Saturday, July 4, 2015

Blog Tour: Rebel's Claw (Black Hills Wolves, Book 2) by Afton Locke

Are you ready to learn all about the sequel to Alpha in Disguise from the 

Black Hills Wolves series?

Look no further!

Today, Sapphyria's Steamy Books is hosting none other than Rebel's Claw - Book 2.


Book Details:

Rebel's Claw

Afton Locke

Sequel to Alpha in Disguise

Black Hills Wolves Series

Genre: Paranormal Wolf Shifter



About the Book:

Roark Archer’s Lamar Canyon Pack in Yellowstone has been decimated by ranchers and hunters. Although the Tao pack in Los Lobos, South Dakota, has offered to assimilate it, he cannot give up his heritage so easily. At least not until he gets revenge against whoever killed his best friend, Jared, three years ago.

Recluse Carrie Myers lives on the Wyoming cattle ranch her late father left her. One fateful night changes her life forever, leaving her questioning her sanity. She knows what she saw…or does she? Regardless, she’ll do anything to protect the awful secret that has haunted her for the past three years.

When fate brings Roark to Carrie’s doorstep, the connection between them is undeniable. Determined to avoid commitment, they agree to give in to their unexplainable attraction for one night. Will hatred consume this hell-raising shifter, or can he learn love and forgiveness in the enemy’s arms?

Amazon Link: Rebel's Claw (Black Hills Wolves)

Add to Goodreads



Meet the Author:

Afton Locke is a USA Today Bestselling Author who prefers romantic fantasies to everyday reality. Fantasies take her to different times, races, places, and beyond. She lives with her husband, dog, several unnamed dust bunnies, and a black cat that can be scary or cuddly, depending on the current book. When she's not writing, Afton enjoys hiking, cooking, crafts, and reading. Visit her at Ellora's Cave and these links:

Web site: http://www.aftonlocke.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/aftonlocke

Newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thelovechronicle/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/Afton_Locke

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/aftonlocke

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/aftonlocke/

Review: To Hell and Back (Short Story Collection from The World Around Us Series) by Beth Ann Masarik #UrbanFantasy #Paranormal Romance


To Hell and Back

by Beth Ann Masarik

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance


Take a journey to Hell with Elise Stevenson as she braves meeting Hades and his companions in this compilation. To Hell and Back consists of the short stories Murderous Regrets, Hell Bound and Hell’s Captive. In these three stories, Elise is sent to Hell to uncover the secrets of the villains in The World Among Us. She dodges the worst of demons, and goes to the very depths of Hell just to interview Hades and the Prince of Darkness themselves among other monsters that appear in the series.

In the short story, Moon Spirit, however, we are brought back to earth, where we meet Raul Blackoak and his family. While Raul is out on patrol, he hears the cries of a damsel in distress. A battle begins between the werewolf and two demons, but before long, the night is saved by a surprise visitor. Raul and his new partner save the day, only for things to become more serious when they bring her back to Raul’s home. Will Raul be able to come to terms with the strange twist of events? 

My Reviews:

Moon Spirit:
Moon Spirit is a quick 20-ish page short story that is first up in the To Hell and Back collection.  Raoul, a werewolf, comes face-to-face with two vampires draining a female human.  Intent on saving her, Raoul winds up toss about like a ragdoll.  Surprisingly, an additional guest join the little party but who's side are he really on?  Raoul's or two vamps?

Barely escaping with either of their lives, Raoul and the female, named Kylie, head to his home with the surprise guest, in tow.  Here is were Kylie enters the story line.  Will Kylie accept the strange and unusual or will  Raoul's pack have to handle her the hard way?

The story is interesting and engaging and kept me reading to find out how the mystery person was.  I also was intrigued by how Kylie fit into the story line.  There wasn't as smooth of dialogue between characters as I would have liked.  Kylie's introduction into the paranormal world was to quick and she was way too accepting.  The overall length made the revelations seems rushed and choppy.
My Rating for Moon Spirit =

Murderous Regrets:
Elise Stevenson is a journalist tasked with interviewing a convicted murderer, Leon Greene.  Except, Leon isn't your usual suspect; he's a werewolf.  His victim?  Leon's best friend and leader of the magical world, Jason Aysel.  And in this short story, Leon explains what lead up to his attack on his best friend.

Murderous Regrets will give the reader a bit more insight into the author's creativity.  The main players are Hades, his son Damien, the moon goddess, Selene, and the god Gaia.  Beth Ann takes these characters and masterfully weaves a tale of jealousy, power, and deceit.

