The body of a teenage girl murdered in the Lincoln Houses is just the beginning…..
Investigative reporter, Nicole Watkins is assigned to the story, but when she comes face to face with homicide detective Andre Moore, she finds herself guarding more than just her sources.
Shaken by the murder of a teenage girl, Detective Andre Moore must put his own emotions aside or risk not only his life, but that of the attractive reporter, but is he strong enough to ignore his growing attraction?
Love is the last thing either is looking for but when the case brings them together, the complications of the murders only seem to intensify the attraction.
Buy Links: (Can be found here)
Dalia Florea enjoys writing fiction. She believes that growing up in New York, obtaining a degree in psychology and having a nursing background have all helped her to mold and get into the hearts and minds of her characters. She loves to read all genres, but favors suspense romance like the Marie Force Fatal Affair series. In addition to reading and writing she enjoys solving Sudoku and cryptogram quotes, attending jazz concerts and visiting wineries in and around her northern Virginia home. Dalia has parlayed her love of suspense romance novels into her first published work, Mirrored, and has two more novels in the works.
Tracey Warren has everything an eighteen year old girl should. She lives a life of expectancies; go to school, please her parents, party with friends, and revel in life as a young adult.
That is until she experiences an unexpected life changing accident caused by Nathan Newcomb; an illegally attractive yet perplexed guy who has her fumbling over her words and cracking her head on the concrete. In being enthralled by his overwhelming existence, Tracey neglects his promise of death (which never falls short of Nathan) and in ignoring his guarantee, she chooses to give into love over sanity and risks her life for the opportunity of being with him.
Nathan, knowing the risks gives into this want to have Tracey presuming it may be better to jeopardize their possible ending, than to allow her to endure the pain of his devoid. Nonetheless, with him being a burdened Sephlem, not only are they burdened by their adversaries who will risk everything but the exposure of their existence to see Nathan fall. But Nathan and Tracey come to find that their most sinister enemies lie under their same roof and regrettably share the same bloodline.
Prize pack -paperback give away of “Burdened” by Peiri Ann, “Lux Beginnings and Consequences” By Jennifer Armentrout and $20 iTunes gift card.
Prize pack -Kindle, “Burdened” By Peiri Ann ebook “If I Stay” By Gayle Forman ebook and a $15 Amazon gift card.
About the Author:
A love for reading transpired into an admiration for writing at a young age for Peiri Ann. Starting off in writing poetry and short stories she indulged in the possibilities of creating new worlds and lives to live within them opening a window of unanticipated possibilities. In high school a pin and notebook never left her grasps and in college the pin was replaced by a keyboard and the notebook replaced by a computer screen. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and certified in business management.
When Peiri Ann is not writing, reading, doing homework, or working in the downtown of Chicago she enjoys spending time with her little girl, watching action flicks, and spooning peanut butter from the jar as a midnight snack.
Web – www.peiriann.com
Twitter – @peiriann
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/aburdenednovel
Amber’s succubus desires are driving her, as well as every man within a five mile radius, crazy – and, Irix, the sexy incubus sent to tutor her, isn’t helping one bit. Determined to find some balance in her life as well as get away from his tempting presence, she escapes to visit a college friend in New Orleans.
But the Big Easy is anything but peaceful. Two powerful witch covens are battling for control of the mighty river and the potent ley lines that run through the city. Amber discovers her half-elven heritage may just resolve their differences, but the covens have other, more lethal, ideas. She knows she can restore the elemental energy to balance, but it’s not easy to play peacemaker when her succubus side wants to drown the whole city in a tide of lust.
The tensions between the covens aren’t her only trouble. There’s nowhere Amber can run to escape the siren-call of her demon nature, and nowhere she can run to escape the seductive incubus who won’t seem to take “no” for an answer.
Most people don’t think of sex when they’re sweating in an airport baggage claim, but most people aren’t half succubus. I tried to keep my eyes on the endless parade of identical black bags, but my gaze kept drifting toward the three virile college boys staring back at me. They’d been on my plane, and I’d been all too aware of their testosterone-fueled fascination for the entire two and a half hour flight.
Pick one, my naughty half urged.
Actually she wanted all three of them, but I’d bartered her down to one. Not that I had any intention of screwing anyone in an airport. I’d eventually have to give in to her, but it would be on my terms. I was picky, where she most definitely was not.
Perspiration rolled down my back, gluing the light blue tank top to my skin. The heat had hit me the moment they’d opened the aircraft doors, and the baggage claim wasn’t any cooler than the outside. It was hot enough up in Maryland, but New Orleans was like being submerged in a hot tub. Of course, I would have braved the fires of hell to get away from Maryland – and away from him.
“So, what brings you to New Orleans?”
One of the college boys had finally worked up the courage to approach me. His friends stood back, watching and obviously holding their breath in anticipation of a smack down. Little did they know my succubus side would never give a prospective partner the cold shoulder, and my elf side couldn’t tolerate rudeness in any way, shape, or form.
Did I mention I was also half-elf?
I smiled. It’s not like I could help it. He was just so darned cute, and his attention so very flattering. “I’m here to visit an old college roommate. She transferred to Tulane a couple of years ago.”
“Cool. We go to Maryland – ‘Fear the Turtle’.” He gave a fist pump to emphasize the college’s sports slogan. “We’re here to party. Airfare is really cheap right now.”
