An impossible love as divided as the world around them.
After Addison finds a nearly-dusted vampire in the garbage outside her building, her ability to stay off the supernatural world’s radar is deader than the vamp. Almost as dead as she’ll be if anyone thinks she put him there. Should she finish the job somebody else screwed up or move him somewhere humans won’t find him? To keep the Heights hidden, she may have shoved a stake into her own chest. Just when she thinks her life couldn’t possibly get any more dangerous, she finds out who he is.
As vampire king and Prime to all supernatural beings in the North American zone, Rhyse is accustomed to getting what he wants without asking. But he neither wanted nor asked to be wounded in an ambush, waking up chained to a bed with a hole in his chest. Unfortunately, he needs help to discover who tried to kill him. But worse than that, his only ally is his captor, someone unaware she has the power to destroy their entire world.
As a prophesized war brews in the Heights, Addison and Rhyse must decide which carries more risk—trusting someone who could destroy you or trusting someone who could love you?
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Addison backed up until she hit the counter. It was over. It had been over ever since those chains came off. Ever since she brought him into her apartment. Into her life.
“I saved you. I could’ve left you outside until the sun came up.”
“I imagine you wish you had.”
“Can you…can you not kill me? Just take some, but not all?”
Rhyse brushed her hair behind her shoulder and curled his fingers around the nape of her neck, whispering, “Do you trust me that much?”
“I don’t even trust you a little.” She felt the sting of tears. “I don’t want to be turned. If you drain me, let me die.”
He ran his other hand up her shoulder, to her throat and slowly closed his fingers around it. One move and her neck would break. “To drain you I would have to drink from you. And that, my pet, I will not do.”
She didn’t know what he meant but now seemed like a bad time to argue.
“Did you know what you are? How many of you exist?”
She didn’t answer. Partially because speaking required the air he was cutting off. Then his hands were gone, just like the rest of him.
Was it over?
When one of the women behind the counter moaned, Addison went to make sure they were alright.
Rhyse was on top of one of them, his fangs obviously burrowed in her neck. The woman moaned again, her legs wrapping around him. One hand clutched his shoulder and the other slapped the wall, searching for a hold.
It had to have been shock that made it impossible to look away. Or run away. The woman’s moans got louder, then crested, and her body went limp. Not in a dead way, but in an I-just-had-the-best-orgasm-of-my-life way.
Get out of here.
“Leave and they will die.” His voice stopped her after only two steps. “Stay and they will wake up from a very pleasant, very erotic dream.”
She grinded her teeth when she heard another moan. He must have moved on to the other woman. With two to feed from, there was less of a chance he would drain them, but… “Why should I trust you?”
The woman’s moans stopped and she whined, “No.”
“I do not care if you trust me,” he said. “Only that you obey me.”
“Fuck you.” But she didn’t move. “Are they alive?”
“Of course. It is against the law to kill humans.”
“Then let me go.”
“You are not human, Addison.” His voice came from just over her shoulder.
“I am. I promise. Totally human.” Somehow he’d missed the fact that seers were human, despite her telling him at least five times.
She heard the shuffling of fabric and looked down to see him wrapping his already-bloody shirt around the arm she’d cut. He tied a knot with the sleeves and pulled it tight. There was no part of this that she understood.
She sucked in a breath when he put his hands on her hipbones. Then another as they slid to her belly and down, pressing her back into him. She felt his heat and a vibration on her back as he made a sound similar to a cat’s purr but scarier. Clenching her eyes shut, she waited for death.
“You should thank them.” His voice was all sex. Dangerous, risky, awesome sex. “They just saved your life.”
They did? “Thank you,” she called out with a shaking voice. “Now that your belly’s full, how about you back off a little?”
“I should kill you, Addison.”
“I’m going to have to disagree with you about that.”
After a moment he stepped away, sighing as if he just made a really tough decision and wasn’t sure it was the right one.
“So,” she said, heading for the door, “it seems like you’re feeling better which is great. I’m really happy for you. Since you don’t need me anymore, I’m gonna go now. I’ll see you around.”
“Come to me, Addison.” His eyes were back to their original inhumanly beautiful color. Though he didn’t quite look calm, he looked satisfied.
“Come to me or I will snap your neck.”
“If you had simply brought a human to me, this all could have been avoided.”
