This is an intense kind of book, so I searched for a scene to reflect that without giving away too many spoilers, yet still make sense without a ton of context. Alas, that meant the sex scene was right out. :)

But this is just as charged a scene, if in an different way. Philip is so very messed up. Maybe that’s why I adore him so much. :) This is about halfway through the book, where Philip and Del, the heroine, finally confront their shared past.

Obligatory BSP sales link: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/corrina-lawson-pa-1341.html

********************************

He closed the door behind him carefully. She stood and stared at him. He stared back. His face had no expression. But she could tell.

He knew.

She drew out the gun and pointed it at him. “Over here. Kneel next to the chair.” Her hand was shaking but her voice was steady.

He did as she asked. She stood behind him, gun at his temple. “You know why I’m doing this.”

“I know, Lily,” he said.

She walked around to face him. “Don’t you dare call me that.”

“Lily.” He stared at her. “You grew up to be so beautiful.”

Philip saw the blow coming. He made no move to avoid it. He’d goaded her into it. He wanted her to hit him. He deserved it.
The gun barrel smashed into his cheek. He fell forward to his knees and felt the blood trickle down his face. Pain exploded across that whole side of his head. She hadn’t held back. It was possible she’d even cracked his cheekbone.

“Why didn’t you kill me?” he whispered. “You should.”

She grabbed his collar to make certain they were face to face. Tears were running down her cheeks. She’d bitten through her lower lip. Blood dripped from her chin.

“You should kill me, Lily. I murdered them.”

She hit him again, lower this time. He felt his jawbone crack. He toppled sideways and his shoulder hit the floor with a thud.

“Why? That’s what I’ve wanted to know all these years. Why did you kill them? Why, Hawk?”

Philip blinked, trying to clear his vision, trying to focus past the pain to call on the healing power. Oh, God, this was good, the best pain yet. Agony and ecstasy flowed together, became one, became perfect. He curled into himself, every nerve singing, hiding his erection from her.

Half of him wanted her to hit him again, to keep the glorious agony coming. The other half wished she would finish it, end his existence once and for all.

His vision cleared. He felt the tingling of inner warmth as his power kicked in. She stood over him, the gun pointed directly at his forehead. She wanted to lance her anger, lance the pain of the loss of her parents and put it behind her once and for all.

He’d give that to her. It was all he had left to give.

“Lily—”

He couldn’t speak further. His jaw seemed locked shut. She put the gun under his chin. He offered no resistance.

“Don’t call me that. You have no right to call me that,” she said again.

“I know.”

He closed his eyes, concentrating. He knew a few moves that might disarm her. He had the gun in an ankle holster. A head butt would work and hurt her more than him. He could do a body slam that would knock them both into the wall and loosen her hold on her gun. But she might get hurt with either of those moves. He might hurt the child growing inside her. Her son. His son.

He couldn’t risk hurting her, not when he’d hurt her so much already.

“Delilah,” he whispered. “End it.”

She backed up a step, staring at the blood on the floor. She blinked away the tears in her eyes. In the last few months, she’d been medically raped, been the victim of an attempted kidnapping, been involved in a car chase and torn away from her home. And now a nightmare from her past had re-entered her life. People had killed under less stress and for far less reason. At least all this would be over now. He closed his eyes, ready for the bullet.

“Talk. Open your damned eyes. I need to know why you killed them,” she said.

”It doesn’t matter. You should kill me.”

“I can’t kill you until I have answers.”

Hell. He didn’t want to look at her. The way she stared at him, with those dark eyes, she seemed the same little girl who’d trusted him. Better, he thought, for her to be angry with him than to believe the people she had loved most in the world had planned to murder her.

“I went crazy. They were in between me and my stepfather.”

“No.” She knelt next to him, the gun carelessly held in her limp hand. “If you had gone crazy, you’d have killed him first.”

Him. His stepfather. The leader of their little clan. He’d terrorized them all, but Del’s parents had at least protected their little girl from his physical wrath.

“Why, Hawk? I have to know. I have to know.”

“No, you don’t.”

First, don’t forget to enter the Goodreads contest!

And if you go over to the Samhain Romance Book Club Facebook page, there’s a chance to win a $15 Amazon certificate by posting a comment on the post about my new print release.

Blurb:

Philip Drake is immortal by virtue of a psychic power that heals all but the worst injuries. He’s needed every bit of it as a black ops agent, a life so violent that the line between pain and pleasure is tangled up in his head.

When he walks away from the CIA, the last thing he expects is to discover someone stole his DNA to create a race of super-healers. And that the expectant mother is a woman from his past who’d consider it her pleasure to spit on his grave.