The second story in the To Hell and Back collection is very interesting and engaging.  I was pulled in from the beginning and found the story line to be new and different.  I enjoyed the writing style in this story and the dialogue between characters was smooth.  A quick jaunt into the mind of an assassin gives a clearer path into The World Among Us.
My Rating for Murderous Regrets= 

Hell Bound:
Elise Stevenson gets embroiled in the paranormal world just a tad more in Hell Bound.  Now that she's impressed her boss with her interviewing skills based on her time with Leon (in Murderous Regrets) he has a new mission for her.  It's time for a face-to-face interview with the devil himself, Hades.  So...off to Hell she goes, although she has no idea how to get there or if she'll be able to get back once she does.

The third story in the To Hell and Back collection, Hell Bound, finds our main character, Elise Stevenson, who is a human, with a ~ hopefully ~ two-way ticket to Hell.  Her interview with Hades isn't all wine and roses considering when Elise gets to Hell, her first encounter is with Hades' right-hand woman, DuVessa.  A rocky start to her trip ends with finally sitting down with Hades to find out that he wants to overthrow Gaia and take over the world.

Hell Bound is another fascinating additional to the author's short stories in The World Among Us series.   I was pulled in from the beginning and found the story line to be new and different.  I enjoyed the writing style in this story and the dialogue between characters was smooth. Quick and engaging, this story is filled with the explanations of a crazy demon and his equally nasty female side kick.  If they are able to wrestle power away from Gaia, we are all in big, big trouble.
My Rating for Hell Bound= 

Hell's Captive:
In the final story of the To Hell and Back collection of short stories in The World Among Us series, Elise now finds herself meeting with Damien, the son of Hades.  As the key player in the upcoming war between good and evil, interviewing Damien is a must.  He is after all, the epicenter of the the events that have unfolded and are continuing to unfold.

What Elise discovers is an epic love story turned tragic.  Damien's love for a moon goddess was used against him by the one person that he should have been able to trust.  His punishment was handed down by Gaia, which he is fulfilling even now.  The best interview she's conducted to-date is going to be the hardest one for her to write up.

Hell's Captive completes the collection of short stories in To Hell and Back quite nicely.   I was pulled in from the beginning and found the story line to be new and different.  I enjoyed the writing style in this story and the dialogue between characters was smooth.
My Rating of Hell's Captive= 

Collectively, these 4 stories make up the novella, To Hell and Back.

Review copy of To Hell and Back provided at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating of To Hell and Back:


Amazon Link for To Hell and Back:


Meet the Author:


Beth Ann Masarik was born on Long Island, NY in the year 1984 with an over-active imagination. She used to love playing make-believe games, and now loves creating her own fantasy worlds. Masarik has been writing since she was 15 years old, and had her first newspaper article published in her high school newspaper in her sophomore year. She has taken several creative writing classes, and started writing her very first novel in college, and is currently searching for the right literary agent. Aside from writing novels, Masarik enjoys bowling, gaming, and role playing online. She enjoys reading fantasy novels written by Richelle Mead, L.J. Smith, and J.K. Rowling, and looks to them for role models.

Socialize with Beth Ann:


@theworldamongus

@literarylunes






Friday, July 3, 2015

Read an Excerpt & Enter the #Giveaway for The Witch of Painted Sorrows (Daughters of La Lune, Book 1) by M. J. Rose #Gothic #Historical #Fantasy

Possession. Power. Passion.New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.


THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS (Daughters of La Lune #1)

by M.J. Rose

Gothic Historical Fantasy

Published by Atria Books on March 17th, 2015



About The Witch of Painted Sorrows:

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul”, her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

Excerpt:


Paris, France April 1894

I did not cause the madness, the deaths, or the rest of the tragedies any more than I painted the paintings. I had help, her help. Or perhaps I should say she forced her help on me. And so this story—which began with me fleeing my home in order to escape my husband and might very well end tomorrow, in a duel, in the Bois de Boulogne at dawn—is as much hers as mine. Or in fact more hers than mine. For she is the fountainhead. The fascination. She is La Lune. Woman of moon dreams, of legends and of nightmares. Who took me from the light and into the darkness. Who imprisoned me and set me free.

Or is it the other way around?

"Your questions," my father always said to me, "will be your saving grace. A curious mind is the most important attribute any man or woman can possess. Now if you can just temper your impulsiveness..."

If I had a curious mind, I'd inherited it from him. And he'd nurtured it. Philippe Salome was on the board of New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art and helped found the American Museum of Natural History, whose cornerstone was laid on my fifth birthday.

I remember sitting atop my father's shoulders that day, watching the groundbreaking ceremony and thinking the whole celebration was for me. He called it "our museum," didn't he? And for much of my life I thought it actually did belong to us, along with our mansion on Fifth Avenue and our summerhouse in Newport. Until it was gone, I understood so little about wealth and the price you pay for it. But isn't that always the way?