“I was just thinking the same thing.” Total lie—she wasn’t thinking a goddamn thing besides, “Shiiiiit!”
“You and I have things to discuss, and a few memories to alter along the way back to your home.”
Damn it on many counts. “Alter or wipe?”
“Alter, of course. Although my strength has returned, wiping that many minds would still be highly taxing. I prefer to save my power for other activities.”
Like…? Nah, she didn’t want to know.
He opened the door and gestured for her to go first. Which he’d probably never done before. Minions opened doors for him and she doubted chivalry ranked high on his list of valuable traits. But she went because when you gotta go, you gotta go.
“Did you know?” he asked.
What was it with that question? “Know what? That your victims come while you feed? Yeah, I heard it happens occasionally.”
“Always. They always come while I feed. If it were possible, I would show you.”
“I just heard more proof than I wanted to, thanks.”
“I have no doubt that it would be far more enjoyable to feel you come than to hear her do it.”
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About the Author:
Lauren Stewart lives in Northern California with two of the most amazing children that the world has ever seen. She reads almost every genre so, naturally, her writing reflects that. With every book, every story, you’ll find elements of other genres–fantasy, mystery, romance, paranormal, suspense, YA, women’s literature, all with a touch of humor because what doesn’t kill us should make us laugh.
Date of Publication: May 1, 2014
Word Count: 17,000
Giselle Swenov is a radiant opera star whose beauty is second only to her voice. That is, until a jealous enchantress strips away her talent and looks, transforms her into a mute and haggard old woman, and forces her to leave the man of her dreams at the altar on their wedding day. Now there’s only one person able to reverse the spell: Giselle’s warlock ex-fiancé, Lucian Ivanu.
But three years have passed, and the ever-dashing Lucian seems to have moved on―he’s inherited a vast fortune, forsaken his scandalous powers, and is even set to marry again. Will he recognize his former flame when she shows up at his engagement party and begs for help? Can she recover the powerful magic ring needed to break the curse before it’s too late? Giselle’s plight has a darker twist as she discovers just how far the enchantress’s grasp reaches…
Giselle Swenov adjusted her bridal veil with a smile. At the thought of marrying the most wonderful man in the world, her heart beat melodiously—and as Bucharest’s leading operatic protégé, she nearly belted out a glass-shattering note, too.
Restraining herself, she cracked open the dressing room door and stare into the chapel. She knew her family members wouldn’t be in attendance, but she scoured the pews for them anyway. From day one, her mother and father had disapproved of her groom. What was they’d said? “Are you mad, Giselle? Lucian Ivanu is socially inferior—and his connection to the Dark Arts means he isn’t right for you.”
Giselle’s pulse leapt as she glimpsed Lucian at the altar. Ironically, he looked nothing like a warlock. With flowing white-blond hair, gray eyes that reminded her of storm clouds over the Black Sea, and a knee-buckling grin, he resembled a prince ready to sweep her off her feet.
Although Giselle wanted to stare at him all day, she shut the door before he saw her in her bridal gown. She refused to let bad luck seep into their wedding ceremony.
“You look beautiful, my dear,” Ileana Zǎpǎda, Bucharest National Opera’s premier patron, called out behind her.
“Thank you Doamna Zǎpǎda,” she replied anxiously. At least Ileana was here to help, unlike her mother.
“Come,” the elegant woman urged. “Take a final look at yourself as an unmarried woman.”
Giselle swiveled around to survey her appearance in the mirror. Cascading golden-brown curls framed her carefully made-up face and a sense of optimism lit her eyes. She had become the bride she’d envisioned as a girl and she could hardly contain her excitement.
“You look a stunning.” Ileana Zǎpǎda stepped in beside her and met her gaze in the mirror. “But
you are a little pale.”
“Nerves, I suppose.” Letting out a self-conscious laugh, Giselle studied Doamna Zǎpǎda. Her refinement spoke of the lofty social standing Giselle’s family wished she would reach. She winced.
“Sit with me and have some tea,” the socialite proposed. “Tea studied my nerves before I married my second husband.”
Giselle swept her train off the floor and settled into a chair at a small table. While she laid her bridal bouquet in her lap, Ileana poured two steaming cups.
“Why are you being so nice to me, Doamna Zǎpǎda?” Giselle asked as she accepted the tea cup.
