Saturday, August 6, 2016

Shelter Me Blitz & Excerpt!

New Adult Romance, Romantic Suspense
Date Published:  July 25, 2016

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There are ghosts in my past—ghosts I can't recognize.
My painting heals me, but Lucas Caine has made me come alive. My past could take both those things away forever. What started out as an undeniable need to create was quickly turning into danger as my longing for memories fed the rough canvases I filled.
Falling for Lucas will force me to revisit my lost memories—and possibly lose myself, my art, and him in the process.
And now he has me skating the thin edge between desire and fear as I use a past I don’t remember to leverage a future I’m not sure I want.

(This is book 1 in a 3 book series. Book 2 will be available November 2016 & Book 3, January 2017)


I absently tucked it into a loose braid over one shoulder while I studied the painting in front of me. I'd wanted to let Brayden pick the order, but he'd refused earlier that morning, and told me I was running out of time. At that memory, I murmured "Bastard" in his absence.

That's when a low, rough voice said, "People usually know me at least five minutes before calling me that."

Still on the floor, I whipped around to see the tall, brutally handsome man standing maybe ten feet away. How long had he been there? I hadn't heard him come in, but now that he was coming closer, I couldn't tear my eyes away.

The fight or flight response had remained intact when my memory hadn't. Everyone, every stranger wasn't necessarily a stranger. They could know me. They could be a part of my past.

Whether this man was or not, my base response to him was a purely physical one.

"The door was open," the man explained.

And it might've been. Brayden told me to lock myself in but I often forgot. Panic must have flashed across my face because he stopped advancing and held up his hands like a show of surrender. But he didn't try to tell me he was harmless, because he wasn't. Never could be. And the man who waited for him had moved too, turned his back in an effort to appear less threatening.

"My name's Lucas. I buy a lot of art from Brayden."

"Mine?" I asked.

"Not yet."

"I guess you'll have to try harder."

A smile ghosted across his chiseled face and I liked that. Wanted to see it more, wanted to be the one who could always bring a smile to his face.

 These men could be here to harm me and I was too busy with my tongue hanging out to threaten them with the police.

Because you rely on your gut, Ryn, my therapist, foster mom and Brayden always told me. That will get you through just about any situation.

My gut said this man knew I was Ryn Taylor, artist, but didn't know anything beyond that about me except what he'd read in interviews. Maybe he was here for my art, or maybe it was for me. But how could I feel so connected to someone I'd just met?


I rolled the name around in my mind as my eyes took in the black leather motorcycle jacket and the tighter black T-shirt underneath…the worn-in jeans and the heavy black motorcycle boots. I saw the hint of an expensive watch peek out on his wrist as he came closer.

I knew too, if I pushed up those sleeves, I'd find some ink. Incongruous, and ultimately intriguing.

 The angles of his face begged to be drawn, to be touched, and I held my hands down rigidly at my sides so I wouldn't do just that. "My show's not until tomorrow night," I managed.

"I know."

"Are you here to…" I looked around for Brayden, like he would magically appear and caught another glance of the other man by the door. "Are you here for Brayden?"

"For Brayden? No." His mouth quirked up to the side a little and he ran a hand through his dark blond hair. It was long enough to curl a bit at the nape of his neck, and it was rumpled, like maybe he'd just rolled out of bed…and maybe he hadn't been alone.

"You're not his type."

 His blue eyes pierced me. They were a dark blue and they missed nothing. "Whose type am I?"

Mine, I nearly blurted out. I was nervous, my stomach fluttering but not in that panicked way I recognized. Just the opposite, actually. Heat flooded me as he stared at me in my tank top and jeans with utmost appreciation, the frank gaze of someone who understood beauty and acted on it.

I wanted him to act, but at the same time, I needed him to stay away. I was too drawn to him, an electromagnetic pull that spun the earth on its axis differently. Something told me that I'd never get this man out of my life. I'd never be done with him, or him of me, and holy hell, that was a heady enough thought to make me dizzy.

I remained on my knees, stock still, looking up at him. I had the odd feeling that if I moved, even a little, I'd fall, trip, completely ruin the moment.

He gave me a heated look, and dammit, he knew what I was thinking.

Every woman who came into contact with him probably had that reaction. And that made me unnaturally, irrationally jealous because, in my mind, I'd already claimed him.

Finally, his gaze shifted to the paintings I'd been appraising. He focused on one that was part of a series that'd already sold well, thanks to Brayden. I'd wanted to call the series Man in Trees (and still did so) but Brayden told me it was creepy and insisted on simply, Catskills as the official series title. And while I could see what he meant, the person these were based on had never, ever scared me. But I couldn't tell Brayden these were based on someone real, because he'd freak out.

 Even though I was building an entire series around him, I'd never seen the man's face. Still, I'd always sworn I'd be able to sense him the way I'd sensed him out there before I'd caught sight of the shadowed figure, and even though I hadn't been able to see his face clearly, I knew he was big, broad and utterly male. I'd wanted to walk across the lawn, strip him and paint him…and then climb him after I stripped myself.

