Category Archives: Excerpt

Excerpt: Cloaked In Fur by T.F. Walsh

Cloaked in Fur CoverCloaked In Fur
By: T.F. Walsh
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Published: Aug. 5, 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance

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As a moonwulf, Daciana never expected to fall in love with a human. Hell, she never imagined that she’d abandon her pack, endanger everyone around her, and break the worst rule possible. But she did.

A rogue werewolf is killing Daciana’s friends, and she sets on capturing the creature. She’ll do whatever it takes to stop the beast. The police and her boyfriend, Inspector Connell Lonescu, are starting to question her involvement in the murders, which is endangering the pack’s secret existence. But when the pack alpha kidnaps Connell, revealing the awful truth about the creature and its connection to the pack, Daciana must choose between saving the man she loves and saving her pack family from certain death.

 

 

Excerpt

The phone’s strident ringing woke me up, and I glanced over at the bedside clock blazing

5:13 A.M. Too damn early for anything.

Tempted to dive back under the covers, I checked the caller ID: Connell. Crap. The previous night’s events came pouring back: me turning into a wulfkin outside the full moon, running with the pack all night, collecting my keys from the woods, and ditching

Connell again. On top of that, I never retrieved the old books for the elixir. Double crap.

I pushed my legs over the edge of the bed, scrunched the sheet in my fist and answered the call. “Hi.”

“Where are you?” The panic in his voice turned my stomach.

“At home.”

“What happened to you last night?”

My throat dried up as my mind whirred with excuses. “I uncovered something in my research and got stuck into it, not realizing it was past midnight when I checked the clock. I didn’t want to wake you and went straight home. I’m sorry.”

“I suspected you wouldn’t come. Looks like I was right.”

“Come on, Connell, give me a break. I’m working on something majorly important.

When you’re on a case and spend nights in the office, I don’t give you shit about it.”

“That’s not what pisses me off. It’s that you never tell me anything. Send me a message if you’re going to be late or not turn up, anything to let me know what’s going on. It feels like you’re only staying with me on until something better comes along.”

“That’s not true. I only want you.”

Silence.

I lowered my head and stared at the dirt beneath my toenails from the previous night’s run.

“I don’t want to talk about this now,” he said. “We found two more bodies this morning. The victims were located on the opposite sides of the city.” He paused. “Why would a wolf bolt across the city after a kill? They attack in packs, don’t they?”

A shiver rippled down my spine. The possibility of two more dracwulf kills made me furious. There was no convincing myself the attacks weren’t related to the others; I felt the truth in my gut. Worse yet, I wondered whether the dracwulf was simply hungry or territorial, and Sandulf had to know. I flopped onto the bed and curled into a ball.

When I gave no response, Connell continued. “I need you to review the reports from the previous attacks today and visit the new scenes to see if you believe it’s the same animal.”

I cringed at the innocent wolves who could lose their lives over Sandulf’s stupidity.

“Your team can test the evidence and see if it’s the same predator without me.”

“We have limited testing resources in this country, so we need your expertise to move things along.”

The way he said “your” sounded full of contempt, and it pained me to hear him talk like that.

“The chief wants a hunting party issued this weekend, preferably with Romania’s Animal Research Institute’s approval. He’s already spoken with your boss, Vasile.”

I climbed up and paced the room, shaking my head. Typical Vasile to agree to anything the cops asked.

“If I could leave you out of this, I would, but I can’t. Trust me, I tried.”

“I appreciate that. Where should we meet?”

“Piaţa Sfatului. Half an hour?”

“I can do that.”

He hung up.

A snarl ripped past my throat at the terrible start to the day. Who could blame Connell for being upset? I’d be livid if he kept avoiding me.

I threw on a pair of Levi’s, boots, and a gray hooded top. The bathroom mirror reflected gray wolf eyes from my recent transformation, and already the silvery color was fading into a darker shade. I pulled every strand of my nest-style hair into a ponytail and rushed outside into the morning twilight.

 
authorTF Walsh

T.F. Walsh emigrated from Romania to Australia at the age of eight and now lives in a regional city south of Sydney with her husband. Growing up hearing dark fairytales, she’s always had a passion for reading and writing horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and young adult stories. She balances all the dark with light fluffy stuff like baking and traveling.

