Coleen Kwan – My Thursday Thirteen
For my new contemporary romance, Baiting the Boss, I invented an island getaway for my hero. Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, Filemu Island was a remote, little slice of paradise, complete with swaying palm trees, softy sandy beaches, and crystal clear waterfalls.
For my Thursday Thirteen, I’m listing thirteen fantasy places from books, movies, and TV shows.
- The Faraway Tree. Enid Blyton’s classic children’s books which I read avidly.
- Never Land. The home of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and the Lost Boys.
- Middle-earth. From Lord of the Rings.
- Westeros. From A Song of Ice and Fire.
- Gilligan’s Island
- The mysterious tropical island from Lost
- The Lost Valley. I loved this 1950s comic book series featuring Turok and Andar, two native American Indians trapped in a valley forgotten by time and filled with dinosaurs.
- Pandora. Of Avatar fame.
- Oompah-Loompah Land
- Quahog. The fictional Rhode Island town setting for Family Guy.
There are so many wonderful or eerie fantasy places to choose from. I’d love to know readers’ favourite fantasy places.
Thanks for having my on your blog today!
Coleen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. At school English was her favorite subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life — and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance and steampunk romance.
Coleen lives in Sydney, Australia with her partner and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate, and watching Criminal Minds.
When she turns up at Jack’s bungalow, he can’t deny his attraction to the fiery woman determined to lure him out of his tropical paradise. Little does she know that returning is the last thing he wants—he’s nobody’s boss, and he likes it that way.
If he stays, she’ll lose her job. If he goes, she’ll lose her heart.
~::~As she turned to float on her back, she spied Jack at the water’s edge and almost went under. He’d taken off his T-shirt, and the sight of his bare, toned abdomen took her breath away. Desire spiraled in her as she drank in his burnished chest with its flecking of hairs pointing straight down into the waistband of his board shorts. His shoulders flexed as he smoothed back his hair, the heat haze bathing him in a sultry, golden aura. He was a demigod, with the power to make her forget who she was.
She’d never experienced such a visceral reaction to a man before, and it scared her. What would happen if they got too close? If he kissed her again, she wouldn’t be able to resist. Swiveling away, she dived underwater and kicked her way through the crystal-clear water.
But why should she resist? They were both single, unattached. Why shouldn’t they kiss as much as they wanted? The idea sent her corkscrewing to the surface. She popped up and refilled her lungs, treading water. Jack shot up with a splash not far from her.
“You took off like a tadpole.” He flicked the hair away from his eyes. “Where are you going?”
Away from temptation. “Uh, nowhere in particular.” She felt for the bottom of the pool, but found only more water.
In a couple of strokes he was right in front of her. “I can stand here. Hold onto me.” As she glanced nervously at the bulk of his shoulder, his eyes twinkled. “I don’t bite, you know.”
Oh, it wasn’t his bite she was afraid of. She placed a hand on his shoulder. “Thanks.”
“On the other hand…” His eyes sparkled even brighter. “The eels in this pool have been known to nibble.”
“Eels!” She grabbed onto him with both hands, casting a jittery look at the still waters around them.
A low chuckle rumbled in his chest. “Just kidding. They don’t bite.”
“But there are eels?”
“Small ones only, and they’re shy.”
She couldn’t suppress a shudder. “I don’t know whether to believe you or not.”
“Would I lie to you?”
“Probably. You’re a man, aren’t you?”
His teeth gleamed white. “Glad you noticed.”
How could she not notice? Then she realized that Jack’s arm was around her waist, and she was clinging to his shoulders. Eels weren’t the only danger here. Far more dangerous was the way their chests were stuck together, her breasts pushing up against the water-dappled wall of his chest.
She swallowed and noticed he was breathing heavily, too. Up close in the brilliant sunshine, she could see every detail of him, from the fascinating specks of violet in his gray irises, to the black stubble peppering his chin, to the faint quirk in his lips. A tiny muscle pumped in his jaw, an indication that her proximity was affecting him, too.
“I told myself I wouldn’t do this again,” he muttered, almost talking to himself.
“Do what? Joke about eels?”
“Yeah, that too.” Using his free hand, he traced a finger down the curve of her cheek. The unexpected tenderness in his gesture made her senses leap. “You’re going home tomorrow.”
She nodded, unable to speak.
“And I won’t see you again. At least, not in the foreseeable future.” He smoothed back her hair, tucking a wet tendril behind her ear. “It wouldn’t be fair to take advantage of you.”
He was talking as if she were still a naive young graduate. “Maybe I’m the one taking advantage of you.”
His eyebrows shot up. His hand stilled on her cheek. “But you’re…”
“A grown woman able to make my own decisions.” When it came to men she’d always been too shy to make the first move, but Jack made her feel so different, so sensual and wanton. She wanted him, right here and now, and she couldn’t think of a single reason to hold back. “Also, a very horny woman right now.”