When I'd shown Brayden the first picture, he'd insisted on bringing it to the gallery. I hadn't wanted that, but I'd felt foolish telling Brayden about why the painting was so special to me, why I wanted to keep it. He told me that if I was sentimental about my work, I'd never get anywhere. In the end, after a terrible fight, I agreed to let him show it in his gallery, but I'd have final say if it was to be sold.

It was stolen a week later.

I stared up at Lucas as he stared at my painting—the fourth in a collection of nine, not counting the missing first one, all attempts to recreate those initial feelings that had propelled me to paint the first one. His expression unshuttered for a brief moment, like he was letting me in, drawing me closer to the fire.

I couldn't afford to play with fire, but he was like the ghost of the man I thought I'd conjured up on that warm summer's night in the Catskills. I was seventeen, dizzy and half high from creating. I'd glanced over and watched him. He was half hidden among the trees and if I hadn't been coming off a painting, I would've been terrified. Instead, I noticed how handsome he was, chiseled and mysterious.

I dreamed about him that whole week, less as the years went by, but always when I needed comfort, or when I was coming out of the burn of my art.

He'd been there. He was now here. Could I have wanted him so badly that my dream turned into reality? A ridiculous thought and one I chided myself for.

Creation didn't work that way.

I tried to draw in a shaky breath when this ridiculously beautiful, rough man moved a few steps in my direction, even though he was still focused on the painting.

The walls were closing in on me until he said, "Your work is beautiful," and turned from me to the paintings.

What little space he'd given me let me breathe. Even though I swore his gaze heated me, the fact that he was pointing to various paintings soothed me.

"My first show is tomorrow," was all I could think of to say, even though it was probably obvious.

"Your work is ready."

Your work. Like he knew I wasn't. "I don't think I'll ever be."

He turned back to me then. "That's not a bad thing. Protect whatever the hell makes these."

What made those was a part of the nightmare of my blacked-out past. What if discovering what was behind it stole the art from me, left me limp, with nothing? What if I had to trade nightmares and the thing I loved for peace? That haunted me, so I'd chosen not to have peace.

I remained on the ground, drawn to him, wanting to rise but refusing to do so. Sheer stubbornness and self-preservation mixed together.

He reached a hand down to help me up but I couldn't touch him. Not yet.

I pushed myself up. He was at least six foot four to my five feet four inches. The difference was dramatic.

He was so still, a predator, watching me with keen interest. I'd never been as intensely aware of a man in my life. I could smell his skin, wanted to taste it, put my mouth on his and forget everything else, including basic human decency.

I blamed the art. The heat. My lack of proper nutrition.

I stuck out my hand without saying anything, almost a dare. He took it in his and my pulse beat a tattoo. I felt the slow burn and then the aftershock quake through my whole body.

There was a definite sense of street in him, a primal, easily willing and able to fight for his life street sense.

His eyes were haunted, like maybe he already had.

There was no doubt he'd won.

About the Author

Stephanie Tyler is the New York Times bestselling author of romance novels spanning multiple genres, including Romantic Suspense, New Adult, Paranormal Romance and Contemporary Romance.
She’s a hybrid author who writes for multiple publishers, including Random House, NAL/Penguin, Harlequin, Carina Press, Mammoth Books, Belle Books and Samhain Publishing, as well as Riptide (as SE Jakes) and indie publishing. Her books have been translated into half a dozen languages, nominated for an RT Readers’ Choice Award and garnered top picks from RT Magazine as well as starred reviews from Publishers Weekly. She’s a frequent workshop presenter and has contributed stories for anthologies for charities, including SEAL of My Dreams, which has raised over 150K for the Veterans Medical Association.

Contact Links

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Haunted by the King of Death Barrage, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Haunted by the King of Death Blog Barrage - Felicity Heaton

Haunted by the King of Death, the eleventh book in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot paranormal romance series, Eternal Mates, is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release of Grave and Isla’s romance, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY and sharing sneak peeks of the book.

Enter the Haunted by the King of Death international giveaway (ends August 14th) and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate by using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post or at her website, where you can also download a 5 chapter sample of the novel:

Here’s more about the book and the savage and wicked vampire hero and his powerful phantom mate…
Haunted by the King of Death by Felicity Heaton

Haunted by the King of Death (Eternal Mates Romance Series Book 11)
Felicity Heaton

A ruthless vampire warrior, Grave Van der Garde rules the mercenary Preux Chevaliers with an iron fist, determined to retain his hard-won position as one of the most powerful men in Hell and his reputation as the heartless King of Death. But beneath the cold façade beats the heart of a vampire torn between love and hate, ripped in two directions by a single ethereally beautiful female—his fated phantom mate.
Driven by her phantom instincts, Isla used a spell to make her solid in order to deceive the vampire who killed her sister’s demon mate and have revenge on him, condemning him with a single kiss to become a phantom too. But her plan took an unexpected turn when she fell in love with him, and with her new life, and the night she betrayed him shattered both of their hearts. Now, he lives to make her suffer through their connection, one that is fading with them as they begin to slip into the phantom world, and she must face the monster she created if she is to save herself and the vampire she still loves.
With a demon from Grave’s past determined to destroy him and everything he holds dear, and the clock ticking down to their inevitable doom, can he and Isla overcome their past and their pride to work together to claim the future they both desire deep in their hearts? Or will death finally catch up with the vampire king and his phantom mate?

