Tis the season... And man, as ususal, it's full of hustle and bustle, sleepless nights and endless days. I barely got my tree up and it won't be long before I'm peeling away the ornaments and putting everything away. Christmas shouldn't be so stressful, but it is. Gifts for family and gifts for friends, teacher gifts and holiday parties. It seems never ending. When your kids can no longer tell you what they want for Christmas it means they probably have too much.
All that said, maybe it's time to break tradition. I know a lot of people travel over the holiday's, but that's usually to see family. When I say break tradition, I mean really break tradition. The gift of travel seems the most thoughtful thing I can think of to do for my children. They don't need stuff, they need memories that will last them a lifetime. I want to give them an experience, show them the world. Maybe it's a trip to the beach for kids that have never seen the ocean. Or, what about kids that have never really experienced snow. There's nothing like white powder falling from the sky. Sun and sand, snow and skiing, city life or country life and everything in between. The gift of seeing the world may be the best gift of all.
I've been knee deep in promoting SAYING YES. If you haven't read Eliza and Lake's story, you're missing out. Don't forget to sign up on Goodreads for one of the five autographed copies I am giving away at the end of the month! You have nothing to lose by signing up. I have opened it up to not only the US, but Canada and the U.K. I want my book in the hands of as many readers as possible, so bon voyage! May the odds be ever in your favor...
SAYING YES by Heather Miles (Goodreads Author)
Release date: Nov 23, 2015
Be the first to get a signed first release of SAYING YES by Author Heather M. Miles. Author of the MERGER Series with all five star reviews. Enter Giveaway
Availability:5 copies available, 248 people requesting
Giveaway dates:Dec 06 - Dec 31, 2015
Countries available:US, CA, and GB
CLAIMING EMERSON has taken a backseat to marketing and promoting SAYING YES, but I'm comitted to getting it completed over the next couple of weeks. Then of course it's all about editing, perfecting and polishing. Here's a little excerpt for you to sink your teeth in.
Claiming Emerson - The Beginning
“Em.” David greeted with a broad gleaming smile and a nod of his head. I could hear the clap of his patent leather shoes make time with my stiletto's as he followed behind me, eager to keep pace. The delicate train of my formal dress tickled the marble floor like the gentle sweep of a hushed whisper. I barely acknowledged David as I made my way across the foyer, but the singe of heat that blazed from his cerulean eyes singed my back.
Tonight was a big night for me, for him, for The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the benefactors and patrons that delved out thousands for the masquerade gala that was a year in the making and due to start in two hours. I’d been here for the last forty-eight hours without thought of food or sleep, only leaving this morning because it was demanded by my superiors. I was at the top of the food chain, but even I answered to the powers that be.
“Stunning…simply stunning.” Suddenly the only sound was the click of my heels. David had stopped, but I knew his eyes remained. I was cloaked in an emotion I knew well…desire and lust. “I need a drink,” he whispered, but not soft enough that I couldn’t hear. I knew the power I had over men and didn’t take it lightly. It’s what made me so sought after. But few in the day ever got a glimpse of what I became during the night. I kept it that way for a reason, always wearing conservative clothes, not prudish, but high fashion and modest - professional and classy, no hint of glamour, but simple refinement.
I ruled The Metropolitan Museum of Art as the youngest curator in history, with brilliance and charm, knowledge and an edginess that kept people hungry. My personal life was a complete mystery to my colleagues and friends, which was just the way I liked it. The way it had to be, part French, part English and all mystery. Every now and then they got a glimmer of a different me, which unbalanced the shroud I hid behind. Tonight was one of those nights. I was stepping from the shadows of modesty to use my power of persuasion to empty the pockets of the aristocrats, stars and socialites that deemed the event scene worthy. A flirtatious smile, a well played giggle and the sway of my hips, ever so subtle to the untrained eye, but no less effective on those who bought into the fantasy of me. It would have them reaching deep into their pockets and writing hefty checks, salivating for the new shining star of the second greatest museum on planet earth. I’d never forget the first.
The band warmed up in the distance as I made my way through the grand foyer, checking that every thing met my specifications. It was the second major event I’d helped orchestrate since my inception, but this time I was given free reign. From the featured cocktail, La Mystère, a jalapeno-infused, passion fruit and muddled lime margarita with a decadent kick, to the dark mystical interior that was as tantalizing as it was extravagant, the food opulent and the tablescapes over the top chic with silver challises, crystal stemware and sterling silverware. The chargers were lined in Swarovski crystals and dazzled like diamonds against the two thousand rows of twinkle lights that dangled from above. It was everything I wanted it to be and then some. It wowed. It spoke volumes for the affair: open your wallet or drop your pants, either way you’re about to be seduced.
