October 20th, 2010
Book of the Day: Witch Fire

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

The winner from yesterday (an autographed copy of CRUEL ENCHANTMENT) is Jean P., who said, “Great excerpt, I always enjoy your books, they keep me hooked from start to finish.” Thanks Jean! Please email me at anyabast@gmail.com with your snail mail and I’ll get your prize out to you.

Today’s book is the first in the Elemental Witches series, Witch Fire.

Mira Hoskins doesn’t know she’s a natural born witch who possesses the rare—and powerful—element of air. She also never expected to find herself tied to a mahogany bed frame, captive to a man who aches to fulfill her every desire and let loose the magick that dwells inside her…

Heat emanates from elemental fire witch Jack McAllister. The Coven, a governing authority of witches, has sent him to protect Mira from a band of warlocks who drain witches of power… and life. Long ago, he saw Mira’s parents murdered by this same dark magick. He’d like to quell his guilt and offer her everything she deserves. But she’s the long-lost cousin of his boss—making seduction off-limits.

With Jack’s strong guidance, Mira is luring forth her inner magick. But his sense of duty is quickly swelling into insatiable hunger. They warned him about the natural attraction between air and fire. Now he risks being consumed by the woman he shouldn’t want—but can’t stay away from …

He looked like sin and seemed like salvation. Salvation for her sluggish libido, anyway.

Seriously preoccupied by the man sitting at table eight, Mira slung plates of liver and onion, the special of the day. She couldn’t remember the last time a man had distracted her this way, made her feel like a clumsy fifteen-year old again. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d looked at a man and had an instant, primal reaction. Hell, she’d begun to think she’d completely lost her sex drive.

It was still alive and well.

She tucked her pen behind her ear as she finished taking an order and glanced at the man. He sat at a booth in the corner, sipping black coffee and reading the Star Tribune. He’d been there for close to two hours and hadn’t wanted any food. Normally that would annoy her, especially since he was taking up prime real estate during the busiest time of the day, but she was prepared to forgive him. Eye candy like him tended to be rare in Mike’s Diner. He was so gorgeous she felt like throwing herself at the poor guy, but her boss frowned on scaring the customers. Anyway, recently divorced, grease-stained waitresses probably weren’t this man’s normal fare.

It wasn’t just his physical appearance that made him so attractive. It was his attitude and his mannerisms. It was the way he held himself so confidently. He was one of those men to whom women had a deep, instinctive reaction, a response that harkened back to caveman days when females were most attracted to the biggest, baddest male around.

At least six foot three and powerfully built, the man seemed to walk and breathe sex, like he knew his way around a woman and would deliver one hundred percent satisfaction. Like he’d protect a woman from any threat and take really good care of her body while he did it.

Of course, that was probably just her fevered, under-sexed imagination working overtime. That doubtless happened when one unexpectedly rediscovered one’s libido.

As a result she was having sexual fantasies about a stranger during the busiest part of her shift. Instead of worrying if the salt and pepper shakers were filled, she wondered what his hands would feel like on her body, imagined his hard chest rubbing against her bare breasts.

As Mira took care of a table, refilling drinks and making sure the patrons had everything they needed, she glanced at the man again from under her lashes. She felt the need to commit him to memory so he could star in her fantasies later. During the last few months her vibrator had gathered dust in the bottom drawer of her night table. Now she had a reason to pull it out again.
He was broad-shouldered and leanly muscled. His golden, sun-kissed skin seemed to defy the Minnesota winter and made Mira want to run her lips and hands over it. Silky black hair framed a chiseled, interesting face with black slashes for eyebrows and a sexy dusting of a beard on his sculpted jaw. He was attractive, yet he wasn’t a pretty boy. This man had a face that could either freeze someone solid or turn a woman’s bones to warm honey, depending on his expression.

The man was sex on legs, but it was his mouth and eyes that really did it for Mira. Long, dark lashes fringed his light blue eyes. They seemed cold at first glance, but when he’d smiled at her the look in those eyes had made her knees go weak. And he had a positively indecent mouth. The slight curve of his full, sensual lips brought to mind all sorts of tempting images—skin moving on skin, limbs entangled, ragged breathing, mouths and tongues working as two bodies fused amid twisted sheets….

