Saturday Spotlight -Forsaking Hope by Beverley Oakley

FH Banner Forsaking Hope

Fair Cyprians of London

By Beverley Oakley

 Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

About the Book:

Two years ago, she missed their secret assignation and disappeared without a trace. Now the divine “Miss Hope” is in Felix Durham’s bed – a ‘surprise cheering-up gift’ sourced by his friends from London’s most exclusive brothel. Felix is in heaven – and he wants to stay there.

So does Hope, but she can’t.

Hope Merriweather lives by a code of honour – even if she’s a prostitute.

Having sold her soul, she’s prepared to sacrifice everything else to protect what she believes in.

Even if honour – in her eyes – comes at the cost of thieving and breaking hearts. Including her own.

Available for preorder here:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

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Forsaking-Hope-Generic

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Wilfred Hunt.

If there was a name to tip Hope into the abyss of despair she was hearing it spill from Madame Chambon’s lips now as the older woman directed Hope to take a seat in the reception room, presumably so Madame could loom oppressively over her.

With her hands on her ample, expensively padded hips, Hope’s benefactress—procuress, employer, and gaoler were other monikers—sent Hope a beetling look that needed no interpreting: Regardless of Hope’s true feelings, Hope must project the required show of warmth and delight at being the chosen one.

Madame patted the side of her faux curls. Years of hot irons had reduced her hair to the texture of wool but her crowning glory these days was supplemented by the lustrous locks of those girls who dared cross her – before they were thrown back into the street from where most had come.

Nevertheless, Hope had to make her resistance clear. Surely Madame who knew her history would understand her loathing for this man, above all others. “I shan’t do it,” she whispered. There was little evidence of the willful child and wild adolescent who’d been the despair of her family. “I won’t—”

Outside, the noise of the traffic rumbling over the cobbles and the shrill calls of competing vendors settled upon the tense silence. Madame Chambon’s other girls ranged around the sumptuously appointed room on red velvet upholstered banquettes, watched the exchange with prurient fascination. Hope knew it had been a calculated ploy of Madame’s to conduct her interview in public so that Hope would serve as an example to them.

No one crossed Madame Chambon.

The shrill cry of a fishmonger caused Madame to look pointedly out of the window. With something between a smile and a sneer, she smoothed a Marcel wave. “Is that where you plan to return, Hope? The gutter?” Her nose twitched and in the sunlight that filtered into the room, the grooves chiseled between mouth and chin were thrown into harsh relief, highlighted rather than hidden by the thick powder she used to conceal her age.

Madame Chambon’s comfort, now and into retirement, depended on obedient girls. Hope knew that as well as anyone. She’d had to bury her rebellious streak just to ensure food in her belly.

The Frenchwoman raised a chiseled brow and began to pace slowly in front of her girls. A painter with an eye for beauty would have been ecstatic at capturing such a spectacle on canvas. The discerning young man about town who visited 56 Albemarle Street was frequently rendered ecstatic by the range of delights Madame Chambon’s girls offered in addition to the visual.

“You forget yourself, Hope. I put a roof over your head and deck you out as handsomely as Mr. Charles Worth ever did for his most discerning customer.” There was acid in Madame Chambon’s tone. “But for me, you’d be starving and glad of the pennies you could trade for a grubby stand-up encounter in a dark alley.” Madame Chambon thrust out her bosom and breathed through her nose, her response a calculated warning to the other girls arranged in various languid poses about the ornately decorated reception room that intransigence would not be tolerated.

“Mr. Hunt has requested you.” She paused and when Hope remained silent, though her stance and expression left no one in any doubt as to her horror regarding this enforced assignation, went on. “Remember what I told you—what I tell all my girls when they first come here? The past must be forgotten the moment you step over my threshold. You are reborn, remodeled, refashioned into the most exquisite delectation of womanhood. A marquess, a prince, is well recompensed for the tidy sum he hands over in order to enjoy your sparkling wit, to converse with you in French, or if he chooses, on philosophy…to enjoy your charms…and,” she added significantly, “your gracious hospitality and tender ministrations to his needs. That is our agreement and you are no different. If Mr. Hunt wishes you, Hope, to attend him at his residence then you will go.”

Faith, one of the kinder girls, patted Hope’s arm in silent solidarity. Hope didn’t expect any of them to speak up in her defense. Not when they all relied on Madame Chambon as much as she did to provide them with the necessities of life. Anything more than that was part of a strict contract that indentured a girl for life unless she was able to secure a generous benefactor to settle Madame’s severance bill. The fine clothes were part of the charade, necessary to entice a more elite clientele. Hope’s exquisite wardrobe did not belong to her though she’d have forsaken all the dupion silk and Spitalfields lace for the freedom of the gutter and to be mistress of her own destiny – and her body – if she could only be sure of a plate of gravy and potatoes every second day.

Closing her eyes, she hung her head, the carefully coiffed curls that fell forwards brushing against her tear-streaked cheeks. It was as well that they not be in evidence. Tears, weakness, vulnerability were like a red rag to a bull where Madame Chambon was concerned.

“How long…do I have to prepare myself?” She was not so stupid she couldn’t admit defeat when there was no alternative. Obduracy was beaten out of one, but tears ensured a girl got the very worst next assignment. Their clients weren’t all marquesses and princes, though they did require a very fat pocket book.

“Tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow.” Hope repeated it in a leaden tone, and stared at her hands, clasped in her lap; white-knuckled. As white as the rabbit-fur that edged her fashionable black-and-white striped satin cuirass. Hope had the tall, slim figure suited to the scandalously tight tie-back skirts that were all the rage, the back flowing into a train adorned with elaborate swags and trimmed with bows. She’d turned heads the length of Oxford Street as she’d promenaded along the pavement following a walk through Hyde Park earlier that afternoon. In fact, for the first time in two years, she’d almost felt happy as she’d pretended a sense of freedom in the afternoon sun, blocking her mind to the prison to which she was returning.

She drew in her breath and forced herself to be brave, knowing the punishment she’d invite for daring to speak her mind. “Please tell Mr. Hunt I will see him again under sufferance.”

Madame Chambon’s voice was surprisingly caramel. “Well then, now that you have made your objection clear, Hope, you will be pleased to hear that Mr. Hunt’s desires are not only motivated by fond memories of your no-doubt mutually satisfying congress. I believe he wishes to acquaint you with news of your family.”

Hope hid her shock. “I have no family.” With care, she modified her tone so it was as leaden as before though emotion roiled close to the surface.

“Not even a sister?”

Hope raised her chin. Here was the chink and Madame knew it. The woman did her research.

