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By: Aleatha Romig
Claire Nichols endured the CONSEQUENCES of Anthony Rawlings’ vendetta. When she first arrived to his home, her goal was survival. Through strength and compartmentalization Claire captivated her captor. Her resilience in the face of his rule threatened Anthony’s well developed plan. Domination became desire and power turned to love. Their passion and adoration in a world of opulence appeared perfect. Yet, reality was a roller coaster of emotion. Claire’s world teetered on the edge of sanity as Antony monitored her every move. When given the opportunity to flee, Claire drove away. A fateful decision which set a well laid plan into motion. However, unbeknownst to either of them, there were others who saw past the perfect facade of Anthony Rawlings. There were others who saw the TRUTH. Conspiracy and unfulfilled promises result in an early prison release for Claire. Not just a release – a pardon. According to the law, her crime never happened! Will it be that easy? Faced with freedom from her past... can Claire seize it? Can she build a new life, mend her broken spirit, become the woman she once was, and seek her own revenge? Or is it all a game? And does the game master have different plans? How does Sophia Burke fit into the puzzle that is Tony and Claire? Will her presence affect the future of this well esteemed man? Can he dominate twice? Is that his goal? TRUTH continues the tumultuous saga of CONSEQUENCES, introduces new players, and uncovers more intrigue. Aleatha Romig skillfully weaves past transgressions through current deception to create a fervent world of obsessed desire. In this reality can an all-consuming relationship survive? When buried sins are discovered they threaten not only Tony and Claire’s future -- but their very lives! Will the TRUTH be revealed in time?
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Tony leaned back and rubbed his face. With a new focus, he demanded, “Take off my t-shirt.”
Claire stood taller. Her chin rose indignantly. “Excuse me?”
He stood. His body towered over her as his voice hardened, “Take off my shirt.”
“Tony, I didn’t bring any night clothes... I didn’t think you’d ...”
“I don’t give a damn about the shirt. I want to see you.”
Claire stammered. It’d been a while since she’d experienced this domineering personality. “See me?”
“I can see your face and your legs... I want to see what that bastard did to you.”
She reached for his hand and kept her voice steady, “I’m fine, but I want you to come to bed...with me.”
His stoic expression remained, “I planned to call for dinner. Instead, I found the bar. It’s been a rather stressful few days.” Claire inched closer. His sudden grasp on her shoulders stopped her progress. “I should never have let you return to California.” Shaking his head, he released her, and stepped backward. In a tone she remembered, he commanded, “I believe I’ve said this more than once... take off the damn t-shirt.”
Her innate training prevailed; disobeying wasn’t an option. She reached for the hem. Trembling, she lifted the cotton above her head and exposed her battered body, covered only by a pair of flesh-colored lace panties.
His hardened expression continued in silence... until her trembling registered. Suddenly, he fell to his knees and gently clutched her hips. His lips gently brushed her stomach and tenderly caressed her battered mid-section. The domineering voice disappeared; his actions spoke of love and possession. Holding his head for support, her fingers wove through his hair. Claire whispered, “Please, Tony, please, can we go to bed?”
His lips continued to caress her bruised body. Each kiss electrified her skin, melting her insides until her legs turned to jelly. When her knees buckled, she knelt before him and their eyes met.
“You’re mine.” His words weren’t debatable. He wasn’t asking.
“Tony, bed... please?”
“I’m trying so hard. You have no idea the restraint I’m enlisting...yet, all I can think about are his hands on you.”
“Tony, I’m fine. I’m all right. I’m with you.”
“But, you weren’t. You were with him.”
“He just wanted your money...”
Tony clutched her frame. His dark eyes burned with desire and despair. “I’m not talking about Chester.”
Claire froze. Her heart pounded in her chest. Somewhere deep, she knew the scene in the hospital went too well. She framed Tony’s face and watched as he searched her emerald eyes. With all her might, she tried to keep them subdued. “I wasn’t with you,” she whispered. “We weren’t together.”
His loud visceral response was unreadable.
“But now...” her lips touched his, “now, I want to be... please, Tony.”
One of the hands which held her waist now roughly seized her loose damp hair, pulling her head back, and exposing her slender neck. His lips met the soft skin with equal force. A shocked moan escaped her lips. Tony’s unbridled passion ignited her, creating a sudden rush of heat overpowering any impulses of pain crying out from her tender scalp. His rough stubble scratched her collar bone, and his voice resonated throughout the suite like a low growl, “Are you sure?”
The fervent lust tightened her insides. Momentarily, speech was lost. Finally, she whimpered, “I am.”
He continued his unrelenting assault, holding her tighter, wildly claiming everything before him. His fire consumed everything in its path, a passion which held no bounds. Claire never felt so desired; her whole body ached for his touch. When he paused she saw the flames in his dark eyes. The inferno wasn’t frightening; it fueled her desire. His low growl became more demanding, “You are mine.”
She kissed his stubbly neck, hearing, as well as feeling, a rumble from the back of his throat. Once again, he pulled her hair, tipped her head, and bathed her in the aroma of whiskey. His glaring abyss penetrated as he demanded, “Say it!”
Her emerald eyes begged for understanding, uncertain of what he wanted.
“Say you’re mine and nobody else’s.”
Despite his command and her powerful yearning, Claire’s eyes shone. Her voice resonated above his growl, “Yes, Tony, you are mine and nobody else’s.”