Our museum's vast halls and endless exhibit rooms fascinated me as much as they did my father—which pleased him, I could tell. We'd meander through exhibits, my small hand in his large one, and he'd keep me spellbound with stories about items on display. I'd ask for more, always just one more, and he'd laugh and tease: "My Sandrine, does your capacity for stories know no bounds?"

But it pleased him, and he'd always tell me another.

I especially loved the stories he told me about the gems and fate and destiny always ending them by saying: "You will make your own fate, Sandrine, I'm sure of it."

Was my father right? Do we make our own destiny? I think back now to the stepping-stones that I've walked to reach this moment in time.

Were the incidents of my making? Or were they my fate?

The most difficult steps I took were after certain people died. No deaths were caused by me, but at the same time, none would have occurred were it not for me.

So many deaths. The first was on the morning of my fifteenth birthday, when I saw a boy beaten and tragically die because of our harmless kisses. The next was the night almost ten years later, when I heard the prelude to my father's death and learned the truth about Benjamin, my husband. And then there were more. Each was an end-ing that, ironically, became a new beginning for me.

The one thing I am now sure of is that if there is such a thing as destiny, it is a result of our passion, be that for money, power, or love. Passion, for better or worse. It can keep a soul alive even if all that survives is a shimmering. I've even seen it. I've been bathed in it. I've been changed by it.

*********

Four months ago I snuck into Paris on a wet, chilly January night like a criminal, hiding my face in my shawl, taking extra care to be sure I wasn't followed.

I stood on the stoop of my grandmother's house and lifted the hand-shaped bronze door knocker and let it drop. The sound of the metal echoed inside. Her home was on a lane blocked off from rue des Saints-Pères by wide wooden double doors. Maison de la Lune, as it was called, was one of a half dozen four-story mid-eighteenthcentury stone houses that shared a courtyard that backed up onto rue du Dragon. Hidden clusters like this were a common configuration in Paris.These small enclaves offered privacy and quiet from the busy city. Usually the porte cochère was locked and one had to ring for the concierge, but I'd found the heavy doors ajar and hadn't had to wait for service.

I let the door knocker fall again. Light from a street lamp glinted off the golden metal. It was a strange object. Usually on these things the bronze hand's palm faced the door. But this one was palm out, almost warning the visitor to reconsider requesting entrance.

I was anxious and impatient. I'd been cautious on my journey from New York to Southampton and kept to my cabin. I'd left a letter telling Benjamin I'd gone to visit friends in Virginia and assumed that once he returned and read it, it would be at least a week before he'd realize all was not what it seemed. One thing I had known for certain—he would never look for me in France. It would be inconceivable to Benjamin that any wife of his could cross the ocean alone.

Or so I assured myself until my husband's banking associate, William Lenox, spotted me on board. When he expressed surprise I was traveling by myself, I concocted a story but was worried he didn't believe me. My only consolation was that we had docked in England and I had since crossed the channel into France. So even if Benjamin did come looking, he wouldn't know where I'd gone.

That very first night in Paris, as I waited for my grandmother's maid to open the door, I knew I had to stop thinking of what I had run away from. So I refocused on the house I stood before and as I did, felt an overwhelming sense of belonging, of being welcome. Here I would be safe.

Praise for The Witch of Painted Sorrows:

“This bell époque thriller is a haunting tale of obsessive passions.” —People Magazine

“Provocative, erotic, and spellbindingly haunting…will have the reader totally mesmerized cover-to-cover….a ‘must-have’ novel.” —Suspense Magazine

“A haunting tale of erotic love…. M.J. Rose seamlessly weaves historical events throughout this story filled with distinctive characters that will keep the reader captivated to the end.” —Examiner.com

“Rose has a talent for compelling writing, and this time she has outdone herself. Fear, desire, lust and raw emotion ooze off the page.” —Associated Press

“Haunting tale of possession.” —Publishers Weekly

“Rose’s new series offers her specialty, a unique and captivating supernatural angle, set in an intriguing belle epoque Paris — lush descriptions, intricate plot and mesmerizing storytelling. Sensual, evocative, mysterious and haunting.” —Kirkus

“Mixes reality and illusion, darkness and light, mystery and romance into an adult fairy tale. [Rose] stirs her readers curiosities and imaginations, opening their eyes to the cultural, intellectual and artistic excitement that marked the Belle Epoque period. Unforgettable, full-bodied characters and richly detailed narrative result in an entrancing read that will be long savored.” —Library Journal (Starred Review)

“An elegant tale of rare depth and beauty, as brilliantly crafted as it is wondrously told….melds the normal and paranormal in the kind of seamless fashion reserved for such classic ghost stories as Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw.” —Providence Journal

For More Information or to Purchase:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksindieBound



Meet the Author:



New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rosegrew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it. Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com. The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization’s co-president. Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.
WebsiteTwitterFacebookPinterestGoodreads

Enter the International Giveaway for a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card:

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~~ Saved By The Wolf (A BBW Shifter Romance) by Marie Mason Spotlight #Excerpt

Welcome to the final stop in the Saved By The Wolf blog tour!


