Friday, February 20, 2015

Infected: Prey by Andrea Speed

Tour Giveaway

Kindle Voyage with wifi

5 copies of Infected: 
Prey- ebook or paperback winner’s choice (paperback open to US Shipping)

Infected: Prey
Infected Series
Book One
Andrea Speed

Genre: Gay mystery/urban fantasy
Publisher: DSP Publications

ISBN: 163216325X

Number of pages: 376
Word Count: 152,000

Cover Artist: Anne Cain

Book Description:

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

The murder of a former cop draws Roan into an odd case where an unidentifiable species of cat appears to be showing an unusual level of intelligence. He juggles that with trying to find a missing teenage boy, who, unbeknownst to his parents, was “cat” obsessed. And when someone is brutally murdering infecteds, Eli Winters, leader of the Church of the Divine Transformation, hires Roan to find the killer before he closes in on Eli.

Working the crimes will lead Roan through a maze of hate, personal grudges, and mortal danger. With help from his tiger-strain infected partner, Paris Lehane, he does his best to survive in a world that hates and fears their kind… and occasionally worships them.

Available at    DSP Publications     Amazon


HE was on his third beer of the evening when he thought he heard a noise in the backyard.
Hank DeSilvo scowled and looked out the window over the kitchen sink full of dirty dishes. He could see nothing but darkness, and maybe a bit of reflected light from the television. This was probably a bad time to remember the back porch light had blown out two days ago, and he’d forgotten to replace it.
Not that it mattered. The only light currently in the house was coming from the television, and as long as he ignored it, he developed enough night vision to make out a shape moving in the back garden. Or was it the wind moving a shrub? Kind of hard to say.
He slammed his can down with an annoyed grunt. It was probably the Hindles’ stupid ass dog again, shitting all over the place and tearing through his garbage. He hated that fucking thing, some ugly Rottweiler mix they insisted was a “friendly” dog, and yet it always had a look in its flat, black eyes that was just this side of rabid. They never leashed the damn thing either, and apparently his yard destruction was “cute.” He was just about out of this fucking place and that damn thing had to make a final appearance. And it was final all right; he was going to make damn sure of that.
He went back to the living room, glancing at the game as he walked past—it was a fucking damn boring game anyway—and got his shotgun from the cabinet. It was illegal as all hell, a sawed-off thirty ought six with the barrels cut so short you could have stowed it under a jacket, but the barrels had been filed down expertly; it wasn’t just the rough work of a desperate amateur but the sign of a pro. Which was why, when they’d searched the drug mule’s truck and he’d found it wedged under the front seat, he hid it in his trunk and didn’t report finding it. It wouldn’t have added that much to the mule’s sentence; he already had enough rock in his glove compartment to put him away for the rest of his pointless life, especially if it was his “third strike” (and it was, no surprise there), and he doubted the guy was so stupid that he’d actually ask why he wasn’t charged with owning an illegally modified weapon. Yeah, he was dumb; you had to be dumb if you were speeding and had a few thousand in rock in the car, as well as being obviously stoned yourself. But asking after that was a special kind of stupid, the kind only politicians and people on reality television ever seemed to crest.
He cracked open the gun and made sure he had some shells loaded in it before snapping it shut again with a sharp flick of his wrist. Man that felt good. This was a real man’s weapon, made him feel a foot taller and made of pure muscle, and he knew why that meth fuckhead was carrying it around with him. A weapon like this was a real god-killer; it made you feel invincible.
It was pure overkill, of course. The Hindles’ dog was fairly big, and yet one shot from this gun would rip it in half clean down the middle, as well as make a boom loud enough to set off every car alarm on the block. But what the fuck did he care? He was an ex-cop; he’d say the dog charged him, and on his property he could shoot the fucking thing if he wanted. He’d swap out the sawed-off for his Remington before they arrived. Ballistics wouldn’t match, but by the time they proved that, he’d be long gone. Good-bye, shit-hole city; hello, tropical paradise. It was just a shame that it took him this long to collect.
He stood at the back door for a moment, cradling the shotgun gently, and let his eyes get adjusted to the dark before going out onto the concrete patio. He had a mini Maglite with him with a red lens over the bulb, so if there was something he needed to see he could twist it on without losing his night vision. Not that he needed to make a direct hit; even if he just winged the dog, he’d probably rip half its face off, maybe a leg.
First step off the patio his foot squelched in something; it felt too liquid to be shit, but the smell that hit him was meaty, redolent of shit and offal and God knew what else. Had that fucking dog already strewn his garbage about? Goddamn it.
Holding the shotgun in one arm, he turned on the flashlight and looked down at what he’d stepped in.
At first it looked like a puddle, which didn’t make sense since it hadn’t rained in a week, and the thought that it was dog piss was dismissed since it was dark, and dog piss wasn’t usually black. Or was that red-black? Swinging the light outwards, he saw greasy, ropey strands that couldn’t have come from his garbage can, and then a big hunk of raw, bloody meat like a lamb shank… only it was too long and thin to be a shank, too dark, and ended in a paw.
It was a Rottweiler leg.
Someone—something—had dismembered the Hindles’ psychotic dog and spread about a third of it all over his backyard. He saw the leg, which was the biggest piece, an assortment of internal organs, loops of intestines laid out like fallen party streamers, and lots of blood. But where was the other two thirds of the dog?
The hair stood up on the back of his neck, and he knew he had to get the fuck inside now. But as he turned, shotgun at the ready and braced against his hip, he saw the flash of white teeth in the dim moonlight, and his brain sent out the impulse to pull the trigger.
He didn’t have time to wonder why it never happened as the teeth ripped open his throat.

