Saturday, January 29, 2011

Available today - Step Into Tomorrow

They say good things come to those who wait, and I've waited a long time to get this story to a worthy publisher. Enjoy!

Step Into Tomorrow
futuristic time travel/erotic romance
Rayne Forrest
available now at Amber Quill Press

Rhys St. Clair is the best of a select group of highly trained time specialists. When events in the layers of time run amok, it’s his job to step through the Matrix and fix the problem. A mistake in his calculations sends him back to the year 1996 and nets him more than he ever bargained for – Sophia Townsend.

Sophia Townsend needs a life makeover. When a confused stranger shows up inside her home, with no idea of where he is, or even what year it is, it doesn’t take Sophia long to figure out the man in her living room is the most interesting guy she’s ever met, and the sexiest, too.

When Rhys whisks her away, Sophia isn’t sure if she’s been kidnapped, or if the handsome stranger is taking her on the greatest adventure of her life. When the truth catches up to them, Rhys has only one thing left to offer her – but only if she’s brave enough to step into tomorrow with him.

“I could’ve done better.”

“No doubt. You’ve had practice. Now open that fancy atlas you bought and figure out where we can stop for the night, because we’re stopping as soon as it gets dark. I want off this main thoroughfare before we lose the light, too.”

Sophia gave him a surprised look then grabbed up the book and started rapidly flipping through the pages.

Rhys hoped she realized they would share a room tonight. And a bed. He couldn’t let her out of his sight. It was too risky. She’d bolt like the hounds of Hell were after her. Thank all deities she’d never see the real thing. They’d blocked the way out of the lower layers of time known as Hell.

The thought of being in a bed with her, even if he stayed on top of the covers while she was under them, brought his cock to attention. The memory of her beneath him burned in his blood. He wanted her, and he had five years to get her. Starting tonight would work out just fine.

“Oh, and find a place that has, um, what’s it called? Room service? I’m hungry.”

“Eat your crackers if you need food,” she shot back. “We can cross the state line and look for a place. Crossing the state line makes you a worse sort of felon or something.”

“Really? You mean I might become wanted by NASA?”

She groaned. “Why me? Why does it always have to be me? Why do I get the good ones?” She finally shifted in her seat to face him. “It’s the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Rhys. The F-B-I. Not NASA. NASA is the people who go into outer space. You know outer space. Isn’t that where you came from? Didn’t Scotty beam you down?”

His hands clenched around the steering wheel as he gave her the truth.

“No, beautiful. I didn’t come here from outer space. I came from the seventeenth layer of time. Oz.”


Rhys had only one option. Well, two, but letting them arrest him wouldn’t work. What would happen when he vanished without a trace from a holding cell one bright, sunny day? He went back to the bed and crawled back under the sheet.
He had to put his arms around her one more time before he sent her back to her life. He gathered her close. “Sophie. Wake up, beautiful.”

She opened sleepy eyes and blinked. Gods, she looked like a woman who’d been fucked, and well, all night long.

He lowered his lips to hers and poured everything he had into the kiss. All the wonder of the night spent in her arms, all his longing for a life with her. All his regret.

She clung to him, returning his kiss with awakening passion and her own longing. He pulled away.

“Sophie, the authorities are outside. You need to get dressed and walk out of here like nothing ever happened. Tell them you needed to get away for a night, and you’re going home.”

Her face paled. “I won’t leave you! What will you do? Where will you go?”
“You have to leave me. I’ll be fine. I’ll go out away from civilization and put down a marker. Hector will find me and get me home.”

“I can’t go home! There’s nothing there for me.”

He hesitated. More than anything, he wanted to be with her. But what had to be, had to be. They had to go their separate ways. It was the only solution—for her. She deserved better than him.

“There’s no time and no choice. Go home, beautiful. Go back to your life.”

“No. We’ve got to think of something else.” She pushed him away. He mourned the loss of her touch, for his arms that would be empty for the rest of his life—without the chance to really know her.

“Don’t fight me on this. I’ve already done you enough harm. Forget about me. Forget you ever knew me.”

Step Into Tomorrow
ISBN-13: 978-1-61124-051-1
futuristic time travel/erotic romance
available now at Amber Quill Press

Rayne Forrest
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Step Into Tomorrow

Step Into Tomorrow. I wonder if I attempted to send myself a subliminal message when I settled on that title for my next book. Every book needs a title, and I prefer a title that has something to do with the actual story. Most folks do. The story has a time travel theme and requires a leap of faith for the heroine to stay with her man. Beyond that, don't we all step in tomorrow on a daily basis?

