Tag Archives: Guest Author

Tara Quan – Submissive on the Run

Banner_SubmissiveOnTheRun_TaraQuanI’m happy to welcome back Tara Quan to the Starla Kaye blog. She is promoting her new BDSM book, SUBMISSIVE ON THE RUN.

The Story Behind the Book

Sometimes, supporting characters take on a life of their own. After selflessly aiding in the affairs of others, they sulk in the back of an author’s brain, broadcasting their past, present, and future until surrender is nigh. Thus was the case with Kim Tran, the intrepid dungeon monitor from Submissive on Display. Unbeknownst to the heroine of the first book, Kim has some unfinished business with the hero’s best friend (small world, I know). He insisted I give them a chance to sort things out, and, being a Dom, he has a knack for getting his way.

SUBMISSIVE ON THE RUN drags me back to Las Vegas’s renowned Carnivore Club, a multi-author world first penned by Kate Richards for Decadent Publishing’s 1Night Stand Series. This interracial BDSM romance stars a feisty sub with a strong right hook, who must contend with a spoilt rich boy determined to win her back. An ill-mannered cat and Madam Eve’s matchmaking service unite them for a night of exhibitionistic fun, which ends in a capture game and a scorching happily ever after.

To celebrate my return to BDSM romance this year, I’m giving away a $15 gift card. To enter, leave a comment here and drop your details in the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post. [or at my website: http://www.taraquan.com/submissiveontherun ]

SubmissiveOnTheRun_300x450SUBMISSIVE ON THE RUN by Tara Quan

Obscene wealth and a toxic family taught Joss Bradlee to care about no one. He moved through life in a caustic shell, fending off gold-diggers with his sharp tongue and abrasive personality. But a stubborn submissive saw past his nonchalant act, and he fell hard and fast for a girl he didn’t deserve. When she accidentally stumbled into the line of fire, he moved heaven and earth to protect her, even if it meant letting her go. Ten months later, he ensures her safety and tracks her down, finally ready to claim the one person that matters. The only problem—she wants nothing to do with him.

On the run for close to a year, Kim Tran receives a surprise call from the man who’d put her life in danger. His family hired assassins to kill her, but he’s somehow convinced they still had a chance. With their entire relationship built on a lie, she resists the instinct to sprint straight into his arms. Faced with a social divide no sane person would bridge, she cuts her losses and breaks her own heart. But the Dominant she loves has other plans, and he’s spent his entire life getting his way. Too late to run and with nowhere to hide, she faces an adversary well versed in all her weaknesses.

At the Carnivore Club, two exhibitionists meet for a battle of wills, lured by a one-night stand service, misplaced cat, and several helping hands. With the aid of handcuffs, disciplinary measures, and a capture game, a reluctant sub rediscovers the pleasures of bondage, the thrill of display, and the ecstasy of surrender.

Genre: BDSM Romance, Erotic Romance, Interracial/Multicultural

Buy Links: Amazon | AReKobo | GooglePlay | GoodReads

Excerpt 3 (R-Rated) – SUBMISSIVE ON THE RUN

Thrilled and terrified, she swallowed the lump in her throat. “We could get over each other if we tried.”

Imprisoning her with his arms, he trailed his nose down the line of her neck. “How’s that working out for you? On my end, every hot chick I see has your face. One look at your reflection, and bam—instant hard on. Our breather flopped.” He dipped his head lower, scattering kisses along her collarbones. “I’m glad it’s done.”

“No.” Her vision misted with pulses of crimson. She tried to summon an iota of reluctance. Her libido refused to play ball. “We’re not doing this again.”

He bit the sensitive spot between her shoulder and neck. “You don’t have a choice. I’m calling the shots.”

His confidence curled her toes. “What we had was less than a fling.” She poured what little willpower she had into the false words.

He squeezed her breast, the proprietary caress arching her back. “You’re going to pay for that lie with a lot more than a hard spanking.”

Arousal flared, potent and irresistible. “You have no right. I’m not your sub.” When he pinched her nipples, flashes of heat threatened to melt away thought. “But there’s a whole club full of women willing to play your games.”

“I’ve already chosen mine.” She writhed when his grip tightened. In her moment of distraction, he slid his hand under her skirt. With her underwear gone, he could shove his fingers inside her without preamble.

“Joss….” It hurt. In the best way.

He looped his other arm around her. Caught in a vise, she had little recourse beyond a whimpered protest. “I don’t want this.” But she did. Enough to erase the safe word from her vocabulary.

“Dishonesty seems to be a chronic problem.” He pressed down on her clit with his thumb and screwed his digits deeper into her. Her clenching inner muscles supported his observation. So did her uncontrollable spasms as his unyielding penetration vaulted her toward a crest.

She dug her nails into his forearms, a useless defense that only reinforced her helplessness. “Stop it.”

He ignored her resistance, playing her like an instrument until sweat once more coated her skin. “Why? You’re more honest right after you come.”

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About the Author

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, Tara enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, paranormal worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Her characters, armed with magical powers or conventional weapons, are guaranteed a suspenseful and sensual ride, as well as their own happily ever after. To receive updates about her new releases and get a free sexy read, subscribe to her mailing list at www.taraquan.com/newsletter.

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A Wicked Halloween box set

wickedhalloween#‎99cents ‪#‎preorder

A WICKED HALLOWEEN: A Paranormal Romance Box Set of Tales Featuring Witches, Vampires, Shifters, Ghosts, and More is now available for pre-order!

 

Thirteen paranormal romance tales that will thrill and chill you just in time for All Hallow’s Eve. With many of the stories set in Salem—the ultimate city for witchy, demon, and shape-shifting delight—these tales will enthrall you with their sexy heroes and spellbinding characters. Salem has never been this hot!

Stories by: Gwen Knight, Debbie Herbert, Erzabet Bishop, C.E. Black, Angelica Dawson, Charlie Daye, Kiki Howell and Gina Kincade, Phoenix Johnson, Sherrie Lea Morgan, Elizabeth A. Reeves, Linda Thomas Sundstrom and Hope Welsh.

BUY LINKS:  AmazonNook iBooksKoboAReNNPGoodreadsSmashwordsAmazon USAmazon UKAmazon CANAmazon AUS

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EXCERPT – Malediction By Erzabet Bishop

Mal_EBAlistair spotted the gorgeous brunette across the room and, when she approached the refreshment table, he followed. For a millisecond he’d taken her for the scrawny woman in the red dress, but on closer inspection he was pleased to note the differences. Same dress, but the way this woman wore it, he was tempted to peel it from her, inch by scrumptious inch.

His pack mate had poured a few bottles of something into the punch and, while it was entertaining to watch some of the guests succumb to the antics of the season, he didn’t quite feel the same about the sexy female in front of him. This woman would be far more interesting sober, he had a hunch and his predictions usually turned out to be spot on. The markings on her arms intrigued him and he wondered if they covered more of her body. Like tendrils of smoke curling around her flesh, they spiraled around her skin in an unending pattern, giving him the urge to trace every single one and see where it led.

He should be home at Briarwood, but his duties as Beta brought him here to make sure Jessup didn’t get too out of hand. So far the pup had been a bit mischievous, but nothing that would make him worry. Whatever concerns he had melted when he gazed at the beauty in front of him, his animal taking control.

Serious gray eyes winked at him from behind an elegant lacy black mask and he had the urge to peek beneath it to see what she was hiding. Full lips bowed below the mask, and her mass of dark hair was wound into an up-do that he longed to plunge his fingers into while he explored her mouth with his.

Jesus, Alastair. Get a grip.

His wolf perked up when she’d come into view and his instinct to bed her followed in quick succession. He shook it off with a frown. One night stands were not his style, especially with women he didn’t know. He had other concerns and, as soon as he made sure Jessup wasn’t going to fuck up and intoxicate half of the wealthier citizens of Salem, he was out of here. Duncan was still missing and he’d left Laurel in charge in his stead.

But, her eyes. Fuck. They fairly glowed with a power that socked him in the gut as they watched him from behind the mask. When she wet her lips and took her bottom lip between her teeth, he almost lost the battle with himself not to let his beast take over and drag her into the nearest coat closet.

“Are you here with someone?” He cleared his throat, aware of the growl threading through his voice.

“No. Are you?”

“Just a couple of friends. What do you think? Want to end up in a compromising situation with a stranger?” He grinned and, seeing Jessup approach, steered her away from the refreshment table. Alistair wanted her to himself, at least for a little while.

“Seven deadly sins? How about a dance? With my footwork, that could lead towards all kinds of infractions.”

“Hmm.” He swung her into his arms and into the crowd, relishing the sensation of his hand on her lower back. The plunging view offered by her bodice made his body stand at attention and the wolf beneath his skin whined with want. “So, which deadly sin could you possibly have that would sink a guy faster than lust? That dress…”

“These shoes.”

“Oh, but those… those are not a sin. Not at all. In fact, I could look at them all night long.”

“You could, could you?” The woman laughed, deep and sensual. Her eyes snapped with amusement. “Then you try wearing them.”

“Maybe I will.” He wanted her, and the closer they got, the more obvious it was going to become. He weaved her around the dance floor, her movements matching his. Her perfume and the spicy scent of her hair were making it hard to concentrate. At the look in her eyes, he dragged her back hard against him, his animal wild in his blood.