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Guest Post: Ask For It by Selena Blake

askforit5Ask For It
By: Selena Blake
Publisher: Ecila Media Corp
Published:June 27, 2013
Genre:Erotic Contemporary Romance

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Trevor Wyatt has lusted for journalist JJ Fairchild since before he retired from the NFL. Now she’s back in his life and he’s not going to miss the opportunity to show her just how good they could be together.
Words may be JJ’s tool of trade, but when it comes to the bedroom, words escape her. Trevor’s an excellent teacher and before she knows it, she’s asking for what she wants.
But when outside forces threaten to expose dark secrets from Trevor’s past, can he overcome his suspicions and trust the woman in his bed?

 

 

guest post

When I’m reading a really good book, I always find myself wondering how the author came up with the characters. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer. But really… who doesn’t want to know how Chris Merit, Acheron or Wrath came about?

So here’s how Trevor Wyatt (ASK FOR IT, Ecila Media) was developed.

The idea for the story came to me because like JJ, I’d had money stolen from my bank account to buy shoes. So when JJ goes in to investigate the store where her money was used, there’s this tall, golden god behind the counter. He’s big and strong and muscley and well…everything you could lust over in a guy.

Did I mention the muscle defining T-shirt and well worn jeans that fit just right?

Yeah. That type of guy.

And the second he turned around and looked at JJ, she recognized him. That was shock number one for me. Sometimes we authors stumble upon happy accidents.

Shock number two: he’s a former football player. Let’s just say, I’m not up on my football stars so where that came from, who knows. But the chemistry was sizzling.

JJ wasn’t about to forget what brought her to the shoe store in the first place. Actually, she does. I mean, who can remember her own name when a guy like Trevor is staring back at her. But they get into a bit of a disagreement which only heightens the tension between them.

So that was the beginning of Trevor Wyatt. Just a quick glimpse of the man behind the shoe store counter and before I knew it, I had a full, live hero on my hands. He’s handsome, tough, sweet, and he’s got a past. A pretty rough past, if I do say so. He was always named Trevor, although, he originally had a different last name. And he’s more, so much more, than a pretty face.

Most importantly, he’s just the man JJ has always needed. *swoon*

Which romance hero (any author) would you love to know the origin of?

 

authorSelena Blake writes erotic paranormal and contemporary romance. First published in 2008, her series Stormy Weather has been on the best seller lists and nominated for awards.  She’s a fan of action movies, Diet Coke, Milky Way bars and thunderstorms, not necessarily in that order.

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Excerpt: Claiming Her Warriors by Savannah Stuart

Claiming Her Warriors Tour Badge

CHWsmClaiming Her Warriors
By: Savannah Stuart
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: July 22, 2013
Genre: Erotic Romance

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 Two brothers want to possess her…

After her planet was destroyed, Brianna was rescued by two fierce and desperately gorgeous warrior brothers. Aeron and Hauk. They want to keep her, protect her, mate her. But what the brothers wanted from her was too much to handle. Settling into a new culture was hard enough without dealing with the custom that dictates she mate with two males. So she pushed them away.

They’ll do anything to protect her…

An attack sends Brianna back into the arms of the sexy brothers. Now they’ll do whatever it takes to win her over. But can Brianna go against the conventions of her human nature and accept both warriors as her mates? It might not matter because someone is out for blood and it’s up to Aeron and Hauk to defend her against a deadly enemy.

 

 

Excerpt
Aeron let out a low growl, his expression one of approval as he covered her lips with his. This was what he’d been waiting for from Brianna for what felt like forever. The petite woman had been driving him insane from the moment he and his warriors had rescued her from her dying planet. She’d been wearing rags and covered in soot, but nothing had been able to hide her outer or inner beauty. Even though she was a tiny thing, she’d been so damn protective of those around her, ready to battle any one of his men until it had been clear they’d been there to help. Yeah, he’d known the moment he’d laid eyes on the redhead that she would be his.

It had taken a hell of a lot longer than he’d imagined to bed her, but once he’d gotten her underneath him, he’d figured things were perfect. Until he’d screwed things up by opening his big mouth. He was slowly learning that he couldn’t make any assumptions with human women. They were more emotional than his people.

