It wasn't something I planned out, or had even mentally committed myself to. I had clipped a notice from the paper about a women's running program that promised to teach non-athletes to run four miles -- and love it -- by the end of the summer.
Now I was never the athletic type. When we ran laps in gym class I wasn't just at the back of the group, they could lap me twice. I wasn’t just a lousy runner, with the exception of horseback riding, I never found a sport I was good at.
So, I didn't launch into running with the idea that I would win races. Quite the opposite, I started running as an anti-perfectionism project. Becoming a perfect runner was not an option, so this was one project that couldn't go from being about journey to being about product. I would reach that four-mile goal. One step at a time. One week at a time. All that mattered was that I finish what I started.
I did finish, but I was wrong about one thing-- product did wind up mattering. In training to run 4, then 6, then 10, then 13, then 26 miles, I discovered a product that wasn't about medals or trophies. I was the product, and the new me that came out of all those miles was an improved version.
On my office wall I have two bulletin boards displaying the record of every major event in my running. I look at them now and see evidence of a journey that has had monumental impact on my life and I wonder if the accumulation of words in this fiction blogging journey will change my life as much. It has been twelve years since I ran my first race. It has been two years since I had my first book published. Will I look back in ten years through the eyes of a new and improved me? Will the scrapbook of the writing journey record as many milestones? I hope so.
Tell me about your passions? Do you have a hobby that has changed your life?
Allie is determined to build an ordinary life. To survive, she needs to be the sort of woman no one notices. She has a generic job, lives in a generic apartment, and thinks maybe one day she’ll find an ordinary Joe who wants an average Jane sort of woman.
Marcus is anything but an ordinary Joe. Even if humans don’t know he’s a shifter and millennial being, he’s the sort of man women notice. A night of passion spent with Marcus is a night any female, human or Pantherian, won’t forget.
But Allie does forget. She repeatedly fails to recognize him even after an intense sexual encounter. Marcus discovers the source of her problem—face blindness, a genetic disorder with no cure. And he decides to use erotic rituals to teach her to see with more than her eyes. What he doesn’t count on is Allie seeing past the man—and recognizing the beast within.
He stood just a few feet away, sheltered by a gnarled oak, right where the bridge crossed the creek and led to a picnic area. He appeared to be waiting just for her. But it had to be a mistake. There was no one, had never been anyone, who was just for her. This silver-eyed, dark-haired stranger held himself like an exotic prince, waiting for a princess maybe—definitely not for Allie the ad writer.
He smiled and it was like a sunrise breaking through her gloom. His gaze traveled her body, reigniting the fire she’d been trying to drown. The journey stopped right at her bellybutton where it peeked between the edge of her shorts and the top of the tee that didn’t quite cover her there.
Her eyes fixed on his shirt again. She could feel its heat beckoning like hot coals in a fire, inviting her to warm her hands. She could taste that color, a burn like Red Hots melting on her tongue. She swallowed. The sensation in her head rose to a humming, nudging her to go to him, to lose herself in that bold stare. She put her fingertips to the spot again, wondering if she might be having some sort of breakdown. His eyes sparked with pleasure at the reaction, but his tone was serious when he spoke.
“You have two choices, sweetheart, you can turn around and run back the way you came and I won’t try to stop you. Or you can come to me, reach for the mystery, have what you are aching for.”
If he had struck a match to her, he couldn’t have lit her any faster.
“But if you come to me, I’m not going to stop at a kiss. I’m not going to stop at all until it pleases me.”
This was not a morning to face down temptation. If only he felt like a stranger, then she might have a chance, but he felt so familiar, like coming home. Common sense told her to run. Security lay in the other direction, returning to flatline dull days lining up one after the other. What price would she pay to feel alive, live dangerously for a few minutes? There was no one here to take him from her. No one to stop her from exploring the forbidden, not this time. One taste and she’d drop back into her role as a polite, conservative wallflower. It was a dangerous choice. All the more reason.
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Like the heroine, Allie, in Blind Heat, Nara is face blind and lived with the condition not knowing there was a medical explanation for her inability to remember faces. It’s a rare and only recently publicized condition. She hopes Blind Heat will help get the word out about face blindness.
Nara lives on a small farm in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. When she's not writing, she loves to run, hike, bike, and kayak. Every story she tells incorporates her love of animals, nature, and adventure.
Blog containing interactive content for her books from two series that include Therian shapeshifters Patherian Passions, and Passions Portal.
Interactive website for Shadowling Manor , the setting for the multi-author paranormal series.
@Nara_malone on Twitter
Nara.malone on Facebook
The interactive world Nara built for Blind Heat.