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JBI
Dear Reader:

The obvious reason for my writing Intimate Beings is that I had to get further along in my second trilogy for Kensington Books. I couldn’t just leave my readers stranded with only book one, the story that I told in Being With Him. Another good reason to write the book is that I had been paid for it! Publishers tend to not like writers to renege on deals.

But I think I would have written this story even if my editor had told me that it was all over—no more books. Why I am still so caught up in the story (book three comes out next October) is that there is a family saga going on. Yes, we are in the world that is “not” our world. My characters, raised here on good old planet Earth—find out that not only do they not belong in their families but they don’t belong on this planet. They have dreams, recollections of a family, siblings, but they decide that those memories are dream fragments, unreal, untrue. But the memories turn out to be, in fact, real, and they also realize that the yearning they have had for another can be realized.

In Intimate Beings, Claire Edwards finds that second half, that final part in Darl James. But they must travel the universe in order to truly grasp the love they’ve always wanted. Meanwhile, the characters I developed in Being With Him come back, some reuniting with Claire in amazing ways. The pieces of the puzzle start to come together, and it’s my hope that you will enjoy reading about Claire and Darl on their way toward finding love.

I have so much fun immersing myself in their world, and I hope you will too.

Best,

Jessica Inclan


Intimate Beings Excerpt ~ October 2008
Zebra Books, Kensington Publishing
© Jessica Inclán


Claire waved to Ruth as Ruth pulled out of her parking space and then drove out of the garage. It was a crowded Saturday morning, everyone trying to work off a week of carbos and fat in one kick boxing session, three people eyeing Claire’s space as they pulled up from different directions. She knew she had to get out of the spot and didn’t want to see the battle for the one remaining spot begin.

She started the Toyota and backed up, putting the car in first and ignoring the cars jockeying for position. But just as she began to move slowly toward the exit, she heard a voice slip through the garage and car noises, whirl around her and slip into her ear.

“Sophia,” the voice said.

intimatebeings

When you least expect it, love finds you…

Lately, Claire Edwards feels like she’s floundering. A ho-hum teaching job, a string of terrible dates, nights spent with only Netflix and bizarre dreams of spaceships for company…life isn’t working out the way she hoped. But Claire has an extraordinary secret ability—she can go anywhere at all, just by wishing it. And if the intensely attractive man who suddenly materializes in her car one day is any indication, Claire’s not the only one...

Ever since Darl James learned of his true origins, he has been searching for his partner and life mate, the one whose gift will complement and complete his own. Now that he’s found Claire, he vows to never lose her again, or their soul-searing, sensual connection. But keeping her safe won’t be easy when they’ve been marked for destruction by an evil, power-hungry race. A fierce battle is brewing, one that will test Claire and Darl’s new bond to the limit, and decide the future of all their kind...

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Claire pressed down on the brakes so hard, a squeal peeled itself off her tires, echoing in the cavernous space. The cars waiting for her space honked, her car stalled. Claire swallowed, blinked, tried to start her car again. But the car wouldn’t engage, and she was sure that she’d flooded the engine or just gone mental. She tried again, sweat trickling down her neck. She stepped on the brake, thinking it was the accelerator. Panic slipped through her body like a spider.

“Sophia,” the voice said. “Imagine this. Try putting it in first gear.”

“Huh?” Claire said, looking around the car. Nothing. No one. But the voice was right. She was in fourth gear, her rushed shifting keeping the car from turning over.

She shifted the car to first, put in the clutch, and started the car, everything working. The three cars honked, and Claire wished she was clever enough to
throw out some retort or at least flip them all off convincingly. But what she needed to do was get home and eat something. She was obviously suffering from low blood sugar. That and stress. Fatigue. She needed rest. And maybe wine. Maybe some of the leftover Percocet from when she had her wisdom teeth extracted two years before.

“What you really need is to pull this car over,” the voice said. “All I need is for us to have a crash, and then what would my heroic rescue be worth? All this travel,
all this time to spend the afternoon with a Triple A tow truck driver and then a mechanic named Al who smokes a cigar in a recliner and barks out orders to a skinny guy with no teeth.”

Claire whipped her head around, looking in the back seat, the passenger’s, swerving as she did. What was she supposed to do? The car lurched, and she felt an invisible hand grab the wheel, setting the car straight.

“You are really pissing me off!” she said.

“I’m sorry about that, but you need to stop.”

“Because a voice in my head is telling me to? I thought that last night’s voices were just from a dream. But I am seriously insane.”

“Sophia. Pull over. Please.”

“God dammit, no,” she said, the car slowing and starting as she did, people
behind her honking. “Get out of my head or my car or both!”

Claire gunned it down onto Brotherhood Way and sped onto 19th Avenue, hoping that she’d left the voice behind. She drove close to the steering wheel, looking in her rearview mirror every few seconds, expecting to see some kind of person following after her, like a terrible balloon with its string caught in her back
window.

But there was no bobbing body floating behind her, and as she passed Stonestown Mall and then slowly crawled toward Irving Street, she relaxed slightly, her back almost touching the seat.

