Monday, March 2, 2015

Excerpt from paranormal romantic suspense novel The Second Lie by Anna Richland

I’m shining the spotlight on the paranormal romantic suspense novel, The Second Lie (The Immortal Vikings #2) by Anna Richland today.

During her virtual book tour, Anna will be awarding a set of En Route notecards, gorgeously illustrated by Kate Pocrass (because falling in love with an Immortal Viking is a wild journey!) to a randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit Anna’s other tour stops and enter there, too.  

Author bio:
Anna lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. The perpetual drizzle is a good excuse to drink more coffee. She’s a former US Army officer who now writes The Immortal Vikings series from Carina Press and also the author of His Road Home, a novella which Publishers Weekly called “Tantalizing … a raw, emotional story” and the website SmartB*tchesTrashyBooks gave an A rating.

She donates a portion of her book proceeds to two charities: the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.

A little bit about The Second Lie:
A woman desperate to achieve her dreams.

To reassure wealthy clients, Christina Alvarez Mancini invented a jet-setting British owner for her Napa Valley wine collection service. Success has brought her close to buying her own winery, when irregularities at a London wine auction threaten her business.

A man in love with a good plan.

Stig, an immortal Viking thief, knows he’s found the perfect role. The California woman who created his character won’t discover what he’s up to in England until after he’s pocketed the money he needs. Then Christina walks into the auction preview, ready to ruin his plans, and he knows his boredom has ended.

Secrets that turn deadly.

By the end of the night, these two rivals must cooperate to escape kidnappers, British authorities, media and a pair of mysterious watchers. That’s when a game Stig’s played for a thousand years puts Christina’s life at risk.

Can two people whose identities are based on lies trust each other enough to survive?

Exclusive excerpt from The Second Lie:
[In this excerpt from The Second Lie (The Immortal Vikings #2), the man claiming to be Christina’s employer is many things, including attractive, but he definitely isn’t her boss.]

Alone with this cheat, she could finally speak her mind.

“That bottle looks almost authentic.” As she probed with a comment intended to make him wince, she focused on his face.

“It is.”

She snorted. Nature hadn’t blessed her with more than sixty-two natural inches, and even with three artificial ones from her heels, she was stuck looking up at almost every man in the world. Her nemesis was probably a fraction below six feet, although his cat-burglar physique made him appear taller.

“Here. For you.” Wrapped around the stem of the crystal glass, his fingers didn’t look like her banker or venture capitalist clients’ hands. He had the strongly developed knuckles of a field worker. As he offered the wine, the play of light on the edges of the ruby liquid captivated her, the subtle glow from the wall sconces deepening the original red almost to purple-black at the meniscus. It was magic, liquid magic, and she reached for the offering.

She was too tired and on edge to enjoy this properly, too preoccupied with the challenge of this man pretending to be her boss and scared to death of six or twenty or fifty worst-case scenarios, but she was unable to resist the lure. She’d tasted this vintage twice and remembered its tantalizing aroma of plums, earthiness and licorice, a blend that defied description with concrete terms.

Before she brought the glass to her nose, she caught something else. Cinnamon? Musk? Not this wine—him. He stood close enough, and she was so tuned to him, that his scent intruded. Her nose twitched.

His eyes dropped a fraction. Not low enough to be staring at her breasts, which weren’t particularly revealed by her conservatively cut dress.

“Have you caught a scent?” He’d seen the twitch.

She felt like a small animal trapped in a predator’s lair. She raised the glass and swirled too quickly.

The corner of his mouth quirked when he reconnected with her eyes. He recognized her fluster and didn’t bother to conceal that he thought he had the upper hand.

His hubris had the opposite effect and concentrated her on one goal—winning. If he thought he could toy with her, she’d play his game. Staring back, she lowered the glass until the rounded bowl hovered a few inches in front of her well-covered chest. To look at the wine would require him to gaze ten inches below her face. A slow exhale curved her body into a deliberate softness that she knew signaled surrender.

His nostrils flared very slightly, but it was enough to prod her further.

“Delicious,” she said without taking a full breath. Her voice sounded soft on the shush sounds and she tilted her chin down, using her face to lead his gaze to the place she held her wineglass. One deep inhale at the same time she swirled her glass, slowly this time, and she caught the widening of his eyes. Yes, he was a man who liked breasts. “It’s unforgettable.”

Connecting with Anna:
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Anna Richland said...

Thanks Lisa! I'm so excited to be on tour for The Second Lie that I popped over Sunday night - thanks for having my post up already.

This morning I was reading an article in the Sunday newspaper about the unsolved art heist at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which your readers should know was *actually* done by Stig, my Immortal Viking hero (in my imagination only! I don't need the FBI asking me what I know about the unsolved mystery).

bn100 said...

nice cover

Liah Penn said...

I love Anna Richland's writing! Her novella, His Road Home, left me wanting more, so can't wait to dig into her latest!

Anna Richland said...

Thanks bn100 and Liah. I love the cover too - it was the third version Carina created. The others had vineyards and mountains in the background, and I thought they looked like one of those gorgeous Western romance covers. For my immortal Viking thief! So the art department kindly took out the beautiful mountains and gave Stig a nice carved background ... to match his carved abs!