Tarnished Journey by Ann Gimpel

Tarnished Journey

Soul Dance, Book Four

Ann Gimpel

Genre: PNR

Full length paranormal romance with shifters and gypsies and demons–and an HEA.

 

~

Book Description:

Long before Germany rounded up Romani and sent them to prison camps, the Netherlands declared them undesirables. Yara’s caravan disbanded when she was fifteen to avoid being driven out of the country. Ten years have passed, and she’s been alone for most of that time hiding in caves and abandoned buildings. It’s been a lonely life, but at least she still has one.

Stewart conceals his true identity for the best of reasons. He’s not actually Romani, even though he’s been a caravan leader for many years. In a bold and desperate move, he joins a small band of shifters and Rom to fight the Reich’s chokehold on Europe. When they’re crossing the border into the Netherlands, vampires attack.

Yara senses Romani near her cave. The stench of vampire comes through loud and clear too, along with shifters. While not nearly as bad as vampires, her people have always steered clear of them. Another type of magic plucks at her. She can’t identify it, but it draws her from her hiding place. That decision tilts her world on its axis when she comes face to face with Stewart’s raw masculinity and savage presence. She could still turn tail and run. If she stays, it doesn’t require magical ability to recognize her life will change forever.

Author Store Amazon BN Google Play iBooks Kobo

 

~

Excerpt:

Stewart Macleod paced in a rough circle, skirting the collection of shifters and Romani gathered in small groups. He’d declared a rest break, but everyone was too keyed up to sleep. A few of the shifters were combing the forest for food for the rest of them. The shriek of a vulture on the hunt told him Meara wasn’t far away. It had been drizzling all day, and now fog was moving in. He encouraged it with a bit of magic. Anything that would shield their presence might help.

They’d avoided Hannover and Osnabrück as they transited the northern portion of Germany, selecting backroads that had stressed their truck’s ability. There’d been a few places where they’d all had to get out, but luck had been with them. They hadn’t broken an axle or even had so much as a punctured tire.

The Netherlands border wasn’t far. Crossing it would push one problem—Nazis—to a backseat. Vampires would still plague them, but he hadn’t sensed any since they’d passed Hannover. Was it because the Reich was using every single one of the fell creatures they could get their hands on?

The more he thought about it, the likelier it seemed. Vampires reveled in blood and death. Sex ran a hot second. The Nazi prison camps provided lush opportunities for both feeding and fucking, a resource far too rich to be ignored. Vampires might disparage the Reich, but they weren’t above using them to meet their needs.

A corner of Stewart’s mouth twisted downward into a grimace. Hitler and his henchmen believed they had vampires under their thumbs, but they’d be in for a rude awakening someday.

Och aye, and we can only hope ’twill come sooner rather than later.

For once no one was bothering him. No questions. No “Hey, Stewart, come here for a moment,” requests.

It gave him a much-needed opportunity to flesh out his plan for getting the group across the border and examine it for holes. Critical elements he might have missed. They’d be abandoning the large transport truck soon—not much choice, even though not having it created other problems. Every road had border crossing guards, and they prowled the terrain near their stations. The Nazis knew good and well that once someone moved into the Netherlands, they were home free.

The safest way across was on foot for the Rom and in shifted form for everyone else. He ticked off names of the principal players. Tairin, Elliott, Jamal, Ilona, Meara, and Gregor were shifters. All wolves except for Meara, whose other form was a vulture. Nivkh and two other bear shifters traveled with them as well. That left himself, Michael, Cadr, Vreis, and Aron, along with three other Rom from Michael’s caravan.

He thought about his own caravan hidden behind a magical barrier a short distance outside Munich. It was hundreds of miles away, and he hoped to hell they’d be safe. He hadn’t always been a caravan leader. In truth, he’d only adopted the Romani mantle a mere century before. Or perhaps it had been two. Regardless, he’d pulled off the deception swimmingly—until a few days ago. Jamal was sharp. He’d asked pointblank what Stewart was, having intuited his magic didn’t match Romani energy patterns.

Fortunately, Jamal had the good sense not to keep nagging once Stewart told him that topic was off-limits. He swallowed a snort. Romani magic had dwindled until only a very few had much left. But Jamal was a shifter, and an old, canny one at that. Leave it to a shifter to call him out on his long-running deception.

Before the Nazi problem heated up, he’d toyed with the idea of translocating his entire caravan to Scotland, but he’d waited too long. He hadn’t understood how the Reich solidified its powerbase so quickly—until he discovered their mass hypnotism was fueled by vampire coercion.

A squawk from Meara’s vulture was followed by a flash of light as she shifted midair and somersaulted to his side, landing lightly. Silver-gray hair fell to the ground, providing both cover and warmth. Her shrewd amber eyes still held an avian cast, and she looked more raptor than human as she regarded him.

Mind if I join you?” She quirked a brow.

He met her gaze, not fooled by her words. She was one of the first shifters and always had a motive. “Ye’re not asking a question. Not really,” he countered. “State what’s on your mind.”

The prickly jab of magic pierced him as she surrounded them with warding. Along with it came the odor of clay baked under a sun far hotter than it ever got in Germany—or the British Isles. Rosemary and fresh cut hay joined the clay scent, the combination the scent of many of her castings. Whatever she had to say, she apparently wasn’t interested in being overheard.

Everyone’s too worried to pay us much heed,” he said, keeping his tone neutral. The vulture shifter could be touchy and had a short fuse.

She shot a pointed look his way. “Do you want them to listen in when I inquire whether now is the time to reveal what you are?” Without waiting for him to respond, she went on, “Laying that aside for a moment, we must firm up the details of how we shall tackle the border. The shifters will take their animal forms. Crossing the border unnoticed should go smoothly for them—”

Unless a vampire notices,” he cut in.

Unless a vampire notices and chooses to act on the knowledge,” she corrected him. “Shifters are immune to vampire mind control. They’ve pretty much left us alone because of that, preferring to focus on more tractable prey.”

Stewart waited. Meara clearly had a plan of her own for spiriting them across the border into the Netherlands. One she was about to share. Perhaps it was less risky than his.

You’re quiet,” she observed.

Ye’re far from done. If I interrupt every few seconds, ye’ll never finish.”

The corners of her mouth twitched, but didn’t quite form a smile. “True enough. All right then. By my count, eight of us are stuck in human bodies. Seven if we take you out of the equation, but bear with me.”

He made come along motions with one hand, ignoring her gambit about taking himself out of the equation. She sensed he was different, much as Jamal had, but he’d been evasive in the face of her earlier probing. Was she hunting for information?

What is your true name?”

Stewart started, not expecting the question. He shook his head. “’Tisn’t important. I havena used it for centuries, and no one remembers who I was.”

Meara frowned, drawing her gray eyebrows into a single line. “Surely your gods would. Shifters don’t have such things, but the Celts had them in droves.”

Aye, true enough. If any recall who I was, none have chosen to speak with me for a verra long time.”

He cut the flow of his words. Part of his plan hinged on those same gods, who’d discounted him for hundreds of years, still being tethered to Earth and capable of responding to a summons for aid. It was one of the biggest unknowns in his strategy, and one he hadn’t spent much time worrying about. They had to get to Scotland first—a place that would strengthen his magic sufficiently the gods might take notice of him once again.

The way things were going, Scotland was far from a given.

 

~

About the Author:

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.