“Do you want to get out of here?”

“Please.”

“Let’s get some air.” Alistair led her out onto the balcony, the twinkle lights flickered making the grounds outside the hotel look enchanted. He had to clear his head.

“Who are you?” Alistair brushed a strand of hair away from her face.

“I’m just a girl who needs an escape from reality. How about you?”

“Same here.”

“Just a girl, huh?” The mystery woman smiled.

He gathered her into his arms, letting her feel the full force of his arousal. “I don’t know. I’m not feeling much like a girl right now.”

“No. I didn’t think you were.” She leaned into his embrace, her lips curving up in an inviting smile.

“What’s your name?”

“Bridget. Yours?”

“Alistair.”

“Well, Alistair. It’s nice to meet you. I have one question.”

“What’s that?”

“How long is it going to take for you to kiss me?”

“Time me.” Alistair’s mouth covered hers hungrily and he forced her mouth open with his thrusting tongue. She gasped, trembling within his embrace and he pulled her deeper into the shadows, away from prying eyes.

Erzabet picABOUT ERZABET

Erzabet Bishop is an award winning and bestselling author who loves to write naughty stories. She is the author of Lipstick, Crave, Snow (Three Times More Lucky Box Set), Malediction (upcoming-A Wicked Halloween Box Set), Map of Bones (upcoming-A Wicked Affair Box Set), Sanguine Shadows (Vampire Bites Box Set), The Science of Lust, Wicked for You, Heart’s Protector, Burning for You, Red Hot (upcoming), Bayou Shadows (upcoming-Nola Naughty Nine) Hedging Her Bets (Alpha Fever Box Set), Cat’s Got Her Tongue (Alpha Heat Box Set), Arcane Imaginarium: Spirit Board, Holidays in Hell, Mallory’s Mark (upcoming),The Devil’s Due (upcoming), Charity Benshaw’s Enchanted Paddle Emporium (upcoming), Sigil Fire, Glitter Lust (upcoming), Written on Skin, Club Beam, Pomegranate, A Red Dress for Christmas, The Black Magic Café, Fantasies in Red, Sweet Seductions, Holiday Cruise, Fetish Fair, Temptation Resorts: Jess, Temptation Resorts: Marnie, Taming the Beast, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation along with being a contributor to many anthologies. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies.

Follow her on Twitter @erzabetbishop.

Links:  WebsiteFacebook “like” pageFacebookAmazon Author PageInstagramBookbubGoogle +The Romance ReviewsAReGoodreadsStreet TeamPinterestReview BlogTriberrAuthor DatabaseAuthorgraph

Passionate Pursuit – Tina Donahue

Cover-AmazonI am excited to welcome Tina Donahue back to the Starla Kaye blog with her upcoming historical release, PASSIONATE PURSUIT. The book is available for preorder now and ready to read August 2.

Please support my Thunderclap campaign: http://thndr.me/UGV9r0

BLURB – Passionate Pursuit

Is their passion strong enough to break her chains?

Andalucía Spain, 1489: Innocent Beatriz is desperate to escape the threat of a miserable marriage to a cruel Marquis. Forced into the betrothal by her ruthless merchant papá, her only hope is to conceal her identity and become a servant in a nearby castle—a life drastically different from her comfortable upbringing.

Tomás doesn’t know what to make of his well-spoken new servant girl. Her beauty and charm captivates the military hero; her mysterious nature intrigues him. And the desire she ignites burns brighter with each glance, as does his longing to claim her for his own.

Beatriz can’t resist Tomás’ passion nor deny the heat of her own. But neither the lush countryside nor the walls of the opulent Moorish castle can entirely protect her—and if he were to discover her secret, she could be torn away from him forever. Yet how can she sustain his love if she’s living a lie?

BUY LINKS – Passionate Pursuit (available for preorder – ready to read August 2):

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EXCERPT (PG)

His palm was warm and dry against hers, skin calloused from warfare and physical activity, his touch gentle. He kissed her knuckles, his lips unbearably soft, breath hot. “Buenas tardes.”

She opened her mouth but couldn’t speak.

“You wonder what this is about.”

She nodded, hoping he’d explain.

“Today, neither of us works.” He played with her fingers. “We get to know each other.”

In what way? She didn’t think he meant in the usual carnal sense. Tenderness, not lust, filled his eyes. “Why?”

“I want us to be friends.”

“What?”

“Friends. After we ride to our destination—wait, you do ride, no?”

She did, or rather had at one time, and nodded.

He beamed. “Once we reach this spot I know of, we can enjoy our meal and read about El Cid’s triumphs.” He gestured to a basket, the book on top.

Theirs alone, no one else’s.

He leaned in. “I have to warn you of something.”

Nothing he could say would worry her at this point, unless he told her the señoritas would join them. “What?”

“El Cid has nothing on me. My adventures will dazzle you with the force of a star shooting across the sky, the crash of thunder above your head, the wail of the wind trying to blow in a door.” He wagged his finger. “Mind you, what I say is no mere boast.”

Beatriz didn’t believe she could ever like another man more. She was in far too much danger of laughing, weeping, and throwing her arms around him. Controlling herself, she ran her thumb over his. “Someone should write several epic poems about you. Volumes and volumes.” She paused and stopped stroking him, wary of a matter that still concerned. “Perhaps the señoritas can manage such a feat.”

“I sent them on their way this morning as you slept, leaving the task of an epic poem for you. I have writing materials packed with the other items. Wait. You can write, no?”

She nodded readily, loving him for getting rid of the other women. One might someday be his wife, though not now. These moments were theirs.

Tomás squeezed her hand lightly. “Come.” He led her to another stall, the mare inside already saddled. “We need to begin our day.”

About Tina

Tina_Donahue_Picture_-_Color_optTina is an Amazon and international bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic novels (Freeing the Beast, Come and Get Your Love, and Wicked Takeover) were Readers’ Choice Award winners. Another three (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the EPIC competition. Sensual Stranger, her erotic contemporary romance, was chosen Book of the Year at the French review site Blue Moon reviews. The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for her erotic romance Lush Velvet Nights. Two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition. Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.

Tina Donahue’s Links

FB FanpageWebsite/BlogGoodreadsTwitterFacebookTriberrPinterestAmazon Author PageMy page at TRR –  Samhain Author Page – Sweet ‘n Sexy DivasRomance Books 4 US

Nicole Evelina with Been Searching for You

Been Searching for You eBook Cover LargeI am welcoming back Nicole Evelina to the Starla Kaye blog with her new release, BEEN SEARCHING FOR YOU. The novel is a romantic comedy and won the 2015 Romance Writers of America Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.

BLURB – Been Searching for You

Annabeth is a hopeless romantic who believes in soul mates. In fact, she’s been writing to hers each year on her birthday since she was 16.

Now, at 34, she’s still holding out hope of finding Mr. Right even though he’d be fighting an uphill battle to gain her trust, thanks to a traumatic experience years before that’s left her unable to commit.

When Annabeth meets a handsome literature professor named Alex on her 34th birthday, she thinks her quest may finally be at an end. Things don’t quite go as planned, so Annabeth resolves to do everything she can over the next year to find the unknown recipient of her letters.  But blind dates, Meetup events and online singles sites have nothing on what fate has in store for her when a co-worker unexpectedly quits and Annabeth finds herself working in close quarters with both Alex and her long ago ex, Nick. Fighting her attraction to one and loathing for the other, Annabeth is forced to face all of her old insecurities while keeping an eye on a scheming frienemy who may derail her hopes and dreams.

Written in the tradition of Bridget Jones’ Diary, Kim Gruenfelder’s A Total Waste of Makeup, and Melissa Pimental’s Love By The Book, this romantic comedy shows that love on the sweet side can exist for the modern girl, if only she’s willing to trust herself and search hard enough.

BUY LINKS:   Amazon     Nook     Kobo     iBooks     Smashwords

EXCERPT – Been Searching for You

When the doorbell rang the following afternoon, I was still in my pajamas. It was Miles and Mia. Again.

“What do you two want?” I said with more than a little annoyance. I loved them, but at some point, one would think they’d learn weekends were sacred alone time for an introvert like me. “I’m all out of chocolate chip pancakes.”

Mia was huddled behind Miles as if she was using his body as a shield. It was very strange. “No, silly, we’re not here for food.”

“That’s a first.”

“We’re here,” Miles picked up the thread of conversation, “on strict orders from MI6.”

I squinted at them. “Did you two do drugs last night?”

“I’m totally serious,” Miles said. “If you will kindly let us in, we’ll explain.”

With a roll of my eyes, I stepped aside. They plunked down on the couch, a large box between them.

I pointed at it. “It’s not ticking, is it?”

Mia smiled. “Nope.”

“As I said”—Miles adopted a serious tone as if he were on one of those TV shows about the CIA—“we were given a clear mission, and it was to deliver this to you.”

I perched on the arm of the couch. “And did this message self-destruct after you received it?”

“Nope. Mia destroyed the evidence by eating it. Girl will eat anything.” Miles snickered, and Mia punched him in the arm.

“So what’s in the box, and who sent it?”

“That’s classified—need to know only, and we didn’t need to know.”

“You guys are really starting to weird me out,” I said in partial honesty.

“Just open it.” Mia pulled me onto her lap and forced my hands around the edges of the paper-wrapped box.

