Wednesday, September 29, 2004

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Exclusive Excerpt: "Make Her Pay," By Roxanne St. Claire

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He pulled the throttle back, looking side to side now that they’d traveled about ten more miles. Nothing.

“One more question, Con,” Lizzie said.

He braced for it, and prepared to lie. How bad could a question be, anyway?

“How’d you learn to steal things like you do?”

Pretty bad. For a moment, he considered telling her the truth. That’d burst her hero worshipping bubble in a hurry. That’d cool the look of lust in her eyes and shut that sweet little mouth she threatened to kiss him with every time she got closer.

“It’s just a talent I have,” he finally said.

“Lots of my talents have come in handy this week.” He tightened his thighs around her hips to punctuate that. “And if you don’t back off and stop looking at me like that, you’re about to find out about a few more.”

He was already going to be number one on her shit list when she figured out that he not only wasn’t her super agent here to save the day, he was working for her sworn enemy. Could he make her hate him even more by taking what she was not so subtly offering right now?

Probably. If he let his body do the thinking.
“You’re playing with fire, Lizzie.”

“Is that why I’m feeling so hot right now?”

She didn’t want to be warned. Didn’t want to be told no. Didn’t want to know the truth.

“You could get burned.”

“So could you. Singed.” She hissed the last word and added the tiniest rock of her hips toward his.

He was already hard, already pulsing. “I’m asbestos, sweetheart. And you…” He snaked his hand through the blanket to her body, fingering the zipper of the hooded jacket closed at her throat. He dragged it slowly south, his knuckles grazing the rise of her chest on the way down. “Are not.”

“I can handle the heat,” she said, arching her back enough to let the blanket fall to the deck with a soft whoosh. “Like I can handle the cold.”

He clicked the zipper at the bottom, then flattened his hand on her stomach, sliding it up, over a button-down shirt. Her gaze widened as he spread his palm over her breast.

“Let’s just be clear, Lizzie Dare.” He popped the first button with ease. “I’m not what or who you think I am.”

She just lifted one brow in an almost imperceptible nod of permission. “You don’t scare me, Con Xenakis.”

“I’m not trying to scare you.” Next button, open. “I’m undressing you.”

She smiled. “You think you’re some badass boy who’s going to break my heart or my spirit.”

“Never your spirit.” Third button, done. Too easy for a thief like Con. “It’s unbreakable.”

She liked that, leaning closer, offering access to that last little button. “You forget I already pegged you as one of the good guys.”

He barely blew out a breath, his gaze leveled on the sweet rise of her breasts, the pale flesh pressing against a silky, lacy bra. His throat dry, his fingers itched for the touch he knew he was going to take. All he was about to take.

“Honey, you pegged me wrong.” His voice was gruff, raspy, honest.

He pulled her closer, smashing her body into his and standing slowly, their gazes locked on each other’s mouth.

“I don’t think so.” Her eyes were dark with arousal, hooded with surrender. “You don’t fool me.”

Then she was the fool.

He pushed her back on the motor boat’s console, as he spread the blouse open completely.

He lowered his face to her breasts, opening his mouth over one and closing his hand over the other. Under him, her body pulsed in an instinctive rhythm, soft sounds cooing from her lips each time her hips hit his, the sound drawing him to her mouth and throat and lower to close his lips over her breasts.

“Just know you were warned,” he said, pulling her to her feet and twisting the key to turn the engines off. “Go below. I’m going to anchor the boat here.”

She searched his face, unsure. “You’re not going to change your mind, are you?”

Change his mind? He could. He should. This was his chance. A chance to be the man she thought he was. A chance to demonstrate that code of honor that turned her on so much. A chance to do the right goddamned thing instead of the easy, irresponsible, wrong goddamned thing.

This was his chance. Would he take it?

“Not a chance.”

From "Make Her Pay." Copyright Roxanne St Claire, 2009.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Brief Biography for Gwendolyn D. Pough

Gwendolyn D. Pough is an Associate Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, Women’s and Gender Studies at Syracuse University. She is the author of Check It While I Wreck It: Black Womanhood, Hip-Hop Culture, and the Public Sphere as well as numerous essays and articles on black feminism, hip-hop, critical pedagogy and black public culture.

She has co-edited a special issue of the journal FEMSPEC: an interdisciplinary feminist journal dedicated to critical and creative works in the realms of science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, surrealism, myth, folklore, and other supernatural genres and she has co-edited the critically acclaimed Home Girls Make Some Noise: A Hip-Hop Feminism Anthology.

Pough was awarded an American Association of University Women Post-Doctoral Fellowship in 2003-2004 to complete research on her next book length project about contemporary African American women's book clubs and reading groups. She is Associate Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. She writes romance fiction under the pen name Gwyneth Bolton. She has eight novels and a novella published to date. She has won several awards for her novels.