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Centauri Dawn by Cynthia Woolf
Back Cover Blurb….
Audra is a normal grad student in law school in Boulder, Colorado. Until the day she finds out she isn’t. She’s a princess from the planet Centauri. Her mission, whether or not she chooses to accept it, is to marry an alien and save the world, in order to save her family.
Darius is charged with delivering his brother’s bride home to Centauri, ready to be queen. Falling in love isn’t just forbidden, it’s a death sentence for him and for his world.
Always the same dream. He called to her. “Princess Dayanara.” His voice was like rich, silky caramel, floating down her mound of ice cream. It did strange things to her insides. She yearned to hear him say her name again and again.
It was so hot and he was so sexy. Hot. God, she was hot. She kicked the blanket off her leg. But he was just a dream. A fantasy.
Something…someone…touched her leg. This wasn’t a dream! The hand she felt hot against her skin was real. She jolted awake. The warmth she felt in her dream turned to a cold sweat.
A man stood beside her bed. Not just any man, but the man from her dreams. Tall, dark, with chiseled features. Handsome with broad shoulders and abs to die for. His face came into focus and his gaze captured hers. Color of the deepest ocean, so blue as to seem almost black in the faint light that surrounded him, she struggled to look away.
Sitting bolt upright, she screamed, then scrambled backward over and off the bed, landing with a thump. She hit her back and shoulder.
The man leaned over the bed, his large size looming down over her, blocking the light from the window.
She scrambled backward, struggling to get to her feet.
“Are you injured?” His voice washed over her. He sounded familiar, like she should know him, but she didn’t.
He came around the bed and she bounded over it to the other side. As he closed on her she glanced quickly around and looked for a weapon, any weapon. Her hand landed on a small pink lamp. It had sat next to her bed since she was five, keeping her safe from the boogeyman. She grabbed it, pulling the cord from the wall and held it in front of her like a sword. “Who the hell are you? Get out of here before I call the police.” Her voice was rough from sleep, edgy from fear
He moved closer to her, reaching out a hand. Not with malice, but with something else. Concern? “Princess you’re going to hurt someone. May I assist you?” he asked, chivalrous.
Princess. He must be a nutcase.
She yanked at the straps of her gown, resettling them on her shoulders and pulling the bottom down as far as it would go but it was too short to cover much.
“Stop.” Her voice shook, though she tried to steady it. “Don’t come any closer.”
“You must listen. You must come with me.”
She screamed at the top of her lungs. “Help! Help! Help!” What was wrong with the people in this building? Were they all deaf?
“Princess.” His voice washed over her like warm chocolate, comforting her. That wasn’t right. Why wasn’t he attacking her? The soothing voice didn’t stop her. He was a stranger. In her bedroom. “Help! Help!” she screamed, keeping the pink lamp aimed at him.
She lunged across the bed, reaching for the telephone.
“Now, Princess, please calm down.” He reached for the phone, and ripped it from the wall. “I mean you no harm, but we must talk and there is little time.” He fell to one knee, bowing in front of her.
Her eyes wide, she swung the pink lamp at him at him. He deflected the blow with his forearm as he stood, denting the lampshade in the process.
“Princess. Someone is going to get hurt if you do not allow me to speak.” He wrestled the mangled lamp from her. “Hear what I have to say. Please,” he implored. “You must return home. Immediately.”
“Help! Somebody help me!” Screaming, she kicked out at him with her foot, tried to take his head off but her skills were no match for his. He blocked her kick with one arm, grabbed her leg with both his hands, flipped her completely around and back on to the bed.
“No one can hear you. Stop screaming.” His voice never rose. He sounded…exasperated.
Somewhat reassured that he didn’t attack, Audra stopped to catch her breath. Breathing hard, she rolled to her back, the sheet cool beneath her and eyed him from top to bottom. “You look like you just came from a Star Trek convention.” And just like the man in my dream.
Could it be?
“Yes, I have trekked across the stars in search of you, Princess.” His words were odd, clipped, very formal, as though learned from a book.
“What are you talking about?” This man, dream or not, was in her bedroom and she couldn’t imagine how in the world he got in there.
He held out his hand to help her up but she swatted it away.
“Who are you? Really? How did you get in here and…and who are you?” She lunged for the lamp in his hands.
Placing the lamp out of her reach, he said. “I am Coridian, brother of your betrothed. I am here to escort you home.”
“Betrothed? You’ve escaped from the asylum, haven’t you? You’re some kind of nut and…”
“My lady, I am not an escapee from an asylum, and I am not a pecan.”
“Then, why do you keep spouting nonsense? I’m not a princess!”
“May I rise? I’ll explain–.”
She shook her head and backed up a step. “You–”
He held up his hand to stop her. “Then you can ask your questions.”
“You–you stay right where you are.”
In the next instant, she grabbed the hairspray can from her dressing table, threw it at his head and bolted for the door. He leapt forward and caught her before she’d taken two steps, slamming her up against his chest, trapping her there within his arms. The lamp crashed to the floor, shattered.
Kicking wildly, Audra connected with his groin. His knees buckled, but he was quick to recover and never loosened his hold on her. Her heart raced as she twisted, freed an arm, and slammed the heel of her hand into his face. If he hadn’t turned, she would have broken his nose. Her strike was solid enough though, she heard him groan in pain before he released her.
Triumphant, she spun around, connecting her right foot with his solar plexus, knocking the wind from him. Now on the attack she switched feet and with her left foot, launched him backward, sending him landing on his back. Regaining her balance before he did, she straddled his chest, her knees and feet trapping his arms. “Now. Tell me what I want to know or I’ll make sure you don’t see another day.”
Cynthia Woolf was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.
Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.
Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.
She worked her way through college and went to work full time straight after graduation and there was little time to write. Then in 1990 she and two friends started a round robin writing a story about pirates. She found that she missed the writing and kept on with other stories. In 1992 she joined Colorado Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America. Unfortunately, the loss of her job demanded the she not renew her memberships and her writing stagnated for many years.
In 2000, she saw an ad in the paper for a writers conference being put on by CRW and decided she’d attend. One of her favorite authors, Catherine Coulter, was the keynote speaker. Cynthia was lucky enough to have a seat at Ms. Coulter’s table at the luncheon and after talking with her, decided she needed to get back to her writing. She rejoined both CRW and RWA that day and hasn’t looked back.
Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she’s made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.,
FMI about Cynthia Woolf & her books: http://www.cynthiawoolf.com/
Now Available! CENTAURI DAWN by Cynthia Woolf