#Daily Bite #Unforgotten Touch-Part 2

Calum held the young woman to his chest, his hand disappearing in the mass of red hair that fell down her back. As if in slow motion, he brushed her lips with his. A tentative kiss as if she was a precious vessel to be tested first. Her thin arms crept up his chest and pale fingers wrapped in the hair at the nape of his neck. They moved closer, each using the claim on the others body to accomplish the goal.

Check out Unforgotten Touch – Part 1 on Amazon.

Unforgotten Touch – Part 1 – Good deal for the Reader…Good deal for the Author…Good deal for Amazon?

Unforgotten Touch has gone live on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited this AM. This is my book about time travel, one of my favorite types of reads. I’ve broken Unforgotten Touch in ‘parts’ and will debuting Part 2 in approximately 2 months.

I debated on doing this but felt since Unlimited is a flat fee where the reader pays $10.00 a month to read as many books as they want (able to download 10 books at a time)…for $0.99 this was a decent deal. And it’s a good book.

My question is, what would keep an author from doing this and placing a price more like $2.99? The reader wouldn’t care if it was $10.99, they’re only paying $10.00 for as many books as they can read. There has to be a catch as Amazon would go broke with that scenario. Well not broke maybe but it would put a dent in the funds.

I do know the reader has to read at least 10% of the book or the author does not get paid. The payment comes out of a worldwide pool that Amazon has to pay authors…but how is the payment given on the price the author sets up? I’m not sure but will soon find out once I make some sells and will update this post with my findings.

For now, if you are in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited…check out Unforgotten Touch and let me know what you think.

Here’s the blurb to arouse your curiosity–hopefully.


 

Lizzie had been haunted by visions of an unknown man for the last five years. Visions so vivid she felt the salt on her skin and smelled the musk of his scent as they stood on the bow of the ship.

When her parents were killed in an accident, they leave her an envelope containing one sentence. “Scotland is your past and only there will you find your future.”

Desperate to discover the connection between her visions and the note, Lizzie begins the search for a past she can’t remember and the future she may have already lived.

Will her search lead her to Scotland and into the arms of a man who demands her loyalty–even though she has no memory of him?

Scene 2 – 911 for Love

The music tones down–sorta. U2 plays With or Without You overhead. I’ve always admired them as a performers, especially since dogs howl when I sing.

“What’s he still doing here?” Tracy speaks in a low tone behind me.

I hold my finger up and continue to watch the scrub count sponges. Last thing I need is to have a miscount with Dr. Winstead. He’s been professional but aloof. With me. Not with anyone else.

“Thirty-one.” Sadie glances up from the bloody cloths laying on the sheet she’s spread out on the floor.

“Correct.” I check off the sign-off sheet for sponge count and give an inward sigh of relief.

Dr. Winstead asks from the patient’s shoulder he’s dressing. “Everything okay?”

Tracy scurries over to him. “You know I’ve got your back.” She pressed herself against his arm. “Anything else you want me to cover?”

Fire races across my face so hot it has to be a preview to menopause. Has she no shame?

Tracey faces me when I pivot around to check the supplies to make sure everything we need is present for the next scheduled surgery. “He never dresses his patient’s. That’s what the underdogs live for. That and to hold retractors.”

The electric doors open. “I’m here to do the deed,” a smooth voice announces. I glance over my shoulder to see a dude with biceps winning the war with the sleeves of his scrubs. His eyes travel from the top of my surgical cap to my black cogs. “You must be the new nurse I heard about.”

“I must be.”

“You ready to roll?” He nods his head toward my patient with his shoulder wrapped up like a new Christmas present.

Tracy pulls the clip board from my hand. “Go on. I’ve got Mr. Comstock packed up. I’ll finish. You give report to recovery.”

I notice she has her mask off and follow suit. “Okay.”

I’ve given reports to recovery room nurses for the last three years, but I’m nervous. First time by myself on this job. I have forgotten what it’s like to have to prove yourself. From the techs to the doctors. My chest rises and falls. Show time.

A brisk tap on my shoulder brings my attention to a set of the whitest teeth I do believe I’ve ever seen. This dude has to bleach every morning. “Gerald’s my name and singin’ is my game.” A hand as large a a softball mitt extends toward me. He drops into a squat and places his hand on his heart, crooning the lyrics of the U2 song playing.