One moment, Delilah Sefton is listening to a seriously hot, seriously deranged man giving her some half-baked explanation as to why she’s pregnant with no memory of how she got that way. The next, armed men swarm into her bar, and she and Mr. Sexy-Crazy are on the run.

Safety at the Phoenix Institute is only temporary, but it’s long enough to put the pieces together. A madman plans to steal her son in a plot to take over the world. And to stop him, she must learn to trust the baby’s father—a man she blames for her greatest loss.

Warning: This novel contains fast cars (that are driven), numerous guns (that are shot), a hero who prefers pain over love, and a heroine determined to fight for those she loves.

Four and a half star out of five fromNight Owl Reviews!

“A wonderfully entertaining rollercoaster read that conjures up the fantastical worlds explored in comic books yet provides a romance between unconventional characters.”

Buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Samhain Publishing.

EXCLUSIVE  EXCERPT: This is Philip talking to Alec Farley, the hero of Phoenix Rising, the first book in the series. Philip is less than thrilled that his foster daughter is in love with Alec. They’re very different people, and I love that this scene shows the difference between them. You should be able to read both books independently but this should be fun for those who’ve read Phoenix Rising.

***********************************

“You need lessons in extreme.” The firestarter was powerful, smart and he wanted to do the right thing. He’d changed the name of the Resource—which he’d inherited from his adoptive father Richard Lansing—to the Phoenix Institute to signal a new start for the place that had effectively held him captive all his life.

Alec intended to find and help children like him use their power responsibly. It was an excellent, noble goal. But Alec had been raised in a vacuum, essentially isolated from the rest of the world. It made him more than naive on a few subjects.

“Someone is using your DNA to create a race of superbabies, and you think taking an undocumented driving route is extreme? Not to mention the CIA might be monitoring me or you. Whoever kept this genetics lab running after Lansing’s death could be doing the same. And there’s still the matter of those watchers out there from an unknown source that you sensed on the container ship job. Aside from the one mention in Lansing’s notes, there’s no other information. Which tells me Lansing knew something but thought it was too volatile to write down. That’s never good.”

He paused to let the words sink in. Alec shifted in his seat, clearly uncomfortable.

“If you want to survive to do all this good you talk about, then you have to assume enemies are watching. All the time.”

Alec stared at the car’s dashboard for a while instead of replying. Perhaps the young man was considering what he’d just been told. Or, given his sheltered upbringing, he was checking out the car. Alec loved cars.

“I hate having to think that way.”

“If you want to live long enough to accomplish your aims, you’re going to have to learn.” And you damn well better learn enough to keep my daughter safe.

Alec nodded. “What if my kid is out there, Drake? Not a situation I’ve been trained to handle.”

Philip realized that the boy was truly looking for advice this time. Like it or not, Alec was a permanent part of Beth’s life. Which meant the question should be answered rather than

32Phoenix Legacy

ignored. No one had told him giving advice to a man sleeping with his daughter was part of fatherhood when he’d volunteered.

But here he was.

“We find the child and the mother and we help them. I can’t imagine you’d walk away from the child.”

“Never.” Alec stared at him. “Glad you know that.”

Philip nodded. “A child who’s alive and needs caretaking is a problem that can be solved. It could be much worse. For instance, if you’re too late to help someone and they wind up dead. Can’t fix that.”

Alec nodded.

“Are you worried about Beth’s reaction? She’d take care of any lost child, whether it was yours or even Lansing’s.”

Alec smiled. “We already talked about that. Actually, I think she’s more worried about your reaction than mine.”

“My reaction?” “It brings back the whole mess with Lansing for you.” “He’s dead, it’s over.” “He was your father. And you just smashed a coffee mug

because you were so pissed at him.” “I have plenty of mugs.” Philip shifted into low gear as he

slowed down for a stoplight. “Lansing wasn’t my father. He screwed my mother, then walked out. When I refused to join his unholy crusade as an adult, he hated me. My only reaction to his death is to be glad he’s gone.”

“Something changed when he died. You quit the CIA, you don’t seem to be doing anything, and you might as well live in a cave the way your home is closed up. Not to mention all those empty beer cans all over the place.”

“That speech must have come directly from Beth.” Alec shrugged. “She’s worried about you.” “If she’s worried about my apartment, tell her I like caves.”

The best year of his childhood had been spent living in a makeshift home in a cave. He and Lily had been able to wander away for hours. On their own, in the quiet of the woods, the two of them had had the best times. Once, they’d even laughed after they’d had to run up a tree to escape a bear. Lily had been the only good part of his childhood. Until he’d destroyed their friendship with two shotgun blasts. “And the beer was work.”