Yeah. It’s a million fricken degrees and hurricane season. If I hadn’t been escaping . . . no, I wasn’t going to think of him. Instead of replying I turned to watch the bags circle by, concerned that I may have missed mine. Even my elf etiquette had its limits.
“We’re going to be down on Bourbon Street tonight. Maybe we can meet up?”
Of course they were going to be down on Bourbon Street. But even a first-timer like me realized the futility of trying to vaguely “meet-up” with someone on a street filled with hundreds of bars and wall-to-wall people.
“Sure,” I replied, continuing to watch the bags circle by. “I’ll look for you all.” My succubus side was irritated that I wasn’t already dragging this guy into the nearest alcove and having my way with him. I stalled her again with vague promises, well aware I wouldn’t be able to hold her back for long. I’d need to get laid in the next few days or she’d take control and I’d find myself with a less-than-desirable partner.
College boy seemed to realize the odds of actually running into me on Bourbon Street were the equivalent of winning the Powerball lottery. “We’ll be at Saints and Sinners.”
Channing Tatum’s place. It was on my short-list of places to check out. I gave him another smile. “Okay. I don’t know what my friend has planned, but I’ll try and be there.”
That seemed to delight college boy beyond all reason. He grinned, and walked backward to join his friends. They hooted, and slapped him on the back, casting quick glances toward me as they walked toward the big glass doors. I waved good-naturedly, then turned to see my bag coming down the line.
“Excuse me. Oh, crap!”
I squeezed between two other travelers and reached for the handle, but my fingers slipped off and it dropped back onto the belt of the luggage carousel, firmly wedged between two black suitcases. I watched it move away from me, irritated that I’d need to wait for it to make a whole circuit before I had the chance to grab it again.
“I’ve got it.”
A tanned arm sporting a gold watch shot out and grabbed my bag, yanking it from the belt with a practiced grip. I followed that arm upward with my eyes. Trim guy. Fifties. Mostly bald with close-cut, light-colored hair. Lemon yellow polo shirt paired with khaki shorts. Business man, perhaps? Here for a convention or on vacation? He had nice, friendly blue eyes.
I reached out a hand to take the bag from him, and his eyes darted downward, lingering on my tank-top, or rather on the breasts it was barely covering. The succubus within me awoke, fixing this man with a hungry stare. Desire stirred, surfacing and arching out in invisible tendrils.
No, no, no. I tried to rein her in. This man probably had kids my age. Either way, I could tell he was a nice guy. He deserved better than this, but my baser self didn’t agree. She was hungry.
The man’s eyes left my breasts and rose to meet mine. I saw the lust in them, along with confusion and a bit of shame. I was ashamed too, but that emotion was drowned out by the thought of his mouth on mine, his . . .
Married. Married. It was like an alarm bell, bringing my rational self back into control. I didn’t care how hungry the monster living inside me was, I was not going to be responsible for this man breaking his wedding vows. Besides, he deserved better than a mind blowing fuck in an airport bathroom that would yoke him to me for the rest of his life. He deserved better, and so did I.
I snatched the bag from him and nearly fell in my haste to get away. For Pete’s sake, I was in an airport, surrounded by people, and I was on the edge of having sex with a stranger who had been kind enough to grab my luggage off the conveyor belt. My face burned with embarrassment at the encounter, but I would have felt worse had we wound up naked in a public restroom stall.
I was out of control. Irix had been right, but his solution wasn’t something I could live with. I envisioned his mocking voice, his raised eyebrows when he gave me the “I told you so” speech. I’d heard that speech all too often over the past month, but that wasn’t why I’d left. I could handle bossy, what I couldn’t handle was the way I felt every time he was near.
There. By the doors. A young woman waved at me, her black hair pulled back, highlighting perfect cheekbones and warm dark-brown skin. She bounced up and down on strappy sandals, all long legs and slim hips. I waved back and hustled myself toward her, shrieking as I grabbed her in a tight hug. Darci and I had kept in touch even after she’d transferred to Tulane, but I’d really missed her. My freshman roommate, my best friend – if anybody could help me find the Amber I’d used to be, it was Darci.
“Hurry, I’m double parked,” she said, disengaging and looking around for my luggage.
I grabbed the bag I’d dropped to hug her, grateful to be getting out of the airport. The heat and the excitement of my escape had stirred up the monster inside, and the guys at baggage claim weren’t the only ones I was beginning to have lurid fantasies about. I hadn’t had sex in four weeks. This was New Orleans, a town of indulgences. I’d indulge, then hopefully the desperate hunger would taper off, and I could just relax and enjoy myself – like the old Amber.
We crammed my bags in Darci’s Jetta, and took off, blasting the AC. Darci chatted on about college, a guy she was desperate to go out with, and what was on the agenda for today. She hadn’t been able to get the whole week off work, but I had assured her I could manage on my own just fine. My anticipation built thinking about po-boy sandwiches, Cajun music in the French Quarter, and a hot new dance club in the warehouse district. Already I felt the monster grow tame, distracted by the prospect of nice, normal, human-type activities.
“So. . . tell me about this guy you’re running away from.”
Darci’s inquiry jolted me out of my happy space. Irix. Thick sable-brown hair that fell to his shoulders in back and brushed his jaw in the front, dark golden eyes that seemed to see right under my clothing. He moved like a large cat on the prowl, and his smile held a promise of wicked carnal delights.