Genre: Paranormal 

About Saved By The Wolf:

Logan McCall had always wanted to be a family man—in spite of—his playboy reputation. Find his mate, have a few pups and settle down into a long, loving relationship sounded good, real good to him.

During a storm that rocked Chicago for three days, Logan found fate had a wicked sense of humor when it sent nurse Katie Wilson tumbling into his life. She was here for a weekend of loving with a man alright, just not with Logan.

How can he convince a woman that his reputation as Chicago’s hottest bachelor is all smoke and mirrors and that what he truly longs for is a mate and a family he can love and cherish.

Driving along a snow covered highway in the middle of a blizzard, Katie swore off men. It was a man who had put her in this dangerous situation. Well, a man and her stubborn pride. She’d been unwilling to waste the romantic getaway that had already been paid for at a secluded mountain cabin just outside the city. So she decided to enjoy the weekend all by herself—if you didn’t count the adult toys she had packed in her suitcase and the multiple pints of ice cream she planned to buy on her way out of the city.

The last thing she’d been expecting on her binge-eating, binge-crying weekend was being Saved by the Wolf.

Read an Excerpt:

For an instant, her hands fluttered helplessly as she tried to figure out where to touch him. Then she
remembered. She could touch him anywhere. He was hard as a rock—all over. She’d felt the proof of that not moments before. Katie’s hands explored his body, the corded muscles of his shoulders, the light mat of curling hair on his chest and the taut planes of his abdomen. He truly had a spectacular physique.

Powerful arms roped with muscles, layers of strength making his chest and shoulders wider than any
other man she’d ever been around.

He was strong and powerful. And hers? Somehow it just felt right to think that. Like the growl of a wolf she’d heard in her head last night, the image of one flashed through mind and she had no doubt she was seeing Logan in his animal form.

For More Information or to Purchase:


Meet the Author:

Marie Mason has always known, somewhere deep in her soul, that being a writer was what she was born to be. Thanks to the new and exciting world of self-publishing, Marie was finally able to make her dream come true. Part two of the dream is to be a full-time writer, spending the wee hours of the morning creating new and exciting characters for her readers. That part might take a little longer. If you’d like to contact her with a comment or suggestion, her email is mariemasonwriter@yahoo.com or you can find her on Facebook.

Author Links:


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Blog Tour & #Giveaway: Shifter Magnetism by Stormie Kent #Excerpt


Synopsis:

Someone is killing witches in Coldwell. Voluptuous witch, Leila Barclay, isn’t expecting to be drawn to a sexy enemy wolf shifter, Nic Lobo and be targeted by a murderous sorcerer in the same night. Her savior is the very same wolf shifter who turns out to be a detective. To save her life, they exchange pieces of soul magic. Leila knows it’s forbidden, but she really wants to survive. Now she's irrevocably tied to the shifter and changing in ways she has never expected. Plus, she and her savior must catch the murderer, before he catches her.

Detective Nic Lobo is on the trail of the supernatural serial killer when he meets his mate. His taboo witch mate. He stops the killer from taking Leila's life, but now he has to keep her alive, stay away from his Pack and her Council, convince her they belong together, and catch her magical stalker. Failure isn’t an option because Nic has already lost himself in Leila.


Shifter Magnetism
Stormie Kent

Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Multicultural/Interracial

Publisher: Loose Id

Date of Publication: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62300-328-9
ASIN: B00YQLMQO2

Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs

Read an Excerpt:

Nic walked around the outside of Club Entourage looking for anything suspicious. He had a memory scent of the killer from the other crime scenes. He didn’t smell the man in the normal smells outside the club. There were other unsavory scents, especially behind the club near the garbage. Of course no alley would be complete without the pungent odors of urine and vomit.

Nic braced himself to enter the club. Shifter males gave off heightened hormones human females were susceptible to. In a highly charged sexual environment, to human females already attempting to attract bedmates, he was the equivalent of a tall glass of water to a person lost in a desert.

He passed the coat check, descended the club’s stairs, and tried to blend in with the crowd. His Western-wear shirt, jeans, cowboy boots, and cowboy hat stood out more than he’d anticipated against all the vampire costumes.

He mingled, dodging grasping hands and caresses. When he was positive the killer wasn’t inside, he took up a station against the bar, which allowed him to see the entrance and up onto the balcony. He hadn’t noticed any curvy witches, but it was early in the evening.