The woman sighed. “It broke my heart to learn that your parents disowned you. Word spreads quickly through the opera house—and because I’m a mother hen to all my celebrated singers, I knew you’d need some moral support on your wedding day.”
“You must be a loving mother to your own children,” Giselle said gently.
Ileana’s expression turned icy. “I never had children of my own. I have a stepdaughter, but we aren’t particularly close.”
“Well, I sincerely appreciate your help.” Giselle smiled. “Clasping the buttons on the back of my dress would have been impossible on my own.”
As she sipped her tea, her entire body warmed instantly and she began to perspire. I must be more nervous than I thought…
Ileana went on. “I greatly admire your vocal talent, Giselle. I also admire your extraordinary beauty. Unfortunately, I’m about to sabotage both of those exceptional attributes.”
Alarm pierced through Giselle. She tried to protest but before she could speak a word, her throat burned as if she’d ingested hot coals. She clawed at it while Ileana studied her the way a snake zeroes in on its prey. Giselle tried to extend her hand, but her limbs prickled with pain. In an instant, her skin shriveled dramatically and her knuckles became hideously gnarled.
“Poor, unknowing girl.” Ileana stood over her. “I’m an enchantress of the Dark Arts and I slipped
an accursed potion into the tea pot when you weren’t looking.”
Giselle opened her mouth to scream, but no sound escaped her lips. With great effort, she crawled to the mirror like an invalid and stared at her reflection. My God! I’m a mute, old woman!
Heart stuttering, she managed to pull herself to her feet. She flung open the door and entered the chapel. All heads jerked in her direction. When she locked eyes with Lucian, he stared at her in astonishment yet without an ounce of recognition.
All hope evaporated from her body as he thundered, “Is that woman wearing my bride’s dress? Somebody find Giselle!”
“The hag must be playing a cruel joke!” a guest accused.
“Escort her outside,” Lucian roared to an usher.
A burly man took Giselle by the arm and dragged her out the front door. Once he disappeared back into the church, another strong arm grabbed her unexpectedly and thrust her inside an awaiting carriage.
Giselle quaked with terror as she stared at the enormous man hovering over her.
“I work for Ileana.” He grunted. “She commands that you become her servant woman—until she grows tired of you and decides to turn you back into your normal self.”
Giselle made another futile attempt to cry out.
The henchman crossed his arms and shook his head. “You won’t be talking, singing, or screaming for a very long time, Miss Swenov. That should make for a quiet ride to Dantel House.”
Although Marina Myles lives under the sunny skies of Arizona, she would reside in a historic manor house in foggy England if she had her way. Her love of books began as soon as she read her first fairy tale, and grew by leaps and bounds when she discovered Nancy Drew/Agatha Christie mysteries and rich, historical romances.
Dreaming of becoming a published author, she wrote her first ‘gothic’ story at age eleven. She went on to study creative writing at Southern Methodist University— where she received degrees in Communications and English Literature. During her time in Dallas, she had the unique experience of being a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.
Now with her loyal Maltese close by, she relishes the hours she gets to escape into worlds filled with tortured heroes, strong heroines, and their fiery—but not easily attained—love affairs. She’s busy being a wife (to her Italian-born husband) and a mother (to her two beautiful daughters), but she is never too busy to hear from her amazing readers.
Represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency
Coming May 2014
By Roxanne Rhoads
Award winning author Roxanne Rhoads brings you ten more tales of supernatural seduction featuring demonic desires, wanton witches, voluptuous vampires, and ghosts with grave needs…
Four brand new, never published short stories have been combined with six previously published, freshly edited tales to give you a collection of hot paranormal erotica you can really sink your fangs into.
Cover Photo By RSII Photography
Book Cover Design by Dawne Dominique
Scent of a Vampire
Aidan has searched several human lifetimes for his perfect mate. Now that he’s found her, he refuses to let go. He must make Gabrielle see they were destined to be together.
An off duty fire fighter encounters a sexy vampire in what he thought was an abandoned house.
The flames that ignite will leave them both scorched…and aching for more.
An Unexpected Evening
Samuel is a centuries-old vampire who prefers to be a recluse. He is always afraid of losing control and becoming the monster he once was. Falling in love with a young witch has pushed his boundaries and pulled him out of his comfort zone.
