Friday, January 30, 2015

Obsession, now available for pre-order!

OBSESSION, Werewolves of Montana Mating Mini #2

He comes to her in a dark dream promising sensual pleasure - sexy, tempting and dangerous. Raphael is an obsessed wolf with one thing on his mind. He wants Jessica naked beneath him, and nothing will stop him until he has her in his bed.

Jessica Tyrell is a Lupine with a mission – find her missing brother, her only living blood relative. Now, with the help of magick crystals, her dream can come true. All she needs is to hack into restricted records at her friend Alexa’s ranch. The only thing standing in her way is Raphael Amador, head of pack security. The wolf wants her with the same ruthless intent he displays in protecting the pack. Jessica knows if she surrenders to his sensual allure, she could lose her soul to Raphael.

Haunted by his tortured past and determined to never love again, Raphael finds his passion awakened by the lovely redhead who threatens his control. He has vowed to seek revenge against the man who killed his intended mate and scattered his pack. Can he experience a night of pleasure with the lovely redhead and pursue his goal of revenge, or will Jessica capture his broken heart?

Excerpt from Obsession copyright 2015 by Bonnie Vanak

He parked a lean hip against the tree’s trunk and folded his muscular arms. In his red flannel shirt, with the sleeves rolled up to display tanned forearms, and faded jeans with scuffed Western boots, he looked like an ordinary cowboy. But there was nothing ordinary about this Lupine.
            Curls the color of blackest night spilled down to his collar. His strong jaw was covered by a close-trimmed beard, and a crisp mustache framed a mouth far too sensual for a man. But there was nothing sensual about the sharp, angular features of his face nor the darkness of those brown eyes.
   Those eyes seemed ageless, and ancient pain lurked in their depths as he gazed down at her.
            Jessica studied the acres of green pasture, the gleaming buildings, and thought about the expensive motor cars parked in the garage. “It must be nice to be wealthy,” she mused.
            “There are worse things than having no money,” he said quietly.
            “Easy to say when you have plenty of it.”
            “I’d trade all the money in the world to regain what I’ve lost.”
            He looked dark and dangerous and yet he had an air of vulnerability.
            “What did you lose?”
            Raphael shook his head. “Another time, little one. Perhaps one night I will share that information.”
            “You don’t believe in sharing during the day?”
            His gaze became hooded. “With you, I would much rather share…things… at night.”
            Jessica felt her entire body flare with heat. Every time he gazed at her with those bedroom eyes, she felt a jolt of sensual awareness.
Her Lupine nature, with all its raging hormones and sexual need, howled for release.
But his seductive gaze wasn’t centered on her face now. He stared at her curls.
“What’s wrong? Never seen a redhead before?”
“Not of that color. I have met some red wolf Lupines, but their coloring is darker.” Raphael left the tree, approached her. Before she could squeak a protest, he wrapped a strand of her hair around his index finger.
   “It is like living flame that does not burn. But do you burn, Jessica? Burn with the desire all our kind possesses?”

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Back from Haiti

I'm home from visiting Haiti for the day job. Grueling trip. This photo sums up the trip. This is a public street in Cap Haitien, but vendors set up their wares on the street, spilling over past the sidewalk. It's so narrow and claustrophobic, and yet our truck navigated down this street. No choice. We drove down this street... and made it...with much patience, yelling in Creole and having the vendors move their wares.

It was nerve wracking and exhausting, being in that kind of restrictive, tight space.

Haiti is a challenge for me. The country is very poor, but colorful. Loud, crowded and bustling. And there is the poverty that is my day job. Seeing that level of suffering, well, I've done this for 21 years, but each time, it gets to me until it's time to leave and then I am quite glad to return home.

They expanded the airport in Cap and it is wonderful to fly directly in and out, instead of having to fly into Port au Prince and take a small plane north. American Airlines upgraded the airport, and it's shiny and new. You land and then they have buses to shuttle you to the terminal, a short walk, but they insist on the buses.

Leaving was a real challenge. The system was down so they handwrote our boarding passes. And then the real fun started. As I put down my backpack to run it through Xray, my passport was handed over to a security guard.

I had to dump everything out of my backpack for investigation. Okay, I understand. Random check. No problem.