Find Ann At:

www.anngimpel.com

http://anngimpel.blogspot.com

http://www.amazon.com/author/anngimpel

http://www.facebook.com/anngimpel.author

https://twitter.com/anngimpel

 

 

~

Advertisements

All the Light There Is by Anise Eden

All the Light There Is

The Healing Edge, Book Three

Anise Eden

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense

Publisher: Diversion Books

Date of Publication: September 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1635761641

ASIN: 1635761646

Number of pages: 290

Word Count: 97,770

Tagline: Anise Eden brings us the thrilling and romantic finale to The Healing Edge Series, perfect for fans of Karen Robards or Shiloh Walker.

 

~

Book Description:

Psychotherapist Cate Duncan is done with danger. Her whirlwind weeks of training at the MacGregor Group’s parapsychology clinic, while exhilarating, have also brought one crisis after another. So when their research colleague Skeet offers Cate and her boss-turned-boyfriend Ben some time away at his secluded hunting lodge, even though it’ll be a working vacation, they jump at the chance.

But the idyllic Mercier Lodge is teeming with secrets. An aura reader and a telepath who work with Skeet reveal his unorthodox research methods, triggering the MacGregor Group’s suspicions. Then there’s the matter of a tragic death that occurred at the lodge over a year ago, and how it connects to unsolved mysteries from Cate’s past―mysteries she may not be ready to confront.

As they delve into Mercier’s unsavory history, Ben and Cate stick close together, trusting in their love for each other to keep them safe. But when a plot separates them, Cate must rely on the MacGregor Group’s paranormal abilities, some surprise allies, and her own determination to track Ben down and crack Mercier’s mysteries before the strange place claims any more victims.

Amazon

BN

 

~

Excerpt:

ParaTrain Internship, Day Six

It’s just a meeting. Nothing to be nervous about. I wiped my damp palms on my skirt and ordered my brain to focus on something else. Like the Jag, I thought. Focus on the fact that you’re finally getting a ride in the Jag.

And not just any Jag—the British 1936 Jaguar SS100 Ben had restored. He’d found the car in a barn in Pennsylvania, sitting on blocks and covered in hay bales. Now, it looked like it had just left the showroom. My fingertips roamed across the soft leather seat as I admired each piece of shining chrome and the deep glow of the wood on the dash. The car’s transformation was a testament to Ben’s workmanship—not to mention to his patience and tenacity when it came to the things he loved.

The things—and the people, I thought, smiling down at my ring. I hadn’t exactly made things easy for Ben, but now, two gold birds were wrapped around my finger, holding a lustrous piece of Scottish agate between their wings. He’d wanted to give me a tangible reminder of how he felt, a talisman to guard against anxiety and doubt.

I stole a glance at Ben. He was completely in his element, left hand loosely holding the steering wheel, right elbow propped up on the door. Everything about him was solid and squared-off, from the angle of his jaw to the way he carried his shoulders. These qualities were augmented by his charcoal gray suit and crisp white shirt—worn sans tie, as usual. I marveled that no matter what internal battles he might be fighting, Ben always exuded a quiet confidence.

Enjoying yourself?” he asked.

Completely.” I closed my eyes and inhaled my new favorite scent—a mixture of fine wool, cotton, and vintage leather that clung to Ben like an olfactory tattoo. “My mom would have loved this, you know.”

His light brown eyes softened. “You think so?”

Absolutely.” Every summer when I was a kid, she had taken me to the local car shows. Back then, we could only look, never touch. Riding along with Ben, I felt like a glamorous movie star. I struck my best Hollywood pose, and he smiled.

It was such a pleasure—not to mention a relief—to see Ben relax after the nonstop drama of the past two weeks. There had been too many life-and-death situations, too much tension. And more than anyone, Ben had earned a vacation. With that in mind, after our meeting at the Smithsonian, we planned to spend the rest of the weekend on the Eastern Shore. That evening, we had a dinner date with my mother’s cousin, Ardis, and a reservation at a nice bed-and-breakfast. Sunday’s schedule was still open. I thought we might head to the ocean; I loved the beach in the fall. Or we could take the ferry to Smith Island; wander around St. Michaels, go sailing…. As I considered the possibilities, I nearly forgot to be nervous.

Then we entered downtown D.C. I sobered as stately suburban homes gave way to modern office buildings and massive structures of chiseled granite. Before long, the Smithsonian office building came into view—ten stories of tinted glass reflecting the cloudless blue sky like a darkened mirror. It took up half a city block.

Ben caught me biting my lip. “You know there’s nothing to be nervous about, right?”

I know,” I lied. The truth was, I couldn’t believe we were actually there. It had been less than twenty-four hours since Ben told his mother, Dr. MacGregor, about our group’s experience with the double kheir ritual. Now we were on our way to meet with her world-class paranormal research team—and not just to exchange information. We’d been asked to give a demonstration, as well.

I had dressed up for the occasion, wearing a dove gray pencil skirt and a wine-colored cashmere sweater my mother had given me one Christmas. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I didn’t belong at the Smithsonian—not as anything more than a tourist, anyway.

Well, just in case,” he said, “let me remind you that you have nothing to prove here. None of us do. My mother already told her colleagues what happened with our ritual, and they’re keen to know more. But they don’t have any definite expectations; after all, half of them still think the double kheir is just a myth.” In a conspiratorial tone, he added, “Think of it this way. I know you have a lot of questions. Today, you can ask anything you like.”

Hmm.” I bit the tip of my finger. “Anything?”

Sure.”

Like whether The Da Vinci Code was based in fact? And whether they’re all members of the Illuminati?”

He chuckled as we pulled into the underground parking garage. “If you ask them those questions, I’ll make sure you get a substantial year-end bonus.”

Deal,” I said, smiling tentatively. I was still getting used to the idea that my new boyfriend was also my new boss.

Ben was the manager of the MacGregor Group, an alternative healing clinic founded by his mother and housed in a repurposed church. I first met him when my former employer, Dr. Nelson, sent me to the MacGregor Group for treatment. My mother’s recent suicide had left me in pieces, unable to function. As close as she and I had been, somehow I hadn’t seen that my mother was in crisis. Her shocking loss had debilitated me, and I could barely leave my house, let alone return to my job as a psychotherapist. What Dr. Nelson hadn’t told me was that Dr. MacGregor was a psychiatrist who specialized in paranormal gifts, and that instead of “treating” me, she and Ben were enrolling me in ParaTrain, a paranormal skills training program. My first lesson had been to learn the definition of an empath—and that I was one.

Since then, my life had changed so dramatically that it was unrecognizable. Dr. Nelson, Dr. MacGregor, and Ben had all worked hard to convince me that because I was an empath, the key to maintaining my mental health was to leave my job as a therapist and go to work for the MacGregor Group. The idea of leaving my beloved therapy clients was nothing short of heartrending. But after due consideration and several persuasive paranormal experiences, I had agreed to take their advice. Before I could officially start my new job, though, I had to complete a three-week training program: one week of preparation, followed by a two-week internship.

My time in ParaTrain had flown by. Although I was starting my final week of the internship, I still didn’t feel anywhere near ready to take on my new role as an empath healer. Before I met the MacGregors, I hadn’t even known that empaths existed, so I was still struggling to find my bearings. And the unexpected romance between Ben and me was keeping me permanently off-balance. Add in the mind-blowing experience we’d had with the double kheir the previous week, and…. Well, I didn’t even know what had happened there, so I was fairly certain that I’d make a fool of myself trying to describe it to the Smithsonian research team.

That thought had me wiping my palms on my skirt again. “I am nervous, though, about this demonstration we’re supposed to give. The researchers may not have any definite expectations, but surely they’re hoping to see something. And unlike the rest of you, I have no idea what I’m doing.”