About the Author:

Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you - framed!)

In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!

Twitter: @aspeed

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

American Specter by Rasheedah Prioleau

American Specter
Rasheedah Prioleau     

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Date of Publication: Feb, 2014

ISBN: 978-0692226582

Number of pages: 248
Word Count: 72,000

Cover Artist: Roger Raymond

Book Description:

FBI Agent Audra Wheeler has been haunted for the last thirteen years by a paranormal attack that left her sister, Kendra, in a coma. Mentored by FBI Assistant Director Jonathan Cordero to investigate crimes committed by specters, Audra believes she is on the trail of a ‘serial killer’ specter with a MO very similar to her sister’s attacker.

The investigation takes her to a small town of Specter, Georgia; a haven for ghosts who exist among the living.

Available at Amazon



It was half past noon on Monday when Special Agent Audra Wheeler of the FBI stepped into the apartment of Gwyneth Miller. She’d been in Savannah the prior week but, as a native New Yorker, she was sure that she would never get used to the stifling Georgia heat. She noted that the air conditioner was not on as she walked across the living room, listening to the muffled sounds of country cops inevitably messing up Gwyneth’s room that was now an official FBI crime scene.
Gwyneth Miller was the fifth victim of a suspected serial killer of the specter variety, who had a thing for dark haired, dark eyed women sleeping alone. As she stepped into the crime scene, Audra activated the specter shield she wore around her left wrist to block any specters from getting within five feet of her.
She’d spent nearly four years on special assignments with the FBI investigating specter crimes and bringing them to justice. The biggest problem with catching a criminal specter was that they never left any physical evidence, no DNA, no fingerprints, no calling card, no expository note, and no obvious motive.
In this particular case, all of the hunches that Audra had to go off of were of a personal nature that she was still not entirely comfortable sharing. To her knowledge, this would be the first and only specter that had crossed the line into murder and then into serial killing. This particular specter had taken her from Boston to New Jersey, then Charlotte, Savannah, and finally the small town of Specter, Georgia.
She walked into Gwyneth Miller’s bedroom and immediately noted the scent of candles and perfume. Audra suspected that maybe this woman had, in fact, had a visitor the night before and, perhaps, this would not fit the profile of her four previous cases.
She quickly scanned the room and made note of the cheap, feminine décor. Audra cringed, turning her attention to the body of the victim. Gwyneth was lying in bed, on her side with her hands near her throat, which was singed with strange burn marks. Her fingernails had scratched at her throat as well, peeling away some of the skin. These were the telltale signs of the specter that she was following but, most disturbingly, this victim, like all the others, looked a lot like her sister.
“Shit,” Audra said. She looked over at the side table and took in a large purple candle. “What is this?” She leaned in close.
“A candle from the Daylight Candle Shop.”
Hearing his voice, Audra took a shallow breath before quickly letting it out. She turned as he strolled through Gwyneth Miller’s bedroom door and walked towards her. He wore laid back local Southern clothes; faded jeans with a slightly tattered t-shirt and baseball cap, but there was no mistaking the city attitude in his walk.
When Audra had received the initial fax of a possible fifth victim, she’d read Ethan Cole’s name on top of the report file with disbelief. Now, in front of her, she was wary. His New York City swagger was enough to make a nun forget her vows just long enough to break them four or five times. Audra quickly contemplated the precious few times she’d crossed the line with her ex-partner before he’d been transferred to the American South.
He was six-foot two and maybe two hundred pounds of muscle. Audra remembered the feel of his baby-smooth chocolate skin and the taste of his beautifully full lips. He was six years older than her twenty-seven, but it looked good on him.
She turned her attention away from his large hazel eyes back to the candle and examined the tiny instruction card next to it.
“May love’s embrace meet me at dawn’s face.” She snorted as she became painfully aware of how close Ethan was standing next to her. She had to mentally and physically resist the draw of his cologne as it invited her to lean into him. “The Daylight Candle Shop,” she confirmed.  
She had already known there would be no evidence of the killer at the scene, but she’d asked for nothing to be touched, not even the body, before she arrived and took a look around. Audra listened to the coroner’s report; the victim had died of asphyxiation from a suspected crushed esophagus, somewhere near dawn of the previous day, Sunday. She said a prayer for Gwyneth and then left without another word to anyone.
Ethan followed her out of the apartment building.
“Hey, Audra. Wait up.”
She turned as she stepped outside, and he closed the space between them. She ignored the oppressive heat for a moment to address him.
“I’m going to go over to the library and question the people she worked with.”
“I already did that,” he said.
“Well, I’m going to do it as well,” she said, making it clear that the investigation was now hers to control.           
“Okay, but listen. This town is full of – ”
“Specters? Yeah, I know.” Audra rolled her eyes at the thought of an entire town, in southern America of all places, which was home to people who had passed away. Ethan placed a hand on her shoulder. She turned to walk to her car, pulling away from his touch in the process, shutting out the wave of feelings that screamed for her attention.
“Don’t worry, I won’t go around zapping your ghostly citizens.” Her specter zapper was safely tucked away in her gun belt, just to the rear of her handgun. “But, you might want to warn the Daylight Candle Shop that they’re next on my list.”

