Colleen Houck


“Chapped rats and bats' wings, brandied worms and adders' stings, Goat's wool and owl's hoot, fish's tongue and dog's foot. Into the potion, all you go, add clockwork hearts, positioned so…" The Lantern's Ember

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  • Dance Scene

    April 13, 2015


    Hello!  In case you missed the Spring YA Scavenger Hunt, I wanted to make the sneak peek of Reawakened available to all my fans.  In this scene, Lily and Amon take a break from hunting for clues when they come upon a dance club in Cairo.

    Enjoy!

    Soon we came upon a building that had been made over into a club. Techno music blasted and beautiful young people lined up, waiting their turn to get in.

    “What is this?” Amon asked.

    “It looks like a club. A place where people dance and celebrate,” I added.

    “My people dance?”

    “Well, yes. People dance all over the world.”

    “Then, come, Lily. We will celebrate with them.”

    “I don’t think I’m really in the mood.”

    “What do you mean? What is a mood?”

    “Mood is a feeling . . . like when . . . ugh, it’s too hard to explain.”

    Amon peered at me in the darkness, his eyes flashing. He tilted his head, then said, “You do not enjoy dancing.”

    “As a rule, no.”

    He continued to focus on me, quickly discerning more than I was willing to show outwardly.

    “You believe it is a poor use of your time and you are . . . embarrassed.”

    He’d pretty much hit the nail on the head. It was strange to have someone pick up on every little thing I was thinking. “Quit analyzing me, Sigmund Freud. I have my reasons and you don’t need to know every little thing.”

    Ignoring my statement, Amon continued to address the issue. “Lily, first, there is no possibility that your lovely, soft limbs could move in any way that would cause you shame. Second, there is enough work in the world, Nehabet. What good does it do to excel if you don’t relish in your achievements? There must be a balance. Even a king celebrates. If he did not, how could he rule effectively?

    “You must allow yourself to feel . . . joy, Young Lily. You must take pleasure”—Amon pressed his lips to one of my hands and then the other—“in just being alive.”

    The irony was that I’d never in my entire life felt more alive than I did the moment Amon kissed my hands. He’d kissed my forehead before, but when he touched his lips to my hands, electricity shot through me. Even though I knew his passion was more about enjoying life than about me, it was still powerful, and there was a part of me that wanted to latch on to that. “All right,” I acquiesced softly. “We’ll dance.”

    The inside of the club was dark and warm, but the music was fantastic—techno funk with a wicked beat and a slightly exotic sound. Immediately, I felt out of place since most of the women wore tight little dresses, high heels, and heavy makeup. Amon was leading us to the bar when I shouted above the din, “I’m going to the restroom! I’ll be right back!”

    The atmosphere was pulse-poundingly hot, but when I finally found the bathroom, it was an almost frigid contrast. Air-conditioning blew onto the women standing in front of the mirror primping and I wondered if the men’s room had the same feature or if it was specially arranged to keep the ladies happy.

    After removing my clunky boots and swapping them out for sandals, I quickly changed into the skirt I’d brought and then plucked at my T-shirt, wondering what I could do to make it look more like I was going to a club than to a farmers’ market. I was standing in front of the mirror frowning, when a girl applying lipstick asked me a question in another language. I just shrugged, lifted the hem of the tee, and made a thumbs-down sign.

    The girl pursed her lips and raised her eyebrows, gesturing at herself, and when I nodded hesitantly, she pulled a pair of tiny scissors from her purse. I was even more hesitant then, but she didn’t make a move until I nodded again.

    With deft hands she cut the neck out of the T-shirt, making a wider neckline so the shirt slipped off one shoulder. She then took the bulk of the T-shirt hem and tied it in a knot at my back revealing an inch or so of midriff. Finally, she turned me around to gather the hem of my skirt.

    I was going to protest her cutting it, but she set down the scissors and wrapped the material around my body, tucking it in at the side so that I ended up with a sarong skirt that stopped just at the knee on one side and about halfway up my thigh on the other. I’d never in my life worn anything that left me feeling so exposed.

    As a parting gift, the girl handed me her lipstick and rolled some of her perfume on my wrists and neck. The scent was exotic—a light floral and musk. I freshened my lipstick and fluffed my hair, said a quick thanks, then left the bathroom to seek out Amon.

