Category: author spotlight


I love being able to share new releases with you, and it’s been a while since I got to do that.  Today’s guest author, Lisabet Sarai’s latest release is out this month:

ReleaseBanner

Want to know more?  Read on…

When Silicon Valley entrepreneur Rachel Zelinsky meets reclusive genius Theo Moore, she finds him strangely compelling. Theo is both arrogant and socially awkward, but he has an aura of power that speaks to Rachel’s carefully-hidden submissive side. Disturbed and aroused, she tries to focus on her original objective—a deal to incorporate his Artificial Intelligence software into her company’s popular virtual world. Rachel’s not a woman who lets pleasure interfere with business, but for some reason, she can’t resist Theo’s geeky appeal.

Theo Moore can’t be bought. His past battles with poverty make him deeply suspicious of the billionaire CEO. Still, with her voluptuous curves and brilliant mind, Rachel embodies his ultimate sexual fantasy. Too bad his knowledge about sex derives from extensive research and a stash of kinky porn rather than real-world experience.

That doesn’t bother Rachel, however. In his bed—in his arms—in his bonds—she discovers the bliss of total surrender. Rachel may be Theo’s first lover, but Theo is Rachel’s first true Master—and the first man to truly touch her heart. It seems that love may harmonize their differing goals and values, until Rachel’s unwitting violation of Theo’s trust threatens to tear them apart forever.

 

Did that whet your appetite for more?  Well, I also happen to have a story snippet to share with you…

 

PG Excerpt:

She’s not what I expected. She’s soft and full, not lean and angular like most Californians. None of the gym-toned muscles everyone sports here in the land of sunshine. And she’s young, much younger than someone so filthy rich has any right to be. Her designer watch must have cost more than two months of my professor’s salary. On the other hand, I can hardly complain about her wealth, can I, since my pet project is the beneficiary of her largesse?

Hunkering down in the leather-upholstered back seat of her disgustingly opulent vehicle, I try to calm myself. I’m sweating like a pig, and my muscles are in knots. I gulp down orange juice from the bar I’d ridiculed and focus on my breathing the way Dr. Hopkins has taught me. I force myself not to count the telephone poles whizzing by. I know that will only make it worse.

When I pat my pocket, I can’t help grinning a bit. Two hundred fifty thousand! We can equip a new mobile development lab and hire two trainers for a year. Or take our outreach into junior high schools. Or even expand to some of the Rust Belt cities where the recession has hit particularly hard…

No, this wouldn’t be enough for that. But Dr. Zelinsky—Rachel—had indicated there might be more.

Rachel. Bringing up the search engine on my phone, I type in her name. I should have done this before the meeting, of course, but I was much too nervous. Up until the moment her limousine pulled up in front of my building, I still thought I might back out.

The screen fills with images and links. There’s even a Wikipedia article. I flip through the text, digesting the basics. Born in Brooklyn. An MBA from Harvard and a PhD—in physics!—from MIT. Looking Glass is her third company. She sold the first to IBM and the second to Microsoft.

A real high roller. And MirrorWorld is a huge hit—the main article on the virtual environment runs pages and pages. Since the Looking Glass IPO almost two years ago, the company stock has increased in value by an unbelievable 224%.

She can afford a quarter of a million for charity. For her, that’s petty change.

By the time we arrive back at my complex, I’m pretty much back to normal. At least what counts as normal for me. I nod at the uniformed driver who opens the door for me, trying to pretend I do this every day. The Vietnamese gardener is spreading new mulch on the flower beds in front of my building. Averting my eyes and ignoring his greeting—after all, I can barely understand his English— I hustle up the wooden steps to my second floor condo.

It’s quiet and cool inside. The soft hiss of the air conditioning soothes me. I flip on the stereo, something by Brahms, turn the volume down low, then stretch out on my bed, fully clothed.

The money is mine, free and clear. I’ll ask my sister to deposit it tomorrow. I don’t need to see Rachel Zelinsky again.

I can’t stop thinking about her, though. I recall one of the pictures from the web article, a black and white photo of a skinny teenager with a mop of curls, standing in front of some science fair project. She didn’t have those curves yet. No, but I recognize the expression, that determined set of her mouth and those laser-sharp eyes under the dark eyebrows. She was going to win—there was no question.

 

Theo seems hooked already, doesn’t he?  How about you?

For everyone who now wants to read the rest, here’s where you can find Lisabet’s book The Gazillionaire and the Virgin:

Amazon US

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B76B95K/

Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01B76B95K/

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gazillionaire-and-the-virgin-lisbet-sarai/1123327821?ean=2940157884932

All Romance

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thegazillionaireandthevirgin-1974313-354.html

Kobo

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-gazillionaire-and-the-virgin

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28766414-the-gazillionaire-and-the-virgin

About Lisabet

LISABET SARAI occasionally tackles other genres, but BDSM will always be her first love. Every one of her nine novels includes some element of power exchange, while her D/s short stories range from mildly kinky to intensely perverse.

You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter.

TheGazillionaireAndTheVirgin_400

Happy new release month, Lisabet!

 

Caged Magic Tour Banner

A long time ago, in almost another life, I used to write book reviews for an online site.  I discovered so many fantastic authors that way, and many of them I still love.  One of those authors I discovered was Jennifer Lyon, with the first book in her ‘Wing Slayer Hunter’ series, Blood Magic.  Witches in hiding, the sexy, dangerous men hunting them, what’s not to like?

When I worked for seven years at Borders, I always had romance readers looking for something new, and if they were looking for paranormal romance, it’s a safe bet that I handed them that book or, if they were some of my regular readers, the latest in the series since I would have already hooked them at the beginning.  Now I am absolutely thrilled to get to share a little bit of the latest book in the series with you.  And make sure you read all the way through to the end, because there is so much awesomeness here, including an excerpt and a giveaway!

CagedMagic Cover

Caged Magic Blurb

Risa Faden is a witch whose ultra-powerful shield magic is slowly breaking her mind. But when her beloved goddaughter is snatched by a demon, she’ll risk anything to rescue the baby—including lying to the handsome, intriguing stranger who has the power to help her keep her sanity, save the child…and steal her heart.

Linc Dillinger is a Wing Slayer Hunter whose sexy, rich, bad-boy charm hides a treacherous betrayal that left him emotionally scarred. As a result he risks his life to protect innocents, but is incapable of love—until he meets a beautiful witch who can save his cursed soul. Risa’s fierce courage and loyalty reaches past his barriers and he begins to believe she has the magic to free his caged heart.

But Risa’s lie explodes into dark danger that forces Linc into a hellish high-stakes gamble: He must either win the witch he loves and her godchild…or endure a loss that will destroy them all.

__________________

Now, how about a little bit of story for all of you?

 

 

The ache he’d just satisfied tingled, heat spreading at the thought of him inside her. He’d been patient, seducing her, showing her she could trust them. Time for her to do her part. They both needed to seal the bond. But she’d never forget this moment with him.

