Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review: More Than A Fantasy


Title: More Than A Fantasy
Author: Sara Daniel
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company, LLC
Release Date: September 12, 2012
Pages: 35
Buy LinkAmazon (Kindle)

Blurb:

Regina’s fantasies about her hot marketing assistant, Gabriel, are interfering with her focus at work. In desperation, she turns to Madame Eve to give her a one-night stand with a man who looks just like him. When the Gabriel arrives in her hotel room, she must choose between walking away and playing out her daydreams with the real thing. Their one night becomes a wrestling match for control as Regina strives to keep the upper hand. But Gabriel is just as determined to show her how to work together for business and for pleasure.

As passion trumps protocol, their one night stand quickly becomes much more than a fantasy.


Excerpt
The balcony door slid open. The trim, broad-shouldered backside of a man with Gabriel’s basic frame entered. He was dressed in jeans and a dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up his forearms. Her fingers tingled at the prospect of touching his hard, muscled body and claiming it for the night.

The man secured the glass door then rotated toward her. Backlit by the setting sun, he had the same profile as Gabriel. Perhaps his hair was a tad darker, but she could overlook that. The lack of dimples was more disappointing.

He strolled toward her, blocking the sunset and bringing his gorgeous blond curls into the full view of the overhead lights. A charismatic smile lit up his brown eyes, denting tiny grooves on each of his cheeks. “Regina.”

No. Not possible. Not funny, either. She hadn’t wanted the Gabriel. She wanted a fake, one with no career ambitions and a staggeringly low IQ. She’d spelled out her wants on the matchmaking form. “How did you get in here?”

“I checked in, same as you.”

Her mental agenda said she should be heavy petting her way to a blowjob. It did not include arguing semantics with her assistant or a potential sexual harassment suit.

She had to get him out of here before he ruined the match Madame Eve had set up. No matter how much the other guy looked like him, the more time she spent with Gabriel, the less she wanted anyone else in his place. “Where’s the man who’s supposed to be here?”

“I’m him.”

Desire hit her hard. Everything she wanted was in her reach. And as far away as ever.


Review

I liked this book. It was very short, but I was able to get to know at least one of the characters.

Regina had a lot of pent-up sexual energy that she wanted to satisfy, so she turned to Madame Eve. She described her fantasy man and that's how the arrangement was made. Little did she know that the perfect man was standing right in front of her.

At first, Regina thought it was a joke. There was no way she could continue with the meeting without jeopardizing her company. She forgot what love was like or what it meant, so she never expected anything from anyone. All she wanted for her fantasy was to give her perfect match a mind-blowing experience that he will never forget. She hadn't expected to see the man in front of her.

Long story short, as with most romance novels, the man was able to coax Regina into surrendering herself and for once, trusting another person beside herself.

I think, for a short story, this book was well-written. I would recommend it.


About the Author:

Sara Daniel writes what she loves—irresistible romance, captivating drama, and quirky characters. She writes to entertain and to give people hope and a belief that everything can and will turn out happily ever after.

On the personal side, she’s a frazzled maid, chef, chauffeur, tutor, and personal assistant (aka mom). She was once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels. She’s crazy about country music and the drama of NASCAR. And she has her own happily-ever-after romance with her hero husband.



Arianne 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: Claimed by Dragons


Claimed By Dragons
Bag Of Tricks Book 2
Amber Skyze and Katalina Leon

Genre: Erotic-romance, paranormal, dragon-shifters, ménage & polyamory.
Publisher: Loose Id Publishing
Pages: 286
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs

Buy LinksLoose Id   ARe   Amazon (Kindle)

Book Description:

In an odd Wiccan shop in Salem, Jael pulls an unusual stone from a witch’s wish bag. Little does she know her wildest dreams of adventure and a torrid affair with two gorgeous co-workers are about to come true—in spades.

Jael’s dreamy boss, Roarke offers her the assignment of a lifetime: a photo safari to Mount Kilimanjaro. The African scenery is stunning but the unexpected arrival of her two office crushes, Roarke and Kypton ignites her passion. Just as the trio is getting steamy at a beautiful waterfall, danger intervenes forcing the men to reveal their secret. They're dragons. And now, to save her life, they have no choice but to abduct a startled Jael to their mountain lair on Kilimanjaro.

In the dragons' love nest, Jael learns the truth about their origins and explores all the erotic possibilities two eager lovers can offer. Love awakens, but the guys are being stalked by a covert group of dragon hunters and withholding a life or death secret that will push Jael’s courageous heart and commitment to the limits.

Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices, menage (m/m/f).

Excerpt
(In this excerpt Jael has just pulled a stone from the wish bag in an odd Salem Wiccan shop.) “Oh, Jael, that is an odd-looking stone.” Arcona reached for Jael’s hand to tip the sparkling stone toward the light. “It’s beautiful when things you’d never think would fuse together mix.” She stared at the stone in wonder. “The world is full of weird stuff, isn’t it?”

Jael looked from the two-sided stone to her friend. “It is different.” She glanced at Witch Casey to see if she had any advice as to why she’d chosen such a stone.

“Interesting, but not surprising.” Witch Casey shook her head with her lips firmly pinched together.

Jael couldn’t read the woman’s eccentric gesture.