About the Author:

Rasheedah Prioleau is a southern African American writer with an eclectic range of writing and ghostwriting credits. After a few years in the corporate world she started over from the bottom as an unpaid intern for a literary manager and never looked back.

"I love to write because there are no limits. All it takes is a finite space of time and I can create a story from infinite possibilities."

Writers who have influenced her include: Judy Bloom, Jude Deveraux, V.C. Andrews, Octavia Butler, Stephanie Meyer, Charlaine Harris, Joss Whedon, William Nicholson, Shonda Rhimes, Quentin Tarantino, Tyler Perry, Mike Kelley, and J.J. Abrams... just to name a few.

Twitter: @prioleaura


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Computer Love Inc II: Gestation by Kurt and Jessica Hansen

Computer Love Inc. II: Gestation
Computer Love Inc. Series
Book II
Kurt and Jessica Hansen

Genre: Science Fiction  

ISBN: 978-0989068338

Number of pages: 215
Word Count: 46,095

Cover Artist: Steven J. Catizone

Book Description:

After the sudden deaths of two previous Computer Love Inc. CEOs, Marius takes control of the company. Embracing the talents of his godson, John, and his best friend, Zak, he hires the boys to oversee the Companion Services Division.

Marius refines his breakthrough technology, the Brain Machine Download, and as a result, creates his double, M2, as the prototype. Together, they ignite the future of
Computer Love Inc. by acquiring an elite team of scientists to expand the company’s technological boundaries. Meanwhile, Marius struggles with the government’s demands for a clandestine initiative - the Secret Service Companion.

Between the looming government presence and the overwhelming force behind his new team of inventors, can Marius survive the outcome of his own creations?

Available at Amazon and BN

Music Playlist for Computer Love Inc. II: Gestation

We don’t want to give away any important scenes for anyone who has not yet read the book, but if you are familiar with the storyline or if you’d like to read it in conjunction with the “soundtrack,” we feel that these songs work well alongside the chapters we’ve outlined here:

Chapter 1: Phantom Planet, “California”; AWOLNATION, “Sail”
Chapter 2: Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive”
Chapter 3: Everclear, “Santa Monica”
Chapter 4: David Guetta & Sia, “Titanium”
Chapter 5: Jimmy Eat World, “The Middle”
Chapter 6: The Fray, “How to Save a Life”
Chapter 7: Muse, “Uprising”
Chapter 8: The Black Keys, “Gold on the Ceiling”
Chapter 9: Kanye West, “Power
Chapter 10: OneRepublic, “I Lived”; Black Sabbath, “War Pigs”
Chapter 11: Kenny Chesney, “Shiftwork”; Alan Jackson & Jimmy Buffett, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”
Chapter 12: Tiesto, “Wasted”
Chapter 13: Mumford & Sons, “Broken Crown”
Chapter 14: Kacey Musgraves, “Silver Lining”
Chapter 15: Zac Brown Band, “Who Knows” 
Excerpt #1:
          “So, Marius, I’m pleased, as I’m sure you must be, that the download between you and I went so well.”
          The remark was sudden and bewildering. 
          “Yes, I am also pleased…”  Marius paused.  “What brings that up, M2?  Is there something you feel we need to improve upon?”
           “No, actually, I don’t think that at all.  In fact, I think the process and aftermath have proven to be extremely fruitful, don’t you?”
          “Well, yes…  But then, what is it?”
          “I just recalled an idea we had, that’s all,” M2 said.
          “’We’ had an idea?”
          “Well, as you know, to say that we think alike would be an understatement.”  M2 paused and allowed Marius to have a laugh.  “So obviously your knowledge of robotics resides not only within you, but within me as well.  I know you’ve thought about it, the possibility to help the company pounce into the next generation.  What if, say, we were to make a team of Companions, not unlike myself, created from experts in different fields?  For example…  We could use that famous technology instructor, the woman from Advance Propulsion Labs who’s won awards for all of those groundbreaking projects they’ve done recently, or even that metal-loving genius who combines materials recovered from asteroids with titanium and such.  It would be a team of biorobotic and propulsion brilliance with unlimited potential!”