Even when he hated her later for lying.

Anxiety edged in, but Risa held on to his gaze and slid her hand over his stomach. Jeez, the ridges of his muscles entranced her. The man felt as cut as he looked.

Focus. She knew how to do this. Reaching his belt, she—

He caught her hand. “Wait.”

“Why?”

“You feel the bird, right?”

She nodded. The sensation of the creature winging gently around her magic almost protectively resembled being hugged from the inside.

“He’s helping you harness the magic. Let’s see if we can find your girl, now. As long as you feel him, he’ll keep you safe.”

Startled, she stared up into his eyes filled with wings. This man constantly surprised her. “Don’t you want to break your curse?”

“Fuck yes. Even more than that, I want you, want to feel you, to take our pleasure together.”

“Then…” She tried to understand. Kendall was his ace card, the one he could play to make sure she gave him that. “Why wait?”

“Because more than all that, I want you to be free to choose, Risa. Right now, you’ll choose to do this for Kendall. And God, baby, I respect the hell out of that. But it’s not what I want.”

Confusion spiraled. “What do you want?”

His gaze pierced hers. “For you to do this because you want to, not because you have to.”

Hot tears threatened, and her chest ached. Why? Dear God, why did Linc, this man who’d endured being sold by his mother, caged and used in ways that she couldn’t fathom, why did he have to be so kind to her?

____________________

I’m already in love with Linc, how about you?  Ready to track him down and take him home?  Me, too.  And you can find him in all of the following places:

Caged Magic Buy Links

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | GooglePlay | Kobo

 

 

Jennifer Lyon Author Pic

About the Author

Jennifer Lyon, who also writes as Jennifer Apodaca, lives in Southern California where she continually plots ways to convince her husband that they should get a dog. After all, they met at the dog pound, fell in love, married and had three wonderful sons. So far, however, she has failed in her doggy endeavor. She consoles herself by pouring her passion into writing books. To date, Jen has published more than fifteen books and novellas, including a fun and sexy mystery series and a variety of contemporary romances under the name Jennifer Apodaca. As Jennifer Lyon she created a dark, sizzling paranormal series, and The Plus One Chronicles, an emotionally sensual adult contemporary series. Jen’s won numerous awards and had her books translated into multiple languages, but she still hasn’t come up with a way to persuade her husband that they need a dog.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Giveaway

There are 3 tour wide giveaways!

Open to US, CAN, UK

(1) grand prize $50.00 electronic gift card (Amazon or B&N)

(2) runner up winners of one $25.00 electronic gift card each (Amazon or B&N)

 

Enter the Giveaway HERE!

 

Follow the Tour

For more interviews and guest posts with Jennifer plus Caged Magic reviews & Spotlights stop by the tour every day!

The complete schedule can be found HERE!

 

I hope if you haven’t read any of the books in this series, you’ll want to give them a try now.  Not only am I really ready for Linc’s story, I feel the need to go back and start from the beginning of the series now.  I haven’t read some of these books in much too long.

Hey, everyone!  I’ve been working very hard at the day-job the past couple of weeks, so I am very pleased to have the opportunity to introduce you to another guest author!  If you like your romance grounded in pure fantasy, you definitely want to check out D. R. Grady’s new release, which is out this week!  And if you’re a dragon fan like me, then you definitely need to check out The Dragon Chronicles: Learning.  

LEARNING-Soulmate 805_805x1275

The Dragon Chronicles: Learning
Blurb
Peace has reigned for so long, most beings believe dragons are mere myths, including elf professor Dr. Lindy Veles. After meeting attractive Dr. Alex von Schreider—a surly professor from a bear shifter family who possesses plenty of paranormal power, yet can’t shift—things start to spiral downward. Especially when he catches Lindy’s strong shifter scent. Elves don’t normally shift. Alex finds the compelling elf’s denials suspicious. Lindy thinks he’s crazy to believe she’s a shifter.

As they delve into the ancient Dragon Chronicles, tomes about dragons, it quickly becomes clear their efforts are no mere academic exercise. Dragons are suddenly becoming all too real. When Lindy shifts into one, Alex discovers he’s meant to control her dragon—the most powerful creature on earth. The pair is caught in the middle of two raging battles . . . their own personal emotional war and the war to save their world.

With the clock ticking, Lindy and Alex must surrender their misconceptions about themselves and dragons, and unite to begin the fight for their very existence.

Hook
A carefree elf and a surly bear non-shifter have to unite to save the world. Too bad no one believes in dragons, until she turns into one under dire circumstances.

Excerpt: 

“Was there a fire?” Keely brushed wayward curls from her cheek.

“Yes.” Alex’s eyes swept over Lindy, then dismissed her.

Keely gasped. “What caused it?”

“We think some fire elementals might be coming into their powers. Fortunately it was caught immediately and some water elementals managed to put it out.”

“When can we go back to bed?” An English professor whose name escaped her spoke up.

“In a few minutes.” Alex scribbled something on the bottom of the paper.

“Every wing is being checked by the fire department. They’ll give us the signal when they’re finished.”

With those words, Phil nipped away, probably to finish his head counting.

The blanket swathed around Lindy slipped and with an absent air she caught it. Another section drooped, so she unwrapped the covering in order to wind the material more securely around her.

As her attention drifted to the heavy muscles of Alex’s chest, his eyes narrowed on her. Lindy actually turned around to see what he was scowling about.

No one else stood in his direct line of vision. She returned his ill-tempered frown. Fortunately, Keely snagged her attention with a question.

She hated having people mad at her, but this was different. What had happened in those first few seconds of their meeting to change his mind about her? The answer eluded her. Her fists curled.

Well, it’s not your problem, is it? She didn’t know what had happened, but her course of action remained the same—continue to avoid him.

Though she’d have to forget all about his yummy chest and those amazing arms.

———-

DeAnnpic

D.R. Grady lives with her husband near Hershey, PA. She adores chocolate, laughing, collecting bags, books, and shoes, and adores writing stories that resonate with others.

Website: www.drgradybooks.com
Twitter: @drgradybooks https://twitter.com/drgradybooks
Facebook Page: D.R. Grady https://www.facebook.com/drgradybooks
Google+: D.R. Gradybooks https://plus.google.com/u/0/114138197846185543554/posts
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007HR0ULS

 

 

I am excited to introduce you all to author Jessica Cale.  Her new historical romance is out this week, and you’re definitely going to want to check it out!

———-

Female Fighters in Restoration London

While boxing became a popular sport in Britain in the eighteenth century, the lower classes had been using it for entertainment for much longer. Bear Garden in Southwark was a well-known place to see bare-knuckle prize fights in Restoration London, and sometimes, the boxers were women.