Aware that the other girls who surrounded her were tense with anticipation, Hope struggled not to respond. Camaraderie existed at surface level but one never knew when it might profit one to have the dirt on a fellow prostitute. It was, clearly, another reason Madame Chambon had chosen to make this conversation public.

“Mr. Hunt will see you at nine tomorrow evening,” said the so-called Frenchwoman who, it was whispered, was from the gutters of Lambeth, not Paris. “At his apartments in Duke Street. Now go and prepare yourself for Lord Farrow. Married to a monolith like the venerable Lady Farrow, he likes his girls vivacious and free-spirited. There’ll be less coin in your pocket if you sully the transaction with that long face, Hope.”

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beverley-eikli-author-pic-copyAuthor Info:

 Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.

Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.

Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.

Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth-century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.

You can get in contact with Beverley at:

 Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

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Sultry Nights Spotlight

 

SN Tour BannerSultry Nights

A Limited Edition Romance Collection

Containing Stories from:  Nicole Morgan, Jocelyn Dex, Alison Foster, Kate Richards, Linda O’Connor, Samantha Holt, Jerrie Alexander, Whitley Cox, Krista Ames, Ursula Sinclair, Measha Stone, Tuesday Embers, Siera London,  Rachel Shane, Bonnie Phelps, Misha Elliott, Alyson Reynolds, Jenna Bayley-Burke,  Madison Michael, Pepper Goodrich, Marcia James, Destiny Blaine

The authors are giving away lots of goodies with this tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Don’t forget you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

About Sultry Nights:

Love, passion, romance, and desire… No matter what your preference, this set of 22 hot and sexy reads has just what you need. From surprise love affairs to bad boys that we can’t help but fall for, and couples that were meant to be, this compilation from Romance Collections is sure to please your every single need.

Sultry Nights Buy Links:

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 Featuring:

Bedeviled by Madison MichaelBedeviled MM

 Can a love be built on lies?

Charlotte Roche is escaping a menacing threat in Boston when she moves to Chicago for a new job and a new man. Alex is smart, sexy and quickly getting under Charlotte’s skin. A shared love of running gives the sassy beauty an excuse to be near her heart’s desire, but can Charlotte run Alex from the track to the bedroom without divulging her past and risking everything?

Alex Gaines, wealthy banker and philanthropist, has held women at arm’s length all his life to protect long-held secrets of his own. Now he is torn between loving the alluring Charlotte and protecting his dual lives. Can Alex trust Charlotte with the truth or is risking his fortune and family to pursue her? Can the two fall in love when they are bedeviled by lies and half-truths?

When danger follows Charlotte to Chicago threatening her safety and their futures, Charlotte and Alex a forced to make a hard decision – choose the secrets of their past or a future together.

Bedeviled is the third novel in the Beguiling Bachelor series, a trio of steamy contemporary romances set amidst the luxury of Chicago’s elite society.

Couple in loveFlirting With Fate By Jerrie Alexander

 There is no such thing as accident; it is fate misnamed. –Napoleon Bonaparte

Elle Reagan isn’t about to stand by and let a con-artist get away with stealing her grandmother’s life savings. While the legal system moves at a snail’s pace, Elle promises to bring him to justice. She follows him to a ski resort in Colorado, where she hopes to get the evidence needed to put him away for good. But she didn’t count on her roommate being a distraction, because he wasn’t supposed to be her brother’s best friend.

Detective Logan Ford has denied his desire to take Elle into his arms since they were teenagers, but when his partner asks him to follow her to Castle Alainn to keep her out of trouble, Logan finds himself unable to refuse her. He agrees to help catch a thief instead of convincing her to pack her bags and go home. To make matters worse, he can’t seem to remember why he should keep his distance from the delectable, infuriating, independent Elle.

Elle and Logan surrender to their attraction, but as their passion ignites, her plot is discovered. A killer will do whatever it takes to silence her and destroy a love that was destined to last a lifetime.

http://www.jerriealexander.com

 All I Want By Misha Elliott

Excerpt:all I want cover

She wanted to know what would happen if she dared to kiss him. The boy who filled so many of her dreams and fantasies was here, right now with her. How hot would it be to feel his lips against her own?

Love Unleashed coverLove Unleashed By Marcia James

His best laid plans…

DJ “Rabid Ron” Hart has a grand scheme to win back the woman he loves. It involves an animal adoption fair, a goofy hairless dog named Charlie and an offer she can’t refuse.

Her hidden desires…

Cara Wilson has fantasies she’s never admitted, and her ex-boyfriend still features in her erotic dreams. If only he didn’t keep his bad-boy urges so tightly leashed.

Tonight they’ll learn that winning sometimes takes losing control.

Forbidden Distraction By Siera LondonFD Book Cover

Sex therapist, Dr. Vivianne Sloan is the consummate professional. Adhering to the highest ethical standards and doling out her vast clinical expertise, her clients are seeing a heat wave in the bedroom while Vivianne has to get hers from the Florida sun. Looking for some sexual healing, the one man she fantasizes about, a fellow colleague and her boss is strictly off-limits.

Obstetrician Gynecologist, Jared Pierce, has a flourishing medical practice. Outside of caring for his mother, there’s nothing he spends more time on, except thinking about Vivianne Sloan. She’s a distraction he can’t live with or without. He wants to teach her everything he knows about the art of lovemaking, but the woman plays by the rules.

When Vivianne decides to serve as a sexual surrogate, Jared is driven to give the shy beauty a dose of passion so potent she becomes addicted after one night in his arms. What happens when these two forbidden lovers decide to break the rules?

WC-Quick&Dirty book coverQuick & Dirty By Whitley Cox

The best way to get over a millionaire is to get under a billionaire.

 Humiliated and angry Parker Ryan is ready to erase every last trace of her ex from her mind, body, and soul. Of course she can be adventurous. Exciting. Sexy. No matter what he said. She needs an exorcism, and Tate McAllister and the island of Moorea in Tahiti are just the man and place to do it. Tate is perfect for the job: billionaire resort owner, scuba instructor, philanthropist and, let’s face it, sex god. So maybe the affair isn’t the wisest move when she has to write her damn feature piece and review the hotel, but if he’s ready and willing to wow her in and out of the bedroom for the next ten days, the fling will be worth it. Parker can get the job done and have Tate fulfill all her fantasies, and she won’t, repeat won’t fall in love with the man. Even if every part of her wants to.

ON THE RUN BY MEASHA STONE On_the_Run_modi_4

She thought she could run, but he’d never let her get away.

