Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wild Thing

Well what do you all think of my new book cover? I love it, and I'm so excited to have it to show off. I've been looking forward to getting Wild Thing out for so long now, getting the cover makes it seem real--heck, it's even up for presale on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com now too.

Here's a little sneak peek...

Chapter 1

Toni Russo stood on the porch of the Sawtooth Inn ignoring the mountains cutting the bright blue sky, concentrating instead on Hunter Kincaid’s very confused, very green eyes. She recognized him from the photos on the River Runners’ website. They didn’t do him justice, probably because there was no way to transmit the pheromones rolling off the man onto an image.

Hunter stared at her the whole way from his old Land Cruiser to the porch. He stopped, tipped his baseball cap back, and then put his hands on his hips. “You’re not who I expected to see.”

Well, no shit. “Yeah, I guess you’ll have to learn to live with the disappointment. I know I have.”

“Toni?” A look of relief flashed across his face then a smile ticked up the right side of his mouth as he made a slow perusal of her from head to feet and back again.

She waited, knowing it would take awhile. Ever since she’d landed in Boise, she’d experienced the same thing. No one quite knew what to make of her. Holding her clipboard to her chest, she wondered if it would have been better to have spent her time in Boise shopping for less interesting clothes. She mentally shook her head and knew it would never have worked. You could put her in a sack, and she’d do something to stand out. She’d long since given up trying to rein herself in. As Catherine Aird said, “If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” So far, it had worked for her.

Blowing her bangs out of her eyes, Toni looked down at her outfit. The short, red plaid kilt wasn’t too offensive. She pulled her clipboard away to see she had on her Stay Away T-shirt. Maybe he had something against the collage of pistols, brass knuckles, knives, and bullets. But really, he didn’t look like a pacifist, not that she wasn’t—it was a T-shirt for goodness sake, not a personal manifesto. The kitty-face Mary Janes and red skull-and-crossbones knee-socks were a bit busy. Okay, Hunter’s thirty seconds were up. She fingered the D-ring on the studded collar around her neck and cleared her throat. “Do you mind?”

Hunter took a sip of whatever was in the travel cup he held. “Not at all—just wondering if you were going for that naughty-schoolgirl-fantasy look.”

“No, I was going for my not-quite-sure-what-to-wear-for-a-meeting-with-Davy-Crocket look. How’s it working for you?”

Hunter’s mouth worked its way into a full smile. Great teeth. She had a thing for nice teeth, and yeah, his mouth was full of them.

“Really well, thanks. Over the phone, it sounded as if you wouldn’t be caught dead out here. When Bianca came to scout for photo shoot locations, she said something about you having a phobia. What changed your mind?”

Toni took in the rustic porch wrapping around the log cabin lodge and decided to sit on a rocking chair. There was nothing else to sit on except the steps, and they needed a good sweeping. “You asked Bianca about me?”

Hunter leaned against the rough-hewn post holding up the corner of the porch. “I didn’t know it was a federal offense.”

“Bianca was involved in negotiating a big deal so she sent me.” Toni placed her clipboard on her lap and clicked her pen a few times in rapid succession. “I had no choice.”

Hunter’s big hiking boots filled her line of sight. Her gaze wandered up to where neatly rolled, rag-wool socks met hard, tanned calf muscle with just the right splattering of leg hair—not so much you’d be tempted to take a brush to it, and not so little you’d wonder if he routinely waxed. He wore khaki shorts low around the hips, his green River Runners T-shirt pulled tight against his chest and abs. She’d seen him without a shirt thanks to the picture on the website, so she knew if she poked him it would feel like poking a brick wall. She’d bet dollars to doughnuts he didn’t get that hard body in a gym.

When her eyes hit his stubbled chin, she encountered another full-toothed grin. Damn, she hadn’t meant to be so obvious.

The slap of an old-fashioned screen door broke the tension. “Sorry.” James, Bianca’s right-hand man, appeared with two cups of coffee. He handed Toni hers. “That’s decaf. Maybe you’ll be able to sleep tonight.”

Not likely. The woods seemed to inch closer and closer to the lodge. God only knew what roamed out there. She took a sip of bad coffee as James, an ex-model and now her partner in managing the series of shoots, shook Hunter’s offered hand. James’s dark hair glittered with silver at the temples, his bright blue eyes were full of intelligence and humor, and his build was still trim and muscular, but not like Hunter’s. Hunter’s muscles were brought about by his life’s work, James’s by a trainer, weight machines, and a strict diet.

“James, this is Hunter Kincaid. Hunter, James Ness.”

“Hunter, good to see you again. Do you want coffee?”