“Howdy, cowboy.”

He glanced at the slender redhead dressed as Venus at his side. Her incense-and-musk perfume assaulted his nose. She held a glass of champagne and smiled at him through lips that were a little too red. Normally the color made him think sensual thoughts; hers just reminded him of blood.

“Ma’am.” He kept his gaze neutral.

Her smile lost some of its luster. He looked away and caught a flash of gold near the entrance. He focused on the luscious sight before him. It took everything he had not to straighten, cross the room, and capture the woman at the top of the stairs.

She was exquisite. Her hair fell to her shoulders in wild, natural brown coils adorned with a thin gold braided headband. The golden undertones of her medium-brown skin were set off by flawless makeup and the gold accents trimming the barely there costume. And it was barely there.

The dark brown gladiator costume was held up by gold straps that matched the embroidery on the cleavage-baring neckline. Wolf-shifter females were tall and sleek, but this woman was lushly curvy. Her waist dipped in under the body-hugging costume, and her hips flared out, hiking up an already short hemline. She wore gold bangles at her wrists and a short crimson cape. Her legs were full and tantalizingly encased in high-heeled gold gladiator sandals that laced up to her knees.

She was sexy as hell, and she knew it. She posed with her body angled to the side, one bent leg slightly in front of the other, and a hand resting on her hip.

There was a hush as she paused at the top of the landing. She scanned the crowd nonchalantly, as if every eye wasn’t on her. Then she stepped down to the next step. His mouth opened slightly as he watched her body move under the costume. He might have drooled a bit. The wolf in him was close to the surface, and he swallowed a growl as he noticed a tall blond man dressed as a race car driver move forward to greet her at the bottom of the stairwell.

“How dare she? He’d better not dance with her.”

He’d forgotten the woman next to him. The redhead moved into the crowd and made her way toward the blond race car driver. Nic watched as the female gladiator, guaranteed to star in his most lascivious dreams tonight, shunned the hand of the man in front of her and strutted toward the bar. She never looked at Nic, and he was violently disappointed.

She stopped next to him, pressed her palms to the bar, and leaned forward. “Rum and cola, please.”

His already stiff cock throbbed at the throatiness of her voice. She smelled divine. The soft floral hint of her perfume didn’t overpower the scent of the woman underneath. He could lap up every trace of the tantalizing fragrance from her skin and other places hidden on her body.

A frisson of power brushed against his wolf, signaling he was in the presence of a magical being. He concentrated.Witch. Hell, he stood lusting after a curvy witch wearing a dress so short he swore he could see the shadow of her ass under the back hem. She was everything the Brain Surgeon would be looking for. She was the reason he’d been drawn here.

His wolf was also telling him she was everything it was looking for.

He stared. Finally, she looked up. Her eyes were large in her pretty face. She smiled, and he focused on the fullness of her dark red lips. Her teeth peeked through, and in his mind he saw her biting her plump lower lip just before stroking him slowly with her soft palm. He suppressed a shudder.

He took one of her hands from the bar and held it. “I’m Nic.”

“Leila.”

He smiled. “May I buy your drink, Leila?”

“It depends.” Her tongue peeked out to lick her upper lip slightly.

He followed the action with his gaze. “On what?”

One corner of her mouth lifted, and pure mischief entered her eyes. “What I have to do to earn it.”

His mind immediately went to Leila on her hands and knees as he pounded into her from the rear. “How about a dance?”

He really shouldn’t. Technically he was on duty. He had to touch her, though. He tugged on her hand lightly to draw her toward the dance floor. She held his gaze as she slowly peeled her body away from her pose leaning against the bar. Should watching her perform the simple action give him such visceral pleasure?

All around them couples gyrated to the blaring pop music. Nic made room for the two of them on the floor. He pulled her close and moved with her to the beat of the music. She swayed sensuously, making it seem a natural extension of the dance when she slid against him. Everywhere they touched, little pinpricks of awareness cascaded along his skin.

He held her flush against his chest, guiding her body the way he wanted it to go. It was easy to dip low and wedge his thigh between her legs. She rode him, undulating and moving fluidly as he tilted her back and cradled her, drawing her near again. Even among all the humans, he could smell her desire.

His reaction to her was strong. Almost too strong. He brought his mouth closer to hers. His wolf demanded he take her mouth. It didn’t understand human convention that forced his human half to play by civilized rules and not devour her on the spot. This woman made him want her on every level. It demanded he take her. Mine.

He caught the costumed race car driver’s hand before it could land on her arm. He couldn’t quite suppress the growl that spilled over from his throat. Nic squeezed the man’s hand back, and its owner winced. He felt the surge in her magic, heard her whispered words, and fought the calm that tried to descend over him. He never released the other man.