“A dual stone is often attracted to an undecided person,” Witch Casey spoke tersely.

“Undecided?” Jael stiffened and crossed her arms in a defensive manner. She’d been often accused of being indecisive in the past, and it hurt. Obviously Witch Casey had been eavesdropping. “Are you referring to me?”

“Of course I’m referring to you.” Witch Casey planted her fist firmly on her hip as she confronted Jael. “You’re the one holding the dual stone, not me.”

“What do you mean by undecided?” Jael knew where this was going. Witch Casey would now deliver a trite and highly predictable forecast about her future love life. She braced for the safe little clichés she knew were headed her way.

Witch Casey arced her hands dramatically through the air. “Your heart is always in two places at once and refuses to choose a lasting home. Am I right?” Jael slightly recoiled. Witch Casey was right. The way the woman spoke with utter authority sent a shiver up her spine.

All her life she’d rushed toward one goal when secretly desiring another. She longed for a stable relationship, even a family, but another rogue part of her soul wanted to ditch her responsibilities, pick up a camera, and flee to the exotic wilds of Africa to fulfill her creative dreams. The same went for men. She could never make up her mind. Variety was the spice of life.

“There might be some truth in what you’re saying,” Jael sheepishly answered Witch Casey. Witch Casey’s eyes flashed. “Might?”

Arcona leaned close to Jael’s ear. “I remember our last semester. You were always dating at least two guys at once and trying to keep it a secret. It never stayed secret.”

Jael silently admitted her love life was a disaster of indecision. She’d never met a man who fulfilled all her needs. Okay, maybe one man—Roarke, the gorgeous guy at her office, was a thrilling date for a friends-with-benefits type of evening, but a more solid relationship never quite gelled. Deep down she knew why.

They were two of a kind. Roarke was almost as undecided and commitment shy as she was. He would pant after her with lustful looks, coax and almost beg her to visit his apartment. When she gave in, the sex was always hot. Roarke was a total turn-on. Her hopes would rise that maybe Roarke was the one, and then nothing would happen for weeks at a time. No pursuit, no invitations back to his bed. It was as if Roarke would deny himself her company until he couldn’t stand it a moment longer; then he would call.

She’d noticed Roarke’s nightstand was fully stocked with condoms and every exotic brand of lube on the market, so she had to suspect he enjoyed other lovers as well, which hurt. She wanted to be someone special to him, and apparently she wasn’t. Obviously there was another.

“Would you like me to do a card reading for you?” Witch Casey interrupted the silence. “It might clarify a few of those undecided thoughts.”

“I don’t know…” Jael’s gaze darted anxiously between her friends. Their visit was nearly at an end. She wondered if her friends would willingly wait while Witch Casey sorted through the confusing details of her elusive love life. Probably not.

“You should do it.” Arcona shot Jael an encouraging smile. “Accept the card reading. Isn’t that why we walked in here in the first place—to get a little insight?”


Review

I liked this book. I don't like shape shifters, but something about dragons entice me.

I love the plot of this story. A stone chose Jael and two of her co-workers started acting weird around her. Next thing she knew, she was on a plane to Africa for a safari photography expedition. She was very passionate about taking photographs. One thing I noticed about her was that she did not care for danger when she was in the zone. In the beginning of the book, there were times when she wanted to get up close and personal with the wildlife, not realizing the same wildlife could kill her.

Jael's mission besides taking photograph was to bury the stone that she got from the excerpt above. The stone was incredibly special - it gave her intense orgasms and branded her hand with a dragon tattoo. Basically, she needed to bury the stone somewhere to find true love.

Lastly, I was curious about the lavender result of the pregnancy test in this story. I wonder what it meant! Anyway, I don't want to spoil anything so I'll stop here. Just trust me that it is worth the read :D

Check out my favorite scenes!
"Is there where you want to be?" she addressed the stone in a whisper.

As if the stone meant to provide a silent answer, it gently rolled in her pocket.

"I don't blame you." Her gaze drank in the beauty of this special spot. "If I were a stone, I'd want to be here too."

She stopped herself when she realized she was talking to a rock. That was just freaky. Why was she doing it? If she was going to talk to rocks and have orgasms with them, admittedly she might not survive this trip with her sanity and dignity intact.

"You see, it's not fair to seduce a woman and make her fall in love and then ask her to share her heart with two men. The Marduko do things differently. He wanted to establish intimacy with you without a pact of exclusivity. He wanted to make sure you had a strong attraction to us both and waited for you to show it. By the way, your stubborn comments about not getting involved with coworkers actually made us consider quitting our jobs."

"Just to be sure, no one comes near me unless they're already tearing a condom open with their teeth, okay?"

"Okay." [K] tore the condom open with his teeth. He glanced at [R]. "I'm not saying no to a beautiful woman."

"Neither am I." [R] tore a condom open too. "I'm going to give her whatever she wants."


About the Authors:

Katalina Leon

I’m an artist, an author, mother and wife. I write for Loose Id Publishing and Ellora’s Cave. I try to bring a touch of the mystical and a big sense of adventure to everything I write because I believe there’s a bold, kick-ass heroine inside all of us who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.






Amber Skyze

From a very young age, Amber Skyze began making up stories–the only child syndrome. Telling tall tales to all her friends she never dreamed of putting words on paper. In fact if anyone asked her if she would write when she grew up, she’d have laughed.