“No, thanks, I brought my own.” Hunter’s handshake turned into a guy hug, which was weird considering James’s sexual preference was in direct opposition to the one Hunter oozed.

Toni caught James’s eye with a raised brow. A quick shake of his head confirmed Hunter was, in fact, straight. She’d forgotten James had accompanied Bianca on the scouting trip. The guys had obviously bonded.

Hunter set his travel cup on the table and sat. She finally saw what was written on the side of the cup: “The Way to a Fisherman’s Heart is Through His Fly” along with a picture of what looked like an insect with a hook up its butt. Nice.

“I was surprised to find Toni here,” Hunter said as he eased back on the chair.

James let out a laugh that grated on her nerves. “No more than she, I presume. Bianca didn’t give her much notice. Or should I call it warning? Still, Toni can run the show with one hand cuffed behind her back. We won’t have a problem.”

“I wasn’t worried.” Hunter watched her over the rim of his cup as he sipped his coffee, no decaf for him. He slept like a baby every night, no matter how late he drank coffee, but he wouldn’t mind spending a few sleepless nights with a beautiful woman.

He’d wondered what Toni looked like since the first day she’d called River Runners in January. Her deep, husky, raspingly sexy voice brought to mind an unbidden picture of a young, blonde, long-legged Kathleen Turner. The New York accent was all wrong, but that do-me voice was right on. Man, was he ever way off base. He found himself eye-to-eye with the polar opposite of the woman he’d pictured. Toni wore her jet black, shoulder-length hair in pigtails. Instead of making her look like a schoolgirl, it made him wonder what kind of underwear she wore, if she was into bondage, or just dug the whole collar-and-cuff thing for fashion’s sake, and had him searching all exposed skin for ink. When he didn’t see any, he thought about putting himself in the position to do a full body search.

Checking his dive watch, Hunter looked around for the models he’d promised his brothers they’d be working with when they signed on as guides. That was an ingenious idea if he did say so himself. By bringing Trapper and Fisher along, he not only got free guides and someone to distract Bianca, who, on their week-long outing, had been determined to share a sleeping bag with him, but supplied a physician and legal help if necessary. Since his brothers had plenty of vacation time racked up, they jumped at the chance to spend a week escorting ten models through the mountains and down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in the Sawtooth Recreation Area. Hunter could have gotten his brothers to pay for the privilege, but he hadn’t pushed it since Bianca Ferrari, the owner of Action Models, had paid top dollar for his services. “My guides, Trapper and Fisher, will be here any minute for the barbeque and to meet your group.”

Toni flipped through the pages stuck in her skull-and-crossbones stenciled clipboard, which, if he wasn’t mistaken, was shaped like a coffin. The clasp was a bat forged from what looked like pewter with onyx stones for eyes. “I’ve called a 9:00 a.m. meeting tomorrow then the models can spend the rest of the day getting acclimated.”

Hunter stopped staring at the clipboard and shrugged, trying not to envision what that bat would look like tattooed on Toni’s lower back, its wings spanning her small waist. “We can take a short rafting trip and have a picnic down by my cabin. Bianca had planned a shoot there. There’s a nice beach with plenty of space for sunbathing and a regulation sand volleyball court. It’ll be an easy trip and will give your group a chance to have a lesson on the rafts.”

James nodded. “That sounds great. I’ll make arrangements to have a lunch packed for everyone. It’s gorgeous, Toni. You’re going to love it.”

Toni paled, which was hard to do since the girl without makeup was pale enough to qualify for a vampire casting call. She was definitely a candidate for skin cancer. Hunter made a mental note to make sure she wore plenty of sunscreen—he’d be happy to help with the hard to reach spots.

She shook her twin ponytails as her lips drew into a deep frown. “I’m sure you’ll have fun. I’m going to stick close to my cabin. I brought plenty of reading material.”

Hunter crossed his arms. “You really need the lesson on the raft, and the only way to do that is to get you on the river.”

Still shaking her head, Toni backed away. Not a good sign.

“If you want to get out of the sun and hang out in my cabin and read, you’re more than welcome to. Put your book in a Ziploc, and bring it along.”

Toni held her clipboard tight against her chest. “I won’t be joining you.”

Hunter moved toward her like he would a spooked horse. “You’re not going to supervise the photo shoots?”

“Of course I will. That’s my job.”

It took him a moment to compute what she’d said since she’d spoken so fast. He tried his most encouraging smile. “Then you’ll want to come tomorrow. If not, you’re not going to be able to do at least two of the shoots Bianca planned.”

Toni stared at James as if she expected him to jump in and save her.