“Hey, what’s happening?” Race Car Driver looked slightly dazed.

Nic smirked in Leila’s direction. “I think you overdid it.”

“The extra push was for you,” she mumbled. “Hal, what do you want?”

Maybe she should have used the calming spell on herself. She stared hard at the other man, one hand on her hip. If her brown eyes had contained any more fire, Hal would have combusted on the spot.

“You’re embarrassing yourself. This type of getup is for our bedroom only.”

She’d been with this clown? Anger and possessiveness flowed through Nic. He didn’t want this man anywhere near Leila. Nic applied more pressure until the other man was contorting to keep Nic from breaking his wrist.

“That’s enough! Nic!” Leila’s voice was frantic as she pushed against his arm.

He looked at her.

She shook her head. “Hal and I aren’t together anymore. Not that it’s any of your business.”

He was appeased she’d said the last part so low it was likely only he’d heard her. He eased the pressure on the guy’s hand and wrist. He’d stay between them, though. If good ole Hal tried anything, he’d be more than happy to break a few of his bones.

She made a chopping motion toward the sweating Hal. “We’re over, Hal. Or did I suddenly lose a few pounds? Go away. I don’t like you.”

Nic released the man with a shove. “Take her advice and stay away.” He watched as Hal stumbled back among the ring of gawkers.

“You.”

He turned back to Leila as she poked him in the side.

“I’m going to say this in a whisper because I’m assuming by all the growling coming from your throat you have pretty good hearing. What you did was unnecessary. I can defend myself.”

“Don’t ever try to control me again.” Witch.

“Try not to need to be controlled. What am I saying? There won’t be a next time. We’re complete strangers. Hopefully this will be the last time we ever meet.” She turned and pushed her way through the crowd.

He admired her ass as she walked away. He loved the way she placed one foot almost in front of the other, so each hip cocked with every step. He could watch her walk all day. He came to his senses when she was swallowed up in the crowd. He moved then. He wouldn’t crowd her, but he would follow her. She was wrong. She’d be seeing him very soon.

OUT OF ALL the men to meet tonight, Leila would run into a shifter. She didn’t know what his animal was, yet she was sure she wouldn’t like it. Arrogant man. Sexy beast.

She wasn’t going to deny it. His beautiful, sharp features spoke of his Latin roots. Over six feet tall, broad shouldered, and darkly tanned, Nic was a hard man to resist. When she’d gotten closer to the bar, she’d felt the tingle in her limbs alerting her there was a magical being nearby. Nic’s shifter pheromones explained the immediate attraction she’d felt for him. Shifters were primal, carnal beings. Women of almost every species found it hard to resist them.

Leila stomped up the steps to the coat check. She’d worn a light trench coat since she really was indecently exposed. The only reason she’d decided on the costume was for revenge. She looked around at her frenemies staring at her from across the room. She smiled and pinky waved at the bitches. Their mouths fell open before they turned away.

Earlier in the day, she’d peered down from her hidden spot decorating the club’s balcony at Deidre, Amy, and Li, who were doing the same in the main room below.

Deidre had tucked a strand of her red hair behind her ear before marking off an item on her checklist. “Ooh, I can’t stand her. What did Hal ever see in her?”

Li’s wimpy behind had chimed in too. “She dresses in such bright colors. It’s so gaudy.”

“And she’s too big for all those colors,” Amy had said.

When the women laughed, Leila’s hand had begun to glow a faint blue neon as energy swirled and gathered in her palm. She’d contemplated just hitting them with a mild spark. It wouldn’t have hurt…much. She’d closed her hands and eyes slowly, and the energy ball had dissipated. She couldn’t do it then. She wouldn’t do it now, either. Her grandmother had always warned her about being careful with the intent behind her magic. Using it for petty revenge would rebound against her.

She’d thought the women were her friends. Their conversation proved how wrong she’d been. They were just jealous, anyway. Each of their boyfriends had hit on her in the last twelve months. She was fat all right. PHAT—pretty, hot, and tempting.

She’d settled on the gladiator costume rather than the more conservative nurse she’d planned to be for the costume party. She’d wanted all eyes on her, and they were. Including the shifter’s.

She sensed him watching her. She looked around as she put on her trench. She didn’t see him. Why did he have to be a super-alpha jerk shifter? She and the sexy Latino should have been headed back to her place right now. She could still feel every place he’d touched her. Her pussy continued to throb. Her nipples rubbed against the constricting fabric of her bra.