Female boxing became very popular in the eighteenth century, thanks, in no small part, to the fact that the women were often stripped to the waist for the fight. One of the most famous women fighters was Elizabeth Wilkinson-Stokes. In 1722, she issued a written challenge to Hannah Hyfield in the London Journal. The women fought for a prize of three guineas with a half crown clenched in each hand to ensure good form and to prevent scratching. The first to drop a coin would lose. Elizabeth won.

Rough matches were fought throughout the city, many between prostitutes for gin, clothes, and men. Some were for money while others were not, and not all of them kept the coin rule.

In Virtue’s Lady, one of the first things Jane does after arriving in Southwark is go to a prize fight at Bear Garden. As the daughter of an earl, she comes from a very sheltered background, and the fights are quite a surprise to her. Half the town is there, drinking, betting, and cheering on the fighters, and it’s like nothing she’s ever seen before. Before she knows it, Meg, the gorgeous but terrifying barmaid from The Rose & Crown, is challenging her to a fight of her own.

A lady wouldn’t dare…would she?

virtueslady

Virtue’s Lady
Author: Jessica Cale
Publisher: Liquid Silver
Release Date: April 13th

Tagline

From toiling for pennies to bare-knuckle boxing, a lady is prepared for every eventuality.

Blurb

Lady Jane Ramsey is young, beautiful, and ruined.

After being rescued from her kidnapping by a handsome highwayman, she returns home only to find her marriage prospects drastically reduced. Her father expects her to marry the repulsive Lord Lewes, but Jane has other plans. All she can think about is her highwayman, and she is determined to find him again.

Mark Virtue is trying to go straight. After years of robbing coaches and surviving on his wits, he knows it’s time to hang up his pistol and become the carpenter he was trained to be. He busies himself with finding work for his neighbors and improving his corner of Southwark as he tries to forget the girl who haunts his dreams. As a carpenter struggling to stay in work in the aftermath of The Fire, he knows Jane is unfathomably far beyond his reach, and there’s no use wishing for the impossible.

When Jane turns up in Southwark, Mark is furious. She has no way of understanding just how much danger she has put them in by running away. In spite of his growing feelings for her, he knows that Southwark is no place for a lady. Jane must set aside her lessons to learn a new set of rules if she is to make a life for herself in the crime-ridden slum. She will fight for her freedom and her life if that’s what it takes to prove to Mark—and to herself—that there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Buy it on Amazon
Add it to Goodreads

EXCERPT:

A key popped into the lock and the door opened with a creak. A turnkey stood guard in the narrow entrance, as if he was afraid Mark would escape.

Mark almost laughed. They’d put him in the heavy shackles they reserved for those who had escaped and been recaptured. It was Harry who was the escape artist, but Mark wouldn’t correct them. It was good that they thought he was a threat.

He was.

The turnkey carried a lantern bright enough for Mark to see his shining eyes and a shit-eating grin. “Someone likes you,” he said.

Mark rolled his eyes. “You tell Tilly that there’s not enough bread in Christendom—”

He trailed off as he saw a slender white hand emerge from the shadows of the hall to drop a coin into the turnkey’s palm. “For his shackles,” said a girl’s voice in a coarse accent he didn’t recognize.

“You want them on or off?”

“Off!” she snapped.

Mark raised an eyebrow. “You’ve got the wrong cell, mate. I’m not expecting anyone.”

The turnkey leered. “Can I keep her, then?”

“Can you hell!” the girl protested. “I was sent for Mister Mark Virtue only. Bought and paid for. Hands off!”

The girl stepped into the light. The thin cloak she wore over it was for warmth more than modesty; a man would have to be blind not to see the body beneath it. Her lush curves were cinched into a scandalously low-cut dress the color of burnished gold, her flawless skin glowing in the warm light of the lantern. A yard or so of shining auburn hair spilled out of the hood that shadowed her face. Even had she kept it covered, he would have known her from the way his blood sang in her presence.

She glanced up at him from beneath the hood and he saw it.

The glint of steel in her eyes.

“This is only a shilling,” said the turnkey. “That’ll get you the hands or the feet. Not both.”

She arched an eyebrow at Mark. “Which is it? Hands or feet?”

“Feet.”

Mark didn’t take his eyes off of her as the turnkey bent to unlock the shackles around his ankles.

“The lantern’s extra,” he said as he stood.

“Don’t need it,” Mark dismissed, rubbing his ankles.

“That’s a shame. She’s a treat! I’ll come get her later then. Wish I had friends like yours, Mark.” He closed the door behind him, and Mark heard the bolt slide into the lock with a heavy click.

He was locked in a cell in near perfect darkness with Jane Ramsey.

“It’s not my birthday.” He smiled.

Other Books in This Series

tyburn

Tyburn (The Southwark Saga, Book 1): Notorious harlot Sally Green fights for survival in Restoration London. When a brutal attack throws them together, Sally is torn between the tutor who saves her and the highwayman who keeps her up at night; between new love and an old need for revenge. Winner of the Southern Magic Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence 2015.

Liquid Silver
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
All Romance E-Books
iBooks

Jessica Cale

Author Bio

Jessica Cale is a historical romance author and journalist based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. You can visit her at www.authorjessicacale.com.

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.authorjessicacale.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicacale
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaCale @JessicaCale
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JessicaCaleWrites
Tumblr: http://authorjessicacale.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rainbowcarnage
Tsu: https://www.tsu.co/jessicacale
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Cale/e/B00PVDV9EW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9819997.Jessica_Cale

 

 

Hi, everyone!  I’m so happy to get to introduce you to my guest blogger today: Kryssie Fortune.  She has a new release out this week, and she’s going to tell you all a little bit about it.  Enjoy!

————-

Knights Vampire2
Hi Kryssie Fortune here. I’ve dropped by to tell you about my latest book. First of all, a big thank you to Elizabeth for having me.
The Secret History of the Knights Defender

King Henry 1 of England founded the Knights Defender to protect his itinerant justices, but the order grew into a pan-European order of crusader knights. Renowned for protecting the innocent and upholding the law, the Knights Defender were respected by all. But they had a dark side.

Their Grand Master practised black magic but with good intentions. He foresaw the fall of the order and decided the world needed his Knights as an eternal police force. He picked out the best of his men, and with their permission, he made them immortal. By turning them Vampire.

Most of his Knights clung to their belief in law an order, but they hadn’t expected their feelings to leach out of them over the centuries. They feel nothing unless they find and claim their soul mate – but if they pick the wrong woman, they die.

Worse, the Grand Master’s vision was as flawed as his decision to dabble in the dark arts. He changed some Knights who turned rogue. Now they prey on humanity.

Thanks to the rogue Knights some of the Defenders were changed without an explanation, and like Blaxton de Ferrers, they were left to flounder alone.

Blaxton de Ferrers died at the start of the 13th century—killed by his cousin while on Crusade with Richard the Lionheart. He didn’t stay dead. That night, he rose as a vampire.

Finally, in the twenty first century, Blaxton returns to the castle where he was born. He’s sucked into an ancient mystery. Then there’s the woman. The one who makes him feel whole—but to claim her, he’ll have to kill her.

