It isn't often I host another writer on my blog, but I'm pleased to welcome Icy Snow Blackstone, a writer of fantasy romance. In this and another guise she has 26 novels in print and ebook. Her latest, Gypsy Charm is out tomorrow from Class Act Books.
When Lisa Carpenter befriends the gypsy Mrs. Lee, she doesn’t realize what a chain of events she’s set into motion. The girl has a soft heart, that’s all there is to it. She pays for the groceries the old woman’s accused of stealing. And she takes Lisa back to her camper, where she’s introduced to grandsons Isaac and David, two gorgeous muscular hunks complete with golden earrings. They move with the grace of panthers stalking prey, their touch when they shake hands with Lisa leaves her skin tingling. There’s another gorgeous earringed hunk there also…Mrs. Lee’s cat, Tomas. When Lisa leaves Mrs. Lee’s, she takes two things with her: a magic charm, good for one wish, and Tomas as her bodyguard, though she isn’t aware of that gift.
Once Lisa discovers Tomas has followed her home, their association doesn’t begin very auspiciously. The first thing the hapless feline does is get himself mauled by a neighbor’s Great Dane. A scratchy visit to the vet and another dip into Lisa’s paycheck saves the day, but then Tomas has to win over roommate Annie who has definite ideas concerning stray cats, and one of them involves neutering, so the two definitely don’t hit it off. Nevertheless, Tomas takes his assignment very seriously, and sticks to it, being on guard against Annie and sharp instruments. He’s going to protect Lisa…from over-amorous boyfriends, and anyone else who threatens.
One thing Tomas can’t protect Lisa from is her own dreams…or does he have a hand…uh, paw…in those, too? The night after he arrives, Lisa’s sleep is invaded by the image of a man whose face she can’t see…a man moving with animal grace…a man over whom the shadow of a giant cat hovers. He knows her; he believes she knows him. He says she’s the only one who can save him…
Tomas was going on his self-appointed rounds.
He'd gotten a good look at the layout of the house while Annie washed the pizza dishes, and now—while those two were out of the way—he was making certain the house was secure. Protecting Lisa. Just as Mrs. Lee ordered.
Studying the kitchen door, he gave a cat-nod. Okay, backdoor shut and locked. Trotting briskly into the living room, he looked at the two windows opening onto the front lawn. Hmmm, better check that left one. He scampered over, standing on hind paws to tap the bottom of the sash with a front paw. Good, shut tight. The front door was locked also.
So...that leaves only the bedrooms...
For just a moment, he stood there, looking from Annie’s room with its open door to Lisa’s on the opposite side of the living room. Which one to check first? Tomas didn’t really want to bother with Annie. That neutering remark still rankled. The girl was rude, sharp-tongued, and had made some pretty crude comments. What does she eat for breakfast, anyway? Cactus?
Sauntering cautiously over to the open door, he peeped in.
A few steps brought him to the bedroom window. A quick swipe at the curtains knocked them out of the way to reveal the sash in place and locked. So far, so—
“Hey, what are you doing in here?” Annie appeared in the bathroom doorway, toothbrush in hand, mouth smeared with white foam.
Uh-oh! Tomas backed away. He stared at her face, eyes wide. My God, she’s foaming at the mouth!
“What's the matter? Haven’t you ever seen anyone brush her teeth before?” Annie spluttered toothpaste as she spoke. Tomas turned his head, making an odd disjointed little sound sounding suspiciously like laughter. Cat laughter.
“Get out of here!” Picking up a pillow, she swatted at him, and as he galloped for the safety of the living room, tossed it back on the bed and returned to the bathroom.
Okay. Fine. Tomas watched her disappear inside Let someone break in and steal you. See if I care...
...but he knew he’d better not let that happen. Mrs. Lee had entrusted him—not Isaac or David—and for a very good reason, and he’d better not screw up this time. Turning his back, he stalked with feline dignity into Lisa’s room.
Gypsy Charm will be available from Class Act Books on March 15, 2011. http://www.classactbooks.com.