What a waste. Shifters and witches didn’t mix. At least not in this town. Coldwell had one hard-and-fast rule for its magical inhabitants. She’d been raised to believe shifters were crude and animalistic, fae were untrustworthy tricksters, immortals were meddlesome and coldhearted. The list went on and on. Even humans were said to be dangerous, fearful, and judgmental. Her mother hadn’t been too happy when she’d decided to associate with them.

She thought of her former friends and ex-boyfriend. Maybe her teachers had been right. Having personal relationships with other species was unwise. What would Deidre have done with the knowledge if she’d known Leila was a witch? She shuddered.

Everyone knew to stick to their own kind. She’d learned her lesson. She and the shifter were a bad idea. So it would be another lonely night with just her and her vibrator, Sam.

The club was in a renovated warehouse at the edge of town. The parking lot was lit brighter closer to the club and dimmer farther back where she’d parked. Walking all alone in a poorly lit, deserted parking lot was the price she paid for wanting to make an entrance. She could just hear her mother asking her if she intended to be a mugging waiting to happen.

Her mind turned back to Nic, and she stopped. She’d promised herself she would take a chance with the next guy she felt chemistry with. But a shifter? Did it matter? She’d felt the desire between them. It was a smoldering fire all over her body, and she couldn’t deny it. If she was honest, prejudice had forced her out of the club and away from Mr. Hotness. A woman confident in her sexuality would go back.

The hint of magic touched her before the sound of footsteps did. A hand closed around her mouth just as a black-clothed arm wound around her neck. She was jerked back forcefully. Heart racing, she struggled. She scratched and pulled against her assailant. Her nails slid off the fabric. Quickly, she reached for her power. It surged within her, bright and familiar. She was about to give this bastard the shock of his life, then run like hell.

Except her power began to dim almost immediately. He didn’t release her. He dragged her deeper into the shadows. Her limbs began to tire first, and her head hurt. Her power faded. Was he sucking it from her? She tried to struggle, but she was so tired. Her eyelids drooped and closed despite her attempts to stay alert.

Her eyes cracked open when she heard the growl. She sighted a gray blur. A large wolf barreled toward them, teeth bared. Her attacker released her, and she dropped to the ground, unable to support her weight. Her entire body tingled and throbbed as hands did when they fell asleep. Behind her she heard running feet and snarls.

She knew Nic was the wolf. She felt it deep within. She mustered her final bit of energy. “Nic.”

Would he leave her there? She didn’t want to die in the parking lot outside a stupid costume party. She should probably be grateful he’d run her attacker off. Would she have been as helpful, or would she have seen a shifter fighting and fled the scene, shaking her head about how violent and beastly they were?

The thoughts grew vague as her mind fogged. Her heartbeat, loud and slow in her ears, reminded her she was alive. She willed her limbs to move, but they remained useless. She was going to slip away, a nameless victim killed within rows of cars, discarded and alone.

Suddenly, a wet nose nudged her cheek, then her hand. She opened her eyes enough to see the large gray wolf. Tears welled. Nic hadn’t left her to die alone. He shimmered before her, and she watched in awe as bones contorted, popped, and reformed. It appeared painful and somehow grotesquely beautiful.

His magic pressed against her, and she absorbed a bit. She couldn’t help it. She knew she was close to dying. She’d be ashamed of the forbidden act later.

“Sorry.” She wouldn’t steal any more of his energy.

Nic squatted before her, beautifully naked. “Don’t worry. You need it. I have to get you to a hospital.”

He lifted her into his arms. She felt so weak. So empty. More tears slid down her cheeks as his face blurred and wavered before her.

She needed a supernatural healer, not a hospital. “Mama Tui.”

“You need medical—”

“Medicine can’t help me. I’m dying.”

“You won’t die. I won’t let you.”

His voice was determined. Somehow she believed him. He moved swiftly in the dark. Her eyes closed, and she forced herself to focus as she was jostled. He opened the door to a black SUV and deposited her on the passenger seat.

“Did it help when you touched my spirit wolf before?”

Was that what she’d done when she’d repurposed his life energy? “Yes, but I shouldn’t have. It is forbidden to take someone’s energy the way I did, and I don’t know what damage I’ve caused.”

He took her hand in both of his. Warmth traveled up her arm, and she realized she had been cold since he’d released her.

“My wolf didn’t mind. He liked it.”

Before she could protest again, he shifted, and she automatically reached out and absorbed a little more of his magic. The pressure in her chest eased, and her head cleared. She only took a little, but it was enough. She could make it to Mama Tui.

Able to focus again, she watched as Nic pulled on a shirt and pants. Where had he hidden clothes? She missed the warmth from his body. She was so cold.

“Better?”

She nodded. He closed her door before walking around the SUV to the driver’s side. He pulled his cell phone from the glove compartment and dialed.

“This is Detective Lobo. There has been an attack at 4902 Talen Lane.”