Sarah Bennet walked has finally found the break in her career. The sort of story to win her a byline in a serious newspaper. The only problem is, the people in the story don’t want it told. And they are willing to do anything to stop her.

Jeremy has watched Sarah from the sidelines as she’s progressed in career as a journalist waiting for the moment that he can finally retake what he lost years ago. He will protect her. He will save her from her recklessness. And by the time he’s done, he will own her.

Carried Away CoverCarried Away by Jenna Bayley-Burke

Lust brought them together. Will love tear them apart?

Any woman would willingly lock lips with sexy Mateo Torres.

But probably not on stage.

During a lap dance.

At her ex’s bachelor party.

Any man would easily get wrapped up in Carrie Nielson.

But probably not with a crowd cheering them on.

For his last performance.

As an exotic dancer.

Mateo has a past as dark as his eyes, but the best way to convince everyone she hasn’t lost her damn mind is to pretend they’re lovers.

Until they’re not pretending.

Frozen- The Martini Lounge by Ursula SinclairLAVERNEMARTINILOUNGEFROZENFINAL

Lani

Ever have that one perfect moment in time, when you know exactly what you’re supposed to do, who you’re supposed to be in life? Well, that had been me, and it certainly had lasted for more than a moment. I’d decided to pledge myself to God and help others in his name. Selfless, that was me and I was weeks away from taking my final vows. Then something happened, I met someone and suddenly I questioned everything.

Rom

I’ve always lived my life on my terms. Granted, I never thought I’d grow up to be a male stripper. But what the hell, I made good money and now, I had a shot at something more. And the women. Yeah, I loved women but they came and went. I preferred it that way. Didn’t matter which of us left first, as long as one of us did. I didn’t do attachments. Then something happened. I’m no saint, but I saved someone and wanted an attachment.

Only to find out I could never have her.

23584498_10156020489863678_714722810_nMore than Friends by Krista Ames

Lanie Matthews is the classic girl next door.  Jake Cooper is her best friend.  Will they ever be more than friends?  One lust-filled night may prove more than they both expected.

 

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Writer Wednesday – Find your tribe

Writing-GroupOn my writing journey, I know I would not be where I am today without the tribe of writers around me.

Having a supportive partner and family is important too, and I’m fortunate to have that as well.

But when I write myself into a corner, cuz I’m a pantser and we do that, DH is of no help.   But I can call my friend Arden Richards, whose not yet published but is the best plotter I know.

I belong to a number of tribes –

The F-M Word Weavers – This is my local critique group.  Arden is a member as well.  Also in my group are published Authors Maddy Barone and Mary Jean Adams.  The wealth of knowledge in this group is wonderful, and my writing has greatly improved over the years thanks to these ladies.   I found this group on Meet-up and It helps that most of the group is made up of Romance Authors.

Romance Writers of America – I highly recommend this group if you are looking to establish a career in the Romance Writing Industry.   I’ve been a member since 2004 and belong to an online chapter.   I met my first critique partner Holli Winters through RWA.    If you want to learn more about this particular tribe I recommend, if you have Netflix, that you watch “Love Between the Covers”.  First time DH watched it with me he said, “Sounds like your writer friends.”  Yes, yes it does.

Of course there is also Mystery Writers of America, Horror Writers Association and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers or America.  As I do not write in these genres, I’m unfamiliar with their membership. 

Romance Divas – I’ve recently joined Divas, but I have friends who have been members for years and rave about the mentorship and learning there.   It seems too that Divas is on the leading edge of trends within the Romance Industry.    Also they are FREE, so that is helpful for those watching their budget.

Marketing for Romance Writers – Despite the name, more than Romance Writers belong to this community.   If you follow my AuThursday interviews, many of the writers are from this group.  This group is also FREE. 

Writer Zen Garden – I’ve been with Writer Zen Garden for about five years, brought in by my friend and founding member, A. Catherine Noon.   Writer Zen Garden has authors of different genres.   They are wonderful for writers just starting out and maybe not so Romance focused.   To me the focus is very creative and  wonderful  cheerleading group. And Guess what – also FREE.

I continue to join groups as I see what they have to offer and if it is a good fit for me.   I highly recommend that if you aren’t a member of a tribe that you join one.   There is something about the writing journey that shouldn’t be done in a bubble.   I mean you can, but there are so many options to connect with people and learn, why wouldn’t you. 

The groups above have helped me through Writer’s Block, Rejection, Plotting, Marketing, Networking, and supporting me through my writing journey.   I can’t imagine writing without my tribes. 

~Tina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writer Wednesday – The importance of options

Since starting my Agent Quest at the beginning of September, I’ve sent out 11 queries and received 5 rejections and 1 No response (although the website said if I don’t hear from them in 3 weeks, it was considered a pass).   I’ve only had one agent request a partial, all others have been rejected simply on Query or the first few pages. I currently have 5 queries out there and am prepping another letter to send off, as I like to have 6 queries out at once, since this is a time-consuming process. 

I admit I wish I was getting more feedback, like “we aren’t searching for a Steampunk Romance”, or “No one is looking for this,” or “You’re writing needs work specifically in these areas.”   Unfortunately most have simply been, “we are going to pass on this project.”   

“Why?  Why are you passing?” I wonder. 

Last week, I talked about my looking for Beta Readers and this is why.  So I can find out if its something in my writing that isn’t working.   My concern is that the writing is fine, and I’ve missed the market on Steampunk.  If that’s the case, even if I decide to go direct to the publishers, I may have a difficult time finding a home for this manuscript.   It makes me question if I should write something saleable for NaNoWriMo or work on the next book in this Steampunk series.   

I have been researching Indie publishing for the very concerns I listed above regarding the market for Steampunk.  I personally love the genre mixed with romance and feel there aren’t enough books, but maybe I’m in the minority on this one.  Although by all accounts, this seems to be a loyal fan base if you get “it” right, and there is a significant amount of self-published (indie) books in the genre.  I feel if I did go the self-published (Indie) route that I’d at least have a chance to succeed (or fail) based on readers. 

But I digress as this post was about Options.   Even though this process has been long and tiresome, I do still have a good portion of my agent list to work through and then after that my editor list.  I’ve decided to give my agent search until January and then I’ll be querying publishers directly.  That list is pretty long too. 

To give myself options when I go to find either an agent or publisher I make an excel spreadsheet of what they are looking for and what is important to me, so I can expedite the list, so really when I can the rejection I’m not so dejected. 

I admit my experience with publishers (especially digital presses) is that they know exactly what they want and the turn around on query, and usually the manuscript is much faster.   Many publishers now take the full manuscript so there is very little waiting.  