Excerpt #2:
The room remained silent.  Ten pairs of eyes were fixed on Marius, not even a single person consumed with a hangnail or discreetly checking messages on his or her unit.
“So then – and please forgive me when I say this, because often it seems that social delicacies elude me; I’m sure you all possess unique and likeable personalities, but really – it’s your brains that we’re after here.”
Again Marius paused.  By now, some gazes had shifted: faces looked amongst one another, gauging reactions – animals measuring a threat by observing the rest of the pack.
“Have you ever heard someone say, ‘Can I pick your brain’?  Essentially, that’s what I’d like to do here.  I need your brilliance, and I implore you to consider this proposal.  I would like to perform a Brain Machine Download on each of you in order to capture your intelligence.  Is everyone familiar with what the theory of the BMD is, or what it entails?”
If they were not familiar, no one spoke up or raised a hand.  Again, the looks flashed around the room – there were a few who wanted to know more, but, seeing that no one else had first spoken up, they remained quiet.  Marius had seen it.  Even in the wisest, cowardice lives…

Excerpt #3:
          The wave was perhaps the greatest in height they’d ever seen.  Later, John was sure they’d recount it as being of tidal proportions, hyperbolic as they always were when it came to surfing expeditions.  But in truth, he wasn’t even sure how to approach its vastness; he caught the edge of the big, rolling force in an awkward, unbalanced maneuver, yet he evened himself out at once, rising up into a standing position, and coming through the tube with precision.
          Zak waited for John to reach their squatting spot once again, then greeted him with a seated bow from atop his board.  “Nicely done.  But that was great luck, catching a swell that size.  Next one’s mine.”
          They didn’t have to wait long.  The pair ignored a series of smaller waves that rolled past (though, by a normal day’s standards, they would have been worth riding), until a massive upsurge formed within the surf, collecting all of the surrounding water to join its force.  Zak was gone before John could give him any encouragement.
          John held up his unit, readying its hologramera to capture Zak’s performance.  He pressed “record,” but then, a loud beep emanated from underneath him, coming from his surfboard.  The sonar screen at the top of his board lit up, depicting a large incoming vessel approaching Zak’s position.  John looked up again, but noticed that Zak was alone - there were no other surfers or boats nearby.

About the Authors:

Kurt and Jessica Hansen reside in northern New Jersey . Kurt has worked in the aerospace electronics industry for over three decades and enjoys the outdoors, writing, and composing music. Kurt is easily recognized with a guitar in his lap, a pencil in his mouth, and a piece of paper in front of him.

Jessica graduated from Montclair State University, summa cum laude, with a B.A. in English. Her favorite pastimes include reading, running and spending time with her family. She can usually be found with a book in one hand and a hazelnut coffee in the other.

twitter: @ComputerLoveInc

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A More Perfect Union by Betty Bolte

Emily’s Vow
A More Perfect Union
Book 1
Betty Bolté

Genre:  Historical Romance
Publisher: ePublishing Works!
Date of Publication: October 4, 2014
Ebook: 978-1-61417-654-1
Paperback: 978-1-61417-655-8
ASIN: B00O7601NY
Number of pages:           247
Cover Artist: ePublishing Works!

Book Description:

Emily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Then she’s thrown in a loyalist prison for her privateering father’s raids on the British, and her accuser--a former beau--promises to recant if she will marry him.

Frank Thomson always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns of Emily’s plight, he challenges her accuser to a duel.

Freed from prison, Emily ponders returning the affections of her rescuer--the only man she's ever loved and who married her twin to save the Sullivan family's reputation. But Frank cannot afford to be discovered. For the sake of young America, he must deliver his secrets.