A grin creeps over my face. “Have you tried out for American Idol?”

Gerald stands and leans in. “It’s on my bucket list.”

“Well let me know as I will definitely give you my vote.” I move to the stretcher and grip the side rail at the foot of the bed. “Rock and roll.”

He struts with the grace of a dancer though his body is built like a linebacker to the head of the bed. “All the time.”

The OR doors slid open as we approach, and we turn toward the recovery room at the end of the hall. Dr. Winstead leans against the hospital green wall opposite us and kicks off then slides up across from me with a firm grip on the rail. Unable to stop, I give him a questioning look then glance away. It took no more than a split second to recognize the slate gray eyes wasn’t the only thing captivating about him. Keep your mind on your job Alexandra McIntosh.

The bluesy melody Summertime comes from Gerald, and the words hush pretty baby drifts over my patient from my right. A prefect blend of steamy male voices. My stomach squeezes. Gotta be hunger. There was no time for breakfast, and this surgery went way past my allocated lunch time.

“Sing it Doc.” The stretcher does a small push-pull, and I pivot my face toward my transport tech. He winks. “You sing?”

I grin back. His mood is infectious. “So-so, if you like the neighborhood dogs to howl.”

Gerald tilts his head back, and a low rumble of laughter lets loose. He pins me with eyes so dark you could fall into them and drown, loving every minute of it. “Girl, I can teach the Tasmanian devil to sing. We got it covered.”

Snippet from Going Native

The wool blanket I’d dropped on the chair kept the cold from biting through my flannel PJ bottoms. One brisk stir of the fire to kick up some warmth and I raised the violin. My mood wanted to go with sad and melancholy. The song Scars came easily. The words and instrument moaned in harmony. Scars deep and angry on skin, scars that branded the heart, scars giving evidence to where I had been. I stood and moved, lost in a world of memories I couldn’t be free of.

From off to my left, someone began to sing in a soft baritone. I dropped forward with a slow deep note and turned. Bailey walked toward me. His scarred face was minus the winning smile I’d watched all day and some of the night. God this song was the descriptive words of the destruction of his beauty. I faltered.

“Play. Please.”

I started once more. He stood across from me but it was if he was inside me. If I had moments of doubt as I watched him flirt with the multitude of women who’d surrounded him today, they were gone. My eyes watched him move to where I stood. He sang for both of us. The song came to the last stanza, and I pulled the notes out slowly, not wanting to break the spell. In silence we studied each other now no more than a few feet apart.

I lowered the violin. “You understand.” The words were a mere whisper. I stepped closer and trailed my finger along the white scar on his face. My heart clutched in my chest. “I’m sorry,” my hand dropped, “I shouldn’t have done that.”

His fingers wrapped around my wrist. “No, it’s okay.” He pushed the sleeve of my jacket up … all the while our eyes dueled. His willing me to share and mine refusing. A trail of warmth traced the scars on my wrist just as I had traced the one on his face. “I do understand.”

##

My arm was stretched out on my legs, my wrist in Bailey’s hands. The melody still sang in my mind though my violin was back in its case. Bailey’s knees butted up against mine as we faced each other, the dying embers giving off little comfort.

Eyes cast downward, I whispered, “How did you know?”

“Good guess. Heard you playing that song.” He moved, and I watched him through my lowered lashes pivot his face to look out into the encroaching darkness. “There was too much of you when you played.”

“Like when you sang.”

His brown finger brushed over my pale scarred wrist. “Yea. Plus, once I was a native,” his body rocked with a soft snort, “I become more aware of the young native women. I started to hire them for my club.” He shrugged as if in apology for not hiring them before. “They were really good kids for the most part. But some of the ones that Gabby asked me to hire … sometimes they seemed to have this veil of sadness that dropped over them. I knew some had been hookers, all of the baggage that can go with that life, so I attributed it to the lifestyle they’d come out of.” Bailey raised his blues, even in the shadows I could see the black rim encasing them. “Then one night, after we closed, one of the girls came and told me another waitress was in the bathroom messed up. She was locked in a stall … crying. I knew I could break down the door, but I tried talking first.”

“Was she okay?”