Haunted by the King of Death is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer at:

Haunted by the King of Death – Excerpt
Isla was in trouble. She had been in the midst of a battle between the elf kingdom and a dragon shifter’s army when her curved blades had fallen from her hands and she had collapsed. It had only been for a moment, but it had left her cold.
She was turning incorporeal again.
Part of her had known this day would come, and she had thought she would accept it, but now that it was here, she wanted to fight it. She had grown used to having flesh and blood, substance like her dearest sister.
Her hands shook as she raced up the white stone steps from the town at the base of the spire of rock upon which her sister’s castle stood, her eyes fixed on the towering fortress above her that glittered like snow in the waning light from the elf kingdom. Her long white hair bounced against her back as she lengthened her strides, taking two steps at a time now as she pushed herself to go faster. The demon soldiers of the First Realm moved aside for her as she rushed from her meeting in the garrison, driven to seek Melia.
She needed her sister, needed to speak with someone about what had happened. If anyone had an answer to her problem, it was Melia. She had been foolish to keep quiet about what had happened to her in the battle, had been stupid to believe it would be a one-time occurrence and that she would be fine. She should have spoken to Melia after the battle, but she had been too afraid to tell her, was still too afraid of what she might say. She needed to cling to hope, needed it with a ferocity that astounded her.
She had never realised just how much she had grown to love her life, had grown to love everything about it.
Except perhaps one thing—the reason she had sought the mage and subjected herself to the spell that had given her a solid form.
She reached the plateau where the castle stood and hurried across the courtyard, passing the beautiful white fountain that was the centre of so many happy memories of better days, long peaceful ones where she had spent all the hours with Melia, walking with her while she rocked her son to get him to settle.
The demons guarding the curved courtyard stood to attention, rising from the stone benches that surrounded the fountain and bowing their heads as they pressed their hands to the chest of their black uniform jackets. She nodded at each of them and slowed her pace, trying to collect herself as she approached the grand arched entrance of the white castle.
A few of the large demon males lifted their heads, their blue gazes inquisitive as they followed her. She knew she wasn’t acting normally. When she passed through the courtyard, she often spoke with the guards, seeing how they were and inquiring about the families of those who had one, and carefully avoiding mentioning mates around the males who wore thick torcs. The heavy twisted bands of pale gold and black, closed tightly around their necks, signalled they were widowers and had lost their mate.
Just as Melia had lost hers, the First King, Valador, in a battle close to a century ago.
A battle Isla had witnessed, a death she had seen, and shortly afterwards had forsaken her life as a true phantom, turning her back on her incorporeal form and the power it gave to her, in order to become flesh and blood.
In the name of revenge.
She had stepped into her corporeal life for that purpose, but she had come to love touching things, and the sensation of wind in her white hair or sun warming her bones through her blue leather clothes, and she didn’t want to return to an empty existence so desperate for the feel of another beneath her hands, pressing against her body, that she would lure them to their doom.
Isla entered the arched hallway of the castle, her pace quickening again as the feel of eyes on her faded. Her steps made no sound as she flowed along the corridor, her blue eyes fixed on the arched white double doors at the other end of it, beyond the hallways and staircases that branched off from it.
She pushed one of the doors open as she reached them and scanned the enormous grand room on the other side. The spiky white throne on the dais at the far end of the aisle and the white stone pews that formed two columns down the length of the middle of the square room were empty.
Where was Melia?
As acting king of the First Realm of the demons, Melia was normally in the grand hall during the day hours, receiving many from the kingdom and hearing what they had come to say. Of course, there were slow days, when few showed up to discuss anything from their neighbours and other demon realms, to new crops from the mortal world they wanted to attempt to grow in their fields of black earth.
Perhaps this was a slow day.
Isla had been too preoccupied with her current problem and her business advising on the movements of the legions around the realm to pay attention to her sister’s schedule today.
She backed out of the room, closing the door behind her, and turned back along the corridor, heading for the closest white stone staircase that would take her up into the castle to where those of higher ranks had their quarters.
She was close to the top of the staircase on the first floor when a male stepped into her path, the impressive breadth of his bare chest blocking her view of the corridor beyond him and thick legs like tree trunks encased in rich blue leather stopping her from passing him.
Isla looked up into pale blue eyes ringed with cerulean, set in a rough but handsome enough face. Pale golden horns curled from behind his pointed ears, showcased by the way he had drawn his long blond hair back into a thong at the nape of his neck. His firm mouth flattened and then the right corner twitched into a half-smile.
“Always in a rush, Isla. Do you never slow down?” His deep baritone was warm with his teasing, a familiar and playful note that she had always enjoyed hearing.
He had been her first real friend in this world, a male who had become like a brother to her, as close as Melia and just as beloved by Isla.
“Frey,” she said, a little out of breath which didn’t help. His smile became a smirk, as if he had heard it and had won their round of teasing. “Do you know where Melia is?”
He nodded. “With Tarwyn in his chambers. I have just been there, but now I must leave.”
“Leave?” Isla frowned and he sighed, the sound speaking of the weariness she could see in his blue eyes now she was looking for it. “You must rest.”
He shook his head. “I am afraid I cannot. The borders with the Fourth Realm are being tested and I must lead my men there.”
As commander of their legions, she could understand why he had to go, but as prince he had a duty in the castle too, one he often neglected in favour of the possibility of a battle. There hadn’t been a fight in the First Realm for centuries, not since they had signed a peace treaty and aligned themselves with the Second Realm and the elf kingdom.
Frey was old enough to remember the time before that treaty though, and she knew from speaking with him during long quiet nights at the castle that he longed for war. He had missed out on his chance at it, unable to attend the battle in the elf kingdom because of his duties as prince, forced to remain in the castle with Tarwyn to protect him.