You’ll be fine, Cate,” Ben reassured me as we pulled into a parking space. “Kai’s got it all figured out. He said he has something simple and easy planned, so just follow his instructions. Even if nothing interesting happens, that’s still useful information for my mother’s team. They’re scientists, remember? In an experiment, even a negative result is valuable.”

I had no reason to doubt Kai. He was a highly capable expert in ancient rituals, among other things. But when it came to the paranormal, I had a track record of unintentionally messing things up. “What if I forget our instructions and start reading people’s emotions?”

Dr. MacGregor had passed on a request from her project director that we refrain from using our paranormal gifts on the members of the research team without their specific permission. Apparently, they were much more comfortable observing others than being observed themselves.

The fact that you’re already worrying about that means it’s highly unlikely you’ll forget,” he said. “And even if you do, who’s going to know?”

Only everyone, I thought. My poker face was nonexistent. I buried my face in my hands. “I’m just afraid that I’m going to embarrass myself. And you. And your mother. And disappoint everyone.”

Ben turned off the ignition. I felt him lean towards me and gently tuck an escaped strand of hair into my braid. “That’s not possible.”

His optimism was endearing, if ill-founded. “Oh, I assure you, it’s possible.”

###

 

~

About the Author:

Before becoming an award-winning author, ANISE EDEN wanted to be a wildlife photographer. Unfortunately, a strong aversion to large insects, poisonous snakes, and sharks―along with a cat allergy that might well extend to tigers―limited that career option. Also, Anise always roots for the gazelle, and we all know how that usually turns out. Fortunately, Anise’s voracious hunger for reading kept her occupied, eventually morphing into a passion for writing quirky stories filled with heart, humor, and imagination. Anise loves that through writing, she can live out any adventure she likes without the need for antivenom or antihistamines.

Visit her online at

Website: http://aniseeden.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoraniseeden

Twitter: http://twitter.com/aniseeden

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/aniseeden/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14473205.Anise_Eden

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Anise-Eden/e/B014SD2RR8

 

 

 

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

 

 

~


My Angel by Alanea Alder

My Angel

Bewitched and Bewildered, Book 9

Alanea Alder

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Sacred Forest Publishing

Date of Publication: August 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-941315-20-0

ASIN: B071ZSV3X4

Number of pages: 282

Word Count: 71,000

Cover Artist: Kim Killion

Tagline: She’s been Bewitched, he’s Bewildered

 

~

Book Description:

Vivian Mercy has been running from the past for so long she doesn’t know any other way of life. When a panicked call comes from one of her only friends she finds herself returning to the city of her nightmares where her dedication as a doctor and resolve to help others is put to the test.

Etain Vi’Aerlin has been watching over Noctem Falls for centuries. Sent by his queen he became a silent sentinel in the shadows helping Magnus whenever he could. While the sickness around him claims more lives he discovers what it feels like to be helpless, as an ancient warrior he doesn’t have the skills to fight this unseen enemy.

At any other time finding a mate would be cause for celebration, but Etain wants Vivian as far from Noctem Falls as possible, unfortunately, as the only doctor with an intimate knowledge of diseases she has to stay in the city, and finds herself working tirelessly to discover a cure in the middle of the deadly chaos sweeping the levels.

As Vivian’s past is revealed she finds herself not only combating the terrible virus but also the rebellious faction of the Founding Families. Etain vows to stand by her, even if it means abandoning the post assigned by his queen.

It’s a race against time to unravel the lethal secrets the virus is hiding before the city itself is lost forever.

Amazon

 

~

Excerpt:

Do we want to know?” Dimitri asked.

Kendrick shook his head. “Honestly? Probably not, stay dumb and happy.”

Viktor gave Kendrick a dirty look. “Are you always like this or do you have something against vampires?”

Kendrick thought about it a moment. “No, I’m pretty much always like this, no offense,” he smiled at them brightly. The warriors scowled at his flippant response.

Godard eyed Kendrick. “Since you are a member of the Alpha Unit, maybe you should come train with us tomorrow. That is, if your soft archivist hands can stand getting a little dirty,” he teased.

Kendrick gave him an evil smile and rose to his full height. He stood nearly half a foot over them. “You will find that I am not as easy to manipulate as two certain innocent witches. I look forward to seeing you first thing in the morning.”

 

~

About the Author:

USA Today Best Selling Author, Alanea loves reading almost as much as she loves writing. She began writing at a very young age, some of her first scribblings are treasured in a keepsake box and written in green marker. She started when she was still in grade school and continued on through college.

She believes that love truly conquers all and that everyone no matter what, deserves a chance at that love and a place they can call home. She absolutely loves to hear from her readers so don’t hesitate to reach out to her. As always, her promise to her readers remains, “If you keep reading, I’ll keep writing!”

Website http://alaneaalder.com/

Newsletters http://bit.ly/2eazN2l

Alanea’s Asylum http://www.alaneaalder.com/theasylum

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/authoralaneaalder/

Twitter https://twitter.com/AlaneaAlder

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/alaneaalder

Tumblr http://alaneaalder.tumblr.com/

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/AlaneaAlder

Goodreads http://bit.ly/1TcaNlJ

Amazon http://amzn.to/23P41XW

 

~

Tour giveaway

1-Winners choice of a signed book (Books 1-8 Bewitched and Bewildered series are available to choose from) US Shipping

 

 

~


Torment By LM Pruitt

Torment

The Damned Series, Book Four

By LM Pruitt

Release Date August 8, 2017

Genre: PNR

~

 

Book Description:

Enemies are so stimulating.–Katherine Hepburn

If you can look past the part where they’re trying to kill you.

The Damned want my head on a platter. The Winged have similar plans.

As for Morning Star and the Power… well, only They know.

One false step… and everything is lost.

CONTAINS SCENES OF GRAPHIC LANGUAGE AND SEXUAL ACTIVITY. READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

Amazon

~

 

Excerpt:

You’ll catch cold if you stay out here much longer.”

I didn’t turn around, continuing to study the skyline. “I’m fine.”

It’s three in the morning. You should be asleep.” He didn’t sound angry about the fact I wasn’t or the fact I was standing outside in late September in sleep pants and a thin cotton tank. If anything, his scolding sounded as if it was for form and nothing else. “It’s been a long day for all of us.”

Yes.” Now I did turn around, studying Barry with the same intensity I’d shown the various buildings of Prague. “Why are you mad at me?”

I’m not mad.” He pulled a cigar from the pocket of his sleep pants but didn’t light it, staring at the tip for a moment before sliding it back in his pocket. “I’m tired, Julie. As I said, it’s been a long day. The next few days—weeks, rather—promise to be equally long. We all need to sleep, to keep our strength up for what lies ahead.”

You haven’t touched me since we got back.” Since he stood in front of my sister and ripped her heart out and then walked away without a backward glance. “You’ve barely said anything all night long.”

As I said, I’m tired.” He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose, letting out a long sigh. “There’s been quite a bit of upheaval in the last thirty-six hours or so. Quite a bit. Forgive me if I’m not my usual charming self. You have more than enough people here to pay you attention if you’re feeling uncared for.”

That’s not what I meant.” I turned back to the city view, widening my eyes and blinking rapidly in an effort to keep the tears at bay. I didn’t have a problem with using tears as a weapon when they were called for but I wouldn’t use them with him, ever. “You’re right. It’s late. Go to sleep. I’m fine.”

We both know I’m not going to sleep until you do.” I heard the sound of metal scraping over concrete and glanced over my shoulder to find he’d pulled one of the patio chairs free of the table. Sitting down and stretching out his legs, he said, “As long as you’re here, I’m here.”

