she stepped on the landing to watch him run down the stairs, admiring his loose-limbed, pantherlike gait, his butt as tight and fine as his pecs. Hot and hunky Hurricane Paxton, whose spirit and ownership so permeated this ancient stronghold that he became her very own psychic pot of gold.
When he’d released her wrist to leave, she was surprised she’d let him hold it for so long, but now she felt bereft, foolish her, and reading him became difficult, which shouldn’t surprise her. Proximity always shed light on a psychometric’s impressions, and touch clarified them. Touch brought images, scents, sounds, and emotions into focus. Positive vibes uplifted her. Negative vibes depressed and sometimes made her ill.
For that reason, the only physical contact she allowed and trusted were her sisters’ . . . until King blooming Kong.
In a castle overflowing with negativity, he had touched her. And not only had she allowed it, she’d welcomed and wallowed in the skin on skin contact. Like water in the desert, she’d welcomed it.
Who knew she’d been so parched?
She hated being touched. She hated being carried, and she particularly hated having her space invaded—her father had said she was a horror of a screaming baby—but when Paxton had taken her outside earlier, then back inside again, she'd had to force herself to stop being passive by pretending to fight him.
His touch warmed her. To cinders, it could warm her. If he put his mind and man brain, into it, who could tell what kind of inferno they could create.
Wha’d’ya know, her psychic gift had led her to a horny hunk with a lockbox of lifetime secrets and assessing Jesus eyes . . . a man as instantly and magnetically hot for her as she was for him, though he’d never admit it, not to himself, and especially not to her.
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?
Actually, Rachelle, becoming a writer sort of snuck up on me. When I was in high school, I used to write romances about my girlfriends and their boyfriends. One mother found a story I'd written, and since it included a four poster bed, she wasn't too happy with me. LOL. Eventually, my sister gave me a historical romance to read and I was hooked. After that, I filled my nightstand with plot ideas, but it took a challenge from my daughter for me to actually sit down and write my first book.
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love reliving that first bloom of romance, falling in love all over again while my characters fall in love. I love giving my readers something to smile about, chuckle at. I want to give them hope for the future, the knowledge that if they haven't found Mr. Right, he's out there, and that happily ever afters do, indeed, exist. I love that I found a small writers group, Rhode Island Romance Writers, whose members are sisters and brothers of my heart. I love that I recently left my job as a Prep SchoolDevelopment Director to become a full time writer.
If there's anything I dislike, it's the business of writing. I never wanted to be in business for myself, but as a full time writer, what'd'ya know, I am.
How do you balance your personal and writing time?
Not well. I can get very focused and write 24 hours a day. But I have an empty nest and my family is very understanding. They let me know when they need me. They leave me alone when I'm on deadline. My husband protects me from disturbances and brings me food if I don't come out of my cave for too long. Family events are important, and frequent, and I love them. I will leave my cave in a blink if my little Travis, age 3, and Kelsey, age 1, need or want their Nana. Did I tell you I got married when I was 12? :)
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
I think, for me, the world of the story comes first, though with SEX AND THE PSYCHIC WITCH, I knew that I wanted to write about identical triplets. I watched three grow up next door. Their world came to me in a dream.
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write the stories I write because every story is a book of my heart. I have to fall in love with the story and characters or I can't write it.
I write in many genres. I first fell in love with historicals so I began with Regency Historicals, two Amish Historicals, and an English Victorian. Then I took a trip to Salem Massachusetts where the world of witchy contemporary romantic comedies opened up to me. SEX AND THE PSYCHIC WITCH is my 15th, and the first of my Triplet Witch Trilogy. I'm currently contracted to write a mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime and I'm very excited about that. I love writing first person. I'm also working on another series of comedic witches for Berkley Sensation.
What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
That an author lives a glamorous life of wealth and privelege. Unless you're a NY Times bestseller, you still budget, cut coupons, and do your own bookkeeping. There may be glamour at a conference, but there's nothing but creation going on when I'm at my computer. Sometimes I wake up so filled with my story, I go from my bed to my computer and don't stop to shower until the creative energy dims. An old nightgown with holes in it IS NOT glamorous. If you don't believe me, just ask my husband. LOL.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
I rarely base characters on real people. I might borrow a quirk, and, as in the case of the triplets who shared their triplet secrets with me, I borrowed the fact of triplets. But they were inspiration, not models. Other than that, my characters are figments of my imagination.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
This is such a difficult question to answer when you fall in love with all your characters. My favorites are always the characters I'm creating at the moment.
If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
You won't be surprised if I can think of more male leads than females, will you? Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Dempsey, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, Catherine Zita Jones, Cate Blanchet, Nicole Kidman . . . and still so many faces are swimming around in front of me.
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
A sigh, a smile, a chuckle, hope, joy, a love of life. I set out to entertain, though my readers have pointed out my tendency to write about family and tolerance.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Absolutely. Wanting it is not enough. You have to do it. If you never write and never submit, you will never sell.
Who are your favorite authors?
Janet Evanovich, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie, Deborah Smith, JK Rowling, Kathy Eagle, and many, many more.
What are you reading right now?
I'm reading an awesome urban fantasy called Witchling by Yasmine Galenorn. Next up: Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich.
"An exhilarating romantic fantasy...Readers will appreciate the antics of the triplets as they struggle to send Gussie [the ghost witch] on to the next plane while laughing with joy at King’s caresses of the seductress who owns his heart." -- Harriet Klausner
"Plenty of paranormal activity and lots of sexual tension...You'll love this heroine and absolutely great hero...a delightfully magical read." -- Susan Mobley, RT Book Club
"More hot scenes than in the author's previous stories...spine chills...outrageous stunts...a witchy climax that will warm your very soul. I can hardly wait until the next Cartwright triplet spins her spell. Out-Freaking-Standing!" -- Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews
"Fun and sassy...zany antics...fabulous one liners...soooooo hot that I am still icing my fingers...Smoke flares off the pages. Honestly! If you like it flirty, funny, and hot, SEX AND THE PSYCHIC WITCH is the book to read." -- Shannon, RRAH
"The dialogue in SEX AND THE PSYCHIC WITCH is humorous, clever and overtly sexual. There is combustible chemistry between Harmony and King, but he has hardened himself against his emotions. His childhood taught him never to show any vulnerability. Annette Blair has great fun bringing this proud, unbending man and a free-spirited witch full of love and laughter together. Harmony’s sisters and King’s two best friends add to the enjoyment of this story and lay the groundwork for the next installments in the author’s successful witch tales. SEX AND THE PSYCHIC WITCH is sassy, sexy and sizzling!" -- Betty Cox, Reader to Reader
"The attraction between King and Harmony was evident from the first and only got hotter...The magical elements were not overdone and it was especially great to see the Cartwright’s positive interpretation of their powers rather than the preconceived negative connotations of others; the short and sweet spells they chant showcase this element perfectly. Sex and The Psychic Witch is a great addition to any Paranormal romance readers collection!" -- M Kanbi, Paranormal Romance Writers
Sex and the Psychic Witch by Annette Blair
Paperback: 304 pages
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: August 7, 2007
$5.95 from Fictionwise.com
Purchase Sex and the Psychic Witch by Annette Blair HERE!!