Tarwyn was but a child, a toddler despite being near to a century old now. It would be another five centuries at least before he could rule under his mother’s and uncle’s supervision.
Isla couldn’t openly wish Frey war, but she did so silently as she stepped up into the corridor, tiptoed and pressed a kiss to his whiskered cheek.
“Try to find some rest.” She settled back onto her feet and clasped his thickly hewn right shoulder. “You look awful.”
He chuckled and waved her away, and she paused to watch him heading down the stairs.
With his back to her, he reminded her of Valador. Noble, kind and gentle Valador. Frey had the same qualities as his older brother, but it was balanced by a thirst for war, a hunger for violence that many demons possessed. Valador had always been happiest away from the battlefield.
Frey was happiest on it.
When he disappeared from view, she headed along the corridor, passing the white wooden door to her room and then the one just up the hallway that belonged to Frey, and then banked left at the junction. She stopped at a room on the right and knocked softly.
After a few seconds, the door opened to reveal Melia’s smiling face. Her blue eyes seemed brighter today, but they were troubled, as they always were after Frey’s visits.
Sometimes, Isla thought that he stayed away from the castle as much as he could not because he wanted to avoid his duties as a prince but because he wanted to avoid paining Melia with his presence. They both knew that Melia saw echoes of her lost love in Frey.
Just as her sister saw echoes of Valador in her son.
Isla’s gaze sought Tarwyn and found him sitting on a brown fur near the fireplace to the left of the room, his focus locked on the wooden animals in front of him. His dishevelled sandy hair fell across his brow in unruly curls and his tongue poked from between his lips as he concentrated, pale blue eyes fixed with determination on the toys. Isla had brought them to Hell for him as a present from one of her trips to the mortal realm, hoping they would be educational for him.
A moment with Frey had prompted it when he had called a bear a donkey when she had been showing him photographs of the time she had spent in the region of Canada and had then called a deer a bear. Of course, he had known a wolf when he had seen one. No surprise since werewolves made the free realm in Hell their home. She had expected the demon to know a bear though. He must have fought in at least one battle involving shifters of their kind.
So she had purchased the wooden zoo animals when she had seen them in a store.
To this day, part of her still wondered if she had done it to educate Frey too, intending for him to play with them with Tarwyn and learn the difference between a bear and a damned deer and donkey.
“He seems well today,” Melia said in a hushed tone, her voice a soft melody in the quiet white room.
Isla knew Melia wasn’t talking about the boy she watched, but the man who had just left.
“Impatient,” she said in response and Melia’s pale lips curled into a faint smile. “He wants war.”
Her sister glanced across at her and sighed softly, her shoulders shifting with it. “He has not forgiven me for making him remain in the castle while we answered the call of the elves.”
“He will in time. He’s stubborn.”
Melia looked away from her. “Like his brother.”
Isla’s heart ached for her sister as she drifted into the room, the long white skirt of her corseted dress gliding across the wooden floor in her wake, the pure colourless fabric matching her fall of hair that draped across her slender shoulders.
Isla closed the white door and stepped into the room, wishing there was something she could say to take her sister’s mind off Valador, even when she knew it was impossible. Melia saw him every day in their son.
Tarwyn lifted his head, noticing her at last. He was on his bare feet a second later, rushing across the room to hug her legs. His cerulean trousers blended with hers and matched her corset, but where hers were traditional leather, his clothes were soft cotton more suited to a child. He tipped his head back and beamed up at her, his blue eyes sparkling, and began prattling away in the demon tongue about his animals and Frey’s visit.
She listened to him for a while, aware that Melia was watching them from near the arched window. She petted his messy head of blond hair, teased the small horns that were growing in nicely now he was nearly one hundred, and looked at her sister. Melia smiled back at her, the hurt in her eyes gone, replaced with affection and warmth.
Tarwyn took hold of Isla’s hand and tried to pull her towards the fur rug.
“I will play soon. I must speak with your mother first,” she said in the demon tongue and he huffed and pouted, but released her and went back to his toys.
Isla waited for him to sit back down before she crossed the bedchamber to Melia.
Melia’s gaze was on Tarwyn again, a softness in it that made Isla want to sigh and wish for her own child.
Tarwyn was a little miracle, probably the only child of his kind in existence. Phantoms normally bred other phantoms, but the spell that gave Melia substance had allowed her to bear the offspring of her mate, bringing not a phantom but a demon into the world.
“You seem troubled today. What is wrong?” Melia said in English and Isla realised her sister had stopped looking at Tarwyn and was staring at her now.
She wasn’t sure where to begin.
She searched for a starting point, and the courage to tell Melia what she had done and what was happening to her. Her sister wasn’t going to be happy with her. Isla had kept the true reason behind why she had chosen to become corporeal hidden from her sister. Melia had a kind heart for a phantom, a quality that had made her perfect for Valador.
Isla lacked what her sister had been given by the gods. She had kindness in her, but not as Melia did. When faced with someone who had wronged her, or brought harm to her kin, she was as cruel and lethal as any other phantom. Cold. Heartless.
Melia’s sky blue gaze drifted down to her left hand and Isla stilled as she realised she was playing with the braid that hung from her temple on that side. The crystals at the end of the plait were warm beneath her fingertips. She looked down at them, the crimson stark against her pale skin.
A reminder.
She had found the crystals the night she had broken from Grave, had run headlong into the darkness and hadn’t stopped until she had been close to collapse, surrounded by an unfamiliar town and strange faces, leagues away from the comfort of his arms.
She had found a place to rest and an elderly woman at a stall in the market had tried to sell her craft to her, and Isla had seen the crystals and silver wire.
She had braided a length of her long white hair on her left temple, close to her ear, and had woven an intricate knot with the silver wire, slipped the red crystal on and then made another knot below it. On the right side, she had done the same with a blue crystal.
Red for the vampire in her heart.
Blue for the phantom she would become again.