Hunter watched the silent argument going on between them. When no words were spoken, he cleared his throat. “It’s perfectly safe. Everyone wears PFDs and even lightweight helmets. We teach you everything you need to know in case you fall in. We show you how to get back into the raft, how to paddle, and what to do if we get stuck. We’ll be running down a lazy part of the river tomorrow. I promise there will be no class-five rapids.”

When James did nothing more than shrug, she tossed her clipboard on the table and turned on Hunter with both hands on her hips. “What the hell is a PFD?”

“A personal flotation device.”

“And why would I need a helmet?”

“The helmet protects you in the rare instance you should fall and hit your head on a rock in the river.”

Toni blinked twice and looked as if she needed to sit down and put her head between her legs.

“Are you okay?”

She didn’t answer. She just stood there, wide-eyed, looking as if she wasn’t breathing. Really not good.

The purr of Trapper’s Sequoia broke the silence. The engine died as doors opened and shut. Hunter looked for help from James who suddenly found his shoes very interesting. Great.

When boots hit the steps, Hunter turned. “Trapper and Fisher, this is James Ness. He’s working with Toni Russo, the manager of Action Models in New York.” Hunter turned back toward Toni only to find she’d disappeared, coffin clipboard and all.


Lynn Kellan said...

I just met Robin a few weeks ago, and she had me rolling with laughter. Her books are just as entertaining, and I can't wait to read this one!

Kimberly Kincaid said...

Yum, Robin! When's the release date?

And nice pick for Hunter's last name :) He looks fantastic.

Adele Dubois said...

Love your new cover and enjoyed your excerpt! I 'liked' your book on Amazon. Best of luck with WILD THING. Can't wait to read it!


Robin Kaye said...

@ Lynn - Thanks so much for stopping by! It was great meeting you. I hope I get to see you at Nationals!

@ Kimberly - December, 2011. LOL - I was thinking of you after I already had all the Kincaids in Yours for the taking! Stand by for Fisher, Trapper, and Karma too. They're almost as much fun as you! Looking forward to seeing you at National!

Adele - Thanks so much for Liking it on Amazon, Adele! Maybe soon they'll get a picture of the cover up there.

Diane Garner said...

Yummy cover. Great chapter. Looking forward to the release.

M.V.Freeman said...

I loved this chapter--and I liked Toni immediately, not only did she dress very cool--she had the same reaction I would going out into the wild!

This chapter certainly drew me in!


DiDi said...

OMG I can't wait!!!! It's great!!! December is too far away ;-)

Robin Kaye said...

@ Diane - Aw honey, that's just the first scene. The first chapter will be up on my website in the next day (if my DH remembers) you should check it out if you have the chance. www.RobinKayeWrites.com :)

@ M.V. - I'm so glad you liked Toni--I just loved her! I'm looking forward to seeing her again in Fisher's book.

@Didi - So glad you liked it. I had such fun writing it and just love all the Kincaids! I hope you will too.

Diana Cosby said...

Woot Robin, your cover for, "Wild Thing," is HOT!!! I know you're doing the dance! ^5 I wish you continued success, you rock!!! ^5

Danielle said...

I love it -- I can't wait to read it!

Gail Hart said...

Awesome cover, Robin!

Robin Kaye said...

@ Diana - Thanks for stopping by, Diana. I'm just trying to keep up with you, girlfriend!

@ Danielle - Hi sweetie! I was just thinking that I need to call Chicago and see if we are heading up there for an appointment this summer. The girls can't wait to go up to see you and all their cousins--especially Twinkle Toes, she's only heard stories about you and her little sister. I think she's a bit jealous. I'll be in touch as soon as I hear anything! (((Hugs)))

Robin Kaye said...

Hey Gail- Thanks for dropping by! Can't wait to see you at Nationals. Drop me a line and let me know when you're getting in.

Anonymous said...

Okay, ya hooked me. What is Toni so afraid of? Off to add to the RK section of my keeper shelf. Congrats on your release.

Anonymous said...

Completely awesome as usual! I can see I'm going to wear out the page-turn button on my Kindle, reading this one! Congrats!!

Cheryl said...

This is cruel...the excerpt was awesome but the book doesn't come out until December...that's just not fair I want to finish it now...keep up the writing these characters have me hooked.

Sandy said...

I love the whole package. The bookcover, Toni and Hunter. It's huge.

Gwynlyn said...

Toni reminds me of Abby, and I adore Abby! Can't wait to read this one, hon. How soon?

CathyP said...

Love the interaction between these two and I could so see that Idaho setting!
Can't wait to read the rest of it!

Christie Craig said...

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it.

Seriously, it's a great cover.