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A Visit to Annapolis and an Excerpt from ‘Sea Panther’ by Dawn Marie Hamilton

House and Garden

street jogger

 

 

Today is the last day of summer and tomorrow the first day of autumn. I love this time of year with its cooler temperatures. Recently, I spent a few days in Annapolis, MD. I enjoy hanging out in the historic section of town and taking in the sights. Kimberly and Robert from my paranormal romance, Sea Panther, visited Annapolis during their December cruise along the coast headed for Florida and Robert’s Florida panther refuge in the Everglades.

 

 

 

boats

They traveled on a 90-foot sailing yacht named Sea Panther (also Robert’s nickname) and harbored in Annapolis while Robert was to meet with a boat builder to discuss the renovation of the yacht. Much, much more happened.

street scape

 

 

 

While there, Kimberly shopped along the cobblestone streets and visited a shop with mostly wool merchandise based on an actual store on West street.

 

 

 

 

An Excerpt from Sea Panther:

After dinner, the boys headed farther into town to hit the bars. Not inclined to join them in the carousing, Kimberly strolled the main drag where stores were open late for holiday shopping.

Glitzy seasonal decorations sparkled everywhere. The sight of animated Santa’s elves plying their trade on high tech electronic toys behind the plate-glass storefront of a hardware shop made her chuckle.

Kimberly suppressed the urge to enter a brightly lit jewelry store. She couldn’t afford to feed her fetish. But on approaching one of the trendy boutiques, the wintry window display drew her in. It was love-at-first-sight with the wool merchandise. While admiring a red cashmere sweater dress, her cell phone rang. Darn. She’d lost track of time.

Sarah’s number lit the screen. Her sister’s phone batteries must be good for a change.

“Hey,” she whispered into the phone not wanting to disturb the other shoppers.

“Are you okay? I went to pick up your car. One of my guy friends went with me. Thank God. ’Cause someone broke into the car. And the cops—”

“Slow down. What happened?” Kimberly’s pulse raced.

“I’m trying to tell you. Someone shot out the light on the lamppost over your car at the marina and smashed the passenger side window.”

“You’re kidding. Right?”

“I wouldn’t kid about a thing like this.”

Shit. Shit. Shit. Why would someone break into her car? She’d only left clothes in it.

“Kim? What where they looking for?”

“No idea. Tell me the whole story.”

“The police searched the car. Lifted some prints. They’re checking to see if any match the ones found in your room at the B&B. I told them about the hit man. They questioned Mr. Romano. Of course, he denies involvement.”

“Oh, Sarah, you didn’t. He’ll never forgive me.”

“What does it matter? He’s not your client anymore.”

Kimberly looked heavenward. Her sister didn’t get it. Sarah didn’t understand the importance of maintaining professional contacts.

“What else did the cops say?”

“They’ll let me know if they learn anything from the prints.”

“Was my car damaged?” The darn thing would probably cost a fortune to fix.

“Only the window and I had it repaired. And hey, all my friends think I look really cool driving around in a shiny black Beemer.”

“Be careful. That car is the only valuable possession I have left.”

“Yeah, it’s a good thing you paid it off before Jerky Jason came into your life.”

“I don’t want to go there,” Kimberly murmured, tired of Sarah’s constant reminders of how rotten her ex had been.

“Gotta hang up. Boss is calling for me. Be careful. Love you.”

“Love you too.” Kimberly pressed the End button and returned the cell phone to her purse. She glanced through the large plate-glass window into the street at the holiday shoppers strolling by. Unease tightened the muscles across her chest.

Just how much danger was she in? Was someone trying to scare her or was someone out to hurt her?

Needing a distraction from the mounting fear, she wandered to the next clothing rack and fingered the soft weave of a mohair cape. The tactile sensation soothed. Suddenly the hairs on her arms rose. Someone stood behind her. Heart pounding too fast, she spun to meet the captain’s intense gaze.

“Ach, lass, I didn’t mean to startle you.” He stepped closer.

Kimberly released the breath she held and willed her pulse to slow to a normal pace. “It’s okay. I’m not usually the nervous type. You must have caught me during a rare moment.” She didn’t want him to think she jumped every time a man came near.

The captain fondled the forest green cape she’d been admiring, and a delicious chill shivered along her spine. For a man with large hands, he had a gentle touch. What would those long fingers feel like caressing her skin? The thought of him massaging her breasts the way he did the wool caused a shot of lust to rush through her system.

Chills and fever. What a potent mix.

“This garment would look beautiful on you,” he said.

“Thank you.” She lowered her head to hide a flushed face. “I’m afraid I can’t afford it.”

“Will you tell me why a woman with a quick mind like yours is out of work and homeless?”