It wasn’t until raising children and reading all those romances that she decided–hey, I can write these. HA! Easier said than done.

When not crafting hot, steamy tales, this New York transplant now resides in Rhode Island with her husband, four children (who force her to work a day job), and three dogs.

She currently writes for Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id and is self-published.




Arianne

Monday, October 29, 2012

Guest Post: Casey Sheridan

Title: Sirus Bandai - The Invisible Bandit
Author: Casey Sheridan
Publisher: CecilCat Productions
Release Date: October 3, 2012
Pages: 186
Buy Links: Amazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle) | CreateSpace | Smashwords | Amazon (UK) | B&N | ARe

Blurb:

Ciara Walker is torn between two men.

With sexy superhero, Ace of Spades, Ciara soon learns that dating a superhero isn’t easy no matter how hot he looks in, or out of, black spandex. Besides, Ace misses more dates than he keeps.

There’s also seductive billionaire, Moose Hannigan whose good looks would capture the attention of any woman. But he’s also suspected of being an underground crime lord.

Can Ciara choose between them? She may not have to if erotic, Sirus Bandai, the Invisible Bandit, has her way. After all, what Sirus wants, Sirus gets.


Guest Post

Thank you, Arianne and Kayla, for letting me guest on your blog today! It’s always fun on the wild side, isn’t it?

The Good, The Bad, and the Seductive

Sometimes good and bad are clearly defined, as obvious and different as black and white.

Then there are times when good and bad aren’t so clear, the lines being fuzzy, their definition more gray and cloudy.

In fiction, the good guy is the hero and the bad guy is the villain.

In romantic fiction, the good guy/hero is attractive, physically fit, intelligent, kind, caring, and loves puppiesHe doesn’t always come off that way in the start, but he comes around eventually. He’s a man every woman dreams about.

The bad guy/villain is, well, not so much. Although, he is usually intelligent, and sometimes loves puppies, seldom is he attractive, or physically fit. But what if he were?

She turned to see who the rich, masculine voice belonged to and her jaw dropped. Walking out of the bathroom, hair combed neatly though still damp, was the most gorgeous example of man she ever laid eyes on. Tall and well-muscled, his shoulders were broad and his chest had a light dusting of hair. Her gazed followed the trail of dark hair that ran from his bellybutton down into the black silk pajama pants that sat perfectly on his narrow hips.\
–From Sirus Bandai—The Invisible Bandit by Casey Sheridan

What if the villain was intelligent and loved puppies? What if he were attractive and physically fit? What if he were dark, mysterious, and seductive? What if he were a man that could sweep a woman off her feet with just a look or a smile? What if he captured the heroine’s heart?

That’s the type of villain I wanted to create in Sirus Bandai—The Invisible Bandit. I wanted my heroine to be torn between two handsome, intelligent men. To struggle between good and evil.

Tell me....what would you do in her place?

xoxo,
Casey Sheridan

Author Bio-
Casey Sheridan wrote her first erotic story on a dare, and she loved writing it so much she never stopped. Her erotica and erotic romance has been published by Breathless Press and Cobblestone Press, and has appeared on The Erotic Woman, Every Night Erotica and RSVP-Erotica.

She loves to read and write, could spend all day in a book story, art museum, or chocolate shop. She also enjoys music, watching movies, and cooking.

Casey lives with her crazy, but lovable, orange tabby cat.

You can find her on the Web at:



Arianne



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Delilah's Passion by Sarah Bella (Guest Post/Giveaway)


Title: Delilah’s Passion
Author:  Sarah Bella
Publisher: Sizzler Editions
Length:   193 pages
Sub-Genres:  contemporary, erotic
Buy LinkAmazon (Kindle) | RenEbooks | ARe
               
BLURB:
Delilah Steele was living the high life.  She had a high-powered job, a man she loved and nothing was holding her back.  When her world, and her trust, was irrevocably shattered by the man she loved, Delilah had no choice but to return to the town she grew up in – and couldn’t wait to leave.  There, she goes to work for Aiden Dean, a handsome heartbreaker who seems to have his eye on Delilah. When Delilah’s long-absent father arrives on the scene, she has to figure out how to cope with his presence and desire to be a part of her life.  Now Delilah has to learn how to live – and love – all over again.  Will her hard knocks past continue to haunt her, or will Aiden break through her tough exterior and show her that forever can be a good thing?


Guest Post

First Heartbreak

He had a Mohawk.
I hate to break it to you all, but unless we talk junior high type heartbreak, I’ve never had my heart broken. My husband and I were high school sweethearts. We’ve been together since we were fifteen.

But, oh, in junior high…

His name was Chris.

He was in a band.

He had a Mohawk.

And he was way too cool for me.

We had one glorious summer together before he figured that out.

Where I grew up, there wasn’t much traffic; we played baseball in the street rather than walk the four blocks to the park. Chris and I met playing ball. We fell in lurve. He did bike jumps over me. He wrote me songs.

One day, he was just done. I was blindly in love and never saw it coming. I cried, and cried, and cried, and then I met my hubs.

I ran into Chris again as an adult. He lives right up the street and his daughters go to school with my kids. His wife is great. And I am so over him. ;) He’s still a great guy, but not half as great as my hubs.

