First — I’m looking for someone who can verify an Italian translation for me. The dirtier the Italian you know, the better. It’s only a few lines from my current manuscript; I just need to make sure that the word choice/grammar is correct. Any takers? Send me an e-mail or leave a comment. (As soon I’ve got someone, I’ll update this space.)
And, THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF PARANORMAL ROMANCE. I thought this was releasing in April (except for in the UK, where it is already available) but I just found out that Amazon has it and is shipping it. I have a short story — unrelated to the Guardian series — called “In Sheep’s Clothing,” and here’s a quick excerpt (it’s a very short story, so I’m only putting up a very short excerpt *g*):
Five years ago, Emma Cooper would have thought a blown tire in the middle of a blizzard was bad. But bad was the small, spiked metal ball her fingers found embedded in the rubber — and worse was the truck, its headlights on bright, pulling off the two-lane highway and onto the shoulder twenty yards behind her Jeep.
The tire iron in her hands rattled against the one lug nut she’d had time to crack loose. She hadn’t even raised the jack yet; it lay on the icy asphalt behind the flat front tire.
No, not much time had passed at all. He must have been waiting off the road for her to drive by, his truck concealed by the dark and the snow.
Don’t panic, Emma told herself, and pulled in a long breath between her chattering teeth. Now was definitely not the time to panic.
Still gripping the tire iron, Emma rose from her crouch. The rattling rumble of his diesel motor cut off. The pounding of her heart filled the sudden, snow-muffled silence.
Stay calm. She tugged open the front door of her Jeep, slid into the driver’s seat, and hit the locks. Emma had been living in Seattle the past five years, but she’d kept up on the local news. In the last eighteen months, four vehicles — each with flat tires — had been found abandoned on this rural stretch of an Oregon highway. Each time, searchers recovered the body of a woman from the surrounding woods. Each woman had been raped and strangled.
The truck door slammed shut. Oh, God. She squinted against the glare of headlights in the rearview mirror, but couldn’t see anything. With her right hand, she rummaged blindly through her purse on the passenger seat and found her cell phone.
It had been years since she’d dialed the number, but she still knew it by heart. Nathan Forrester answered on the third ring. She spoke over his sleep-roughened greeting.
“Hey, Sheriff Studly.” Emma could see the dark figure in her side mirror now. The silhouetted shape was tall, and wearing a thick coat and a cowboy hat. She couldn’t tell if he carried a gun. “I’m on the side of the highway with a flat tire, and I could really, really use a lift.”
“Emma? Oh, Christ. Emma, listen — don’t accept any help.”
“I didn’t plan on it.” She stared at the mirror. He’d walked half the distance to her Jeep. Her fingers tightened on the tire iron, her nails drawing blood from the heel of her palm. Stay calm. “But I think he plans to offer help anyway.”
She heard Nathan swearing and running across a wooden floor. “Where are you? You still have your Jeep?”
“About ten miles before the Bluffs turnoff. And, yes. I still have it.”
“Okay, Emma, I’m on my way, but you’ve got to drive. Stay in low gear. The flat tire will pull hard at your steering wheel, but your Jeep will go. So you start it now and get the hell out of there.”
Emma jammed the phone between her cheek and shoulder, turned the ignition key. The engine fired up. A shadow darkened her window.
She looked over just he swung her jack through the glass.
There’s a complete list of authors and titles at Jeaniene Frost’s blog (via Lynda Hilburn’s blog).