Thursday, November 19, 2015
Excerpt: Kiss the Flame by Christopher Rice @chrisricewriter
In a standalone novella that combines the worlds of The Flame and his novel, The Surrender Gate, New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice returns you to a mysterious candle shop in the New Orleans French Quarter where the scents of passion provide the courage to embrace your heart's desire.
Are some risks worth taking?
Laney Foley is the first woman from her hard working family to attend college. That's why she can't act on her powerful attraction to one of the gorgeous teaching assistants in her Introduction to Art History course. Getting involved with a man who has control over her final grade is just too risky. But ever since he first laid eyes on her, Michael Brouchard seems to think about little else but the two of them together. And it's become harder for Laney to ignore his intelligence and his charm.
During a walk through the French Quarter, an intoxicating scent that reminds Laney of her not-so-secret admirer draws her into an elegant scented candle shop. The shop's charming and mysterious owner seems to have stepped out of another time, and he offers Laney a gift that could break down the walls of her fear in a way that can only be described as magic. But will she accept it?
Light this flame at the scene of your greatest passion and all your desires will be yours...
Lilliane Williams is a radiant, a supernatural being with the power to make your deepest sexual fantasy take shape around you with just a gentle press of her lips to yours. But her gifts came at a price. Decades ago, she set foot inside what she thought was an ordinary scented candle shop in the French Quarter. When she resisted the magical gift offered to her inside, Lilliane was endowed with eternal youth and startling supernatural powers, but the ability to experience and receive romantic love was removed from her forever. When Lilliane meets a young woman who seems poised to make the same mistake she did years before, she becomes determined to stop her, but that will mean revealing her truth to a stranger. Will Lilliane's story provide Laney with the courage she needs to open her heart to the kind of true love only magic can reveal?
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A candle shop open at this hour, this far from the main drag?
But it’s the source of the smell, Michael’s smell. It has to be. Just to be sure, she pulls a piece of her dress close to her nose. Maybe his cologne rubbed off on her during their embrace and she’s coated with the stuff. But her dress smells more like dinner than the man of her dreams. When she lifts her head again, when she gazes across the street at the quaint little candle shop bathed in a gold light that feels otherworldly, a tide of it hits her again.
With each step she takes toward the shop, she feels as if she’s slipped further out of her own body.
It’s only the second day of class and he’s asked them to meet him at the sculpture garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park. He’s telling them how art is something that’s present in their everyday lives, not just something you visit in museums or study in books. The bright sculptures shining in the sunlight all around them are proof of that. And that’s when she realizes he’s not like any other man she’s ever known, as she gazes up at him, sitting cross- legged on the grass with the other students as he speaks. Handsome and brilliant and full of passion for something besides football. That was when she first caught his particular smell and it felt like he had unzipped her soul without touching her. And the moment had been so intoxicating, so powerful, she’d shoved it down and repressed it, and now it’s coming back to her unfiltered, uncensored, overpowering and raw.
She knocks on the doorway’s frame. There’s no answer.
The shop before her is tiny, but too beautiful and immaculate to have been carelessly abandoned at this late hour. Instead of a register or counter, there’s a small desk tucked in one corner beneath a row of ribbon wheels attached to the wall above. A large black table with a round marble top takes up the center of the tiny space. The table’s curvilinear supports make her think of snakes, if you made snakes rounded and elegant and lined their bodies with tiny flecks of ivory.
The source of the smell is sitting on a metal tray, a few inches from a vase exploding with yellow flowers she doesn’t recognize. It’s a candle just like the ones lining the shelves in the front window, only this one is lit. And the smell coming from it is Michael.
“Good evening,” a male voice says.
Sometimes you don’t know you’ve got a shell around your heart until it cracks.
Get it together, Laney. Get it—
“Laney…are you all right?” Michael asks.
A sane and reasonable answer is right on the tip of her tongue.
About the Author
After publishing four New York Times bestselling thrillers by the age of 30 and being declared one of People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive, award-winning writer Christopher Rice became the first author to make his erotic romance debut part of the 1,001 DARK NIGHTS series. THE FLAME: A Desire Exchange Novella kicked off a steamy new series set in New Orleans, featuring magical candles and a sexy new breed of supernatural beings, The Radiants, who are devoted to helping heroes and heroines realize their heart’s desire. THE FLAME earned accolades from some of the biggest names in erotic romance and was quickly followed up by THE SURRENDER GATE: A Desire Exchange Novel, available from Evil Eye Concepts as a Blue Box Special. Aside from authoring eight works of dark suspense, Christopher is also the co-host and executive producer of a streaming Internet radio show he launched with his best friend, New York Times bestselling author Eric Shaw Quinn. Each Sunday at 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT, THE DINNER PARTY SHOW WITH CHRISTOPHER RICE & ERIC SHAW QUINN brings you a new episode at TheDinnerPartyShow.com.
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