20 May 2011

Guest Blogger: Shay McLean + Book Giveaway!

Hey, folks! Lindsay here, with a special guest by the name of Shay McLean. Shay has graciously opted to do a flash fiction for us, and I think you're really going to enjoy it. Also, one lucky commenter will win a copy of Shooting Stars!

*squeal* That means all you shy readers out there need to leave a comment. Don't be shy now. We don't bite. Without further ado, here's Shay!

Golden Feather

By Shay McLean

That’s not going to work out so well for me, Ciera thought as she stalked back through the ruins of Mesa Verde, hoping like hell she could remember which way they’d come in. Her twin sister, Cara had just “informed” her that she was going to be giving a couple of the guys from her archeology class a ride back to campus. Where did that leave her? Feeling like a fifth wheel…again.

Like always.

She’d been in a slump with her painting and couldn’t seem to find inspiration anywhere. Cara had decided to drag her out of her studio and bring her along on her class field trip to the Cliff Palace. She’d tried to tell explain that she didn’t do landscapes, but her sister never listened to her.

She should have known better than to believe Cara had genuinely wanted to help her by spending the day trying to help her find inspiration. Oh, Cara meant well when she’d shown up at her apartment at five o’clock in the morning, but she was notorious for dropping everyone and everything else at the drop of a hat for a cute guy.

Ciera stopped and looked around a sudden feeling of panic slithered down her spine when she realized she didn’t recognize anything. Oh, God! How do I get myself into these situations? She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. There was no need to panic. She could find her way back to Cara and ask her to walk her to the car.

Opening her eyes again she was struck by the beauty of the way the sunlight played off the sandstone walls, revealing a multitude of colors she’d never seen in stone. She reached out and ran her hand over the rock.

It was worn smooth in some places, but mostly gritty. Closing her eyes she continued to run her hand along the wall as she began to walk. In her mind she was imagining the strokes of her paint brush, committing to memory the textures and colors she’d use to convey the emotions that had begun to crash over her.

She didn’t notice when the temperature dropped a few degrees until she felt the contrast of where her hand rested against the wall and the air around her. Her eyes flew open and she found she’d found she’d walked deeper into the cliff palace than she should have, but that didn’t explain why heat seemed to emanate from the stone where her hand rested when the rest of the wall was cold to the touch.

She slowly moved her hand away. Warmth whispered through a small crack in the wall. That was impossible though. Chalking it up to an overactive imagination induced by her near panic attack a few minutes ago, she turned and started to walk away when a shaft of sunlight from another crack in the ceiling high above hit the tiny fissure.

A glint of gold winked at her. She hesitated for a moment, glancing around to see if there were any park officials anywhere near, certain they’d frown upon on what she was fixing to do. When she was satisfied that no one would witness her act of defacing part of a national park she returned to the crack and grasped the metal object between two fingers and began to wiggle it.

After several minutes, she let out a small squeal of triumph when it finally slipped free and tumbled into her hand. She blew the loose sand and debris away. She was surprised to find it was a small heart shaped rock linked with a tiny golden feather. Upon further inspection she realized there was something etched into the heart.

She used the hem of her t-shirt and polished it so she could make out what it was. Bringing it closer to her she made out what looked like a Q, although the line denoting as such resembled a burning torch. The etching was lined in gold and seemed to pulse within her hand, her heart beat in time with it. She shook her head. She had to have been out in the sun too much today. A stone didn't pulse.

Her eyes remained transfixed on the treasure in her palm. The golden etching began to glow with an otherworldly light. She dropped it, spun on her heel and started to run.

“Why do you run from your destiny, Ciera?”

She stopped dead in her tracks at the sound of her name. Swallowing the terror threatening to overwhelm her, she turned around slowly, praying she wasn’t fixing to meet with an untimely end. There were so many things she still hadn’t experienced.

Selling her art through a prestigious gallery…sex…love….sex…her first real kiss…

Let’s face it the couple of kisses she’d had didn’t count as real since the boy in question didn’t know shit about kissing.

