The Righteous Side of Wicked – Sample the Booty

December 19, 2018

Lend me yer ears, mates. I’ve another pirate yarn to spin. Another tale filled to the devil’s seam with danger and intrigue at every turn. You’ll find double-crossers, clashing swords, wicked seas, and, of course, spirited passion.

Make ready! The Highlander pirates are back!

Sample the booty below, pass the word, and nab your copy!


1730, Late October

Isle of Man, Irish Sea

 

“The devil is afoot.”

Coire might have laughed at the irony in Mr. Shaw’s remark had he not felt the same slick unease slithering up his spine.

Minutes ago, they had weighed anchor and slipped into the night on a hushed breeze, his ship’s belly full of contraband. That they were smuggling gunpowder and firearms hadn’t mattered. Coire and his crew had done countless nefarious deeds, commissioned by landowners, powerful men, and scheming governments. ’Twas what they were good at, a prosperous pirate’s life. But tonight, something was…different. Before the sun tucked under the blueing horizon as the men loaded the last of the hogsheads and smaller barrels, he had noticed the change in the wind. He couldn’t put a finger on it, but the foreboding was there, clinging like thick soot. Even now, the dark waves glittering from the light of the full moon were subdued despite the swift currents. Hardly a sound could be heard save the creak of Kelpie’s hull, a twist in her braces, or the whisper of her shrouds. Or so it seemed.

“Best we not get in his way, then, eh, Mr. Shaw? He might find us worthy adversaries to engage.”

The haggard old sea dog’s bushy, graying brows rose as he slowly nodded in amused agreement. “That he may, capt’n. And a grand affair we’d give ’im.” Mr. Shaw cast one last weathered eye out to the darkness before leaving Coire at the railing. He recognized the look in his first mate’s gaze. ’Twas one of longing for warmer climates and friendlier ports. Or maybe Coire directed his own wish upon his interpretation. He wanted to return to the West Indies, resume his privateering ways. And he vowed he would do so…soon.

An unseasonal, low, wispy fog clung to the coastline. Up ahead, Coire could just make out the obscure outline of Peel Castle, the garrisoned administrative center, church, and prison of the west side of the island. Torchlight dotting the castle provided a guide to the open sea and the North Channel beyond.

It had been brazen coming to Man under the nose of the British for more gunpowder to add to their haul. Brazen, but necessary. He and his men would be paid a hefty sum to get the arms and ammunition to Scarba and into the hands of Jacobite rebels. And they had to do so ahead of planned attacks on key locations. Pockets heavy and lined with gold while aiding in the war against the British succession suited Coire just fine. Though he no longer claimed family there, or allegiance for that matter, Scotland was the home of his blood. She and her people deserved better than to be subjected to the whims of an English parliament and her abusive militias. But ’twasn’t his fight.

Kelpie passed the tidal island which Peel Castle perched upon. More torchlight winked along the battlements. Odd so many lights would be burning at this late hour. A dark silhouette bobbed in the water between the ship and the shore. Was that…a skiff? As soon as he questioned his eyes, his topman straddling a cross tree in the mast above him confirmed it.

“Boat, two points starboard bow,” the topman called down.

As the skiff neared, Coire grasped the rail and squinted hard, willing the thin gossamer veil of fog away. What kind of fool would be out in a tiny boat in the middle of the night?

Aw, hell. His imagination must have been running rampant. Was that a…? Could it be?

Mr. Shaw was once again by his side, along with Jonesy, Redd, and a few other crewmen, all wearing confused expressions.

“Do me deadlights deceive me? Is that a…woman?”

“’Twould appear so, Mr. Shaw.” Indeed, by the figure’s slight frame and long tendrils of hair lifting on the tender breeze, ’twas a female manning the oars.

That sinister unease lingering on the fringes of his conscious all evening suddenly pressed down upon him. Whatever this woman was about, whatever reason for her to be out in a rowboat in the middle of the night, it couldn’t be good.

The lass waved valiantly between pulls of the oars while trying to intercept the ship. Coire ordered the sails reefed before they rammed into her and a line thrown. ’Twasn’t long before the girl had a grip on the rope.

“Hello, there.” The woman’s words rushed out in her shortness of breath, yet she smiled. “A fine evening to ya. Permission to come aboard?”

“What are ye doing out here?” In no way was Coire going to blindly invite someone on board whilst he carried sensitive goods, especially a crazy lass paddling out to sea at midnight.

“Ah, well, ’tis a bit embarrassing, see. I was to rendezvous with a, um, friend on the bank.” She swiped her shirtsleeve across her brow. Though the night air was cool, she would be sweaty from the exertion. “I fell asleep waiting and the tide must have come in.”

A tryst, eh? She’d willingly admit to it? Coire wasna so quick to believe her story.

“Why is it then, lass, ye are rowing away from the shore instead of to it?”

“Please, sir. ’Tis a long way back and my arms are tired.” She glanced back toward the craggy shoreline and castle losing its shape in the thickening fog.

“Nay, ’tisn’t too far” he assured her. “I’m certain ye can make it.”

“Capt’n.” Jonesy frowned, worry pinching his brow. “Aren’t we gonna rescue the lady?”

“Rescue? The lady is hardly in distress.”  Not when he had caught a glimpse of two pistols shoved beneath her waistband. In fact, he was beginning to believe she intentionally set out to board his ship.

“I winna make it,” she called up.

“This is not a vessel ye wish to board, lass. That be a veritable truth. I advise ye to return from which ye came before yer journey back becomes overly taxing.”

