It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. - Seneca

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Excerpt from HOLDING ON TO HEAVEN ...

Set-up: Ah, the romance and strong attraction begin. Creed and Lauren race against one another. Here's their thoughts before the horse race and the events that happen during it.

Through the pounding heartbeat in Lauren’s ears she realized she wanted him, wanted him like she’d never wanted another. Damn, had she lost her mind? The man reeked danger and abandon, would take her body in the blink of an eye and, no... it wouldn’t be in the blink of an eye. It would be wild and crazy and passionate, all the things she’d yearned for, craved, in the dark solace of her dreams. Lord, how she wished she’d never laid eyes on the decadent man.

Brand’s calm voice pulled her from her tumultuous thoughts. “Time for that race, Lauren.” He rose and offered her his arm. “I’m placing my money on you.”

“I wouldn’t advise that.”

“You can beat Creed. Concentrate, and no matter how much you want to see if he’s about to run you over, don’t look back.”

She chewed on the inside of her cheek and nodded. “It’s going to take a miracle to win, isn’t it?”

“Miracles happen every day.” He brought his fingers to her face and brushed her cheek. “Ride like you rode against me today and you have a chance.”

An indefinable feeling snaked through Creed’s gut when Brand walked forward with Lauren. Anna pressed her voluptuous breasts into Creed's side and wished him luck, but he scarcely heard her words. Tired of Anna’s continual demands of late, the time had come for them to go separate ways. He’d known Anna for years, but only in the last several months had he succumbed to her fleshy curves. The woman had tried every wile known to female to rein him in, and all had failed. Although warm and eager, Anna had never held his interest for more than an hour or two. He realized now no woman had ever intrigued him like Lauren McCain.

He had tried to ignore the jolt of lust rushing through his veins when she watched him during the meal. It had taken all his reserve to act detached while she sat beside his brother flashing her cat-like eyes. He didn’t like the feelings she aroused in him. They left him sullen and edgy. Jesus, what in hell was wrong with him? He barely knew the she-cat with a tongue sharper than barbs.

Now, with every step she took toward him, the blood rushed to his groin. He wasn’t prepared for the vision she presented, the snug riding pants and filmy blouse. A dark brown ribbon held her hair at her nape and tumbled down her back in a veil of burnished copper. The color of those silky tresses reminded him of autumn leaves. Her eyes were brown and slanted up at the corners. Above them, her brows were perfect and articulated her mood with an arch or a downward slant. How had he missed that nuance when he committed to memory the other lovely features of her face?

Tall for a woman and thinner than smoke, he longed to run his hands down the small of her back, her perfect bottom and . . . hell, he had to stop thinking about fucking her all the time. He meant to beat her in the race, and beat her he would. Smiling to himself, he savored the thought of what it would be like to take her down a notch from her lofty perch. Only then would that smirk be wiped from her face—the I’m-better-than-you-sneer she loved to flaunt.

“Miss McCain, I hope you haven’t gorged yourself.” Inwardly, Creed smiled when color stained her cheeks. “I’d hate to see your mount weighted down for the final race.”

“Don’t worry about Adobe or me.” She spat the words and mounted. “We’re more than ready to leave you in our dust.”

The gold flecks in her eyes sparked. For a brief moment he forgot about the crowd and longed to yank her from the saddle and introduce her back to the dust she spoke of.

“To your success.” Creed raised his tankard of ale, downed it and set it on the ground near his feet. 

He spoke to Mason as he swung a leg over the saddle, his words confident and bold. “Let’s be about it then.”

The crowd broke into rowdy whistles and then fell silent at Mason’s words. “On the count of three. One...two...three!”

The horses bolted at the retort of the pistol. Adobe and Creed’s black mare ran neck and neck to the opposite end of the field. Thick clumps of sod flew through the air from Adobe’s hooves as he sailed over the bundles in perfect sync with Creed’s mount. He dragged his gaze from her expert riding skills and concentrated on the race.

Someone obviously had warned her not to look over her shoulder. She rode low, close to the stallion’s mane her lush body one with the horse. The very air enveloping them groaned with a competitive edge he’d never felt before. The spitfire intended to beat him at any cost.

Although fleet of foot, his mare lacked size against the stallion. When they reached the bales at the far end of the field, his time had come to overtake her. Her stallion navigated the crazy-eight with ease, and so did the mare. His moment was at hand. As the mounts crossed over and headed for opposite sides, she dug her heels into Adobe’s side and drove him into the mare’s withers. His horse stumbled to her stifles, her frightened whinnies echoing through the air. Lauren pressed on without as much as a backward glance.

The mare found her footing and like her rider, rage spurned her onward. She made up for the precious lost seconds the reckless stunt had cost them, but not enough to charge over the finish line before the stallion.

The crowd went wild as the riders swept past them in a swirling haze of dust. Damn, the cheating bitch had won. Halting near the corral, Lauren dismounted and bolted from her mount.

Creed dogged her heels, so close, he saw her knees quake. “You cheated!” He advanced and poked an accusatory finger into her chest. “You could have killed me with that crazy stunt you pulled!”

