I just received notification that an excerpt is up on the Lyrical Press, Inc. website for M&M. *Dances* You can see it here: http://www.lyricalpress.com/moonlight_and_magick_excerpt
Here's the excerpt I'll be using for my website and blog (which is NOT the same as the one posted on Lyrical).
Lilian had had enough. She stomped on one of his feet and with a shift of her body, kicked a foot out, catching his legs. She swept them from under him. Matthias lost his balance and went down to the pavement. Unfortunately, he didn’t release her so when he went down, she did too, and landed on top of him with a soft oomph. The others burst into laughter as Matthias lifted a brow at her. She thumped him hard on the chest.
“You were supposed to let me go!”
He gave her a crooked smile. “I rather like how we ended up.”
Lilian blinked and scrambled to her feet as the blood rushed to her face, heating it. The guys continued to laugh with relish.
“I’m so glad you found it hilarious.” She glared at them.
“Can’t remember the last time the Alph–oomph!” one said, interrupted when another elbowed him.
She looked between the two of them.
Matthias stood and she turned to him. “What’s going on?”
He sighed and gave her a shrug. “I suppose I should tell you.”
Lilian started to back away. “So, you are hiding something. I knew it. I should have known better.”
“Wait, let me explain.”
The guys sobered and watched the two of them carefully.
She lifted her branded hand, as if to ward him off.
“No, stay back, Matthias. I mean it. I don’t want to hurt you.”
He held out his hands, palms upward. “Lilian.”
One of his friends moved in a quick motion and she took her eyes off Matthias to look at him. It gave Matthias the chance to dart in and grab her. She reacted as she was trained, to strike at a vulnerable spot on his body, and in this case, a punch at his throat.
Matthias snarled and grabbed her wrist before the blow could connect. He turned his body and carrying on with the momentum, spun her around. With a jerk, she found herself back against his firm, muscular chest with her wrist in one of his hands and his free arm around her throat in a sleeper hold.
Lilian hissed in anger and gave a struggle, but he merely tightened his arm in warning. “Enough.”
Since he had her arm already extended, he forced her to turn her hand over, palm up, to show the brand.
“Look at this,” he told his friends. “I want this mark traced.”
One of the men came forward and studied her palm. She tried to jerk her hand away, and turn her palm down, but Matthias wasn’t having it. Tears welled up in her eyes.
“It looks familiar,” the man said.
“I thought so too,” Matthias replied. “What do you know of it?”
The man shook his head and she could see he was trying to remember, but nothing came to mind, it seemed.
“All right. Tiberius, you look into it. Lukas and Augustus, I want you two to look into Custodes Secreti. Check the archives. Also, check for offshoots of the Knights Templar. I want everything we can find on them.”
The three men gave a nod, a salute of some form by the formality of the movement, and hurried off.
Lilian was still tense in his hold, but she didn’t fight him. “Are you going to let me go now?”
“Are you going to remain calm and not attack me?”
“I warned you, but you pushed it!”
He leaned down and nuzzled her neck. “I want you to read my thoughts.”
Oh, hell, no!
“I don’t think so.” Lilian shook her head. “No way.”
“Scared?” he asked as he nibbled along the line of her neck.
She tried not to tilt her head for him, but it proved difficult.
“Hell, yes.” She shivered. “Matthias, stop it.”
“Read my mind,” he urged.
“No.” She tried to struggle out of his hold, but failed and fell still again.
“What do you know about shape shifters?” he asked.
Lilian frowned. “Like werewolves?”
“There are others besides werewolves, but yes.”
She remained silent for a few long moments. Should she? He did invite her to. If she kept it light, only surface thoughts, it shouldn’t cause any ripples.
“Let me see your face.”
Matthias hesitated before he loosened his hold so she could turn and look up at him. He stared at her with a serious expression. She reached up with her free hand as he hadn’t let go of her right wrist, and placed it against his cheek. She narrowed her eyes on him, and with a light touch, brushed his mind with hers.
On principle, Lilian was careful not to use her telepathy. She didn’t want to know what others were thinking. Most of the time, though, it was just a pain to read minds. Most people didn’t think in an organized manner. Their thoughts were jumbled and went in all different directions, at different speeds. If she wasn’t careful, she’d suffer migraines. Not only from pushing her abilities, but also having to deal with the confusion.
However, as she touched Matthias’s mind, she gasped in astonishment. His mind was nothing like a normal human’s. He didn’t even have the typical thought patterns for a human. He thought in pictures and emotions, and oh, God, those pictures and emotions were a bit…explicit, with a capital E.
Lilian’s nerves tingled and her heart stuttered, she but pushed on. Beneath those rather hormonally driven emotions were images, memories in pictures. Sometimes scenes, but usually flashes of remembered things like a wolf pack, moonlit nights, the forest, and hunting prey.
She jerked her hand from his face, wide eyed as she stared at him. Was she feeling confusion or awe?
~excerpt from "Moonlight and Magick" by Isobael Liu, published by Lyrical Press, Inc. Available May 3rd, 2010.