Blurb:
Betrayed by the Knight Defenders and murdered by his cousin, crusader knight Blaxton de Ferrers rose as a vampire. For nine centuries, he’s preyed on the people he once swore to protect. Gradually, as his emotions leach out of him, he forgets how to feel. Then he meets Harriet.

Harriet Mortlake’s a strong sassy woman who battles her weight and her temper. Her job is to seek out the ancient secrets of the castle that was Blaxton’s childhood home. Instead, she finds the love of her life.

When danger threatens Harriet, Blaxton steps in. Harriet and Blaxton, are a match made in heaven. Except… he’s a vampire and to fully claim her, he’ll have to kill her.

Buy links:
Loose ID
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon AU
All Romance Books

Author Social Media:
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Amazon Author Page

Excerpt:

“How dare you embarrass me like that?” Harriet Mortlake planted her hands on her hips and glowered at the man she’d cornered outside the cafe. Spitting mad, she wanted to slap the condescending smile off his face. Normally, she was iceberg cool, but as hard as she tried to keep her expression neutral, she could feel lightning bolts flashing from her eyes.

“It’s a temple, not a chapel,” he insisted.

Stubborn. Damn. Male. She’d been showing the big guns from the Castles’ Management Trust round the building, but they clearly thought her too young for her role as Whitborough Castle’s archivist. She’d almost been too angry to think when this know-it-all first sounded off. Now he infuriated her all over again.

Harriet snorted. “As if! No way would medieval Christians build a pagan temple on their grounds. Superstitious locals would probably have accused them of devil worship and burned them at the stake. Any fool knows that.”

Her degree in library science made her suitable for the post. The castle manager had told her afterward that she’d been the only applicant. She’d almost stuck her tongue out at the head office guys and yelled Beggars can’t be choosers.

Despite Mr. Condescending’s interference, she’d managed to impress the big bosses—she thought. He flashed her a smile so electrifying it would have lit up the dingy, underground chapel where he’d embarrassed her earlier. The way he sat there dripping sex appeal, her anger might have evaporated. If only he hadn’t needed to have the last word.

He took another sip of coffee. “You really should get your facts right.”

Stupid, arrogant male. She couldn’t decide whether to show him her diplomas and degrees or kick his shins. Professional to the core, she’d reined in her temper while the higher-ups carried out their inspection, but now that they’d left, she felt free to vent her rage.

Hands still on her hips, she tapped her foot at him. “Lost for words without an audience? Or maybe you can’t back up your cock-and-bull story? Put up or shut up, Mister. Tell me why you think it’s a temple.”

Mr. Condescending sat outside the tearoom as if he hadn’t a care in the world and enjoyed the early afternoon sunshine. He didn’t know it, but his interference when she’d shown the bigwigs into the chapel could have cost her a job she loved. Whitborough Castle’s extensive records needed cataloging, and she considered herself fortunate to work here. Only sometimes, she got a someone’s watching me feeling that unsettled her.

The last two archivists had vanished, and the police were “looking into it”—whatever that meant. Now people viewed the post as a poisoned chalice. Harriet knew an opportunity when she saw it, and she’d grabbed it with both hands. Everything should have been perfect, but it wasn’t. From day one—just four weeks ago—she’d felt as if the castle’s ghosts studied her as eagerly as she studied the records. Paranoid or what?

After an early start, she met the bigwigs from Castles’ Management Trust for the first time. Things had been going well. Okay, they’d been surprised by her youth, and clearly considered her too inexperienced for the post of archivist. By the time they reached the chapel, she’d almost won them over. Then Mr. Condescending here stuck his oar in, and if she hadn’t handled him right, she’d probably have lost her job.

Teeth gritted, Harriet had thanked him for his interest and told him politely that he was mistaken. Intimidating and so tall she had to look up to see his face, he made her think of the Norman conquerors who’d built the castle. He was all muscle, sex, and sin—but his stubborn assertion that the chapel had been a temple sparked her temper.

Her mouth had watered when she’d first seen him, but his cavalier attitude infuriated her. If her employers hadn’t been watching, she’d have told him exactly what she thought. She’d have regretted it later—maybe—but her temper had helped her survive ever since as a young girl she’d dragged her mother to the women’s shelter.

There he went with that dazzling smile again. He had to be the most handsome man she’d seen in… Well, forever. His masculine essence—sandalwood and exotic spices—wrapped warm tendrils around her heart. Her breasts perked up beneath her blouse, and they ached for his touch.

Her favorite bra suddenly felt so tight it abraded her nipples like sandpaper, and an unfamiliar tingling started in her cunt. Why did her anger evaporate, just because he smiled? What sort of fool woman caved just because a man had the most kissable lips ever? Lips she wanted to taste…repeatedly. Not that having such a tempting mouth made him less condescending. She paused, seeking the right riposte to tear him to shreds.

He stood up and held out his hand. “Pleased to meet you. I’m Blaxton de Ferrers.”

His voice—a deep, masculine rumble that made her want to beg him to say her name—thrilled her more than his smile. This man just kept getting better, but she’d come here to confront him, not drag him over the table and kiss him until they ran out of breath.

Something wild, almost primal, stirred inside her, but she wasn’t the sort of predatory female who encouraged strange men into her bed. Apart from one disastrous night with Martin, she was practically a virgin. Afterward, he’d told his friends she was frigid, and they’d christened her “the ice queen.” She’d squared her shoulders and stood tall—half an inch short of six feet—and ignored them. But her dating confidence had sunk to zero. After that she’d channeled her anger into her studies rather than sex.

Today her body went into sensual overdrive and demanded— Hell, she wasn’t sure what she wanted, but it was all bound up in Blaxton de Ferrers, aka Mr. Condescending.

He told her quietly, “It’s polite to shake someone’s hand when they offer it.”

She kept her hands firmly on her hips. Where did this jerk get off, reprimanding her about her manners? He took condescending to a whole new level, but he’d picked on the wrong girl when he’d heckled her. “Not when they damn near cost me my job. I needed to make a good impression, and you took over like you knew everything there is to know about this place. And heads-up, Mister. It’s rude to stare at my breasts.”

He grinned again. His smile melted her heart and warmed her soul. “Actually, I was staring at your name tag. Harriet’s a pretty name. It suits you.”

Talk about open mouth and insert foot. Harriet blushed and wished she’d said nothing. And hang on… De Ferrers? The family who once owned this castle? Someone once told Harriet she was part cat—always curious, always asking questions—and she supposed they’d been right.

She silently ran through the property’s history. Henry II had gifted the lands to Peter de Ferrers, and he’d turned the wooden stronghold into a magnificent castle. Maybe Mr. Condescending was a distant descendant of the original family.

Blaxton flashed that smile again, the one that made her heart beat double-time. He had to be the tallest man she’d ever seen. Not a beanpole, just a wide-shouldered, broad-chested piece of perfection.