    After checking my bag and taking a claim ticket, I scanned the bar. Amon wasn’t there or seated in any of the sections around the dance floor. Deciding he must have gone outside for air, I headed in the direction of the door, then stopped when I heard a ruckus coming from the dance floor that was even louder than the music.

    Nudging aside enough women so I could see what was going on, I was shocked, not at seeing Amon in the middle of the crowd or his skin gleaming as if he were under a spotlight but at seeing him dance. I’d expected his style to be exotic and very different from modern dancing, but I hadn’t expected that he would be doing a male version of belly dancing.

    Amon had ditched his outer shirt, so the only thing covering his taut torso was the thin white T-shirt, which clung to him so tightly it looked like the seams would burst at any moment.

    He turned in a slow circle, abs undulating and pelvis rotating in a way that was sensual enough to be illegal. Amon’s dancing was like a mashup of Elvis and the Chippendales. The human sun god was a stomach-dropping, chest-popping, feet-sliding, shoulder-swaying, hip-rotating, flutter-inducing, liquid locomotive, and I was surrounded by women who couldn’t wait to buy a ticket.

    As Amon turned, his eyes took in his admirers and he paused. A huge smile lit his face as he shouted out to the crowd surrounding him, “Thank you, ladies, but my Lily has come. I wish to dance with her now.”

    Amon held out his hand and I stepped forward, ignoring the gasps from the women around me. One by one, they turned aside, some good-naturedly, some with jealousy obvious on their faces.

    As Amon took my hands and began moving his body again, I jerked awkwardly back and forth in small movements and then leaned close to his ear. “If you think I’m doing what you did, you’re crazy!” I said.

    He drew me closer and then turned in a circle, matching each step with the beat. Then he slid his hand down my arm, took hold of my hand, and turned me, too. I was surprised I didn’t miss the beat. By the time a few songs were over, I felt much more confident and was actually having fun. Amon spun me around until I collapsed against his chest, dizzy and laughing.

    Eventually, the music changed to something slow. Amon seemed confused at first, and he watched with a curious expression as the other dancers paired off. A woman who’d been watching him before returned and asked him to dance. He shook his head and answered, “I am not meant for you. I am dancing with Lily.”

    As she left, I took a step forward, closing the distance between us, and ran my hands slowly up his muscular arms, over his shoulders, and around his neck. After standing stiffly for a few seconds, he relaxed and pulled me tightly against him. Slowly, we began moving together. His hands, splayed on my back, moved inch by tantalizing inch downward until they reached the bare skin at my waist. Wedging me even tighter against his body, he put his forehead to mine. The side of his mouth tickled my cheek.

    If I shifted just a bit, I could be kissing him. But I was too much of a coward to make the first move. His hands slid to my hips and then back up to my waist. The tension and nervous energy I felt as his electric fingertips stroked my bare skin was driving me crazy. To distract myself, I stood on tiptoe and asked, “What did you read in her thoughts?”

    “Whose thoughts?” he answered in a husky voice. His eyes, a darker shade than I’d ever seen them, glittered as they searched mine. “Ah, the woman who asked me to dance. She hunts for a companion to fill her lonely nights.”

    “I imagine most of the people here are looking for that.”

    “Yes. But she seeks for something empty. She holds out no hope for love.”

    Tilting my head at an angle to see his face better, I asked, “Do you?”

    “Do I what, Nehabet?”

    “Hold out hope for love.”

    Amon paused. His body froze in a way that anyone who’d seen him dance would have thought impossible. He didn’t answer but instead took my hand and said, “Come, Lily. It is time to go.”

    He seemed impatient as he waited for me to retrieve my bag. When we stepped outside, I wanted to take a moment to allow the night air to cool my heated skin, but he tugged me along, not giving me a moment to think. We had barely rounded the corner of the club when Amon suddenly stopped and pulled me roughly against him. Before I could even form a question, he murmured some words in Egyptian and we were sucked into a whirlwind.

     

    This entry was posted in Bonus Material, Reawakened, YA Scavenger Hunt.

    20 Responses to Dance Scene


    1. CYNTHIA K. says:

      Such a GREAT bonus piece! Was soooo excited when read this Bonus Material during the Spring 2015 YASH. Pleased to have a second opportunity to devour this Bonus Tidbit.

