The release of Call of Duty Black Ops 2 coincides with the release of River's Recruit. Perfect timing in my opinion. Almost as good as Super Bowl Sunday. When men turn into video game or football zombies, there's always a bump in book sales. I write paranormal romance, so that's what I'm going on. There's probably an equally dramatic slump in the so-called "men's genres."
You’d think this was my first book…I’m so freakin’ excited! The Sanctuary Series has a very special place in my heart. River’s Recruit evolved from my first “real” novel. But it’s a very different (and much better) book after beta reader input, editor suggestions and too many full rewrites to count.
ANYWAY... I'm inviting y'all to enjoy a romantic evening with my current book boyfriend, Jonathan McKnight. He's a tenderhearted alpha male that answered his own call of duty. And paid for it dearly.
Here's the hottie that inspired him...
And here's what a few beta readers had to say about Jonathan and his story...
“I felt Jonathan's desperation right down into my bones and was crying right along with him. This story reached out and grabbed me, and didn't let me go until the very end. Charlotte Abel is on the top ten of my favorite authors list and her books are on my keeper shelf so that I can go back to her wonderful worlds that she creates as much as I want to! It doesn't get better than that!”—Jen Berg
“This is by far the best book Charlotte Abel has ever written, loved the plot, simply amazing”—Karla Caldaza
“Great characters, romance, intrigue and plot twists. What more could you ask for?”—Christina Harris
Leave a comment to be entered into a contest to win a book-themed charm bracelet or a signed paperback of River's Recruit. If you can't wait for a drawing, you can get the Kindle copy of River's Recruit on Amazon.
WARNING: River's Recruit is a "New Adult Paranormal Romance" so it's a bit edgier than YA novels like Enchantment and Taken. If you're under sixteen or offended by swearing or sexual situations. Then don't buy it! Or read the following excerpt.
This takes place before Jonathan leaves for boot camp, so it's before he meets River.
The back seat of the Mustang wasn’t exactly ideal for a couple of virgins. Things were awkward enough without the added challenge of trying to seal the deal in such a small space. That’s why Jonathan decided to take Carrie out to his family’s abandoned gold mine for a private tour. Dad was thinking of reopening the mine so he’d had it inspected. The first twenty feet was solid rock. It’d take a major earthquake to bring it down. They’d stay in the entrance, just deep enough to block the wind. The prospect of getting laid should be enough to keep Jonathan’s claustrophobia under control. It wasn’t the most romantic place, but it was private.
Jonathan would have sprung for a hotel room, but that would have been too obvious. Carrie liked to pretend that every bit of progress in their physical relationship was an accident. If she wanted to claim that they’d been swept away by passion and that neither of them had planned for it to happen, well, who was he to argue? He patted his back pocket to be sure the condoms were still there then grabbed the sleeping bag out of the trunk.
Carrie arched her eyebrows. “What’s that for?”
“To sit on. The ground inside the mine is really cold.” Okay, that was lame, but Carrie didn’t call him on it. She didn’t object when he led her inside the mine and unrolled the sleeping bag. She even grinned at him when he kicked off his Tony Lamas and crawled inside. Things were looking good. Jonathan unzipped it a little further and lifted the corner. “Wanna snuggle?”
Carrie giggled, stepped out of her dainty, little shoes and slid in next to him. He knew the drill. He had to kiss her and rub her back for at least five minutes before she’d let him unbutton her shirt. So far, so good. He fumbled around with her bra for another couple of minutes before realizing it was one of those Victoria’s Secret contraptions that fastened in the front. But how did it fasten? It wasn’t a hook. Should he ask her to help him out or just keep pawing at it?
“Jonathan, stop.” Carrie grabbed his wrist and moved his hand to her shoulder. But then she scooted closer, accidentally-on-purpose brushing against him.
Jonathan gritted his teeth and rolled onto his back. Carrie was driving him crazy. Her mouth said ‘stop’ but the rest of her was saying ‘go, go, go.’ It didn’t matter. He never ignored a girl’s request to stop.
Carrie nuzzled his neck and whispered, “You don’t have to stop everything. Kiss me.”
