Charli had intended to submit this book to Cerridwen for consideration, but wanted to help JC Wilder’s relief efforts immediately and so is providing it on her website for $2 instead. For those who are wondering 50k words is around a category length book. You can purchase the book here

Forwarded from Charlene Teglia, Ellora’s Cave Author:

Here’s an excerpt of my 50K plus steamy romantic comedy, Catalyst. Available for $2.00 in three downloadable ebook formats, PayPal only (sorry, has to be that way for
secure transactions) and all the money goes directly J.C. Wilder’s rescue
efforts to help infants and families in need. Read a romance for hurricane
relief, and tell a friend!

Please pardon the inevitable errors. I edited it myself, but I’m bound to have
missed things. In light of the urgency, I figured we could all live with that. (Feel
free to forward this post.)

Thank you,
Charli
www.charleneteglia.com

When Veronica decided to get a life, she had no idea what she was getting
into…

Catalyst copyright Charlene Teglia 2005 All Rights Reserved

“You’re wearing that perfume again.” The hoarse accusation breathed
against the column of her throat was nearly a groan.

“Mmm-hmm,” she agreed. “Those medieval alchemists knew their
chemistry.”

“Chemistry.” He nibbled at her earlobe. “That explains it.”

“Yep.” Veronica sighed blissfully as he continued to nuzzle her neck. “Love
potions are for amateurs. This is the real thing, a chemical catalyst.”

“Catawhat?”

“Catalyst. A substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction, or an
agent of change.” She recited the definition in a breathless voice.

A muffled laugh was buried in her hair. “I don’t think we need it.”

“Well, I don’t know.” Veronica pretended to ponder the point. “From time to
time we do seem to come close to reaching a certain critical heat. But in the
spirit of academic inquiry, I thought a little added fuel to the fire might produce
interesting results.”

“Ah.”

“Yes.” Then, “Yes…”

Somewhere along the way, Veronica realized she’d lost the upper hand on
that round. If she’d ever really had it. While she was busy teasing him, he’d
teased her body until it completely shut down what was passing for her brain
these days.

When they came up for air again, she was forced to agree that they didn’t
need any assistance.

Nature was doing just fine unaided.

In fact, they might be glad to have that kitchen fire extinguisher.

She cuddled happily against Scott, loving the way he rocked from side to
side with her, giving comfort and reassurance while giving them both time to
float back to earth together.

Finally, he loosened his hold on her and set her away with reluctant hands.
“Come on, woman. If we keep this up, you won’t get any dinner, and we’ll
both get cranky if we miss a meal.”

“Dinner?” Veronica blinked at him in feigned forgetfulness.

“Dinner.” He kissed the tip of her nose. “A catalyst is only as good as the
two starting elements. And I think your element is in need of some slower
burning fuel.”

“Oh. Dinner it is, then. Speaking of which, what is it?”

Now that he’d mentioned, she was hungry.

Scott gave her his best snooty waiter expression. “Tonight, madam, we have
the finest garden fresh vegetables with savory beef cube kabobs marinated in
a tangy orange sauce, accompanied by green salad and the house red wine.”

Veronica digested that description. “So, we’re barbecuing?”

“We’re barbecuing,” he agreed.

They strolled to the patio, arms wrapped around each other as if to make up
for the separation of a night and a day.

She smugly concluded that she wasn’t alone in feeling strangely bereft
when they were apart.

In fact, she seemed to feel as if they belonged together always. And it was
Scott’s doing, she felt sure. He’d somehow built on the initial attraction
between them to form an invisible bond of increasing strength. In very real
ways, she felt tied to him, and more so every day.

She wasn’t sure she liked it.

Her own body no longer felt like it belonged to her. Instead, it followed his
lead and answered to his every passionate demand, responded to his every
caress.

Now that she considered it, Veronica realized that grand passions were
historically and traditionally rather uncomfortable affairs with unfortunate side
effects. If she’d expected storybook perfection, she’d obviously forgotten such
stories as Samson and Delilah, Tristan and Isolde, Anthony and Cleopatra.

The horrible thought occurred that Gordon just might have had a valid point
or two. It was one thing to read about desert islands from the safety of a
comfortable chair. It was something altogether different to get sunburned and
sandy.

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