Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Bite of... The Crystal Warrior

This fortnight's "Bite" is brought to you by Crystal Warriors who dress like adverts for We Love Leather and like to wave big swords:


And as Wulf is a bit busy with Chalcey and their new baby daughter right now, their creator, Maree Anderson, kindly stepped in to give you the low-down:

DSDU: Can you in less than five words describe your story THE CRYSTAL WARRIOR?

MAREE: Uh... Is "No way in hell!" an acceptable answer?

No? Darn! OK, how about this:

Career-focused dancer is magically bonded to alien Crystal Warrior.

(Yeah, I know. That's 9 words--or 10 if you won't give me the hyphen. Sorry, but I kinda suck at high concepts like this.)

DSDU: What inspired you to write it?

MAREE: DD (who was very young at the time) was given a bunch of pretty crystals and I had no clue what kind of crystals they were, so I went out a bought a book called The Crystal Bible. And as I flicked through the book, I realized some of the crystals had masculine-sounding names like wulfenite, kyanite, malachite, whereas others had a much more feminine vibe like chalcedony, ruby, jade. And I thought, hey, wouldn't it be cool to write a series about warriors from another world who're being punished for their crimes with imprisonment in their namesake crystals? Of course my crystal warriors needed redeeming in a biiig way, so I magically bonded them to modern-day women, who're also named after crystals... and don't appreciate being manhandled and told what to do and when to do it *evil grin*

DSDU: How about a short excerpt from THE CRYSTAL WARRIOR?

MAREE: Now that, I can do *g*


THE CRYSTAL WARRIOR
By Maree Anderson

Ray reached her before she could scramble back to her feet. He grabbed her arms and hauled her up on tiptoes so that her body was plastered up against his. “Aw, you hurt yourself, huh? Let Ray kiss it better.”

His face loomed closer. Chalcey jerked her chin aside. Yeah, he was strong but she could take him. Not to mention, ensure that he thought twice about forcing his attentions on any other woman. She’d had a gutful of men who assumed a girl was begging to be pawed just because she had a larger than average cup size and wore something a bit revealing. Well, okay, a lot revealing. But it didn’t matter what she happened to be wearing, he was way out of line. She’d show him. And while she was at it, she wouldn’t feel the slightest bit guilty about taking all her frustrations about the male of the species out on him, either.

She could easily have broken his grip. There were three simple and very effective maneuvers she’d learned in self-defense classes a couple of years back that she could use in this situation. Instead, she pretended to give in, melting into his arms, tempting him to relax and let down his guard so she could hit him where it hurt and deal to him in a way he wouldn’t forget in a hurry. She didn’t have quite enough leverage to knee him in the balls—yet. And she’d only have one chance at making that maneuver count. If it didn’t work, it was no biggie. She’d simply resort to some of the other dirty stuff she’d been taught, stuff that would leave a guy in a moaning sniveling heap on the ground.

He mashed his lips onto hers.

Ick.

His tongue probed her mouth.

Double ick! There sooo was a bottle of mouthwash with her name on it when she got home.

His grip eased up… so he could grope her breasts. Huh. Why did that particular move not surprise her?

While he was occupied, she toed off her useless damn sandals. She’d found her balance and was preparing to carry out Plan A to devastating effect, when an ear-splitting roar sounded behind her.

She froze.

A shadow loomed. It ripped Ray away from her.

“Aaargh!” Ray flew through the air and landed in a sprawling heap on the pavement. He groaned and lay still.

Chalcey sucked in a shaky breath and confronted the shadow’s chest. She gazed up. And up some more. Until she locked eyes with an incredibly large, incredibly furious man, who threw back his head and bellowed so forcefully that the tendons in his neck distended.

Whoa. Chalcey mentally fanned herself so she didn’t do something stupid. Like hyperventilate, and get all dizzy and fall on her ass. He’d been poured into those scarred leather pants. And as for the chest-hugging leather vest and shit-kicker boots…. Lord have mercy. He looked like a warrior king of old. He could have stepped right out of one of her private nighttime fantasies.

He turned his back on her and stalked toward Ray. The stiffness of his spine, and the rhythmic clenching and unclenching of his fists, screamed deadly intent and purpose.

Oh no. This could get out of hand real quick. She wasn’t the sort who’d stand helplessly by, wringing her hands in dismay, while a guy got pulped—not even if he did deserve it.

“Hey!” She darted forward and clutched her rescuer’s arm, hauling him around to face her.

His gaze latched onto hers again, ensnaring her. She couldn’t look away. Her heart raced, its beat echoing manically in her ears. Her bare skin prickled as though he’d run cool, caressing fingers down her flesh. She flushed with heat as parts lower down clenched and throbbed with lust. Her body responded to him, cried out for him, even though she’d never met him before in her life.

“Who—?” Her question died when he grabbed her and planted a kiss on her lips that stole her breath.

He speared his fingers through her hair to cup the back of her skull with one big hand. He held her immobile and lowered his mouth to hers. His kiss was hungry, demanding, brutally intense. She was so stunned that she didn’t even try to struggle. He took her mouth as though he would brand her as his own. And she would have let him mark her. Hell, she would stoop to begging!

When her legs wobbled, he clasped her so tightly against his body that she was forced up on tiptoes. She stared into his eyes. So intensely blue… like the sky viewed from a mountaintop on a crystal-clear day.

His mouth hardened on hers, forcing her lips apart so that he could thrust his tongue inside her mouth. Still she didn’t protest. Her head spun. Her eyelids drifted shut. She became a creature of pure sensation. There was only him and her. His lips on hers, her body pressed against his. Her yearning for him to fill a gaping hole in her soul that she’d not realized existed before now. His needs and wants and desires, all of them focused upon her, all of them centered around her. The rest of the world dissolved beneath his sensual assault. Nothing else mattered. Nothing but him.

“Hey!” somebody—Ray—shouted. “Who the f**k d’ya think you are?”

Chalcey blinked. The hulking great hunky stranger, the one who had dealt to the sleaze-bag mauling her, was now… well… mauling her. Did she have “Grope Me” tattooed on her forehead, or something? What was with this guy? He was just as bad as Ray.

So she did what any self-respecting girl who’s had enough of men would do—even if the man was an incredibly hot one who kissed like there was no tomorrow. She totally overreacted. She grabbed a handful of his hair and yanked his head back. And kept on yanking until he quit kissing her and released her enough that she slid down his body. The instant that she had her balance, she drew back her arm and punched him in the face. Hard. Putting all her strength and the power of her body behind it.

~~~

For excerpts, reviews, buy links and more information about The Crystal Warrior, please visit The Crystal Warrior landing page.

To find out more about The Crystal Warrior Series and Maree's other books, please visit Maree's website.











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