Giveaway


Sarah is a small town Minnesota girl who calls pop by its proper name – pop.  She is a multi-published author of romance and erotica who writes both novels and short stories in the romance, mystery/suspense, paranormal and erotica genres.
She loves traveling anywhere south of the equator and finds that a nice dark microbrew can help get the creative juices flowing.  When she’s not writing or traveling, you can find Sarah with her nose buried in a book.  Sarah lives in the small town she grew up in with her husband, three children, her cat and her dog.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Devil's Pawn by Elizabeth Finn (Guest Post)


Title: Devil's Pawn
Author: Elizabeth Finn
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Release Date: September 17, 2012
Pages: 181
Buy Link: Amazon (Kindle)

Blurb:

When Ashton is left orphaned after her parents are murdered, her life becomes a hell she could never have imagined. Left to fend for herself, and responsible for a debt she doesn’t owe, she is swept into a life as a gentleman’s escort at a private men’s gaming hall. Her new manager makes it abundantly clear he doesn’t appreciate her inexperience, innocence, and shyness. On the contrary, he despises everything about her.

Derek can be “difficult,” she’s been told. And however dark and handsome he may be, he terrifies her in a way that chills her to the bone, but leaves her begging to understand him. As they are pulled along together, more secrets and threats than either one could ever conceive are revealed, and a common enemy emerges. This enemy will stop at nothing to bring Derek to his knees while using Ashton as the greatest pawn in his torturous game.

Will Derek be able to let down his shield of cold, harsh emotion before it’s too late? Will he be able to sacrifice himself to save Ashton, or will they both be destroyed by the secrets of their pasts?


Excerpt
Once in the fitting room, Derek takes the chair again while I start to remove my clothes. I intentionally wore ugly, stretched-out, white cotton underwear that is entirely too big on me in the event he should be here. My mouth isn’t the only thing that can get me into trouble—my sarcasm knows no bounds when I’m unhappy.

As he sees the appalling excuse for an undergarment, his eyes move up to mine, narrowing darkly at my obvious defiance. I look coolly back at him before looking away dismissively. My anger and resentment of him from the humiliation he subjected me to the previous morning, not to mention his treatment of me over the past two weeks, have charged me into a bold, fiery bitch that no longer cares what retribution I might face. While my tongue usually gets me in trouble, today I decided to let my underwear do the talking.

Jacob enters with an armful of dresses for me to try on, and he cringes as he takes in my defiant granny panties, hated the world over by men, including, apparently, gay men.

He turns to Derek, and with a scrunched-up face, he worries out loud. “The dresses aren’t going to lay right over those…” He tosses a nod in my general direction.

Derek wastes no time at all reassuring Jacob and striking back at me. “No worries. Ashton was just taking them off. She won’t be wearing underwear anymore.”

I glare defiantly back at him as I drop the loose fabric to the floor. He returns the glare for a moment before letting his gaze travel down my body to my sex, and as it lands there, smoldering with heat, I turn abruptly from him, intentionally showing him my backside instead. I look to the mirror in front of me, and I catch his eyes flit away from me in annoyance. He worries his lip with his thumb and index finger as he contemplates, and the slightest of smirks crosses over his mouth. Jacob is standing by looking from one to the other of us, obviously wondering just exactly what he’s gotten himself in the middle of.

Derek finally looks back to Jacob. “Get on with it.” I try on one after the other of the dresses. Some are perfect; Jacob pins in additional alterations in others. Derek sits by bored, only glancing up from his cell phone occasionally. One such occasion is when Jacob remarks that I’m “just not curvy enough for this one.”

Derek looks up to Jacob, but he shifts his eyes to mine before commenting, “Yes, well, if you can figure out some way of making her look female, you let me know.”

Jacob again lets his eyes pass between us, seeming to wonder all the while what he’s missing. As I hold Derek’s eyes with my own, my anger falters, and the pain that is behind my fury pushes through. I try to wrangle my tears into submission, but it’s no use. In defeat, first one, and then another spills from my eyes and slides down my cheeks. Jacob regards my state and excuses himself from the room.

I stand on the hemming block in the center of the room, refusing to look at Derek. But he’s looking at me, and as my hurt continues to work through my entire body, I let my tongue do what it does best. “Why do you hate me so much?”

He says nothing, but stands and moves to me. Reaching around behind me, he pulls the zipper of the dress down, and then, returning his hands to my shoulders, he pulls the straps down, exposing first my small breasts, and then the rest of my naked body as it falls to the floor.

He leans in to my ear and speaks. “You don’t know anything about me.” He then takes me by the hand and pulls me to stand in front of the mirror, and leaning to my ear once more as I watch him in the mirror, he speaks gently. “Lean forward and put your palms on the mirror.”


GUEST POST

Heroines: The Weak Versus the Strong
by Elizabeth Finn

I love this particular topic! When it comes to the romance genre, you will see every manner of heroine in the spectrum and then some. That’s the joy of writing today, and writing in a digital age where the sub-genres and the sub-sub-genres (not even sure that’s a word!) are endless has increased this tenfold. I think that the strong female heroine is very popular today; more so than it was perhaps in the past. But she’s not the only heroine 

I don’t write kick-ass heroines. While I may someday, it isn’t the heroine that I love to write or that I empathize with. Does that make my heroine weak? NO!! Weak is something of a misnomer in my opinion. I would suspect that few romance authors go out with the express intention of writing a completely weak heroine. Weak implies that she is incapable in some way, and I believe the true distinction comes from the emotion of the character. 