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Phoenix Legacy by Corrina Lawson

Phoenix Legacy

by Corrina Lawson

Giveaway ends December 09, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Go enter! It’ll be fun.

:)

As enticement, here’s a short snippet of Philip and Del’s first meeting. Philip’s just pulled into the parking lot of the bar she owns, and she’s looking at him from the window of her apartment above the bar. I’ll be posting a few more short things each day.

**************************************************************

There was one unfamiliar face, though it was hard to get a look at him from this far away. All she could tell was that he had a thick shock of dark hair and that he was nicely built. She judged him to be about six feet tall. He wore jeans, boots and a short blue coat that showed off strong shoulders. From the possessive way he gestured at the Charger, he must be the driver.

Tall, dark and handsome man walks into a bar. She smiled. Sometimes clichés did come true. She could use a night of staring at someone like that. The distraction would be welcome, after today, just so long as he wasn’t arrogant, like Genet. She hoped the stranger had restored the car himself rather than buying it as a toy. That would mean he was a real mechanic, not somebody out for a joyride in his new toy.

Del opened the window and leaned out. The fall breeze blew her hair in her face and she had to push it aside to see. “Are you going to all spend the night in the parking lot drooling over that car?”

Jessica laughed. “It’s not just the car I’m drooling over!”

“Well, bring him inside and buy him a drink instead of staring at him in the parking lot! I need paying customers!”

The car’s owner looked up at her. Del couldn’t see his features clearly, but there was something familiar about the way he focused his attention on her. At first, she thought, “cop”, but that wasn’t it. Intense, she thought, despite the fact he was standing there calmly. She took a deep breath as her face grew warm. Oh, my. No wonder Jessica was drooling over him. He had presence, much like his car.

 

A little bit of a holiday treat for everyone: my first published comic story, which appeared in Greyhaven Comics The Gathering: All Women’s, Volume One. It’s the story of how the heroine of Phoenix Rising, Beth Nakamora, met her foster father, Philip Drake, with art by the tremendously talented Cassandra James.

 

 

Once again, I have been blessed by the cover gods for this. I began this book by naming the file “steampunk Sherlock,” and it morphed and became something that’s more. A homage to my love of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, yes, but also my own tale of adventures and love in a world where the creation of mage coal has led to a steam-powered technological revolution.

Caught in the middle of magic and murder is Jewish seamstress Joan Krieger, who life and livelihood are at stake in resolving the mystery. The consulting detective is one Gregor Sherringford, half-Indian scion and black sheep of a noble house.

Fun story about the dress–it wasn’t originally in the book but my editor and I received the cover while in the midst of edits. So I added in the dress and the gun. There’s one thing you can’t see on the top image that I wanted to point out:

steampunk, Sherlock Holmes, historical romance

Coming April 22

Joan’s sewing needle and thread, which plays a part in the mystery, both literally and figuratively.

I’m working on the final edits now and it’s a BLAST.

Can’t wait for you all to read this.

I’ve returned refreshed, revitalized and freakin’ inspired by the energy at Geek Girl Con in Seattle last weekend.

To all of you who attended my “Romance is a Feminist Genre” panel on Sunday morning that also featured Barb Ferrer, Karen Harbaugh, Kat, fandom representative extraordinaire, and moderator Suzete Chan, thank you so very much.

I had no idea we’d have such a receptive audience.

And to the person who asked about LGBT romance, thank you! We don’t have as much of it as we should, and there has been some pushback in the romance writing community about it from some quarters but thankfully, we also have people like Heidi Cullinan, who founded Rainbow Romance Writers.

After the panel, a number of people asked about where they might start in romance. I talked about a few at the panel but it seemed a good idea to have these down for posterity.

First, of course, I’d recommend Karen and Barb’s books, which are awesome, and Kat’s fan fiction is certainly a fun read. And you could amble over to my books page here and check out what I have and see if that interests you…

And then it depends on genre.

Science Fiction/Fantasy.
Linnea Sinclair. As far as I’m concerned, she’s the place to start for most geek girls who want to crossover as she’d working in the familiar galactic-style world, she writes fast-paced, layered, fascinating books with awesome characters from the leads to the supporting characters.

My favorite is Hope’s Folly. But Gabriel’s Ghost in the first book in her Dock Five series. She also has a number of unconnected stories. My favorite is Finder’s Keepers but, hey, the Kel-Patan fandom love in many quarters compels me to point out Games of Command.