Haunted by the King of Death is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback.
Find all the links, a fantastic 5 chapter downloadable sample of the book, and also enter the giveaway and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website:

Books in the Eternal Mates paranormal romance series:
Felicity Heaton
About Felicity Heaton
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.
If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.
If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Reliquary's Choice Tour & Excerpt!

Reliquary’s Choice
The Celtic Prophecy
Book Two
Melissa Macfie

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Can’t Put It Down Books

Date of Publication: August 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9972024-4-1

Number of pages: 215
Word Count: 65,000

Cover Artist: Genevieve Lavo Cosdon,

Book Description:

Brenawyn knows loss. Her mother, her father,  her husband…that bastard. She can’t let Alex die, too.

With the Coven closing in, Alex flees with Brenawyn to Tir-Na-Nog, even though he knows he is setting her on a path of no return. Brenawyn must say goodbye to her family forever and traverse time. She is the only one who can fulfill an ancient prophecy.

But what is Alex hiding? Has he condemned Brenawyn to serve the gods forever? Or will the depth of his sacrifice bring salvation to them both?

In Book Two of The Celtic Prophecy, Alex prepares Brenawyn to travel to ancient Scotland to claim her rightful place.


October 1982

My lovely child.
I’m set upon a course from which there is no return. I have pitted myself against your father. Find it in your heart to forgive me. Someday.
I have dreams. Terrible dreams. Prophetic visions more like. Headaches—migraines with searing pain, followed by nose bleeds, dreams, blacking out, vomiting. I have never had visions before. I don’t know of anyone who has. I am afraid to ask, in case it gets back to him, your father.
These dreams, filled with blood and pain, seeing people slaughtered, sacrificed. Blurred images of a hunt. No leads though. They don’t seem to know where to start. Hunting throughout the years, throughout the centuries.Doesn’t make sense. But I feel they are hunting for you.
Choices to be made.
I haven’t helped. I haven’t prepared you. I’ve hindered and perhaps I’ve signed your death certificate. Did a botched job of binding your magic.Should have consulted Mom, your grandmother. She wouldn’t have done it. Too late.
I have seen a glimmer. Only if you choose the right path the world will be yours. Not in the clichéd way, but you’re meant for bigger things. You weren’t supposed to be born now. Or to me. You’re out of place, lost in the universe.
I’m begging.
Choose to live.