For instance, you can have a heroine who is victimized, tormented, abused and degraded, but more often than not, her strength comes out in her emotional portrayal; whether it is a sarcastic inner voice or an occasional passive aggressive response. At the same time, you can have your super-hero-rock-star-kick-ass heroine with an emotional vulnerability in her character. 

If your kick-ass heroine had kick-ass emotions with no vulnerability, your audience would struggle to bond with her. She doesn’t belong in romance – try… an adventure genre of some sort. At the same time, a physically vulnerable heroine who was also too emotionally vulnerable wouldn’t belong in romance either – maybe… some dark dramatic genre and likely with no happily ever after. 

So what’s my point? I personally believe the best recipe for a romance writer is to mix your strength with weakness. If she is physically strong, show her emotional vulnerability; if she is physically vulnerable, show her emotional strength. The physical manifestation has to counterbalance the emotional portrayal. And that’s the point. If you find the right balance, your character will be readable, loveable, and she’ll just make sense! 

So what’s my personal formula? I’ll admit, I love to portray emotional strength in my heroine, and keep her in a physically vulnerable place – I want her hero to rescue her! I’m very old-fashioned in that way. I don’t need her to be physically strong and kick-ass, but she’s got to have a strong inner-strength.

To read more of her heroines, check out her two recent releases, The Devil’s Pawn and Brother’s Keeper. 

About the Author:
Elizabeth Finn is an Iowa native, where she lives with her husband and son. By day, Elizabeth is a Human Resources Specialist, but by night, she checks her professionalism at the door and immerses herself in the world of writing erotic romance. Look for more to come from Elizabeth Finn.



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Angel's Assassin by Samantha Holt (Promo)


The Angel's Assassin
by Samantha Holt
Self-Published
44,000 words (eBook format)
Erotic Historical Romance
Contains Elements of Action
Heat Level: Steamy

Available at:

Blurb:

A medieval story of love and betrayal.

As a rebellion sweeps England, Lady Annabel finds her home overrun by rebels. Much to her relief, a dark knight comes to her rescue, claiming to have been sent to protect her by her uncle.

But Nicholas holds a secret about the job he was sent to do and it is a far cry from what Annabel believes it to be. As the attraction between them grows, Nicholas begins to question the dark life he has lived. But is it enough to change him and will Annabel ever trust again after learning the true nature of his sinful duty? 


Excerpt #1
“What is your name?”

He stared at her as he paused mid-bite. Withdrawing the bread, he shifted uncomfortably.

“My name is of no import, my lady.”

“I would know the name of my rescuer.”

He looked to the floor. “I am no rescuer, just a lowly knight doing his duty.”

“Your modesty becomes you, Sir Knight, but I would still know your name.”

Annabel awaited his response, the air between them growing uncomfortably thick.

He heaved a sigh, wondering how it was that a diminutive woman had got the better of him.

“Nicholas,” he grated out reluctantly.

“Nicholas,” she repeated softly. “And I am Annabel.”

“I know, my lady.”

“Nay, Annabel. Not ‘my lady’. You have surely earned the right to address me as such.”

He shook his head, dropping his gaze to the ground once more. He could not bring himself to utter her name, not when he knew what was to come. “Nay, my lady, I am your servant and I will address you as a servant should.”

Annabel must have sensed she was fighting a losing battle as she protested no more and fell silent. Nicholas risked sideways glances at her as her as she nibbled delicately on the hardened bread, and he realised he took far too much pleasure in the sight of her ample lips moving with each bite.

Brushing the crumbs from her skirts, Nicholas watched, mesmerised, as she twisted her long braid over her shoulder. Tugging on the red ribbon that tied the end of the braid, it loosened, sending the length of her hair shimmering across her shoulders. It brushed the dirt and Nicholas felt his mouth dry as she touched a finger to his arm. Surrounded by a halo of hair, she glanced up at him, her mouth curling. Without a word, she tied the ribbon about his large arm and fussed with it until she was satisfied.

Nicholas touched tentatively at the ribbon and gave her a perplexed look.

“You saved my life, Nicholas. ‘Tis a favour from a lady to a knight.” She grinned at his confusion. “You have received favours before, surely? I would expect a knight of your valour to have championed many a lady.”

He wondered if she was teasing him but her expression was completely guileless. He groaned inwardly. This woman probably believed wholeheartedly in courtly love. From his little experience he had come to conclude that it did not exist.

“For fear of disappointing you, my lady, I am sorry to admit that there you are mistaken. I have championed no ladies.”

“Well, ‘tis no matter,” she told him with a tender smile, “For you have championed me.”

Unable to bare her dazzling eyes any longer, he stood abruptly. Champion? He laughed inwardly. She had no idea of the kind of man he was, and he was thoroughly aware that he was far removed from the heroic knights that minstrels and poets spoke of.

He felt a pang of something, an uncomfortable sensation settling in his gut. Nicholas couldn’t name it but he didn’t like its implications. For all her naivety and gentle manners, this woman was going to be trouble. He felt threatened by her somehow, as if she had directly challenged him rather than quietly accepting his every word without question.