He rested on hand on her arm. “Harriet, I’m sorry if I was out of line this morning. Let me make amends with coffee and cake; then I’ll explain why it’s a temple.”

His touch made her blood sizzle through her veins. She didn’t care that he invaded her personal space. Sitting here at one of the tearoom’s outdoor picnic benches and staring out to sea or watching him smile sounded amazing. Drinking coffee while his bass voice washed over her would make her lunch break perfect. Or maybe she’d enjoy it more if he kept his mouth shut. He made great eye candy, but she still raged about the arrogant way he’d interrupted her presentation. Even now, he wouldn’t see sense about the chapel.

She wanted to storm back to her office, find the original documents, and prove him wrong, but she hated when her temper got the better of her. She deliberately rolled her shoulders and relaxed. “I should apologize too. I try not to be so quick-tempered, but what can I say? Today was an epic fail, and I’m sorry.”

A wayward, feminine part of her still obsessed over his lips. Her common sense shouted for her to get out of there, but sometimes being sensible sucked. “Maybe just a coffee, but no cake. A lifetime on the hips and all that.”

He smiled, clearly taking her words as an invitation to study her curves. His scrutiny made her cheeks burn, and she knew she blushed again. Maybe I should give the low-fat diet another go.

Then, as if he’d read her mind, he told her, “I think your hips are perfect.”

Okay, he was silver-tongued and gorgeous, but it didn’t change facts. She’d gotten through university on a diet of pasta, rice, and chips—anything inexpensive so she didn’t get too deep in debt—but all those carbohydrates had settled on her hips and breasts. Men like Blaxton de Ferrers wanted slender fashion plates on their arms—and in their beds. Still, if he was interested, she’d starve herself for someone as downright sexy as him. The South Sea diet’s supposed to be good. Yeah, like I’ve ever managed more than a few days on a diet.

She sat opposite him. “Just a black coffee, please.”

His predatory walk made her mouth water, and she wondered what he’d be like in bed. He’d look amazing naked and… Her own thoughts made her blush. She knew nothing would ever happen between them, but a girl could dream.

Once he’d proved his point, he’d be on his way. It was probably for the best. Harriet wasn’t letting anyone into her bed easily, no matter how much they made her drool. Not after that disastrous one-and-only night when Martin had stopped over and things ended…badly. His insults had gotten under her skin, and she’d flung his clothes out the window. When he objected, she shoved his naked ass out the door and slammed it behind him.

She’d have been fine if he hadn’t compared her to an iceberg—stationary and freezing. One look at Blaxton de Ferrers and her panties grew damp with desire. How embarrassing was that? Especially after he interrupted her debut presentation to her bosses.

Moments later he returned, a mug steaming in each hand. “Your coffee, milady.”

He’d gone from condescending to charming in the space of a few heartbeats, but she still needed answers. She blinked hard, stunned by the pull this man had on her. Normally reserved, she hated how her nipples pebbled in his presence.

In his crisp jeans and button-down shirt, he looked expensive and…edible. He’d rolled up his shirtsleeves. His arms were rock-hard, muscular, and suntanned. When she looked closer, she thought his watch was the same brand all the Hollywood stars wore—a solid gold one at that. His sun-bleached hair fell in casual disarray over his collar. She knew an expensive haircut when she saw it.

Harriet studied him as though he were a bug beneath a microscope. “De Ferrers? Are you a descendant of the original family that ruled here in medieval times? Do you really know things about this castle that no one else does? What makes you think the chapel was really a temple? And if it was, who worshiped there? And if it was a pagan stronghold, then why do the oldest documents mark it with a cross?”

He raised his hands in surrender. “Slow down. You’re firing questions the way a machine gun fires bullets. Yes, my ancestors once ruled here, but it was a long time ago. How about you tell me why you believe that black hole’s a chapel? It looks more like a dungeon to me.”

She threw back her head and laughed. “Clever, turning my own question back on me. Okay, I’ll play. I’m the new archivist here, but back in Victorian times, they unearthed an original map of the castle. Your dungeon, temple, or whatever you want to call it was marked with a cross. See? Temples are pagan strongholds, not places for Christian worship.”

He grinned that devastating smile that melted her bones, and tossed her a tidbit of information. “The cross on the plans. Were all the arms the same length? Was it bright blue on a silver-gray background, and did the arms have cut off triangle bases inverted and stuck on their ends?”

Harriet’s breath came faster, and as she stared down at her hand, it shook so hard she almost spilled her coffee. “You mean like a Knights Templar cross but in different colors? Azure and argent? Sorry, you’d call them sky blue and silver. Those were the Knights Defender’s colors, weren’t they? Do you really think it was one of their temples where they carried out their most secret and sacred rituals? Really? It’d make my career if you’re right, but we don’t have any Knights Defender connections here.”

Hot coffee scalded Harriet’s throat, but the quicker she drank it the sooner she could return to her office and check out the original map. Proving a Knights Defender connection could make her reputation and impress the higher-ups who’d doubted her. “I’ll dig out those original plans and check, but I can’t believe anyone could make such a foolish mistake. Can I have your phone number or something, and if you’re right, I’d love to talk.”

Mortified, she realized she’d just asked this stranger for his phone number. He wound her up like a clockwork toy, and when she chased after him, he talked with such authority she almost believed him. Besides, even if he’d made his wild story up, she really wanted to see him again. Who was she kidding? She needed to know if he tasted as great as he smelled—all sandalwood and exotic spices. If he did, she’d surely find him addictive.

Blaxton grinned, pulled out a business card, and scribbled a cell phone number underneath his business contacts. “Here. That’s my personal number.”

She studied the card and laughed. “It says here you’re a property developer. I can’t see you being able to do much with a twelfth-century castle, even if it wasn’t grade one listed.”

He stared out to sea, and for a moment he looked lost. His smile returned so quickly Harriet wondered if she’d imagined his brief withdrawal.

He finished his coffee and stood up. “Maybe I could demolish the damned temple and replace it with a real chapel. I’m not staying in Yorkshire long, but would you have dinner with me tonight? We can discuss the Knights Defender if you like. How about we meet up in the Italian restaurant by the harbor? I’ll book a table for eight o’clock tonight if you’re free.”

Harriet blushed, but she smiled back. Tonight she’d be dining with the best-looking guy in the town—if he turned up. She’d been stood up so many times by her ex before she’d stupidly let him share her body and her bed. After the way he’d treated her, dating came hard.

Blaxton de Ferrers seemed genuine. Part of her wanted to run out and get her nails done right along with her hair. What the hell am I going to wear? She wasn’t some sophisticated London beauty, but she cleaned up okay despite her extra ten pounds. Besides, no way would she miss a chance to pump him for information. And if he wants to kiss me goodnight… Well, I might just let him.