Available at    Amazon    BN    Kobo   iBooks  Google Books


Emily hurried down the sandy road beside her friend, noting the waning sunshine draping shadows across the street. The slap of the waves at the distant convergence of the Cooper and Ashley Rivers beat a syncopated rhythm against the array of ship hulls, large and small, in the protected harbor. Many of the masts bobbing against the darkening sky sported the hated British flag. The losing army had resorted to sanctioned looting of the beautiful homes—those still standing after two years of British occupation as well as fires and bombardments—as booty for the officers and soldiers before they withdrew. She hoped they would leave soon, but nobody knew exactly when the British ships planned to depart. They'd already sent the bells to London along with other pilfered items. In fact, the British officers sought retaliation for the threat posed by the patriots, who had hidden their true allegiance, against the loyalists living in the city. The officers encouraged harassment of the American citizens, which translated into her father, a leading merchant in town, fearing for her safety more than ever. Until the British actually evacuated, uncertainty and fear blanketed the town.

Dragging in a deep breath, unease settled over Emily's frayed nerves at the thought of Frank's return. "I cannot believe Father insists I marry him after all that man has done. Surely Americans have matured enough they wouldn't force a woman to marry. It's 1782, after all. I'm not a child. Why doesn't he understand?"

A seagull glided past, its laughing call bringing a smile to her face. Her enjoyment didn't last long, though. The occupation of the town created fear and disquiet throughout the citizenry. Add in the horror of her sister Elizabeth's fiancé Jedediah dying, leaving her pregnant and in need of a husband. Then Jedediah's brother Frank, the man Emily had secretly cared for, married her sister to keep the child from being a bastard. Emily survived the misery of watching Frank marry Elizabeth only to suffer much more when Elizabeth died in childbirth with Frank away at war. Emily had come to terms with the prospect of raising her nephew, but being forced into marriage with Frank, too? How could life turn and twist with such disregard for her future goals and plans?

Frank's imminent arrival now distressed her as much as the three hundred British ships crowding the harbor. The rumor about town suggested the ships stood poised to carry away the defeated enemy troops along with any loyalists wanting to flee the town. Many slaves would likely take the chance on freedom offered by the British, despite the American protests. The constant motion of the water for once failed to soothe her troubled thoughts.

"Have you told your father how you feel?" Samantha matched Emily's stride easily despite her slight limp and the basket she carried.

Sharing her feelings with her father had once enjoyed an easy place in Emily's heart. Now his demands for her to cloister within the theoretic safety of the town house, joined with his desire that she marry to secure her future, made confiding in him difficult. His concern stemmed from her advancing age with few appropriate prospects for marriage due to America's fight for its independence from an overbearing mother country, which seemed to be winding down. She longed for those carefree days, years before, filled with friendly banter and heartfelt discussions with her father.

Emily wrinkled her nose. "I haven't spoken with him, not that I think he'll care. He's more concerned with my supposed need for a protector while he's away." What a pickle. Did he have to choose Frank to serve as both bodyguard and suitor?

The thought created ripples of fear along her spine. Marrying a man, any man, meant losing her individuality, a fate she dreaded. The vows included obeying and honoring him, which translated into having his children. She shivered, recalling her twin sister on her deathbed mere days after delivering her son. Emily held her hand as Elizabeth's life departed, her fingers falling limp within Emily's clutching grasp. Just like their mother before her.

So many young women across the country feared pregnancy and being brought to bed for that very reason. Elizabeth, like many of those women, had written out her will when she discovered she carried a child. At least the document detailed her wishes for her son. And her surrogate husband, Frank Thomson. Elizabeth was to wed Jedediah, the betrothal announced and celebrated, before Elizabeth revealed she was with child. The banns had been read twice when his militia duty arose and he'd left to fight. If Jedediah hadn't been killed, Frank would not have felt obligated to do his duty as Jedediah's brother to wed Elizabeth and give the unborn child a father and thus avoid bastardy.

Emily used to think of him as her Frank, until he told her his decision to wed Elizabeth. Her heart had hurt for months as she struggled to understand and accept the reality that she could never have him. But once Elizabeth died in similar circumstances as their mother, Emily's fear of dying as a result of childbirth eclipsed any naive desire to marry.

No, better to pursue her dreams of opening her ladies' accessories shop. She squared her shoulders, ready to face the astonishment of the ladies in town as well as plan a strategy for the battle when her father voiced his objections.