His question was blunt and to the point—a splash of cold water to raging hormones. How she’d landed in the current situation was the last thing she wanted to explain. She raised a wary gaze to meet his. “Captain MacLachlan, I—”

“Never mind.” He waved an arm as if to erase his words. “I did not mean to put such deep sadness into your eyes.”

“Excuse me. We’re closing,” one of the shop’s employees interrupted. Her gaze lingered on Robert as if to say, you’re welcome to stay.

“We are leaving,” he said to the woman then smiled at Kimberly. “Come. Walk with me.”

She followed him out onto the sidewalk. Cars slowly drove by on the one-way street. If a hit man was after her, in truth, he could be anywhere. She tamped down on her nerves, feeling foolish, refusing to believe someone wanted to harm her. It didn’t make sense. Her ex-clients were respectable businessmen. The burglaries had to be a bizarre coincidence. After all, she’d left the car in a nearly deserted marina. No wonder someone broke into it.

“I’m on my way to a jazz club. Care to join me?”

The invitation surprised Kimberly and she nodded.

* * *

Hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Sea Panther.

Sea Panther

E-book:
Amazon,  Amazon UK,
B&N, Apple, and Kobo.
Trade paperback:
Amazon, BAM,
and Barnes&Noble.

~Dawn Marie

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Sea Panther by Dawn Marie Hamilton – Christmas Eve Excerpt

Sea Panther
A Crimson Storm Novel
Book #1

This is

E-book: AmazonAmazon UKSmashwords, kobo,
Appleand Barnes&NobleTrade paperback:
Amazon, BAMand Barnes&Noble.

 

goodreads-badge-Sea Panther ~ a Scottish inspired paranormal romance with a Highlander vampire shifter hero, a modern damsel in distress, adventure, suspense, and romance. And a wee bit of time travel—just for fun.

~~()~~

A drunk banged into the table and broke the steamy spell holding Kimberly and Robert enthralled. She choked on a flat laugh. He cleared his throat.

The awkward moment thickened the air. Made it hard to breathe.

Kimberly twitched her nose. Now would be a good time to find a hidey-hole to crawl into. Perspiration glazed the skin between her breasts. God, her face must be the color of a ripe strawberry.

“I overheard you,” Robert said.

“Did you?” Just great.

“Aye.” His gaze dropped to the tabletop. He picked up a drink stirrer and fiddled with it.

Mesmerized, she watched large fingers nimbly tie the thin strip of plastic into a bowline knot. The naughty image of him using the same knot to tie a silk scarf around her wrists flashed in her mind. Where had that idea come from?

“What the rest of the crew has been trying hard not to tell you is I have a rare blood disease.” Her wayward thought splintered at the unemotional statement of fact.

She gazed into his eyes, searching for something empathetic to say.

“I have to take it easy until my doctors can find a donor with the right DNA makeup to help me. That is why I sleep a lot.”

“I’m sorry.” Oh, that sounded lame. Worse yet, she’d been thinking about sex. Kinky sex. My God, what had come over her lately? She’d never thought of having that kind of sex with Jason. Heat rose from toes to face. Thank God Robert couldn’t read minds. She reached for her mug, but it was empty.

“Dance with me?” He grasped her hand.

She nodded, and followed him onto the dance floor. “When they find a donor, will they be able to make you well?”

His eyes clouded. “I hope so.”

So did she.

He tucked her close, held her tight, smooth cheek against the rasp of whiskers, as they swayed with the other couples to the sweet melody of an Irish love song. She embraced hard muscle as she wrapped her arms around him.

How could a virile man like Robert be critically ill?

When the song ended, she pulled away, feeling awkward. He seemed uncomfortable too. They returned to the booth at the same time as the twins.

The moment Robert sat, his cell phone buzzed. He grabbed it from his belt. “Aye.” A dark expression hardened his features. “Do what you can. Tell Colin to be ready to motor out and set sail as soon as we arrive.”

Alarm pinched. Something bad must have happened.

He returned the phone to his belt and pulled her to her feet.

“What’s up?” Davey asked.

“We have trouble.” Robert pushed Kimberly through the crowd toward the back door. Davey and John followed. Once they were out in the night air, Robert answered Davey’s question, “It appears Miss Scot is wanted by the sheriff’s department.”

Kimberly wanted to explain, but he cut her off.

“Colin is stalling the deputies, which will buy us some time but not much. You two…” He directed an intense stare at the twins. “Go to the boat and make ready to cast off on Colin’s order. I will borrow a launch, and we will rendezvous offshore.”

John and Davey disappeared into the shadows.

“Come.” Robert tugged on her arm.

They ran down the back alley away from the Christmas gaiety. By the time they reached the outskirts of town, Kimberly panted for breath. She still hadn’t figured out how to explain the situation. “Captain, I—”

“Just answer one question. Did you break the law?”

“No.” She shook her head with force. “Definitely not.”