Katerina always encourages Samuel to be more open, to let loose, and to really “live” instead of only existing in the shadows.
One night, he finally grants her wish . . . in ways she never imagined.
Underneath the Fangs
Samuel is being framed for murder. Katerina knows he is not guilty but she has to convince Samuel that he is not a monster and that he is worthy of her love.
Abby, a half witch, half vampire whose powers go awry in a club, has to run, afraid that the Others, who are policing all human/magick interaction, might put her in jail. She ends up in a cemetery, jumps behind a bush and lands right on top of a very sexy ghost hunter.
No Place I’d Rather Be
Sonora is torn between a human and a vampire. How can she choose between the man who makes her feel safe and the vampire that makes her blood race? Sonora prays to the Goddess for guidance while harboring secret desires that her broody vampire, Brom, and her brawny human, Avery, can get past their jealousy and be willing to do more than just share the witch in the middle.
Can the Goddess grant Sonora’s wish, or will she be stuck making an impossible choice?
Blood, Lust and Shadows
Vampire/succubus hybrid Allana is on the prowl looking for a bloody snack and a sexy energy boost. While strutting her stuff in a dark parking lot she encounters a yummy Latino who makes a lovely meal. She also encounters something else that puts her senses into overdrive.
Lissette is a vampire who has lived with her succubus girlfriend, Cassandra, for a long time. She swore off relationships with men after being viciously raped by the vampire hunters who killed the love of her life and left her for dead.
Lissette and Cassandra only use men to get what they need, blood for Lissette and sexual energy for Cassandra. They are completely satisfied with their lives- until a mysterious stranger comes along.
For the first time in centuries Lissette wants a man. Why is she so drawn to him? What is he?
Much more than a mere mortal, Gabriel has been searching for Lissette and Cassandra for a very long time. They have what he needs, what no one else can give him.
But will they be willing to share?
A Package Deal
Chloe needs to get out of the city- fast. So she buys an old farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere- with one stipulation. The caretaker gets to stay. She readily agrees thinking it’s an old man that won’t give her any trouble.
Ash is definitely not what she expected.
My Demon Valentine
Elita wants to give her demon boyfriend a Valentine’s Day to remember. Connor was built for giving pleasure but Elita wants to turn the tables on that.
This time the pleasure will be all his.
Story strumpet, tome loving tart, eccentric night owl…these words describe book publicist and erotic romance author Roxanne Rhoads.
When not fulfilling one the many roles being a wife and mother of three require, Roxanne’s world revolves around words…reading them, writing them, editing them, and talking about them. In addition to writing her own stories she loves to read, promote and review what others write.
Roxanne is the owner of Bewitching Book Tours and operates Fang-tastic Books, a book blog dedicated to paranormal and urban fantasy books.
When not reading, writing, or promoting Roxanne loves to hang out with her family, craft, garden and search for unique vintage finds.
Visit her online
Author blog www.roxannesrealm.blogspot.com
Book Blog www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com
Bewitching Book Tours www.bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com
Narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Magistrate, Mira travels west, toward the coast. With three weakened human fugitives accompanying her, she searches for the mythical land of Sanctuary.
After encountering a pack of wolf shifters, headed by the charismatic—and brazen—Stryker, Mira learns that Sanctuary is real after all. Caldera Grove: home of the Otherkin. Hidden in the mouth of a dormant volcano, it has protected its residents from humans since the early days following the great cataclysm. For Mira— a vampire— Caldera Grove is a land of peace; an escape from the relentless persecution of the humans who once enslaved her, and an end to the daily struggle and bloodshed of being a gladiator.
For the humans accompanying her, Caldera Grove means death. Humans, greedy and untrustworthy creatures, are destroyed before they can penetrate its borders.
To plead her case for entry into Caldera, Mira must abandon her companions, albeit temporarily, and follow Stryker into the heart of the city. What she finds within Caldera Grove presents her with an unenviable decision between her own desires for freedom and peace, or honor and the human companions who risked it all for her.
Endowed with special powers and abilities, beyond those of mortal women, I can get the munchkin off to gymnastics, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, and swim lessons. I can put hot food on the table for dinner while assisting with homework, baths, and bedtime… And, I still find time to keep the hubby happy (nudge nudge wink wink). I can do all of this and still have time to write my novels.