Barry—.”

Arguing will only frustrate us both, Julie Elizabeth, and we’ve had enough frustration for the day.” He slid further down in the seat, almost slouching, and crossed his arms. “As long as you’re here, I’m here.”

But do you want to be here?” The question tumbled out before I even realized it was in my mind and I bit my tongue, already regretting it. “Never mind. You don’t have to answer that.”

Come here.” When I didn’t move, he uncrossed his arms and held out one hand. “Please.”

Crossing the balcony, I took his hand, curling up in his lap and resting my head on his shoulder. We sat in silence for a few minutes before he cleared his throat. “I don’t know any other way to say it. I can simply say as long as you’re here, I’m here. When you want to leave, we’ll leave.”

And where would we go?” Joanne’s face in the instant after Barry verbally sucker punched her, Asmodeus’s face the second after I shot him, flashed through my mind and I hunched my shoulders as if the memory carried a physical blow. “There’s no place left. We burned all those bridges today.”

The thing about bridges is they can always be rebuilt and when they are, they’re stronger than before they burned.” He brushed my hair away from my face, stroking one hand down my back and pulling me tighter against him. “But since you don’t want to leave, the discussion is moot.”

We’re doing the right thing.”

The right thing done the wrong way is no longer the right thing.”

If there was a way to do this differently, we would have taken it.” We’d tried to take it. We’d tried to meet the others halfway. Nobody—Lilith, Asmodeus, the Power, Morning Star—wanted to bend.

So we would have to break them.

After the raids begin today, there is no turning back. You and your supporters will be branded traitors. There will be bounties on your heads.” He pressed his lips to my hair, breathing deep. “On all our heads. You’ve never lived through a war.”

It wasn’t a question but I answered anyway. “No, I haven’t.”

I’ve been through more than my fair share, even considering my age. When it’s impossible to die from manmade weapons, you tend to fight in wars simply to alleviate the boredom.” He turned, pressing his face in to my hair. “And they’re nothing compared to supernatural wars. So far you’ve only seen the pretty side of Hell. There are things which will be unleashed which should never exist out of nightmares.”

On us or by us?”

Both.” His hand shook as he stroked my back and I wasn’t sure if he was trying to comfort me or himself. “Some things can’t be unseen or unfelt. You’ll carry it with you until the day you die.”

Are you trying to scare me?”

I’m trying to warn you. Up until now, everything about this war has been theoretical. Until today, no true shots were fired.” He drew back, his face unnaturally somber, even for him. “I know you did what you had to do and I don’t fault you for that decision.”

But I officially started the war.” I nodded. “I know. I’ll live with it.”

Things will get worse.” He pressed a kiss to my forehead. “They always do.”

And then they get better.” I had to believe that. If I didn’t, then there was a good chance I was wrecking and ruining lives for no reason at all. I pressed my lips to his, lightly, for comfort more than anything else. “Things will be better. We’re going to make them better.”

We didn’t have any other choice.

 

~

 

About the Author:

L.M. Pruitt has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. A native of Florida with a love of New Orleans, she has the uncanny ability to find humor in most things and would probably kill a plastic plant. She knows this because she’s killed bamboo. Twice. She is the author of the Winged series, the Plaisir Coupable series, Jude Magdalyn series, the Moon Rising series, and Taken: A Frankie Post Novel.

http://www.lmpruitt.org

https://www.facebook.com/pages/LM-Pruitt/364776895104

https://twitter.com/lmpruitt

http://www.amazon.com/L.M.-Pruitt/e/B00427WOW4/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4320796.L_M_Pruitt

 

 

~


Recent PNR Releases @ The Wild Rose Press

Blood Of The Moon

 

After the Bane, Book 3

In a world ravished by zombies, animal shifters vow to save humanity. Dora, a medical doctor, a werewolf’s mate, and a powerful witch, is their best weapon against the undead. Dora and her team leave the safety of their sanctuary to obtain DNA samples of the new Z-phage variant.

The mission starts well until Dora discovers all her witch powers are gone. While escaping a fast-moving horde, a vicious gang captures her. Their destination: Las Vegas for the zombie games. Dirk, Dora’s werewolf mate, desperately searches for her. Can they survive the apocalypse, old enemies, and an unknown force that continues to rob humans of technology?

Rating: Spicy
Page Count: 362
Word Count: 81585
978-1-5092-1547-8 Paperback
978-1-5092-1548-5 Digital

Excerpt

Dora drank the water and felt a little better. Her fear of coming across any kind of zombie, slow or fast had suddenly become hard to stomach. For the first time, the flight made her nauseous.

She kept her telepathic connection with Dirk turned off. The last thing she wanted to convey was fear and the queasiness in her gut. Once flying on her broom, the rush of cold air would ease her nerves.

Their joking about Denver didn’t help. Dora had a college friend who lived in Denver. She’d visited her two years prior to Z-phage. Cathy ended up going to pharmacy school. She returned to her hometown of Denver to work for her father who owned a pharmacy near the university. What happened to her?

The plane flew over snow-capped mountains toward dilapidated skyscrapers. Soon after the zombie apocalypse, Denver had turned into a battle zone. The zombies won. Beautiful mile high Denver looked like historical photos of Dresden during World War II. A burned out hull of a once great city. Dora stared at the stadium, now only a crater. She had joined Cathy at a football game there. In the beginning of the zombie plague, stadiums contained the infected. This one had been bombed, but too late.

On the ground, there must be a half a million zombies. Was Cathy one of them? Aimlessly looking for warm human flesh, her soul trapped in monstrous limbo.

“Ready?” shouted Falco.

Dora stood with her broom at the opened door.

Rave gave him the thumbs up. She leapt off and in seconds shifted into raven form. She cawed and did her usual aerial acrobatics. Show off.

Before Dora jumped, Dirk grabbed her and kissed her. “See you before sundown, babe.”

“Sooner,” she shouted and then leapt off. As the plane flew off, she soared away on her broom. “Charge.” The cold breeze whipped the hood off her head, sending her long tresses flying behind her like a comet’s tail.

Dora turned to look at the plane, now a distant dot. Rave cawed and circled over a tall building. A place to land. Good. Her airsickness hijacked her stomach and nearly overpowered her.

Dora tightened her grip on the broom handle. “Okay. Witch light speed.”

The broom faltered and slowed. Then slower.

Huh? Of all her witchy powers, flight had been her most reliable.

Her broom circled as if confused. It dipped.

Shit! Any closer to the ground and she’d be a scrumptious treat for the swarm of zombies below her.

Dora focused on what Rave called the lamest rhyming spells. Broom, get me to the building, one, two, zoom. Nothing.

The broom dropped. Gravity overpowered magic.

Panic strangled her. She screamed.

Buy

TWRP

Amazon

 

~

 

The Vampire Next Door

 

A Psychic Crystal Mystery, Book Four

Aurora Dawn Hale, the ravishing daughter and granddaughter of psychics, wants to take a bite out of the boy next door, reformed vampire Lancelot “Lance” Lakeland, who repents his past and desperately desires to be good.

Lance has given up immortality to be with the woman he craves. He must convince Aurora Dawn he is worthy of her trust. Will she love him for who he is and leave her fiancé at the altar? Or wake up from her spell in time to recognize the evil presence of the fiend who has terrorized her family for centuries?

