Touching the Moon
By Lisa M. Airye
Genre: Romantic Suspense with a Paranormal Twist
Publisher: Aakenbaaken & Kent, NY
Number of pages: 272
Word Count: 89K
Cover Artist: www.reese-winslow.com
A gifted healer with a genetic secret and a haunted past, Julie Hastings takes her new veterinary degree to South Dakota hoping to bury memories of a physically abusive stepfather and unprotective mother.
Although intending to lead a quiet life, she finds herself relentlessly pursued by two unwelcome suitors: the Chief of Police and a powerful member of the Sioux Indian Nation.
The man she chooses shatters her world-view.
Her stepfather taught her that not all monsters run on four legs. Now Julie must face another truth—some beasts are good.
Excerpt from “Touching the Moon” by Lisa M. Airey
Julie Hastings was hiking the Black Hills of South Dakota when she was unexpectedly caught up in a spring blizzard. She was rescued by a gentleman she knew, Gray Walker, a guidance counselor for the Sioux Nation. They weather the storm in his hunting cabin.
Despite a childhood of physical abuse, Julie trusts this man. And he proves himself trustworthy. In this scene, he expresses both his passion and his patience.
She awoke the next morning once again wedged against his chest, his arms wrapped around her indiscriminately, his face nuzzling her neck. She tried to slip out of bed, but his arms tightened as soon as he felt her move.
“Let me up,” she whispered.
He pulled her close and rubbed noses. “Eskimo kiss.”
“Nose-rubbing is kissing?”
“Uh huh.” He smiled. “With respect and tender affection. I like you, Julie Hastings.”
“I like you too.”
“May I see you after the snow storm?”
She nodded slowly.
“I know you’ve been hurt,” he said quietly. “I’m very grateful that you trust me enough to let me hold you. I won’t betray that trust.”
She switched subjects. “It’s a brutal storm.”
“Will it wash away the snow?”
He stilled. “Probably.”
“Might we make it into town?”
He squeezed her tightly. “I don’t know.”
“I’ve been missing for a while now. I’m sure they are wondering why I haven’t posted at work.”
“Where is your car?”
“In the parking area of the state park. I drove the day I hiked, just in case I needed to get back to the office.”
He rolled her onto her back and kissed her neck. She giggled and pushed him away. “They will start looking tomorrow,” he said.
He kissed her lips lightly. She didn’t pull back. In fact, she nestled in closer to him. “The rain will make a search possible. They’ll run your tags when they realize your car has been there for the duration of the storm. Officer Keating or one of his team does a daily cruise through the state park parking area, weather permitting. Your car would have been on the logbooks the day the storm started. They will be most distressed that it is still there almost a week later. They’ll initiate a search.”
He found her earlobe and tugged upon it with his teeth. He couldn’t help himself. She was so inviting. She squealed and wriggled free settling on her side, her head on his shoulder.
He pulled back and looked at her for a moment--deciding, then he pushed her onto her back and pinned her. He found her lips and gently parted them, kissing her tenderly. He felt her body stiffen…then relax as she opened to the experience and he was careful not to do anything that would cause her alarm. He kissed her slowly, deeply, hypnotically as the moon rose, large and luminous midst the storm clouds. He tasted her lips, caressed her back, ran his fingers lightly along the curves of her body. Her neck was warm, soft, delectable. He breathed deeply, squeezing her tightly, pressing his body against hers.
“Gray,’ she said, suddenly quite focused. He pulled back instantly, her scent warm within him. “I…”
He put a finger to her lips.
She listened to his heart hammer in his chest as he rested upon her and wondered if he could feel hers beating in syncopated rhythm. He kissed her once more, soft and chaste, then, he flipped her over like a rag-doll and spooned her, his arm encircling her waist protectively.
“I know, Julie.”
Lisa has worked in the wine industry for 20 years, the most recent eight in education with the Society of Wine Educators and the French Wine Society. In these roles, she has authored and/or edited wine study manuals and developed or expanded certification programs for the wine trade.
In her free-time, she writes fiction...naturally, with a glass of wine at the elbow.
She is a Maryland Master Gardener and puts that training into practice in her sizable vegetable garden. To assist her, she has recruited the services of a very helpful staff: two Chinese geese, two mini-Rex rabbits and 2,000 red wigglers (worms)…all of which are “master composters”. An adopted feral cat guards the perimeters and keeps the groundhogs at bay. She resides in Monkton, Maryland.