Monday, February 22, 2010

Sneak peek of Desire Me

Here it is, the first official excerpt from Desire Me, in a bookstore near you this June!

Max moved farther into the room. He wasn't even certain what he searched for specifically. But Sabine Tobias must know something about Atlantis. Why else would she be so secretive about her desire for his map?

He knew there were other people, besides himself, who sought the lost land. Some searched for treasure, as it was said that Poseidon had built the entire central palace out of gold. Some searched for ancient texts with secrets to medical cures because Atlanteans were rumored to have advancements in all areas of science. Still others sought the fountain of youth or healing waters that were rumored to be flowing through the canals in Atlantis.

Max, though, wanted it all. He wanted to find the actual city. Just as Pompeii had been lost beneath mounds of ash, so he believed Atlantis survived beneath the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. He was not foolish enough to believe it would have remained unscathed. Water erosion certainly would have altered much of the rumored land. But something existed below the surface, and he intended to find it.

He couldn’t resist pursuing the possibility that there was a new clue. Especially not when it came wrapped in the tantalizing package that was Ms. Tobias.

He crept forward to better examine the items on the shelves. Along with dried herbs and oils, he found lanolin and glycerin and all other manner of ingredients. A basket of ribbons sat next to the empty jars.

What was the crème Cassandra had purchased? Some fashion of smoothing crème. And Sabine wanted his map. She too sought treasure, though of a different sort. She was after the fountain of youth, that had to be why she’d come in search of him.

He continued sifting through the shelves, but there were no secret texts or books or anything that would hint at what Sabine might know of the map.

Thus far his search had been futile. He should probably turn and leave. Chances were if Sabine had something to hide, she kept it upstairs in the living quarters and he couldn’t risk sneaking up there. But he’d never been able to walk away from a worthy puzzle, and it would seem that Sabine Tobias might be the most interesting mystery he’d come across in a long while.

He took steps toward the front of the shop. Perhaps there would be something hiding in those cupboards. The floor creaked beneath his weight. He stilled. There was yet another noise.

The doorknob jiggled from behind him. Someone else was trying to get in. Perhaps Miss Tobias returning home late from another game of chance? Quickly Max moved to the other side of the stairwell and hid in the narrow cubby beneath.

The door jerked open, and two men lumbered in. Max could hear a third voice outside the door. Three men, one outside to keep watch. Sabine Tobias' shop was certainly gaining in popularity. What a pity he hadn’t thought to bring along a couple of thugs himself. Max withdrew further into the shadows.

If he hadn't been certain before that Sabine Tobias was hiding something, now it seemed quite evident. From beneath the stairwell, Max couldn't see much of what the men were doing, but he could make out a few words of their hurried whispers. They didn't sound educated, and they didn't seem to know specifically what they were searching for. They'd obviously been hired to break into the shop. In Max’s experience, “employees” of that nature were highly unreliable. They took no personal interest in their assignments and generally proved to be rather unmotivated. Not to mention a bit dim. No doubt their search would not be thorough.

Max settled his back against the wall, prepared to simply wait them out. However, when the stairs above him shifted slightly, Max moved to the edge of the cubby to get a better glimpse. Delicate, pale ankles attached to feminine bare feet crept down the steps.

Bloody hell! Miss Tobias. Did the woman have no sense at all? What was she doing sneaking down to investigate? Surely she did not intend to fight off would-be thieves in nothing more than her nightrail.

He craned his neck, looking for the thugs in the unlit store room. Thank goodness, they were busy rifling through the cupboards. He positioned himself, and once the lady came within reach, he clamped a hand across her mouth and pulled her into his hiding place. Her muffled protests were punctuated by those delicate feet kicking into his shins. He stifled a groan of his own.

He turned her around to face him, careful not to uncover her mouth. Sabine Tobias stared up at him, her eyes wide and angry. He frowned at her, then leaned close to her ear.