Rating: Spicy
Page Count: 202
Word Count: 44425
978-1-5092-1490-7 Paperback
978-1-5092-1491-4 Digital

Excerpt

Aurora Dawn threw open her bedroom window to welcome the sunlight and lowered her long blonde locks down the brick wall, Rapunzel-style, something she’d done every day since she was a teenager. What was she waiting for? Who was she waiting for? Yearning for? Prince Charming? Or just someone to rescue her from an arranged marriage that would ruin her life?

She listened for sounds emanating from the walled mansion next door. All she heard was the jarring sound of lawn machinery, buzzing through the thickets. There would be no last-minute reprieve.

For weeks, as the wedding got closer, Aurora Dawn’s nerves had become more frayed. She had been hesitant to face the truth. And the truth was she didn’t want to marry Bronx Bamberger. She was a coward. She couldn’t confront her fiancé, and she was afraid to tell her mother. Her mother had been working tirelessly for a year with Bronx’s mother, Betsey, to plan the perfect wedding. How could she disappoint her parents and bring all those expensive plans crashing down around her family? It would be a disgrace. It would be the topic for tabloids, and it wasn’t fair to her mother, who hated publicity. She had gone along because she did love Bronx in a way. They had been best friends for years. But it wasn’t the kind of love that stirred her heart, the passionate kind of love she knew was out there.

Then she saw a face staring out at her from the upstairs window across the yard. The new boy—no, a man really, judging from the sheer size of him. Her heart fluttered with a primal hunger. Her blood pulsed, and her spirit soared. When he took aim at her with his smile, something unexpected slammed into her chest with the blunt force of a bullet, speeding her heart rate with the piercing accuracy of Cupid’s arrow. Now this…this was what she’d been waiting for. The man waved, and she beamed back. He signaled he would meet her downstairs. They were of the same mind, then. She nodded eagerly. She’d been a good, obedient girl her whole life. And now she wanted to take a bite out of the boy next door.

Buy

TWRP

Amazon

 

~

 

The Protectors by April Hollingworth

 

The Candi Reynolds Series Book 3

Tensions run high as the final battle with The Protectors approaches. Secrets are uncovered and new allies arise. With the help of her vampire lover, Victor Harlow, and their friends, Candi needs to prepare for the coming battle, a battle she might not survive.

Danger surrounds her. The battle ground has been chosen. Will Candi be able to solve the mysteries of the past, and defeat The Protectors, for once and for all?

Rating: Hot
Page Count: 254
Word Count: 58547
978-1-5092-1472-3 Paperback
978-1-5092-1473-0 Digital

Excerpt

“I’ll never let you go,” he informs me as he drags me back toward him. “You are mine and I am yours. End of discussion.”

“There was a discussion in there somewhere?”

Flipping me over as easily as if I’m a pancake in a pan, he gives me one more yank so my butt is at the edge of the bed, and his large body is wedged between my legs. Leaning forward, he grasps hold of my chin, keeping my face still, and maintains eye contact with me.

“No discussion, just a simple fact. You keep trying to run from your feelings, and I’m not letting you anymore,” he growls the words out, practically spitting them in my face. “So you need me, and you’re afraid of the fact. Fair enough. Now let me tell you something, little girl. I need you too.”

“Little girl?” I manage to sputter out before being harshly interrupted.

“Yes. You are mine. Your body, mind, and your fucking soul, is mine. Get used to it, sweetheart, because I’m never letting you go.” Next thing I know, his mouth has slammed down on mine. His kiss is one of punishment and domination. There’s no gentleness in it at all.

Strangely enough, it’s exactly what I need. I need to feel and hear that he’s on this emotional roller-coaster with me. I know he loves me. He’s far from afraid of telling me, unlike me, but seeing this fury and dominance coming from him is spelling out loud and clear what he’s feeling, and it’s like I suddenly know everything is going to be okay.

Buy

TWRP

Amazon

 

~


Through Her Eyes by Deborah Camp

Through Her Eyes
The Mind’s Eye Series, Book Four
Deborah Camp

Genre: Romantic Suspense/Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: July 24, 2017

ASIN: B071KC41NB

Number of pages: 415
Word Count: 92418

Cover Artist: Patricia Schmitt

Tagline: She can see evil and evil can see her

~

Book Description:

Psychic detectives Levi Wolfe and Trudy Tucker comb the streets of New Orleans in search of a serial killer who has claimed 19 lives and counting.

The suspect was in an accident almost two years ago that left him paralyzed in a wheel chair, but the murders continue. Is he faking it or has he enlisted a protégé to continue his reign of terror?

As Levi and Trudy draw closer to the truth, Trudy discovers new and unsettling psychic abilities in herself.

Amazon

Book Trailer:

Excerpt:

“So, tell me about your experience,” Trudy said, sitting next to Levi.
“It was strange. Very strange. I was contacted – during a business meeting, mind you – by the dead son of the new contractor I was speaking with in my office. This kid – a salvage yard murder victim – popped into my head and started yelling at me. I tried to shut him out, but I couldn’t. I had to actually stop the damned meeting and tell the man that his deceased son was demanding an audience. Gonzo thought I’d lost my noodle.”
“Good Lord!” She covered her parted lips with her hand. “I’d say that was a heck of a coincidence, but . . .it seems to be so much more than that.”
“Yeah, right.” He sat back and drummed his fingers on the table for a few seconds. “Anyway, the kid – Clayton Nelson – was hitchhiking in New Orleans when a guy in a pickup stopped for him. He couldn’t see much of the man’s face because he wore a ball cap and sunglasses. He had a mustache that looked fake to me. He used the ploy of something being wrong with his truck to get the kid to look under the hood and then he knocked him out with a blow to the head. Clay came to in a basement, his wrists and ankles bound with plastic ties and chains.” He shuttered his gaze from her. “That’s where he was murdered.” A few seconds ticked by before his lashes lifted to reveal his dark blue eyes that never missed much. “You’ve been in contact with the murderer already, haven’t you?”
Her heart jolted. He was uncanny. “I was in contact with someone who’s warped. I don’t know if it was the salvage yard killer.”
“Was he murdering someone?”
“Something. A cat.”
Levi’s upper lip lifted in disgust. “Jesus.”
“Yeah. He was practicing, I think.” She shuddered and blocked out the memory.
“The kid in my head showed me a compass and pointed to the N on it.”
She gasped at the reference. “Your true north?”
“Bingo. His way of telling me that you were already part of this.”
She reached for her glass of juice. They must be destined to examine this case. How else could she explain what happened to Levi and what she’d already experienced?

~

About the Author:

Deborah Camp is the author of more than 50 romances, both contemporary and historical. She received the first Janet Dailey Award (given to a romance novel that best addressed a social problem). “My Wild Rose” dealt with battered women and children.

A bestselling author, Deborah’s books have been praised by reviewers, bloggers, and readers who love complex characters and clever plotting. She always mixes in a bit of humor, even in her romantic suspense novels.
Communicating with readers and other writers is something she enjoys, so don’t be shy about visiting her online. If you post a review of her books, you’ll probably receive a personal “thanks” even if the review isn’t entirely favorable!