Slamming the book closed, Brenawyn slapped it on the nightstand and vaulted off the bed. She felt like a bee in a jar. Trapped.Waiting. She had thought that reading her mother’s diary would take her mind off of things she couldn’t understand, but yet reading had brought it all home. Her mother, if she hadn’t been crazy, had seen visions. Did Brenawyn believe in that? What did the Church say about that?
Brenawyn shook her head to clear it. “You were off your rocker, lady.” She looked around the room for distraction. She spied the boxes she’d hauled from Jersey to her grandmother’s store in Salem and now to the farmhouse in the New York countryside where she had taken refuge. She wrestled one of the boxes down from the closet shelf and hefted it to the bed. She never thought she’d admit it, but thinking about her dead husband Liam was preferable to worrying about Druid lore, visions and prophecies, and of course, the Order, an ancient group of Druids who seemed to have gotten her confused as the central character in some ancient prophecy.
When she lifted the lid mustiness wafted out; the box had been stored for the three years since Liam had died in a car accident in New Jersey. The smell made her crinkle her nose. A fat envelope lay on the top with photographs spilling out. She picked them up, recognizing the first Christmas she and Liam had shared together. The camera caught Liam in the middle of laughing at something; she couldn’t recall what. She’d always loved his smile, she thought, running her finger lovingly over the photo. It was what had attracted her to him at the first. He had a stern face, but when he smiled—oh, Lord, he had a smile that would make an old woman blush.
Brenawyn leafed through the photos. There were pictures of their honeymoon to Niagara Falls, pictures of their house, even before and after shots of the renovations to the living room. Familiar faces of friends peered out from the surfaces in chronological order. The organization did not surprise her: Liam had always forced orderliness on life. Yes, they were all in order, except for two pictures that were stuffed into the middle of the stack, pictures Brenawyn had never seen before.
In the first, Liam cradled a pretty blonde in his arms. The picture captured the woman’s reaction, a hearty laugh at whatever Liam whispered in her ear, his mouth so close to her neck. The other picture showed the same woman sprawled on a blanket, a magnolia blossom in her hair.
Brenawyn looked down at the corner of the photo for a digital date imprinted by the camera. Her mouth went dry. There had to be a mistake. The date read April 2011, more than two years after Brenawyn and Liam married.
Brenawyn covered the pictures, willing them to disappear. But now that she had seen them she had to look again, no matter how reluctantly. Almost blinded by tears, she uncovered them again to examine them and tried to determine the identity of the woman—no, she’d never seen her before. She wasn’t some friend or acquaintance of theirs; they hadn’t been taken at some innocent party or neighborhood get-together that Brenawyn could remember.
The way Liam, her husband, was looking at this blonde-haired woman was just…. Brenawyn threw the pictures in the trashcan beside the bed. I won’t even think about it. What good would it do? Rage at the possibility that Liam had an affair? Now, three years after he is gone? He never gave me any reason to doubt him. Disgusted with herself she grabbed the can and tore into the trash; finding the glossy surfaces, she stormed out to the living room to dispose of them. She found a match, lit it and touched it to the photos, and after watching the flame take hold, tossed the pictures into the empty fireplace.
She stormed away but returned just as quickly to watch the last of the embers wink out. She stood there silently considering the incriminating, albeit circumstantial, evidence. “Ugh. Damn it!”She slammed her hand on the mantle. “Do you even know that he’s dead?”
“Is everything a’richt, a chuisle?”
She turned to find Alex sitting in the leather wing chair in the shadowed recess of the room, book on his knee.
Brenawyn’s breath hitched as she sighed. “Unpacking the last of the boxes from the house I shared with my husband.” She glanced back at the fireplace, “I found some pic … some unexpected things,” she amended.
“Ah, lass, dae ye want ta talk about it?”
“No, thank you. I’d rather forget it all together.”
A few steps into the hall took her back to the bedroom door where she stopped when she saw garbage strewn on the floor and her dog, Spencer, crouched in the corner, chewing a used tissue. “Spencer, put that down!” The dog bolted but Brenawyn wrestled him to the ground, prying his mouth open enough to extract his treat. “Mine!”She held the wet tissue aloft.
Sitting up, Brenawyn looked around her bedroom, now strewn with the contents of the remaining boxes from her former home.
Three years. Three years. If I close my eyes … picking up the phone to hear … seeing the wrecked guard rail, the car…. Ugh. Time doesn’t heal shit.
Brenawyn reached over for the box of tissues on the nightstand and patted the bed beside her, “Come here, boy. Come on up.”
She caught the eighty-pound bundle of wriggling fur. Not content with either licking her face or being as close to her as possible, Spencer did both simultaneously. “Eww, no doggie kisses.” She scratched him under his collar. “Who’s a good boy?” The dog tried one more time to sneak a last minute kiss that barely missed her open mouth, before giving up and settling down with a grunt as he nestled in, molding his body to her side. Absently she petted him, “You didn’t know Liam. He was a good man, even though he was allergic to dogs.”
The next item in the box was a small notebook filled with her husband’s tight neat script. She leafed through it before recognizing what it was—the notebook that they shared when they took the philosophy class together during their last year of college. How she managed to get an A in the class was still a mystery to her when all she was concerned with was the heat of his body as he sat next to her.
She pulled out the insurance papers she had seen too often. “Again? How many copies did you keep? Did you think I would forget where they were?”she said aloud. She could almost hear his voice. This is where copies of the insurance papersand the keys to the safety deposit box are….“How many times did we argue over this?”
Brenawyn dropped the papers, pushed the box across the bed, and flung herself back on it, startling the dog. She didn’t move until she felt his wet nose nuzzle her arm. “It’s okay, Spencer. Talking to you is one thing, but talking to the dead husband … I need to stop that.”
Resolved to finish, she picked up the box and extracted the last item in the container, a small wooden box. Brenawyn ran her hand along the ornate brass fittings. Locked. She upended the box. No key. “Hmm.” Running her hands along the back revealed a weak hinge. She tried prying the hinge with the edge of her fingernail, only to be thwarted when her nail broke. Sucking on the injured finger, she unfolded herself from the bed, climbed over the unmoving dog, and searched among the items strewn on the floor for the screwdriver she had seen earlier.
The hinges gave little resistance to the flathead screwdriver. Reaching in, Brenawyn took out a brightly wrapped gift box complete with a silver Mylar bow, flattened now after so long. She put the box on the nightstand, hesitant to open it. Liam had always been giving her surprise gifts. Packing his things away had been filled with the pain of finding boxes and gift bags he had obviously stowed away to give her at some future date. Or had he meant them for that other woman? The thought came unbidden to her mind, but she dismissed it quickly. It was unfair to Liam. It was just that it had been so long since the last time she stumbled upon a surprise like this from a man long dead.