“She wasn’t overdosing or anything like that. Just sad–the deep down kind. When she opened the door, we talked right there. Her on the commode, me on an upside down trash can.” He took a deep breath and looked at my wrist. “She said she needed to cut.”

I stilled. This was all too familiar.

His face resembled a scarred angel doing God’s work–saving. “I didn’t tell her she shouldn’t. Hell, who was I to tell her she couldn’t. I’d considered worse at first. We just talked. And talked.” His dimples deepened as he smiled, eyes looking at something I couldn’t see. “She’s an assistant manager at the club now. She and Gabby became friends. I think that has really helped her. Gabby’s on a mission you know.”

“The strip.”

“She took you.” It was a statement, not a question.

“Couple of weeks back.” Unsure of how much Bailey knew, I offered no more. If there was more to be shared about her rescue missions, it wasn’t coming from me.

“Do you still do it?” He nodded toward my wrist in his hand.

My heart fluttered at the warmth of his touch. Confusion over this physical response edged in. I kept my face tucked toward my chest. There was no way I could look at him. Hocking knew, but only because he’d stumbled upon me by the lake one evening after I had cut myself. Father had kept me in the room for three days, the longest I’d ever been punished. My wrist were swollen and chaffed from the shackles. I needed to cover them, to remove the evidence of his cruelty. Hocking was at first shocked then furious. It only made me want to do it more, to silence all the words in my head. Hocking’s as well as mine.

“Do you?” he urged.

My response stuck in my throat. Breathe. “Not anymore.” In the darkness ugly was easier to share. “I haven’t since I was fifteen. It … it was a bad situation. Things happened, and it was how I dealt.” My breath hitched. Tanner stood behind Bailey on the edge of light the dying fire afforded us, a cascade of emotion across his face. Jealously? I slid my hand out of Bailey’s.

 

Song that helped inspire this scene: Scars

 

All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree – James Madison

Cyrus Keith

Ever meet someone and know, right off the bat, you’re really going to like them?  And, once the conversation starts in earnest, delightfully, there aren’t any of the awkward pauses usually experienced with someone you just met.  I was blessed with such a meeting a few weeks ago.

Myself and fellow writer, Laurie A. May, went to Buffalo Texas (halfway between Dallas and Houston for those not in the know – I jest) to meet with Cyrus Keith. Cyrus was in Texas and willing to drive another couple of hours, after being on a plane for several, to meet with us.  It was a delightful evening and, in my opinion, way too short. 

We discussed jobs, writing, our children (all two-legged–though some have feathers), writing, our past lives, writing…you get the picture.  As I sat in this road-side Texas BBQ restaurant listening to a man who shared so freely about himself, I knew he was the real deal.  What you see is what you get with Cyrus Keith.  A warm, kind man with a wide range of experiences in his life and a possessor of a great sense of humor.  And, as a side note, a very expressive face.  The one thing I walked away with after meeting Cyrus–his willingness to share.  The sharing of his life, ideas concerning his books and, most importantly, his life lessons. 

What are life lessons you ask?  Well, some people call them mistakes.  I call them life lessons if we take them and learn from them.  If we use them to better ourselves and, hopefully, others by enriching their lives.  Mistakes–big and small we all make.  Life lessons–some of us use for the greater good.  Some authors do this.  They weave these life lessons into their books to add a texture, a taste, to their writing.  Cyrus Keith, in my opinion, does just that. 

Our evening ended with goodby embraces, pictures and knowing I had found someone I would want to follow as a reader and a friend.  What more could one ask?

Publisher: Muse It Up Publishing – https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/
 
Becoming NADIA Release date: April 1st, 2011.
Unalive Release date: August 1st, 2011.
Critical Mass Release date: pending.
 

“It’s only one more little white lie.”
 
There’s only one thing that pretty, popular TV reporter Nadia Velasquez is missing: her memory from before the explosion that killed everyone else in the room, including the President of Nigeria. But from the moment she meets FBI agent Jon Daniels, all hell breaks loose. Friends turn into deadly enemies overnight, and she has no idea who she can trust anymore.
 
When Jon and Nadia investigate further, they discover the living terror that is the truth behind Nadia’s existence, a truth that could mean the death of millions.
 

Cyrus was kind enough to share an excerpt (unedited).
 