Step Into Tomorrow is set to release next weekend at the Amber Heat imprint of Amber Quill Press. I'm pleased to be associated with Amber Quill, which is a "by invitation only" publisher. The first ebook I ever purchased was at Amber Quill way back in 2003, and I quickly learned they were a cut above the rest when it the quality of the books they published. I hope that the Rayne Forrest brand will have a long association with Amber Quill Press.

Stepping into a new year, with a new publisher, has made me stop and once again seriously consider if it's time to launch a new author brand. I've learned so much, grown so much, that perhaps it's time for a fresh start. Author branding is something to think about. My older stories - Across Time, The Curiosity Shoppe, Truest Treasure, A Hero's Bargain, Mountain High, Under a Painted Moon - remain as good stories, but my voice as a writer has matured. I've pondered the question of a fresh start for a while.

If I want to explore some of the ideas for stories I have, it may be the way to go. It's always good for a reader to know what to expect when they buy a book from [fill in the name]. I don't think a Rayne Forrest reader would like to buy a Rayne Forrest book and discover it was something other than erotic romance. Say...inspirational. This is what I mean by author branding.

I guess I won't find a clear answer until I step into some more distant tomorrow. Perhaps like most other important decisions in my life, I'll simply wake up one morning and know. My continued musings on the subject probably mean I will start anew some day, but the right time to do so hasn't yet arrived. Know thyself.

While I search for the perfect path to take, I have the opportunity to work with some amazing people, for which I'm grateful. weekend, new book! If you'd like to read an excerpt, I invite you to visit my website at . If you'd like to get on the Amber Quill Press mailing list, visit to sign up. Or you can check back at Twenty-six Keys. After the book goes live, I'll be making the promo rounds on the blogs and such.

Until then, play safe.


UPDATE: Step Into Tomorrow is now available at Amber Heat at

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Old South Mountain Inn

I'm not sure what it means to when you start the New Year on an off note. Does it mean the entire year will be like that? I certainly hope not. Perhaps I need to discount last night as some sort of aberration, a sort of late visit by the spirits who tormented old Ebeneezer. Only the message isn't to mend my ways, but to look closer below the surface of reputation.

Being New Year's Eve, my beloved suggested we choose a very nice restaurant and go out to dinner. Even in this horrible economy we had a good year, so yeah, okay, I agreed we should splurge. We'd make the drive to the Old South Mountain Inn.

We won't ever go back.

Arriving early to hopefully beat the crowd, the first thing I noticed, or more correctly didn't notice, was reserved handicap parking. My beloved has a neuropathy, a lingering side effect of the chemotherapy he received five years ago. He doesn't walk well, and the parking lot wasn't even paved. It was a sign. There was not handicap ramp, either. He'd have to manage a few steps. We'd made the drive, so we went in.

The restaurant has a lovely glass-enclosed 'garden room' which was beautifully decorated. We estimated it could seat about one hundred, and it was about one-third full. The waiter (or whatever the PI term is these days) arrived promptly, and immediately informed us he wouldn't (wouldn't, not couldn't)split our check four and two.

Okay, we can deal with that. We ordered. My beloved and my stepdad ordered a beer. My beloved had to ask for a glass. One was brought. My stepdad wrongly assumed he'd get one, too, and had to send the waiter back for one for him. Is it just me, or IS drinking beer from a bottle at a [supposedly] five-star restaurant really acceptable?

Two of us ordered the same appetizer, sausage stuffed mushroom caps. Hollandaise? That must have been the caramelized, fried stuff in the bottom of the dish. Nasty.

I ordered a New York Strip, well done. My beloved ordered a fillet, medium. When dinner arrived, his fillet had been butterflied and was well done. My NY strip was bloody in the center, which I just can't... Okay, that's enough to ruin my morning coffee. I'm not that tough. I can't eat raw meat.

My beloved instructed the waiter to return my steak for a bit more cooking time. What was returned to me was a piece of shoe leather that didn't even have the same shape as the original steak. (I'm sure it wasn't the same steak.) It was burnt to a crisp. I managed to trim the outer edges and eat part of the center, but a very expensive ($28.00) steak was wasted.

We opted out of dessert and coffee, and fled to the comfort of home, our new coffee pot, and some cheap grocery-store brand ice cream. So went my fine dining experience at what is supposed to be Washington County's premiere restaurant. Our waiter did end up splitting our check four and two. Maybe he felt sorry for us. We did tip him, six bucks per person. I hope he's not required to share that with the "chef."

So here I am on New Year's Day, having to start the year off recounting a regretable experience. I'm happy for the owners of the Old South Mountain Inn that they don't need my repeat business. I'm disappointed I can't recommend them.

Next year, we're going to a restaurant where we know with certainty we'll get exactly what we pay for - Burger King.