Well I should write that next query letter, so I can hurry up and wait. 🙂 

~Tina

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday Excerpt & Sexcerpt – Twice Lost by Jennifer Field

CAUTION – Very Graphic scenes ahead.   First part in Underworld and not for the squemish  and the second sexually detailed.   Please be aware before  reading. ~Tina

TWICE LOST

Book 1 Harbinger Series.

FullSizeRender (005)The Underworld

The rain and stench of rotting flesh permeated the Harbinger’s senses.  He dragged his victim through the massive gate leading to the ferry. The man, whose name he didn’t care to learn, was another fine upstanding citizen of the human race: child molester, rapist, murderer. This fate was almost too kind for him.

The man kicked and screamed obscenities at the large winged creature that held him. “Where are you taking me, you ugly fucking beast?” The screaming man looked around and the scene he saw was something out of a horror movie. Several massive winged creatures dragged both men and women to the edge of river, unfazed by their victim’s screams or cries for help. Each stood sentinel, waiting for their turn to board the ferry.

The mountains and terrain were charred black. No life grew here; no sunlight penetrated the sky above that swirled with red and black clouds unlike any he had ever seen. The lightning marred the landscape, setting fire to brittle, lifeless trees. He held back gagging as the smell of burning flesh overwhelmed him.

“I never did anything, bring me back.” He struggled against the thick chain wrapped around his neck, pulling with all his might; yet, unable to budge the beast that dragged him further into this nightmare.

The Harbinger lifted the man by the thick chain, cutting off his supply of putrid air; his black claws dripping with blood from where he had reached into the man’s chest, pulling out his soul to drag it to hell.

The man stared into eyes that were solid black pools, devoid of any feeling. “I am not your judge, nor your jury.” The creature pulled him closer, revealing his massive fangs. “But, I have seen what you have done. Death is too lenient for you.” The creature flared its black wings and let out an unearthly growl.

Urine ran down the man’s leg and onto the Harbinger’s booted foot. He tossed the man back down onto the ground, still holding tight to the chain. He heard the distinct crunch of breaking bone as the man’s body hit the ground in the most unnatural of positions.

A smile curled along the Harbinger’s lips, the soul had corporeal substance in the underworld. More importantly, it felt pain, but would not die. This man would beg for a death that would never come. Each day would bring endless pain and suffering, no other existence waited for him.

“You have no right to bring me here, I repented!” The man’s screams were one among many as the souls of the unrighteous waited to cross one of the five rivers.

“Did your victims beg? Did you show them any mercy?” His clawed hand came down over the man’s skull and inundated his mind with images from his young, helpless victims. Flashes of an innocent face stricken with fear, a mother’s grieving heart as she identified her child’s broken, lifeless body.

“Stop please, I repent, I repent! I’m sorry for everything I have ever done. Please, I repent my sins.” The man shook with such fear, and broke into prayer. “The lord is my Shepherd…”

The creature looked down at him as he heaved him closer to the river’s edge. “There is no God that will save your soul now, it belongs to me. And, my payment lies beyond the river.”  He pointed across the river to their destination.

The man watched as creature after hideous creature approached the ferry with their victim dragging behind. The ferryman held out his hand for payment to cross. The man watched as the creature held out its hand, revealing a coin that floated just above its palm. The ferryman took the coin and turned it back and forth, inspecting it, testing its weight. When he was satisfied, he nodded his head and the creature and victim entered the ferry.

This was repeated as several of the creatures and their charges entered the ferry. His creature stood, waiting, as the boat drifted into the mists of the river.

“Why did we not board the boat? There was clearly room left.”

The creature, again, lifted the chain and looked into the man’s eyes as he watched him struggle for breath. His eyes began to bulge and his face puffed out in bright crimson. “Those people still have hope. You, do not. Our destination lies elsewhere.”

The creature dragged him along the river’s sulfur coated banks. He looked in and saw that the water was full of bloated bodies that still wriggled with pain, their skin bursting open and oozing a black liquid.

“Where is our boat?” Though he tried to sound as if he were the one in charge, the man’s voice rattled with fear. He picked up a stone within his grasp and threw it at the Harbinger’s head, hitting him square in the back of his skull.

The Harbinger swung around, grabbing the man by the throat and pinning him against the dead trunk of a tree. His features seemed much more demon-like now that he was truly angry. His cheekbones jutted out at an extreme angle, his horns curled back along his bald head, and his fangs protruded from his mouth.

A growl emanated from him as he sniffed at the air, scenting nothing but the man’s fear. “Perhaps you are unaware of the severity of your predicament, human.” He spoke with ultimate disdain for the man. His claws began to penetrate the struggling man’s throat, small drops of blood running down his neck and arm, dripping onto the ground.

“You are the lowest form of vermin down here. You have no idea what true torture is.” A grub-like creature crawled from the petrified bark of the tree. Its mouth was rows upon rows of rotating teeth. It was attracted to the blood that dripped down. He watched in horror as its head began to burrow into his arm, its body slowly disappearing under his flesh. The man screamed as the creature ate its way up his arm, under his skin.

The grub continued to work its way up the man’s arm, its white body covered in an acidic slime causing the skin above it to bubble. The Harbinger held the bug under his skin and sweat ran down the man’s face, the stench of feces permeating the air.

“Your skin will be flayed from your body, your eyes will be gouged out, and every orifice you have will be violated by creatures so hideous, your nightmares couldn’t conjure them.” The Harbinger continued his detailed description of what the man’s eternity would be like, projecting the images into the man’s thoughts as he spoke. “Then, finally, when you think you can’t take another minute, your body will be healed, your pain will be gone, and the process will start again.”

The Harbinger let go of the man and he slumped down the tree trunk to the burnt ground. Tears and uncontrollable sobs left the man. Covered in his own waste, the man crawled to the massive creature that stood in front of him and groveled at his feet.

“What can I do? Please, tell me what I have to do.”  His words were barely understandable between his sobbing and screaming as the grub ate its way out of the man’s neck and dropped to the ground, having gorged itself.

The Harbinger looked down at his palm that now had a light glow to it. The coin that usually sat as a tattoo now hovered just above his palm. It’s distinct and unique emblem of a skull surrounded by thorns clearly evident.

He looked down at the man groveling at his feet. “Our ride approaches.” He grabbed the end of the chain and hauled it over his massive shoulder, allowing the man to dangle and scream behind him as he made his way to the dock.

The Harbinger walked toward the ferry, holding out his hand. Charon took the coin and nodded for him and his charge to board. No other passengers boarded this ferry.