Sorry… I can’t even write that with a straight face.
Lies all lies.
Here’s the reality. I’m a sleep-deprived, overworked, mom who just doesn’t know the meaning of the word balance. I try so hard to do it all, (be super mom, wife, & author) and at the end of the day I fall face forward into the couch.
Yes, you read that right, I tend to sleep on the couch. It’s a point of frustration for my hubby and a thing of comedy for my daughter. Imagine waking up to your little child yelling, “Mom slept on the couch again!!!”
Because being supermom (or trying to) means a lot of time devoted to family, writing is often done when said family is peacefully snoozing away. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen asleep with my laptop, on the couch. It just happens. Then, bright and early at 7am either my hubby (on his way to work) or my daughter (getting ready for school) wakes me up.
Writing is my passion. It’s a part of me. More than just a hobby, it’s a compulsion. I have to do it. If I don’t do at least one writing related thing each day I get cranky.
Hopefully, my passion can be your entertainment!
Eight Contemporary Romance Novels
Several of Turquoise Morning Press’ award-winning and bestselling authors share their favorite contemporary romance heroes – all boxed up for you in one sexy and irresistible package!
From a sexy carpenter to magnetic CEO, a rough-and-ready cowboy to a “homeless man,” a classic car buff, a starving artist, a Latin-style dancer, and an FBI agent – each unique hero has his own story to tell, and a heroine who just can’t forget him. Ever.
With an introductory promotional price of only 99¢, how can you resist this unforgettable boxed set, either?
Release date: January 30, 2014
WILL WORK FOR LOVE
by Amie Denman, EPIC Award and Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence finalist.
Hurricane Destiny leaves a trail of destruction across the island of St. Thomas, jeopardizing the wedding of Whitney Oliver’s best friend. When Whitney arrives on the island, she finds a disaster only a sexy carpenter like Chris Maxwell can repair. Despite the sizzle between them, Chris has secrets that threaten his construction business and force him to work for Whitney’s love.
THIS MAGIC MOMENT
by Bobbye Terry, award winning author of contemporary, historical and fantasy romance.
Zack Graham, CEO of Scrumbles Snack Cakes, is energetic, magnetic and forget it—no women for him, except to relieve an occasional sexual itch. He’s a workaholic who refuses to let a woman make a fool out of him again. But what about Crandall Drake, the CEO of Pretzelicious Pretzels? He tells himself all he wants is sex. His heart tells him it wants more.
HER HIRED MAN
by Cat Shaffer, Golden Heart finalist and award-winning journalist.
Hot nights, a double sleeping bag and a stranger for a husband…how much can one city girl take? Lillian Osborne needs a husband for a weekend. Wesley Hatfield needs money to customize his beloved classic car before Detroit’s biggest auto show. The perfect agreement turns out to be anything but when their accommodations turn out not to be what Lillian had expected.
SINS OF THE FATHER
by Janet Eaves, Amazon bestselling author of the Ladies of Legend contemporary romance series.
Just like the Princess in the classic tale Sleeping Beauty, Aurora’s life doesn’t really begin until her heart is awakened by a handsome struggling artist. But with her life in danger, Aurora must hide who she really is. Unbeknownst to her, her struggling artist isn’t who he appears to be either…. Friend, lover, or foe?
HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO
by Jennifer Johnson who writes comedic romances so entertaining even guys read them. Author of the TMP top-selling Rescuing Riley.
Abigail Benton is a bum magnet, according to her dad, so when she becomes attracted to Eli, a homeless man at the community center where she works, she wonders if what her dad says is true. But when Eli saves her life, Abigail decides she is going to return the favor and save his life by turning it around. Trouble is, Eli isn’t on board with her plan.
RAWHIDE AND ROSES
by Maddie James, Amazon bestselling author of contemporary and western romance.
She’s roses, he’s rough-and-ready rawhide. Kim Martin is hardly equipped for a Colorado camping trip, especially when her mountain guide is a rough-edged cowboy who is as untamed as the wilderness. Thad Winchester’s patience for city women is wearing as thin as the seat of his jeans. But there is something about Kim that puts his hard-and-fast don’t-touch rule to the test.
LONG DISTANCE LOVE by Margaret Ethridge, contemporary romance fan favorite and TMP top-selling author of Commitment.
