GUEST SPOTLIGHT – Don’t Let Me Forget You by Cara Crescent
Posted by Book Loving Pixies
Don’t Let Me ForgetYou
by Cara Crescent
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Olivia Pembrook knows something isn’t right. She’s not remembering things she should. Pembrook Manor’s caretaker advises her to stay away from the new guest, but Hunter is attentive and sweet. She feels safe being near such a big, quiet man. He listens, and Lord knows, she can’t remember the last time anyone paid her any attention. So when he invites her to join him for dinner, she can’t say no. Everything is wonderful. Perfect. Until the clock strikes five. The doors lock. And her memories return.
Luke Hunter, a wounded ex-SWAT officer, experiencing a recurrence of his childhood Sensory Perception Disorder, goes to a private island for seclusion and rest. Instead, he finds a lover. A lover who relives her death nightly and forgets everything by sunrise. He’s determined to stop the cycle but is unsure if he can survive his own ghosts – or the ones wandering the halls – long enough to secure their happily-ever-after.
And even if he does… will she remember him tomorrow?
Interview with Cara:
We’re delighted to have Cara Crescent, the author of Don’t Let Me Forget You with us today. Cara kindly agreed to answer a few questions for us….. 🙂
Cara, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Let’s see, I have four teenagers and three cat-snakes (a.k.a. ferrets). I usually take my computer with me to the beach of a nearby lake to write—teenagers are loud creatures. I work for a local non-profit organization that provides safe-parking for homeless families while they wait for affordable housing. I love to read romance, horror, and science fiction and have a TBR pile to rival Everest. I’m a huge fan of Michael Stokes, Neil deGrasse Tyson, & Stephen Colbert—not in any particular order. And I’m very grateful to you for having me on Book Loving Pixies!
* When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid, but it took me a long time to find my voice, my motivation, and to find that space in my mind where I can see the stories unfolding. I’d say I started seriously writing about nine years ago. I had found myself at a cross-roads and I needed to make some decisions about what happiness looked like for me. Part of that process involved writing and I realized when I got lost writing a story or creating a world I was happy. I joined Romance Writers of America, started taking classes and never looked back.
* What books/authors, if any, have influenced your writing?
Oh, wow. That’s a tough question. I think everything I’ve read has influenced me in one way or another—I mean, we are a sum of all our experiences, right? Don’t Let Me Forget You specifically was influenced by H. P. Lovecraft’s stories—it has a dark aspect to it, an idea that we’re little specks in the vastness of an unpatrolled universe—which is a very Lovecraftian idea.
* We love reading and generally what we read covers a wide range but, at heart, we are Paranormal Romance junkies. We’re wondering what would be your favourite genre to read?
Anything Romance! I read a lot of historicals, sci-fi, contemporary, erotica, paranormal. I do have a particular love of science fiction romance and wish we had more authors writing it.
* What book are you currently reading?
Right now I’m reading Tsunami Blue by Gayle Ann Williams, which is amazing so far and, even better, the first book of a new-to-me paranormal series. I’m also impatiently waiting for When All the Girls Have Gone by Jane Ann Krentz.
* Finally, can you share a little of your current work with us?
Don’t Let Me Forget You is a cross-genre love story. It is a sci-fi/paranormal romance with horror elements that is more intense than scary. Luke Hunter, who has Sensory Processing Disorder, goes to a private island to escape the media after being fired from Seattle S.W.A.T. and meets Olivia who doesn’t have any idea who he is and whose touch doesn’t bother him. He thinks he’s in heaven until the clock strikes five and Pembrook Manor turns less than pleasant. He discovers the ‘Less Gang—a menagerie of deceased guests, finds out Pembrook’s caretaker is not what he seems, and witnesses Olivia getting snatched up and pulled right through the ceiling. When she shows up the next morning as if nothing happened, he’s sure he’s hallucinating—damn that medication—but he soon realizes that his gorgeous-to-good-to-be-true- host doesn’t remember anything from the day before. He refuses to abandon his one shot at love, but he’s not sure if he can survive the nights long enough to puzzle out what’s gone wrong at Pembrook Manor. If you’re up for a spooky-fun read with an out of this world H-E-A, this one might be for you!
Luke Hunter was a bit of a mystery. His scowls and quietness gave the impression of indifference, but he offered her his arm as they walked. She was pretty sure he was flirting with her, and now he worried over making sure she ate.
Olivia could get lost in his green eyes. Never had she seen the like, they were the color of fresh sprouted grass. In contrast to his black hair, they appeared to glow from within. He was shy, but he also seemed kind. An odd combination of traits for a man so brutishly large and intimidating. She’d been scared of him at first glance, but the look of wonder on his face when she’d shaken his hand had gone straight to her heart. Most men never bothered to give her a second glance. Most would’ve laid into Watts by now. Not Luke Hunter. Instead, he’d accepted her excuse for Watts’ poor behavior.