“Why do no others board?” The man had to know why he was the only passenger aboard this ferry.

The creature put the man down and let go of the chain, knowing that if the man decided to jump into the river, his fate would be the same as the other bloated bodies that drowned for eternity. A far better fate than this man deserved, but would allow no option for payment.

The ferry drifted slowly down the river instead of across as the other boats had done. Again, the man questioned his fate. “Why does this boat not cross the river? Surely this is the famed River Styx. My doomed fate must await me on the other side.”

The Harbinger looked down at the man. “Your fate does not lie on the other side of the River Styx. We will cross Phlegethon, the river of fire.” He pointed down the river to a fiery orange glow just beyond the horizon.

“And, what if I jumped and swam to freedom? Wouldn’t I then be allowed a second judgment, having made it to shore?” The man looked at the shore line a mere twenty or thirty feet from the boats edge. Surely he could make it.

The massive man-creature approached him, grabbing him by the wrist. “You are more than welcome to try.” He lowered the man’s hand into the black water of river.

Pain shot up the man’s arm as he watched his skin then meaty tissue melt from his hand, leaving only bone. His bloodcurdling scream did nothing to stop the creature from lowering his arm further into the muck. The black water seemed to grab onto his arm and crawl up to his elbow, blood gushing into the water.

The creature released the man’s arm and looked at his own hand that was unaffected. The man clutched his arm, now nothing more than bone and dangling tendons. “You are more than welcome to swim.” The Harbinger laughed out as he spoke.

At the sight, the man vomited bile over the side of the boat. Curling his knees against his chest, he watched as the fiery glow grew closer, the stench of sulfur and rot overwhelming him once more.

As the ferry drifted down the River Styx and slowly began its turn onto the River Phlegethon, the black, murky water slowly changed. It smelled of petroleum and the surface burned around the boat.  The deeper the boat traveled, the hotter and higher the flames became.

The man peered over the side, straining to see past the inferno that burned before him. He was sure that the flames would consume the boat before they reached their destination. Yet, the ferry drifted through them, unaffected.

The Harbinger stood as still as death, looking out past the flames. His wings stretched out from his massive back, spanning across the width of the boat, the tips now singed from the flames.

As the boat glided through the river of fire toward its final destination, the man had to know what this creature was that held him. “Are you death? The grim reaper? The devil?”

Black eyes immediately met his. “For you, I am all those things and more. Your very soul now belongs to me and it is mine to do with as I see fit.” The demon slowly turned back to look at the approaching shore.

“Then you can be bargained with, I would presume.”

No matter their background, each soul he brought across Phlegethon thought that bargaining would gain them passage to another, better place. In the countless millennia that he had been taking souls across, no bargain was ever worth consideration, but all tried.

Again, the creature turned to face the man. This time, his eyes were no longer the black, endless pools that had faced him before. They were now as blue and clear as a summer’s sky. “I have riches beyond your wildest dreams, what could you ever have that I would want?”

The ferry hit the shore with a clank as the ferryman wrapped the chain around a post. At a second glance, it was not a post at all, but a pillar of skulls and bones stacked at the river’s edge.

The creature grabbed the chain that was around the man’s neck and pulled him to his shaky feet. Fear overcame him and the man’s legs refused to move, his muscles freezing in protest. With a tug of the chain, the man lunged forward, tripping over his own feet into the back of the creature that held him.

This new land made the place they had just come from look like a paradise. The sky was no longer a swirl of black and red, but an ominous gray-green that kissed the molten landscape; fire and stone encompassing his line of vision. The creature pulled him toward two massive gates made of human bone. The screams of pain and despair could be heard beyond the gate.

The man pulled on his chain, begging the hell spawn to stop his forward trek. “Please, again, I beg you. I can give you something no one else can. All I ask is that you let me go here. I’ll make my way on my own.”

The gate and the payment for this soul laid within reach. Yet, something in this human’s voice made him pause. He had been offered everything and anything to bring a soul back, but never had he been asked to just let a soul go. Here at the gate of Nephtal, of all places.

“Why would you have me just let you go? You have crossed over the river of fire, there is no way back. All hope for you is gone.”

“My soul is damned, I know that. But, in there…” he nods his head toward the tall gates, “I won’t be able to even attempt to make up for the sins I have committed.”

The creature pulled the chain, dragging the man’s face up to his own. “There is no do over, your time has come. Your soul has been damned to this place.”

He continued his walk to the massive bone gate, dragging the man behind him; kicking, screaming, and begging to be set free.

Finally reaching the gate, a creature of massive proportions stepped out, pushing the immense gate open. This new monster, an odd combination of wild boar and almost human, stood twice the height of the one who dragged him across the river.

Its skin was black and scaled, appearing almost grey with the dirt caked into his features. Greenish pus oozed from welts around its wrists, ankles, and neck where huge shackles bound the creature to the gate.

“Please, there’s a girl I know you would be interested in.”  The man tried to dig his heels into the burnt and smoking ground.

The demon stopped, looked at the man he had chained, and laughed. “A woman? You expect me to let you go by offering me a woman?” He laughed once more,  condescendingly, and continued through the gate.

The Harbinger dragged the man passed the gatekeeper to a small tent just on the opposite side and pulled him past the threshold. Silently, the soul wondered what creature he would see next. He expected a cloven footed devil or another winged beast, but what sat on the other side of a golden desk was neither of those things.

Leaning casually back in the chair with her perfect, black, stiletto heels crossed on the top of the impressive gold desk was a woman, her make-up and features model perfect. Her long, blonde hair was neatly pulled back in a high ponytail.

She wore a white, button-down shirt that barely closed over her ample breasts and a black pencil skirt. The man eyed the woman and followed the lean curve of her legs to her thigh, revealing the lace at the top of her thigh-high, silk stockings.

She looked like an angel in the otherwise hellish nightmare. She could have been his angel sent from heaven to save his damned soul. But, the fiery glint in her deep brown eyes led him to believe she was anything but the angel he saw seated before him.

She stood as they walked in, giving the creature that dragged his chain a devilish and familiar smile.

“Hello, Harbinger.” Her voice was sultry and oozed sex.

The Harbinger slipped the end of the chain over a six foot tall spike in the ground. “Hello, Pesta. Where’s my payment?”

Pesta tossed a sack of gold onto her desk, continuing to eye the Harbinger that stood in front of her. He reached for the sack of gold but was intercepted by her hand running up the length of his muscular, tattooed arm.