 

I’ve been very lucky lately to have some great ladies guesting here, and today we have another: Sara Ellwood, with a snippet from the first book in her ‘Colton Gamblers’ series!  She’s sharing a little about herself and her story, and I can’t wait to read more of it.  I just love a wounded hero.

————

GamblingOnASecret2 360x540

Gambling On A Secret
Book 1 of The Colton Gamblers….
In anticipation of the June release of Book 3: Gambling On A Dream, Kensington Publishing has put Book 1: Gambling On A Secret on sale!

***ON SALE FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY FOR $0.99***

Blurb:
When Charli bets everything on a secret, will she find the deck stacked against her?

Former runaway-turned heiress Charli Monroe is hiding her sordid past and planning a future in Colton, Texas. Attending the local college for a degree in social work, she intends to raise cattle on her newly purchased ranch, which she plans to open as a home for troubled teens. Only a few glitches—the Victorian mansion is crumbling, the barn needs a roof, and her oilman neighbor wants more than friendship. When she meets Dylan Quinn, Charli is willing to take a chance on the town drunk to help her rebuild the rundown ranch.

Dylan has his demons, too. The former Special Forces commander can’t get past his ex-wife’s betrayal and the botched mission that left him with much more than a bad limp. Certain the greedy oilman next door to Charli wants much more than just her heart, Dylan’s even willing to stop drinking in order to protect her.

When things get dangerous and secrets of the past are revealed, is he only looking out for his new employer, or is she the new start he so desperately needs?

COVER QUOTE: “Full of intrigue, tangled pasts, and raw emotions, this one is guaranteed to keep you turning pages from start to finish and then wishing for one more chapter!”
Carolyn Brown, New York Times bestselling author.
Ms. Brown also named Gambling On A Secret as one of her favorite romance reads in 2012 in the Happy Ever After Blog on USA Today.

“HONESTLY this was a FABULOUS read. Gambling on a Secret is a gripping, entertaining and an absolutely delightful romantic read which is set in the town of Colton located in Texas. Sara Walter Ellwood has scored with this book. This has been one of my favourite reads for 2013…” Read the rest of this 5 Satin Pillow review at Satin Sheets Romance

 

Excerpt:

Dylan regarded her for a long moment and cocked a brow. Damn, was he making fun of her? He looked her up and down. “Wouldn’t a woman like you be more comfortable getting manicures and massages in a Dallas spa, not worrying about cattle breeds and barn roofs? It’s no secret around town you’re the heiress to the Monroe Farm Equipment fortune, and you sold a huge ranch in Oklahoma your grandfather left you. Why on Earth did you buy a dump like this?”

Now he’d pissed her off. Charli might have more money than she’d ever dreamed of having. She might like to dress in designer clothes, but it was none of this jerk’s business which ranch she bought. Or why she wanted it. She had a business plan and a vision for the ranch; what else mattered? “I happen to like this place. It suits me better than the ranch I sold.”

“Is that so? Did you bring any equipment with you? A tractor, a planter, hay mower, baler, anything?”

He would bring up one of the stupidest things she’d done. Sighing, she admitted, “I sold the equipment with the ranch when I decided to leave Oklahoma. One more reason I need a manager.” Her cheeks burned. “When I sold the ranch after inheriting it, I didn’t intend to buy another.”

“Why did you buy another ranch?” He slid his gaze back to hers and peered at her as if he could read her every thought–but what had her swallowing hard was the spark of something hot in his eyes.

She tightened her arms in the hug she gave herself–a self-protecting, insecure gesture she’d acquired while she lived with her abusive lover in Las Vegas as a teenage runaway.

“Buying a ranch the size of this one isn’t something most folks just wake up and decide to do, Miss Monroe. A ten-thousand-acre spread takes commitment and dedication and is damned hard work.”

Yeah, she knew that.

He looked down at her multicolored Manolo Blahnik five-inch heeled slides. The ghost of a smile touched his lips again, but this time little crinkles formed at the corners of his eyes, which held a spark of interest she didn’t want.

Damn, he was good-looking. She squelched that notion like the roach she’d killed earlier in the house. Hadn’t her life with Ricardo taught her a handsome face meant nothing but trouble?

“I can’t imagine you stuffing those pampered and polished feet into rubber boots to muck around in the barn.”

Me, either. But she would if she had to.

She drew in a breath and dropped her arms to her sides. “I think we should get back to asking questions about you. When your sister called about my newspaper ad, she said you were exactly what I’m looking for.”

He shrugged again in a not-a-care-in-the-world way again. What was this guy’s problem? If she weren’t running out of time, she would tell him to leave. She couldn’t waste this year, which meant she had to get someone hired. And her prospects were limited.

“Can you do the job?”

“Affirmative.”

She waited for him to elaborate, but when he didn’t, she frowned. “Do you have any references?”

“I expected you to ask. Everything you need to know should be in here.”

She moved closer and took the folded sheet of paper he held out the window. After glancing at it, she wasn’t surprised it was a resume, but his listed experience had her heart beating a little faster. She looked up at him. “You have a degree in agricultural business from Texas A & M, started up your own ranch and served in the Army?”

He looked off in the distance. “I was in the service for thirteen years, three years in the Corps of Engineers, four in Airborne and the last six in Special Forces.” His jaw clenched, making his face the chiseled block of cold stone again. “And I know something about building. When I wasn’t deployed, I built the house and barn on my two-hundred acre ranch.”

“You don’t own the ranch now?”

“No. My ex-wife got it in our divorce settlement. I planned to get out of the Army after my last tour in Afghanistan and raise cattle. But things never happen the way we want them to.”

The bitterness of his tone had her stepping away. She shivered again and busied herself with looking at the resume. Whatever his ex-wife had done to him, it wasn’t good. “Your reference list is pretty skimpy.”

“The first name is my old commander, but I just got word he’s shipped out on a secret mission.”

Something wasn’t adding up. Either he was hiding something or his sister had lied about his experience.“Your sister said you worked on Oak Springs Ranch while in high school, but it’s not listed on your resume. Are you related to the owner, Leon Ferguson? You said your mother grew up there.”

His eyes narrowed and his lips thinned into a tight line. “Leon is my mother’s stepbrother. While my grandfather was still alive and ran the ranch, I worked there until I joined the Army after he died. I chose not to mention it.”

But why? She didn’t press the matter. She wasn’t seriously considering him for the job anyway, was she?
She studied the resume again. “Brenda Dailey. Is this person off-limits, too? Or can I speak with her?”

“My ex-wife. I’d appreciate it if you don’t involve her. I put her on there because of the ranch.”

She looked up at him. “The divorce that bad, huh?”

Dylan shrugged and looked away. He gripped the top of the steering wheel hard enough to whiten his knuckles. “Suppose it’s no secret. Our divorce has only been final four months, and she married her baby-daddy the day after it became official. You figure it out.”