Jonathan hated this game. They’d been playing it forever during their on-again-off-again relationship. “I’m leaving for Camp Pendleton tomorrow. This is our last chance.”
“Don’t say that.” Carrie’s voice wavered.
Jonathan hadn’t meant to imply that he wasn’t coming back at all; but he might as well roll with it. “I don’t want to go to war without knowing what it’s like to be as close as two people can be.”
Carrie grabbed his face and crushed her lips against his, bumping teeth. She thrust her tongue into his mouth and groaned.
Ugh. Her TicTac must have dissolved. Jonathan didn’t want to ruin the moment by offering her another one, but jeeze…who orders roasted garlic on a date? He pulled his mouth from hers and nibbled his way down her throat.
Carrie froze. Her entire body stiffened beneath Jonathan’s. What now? He hadn’t even unhooked her bra yet.
She pushed him off and sat up. “Did you hear that?”
“Hear what?” He trailed his fingers up her spine onto her shoulders and tried to guide her back into his arms.
She grabbed her blouse and clutched it to her chest.
Great. It had taken him thirty minutes to get the damn thing off of her. If she put it back on, he might as well give up and go home.
The sound came from deep inside the mine. Okay, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all. Jonathan slid out of the sleeping bag and fumbled around in the dark for his flashlight.
He directed the beam into the tunnel. The hair on the back of his neck stood on end. Is that a wolf? The animal was freaking huge; black with a diamond shaped patch of white fur between its glowing, blue eyes. Blue? Didn’t wolves have yellow eyes?
Carrie whimpered and clung to Jonathan’s arm, jiggling the flashlight.
Jonathan lowered his voice to a whisper. “Move slowly and go get in the car.”
“I can’t protect you if you don’t let go.” Jonathan kept his voice low and spoke slowly. “Just back up nice and easy and walk to the car.”
Carrie finally let go then turned and ran out of the mine, shrieking like a banshee.
Jonathan snatched a rock off the ground expecting the wolf to give chase. It didn’t. It bared its teeth and growled at Jonathan.
“Oh, you want a piece of me, do you? Well, come and get it.”
The wolf crept closer, growling and snapping its teeth. Jonathan aimed at the diamond patch between its eyes and hurled the rock.
The wolf yelped then collapsed on the ground.
Jonathan backed out of the mine then turned and walked to the car, fighting the urge to run as he watched over his shoulder.
He was almost there when the wolf staggered out of the entrance. Moonlight glinted off its sleek, black fur. Foam dripped off its canine teeth. Was the animal rabid, or just pissed?
Jonathan grabbed the door handle and gave it a yank, but only managed to rock the car. Are you kidding me? He pounded on the hood. “Carrie, unlock the door!”
The wolf crept closer.
Jonathan peeked in the window and found Carrie curled up in a ball with her hands over her face. He picked up another rock.
The wolf looked over its shoulder into the mine then turned and bolted into the forest.
Jonathan dropped the rock and knocked on the window. “It’s okay. The wolf’s gone.”
Carrie finally popped the lock.
Jonathan slid behind the wheel. “Why’d you lock the doors?”
“I was scared.”
“Of what?” Jonathan couldn’t believe she was that stupid. “Wolves don’t have opposable thumbs. It wasn’t going to open the door and climb in next to you.”
“I’m sorry.” Carrie turned on the water works. Her shoulders shook as she sobbed.
Jonathan pulled her close and pressed her head against his shoulder. He hated it when girls cried. “It’s okay. We’re both safe.”
Carrie fisted his shirt in her hands and clung to him.
Maybe the night wasn’t a total bust after all. Nothing could jump start a make-out session better than the fear of dying.
“You wanna get in the back?”
Carrie sniffed and nodded her head. “Can you get my shoes? I left them in the mine.”
“Can’t we get them later? There might be more wolves in there. They travel in packs.”
“Those are Coach shoes. I just bought them yesterday.”
“Fine.” He might as well grab his own boots and sleeping bag while he was at it. “But this time, don’t lock the door.”
Jonathan picked up another rock, just in case, and headed toward the mine. An earth-shaking blast knocked him to the ground. He covered his head as dirt, splintered wood and small rocks rained down on him.
So...what do you think? Leave a comment and let me know if you want to participate in the drawing.