“I’m sure you’ve had a long, hard journey, wouldn’t you rather something a bit softer and hotter than gold to soothe your weary bones? The offer of my bed isn’t something I give to just any…man.” She ran her tongue over her perfect, red, glossy lips.

“I’ve told you before, Pesta, I never mix business with pleasure.”  With that, he picked up his bag of gold and turned to leave.

The man he had brought in stepped in front of him, a feeble attempt to block his path. The Harbinger raised his arm to backhand the man out of his way.

The man quickly whispered into the Harbinger’s ear words he never thought he would hear—an offer too good to turn down.

“What’s your name human?”

“It was Laird.”

With his arm poised to strike, he instead flicked the chain off of the spike, leaving the man free to escape into an eternity of pain. The man stood still for a heartbeat, staring into the Harbinger’s still blue eyes.  “Well, Laird, I would run if I were you, she’s not as angelic as she looks.”

The Harbinger casually walked out of the tent, past the gate, and back to the ferry, holding out the coin that floated above his hand to Charon. As the ferry drifted back toward the River Styx, he heard Pesta screaming for someone to stop the man that now ran past the boned gate and into the fiery landscape.

Timoteus folded his wings against his back and relaxed himself into the ferry as it floated back through the fiery river. He reflected on what that man had said. A female Harbinger had never existed, yet he was intrigued by his statement. “Her name is Jenna, she’s one of you.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Jenna and Kyle had driven up to the lookout section of Harvest Hill to have sex. Kyle had placed an ad on Craigslist, an online invitation stating that if anyone wanted to watch them, they could. It was the same ad they had run many times in the past: Fun couple seeks audience for sexual encounter. Every week, they changed the place and time and always seemed to have an audience. Tonight wasn’t any different.

They had been running the “voyeur” ad for several months. During that time, they had gotten quite a following. They didn’t know any of their names, but had come up with descriptions for the regulars that came weekly. It was mostly men that came to watch them, sometimes couples seeking a bit of “live porn” before going home to their mundane sex lives. Jenna had noticed that the couples who did come to watch, usually didn’t come back. She figured it was because the women were mostly frumpy, non-adventurous types who had probably been talked into watching by overeager lovers. And, once their boyfriends or husbands saw Jenna being fucked, it was going to be hard for them to be anywhere near as sexy. At least, that’s what she liked to think.

The sun was just setting and the warmth from the sunny September day was fading quickly. The air was chilly, but it was always chilly in Maine at night this time of year. Jenna looked out the window and recognized several of the cars parked there, waiting for the show to start. She knew that most of the men would already be in their cars starting to stroke their cocks just thinking about watching her getting fucked.

It had originally been her fantasy that had Kyle putting the “invite” out on Craigslist. She wanted to be watched; fantasized about strangers beating off to her. The first time they had done it was about six months ago and only a few people had shown up. Since then, they had become very popular. She had even noticed a few more affluent men coming by to watch. Jenna knew of at least one lawyer and the Chief of Police that came quite often, literally. Kyle had already moved into the back seat of the SUV and taken off his clothes.

“Jenna, you gonna come back here so I can lick that pussy of yours and give these guys a nice show? ‘Cause I sure as hell don’t think they came to watch me jerk off.” His tone was a bit too curt for her liking. She really was beginning to get sick of this routine. That’s what it had become, a routine. Sure it was kinky as hell, but a routine was a routine just the same.

Jenna closed her eyes for a moment and got into character. After all, this was an act. She wanted to give these guys a great show, wanted them thinking of her even when they were alone jerking off. Or, better yet, thinking of her when they went home to their wives or girlfriends.

She took her tank top off, the cool breeze brushing over her exposed nipples. They had opened all the windows of the SUV and the moon roof, letting the cool, crisp, Maine night wash over them. She heard several doors shut and watched as the men walked over, securing the best spots with the most visual vantage points. She could feel that she was already wet, knowing she would be watched while Kyle fucked her. She wiggled out of her skirt and climbed into the back seat where Kyle waited.

He sat in the middle of the seat, naked, stroking his cock. “I can’t wait to taste you, I love how wet this gets you.” She practically had to roll her eyes at the theatrics of it all.

While she tried to relax and get into her sexual mode, she couldn’t help but feel that something was very off. She felt as if every one of her senses was on high alert. It’s nothing, she told herself, over and over again. But, she just couldn’t seem to shake the uncomfortable feeling. She briefly scanned the parking lot, nothing out of the ordinary.

Jenna straddled his legs and leaned back, her body resting in between the passenger and driver seats. “I’m so wet.” Her fingers moved over her clit and into the folds of her sex. She was slick with desire. She lifted her finger to Kyle’s mouth.

He sucked her finger, tasting her. “You taste so good.”

“I need to lick you, taste how wet you are.” The move to get her on her back was almost a well-practiced routine, just as everything else was.  Jenna’s head was against the door and her legs were spread open so everyone watching could see just how wet she was. Kyle’s thumb stroked her clit and two fingers found her tight opening, moving in and out. She gasped in a breath and tilted her hips, allowing his fingers to move deeper.

Kyle’s mouth came down onto her clit and the sensation made her gasp again. Jenna’s hands rubbed her breasts, squeezing her hard nipples. “I can smell your pussy. It smells so good. When are you gonna let me fuck you?” It wasn’t unusual for the audience to comment. Jenna never worried about any of them acting on their comments, no matter how graphic or outlandish they were. She didn’t worry for two reasons; one, the Glock 9mm that Kyle kept under the front seat of the truck, and, two, she had her cell ready on 911, all she had to do was press send.

“I’d love for you to fuck me. Is your cock big? Let me watch you stroke it.” Her voice was breathy and she knew she was going to cum from Kyle licking her as his fingers continued their relentless motion.

She watched as the guy at the passenger side window moved so she could see him stroking his cock. It was a pretty pathetic piece of equipment compared to Kyle’s, but she’d humor him. She could feel her own orgasm building, her fingers dug into the seat as she came hard. Kyle’s tongue and fingers continued, his motions perfectly synchronized as her hips bucked and grinded against his mouth. When Kyle finally released her from her pleasured torture, his mouth and chin dripped with her desire.

He ran his hand over his mouth, wiping away most of her wetness, but she could still see his chin glistening with her cum. She sat up and licked it off, completely forgetting about the guy jerking off at the passenger side window.

Jenna straddled Kyle again and leaned back. Kyle took his cock in his hand and ran the head along Jenna’s wet folds.

With the thick head of his cock poised at her opening, all she needed to do was tilt her hips. She was so slick and wet, his cock just slid into her. Letting out a moan of pleasure, she started to move her hips, riding his cock. Grabbing onto the back-seat headrests to get more leverage, she sat up, burying his entire cock into her and grinding her clit against his pelvis. Routine or not, she loved sex with this man.