After inspecting it for any signs of who gave them this mysterious “mission,” I tore open the paper. Inside was an expensive white-and-red striped decorative box, the kind in which an uptown woman might store correspondence or invitations to snooty parties. Lifting the lid carefully, I found a single sheet of cream stationery on top covered in Alex’s elegant, Catholic schoolboy handwriting.

Annabeth, since there is much I cannot be with you for in body over the coming months, I wanted to make sure I was there in spirit when you needed me. I made this while I was waiting to hear the final outcome, knowing we’d have use for it eventually even if I didn’t get in at Oxford. Please consider each one of these envelopes a work of love.

The letter ended with his signature and a quote from a Florence and the Machine song about finding a way around an ocean for the sake of love.

Speechless, I handed the letter to Miles. Mia craned her neck around me to see it.

Underneath, standing in neat rows, were at least two dozen multicolored envelopes. Selecting one at random, I pulled out a bright green envelope that reminded me of those glow sticks they used to sell at skating rinks in the eighties. I even had the urge to shake it to see if it would light up. In the upper left corner, where a return address would normally have been, were the words, “Open me when…” In lieu of an address, he had written, “you need a laugh.” Below the words was a giant smiley face sticker. Thumbing through the others, I noticed they all bore the same return address but were meant for different occasions—everything from my moods to situations that might arise at work or in other areas of my life.

Typical Mia, she made a beeline for the only red envelope, which said, “Open me when… you’re Fifty Shades of Horny.” She waved it in my face. “I want to know what’s in this one.”

I made to grab it away, but she squirmed out from under me, scampering around the couch and holding it out of my reach like a schoolyard bully. She shook it. “Too small for even a silver bullet.” Her face lit up with inspiration. “Someone’s getting lucky online,” she sang.

“Damn it, Mia. Give it back.”

Miles calmly got up—unnoticed by Mia because she was too busy capering around—plucked it out of her hand, and tossed it to me. “My darling, we’ve completed our mission. We should probably leave Annabeth alone.”

She gave Miles an incredulous look. “Why, so she can fondle her envelopes? Nope. This calls for a day on the town.”

 

AUTHOR INFO

Nicole Evelina headshot horizontalNicole Evelina is an award-winning historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her upcoming novel, Been Searching for You (May 10), a romantic comedy, won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.

She also writes historical fiction. Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view, was named Book of the Year by Chanticleer Reviews, took the Grand Prize in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romance, won a Gold Medal in the fantasy category in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and was short-listed for the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. Later this year, she will release Madame Presidentess (July 25), a historical novel about Victoria Woodhull, America’s first female Presidential candidate, which was the first place winner in the Women’s US History category of the 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction.

Nicole is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for The Historical Novel Society, and Sirens (a group supporting female fantasy authors), as well as a member of the Historical Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, Broad Universe (promoting women in fantasy, science fiction and horror), Alliance of Independent Authors and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Her website is http://nicoleevelina.com. She can be reached online at:

 

Nicole Evelina with Camelot’s Queen

Camelot%27s Queen eBook Cover LargeToday I am happy to welcome Nicole Evelina to the Starla Kaye blog with CAMELOT’S QUEEN, the second book in her Arthurian legend trilogy.

The Men of Camelot’s Queen

Most of my guest posts about my Arthurian legend trilogy center on Guinevere, which makes sense as she’s the POV character and it’s her story. And because my books are unabashedly telling the female side of the story, I talk a lot about other key female characters like Isolde, Elaine and Morgan.

However, when I got to thinking about this blog post, I realized that given Starla is a romance writer and my books have strong romantic elements (though that HEA is elusive until the third book), it might be a good idea to give the boys a little love. So, here are brief description of each of the main men in Guinevere’s life in Camelot’s Queen (Book 2 of Guinevere’s Tale) and who I imagine playing them in a movie/TV version.

BTW – I ask readers to please read the first book, Daughter of Destiny, before reading Camelot’s Queen. You probably could read Camelot’s Queen on its own, but you will miss many of the relationships and motivations built up in the first book, which may lead to misunderstanding or frustration, and I want you to have a pleasant reading experience. But whether you read both or jump straight into this one, please know this is not your mother’s Guinevere, or Arthur, for that matter – but I hope you enjoy them all the same.

King Arthur

Played in my head by Christian Kane of Leverage and The Librarians

Arthur is our alpha male, our leading man in this second book of the series as he becomes Guinevere’s husband. Even though neither of them intended to marry one another, he really does love her and would give his life to protect her. He’s a warrior through and through and a responsible king who truly cares about his people. He’ll fight you just as soon as bed you, which makes my battle-trained Guinevere quite happy. But he does have quite a past with the ladies, and two of them come back to haunt him in this book.

Lancelot

Played in my head by Adrian Grenier of Entourage fame

Lancelot is of course, Guinevere’s famous lover. I purposefully made him manly, but not totally alpha because I didn’t want him in direct competition with Arthur. He had to have a little softness (but Lord, not as much as the guy in the movie version of Camelot…that was too much even for me), which I found he wanted to express in his tender workings with horses. Hence, Lancelot became a type of “horse whisperer” whose techniques I gleaned from the ancient horse master Xenophon. He is a bit of a flirt and has been around the block more than once in his day, but his heart will always belong to Guinevere.

Aggrivane

Played in my head by Orlando Bloom of Pirates of the Caribbean

Aggrivane, as we learn in the first book of the series, has the heart of a poet, more beta than alpha. He and Guinevere were each other’s first loves, and no matter what life throws at them, there will always be part of them that is linked, like it or not. They are about as star-crossed as Romeo and Juliet, and as such, are vulnerable to betrayals real and imagined, which unfortunately, have series consequences in this book.

Malegant

Played in my head by Joseph Morgan of The Vampire Diaries/The Originals

We all like the bad boys, right? Well Malegant is more than your average knight with a dark side. He’s more than a little psychotic and as we eventually see, enjoys inflicting pain. But he has his reasons, his own dark past that made him into who he is. Is it bad that I loved writing him?

Mordred

Played in my head by Mat Czuchry of The Good Wife

Mordred is fun character to explore because he’s not given much of a personality in the traditional legends beyond his betrayal and murder of his father. In Camelot’s Queen, you see him grow into manhood in the shadow of his renowned father. He’s seventeen when the book ends and he commits his first act of betrayal (against Guinevere). In this case, it has nothing to do with Morgan and everything to do with the result of his drunken actions. He tries to be a good man, but his moral compass is a bit off center, and in the third book, we’ll see absolute power corrupt him.

Merlin

Played in my head by Jonathan Rhys Meyers of The Tudors and Velvet Goldmine

A hot Archdruid? Hell, yes! Imagine Merlin with long red hair like in the beginning of Velvet Goldmine before Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ character goes all Ziggy Stardust. He’s handsome and powerful and he knows it, but he’s also devoted to Viviane. That is, at least until a young girl name Nimue comes of age and turns her obsessive love on him. Even for all his power, Merlin is helpless to resist her charms. We all know this story doesn’t end well, but the method and reason may surprise you.

I’d love to know who is your favorite hero of Arthurian legend. Are you team Lancelot or team Arthur? Or maybe someone else? And why?

 

BLURB – Camelot’s Queen

History remembers Guinevere’s sin, but it was Arthur who transgressed first.

Forced into a marriage she neither anticipated nor desired, Guinevere finds herself High Queen, ruling and fighting alongside Arthur as they try to subdue the Saxons, Irish and Picts who threaten Britain from every direction. Though her heart still longs for her lost love, Guinevere slowly grows to care for her husband as they join together to defeat their enemies.

Meanwhile, within the walls of Camelot their closest allies plot against them. One schemes to make Guinevere his own, another seeks revenge for past transgressions, while a third fixes her eyes on the throne. When the unthinkable happens and Guinevere is feared dead, Arthur installs a new woman in her place, one who will poison his affections toward her, threatening Guinevere’s fragile sanity and eventually driving her into the arms of her champion.

Amid this tension a new challenge arises for the king and queen of Camelot: finding the Holy Grail, a sacred relic that promises lasting unity. But peace, as they will soon learn, can be just as dangerous as war. As the court begins to turn on itself, it becomes clear that the quest that was to be Arthur’s lasting legacy may end in the burning fires of condemnation.

This highly anticipated sequel to Daughter of Destiny proves there is much more to Guinevere’s story than her marriage and an affair. See the legend you think you know through her eyes and live the adventure of Camelot’s golden days yourself – but be prepared to suffer its downfall as well.

BUY LINKS – Camelot’s Queen     Amazon (ebook and paperback)     Nook     Kobo     iBooks     Smashwords

 

 

vertical-author photoAuthor Info

Nicole Evelina is an award-winning historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her most recent novel is Camelot’s Queen, the second book in an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view.

Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, took first place in the legend/legacy category of the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romance, and was short-listed for the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. Her upcoming novel, Been Searching for You (May 10), a romantic comedy, won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests. Later this year, she will release Madame Presidentess (July 25), a historical novel about Victoria Woodhull, America’s first female Presidential candidate, which was the first place winner in the Women’s US History category of the 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction.