By the time they reached D’Antini’s, Nadia knew she was in the company of a friend. They made small talk while they waited for the maitre d’ to find them a table in the middle of the sumptuous dining room, and she almost forgot about having to explain herself to her station staff.
The appetizers were amazing, if unidentifiable. Nadia asked what was in them and Jon just smiled and held up a hand. “You really don’t want to know.”
Nadia almost spit out the latest mouthful, but thought twice about it as she looked around. This was too nice a place to be so rude. Her eyes grew wide in mirth as she tried to laugh around it, and almost choked trying to get it down. She grabbed her water-glass and took a drink, waving a hand at her face.
“You jerk,” she laughed softly, when her mouth became free. “All right, seriously now, do you take every woman who faints in your arms to a place this fancy?”
“No,” he answered, “just those who remind me of a dear friend.” The smile faded from his face and he became pensive for several seconds. Then he placed a couple more appetizers on her salad plate. “Here,” he said, suddenly brightening. “Have some more…brown, crusty…things.”
She chuckled again, pushing the plate away. “No, thanks. A moment on the lips….” She let the rest of the cliché fade away while she rearranged her napkin in her lap, trying to buy some time before she had to plow ahead. “So why am I here with you? Because you’re concerned for me or because I remind you of someone else?”
“That is an entirely unfair question, Miss Velasquez. I was wondering that very thing myself. Maybe a little bit of both. Is that okay?”
“How did you know my last name?” she asked. It was not as if she were a necessarily private person, it was mainly that she was hoping he would not recognize her from television. She was already AWOL. She may as well put in her resignation as soon as she got back to ‘Frisco.
“I heard you lie to ‘Steve’, whoever that is. When you talked about an interview with a president, I pegged you right off the bat. I’ve been to the West Coast on business a few times.”
“That’s where you saw me before. Well, that answers that, then.”
“No, it doesn’t.” Jon looked at Nadia again, the piercing gaze locked on her face. “There’s something else, and I can’t explain it yet. Just less than four years ago I lost my best friend and her family….”
“Oh, I must look like her, then—”
He cut her off. “How’s Phillip?”
Nadia’s hand stopped halfway to her water-glass. She felt paralyzed. The blood drained from her face, leaving it ice-cold. The memory reconnected like a switch in her mind. The question trickled weakly out between her lips, her voice quavering. “Who’s Phillip?”
Jon’s voice took on a steely edge. He wasn’t becoming hostile, just insistent, but insistent in a way that made her feel like she was being peeled away, layer by layer under a microscope. “You know full well who Phillip is.”
Her hand began to tremble, then to shake violently. She remembered someone telling her, “It took twenty-three surgeries just to reconstruct your face.” Her breath came in gasps; her voice seemed to keep getting weaker. Phillip. Phillip was– She found herself unable to get up, incapable of walking away, too terrified to run, like a bird in the gaze of a snake. “What are you talking about?”
“Why did you skip out on your flight, Nadia? Why did you come to the Staley’s at 42nd and Lexington? Why at that particular time?”
The questions began to gush from Jon’s mouth one right after another, and Nadia had no chance to answer any individual one. He was getting more agitated as he went, until Nadia thought he would reach over the table and strangle her right there in public. “Why did you order a double-decaf-mochaccino latté with a cinnamon stick? Why did you know my nickname and then faint as soon as you recognized me? Why are we sitting here right now while the chef in the kitchen prepares Steak Hélène rare, and before the appetizers came you were doodling Betty Boop figures on your napkin and playing with your left ear?” Twenty-three surgeries. “Nobody has called me ‘Jake’ since I was ten, except for her and my mom. And you absolutely hate Merlot, don’t you?”
 Nadia’s hand never made it to the water-glass. She couldn’t think. A sound roared in her head like ten thousand voices screaming in terror, and an icy spear of fear shot through her chest. She felt the tears begin to roll down her face, and her chest heaved as she gasped for breath.
She hoped with everything inside her that no one else was watching these two terrified people having this horrible, strange confrontation. Her vision started to close in again, but she fought it off. As it was, she nearly fell out of her chair. Her voice was strange and weak. “Do…do you know who I am?”

————————————————————————————-

PS: He also plays a really mean guitar.

 

“The truth is all men having power ought to be mistrusted.” James Madison (1751-1836)