“Are you ready to continue on, my lady?”

Annabel sighed and stood, in spite of her obvious weariness. “I am in your hands, Nicholas. I will do whatever you command.”

Nicholas tried to tamp down on the desire stirring in his loins at her words and failed. Instead, he grunted and turned away, stomping off without checking if she was following. The sooner this job was over, the better.


Excerpt #2
He ran. Aware only of the need to keep her safe, he sprinted until his thighs burned and his arms ached from her weight. Not that she was a heavy burden, for she lay limply in his arms, only the faint throb of a pulse assuring him that she was still alive. She wore just her chemise and it had taken a while for him to notice, his fear stricken mind consumed with other thoughts. When he had finally noticed, he wrapped her tightly in his mantle.

Continuing on, even as the dark of the following night consumed them, he narrowly avoided tripping and spilling her onto the ground. Only his resolution to keep her from harm prevented him from giving up as he stumbled across the uneven terrain, lit by little more than a half moon.

Nicholas’ steps faltered as the exertion took his toll and he was forced to a sluggish pace, his body screaming for respite. As the sun began to flicker over the horizon, it hurt his eyes, in spite of the cloud amassing in the sky. Fearing a downpour, he staggered his way into the protection of the nearest forest, unsure now of where they were.

The forest closed about them but his anxiety refused to wane. Why were they trying to kill her? If Lord Benedict had intended to kill Annabel himself then why go about this charade of hiring him? Nicholas could not fathom what he was trying to achieve. He couldn’t have possibly known that Nicholas would never go through with his sinful duty.

His legs began to shake as his lungs throbbed, but a look to Annabel’s soot covered face fortified him and he forced his legs to do the unthinkable.

Continue on.

He had to gain some distance between them and Godfrey. He was undoubtedly on horseback but he thought it likely he would not have risked journeying at night. Nicholas had little idea as to what to do next, but he resolved to keep pushing forwards until exhaustion claimed him.

After a day and a half of no rest, it finally did. He stumbled one final time and realised that it was unlikely he would recover again should he fall once more. Annabel lay peacefully in his arms and he did not want to risk hurting her. Pressing his back against a broad oak tree, he sank gratefully to the ground, Annabel still stretched across his arms.

His head slumped back against the bark and he shifted her head against his chest, settling her into his lap. His arms closed in around her, determined that even in sleep he would protect her. His leaden eyelids dropped and sleep quickly claimed him as his hands remained gripped around Annabel.


Book Trailer:

About the Author:
Samantha Holt resides in Warwickshire, England, with her twin girls, having followed her soldier husband around the UK for nearly 10 years. Growing up in Hampshire, she was inspired by the authors Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell, both of which lived and wrote only miles from her home town.

Samantha loves the romance genre and has been devouring romantic literature for as long as she can remember. History is another passion of hers and she loves to combine her love for history and romance into exciting and passionate tales.

Contact Samantha at:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guest Post+Giveaway: Hex and the Single Witch by Roxanne Rhoads


Hex and the Single Witch
Vehicle City Vampires Book One
By Roxanne Rhoads

Anwyn Rose is descended from a long line of powerful witches yet she can barely cast spells young witchlings have mastered. She has one functioning witch gift, the power of knowing, which she puts to good use as a Detective on Flint’s Preternatural Investigation Team.
It’s a new era in Vehicle City, supernaturals are running the town.
The P.I.T has their hands full with paranormal crimes. Top priority is a serial killer, who appears to be a vampire, draining young women in the city.

Anwyn is on the case with her sexy partner Detective Mike Malone. Complicating things is her relationship Galen, a vampire who looks more guilty than innocent, although Anwyn trusts her instincts even if her power is on the fritz.

Mysterious spells, compromising situations, and a possible demon on the loose make it hard to focus on the case, but Anwyn has to make things right before the human police execute the wrong vampire.

Hex and the Single Witch contains magick, a little bit of mystery, a lot of supernatural mayhem, and a sexy love triangle that will leave you wanting more.


Guest Post

The Appeal of Darkness

Why are we drawn to the paranormal? Perhaps because it is the Other, it is the great unknown. The lure of the darkness that resides inside us all.

Are Others real? Are there really paranormal creatures that exist?

Who knows, but some of us sure like to believe.

Maybe we just need an escape from the everyday existence that has become so…ordinary. In today’s world people want to stand out and be noticed or at least experience something that is different. Perhaps that’s why so many of us turn to the world of the supernatural for an escape from the everyday.

Wouldn’t it be great to have super powers? Or to be immortal? Super strong? Have mind control? Or just be super seductive and a fabulous lover (we can all dream right)?

Of all supernatural creatures, vampires seem to be the most seductive. People are drawn to the vampire more than any other creature of myth and fantasy. Vampires grace the pages of books and appear on the movie and television screen over and over again, each new vampire a source of amusement and desire to us. But why? What is the everlasting attraction of the vampire?

Before the 19th century vampires were just mindless monsters, myths and legends that were horrible and frightening, not sexy, not desirable. Literature changed all that.

Consider this description from the introduction of Blood Read: The Vampire as Metaphor in Contemporary Culture written by Joan Gordon and Veronica Hollinger.

