I'm a big Jan Irving fan, so it's a particular pleasure to welcome her back to Friskbiskit for a guest post. Jan's going to take to us today about her new release, and the travel she did to research it. Take it away Jan!
Cowboy in Ravenna: Foreman Trinity March has always taken care of the boss's son, impulsive, passionate Chace Davidson. He knew Chace was his mate the moment he taught him to ride but he figures he's not good enough for Chace.
Chace aches for Trin but when he runs off to Italy to lose his embarrassing virginity Trin follows, just like always, under orders from Chace's father to 'straighten' Chace out. Good luck, since now that Shadow shifter Trin knows how much Chace aches for a lover, he just might take what he has always wanted.
Cowboy in Ravenna is available here: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=1538
My second choice of career if I hadn't been a writer would have been archeologist. When I arrived in Ravenna, Italy still dazed from the long travel time, I felt like I woke up only as I knelt and studied the mosaic flooring in a villa from the first century called the House of Carpets.
Months after my experience in Italy, I wanted to write it into one of my stories. It came alive for me in a whole new way when I travelled back with artistic Chace Davidson and ranch foreman Trinity March, who feels out of his element as a hick American. Chace sits in the same place where I sat in the House of Carpets and sketches the flooring…until Trinity March takes Chace's face in his palms, looks into his eyes and gives him his first kiss.
Trinity and Chace may stay in the same room where I stayed, but the strange and erotic encounter they have there is definitely their own. When they visit Italy, it's the Italy of shapeshifters, the Italy of being devoted to someone.
I read recently that to travel is to experience something slightly dangerous, because you are off your common ground. You don't know the places, the people, the routine. In this way, everything is enhanced. I tried to put those moments of intensity into my latest Uncommon Cowboys story.
Excerpt from A Cowboy in Ravenna:
Ravenna reminded Trin of a university town with its long avenues of campus-like buildings, some constructed out of dusty, mud-coloured brick. “That’s an early Roman church.” Chace pointed as they walked. “See the dome?”
It wasn’t very impressive from the outside, kind of lumpy with a single squat tower but it did look old, Trin guessed. “We’re going carpet shopping?” he asked, rubbing his stiff neck.
“Carpet shopping?” Chace grinned. “Like I’d take you shopping. You hate that. If you’d use your BlackBerry properly, you could read my email with all the travel stuff.”
“You still don’t know how.” Chace sighed. “You and technology, I swear.”
“I don’t like new stuff.”
“Then you should like what we’re going to see now.” They hopped over slick tiles that led to the massive door of the church Chace had pointed out. Trin thought there were a lot of churches in Italy. In White Deer, Montana, there were only two.
“The carpets are in here?” When they entered, he automatically removed his cowboy hat, wishing he hadn’t brought it since it probably made him look even more like an American hick, but it was a part of him, soft and broken in, and Chace thought it might be good when the weather got hot. Not that that was a problem today. It was still raining.
He looked around, seeing a typical sanctuary with flickering candles and shadowy spaces.
“Follow me,” Chace said softly.
He still didn’t see any carpets, but followed Chace through the church and then down some stairs. He smelt earth and old burials, his wolf senses not liking this place.
“Oh my God,” Chace whispered.
Trin’s eyes widened as he saw what had transfixed Chace—the undulating geometric carpets of mosaics, knots and chevrons in tiny blue-grey, sand, yellow and brown squares. He realised it was a floor plan for a large building as he walked behind Chace, just as fascinated by his young human’s reaction as he was by the musky remains of a villa.
“I can’t believe I was on that plane trying to get some sleep and now I’m here,” Chace said. He knelt on the wooden walkway. “Trin, it’s like this is who I really am. Not what my father wants me to be. Not how I’m lacking.”
“Just a damned minute,” Trin growled, kneeling beside Chace so he could see Trin was deadly serious. “You’re not lacking anything because law school isn’t for you and you don’t want to run the ranch. Hell, you can just hire a good foreman.”
“I have a good foreman.” Chace held his gaze. “I think Dad’s still pissed off since Mom left me the land. When I’m twenty-one it all goes to me and there is no way I can make that up to him, unless I sign it over like he wants.”
“No, Chace. It’s your father who needs to find his own life.”
Chace looked startled. “I never thought of it that way before.”
Trin pulled out a drawing pad and a pencil from his bag, handing them to Chace.
Chace raised a brow. “You brought that for me?”
“I can only draw stick cowboys and cattle, remember? I bet you want to capture this floor. I have to admit, it’s pretty impressive. Thanks for showing it to me, Chace.”
Chace might have looked a little washed out from all the travel, but his eyes were happier than Trin had ever seen them as he opened the pad and began to sketch.
Despite wanting Chace’s happiness more than anything, seeing him like this wrenched something in Trin’s chest. Would Chace be content to return to White Deer after coming to Italy?
“It’s hard not to break the rules here,” Chace said, pencil making soft shushing sounds across paper, abstracted smile tugging his lips.
Trin wanted Chace so much when he was so fully himself, so into what he was doing. Trin translated that into wondering if Chace would make love with the same kind of focus. Trin had to escape this small space, get some air, or he might do something he’d regret.
“What rules?” he asked.
“This one.” Chace’s warm lips brushed his.
Life shot through Trin. His chest heaved as he stared at Chace.
Chace was breathing hard too. “I’m sorry! I needed to do that, just once.” He covered his face. “God, I’m sorry.”
Trin noticed that the only other couple touring the site were just leaving, so they’d probably missed Chace kissing him. He opened his mouth to tell Chace he was impulsive, but instead he took in Chace’s slumped posture.
He didn’t like it.
“If you’re going to kiss a man, kiss him right,” he said.
“Trin,” Chace whispered. “I don’t know how. I’ve never…”
“I know you haven’t.” And his dick loved the idea of Chace’s virgin state.
He cupped Chace’s cheeks in his big hands and leaned his forehead against the younger man’s, breathing in his scent, taking the time to appreciate how Chace’s skin felt smooth under work-worn finger tips.
“I can’t be your boyfriend,” Trin told Chace, told himself.
Chace’s gaze dropped. “I know.”
Trin swallowed. His hands were shaking. “But I can give you a few pointers, I guess. Lesson one is you don’t need to sneak a kiss from a man you like. If he’s got any backbone and he likes you back, he’ll want you to kiss him.”
Chace’s skin heated, and a blush spread down his neck and upper chest. Trin wanted to rip off Chace’s T-shirt and kiss that tell of his arousal.
“Start off slow. Take the time to appreciate who you’re holding in your arms.” Trin nuzzled Chace’s neck, whiskers rasping against Chace’s softer skin. Chace had always bemoaned the fact he barely had to shave, but Trin thought it was sexy. Hell, everything about Chace was sexy.
“Trin…” Trembling in Trin’s arms, Chace’s breath was a hot tattoo. However slow and gentle Trin wanted to take it, Chace was wild.
“Easy.” He kissed Chace’s forehead and the corner of his mouth. Trin opened Chace’s mouth with a firm hand on his jaw, sliding his tongue in confidently. Chace curled his fists in Trin’s T-shirt as he rubbed himself against him. He sucked Trin’s tongue as if desperate for penetration.
Wow. That is so tender, and hot!
Jan Irving has worked in all kinds of creative fields, from painting silk to making porcelain ceramics, to interior design, but writing was always her passion.
She feels you can’t fully understand characters until you follow their journey through a story world. Many kinds of worlds interest her, fantasy, historical, science fiction and suspense—but all have one thing in common, people finding a way to live together—in the most emotional and erotic fashion possible, of course!