Deborah lives in Tulsa, OK where she is continually inspired by real cowboys, real Indians, and real heroes and heroines.

http://www.deborah-camp.com

http://wwww.facebook.com/officialdeborahcamp

http://www.deborahcampwritersdesk.blogspot.com

http://www.twitter.com/authordebcamp

Tour giveaway

5 $20 Amazon gift cards


Omega’s Choice by Lilli Carlisle

Omega’s Choice

The Black Ridge Wolf Pack, Book One

Lilli Carlisle

 

Genre: PNR, Fantasy Romance
Print Length: 183 pages
Publication Date: May 25, 2017
ASIN: B072BYT7GK

~

Book Description:

Scarred but powerful, Black Ridge Wolf Pack leader Aldric Forst has been selected to mate with an Omega—but first he must protect her from the dark forces that would corrupt her magic.
In a realm of elves, ogres and white witches, where danger is ever-present, Princess Helena Lichtenberg lost her parents at a young age. Raised by her uncle and aunt, Helena values family above all else. Now, as decreed by tradition, it is time to select a mate.
HER ALPHA
Enormous, scarred and scary, Black Ridge Wolf Pack leader Aldric Forst has never drawn the eye of any Omega. Why would he? But, on this, the night of what he swears is his last selection celebration, everything is different. One of those most beautiful, magical and powerful women, the niece of the king and queen themselves, wants him. And Aldric has never wanted anything more in return. No force—no matter how dark, no matter how powerful—will take Helena from him.

~

Boroughs Publishing       Amazon        Smashwords      Kobo       BN

~

Excerpt:

Princess Helena took that moment to turn toward him again. Instantly, his heart raced, his palms became sweaty, and a nervous excitement rolled around in his stomach, which he wasn’t entirely sure he liked. After all, he was a feared warrior, people looked to him for guidance and strength, and now he felt like he was going to pass out because a gorgeous woman was smiling at him with such joy.

As Amalia spoke to Helena, the princess’s small omega stone on her forehead glowed, and it was impossible to miss the waves of happiness coming from her.

Looks like the princess is happy you agreed to dance with her, brother.” Godric looked about ready to burst with excitement. “Should I call home and have the rest of our party get on the road?”

No, not yet, Godric. Let’s see how the evening goes first. Then we can call in reinforcements.” Aldric didn’t want to get ahead of himself. He refused to be let down again. “What do you think Lady Amalia meant by she’d waited years?”

I have no idea, but I do know the only way you’re going to find out is by asking the princess herself. Ready to waltz, brother?”

At least all mother’s lessons are about to come in handy. What if she expects our normal life to be like this?” Aldric panicked.

Okay, now you’re just looking for problems that aren’t even here yet. Get out there and sweep that princess off her feet with the alpha you are. Wait until I tell Cassandra she was right yet again.” Godric had a look of absolute glee at the prospect of making that call back to the pack.

 

Yeah, well, if Cassandra was right about this, brother, then she also predicted that I would have to fight for my omega.”

Godric turned to face Aldric and all humor fled from his expression. “If we have to fight for your omega, then it’ll damn well be one we win, I can assure you of that. If this night goes well, I’ll be calling in more warriors as well. They will be here before the sun rises.” Both Theron and Tofa nodded in agreement, even if Theron continued to tap away on his tablet.

We shall see, Godric. Let’s hope I don’t step on her foot. Then it may be the royal guard we need to fight.” Aldric laughed as he, Godric, Theron, and Tofa stood and made their way across the ballroom to stand in front of King Leonidas, Queen Alexandra, and Princess Helena.

Princess Helena was simply stunning; her emerald green eyes beamed with happiness as he approached. Aldric had never felt this level of immediate attraction before in his lifetime. Helena’s curly blonde hair was pulled away from her face, showcasing her royal tattoo and tiny vines twisting down her slender neck to her collarbone. Her smile lit up everyone and everything around her and her green eyes shone with happiness.

Aldric, Godric, Theron, and Tofa stood before the king and queen, bowing respectfully and waiting for King Leonidas to speak. The entire time, Aldric hoped like hell he didn’t screw this up.

The room had grown strangely quiet.

 

~

About the Author:
 
Lilli Carlisle lives outside Toronto, Canada. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America and its chapter, Toronto Romance Writers. Lilli is a mother of two wonderful girls, wife to an amazing man and servant to the pets in her life. She writes both contemporary and paranormal romance and believes love should be celebrated and shared. After all, everybody needs a little romance, excitement, intrigue and passion in their lives. Lilli loves to hear from readers, you can find her here:

~

~


A Warlock’s Secrets by Tena Stetler

A Warlock’s Secrets

Demon’s Witch Series, Book Two

Tena Stetler

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Date of Publication: 6-14-17

ISBN: 978-1-5092-1446-4

ISBN: 978-1-5092-1447-1

Number of pages: 332

Word Count: 83,485

Cover Artist: Kristian Norris

~

Book Description:

In his darkest hours she is dragged into his magical world. If they survive, is she strong enough to heal his heart and tame the warlock?

Years ago a sacred ceremony at the Dragon’s Moon Coven, turned deadly. Son of the high priestess, Tristian Shandie’s life changed forever. With a price on his head and revenge in his heart, he has no choice but to follow in his father’s footsteps to a profession shrouded in secrets. Now his skills as an enforcer for the Demon Overlord are second to none. But dangerous secrets he harbors are a liability he can no longer afford.

A chance meeting with a woman he finds irresistible flips Tristian’s world upside down. Hannah is a cyber security specialist with secrets of her own. Bad boys never appealed to her until Tristian, who changes everything. In his darkest hours she is dragged into his magical world. If they survive, is she strong enough to heal his heart and tame the warlock? Or will their secrets destroy them?

Amazon Kobo BN iTunes

~

Excerpt:

He offered his hand to Hannah as she stood, wrapped an arm around her waist and guided her out of the diner. “How about a ride up the coast?”

“Sure as soon as you explain how you held those teens down without touching them.” She smiled up at him knowingly. “And don’t give me that crap about telling me or killing me.”

A slight grin curved the corners of his mouth. “How about on an as needed basis and you don’t need to know?”

A soft laugh bubbled up from her throat. “If I had to guess, I’d say you’re a warlock with well-honed powers.” She tilted her head up towards his. “Would I be right?”

HIs grin faded replaced with a stormy expression. “Where would you get that absurd idea? They merely tripped and had trouble getting up. I suggested they stay put until the police showed up. Simple as that.”

“Right. Well on that note, I’ll see myself home.” She turned to her car and opened the door.

For a moment, he considered letting her go. Women are more trouble than they’re worth anyway. That’s when the meddling voice of Birch wafted through Tristian’s mind. She’s moved on, so should you. Damn faeries anyway. I’m sure he’s using some kind of magic to do this to me.

“Okay, you win. But only if you tell me why you are disguising your magic signature.” He leaned against the car a smirk on his face.

~

About the Author:

Tena Stetler is a paranormal romance and cozy mystery author with an over-active imagination. She wrote her first vampire romance as a tween, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, Tena sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of paranormal creatures telling her their tales. Colorado is her home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-year-old box turtle. Any evening, you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn. Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them.