[The vampire is] “an ambiguously coded figure, a source of erotic anxiety and corrupt desire, the literary vampire is one of the most powerful archetypes bequeathed to us from the imagination of the nineteenth century.”

Vampires were turned into seductive and inherently sexy creatures that we just haven’t been able to get enough of. The unknown allure is there, evil has become sexy, darkness is beautiful. Once the monsters of myth and legend were shunned for their differences but today we embrace them because they are different, because they are Other.

Our modern society is full of disquiet, pain, suffering, depression, things that spiral out of control-real monsters and horrors face us every day on the news.

In entertainment we want monsters that we can control, monsters…Others that are appealing in their difference and offer us an escape. The vampire offers us all that and more.

I love many creatures of the Other world but the vampire is my first love and will always hold the top spot in my monster loving heart.

In my fiction, the characters are more often than not, Others, with a vampire playing either the hero or the heroine of the story.

In my newest book, Hex and the Single Witch, the vampires are all a little different from each other. Some have issues with sunlight, some do not, some have silver sensitivities some do not.

In the Vehicle City Vampire series  (Hex and the Single Witch is Book One) I wanted to take all the myths, legends and variances of vampire abilities, mix them all up and create an explanation as to why vampires are so different. I hope that readers will enjoy my take on vampirism it’s a bit different than anything I’ve read before- and I’ve read a lot of vampire fiction.

Giveaway



Prize Pack 1: A Fang-tastic Tote Bag, glow in the dark gloves, a Bewitching Charm bracelet (made by BookSwag Shop),  , Bewitching Broom pen, mini witch hat notebook and various book swag from Bewitching authors. Open to US Shipping Only

Prize Pack 2: Bewitching Charm bookmark (made by BookSwag Shop), Bewitching Broom pen, mini witch hat notebook and various book swag from Bewitching authors. Open to US Shipping Only

Prize Pack 3: Bewitching necklace (made by paragraphic), Bewitching Broom pen, mini witch hat notebook and various book swag from Bewitching authors. Open to US Shipping Only

Prize 4: $10 Amazon Gift Card delivered digitally. Open internationally

Prize 5 (with 5 winners): 5 ecopies of Hex and the Single Witch. Open internationally


a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author:

Story strumpet, tome loving tart, eccentric night owl...these words describe book publicist and erotic romance author Roxanne Rhoads.

When not fulfilling one the many roles being a wife and mother of three require, Roxanne's world revolves around words...reading them, writing them, editing them, and talking about them. In addition to writing her own stories she loves to read, promote and review what others write.

Roxanne is the owner of Bewitching Book Tours and operates Fang-tastic Books, a book blog dedicated to paranormal and urban fantasy books.

When not reading, writing, or promoting Roxanne loves to hang out with her family, craft, garden and search for unique vintage finds.

Visit her online
Bewitching Book Tours www.bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com,

Facebook

Twitter @RoxanneRhoads

Roxanne can also be found on Linked InGoodreads and Google+

Bone Wires by Michael Shean (Promo)



Title: Bone Wires
Author: Michael Shean
Genre: Dark, Mystery, Science Fiction,

Publisher: Curiosity Quills/Whampa, LLC
Paperback/Ebook
Pages: 380 (paperback)

Purchase:


Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Print) | BN (Nook and Print) | Books-A-Million |


Book Description:

In the wasteland of commercial culture that is future America, police are operated not by government but by private companies.


In Seattle, that role is filled by Civil Protection, and Daniel Gray is a detective in Homicide Solutions. What used to be considered an important - even glamorous - department for public police is very different for the corporate species, and Gray finds himself stuck in a dead end job. That is, until the Spine Thief arrives.


When a serial killer begins harvesting the spinal tissue of corporate employees all over the city, Detective Gray finds himself plunged into the first truly major case of his career. Caught in a dangerous mix of murder, betrayal and conflicting corporate interest, Gray will find himself not only matching wits with a diabolical murderer but grapple with his growing doubt toward his employers in the dawning months of the American tricentennial.


A thrilling mystery set in the same world as the Wonderland Cycle, Bone Wires is a grim trip into the streets of the empty future.


Excerpt

The scene of the crime was an alleyway behind an abandoned Roziara Deli. Crowding the street outside the deli were a pair of patrol cars, white wedges of steel with ribbon lights that stained the nearby buildings red and blue. Street officers clustered around the mouth, black body armor over blue uniform fatigues; unlike the sidearms that Gray and Carter carried, the streeties carried the blunt, brutal shapes of submachine guns close to their plated chests. A cordon had been set up; the narrow yellow band of holographic tape that stretched across the alley mouth glowed as it cycled through baleful warning messages.

“They used to have good subs here,” said Carter as they pulled up in front of the moldering delicatessen. “Slabs of capicola as thick as Annie Cruz’s ass. Just incredible.”

“Don’t know that name,” said Gray.

“Porn star,” said Carter, who produced his badge and flashed it at a streeter who was approaching them. “Way before your time. Put on your war face, here comes the Pacifier.”

Carter’s Amber Shield glowed like the very words of God Almighty in the low light. “Carter and Gray,” said Carter, keeping his identification held up so that the streeter could see it. “Homicide Solutions.”

