Monday, January 31, 2011

Help Egyptian author Olivia Gates

As you know, protests are taking place in Egypt and the government has shut down internet communication. Author Olivia Gates, who lives in Egypt, has a February 1 release by Harlequin Desire called To Tempt a Sheikh. We'd like to get out the word about her book since Olivia cannot.

Please help us by posting the information below on your blog, your Facebook page or by tweeting a link to Olivia's home page. Just copy and paste the text below and this cover by right clicking your mouse. Let's support an author who cannot access the internet to promote her book.

To Tempt a Sheikh by Olivia Gates

He rescued hostage Talia Burke from his royal family's rival tribe and swept her into his strong embrace. But Prince Harres Aal Shalaan soon discovered there was more to the brave beauty than he knew. Talia held information vital to protecting his beloved kingdom…and she had every reason not to trust him.

Marooned together at a desert oasis, Talia couldn't resist Harres. Yet even as his sizzling seduction entranced her, his loyalty to his family and country would always make them enemies. Falling for the sheikh would be her heart's greatest mistake…but she feared it was already too late….

In stores February 1!

To read a first chapter and visit Olivia's webpage, click here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Quick update

My apologies for neglecting this blog. I'm on deadline with three new stories for Nocturne Bites, but these stories are much sexier and longer and may be slotted into the new Nocturne Cravings line. The heroes of these stories are a vampire, a werewolf and a jaguar. All three are Ancients, powerful warriors engaged in the fight against evil, who are assigned to mate three sisters who are half-demon, half-angel.

After I turn in these stories, I'm taking a break from writing for a little while and paying attention to various housekeeping issues, such as updating my website. Also, I plan to put THE TIGER AND THE TOMB, my second Egyptian historical, on Kindle.
That's it for now. Back to the writing!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


The Falcon and the Dove, copyright 2002 by Bonnie Vanak

Egypt, 1892

Across the flat plain she saw a distant bustle of activity at the dig site, like black ants crawling over white frosted cake. She frowned. Black ants? Workers usually wore white . . . not black . . . and the sounds coming from the site echoed with frantic screams, not the singsong rhythm of picks and axes.

What in the name of heaven was going on? At the dig's perimeter, Elizabeth jerked the reins, bringing her slow progress to a complete halt. Her jaw dropped at the chaos erupting before her. Dozens of indigo-robed men yelling blood-curdling cries trampled over the site.

Veils draped across their faces, they overturned wheelbarrows of dirt and tables holding artifacts. A paraffin lamp slid to the ground, splotching the tawny sand with oozing fuel. One warrior brandishing a long sword hacked at earthenware jars, sending precious quarts of fresh water gushing out. Stunned archaeologists scrambled out of their determined paths. Terrified diggers ran screaming from the fierce
desert warriors. "Run for your lives," one yelled. "The Khamsin!"

Her mouth went dry as she wildly surveyed the scene, looking for Uncle Nahid. Nervous fingers twisted stray locks that escaped the loosely pinned chignon at the nape of her neck. Earth flew up in miniature sand tornadoes, dogging her nostrils and making her sneeze. And then she saw it and her heart stilled. The palace floor.

The delicate plaster Flinders had preserved flew in a dusty cloud as a warrior pulverized it with his horse's flaying hooves. A shorter man watching from horseback twirled a long scimitar in the air, hooting with glee as he did the same.

This deliberate, malicious destruction infuriated her. How dare they? They were destroying history! Useless now to sketch it for nothing remained. The one chance she had to prove herself to Flinders disappeared under the pounding hooves. This last thought made her kick the donkey into action. It gave a protesting bray, but trotted toward the taller raider. Elizabeth stopped short of the pavement, sliding off the donkey and running up to the warrior with white-knuckled anger.

"Stop!" she screamed in Arabic "What in the name of Allah are you doing? You are destroying the pavement! Oh, stop!"

The indigo-robed man whirled his mount around to face her. Probably he never had anyone, let alone a woman, tell him what to do before. Good! It's about time someone did!

The indigo veil hid all but his eyes, black as the desert night. Elizabeth recoiled, flustered. She had never seen such intense, penetrating eyes before. For a minute she stared into them and felt as if she glimpsed a mirror into her own soul.

Then she saw the destroyed floor. Deep gouges scarred the beautiful design. Elizabeth sank to her knees with a loud wail. "Oh, look! It is all ruined! Ruined!" She sifted through the crumbled plaster.

The sword-wielding warrior leaned over his saddle, pointing, his long, wicked blade at her. "Jabari, what do you want with this woman? Shall I take her captive? Or at least gag her mouth shut?" The man sounded bewildered yet menacing.

"No, Nazim, leave her be." His deep, sensual tones caressed her.

Elizabeth shivered at the raw power and command in that husky voice. The leader. Which made him responsible for this barbaric act. Her temper sailed out of control.

"How can you do this? Stupid, senseless destruction! Weeks of work, ruined! Haven't you a brain in your head? Don't you realize this is your past?" Arabic tumbled out of her mouth in a steady stream.

Then with a loud curse, she broke Uncle Nahid's Rule Number Four. The leader's dark eyes widened. Finely arched black brows rose as if her words bemused him.

"Jabari, did she just call you a donkey?" the one called Nazim asked in a wondering voice.

"No, I called him an ass!" she said in English. Elizabeth recoiled as Jabari fixed her with a steely look. Several warriors rode up, surrounding her like wolves salivating for a fresh kill. Suddenly she felt very small and very alone.

Then she looked at the ruined floor. Elizabeth picked up fragments of plaster. Hot tears stung her eyes. "How could you do this? You have no right invade and destroy this find," she whispered, cradling the shards in her palms.

"No, my lady, you are wrong. We have every right, for this is our ancestors' sacred city. You are the invaders." Jabari stated with quiet dignity.

She looked up at him, frustrated grief mixing with a mystical sense of awe. There was something about the proud way he sat upon his horse, his long ebony hair spilling almost halfway down his back—as if he once ruled the sacred city with a firm hand. And the archaeological team was a horde picking everything clean like vultures tearing apart carrion. His erect posture reminded her of a powerful king capable of destroying enemies with one uttered command to his men.

Piqued by her odd reaction, Elizabeth stood and flung the plaster at him. It sprayed a white cloud over his blue robe. She lifted her chin skyward, daring him to react.
His piercing black eyes narrowed, but he snapped an order to his, men and they whirled their horses around, racing away. The leader's mount snorted and danced with impatience.

Elizabeth's courage wavered as he withdrew his sword. He twirled it gracefully, then lowered it to her. Sharp steel kissed the air near her face. She stood motionless, not daring to breathe as the blade's dull edge stroked her throat. Then he drew his sword back and rumbled in a low threat. "Beware. You have not seen the last of us. I, Jabari bin Tarik Hassid, sheikh of the great Khamsin warriors of the wind, leave you with this warning. Leave our holy city now, or you will suffer the consequences. This I promise."

Elizabeth watched him ride off into a cloud of dust, then vanish, like a hot, dry desert wind.

Click here to purchase The Falcon and the Dove on Kindle!