He shifted in his seat. “I’ll, uh, grab that plate for you.”
“No.” She bolted up. He must think she was simple, the way she’d sat there staring. “You’re the guest.” She retrieved a plate from the sideboard and when she returned, he lifted the lid to the entrée dish.
He served her a couple of heaping spoonfuls of a hearty stew, before serving himself and setting into his food.
Lord, he was handsome. His dark hair was longish and a bit disheveled and he needed to shave. She eyed his dark stubble. How would the coarse hair feel on her skin? Her mouth? She bit her lip, letting her gaze travel back over his strong features to his magnificent eyes.
He caught her watching him and leaned close. “So, you want to tell me what you were really doing in my room? I promise I won’t tell Watts.”
She mimicked his posture, leaning over the arm of her chair. “Fixing it.” It was a little unnerving the way he studied her lips when she spoke.
His dark eyebrows shot up on his forehead. “With a knife?”
“I like you, Luke.” She smiled, hoping to soften her next words. “You should have left with Watts.”
“You like me, so you want to get rid of me?”
What could she say? That she’d found a strange book upstairs in her father’s lab that had scared her so much she’d had the uncontrollable urge to carve a protection spell under his bed? He’d think she was as crazy as Watt’s did if she told him that.
Hunter sat back in his chair, his lips canting up on one side. “Tell me, who broke things off, you or Watts Junior?”
Caught off guard, she blinked. Oh, Lord. He already thought she was crazy. She let out a long sigh, determined to beat him at his own game. “Well, I tried to make the relationship work, but once he realized I’m a pod person from planet Xeon-Yetispit, I couldn’t get him to stop screaming long enough to talk things out.”
His smile didn’t expand an inch, but his eyes sparkled with mirth. “Guess I’ll have to take my chances with you. Watts took the boat.”
Relief washed through her, catching her by surprise. She hadn’t wanted him to go. After seeing that book and the strange monsters drawn inside, she didn’t want to be alone. Besides, he was starting to act like he wanted to talk to her and it had been so long since she had someone to chat with. Hadn’t it? Sitting close to someone felt odd. Having a person be concerned whether she ate or not seemed strange.
While they ate she was struck by the fact that most people dined together. Like this. It was . . . pleasant. At the same time, something about the simple dinner made her nerves tingle under her skin. Some primal fear began to grow inside her, the reason for those jitters lying out of reach.
He didn’t belong here. Neither did she.
“Are you going to tell me why you’re so anxious for me to go?” He picked up his wine glass.
“It’s not nice here at night.”
“How so?” He took a sip of wine.
She frowned. Should he be drinking wine after taking morphine? “It’s isolated.” She cringed. Lord, that was almost as lame an excuse as the mice. She needed to quit mentally drooling over him and use her brain to come up with better stories. Or better yet, how nice it would be to remember.
“Good. I don’t like people.” No humor softened his statement.
Huh. He didn’t seem to mind her. “What do you do for a living?”
“I’m a, was, an Army Ranger. I worked SWAT for a little while after that. I guess now I’m drifting.”
“You have family nearby?”
He looked away. “Not really.”
That was a non-answer if she’d ever heard one, but she could relate. Her father lived here in the house, but she didn’t see him often. He was too preoccupied with attempting to prove his current thesis, leaving her as alone as Hunter appeared to be. “Me, either.”
Hunter’s gaze shot back to her lips and his brow furrowed.
Now she understood the reason for his unsettling quirk of staring at her lips. He couldn’t hear. “I said, me either.”
His lips parted and a blush covered his cheeks. Slowly, he set his fork down. He folded his napkin and set it on the table.
He was leaving.
Olivia set her hand on his to get his attention and received the same tingling spark of awareness she had earlier. As soon as he looked at her, she blurted, “I like you.”
If anything the stain on his cheeks grew darker. She’d never seen such a big man blush and it seemed at odds with his brusque personality.
“No one ever talks to me. Stay.”
The corner of his lips kicked up. “First you try to chase me away, and now, right when I’m about to give in, you want me to stay?”
She bit her lip in indecision. He was right. She should make him leave. Something was wrong with this place. With her. She couldn’t remember yesterday or the day before. And when she found that creepy book today, frightening images had popped into her mind, almost like memories, but too fantastic and terrible to be real.
Maybe it meant nothing.
Maybe it was like Watts told her and her fugues were due to her grief over her mother and brother’s deaths. If he was right, enjoying the next few days chatting and flirting with a handsome man might help her relax and remember. She grinned. “I’d like for you to stay.”
In response, he shook out his napkin and laid it in his lap.
She kept her hand on his for her next question, in case she needed to grab him again. “How did you learn to read lips so well?”
“I’m not deaf.”
She took a bite of stew, waiting to see if he’d explain.
“Sometimes, things sound different to me. It comes and goes. I never know when it will happen, just that it does.”
“What do you hear right now? Start with the loudest sounds and end with the ones you have to concentrate to make out.”