“Hey, watch it!” a customer complained when she nearly plowed him over after clearing off a table.

“Sorry.” She pasted on a smile and apologized. She was really off her stride this afternoon. Blowing an errant strand of dark hair out of her face, she carted the tub to the back for the dishwasher. As she passed nearby, she stole her thousandth glance at him.

He wore a pair of close fitting jeans, a gray turtleneck sweater, a long black coat and black boots. His dress was casual, but he reeked of money. The whiff she’d gotten of his expensive cologne and the silver Mercedes he’d parked outside was enough to tell her he had lots of that.

Nope. Definitely not her type.

In any case, she’d made a promise to herself to avoid any new relationships for at least a year. She owed it to herself to keep that promise.

Not that he’d want her anyway.

She headed back to the kitchen, hooking a loose hank of hair behind her ear as she went, and placed the order she’d just taken. It was lunchtime and the diner was crowded with downtowners grabbing a quick bite before they headed back to the office. Nobody wanted to go very far in February; Mike’s Downtown Diner was good enough in this kind of Minnesota cold. The sounds of conversation and clattering silverware nearly drowned out the piped-in music, and it felt hot in the small restaurant.
Normally, when she wasn’t so distracted, this was the time of day when she hit her groove. Her whole reality became the synchronization of taking orders, serving food, and refilling drinks. The time went fast and smooth. The rhythm of lunchtime at the diner was like the clackety-clack of well-oiled train wheels speeding down a track.

She was good at her job, able to sense people’s needs with a natural intuitiveness that she’d had her whole life. Her regular customers always commented on how she’d show up right as they were thinking about ordering a side of mayo or a slice of blueberry pie. Okay, so she wasn’t curing cancer, but at least she was being a productive member of society. Plus, the tips weren’t bad. Mira was saving up to go back to school and finish her degree in psychology. She had no intention of being a professional waitress for the rest of her life.

“Mira, order up!” Mike called from the kitchen.

She picked up her order and headed out to deliver it, making her way through the crowded diner toward table seven. It was right next to table eight where Mr. Gorgeous still nursed his coffee. She painted on a wide give-me-a-good-tip smile and served the man at table seven his meal. He looked like some middle management guy struggling his way up the corporate ladder. After working at the diner for the last six months, she’d gotten a good feel for the lunchtime crowd.

“Can I get you anything else right now, sir?” she asked brightly.

The man looked up from his plate and focused on her necklace. “You some kinda Satanist?” he asked.

Her smile collapsed and shock rippled through her at the angry tone of the man’s voice. Her hand flew to the pentagram around her neck. Damn, she’d forgotten to take it off before her shift.

Scorn followed the shock. This guy never would’ve said anything if she’d been wearing a crucifix. People instantly equated the pentagram with Satanism, even though it had nothing to do with it. Normally, she’d give him a lesson in religious sensitivity, but this wasn’t the time or the place.

“No,” she answered coldly. “I’m not a Satanist. Can I get you anything else, sir?”

“So what? Is it some kind a goth thing, then?”

“No, it’s not a goth thing. Do you want another Coke?”

“Why wear that damned thing around? It offends people.”

“Leave the waitress alone.”

Her head snapped up. It was Mr. Gorgeous. He hadn’t even raised his head from his paper. His deep, resonating voice commanded authority even without his direct attention. “She doesn’t want to explain her jewelry preferences, she just wants to know if you want a drink refill.”

Middle Management seemed instantly cowed by the note of aggression in Mr. Gorgeous’ voice. That’s why he probably wouldn’t make it very far up the corporate ladder, Mira thought with satisfaction.

“I’m fine,” Middle Management answered her, looking down at his plate. “Sorry.”

“No problem,” she said, turning away.

She glanced at Mr. Gorgeous. He looked up from his paper and their gazes met for a moment. His mouth curved a little in a smile before he turned his attention back to his paper. She imagined those full lips kissing between her breasts and down her stomach.

The image of his dark head working between her thighs as he licked away her deep sexual ache filled her mind.

A baby squalled a couple booths over, breaking her pleasant thoughts. Mira wished she wasn’t working and could be home wallowing in her fantasies of this man.

Since she had a little lull, Mira ducked into the break room to remove her necklace and put it in her locker. On her way out, she picked up a pot of coffee and walked back to Mr. Gorgeous’ table.

