Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spotlight: STAKED by Sandra Edwards



Book Blurb:
Ava Valentine is a time-traveling bounty hunter from the distant future. She's chased her fugitive back to present-day New York City, where she anticipates an uneventful capture even though she's a little on edge because she's meeting a new contact.

Dexter Stone is a mysterious soldier of fortune who's agreed to take Ava to her bounty--for a fee. What Ava's not expecting is to get mixed up with a man she suspects is a vampire!

After a run-in with an unsavory character from Ava's past, she and Stone are forced into an uneasy alliance. But very soon she'll discover she could be Stone's saving grace--or his downfall.

Buy Links:

Review Snippets

"The stage has been set for a great series" --Bitten by Paranormal Romance

"These characters were witty, sexy and altogether great" --Readers Favorite Book Reviews

Author Bio:
Sandra is an award-winning author with eclectic tastes. She writes in a variety of genres such as paranormal (mostly time travel and reincarnation), contemporary, and suspense. Her books often push the envelope and step outside the boundaries of conventional romance. She lives in the U.S. (west coast) with her husband, two kids, four dogs and one very temperamental feline.



Excerpt for Staked:
She closed the car door with an easy push and surveyed the area. The night’s warm air held the faintest hint of a breeze. She just wasn’t sure if it was enough to fuel the goose bumps that’d begun to pebble her skin. To be on the safe side, she and Stone had better stick together.
Ava glanced over her shoulder at Stone strolling up the sidewalk about two paces behind her. “You think you could come inside with me?” she asked. He threw her suggestive look. She didn’t have the patience for his antics right now. “Look...I can’t say that sexing it up in a neglected john at some rest stop along the highway really turns me on.” She tried to project her impatience onto him with a glare. It must have worked because he rolled his eyes, drew a heavy breath and moved toward her. “Can you just go in there with me? These kinds of places give me the creeps.” It was best to let him think she needed a hero. But the truth was, if they were going to get backed into a corner, better to do it together. 
Stone moved in front of her, shaking his head. “No matter how long I live,” he said. “I’ll never understand women.”
“Right back at you,” she said with a bite to her tone.
Stone stopped at the door, cracked it open about a foot and scanned the interior before entering. After a second or two he pushed the door open and beckoned her to follow.
“You’re safe, my lady.” He fanned a grand gesture about the outer area of the ladies’ room. Clearly making fun of her.
Ava didn’t know why, but that wounded her ego. She headed straight for the sink and turned on the cold water. Luckily, it was instantly cold. She cupped her hands, filled them with the chilled water and splashed her face. Then she did it again for good measure. As she suspected, it didn’t do that much good.
She pivoted on her heel and moved toward the nearest stall. Slamming her hand, palm out, against the door, it thrust open. Once inside, she flipped the latch. It helped knowing the bathroom stall served as a kind of barrier between Ava and what tempted her. If she kept telling herself that, maybe she’d believe it by the time she was done.
She dropped her pants to her knees, well-aware of Stone’s presence and what she’d allow him to do without much persuasion on his part. She went about her business, hoping it’d distract her from the sexual attraction coursing through her body where it all seemed to be gathering beneath her belly.
This was so not good. Ava couldn’t afford to give herself to some vampire. Especially not this vampire. The one who could convince her to give up all her secrets with a mere touch.
Finishing up, she stood and pulled her pants back up around her waist.
“Ava...?” There was a certain sense of wariness in Stone’s voice. “You about done?”
“Yeah,” she said, pushing the stall’s door open. “Keep your shorts on.” She went to the sink to wash her hands.
“Listen,” he said softly, moving closer to her. “I don’t want to alarm you, but there’s trouble outside.”
“Trouble?” She turned off the water and shook her hands a couple of times before wiping them on her pants. “What kind of trouble?”
Their eyes met and for a second it looked like he might actually say the word vampire. But he didn’t. He kind of left that part out when he said, “Five or six of them. I don’t know if I can fight them all off, but I’ll stand a better chance in here...where we can’t be surrounded.” He wasn’t paying much attention to her. Instead he was canvassing the room, taking in every inch of it. Finally, when his gaze landed back on her, he gave a half smile. “I’ll do my best to keep you safe and get you out of this alive.”
She admitted the gesture was noble. Too bad the solution wasn’t appealing. Not as appealing as hers. “How much time do we have before they come in for us?” Ava pulled the Sun Stones’ pouch from her pocket.
“Five minutes,” he said, and she knew he was guessing. Hopefully he was close.
“I need you to trust me for now.” she said, opening the pouch. “Please text your friend. Tell him he and Mickey should meet us at the place Mickey and I talked about. We may need backup.” She poured the Sun Stones into her palm. “I know you  have questions. I’ll answer them all after I get us out of here.”
Ava laid the stones out in a circle large enough for both of them. Luckily, it wouldn’t take much concentration to get to the TRS, which is where she was required to take him since he wasn’t from her base year and had no knowledge of time travel—as far as she knew. She’d never taken anyone to her beachside paradise in the Time Relay Station. It was her sanctuary; the place she went when she needed some peace and quiet and didn’t have to worry about dangers of any sort.
Once the stones were laid out, she stepped inside the circle and beckoned him to join her, saying, “Wrap your arms around me and close your eyes.”
The moment his arms encased her she reciprocated, closed her eyes and laid her head on his chest. Ava imagined them in an embrace meant for a much more intimate exchange. She pictured them on the seaside deck of the beach house she’d created in the TRS. It was nighttime and a gentle summer’s breeze blew in from the ocean.
Ava heard Stone gasp as the transmission began. It started at her feet, sizzled up her body until it reached the top of her head and then cycled back down again.
Traveling through time feels like an electric shock to all Brokers but Ava, for her it was more like the tingling sensation that happens when your extremities fall asleep. She knew Stone felt none of the pain, but even so, it had to be one hell of an eye opener. And, one he hadn’t been prepared for.
But that was nothing. Wait until he figured out what was really going on.