She steeled herself for the worst when her gaze collided with the most gorgeous man she’d ever seen.

Before her stood a virtual god, at least six foot three inches tall, his calves were encased in moccasins, her gaze traveled up his powerful thighs. Her eyes widened at the sight of what could only be a breechclout riding low on his hips. She gulped and forced herself to continue on when she realized she was wondering what he was wearing underneath it.

Her eyes swept over the taut muscles of his washboard abs, well defined, totally smooth pecs, noting what appeared to be a tattoo of a burning torch on the left side. Straight black hair trailed over his shoulders a feather tied into it near his temple and she couldn’t help but wonder if it would feel as soft as it looked. Resisting the urge to do just that, she forced her gaze to his face.

She gasped. He really was the most beautiful man she’d ever seen. His face was all planes and angles, just like all the Native Americans she’d grown up with, but it was his eyes that held her in a trance. So deep a brown they looked black and they burned with an inner fire that drew her like a moth to a flame. Before she realized what she was doing, she’d closed the distance between them until she stood mere inches away. So close she could feel the warmth of his breath when he sucked in a deep breath. She opened her mouth to say something, but no sound came out.

His lips curved into a smile. “Ahh, Ciera, I can see the soul fire stirring in your heart.” His voice was a husky whisper. He reached out a hand to cup her cheek.

She jerked away at his forward gesture. No matter how good looking, she thought he was it didn’t give him the right to touch her. “Hhh…how did you know my name?” She finally managed to stammer.

He dropped his hand to a pouch that hung around his hips and took something out of it. “I’ve been waiting for you for a very long time.” He held out his hand to her and opened it.

She warily took a step closer to see what he held. She stared in disbelief at the other half of the necklace her Grandmother had given her. What was it she had said when she’d presented it to her on her sixteenth birthday…When the fire flares between your souls, follow where your heart leads, a love that defies all will await you.

She looked back at his face and searched his eyes. They were a dark, rich brown like hot cocoa on a cold winter night. She watched them for a long time, feeling herself melting into them. She shook her head to clear it. “Where did you get that?” she asked gesturing to his hand.

“My Great Grandfather gave it to me when I passed the rites into manhood. He said something about a fire that flares between your souls and following where your…” he trailed off.
“…follow where your heart leads, a love that defies all will await you.” She held his gaze wondering if this was some sort of joke.

“I know this may seem strange, but there is one way to find out if what our grandparents said is true.”


“We kiss.”

“What?” The word burst out before she could stop it.

“Legend says that when the two souls that ignite the soul fire kiss for the first time the fire will flare between them leaving behind a burning desire that can only be quenched when they fully accept and merge their souls.”

A nervous laugh escaped her. “You expect me to kiss you? A total stranger? Who wasn’t even standing here a few minutes ago? Where the hell did you come from anyway?” She could have slapped herself when she failed to stop the string of questions from leaving her mouth.

He raised an eyebrow. “Isn’t that what I just said?” He regarded her for a moment before continuing. “I totally understand your hesitation, but look at it this way. If you kiss me and nothing happens, then you’ll go on with your life as though nothing ever happened.”

“And if what our grandparents and the legend say is true?”

“Then the soul fire will lead us to one another and we’ll have the chance at something that defies most of the natural laws of the universe.” He fell silent while she contemplated what he said.
She pondered his reasons for a moment. What he said seemed reasonable, and really she had to have hit her head or something in her panic attack anyway. There was no way any of this was real. Why not just enjoy the dream and kiss him. It was probably the closest she’d get to a kiss any time soon. She looked up and met his eyes. “Okay. Kiss me.”

“Are you sure? That was a pretty quick turn around.”

“Look this is my dream and if I want to change how I normally act then I will.” Holding his gaze, she moved closer so there was barely an inch separating them.

He raised his hand and reached to cup her cheek. “Close your eyes,” he commanded.

