Today I’m so happy to turn my blog over to the über talented, super sweet Vonnie Davis. You didn’t come here to listen to me prattle on about her many virtues so I’m going to get straight to the point and let Vonnie Take Over. Vonnie?
I can’t tell you how tickled I am to visit you today. Thanks for allowing me to pop in and share a bit about RAIN IS A LOVE SONG. This is book two of my romantic suspense trilogy. All three stories begin in Paris and then move to other locales. In this book, we go from Paris to Budapest to Asheville, NC. While each has its own romantic couple, the same band of terrorists wreak havoc in all three stories.
From now until this Saturday, RAIN IS A LOVE SONG is available as a FREE download on Amazon. Free ladies! I mean that’s almost as good as a shoe sale or a chocolate tasting event or bath scales that always read one-twenty-five. Although my scales don’t read any more, they just scream, but we don’t need to go there now do we?
I love romance. All sub-genres. I’ve been reading them since the mid-sixties. I love being swept away. I love the yin-and-yang pull of two people discovering they care for one another. To me it’s magical. Sometimes it’s also dangerous. Take Gwen and Jean-Luc going undercover to find the bar in Budapest where Dembri, a known terrorist, is spending time, how could I alter their appearances? Gwen was suddenly Tessa and Jean-Luc became Marcus. My hero had no qualms about the change, he’s used to working undercover. Gwen, however, was loath to leave her daughter. What if things went belly-up, she kept asking me? What if I can’t get back to Rhiannon? I hated putting her in danger, but what’s a writer to do?
In this scene, Gwen and Jean-Luc get their first views of Marcus and Tessa.
He was bald. Marcus, her pretend husband, was bald. She couldn’t believe the change. Granted he’d been bald the first time she met him, but at the time he didn’t have the tattoo.
Now he had wide swaths of black ink on one side of his head, beginning near the corner of his eye and wrapping around his scalp toward the back, almost like wide claw marks. In fact, one edge of the tattoo met the edge of the long scar on his cheek. The combined effect was rather intimidating. His grey eyes were now icy pale blue. The man, at first sight, was terrifying, formidable. She supposed the black eye she’d given him didn’t ease his fierceness any.
Both stood still, examining the changes in the other. She imagined they made a strange looking pair, their focus intent on each other.
Jean-Luc was the first to regain his power of speech. He reached out and tugged a strand of hair. “Your curls are gone.”
The corners of his mouth quirked when he leaned in closer and, for an instant, a flash of the man who captured her heart appeared. “Love the mole. It’s a real turn on.” His lips touched hers, feather light, fluttering her stomach and making her yearn for more.
“Glued on.” Her voice was all breathy.
He took her hand, read the tattoo written in flowery script and his eyebrow rose. “My name.” His head nodded slowly. “I approve of the branding.”
“Yeah, so is mine. I have to tell you, I miss your turquoise eyes.”
“You’ll see them tonight when I take out the contacts.”
He captured her chin in his hand. “You’ll still be Tessa even if you look like Gwen.” That’s when his British accent registered. In his role as Marcus, Jean-Luc spoke with a smooth accent. How did he do that? No wonder Louisa told her not to talk much; she lacked the British tinge to her words.
“Until we step back on French soil, I’ll be Marcus and you’ll be my wife. Oh…” He pulled the jeweler’s box from the pocket of his black jeans and slipped open the top. “Your ring to complete the marriage façade. Give me your hand, Tessa.”
“I didn’t think about rings.” The one in the blue velvet box was breathtaking. A band of shimmering diamonds set in gold. She held her hand up and Marcus lifted the ring from the satin lining, kissed it and slipped it on her finger. Was he pretending to be a man in love? If so, he was doing an endearing job of it.
“The ring is beautiful, Marcus.” She thought he’d appreciated her staying in character.
He raised her hand to his lips and kissed the ring on her finger. “Only beautiful things for my exquisite wife.”
If only he meant what he said. Seriously? Do I want a permanent relationship with a man who has a dangerous job that could take him from me? I need to get a grip. “You know you really don’t need to lay it on so thick.”
“Marcus is an arms dealer who dotes on his wife. Get used to it.”
She looked away and blinked back tears. Why get used to something that would soon end and leave her feeling bereft? This was just part of the job. Nothing more. A job.
He enveloped her in his arms. “Don’t be afraid, love. The main thing is to remember your new persona and mine. If you call me by my real name, I won’t respond. Neither should you if I use yours.” He kissed her neck, a familiar gesture.
“From this moment on, I am Marcus and you are Tessa. Oh, I have your new identification papers.” He turned, unlocked a desk drawer and pulled out a green leather wallet and passport. “What items do you have in your new purse? Anything that ties you to Gwen Morningstar?”
“My wallet and my mother’s brag book.”
He made a beckoning motion with his hand. “Give them here. I’ll lock them in my drawer.”
She handed him her wallet but then faltered on handing over the brag book. It was a small thing, really—a photo album full of pictures of Rhiannon from birth to last month—yet she couldn’t bear to part with it. In the back was a little crayoned picture Rhiannon drew last year of their family. “See, Mommy? It’s all three of us. Me and you holding hands and Daddy flying over us in heaven.”
FREE on Amazon until Saturday, midnight. Here’s the link for your free download:
Yowsa! And if you haven’t read the first in the series Don;t forget to check out MONA LISA’S ROOM.
Thanks for visiting and sharing the savings with everyone, Vonnie!
And readers, don;t forget to pay Vonnie a visit and steadily bug, I mean gently encourage her to bring us more of her fabulous stories!
Ciao! Amie <3
8 thoughts on “Vonnie Davis — My Extra-Special Guest”
That’s it! I’m starting this one tonight! Oh my gosh, Vonnie, I LOVE this excerpt! I love it! I just can’t wait to read this book! Tonight, my friend. I shall lose myself once again in the outstanding prose of the phenomenal Vonnie Davis! Thanks for the great blog post. Hi Ames! ((hugs))
Hey, AJ! Good to “see” you again!!
I had a similar problem when my hero is in hiding–I didn’t know how to refer to him during interior monologue while verbally he and everyone else was calling him by this fake name. Calling someone “Gene” and “Nick” in the same passage seemed like it would be confusing. But by making it a total production as you have, I think you solved the problem for the reader. Well done as always!
That does make for some confusion. But as usual Vonnie handled it with style! :) Thanks for stopping by, Lyndi!
AJ, I hope you enjoy it. I’ll tell you, writing their undercover personas got confusing for me, at times. Not that I didn’t know who they were, but I feared I’d confuse my readers. These knew these two as Gwen and Jean-Luc and suddenly they were Tessa and Marcus. Had I eased them into the new personas gently enough that they accepted the new names? We’re talking a lot of rewrites here…LOL.
Lyndi, it was a struggle. My CP and I went back and forth over it. What if I did it this way? Was that better or should I do this? Thank goodness for the cool, composed head of my agent. She nodded over what worked and sent back what didn’t. LOL The idea seemed simple at the time, right? But, oh my, when the time came to write it, I winced and worried. I hope I didn’t confuse any readers. I loved this couple. Their chemistry was electric. Woot!!!
Very intriguing and wonderful excerpt! I enjoyed how you handled the descriptions. Very effective. I always love to hear how other writers go about creating characters and how they plot their stories, especially with RS. I bet there were many rewrites! Kudos to you for tackling a very complex plot!
Thanks, Karyn. The characters’ undercover trip to Budapest yields many surprises. We had a grand time exploring a city I had to research, having never been there. Paris, I know. We’re going back in September so I can do some more research for a couple storylines brewing in the City of LIght.