Amy’s Choice
A More Perfect Union
Book 2
Betty Bolté

Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: ePublishing Works!
Date of Publication: October 5, 2014
Ebook: 978-1-61417-659-6
Paperback: 978-1-61417-660-2
ASIN: B00O7984P8
Number of pages:           231

Book Description:

Without a goodbye, Amy Abernathy's childhood sweetheart, Benjamin Hanson, leaves to fight in the American War for Independence.

Amy chooses to pick up the pieces of her heart and leave Charles Town to help her sister who is with child.

Benjamin knows he hurt Amy, but he plans to make it up to her after his mission is completed. Then he learns that Amy has been captured by renegade soldiers. Now Benjamin faces his own choice: free the sassy yet obstinate woman he's never stopped loving or protect Charles Town from vengeful British occupation.

Available at   Amazon    BN    Kobo   iBooks  Google Books


"Benjamin, what brings you out here so early this morning?" Walter slathered yellow butter on yet another slice of bread.

Amy kept her eyes on her plate, but her movements slowed, indicating she listened intently.

"Colonel Scarsdale made an important announcement last week, one that increases the chance of violent retaliation and looting by the British troops as they prepare to evacuate the city." Benjamin kept his eyes on Walter but watched Amy's actions at the side of his vision.

"Is the war finally over then?" Walter laid down his knife, eyes intent on Benjamin.

"It appears to be, all but the acts of signing the peace treaty and evacuating His Majesty's troops."

"When might that happen?" Emily fisted her napkin and gazed at him with hopeful eyes.

"As soon as conditions allow them to leave the harbor. But between now and then they will scavenge for any items of value they can lay their hands upon." He willed Amy to look at him, and finally she rewarded him by lifting her eyes to meet his. The force of her gaze sent a shock racing through him, stirring a reaction below his belt. Shifting to be more comfortable, he held her stare for a moment.

"But how does that impact us out here?" Amy regarded him, one hand poised above her plate, a bite of ham waiting. "Surely the Britons will not harm us so far from town. They'll be busy preparing to evacuate."

"Clearly you do not fathom the reality of the matter." When Amy merely stared at him, realization dawned as to the extent of the situation before him. He nearly let out a loud breath in annoyance. He checked the reflex. He needed to address the fact that Amy wasn't the only one in danger. Ideas popped into his head and he dismissed several before nodding. A simple solution. "I have come to take the girls back to town where I can keep them safe."

A startled silence followed his pronouncement.

"We are safe here." Samantha strode into the room and made straight for the sideboard.

Benjamin rose to greet her, and she waved him back into his seat. As he resettled himself, he noted Walter had not moved from where he sat crunching on a slice of apple.

"Yes, more so than we'd be in town at any rate." Emily looked from one person to another. "So many soldiers still roam the streets, after all."

"Besides, we cannot move Evelyn." Amy held knife and fork poised to slice through the ham. "I won't leave her here alone. She needs help until the baby arrives, and for a span after."

"She has me." Walter laid his hands flat on the table at either side of his plate. "I can take care of her."

Why did Walter brace himself as he spoke about his wife? Benjamin recognized the defensive nature, an insecurity, exemplified in Walter's behavior.

Amy darted a glance at Walter, then returned her gaze to Benjamin. "That's my fear."

Her mouth formed a stubborn pout as her eyes reflected her concern. What had occurred here to provoke such a statement? Amy glanced at Walter with unease plain in her expression, her distrust of the man evident. Despite himself, Benjamin tensed at the idea of Amy living under the same roof as Walter.

"I know how to defend myself, so I'll stay." Samantha placed her napkin in her lap. "More to the point, Evelyn will deliver any day now, and she'll need me."

Walter looked like he wanted to say something but held his thoughts in check. His brow lowered as he dipped his bread into his coffee. Walter did not act as refined in character as his appearance first suggested. More pieces to the puzzle fell into place, but still some holes remained before Benjamin formed an opinion of him.

"You'll need help with running this place." Emily laid her napkin on the table, her eyes steady on Samantha. "I'm accomplished at that, so I will stay to assist."

Seeing where this was leading, Benjamin made an effort to change the conversation's course. "In the event, Miss Amy stays with me." He spoke with less conviction than earlier as his resolve wilted under the arguments put forth by the women surrounding him. "I can't stay away from town long, not only because Captain Sullivan expects me to ensure the museum collection is not touched, but also because Amy's father requested I bring my fiancée back posthaste."

A feminine gasp drew his eyes to Amy's startled expression. Damnation. Too late, he realized his error as, in rhythm with three blinks, her stubborn expression shifted to surprise, then anger.

"Pardon me?" Her eyebrows arched over wide eyes. "You are engaged? To whom, pray tell?"