Sometimes the distance between two hearts can be measured in frequent flier miles. Love may be a many splendored thing, but it’s rarely convenient. Can FBI Agent Jack Rudolph and fiercely independent Ellie Nichols find a way to make a long distance relationship work?
by Renee Vincent, award winning author of historical and contemporary romance.
Grayson Anders is a talented Latin-style dancer and wealthy co-owner of a happening nightclub. Chloe LaRoche is a talented artist, but failing entrepreneur with her once thriving studio now on the brink of foreclosure. When the two indulge in a passionate, out-of-control, one night stand, they awaken the next morning consumed with inspiration. Grayson finds his perfect dance partner while Chloe finally finds her muse. Will her secret destroy both their dreams?
I’m an author, a dreamer, a horse owner, and a medieval history buff. I’m a fun-loving, mildly eccentric, free-spirited kind of girl with a passion for books. From an early age, I’ve always had scenes playing out in my head. Whether it was a story with a moral or a tale with a twist, those ideas have never let me sleep until I wrote them out. And considering I have an eclectic ensemble of stories swarming in my brain at any given time, I write under a couple pen names to accommodate the various genre categories.
Historical & Contemporary Adult Romance
From the daunting, charismatic Vikings, to the charming, brazen Alpha male heroes of modern day, you’ll be whisked away to a world filled with fast-paced adventure, unforgettable romance, and undying love.
also writing as
Gracie Lee Rose
Lighthearted, Fancy-free Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit
For those who love to read fun, wholesome, and endearing romantic stories (with a smidgen of spunk) that your mother, sisters, friends, and daughters can enjoy.
Find her online:
And get EXCLUSIVE access to all Renee’s giveaways by signing up for her author newsletter: http://www.reneevincent.com/p/contact.html
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/X_BfnE1kxJg
When Jasmine Graves is invited to the set of the movie based on her book series, she thinks all her dreams have come true. The Vince Demarco, the man she’s based her hero on for the past seven years, will be there and she can’t wait to meet him. Little does she know that she’ll have to face her worst fears to keep her leading man.
Vince Demarco has never been as intrigued by a character or an author before being introduced to the haunted werewolf he’s been cast to play. So when he comes face to face with its creator, Jasmine Graves, he’s awestruck. But he fears an author who’s a reported recluse will want nothing to do with the paparazzi madness and crazy shooting schedule that comes with dating a movie star.
Neither one can deny the almost animal attraction that overwhelms them at first contact. But can an author and her muse breakthrough the barriers between them, or will the heat between them turn to ice in the winter cold of the Adirondack Camp?
Oh, God, no. No, no, no. Please do not come over here! Her first meeting with Vince couldn’t be while she was face-down in a tangled heap of arms and legs. With another man, to boot. She was supposed to be breaking the ice around Vince, not her ass, damn it.
She pushed her gloved hands into the snow and tried to lever herself up. She attempted to get her knees under her, but the snowshoes were too big in the front, keeping her off balance.
“Here, let me.” Vince’s large hands closed around her arms and he lifted her as if she weighed nothing. At five-nine, and none-too-skinny, she wasn’t used to being manhandled. But when Vince set her upright, steadying her with those strong hands of his, she felt almost delicate.
His shaved head was covered with a fur-lined hood clouding his features with shadows, but she would know what he looked like in the pitch black: Dark skin, a wide-set nose, low eyebrows, and thick pink lips she’d imagined kissing a thousand times. Even within the confines of his coat, she could see the broad shoulders, the thick, corded neck, and tapered waist.
Jasmine looked into those dark eyes and forgot everything around her, even the fact that not thirty seconds ago, he’d been telling another woman he loved her.“Uh… I’m…” Coherent thought left her completely.
“Jasmine Graves.” The deep rumble of his mildly-accented voice caressed her name, sending a shiver skittering down her spine.
He knew her name? She’d entered an alternate universe where movie stars knew authors’ names, not the other way around. She nodded like a fool.
“Are you all right, Ms. Graves?”
“Jaz,” she said.
His hood slipped back, revealing that devastatingly handsome face. He looked momentarily confused, and if she didn’t know any better, she’d think his face looked as star-struck as hers felt in that moment. She blinked, trying to make sense of the situation and regain her equilibrium, but as soon as her eyes opened, they were captured again by his gaze. What did he see when he looked at her?