“Ouch. Okay, I won’t call your ex. Nevertheless, I’d like to see your house. Your sister mentioned you were a carpenter.” She glanced at the address of his former ranch. “Killeen’s south of here?”

He nodded. “It’s your two hours and tank of gas.”

“Thank you for stopping by. Your number’s on here. I’ll call you.”

“Thanks for your time, Miss Monroe. Good luck with this place.” He looked around at the buildings and over her before he turned the key in the ignition. The rusted bucket of bolts sputtered and the starter groaned before the engine turned over.

As he pulled away, she looked at the piece of paper in her shaky hand and studied his name at the top.
Damn, she’d hoped he was the one.

She crumpled the paper, and the memory of his weathered eyes, as dull and gray as her ranch buildings, came to her. What ghosts did he see when he closed them?

She opened her palm and stared at the wad of paper. Feeling haunted by the past was something she understood very well.

 

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Google

Sara Walter Ellwood (7)

Bio:

Although Sara Walter Ellwood has long ago left the farm for the glamour of the big town, she draws on her experiences growing up on a small hobby farm in West Central Pennsylvania to write her contemporary westerns. She’s been married to her college sweetheart for over 20 years, and they have two teenagers and one very spoiled rescue cat named Penny. She longs to visit the places she writes about and jokes she’s a cowgirl at heart stuck in Pennsylvania suburbia. Sara Walter Ellwood is a multi-published and international Amazon bestselling author of the anthology set Cowboy Up. She also publishes paranormal romantic suspense under the pen name Cera duBois.

Author links:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Also look for:

Book 2: Gambling On A Heart at Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Available now for preorder—Book 3: Gambling On A Dream at Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

 

The Real Deal

I’m excited to share a hot new release with you today!  Jane Leopold Quinn’s The Real Deal came out yesterday from Ellora’s Cave.

200x329Isn’t that cover delicious?

Jane very kindly sent us a little snippet of story, and some details that will definitely pique your interest.  I know I need to read more!

———-

The Real Deal
The Second Birchwood Falls Book
by Jane Leopold Quinn
Ellora’s Cave

Blurb:

When her fiancé is busted at a gentlemen’s club, Norah Ballard calls off the wedding. Shocked and humiliated, she takes the first train out of Chicago and ends up in a picturesque small town called Birchwood Falls.

Michael Banning spots the new woman in town and recognizes her from college. She’s even more gorgeous and sophisticated now. He’s no longer the nerd he was back then, and now that she’s on his turf, he’s going to touch and taste every sleek, beautiful inch of her. Whatever her reason is for being in his town, he’ll fulfill all her desires so she never wants to leave.

Norah doesn’t plan to let another man—no matter how sweet, smart and sexy—get close enough to hurt her again. But Mike’s passionate pursuit of her, the way he seems to know just how to arouse her, awakens a sexual hunger she didn’t know she had.

A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Excerpt – R-rated

(Mike has just asked Norah to dance with him…)

Mike raised one eyebrow at her in silent invitation.

She held up a hand, palm out, in a oh no, that’s not necessary sign and regretfully shook her head.

“Come on, let’s dance. I’m not too bad.” He treated her to a confident smile. Pretty confident for someone under investigation for committing a crime. And very attractive. This was turning out to be a crazy town, so what the hell. It was just a dance. Taking his hand, she rose and followed him to the dance floor.

Mike, sliding his arm around Norah’s waist, tucked her in close—breast to chest, belly to belly, thigh to thigh. This was where he’d wanted her since she’d first sat down at the table, actually since he’d first seen her again in Ollie’s.

He just plain wanted her. It was amazing someone he barely knew from his college days would be the one to arouse his sexual hunger again. He knew pretty much all the women in town and none of them appealed to him as much as Norah did. Celibate for too long, he’d been busy teaching and working in the bar. Then one day he walks into his own place and immediately spots her in the corner. Damn Axel. It would have been nice to renew their acquaintance without her being accosted first by that jerk. But on the other hand, he’d been able to rescue her. Knight in shining armor and all that. Thank you, Axel.

Oh boy. She was a perfect fit in his arms. Beautiful and smart. Beautiful and a great figure, can’t forget that. He skimmed his hand up her back between her jacket and silky blouse. She felt supple and firm at the same time, if that made any sense. It did to him. She sighed softly and melted against his chest. Spanning her narrow waist with his palm, he tightened his hold on the small of her back. The lengths of their thighs brushed together and he had no doubt his swollen shaft, pressing on her belly, was a dead giveaway. It wasn’t like he could control the reaction of his cock when he held a gorgeous woman in his arms.

“This is a fast song, Mike.” She had to press even closer and lean up to make sure he could hear her.

That made him smile. And smolder since it crushed her breasts against him. Then she tried to strong arm herself away. Uh uh. He tightened his hold. “I know,” he replied smugly, her sensual breathy words in his ear raising goose bumps across his neck. “I’m not much of a fast dancer,” he murmured, his lips brushing her ear, wisping the short strands curled there.

It had been so long since he’d had sex and she touched something inside him, something protective. Something needy, something longing, yearning. The mystery of why she was in B Falls took his mind off the shock of the cheating allegations. They made him feel alone and vulnerable. Hugs from his mom weren’t exactly what he needed at the moment. A walking wet dream was. And he intended to enjoy this as long as possible.

Happily for him the music finally turned slow. If she wanted to back away from him, she didn’t follow through. Her hand crawled up his arm and settled primly over his shoulder. He clasped her other hand in his and rested both on his chest. She stiffened a moment but then, relenting, relaxed against him.

“See, I’m much better at slow, Norah.” She huffed a short laugh. He couldn’t breathe, barely moved his feet, just held her gaze, on and on, ensnared within her light eyes. Intriguing. Compelling. Mysterious. He realized he’d never seen them in daylight. What color were they anyway?

Why is she here? Oh, what the hell. You have a beautiful woman in your arms. You’re slow dancing. What more did he want and it almost made him forget the trouble he was in. “Thank you.” His whole body snapped to attention and he almost groaned aloud when her fingers touched the long hair at his nape.

“What?” She sounded drowsy and seductive as if just waking up after a night of intoxicating full out sex.

The Real Deal is available here and here.

Bio
Sensual fantasies were locked in my mind for years until a friend said, “Why don’t you write them down?” Why not, indeed? One spiral notebook, a pen and the unleashing of my imagination later, and here I am with more than a dozen books published. The craft of writing erotic romance has become my passion and my niche in life. I love every part of the creative process — developing characters, designing the plot, even drawing the layout of physical spaces from my stories. My careers have been varied — third grade school teacher, bookkeeper, secretary — none of which gave me a bit of inspiration. But now I’m lucky enough to write romance full time — the best job in the universe!