Then the female security agent patted me down. Thoroughly. I mean, she checked my butt twice. Twice.  When she finished, I felt violated. But what do you do? You laugh and move on and make jokes with your coworker about tipping the TSA agent a dollar. They punched my boarding pass with a little star and I waved it at my coworker and said, "Look! My butt gets a star!"

I'm glad to be home. Very glad. It's going to take another day or two to recover because I'm so exhausted. I'm getting back to work on final edits for Obsession, and losing myself in my books, and places where poverty and suffering do not exist.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

In case you didn't know...

I have a series of 7 Egyptian historical romance novels I wrote. And one, The Lady and the Libertine, is only 99 cents on Kindle! It's also available on Kindle Unlimited, which means if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free!

Booklist said this about The Lady and the Libertine:

"Stealing the ruby proved to be much easier than Nigel Wallenford thought it would be. Masquerading as his twin brother, Thomas, Nigel traced the ruby, which was the key to a king’s ransom in ancient Egyptian gold, to the Khamsin camp, where Karida bint Ali Sharif had been charged with guarding the jewel. Once Karida discovers the ruby is gone, she sets out for England disguised as Anne Mitchell to find the duplicitous Englishman who not only stole her honor but also her love. Danger, desire, and a generous amount of deception combine with dazzlingly sexy results in the seventh action-packed addition to Vanak’s refreshingly different, late-Victorian-set Khamsin Warriors of the Wind series." --John Charles

Monday, January 12, 2015

Remembering the Haiti earthquake, Jan. 12, 2010

The Hotel Montana, before the earthquake

Last night, I dreamed of Haiti. I was in some kind of very lovely Haiti, like what Haiti would be like in Heaven. And I was with the four women from Lynn University who were on a mission trip and died when the Hotel Montana collapsed. Britney, Stephanie, Courtney and Christine and I were sitting at a table by a large glass window overlooking the country. It was very pretty, and not poor. The women were so happy. They wanted to stay.

I told them I had to leave. It was time for me to go. And then I took off, as if I had angel wings, and lifted higher and higher into the sky until the women and Haiti were a small pinpoint on the earth, and I flew back to my home. 

The Hotel Montana, after the earthquake
The dream left me sad, but peaceful. I'm not surprised I had a dream like that. I'm leaving for Haiti next week, and I've been to Haiti several times, and stayed at the Hotel Montana. 

I never met the four women who died along with their professors, when the Hotel Montana collapsed during a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck just outside Haiti's capital shortly before 5 p.m.

The earthquake happened five years ago today. I have traveled to Haiti for 21 years as a writer for a large international charity and I always stayed at the Hotel Montana while in Port-au-Prince. I was in Haiti shortly after the earthquake and saw the rescue mission at the hotel, as search crews grimly combed through the rubble in a desperate attempt to look for survivors. The hotel had pancaked and turned from a pretty, tropical and airy paradise into a deathtrap.

The week of the earthquake would have been the week I'd have been in Haiti, but for that mission trip. Because the students from Lynn University were going to Haiti at the same time, we'd decided to delay our trip by two weeks in order to give the Haiti office staff time to prepare for our visit.

A room where I stayed at the Hotel Montana
While in Haiti, I always had a routine when we got back to the Hotel Montana from the day's visits. The photographer and I would arrange to meet for drinks at the News Bar, where we would sit in one of the hand-carved wood chairs and discuss the day's visits, or current events. We'd sip rum punch as a cooling breeze drifted in through the doorway by the mahogany tree that stood in the courtyard as a proud old sentinel. Then we'd go downstairs to dinner.

Sometimes we'd arrive back at the hotel around 5, or maybe a little earlier. Had we stayed there that horrid, fateful Tuesday five years ago and we arrived back early, I would have gone to my room, showered and maybe worked on my notes from the trip. 

And I might have died.

But we didn't go that week, because the students from Lynn University were already scheduled to visit. I never met those four young women, only caught a glimpse of them in the lobby when they poised for the group photo before they left on their mission trip. From reading about what others have said about them, they all seemed like lovely young people with compassionate hearts.

I try not to think too much about the earthquake, and why some people died, like the four beautiful women who wanted to help people, and their professors, who were encouraging them to find their calling in life.  I try not to think about what might have happened had I been at the hotel that day. Instead, I go on, and try to be grateful for my life, and for every moment God gave me on this earth. 

Maybe Lester Burnham says it best in American Beauty, "And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life."