Nicole is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for the The Historical Novel Society, and Sirens (a group supporting female fantasy authors), as well as a member of the Historical Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, Broad Universe (promoting women in fantasy, science fiction and horror), Alliance of Independent Authors and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Her website is http://nicoleevelina.com. She can be reached online at:

 

Kim McMahill with A Taste of Tragedy

ATasteofTragedy_ebookcover copyToday I am welcoming Kim McMahill to the Starla Kaye website with A Taste of Tragedy.

BlurbA Taste of Tragedy

Morgan Hunter sacrificed everything for her career. She had yet to encounter anything she wasn’t willing to do to succeed . . . until now. When she uncovers evidence that the healthy foods she’s been hired to promote may be dangerous, she must reevaluate her priorities. As questions mount and the body count rises, she finds herself caught in the crosshairs of an organization that will stop at nothing to hide its secrets and protect its profits. With no one else to trust, Morgan is forced to seek help from the man she drove away, but whom she never stopped loving.

Buy Link – Amazon pre-order link http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DTE29U2/

ExcerptA Taste of Tragedy

“Here, let me help you,” Morgan said as she draped Devyn’s arm around her shoulders.

Morgan tried to relieve as much weight as she could from Devyn as she helped her hobble to the waiting vehicle. Once Devyn was seated in the cramped back seat, Morgan dug out her emergency supply bag. She handed Devyn a blanket and a bottle of water. “I have a first aid kit, but I think you need something a little more than a bandage.”

“It’s just a few scratches. I’ll live.”

Morgan could see why Nick trusted Devyn with his back. As she looked at the battered and bruised woman, who had taken off into the desert in the middle of the night in bare feet to prevent a criminal from getting away, she had to admire her. Devyn had to be in extreme pain, yet not a complaint escaped her lips.

“Make room in the back,” Nick huffed.

Morgan looked up to see Nick trudging toward her with an inert Aaron slung over his shoulder. She raced to the tiny back cargo area and moved a few items around so Nick could squeeze the body in the vehicle.

“Is he dead?” Morgan whispered.

“Not quite, but we need to get him medical help A.S.A.P. The bullet didn’t hit any vital organs, but I’m not sure how much damage he suffered from the knock to the head”

Morgan watched as Nick set the man down in the vehicle, and then she joined Devyn in the back seat. Turning around and kneeling, she was able to lean over the seat and assess Aaron’s injuries. She folded up a handkerchief and placed it over Aaron’s gunshot wound and applied pressure. She wasn’t sure which was bleeding more, the bullet hole or the bump and cut to the head, but she had to try and slow the blood loss any way she could.

“That’s all we can do for now,” Nick said. “Just keep the pressure on the best you can.”

Morgan nodded as Nick secured the back and then got behind the wheel.

“You okay?” Nick asked as he turned to face Devyn.

“I’ve had better days, but sadly, I’ve had worse.”

 

Author Bio

Kim McMahill grew up in Wyoming, which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. Kim started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense. Along with writing adventure novels Kim has also published over eighty travel and geographic articles, and contributed to a travel anthology and cookbook. Kim currently resides in Colorado, and when not writing, she enjoys gardening, traveling, hiking, and spending time with family.

Author Links

Website: http://kimmcmahill.com

Blog:  http://kimmcmahill.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kimmcmahill.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/849945.Kim_McMahill

Erzabet Bishop with Holidays in Hell

HolidaysInHell_ByErzabetBishop-453x680Today I’m welcoming back Erzabet Bishop with her paranormal holiday romance, HOLIDAYS IN HELL.

 

BLURB – Holidays in Hell

This year Christmas just got a little hotter.

Deck the halls with all things kinky. Jonas is an incubus with an incurable lust for women, gingerbread, and holiday lights. He needs one more soul to meet his quota. Amid the baubles and frivolity of the Winter Carnival, he meets Holly Pendleton—a woman with emerald green eyes and a body built for sin—and marks her as the final soul to end his contract. But now Jonas faces a heart-wrenching decision: take what he needs to feed his hunger, or sacrifice himself for the woman who has lit his own demonic soul on fire. Tied up with red ribbons, Holly just might be Jonas’s deepest Christmas wish and the one woman who could set him free.

Holly Pendleton is still recovering from the death of her husband and Dom. The holidays are especially lonely until a dark stranger walks in the door to Harlowe’s Bookery and Christmas Shoppe. The man’s enigmatic gaze holds her and ignites her body and her mind. When Holly accepts a job to decorate the sexy client’s apartment, she unknowingly steps into an age-old battle between the forces of darkness. Jonas Corsair is a man who makes her blood run hot and her dreams even hotter. But will she survive his hold on her soul?

BUY LINKS:  Etopia Press     Amazon     All Romance eBooks

Holidays in Hell is the beginning to my new series, Demons in Darkness. The next two books will be released in 2016.

EXCERPT – Holidays in Hell

Holly Pendleton balanced a pile of books in her arms and made her way out of the stockroom. She glanced over at her boss and best friend, Gracie Harlowe, at the register and smiled. She enjoyed the busy throng of people at the winter carnival and usually looked forward to it. She had worked other retail jobs in the historic downtown shopping district, but working here was a dream come true. When Gracie had called her up three months ago and offered her the assistant manager’s job, she had taken it and hadn’t looked back.

Teetering on the edge of depression for months after watching her husband die of cancer, Holly was having a hard time finding the holiday spirit this year.

Derek had only been thirty-four, she thought bitterly. They’d been married for nine years, but she had known him since she was a geeky freshman in high school. The hole was too big to fill, and it left her feeling empty.

Still, she was grateful to Gracie for kicking her in the pants and getting her out of bed and back into the world again. Just in time for the holidays too. It was a special time that she and Derek had always shared. He would have wanted her to be happy.

She laid the stack of Christmas cookie books on a festive table near the window display and straightened the array of titles. Her gaze wandered to the small kitchen at the back of the store, and she made a mental note to grab some more cookies to refill the party trays on the dessert table.

“Holly!” Gracie waved her arms. “Can you grab me another stack of Fifty Shades of Grey?”

She glanced at the display where the books were and found they were down to one copy. Not good. Sales had started to slow down, but erotica had been steadily increasing over the past few months. It made her laugh to see the smut novels near the holiday displays, but it made the customers happy, so who was she to quibble? Besides, she loved reading them herself.

“I’ll get them!” Holly wound her way back into the stockroom and yanked a box off the overstock shelves. She grabbed a box cutter, deftly opened the box and placed the books on a cart, adding some of the second, third, and the new fourth book in the series, as they were getting a little on the low side too.

Erotic romance books were one of the few things she let herself enjoy these days, and she had several customers who came back to ask her about the latest and greatest. It was a fantasy land that took her beyond the walls of hospitals and now, the silence of the apartment at night. Reading was safe. She never even considered dating again. That part of her life was over.

Holly shook off the melancholy and hoofed it back onto the shop floor. Stacking the books onto the table, she arranged them in orderly piles of gray covers with erotic masks, ties, and handcuffs. She passed the romance section and gathered up some of her favorites to restock her promo shelf at the storefront. Cherise Sinclair, Kallypso Masters, Jasmine Haynes, Red Phoenix, Rachel Kramer Bussel…she loved them all. There were so many great writers that had made bondage erotica take off. Fifty Shades may have gotten the public reading again, but she had been a fan for years. Now the movie had come out for the famous books, and she wondered how it compared.

Smiling wistfully, she caressed the covers and wished her husband were still with her. She missed his firm hand and their power exchanges. He had been more than just her husband. He had been her Dom. Losing him had been the collapse of her entire world. If it hadn’t been for these books and Gracie, she would still be huddled in a miserable ball, crying her eyes out and wondering why he had to die. He was so young, and they hadn’t had much time.

“Can you help ring for a second?” Gracie called out and made a quick jaunt to the restroom in the back of the store.

Holly moved behind the counter and smiled as a woman arrived in front of her to check out. It was a unique store, and she loved being here. Gracie had crafted a special place for book lovers, and every holiday she spruced it up beautifully. Even when she wasn’t working here, Holly loved to come and check out the newest selections and pick up a couple of items for the house. Halloween, Christmas, or whatever was happening, Gracie always seemed to have the perfect balance of home décor and books to dive into, whether it was a cozy mystery or a pulse-pounding thriller. In the early days, it had just been decoration, but now she had expanded the business to selling the trees and offering to spruce up clients’ homes. The shop was every bit as special as Gracie, and it had, over the years, become Holly’s second home, even before she started working there.

Decorating clients’ businesses and homes and working behind the shop counter kept her busy. Putting up a tree gave her joy, and she saw how other lives were touched by a few twinkle lights and some tinsel. She’d done some decorations for the folks in the cancer ward, and this was a natural transition. If she could bring happiness by hanging a wreath or by delivering an order of books to a shut-in woman, then she was pleased to do it. It took her mind off the loneliness and gave her a purpose. This time of year especially.

The front door opened with a blast of snowy air, and an imposing thirty-something man sporting a thigh-length leather coat blew in. His chiseled features and mass of dark hair made her catch her breath and falter in her task of ringing up the woman in front of her. The black sweater he wore under his coat looked striking against the dark blue of his eyes. The gray slacks draped over his frame, his black boots befitting the weather outside. He said nothing to her, his gaze captivated by the display of holiday decorations.

How odd.

He reminded her of one of the Doms in her collection of books. Heat spiked through parts of her she’d thought were as dead as her husband. She wondered how it would feel to unwrap that package.