“Lem Martin,” replied the streeter. “Pacification Officer, patrol region 927.”

“This is your beat then,” said Gray, who produced from the inside pocket of his suit coat a slim Sony microcomp and engaged its holographic display. Data from the Nexus sprang to life above the palm-sized slab. “What do you have for us, Martin?”

Martin winced a bit at the lack of ‘Officer’ before his surname – you got a lot of that with Pacification Services, of which street patrol was the biggest group. They didn’t like being talked down to. Gray outranked him, however, and didn’t give a shit besides. “Nasty stuff,” Martin said, jerking his head toward the alley mouth. “Victim’s name is Anderson, Ronald P.. Administration. His panic implant was set off about an hour ago and flatlined soon after; me and my partner were in the area, and when we found him…well. Real horror show back there, is all I can say. I called for backup. Dunno what they used, but…well. You’ll see.”

Carter and Gray looked at each other – streeters saw all sorts of things. If they said it was a nasty scene, they’d probably do well to get smocks and rain boots. “All right, Officer,” Carter said, at which Martin seemed to relax a bit. “Were there any witnesses, security footage, anything like that?”

“Nothing we could find,” said Martin. “This area’s been abandoned for years. Anyone who lives here cleared out as soon as they heard us coming. You know how it is.”

“Yeah,” said Gray. Don’t want to get arrested for just being around. “All right, thanks, Officer. If you and…”

“Conklin and Peavey,” Martin replied. “In the other car. Patel’s with me.”

“…Right,” Carter replied with a nod. “If you fellas can keep up the cordon on either side of the alley, we’ll have a look. Call the coroner while you’re at it.”

“On it,” barked Martin, who stepped away from the alley mouth while touching the side of his throat where a subvocal mic, standard issue for street patrol, had been implanted. Carter waited until Martin had backed up a few steps and was well into conversation before he gestured for Gray to follow him. The two men passed through the holographic cordon, the barrier no more solid than the air around it, and took a few steps into the feebly-lit alleyway. The space behind the deli was dark and thick with shadows, lit only by the dying bulb of a lamp set over the shop’s sealed back door. A figure slumped or lay in the cone of dim light that spilled across the building’s crumbling facade. The air was faintly tinged with the smell of ozone and cooked meat. The two men approached; Gray held his computer in one hand while Carter fished the flat, card-sized shape of a palm lamp from a coat pocket. Cupping the lamp in his hand, Carter threw a beam of bright blue- white light across the alleyway and clearly illuminated the corpse.

Lean and muscular in life, that which had been Ronald Anderson half-crouched, half-sprawled across the alleyway, his handsome face pointing down toward the filthy concrete. The corpse’s posture reminded Gray of an old girlfriend; she was a yoga fanatic and used to do something similar called the Child’s Pose. Anderson’s formerly clean white dress shirt had been cut open, straight down the back from collar to waist, and his belted slacks had also been cut down to the base of the pelvis. His back had been tattooed with a medieval Japanese wave scene.

Anderson’s flesh had been laid open. Arching upward and away in a v-shaped furrow, a deep channel now butterflied the man’s back half from the base of his skull to the top of his pelvis. Where his spine should have been there was only a bloodless, grayish-red channel. The red and ivory of cleanly clipped bone and cooked organs were clearly visible in its absence, his heart a gray and veined lump. It was as if the tattooed sea had somehow come alive, restless and roaring, and attempted to rise away from its host who could never have survived its rebellion.
Without the slightest drop of blood, Ronald Anderson had been boned like a fish.

“Damn,” muttered Carter, stepping forward so he could track with his light the awful wound. “Never seen that before. What do you make of it, Dan?” For Gray, who had only experienced the more pedestrian horrors of stranglings, stabbings and gunshot wounds in his brief career, there was no clean reply. “That’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen,” he breathed instead, staring down at the carved gutter. Gray had said ‘strangest’ – however, what he had truly wanted to say was ‘most horrible’. Looking down at the murdered man, Gray knew that his ‘sexy’ case had arrived, just as he had wished for it, but the only thing he could wish for now was to be anywhere else.

As if sensing the truth behind Gray’s words, Carter snorted softly. “Lucky you, kid,” he replied in a wry and vaguely weary tone. “Lucky you.”


About the Author:

Michael Shean was born amongst the sleepy hills and coal mines of southern West Virginia in 1978. Taught to read by his parents at a very early age, he has had a great love of the written word since the very beginning of his life. Growing up, he was often plagued with feelings of isolation and loneliness; he began writing off and on to help deflect this, though these themes are often explored in his work as a consequence. At the age of 16, Michael began to experience a chain of vivid nightmares that has continued to this day; it is from these aberrant dreams that he draws inspiration.

In 2001 Michael left West Virginia to pursue a career in the tech industry, and he settled in the Washington, DC area as a web designer and graphic artist. As a result his writing was put aside and not revisited until five years later. In 2006 he met his current fiancee, who urged him to pick up his writing once more. Several years of work and experimentation yielded the core of what would become his first novel, Shadow of a Dead Star (2011). Michael is currently signed with Curiosity Quills Press, who has overtaken publication of Shadow of a Dead Star and the other books of his Wonderland Cycle.

Find the Author:

Website | Author Facebook | Bone Wires Facebook | Wattpad