The memory made him hard.
The door to the treatment room was propped open. Baz barely noticed the paw-print wallpaper or the lifecycle-of-a-heartworm poster. He was mesmerized by her shapely silhouette and the way her brown-sugar-colored curls framed her face. He’d forgotten how small she was. He hadn’t forgotten her ability to concentrate.
Baz drew in a deep breath and the smell of peaches and wildflowers washed over him. His heart lurched. Such a familiar scent. Such a beloved scent. He wanted to put his hand on the warm skin of her neck. He wanted to rub his raging erection against her round bottom.
He didn’t realize he’d spoken her name out loud until she turned. “Baz. What’re you doing here?”
The husky voice triggered another surge of lust. He fisted his hands to keep from touching her. “I wanted to talk to you.” He cleared his throat.
She turned back to the table. “It’s not a good time. I’m working.”
He moved closer and peered at the creature under her gloved hands. “That’s a bat.”
“He’s just a baby. He broke a bone in his wing so I’ve splinted and taped it.” She spoke as if veterinarians treated disease-infested rodents every day of the week.
“Are you out of your mind?”
“Don’t raise your voice to me Baz.” She turned back to her work. “The family lives in my attic. He must have flown into something in the dark.”
“Bats are supposed to be able to see at night.”
“Maybe he didn’t read the fine print in his contract.”
He smiled. He placed his hands on either side of her rib cage.
“Don’t,” she said. He knew she meant it. She was still mad. Well, hell, what had he expected? She was entitled to a little payback. Make that a lot of payback. He just hoped it wouldn’t take too long. His lower body throbbed.
“That creature’s probably loaded with rabies.”
She twisted to look at him and he lost himself in her golden eyes. “He was hurt,” she said.
Tenderness caught him in the chest and he could barely breathe. He couldn’t believe he’d let her go, that he’d waited a year to reclaim her. He damned himself for hurting her. He couldn’t resist slipping a hand under the curls. Christ, her skin was soft. He felt her shiver and relief washed through him. At least he could still make her want him.
“I need to give him a rabies shot.”
A rabies shot? Oh. The bat. He frowned. “This isn’t a good idea.”
“I like saving creatures.”
The way she’d saved him last year right before he’d failed her.
You just read an excerpt from:
ABOUT A BABY
Te Wild Rose Press
Today, we’re here with published author, Ann Yost.
Ann Yost: Hi Linda. I am honored to be a guest on your blog in company with other fine writers whose names I recognize from my far-flung reading.
Long before I wrote a word of fiction, or anything else, I believed I was destined to become a writer because my father was city editor of our local newspaper and when he arrived home each evening with a fragrant, freshly printed copy of the Ann Arbor (Mich.) News, I assumed it was named in my honor. The town, too.
I majored in English lit at the University of Michigan then worked as a reporter and copy editor for ten years on daily papers then as a freelance writer for my current local paper, the Washington Post. (I never thought that publication was named after me.) I have worked for foundations and state government programs in the fields of neighborhood redevelopment, after school and early childhood initiatives. I’ve got a newsman husband (Associated Press) and three fantastic children, a wonderful daughter-in-law and a brand, new fabulous son-in-law. And an aged golden retriever.
I’d always planned to write mysteries but ten years ago when I picked up my first romantic suspense novel I was seduced by the sex. And, of course, the love story.
My naturally indecisive nature has led me to bounce around between pure romance, romantic suspense, romance/cosy mysteries and historical. I like to include a mystery.
Humor, quirky characters and a small-town atmosphere. Many of my stories are set at Christmas time.
My one attempt to use a pen name failed. It felt all wrong. I just use my own name which is only seven letters and fits easily on a cover!
Kage: What happened to the first book you ever wrote?
Ann Yost: The first book I wrote was a 100,000-word Regency romance. The heroine’s name was Elphine. The manuscript is languishing in one of the many piles in my office.
Kage:What’s your backlist and coming soon bookshelf look like?
Ann Yost: My list is the soul of brevity.
THAT VOODOO THAT YOU DO, 2009, The Wild Rose Press
ABOUT A BABY, 2010, The Wild Rose Press
FOR BETTER OR HEARSE, the Wild Rose Press, part of the Jewels of the Night series, coming soon.
Kage: So, what story are we going to talk about today?
Ann Yost: ABOUT A BABY, released in August by the Wild Rose Press, is story based on the premise that timing is everything. Taciturn veterinarian Baz Outlaw cares for co-worker Hallie Scott but he instinctively rejects the commitment she requests. By the time he comes to his senses and crosses the country to find her on Christmas Eve, a year has passed along with the remnants of Hallie’s fertility. She has to decide whether she can forgive Baz for costing her the family she’d wanted more than anything, especially when she discovers that Baz harbors a baby secret of his own.
ABOUT A BABY
Timing is everything…
Small-town veterinarian Hallie Scott loves all creatures great and small except for boa constrictors and Basil Outlaw, the man whose Christmas eve rejection slammed the door on her last chance to have a baby of her own.
Baz Outlaw doesn't believe in love or family but his life is empty without Hallie. A year later he shows up under her tree prepared to give her everything but he's too late. Motherhood is out, Hallie's started a new life and Baz is harboring a small secret that could break her heart all over again.
Will the their sizzling chemistry and Hallie's warm heart be enough to overcome the timing and make this Christmas all about love?
Kage: What would the story be rated if it were a movie?
Ann Yost: Probably R. It is a sweet story but the sex is pretty graphic..
Kage: If you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it be?
Ann Yost: Maybe “second chances” with a “secret baby” twist.
Kage:Okay, now that we have a general idea which class to fit ABOUT A BABY under, what makes this book so unique from every other book out there?
Ann Yost: ABOUT A BABY is the first of three books about the Outlaw family. The second, HE LOVES LUCY, centers on Baz’s baby sister and her infatuation with the sheriff, a single father who is a dozen years her senior. The third, EYE OF THE TIGER LILY, is about Baz’s brother, Cameron and Molly Whitecloud from the nearby Blackbird Reservation, and it includes two baby secrets.
All this is to explain that what’s unique about the series is the setting in Western Maine, where economic struggles both in town and on the reservation interfere with affairs of the heart but, ultimately, can’t quench the spirit of community…and love.
Kage:What was the easiest part to write?
Ann Yost: I always love to write about the characters, their inner thoughts and the impact of setbacks on them. I also love to write the sex scenes but I’ll admit I loved it more before people began to read them. (But that’s a story for another time!) I love to create a little town in my mind, complete with a town square or green, a Christmas pageant, shop owners, and those fabulous quirky characters. In THAT VOODOO THAT YOU DO, there is a trio of old ladies who’ve left their canasta-playing behind to pursue witchcraft.
Kage:What do you like most about the main character(s) and what do you like least? Did you learn anything from them?
Ann Yost: I love Hallie’s resiliency, probably because I always wonder whether I’d have the moral fortitude to be optimistic in the face of a major disappointment – like infertility. An orphan she has always yearned for the Norman Rockwell ideal but when it’s denied, she finds a way to fill the void with an unconventional family.
Baz I like for his flaws and the way that, despite his pride and natural reserve, he flounders to do what is right. Again, I always hope that I’ll do what is right in any given situation, but I’m never sure.
Kage:Ann, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?
Ann Yost: Only that ABOUT A BABY is about disappointment and rising above it and, I think, provides a heartwarming story that is perfect for Christmas time.