Lois McMaster Bujold.
There are some writers whose books just fill your soul. Bujold’s books are like that for me. Ignore the dumb cover and the supposed similarity to David Weber’s Honor Harrington series. You want Cordelia’s Honor.

This is shelved in SF, not romance, and there’s so much going on around our leads, including galactic and civil war but it’s all the lovely characters that keep me coming back, from Cordelia to Aral to Bothari and later Miles and Mark, and Count Pierre, and Illyan and….I love these people.

Go. Read.

Contemporary: Jennifer Crusie.

Crusie was my gateway drug into romance. Hey, I like stuff blowing up and fights and murder, right, I don’t want a contemporary book but okay I’ll take a look and…what? This is FUNNY. This is interesting. I love these characters. I love their flaws, I love the way they interact, I love their ideas about how some men are muffins and some are donuts, I love the Krispy Kreme sex, and I love the Wonder Woman underoos.

Where to start? Bet Me is always a good place, and Welcome To Temptation starts with two sisters coming to their hometown to film a soft-porn movie (they’re directors, not the actors), and Don’t Look Down, written with Bob Mayer, is fast-paced action and a Wonder Woman theme.

Historicals:  Amanda Quick

Amanda Quick is the historical alter ego of contemporary writer Jayne Ann Krentz. Both her selves write books that are like crack, meaning once you start, you can’t put them down. I love the way her historicals layer in the setting, with heroines who are botanists and photographers, and fortune tellers and not just your average lord or lady. The heroes, too, aren’t necessarily heirs to great fortune, though some are, but they’re smart, resourceful and dangerous to their enemies.

These aren’t comedies of manners, like Austen or Heyer, but that’s okay because instead they’re thrill rides with mad scientist villains and obsessed magicians.

I’m not sure where to put the J.D. Robb series, which stars a homicide detective in a futuristic New York City and has elements of the police procedural, a touch of Bladerunner-style world building, and a hot romance, but start with Naked in Death. To me, this series is all about Eve Dallas, the most compassionate, bitchiest, haunted, relentless and intelligent woman in romance. I could build shrines to Eve Dallas.

And for more? Check out the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout Group on Goodreads run by Bonnie Burton and Felicia Day.

Because even if you don’t find titles, you’ll still be able to click and watch drunken Bonnie Burton and Felicia Day talk about romance books.

 

 

Early Friday morning, I’m headed out of Boston for a cross-country trip to Geek Girl Con in Seattle.

I’m part of three panels, Home Geek Home with an incredible lineup that includes Bonnie Burton and fellow Geekmoms Kelly Know and Jenn Fujikawa on Saturday;  Romance is a Feminist Genre, my own brainchild, which will talk about why the romance genre is so awesome and positive for women on Sunday at 10 a.m.; and Women in Comics: What’s Left To Do, a panel featuring members of the pioneering feminist webzine, Sequential Tart.

I’ll also be signing copies of GeekMom: Projects, Tips and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st Century Families at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

I’m so excited about Geek Girl Con, which is now in it’s third year. Check out this mission statement:

GeekGirlCon is dedicated to celebrating female involvement in all fields of math, the sciences, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, fiction, gaming, and more.

As Kelly Knox pointed out in her preview post on GeekMom for GGC, this is a con that has nearly *everything* geeky. I’m not going to find a DIY science zone for all ages at NYCC or in San Diego or at Boston Comic Con, which was very superhero focused.

GGC promises to be a shorter version of a Maker Faire combined with feminism combined with geeky pop culture.

And it’s in Seattle. Where I’ve never been before.

It’s sorta like someone reached into my brain and made a Con just for me. If you find me there (and I encourage you to go, the price is incredibly reasonable–$45 for two days–and there’s fun stuff for everyone), I just might have some ARCs of the print copy of Phoenix Legacy there.

Hit me up! :)

 

Jim Gordon by Ming Doyle. She went above and beyond with this commission!

Romans, Vikings, alternate history, ancient North American, Native Americans

 

This is the book that began with the idea of Romans and  Vikings in North America, a pagan fertility ritual, and a heroine named after Black Canary. :)

It starts 9:45 a.m. EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

My favorite pin.

No, not pitching myself. I have my talented agent, Eric Ruben, and no new stories to work into a pitch. But the CT RWA chapter is holding a pitch fest as part of their monthly meeting and that kind of workshop always helps me focus my stories.

Plus, it’s a chance to wear my new t-shirt with the logo: “ACT III: They All Die.”

Which isn’t quite appropriate for a romance writer but definitely fits my mood everytime I hit Act II and get stuck. That’s when I remember my favorite pin and keep going.

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