“Your voice.” She paused, listening. “Your fork scraping the plate. The grandfather clock. The heater.” She closed her eyes, trying to find other sounds in the room. With a shake of her head, she shrugged. “That’s it. It’s pretty quiet. Now you.”
He tipped his head toward to the swinging door on the other side of the room. “There’s a refrigerator in there and a TV. The television is off, but the buzz of electricity is still winding through it.”
Watts did have a TV in the kitchen. She strained to hear, but couldn’t make out what Hunter described.
“The ticking of the clocks, and their inner workings. That one”—he nodded toward the grandfather clock—“has a rusty gear. It makes a high-pitched squeak every time the seconds’ hand passes the six. The light bulbs hum. All of them.” His attention returned to her. “You took off your shoes and are rubbing your toes on the carpet.”
She stopped the movement. “I’m sorry.”
“I didn’t say I didn’t like it. Some sounds are . . . comforting in an odd sort of way.”
“What else?” He fascinated her.
“Every time you shift in your seat, I hear your clothes. My clothes. Our forks and knives. Chewing. Swallowing. And, to a lesser degree, your voice.”
She waited until his gaze returned to her mouth. “But everything else is louder?”
“It comes and goes. Electronics are the worst. Something about the pitch, maybe.”
“How were you able to serve in the military?”
He studied her face for so long she didn’t think he’d answer. “For a long time I didn’t have any symptoms, but about three months ago, they came back.”
He picked up his wine and the glass shattered in his hand.
They both froze, Olivia with her fork halfway to her mouth. She stared at the shards of glass, the clear liquid soaking into the table cloth. Blood dripped from his hand.
“Sorry.” He blotted at the mess with his napkin. “That happens to me sometimes.”
Blood. That was why he had to leave, because there would be blood.
A chill swept down her spine. She dropped her fork with a clatter. “You have to go.”
She stood and started pulling his chair away from the table. Lord, the man weighed a ton of bricks. Why had she bothered with the stupid protection spell? She wasn’t a witch. She needed to get him the hell out.
Hunter stood and she almost fell on her backside when the chair moved.
Because there would be blood.
“Olivia, I didn’t mean—”
“You have to go.” She thrust his cane into his hand. “Now. Get out.”
The grandfather clock began to chime the five o’clock hour. She turned her head toward the sound so abruptly the muscles in her neck pinched.
There was meaning in that sound. She couldn’t quite grasp the significance, but the deep gong of the clock made her breath stop. Made her tummy go queer. Oh, yes, there was meaning in that sound.
It was happening.
“Olivia?” Hunter’s expression stated he thought she’d lost her mind.
The front door locked.
With the force of a tidal wave, her memories returned, bowing her under their horrible weight.
“Oh, my God.” With one trembling hand she reached out, her fingers clutching tight in Hunter’s shirt front.
Oh, God. Oh, dear God. She was too late.
Griffin Jude Payne is the last U.S. Marine. He’s determined to take down the U.N. and send their twisted dream of a global utopia back to hell where it belongs. After assassinating the Prime Minister, he is captured and exiled off-planet.
His enemy’s widow boards the same ship, presenting Griffin with a unique opportunity–Prudence is his ticket back to Earth. With her as his hostage, he intends to gather the exiled residents of Asteria, commandeer a ship, and head back to reclaim Earth for all people.
Prudence has no intention of returning to Earth now that she’s escaped. She wants Griffin to join her in making a new life together on Asteria.
As they struggle to survive on the hostile planet, he’s blindsided by her tenacious bravery and sweet sensuality until he’s no longer sure if she’s his hostage, or if he’s hers.
When the Original comes, she’ll come to thee as three:
The Beacon burning bright. The Shadow hidden from sight. The blighted, damned Knight.
James Pasquino has failed as a man, as a priest, and as a daemon, but he has one last shot at redemption – succeed on a mission to prevent Armageddon. But who would’ve known protecting one woman would prove so difficult? Or so tempting.
Haunted by a mysterious and powerful evil entity, Lilith Caldwell has always had to live on the fringes of life. So when she comes home for the first time in twenty years and the entity disappears, she’s ecstatic –not even the provoking daemon residing in her childhood house can dampen her enthusiasm.
James is one sexy predicament, and she has every intention of pursuing him, daemon or not. For the first time in her life, she thinks things are falling into place…until she realizes the entity she’d thought had gone was only lying in wait, biding its time until she was at her most vulnerable.
When she needs them most, the coven she left long ago offers her one final chance to return as their high priestess and gain the power to defeat her enemies. The cost? The life of her daemon.
Can James protect Lilith and find redemption in the heart and soul of one single witch? Will Lilith take her chances and leave the coven to face the enemy without her full power, or will she choose to end the life of the arrogant, sexy daemon, who stole her heart?
Cara Crescent currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her children and three overly dramatic ferrets. When not writing, you can usually find her curled up with a book, engrossed in a movie, or playing video games with her best friend.