      Loved this sneak peek into the Reawakened world. Felt as though was right there in the room with these new characters, Amon and Lily. Especially enjoyed the paragraph describing the dance style of, Amon, the human sun god. (nice visual!) The slow dance sequence was . . . *singing* steamy!! Looking forward to the love story between these two (at least a girl can hope, can’t she?!)

      ::sigh:: Since was not one of the lucky Colleen Houck fans who beat the rafflecopter odds during her YASH giveaway contest, am very anxious for the August 11th release date for Reawakened (the first novel in The Reawakened Series.) Even more so after reading this excerpt.
      Hoping for more opportunities to win a Reawakened ARC. (just sayin’!)

      LOVE . . . LOVE . . . LOVE your writing style and the way you pull readers right into the world you have created for us. Thank you, Colleen, for ALL you do for your fans! 😉

    2. Olyver Skyye says:

      I loved this bonus piece! Look forward to more opportunities to maybe winning a copy, and finally reading this new series. Highly anticipated, and I can already tell this one is going to be as good as the Tiger’s Curse Saga!

    3. Ace L says:

      So excited for Reawakened to come out!! I loved this bonus piece, and can barely wait for the next books. Super descriptive and steamy, really hoping for an awesome love story! I love Regency Romances but just can’t wait for new books to bring me back to India and to visit Egypt

    4. vikimarie says:

      Love it! I cant wait for Reawakened to go in stores. I have been able to do the contests, but I have been content on just waiting until August. Thank you so much for the sneak peak, I love it! You are my favorite author and Tigers Curse is my favorite book series! Love ya!

    5. Madyson says:

      I squealed when I found out that you posted this special piece. Yeah, I squealed with happiness. Great job, you outdid yourself once again, Colleen!

    6. Mackenzie says:

      I love this sneak peak. I’m so ecstatic for the book to come out. I so enjoy your books. I hope one day I will be as good an author as you are. Thank you for your stories!

    7. rose says:

      OMG Colleen! Your work is always so FAB! I am so going to read this book and tell all my friends how ah-mazing you are! #uarethebest☺!

    8. rose says:

      OMG Colleen! Your work is always so FAB! I am so going to read this book and tell all my friends how ah-mazing you are! #uarethebest☺! So excited to see what you make in the near future dudette!

    9. Giovanna Gomes says:

      eu amei a saga, adorei como brincou com o romance de Lily e Amom, sem contar a guerra de emoções que tinha entre eles, amei muito tudo, meu sonho é ir para o Egito e visitar as maravilhas de lá.
      Eu também li toda a saga “A Maldição do Tigre” amei também, bom, por causa da sua saga e das aventuras vividas na Índia, vou fazer meu aniversario de 15 anos lá, mal posso esperar para conhecer as maravilhas de Mumbai, New Delhi. etc.
      Bom, você com certeza é minha escritora predileta e por sua causa, pela minha paixão pelo seu trabalho, você se tornou minha inspiração, sempre amei escrever, mas por sua causa, pelas suas historias, eu agora, estou tentando escrever uma historia, se eu tiver uma imaginação aberta como a sua, vou tentar fazer um bom livro, eu sempre gostei de ler, mas quando minha prima me contou sobre seu livro, não via a hora de comprar, comprei o livro, passava a noite inteira me encantando com suas histórias, chegavam a fazer meu coração se acelerar, cada momento desconcertante, não pulava se quer uma palavra, desfrutava cada momento que podia, me envolvia literalmente com a história, quando eu acabei a saga dos tigres, passou no maximo uma semana e eu já estava enterrando meu coração e minha mente em uma nova historia, não parava de me surpreender, o modo como escreve com o coração, como se tivesse vivido cada momento descrito no livro.
      Espero mesmo que você faça uma próxima saga, uma com certeza mais surpreendente que essa, dando seu toque Collen Hulk, e também quero que saiba, que você é uma das minhas maiores inspirações, eu te adoro muito e espero me espelhar na pessoa que você se tornou.

        • If I recall, it means dear one. I used notes on Egyptian vocabulary my beta reader gave me. I’ll have to dig those out after we move. Right now all my research books are in storage while we are living in a rental home.

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    Colleen Houck
    Colleen Houck

    New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she's not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.