Gee, I've been so busy expanding TOPPING TORA for Liquid Silver that I neglected to post that excerpt as promised. The good news is that TORA is done! Just a final read-through and she's off for consideration. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
This is the first chapter of TAMING THE TIGER, and there's no sex but I wanted to introduce you to the plot and the main character, Ju Hua. Here's the blurb:
Zhong Li needs a warrior to fight by his side and unite the people of his Tiger clan and the Northern herders. When a beautiful woman named Hua responds to his summons, he quickly learns she’s man enough to help him defeat the evil Xie army...and woman enough to capture his heart.
He’d been in her head again.
Ju Hua stumbled out into daylight and shielded her eyes from the morning sun. If she didn’t get some sleep soon, she would surely lose her mind.
That man—that beautiful man—haunted her dreams last night as he had for the past twelve nights. At least she enjoyed looking at him in her mind’s eye. She wanted to touch the muscles rippling over his smooth, bronze chest. And the part nestled against his thighs? She wanted to touch this, too.
Over a year ago, before the Xie conquerors destroyed her village, before her father left to talk with the Mountain Spirits, the Dui had visited her clan. The warrior tribe warned of the Xie and offered to stay and protect her people. For a price.
Unfortunately, the people of the Sheep had little silver to offer, and leather-clad warriors needed no wool. She watched them ride away, each strong body becoming one with his stallion. While fear swept through the hearts of her people, she could only think about one of the Dui taking her as his woman. Riding her like he rode the horse beneath him.
The dream-man had the body of a Dui fighter. Was he a protector, too? Or perhaps a Spirit hoping to lure her to the mountains to join her father? His mouth moved during the dream, but so far she’d understood no words. Perhaps tonight she would ask him what he wanted. If he told her, maybe she would finally get some rest.
She called to her fluffy white companions. A bundle of wool named Mei trotted toward Hua and bumped her leg with affection. She threaded her fingers through the oily fuzz of her favorite ewe and laughed. “Maybe if I speak sheep to him, he will understand.”
Mei bleated in agreement, and Hua thought aloud some more. “He might be the Sheep Spirit trying to tell me where my father is or warning us of the Xie. What do you think?”
The ewe left her side to join the others heading deeper into the valley. Hua sighed. “I guess I’ll have to figure it out on my own.” She trudged up to her favorite spot and dropped her pack to the hard ground below. The wide expanse of sky offered few clouds and plenty of blue. It would be a good day for thinking.
Her mind wandered back to the man. She shut her eyes and conjured up his form. Dark, sensual eyes locked with hers. Today, during her waking moments, he seemed closer. Clearer. She could even see an amulet of some sort around his neck.
“Can you hear me?”
Hua jerked to standing and looked around for whoever had spoken. She was alone.
I am losing my mind. She pressed her fingers against her temples to make the deep male voice go away.
“I can’t go away,” said the man. “You are the one.”
The one for what? She closed her eyes again, unable to resist the mystery of his words.
“I am Li of the Tiger Clan.”
The vision in her mind became crisp and lucid, and she noted with dismay that the most intriguing part of him disappeared from view as he stepped nearer. To see a real man’s cock would be worth the insanity she experienced at the moment.
He laughed. “You are sane. It takes a strong mind to receive my Dream Presence. You are Sheep Clan, no?”
“Yes,” she whispered.
“Good. Then you are the man chosen to mend our clans’ differences and help me defeat the Xie.”
Hua frowned. “Can you see me, as I see you?”
“And my words. Do you hear my voice?”
“No, brave one. I sense you are young and strong, but I can only feel some of your words of reply.”
Hua quickly thanked the Spirits that her thoughts about his cock apparently went unheard. This should be interesting…
“And dangerous,” he added, completing her sentence. “But together we can do this.” He reached for the amulet at this neck. Hua gasped.
She could see it clearly now. The broken, weathered medallion dangling from a leather strap resembled the one her father gave her last year before heading to the high hills. Together, the two pieces would make a whole.
What had her father said that final morning? When the two come together, so will two peoples.
Li interrupted the memory. “It is time for the Sheep and the Tiger to walk side by side. You will know where to find me.”
And the sureness in his voice told her he spoke the truth.