Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Falling for the First Time: Rites of Spring Blog Hop

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As part of the Falling for the First Time, Rites of Spring Blog Hop Jessica has asked that we share an excerpt of our books in which our characters experience a 'first'.  In my book, The Nymph's Labyrinth, the hero's son Kaden falls in love and sets off a series of events that will forever change not only his fate, but those fates entwined with his as well.  If you haven't read The Nymph's Labyrinth yet I can't express enough how wonderful this book is--critics are loving it! This book has also set to motion a variety of events in my career that I can't wait to share with my readers (prayers and positive thougths are welcome).  I promise that if you read The Nymph's Labyrinth you will not be disappointed!
Excerpt From Chapter 4 of (The Nymph's Labyrinth): (IE Kaden's First Love)
Beau rubbed his hands together and looked at the place where Ariadne’s fingers had touched his. It felt strange to be haunted by a memory that probably meant nothing to her. It was only an accidental touch. He closed his eyes and thought about her fingers, long and dainty, her skin soft. It would feel so good to have her run them down his skin, around his waist. He stopped himself. He was at work. This wasn’t the time to daydream about some teenage crush.
The trowel whispered to him from his bucket of supplies.
“Hey, Professor,” his student, Vickie, called from the far side of the site.
With a quick wave, Beau ducked into his site. His assistant could get the students running this morning. He needed to get his mind back on task and avoid all women for as long as possible.
He pulled out the trowel and sharpened the blade with a thick steel file. It was nice to finally be on site and back to work. It had been a solid week of tourist traps and dinners spent in silence, as Kaden looked anywhere but at him.
He needed this; to get his hands back into the dirt, to follow his dream, and make things happen. This had to be the place to find the Labyrinth, but if Beau didn’t get back to work and find something he would never know…and he’d never have a job again. It was already a tough sell to convince the University of Texas that he was a worthwhile professor. Anthropology wasn’t a field of study that many students were going into since the economy had tanked.
Not that he could blame the students for following more stable goals. All they had to do was look at Beau to know what a pipedream archeology was—only a few scientists could have ever been considered newsworthy. Most archeologists were just like him, scrimping by, begging for funds, or else working for states on building projects making sure everything was found in an area slated to be destroyed. At least he was on the conservation end of the spectrum.
There were a few professors back at the university who were doing well, but only thanks to their political ties and play-it-safe attitudes. Right now, they were probably sitting around, guzzling their chardonnays and laughing at what a fool he was for chasing the Labyrinth. No one, not a single professor, had taken him seriously when he had told them he hypothesized that the Labyrinth was real. Most thought it was nothing but a fantasy, like the Ark of the Covenant or Atlantis.
They didn’t understand all the hours of research Beau had poured into the subject. He had gone over everything, old texts, excavations, and he had even managed to get his hands on a top-secret Geophysical Survey. Everything pointed to here, to this little point right outside of Gournai.
When he told his colleagues he was going after a grant from the NSF to find the Labyrinth, Professor Ryan laughed in his face, splattering him with the coffee the fat man had been holding in his mouth. The memory of Ryan made his gut clench. He had to prove them wrong and save his face and his job. The Labyrinth was here. He just knew it. He could feel it in his soul.
Beau looked out at the site. There were eight open sites, or digs. The students were climbing in and out of their squares, carrying dirt-filled buckets to the screens and filtering out the artifacts. Everything looked routine, even relaxed, but the students didn’t know how close they all were to being shut down and having to go back to Texas with their dirt and sweat-covered hats in their hands. He would probably have to beg the dean to keep his job, and forget tenure.
He rubbed his hands against his face, trying to push the worries from his mind. He needed to dig. And his dig, dig three, waited for him.
Kaden was perched on the edge of the stone wall that ran adjacent to the site. “Kaden, do you wanna help me?” He pointed to his 12x8 square with the column by the back wall.
The boy said nothing. Beau stepped closer to the rock wall where his son was sitting, covered by the hood of his black sweatshirt. Beau looked over the side and followed Kaden’s gaze. A group of teenage girls glanced up the hill and turned back to each other as they noticed him looking.
A young blonde girl wearing a white T-shirt looked up at Kaden and gave him a quick half-wave.
It looks like I’ll be on my own today.
Beau smiled. “Why don’t you go talk to her, Kae?”
Kaden pushed his arm over his mouth and coughed as he turned his back on the girls. “I don’t think I should be taking dating advice from you; you didn’t even make a move on the lady from the museum.”
“Fine, kid. But I would think you would take this chance to get a break from your old man for a bit. You have been stuck with me for almost a week. This has to be different from staying with your mother.”  
Kaden turned back around to face the girls. “You’re right,” he said, standing up. “You’re a lot easier.”
A snort escaped Beau. Easier? Really?
He thought back to Lynda. Before they had divorced, she was always making promises to the kid when she felt guilty about some shortcoming. When she forgot him at daycare, she had promised him a new baseball mitt; when she missed his school’s holiday performance, she had promised him a pricey video game that he had wanted. But she never followed through. Beau would try and cover for her and get the things she had promised for Kae, but it always seemed like Kaden knew that she had failed him. He couldn’t fail his son in the same ways his ex-wife had.
Kaden pushed his hood down from his head and jumped from the short ledge, landing with a thump. He started down the hill.
“When are you going to be back?” Beau called after him.
Without looking back, Kaden shrugged.
“Well, we call it quits at five o’clock. Be back before we set to leave.”
Kaden wandered down the hill toward the girls. When he reached them, Kaden stuffed his hands in his pockets and stared at the ground. The blonde girl twisted her hair in her fingers while she smiled sheepishly at his son...
(Copyright 2012, Author Danica Winters LLC.)
Paranormal Romance Fans for Life is also offering a giveaway!  One lucky commentor on this blog will receive a free copy of Curse of the Wolf, an award-winning novel by Danica Winters.  So please feel free to leave a comment about the book, your first love, or what you love best about 'firsts'!
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