Christie A. C. Gucker
Christie A.C. Gucker lives in NJ with her husband, two daughters and a menagerie of pets. Being a mother is one of the greatest joys of her life. She has worked in the advertising industry for over 20 years as a degreed artist, but also works in the fine arts, especially sculpting out of stone or snapping photographs. Christie is also a singer and musician, and can be found singing on a few CDs.
After the death of her father, Christie searched for something to fill her desire to make a mark in this world. Her love of the arts and creativity allowed her to search for a new medium, which she found with a pen instead of a brush. Being an avid reader her whole life, and with her family cheering her on, she decided to take her shot, and began writing.
Fascinated by the supernatural and sharks, Christie studies both avidly. You’ll be sure to find something spooky lurking somewhere in her stories. Her greatest joy is sitting on a beach with her family while surf fishing, flying kites or building sandcastles with her girls.
The Cliff by Christie A. C. Gucker
Genre: Steamy Romance
Publisher: Pagan Writers Press
Release: September 28, 2012
Can a childhood pact affect the lives of three adults?
Love and betrayal surrounds the lives of lifelong friends Lanie Rhodes, Grant Bennett, and Dane Voight. Years ago, they made a pact to remain together as friends forever. The boys also made another secret pact that same day—to never vie for Lanie’s love.
Grant and Lanie have secretly been pining for one another since they were children.
Now grown up, they finally admit their feelings for each other and what ensues is a twisted tale of deception as Dane does everything he can to stop them.
The story weaves around this uneven love triangle. What will happen to the pact? Will friendships be destroyed? Will lovers emerge?
Let's take a peek at a special excerpt from The Cliff...
As the sun began to lighten up the sky, I could see the bands of clouds over the dark gray sky. They were moving pretty quickly. I stepped out onto the terrace to feel the warm breeze gently caress me. I was immediately brought back to Grant's hands on me last night. How reverently he had touched me while we kissed. As soft as this breeze. Like I was a china doll he was afraid to break. Did he really think I was so fragile? I would show him I wasn't today. I was going to give him everything I had pent up inside.
And then I thought about Dane. We had made a pact and Grant and I were going to break it. Maybe Dane wouldn't care. He had been with Lori for four months now, and apparently right before I returned home she had basically moved in. I had enough on my mind dealing with my feelings for Grant, and what was happening between us, to worry about Dane right now. I felt guilty, but I needed to focus on the things at hand.
It was still very early, so I grabbed Woof and my coffee and headed up to the one place, the one person, I had yet to visit since I'd been home, the widow's walk, and Nicole. Maybe my mom could give me some sort of sign. When I got to the walk, I realized it was the one place Grant hadn't prepared for my return. It was my private place and apparently everyone respected that. I sat in my big comfy chair and sipped my coffee while watching the night sky turn to day, while remaining just as dark. This was going to be one hell of a storm.
“Hi, Mom. I've missed you. I know you saw what happened between Grant and I last night. Am I doing the right thing?” She never replied. Well, that wasn't completely true. Thoughts that seemed not mine would always pop in when I spoke to her. Maybe it was just me working things out. It was comforting for me to think it was her, just the same.
I picked up my sketchpad and began to draw the angry ocean and sky. Whenever I drew something, I would go into some kind of trance. My mind would completely open and communicate directly with my hands; I was just a bystander watching. Very soon, my image turned into something other than the storm. There in the clouds were both Grant and Dane's eyes. Huh. Was this the sign my mom was subconsciously giving me? Showing me the storm on the horizon that would brew between my guys when Dane found out the direction Grant and I were headed? And where exactly were we headed? I stayed and sketched for a while longer and then headed down to get ready.
I showered and shaved everything all nice and smooth. I applied some light make-up so I looked pretty but not overdone. I debated what to wear. Right. I guess I really didn't have it covered. I considered calling Samantha, but it was only seven o’clock, and she would be sleeping.
I opted for a tight pair of jeans that made my ass look even better than it normally did. And then I added a cute tight white v-neck tee shirt with a great push-up bra, jeans jacket and boots.
I still had almost an hour to kill, so I headed out to the stables early. The stables were situated behind Grant's house. We each had a horse and there were two spares for Chelsie and Samantha.
My horse, Magic, was a beautiful Palomino. His coloring was typical of the breed, but his legs were dappled and he had a gorgeous light cream mane and tail. I decided it had been too long since I rode and saddled him up.
I took the trail down the cliff and through the dunes until it opened up to a narrow stretch of beach. Magic moved with me like we were one. I loved riding him. I imagined it would be the same when I finally rode Grant. Wait. What was wrong with me? Why was I thinking like we're going to go all the way today? It was Samantha's fault. In my head, I kept running over scenarios as to why we needed to ride out the storm together. Riding. Riding Grant. There I went again.
I ran Magic back and forth the length of the beach, which was walled in on either side by our cliff. I looked up and I could see Dane's house on one side, Grant's on the other and mine sitting cozily in the middle.
I had spent many days with Grant and Dane on this beach. This was our private beach. There was no way to get here except through our land, by boat or swimming. Perhaps one in the wrong frame of mind might consider cliff diving to get here.
I thought Magic had a good enough workout and being mindful of the time, I headed back towards the trail and the stables. I felt like a little girl. The closer we got the more butterflies I felt.
When I reached the stables I was still about fifteen minutes ahead of Grant's arrival. I had time to remove the saddle and get Magic hosed off and back in his stall. I then proceeded to feed and water all the horses. I began to pull some of the equipment into the empty stalls and noticed I could hear the wind kicking up even more. I loved the wind before a thunderstorm and was eager to stand in it until Grant arrived. Just as I walked out, I saw Grant walking down the path with two cups of coffee in his hands. He beamed at me when he saw me. Beamed.
“Hey,” he said, handing me a cup. It smelled so good I immediately knew it was Kona coffee, my favorite. I just had a feeling this was going to be an epic day.
“I know my coffee.”
“And I know my stables. I see you've been busy. What time did you get here?”
“Well, the alarm cat you bought me works great. Woke me up at five o’clock, so I feel like I've had a full day already.” I ran my hand through my hair and leaned against the side of the stable.
“So, how was the rest of your night?” I looked at him through my eyelashes and hoped I wasn't blushing.
“It was quite an interesting night. I spent some time at my window.” He put his forearm against the wall above my head and leaned into me. I froze. It was my own fault for leading the conversation. I looked down, sure I was blushing now, not sure what to say next.
“I was really enjoying the view. Stunning.” He lifted my chin with his other hand and smiled this quirky grin at me. I could feel the flush all over now.
“Of course, it's not the first time the view out from my window has been so beautiful. I've been enjoying it for many, many years.” He winked at me.
“I—Grant, I, Look, I—” I was at a loss. All I could do was stutter. This was me not being confident at all.
“Lanie. That is a view I hope to get a much closer look at. I've wasted too many years being a watcher and never taking advantage of the scenery.” I smiled and then his was gone. “I didn't mean take advantage of. I meant … .” he stumbled over his words.
“I know what you meant. And I like what you said. I'll see if that can be arranged.”
He moved closer to me and pushed a stray piece of hair behind my ear before running his fingers across my cheek. I felt the warmth rising between us and then something interrupted the moment. Out of the corner of my eye I could see …
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