Allyson Bowen has a secret. Well, she has several, such as her brother was murdered in an explosion at the lab, she let the bad guys into the lab the night that it exploded, and she’s hiding a wanted soldier in the spare bedroom of her condo, but her biggest secret is hidden in her closet. While going to college for advanced degrees in biochemistry and genetics, Allyson picked up a sinful habit. Shoes. Lots and lots of shoes.
In the heart of her condo, hidden in the walk-in closet, is a shoe closet that would make Carrie Bradshaw green with envy (Sex in the City). Allyson has shoes in every color, every heel type, for every occasion, but she has one pair of shoes that she’s never worn as she’s waiting for the right time, the right event, the right man to wear these shoes for. The black slipper portion is classic but understated, but it’s what she’s walking on that makes all the difference. Not the stiletto heel, but the red soles at the bottom of the Christian Louboutin heels that she’s saving for a special day. When Craft enters the closet toward the end of the book, he’s in for a wicked surprise.
Now it’s your turn. What’s your hidden obsession? Shoes, leather jackets, gummy bears?
Craft skimmed those long fingers along her throat, trailing flames down her neck, exploding like the snap and pop of a log in the fire.
“Touch me, Caleb.” Gripping his waist, she pulled so she stood cocooned between his body and the wall. Allyson lifted on her toes. “Taste—”
His mouth swallowed her words, her thoughts, until she no choice but grab hold or fall. Then he wrapped her in an embrace that pulled them together like magnets. Close to him now, caught in his gravity, she opened to the sensations. Firm lips. Demand. The brush of his hand at the small of her back. Under her shirt. Skin-to-skin and those flames burned brighter. The touch traced a line up her spine, engulfing her in sensation. Sparks in her veins as his hands stirred and churned. Then he gripped the back of her neck, tilted, and took the kiss deeper.
She was lost. Free floating, experiencing, memorizing every touch. Lost in the kiss, in the strength of the arm around her, in the heat of his body. Something smooth and enticing took her. Not to weakness, but strength, as he simply melted her bones so that the only thing holding her up was his hand, his strength.
Leaning back, he watched her with dark, mysterious eyes. The green almost fully black. His chest heaved. “I thought to take it slow.”
“If that was slow, I don’t think I can handle fast.”
Behind the Book: Knife Play
Knife play isn’t as dirty as it sounds, but there are a few scenes in DIE BY THE TEAM that incorporate knives. Writing about military guys means learning a lot of interesting stuff about weaponry, so today we’re going to look at what I learned about one of Craft’s trickiest blades (trickiest, not deadliest). My resident knife guy tells me that the butterfly blade isn’t what you want in the middle of a battle, but learning to do tricks does help with dexterity, muscle memory, and gives the user a healthy respect for knives. I consider it the fidget spinner of the typical knife guy, and they have the scars to prove it.
Throughout the books in the series, Craft always has something in his hands. He’s either fiddling with computer part, electronic gadgets, or some other grown-up version of the fidget spinner. He’s full of energy but spends most of his time in front of the computer breaking into classified files. To get rid of the energy, he started playing with knives. Literally. In middle school, Craft started by learning how to use a butterfly blade.
Also known as a balisong, this blade originated in the Philippines. This blade is expensive and dangerous, which may be the draw. It’s considered a pocketknife, but because of the concealed element it is illegal in many places across the globe. The style is what makes it a butterfly or fan blade as two handles rotate in such a way that the blade can be concealed inside the two handles. The fun really is in using it like a baton. I’ve tried the practice blades (no sharp edges) and while I’m not a complete spaz, it takes some dexterity and practice. I think I failed on the hours of practice needed to be an expert like this guy who is using a fully functioning blade (ouch!).
Read DIE BY THE TEAM to see why Craft started learning about knives. It’s really not what you think.
Funny story. During the Mercury Retrograde Incident in September 2016, Cindy's original blog disappeared. Five years, gone in a random act of chaos. Now she gets to repopulate her blog world one post at a time. Join her if you dare. :)