“He’s bad for me. And if I’d have stayed, I would have wound up in his bed.”
“Oh, those are the best ones, aren’t they? Bad for you how? Because I’ve never known you to walk away from something bad.”
Only when it was something I couldn’t truly have. “He’s one of those guys who is completely addicting. I’d take it far more seriously than he would. I just don’t need that kind of emotional damage, thank you very much.”
Darci shot me a knowing look. “Oh, the tables have been turned! Amber, the queen of love-them-and-leave-them is in danger of losing her heart to a world-class womanizer.”
What? I was not that sort of girl! Well, I hadn’t been that sort of girl up until recently.
“I’m sorry I ever told you about that Zumba instructor from the gym. One guy does not make me a player.”
That’s when the problem began. I’d been so crazy about him, wanted him so bad. One date, one night of torrid passion, and it was all gone. I didn’t care if I ever saw him again. I couldn’t even remember what his name was. What I did have was the thin trickle of energy he’d supply me with for the rest of his life. And guilt. A whole lot of guilt.
I thought Darci was going to wreck the car from laughing. “One guy? One guy? Seriously, Amber, once you get them in the sack, it’s ‘adios my friend’.”
“I’m not. . . no way,” I sputtered. How could she think that? I’d had plenty of relationships. Yeah, none had lasted very long, but that wasn’t my fault.
“Oh, let’s see. . . Darius, Nick, Brent, Jason.”
“Jason dumped me,” I protested.
“Zac, Scott, Theo.”
“Hey, I dated Theo for a month. That’s not a one-night-stand!”
Darci made a “pffft” sound and waved her hand at me. “It took you that long to sleep with him. Remember, finals? Then he had the flu? Then you went on that ski trip? Once you guys did the nasty, Theo was yesterday’s news.”
My head whirled, and I stared at Darci, open-mouthed. She was right. This problem of mine had been going on longer than I’d thought, I just hadn’t realized it. She glanced over at me, smiling fondly.
“It’s okay, Amber. Doesn’t make you a bad person. Actually, I always thought it was kind of funny. Guys are usually the ones that do this; it was refreshing to see the tables turned.”
No, it wasn’t funny. It was just as shitty as when guys did it to girls. These were nice boy’s that I’d screwed over, that I’d hurt. I hadn’t realized it back then, but now the thought of it devastated me. I’d hidden some things from Darci – things that she would never believe anyway, but I needed to let her know how terrible this made me feel, how I didn’t want to be that sort of person.
“It’s not okay. There’s something wrong with me, Darci. I want to have a long-term relationship. I want to meet someone nice, fall in love, and commit to them. I’ll never have that, and it hurts. It hurts almost as much as how I treated all those guys.”
“You will fall in love. You’ll find the right guy and it will all click into place.” She gave me a quick, mischievous look. “Now tell me all about this sexy scoundrel you ditched up in Maryland. I live vicariously through your tales of sexual conquest, you know. What’s his name?”
“Irix.” I didn’t want to think of him, let alone talk about him, but I knew Darci would never give up until she’d heard all the details.
“Ooo, exotic! Is that his first or last name?”
It was probably one of many names. I’d been told demons have quite a few and are very cagy about letting anyone know all of them.
“I’m not sure. It’s the only name he goes by.”
“Like Madonna, or Sting? How did you meet him?”
Now this was the tricky part. I couldn’t really say my demon parent had sent an Incubus to teach me how to deal with my succubus side.
“My family contracted him as a sort of life coach for me. That’s why I can’t just avoid him. He’s there every day, following me around, pestering me to do this or do that. I told him to go home and leave me alone, but he won’t until he feels like I’ve learned what I need. It’s his job.” And I got the feeling he was getting quite a kick out of it too.
Darci scrunched up her face. “Ugh. Totally hot does not outweigh bossing you around. That sucks. What happens if you just tell him to kiss off and do whatever the heck you want?”
Heat roared through me, I could feel my face redden.
“Oh!” Darci chuckled. “You bad girl, you! Well, no need to worry. You’re safe here from Mr. Sexy Life-Coach, and I’ve got all kinds of fun activities planned for us.”
About the Author:
Debra Dunbar lives on a farm in the northeast United States with her husband, three boys, and a Noah’s ark of four legged family members. Her fantasy novels feature supernatural elements in local settings. In addition to her Imp Series, and Half-Breed Series, she has also published a short story erotica series titled Naughty Mom.
Can Luke conquer his past and claim the only woman he’s ever loved?
Magic didn’t just find Luke Caulfield. It chased him down, bludgeoned him, and has been dogging him ever since. Some lessons are harder than others. Luke survives by embracing danger and upping the ante to give it one better. An enforcer for the Coven, a large, established group of witches, his latest assignment is playing bodyguard to the daughter of Coven leaders.
Abigail Ruskin is chaperoning a spoiled twelve-year-old from New York to her parents’ home in Utah Territory when Luke gets on their stagecoach in Colorado. A powerful witch herself, Abigail senses Luke’s magic, but he’s so overwhelmingly male, she shies away from contact. Stuck between the petulant child and Luke’s raw sexual energy, Abigail can’t wait for the trip to end.
Wraiths, wolves, and humans with dark magick attack. Unpleasant truths surface about the child and Abigail’s well-ordered world crashes around her. Luke’s so attracted to Abigail, she’s almost all he can think about, but he’s leery too. In over his head, he summons enforcer backup. Will they help him save the woman he’s falling in love with, or demand her immediate execution?