The set of her jaw dared him to say what he must in order to tell the truth of the matter. An attack of cotton mouth forced him to try to swallow as he searched for the proper response. How crass could he be, blurting out his bald intent? His carefully prepared speech blown apart by his own foolish words. Again, words had tripped him up and left him floundering. Yet, his mother would be proud of him for sticking to the facts, even if they created an awkward moment. He heaved a sigh. Nothing for it but the bare truth. "I spoke with your parents a few days ago, and they agreed..."

"Stop." Amy, face red, held up a hand as though warding off a blow. "Pray, don't tell me my parents actually negotiated with you for my hand?"

About the Author:

Betty Bolté writes both historical and contemporary stories featuring strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the paranormal. In addition to her romantic fiction, she’s the author of several nonfiction books and earned a Master’s in English in 2008. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and the Authors Guild. Get to know her at

Twitter: @BettyBolte 

Waterfall by Lacy Danes

A Dragon’s Fate Novella
Book 1
Lacy Danes

Genre: Romance, Alternate Worlds, Paranormal, Steamy/Erotic
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Number of pages: 138
Word Count: 38K

Cover Artist: Kanaxa    
Book Description:

It’s easy to fall in love. Destiny requires tooth and claw.

Curses are designed to be cruel, but the one afflicting Jordan and his brothers  is almost beyond bearing. A dragon born by blood magic, he is an immortal  trapped in human form, with only one hope of finding his eternal mate. He must  bite her—and pray she lives.

One dark night, he senses the wounded heartbeat of a woman in the shadows, begging him to end her life. Ever the gentleman, he chivalrously obliges her wish. Only to discover three days later that she lives. And has married another.

Celeste always dreamed of marrying for love, but the nightmare of living in her father’s home drives her to wed the Duke of Hudson. Yet on her wedding eve, she is compelled to follow a mysterious man who professes to know her secret. A man with curious blue scales on his muscular arms—whose shadowed eyes reflect a dangerous mix of destiny and desire…

Warning: This novel contains explicit sex, sex in water, four super-hot dragon brothers, and a curse born from magical power that has left them wondering who they are all their lives.

Available at Samhain   BN   Amazon  iTunes  Google Books


Carefully stepping around scattered, fractured boards, trunks and lengths of tangled rope, Jordan and Ferrous neared the last grouping of rocks at the trees’ edge. Jordan sighed. About time.

A faint heartbeat crawled out of the obscure shadows, stalked up his spine. Something lived from this bloody mess. Though barely.

Jordan stilled.

Ferrous turned to the left. “I feel it too.”

Jordan followed.

On the opposite side of the rocks, jagged boards bumped, clattering against a boulder. A mass of tangled human remains bobbed and swayed with each lap of water against the shore.

From this mess, a heartbeat cried. Jordan closed his eyes and sighed as his stomach flipped. He would find it. He stepped into the water amid the carnage and shuddered. I must move as hastily as possible. I can do this. The sound of life grasped him as if a hand itself clasped his flesh. He flinched, then turned to the left.

An arm’s length away, half in the water, lay a woman. Her limbs were twisted and broken, as if made of nothing more than weeds. A man’s head, severed from the body it had once belonged to, floated close to her hand. Jordan’s heart pinched, and the scales on his elbows prickled anew.

No one deserved to be half alive after experiencing a tragedy such as this. He stepped up next to her, knocking the human debris away with his boot. He leaned down and wrapped one hand about her slim, bare shoulders. The other he slid beneath her knees, fisting up a handful of her full skirts. She should have drowned in such a garment. He lifted her, pulling her body up against his.

She hung like a sack of barley in his grasp. Her long, wet skirts and hair trailed cold water in a stream, trickling over the rocks and babbling down into his boots. He turned and stumbled along the slag toward the trees.

Ferrous turned after him. “She won’t live, Jordan.” He strode behind him. “Leave her.”

Her clothing, laden with seawater, soaked his coat in blood. Was it hers or the rotting blood of the pool in which she had lain? He shook his head. Don’t think about the stench. He grimaced. Think about her.

Ferrous was right. She would never live.

He fell to his knees and laid her on the high grass that bordered the trees. Her dress was that of an aristocrat, finely tailored with small pearls and embroidery now torn open down to her flesh in several places. Her hair had been swept up with the sun, golden rays that now hid beneath a cloud of red death. “I will end her suffering.” Yes, that was the correct thing to do.

“For bloody sake, Jordan. You are not to indulge unless you have an inkling she may be the one. There are no exceptions to our rules. Look what happens to Ilmir when he breaks one. Who knows what calamity awaits us in London.”

Jordan’s jaw clenched, and he narrowed his eyes, refusing to look at Ferrous, who stood behind him. “This is different, and you damn well know it. I am not Ilmir, and she is not a woman I am courting. She is dying.”