Website: http://www.tenastetler.com

Authors’ Secret’s Blog – http://www.tenastetler.com/category/authors-secrets-blog/

My Say What Blog – http://www.tenastetler.com/category/my-say-what-blog/

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/tenastetler.author

Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/TenaStetler

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14187532.Tena_Stetler

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/tenastetler

Newsletter: http://www.tenastetler.com/newsletter-signup/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tenastetler

Tribber – http://triberr.com/TenaStetler

~

Tour giveaway

2 $10 Amazon Gift Cards

 


REACH FOR YOU by Pat Esden

 
REACH FOR YOU
Dark Heart Series, Book Three
Pat Esden
Genre: paranormal romance
Publisher: Kensington Books
Date of Publication: June 27, 2017
ISBN: ISBN13: 978-1-4967-0009-4
ASIN: B01LZCVLU3
Number of pages: 320
Word Count: 80k

 ~

Book Description:
Her passion is her greatest weakness.
His legacy is his prison.
To reunite, both must fight the demons within.
A world of deception and danger separates Annie Freemont from her mother—and from Chase, the enigmatic half-ifrit with whom Annie’s fallen in love. But she vows to find her way back to them, before Chase succumbs to the madness that threatens his freedom. The only person who can help is the magical seductress, Lotli, a beautiful, manipulative woman . . . a woman who has disappeared.
Annie must stay strong, even as the future she imagined is slipping away. With the help of family and friends, she discovers that Lotli is being held against her will, by those who want to exploit her powers. But though weakened, Lotli remains a powerful alley and adversary. A bargain is struck. And now Annie’s only chance to rescue Chase could also tear them apart . . 
Loyalties will be tested, walls will be breached, and enemies will be fought, yet Annie’s greatest battle lies within her own heart—to trust her love for Chase to overcome its greatest enemy, and to save those she holds most dear from the terrifying realm of the djinn . . .
Amazon     BN       Kobo      Indie Bound
Target      Book Depository      BAM
May 28- July 2
Chapter
1
We journey. Ceaseless and hungry.
Carved into
stone tablet. Tenerife, Spain
The campsite was ominously
silent. Then a breeze lifted and my ear caught the faint clank and rattle of
the bones and knives hanging in the pine trees behind us.
“You don’t think they’re both
dead, do you?” Selena whispered.
I scanned the dilapidated camper
ahead of us, a do-it-yourself RV created out of an old bread truck. Despite the
midafternoon warmth, the doors were shut tight. The tent behind it, barely
visible from our angle, bowed under the weight of rain that had pooled in its
canopy. There was no campfire smoke. No trampled grass. In comparison to when
we’d come here last week, the place looked deserted.
Goose bumps pebbled my skin. I
gave the camper another once-over. “Zea was really old and sickly. He could
have died—or if the kidnappers came here first looking for Lotli, they could
have found him. They might have—”
Selena cut me off with a glower.
“You mean, supposed kidnappers.”
My jaw clenched. Yeah, that was exactly what I meant. I
understood why my cousin didn’t like that everything we’d discovered pointed to
her boyfriend, Newt, being involved in Lotli’s disappearance, and perhaps Zea’s
as well. But I thought we’d gotten past that, like a bunch of times already.
I swiveled toward where we’d
parked our Land Rover. The Professor stood rooted next to it, a mixture of
disgust and apprehension crinkling his face. From his scholarly glasses and sandy brown hair all the way down
to his polished loafers, he looked anything but ready for our reconnaissance
trip out here on the back roads of Down East Maine. An afternoon of research at
Oxford University would have been more appropriate. “You want to check inside
the tent while we look in the camper?”
His gaze flicked to the soggy
tarps. He cleared his throat, then—as posh as ever—said, “Don’t get me wrong,
I’m not totally against the idea. But the thought of discovering a rotting
corpse is a teensy bit abhorrent.”
“Would you rather discover one in
a closed-up camper?” I snapped. It was lucky we’d driven into the campsite from
the main road instead of walking like we’d done the last time.  I’d assumed the Professor had an
adventuresome spirit to go with his young Indiana Jones good looks. Especially since he was an
archaeologist, though this summer he was tutoring Selena’s eleven-year-old
brother as a favor. Still, and
despite how eager he’d seemed to come with us, the Professor had freaked the
second we started past the creepy stuff Zea and Lotli hung in the trees to
scare people off: the knives and bones, pieces of copper pipe, broken mirrors,
and doll parts. Frankly, I was surprised he’d even gotten out of the Land Rover
at all.
I pasted on a smile. “Sorry. I
don’t much care for the idea myself. Let’s just hope he’s napping or
something.”
The Professor wiped his hands
down the sides of his chinos. “I truly hope you’re right.”
As he headed for the tent, I tramped
toward the camper with Selena close behind. If only Chase were here now. The
creepy stuff hadn’t bothered him at all, and the fear of Zea being dead would
have only driven him forward faster.
My chest tightened, my longing
for Chase aching inside me, raw and unrelenting. If it weren’t for me, he would
be here now. Instead, both he and my mother were trapped in the djinn realm,
prisoners of his father, Malphic. If it weren’t for me, Lotli wouldn’t be
missing either.
“Well?” Selena jerked her head at
the camper door. “Are you going to just stand there?”
I raised my hand and knocked. One
second passed. Two seconds. I rapped harder. Nothing. I tried the doorknob. It
turned beneath my grip. I opened the door a crack, hesitated, and took a deep
breath before pushing it open all the way.
A wave of hot, musty air rushed
past me as if the camper had been closed up for days.
“Hello?” I said, sticking my head
inside. I gave the air a cautious sniff. No dangerous odors, like a leaky gas
stove, permeated the air.  No
rotting-trash smell—or decomp.
Selena nudged my shoulder. “What
are you waiting for?”
I swallowed hard and stepped
forward.
The place was cramped, a gypsy
wagon on steroids. Tassels and prisms curtained the windows, letting only faint
streaks of light inside. Miles of fuchsia and turquoise fabric draped the
ceiling and walls. Animal skulls, feathers, and nubby candles clustered inside
miniature altars. The fridge, table, and chairs, every surface that wasn’t
fabric covered, was painted purple or black. Stars decorated the ceiling. An
antique bed piled with crimson quilts and an avalanche of pillows took up the
camper’s entire backend. It was cozy enough, I supposed. But I couldn’t begin
to imagine what life had been like for Lotli, apprenticed to Zea as a child
because of her magic abilities, essentially indentured. Not that I thought a
devout shaman like Zea would have been cruel to her. It was just so different
from anything I’d experienced.
“Zea, are you here?” I called
out. “We need to talk to you about Lotli.”
I minced my way deeper into the
cramped space, working my way toward the back of the camper. Cold sweat carved
a trail down my spine. I crept past a tiny kitchen and dining nook, then the
bathroom—one toothbrush in the holder, a washcloth draped over the edge of a
yellowed sink.
I returned to the front of the
camper and pulled aside the curtain that divided the living area from the bread
truck’s cab. Seats for the driver and a passenger, seashells glued to the dash,
insulated coffee cups in the holders—
Something brushed the back of my
neck.
I yelped and jumped sideways,
whipping around to see what it was and smacking my elbow against the wall. Pain
zinged up my arm. I glared at Selena, standing barely an inch behind me.
“Shit,” I said, rubbing the sting
from my arm. “You scared the hell out of me.”
She gave me a sheepish pout.
“Sorry. I thought you knew I was there.”
“I didn’t think you were that close.” It wouldn’t have hurt half
as bad, except I was already sore and bruised from being thrown out of the
djinn realm earlier in the day.
Her pout transformed into a smug
smile and she flipped her blond hair over one shoulder.  “Looks to me like Zea and Lotli might have
pulled a vanishing act after all. Huh?”
I stopped rubbing. “Or the
Professor’s about to find something disgusting in the tent.”
“Want to bet?”
I closed my eyes, struggling to
regain my composure. We couldn’t afford to waste time discussing the same thing
over and over again, any more than I could have afforded the luxury of staying
home to nurse my aches and pains. Chase and Mother were in danger. And I
couldn’t go back to the realm and rescue them until we found Lotli. Without her
and her flute-magic, it would be too risky, perhaps even impossible to enter or
escape from the realm.
I shoved past Selena and strode
to the tiny bathroom. “While we’re here, we should find something personal of
Lotli’s that you can use to scry and see where they’re holding her.”
Glancing around, I spotted a
scruffy hairbrush. You couldn’t get much more personal than that. I grabbed it
and brandished it toward Selena.
She stood just inside the
bathroom doorway, hands on her hips, eyes narrowed. “Cut it out, Annie, I’ve
had enough of you talking like Newt kidnapped Lotli, the innuendos and little
jabs. Maybe his family’s hiding something, but Newt doesn’t have anything to do
with it. So quit acting like he’s evil, okay?”
I mirrored her stance. “He told
you his dad was a stockbroker, that they owned their summer home. Those were
lies. His brother is a registered creep. No matter what you want to think:
Newt’s not innocent.”
She turned her back on me, her
voice bordering on hysteria. “I don’t know why I bothered coming. You’re so, so
. . . You always have to be right—” Her voice died and she slowly faced me.
Angry red blotches mottled her face. But tears rimmed her eyes.
My anger drained. She didn’t look
pissed. She was trembling like she was about to fall apart. Earlier today, when
we’d first heard about the lies Newt and his family had been telling, I’d seen
something in Selena’s eyes, something beneath her disbelief.
“What is it? Tell me,” I asked
gently.
She raked her hands over her
face. “Nothing. You just need to trust me. I know Newt couldn’t be involved.
And he wouldn’t have let his brother do it either.”
I leveled my gaze with hers and
toughened my voice. “What makes you so certain? Tell me the truth, Selena.”
Her chin quivered. “I just know.”
Tucking the hairbrush handle
first into my hip pocket, I stepped closer. I pushed her hair back from her face.
“You’re my cousin. Please. Tell me.”
 “Nothing. He just wouldn’t do it. He loves
me.”
“I get that.
But—”
She shoved my hand away. “No, you
don’t get it. I know he loves me.
Like forever.”  Her eyes pleaded for me
to understand what she couldn’t bring herself to say.
A possibility seeped into my
head.  My hands went to my mouth,
covering a horrified gasp. She couldn’t mean. She couldn’t have.  “What did you do?”
“I kind of—I put a . . .” Her
voice faded and she looked down at the floor.
“A spell?” A month ago, the idea
of witchcraft being involved would never have occurred to me. Now it seemed
more than likely.
 “You can’t tell anyone. Mom, Dad,
Grandfather—they’d kill me.” She curled her arms over her head, her shoulders
shaking as she crumpled down against the wall.
I crouched and put my arms around
her. “Whatever it is, it’ll be fine. It can’t be that bad.”
“It is,” she sobbed.