"Kick me again, love, and I'll let the wastrels get you," he warned in a whisper.

Like what you've read? Well, you're in luck. One lucky reader will win an autographed advanced reading copy of Desire Me. All you have to do is tell me what Seduce Me is nominated for. (hint the answer is somewhere on my website....)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy (late) Valentine's Day

Did you have a great Valentine's Day? Did you get flowers, chocolate, or maybe a card that made you teary? :-)

I got one of my absolute favorite gifts--a bookstore gift card! Oh, sweet, sweet gift card!

Now, I get the chance to head out and find some great reads. Some wonderful happy endings that will make me smile for days.

I've been working on the page proofs for my first Grand Central release (DEADLY FEAR, available 07/27/2010), and as soon as I finish, I'll use that gift card to buy me some reward books. Because, yes, I believe in the reward system. As soon as I finish a project, I always reward myself by reading great books.

So tell me, what should I read? I'll be finished with the page proofs tomorrow and I can't wait to hit the bookstore. Give me some book recommendations!

And happy (late) Valentine's Day!

Cynthia Eden
DEADLY FEAR--Available 7/27/10
Face your fears.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Feelin' Good

There's a song I've always loved called Feeling Good. I first heard Sammy Davis Jr cover it(yes, I am giving away my age) when I was a teenager. It's about changing, about starting again. The refrain goes as follows:
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life for me
Feelin' good.

Kind of says everything about my first blog for Grand Central Cafe. Anybody who recognizes my name might know I've written a few forensic suspenses, some short stories and one romantic fantasy with Jen Cruise and Anne Stuart. If you know I also have a pseudonym, Kathleen Korbel, you'll know that I've also spent the better part of twenty years in contemporary romance, romantic suspense and again, romantic fantasy. Now, it seems, I'm moving off into another new direction. I'm wading right into historic romance.
It isn't a new story in publishing. We're always reinventing ourselves. Our muses have been known to skip around like toddlers in a park. Muses are like that. Certainly mine is. It might be because I'm a trauma nurse. We tend to be impatient and restless. It might be because I have ADD. It might be because I've always read every genre and wanted to write in them all. I guess it was only a matter of time before I stepped back in time.

So how did I arrive here? To tell the truth, I've been flirting with it forever. I love historical romance. I love the challenge of writing what is reallly a modern heroine within the limits of historical constraints. Okay, I even like the clothes. And my favorite period has always been the Regency era. Not just the Georgette Heyer and Austen Regency, the Richard Sharpe and Horatio Hornblower Regency. It's actually how I discovered the period. I'm from a family of 10, 7 of us men. I never knew who Shirley Temple was til she was a delegat to the UN. On the other hand, I know every movie John Wayne died in. So, yes, I love a little action. A bit of battle, a nefarious spy or two, a race against time. My problem was that I stunk at research.

It's only taken me twenty years to figure it out. Not only that, I learned to travel for research. Okay, maybe it's an excuse. But tell me what other job would encourage me to ride elephants in India and track fairies in Ireland. I can't think of anything I enjoy more, except writing the stories those experiences inspired.

So here I am, and my first book for Grand Central comes out in July. Entitled BARELY A LADY, it begins the DRAKE"S RAKES series with the story of Olivia Grace, who stumbles over her estranged husband on the battlefield of an enemy uniform. After that, things get complicated. Yes, there is a battle, and there are nefarious spies, and a couple who has been apart for four years, but never really stopped loving each other. It's about survival and loyalty and okay, it's about the undying passion one man has for the woman he loved. It moves from Waterloo to the ballrooms of Mayfair, and introduces some of my favorite characters I've ever written. And it has given me an excuse to return to England and Ireland this spring, and hopefully, soon, India, where I plan to climb the Himalayas and discover more characters.

So it's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me, and yes. I'm feeling good. As for the photo, you're just going to have to settle for that until I can get my cover up. But I figure that if you aren't already in love with Regency adventure, Sean Bean should get you there.