She closed her eyes and waited. When he finally caressed her face she let out a deep breath she hadn't even realized she’d been holding.

He stroked his thumb over her lower lip then dropped the lightest of kisses on it.

She inhaled sharply when the tiniest of sparks shot through her at the contact. Her lips parted as she struggled to remember to breath.

He took advantage of that and slipped his tongue inside and brushed it against hers. Angling his mouth to gain better access to hers. He didn’t move to touch her in any other way, but with his hand and his lips.

She’d never imagined a kiss could be this decadent. And she wanted more. She reached up and plunged her hands into the black silk of his hair, marveling at the softness of it tickling her skin.
Heat pooled in her core, burning with a need she’d never experienced before. She focused on it for a moment only to feel it flare inside her.

A secret fire sparked to life and licked its way through her until it settled in her heart.
In the next instance, she felt bereft as cold air settled around her making her shiver. She blinked in confusion and glanced around trying to figure out where he’d gone. This was her dream…damn it…she should be able to say when it ended.

A glimmer of gold winked at her from the ground. She bent down and picked it up. She stared in shock at the stone heart etched with the blazing torch with a tiny golden feather dangling from it. The engraving on the heart pulsed with an energy that spoke to hers.

‘Come to me.’

Ciera sat down hard on the ground, her gaze never leaving the stone in her hand. Questioning is she should be worried about her sanity. She’d always indulged her Grandmother with her ramblings, but she’d never really believed them. Until now.

There was no mistaking the fact that she was wide awake, the stone in her hand was indeed pulsing with an unseen energy, a fire burned inside her heart…whispering with the voice of a man she’d seen and kissed in a vision just moments before…

Telling her to come to him.

The question was did she believe in it enough to follow her heart.

Shooting Stars:


Dr. Wilhemina Brock prides herself on her ability to keep her private life with her husband Schyler just that – private. But when Keenan, the new nurse on staff, catches a glimpse of her tramp stamp, she’s coerced into spilling the story behind it, revealing how she broke the student-professor boundaries and hooked her husband.


Dr. Wilhemina Brock glanced in the mirror on the door of her locker. She frowned at the tight braid she'd twisted it into that morning. She reached up and released the clip holding it in place then shook out her long raven tresses. Soft wispy locks curled around her shoulders, sending shivers of pleasure dancing on her skin. Much better. Smiling to herself she grabbed her black t-shirt and started to pull it over her head.

A whistle sounded from the door. “Damn, that’s sexy.” A very masculine voice said.

Willa spun around, tugging the hem of her shirt into place. Keenan Fergason. The newest addition to the nursing staff. His muscular build, rugged features, reddish brown hair and sparkling green eyes had everyone lusting after him. She could feel the blush that stained her cheeks at his continued appraisal of her. “I don’t know what you're talking about, Keenan. I’ve gotta run. I’m meeting Schy for dinner in half an hour.” She reached up to stuff her lab coat into her locker and felt the bottom of her shirt raise above her low cut jeans.

“I’m not letting you leave here until you give me the dirt on that sexy tramp stamp you’re sporting there, Dr. Willa,” Kee said.

She glanced over in time to see him wiggle his eyebrows as he said the words tramp stamp. Shit. Just what she needed. News of her guilty pleasure traveling all over the hospital as she was finishing up her residency.




Dreams N Fantasies

Wicked Ink Press

Publisher link


Author Info

Shay has been writing most of her life. As a teenager, she focused mainly on poetry, but still dabbled in writing short stories. She didn't find her niche though until she started listening to the characters in her head whispering about the dark and sensual worlds to be explored in erotic romance. Now when she's not engrossed in a great read, she listens intently when her muse murmurs seductively in her ear. She also enjoys photography and graphic design. And although she isn’t an artist by any means she designed the tattoo featured in Shooting Stars. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading and spending time with her family. You can contact her at shay@shaymaclean.com, on Facebook Page and Twitter.

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