Blushing, Holly turned back to the customer in front of her. Good grief, she hoped he hadn’t noticed her staring.

Holly finished ringing the books up and slipped them into a bag. She tossed in a candy cane with a card offering their holiday decorating services attached. “Here you go. Have a wonderful day.”

The woman waved good-bye and shuffled out the door into the snow. Looking anywhere but at the enigmatic man in front of her, Holly fought the sensation of butterflies fluttering in her stomach. He was incredible. The way his well-built form filled the space made her eyes automatically seek him out. Warmth stirred in her lower belly, and she nibbled on her lip.

“Hello. Welcome to Harlowe’s.” She fiddled with the hem of her sweater and felt a surge of heat rush up the sides of her face.

Ugh. How lame was she to just blurt that out?

The man raised an eyebrow, a dark and sensual smile sliding over his features. “Thank you.” His voice melted over her like chocolate, and she shivered.

Holly turned away and busied herself with stuffing bags with holiday activity lists. What kind of horrible woman was she to even be reacting to another man just a year after her husband’s passing? Lusting after the man in gray. Her lips thinned. No. She wasn’t ready for those feelings. Especially not from a stranger she had seen for all of thirty seconds.

She sneaked a glance at him while she straightened gift bags. He walked up to the Christmas tree in the front window and stroked its branches. Fingering the ornaments, he explored their small holiday store with a reverence that reminded her of a priest in church. Men usually didn’t bother with Christmas tree ornaments, but he was enraptured. It was mystifying.

A flush crept across Holly’s face. Stirrings of longing zapped through her body as she wondered if this dark-haired stranger knew his way around a flogger. Sighing deeply, she knelt down to pick up a bag that had fallen off the counter while she worked.

“Time for a cold shower tonight,” Holly mumbled. Sensing someone in front of the register, she stood.

“Hi. Did you need help finding anything…?” The very source of her temptation stood right in front of her. Oh God. She wanted to reach right across the counter and run her tongue over those amazing lips.

 

Erzabet picAUTHOR BIO

Erzabet Bishop is a bestselling and award winning author who loves to write naughty stories. She is the author of Lipstick, Dinner Date, Crave, The Science of Lust, Wicked for You, Arcane Imaginarium: Spirit Board, Holidays in Hell, Sigil Fire, Written on Skin, Club Beam, Pomegranate, A Red Dress for Christmas, The Black Magic Café, Fantasies in Red, Sweet Seductions: The Erzabet Bishop Collection, Holiday Cruise, Fetish Fair, Temptation Resorts: Jess, Temptation Resorts: Marnie, Taming the Beast, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation along with being a contributor to many anthologies. Erzabet has been a finalist in the GCLS awards for 2014 and 2015, winning the Goldie for her spot in two anthologies. She has been nominated for the 2016 Golden Flogger Award for Crave. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies. When she isn’t writing, she loves to review music and books.

AUTHOR LINKS:   Website and Newsletter     Twitter     Facebook     Facebook “like” Page     Review Blog     Amazon Author Page     All Romance eBooks     Goodreads     Pinterest     Street Team

 

 

Chanta Rand with Rise of a Queen

Rise of a Queen
By Chanta Rand
~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Blurb:

A dead husband. An unconsummated marriage. She needs an heir. Any man will do.


1061 AD. A sprawling empire rich in gold, resources, and military might dominates West Africa. It’s The Kingdom of Ghana, and it’s at the height of its power.

Twenty-year old Nabeela is grappling with her own power struggle. In order to save her younger sister from their step-brother’s clutches, Nabeela agrees to marry a repulsive African prince and bear him an heir. However, her plans are waylaid when tragedy strikes on her wedding night—her new husband dies—without consummating their marriage.

She must find a replacement to impregnate her immediately. Any man will do—including a drunken soldier her servants find naked taking a bath in a neighboring village. Nabeela holds him captive and coerces him into having sex with her—stealing the one thing he can never get back—his seed.

What she doesn’t know is the soldier is Rafan, Commander of a warring tribe’s royal army, and one of her family’s arch enemies. Eager for revenge, Rafan tracks her down once he’s released. But when these two reunite, they realize their lust for each other is far greater than their disdain.

Enamored by Nabeela’s beauty and bravery, Rafan makes her an offer of marriage, and the promise to help her become queen. He convinces her that they are stronger allies than enemies. Even though they share a commitment to unite, there are others who are determined to destroy them and their plans, including the one person Nabeela would have never suspected. In the end, she’s is forced to choose between her passion and her ambition.

~*~*~*~*~*~
Buy Link: Amazon | 

~*~*~*~*~*~
An Interview with the Author

What can you share with the readers about yourself, maybe something fun that they wouldn’t guess?

I’m a zombie connoisseur. I don’t know if it’s a secret that I’m a fan of The Walking Dead. However, I’m really into the makeup. It has to be authentic and believable. I dissect every zombie show and scrutinize the zombie movements and clothing. The special effects have to be on point. I need to see lots of blood, gore, bones crunching and guts splattering. The non-zombie characters can’t simply stab a zombie in the head and not get blood and brain matter all over them. I look for details. The plot is also important. You just can’t have zombies running around willy nilly with no rhyme or reason. There must be a goal or a plan. One day, I’m going to write a zombie romance, but in the meantime, I’m satisfied with being a spectator.

What is in your To Be Read pile?

  • Spider’s Revenge by Jennifer Estep
  • The Rules by Delaney Diamond
  • Jet III by Russell Blake
  • The Auction by Eve Vaughn
  • Thrown for a Curve by Sugar Jamison
  • Naughty Words for Nice Writers by Carol Bristol

Are you an outliner, a write by the seat of your pants author, or a combination?

A combination of the two. I usually start out with a general idea. Then, I bullet point the major plot points. I have had rare moments of insanity where I outlined each chapter down to the lowercase ‘i’. Lastly, I write. The characters usually decide where to take me, and I follow—by the seat of my pants.

What was your favorite scene in this book?

There are so many exciting scenes in this book it’s hard to choose. I love the opening prologue that shows how the heroine, Nabeela learned to hate the Sanjadas, a rival clan of which the hero, Rafan is a member. But I guess if I had to pick a favorite scene, it would be Nabeela and Rafan’s first kiss. It was raw, powerful, and shocking for both of them.

Do you have a favorite character and why?

My favorite character in Rise of a Queen is Ghazi, Nabeela’s evil stepson. I don’t particularly like him, but I liked how he forced his way into the novel. I have a fascination with villains. I’m always trying to find their redeeming qualities. Unfortunately, Ghazi has none. He’s ugly, power-hungry, and sadistic. Black-hearted snakes like him deserve to die. Or do they? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

My favorite character of all my books is Vic Romano. Vic is tall, dark, and has the sexiest green eyes I’ve ever seen. He’s also an ex-con trying to get his life back together after five years in prison. He’s the kind of hero I could easily fall in love with. If you want to know more about Vic, check out my erotic novella, Blueprint for Love.

Author Info:

Chanta Jefferson Rand is an Emma Award winning Debut Author of the Year, a multi-published, best-selling author of sizzling-hot romance, and the former host of The Chanta Rand Show. An avid reader of all genres, she stepped onto the scene in 2010 with her first published historical romance, Pharaoh’s Desire. 

Chanta is a history junkie, a Walking Dead fan, and a recovering shoe addict. She never met a stiletto she didn’t like! If you still want more, check her out at www.ChantaRand.com or email her at [email protected].



Remember: You can’t expect any sizzle…if you don’t turn up the heat!

Chanta’s Social Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Mailing List  

Sheila Stewart with Seducing The Darkness

seducingthedarkness ecoverToday I am welcoming Sheila Stewart to my blog with her paranormal romance, SEDUCING THE DARKNESS, Book 1. The series was previously published.

BLURB – Seducing the Darkness, Book 1

An outcast by her kind, Trinity Ford has learned to live on her own..not an easy thing to do when you’re a vampire.

Trinity was once a fragile girl. Being taken by a powerful vampire prince changed her, Discivering gin in the arms of another woman changed destiny. Alone, she’s earned fast how to be tough, how to survive, and how to protect the people of her city from the evil that lurks in the dark. She was managing just fine, until Basil walked back into her life.

Basil Hawthorn has been the reigning prince of vampires since banishing his father to the Realm of Dark Mystics decades earlier, When a perfect dream makes him realize Trinity is at risk, he decides the only way to save her is to push her away. Doing so is not easy. Trinity is the only woman he has ever loved, ever will long and he can’t seem to let her go.

When rumors arise of a place to raise the king ad blot out the sun, both Trinity and Basil know they must do everything to stop it. Even if it means working together. Despite the betrayal and the threat, they find themselves drawn to each other. Love has no boundaries, especially in the face of danger. But will they be able to stop the ritual before it’s too late?

Or will the darkness capture them both.

BUY LINKS: Champagne Publishing     All Romance eBooks

CONTEST: Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of SEDUCING THE DARKNESS. One lucky commenter will be chosen.

 

Comments from the author about the series

When this series was originally published I started something called. “Moments of Darkness” where I would share a quote from the Darkness books daily. I thought it would be fun to share some interesting moments in the series to entice the readers. It was a huge success so I thought, why not do it again. I hope you enjoy these ‘Moments of Darkness’ from Seducing the Darkness.