He looked up at her as she approached. “Would you like another cup of coffee?” She held the pot and tipped her head to the side in question.

He shook his head. “The check.”

She put the pot down, dug in her apron pocket for his bill and laid it on the table. “Thanks,” she said quietly. “I mean, for saying what you did.”

“Are you Wiccan?” he asked while he fished his billfold out and extracted a twenty. His hands and wrists, she noted, looked strong and capable. A little shiver went through her.

She nodded. “I was raised Wiccan, but I don’t practice magick or anything crazy like that. Wicca is my religion. I was raised on it.” She snapped her mouth shut so she wouldn’t babble on. The man made her feel vulnerable and awkward. Not to mention…not many people would instantly take her for Wiccan at the sight of her pentagram.

He threw the twenty on the table and stood. The faint scent of his cologne—spicy, a bit woody—assaulted her senses. He glanced at her necklace-free throat. “Too bad you have to hide it because of the ignorance of others.”

Oh. She was in love.

Rendered momentarily speechless, she looked down at his bill. “Uh, let me get your change—”

“No, keep it.” He turned and left.

She picked up the twenty and his bill. His coffee with free refills had only been a buck twenty-five.

Mira is definitely a “fish out of water” when she discovers she’s actually a witch. Later in life than usual for a witch, she has to start from ground zero and learn about herself and her power. Has there ever been a time in your life when you’ve been thrust into an entirely new situation and been forced to adapt quickly? I can think of several times in my own life. How about you?

Leave a comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of WITCH FIRE. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow it see if you’ve won. Good luck!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

51 comments to “Book of the Day: Witch Fire”

  1. When I entered first grade, I hadn’t had kindergarten and most everyone else had. Because of this I was behind and felt a little overwhelmed.


  2. I would have to say that describes having my first child. lol. I was defiantly a fish out of water for a bit

    This series was fantastic, was sad to see it end but it ended well.


  3. Thanks for the chance to win this book!


  4. When I started my current job, there was no training, you were expected to learn as you went. I quickly found that my predeceasor had not been following FDA rules. So I ended up having to try to fix that along with all the other learning. Defiantly a change from my previous job, which was without change by definition.


  5. first i love your books and yes i’ve been thrust into new situations before but the one that sticks out is starting my current job i went from the medical field to office manager of a roofing company with no training it was daunting :)


  6. I was asked to go on a business trip 3 months into my job, but I found out that if you are willing to work and adapt, there is someone who is willing to teach you.


  7. I’m hooked!!!! I love your writing style. I can get lost in your books for hours!!! Thank you.


  8. When I went to college. It was really different from High School.


  9. Every time I go to Europe I feel like I’m over my head. I try to learn a few helpful phrases before I go. It has been my experience that everyone is more willing to talk to you in English if you make the effort to speak to them in their own language. I have always met the nicest, most helpful (and patient) people in my travels. I’m always scared before I go but I come back with lovely memories of the people I met.


  10. When I went from working for a school district to a job working for a housing contractor. Talk about learning as you go.


  11. I loved this book and the series, it was the first series of your that I read and it has hooked me on all of your books.


  12. When I was 18 I spend a month and a half in the Philippines. Everything was so different, even the weather (in Spain it was winter, there it was summer) and at the beginning I had trouble understanding people. I had a great time, though.


  13. I have had to learn to adapt quite a bit. My job puts me in different places all the time and I have to adapt and make it work.

    I love Witch Fire. It is my favorite books in series!

    Thanks!
    Katie


  14. Every time I go into a new situation (new job, new school, new neighborhood) I feel like a fish out of water. I am slow to make friends and get to know people so it is always uncomfortable.


  15. My job takes me many different places so I’m always having to adapt.

    I haven’t read this series but the excerpt definitely makes me want to!


  16. Definitely when I got my first job and the beginning of college, which took a lot of adjusting to but it turned out okay.


  17. I so felt like a fish out of water when my oldest child started school, all the other mums knew each other because it was a small country school and I had moved there from a town. It was hard to get into a tight community!
    Thanks for the chance to win.