About the Author:

For most of her life, Melissa Macfie has pursued artistic endeavors such as drawing, painting, and sculpting. She holds a M.Ed. in English Education from the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, and has spent the last sixteen years as a public school English teacher. She also spent a short time serving as the co-host of Alpha Centauri & Beyond, an Internet talk radio show about science and science fiction. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Donald. Their children, Elizabeth and Donald, are grown and pursuing their own dreams.


Never a Choice Blitz & Excerpt!

Erotic Romantic Suspense
Romantic: Hot Alpha, Billionaire Romantic Suspense
Date Published: March 2016

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Bethany Thorne has secrets and she’s told a few lies but she’s hurt no-one. She just wants a better life, she works hard for a better life, a life with choices but a chance encounter at her new University with billionaire, hot alpha Daniel Stone makes her heart beat, her body tremble and rocks her very foundation. Reeling from the intensity of her unfathomable reactions to this man her world is sent further spiralling out of her control when on this first meeting he casually whispers that he knows she’s a liar. Bethany begins to feel her hard earned choices start to disintegrate before her.

Her innate and newly discovered submissive nature is highlighted further by her extreme reaction to each encounter with alpha Daniel Stone. Seriously hot, dark and dominant he evokes an instant heat and desire she has never felt before, but he is dangerous, he is powerful and he seems to see right through her. Choosing to try and stay under his radar proves to be the first choice to slip through her fingers.

Other Books in The Choices Trilogy 

Published: April 2015

Dark and erotically demanding Daniel is everything and more, Bethany embraces the challenge of being with a man like Daniel whilst trying to come to terms with what he needs and what she can give him of herself. Is it ever going to be enough? Daniel consumes and possess every part of her, its intoxicating and seductive. Bethany needs to choose between being true to herself and the promises she made and being the type woman Daniel demands.

Published: June 2015

Bethany’s devastation is complete. Secrets, lies and impossible choices have torn her world apart but it is not the first time she has had to rebuild her world. So she’ll do it again...she has to.

When Bethany meets Daniel, she is backed into a corner and with the threat of losing even more she comes out fighting. Daniel quickly learns there is nothing quite as intoxicating as a woman with nothing left to lose and nothing quite as irresistible as his Bethany. But there are more games being played than either of them are truly aware and the winning prize is a coveted Happy Ever After.

About the Author

Dee Palmer hates talking about herself in the third person so I won't. My husband had my iPod engraved one Christmas with 'sing like no-one's listening' and I know my family actually wish they weren't listening because I am, in fact, tone deaf but it doesn't stop me and this gentle support has enabled me to fullfil a dream. This has been a truly brilliant experience. It has undoubtedly been made possible by my incredibly supportive family. I know this is very much another acknowledgment bit but I know I wouldn't be writing even this single paragraph if it wasn't for them so this is about who I am, I am because they let me be.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Enchanted Guardian Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Enchanted Guardian
Camelot Reborn Series
Book Two
Sharon Ashwood

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne

Date of Publication: August 1 2016

ISBN: 978-0373009763

Number of pages: 300  
Word Count: 85000

Book Description:

Enchanted Guardian- A love of legendary proportion

In another time, in a place once known as Camelot, they had been lovers. Torn apart by betrayal and lies, Lancelot Du Lac and Nimueh, the Lady of the Lake, had each suffered greatly.

But the magic of the fae had reawakened a man once trapped in stone, and Lancelot was determined to find his long lost love. Only, Nim was desperate to hide her fae soul, as she was marked for death by their mutual enemy.

