Hello Coffee Time Romance – Happy Monday!

My name is Traci Bell, and I am excited to be here today to share with you a blurb about my fantasy romance, Entangled, which was released last week from Crescent Moon Press.  

Entangled is about a teacher from earth named Cassie, who possesses unknown gifts, and the mysterious man, Alexos, who enters her life claiming she can save his world from natural disasters.  When building Alex’s world, I drew upon Celtic themes for the culture, spirituality, and names. 

Here is an excerpt from the book – Enjoy!  If you leave a question/comment about the book I will give away a paperback or ebook copy to a random commentor - the winner can choose the format!

  

Cassie pinched the bridge of her nose and squeezed her eyes shut. Exhaustion made her vision blur, her head feel light. She’d stayed awake all night sitting at her kitchen table, researching the possibility of worm holes and parallel universes on her laptop. She’d found tons of theory, but no absolute proof.

Last night, Alex said that he’d traveled here from a parallel world specifically to find her. Some Master he knew had a vision that she could help end the natural disasters killing his people. He’d said that, so far, the disasters included a drought and a hurricane, and without her assistance, more would occur.

Crazy. All of it. She wished that Ashton Kutcher would ring the doorbell and tell her that she’d been punk’d so she could return to normal.

She looked over her shoulder when she heard Alex move on the couch. He’d fallen asleep there after they had reached an impasse on what to do about their situation.

She wanted, desperately, to get rid of him. She did not care for their connection. It frightened her, and it most definitely complicated things. Because they were connected, she could not dismiss him as a lunatic and go on about her life. How was such a link between two people even possible?

Noting the time, she closed her laptop and walked the few steps into the kitchen to make coffee. At four a.m., she would not be sleeping any time soon. Her brain was on overload, which explained why she turned away from the coffee maker and almost ran into Alex.

She tried very, very hard, not to notice how sexy he looked in the morning. “Good morning.”

“Good morning,” he said, his voice a deep, gravely rumble that reverberated inside her, causing her insides to clench.

She pulled mismatched coffee mugs out of the cabinet and poured them each a cup. When she handed the drink to him, their fingers met. Desire jolted through her, singeing her, tightening her insides even more.

His eyes transformed from hazel into black disks rimmed with gold. His wide shoulders filled her small kitchen so that he was the only thing she could see. Her gaze locked on his torso, his unbuttoned shirt exposing his well-toned stomach and chest, with its light furring of black hair. She caught herself leaning forward to breathe in his scent and splay her palms over his muscles.

He bent his head toward hers, his intent clear.

With willpower she hadn’t known she possessed, Cassie regained control of her body and slipped past him. She stopped running when she reached the balcony. The cool, early-morning air burned her over-heated skin.

What the hell was wrong with her? This damn connection to him kept messing with her good sense. First, she trusted him without reason. Second, she wanted him, also without reason.

Well, not without reason. He was quite gorgeous.

She remembered that Alex could feel her desire and, if it were physically possible, she’d kick herself for forgetting. “I’m sorry,” she said when he stood behind her. He moved without even stirring the air. Only her awareness told her he had moved from the kitchen to the balcony.

“No. I am sorry.”

She had to know, so she turned and asked, “Did you want to kiss me, or were you just responding to my feelings?”

“I find you very desirable, Cassie.”

“I might believe that if you said it without a scowl on your face.”

He leaned his elbows on the balcony railing beside her and looked up at the stars. “Your beauty is a distraction I cannot afford.”

“Then go home.”

He scowled at her again. She scowled back. Why couldn’t he afford to be attracted to her?

“Did you sleep?” he asked, pulling her from her thoughts.

“No. I got on the computer and did some research on the possibility of parallel worlds.”

Dark brows lifted.

“Do you know what a computer is?”

“Aye. I have seen many while traveling through your world. Did it tell you anything of interest?”

“All of it was interesting, but I found nothing conclusive on the possibility of an alternate universe.”

“Do you have to find something conclusive to believe?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“What of our connection? How do you explain that?”

“I don’t know.”

She finished her lukewarm coffee and wondered how to get rid of him. She could not remember ever being so aware of another person, or her surroundings, even of her own body.

He looked up at the night sky. “We share the same stars.”

Cassie looked up and spotted Orion. She pointed out the three stars that made up Orion’s belt.

“Orion is a name?”

“Yes. Orion was a mythical hunter.”

Alex gazed up at the stars, the muscles along his neck stretched. He looked as she imagined Orion must have looked, powerful and masculine and tenacious. He looked from the starry sky to her. “So what have you decided?”

“I did a lot of thinking while on the computer tonight.” She turned her body to face him, her left elbow braced against the iron railing. “Let’s say that you do come from another world―”

“It is called Caedmon.”

“Caedmon,” she said. “Assume that I go there with you.”

He mirrored her position. “And?”

She caught a glimpse of his bare torso again. Swallowed. Forced her mind to refocus on the conversation. “I don’t see how I can help you or your people. We have natural disasters here in this world, and I haven’t noticed a special ability to stop them.”

“That is because you are disconnected in this world. I do not know how you stand it here.”

What an odd response, she thought, considering their personal connection. “Disconnected from what?”

“Everything.”

“I don’t understand.”

His eyes, back to hazel now, pleaded with her. “You will, if you come with me. Will you?”

“No.”

“My people are dying.”

“I hate that fact, truly I do, but I can’t help you. I’m a nobody.”

“I do not believe that.”

“That isn’t my concern.”

She walked into the apartment and set her coffee cup in the kitchen sink. He faced her across the bar. Grim resolution replaced the pleading look in his eyes.

“Cassandra, I must make something clear to you. I prefer that you go home with me of your own accord, but when I leave, one way or another, you will go with me.”

Her fingers gripped the edge of the granite counter. “Is that a threat?”

“A fact.”

“You would force me to go with you?” she asked, her voice growing louder with each word. “Against my will?”

“I would.”

She glowered at him, refusing to back down. “You would not do such a thing!”

“And how are you to stop me?” he asked, his voice low, matter of fact, and full of authority.

“Get out before I call the police!”

“Your police cannot keep me away from you.”

She didn’t know what pissed her off more, the fact that Alex threatened her, or the calm, self-assured manner with which he did it. She grabbed her purse from the bar and searched for her cell phone. “I’m willing to test that theory.”

“Think about it,” he said as his hand stilled her searching one. “You cannot hide from me.”

She pulled her hand out from beneath his, her cell phone in her palm. “No, but being behind bars would keep you from following me.”

“Bars cannot hold me. Wherever you go, I will know, and I will find you. I am bigger, and I am stronger, and I am more determined.”

“Then you can save your own people,” she snapped.

Torment washed over Alex’s features, and his eyes went bleak and dark. She blinked, and the brief flash of emotion on his face was gone, replaced by the stern, emotionless mask of the military officer.

Whatever or whoever Alex was, there could be no doubt he believed what he said and took the entire situation very personally.

“My people need you,” he said.

***

Thanks for reading!  You can learn more about Entangled at http://tracibell.net/.