…It wasn’t Luke but a long, drawn-out shriek that brought Abigail thumping back to consciousness, her heart hammering triple time in her chest. Eyes wide and staring against the darkness, she warded herself just in time. Strong magic battered her. She tried to sense Luke, but that was the problem with wards. They protected by forming an impenetrable barrier and corralled her magic inside.
Whatever was pummeling her seemed to have given up. She risked chinking enough of a hole in her warding to send a tendril of magic outward because she needed information. When it came, it terrified her so badly, her heart stuttered. Dark things surrounded them: wraiths, mad wolves—those who’d been turned to serve the other side—and humans who’d sold their immortal souls for forbidden knowledge. Had the girl rallied them? How could she possibly be that powerful? Luke didn’t seem to be anywhere. Abigail hoped he’d concealed himself out of harm’s way, because the two of them couldn’t make the slightest dent in the dark horde outside. The stagecoach rocked and she realized someone was climbing onto the roof. Throat so dry she could barely breathe, she mended her warding.
The books. That’s what they want… Let them haul the miserable things out of here. She knew she should risk heaven and hell to keep such knowledge out of dark hands, but Abigail didn’t see how throwing her life away would alter the outcome. She heard voices speaking the Satanic tongue, and then dragging sounds as someone transferred the trunk to the ground. Luke shouldn’t have bothered to put it back up top, she thought grimly.
What had the Girauds been doing with such arcane tomes in the first place? She supposed there was the slightest chance they’d been protecting them from falling into the wrong hands. Yes, by all means, let’s give Coven members the benefit of the doubt. Except it was a struggle, and she didn’t know who the hell to trust anymore.
She waited until it was absolutely still outside, and a tentative scan told her the dark host she’d sensed earlier had moved on, before loosing her wards. The minute she did, she felt Luke’s energy. He pulled open one of the coach doors. “I scared up a couple of horses from a nearby farm. We need to go after those books—and the girl.”
She fought down the protest that rose to her lips, but it slid out anyway. “There aren’t enough of us.”
“Fixed that problem too.” He smiled grimly. “I can ward you if you want to stay here, but if you’re coming we need to get moving. Don’t want to let the trail get too cold.” From the smirk in his voice, she knew he was being sarcastic.
She sent her magic spiraling outward and felt the books pulsing with evil. No way that path would ever get cold. “Why couldn’t I feel them this strongly before? I know the trunk had to have been spelled, but still…”
“The trunk was spelled, and by someone with magic to burn. It’s over in those trees. I guess Carolyn’s minions were in a hurry and didn’t have a wagon.”
Abigail felt like a rube. The book trunk had already been packed and sealed when she’d picked Carolyn up in New York. She’d never even thought to examine it. “Did you see Carolyn?”
“Yup.” His upper lip curled into a sneer. “Caught a glimpse of her riding a mad wolf.”
“Do you suppose there’s some way we could separate her from Goody Osborne?” Abigail bit her lip nervously.
Luke shook his head. “Even if we could—and I don’t think it’s possible—there are too many unknowns. Her parents might have been turned. If that happened, the kid could have embraced evil before it entered her body. By the time we sorted all that out, the dark would have had one too many chances to kill us.”
Abigail winced at the unvarnished truth in his words. Any residual doubts she held about the necessity of destroying the girl melted away. “Yes,” she said through clenched teeth. “I’m coming with you.”
Luke boosted her onto one of the horses. She pulled her skirts out of the way. It was a normal saddle and this was scarcely a time for modesty. Luke vaulted onto his horse, kneeing it, and they took off up the Overland Stage Road at close to a full gallop. “We’re making too much noise,” she sent.
“Doesn’t matter. They’ll expect us to come after them.”
She clung to the horse with her legs, enjoying the feel of not having to ride sidesaddle. Luke’s horse was larger, faster, and soon pulled so far ahead she could barely see him. She kneed her horse, urging it to greater speed, but the animal shied, and then reared. Abigail struggled for balance and called magic to calm the spooked animal. Something sprang at her and knocked her to the ground. She sent killing magic to stop its heart, before realizing what it was. Panting, she crawled out from under a black and gray mad wolf with blood dribbling from its nostrils, and glanced warily about. Were there more of them?
Carolyn stepped from the shadows. It looked as if she was alone, but Abigail suspected otherwise. “What do you want?”
“Simple enough. I plan to use you to get rid of Breana Giraud—and others.” A sneer twisted the girl’s features into something unpleasant. “You think people don’t know you’re part of Coven government?”
Abigail set her mouth in a hard line. “Fine. So the other side knows about me. Question is, who are you really?”
“Don’t you recognize me?” Carolyn stepped closer and turned her face from side to side as if posing for a photographer. “I gave you my name, but I am far more than that.”
She’s arrogant. Perhaps I can use that in some way. Abigail spread her hands in a placating gesture. “Because I’m used to seeing you as Carolyn Giraud, I’m not certain who you are.” She paused for emphasis. “I’d like you to tell me.”
“Certainly.” A feral grin made the child look like something out of a nightmare. “It is always better to know who your adversary is.” Her voice became soft and silky. “I have access to magic you would kill for. You may not know it, but you’d like to work for us.” She laughed, but it sounded more like broken glass shattering against itself, than a twelve-year-old girl’s mirth. “We have real power, not that paltry tripe the Coven settles for.”