She’d pulled a soft multi-colored knit hat low over her ears. her long hair flowing out behind her in the wind. A rib-knit scarf covered her chin and neck. Only a bit of her face was visible in the night, but Vince’s attention didn’t waver an inch. She’d imagined this day a thousand times, a thousand ways, but this instant physical reaction hadn’t been part of the equation. He still held her arm, and he was standing closer than was necessary. But she sure as hell wasn’t going to complain.
“You’re taller than I expected.”
He’d anticipated this meeting too? Out of all the fantasies she’d ever had, his knowing who she was immediately and making some comment like that hadn’t been one of them. She swallowed. Not even in her worst bouts of writer’s block did words desert her so completely. “Thanks,” she managed to squeeze out, then remembered to smile at him and at least attempt to be flirtatious.
“For saying you’re tall?”
She laughed. “No. For picking up my sorry, klutzy ass from the snow bank.”
“Yeah, what the hell happened?” Brian asked from beside her. His voice broke the spell and Vince let go of her. The separation was like a physical blow and she shivered in the sudden coldness.
She turned her attention to Brian. “Sorry. I was… admiring the scenery. I didn’t realize you had stopped until I looked back toward the path and was nose to back with you. I couldn’t stop in time. You okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” He brushed some snow from the front of his coat. “As I was saying, up ahead is the main lounge. It’s where all the meals will be served. There’s always hot chocolate, coffee, and tea on tap, as well as bottled water and all that. You’ll be sharing a cabin with a few of the crew. It’s over there.” He pointed to a set of cabins next to where the blonde actress was staying. Damned if Jaz could remember the woman’s name. After Vince had stepped down off the porch, Jaz had gotten a good look at Vince’s latest co-star.
Out of the corner of her eye, Jaz saw Vince staring at her. That same look of wonder was in his eyes, but she didn’t turn her gaze back to his. He’d just been professing his love to someone else. It was one thing to fantasize about a man, create a character around him, and fall in love with him in her dreams. It was another thing entirely to interfere in his real-world relationship with someone else. She would keep her distance.
“I’ll show you the rest of the way to your cabin if you’d like,” Brian said.
Damn. The man had taken the words right out of Vince’s mouth. He wanted to be the one to show Jaz to her cabin. It was a stupid reaction, but one he couldn’t quite quell. She was almost as tall as he was. When she’d posed with those wolves for her author photo, she’d been kneeling in the dirt. He’d had no idea that she was so tall. Her thick, dark hair ruffled in the night breeze, adding an ethereal quality to her looks. A chill climbed over his bare head, but he couldn’t quite bear to put up his hood yet and restrict his view of her.
Jasmine’s Native American heritage was apparent in her tan skin, breathtaking square face, and dark, slightly almond-shaped eyes. Together, the effect was mesmerizing. Though right now he couldn’t see most of her face beneath her hat and scarf, he knew what she looked like. She glanced at him and he smiled.
“Thank you, again…”
“Vince. You can call me Vince.”
“Okay then, Vince. Thanks. I suppose I’ll see you around?”
God, he hoped so. He nodded and she turned away. It would be entirely too awkward for him to stand there another second, so he headed for his own cabin to reread tomorrow’s scene.
“I’m actually starving, is there still food about?” she asked Brian as they walked toward the other end of the camp.
“Great. I’ll just drop my bags, and then could you show me over to the lodge?”
And if Vince happened to be there, having another cup of hot chocolate and Jasmine happened to come in to have a late dinner, there’d be nothing wrong with that, right?
“I’d be happy to,” Brian said. By the man’s voice, he really hadn’t minded being pancaked into the snow by the lovely Ms. Graves.
Tour wide giveaway. Enter HERE.
About the Author:
Rachell Nichole is a contemporary erotic romance author. She currently writes what she likes to call Sizzling Romantic Entanglements. She loves creating memorable characters and putting them through the paces on their discovery for and journey to love.
Rachell holds two undergraduate degrees, one in Professional Writing and the other in French. She also received a Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University. She is the author of The Marietta Hotels Series, Spicy with a Side of Cranberry Sauce, and Queen of Hearts.
Rachell lives in New York with a mountain of books, a loving family, and an evil cat named Godiva that she adores.