I stood looming over the top of the red carpet that lined the stairs, men and women were working frantically to make sure everything was in perfect order. At a thousand dollars a plate, it had to come off without a hitch. Discerning guests knew the difference. I took a cathartic breath, pleased with the outcome, then turned into the face of the one person I never expected to see. My heart stopped from the sheer shock of his radiant smile.
“You’re unmasked,” he said in a low husky purr that curled around me like soft velvet. A voice so familiar and enchanting, years slipped away, the past now present before me as I breathed in the beautiful sight of him.
“As are you.” I pointed out.
He slipped on the jet black mask that marred his beauty with a terrifying erect nose that slopped down towards his tender, rose tainted lips. It was very Eyes Wide Shut and I almost hated that he had to hide his face. I admired the fine sculpting of his jawline and cheekbones, his deep set eyes and the five o’clock shadow that never failed to make you want to eat him alive. Heat singed my insides.
“You couldn’t look more beautiful.” With a tantalizing grin, he stuck his finger in the air and gestured for me to spin around for his perusal. I complied without a word, savoring the heat of his admiration. He nodded with approval and a blush swept over my cheeks. “I’m sure the others don’t know quite what to make of you like this.”
He was right. I’d left most of the staff that was familiar with me in complete awe. They were scurrying by me at a clipped pace and then when it donned on them who I was, their jaws dropped and they could only smile and nod their approval, too embarrassed to ogle. I was grateful for my position. I didn’t want to entertain questions. David was already going to be a challenge. I’d thwarted his advances since I arrived in New York, tonight was only going to make it worse. I had a hard fast rule about mixing business with pleasure, but there were a couple of instance where I’d crossed that line and one of them was standing before me.
“You could say that.” I lifted the mask that had dangled from my hand for the last hour and went to slip it on, but not before he wove his hand in mine and pulled me closer. I thought he was going to kiss me and as much as I yearned to feel his lips on mine, a sense of panic washed over me, but either he knew better or his mask rendered him incapable. He stopped short, but I could see the twist of his perfect lips rise with awareness. I softened my stance and relaxed into his touch. The smell of his cologne washed over me like a sensual flood. I closed my eyes and inhaled him - lust, passion, history. It was all there in the musky cedar and spice that cloaked his skin. I wanted to taste his mouth, his skin.
“Midnight. The Four Seasons.”
I opened my eyes and sank into the pools of liquid amber that always cast a spell over me. “I can’t.”
“You can and you will.”
I shouldn’t, but I would. He was one of two people that held any power over me. I didn’t concede to come, but I didn’t have to, he knew I’d be there.
“Put your mask on, Emerson. I don’t like sharing you with the world.” It was a command. I stared into his sultry eyes, challenging him like I always did. A band of heat that felt something like pain tightened across my chest when he used my full name. But I knew it was for my own protection. In this environment we were acquaintances. Regardless, it felt like a chink in my armor, but I tried my hardest to act unaffected. Or so I thought, but he could read me. We’d been dancing this dance for so long now that I knew the steps with my eyes closed. A tantalizing waltz we’d mastered long ago.
“Stop it.” His eyes pierced mine and for a split second I wanted him to pull me into his arms and reassure me that everything was alright. Had it ever been? “I won’t ever call you, Eme, in public.”
I nodded in understanding, though it didn’t hurt any less. He ran the back of his knuckles over my cheek, tenderly. It was far to intimate, but I didn’t care. I shut my eyes and inhaled. “You’re so beautiful.” He took the feather and crystal embellished mask that was custom created to match my dress and held it up to examine it. “Exquisite.” It dazzled under the shimmering waves of light. “But it still pales in comparison to you, my love,” he said, teasing his bottom lip with his tongue. My breath caught in my chest as I stared at him in wide-eyed wonder. He was mesmerizing in every sense of the word. The mere sight of him had me wanton and he played into that desire, stroking my need with delicate innuendo. He slipped the mask over my eyes then tied the raven silk ribbons at the back of my head, securing it with a loose pin that held up part of my hair. Then, without thought or concern, he curled his finger in a loose fiery tendril that cascaded down my neck. A shiver ran down my spine and a spark of heat set my heart racing. He let it go and stepped around me so that we were eye to eye. “Midnight. I’ve waited long enough.”
He had…we had.
With that, he turned and walked away, melding into the pooling crowd that had started to filter into the mystical space. Each person hidden behind the beautiful fanfare of custom masks, couture ball gowns and tailored tuxedo’s, masquerading behind secrets. None bigger than mine. None bigger than me.
Have a wonderful holiday season. Whether it's at home or on the road, stay safe and surround yourself with family and love.
Lot's of surprises for 2016. Think...Josh and K.K.!
As always...stay tuned in and turned on!
Heather M. Miles