We are delighted to introduce you to Demelza Carlton who has made us one of her stops during her Virtual Book Tour. She is the author of Water and Fire, a steamy contemporary medical romance involving a sexy doctor, a naughty nurse, a midwife on a mission and a mysterious predator in
. Albany, Western Australia
Working as a student midwife in an Australian country hospital is never easy, but Belinda finds more trouble than most.
There's the intern doctor who follows her around like an overgrown puppy, the dangerous local wildlife and her own secrets she must keep.
When she finds herself without a place to live, what else can possibly go wrong?
Or is it time for something to go right?
Following are two excerpts from Water and Fire:
Excerpt No. 1
I touched my fingers to his shoulder to steady myself before reaching for my drink.
His face split in a wide grin beneath his ocean-deep eyes. "I think you've had enough. What'll you give me for it?"
I shrugged. "What do you want for it?"
His smile shrank, becoming more thoughtful. "You could start with a kiss."
I looked into those yearning, deep-water eyes of a man who seemed all fire. It's been a long time, but I think I still remember how.
I cautiously touched my lips to his. His mouth was open, so the draught of his breath cooled my lips for the briefest moment before I pulled away.
"Fuck that!" He strode to the coffee table and clunked the glasses down. His hands were empty for barely a moment before they were splayed warmly on my back. "Belinda. That's not a kiss."
I moved with him as he pulled me closer, one of his hands travelling up to the back of my neck as the other drifted down to the small of my back. I leaned in closer still.
He bowed his head as I tilted mine up. I wet my lips and parted them, feeling fear for the first time. Perhaps I have forgotten how to do this. This is a stupid idea.
He pressed his mouth to mine, layering our lips as we shared a breath. His smiling blue eyes drooped to show blue-veined lids as his tongue stroked mine.
I haven't forgotten. This is new and I'm going to…I'm going to…
His shoulders were smooth beneath my questing fingers, his lips warm and responsive as I deepened my kiss. I felt his chuckle rumble through both of us, though I couldn't see him with my eyes closed. He tasted of whiskey with a hint of chocolate and I wanted more…
"Now that's a kiss."
Excerpt No. 2
His coffee clunked loudly to the table, the contents of the cup slopping around like the storm swell in the port that morning.
"I swear it's some kind of crazy conspiracy. Now the Nannup Tiger's broken a man's leg – or someone's pulling mine."
I looked up in surprise as Aidan slumped into the seat across from me. His hair was tufted and on end again. He took a slurp of coffee. For the first time, he looked annoyed.
"How can an extinct creature break a man's leg?" I asked calmly.
"Murray Piesse, a dairy farmer from over Elleker way. Swore he saw a thylacine on his lawn, drinking from the bird bath. So he grabbed a camera and went out into the dark after it. The beast disappeared, if it ever existed at all.
stumbled over a tree
stump or something in the dark and broke his leg. He managed to crawl back up
to the house by morning to call for help. The ambulance brought him in."
Aidan's brows met over his nose as he gulped down more coffee. Murray
"I wonder if he got a photo of it…" I mused.
Aidan snorted, then choked as he got coffee up his nose. It took him a few minutes before he could do anything but splutter, so I waited without speaking. "Do you honestly believe him? Or are you making fun of me, too?"
I wet my lips. "I believe it's possible – he might have seen a thylacine," I replied carefully. "But I'd want to see pictures or the beast itself before I'd believe it for sure."
He looked hard at me, as if he was trying to decide if I was telling the truth. Finally, he spoke again. "Thing is, if
really did see the
Nannup Tiger, it was headed toward my place. I live next door to him in Elleker
and it's all bush except where the house is. If the beast's out there, it could
be hunting my place at night, and it's just me out there." Murray
"If you're so scared of the Tiger, don't go out at night then," I replied lightly. "Besides, it doesn't sound like the Tiger was the real danger for Mr Piesse, but the tree stump he tripped over. Take a torch if you go outside at night and you should be fine."
"I do that already," Aidan grumbled. His expression cleared. "You could come up any night you're free and watch for the Tiger, if you like. A proper stakeout. Maybe we could discover an extinct species in my backyard." He looked hopeful.
I forced a smile. "No, thank you. We'd probably just see a lot of darkness and no Tiger, or freeze if it's a clear, cold night."
"I wouldn't let you get cold. I'd keep you warm, Belinda," he replied instantly, the sound of longing in his voice.
About the Author
Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish.
She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below.
Sensationalist spin? No - Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all.
Demelza now lives in
, the shark attack capital of the
world. Perth, Western
The Ocean's Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by the Nightmares trilogy.
Additional Information on Water and Fire
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