“I got laid, enough said.” Jonah

“Now, you wanna take off, or am I going to have to mess up that pretty face of yours?” Trinity

“You couldn’t handle me, bitch.” Vampire

“You don’t want to mess with me, jerk,” Trinity

“Go ahead and dust him, he’s useless.” Basil

“How have you been?” Basil

She rolled her shoulders, the itch still irritating her.

“Better now that I left you.” Trinity

“Yeah, I was such a treasure, that’s why you decided to fuck another woman. Leave me alone, Basil.” Trinity

“Please, I have to love you. If I don’t, no one else will. Lexi

“I have been telling you for years to move up into the twenty-first century. You pick now to do it.” Lexi

“I like you, Cooper, so I’m giving you fair warning to walk away.” Trinity

“Careful now, those things can kill.” Basil

“You know as well as I that when you call me, awake or asleep, I am compelled to go to you.” Basil

“I never called you, but if by some rare and utterly impossible way I might have called to you, it was with distain.” Trinity

“You want what only I can give you.” Basil

“I want you dead,” Trinity

“Do you vow to give your life for your master?” Chaos

“Oh, Moose, now you’ve gone and hurt my feelings.” Trinity

“This is me not giving a shit.” Moose

“Damn it, no marring the face.” Trinity

“She couldn’t kill me even if it meant her life.” Basil

“One wrong move and it is dusty dreams for you.” Chaos“Am I supposed to be terrified now?” Trinity

“I don’t intend to kill you, my dear. Just rough you up enough to get my point across.” Chaos

“Aw, are you still hurt at the fact that he was banging another cunt while he was pretending to love you?” Chaos

“Have at her boys, but do leave her breathing in the end.” Chaos

“You know, I’m the one that should be pissed at you after what you did to my dick.” Basil

“No man ever deserves that.” Basil

“You’re not a man.” Trinity

“Ouch!”Basil

“Or, I could change back into a wolf and give you a ride home.” Basil

“You may think you’re brave and capable of taking care of yourself, but we both know you need me.” Basil

“You and I both know that is not true. Where would you be now, my love, had I not come to you and changed your life?” Basil

“If you needed me so much, why’d you cheat on me?” Trinity

 

PG13 EXCERPT – Seducing the Darkness, Book 1

She watched a group of young girls—and if they were of legal age, she would eat her shoes—stumble from the bar. They separated and two went off towards the street while the last wandered drunkenly down the dark alley.

Oh yeah, like this was going to end well.

“Five, four, three, two, one. Bam!” She shot her hand out just as a vampire jumped from out of the shadows and right beside the stupid young girl. Shaking her head, Trinity moved towards the screaming girl. Idiot.

“I don’t think you want to be doing that.”

The tall, gangly, greasy haired vampire jerked and spun around to face Trinity. His teeth were primed for the kill, his yellow eyes glaring at Trinity as if she were his next meal. The poor girl in his arms was wailing something awful.

“Yeah, says who?”

Trinity lifted a brow, cocked her body to one side and rested her hand on her hip. “Jesus, could you have said anything more lame?

Let the girl go and no one has to get hurt.”

“How ‘bout I keep her and you wait against the wall until I’m done?” He jerked the girl towards him, yanking her head back to expose her neck. He was just about to bite down when Trinity placed a hand on his shoulder. He looked up and his face froze.

“How ‘bout I don’t.” Trinity bared her fanged teeth to show him she was not going to back off. “Beat it kid.” She clamped her hand on the vampire’s shoulder, her nails digging into his flesh as she jerked her head at the girl. As she’d suspected, the guy was a wimp.

He released the girl who immediately ran off screaming.

“Now, you wanna take off, or am I going to have to mess up that pretty face of yours?” she asked sarcastically as she glared down at him.

“You couldn’t handle me, bitch.” He slapped her hand free, then curling his fingers in a fist, threw a punch at her face.

She was ready and ducked out of the way. Slicing her hand up, she chopped him in the neck, sending him crumbling on the ground. “You don’t want to mess with me, jerk,” she advised as she planted a booted foot on his jugular. The razor blades she had attached to the toe drew a small amount of dull gray, deoxygenated blood as she pressed it just below his chin.

“Go ahead and dust him, he’s useless.”

Trinity glared over her shoulder at the man she had once been destined for and felt her heart ache. She couldn’t stop herself from admiring the beauty of the man before her. His long dark hair floated in the light breeze sweeping away from a face sculpted of fine bone and delicate skin. He looked so dark and dangerous in that long, black leather coat he always wore. One look into his translucent blue eyes turned her heart to mush.

Then she reminded herself how much she detested him.

To show she wasn’t a push over, Trinity pressed her foot harder, the razor blades cutting into the vampire’s neck. His arms flailed out, trying to yank her foot away from his neck. His legs kicked wildly, but

Trinity had a good ten pounds on the scrawny vamp. Tilting her toe downward, she sliced deep into his neck, finally cutting his head off.

In a whoosh he disintegrated into a pile of dust, his last breaths used to scream his way to death.

She took a deep breath, shook the remnants of a useless life from her boot then turned. “Basil.”

“Trinity.” They stalked each other like the predators they were, neither taking their eyes off the other. “You’re looking good.”

Her breath always caught in her throat when she looked into those icy blue eyes of his. Unlike the rest of her race that had yellow eyes,he had the color of his heritage. He was royal. “So are you, but you already know that. Was he one of yours?”

“Would I have cared if you dusted him if he was one of mine?” His hand slid to his pocket and he pulled the pack of cigarettes from his pocket. “How have you been?”

“Better now that I left you.” And wasn’t it odd how acrid a lie could taste?

“I noticed you’ve had your belongings gathered from our home.”

“Your home,” she corrected, keeping her distance from him. She knew perfectly well being close to him would have dire repercussions.

“Have you settled into your apartment, then?”

He was being so nice, so civil. She didn’t like it. “Why are you here, Basil?”

“I might ask the same of you, Trinity.” He lit the cigarette smoothly and the flame showed a devastatingly handsome face, with curves and lines and strength.

“I’m protecting the humans,” she remarked with an edge in her voice.

“Always the warrior, my fiery princess.” He smiled sweetly as he drew long and hard on his cigarette, then smartly blew a ring of circles in the air. All without taking his eyes from hers.

“Don’t call me that.” She hated when he called her that. Okay, once upon a time hearing him call her that made her hot, but that was then.

This was now.

“It’s what you are and always will be to me.”

“Yeah, I was such a treasure, that’s why you decided to fuck another woman. Leave me alone, Basil.”

In a quick shift that surprised her, he was in front of her, his hand clamped on her chin as he tilted her face to meet his. “Despite my indiscretion, I will always love you.” He dropped his cigarette and ground it out beneath his boot.

She jerked her chin free, snarling, “You have a funny way of showing it.”

Grabbing her chin again, this time he held a little tighter. “Love has many sides to it, my sweet.” He sealed his words with a sharp kiss, his teeth scraping her bottom lip right before he vanished into the night.

Cursing, Trinity spat on the ground, wanting to eliminate his flavour from her tongue. Bastard thought he could come back and act as if nothing had happened. Fuck him! She still remembered all too clearly what it had felt like to walk in on him and the woman crawling over his naked body.

Shaking herself free of him, Trinity walked away. The last thing she needed was the memory of Basil’s kiss or the feel of his touch on her skin. What she needed was a vicious kill. If only she could find one.

Coming soon: Desiring the Darkness, Book 2

AUTHOR BIO

image003Raised on a rural farm in Saskatchewan, Canada, Shiela Stewart relied on her vivid imagination to fill her days. Never did she realize that her need to tell a story would someday lead to becoming a published author.

In the fall of two thousand and six, Shiela published her very first book and she hasn’t stopped since.

When not writing, Shiela spends time with the love of her life and biggest supporter, William. She enjoys doting on her children and granddaughter. She has a strong affection for animals which is evident in the five cats, one dog, plenty of fish and one turtle she owns.

Some of her other passions are home décor, crocheting and knitting.

 

WHERE TO FIND SHIELA:  Website     Blog     Facebook     Twitter

 

 

 

Lola Karns with Bad Traveler

Amazon coverI’m welcoming Lola Karns to my website today with her small town, contemporary romance, BAD TRAVELER, from Decadent Publishing.

Some words from Lola Karns…

I’ve been getting into the holiday spirit. The five weeks or so between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day are the most stressful, fun and romantic time of the year in my opinion. I write a lot of holiday scenes. New Year’s Eve is my favorite in real life and to write. I love the illusion of a fresh start. In the spirit of the season, I’m sharing a scene from my Decadent Publishing release, Bad Traveler. The heroine, Gwen, invited her love interest, Kyle, to her home for a quiet New Year’s. I hope you will have a wonderful end to 2015 and that 2016 will bring more joy and love to you.

 

BLURB – Bad Traveler

Recipes are a way of life for Gwen Jones. Take one single mother, her infant daughter and a business plan for a small town bakery. Combine with an eventful cross-country flight, chance encounter with her college crush and a dash of motion sickness. Stir in a few nuts, or family members, and large quantities of chocolate. Will this recipe be an oven oops, or as delicious as her alma matter’s newest coach?