Kala Hicks is part of a covert elite military team that answers directly to the President of the United States. But during an emergency mission aboard Air Force One, Kala is shocked to discover that the real threat is none other than the President himself. Defying her commanding officer, Jack Norbin, Kala takes the shot, and her life changes forever.
The moment the President is killed, a supernatural force speaks to Kala, telling her that she has to commit one act of atrocity every four days… or the world will end. Thrown into a reality she never could have imagined, Kala faces off with creatures of legend; from demons determined to make her fail and plunge the Earth into chaos, to angels who don’t trust her to do the job and are willing to kill her to claim it for themselves.
Pitted against the forces of good and evil, Kala must choose whether to save the world by doing the unthinkable, or sit back and let it burn. And four days later, she’ll have to do it again.
Excerpt End of Chapter 3:
Very carefully, Jack opened the door that led to the President’s office.
What awaited them was terrifying.
President Jareth Wilton stood behind his desk. He was wearing a vest that held five grey bars of C-4 wired into a bomb. Wilton was a tall man, well over six feet with stark black hair and a long face. He was a young President, only fifty years old, but he looked like he’d aged twenty years since the last time Kala had seen him at a press conference, with dark rings under his eyes and worry lines on his forehead.
But his smile was what made the scene surreal and horrific. His thin lips were grinning as if he’d just climbed Mt. Everest.
President Wilton stared directly at Jack as the door swung open the rest of the way. “I figured it out! I figured out how to break it! No one will ever have to do what I’ve had to do again! Do you realize what this means?”
Kala knew then and there that the man was cracked. Figured what out? Break what? He was rambling like a mad man.
But the more frightening moment came when Jack responded back to Wilton. “Killing yourself is impossible. People have tried that in the past.”
Not only was President Wilton talking crazy, but apparently Jack knew his language and was responding accordingly.
Kala noticed that Wilton’s eyes lit up when Jack spoke. “You’re the one they sent to replace me.”
What? Kala was seriously confused.
Kala spoke up, “What’s going on Jack?”
Replace him for what?
Jack didn’t acknowledge Kala or the rest of the team, which was shifting uncomfortably behind him.
Wilton shook his head, serious. “You can’t do it. You have to let me detonate this bomb. We have to crash the plane! It’s the only way to stop it!”
“You can’t stop it!” Jack yelled back.
“I can and I will!” Wilton talked into an earpiece. “NOW!”
The plane nose-dived.
Everyone jolted forward and stumbled from the force of it.
Jack barked orders, “Lali get up to the Flight Deck and by any means necessary take over this plane!”
Lali paused for a second, she looked more confused than Kala felt, but after a moment to gain her bearings as the plane was falling fast, she managed to high-tail it out of the room and up to the Flight Deck.
Kala was sure they’d hit ground at any moment.
Jack aimed his gun at the President’s head.
Wilton was frantic. He ducked behind his large oak desk that was bolted to the ground.
“You can’t kill me! You’ll ruin everything!” Wilton yelled.
Jack turned to Kala and Derek. “No one shoots him but me!”
Kala kind of nodded, but she was in shock at the fact that they were about to flatten a part of the capital with Air Force One. She really didn’t care what Jack was saying. She couldn’t let President Wilton set off that bomb and kill thousands.
Jack shot at the desk, trying to hit the president, but he didn’t come close.
Only Kala could make a shot like that and not get them all killed from shooting a hole through the plane.
Kala and Derek made eye contact. Kala could tell Derek was thinking the same thing. He whispered so only Kala could hear, “Do it.”
Kala’s nod was barely perceptible.
Jack saw her and his eyes went wide. “Kala STOP!”
Kala shrugged. “I can’t let him do this, Jack. I’m sorry.”
Only the top of Wilton’s head was showing.
It was enough.
Kala took her shot.
Becca C. Smith received her Film degree from Full Sail University and has worked in the Film and Television industry for most of her adult life. In 2010 Becca published her first novel, Riser followed by the sequel, Reaper, in 2011, and the finale, Ripper in 2013. In 2012 Becca wrote the children’s novel Alexis Tappendorf and the Search for Beale’s Treasure. She is also the co-author of the teen graphic novel Ghost Whisperer: The Haunted.
Becca currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, Stephan and their two cats Jack and Duke.