  18. :eek: I would have to say right after we were married— we were rear ended on our wedding night and it totaled my car. My husband and I were in two different states (Mississippi and New Mexico)- him Navy and me college on scholarship. So we flew to his car and I had three days to learn how to drive a stick shift- I had NEVER done it before- and drive back to NM in time for classes on a Tuesday after a three day weekend (hence the three days to learn- literally learn as you go). His ship pulled out the day I started on the road trip. I had him and both of our families chewing their nails to see if I would make it back safe and sound. Over a decade later and we are still married and going strong- no longer separated except when the ships are out…


  19. My first job was at a public library, where both of the shelvers were quitting and they were just hiring in new help. Training was pretty much not existant… plus I had to answer the phone! :eek: Let’s just say it’s a good thing I know my alphabet….


  20. I get that feeling when I start a new job and you’re still getting familiar with your new surroundings and meeting new people.


  21. I felt like a fish out of water a few times, but the one that stands out most was when I moved to a new state. Had to get used to everything being different and new!


  22. I absolutely hate feeling like a fish out of water. But that’s how I felt going to a conference for work. I’d never gone to one before, and no one I knew was going. I remember walking in and just glancing around at everyone talking to each other and feeling so lost. The conference was great though.


  23. I am actually in that position right now. I’m a Brit in Germany and I teach English.

    Now, I am pretty fluent in German and today my boss asked me to take on a German class as the usual teacher is too busy…oh my!!!!

    Valerie
    in Germany


  24. Great excerpt.I’m slowly getting all these books in this series.
    I avoid things that place me in new situations like the plaque,lol.As for adapting,it would be slow,takes me awhile to adjust.


  25. We moved cross-country for my husband’s work, and the shift from major California city to small college town in the Midwest was quite a shock.

    That’s a wonderful excerpt, with lots of tension. Looks terrific.


  26. My first child was the biggest time I felt like “A fish out of Water” All the worries and Joys of being a first time mother were more then worth it in the end.


  27. I felt like a fish out if water when I moved to Australia. I didn’t know anyone, and had to trust someone so that I could have a place to live. Although its an English speaking country the culture is completely different. It also made me realize who were my real friends.


  28. Oh, yes, definitely. I think everyone’s felt that way at least once.


  29. I definitely feel like that on those “first days”. I think most people do whether it’s school, work or relationships.
    Especially on the first day of a new job I tend to be on edge and nervous. I always feel so out of place, trying to do the right thing, but not knowing if it’s going to be right or if I’ll mess up.


  30. The time I felt the most out of water was when I started working in Oklahoma as an LPN just after we had moved from Michigan. Not only was it a new job but the learning requirements are vastly different then what I was taught! But thanks to the rest of the staff, I was brought up to par! Only way to deal with something uncomfortable is just going head on into the situation I would say!

    Plus- this really does sound like a good book from just the except alone! Hope I do get to win it!!!


  31. Almost 10 years ago, I was an analyst for an IT project. The next day, I was the project manager! WHAT??? I had no experience and no formal training/education for it. I must certainly “learned on the job”.

    It was rough going, at first, but in the long run, I learned a lot.


  32. I haven’t been in too many situations. The only thing that comes to mind was a work related situation. I have always been a secretary of some kind all my life. When we moved to Louisiana I did not work and I was really bored. My daughter was working at a small restaurant and I would go see her and I would help in the back sometimes if they were short handed. One day the owner asked if I would be interested in being the main cook (roast beef poboys,muffalattas, salads, etc) since the lady was quitting. I was suprised, you have to know my husband is the main cook in our home, he loves to cook and I really don’t. Well, I said sure if you think I can do it!! WEll I was good at it, don’t ask me how, and I enjoyed it, it kept you busy the few hours I worked the lunch crowd. Those first couple days I was a fish out of water.


  33. Moving to Chicago to start my internship and moving in with my great aunt and uncle to live. Two new situations I was thrown into in a very short time span.


  34. well ive always lives with my parents and nearthem this is a new experiance for me living 2hours away from them on my own in a town where i know no one save my brother who isnt around much yeah its been an adjustment

    im also engaged so thats a whole new set of differancesa nd honetsly id have to say that while different and new im all the better fo rthem


  35. One of the things I learned growing up was turning 18 does not automatically make you an adult, legal rights and issues aside. You have to choose to become one and take action. I went from adolescent, to wife, to young mother, to military wife in a span of 2yrs.