Every window had a face looking in. She could hear them stroking their cocks, their slight moans, and “Oh yeah, fuck her” comments.

A hand came in the window and stroked her breast, squeezing it almost painfully. “Fuck her from behind so she can suck my cock.”  His voice was deep and sexy. Jenna looked over and saw that it was not only one of the regular onlookers, but Benneit Colebrook.

Benneit, an old acquaintance of Kyle’s, was a well-known lawyer who now only practiced on occasion due to a lucrative art dealing business he’d inherited from his father. He was quite easy on the eyes and extremely rich, in his mid to late thirties. All sorts came out at night to watch.

Kyle kissed up her neck and whispered in her ear, “Do you want to suck his cock while I fuck you from behind?” Kyle would always ask her if it was something she wanted to do. If she said yes, great. If she said no, sorry buddy, maybe next time. Jenna wondered for a moment if Kyle was even aware of who was at the window. He had to be. If she knew, he must.

She didn’t even have to think about it. “Yeah, I’ll suck your cock.”

Kyle unlocked the passenger side door and opened it so that Benneit could stand in the door. His cock was already out and hard. Jenna moved off Kyle’s lap and onto her knees so Kyle could fuck her from behind. Never easy to do, but they made it work. She tossed her long, black hair to the side and looked up at Ben with her most innocent smile before taking his cock in her hand and licking the salty, wet tip.

She felt Kyle enter her from behind just as she took Ben’s entire length into her mouth. His hands fisted her hair and helped move his thick cock in and out of her mouth. Kyle’s hands bruised her hips as he pounded into her.

“Suck his cock, you’re such a little fucking slut,” Kyle said, fucking her harder.  “Make him come. You want to taste his cum, don’t you?” His hand came down hard against her ass and then again, harder.

All Jenna could do was moan a yes. She could feel the hands in her hair get tighter as Ben’s body started to go rigid. “Fuck, I’m gonna come.” Jenna sucked harder. She was so hot and turned on, her pussy was dripping as Kyle fucked her. She cupped Ben’s balls and gave them a gentle squeeze. She really wanted him to come.

Kyle looked up at Ben and remembered their days in college when Ben had been his roommate. It wasn’t unusual for them to share women, they had probably fucked a hundred women together while they were in school. Kyle gripped Jenna’s ass and slammed his cock into her tight pussy and Ben gave him a familiar chin raise while he watched Jenna suck him off.

Kyle took the anger he was feeling for Ben out on Jenna as he pounded into her, harder and harder. Ben wasn’t supposed to be here tonight. For only a brief moment, he felt a twinge of regret for the plan he had in store for her. But, the ends would indeed justify the means in his estimation.

Ben’s hands fisted her hair and his cock swelled. She felt the hot, salty liquid burst into her mouth. She continued to suck until his body finished its release and he could barely stand.  She flipped her head up to look at him and licked her lips. He stepped away and closed the door without so much as a word.

“Let me ride you till you come in me.” Jenna’s voice was breathy and rattled with desire.

Kyle pulled out of her and moved to sit on the seat. “Come on, baby, ride me till I fill you.”

He kissed her hard. Tasting another man’s cum on her lips, knowing how much she was getting off on this night, nearly had him coming.

The truck was still surrounded by men watching them, all in various stages self-pleasure.

She looked past them and spotted her favorite onlooker.  He looked to be in his mid-thirties, shaved, bald head with dark features, and heavily tattooed.

She had noticed him a few months ago watching them from his car that he had parked next to theirs. He had looked as if he had been studying her. She knew he looked dangerous, but, for whatever reason, Jenna had no fear of him. Now, he was leaning against one of the cars, arms crossed, looking directly at her, staring her down.

Jenna leaned in to whisper in Kyle’s ear, “He’s here, the tattooed guy.” Her hips were still grinding on Kyle’s cock.

“I want him to fuck you so bad, would you like that? Have him buried deep in you?” Kyle could have cared less who the guy was and, truly, he didn’t even know who she was talking about. Yeah, he knew she had some mild obsession with this tattooed guy, but tonight was not going to be his night.

Jenna had to think about what Kyle had said. While she would say yes, she wanted him to fuck her, her answer was no. Oh, he was attractive in a dangerous kinda way, but nothing in her stirred with desire for the man. Nothing but curiosity.

Jenna’s hips moved faster, her hands gripping the back seat. Kyle’s hands slid around to grab her ass and pulled her toward him.

“Ah, make me come, baby.”

She could feel his cock swelling as her own climax began to peak. She looked out the window and stared at the tattooed man standing about two cars away.

As she rode Kyle faster, her stare was fixed on the stranger. “Oh yeah, fuck me. I want to feel you come in me.” The words were meant for Kyle to hear, but Jenna spoke them to the man leaning against the car. Kyle grabbed her by the waist and pulled her against his chest as he came. She threw her head back as her own climax hit her. She could feel Kyle’s cock pulse as he spilled his release into her tightness.

Sweat covered both of them and their breathing was heavy. Their audience slowly wandered back to their own cars. The show was over for tonight, at least for them. Jenna’s evening was just beginning.

Saturday Sexcerpt – Bella and the Beast by Izzy Szyn

BATB Cover (002)

She’d just stopped at a door when something wrapped itself around her ankle. Looking down, she saw a vine with thorns winding its way up her leg. Holy shit, Bella tried pulling at the vine, but it tightened around her leg even more.

Pressing herself against a wall, another vine wrapped itself around her stomach. Holding her in place.  She tried to scream, but the vine was so tight she couldn’t get anything out.

“Bella, what are you doing here?” Ms. Anna came upon her.

“I was looking for you.”

“Do you remember what I said about this part of the house?” Ms. Anna asked.

“Yes,” Bella answered, “not to enter it. But I wanted…”

“Silence,” Ms. Anna ordered. “There isn’t an excuse for disobeying my orders. Now, what should your punishment be? Vines, release her.”

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About the Author:

 New York Times Bestselling Author Izzy Szyn was born in May of 2014 when a friend dared her to write. Born and raised in Detroit, Mi. Izzy now lives in Oklahoma City with her furchild Misty, the friendliest Chihuahua/Terrier you will ever meet. Currently works in a call center, where she writes in between phone calls.

Izzy loves to keep in touch with her readers. Email her at izzyszyn@gmail.com.