Abigail waited. When Carolyn didn’t say anything else, she said, “I’m listening…and considering your offer. Life is always better than the alternative.”
“Ha! They said you couldn’t be turned, but I told them they were wrong. I am The Promised, resurrected out of legend. Goody Osborne was but a start, and this little girl is merely a convenience.” Something like an outraged squawk followed the words, but Goody silenced Carolyn almost immediately. “What I really want is you, Abigail Ruskin.”
Shit! She couldn’t be The Promised… “You mean the Dark Messiah?” Abigail scrunched up her face and held her breath, hoping against hope she’d gotten it wrong.
“The same.” A supercilious expression etched into the girl’s features. “At least the other side has heard of me. Warms my black, black heart.”
“The books—?” Abigail hunted for a connection while she rode herd on terror that threatened to immobilize her, and clouded her judgment. If ever she needed a clear head, it was now, but her mind raced feverishly.
“They weren’t doing the girl’s parents any good moldering away in that underground chamber. I’d actually been searching for them for years.” She flashed a sly smile. “They used to be mine…”
Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.
Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.
In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.
Sometimes a single spark is all it takes to change your life for good.
For years, Karise McAlister has been running: from her family, from herself, and from her dreams. Now she’s made it, with a successful career and a promising engagement. But when she meets the compelling and creative Aidan Donnelly, his down-to-earth charm provides the wakeup call Karise badly needs. Moving across country to start over, Karise devotes herself to her work, convinced she needs to be independent. But with handsome Aidan just down the road and a mischievous group of friends determined to set her up, Karise must face her concerns about life and romance head-on.
Karise stepped forward, holding a hand out to skim the tops of the flowers as she waded into their midst. “Magical,” she whispered.
“Yeah,” he agreed, his voice taking on a huskier tone.
Karise studied the field for a moment longer before turning back to smile at Aidan. “Thank you for bringing me here.”
He took a step toward her. “You’re welcome.”
“You may never get me out of here. I just might decide to live right here, in this field.”
Aidan chuckled. “You might get cold at some point. Besides, the poppies don’t last long.
This is the peak of their season. After that, it’s just a field.”
“A field with a promise worth waiting for,” she amended.
“Something like that.” There was a pause. The expression on his face made Karise wonder what he was thinking. She was pretty sure that whatever it had been, it was more than his suggestion that they pick a spot to eat, which were the next words out of his mouth.
Karise only nibbled at the food he spread out in front of them. Her mind was racing in too many different directions, and her stomach had way too many butterflies for food to be a top priority. She listened as Aidan talked about how this field had inspired many of the designs used in his marketing material. The gentle cadence of his voice was like a caress. She couldn’t keep her eyes off of him – all of the excuses she’d been hiding behind faded away a little more with each syllable that fell from his lips.
Aidan paused mid sentence to eye her warily. “Is everything okay?”
Karise nodded. “Yes, sorry. Go on.”
“Am I boring you?”
“Quite the contrary.”
“You’re killing me, Karise. What is it?”
She hesitated then took a deep breath and threw caution to the wind. It’s possible she leapt at him. She couldn’t be entirely sure. All she really knew was that she was right where she wanted to be now: in his arms. His surprise quickly gave way to eager acceptance as he met her kiss with one of his own. He was salty and sweet at once. The hint of sandpaper on his jaw grazed her soft skin. A low growl of longing rumbled deep in his throat as he pulled her more firmly on his lap.
She wrapped her legs around his waist, arching into him as his mouth pulled away from hers to roam the skin exposed by the V of her shirt. Her fingers sank greedily into his dark hair as he left a trail of fire across her flesh. Karise couldn’t tell if she was flying or falling or something in between.
She kissed his temple, then his cheek, then reclaimed his lips. He leaned into her, deepening the touch. Time melted away. Karise was aware of only two things: She’d never felt anything remotely like this before, and she wanted more of him. She shifted positions, gently pushing him back on the blanket. She ran her hands up his sides, shoving his shirt out of the way as she did. Karise had lost many nights’ sleep thinking about the very muscles she now traced with her fingers. She moved to kiss his jaw, then his throat, then met her hands at his chest. He stopped breathing when she traced a feathery trail of kisses along his abdomen.
With lightning speed, he scooped her up and flipped her onto her back, his mouth setting fire to her throat while his hands splayed her small waist before moving up to her rib cage. He shifted his weight, the friction of his jeans against her shorts nearly her undoing. It hit her like a tidal wave – she’d reached the point of no return. Either she stopped him here or they crossed a threshold in this poppy field.
Heather Huffman calls the beautiful Missouri Ozarks home. When not writing, this homesteading mother is busy raising three boys or tending the family’s myriad of animals, which includes alpacas, goats, chickens and ducks. Huffman’s optimistic and somewhat quirky view of life often finds its way into her novels.
Heather is the author of Throwaway, Ties that Bind, Jailbird, Suddenly a Spy, Ring of Fire, Tumbleweed, Devil in Disguise, Roses in Ecuador and Fool’s Game.
You can find out more about her family’s adventures as they strive to live off the land, as well as her writing and charitable work on http://www.heatherhuffman.net.
Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherHuffmanBooks
Seven tears cast upon the water summon the selkie, summon seal across the ocean, summon man from beast—liquid keys to break the curse. Freed one night every seven years, Ronin is doomed to repeat that cycle into eternity. Unless he can find a woman powerful enough to resist a selkie’s irresistible pheromones and sex magick.
Maille believes she lost reality between Maine and New Mexico. Between where she is now and where she should be. She believes in facts, not magick. But facts can’t explain how she wound up naked on a beach with the sexiest man she’s ever laid eyes on. Or how she knows in her bones that losing herself in the passion Ronin offers is a path to disaster.
It’s going to be a long, hot, wet night. Caught between sex magick and a sexy selkie, disaster is inevitable for Maille. To break the enchantment she has to rely on the oldest magick of all—the power of love-drenched hearts.
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yO2moGX-IhU
An Excerpt From: MAKE ME WET
Copyright © NARA MALONE, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
A piercing cry rose above the thunder of surf. Human? A seal could sound so human it was hard to tell the difference. Whichever, Maille recognized it as a wail of mortal distress. She couldn’t say how she understood that, no more than she could say how she wound up on the beach. One fact she was certain of—she couldn’t ignore it.
Without thought for consequences she plunged into the surf, diving under swells, power-stroking through roiling water.
Once past the breakers Maille paused, treading water as she turned in circles, searching in the inky swells for the curve of a human head. Impossible with the waves breaking moonlight into sequined facets and the rise and fall of swells tall as houses. She’d never find him. She needed him to cry out once more.
“Come on. Give me a hint.”
An irregular shape, not seal-like or wavelike, caught her attention. As she paddled closer, she made out a man waving, heard his hoarse cry before his head disappeared below a wave. He resurfaced choking.
She dove under the water, swimming straight for where she’d seen him last. She resurfaced as he went under again, but she was close enough now to reach his long hair, swirling like dark kelp in the water. She grabbed a handful.
It was surprisingly easy to pull him along, as if he had managed to overcome his instinctive terror and submit to her rescue. He might not have been so submissive had he realized, as she did now, that they weren’t making progress.
Maille fought down a sudden kick of panic in her chest, struggling to swim parallel to the shore, caught by swells that tossed them dangerously close to jagged rocks. She had to concentrate her energy on swimming north until they were beyond the rip where she was free to swim shoreward.
When her feet finally found ground, a wave slammed her, flinging them both onto the sand. Depositing them in a tangle of limbs. Maille on top.
A small wave washed over them, and the sensation was that of a liquid blanket settling around her shoulders and then melting away. Panting, draped over his body, Maille was too spent to lift her head from a pillow of seaweed.
Another wave swept up, warm liquid fingers caressing her thighs.
She needed to move him higher up the beach, away from the rising tide, see to his needs. With a groan she pushed up to hands and knees, still straddling his body.
Damn! She’d hauled in one hell of a wet dream. Jet-black hair fanned out on the sand. His body lean, long and lusciously muscled. She started to lick her lips, caught herself, and forced her tongue back in her mouth. She was supposed to be saving his life, not jumping his bones.
Something was wrong. That realization drowned attraction in a wave of adrenaline.
His chest didn’t seem to be moving. Her breath caught and her heartbeat kicked up to double time. Maille thought there’d been a slight rise and fall of his chest beneath her breasts when they’d first washed ashore. His lips looked blue. But when she put her ear to his chest, the beat of his heart was strong and quick.
She scraped her mind for facts.
Fact—a heart could beat for several minutes after breathing stopped.
Would his lips still be blue?
Fact—in the moonlight everything looked blue.
Fact—his eyelids were at half-mast, and there was a barely perceptible gleam aimed at her. He probably didn’t need to be resuscitated.
Fact—she could discover the state of his respiration in other ways than this slow descent of her head and the pressing of lips to his. He tasted like sin and secrets.
His lips were warm and firm under hers, and they parted in a humid mingling of breath. Goddess, he smelled wonderful. She inhaled the scent of male and mystery laced with magick. Worries over what was real, what wasn’t, where she was, trickled away like so many grains of sand.
Fuck a bunch of facts.
About the Author:
Whether it’s a shapeshifter romance exploring the primal power of the wild feminine, or BDSM romance where love digs into a character’s shadows, Nara believes romance should open the door and push lovers into a new dimension: sexually, emotionally, and sometimes physically.
Nara Malone is an award winning novelist and poet. As a freelance journalist and writer, her feature profiles on women entrepreneurs and her romantic short stories have been published in newspapers, magazines, and digital publications.
Falling Under Trilogy
Genre: Erotic Romance
Knowing all too well the damage online trolls can inflict, game designer Emily Bartwell takes privacy seriously. Living in solitude and working remotely under a male alias gives her a sense of security. The sexy writer renting the house next door ignites desires she’d forgotten she had, and when he invites her to play games of a very different sort, Em is ready and willing. Even if it means breaking all her own rules to abide by his.
Undercover tech reporter Fox Mullins is so close to the biggest scoop of his career: finding the elusive programmer Phoenix. An increasingly erotic adventure with his reserved but passionate new neighbor is the ideal way to heat up the chilly Pacific Northwest nights as he tracks the brilliant gamer.
At first Fox is happy to help Em explore her newly awakened kinky side, no holds barred, no strings attached. But as they push the limits of intimacy, both physical and emotional, Fox discovers he’s not the only one keeping secrets. And revealing hers may mean betraying the one woman who embodies everything he desires.