    For the experience brought to mind, I’d say I thrust myself into it. At age 17, my boyfriend, now husband, chose to have unprotected intercourse. A month later, I turned 18 and found out I was pregnant with 3months left to graduate from high school. I was raised in a traditional Vietnamese family: sheltered, strict, and authoritative with a patriarchal foundation. My parents took care of everything: food, clothing, shelter, education, transportation, and insurance. When we finally decided not to abort the pregnancy, I learned to grow up real fast. To sum up the events of my life changing decision, I graduated from high school, was disowned by my father, who holds a high rank in my immediate and extended family, and who also threatened the rest of the family to cut ties with me or else he would cut ties with them, got married to my boyfriend 5 days after graduation, moved into his parent’s house, gave birth to my son, my husband joined the Air Force, and then we finally moved out on our own. Within 2.5yrs I learned to adapt to his family’s customs (his family is Caucasian), manage a budget, pay bills, fill out paperwork and change some. Then I learned (and still learning) how to care for my growing child, while maintaining my marriage.


  36. O gosh yes i got divorced 2 years ago i never lived on my own i went from my parents home to living with my husband so when i moved into my first apartment it was a little strange and scary for me


  37. I think any time I have started a new job I have felt out of place and had to adapt quickly. It is always a little scary in the beginning but it usually gets better after the first week :)


  38. Hi, I can think of quite a few experiences but I think college was the big “fish out of water” experience. I had never been away from home & I am introverted so it was a big change for me.

    -Brandy


  39. When I started kindergarten, I didn’t speak a word of English. My native language is Chinese. It was difficult for me to make friends since I couldn’t communicate with my classmates. I remembered that I was so frustrated trying to learn the five crayon colors: red, blue, yellow, green, and black but it was also the breaking point where I decided I was not going to quit and I will learn to speak and write in English and failure was not an option.


  40. I have felt this way quiet often. Always when starting a new job but I just played on a kickball team for the first time this year and it was the league’s 9th season. Most of the other people had played before and I hadn’t played since elementary school. I felt very much out of place.

    Kelly
    kittykelly28 at hotmail.com


  41. I think that I felt most out of my comfort zone when I first got divorced. It was very unexpected, I had no clue! All of a sudden I was a full-time working mom of three little boys with a dead beat dad!


  42. well I remember the first time i meant my husbands family. It was hard. We got married after only dating for three months. They were worried because in his last relationship he was engaged for 6 years and had a son with her. they were no mean but it was stressful. I was coming into the family with three girls (9,11, and 12). Thankfully we are now close.


  43. During my first year of college was completley new to me. During high school I had a teacher tell me that I would be lucky to grad that I had no chance in college. horrible teacher. I remember being so scared that first year of college.


  44. In the beginning of my nanny career I remember having to attend my very first formal party with one of the families. Boy did I feel out of my depth. It got easier as time went by but I never did feel that comfortable.


  45. This book looks so good… I am going to put this on my to be read list.. 100% excited…
    Thank you for a chance to win..
    :mrgreen:


  46. The job I have now started as quite the challenge. It was a brand new process that I new nothing about, and I needed to job in help as soon as I could. Baptism by fire is the best way to learn. :)


  47. Well I am not sure about this. I grew up an army brat and I was really shy. I was always in situations were I felt out of place.


  48. I can think of a couple of times where I felt like a fish out of water. (Like being in a room where everyone else spoke Spanish and I only know English.)

    Anyway, I loved Witch Fire! I was sad to see that series end though =/


  49. I certainly felt like I was over my head when I started my job a year ago practicing in an area of law I knew absolutely NOTHING about. Sink or swim baby!


  50. This is probably a bit late, I’ve been looking for the daily books on the contest’s initial post.

    Boarding school was definately a sudden change. I didn’t know anyone, no one knew me, and within a week I was starting to make friends because I finally fit in. It was great if a little weird.


  51. I travel quite a bit – usually overseas, so this happens to me whenever I go on a trip to a new country or place. I don’t ever take tours, so I’m always getting off a plane or a train, figuring out the local transport and customs, often in a foreign language. It’s never entirely comfortable, but it does get easier with practice.