“Being chivalrous?” Ferrous threw up his hands, grumbled and walked through the trees back toward the shore. “Make haste. I wish to make this hellish scene vanish this hellish scene and be to London to deal with Ilmir.”

Did Ferrous truly think he wanted to do this? To kill another woman was the last thing he wished. Twenty years had passed… Jordan inhaled a deep breath and blew it out between tense lips. He ran his fingers down her pale cheek and around her chin, tilting her face toward his. A slender nose, full, angelic lips, and noble cheekbones. A beauty. “To a better afterlife, dear.”

He raised her chin, exposing her long, graceful neck and faintly beating pulse. Another death…

Dash it. He stared unblinking at the slight flutter of her blood beneath her skin. Relax, Jordan. He closed his eyes and exhaled. All will be well.

Prickling pain clawed through the roof of his mouth as his two pointed teeth extended into thin slivers of bone. He stared down at her neck. She had been floating in blood and seawater. He spit on her neck, twice. His saliva glimmered as it slid down her throat to the grass below. There, that should wash away the dirt she had stewed in. Or would it? His throat tightened. Don’t lick her. Be done with it.

He leaned in and pressed his teeth to her vein. His mouth opened, saliva pooled heavily, and his tongue thickened. The pouches by his back teeth filled with poisonous blood, forcing his jaw still wider. He inhaled a jagged breath. His heart leapt and pounded, vibrating through his entire being…

Bite her, Jordan. Be done with it. Bite her.

Her faint pulse bumped against his teeth, willing him to take her as his mate. Mate? Well, that urge was pointless. She would pass just as swiftly as the others. He rolled his lip back and hissed, then pressed, slicing through her soft, salty outer skin and into her tepid blood flowing below.

She didn’t flinch.

This was the first time he had taken a woman when he was not passionately joined with her. Odder yet not to have her scream. To have her do nothing but lie on the wilted grass.

He swallowed. Dirt be damned, he needed to taste her and know that one essence of the life he now took. He fluttered his tongue on her smooth skin. Warm, salty blood slid thickly down his tongue. Damn. His muscles quivered as his poisonous blood streamed from his pouches and down his teeth, twisting into her veins. His cock pressed painfully hard against his thigh.

The task was done. There would be no more. He would not take his pleasure in her. He would not know the feel of her flesh against his. He would never know her favorite color. This woman, like all the others who had come before, was not meant to be his. Enough!

He growledand opened his mouth wide. Her soft flesh slipped from his fangs. He pulled his head back, and their mixed blood trailed in streams down her neck and dress. His vision shifted and popped. Adrenaline mixed with power bubbled through his veins. This…this, he had missed.

This was what he was meant to be. His full elemental power at a glimpse. He tossed his hair back and then growled a dragon’s cry up to where the moon should hang in a radiant, colored vision. Yet only the ebony fog resided tonight. There was no moon to lighten this scene. His vision rippled with detailed clarity. Ah. Indeed. This was the power that years of existence without his mate had diminished. He wanted this power back. It had been too long. In a burst of speckled light, everything changed back to somber mist. Bloody hell. His throat closed off, and his eyes burned. No! He swallowed hard, and his shoulders sagged. This was a tease. A temptation.

He closed his eyes and shook his head. He would never know more of what the Zir were than this… Death and a glimpse of the exhilarating power they were destined to have.

He inhaled and smelled her metallic, sweet blood on his lips. His tongue traced his teeth and upper lip, gathering up the enslaving essence. Sweet orange blossoms and candied cherries. His made-up version of what she should taste like. Remember her. His jaw trembled as hot blood pounded through him to his groin. His soul wanted more of her. To mate. To love. To live a lifetime of companionship.

He clenched his teeth, and his fangs pierced his lower lip. You have done enough to end her suffering. Quite enough. Let her be. He opened his eyes once more.

A shadow shaped as Ferrous stood head down and arms straight out in the air at the rocks’ edge. “Make haste. I wait no more.”

Jordan placed her head softly back on the grass. “Will scant be a moment more of pain, beauty.” He trailed his hand down her broken arm to a heavy, thick bracelet looping her wrist. He unclasped the chain and slowly rubbed the metal between his fingers. His token of her death. He tucked the jewelry in his inner coat pocket, then rose to his full height. Turning to his left, he skulked into the inky woods.

About the Author:

Lacy Danes made a New Year's resolution to write a hot, historical romance.

A year and a half later, she achieved her goal. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where besides writing she enjoys playing cards, chasing her kids around, and savoring a great martini with the man of her dreams all while watching the world go by.

 Visit Lacy at her web site.