My Books

Ellora’s Cave
Lost and Found
The Real Deal

Indie
Valentine’s Day
His Hers & His
The Keeper
Soldier, Come Home
Winning Violetta
A Promise at Dawn
Jake and Ivy
Wooing the Librarian
Home to Stay
The Long Road to You (coming February 5, 2015)

Siren
Undercover Lover
Mercenary Desires
I’ll Be Your Last

 

Jane Leopold Quinn
My Romance: Love With a Scorching Sensuality

http://janeleopoldquinn.BlogSpot.com 

https://twitter.com/jelquinnauthor
Amazon Author Page

 

 

 

 

Today is a big day for a fellow Samhain author Allison Merritt: cover reveal day for her next release!  And a yummy cover it is, too.

 

Eban cover

How pretty is he?  It made me want to know more about him, and, luckily, I got all the info to share with everyone else, too.  The only bad news? We have a few more months to wait to get our hands on this sexy doctor.  In the meantime, here are all the details to whet your appetites.

Eban (The Heckmasters, Book 2)
Author: Allison Merritt
ISBN13: 978-1-61922-634-0
Length: 70k
Release date: April 7, 2015

If love can’t save them, there will be hell to pay.
Grateful for his mother’s human blood that cools the dark fire of his demon father, Eban Heckmaster has set up a medical practice in New Mexico territory. But there’s no hope of living a normal life until he rids himself of a seductive demon that’s been pursuing him.

Vanquishing it won’t be as simple as sharpening his demon-hunting sword. The clever creature is hiding inside his best friend’s head, and she has no idea of the havoc she’s been wreaking, especially with his body.

Beryl suspects Eban knows why she’s been waking up with no memory of where she’s been or what she’s done, but he’s not talking. But when she inevitably learns what he’s hiding—or rather, what’s hiding inside her—she wonders if her love for him is real, or an illusion created by the demon’s lust.

Eban is losing the battle to hold his rising desire in check. There may be only one way to extricate Beryl from the beast entangling her mind. Call upon his demon blood…and offer it as a sacrifice.

Warning: Contains a half-human, half-demon doctor who can heal anyone except himself, and a woman who’d blush if she could remember the sensuous torture she’s been inflicting on him. Could make you wonder if you should start listening to the voices in your head…

About the Author:

A love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she’s not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.

Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that’s gathering dust after it was determined that she’s better at writing fluff than hard news.

Social media links:
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
G+
Goodreads
Pinterest

Read the first book in the series: Wystan (The Heckmasters)
Buy links:
Samhain
Amazon
B&N

Rafflecopter Giveaway HTML: Rafflecopter Giveaway

I hope you all check this one out!  It’s going to be super-hot!

 

I’m very excited to share this feature with you today.  Stephanie Dray is a writer friend of mine, and today the final book in her fantastic ‘Cleopatra’s Daughter’ historical fiction series is released.  So, rather than talk about writing or my own book today, I get to share a bit of hers with you, and I’m thrilled, not just for her, but because now I get to read it, too!  I hope you enjoy!

 

Daughters of the Nile slide

From critically acclaimed historical fantasy author, Stephanie Dray comes the long-awaited new tale based on the true story of Cleopatra’s daughter.

After years of abuse as the emperor’s captive in Rome, Cleopatra Selene has found a safe harbor. No longer the pitiful orphaned daughter of the despised Egyptian Whore, the twenty year old is now the most powerful queen in the empire, ruling over the kingdom of Mauretania—an exotic land of enchanting possibility where she intends to revive her dynasty. With her husband, King Juba II and the magic of Isis that is her birthright, Selene brings prosperity and peace to a kingdom thirsty for both. But when Augustus Caesar jealously demands that Selene’s children be given over to him to be fostered in Rome, she’s drawn back into the web of imperial plots and intrigues that she vowed to leave behind. Determined and resourceful, Selene must shield her loved ones from the emperor’s wrath, all while vying with ruthless rivals like King Herod. Can she find a way to overcome the threat to her marriage, her kingdom, her family, and her faith? Or will she be the last of her line?

Read the Reviews

“A stirring story of a proud, beautiful, intelligent woman whom a 21st century reader can empathize with. Dray’s crisp, lush prose brings Selene and her world to life.” ~RT Book Reviews

“The boldest, and most brilliant story arc Dray has penned…” ~Modge Podge Reviews

“If you love historical fiction and magical realism, these books are for you.” ~A Bookish Affair

Read an Excerpt

Below me, six black Egyptian cobras dance on their tails, swaying. I watch their scaled hoods spread wide like the uraeus on the crown of Egypt. Even from this height, I’m paralyzed by the sight of the asps, their forked tongues flickering out between deadly fangs. I don’t notice that I’m gripping the balustrade until my knuckles have gone white, all my effort concentrated upon not swooning and falling to my death.

And I would swoon if I were not so filled with rage. Someone has arranged for this. Someone who knows what haunts me. Someone who wants to send me a message and make this occasion a moment of dread. My husband, the king must know it, for he calls down, “That’s enough. We’ve seen enough of the snake charmer!”

There is commotion below, some upset at having displeased us. Then Chryssa hisses, “Who could think it a good idea to honor the daughter of Cleopatra by coaxing asps from baskets of figs?”

The story the world tells of my mother’s suicide is that she cheated the emperor of his conquest by plunging her hand into a basket where a venomous serpent lay in wait. A legend only, some say, for the serpent was never found. But I was there. I brought her that basket. She was the one bitten but the poison lingers in my blood to this day. I can still remember the scent of figs in my nostrils, lush and sweet. The dark god Anubis was embroidered into the woven reeds of the basket, the weight of death heavy in my arms. I can still see my mother reach her hand into that basket, surrendering her life so that her children might go on without her. And I have gone on without her.

I have survived too much to be terrorized by the emperor’s agents or whoever else is responsible for this.

If it is a message, a warning from my enemies, I have already allowed them too much of a victory by showing any reaction at all. So I adopt as serene a mask as possible. My daughter blinks her big blue eyes, seeing past my facade. “Are you frightened, Mother? They cannot bite us from there. The snakes are very far away.”

I get my legs under me, bitterness on my tongue. “Oh, but they’re never far enough away.”

###

Daughters of the Nile cover

 

Available now in print and e-book!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunesKobo | Powells | IndieBound | Goodreads

 

Available now in print and e-book!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Powells | IndieBound | Goodreads

 


 

Stephanie Dray Headshot

STEPHANIE DRAY is a bestselling, multi-published, award-winning author of historical women’s fiction and fantasy set in the ancient world. Her critically acclaimed historical series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into more than six different languages, was nominated for a RITA Award and won the Golden Leaf. Her focus on Ptolemaic Egypt and Augustan Age Rome has given her a unique perspective on the consequences of Egypt’s ancient clash with Rome, both in terms of the still-extant tensions between East and West as well as the worldwide decline of female-oriented religion. Before she wrote novels, Stephanie was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the transformative power of magic realism to illuminate the stories of women in history and inspire the young women of today. She remains fascinated by all things Roman or Egyptian and has-to the consternation of her devoted husband-collected a house full of cats and ancient artifacts.