Having survived an attack in Afghanistan that cost him a leg and a wife, Kyle Collins developed a strategy to find meaning in life. He may be an assistant basketball coach but he refuses to sit on the sidelines. When the runs into the woman whose lips are as unforgettable as her brownies, Kyle decides to spice up Gwen’s recipes.

When a secret ingredient is thrown into the mix, can their recipe for a happily-ever-after rise to the occasion, or will it end up a hot mess?

BUY LINKS:  Amazon     Barnes & Noble     All Romance eBooks

 

 

EXCERPT – Bad Traveler

“Here.” With the remote in his hands, she sat on the middle of the dusty-sage-colored couch. He settled in near her, propping his feet on the coffee table. He wasn’t touching her. Not yet, but she’d change that and see if his interest from last night remained.

Tucking her feet underneath her on the opposite side from where he sat pushed her weight toward him. His arm came down across her shoulder, pulling her closer. Perfect. As he flipped through channel after channel, she rested her head against his broad shoulder. Warmth radiated off him. The whooshing heartbeat reminded her of the sound of the ocean in a conch shell. If this was as close as she got to paradise, so be it.

She lifted her head to face him. “Although this is too quiet for you, this is a much better New Year’s Eve than I expected to have.”

“I’ve never been one for big, noisy celebrations.”

They resumed an easy silence. She wanted him to kiss her, to make her toes curl like he did last night and every time she thought about him.

“We’re like some old married couple, too exhausted and easily annoyed to go out.” Amused at her own assessment, she chuckled, but stopped herself before continuing the idea aloud. Time would be kind to him. He’d still be sexy. “Of course, my parents have their annual progressive dinner party, and they’ve been married thirty-seven years. Do your parents do anything like that?”

“They go to my uncle’s house in the country. The family gets together, plays games, and then lights off some fireworks. It’s okay, but this is better.”

He touched her cheek with his fingers. Her lips parted in a silent invitation. Were the flames dancing in his green eyes mere reflections of the firelight or desire? Her hand traced the strong contours of his chin. Once, she thought she preferred a clean shave, but the way she craved feeling that stubble on her skin was a sign of how much she wanted him.

His mouth pressed against hers, and the weight of the world slipped away. For once, she stopped thinking about Chloe or her future or her everyday responsibilities. She lost herself in the warm yumminess of his kiss. His tongue explored her contours and eagerly returned the favor. As his fingers roamed across her arms and entwined themselves in her hair, her body became an electric circuit board going haywire.

Still holding her close, he broke their kiss. His forehead and nose touched hers. His warm breath inflamed her as he murmured, “My gorgeous Gwendolyn.” When his lips found hers again, she wanted Kyle more than ever.

His hand slid down to her sweater. Maybe the hideous nursing bra would pop open…. He touched a ridge of fabric near the clasp. She willed it to unlatch, so he could caress her breasts that ached in a way she never thought would be possible after becoming a mother. His fingers teased, pressing the sweater firmly against her skin, then falling away. If he kept up this pleasant torture, she’d rip off her own clothes.

She tugged at his instead, trying to liberate the undershirt he’d tucked into his jeans, preventing her access his bare flesh. His kisses stopped, but when his mouth found her earlobe, she bit her lip as a squeak escaped.

“You deserve better—”

A piercing cry broke through their gasps and moans.

“Chloe!”

 

AuthorAUTHOR BIO

Having worked as a bartender, shipping clerk, concierge, document translator, European history doctoral candidate, and more as she moved through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, Georgia, and Virginia, Lola decided she needed a more portable career. Writing fit the bill.

Lola currently resides in Minnesota with her husband, two children, two hairless cats and a fluffy ex-stray cat. When not writing, she enjoys baking, reading and drinking coffee. She is the author of Winter Fairy, Bad Traveler and Lucky Traveler.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:  Website     Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads     Pinterest

 

Alexa Bourne with Simple Treasures

AB_Simple Treasures_MDI am welcoming Alexa Bourne today to my blog with SIMPLE TREASURES. To begin with, Alexa has a few words for us all.

Happy Holidays, everyone! Whether you’re in an area with tons of snow, sunshine and sandcastles or one with cold, crisp air, I hope you’re enjoying the holidays.

The time between America’s Thanksgiving and the world ringing in the New Year is my favorite part of the year. Not only do I get to eat LOTS of good treats, but I get to spend time with family, shop for gifts and listen to Christmas music. And of course, I can’t deny getting presents is fun, too!

But honestly, for me, I love the holidays because people are a little kinder to each other, a little more patient, and people tend to appreciate the goodness they have in their lives more than they do during the rest of the year. Now some say people get crazy with their gift shopping, but I tend to focus on gifts that have meaning for the person, not the trendiest treats. In short, I go for quality over quantity or what the world says we must have.

How about you? Do you mow people down on Black Friday to get “the perfect gift”? Or do you focus more on sentimental presents?

 

BLURB – Simple Treasures

Take-charge bodyguard Colin Munro believes working for the International Protective Network will be the perfect occupation for him. Unfortunately, his trial assignment is protecting a woman who has no intention of blindly following orders. Aye, he’ll bring the bonnie lass in line because there’s no way he’ll allow her to ruin his chance of securing his dream job.

Physically and emotionally scarred during her stint as a U.S. soldier, Joanna Grainger wants nothing more than to enjoy life. New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh marks the beginning of her transformation. But when she witnesses a crime no one believes occurred, her plans come to a screeching halt. To make matters worse, her sexy but headstrong bodyguard has no compassion for her or the victim.

As danger hunts them during one of the busiest times of the year, Joanna must convince Colin she’s a worthy partner. But first, can she convince herself?

BUY LINKS:  Amazon     All Romance eBooks     Barnes & Noble     Smashwords

 

EXCERPT – Simple Treasures

Joanna bolted upright. Darkness wrapped her in its hideous embrace. And silence reigned. Her heart raced. She flattened her hands on the mattress beneath her.

Mattress. Bed. Colin’s hotel room.

Rustling sounds came from the floor. The bedside lamp flickered on. Colin propped himself up, one knee bent and an arm dangling over it. He squinted against the brightness. “Are you all right?”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.” She brushed her fingers under her eyes.

“Don’t be daft, lass.”

“I had a bad dream.” She smoothed her hair back off her face. Moisture beaded at her temples.

“Here we call it a nightmare.” He smiled, and at once she relaxed her shoulders.

“Americans do, too.” After another deep breath, she said, “I’ll be all right.” Once her heart rate slowed to normal. With her forearm, she wiped perspiration from her forehead.

He stood, padded into the bathroom, and ran the faucet. When he returned, he sat beside her, tucked his finger under her chin, and pressed the cloth to her cheek. The cool moisture soothed her burning skin.

She reached up and covered his hand with hers. “I can do that.”

“I know.” He brushed her fingers away. “But you’ll not.”

After a few seconds, he moved the wet towel across her forehead and to her other cheek.

When he reached her neck, she sighed and closed her eyes for a few valuable seconds.

“Thank you.”

His gentle caress reminded her how much she’d missed simple comfort…from anyone.

“You’re welcome.” The cloth soon disappeared. “Now, will you tell me what you dreamed about?”

“Mark Rawlings. I dreamed I was back in the train car and he was bleeding out on the floor. The guy with him faded into the background, but I could see the man’s hands and lips moving. I couldn’t hear anything, though. Then somebody jabbed me with something, and my blood drained out of my body, but there was nothing I could do. The guy standing stayed in front of me. There was another voice, but the words were garbled.”

“Did you see anyone else?”

“No, but at the end I wasn’t paying attention. I was losing consciousness.” She tilted her head to one side and into her palm. “Colin, what am I going to do if we don’t find the professor’s attacker soon?”

We’ll take it one day at a time.” Strong, confident, able to leap tall buildings and all…even in the middle of the night.

 

book signing picAUTHOR BIO

Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romance writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance and is thrilled to have the chance to share her stories with readers everywhere.

When she’s not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV, and thinking about exercising. Okay, she also spends way too much time interacting with readers and writers on social media sites. But don’t tell her editors! Find out more about her and her books on her website, www.alexabourne.com.

AUTHOR SOCIAL MEDIA

Website     Blog     Goodreads     Facebook     Twitter     Email

Ayla Ruse with Racing Wild

AyR_RGRacingWild_XLToday I’m welcoming Ayla Ruse to my blog with her Christmas story, RACING WILD.

Thank you, Starla for having me visit today. I love the holidays—Christmastime in particular. Everything is bright, festive and full of love and laughter and joy.

For the past several years I’ve written short Christmas tales set around the North Pole and the variety of elves found in this magical place. This year is no different. My story is entitled Racing Wild and it’s the first in the Reindeer Games multi-author series by Changeling Press. Here’s a little more about this tale…

Varian Swift of the Border Elves has two pressing desires: to win the finals in the annual Reindeer Games, and to find a mate before dawn.

Randolwyn of the Wild Elves runs the Games’ blacksmith shop. Once she thought she wanted a mate, but that was years ago, before a cruel trick made her turn her back on love.

When an accident brings Varian to Randolwyn’s shop, he’s struck with the bone-deep knowledge that he’s found his mate. But she doubts his claim, even as she’s drowning in his kisses.

Games are meant to have challenges, but with love on the line, games should take a back seat. Instead, this Christmas Eve becomes a race against the clock, a race to catch up, and a race to outrun those who dare to break them apart.