She watched. A spark penetrated his dark gaze–a flash of light where only moments before darkness prevailed. Through the crack in his facade of domination, he responded. It began as a whisper and rose in volume. “Yes...mighty fine and sexy as hell,” claiming her lips he added, “and mine!”
Suddenly, he stood, seized her wrist and pulled her up toward the bedroom. Before she could comment, the world shifted and she was upon the king sized bed. His hungry mouth on hers made protesting impossible. Truly, it wasn’t her plan.
Once her breathing became labored, he moved to the end of the bed. Beginning at her ankles he worked his way toward her injuries. Each touch released energy, freed aggression, and exposed affection. If she winced, he caressed. If she moaned, he encouraged. With each kiss, each touch, Tony reminded Claire of her desires. The outside world was lost... gone beyond comprehension. He elicited thoughts and desires she’d compartmentalized away. His lips found places she’d abandoned. His teeth nipped at nubs which yearned for attention. His long talented fingers and skillful tongue probed and tantalized. Within no time, Claire found herself begging for mercy and at the same time pleading for more.
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for Aleatha Romig
If it is earlier in the day, I love my coffee. As the day progresses, I like iced tea—then if it is after dinner, I tend to like wine!
Sometimes. When I do listen to music it is usually Elton John, Billy Joel, or jazz. I truly like quiet.Did anything inspire you to write “Consequences” and “Truth”? Or was it more random than anything?
I believe it was more random. I had the “thought” of the opening scene of Consequences. Everything has grown from that. The characters have taken on lives and personalities of their own. I’ve loved watching them blossom!Do you have any advice for aspiring writers, like myself? What is something that you learned as an experienced writer, that you wish you knew before publishing your first book?
Ha ha! I love that you consider me “experienced”—I don’t. I consider myself new in this amazing world. That said, I’ve learned a lot in the short time I’ve been in the writing world, and I continue to learn more all the time! Just last week I was in Atlanta at the RWA national meeting. I walked away so inspired by the successful authors, I quit my job!
What I’ve learned personally, is to write what you love—write what you know—write what you want to read. You aren’t alone. If you enjoy writing it, someone will enjoy reading it. (and some won’t—but that’s all right). I’ve also learned that there is an AMAZING network of authors who are incredibly generous with their knowledge. All you need to do is ask.
At RWA I learned I need to write—write—write! The truly successful authors are producing books at an amazing pace. That is why I knew I needed to leave my dental hygiene job. It wasn’t an easy decision. I loved my coworkers, dentist, and patients, but I just couldn’t do it all anymore. I decided writing needs to be my priority.
Can you name some funny and/or random things that happened while you were writing “Truth”? (It can be something that happened in the story, or something that happened with your family. Anything at all!)
I wrote about six beginnings to Truth. That’s based on the Epilogue of Consequences. I took the story many different directions. It wasn’t until I came to terms with where I wanted the story to go that I was finally able to start truly writing. Once I did, Mr. Jeff told me that no one would like it. He said the readers would be upset. It wasn’t that I didn’t care—but, I can’t write that way. I have to write what I want to write.
I’ve learned that it isn’t possible to please EVERYONE. Therefore, I’ve decided to please myself. Funny thing—the ratings and reviews are fantastic for Truth.
What is in your TBR pile?
OMG! It is a mile long! Currently, I’m reading the final book of the Sookie Stackhouse, Charlene Harris Series. I’ve read them all and feel obligated to know how it all ends. E.K. Blair’s Fading is on the top of my TBR list. I met her briefly at Book Bash. Her book has done remarkably well for her first novel. I’m looking forward to it! There are SO many more...I need to disappear for a month and lose myself to reading! That would be heaven.
When I wrote Consequences, I did not plan on it being the beginning of a trilogy or a series. I thought it was a standalone book; however, my readers wanted to know what happened next. To be honest, so did I.
Tony and Claire wouldn’t leave me alone. I thought about them constantly. I needed to learn the TRUTH of their story. I mean, did Claire really love him? Did she only go on with their relationship because of Stockholm syndrome? What about Tony? Why would he do what he did at the end of Consequences? Were Claire’s consequences planned from the beginning? How do their ancestors fit into the story? I had SO many lingering questions...the only way to learn the answers was to sit down and write. I can just say...after surviving the Consequences—everyone NEEDS to learn the TRUTH!
Aleatha Romig is a bestselling author, who has been voted #1 "New Author to Read" on Goodreads July 2012 - Present! She was also #9 most followed author on Goodreads - July / August 3013.
Aleatha has lived most of her life in Indiana growing-up in Mishawaka, graduating from Indiana University, and currently living south of Indianapolis. Together with her high-school sweetheart and husband of twenty six years, they've raised three children. She works days as a dental hygienist but enjoys spending her nights writing. When not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend time with her family and friends. Her pastimes include exercising, reading and creating heros/ anti-heros who haunt your dreams!
Aleatha enjoys traveling, especially when there is a beach involved. In 2011 she had the opportunity to visit Sydney, Australia to visit her daughter studying at the University of Wollongong. Her dream is to travel to places in her novels and around the world.
CONSEQUENCES, her first novel, was released August 2011 by Xlibris Publishing. October 2012 Ms. Romig rereleased CONSEQUENCES as an Indie author. TRUTH, the sequel, was released October 30, 2012 and CONVICTED, the final installment of the Consequences Series, is scheduled for release in October of 2013!