Find her on Facebook 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/Izzy-Szyn-379714942215154/timeline/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/izzySzyn

Blog: https://izzyszyn.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13836241.Izzy_Szyn

Google Plus link: https://plus.google.com/100905614042668276073

Author Spotlight-Caris Roane

The September $.99 Flame Series TourCaris Roane’s September $.99 Flame Series

BLOOD FLAME and AMETHYST FLAME

The Flame Series, Books #1 and #2

Caris is giving away A Red Wire-Wrapped PNR Bracelet (International Winner Receives Gift Card) and A $25 Amazon Gift Card to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

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The “Wow” Prize:Wow giveaway image

Just leave a comment for a chance to win!

 Caris Roane here and I’m so glad you’re touring with me. As a bonus, I’m giving away a Reader Care Package to one lucky winner just for leaving a comment on any or all of the blogs on my tour. What’s in the Reader Care Package: Truffles, Ghiradelli Chocolate, print copy of GATES OF RAPTURE, scented lotion and soap, a journal and other goodies! Be sure to visit as many blogs on my tour as you can. The more blogs you comment on, the greater your chances of winning. The Reader Care Package is US only, but an international winner will receive a gift card. How I choose the winner: I will choose the winning blog then choose the winning comment sometime after midnight, October 5th, Arizona time. I will use Random dot org to make the selection. Good luck!

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About the Books:

Bella Media Management

BLOOD FLAME, Book #1 of the Flame Series:

 Vampire Officer Connor of the Crescent Border Patrol tries to suppress his desire for the powerful witch, Iris Meldeere. Because the woman possesses the ability to kill him with the tips of her fingers, how can he possibly fall in love with her? When a double homicide throws them together, he soon finds his deepest fantasies fulfilled as Iris succumbs to his seductions. But as they battle together to stay alive, and love begins to consume them both, will the witch be able to forgive the dark secrets of his past …

Amazon US / iBooks //B&N / Kobo/ Google Play / Amazon CA / Amazon UK / Amazon AU

http://www.amazon.com.au/Blood-Flame-Book-ebook/dp/B0147RGTJW/

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AMETHYST FLAME, Book #2 of the Flame SeriesBella Media Management

Hunky Nathan Vaughn, six-six, and one muscled vampire warrior, has had a lot of trouble in his life and needs a good woman to help even things out. Vaughn and Emma met once in the past, the night they rescued three teenage girls from a kidnapping ring. But a vampire and a witch can’t have a relationship in Five Bridges. So, they parted, determined never to see each other again. Emma was desolate, then the phone rang. Vaughn called and kept calling and she kept answering. But the rescue they shared turned out to piss off one very bad wizard who decided they both needed to die. Now they’re in it, fighting to stay alive and working oh-so-hard NOT to fall in love. Will they survive when so much is against them?

Amazon US / iBooks / B&N / Google Play / Kobo / Amazon CA / Amazon UK / Amazon AU

http://www.amazon.com.au/Amethyst-Flame-Book-2-ebook/dp/B014X7RNBY/

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Books in the Flame Series:

 Book 1: Blood Flame

Book 2: Amethyst Flame

Book 3: Dark Flame

Book 4: Amber Flame

Book 5: A Touch of Flame

Holiday Novella: Christmas Flame

http://www.carisroane.com/christmas-flame/

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Excerpt from BLOOD FLAME:

From Chapter One: While spying obsessively on a witch named Iris, Border Patrol Officer Connor gets a call to track a drug runner…

An owl swooped down on Iris suddenly, then took up his usual perch in the huge tree at the back of her yard.

Her melodious voice hit the air once more. “Hello, Sebastien.” He could hear Iris laughing and talking with the owl, her pet, or muse or whatever it was witches used to conjure shit.

When his com buzzed for the second time, he swiftly rose another thirty feet in the air then pressed the button. “Connor.”

“Talking pretty quiet. You on a stake-out?”

He recognized Lily’s voice and some of the tension eased out of him. Lily worked dispatch, manning the phones and passing out assignments. “Trying not to attract notice.”

“So, who is she?”

The question startled him. He didn’t think anybody knew what he did between calls. Shit.

Then he realized Lily was fishing. “A beautiful Honda Scrambler, 1973.” Half true. He’d started to collect Café Racers, the older, the better.

He heard Lily snort. “You men and your machines. Okay, listen up. This comes from the chief. We’ve got a runner out at Amado Bridge and he wants you on it.”

Connor frowned. He didn’t usually work the dead-talker end of vampire territory. “Isn’t that Jason’s section?”

“Jason’s MIA, has been for two nights now, and the chief is about ready to explode.”

Unusual for Jason to be missing, but he was a Border Patrol officer and sometimes the men needed to go on a bender just to survive. “He’ll turn up, but his head won’t feel too good.”

Lily laughed. “I totally agree and to answer your next question, yes, Easton was adamant you take this call.”

No point arguing about any decision the chief made. “I’m on it.”

He took off, heading north in the direction of Crescent Territory, wondering what the hell he would find this time. He touched the hilt of his half-sword and thumbed the holster of his Glock. He wore black leather wrist guards lined with steel, a black tank, leathers, and heavy boots. He was ready.

Amado Bridge. He scowled. One of the worst terrains for a runner to attempt to take drugs into the human world.

His instincts lit up. Jason was missing, a runner was out at Amado and Easton wanted him on the assignment.

A sick feeling started crawling around his gut. This call already stunk and it was only midnight. Great…

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from BLOOD FLAME. Let the Flame Series become a new journey for you!

To Read More and for Buy Links…

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Caris-Roane-AuthorAbout Caris:

 Caris Roane is the NY Times Bestselling author of Paranormal Romance. She began her career with Kensington Publishing and for eighteen years wrote Regency Romance as Valerie King. In 2005, Romantic Times Magazine honored her with a career achievement award for her Regency Romance work. To-date, she has published eighty-nine books. Thirty-nine of those are paranormal romances. Most of her paranormal stories are self-published while several in the early days were penned for St. Martin’s Press.

Though her stories conjure up hunky PNR warriors, like vampires and wolf-shifters, the romance is everything, including a satisfying Happily Ever After. Her hope is that the reader will come away engrossed in the lives of her tortured heroes and her worthy women as they wage war, as they make love, and as they face the tough issues of life and relationships!

Caris lives in the Phoenix area, in a growing town called Buckeye. When not writing, she’s a real homebody. She loves gardening, sewing, and cooking. She also enjoys creating jewelry and offers her handcrafted, PNR bracelet giveaways to her newsletter and blog subscribers. Her motto? Live the fang!

If you want to know more about Caris, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST

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