He was a detective. If he hadn’t been there, she would be dead now. Was it his role as a policeman allowing him to help her? Or was it something intrinsic about Nic? Was this wolf a better person than most witches she knew? He’d come back for her, gathered her up, and was helping her get help. He’d even allowed her to steal his magic without trying to kill her.

She stared at him as he made his call. His midnight hair was cut close on the sides and longer on the top. His golden skin stretched taut across his strong jaw as he rattled off information and orders over the phone. His hand dwarfed his cell phone.

Ending his call, he glanced at her. His deep brown eyes showed his concern.

“Thank you, Nic.”

“We’re a few miles away from the healer.” He slid his hand along her arm and then released her to grip the wheel.

So he wasn’t good with gratitude. He would have hers forever.

Copyright © Stormie Kent

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About the Author:

Stormie Kent is the author of romance with paranormal, science-fiction, and contemporary elements. She resides on the east coast of the USA, and spends many of the most enjoyable hours of her day reading and writing. Her books are filled with rugged shifters and warrior men who seek their destiny with the women who fiercely love them. Stormie has imagined a world of magic and adventure, where you might just have a passionate encounter with a witch, wolf shifter, warlord, or space pirate. All you have to do is pick your pleasure.

http://stormiekent.com/

http://stormiekent.com/blog/

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Spotlight: Older Woman, Younger Sheikh by Teresa Morgan

Welcome to the Blog Tour Spotlight for Older Woman, Younger Sheikh:

After sixteen years of being forced into a life as an older man's mistress, Rania Giovanni-Al Haifa finally has her freedom. Maybe people in Qena look down on her for her past, but with Sheikh Ghassan gone, now she can focus on investing her small inheritance and making other people's lives better.

But the new sheikh, the hot and sensual—and much younger—Amin Al Nawaz, has other plans for her...


Book Information:

Older Woman, Younger Sheikh

by Teresa Morgan

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Multicultural Romance



Read an Excerpt:

"Are you not attracted to me?" Amin’s top lip ticked up into a full-on sneer before he turned aside as if he couldn’t look at her. "That seems unlikely. I am young, well-groomed, fit. Surely you can have no complaints, especially in comparison to my guardian."

The television static in her skull was all movement and no sense. "Why me? You could have a much younger wom—"

She stopped, biting the word in half, as the full impact of what he’d said earlier hit her. The agreement. He knew about it.

Now, he controlled Al Nawaz Industries. Now Amin, not Ghassan, had his hand around her brother's throat.

Merda.

He intended to throw her into the same situation she'd been in for nineteen years. To save her family, she had to sleep with him. Her eyes kept being drawn to the partly open door to her left. The one she knew led to the sheikh's bedroom. Knew it intimately.

"In addition to you being convenient, you were the subject of my schoolboy fantasies."

She sucked in a breath.

"I spent many nights dreaming of rescuing you from the clutches of my villainous guardian. But I did not truly understand what I wished from you then." An elegant, dismissive wave of his hand. The golden seal of Qena, the one Ghassan had also worn on his pinky, glinted in the candlelight.

He pushed his chair back, rose, and began to circle the table, his arms folded behind him. “Of course I understand very well now. And tonight, so shall you.”

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Meet the Author:



Hello, I'm Teresa Morgan. I believe in fun, in fantasy, and that the power of love can heal most wounds.

I'm pretty boring in real life. I'm Cool Auntie to two fabulous nieces who love waterslides, and my boyfriend is a Vibration Engineer, which will never stop being funny. I live in a cold, dark city and dream of the desert.

The most interesting thing about me is that I write romance novels. Inside my head, there are whole worlds waiting to get out. I write about sexy, but damaged, heroes who are willing to do anything to get what they want. And of course I have to pit them against belligerent heroines (okay, they might not be belligerent at the start of the story, but they are by the end!) who can stand their ground against anything--or anyone--who gets in their way.

I'm inspired by love triumphing over evil, little old couples who walk around holding hands, and Tom Hiddleston dancing.

My boyfriend introduced me to the love of Formula One racing and sexy cars, which is fantastic, and to jogging, which I will never forgive him for.

For me, romance novels are about getting away from harsh realities and diving into universal truths. That we are all more alike than we are different, and that at the core, we all want the same things. Happiness. Security. Love. To build things that last for generations.

Most of the time I'm at my local coffee shop writing about hot sheikhs and dancing with the cruel mistress caffeine. When I take a break, you can find me driving a MINI Cooper named Alice, watching Orphan Black, reading fantasy or romance novels on my Kindle, scuba diving, whipping up award-winning dulche de leche cookies, and planning my next trip (Prague? Singapore? Playa del Carmen?), but not all at the same time.