BUY LINKS:  All Romance eBooks     Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Now I would like to share with you an interview conducted with the elves Varian and Randolywn. Varian is a tall Border Elf and Randi is a slender Wild Elf with short, multi-colored hair.

Can you tell the readers a little about yourself?
Varian: There’s not a lot to tell, really. I’ve worked for Santa, patrolling the borders of the North Pole for too many years to count. I’m ready to settle down and find a mate, but the deal I worked out with Santa to retire is nearing its deadline. I’m racing in the Reindeer Games today, the last day, and I have until dawn to find a mate. I’m hoping to find someone to share the rest of my life with at the After Party tonight.

Randolwyn: First, please call me Randi. My adoptive herd, from the Wild, named me Randolwyn, and even though it’s sweet of them, I prefer the shorter Randi. Ah, what else? I don’t like being near the Pole and would much rather be back in the Wild, tending to and taking care of the reindeer herds there. But they seem to think I should find a mate, so they set me up a smithy shop during the Reindeer Games. Same story every year. I come, I work, I go home alone. I, ah, had a bad experience several years ago, so I’m good being alone. Very good, in fact.

What makes you blush?
Varian: Nothing that I can think of.

Randi: Umm…(she cuts her eyes to Varian), Varian actually.

Varian: Really?

Randi: You’ve not noticed? I’ve ,well, liked watching you since I first saw you win years ago. Your attention always makes me blush.

Varian: Is that so? Come to think of it, whenever I touch you like this…(he reaches over and runs a finger down her neck and follows the scooped neckline. Indeed, Randi starts to blush and I quickly clear my throat to get back on track.)

What upset your ordinary world and brought you into contact with each other?
Varian: Clyde, my reindeer, got a crack in his hoof—an hour before the last race in the Games. I had to find someone quick to make the repair, and lucky for me, no one was in front of me when we found the Reindeer Repair Shoppe. I walked in to ask the smithy to fix Clyde’s shoe. I left knowing I’d found my mate.

Randi: From my point of view, his coming into the shoppe is where we first officially met. Having the Sweet 5 chase us around all night is what really upset my world. Instead of bringing us together, they almost tore us apart.

The Sweet 5? What’s that?
Varian: It’s not a what, it’s a who. They’re a sweet group of pretty Southern Elves. Five of them, all best friends, who, uh, claim the winner of the Games every year as their own personal prize.

Randi: They’re very possessive and persuasive. Hopefully we’ve seen the last of them.

(I can’t help but note that Varian speaks of them with a slight fondness, even tolerance, while Randi scowls.)

What do each of you think about “love and romance”?
Varian: (he scratches the back of his neck and hedges a little). I think it’s important, but sometimes it has to take a back seat when there’s a deadline looming ahead.

Randi: (she snorts) It’s a bunch of hooey. Don’t’ fall for it, ladies. Nothing good can ever come of either.

Varian: (Takes Randi’s hand) But that was in the past, right? We’re something different now.

Randi: (Her grudging smile turns into a warm grin). Okay. Love and romance has its place. (She turns back to me) But it has to be real. It’s nothing but trash unless it’s real.

Who took the first step in heating things up between you?
Varian: Me.

Randi: Varian. I’d never have had the guts to do what he did.

Would you rather be caught in a wild moment of passion or tied down and taken?
Varian: I’m pretty much open to anything.

Randi: Caught by whom? I don’t like being spied on and if those five little devious little elves even think of chasing us down again… (she breaks off, her face screwed up. I change the subject, and I hope for their sake those five indeed leave this pair alone.).

What is the kinkiest sexual thing you’ve ever done?
Varian: (whispers) I really don’t want to say right now.

Randi: (overhears) Why not? You’re a legendary lover. Tell all.

Varian turns to Randi and pulls her close. “Nope,” he tells her, resting his forehead against hers, “I think the kinkiest sexual thing I’ve ever done actually hasn’t been done yet, because I’m saving that one for you.”

Randi blushes from her hair roots to her toes and kisses him full on the mouth. I try to ask a few more questions, but it’s obvious they believe the interview is over.

EXCERPT – Racing Wild

“Damn, Clyde. We have one more race before we can walk away with the grand prize. You couldn’t have waited to crack your shoe until after?” Varian Swift, a Border Elf from the Great River Expanse Region, lowered his reindeer’s hoof and shook his head. “Of all the lousy timing,” he muttered, setting his hands low on his hips and turning to look at the vendors scattered around the busy raceway. Peppermint Sticks made fresh, hot buttered rum served in classic peppermint vessels, and the Trinket Booth offered authentic jingle bells to adorn a reindeer’s antlers, but where was the repair shop? He’d never needed one before now, but surely there had to be a smithy somewhere nearby.

“C’mon, Clyde.” He motioned to his disabled reindeer. “Let’s hobble around the corner. Maybe the smithy’s closer to the back end of the loop.”

Varian moved away from the crowded vendors with Clyde doing a three-hoofed clomp behind him. Well-wishers and fans tried to stop the pair, but Varian was on a tight schedule. He didn’t let himself become cornered, but he gritted his teeth into a smile as he shook hands along the way.

For the past five years, he and Clyde had participated in the annual Reindeer Games, and every year they’d won all three divisions. If he won all three this year — which was now in question — he’d receive a bonus cash prize. True, he didn’t need the additional funds to purchase the stretch of land he had his eye on, but it would come in handy to set up his ranch.

He’d been protecting the western fringes of the North Pole for more years than he could count. He was itching for something different; he wanted to settle down. Last year, Santa had granted his permission for Varian to retire. The caveat was two-fold. Varian would have to own and patrol a sizeable piece of land along the western border (the easy part), and he had to find a mate (the hard part). The really difficult part, however, was that the agreement had a one-year term. It became null and void by sunrise tomorrow — Christmas Day. At which point, if Varian didn’t meet the two stipulations, he’d have to sign a new, twenty-year contract to continue patrolling the endless western border.

His reindeer nudged his elbow and Varian shook his head out of his musings to see what the reindeer had noticed.

“Good eyes, Clyde. Reindeer Repair Shoppe. Here we go.”

The vendor’s sign stuck out from oversized open barn doors. He and Clyde walked into the shop. A squat counter sporting an old cash register sat off to the right, and a placard along the wall spelled out services and prices, but other than these, the place seemed empty.

“Hello?” he called out. Faint sounds of metal clanging came from the back. Looking around, but not seeing anything with which to signal whoever was in the back, he shrugged and made his way to another wide opening on the left. He normally wouldn’t barge his way through anyone’s business, but he had a race to win and an Elven mate to find. He prayed that at the After Party, where Elves of all kinds gathered, he’d find at least one female he’d consider taking as a mate. He couldn’t be picky anymore.

The air grew warmer from the huge furnace he noticed on the left as he and Clyde entered the back of the shop.

“Hello,” he yelled, now spying a figure bent over an anvil. The thick apron, heavy gloves and welder’s mask shielded the figure.

After a minute the banging stopped. A sizzling sound sputtered through the shop as the Elf set whatever metal he’d been working on in a large vat of water and looked up, not giving any outward sign to acknowledge Varian’s presence. The Elf set down the tools he’d been using and walked toward him, removing gloves along the way.

The first thing Varian noticed was that this was no Workshop Elf. Too tall.

The Elf glanced at Clyde, made some kind of noise and Varian raised a brow when his reindeer lifted his damaged hoof. Were they talking to each other? What kind of Elf was this smithy?

The Elf nodded back and mumbled something else. Clyde chuffed out… a reply? The next thing Varian knew, the Elf removed the infernal welding mask.

Varian sucked in a breath and did his best not to let his jaw drop.

The blacksmith — a tall, willowy, female Elf — smiled, and he whooshed out a breath of air as if he’d been kicked in the chest by his reindeer. Damn, she nearly came to his chin in height. She sported short hair with streaks of red and black and burgundy. He normally wouldn’t think twice about it, but the multi-colors seemed to make her pale skin glow. An angular face, high-tipped ears and a graceful slender neck also captured his attention, but his gaze locked with her huge violet eyes. That is, until he zeroed in on full lips that promised pleasures untold with every movement.

Movement. Wait, she was talking to him.

“I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” he asked, stupidly. He’d never been tongue-tied before.

Her grin was a little shy and infectious. “I think I have a shoe to fit Clyde. You can stay or come back for him.”

He simply nodded, afraid if he tried to speak he’d trip over his tongue. Love at first sight was nothing more than human baloney, but damn, if it didn’t hit him hard right now. She turned around and his gaze immediately strayed to her slender back and slim waist where the apron strings cinched, to an uplifting, tight, curvy ass.

“Are you going to stay or leave?” she asked over her shoulder.

“I, ah, I’ll wait.”

His heart tripped and something in him grabbed his gut as if to yank him around to say, “She’s the one!”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Handed a historical romance at young age, Ayla Ruse fell in love with love and with happy endings.  Having grown up living life tasting a little of this and a little of that has not changed this attitude, but it’s expanded her views.  Love isn’t always happy and it isn’t always the way a person “thinks it should be.”  Sometimes it’s outside the box, and it’s always a challenge.

Ayla is a stay-at-home mother who also home schools three rambunctious children. In her (cough) free time, she loves the outdoors, reading, and exploring.

AUTHOR LINKS:  Website     Twitter     Facebook     Amazon Author Page     About Me Page