“Then you can explain later. Now, we need to hurry.” He led her behind a waterfront hotel. They jogged across the manicured lawn to a private dock with a Zodiac tied to it. Luck was with them. Keys dangled from the ignition.

The inflatable boat raced out into the dark night. When the town with its twinkling lights looked like a miniature holiday village, Robert idled the engine, and they drifted.

“I’m sorry. I’ve done nothing wrong.” Kimberly found it hard to believe the mess that had caught up with her.

~Dawn Marie

Now available for Pre-Orders – Beta’s Mate

2 Betas Mate 300 textComing Soon By Caryn Moya Block

October 6th, 2014

Beta’s Mate

Siberian Volkov Pack Romance Series

 Book Eight

Brenda Scott, while being cured of cancer, had her world turned upside down when she shifted into a wolf. Now living in Quebec with her new pack, she wonders if her dream of being in a special operations unit is forever out of reach. Then there is the quiet man who watches her with the yellow eyes of a wolf wanting his mate. Will she be able to adapt to her new wild urgings?

Granger Thibault wants his mate more than anything in the world. But he knows that if he pushes her, she will fight back. Once a soldier and the Alpha female’s litter mate, Brenda is a force to be reckoned with. Can Granger find a way around Brenda’s hard shell to the soft woman waiting to be loved?

Pre-Orders available at:

  iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/x/id902832511

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/460825

 Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/betas-mate-caryn-moya-block/1120001959?ean=2940045656382

 Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/beta-s-mate

Me and My Imagination by Dawn Marie Hamilton

Sea Panther e-cover 200 by 300How did my imagination get me here? I suppose that’s a good question for my first post at Supernatural Superlatives. But first, a big thank you to Caryn for creating this super, new blog. Isn’t the background pretty?

Hello. Thanks for visiting. I’m Dawn Marie and I write Scottish inspired fantasy and paranormal romance.

As a small child, before an age to attend school, I had an imaginary playmate. His name was Michael. Yeah, a guy, go figure.

Michael was everything to me. All I talked about. After much nagging, mom set a place for him each night at the dinner table. No one dared sit in his chair. Since I didn’t have a play phone, and wasn’t allowed to use the real phone, I called him on the pull chains of the fireplace screen. A bulb ornament hung on the end of each chain. I held one to my mouth and the other to my ear and chatted with Michael for hours. When we went on car trips, I’d point out his house(s). When a private plane flew overhead, it was Michael’s plane.

Worried, my parents spoke to the pediatrician. His response: Dawn Marie has a vivid imagination.

One of these days, I’ll write a story with Michael as the hero.

During grade school, I had three passions. 1. Reading. 2. Telling stories. Okay, maybe some people might have called them fibs—lie was not a word allowed in our house, so my siblings got in trouble if they called me a liar. 3. Being a ballerina.

I planned to grow up and be a ballerina who read tons of books and told fantastical stories.

During high school, I wrote several short stories. My English teacher suggested majoring in English in college. My aptitude scores were higher in math. I buckled under parental pressure and majored in computer science instead. Blah.

I hated it. I quit, got a job, and guess what? Because of all the computer classes I’d taken, the job I landed was as a sales statistician working with…you guessed it. Computers. I went back to school at night and earned a degree in Business Administration. I worked in finance then became a computer programmer, and then a systems analyst. Are you seeing a non-imaginative pattern? I became a computer trainer. Then a corporate trainer.

Just Beyond the Garden GateWith the corporate career, I traveled all over the United States, to Asia, and to Europe. While waiting for delayed flights, I made up stories about other passengers. Especially about couples who seemed oddly suited. During an assignment in Brussels, while traversing the city in a taxi, I saw a large billboard advertising whisky. The brawny Highlander with bare chest, kilt and claymore reminded me of the Scottish historical romance novels I read on all the boring, long flights.

I wanted to write about sexy Scottish men in kilts. I wanted to write about faeries. I wanted to write about vampires and shape shifters. I wanted to write about romance and happily ever afters. Years passed. I fell in love. Got married. Left my career. Started writing.

The first two books in the Highland Gardens Scottish Historical Time Travel series rife with meddling faeries released last year—Just Beyond the Garden Gate and Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon. If all goes well, Just Wait for Me, the third novel, will release late fall. Fingers crossed.

After seeing the movie Pirates of the Caribbean and reading the book The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard, my imagination produced a story idea with a hero who was a Scottish Jacobite turned vampire by a Voodoo curse. Then while in South Florida on vacation, a panther-crossing sign on the side of the road inspired the hero to morph into a vampire shifter. Sea Panther, the first book in the Crimson Storm paranormal romance series, was a 2013 RWA® Golden Heart® finalist and released in March. And I’m pleased to report it is a Night Owl Reviews top pick.

I’m currently working on the second book, Raven’s Revenge.

Grasp the fantasy. Embrace the romance. Dare to dream!

So, what has your imagination inspired?

~Dawn Marie