Okay, she thought. Okay. Just a few more miles and all this will disappear.

As she rounded the park, heading toward Stanyan, she wished for the nth time that her mother were alive. Like so many things, she wouldn’t be able to tell her mother about the voice, but she could at least sit by her and maybe watch a TV show. Or work out in the garden, digging up weeds or planting the latest in heirloom vegetables. Anything to take her mind away from the craziness.

But, of course, her mother wasn’t here any more, and there wasn’t a person she could confide in. Claire was pretty sure that Yvonne would listen politely and then call 911. Ruth would likely do the same. Maybe it was time to go to a therapist and just spill it all and wait to see what a trained professional would suggest. Maybe she would do it. Maybe she would just finally take care of this problem.

“You don’t have a problem, you nut,” the voice said.

“Stop it!” Claire shrieked, braking hard at the corner of Stanyan and Hayes, a Muni bus squealing to avoid hitting her.

“Shit, shit, shit,” she said, turning right onto Hayes, and stalling right behind a FedEx van.

“You need to stop this car right now,” the voice said.

Breathing in small, shallow breaths, Claire pulled over, parking in a rare open spot, ignoring the stares from passerby and the FedEx driver. The voice might be a product of her own imagination, but it was right. She was a danger to herself and others.

“Who are you?” she whispered, convinced now that she was talking to nothing but her own sad thoughts. “Where are you?”

“Due to the powers of others, I have managed to render myself invisible this once,” the voice said. “But I don’t hear that well.”

“Who are you?” she asked again, her voice louder, clearer, even though she felt her heart pounding in her throat. She looked down at her hands in her lap, shaking her head, almost wanting to laugh out loud. Was she this lonely and sad that she was conjuring up a voice? A male voice. A man. A man who was focused on her. She had finally cracked. All these years she really had been crazy. Those times she thought she’d gone to another country or town or place had been psychotic breaks. A psychotic break. She had been delusional, was so right now. When she thought she could hear other people’s thoughts, she was merely deep in some horrid fantasy of her own creation.

She was paranoid, schizophrenic, maybe bi-polar with an affective disorder. Top it off with panic and anxiety, and she was a psychiatrist’s dream. A Master’s thesis. A doctoral dissertation.

So it was clear. She had no choice. No more debate here. Nothing else to argue about. Claire knew she needed to drive herself right now to Langely Porter Psychiatric Institute at UCSF and check in. For ever. Get some kind of commitment. What did they call that? A 5150. At least she’d never have to deal with Annie and Sam again.

“Oh, what a drama queen!” the voice said, and as she heard the words, a body began to take shape and form in a waver of pixilated air.

“You are a jerk,” faded on her tongue, and she blinked her eyes, tried to focus on what she could hardly believe was happening next to her in the passenger’s seat.

For the moments it took for him to appear, Claire knew that even though she had felt odd her entire life—even though she’d made herself appear in a poof! all over the place--she’d never really believed that magic existed. She never really thought about the concept of super powers or abilities. Everything truly odd was contained in her and her alone—she was the holder of the world’s weirdness. Actually, she thought she was some kind of genetic anomaly, a creation of some weird fluke in a DNA strand. No one else was like her. No one on the planet.

“I would have to say that no one is like you. But you aren’t alone in this power business,” said the man now sitting next to her. “Believe it or not, you soon are not going to be all alone any more, ever again.”



Jessica's giving away a book from
her backlist to 5 lucky winners!

All you have to do is visit her website
and find the answer to this question:

"What is the title of Jessica's first published novel?"

Email us with your answer by
October 12th, 2008 and be sure to
include your full name and
mailing address!

Winners will be notified via email
next week. Good luck!

Claire couldn’t focus on what he was saying. Instead, she slowly moved her gaze from his thigh (a very nice thigh in what seemed to be cotton pants) to his body (strong), shoulders (stronger), neck, and then face. His face. Claire wanted to stop breathing because if she did, she would die, and she wouldn’t have to sit here completely embarrassed, her body roiling in heat, her mind just about everywhere.

“You are just some kind of delusion,” she said, relieved in a strange way that at least she knew what she was dealing with. “Some kind of sad last gasp of hope in me.”

“Really?” the man said. “Strange how I feel so here. You know, like in my body.”

“Sorry. You’re not,” Claire said. “It’s all about me. Finally, the cliché comes true. Hold onto your hat. We are going to Langely Porter. It’s close by, so that’s good. Put on your seat belt.”

“I don’t think that’s where I want to go. From the sound of it, there are mad women screaming in the attic there,” he said, and for a brief second, she allowed herself to look at him. He was so—so perfect. His eyes were dark, looking at her with an intense, humor. Like he liked her and wanted to laugh not at but with her. His dark brown hair hung in soft curls to his shoulders, gleaming in the sunlight coming through the car window. He smiled, his teeth white, his lips full. As if hearing her, he licked his lips, his eyes sparkling, his hand almost reaching out to touch her.

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