About the Author:
Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her fantasy BDSM romance, Petals and Thorns, originally published under the pen name Jennifer Paris, has won several reader awards. Sapphire, the first book in the Facets of Passion series, has placed first in multiple romance contests and the follow-up, Platinum, is climbing the charts. Her most recent works include three fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns, the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and the post-apocalyptic vampire erotica of the Blood Currency.
She is currently working on Master of the Opera and The Twelve Kingdoms, a fantasy trilogy.
Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com or every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog.
Since Lucifer claimed victory at Armageddon, demons, angels, and humans have coexisted in uneasy harmony. Those with waning magic are trained to maintain peace and order. But hostilities are never far from erupting…
After years of denying her abilities, Noon Onyx, the first woman in history to wield waning magic, has embraced her power. She’s won the right to compete in the prestigious Laurel Crown Race—an event that will not only earn her the respect of her peers but also, if she wins, the right to control her future.
However, Noon’s task is nearly impossible: retrieve the White Heart of Justice, a mythical sword that disappeared hundreds of years ago. The sword is rumored to be hidden in a dangerous region of Halja that she is unlikely to return from. But Noon’s life isn’t the only thing hanging in the balance. The sword holds an awesome power that, in the wrong hands, could reboot the apocalypse—and Noon is the only one who can prevent Armageddon from starting again…
I can’t be with you anymore. That’s what she’d said. Six words that had become sixty then six hundred then six thousand . . . sixty thousand . . . six million . . . reverberating in his head, bouncing around inside his brain, driving him absolutely mad. There were no other words. No other memories. Only that last one of her. Standing at the edge of the oozy stew of the destroyed keep’s moat, flanked by two Angels, one preternaturally beautiful, the other full of purpose. The same purpose he’d had until those six words stripped him of it.
Flying out, he’d barely cleared the wreckage of the keep. His heart beat against the walls of his massive chest, and his monstrous wings beat against the infinite, empty sky, but the beats were slow and grew slower still. Slower. Until finally . . .
He made it across the river and then dropped like a ten-ton stone, crashing into the brush, breaking tree limbs and a wing. He lay there amongst the blackening scrub refusing to shift back into human form.
Man’s thoughts were unwelcome.
In time, the rogares came. Water wraiths. He killed them all. And then sickened by the smell of blood and meat he couldn’t—wouldn’t—consume, he left his nesting place. By then, the wing had healed, but unnaturally, so that flying straight was impossible. For days, he traveled in circles, never getting far. It wasn’t just the wing. The yearning to return to her was nearly unbearable. The emptiness inside of him an abyss.
Was she still in the Shallows? If he could just . . .
But then he remembered the Angels. And the look on her face when she’d said the six words. And the feelings in her signature. She’d need more than mere weeks for them to abate. She might need months. Hopefully, not years. Years meant nothing to him, but they did to her. And then the reminder that her time was more precious than his drove his yearning to a new level of ferocity. Ruthlessly, he tamped it down. He realized then that it might be best to return to man’s thoughts. After all, she was a woman.
And he wanted her back.
“Glashia calls Noon the ballista.” Waldron Seknecus’ low voice rumbled through the Gridiron, a deep, cavernous underground space used by the upper years at St. Lucifer’s for sparring. “Because of how she fights now. Watch.”
He was speaking to three other spectators: my father, Karanos Onyx, executive of the Demon Council and the man who would ultimately employ all of the magic users who trained here at St. Luck’s; Friedrich Vanderlin, an Archangel who was the dean of Guardians over at the Joshua School, the Angel academy we shared a campus with; and a woman who looked unsettlingly familiar to me, though I couldn’t remember when we’d met or who she was. I cleared my mind and concentrated on my opponent, Ludovicus Mischmetal, who preferred the moniker “Vicious” for short. He was a second year Maegester-in-Training at Euryale University. We were competing against one another in the New Babylon MIT rank matches, which St. Luck’s was hosting this year.
All second-year MITs were required to compete. The top-ranked MITs from each school would then be eligible to compete in the Laurel Crown Race. The object of the race was to bring back an assigned target. Targets were either rogare demons or priceless artifacts that needed to be recovered. Participation in the Laurel Crown Race was voluntary, but the MIT who returned to New Babylon with his (or in my case, her) target before any of the others, won the coveted Laurel Crown. Winning the Laurel Crown often set a future Maegester up for life because winners could choose where they wanted to spend their fourth-semester residency. And ofttimes, those residencies turned into permanent positions. Everyone else would receive offers, but it would be the Council that decided which of those residency positions they accepted.
Last semester, we’d been given our first field assignment. It was an assignment that had been full of rogare demon attacks and other lethal situations. That assignment had lasted a mere three months and I’d barely survived it. My residency would last for twice as long, so I was well aware of how important the residency venue would be. Winning the right to choose where I spent next semester, not to mention who I would be working for, would go far in preserving not just my happiness, but also my life. The Maegester who was judging the match, a middle-aged man with thinning, ginger-colored hair and a near permanent frown, called out for us to begin.
I’d watched Vicious spar with other MITs. He was smart. His infliction of pain would be very calculated, very precise. There was nothing personal about his desire to beat me. He just wanted to win the match so that he could retain his current Primoris ranking at Euryale and compete for the Laurel Crown. Of course, I was similarly motivated.