She backed away, visibly shaken. “Whatever are you talking about? You lost, fair and square.”

He screamed so loud, she jumped. “Liar!”

“Your clumsy mount lost her footing and plowed into Adobe!” Their gazes locked, and in that infinitesimal moment, he lost pace with his breathing. “You, Creed Gatlin,” she said her voice quavering. 

“Were bested by a mere woman so live with it.”

“You’re no woman.” He didn’t know if he wanted to ring her slender neck or toss her to the ground and slam into her until she admitted that she cheated. “You’re a spoiled little bitch!”

An audible gasp fell from her lips, brown eyes narrowed.

“You could never beat me fair and square and you know it.” He struggled to control his emotions. She’d beaten him in the race, albeit by cheating, but why did he sense she was beating him again now?

Her bottom lip trembled and he became aware of her childlike vulnerability, and his potent desire for her. The cutting remarks, the bold, confident persona were nothing more than a façade on her part. Her nearness sent his senses reeling―the scent of woman, horse and leather adding to the roaring chaos in his head. She stumbled on the words she tried to speak and tears filled her eyes.

“Leave, now,” he said. “Before I do something we’ll both regret.”

She raised her dainty chin and held his eyes for an eternity. Then her long lashes swept down across her cheeks before she bustled past him in a cloud of dust. 

Visit Keta's Keep -


Keta will be giving away an E- copy of  DUST AND MOONLIGHT  and an E-copy of SOJOURN WITH A STRANGER to TWO lucky commenter's! Two winners will be chosen at Random once the SPOTLIGHT is over. Winner to be chosen on December 24th, 2011

How to enter- 
Please leave a comment on any of the SPOTLIGHT posts. You MUST leave your E-mail address to be eligible. No E-mail- No entry!

Good luck!! AND Happy Holidays!!

Stop by tomorrow to WATCH the TRAILER for HOLDING ON TO HEAVEN ...


Keta Diablo said...

Hey ladies,

thanks so much for the wonderful promotion. I know it's hard to get peeps to stop by the week of Christmas. Note to self for next year.

But I've been blasting it on my twitter and telling everyone that YOU CHICKIES ROCK!

Thanks for all you've done to help promote Holding On To Heaven.

Good luck to all who enter the contest

My best, Keta

Sigal Tzoore said...

Love the excerpt but the links didn't work. Wanted to keep reading....

hotcha12 said...


Chicks of Characterization said...

Hi Keta! It has been an honor helping you prommote "Holding on to Heaven!"

Yes, actually it has been tough trying to get "commenters" to stop by since around Thanksgiving.

Sigh* We have plenty of vistors but not allot of people actually commenting. :O(

Thanks again for the compliment! It's been our pleasure featuring you and your books!

Hopefully it gained you a bit more attention!

Thanks again!!


Chicks of Characterization said...

Hi Sigal,

Thanks so much for stopping by! So glad that you loved the excerpt, and I apologize about the link. They are working now! I hope you stop by tomorrow to watch the trailer!!

Chicks of Characterization said...

Hey Hotcha! Thanks for being such a faithful follower!!!

Alexa said...

Great excerpt! Congrats on the book and good luck with your sales. I'll be back tomorrow for the trailer!

Renee Vincent said...

Wow, now that was an excerpt! Loved that the guy lost the race to a woman and that his pride wouldn't let him believe anything less that her cheating.

Love the cover of this book too!
Wishing you all the best, Keta!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Fantastic excerpt!! Exciting and fun! I'd love to read more!
author (at) vondasinclair (dot) com

Angela Johnson said...

WOW, what a great excerpt.I loved getting to know more about you and your writing, Keta. The Civil War era is one my favorite time periods. I'll definitely be reading your books.

Sarah Hoss said...

Great excerpt and who doesn't love the Civil War era.

Good luck in your future!

Beth Trissel said...

Hello Keta! *Beth waving. It's good to see you here on Andrea and Corrina's lovely blog. I love the title of your new book, and it sounds terrific. We could all use some heaven.

Maeve Greyson said...

Wow! Keta, your newest book sounds like a MUST READ to me. I'm glad I decided to unwind after a string of holiday parties by visiting a few blogs. It's not too late for me to give Hubby a "book-buying" wish list! Happy holidays!

Clancy said...

Sounds good! Christmas is busy and a hard time to blog I'm sure. Good Luck!!!
clancym13 (at) gmail (dot) com

Sky Purington said...

Well, you know I think you rock, Keta! When are you going to get over to my blog for a feature? *grins* Love to have you.

Can't wait to check out your latest. BTW, you were one of Helen Hollick's winners last week. Gotta love those pirates. Woot! She said she'd be in contact after Christmas.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!!!

Andrea, love you hun! Merry, merry Christmas to you and your whole family!!! xoxo

Dana Rodgers said...

Great excerpt! Congratulations and good luck with sales! Have a wonderful holiday!

BJ Scott said...

Wow! sounds like a great book.

Great excerpt. Makes me want to

A.W. McQueen said...

This looks like a fabulous book! I loved the excerpt! I will definitely have to pick this one up and put it on the must read list.

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