As she started grinding against him, he couldn’t bite back a growl of need. His cock ached to slide inside her wet heat. After having a taste of her, he knew once would never be enough. Aeron slid his hands down and bunched the long shift dress she wore up to her thighs. It clung to her curves in all the right places but right now he wanted it off her. When he’d first met her group of women, she’d worn what she called cargo pants and T-shirts. He preferred the shifts. Easier to slip off.

Taking the time to savor the softness of her skin, he slid his hands up her thighs. She trembled and arched her back, silently begging him to move faster. And beg she would. He couldn’t erase the memory of her hot demands and pleading words when he’d teased her before. She wasn’t shy about what she wanted, something he loved about her. He could feel her hard nipples rubbing against his chest even through the material of her clothes. Though he wasn’t ready to fuck just yet, he needed to see her naked body.

Slowly, he pulled the shift up and over her head, but once her hands were free, he drew her arms behind her back. Using the material, he quickly bound her wrists together. Her dark eyes widened and her breathing grew more erratic as she watched him. He could see the molten desire burning in her expression as she silently begged for more. Oh yeah, she liked what he was doing.

“You trust me?” he asked before nipping her bottom lip between his teeth.

She nodded, the pulse point in her neck going crazy.

Right now he didn’t trust himself to go slow if she was roving her hands all over him. It had been too long. Just the way she watched him with clear hunger was enough to make him crazed. Add in her actual touch…he shuddered. He wanted to bring her pleasure, for right now to be solely about her. Aeron was going to make sure she was so addicted to him that she’d never think about leaving. He’d ease her into mating with him and his brother. Somewhere deep he didn’t even want to admit existed, part of him didn’t like the thought of anyone else touching this woman. Even his brother. It was primal, so he shoved it back down. Right now, he was the one holding her.

 

author

Katie Reus ColorAuthor Savannah Stuart has been reading romance for as long as she can remember. Her stories often have a touch of intrigue, suspense, or the paranormal, but the one thing she always includes is a happy ending. She currently lives in the South within walking distance of the beach with her very own real life hero. In addition to writing (and reading of course!) she loves traveling with her husband.

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Excerpt: Mid-Life Love by Whitney G.

Mid-Life Love
By: Whitney G.
Publisher: Self-published
Published: June 28, 2013
Genre: Romance

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If you’d asked me what love was two years ago, I probably would’ve said, ‘It’s this amazing feeling that obsesses and possesses you; it’s what me and my husband currently have.’ If you ask me that same question today, I’ll say, ‘Please get the hell out of my face.’

Claire Gracen’s life is picture perfect. Her career as a marketing director is on the brink of being legendary, and her marriage to her high school sweetheart has never been stronger. No, wait. It has. It used to be amazing and fulfilling, but one day Claire realizes that she’s been living a lie and her best friend and husband have committed the ultimate betrayal.

Broken and depressed, Claire is in need of something new—new city, new job, new friends.

When she happens to attract the interest of the sexiest man she’s ever met, a man significantly younger than her, she immediately turns him down—only to later discover that this man is Jonathan Statham, self-made billionaire and CEO of Statham Industries. Her boss.

Jonathan Statham is unlike any man she’s met before. He’s used to getting whatever he wants—whenever he wants, and he isn’t about to take no for an answer.

“How long have you been working here, Miss Gracen?” He placed subtle emphasis on the word ‘Miss’ and smiled.

“About four years.”

“Hmmm. I can’t believe I’m just now finding you.” He rubbed his chin. “Do you like it?”

There has to be a better word than “sexy” to describe you…

“Do I like what?”

“Your job, this company.”

“You want me to be completely honest?”

“That would be nice.”

“I absolutely hate it here, but the offices are decorated quite nicely. The interior designers did one hell of a job.”

“Good to know.” He laughed. “I take it that since you haven’t called, you’re not interested in going out with me?”

I nodded weakly. “Clearly.”

“May I ask why, Miss Gracen?”

He needs to stop saying my name like that…

“There are several reasons why.”

“Name the best ones.” He stepped in front of me and looked deep into my eyes. “But your age and the fact that you have kids aren’t good enough reasons for me.”

Poker face…Poker face… “Well, as I’m sure you already know, it’s against company policy.”

“I can have that rewritten by the end of the week.”

“It’s also completely immoral and highly inappropriate.”

“That’s…debatable.” He reached out and pushed a strand of hair away from my face. “Is that all?”

I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t say anything.

I was too busy getting lost in his incredible eyes. I realized that they weren’t entirely blue; his irises were outlined in a wispy cloud of charcoal gray and there were speckles of emerald green gleaming within them.

“Miss Gracen? Are there any other excuses?” He inched even closer to me, slightly rubbing his nose against mine.

Why am I so turned on right now? I shouldn’t be feeling this way…He’s way too young for me, way too young for me…

“I’m not attracted to you.”

He raised his eyebrow. “Oh really?”

A self diagnosed candy addict, travel junkie, and hypochondriac, Whitney Gracia Williams LOVES to write about characters that make you laugh, cry, and want to (in the case of Selena Ross) reach through your Kindle and slap them.

Excerpt & Guest Post: Dangerous Proposition by Jessica Lauryn

Dangerous Proposition

By: Jessica Lauryn
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Published: June 25, 2013
Genre: Romantic Suspense

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When Julia Dyson learns her father has been abducted, she believes his hidden profession may be to blame. But when she discovers a man’s name in her dad’s caller history, a man suspected of shady business activity and also her teenage crush, she decides to take matters into her own hands. She confronts her father’s presumed abductor, resulting in an unforgettable kiss.

In the course of one disastrous evening, diamond smuggling kingpin Colin Westwood learns that his best recruit is missing in action, and that the man has been keeping a secret for years—he has a twenty-six-year-old daughter. Determined to protect his identity, Colin vows to find the young woman, and keep her silent at any cost. Later intrigued to learn that she is actually the attractive woman he kissed, he makes Julia an offer. Come to New York City with him to search for her missing father…as his mistress.

Keeping Julia firmly within the groove of his arm, Colin stepped inside the hotel room and flicked on the light switch. After shutting the door, he double-bolted it behind them.

Short of a pale complexion, Julia didn’t appear to be injured. At least, it didn’t look as though she had any bruises. But he knew he wouldn’t feel better until he saw this for himself. Though it was completely unethical, he had half a mind to give her a physical. And if he actually believed he could perform one on her and control himself, he would do just that.

He led a trembling Julia to the bed. Looking into her tearful eyes, he knelt beside her, cupping her cheek. It killed him seeing her like this, killed him even more knowing that he was completely to blame.

Speaking as gently as he could manage, he said, “You’re safe now. It’s all right, sweetheart. You’re safe. I’m right here—no one’s coming after us. No one’s going to hurt you ever again.”

Julia nodded, but she said nothing, causing him to have a horrifying realization. Maybe something had happened between her and Dylan Rossler in that room. She’d been dressed when he found her, but that didn’t mean she hadn’t put her clothes back on afterward, or that Rossler had bothered to remove them at all.

Feeling as though he were on the brink of an explosion, Colin said, “Did that guy—I mean—Dylan Rossler didn’t…you and he didn’t—”

“Of course not! Holy crap, Westwood. What kind of girl do you think I am?”

“One who clearly has a death wish,” Colin muttered under his breath.

“Me?” Julia exclaimed. “I went over there to save your ass. Not the other way around.”

“Which you were obviously doing a phenomenal job with while you were locked inside that bedroom.”

Her chin squared. “You may have been the one to kick the door down, but I would have gotten out of that room with or without your help.”

“If you really believe that, Julia, then you really are naïve. Do you realize what Dylan Rossler would have done if I hadn’t gotten there when I did? Allow me to clue you in, since you’re obviously not aware. Because it’s the same thing every other red-blooded bastard at that party wanted to do to you!”

“You mean”—she bit her lip—“that he—”

“Was planning on having sex with you? Of course, Julia. Of course those guys thought you were sexy, of course Dylan Rossler wanted to have sex with you! I’m not blind. I can see what’s right in front of me. Any man at that party who didn’t want you was either gay or in a drunken coma!”

Her blue eyes narrowed, and Colin bit his tongue. He hadn’t intended to say all that out loud. Hadn’t intended to say any of it, in fact. But he was glad it had happened because he was done holding back.

There was something between him and Julia. A need that ran deep and had been building since that night in his bed. Sometimes it seemed as if it had been longer, particularly at moments such as this when he wanted nothing more than to toss her onto the bed, rip off that damned cocktail dress she was wearing, and sample every last inch of her skin.

He’d wanted to keep his desires to himself, wanted to keep things simple between them. The complications they were risking were great, and God knew he hated the idea that he might be taking advantage of Julia when her father was missing. But right now, he couldn’t seem to think about those things. And after everything they’d been through tonight, he was no longer sure that holding back was going to be possible.

“Does ‘every other red-blooded bastard’ include you?” Julia asked, blinking her blue eyes furiously.

Colin took a staggered breath. Narrowing his gaze, he approached her with two hastened steps. “If you didn’t want me to behave like a red-blooded bastard, Julia,” he whispered, “then, you shouldn’t have worn this dress.”

A great book can do wonders for the soul. It’s there for you when you need a friend, or a distraction. It can serve as an escape, or a fantasy in which to indulge. Books comfort us, and they take us to places and times we’d otherwise never know. There’s only one thing I love more than a great book. That is, a great series.

When I was an adolescent, I loved reading Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High. Twin sisters Jessica and Elizabeth served as the perfect contrast to one another. One is introverted, smart, and studious, while the other is the life of the party. At the age of 12, I had no idea why I was so drawn to the duo, other than the obvious fact that I wanted to be living the life of a teenage girl myself. But looking back, I realize the draw actually stemmed from something much deeper than that.

Series writing can take on a life of its own. In a romance series, the author creates her very own world. She starts with a setting: a time, a place in which her characters will exist in. Then, she gets to work building. Hero and heroine’s story is told in book 1. And in book 2, a new couple typically takes center stage. I think the most exciting part of doing this, for me, the author, is figuring out how I will connect the characters from one book to the next. They don’t necessarily need to know one another, but I’ve found it can be a lot more fun when they do. Writing a series is very different from writing a stand-along book because you have a lot more time and space to play around with. You (the reader) get to see how a family, a group of friends, maybe even an entire town affects the lives of the people around them, possibly for years to come.

My debut series, The Pinnacles of Power, was never supposed to be a series. While I was writing what eventually became my second release, Dangerous Proposal, I was creating what I intended to be the one and only book of its kind. I was, as writers do, spending hours inside the characters’ heads, trying to get to know them. Something I wasn’t expecting struck me while I was doing this. That was, there were several characters in the story besides my hero and heroine who had a story to tell. I already had a setting I loved (several settings, actually), and I had characters who had the potential to become couples, lovers, and soul-mates. They were screaming for me to tell their stories, and so I began doing just that. Barely realizing what I was doing, a series was soon born.

Reading book 1 in a series may not feel much different than reading a stand-alone novel. Doing so, you’ll discover a plot, characters, conflict, and, as is the way with romance novels, a happily ever after. The real fun (at least, for me) comes in book 2, when you already know something about the authors’ world. In books 3 and 4, you know even more, and you’re likely to recognize the main characters as well. You may feel as though you sort-of know them as people, and the setting and time have become all-too familiar to you. This is when your imagination can really take over, because you can completely immerse yourself in the author’s fantasy world—the greatest thing a reader can experience!

I love books. But given the choice, I prefer that they be part of a series. The imagination is one of the greatest things in existence. And I find it easier to put that machine to use when there is a world of stories and characters crafted and bound for my reading enjoyment!

 

 An author of Contemporary Romantic Suspense, Jessica Lauryn is most intrigued by dark heroes, who have many demons to conquer…but little trouble enticing female companions into their beds! She feels that the best romances are those where the hero is already seducing the heroine from that first point of contact.

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Excerpt: Scent of Salvation by Annie Nicholas

 Scent of Salvation
(Chronicles of Eorthe #1)
By: Annie Nicholas
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance

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Love blooms across species, culture, and time.

Stranded in another dimension, on a primitive version of Earth, Dr. Susan Barlow needs to find a way to survive. There’s no electricity, no cities, and to her shock, no humans. Instead, she faces a population of werewolves, vampires and incubi. The people are vicious but she must find her place among them. And live.

An illness is killing Sorin’s pack. As alpha it’s his responsibility to save them, but it’s a battle this warrior doesn’t know how to fight. Then a blue light in the sky brings a creature he’s never seen. She calls herself human, but to him she smells like hope.

Sorin offers Susan a safe haven in return for a cure, but she’s not that kind of a doctor. She’s a doctor of physics, not a physician. Yet as they search for a cure to save a dying people, they find something special—each other.

But even with Sorin’s protection, Susan can’t help but wonder how long she can survive in a world without humans…

Warning: Feral shifters, power-hungry vampires, and a sole human female suffering culture shock.

Stars flashed in Susan’s vision. Air finally flowed into her chest, and she let out a groan. She felt more like she’d fallen than been blown to pieces.

Something cool and soft touched her cheek. She flinched and tried to sit up but only managed to roll onto her stomach. That didn’t help her nausea, and she struggled to keep breakfast down.

Fuck it. The blast hadn’t killed her so the military could clean her puke. Then they could haul her ass to jail—or the hospital.

Resting, she waited for Jeff’s yells for her arrest and execution, but the only sounds came from birdsongs. She jerked her face off the moist ground and grunted.

Birds? Had she blow the roof off the building?

Cool.

She rubbed her blurry eyes and blinked. Her heart did a double beat. She shook her head and blinked again.

Surrounded by lush green plants, Susan sat on a carpet of soft moss. She rose onto shaky, numb legs. A giant tree loomed thirty feet over her head. Three grown men touching fingertips might be able to hug the trunk.

There wasn’t a forest for miles, yet here she stood in the middle of one. She did a slow three-sixty. Tree, tree, bush, tree, building. Bingo.

Before her towered a stone structure overgrown with flowering vines. Taking one slow step at a time, she approached it. The steps were swept clean of any debris or growth. She climbed, listening for anything inside. Huge gaps in the walls let the sunlight in between the stone slabs, and deep, worn engravings covered them. She traced one with her fingertip and didn’t recognize the language. Hell, she couldn’t even read the symbol. Where was she?

Sucking in a sharp breath, she clapped her hands over her mouth.

DOUG had worked?

She was standing in another dimension.

Alive.

Her trip had been unintentional yet successful. She needed to high five someone. It had worked just like she’d said it would. All those people who’d laughed at her idea could shove it up their collective—

Twisting around with a foolish grin cramping her cheeks, she saw only rainforest. Shadows covered the ground since the trees’ canopy blocked most of the sunlight. Her grin faded and she broke into a cold sweat.

Oh shit, it had worked.

A vacuum of dread sucked the excitement from her body. The explosion must have punctured a hole through the dimensional veil and thrown her through. She couldn’t see the blue portal light. Without the machine, the gateway couldn’t remain open. Or ever open again since it should be slag with the rest of her lab. She shivered and pulled her coat tighter.

She was alone. Stranded God knows where.

For all she knew, T-rex lived over the next hill or worse, the Nazis had won World War II.

Taking a shuddering breath, she closed her eyes. She was a brilliant scientist, graduating at the top of all her classes. The unknown wasn’t something to fear but to be embraced and studied. However, field operations had never thrilled her. She was a lab geek with delusions of exploration. She’d always pictured herself guiding those brave souls who would step onto a new world from the safety of Technocon, not being that person. Glancing over her shoulder at the forest, she took a steadying breath.

What lived out there?

Birds sang, loud and uninterrupted by the hum of cars or machines. She couldn’t see any electrical lines or other buildings. Please, let there be some kind of path or road to follow. How long could she survive in the wilderness? Probably a couple days before something ate her.

The birds fell silent. She froze, facing the forest. Nothing moved. Her heart galloped as she searched the gloom. She backed into the building, not wanting to take her eyes off the woods. A crack in the floor caught her heel, and she stumbled while her arms pinwheeled until she caught her balance.

All right, she needed to get a grip. Just because things were quiet didn’t mean she should panic. Breaking her leg would be a death sentence. She kicked off her shoes. The logic was sound but the adrenaline coursing through her body told her to screw off and run. A cold sweat broke out over her skin, and a cool wind made her shiver.

She scanned the inside of the building. It didn’t have a roof. A stone altar in the center offered the only shelter. She hurried across to it and laid a hand over the smooth, cool surface. Breathing a sigh of relief, she closed her eyes for a heartbeat. It wasn’t bloodstained. That was a good sign, right?

She crept around to the other side and knelt behind it. Hiding felt right.

Crouched on the cold stone floor, she hugged her knees to her chest. At least the military hadn’t gotten her machine. A small consolation while squatting in another dimension, all alone like a frightened animal.

The rustle of leaves to her left made her squeak. She clapped her hand over her mouth and peeked around the corner. Something with silver-gray fur crawled under the vines through one of the wall’s many gaps.

Please let that be a big-ass raccoon. She watched as the creature’s dark, wet nose moved in her direction and sniffed. All her muscles seized. She couldn’t move or breathe.

The nose pushed through, followed by a large, wolf-like head. On his stomach, he crept into the building. Her vision tunneled as he rose to his hind legs and kept rising until he towered over her. Long claws protruded from his fingers and toes. Swinging his head, he sniffed the air. Three jagged scars ran over his muzzle. His amber gaze met her stare, and he bared his sharp teeth. As he moved, thick, solid muscles slid under his silver fur.

With a knocking heart, Susan was anchored to the spot. A werewolf. A real, honest-to-God werewolf stood not five feet from her. She hadn’t crossed dimensions. She’d died and gone to hell.

As he stepped toward her, something flipped off in her brain and it stopped functioning. Deductive reasoning vanished like a cheap parlor trick. Sixty thousand years of human instinct buried in her genes kicked in, and Susan scuttled away from the beast until her head hit the stone wall. Ignoring the sharp pain, she grabbed the vines and pulled herself to her feet. All the while she couldn’t stop staring at this magnificent creature made of nightmares. She took a deep breath and let out a scream that rattled her tonsils.

 Annie Nicholas writes paranormal romance with a twist. She has courted vampires, hunted with shifters, and slain a dragon’s ego all with the might of her pen. Riding the wind of her imagination, she travels beyond the restraints of reality and shares them with anyone wanting to read her stories. Mother, daughter, and wife are some of the other hats she wears while hiking through the hills and dales of her adopted state of Vermont.
Annie writes for Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, and Lyrical Press.

Excerpt & Guest Post: A Matter of Temperance by Ichabod Temperance

A Matter of Temperance

By: Ichabod Temperance
Publisher:Self-Published
Published: April 17, 2013
Genre: Sci-Fi/ Steampunk

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In a past that never was…

The year is 1869. Earth experiences the close pass of a comet never before seen. In its wake, many of Terra’s inhabitants find themselves changed. Among men, prodigies rise in unprecedented numbers, while many ordinary adults suddenly find themselves possessed of preternatural genius. Likewise, non-hominid animals become self-aware and intelligent.

Fast forward to 1875. A young “comet prodigy” from humble beginnings, Ichabod Temperance, has become the world’s foremost inventor. He travels to England to deliver his latest brilliant invention to a famous explorer, until Fate intervenes. Meanwhile, a lovely young Bluestocking, Miss Persephone Plumtartt, survives an experimental accident only to find herself imbued with a power she can neither understand nor control, while dark forces and malevolent creatures pursue her, leaving a gruesome wake of death.

Yet, worse is to come. The naïve young inventor and the lovely intellectual find themselves fighting not only to save their own lives, but to prevent the destruction of all life on Earth.

Something heavy enters an upstairs hallway. Something big. I put on my “Beauties”. A rapid, and terribly stout tapping quickly reveals our antagonist.

I nearly falter at the sight. Bigger than a grand piano, is our uninvited guest. Putting a few of his legs on the upstairs rail, the grotesque aberration looks down upon us. Clusters of eyes, much like bunches of grapes, spin with dizzy thoughts of consumption. Many pairs of slathering mandibles work and click in fevered expectation. Despite the creature’s bloated weight, it leaps to the ceiling of the grand entrance hall, runs across the wide expanse, and drops upon us.
The Accidental Author

With many years of martial arts training, and participation in Professional Wrestling, I finagled my way into doing a bit of stunt work on an Independent film. “Engines of Destiny” is a no budget epic being brought together by painstaking effort and love. The charming cast introduced me to the concept of “Steampunk”. In my mind, that means to go back in time to reinvent Science Fiction in your own manner. I was directed to a website that encourages one to develop a S/P character. I read a blog entry adventure and was inspired to do one myself. I have never had an urge to write before. But a story poured out of me, and I discovered a talent I would never have dreamed of, had been lying dormant. I thought I wanted to write a Steampunk, Paranormal Adventure. About halfway through, I realized that I wanted it to be humorous. I also realized that I did not like having violence. Especially violence to animals. I also found that I liked animals having a positive role, and for my protagonist, me, to show a kind side to my persona.

This novel came about by accident. After the blog, I put it together as a novel and published it on Amazon. I have since written a loosely related sequel. It is far less violent, not that there is much, if any, in the first, and much more funny. I delve more deeply into the way I like to play with the POV. A good little doggie is also one of the main protagonists.

The author is really just a silly little fellow living in Irondale, Alabama with his furry pack family and the lovely, gracious, kind and patient Miss Persephone Plumtartt.

Excerpt: Missing in Machu Picchu by Cecilia Velastegui

Missing in Machu Picchu
By: Cecilia Velastegui
Publisher: Libros Publishing
Published: June 4, 2013
Genre: Thriller/Chick-Lit

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High in the Andes Mountains on the legendary Inca Trail, four thirty-something professional women embark on an Ivy League hike to help them confront their online dating dependency, only to find themselves victims of a predator’s ruse, and soon in a fight for their very lives. The women are eager to leave relationships behind for a while, but their intent to cast off their search for a soul mate falls by the wayside when handsome, magnetic Rodrigo, their hike leader, proves too mesmerizing to resist. Friend is pitted against friend as the women vie for Rodrigo’s attentions. Rodrigo manipulates them into participating in a heinous ancient sacrifice that will guarantee the success of his megalomaniacal dreams. But unbeknownst to the hikers, they have been under the vigilant presence of Taki and Koyam, two elderly indigenous women who understand the danger the women are facing at the hands of Rodrigo.

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Excerpt: Breaking the Rules by Melinda Dozier

 

Breaking the Rules
By: Melinda Dozier
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Published: July 8, 2013
Genre: Romance

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A forbidden love affair in the past has led Hope Robinson, a middle school principal, to Harbor Bay, Florida, where she commits herself to play by the rules. This can be difficult for a perpetual klutz, who—even strapped in a cast—has to uphold a competent attitude at all times.

Luckily, she has Dr. Colin Calaway on her side, a widower and father of a student, who is ready to give love another try. When Colin convinces Hope they should explore the connection between them, a steamy romance develops, though it could destroy them both. They must decide if their jobs—and their hearts—are worth the risk.

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Excerpt: Zombie, Incorporated by Jill Elaine Hughes

Zombie, Incorporated
By: Jill Elaine Hughes
Publisher: Hackberry Books
Published: March 25, 2013
Genre: New Adult/ Paranormal

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Eighteen-year-old Katie Allred is socially awkward and unpopular at school. The only child of parents who had her right out of high school, Katie is herself about to leave the nest, even though she hardly feels ready.
Katie’s new after-school job at the Zimble Box Corporation draws her into the complex social strata of high school cliques and backstabbing friends in ways she never imagined. Katie soon discovers there’s something very strange about the “in” crowd at school—and about her employer, too. Shortly after starting her new job, the Contagion breaks out, plunging her town and the entire nation into chaos as zombie shadow forces come out into the open, ravaging the streets. Katie goes into hiding and her parents disappear, along with almost everyone else she knows.

But Katie soon discovers she has special powers that help her survive. She’s a Beacon, someone with the innate ability to help zombies produce children. It’s a power her employer — and what little remains of the U.S. government — both want to exploit for their own ends. Not only that, it runs in her family—which has a secret past Katie never knew about until now.

Enter Agent Morehouse of the FBI Special Zombie Control Unit. A reformed zombie working undercover, he suppresses his urge to eat human flesh in order to serve and save humanity. But Agent Morehouse can’t help but be attracted to a Beacon like Katie, and she to him. Even as they fight zombies the world over, they must fight their intense attraction to each other, hoping to keep Katie from suffering Agent Morehouse’s terrible zombie fate.

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