Vicious gave me a curt bow, his long, black, razor-cut bangs briefly falling forward before he shook them back and used his waning magic to fire up a weapon, a flaming broadsword. It hissed and spit with fury in the damp air of the Gridiron as Vicious raised it toward me in an opening invitation to spar.
As a sparring partner, Vicious looked fairly intimidating. His front teeth were shiny, silver, and sharply pointed (likely, his real ones had been knocked out in fights) and he was much larger than me. He wore the usual black leather training pants and vest, but he’d elected to go shirtless underneath the vest. I guessed it was an intentional show of muscle, literally. He flexed his forearms and grinned at me, his message clear: I might be a woman playing a man’s game, but he wasn’t going to spare me any blows.
That suited me fine. Sparing me blows wouldn’t win me the match.
Jill Archer writes dark, genre-bending fantasy from rural Maryland. Her novels include Dark Light of Day, Fiery Edge of Steel, and White Heart of Justice. She loves cats, coffee, books, movies, day tripping, and outdoor adventuring.
BONUS: FUN PROMO TWEETS AND TWITTER CONTEST! 😀
Anyone who tweets one of these will be entered to win ANY fantasy book of their choice from Book Depository (so long as Book Depository ships to your address) (up to $10.00). Contest ends on June 3, 2014. Feel free to share the list with your followers!
Finally! I’m looking forward to seeing Noon embrace her fiery magic. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
Ari Carmine is smokin’ hot. I wanna see if Noon can forgive him for that nasty surprise at the end of B2. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
I heard a rumor that Rafe Sinclair makes a wish and I wanna know if it’s granted. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
Nocturo. Tall dark handsome. Heard his scalpel’s put to good use. Is he gonna threaten Brunus w it again? @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
I love the characters, but I’m really just in it for the monsters and magic. Bring on the ice demons! @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
Armageddon is over. The demons won. But it’s not as dark as all that. Parts of it are romantic and sweet. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
Red the Were Hunter
Fantasy Romance/ Paranormal Romance
What if you were the key to an ancient prophecy that would begin to heal your lands, but fulfilling your destiny meant you had to turn your back on everything you’d been taught to believe in?
Redlynn of Volkzene, member of the Sisterhood of Red, is heartbroken to find another village girl taken and her best friend slain by werewolves. Defying the head of her order, she sets out to kill the beast she believes responsible. The King of the Weres– But there are worse things in Wolvenglen Forest than the wolves.
Adrian, reluctant heir to the throne of Wolvenglen, and his band of wolf brothers are bound to protect the humans; especially the Sisterhood. Finding Redlynn unconscious in his woods, awakens in him a passion he’s never before experienced and a protective instinct that has him ready to turn on his own men. Problem is, a female is that last thing he wants in his life.
But all is not as it seems in Wolvenglen Forest and when the mystery of the missing girls is solved, Redlynn and Adrian must move past their inner demons to find the happiness they both so desperately desire.
About the Author:
Rebekah grew up on both the east and west coasts and currently lives in the Los Angeles area. From the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein to The Stand by Stephen King, Rebekah immersed herself in other people’s made up worlds. She began writing in junior high and then found she liked pretending to be other people’s characters in high school. Lettering in drama she went on to study theater in college as well. After college she continued acting till becoming a mom. Ultimately, she ended up going back to writing her characters down instead of acting them out, so she could stay at home with her kids.
Rebekah is a member of Romance Writers of America and is a board member of both the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal and her local Los Angeles chapters. When she isn’t spending time telling the lives of the characters constantly chattering inside her head, you can find her with her husband and four children; reading comic books, gaming, at the movies or taking care of the menagerie of pets. A dog, a rabbit, two bearded dragons, and three tortoises. Wonder woman, the escaped snake, has yet to be located.
Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/VampWereZombie
In the shadowy world of covert operations it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad. Is there even room for romance? Sometimes romance fits in only too well.
Read along with the twists and turns of “Eyes Only” where trust is a rare commodity and you’ll never know which side to root for until the very end.
Excerpt Eyes Only
“I dunno, maybe I had a wild hair that night or maybe I was going a little bit stir crazy. In any case, I think Charlie sensed it and that’s why he made the suggestion. So this one time, I decided I’d go to the restricted bar. What harm could it do? I’d have a few drinks with Charlie, hear some old Marine stories, and call it a night.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Isla Aldon was her name. My eyes found her as soon as we stepped in the bar. A crowded bar too. And she was a short thing.”
About the Author:
H.K. Sterling is an author with Breathless Press known for stories with imagination, intelligence, a kick, and twist endings. H.K. likes to focus her writing on suspense, science-fiction, shorts, and anything that is spicy and unexpected. Sometimes her books may even go dark. H.K. lives in Virginia with her husband who graciously puts up with her passion for writing. H.K. currently has a Mystery/Thriller out: A Taste For Killing; and two short stories in the Breathless Press Anthology, My Bloody Valentine. Her new book, A Taste For Danger has just been accepted for publication and Breathless Press also just published H.K.’s short-short titled Eyes Only. H.K.’s books are suitable for 18+.
Catch up with H.K. Sterling on the following media:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/hksterling
HK Sterling “Undercover Blog”: http://hksterling1.blogspot.com/
Tour Wide Giveaway:
5 Kindle Copies of “Eyes Only”
5 Kindle Copies of “A Taste For Killing” (mystery romance 18+).
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway HERE