~

About the Author:
Pat Esden would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts. 
An antique-dealing florist by trade, she’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle, and George Sciter’s Cat Tales Anthology.
The first two novels in her Dark Heart series, A HOLD ON ME and BEYOND YOUR TOUCH are available from Kensington Books.  REACH FOR YOU (book #3 Dark Heart series) will be released June 27th. Her short story, Black as a Dark Moon, Scarlet as Sumac, will come out this September in the Fragments of Darkness anthology.

 

~


Her Wounded Dragon by Sky Purington

Her Wounded Dragon
The MacLomain Series
Viking Ancestors’ Kin Book 4.5
Milly Taiden’s PDA Kindle World
Sky Purington     
Genre:  Fantasy/Paranormal/Shifter Romance
Date of Publication:  June 1’st, 2017
Number of pages: 140
Word Count:  32,000
Cover Artist:  Tara West

~

Book Description:
Curiosity is a dangerous thing and temptation a death wish. Especially for someone like Vivienne with her complicated past and closely guarded secrets. Yet when she has a chance to get near the enemy because of a sexy dragon shifter haunting her dreams, she doesn’t think twice. Even if it means seeking out a paranormal dating agency and tagging along incognito to scope him out as her best friend goes on a date with him.
Kage knows within minutes of meeting Vivienne that she isn’t who she pretends to be. As the right hand man of the enemy, it’s his job to figure out if she’s a threat. More so, if she’s a risk to his hidden agenda and well laid plans. Soon enough, he realizes the only danger she poses is to his hardened heart. After all, there’s no defense against the scorching desire dragons feel when they find their long lost mate.

~

Excerpt:
Julie, the one who had contacted Gerri about finding a date, was an attractive redhead. Beautiful most might say if they were of a mind to better appreciate her. And he would. After a few more cupcakes. Right now he was still recovering. The other, Julie’s assistant, Vivienne, was a mousy blond with thick tinted glasses and a bad slump.
Yet there was something about her that seemed…off.
He inhaled and detected no scent outside the usual female interest. He saw red and looked through his dragon eyes. Nothing there either. All he could detect was synthetic hair. So she wore a wig. Many women did on occasion. At least in his clandestine circles. 
But this wasn’t one of his clandestine circles.
“Julie, meet Kage,” Gerri cut into his thoughts. “He’s currently a Navy pilot.”
Yeah, only because he couldn’t spread his own wings and fly.
Until then, an F/A-18 Super Hornet would have to do.
“Kage, meet Julie,” Gerri continued, that same glint of amusement still in her eyes. “She runs her own P.I. business.”
He did his best not to choke on his cupcake. Julie, with her thundering heart and flushed skin, was no private investigator. Not based on her noticeable reaction to him. But Vivienne? His eyes slid her way. Now there was a steady, practiced heart rate. There was someone barely breaking a sweat despite that uncomfortable wig and bulky wool suit.
When the oven buzzer went off in the kitchen, Gerri smiled. “Ah, the vanilla cupcakes are done.” She stood and looked at Julie. “Mind helping me get them out of the oven? It’ll only take a moment.”
Shouldn’t she be asking Vivienne? The one he wasn’t here to meet?
“Of course, vanilla’s my favorite,” Julie chirped and leapt up so quickly Kage knew she
wanted to be here about as much as he did. So what was the deal? Was she swindled into this too?
Or did this go deeper?
He had spent half his life looking over his shoulder, so he had a pretty good eye for deception. A masterful eye, some might say. His gaze slid back to Vivienne. She hadn’t spoken once. Maybe it was time she did.
“So what made you decide to come along with your boss to a dating agency, Vivienne?”
He liked the feel of her name on his tongue.
Vivienne.
He focused on her lips as she licked them quickly and murmured, “Moral support.”
“Ah,” he whispered, his gaze still lingering on those full, lipstick-free pouty lips. They were about the only thing she hadn’t been able to hide. Because she was trying to hide, wasn’t she?
Let’s see if he could rattle her.
“So I assume Julie knows I’m a shifter or she wouldn’t have reached out to Gerri for a date.” He perked a brow. “It’s not every day a girl’s interested in meeting a dragon.” He lowered his voice in light-hearted warning. “After all, we run a little aggressive in the bedroom.”
Vivienne swallowed, her voice suddenly husky. “I’m sure Julie knows what she’s doing.”
“But do you?” he nearly said as a slow grin crept onto his face. She liked what she heard. Yet there was still no scent of arousal. Strange. And telling. 
This woman definitely wasn’t who she pretended to be.
Buy the Book:

~

About the Author:
 
Sky Purington is the bestselling author of over twenty-five novels and several novellas. A New Englander born and bred, Sky was raised hearing stories of folklore, myth and legend. When combined with a love for nature, romance and time-travel, elements from the stories of her youth found release in her books.
Purington loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at Sky@SkyPurington.com. Interested in keeping up with Sky’s latest news and releases? Visit Sky’s website, http://www.skypurington.com to download her free App on iTunes and Android or sign up for her quarterly newsletter. Love social networking? Find Sky on Facebook and Twitter.

 Giveaway:


%d bloggers like this: