Sunday, January 31, 2016

Release Blitz for River James by MJ Fields. ***GIVEAWAY***

Title: River James
Series: Rockers of Steel #3
Author: MJ Fields 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 31, 2016


When he fell in love, he fell hard. When he lost her, he lost his will.

Drugs, sex, and rock and roll—in that order—became his life.

River James, the drummer for Steel Total Destruction, loved the brotherhood he formed with his unlikely best friend and his band mates, and the family he found in his label until one tragic accident takes it all away in the blink of an eye. Twisted metal, shattered bones, crushed dreams, and torn wreckage causes deep, dark secrets to be revealed and he quickly turns to the sure things in life: drugs and women. Will he find himself in the wreckage or will he lose his way in the smoke and debris?

The first person in her family to graduate from high school and college, Keanna Sutton is flying high on her accomplishments. She has the career and man of her dreams…or so she thought. While recovering from a break-up she has a chance run-in with a tall, handsome, silver-tongued drummer who tests her strength and ability to hold her own tongue. She desperately tries to ignore the implausible attraction to River - a man she knows will be no good for her. When she finally throws caution to the wind, she finds herself getting rocked the only way a badass like River can: hard and nasty. Will the hottest night of her life end there? Or will she lose herself in a man whose only promise is that a lady always comes first?

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Author Bio

USA Today bestselling author M.J. Field's love of writing was in full swing by age eight. Together with her cousins, she wrote a newsletter and sold it for ten cents to family members.

She self-published her first New Adult romance in January 2013. Today she has completed six self-published series, The Love Series, The Wrapped Series, The Burning Souls Series, The Men of Steel Series, Ties of Steel Series, and The Norfolk series.

MJ is a hybrid author who publishes an Indie book almost every month, and is signed with a traditional publisher, Loveswept, Penguin Random House, for her co-written series The Caldwell Brothers. Hendrix is available now, Morrison was released on December 22nd, 2015.

There is always something in the works, and she has three, yes, three, new series coming out this summer, and fall.

MJ lives in central New York, surrounded by family and friends. Her house is full of pets, friends, and noise ninety percent of the time, and she would have it no other way.

Author Links


NEW Cover Reveal for Absolution by LP Lovell & Stevie J. Cole. ***GIVEAWAY***

Title: Absolution
Authors: LP Lovell & Stevie J. Cole
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Design: Ikonic Imagery
Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Model: Garrick Murdie  
 Release Date: January 11, 2016



I pray to be forgiven for my sins, but the prayers of someone like me won't dare breach the edge of heaven.

Sins. All sins are equal in the eyes of God, but I'm not God. Some sins are far more wretched than others. And those sinners should pay, Evelyn. One sinner made me his sin, and I can't let men like him live. They must face their judgement, Evelyn. I want to kill them. Every. Last. One.

Ezra James is no different, and I wanted to kill him, I needed to kill him, I'm was going to kill him...And then I found myself fascinated by him, obsessed and possessed in the most reverent of ways. I became his sinner, and he became my sin, but the wages of sin is death, so I must kill him.


The son of a whore, raised by gangsters, moulded into a key player in a corrupt world ruled by money and completely without morals.

This world can break a person. I’ve seen it time and time again. I never gave a shit, until the night I watched a man drop dead at the feet of a woman so broken she made even me feel whole. My little killer called to my depravity and everything in me demanded that I take her, possess her, own her.

Some monsters hide behind the faces of angels, where others stand in plain sight.

Damned. Broken. Irredeemable.

Through blood, absolution shall be found.

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LP Lovell

Lauren Lovell is an indie author from England. She suffers from a total lack of brain to mouth filter and is the friend you have to explain before you introduce her to anyone, and apologise for afterwards.

She's a self-confessed shameless pervert, who may be suffering from slight peen envy.

Author Links


Stevie J. Cole

Stevie J. Cole is a secret rock star. Sex, drugs and, oh wait, no, just sex. She’s a whore for a British accent and has an unhealthy obsession with Russell Brand. She and LP plan to elope in Vegas and breed the world’s most epic child.

Author Links



Cover Reveal for Karma by AE Woodward!

Karma_Amazon_iBooks_Smash Synopsis
At thirty-two Tommy Garvin never thought he’d be playing house. Especially not with his best friend. But when life throws lemons at you, it hurts. Then once the pain subsides you adjust and figure out how to make lemonade. It was apparent to everyone that Parker and
Khloe needed Tommy, but in a strange way he needed them just as much. 

None of them could have imagined what a life without Katie would be like and they certainly couldn’t have predicted what would come from the gaping hole she left behind. No one knew what would rise from the ashes, but one thing is for certain-life sure has a way of knowing what’s needed. It’s karma.


The Series


About the Author
A.E. lives in Vacationland with her husband and two children. Between her real job and writing she finds little time to enjoy life's finer things. However in the free time she does manage to steal, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, and reading. A.E. is the author of Kismet and A Series of Imperfections: Imperfectly Perfect, Imperfectly Real, and Imperfectly Bad. She is currently writing her fifth book, Working Girl.

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Knight Heat Blog Tour



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Lena Grey thought she was living a nightmare when she woke one morning to find her husband dead in the bed beside her. Although they didn't have a good marriage, she knew she would never kill anyone. But with her memories from the previous evening clouded, how would she prove her innocence?

Roman Knight had seen it all. As the city's top detective, he was confident in his ability to solve the crime. He quickly realized all evidence pointed to Lena, but also knew something didn't add up.

Murder and betrayal were just another part of his day. Why should this case be any different? 

However, with one look at Lena, he knew he would never be the same.

About Annalie Walker

Annalie Walker was born and raised in Louisiana. She is the wife to a sometimes home, sometimes not airline pilot husband and the mother of two fabulous children. If she is not at the soccer field with one, you can find her in the dance studio with the other. Of the two, she is most comfortable in the dance studio since she also grew up there.

She spends her days in the pharmacy, her evenings carpooling kids and her nights lost in a good book. She has always had a passion for reading a good love story, but has just recently discovered the joy in writing. She likes her books the same way she likes her food, spicy. She has just recently published her first novel Pointe of Passion on Amazon.

Annalie's Links

Other Books by Annalie

Dancer's Series

Pointe of Passion

Book 1

Rhythm and Rapture
Book 2

Just Dance
Book 2.5

Enticing Encore
Book 3


Natexus Release Day Blitz.

Book: Natexus
Author: Victoria L James
Release Date: 31st January 2016
Genre: New Adult Romance
Seven breaths left in her chest, yet I looked back at him. He wasn’t meant to be there on the darkest night of my life, but the mysterious Alex Law continued to make a habit of showing up when I least expected him. With one look in his eyes, everything I’d ever been before him drifted away, and everything I was about to become revolved around him.
Grief threatened to ruin me no matter how hard I fought, and Alex had demons of his own to deal with, yet we found a comfort in each other’s pain. We found ourselves alone, two people becoming one. Just us. Natalie and Alex. Natexus. As long as we had each other, we thought we could make it through anything.
We didn't know there were things out there waiting to destroy us: people we couldn’t escape, fates we couldn’t outrun and regrets we couldn’t avoid. Not all love stories go the same way, and ours was about to take a turn neither one of us could have foreseen. All I could do was stand by and watch as my world fell apart for a second time.
I knew there had been life before Alex Law.
I just had to figure out if there was life after him…
That beautiful, tragic first love of mine.
~~ Natalie Vincent.           
Author Bio
Victoria L James is a teenage girl stuck in a thirty-something year-olds body. Living somewhere 'oop north' in England, she has had a strong passion for words and stories going as far back as she can remember, which she credits to her grandmother and her love of reading anything that was on sale and cheap from the local market stall. Never once did she think she would release a novel, though. At best, she thought her love of language and her ability to create stories in her mind would provide her with a 'get out of jail free' card whenever she messed up and her parents were mad at her during her teenage years... and when even that didn't work out, she thought she was pretty much done for.
When an opportunity presented itself for her to take a back seat from paid working life for a few years, she knew straight away that she had to try and write about a few of these worlds she'd come up with along the way, and quieten all the voices in her head without racking up a heavy psychiatry bill for the pleasure.
Wearing her heart on her sleeve and trying to lighten her friends’ and family’s lives with naff, and more often than not, badly timed, nineties jokes, she has yet to learn the art of knowing when to shut up. Which is another reason writing became a passion of hers. With pen and paper, there are no limits.
A firm believer in never quitting, with a ridiculous obsession for all things Rocky, she hopes that one day she writes a story that will inspire at least one person out there to keep on going if they're struggling. Other than that, she's just a regular old converse wearing, corona sipping, English version of Chandler Bing, who loves and adores her family more than life itself. Oh, and she also has two cats. Every writer has to mention their cats, right?
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Happily Ever Alpha book blitz ***GIVEAWAY***

Happily Ever Alpha Paranormal Romance Boxed Set: Sexy Shifters, Wickedly Cool Witches, Werewolves, Vampires, Gargoyles, Demons, Psychics, & More!
Publication date: January 26th 2016
Genres: Paranormal Romance
When Once Upon A Time Isn’t Enough
Happily Ever Alpha – From Twenty-Two NY Times, USA Today, and Amazon Bestselling Authors
What’s Inside:
Professionally Edited and Formatted.
Limited Edition. Sale Ends Soon!
Fourteen HOT paranormal alpha-male romances and six additional kick-ass paranormal romance tales bundled together in one of the steamiest collections to date!
With twenty-one novels and novellas and over one million seductive words of fiction, this paranormal romance boxed set will leave you Happily Ever Alpha.
These hot heroes and tough as nails heroines will steal your heart and make your beg for more.
How about a little Heat to keep you warm this Winter?
Our first tagline was so hot, Amazon wouldn’t let us publish it here, but you can find that same heat burning inside the pages of this set. Treat yourself to a varied collection of hot, steamy, and passionate paranormal tales. This satisfying collection has something to excite all readers.
With sexy shifters, hot vampires, wickedly cool witches, and so much more, this boxed set will has titles that will either warm you up or set you on fire—Take your pick!
For a limited time, you can enjoy books from today’s NY Times, USA Today, and Amazon Bestselling authors!
When purchased separately, these books cost over $50! But they are yours today for less than $1.
Every selection in this rare, limited edition paranormal romance boxed set are full-length novels and novellas!
Save over $50! This set is only available at this price for a limited time, so order your copy before it’s gone!

Jaguar at the PortalAimee: Thanks for dropping by, Ixchel and Finn. I thought it might be fun to test your knowledge of each other in the Newlywed Game!

Ixchel: But we're...

Finn: Sounds like fun!

Ixchel: ...Not married. Okay, whatever.

Aimee: Thanks for being such good sports. You'll notice you each have a notepad in front of you. I'm going to start with an easy question about Finn. He'll write down his answer and then Ixchel has to guess what he wrote. Finn, if you could be any animal, what would you be?

[They pause while Finn scribbles on the notepad.]

Ixchel: [rolling her eyes] This is an easy one. A jaguar of course.

Aimee: Finn? [She accepts the pad of paper out of his hand and takes a look.] Oops! Not quite right. Looks like Finn would be...a dolphin!

Ixchel: But that makes no sense! You are a were-jaguar.

Finn: She said, if I could be any animal, which would I be. And I'd be a dolphin.

Ixchel: [sighing] Okay. Let's get this over with. I've got puppies in the waiting room that need their shots. What's next?

Aimee: Now we get to test Finn's knowledge. So I'll ask Ixchel --- what do you consider your greatest weakness?

[Finn scrunches his eyebrows together, obviously thinking hard as Ixchel scribbles for a long time on her pad of paper.]

Aimee: Okay, Finn, you're up. What's Ixchel's greatest failing?

Finn: So, first of all, this is one of those trick questions that men have a right not to answer.

Ixchel: Oh, come on. I'm not going to get mad at you.

Finn: [gazing into her eyes] But, see, it's not really a trick question. Because Aimee didn't ask what I think is your greatest failing --- which, by the way, is nothing. She asked what you think is your greatest failing. And you'd

Aimee: Well, it seemed like Ixchel was writing a novel over there. So let's see if Finn was right.

[Ixchel grins as she flips the paper over. The edges are covered with doodles, but in the center she's boldly scrawled "TRUST."]

Aimee: Finn's on a roll! Okay, let's see if Ixchel can catch up as we ask Finn....what would prompt you to tell a lie?

[Now it's Finn's turn to look uncomfortable, but he quickly scribbles his answer.]

Aimee: Ixchel?

Ixchel: [reaching over and taking Finn's hand] You know, we can leave if you want to.

Finn: [taking a deep breath] No, I'm good. It's your chance to shine.

Ixchel: Okay, in that case, Finn would say --- fear.

Teaser imageAimee: Looks like you know him pretty well after all. Now, for our final question. you believe in love at first sight?

[Finn perks back up as they wait for Ixchel to decide. She taps the pen against her lips, scrunches up her nose, then shrugs and writes.]

Aimee: [accepting the paper, then smiling knowingly] So, what do you think, Finn?

Finn: [sounding positive of the outcome] She doesn't, but I do.

[Ixchel's stiff spine melts a bit as she takes the paper back from the interviewer and flips the pad over. It reads "I didn't used to...but I've changed my mind."]

Aimee: Well, it looks like it's a tie, folks!

Finn: You could say that. Or you could say we both won.

[Finn pulls Ixchel in for a kiss on the lips.]

Aimee: Ooookay. Let's keep this PG, kids. We'll try out another round after this commercial break.

Deep-voiced announcer: Want to learn more about Finn and Ixchel's adventures facing down Mexican gods and falling in love? Check out Aimee Easterling's Jaguar at the Portal, available for a limited time in the 21-novel bundle Happily Ever Alpha. When once upon a time isn't enough....


The ArcKnight Chronicles #1
Alexia Purdy

“My Lady, I cannot leave you here alone. It’s not safe.”
I whipped my eyes open and glared at him. “I told you I was banished. You can stop with the formalities and get. I don’t have time to waste on a pathetic royal guard. Especially a MarkTier. I'm okay on my own.”
“If you come with me, I know a safe place where you can get out of the rain and get warm.”
I laughed. It came out more hysterical than I intended, but I was not in a mood to keep it together any longer. The fact that he offered me any shelter at all, most likely his home, was gracious, yet the knowledge that it was most likely on ArcKnight territory made the offer even more bittersweet. I was banished not only from the royal ArcKnight palace but from lingering on any of the pack’s territories, which included a substantial chunk of the city.
I was truly alone now.
“You’d be punished for harboring a non-citizen… a traitor like me. I can’t. You know I can’t.”
He held out his hand. It glistened with water, for he was soaked to the bone, just like me. The cold rain didn’t affect him at all. I was the one shivering and on the verge of hypothermia, and yet he waited patiently.
“It’s beyond the ArcKnight border. I promise.” His eyes gleamed in the momentary moonlight sneaking past the storm clouds above. They were breathtaking and unusual. I’d never seen another shifter with eyes like his.
It may be beyond the ArcKnight stronghold, but they weren’t the only pack ruling the city.
“But the MarkTiers….”
“They have no jurisdiction there either.”
Staring at him in disbelief, I let my eyes linger on his for an eternal moment. His offer brought more questions to my mind than anything else. Even so, there was something there that held me in a trance and beckoned me to follow. Taken in by that hypnotizing cobalt sea, I reached out, accepted his hand and let him lead me through the murky city paths I’d never trodden, deeper into the unknown.
This place was now my new home, and it was nothing but strange and frightening.
But what choice did I have?

~Lily & Ephrem - The ArcKnight Chronicles

BLACK IN WHITE (Quentin Black Mystery #1)

HE LOOKED ME over when I walked in.
Unlike a lot of people I’d interviewed in this room, suspects and witnesses alike, he didn’t hide his appraisal. He also didn’t do anything to try and get me on his side––like smile, or make his body language more accommodating or submissive.
He didn’t try to intimidate me either, at least not that I noticed.
Again, the predominant emotion I saw in his assessment remained impatience.
He seemed, more than anything, to assume I was here to waste his time, too.
At the same time, I got the sense there was more there––more in relation to me specifically, I mean. Nothing sexual, at least I didn’t think so.
What that “more” was exactly, I had absolutely no theories at that point.
Maybe I simply wasn’t what––or who––he’d expected.
Maybe my appearance threw him.
I’m used to that, to a degree. I’m tall for a woman, almost five-nine. My mom was Native American, like I said, and from one of the plains tribes that actually had some real height on them. I’m not sure what our dad was, since I never met any of his family, but he was tall too. I’d gotten hints of his bone structure, along with my mom’s. I also got his light-hazel eyes, which people tell me are striking on me but were positively riveting on my father. My mom joked once she could have fallen in love with my father from his eyes alone.
The rest of me was my mother, according to my aunts. Straight black hair, full mouth, my sense of humor, even my curves, which were slightly less curvy from the martial arts classes, but not fully absent either.
In other words, even under all of my professional armor, I’m definitely female.
I can’t exactly hide it, even in suits and with my hair tied tightly back.
For my part, I didn’t bother to smile at him either, or do any of the usual heavy-handed shrink things to try and convince him I was “on his side” or even particularly friendly towards him. Right off, I got the feeling that those kinds of tactics wouldn’t work on this guy.
He would see right through them.
Worse, trying it would probably cause him to dismiss me, too.
So yeah, I approached him assuming he was a psychopath.
Of course, the technical term these days, at least according to the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (or “DSM” as we shrink-types called it) is “Anti-Social Personality Disorder” or ASPD. Those of us who work in forensic psych know a lot of the specific signs that go with this diagnosis––as well as ways to pick out the truly dangerous ones––but generally, there’s a longer sussing-out period involved.
The most dangerous types were harder to spot.
Often highly intelligent, deeply manipulative, glibly charming, uninterested in other people and totally unwilling to acknowledge the individual rights of anyone apart from themselves, the more dangerous individuals with anti-social personality disorder were masters at evading detection by psychs who couldn’t see past the veneer.
Narcissistic bordering on grandiose. Inflated sense of their own entitlement. Zero compunction about manipulating others. Generally lacking the capacity for love. Generally lacking the ability to feel shame or remorse. They either experienced only shallow emotions or feigned emotion altogether. They had a constant need for stimulation...
Well, you get the idea.
Truthfully, I doubted this guy would talk to me any more than he would talk to the cops.
Well, unless he decided I could help him in some way, or perhaps entertain him...since “short attention span” was often a big issue for the average psychopath. Or perhaps he would treat me differently because he wanted a female audience instead of a male one; I was reasonably certain that only male cops had been tried on him so far.
Either way, I strongly suspected I wouldn’t win him over by trying to play him for a fool, at least not right out of the gate.
I seated myself in the metal folding chair across the table from him.
I did my own quick once-over of the room, even though I’d been in here a few dozen times already––reminding myself of the location of the cameras, looking at the four corners out of habit. My eyes glanced down to where the suspect’s ankles had been cuffed, not only to one another but to metal rings in the floor. His wrist cuffs were also chained to his waist, as well as to those same rings in the floor.
Glen already assured me that the range of the chains wouldn’t allow him to reach me as long as I stayed in the chair.
Still, he’d warned me not to get any closer.
I didn’t need to be told twice. The guy looked a lot bigger from in here.
He also looked significantly more muscular.
Leaning back in the hard, metal seat, I watched those gold, cat-like eyes flicker over me. They didn’t pause anywhere for long, much less conduct one of those lecherous, lingering appraisals some convicts did in an attempt to unsettle me.
I sensed a methodicalness to his stare, instead.
That unnerved me a little, truthfully, maybe because it surprised me.
Even for a psychopath, that kind of focus was rare. Usually other people just weren’t that interesting to them.
Then again, captivity may have changed that for him, too.
My eyes took in his appearance for the second time that day, lingering on the strangely high cheekbones still colored with smears of dried blood. I saw flakes of that blood on the surface of the table too, from where it had been rubbed off by his metal cuffs.
Wincing, I glanced up to find him staring at me once more, his gold eyes bordering on thoughtful as they took in my face.
When he didn’t break the silence after a few seconds more, I leaned back more deliberately, crossing my legs in the dark-blue pantsuit I wore.
“So,” I said, sighing. “You don’t want to talk to anyone.”
I didn’t bother to state it as a question.
The man’s eyes flickered back to my face, specifically to my eyes.
After a pause, I saw a faint smile tease the edges of his lips.
“I doubt my words would be very convincing,” he said.
I must have jumped a little in my chair, but he pretended not to notice.
“...Covered in blood,” he continued, motioning with one cuffed hand, likely as much as he could, given the restraints. Still, something in the odd grace of the gesture struck me, causing me to follow it with my eyes. “...Picked up near the scene of the crime. And you have witnesses, too, I suspect? Or did those three little girls decide it wasn’t worth getting in trouble with their parents by calling the police in the wee hours of dawn?”
His words surprised me.
More, the longer he spoke.
Not only because he said them, but because they came out with a clipped, sharp accuracy and cadence. They wore the barest trace of an accent too, although it was one I couldn’t identify. His manner of speech certainly implied a greater than average amount of education.
“In any case,” the man said, leaning back so that the chains clanked at his ankles and on the table. “...I imagine I lack credibility, wouldn’t you say, doc?”
I heard murmurings of surprise through my earpiece, too.
Apparently, I’d already gotten more out of him than any of them had.
I smoothed my expression without trying to hide my own surprise. Instead, I watched him openly, letting him see me do it.
“Doc,” I said.
At his widening smile, I returned it, adding a touch of wry humor and raising an eyebrow.
“You think I am a doctor?”
“Aren’t you?” he said at once. “Military, too, I suspect. Once upon a time. I saw you checking the corners. You’ve carried a gun...haven’t you, doc? Maybe you even carry one now.” He glanced around him ruefully. “Not in here, of course.”
I shifted in my chair, not answering him.
“Aren’t you a doctor?” he prompted.
“Depends on who you ask,” I said drily, sighing a little.
Without taking my eyes off his, I leaned to the side somewhat, resting my arm on the back of the folding chair.
“Psychiatrist then,” he said, adjusting his posture as well, a perhaps intentional replication of the old psychology trick of imitating the poses of those you want to confide in you. “Or psychologist...only a real one, with a PhD. So perhaps it was a criminal psych ward where you honed your paranoia, not the military. You could be a social worker too, I suppose...although I have my doubts. You have too much of a clinical air about you, not enough of that needy, do-gooder type of saccharin that the softer arts tend to attract.” His smile sharpened. “I would say dentist, but under the circumstances...”
Again that eloquent gesture of his fingers, this time indicating the room.
“...I am thinking that is not likely.”
“I’m a psychologist,” I told him easily. “Right in one.”
“So you are here to assess me, then?” he said. “Or are they hoping the presence of an attractive female would send me frothing and panting? Get me to show my true colors? Shall I start screaming ‘Die Bitch!’ to satisfy those watching through the glass?”
I smiled again, unintentionally that time.
“If you want,” I told him, muting the smile. “Do you want me to die?”
“Not particularly,” he said.
“Really? Why not?” I said.
“I think you’re the first person I’ve seen here with an IQ above that of a balding ape. Although that one inspector...he’s got a bit of that base, instinctive kind of intellect. Only a bit, mind you. You know who I mean. Joe Handsome.”
“It’s Nick, actually,” I said, smiling in spite of myself.
“Ah, he’s a friend of yours, then?”
“Not a special friend, if that’s what you mean.”
“I didn’t, but it’s interesting information to have. Clearly the topic has come up between you, or you wouldn’t have bothered to qualify it.”
I shook my head, unimpressed with this last, and letting him see that, too.
“Really?” I said. “You’re going there?”
“Going where?”
“Discredit the female by making some disparaging reference to her sexuality? Dismiss her as an equal by highlighting her value or lack thereof as a sexual object?”
“I profoundly apologize,” he said, giving me a startled look. The surprise I could see in those almond eyes may have been mocking me, but it looked genuine. “...My comments certainly weren’t meant to be disparaging. I have no intention of resorting to such cheap tricks, doctor, simply to feel I’ve ‘outwitted’ you. Sadly, my ego won’t permit it.” Pausing, he added, “Would it help you to know I get sex on a regular basis too? I don’t know that it would demean me in your eyes or if it would come off as any case, I did not bring up your own sexuality as anything other than a personal curiosity.”
I tilted my head, still smiling, but letting my puzzlement show.
“Why are you talking to me at all?” I asked finally.
“Why shouldn’t I talk to you?” he said. “I’ve already told you that you’re the first person to walk in here that I thought might be worth my attempting to communicate.”
“Because I’m female?” I said.
“Because you seem to be less of a fool than the rest of them,” he corrected me at once.
“But you said Nick had a mind?”
“I said he had a mind of sorts. Not the same thing at all. Although, given the nature of his intellect, he has undoubtedly chosen the right profession for himself.”
I smiled again. “I’m sure that will be quite a relief for him.”
I heard laughter in the earpiece that time, right before Nick spoke up.
“See if he’ll tell you his name,” he said to me.
“Certainly, if you really want to know,” the suspect said, before I could voice the question aloud. “My name is Black. Quentin Black. Middle initial, R.”
I stared at him, still recovering from the fact that he’d seemingly heard Nick give me an instruction through the earpiece.
Clearly, he wanted me to know he’d heard it, too.
“You heard that?” I said to him.
“Good ear, yes?” he said. Smiling, he gave me a more cryptic, yet borderline predatory look. “Less good with you, however. Significantly less good.”
He paused, studying my face with eyes full of meaning.
I almost got the sense he was waiting for me to reply...or maybe just to react. When I didn’t, he leaned back in the chair, making another of those graceful, flowing gestures with his hand.
“I find that...fascinating, doc. Quite intriguing. Perhaps that is crossing a boundary with you again, however? To mention that?”
I paused on his words, then decided to dismiss them.
“Is that a real name?” I said. “Quentin Black. That doesn’t sound real. It sounds fake.”
“Real is all subjective, is it not?”
“So it’s not real, then?”
“Depends on what you mean.”
“Is it your legal name?”
“Again, depends on what you mean.”
“I mean, could you look it up in a database and actually get a hit somewhere?”
“How would I know that?” he said, making an innocent gesture with his hands, again within the limits of the metal cuffs.
Realizing I wasn’t going to get any more from him on that line of questioning, I changed direction. “What does the ‘R’ stand for?” I said.
“Quentin Rayne Black?” I repeated back to him, still not hiding my disbelief.
“Would you believe me if I said my parents had a sense of whimsy?” he asked me.
“No,” I said.
“Would you believe that I do, then?”
I snorted a laugh, in spite of myself. I heard it echoed through the earpiece, although I heard a few curses coming from that direction, too.
I shook my head at the suspect himself, but less in a “no” that time.
“Yes,” I conceded finally. “So it is a made-up name, then?”
The man calling himself Quentin Black only returned my smile. His eyes once again looked shrewd, less thoughtful and more openly calculating.
Even so, his weird comment about “listening” came back to me.
Truthfully, he was looking at me as if he were listening very hard.
The thought made me slightly nervous.
Especially since I’d been doing the same to him from inside the observation booth.
Seeing the intelligence there, I found myself regrouping mentally as the silence stretched, reminding myself who and what I was dealing with. The fact that he’d nearly made me forget that in our back and forth of the last few moments was unnerving on its own.
I found myself looking him over deliberately, for the second time since I’d left the glass-enclosed booth behind the one-way mirror. I fought to reconcile his physical presence with the words I’d heard come out of that well-formed mouth.  The two things, his physicality and his manner of speaking, didn’t really fit at all, at least not from my previous experience in these kinds of interviews.
The all-black clothing, the dense, rock-like muscles I could see under that blood-soaked shirt, the expensive leather shoes, the expensive watch, the ethnically-ambiguous but somehow feral-looking face...nothing about him really fit, from his made-up name to his wryly humorous quipping with me.
I found myself staring at that strange, somehow animal-evoking face with its abnormally high cheekbones and almond eyes, and wondered who in the hell this guy really was.
“Where are you from, Quentin?” I asked, voicing at least part of my puzzlement.
He shook his head though, that smile back to playing with the edges of his lips.
“You don’t want to tell me that?” I said.
“No,” he said. “...Clearly, I don’t.”
“What do you do for a living?” I said, trying again. “Do you have a job of some kind, Quentin? Some area of expertise you’d like to share?”
That time, he rolled his eyes openly.
Before I could respond to his obvious disdain, he let out an audible and impatient sigh.
“You’re not going to resort to shrink games on me now, are you, doc?” he said, giving me another of those more penetrating stares. “...Not so soon in our new friendship? I haven’t intimidated you already, have I?” At my silence, his voice grew bored. “The constant repetition of my given name. The clinical yet polite peppering of questions in an attempt to quietly undermine my sense of autonomy here...”
“Fine.” I held up both of my palms in a gesture of surrender. “What do you want to talk about, Mr. Black? Do you want to tell me what you were doing at the Palace of Fine Arts earlier this morning?”
“Not here,” he said cryptically, smiling at me again.
I frowned, glancing around the gunmetal gray room.
“Somewhere else, then?” I said.
“Yes,” he said. “For all of your questions, doc. Including the ones I wouldn’t answer before.”
I gave him another puzzled smile. “I hate to tell you, Mr. Black, but you’re not likely to be anyplace that is significantly different from this room anytime soon. Not in terms of a non-institutional setting...if that’s what you’re driving at.”
“It must certainly appear that way to you, yes,” he said, raising his chained wrists for emphasis and glancing around the room with those gold eyes. “...But perhaps you are mistaken in that, doc. Perhaps you’ll find that we can speak in a much more comfortable setting, just the two of us...and in not too long a time.”
I narrowed my gaze at him.
It didn’t sound like a threat, at least not coming from him. But the words themselves could definitely have been construed as one.
I gave him a wry smile. “You think so, huh?”
I do, a voice said clearly in my mind. I do think so, doc.
I jumped, violently.
Truthfully, I almost lost my balance in the chair.
“Miri?” Nick asked in my ear. “Miri? Are you okay?”
For a long-feeling few seconds I only stared at Black, breathing harder.
I could feel as much as see him watching me react. He smiled, lifting the bare corners of that sculpted mouth. Then he shrugged, his expression smoothing.
“Perhaps you’ll accept a raincheck on that particular discussion, doc?” he said. “...After I’ve finished my business here?”
It unnerved me, hearing him use the nickname yet again. I knew it wasn’t exactly an original thing to call someone in my line of work, but it still struck me as deliberate.
I fought the other thing out of my mind, sure I must have imagined it.
Even so, the smile on my face grew strained.
“Okay,” I said. “You pick the topic, then. For today I mean...pre-raincheck.”
Quentin Black smiled, leaning back deliberately in the bolted, metal chair.
“No,” he said, after assessing me again with those strangely animal eyes. “No, I think we’re done for now, doc. It was my very great pleasure to meet you, however.”
I pursed my lips. “You don’t want to talk to me anymore?” I said.
I want to talk to you so badly I can fucking taste it, that same voice said in my mind, making me jump again, but less violently that time. My breath stopped, locking in my chest as the voice rose even more clearly. But not here, doc. Not here. Patience. And believe me when I say I am speaking to myself in this, even more than I am to you...
I could only sit there, breathing, staring at him.
Those gold eyes never wavered.
When I didn’t move after a few more seconds, or speak, he smiled.
Do they know what you are, doc? Does that handsome cop in the next room have any idea why it is that you are so very, very good at your job? Or how you managed to keep him alive that time in Afghanistan...?
My chest clenched more.
It hurt now, like a fist had reached inside me, squeezing my heart.
The voice fell silent.
The man in front of me looked at me, his expression close to expectant. Then he gazed pointedly down at my engagement ring.
Does anyone know about you, doc? Anyone at all?
My throat closed as he raised his eyes back to mine.
Those gold flecked irises studied my face, watching my reaction.
I can’t hear you, the voice said next, flickering with a tinge of frustration. I cannot hear you at all...but I know from your face that you hear me, doc. That shield of yours is damned strong. I confess, it’s positively turning me on at this point...but it also makes me very curious. Were you ever ranked, sister? If so, I would love to know at what level...
Another smile ghosted his lips, even as a curl of heat slid through my lower abdomen, one that didn’t feel like it originated from me, at least not entirely.
It made my face flush hot, even as my thighs clenched together in reflex.
I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours... the voice said, softer.
My throat tightened, choking me with a caught swallow.
Still, he didn’t say anything aloud.
We’ll talk more later, doc, I heard in my mind, softer still. I have so many, many questions. So many things I’d like to discuss. But I really do not wish to do any of that here...not with them watching us. They are wondering at this silence as it is. You must try to speak to me again, doc, before your handsome cop decides there is a problem. Before he and his meat-headed partner make an issue of it...
I blinked again, my heart now slamming against my ribs.
But he wasn’t looking at me now.
As I watched, Quentin Rayne Black lapsed back into the bored, stone-faced man I’d glimpsed through the window before I’d entered the room.
I’d finally managed to clear my throat.
Clenching my hands together in my lap, conscious of how clammy they felt, I kept my voice carefully polite.
“Do you want to tell me about the body in the park, Mr. Black?” I said.
Nothing. Silence.
“Mr. Black?” I said, hearing the slight tremble in my voice. “Did you kill that woman? Did you pose her in that wedding dress?”
He didn’t look up from where he stared down between his cuffed hands.
I tried again, asking the same thing a few different ways.
But nothing I said in those next fifteen or so minutes appeared to reach him. I tried being friendly, annoying, disdainful, mocking. I belittled his intellect...even threw out a few offers to deal, along with some not-so-veiled threats. Nothing.
I got nothing.
In fact, I doubt I penetrated the veneer of that thoughtful, somehow puzzle-solving stare he aimed at the empty surface of the metal table.
Clearly, I’d been dismissed.

Guest Post
Sarah Mäkelä

The Witch Who Cried Wolf’s Soundtrack

Hey everyone!

Music plays a big role in helping to spark my creativity while I write. That was definitely true for The Witch Who Cried Wolf. Here’s a sampling of the music I listened to while writing the first installment in the Cry Wolf series:

Between Two Points (feat. Swan) by The Glitch Mob
Crave You (Adventure Club Remix) by Flight Facilities
Let Me Go by Kaskade
Run for Cover by Kito & Reija Lee
Walls by Crywolf
Oh Miah by Blackmill
Magnet (Infuze Remix) Killgore & Polina
Crystalised by The xx
Strange Behavior (feat. Tasha Baxter) by Feed Me
Too Late by Klaypex

Excerpt: Creature of Habit, Angel Lawson

"I know you have a secret."
My still heart plummeted to my ancient stomach, igniting a feeling of absolute dread and horror.  These were the words of my deepest fears. Miles had warned me—this is what Olivia was trying to tell me. I’d gotten too close. My mouth became dry and I had to force myself to breathe in order to appear normal.
I steadied my voice. "A secret?"
The sound of her metal spoon, tracing the edge of her cup, was the only noise in the room until she said, "The signs were all there. I mean, they’re stereotypical but stereotypes are for a reason, right?"
“I’m, uh, not following.”
“Well, you’re freakishly neat and tidy. Your closet alone should have sent up a red flag.”
Okay. This was true. I had an extreme case of obsessive compulsive disorder, but that was hardly an identifiable trait of being a vampire. It was more of a personal quirk exaggerated by the vampirism. I braced myself for more.
“Obviously your body is like…killer.” Her heart beat like a hummingbird's wings and I could almost feel the heat of nervousness rolling off her body. Only this silly woman would be embarrassed as she destroyed my life. Abruptly she said, "I mean, killer. I know a lot of men who would die for your physique."
She thought I looked amazing. A smug grin crept across my face before I shook it off, wondering for the millionth time what thoughts were running though her head. I was aware women found me attractive, as it was one of the lures that made humans such susceptible prey. To hear Amelia say those words brought about a rush of feelings I wasn't used to, but was it really important to say right now?
"Your skin is flawless, unblemished. And your hair…it’s a work of art."
“My hair?”
I hated my hair. Loathed it. It was the one thing that drove me absolutely insane post transition, but that alone was nothing definitive. I mean, look at Miles. He was bald. Forever.
She stepped closer and peered at my neck and chest. “You man-scape, right?”
I shook my head silently, afraid to speak. I had no idea what this 'man-scaping' thing was but I knew I didn't have it.
"Huh," she considered and turned back to the counter, her long hair swaying a bit as she took a sip of her tea. "You probably have more clothes than Kanye West."
The uneasy knot in my stomach quickly morphed into one of confusion. Kanye West? Who?
She continued, rambling now. "Sometimes you speak like you've never been around a woman, and you never have company, and the only time you did it was a man. Who, coincidentally, was also unbelievably gorgeous."
What? I literally was unable to follow her train of thought. What man was she talking about? I searched my memory and came up with the only male visitor we'd had.
She stilled, palms flat on the counter. When she spoke it was low and with conviction. "Like I said, I know what you’re hiding, Grant.”
Here it comes. Images of what would come flashed in my mind. Would she run screaming? Would I have to kill her? In over a hundred years I'd never had a moment of exposure like this.
“I want you to know that I support you—no matter what.”
I waited for a beat. I waited for the earth to stop. For the fear to sink in her eyes.
“Uh, what?”


Copyright © 2014 Ambrielle Kirk, Amber Ella Monroe

A deep penetrating sensation hit Aiden, capturing his next breath and forcing him to stumble back. Intense hunger and wanting overtook him, and he almost dropped his bag. He shivered and waves of conflicting feelings ran throughout him. He parted his mouth in shock. His taste buds swelled, and his manhood stirred behind the zipper of his pants.
He’d never had this type of reaction to any client. Yet, Keira was not just any client. There was a reason he was good at his profession. His sense of smell and the ability to detect fear and danger within milliseconds were his greatest assets. This same sense of smell told him the woman inside was his mate.
There was no other explanation. Or perhaps he’d completely lost it. Had he made a mistake by taking this job? He should have turned this assignment down and remained retired. He was no use to a client if his nose was playing tricks on him. But had his nose ever deceived him?
This woman—Keira Ellis—was his mate.
His wolf rejoiced, but this feral need to take, ravish, and claim her confused his human side.
“Mr. Price?” Thomas opened the door a little wider.
Aiden swallowed as more of the woman’s scent slammed into him. He stepped over the threshold, ready to meet the woman who inflamed his heart with desire.
Thomas nodded once and then began to back away. “There are preparations to be made for dinner. Francine will be around this evening to assist you with anything else you may need during your stay.” With that, he left Aiden in the doorway.
Aiden scanned the room for Ms. Ellis, but she wasn’t anywhere to be seen and he didn’t hear a sound. But Ms. Ellis was in there, all right. He could smell the subtle fragrance of her perfume.
This was some sort of an office or maybe just a library. Rows of bookcases lined the walls. A massive red oak desk sat in the center of the room. The big black chair behind it was empty. There was a leather-bound book open in the center of the desk and a fountain pen lying beside it.
Aiden picked up his bags, not wanting to leave his weapons in the hallway. Just as he took a step past the door, a gust of fresh wind rolled in his direction and a strong, relaxing aura overtook him. Aiden turned toward the breeze. A woman sat with a book in her hand in front of an open bay window. A powerful energy rushed down his spine, and his mouth became dry.
Ms. Ellis didn’t pay him any attention. She was busy reading the book on her lap. She sat on a plump cushion with her legs crossed; the curtains billowed around her. Her hair was wound in a bun at her nape. When she bowed her head, Aiden admired the long gracefulness of her neck. She looked extremely young—which wasn’t something Aiden expected.
The dress she wore clung to her ripe breasts. Her arms, the color of warm melted caramel, were completely exposed. The sole of one foot was bared to him. It was small, delicate, and looked baby soft.
Another hot flash of feral need spread through Aiden’s core. His nostrils flared as he identified the mesmerizing scent. Besides another set of lavender in the vase poised on the desk was the smell of something sweeter. Like a fruit. Peaches.
At that moment she chose to look up.
Gods, she was beautiful. Young and beautiful. Delicate and exotic.
Her eyelashes fluttered as she focused on him. Deep hazel eyes examined him from head to toe with precision. Her plush lips parted as she observed him, and her eyebrows lifted momentarily, hinting at a bit of surprise.
Why had he expected an older woman? Maybe because Jamison Ellis was in his late fifties? Perhaps she was his daughter and not his wife, but nothing in the files indicated the Ellises had any children.
When she closed the book and placed it on the sill beside her, he noticed her fingernails were painted a deep red.
He attempted to regain his composure and met her at the bay window.
He dropped his duffle bags, and the heavy weight hit the floor with a thud. “Aiden Price reporting for duty, ma’am.”
A shy smile crossed her face. “Call me Keira.”
He wanted Keira. He wanted her to himself.
At his side. In his arms. On his bed.
Without a doubt, the wolf knew the connection between the pair. She was the one the animal craved to possess. She would make both of them happy. Satisfied, not just temporarily, but indefinitely. Now that the wolf inside him had identified his mate, he would hunger for her, never really fulfilled unless she accepted his bite and the bond that would make them whole.
“Hello, Keira.” Everything about her was beautiful. Even her name was mesmerizing. His soul warmed, and he couldn’t keep his eyes off her. Whatever he’d learned during his training over fifteen years ago about containing strong emotions toward a client was now only a distant memory. “I hope I wasn’t interrupting, but I was told to report at 1500 hours sharp.”
“I was only reading.” She picked up the paperback book she had set down and waved it in front of him before putting it back.
Aiden noted on the cover a knight in full armor embracing a scantily dressed woman. She was into romance novels and happily ever afters. Interesting. “Forgive me, but this assignment was impromptu. I’d like to perform a physical inspection of the property and surrounding areas.”
Keira squinted up at him in confusion. Her gaze traveled once again from his head to his toe, and then lingered on the bags near his feet before trailing back up. She pursed her lips before saying, “That leather bag looks heavy. What do you have in it?”
Her lips parted slightly in shock. “Do you think you’ll need them?”
“The report says you’re a moderately high-risk client. They’re for your protection.”
She frowned and wrinkled her brow.
Aiden moved closer. He longed to touch her; he wanted to console her. “Don’t worry. I’m highly skilled and effective at what I do. I’m the man who will keep you safe.”
The delicate veins shifted on her neck as she swallowed.
“Thank you,” she whispered.
She didn’t seem to show the same instant bond he did, but then again she was human. His mate was human? Was it a mistake? Maybe the smell of her perfume clouded his wolf’s judgment.
He was here to protect Keira Ellis, not take her to bed. He had rules. One of them was: never fuck a client.
This feeling would fade…perhaps. And if it didn’t, he’d worry about that later.
There was something else he registered in her scent.
Keira Ellis was afraid. Along with the aura of ripe peaches, the air was also tinged with an abundance of fear and apprehension. Aiden felt sorry for her. He’d lost many he loved over the years, but nothing could have been as terrible as losing a spouse to a killer.
“According to Thomas, there is a room where I’ll be staying. I’d like to drop off my bags and tour of the property, if you don’t mind.” Aiden looked over her shoulders at yet another pot of lavender sitting against the bay window. “After that, I won’t inconvenience you anymore.”
She nodded and dropped her gaze to the floor. “I’ll have Thomas show you. He knows this property very well.” She picked up her book again.
He’d been dismissed for a romance novel hero. Very interesting.
Aiden grimaced. “You misunderstand. You hired me as your bodyguard. Twenty-four seven. Except during times calling for privacy. The terms of the contract require me to be in your presence or not less than a room away, depending on the situation and the security at the present time. Were you not made aware of these arrangements or did you not request them?”
“It’s just I’ve never had a bodyguard.” Her voice sounded strained and troubled, and tears pooled in her eyes. “Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. If someone killed me tomorrow, no one would care.”
“I would care,” Aiden said without hesitation. “And I won’t let that happen.”
 Excerpt of Beast by Kim Faulks

My arms and legs still felt heavy, but fear made me move. I slid from the bed, keeping one eye on my captor. My feet hit the wooden floor. The room was small and dirty. Thin strips of peeling paint hung from the ceiling overhead. I stumbled to the window.
The derelict room was made colder by the crowding trees and bleak winter sky. White wisps of fog lingered, forcing me to squint to see towering trunks which hemmed me in. Behind me, Mark kept talking in soothing tones that reminded me of my therapist. I gripped the chipped window frame and pushed my body against the glass, straining to see as far left as I could. A waving green ocean of pine needles was all I could see. I wrenched my head to the right. There had to be a way out somehow.
Mark's droning voice dragged me into the room. I couldn't take anymore. I couldn't stand the noise. "Shut up. Why can't you just shut up?"
I wasn't that girl who cried, or played dumb, leaving others to pave their way in this world. I was the loner, the soldier. I was the survivor. But as the green sea wavered outside the window, I realized I was none of those things now.
I was a captive.
I squeezed my eyes closed and tried to think. Midnight Mountain Range was the last thing I remember. I could be further east, or south. Think, dammit.
How long had I been out?
My breath fogged the dirty window as hopelessness circled like a predator. "If you let me go, I won't say anything. I won't go to the police. I won't say a word to anyone, I swear."
The beating of my heart was too fast. Still I waited for an answer. Please. Please let me go. I left the wintery view and turned back to my cage, to the dust covered floor and the stained, striped mattress.
"Please, Belle. The story is important."
I swiped my eyes with my thumb, feeling the slick tears glide away. I couldn't breathe in this damn dress. I couldn't think. I yanked the material and reached for the collar.
"You look so beautiful standing there, you know? Your scowl matches your dress. The moon and the night, that's what you remind me of. Haunting, filled with mystery. He's going to fall in love with you, I just know he will."
Mark never answered. Mark. If that even was his name. His full red lips were those of an angel, or a seductive devil. He reached to pat the filthy mattress. "Belle. The story."
I glanced toward the door, eying the pitted knob.
"Don't bother. It's locked. There's no way out of here. Even if you did get out, we're surrounded by the forest. Please, don't run, Belle. Don't make me set the dogs free."

Excerpt- 4 Fire

Excerpt of Beast by Kim Faulks

My arms and legs still felt heavy, but fear made me move. I slid from the bed, keeping one eye on my captor. My feet hit the wooden floor. The room was small and dirty. Thin strips of peeling paint hung from the ceiling overhead. I stumbled to the window.
The derelict room was made colder by the crowding trees and bleak winter sky. White wisps of fog lingered, forcing me to squint to see towering trunks which hemmed me in. Behind me, Mark kept talking in soothing tones that reminded me of my therapist. I gripped the chipped window frame and pushed my body against the glass, straining to see as far left as I could. A waving green ocean of pine needles was all I could see. I wrenched my head to the right. There had to be a way out somehow.
Mark's droning voice dragged me into the room. I couldn't take anymore. I couldn't stand the noise. "Shut up. Why can't you just shut up?"
I wasn't that girl who cried, or played dumb, leaving others to pave their way in this world. I was the loner, the soldier. I was the survivor. But as the green sea wavered outside the window, I realized I was none of those things now.
I was a captive.
I squeezed my eyes closed and tried to think. Midnight Mountain Range was the last thing I remember. I could be further east, or south. Think, dammit.
How long had I been out?
My breath fogged the dirty window as hopelessness circled like a predator. "If you let me go, I won't say anything. I won't go to the police. I won't say a word to anyone, I swear."
The beating of my heart was too fast. Still I waited for an answer. Please. Please let me go. I left the wintery view and turned back to my cage, to the dust covered floor and the stained, striped mattress.
"Please, Belle. The story is important."
I swiped my eyes with my thumb, feeling the slick tears glide away. I couldn't breathe in this damn dress. I couldn't think. I yanked the material and reached for the collar.
"You look so beautiful standing there, you know? Your scowl matches your dress. The moon and the night, that's what you remind me of. Haunting, filled with mystery. He's going to fall in love with you, I just know he will."
Mark never answered. Mark. If that even was his name. His full red lips were those of an angel, or a seductive devil. He reached to pat the filthy mattress. "Belle. The story."
I glanced toward the door, eying the pitted knob.
"Don't bother. It's locked. There's no way out of here. Even if you did get out, we're surrounded by the forest. Please, don't run, Belle. Don't make me set the dogs free."

Beyond PNR

Growing up, I wasn't a romance reader. I didn't find the genre until I was in my twenties, but when I did, I fell hard. I grew up with speculative fiction. Dark fantasy, science fiction, horror, those were what sustained me. I never thought I'd ever grow up to write them, even once I started writing contemporary romances. However, when the concept for Inkubus came to me, I couldn't resist playing.
For inspiration, I found myself remembering my favorite works of dark fantasy, rather than some of the newer PNRs I'd scooped up once I started reading romance. Neal Gaiman's Sandman, Mike Carey's Lucifer graphic novels, Hellblazer, as well as many others, they all had a timelessness to their brooding leads that resonated with me. I loved the sweeping stories, and the fusion of worlds. I loved the cross-genre touches: the macabre body horror of Noema's conception and birth, the spoken-word mythology laid out alongside modern LA, and the doomed claustrophobia to Mazikeen and Lucifer's love. I loved Sandman's sweeping sadness, and Hellblazer's noir edges. John Constantine is one of the bleakest characters I've ever read, and watching him sabotage the momentary bits of happiness he manages to find in romance only etches the hunger deeper to see him finally be able to grow past his own flaws to be able to love himself, and someone else. It still niggles in my mind that I have yet to read an arc that's done that for him. Some of that's the nature of comics, but the rest is that I don't know that the writers who've been privileged to contribute to his story actually view that as such a substantial part of his character as I read it as. To me, it's the perfect encapsulation of his flaws and strengths as a person, and that he never develops in that way is frustrating. Suffice to say, he's one of my most emotionally resonant book boyfriends. I'm getting off-topic, though.
The romances often ended badly, but that didn't change how central they often seemed to the stories. So when it came time to try my hand at writing fantasy, I wrote what I wanted to read- bleak, gritty, sweeping love stories with dangerous, tormented entities, and the most sweeping mythology I could conceive of, as well as a hefty dose of horror. But all with a happy ending and a sauna's worth of steam. It was a stretch and a challenge, but a rewarding one, being able to put a little bit of what I love back out into the world.
At the time that I wrote this, I had three full novels finished in the Inkubus series, plus a number of novellas, and a mostly-finished fourth novel. Not all are published yet; some will be available in the next few months. And I'm in the progress of writing more. However, the deeper I get into it, building the world between stories, even as my leads find their happily ever afters, the more addicting it gets. There's a supernatural war coming, and I'm in awe of my characters' resilience to find love in the midst of it.

Hi. My name is Amy Lee Burgess and I love to write paranormal romance novels.  I’m very excited to have my gargoyle shifter novel, Heart of Stone, in the Happily Ever Alpha box set.  Heart of Stone was truly a “heart” novel for me to write. I submerged myself in Deanna and Brendan’s world for months while writing this novel.
All along, I had definite actors in mind for all the main characters. I think Heart of Stone would make an awesome movie, and if I could cast the film, here is how it would go.
Deanna Richmond – Dee is all about speed. She loves to race bikes and cars, but most especially she loves to fly in her gargoyle form. She typically wears her hair in a long braid to keep it out of her face and her outfit of choice is always jeans and a t-shirt. She doesn’t much like dressing up. She’s always felt a little behind in assimilating and interpreting human emotions. Until she meets her mate, Brendan, that is. He helps her understand what it means to be human.
I loved the Bond movie Casino Royale and was very struck by the actor who played Vesper – Eva Green.  I thought she’d make a perfect Deanna.  

Brendan O’Malley – Brendan couldn’t wait to fledge into his human form so he could become a sculptor. He loves working in stone – he’s a gargoyle after all!  He’s a romantic soul and very lonely until he meets his fated mate, Deanna. Then she shows him what it means to be his gargoyle self, and he shows her what it means to be human. He’ll do anything to stay by her side, including putting his life on the line.
My biggest celebrity crush has to be Stuart Townsend. EEK!  So, of course, I pictured Brendan as Stuart. Have you ever seen him in a beard like this? 

Hector – Hector is Dee’s mentor on Stone Mountain. He teaches her the basics of being a gargoyle shifter and acts as a surrogate father to his charges.  Dee’s father was absent most of her life, so Dee became very close to Hector, and when’s she in doubt she always thinks: What would Hector do in this situation? For some reason I pictured Hector as youngish Christopher Walken. I told one of my friends this and she said, “What? You’ve got Christopher Walken teaching your heroine how to be human?  Boy, is SHE screwed!” 
Every time I think about this, I can’t stop laughing. So, picture this guy teaching you how to be human! 

The beauty of reading is that if you think I’ve miscast the roles, you can award them to anyone you please!  I hope you enjoy reading Heart of Stone as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Excerpt - Hounded

Excerpt 1:
Van smiled to himself when he heard Dulcie’s light footsteps approach.
She had to know that the real reason he came in all the time was to see her.
From their first meeting when he’d stormed in, feeling angry and defensive before he’d even opened his mouth, the mere sight of Dulcie had soothed him. Her soft dark hair, her sweet smile, the gentle curves of her body, they all seemed to have been created to absorb his hard angles.
And she was funny.
The world of shifters could be sexy, intense, scary… But there wasn’t a lot of light-heartedness in Van’s past.
Dulcie’s first dry comment didn’t even land on him because he wasn’t expecting it.
But the goofy grin that followed filled him with surprised delight. He didn’t laugh, but it made his chest lighten.
And then, looking down in embarrassment at the joke she thought had failed, she’d taken a sip of her drink.
Her pouty lips parted. The tip of her tongue sucked the straw into her mouth, her eyes closed in ecstasy.

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