Though centuries apart had not diminished their passion, they would once again face a dangerous test to prove each was the other’s destiny.

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Lancelot caught her arm, pulling her up short. Nim scowled down at the long, strong fingers. Fine scars ran along his tanned knuckles, evidence of a life around blades. Heaviness filled her, a primitive reaction to the strong, aggressive male taking control of her in the most basic way. Once it might have grown into anger or lust, but now it confused her.
“Take your hand off me,” she said, letting her voice fill with frost.
“No.” He pulled her closer, turning her to face him. “You will answer my questions.”
Nim jerked her arm free. They were so close, she could feel his warm breath against her skin. “About what?”
His nostrils flared as if scenting her. Still, Nim studied his tense jaw and the blood flushing his high cheekbones. The heat of his emotions made her feel utterly hollow. His hand closed around her wrist again, almost crushing her bones.
“There are too many people here,” he growled.
“There are enough people here for safety. Perhaps I don’t want to answer you.”
His eyes held hers a moment, dark fire against the ice of her spirit. That seemed to decide him, for he pulled her close and took a better grip on her arm. “Come with me.”
He didn’t reply, but steered her toward the door, moving so fast she skittered on her heels. She took the opportunity to pull against him, but this time he held her fast. “Don’t.”
The threat was real. Her fighting skills were nothing compared to a knight’s. Lancelot could crush or even kill her with a single blow. Still, that didn’t make her helpless, and she would not let him forget that fact. Rising up on her toes, she put her mouth a mere whisper from his ear. “You forget what I can do. My magic is nothing less than what it was when I was the first among the fae noblewomen. I can defend myself against your brute strength.”
Just not against what he’d done to her heart. She closed her eyes a moment, feeling his breath against her cheek and remembering the past for a long moment before she denied herself that luxury. “Let me go,” she repeated.
In response, he pulled her to the side of the building, refusing to stop until he was deep into the shadows. The ground was little more than cracked concrete there, tufts of grass straggling between the stones. He pushed her against the siding, her back pressed to the rough wood. “Not until I’ve had my say.”
He had both of her arms now, prisoning Nim with the hard, muscled wall of his chest. Anyone walking by might glimpse two lovers in a private tête-à-tête, but Nim drew back as far as she could, something close to anger rising to strike. No one handled her this way, especially not him.
“Then talk,” she said through gritted teeth.
“Aren’t you even surprised to see me?” he demanded.
“Why should I be?” She needed to squash any personal connection between them. Even if she was whole and their people were not at war, he had betrayed her.
He put a hand against her cheek, his fingers rough. She jerked her chin away, burning where his touch had grazed her.
But he was relentless. “I’m told you were caught by Merlin’s spell along with the rest. I know what the fae have become.”
Soulless. As good as dead inside. Lancelot didn’t say the words, but she heard them all the same. “It’s true,” she replied. “It’s all true.”
His expression was stricken as if hearing it from her lips was poison. Good, she thought. Better to be honest. Better that he believe her to be the monster she was.
“Maybe that’s true for some. I don’t believe that about you. You still have too much fire.”
With that, he claimed her mouth in an angry kiss. Nim caught her breath, stifling a cry of true surprise. The Lancelot she’d known had been gentle and eager to please. Nothing like this. And yet the clean taste of him was everything she remembered.
His mouth slanted, breaking past the barrier of her lips to plunder her mouth. The hunger in him was bruising, going far beyond the physical to pull at something deep in her belly. Desire, perhaps, or heartbreak. She wasn’t sure any longer, but she couldn’t stop herself from nipping at his lip, yearning to feel what she had lost. A sigh caught in her throat before she swallowed it down. Surely she was operating on reflex, the memory of kisses. Not desire she might feel now. The warmth and weight of him spoke to something older than true emotion. Even a reptile could feel comfort in the sun. Even she…
Still, that little encouragement was all the permission he needed to slide his hand up her hip to her waist and she could feel the pressure of his fingers. Lancelot was as strong as any fae male, strong enough certainly to overpower her. That had thrilled her once, a guilty admission she’d never dared to make. She’d been so wise, so scholarly, so magical, but an earthy male had found the liquid center of heat buried under all that logic and light. They had always sparked like that, flint against steel.
But then his hand found her breast and every muscle in her stiffened. This was too much. Memory was one thing, but she wasn’t the same now and she refused to have a physical encounter that was nothing more than a ghost of what it should be.
Nim pushed him away. “I don’t want this.”
Something in her look finally made him stop, but his eyes glittered with arousal. “Are you certain about that?”

About the Author:
Sharon Ashwood is a novelist, desk jockey and enthusiast for the weird and spooky. She has an English literature degree but works as a finance geek. Interests include growing her to-be-read pile and playing with the toy graveyard on her desk. As a vegetarian, she freely admits the whole vampire/werewolf lifestyle would never work out, so she writes her adventures instead.

Sharon is the winner of the RITA® Award for Paranormal Romance. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness.