Today we get a special look at T.J. Bennett’s Dark Angel. Make sure you check out the contest link and other stops on the tour.
by TJ Bennett
When young widow Catherine Briton is washed ashore, the sole survivor of a violent shipwreck, all she wants is to go home to London. But injured as she is, she can’t escape when a shadowy stranger rescues her and takes her to his castle—where she’s healed with suspicious, almost magical speed.
The more time Catherine spends in the castle, the more her curiosity rises where her fiercely handsome new “master,” Gerard, is concerned. As she begins to investigate, though, her discoveries only bring more questions. It seems Gerard isn’t the only one on the island keeping secrets…
The small town is full of strange mysteries and townspeople who know more than they should about her. And when a hulking beast that stalks the nearby hills and valleys catches up to her, Catherine must figure out what’s going on before it’s too late.
In this scene from Dark Angel, my heroine Catherine Briton, a former nurse who served in the Crimean Theater with Florence Nightingale, has just washed up on the shore of Ynys Nos, an island somewhere in the middle of the Irish Sea—or so she believes.
Twilight was bleeding into the darker black of night. Shouting in the distance made me turn my head. It pounded ruthlessly, bringing on an almost overwhelming nausea. Fighting it back, I blinked hard. A rush of wind rose above the sound of the waves and a shadow passed over me.
I tried to follow the shadow with my eyes. The mist parted, and for a moment, I saw something move along the edge of the shoreline: a sleek, powerful beast, its fur black as midnight, its pale gaze fixed on me, its enormous body swaying as it stalked closer.
Fear possessed me, made me dimwitted with terror.
My vision wavered again, and a dark form loomed over me. I tried to scream, certain the beast was about to lunge for me, but my lungs would not draw breath. I turned to face it, but the creature was gone. Instead, a man was there, reaching for me, his large hands clasping mine and pulling me just beyond the waterline and up onto the beach.
“I have you,” he shouted.
He hung over me, sheltering me from the biting wind. Intense eyes beneath a slash of dark brows stared down at me from a lean, striking face—a face hewn out of wilderness and shadows, more frightening than beautiful, and yet somehow both.
I closed my eyes.
It did not matter who he was. I was safe.
“How in bloody hell are you here?” The deep voice above me sounded utterly perplexed. “How the devil did you accomplish it?”
I coughed out more water and said the only thing that came to mind. “Please do not—swear at me, sir.” A spasm of pain seized me, and I flinched.
“Well,” said the bemused voice. “You’ve spirit, at least. Good. You will need it.”
My tenacious grip on consciousness loosened, and I fought to retain it. I looked up at him with a sense of urgency pushing me on. I had to warn him. “A wild animal…I think—it might attack…”
His unblinking gaze reminded me of the creature’s fixed stare. “There was no animal when I arrived. You must have imagined it in your distress.”
“I must move you,” he said. “Be brave.”
He lifted me and I cried out, my side screaming in agony.
He shifted me in his arms, tucking my head beneath his chin, warming me with his body heat.
Memories assailed me of the captain’s terrified face, of the futile push of oars against a raging sea, of bodies tumbling past mine in the water, of someone reaching out, capturing my hands, dragging me to the surface—
I struggled to lift my head and battle back the darkness long enough to ask him about my fellow passengers. My throat was raw with the seawater I had swallowed. I forced my head up. “Did you…save the others?”
He paused in midstride, then resumed walking. I heard the great weariness in his voice when he spoke again.
“There are no others.”
TJ Bennett has been writing for publication since 2000, but she’s been interested in it a lot longer than that. It wasn’t the best of books that got her writing, however; it was the worst. After slamming one particularly awful novel against the wall and complaining to her husband, “I can do better than that,” he challenged her to “just do it.” That was all the encouragement she needed.Since then, TJ has placed in over a dozen literary contests, including the Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s mixed-genre contest, the Daphne du Maurier mystery contest, the Holt Medallion, the Book Buyers Best, and many others. In 2005, she received a nomination in RWA’s Golden Heart paranormal category for her novel, Dreamweaver. In 2006, The Justice Seeker, a paranormal romance about an alien cop, received first, second, and third place, respectively, in the three well-known and highly respected contests in which it was entered. Her first published novel,The Legacy, a historical romance set in Early Reformation Germany about the destructive nature of secrets, was released in April 2008 (Medallion Press). Her second, The Promise, a follow on to The Legacy, was released in May 2009.
TJ has been a judge for several contests, including the Golden Pen, the Emily, the Golden Heart, and the RITA, and she has led plotting and characterization workshops for several writers’ groups. She also served as the editor for the Los Angeles Romance Authors award-winning newsletter, The LARA Confidential, as well as contributing several articles.
Her varied background includes extensive travel in her youth as a military dependent in Europe; being president of her own consulting business for several years, where she used the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to help CEOs and managers develop successful work teams; and working thirteen years as a civilian contract negotiator for the US Air Force, buying multi-million dollar satellite and weapons systems.
She returned to her first love of writing in 2000. Armed with a BA and an MA in English, she also taught college level English and edits dissertations and novels.
TJ knows a lot about the black moments of life, and uses that knowledge to enhance her writing. She believes that nothing is ever lost, and no painful experience is in vain: it’s all research.
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/TJBennettAuthor
Check out TJ’s contest, she’s giving away a beautiful Cameo Necklace & $20 Amazon/B&N Gift Card – http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1cb554167/
10/23: Bea’s Book Nook http://beasbooknook.blogspot.com/
10/24: Romantic Reads and Such – https://romanticreadsandsuch.wordpress.com/
10/25: Lusty Penguin Reviews – www.lustypenguin.com
10/26: Indie Authors Books & More – http://indieauthorsbooksandmore.blogspot.com/
10/27: Laurie’s Thoughts http://lauriethoughts-reviews.blogspot.com/
10/28: Mark of the Stars http://markofthestars.com/
10/29: Books to Get Lost In – http://bookstogetlostin.blogspot.com/
10/30: Deal Sharing Aunt –http://dealsharingaunt.com
11/1: In Shadows – http://brynnacurryguests.blogspot.com
11/3: Romance with Flavor – http://www.romancewithflavor.com
11/4: Must Read Faster – http://mustreadfaster.blogspot.com
11/5: Books n Kisses – http://books-n-kisses.com
11/6: Becky on Books http://beckymmoe.com
11/6: 2nd stop – http://www.myeroticnotions.blogspot.com
11/7: Le Book Squirrel – http://lebooksquirrel.blogspot.com/
11/8: You Gotta Read Reviews – http://yougottaread.com