Mr. Shaw’s jaws flapped, wrestling with the moral obligation of plucking the lass from the water and the problem she would pose if they did. “This ain’t right.”

“On many levels, I’m afraid,” Coire agreed. “We canna fish her out and go back to the wharf. ’Tis too dangerous and we must stay on schedule. We canna put the mission at risk.”

“Please, captain—” She paused. “Ye are the captain, aye?”

He nodded once. “I am.”

The woman’s grin was gone, replaced by a bothered moue. She flung another glance to the island. “There are sharks in these waters.”

“And ye are in a boat,” Coire pointed out.

“What if I sink?”

“Ye’ve a sturdy craft.” Persistent little fluff. “Let go of the rope or I shall cut it.” Coire drew his dirk and gripped the cord.

“But my boat is sinking.”

“I dinna—”

She tugged out a pistol, pointed it at the hull, and fired a shot. Bits of timber exploded. A puff of smoke and the echo of the blast snagged upon the breeze. Water flooded through the resulting hole.

“Shite! Are ya daft?” She was mad! Hell bent and mad!

“My boat is sinking.” Her calmness was unsettling as she tossed the spent pistol to the floorboards.

The lass had an unflinching composure given the speed her vessel took on water. And that she, herself, went to such lengths to board his ship was enough to set warning bells clanging loud between his ears.

“Drop a ladder!” Coire ordered.

He damned near growled at the sight of the girl standing ankle deep in the faltering skiff patiently waiting for the rope ladder. Her dangerous stunt reinforced why Coire did not trust women. They twisted and crooked circumstances to fit their fancy. Manipulating anyone to get what they wanted, even young impressionable men. Most especially young impressionable men.

Want more? CLICK HERE to order your copy today!


DEAD MAN’S KISS

October 1, 2015

Clear the deck for pleasant action, mates! Break open the rum! It’s DEAD MAN’S KISS release day!

The 5th full-length novel in the Romancing the Pirate series sails into stores today. Let’s celebrate with some fun and games! Leave a comment and you could win a copy of the book!

JenniferBrayWeber_DeadMansKiss_HR

 

Toe the line, mates. This here’s the blurb.

Forced to make a bargain…

One drunken night in Cuba lands Captain Valeryn Barone in a life or death situation. To escape the gallows, Valeryn must agree to a bargain only a fool would make: Escort the tempting and tenacious niece of his captor across the Caribbean or lose his ship, his crew and his life! The caveat? The beautiful Spanish woman must remain untouched for the entire voyage.

 

Determined to get what she wants…

Catalina Montoya will stop at nothing to get what she wants—even when trouble is certain. Sent to live with her uncle after a scandalous affair, Catalina intends to concentrate on her dream to become a renowned naturalist. She never expected her uncle would send her with a notorious pirate to further her studies. Worse, she never expected to want the devilishly handsome pirate more than anything else.

 

It’s a battle of wills…

Now Catalina only has 8 weeks to seduce Valeryn and collect her specimens before he returns her to her uncle. And Valeryn has 8 weeks to secure his redemption. Except neither would be that lucky. Not when ruthless enemies threaten to destroy them at every turn. Can Valeryn save those that foolishly depend on him? Can he resist Catalina’s heart? Does a dead man walking even have a chance?

 


Anchors aweigh! An excerpt for ya.

Matanzas, Cuba 1728

 

“Stand down, Valeryn.”

Henri’s stern command only fueled Valeryn Barone’s belligerent temper. Hell no would he stand down. And the crusty old sea cook could do nothing about it.

Staring into the dark, fiery eyes of a bastard who said the right thing at the right time, Valeryn itched for a fine bloody fight. Craved it. After the morning he’d had, the heartbreaking news he’d delivered, he was beyond confrontational.

He cracked his knuckles thinking of Magdalena, the pain sweeping across her features as he handed her the ring belonging to her murdered husband. She had collapsed into his arms sobbing, and he couldn’t keep his own emotions from bubbling over. Gabriel Kipp was a damn good seaman, pirate, and friend.

Ever since leaving her house, Valeryn had been soaking in the finest rum this rat-infested port had to offer. Now he was ready to release his pent up aggression. Nose to nose with a local Spaniard who was clearly taller and less drunk, Valeryn smirked.

“Valeryn,” Henri warned again.

Conversations in the smoky tavern died. The wench sitting on a nearby jack’s lap stood and scooted away, the fellow cleared the table and followed behind. Dust swirled in the sinking western sunlight as the door opened and patrons smartly left.

“Take ’im down, Diego!” A rotund bloke with an absurdly thin mustache encouraged the cur.

Diego didn’t unlock his steady glare. Valeryn didn’t miss the flash of challenge in his muddy eyes. “Aye, take me down, Diego.”

“I thought the captain of the infamous Rissa would have more control of himself.”

So the blackguard knew him. Not surprising. He did have a nasty reputation. Everyone who sailed the pirate ship Rissa did.

“Weren’t you the first mate of that woman? Capt’n Quint, is it?” the fat squab mocked. “Imagine that, a pullet orderin’ ya ’round.”

The tip of Diego’s lip quivered up. “That he is, Bartholomew.”

“I heard ya ran the ship aground on the shoals,” Bartholomew continued. “Ain’t much of a man or a capt’n, are ya, boy?”

“Or a drunk, eh, Barone?”

The sarcasm dripped sharp and acidic from Diego’s words. It was the flash in the pan Valeryn needed. He exploded, giving in to Diego’s taunts, with a well-placed fist into the bugger’s nose.

Diego stumbled back. Valeryn struck him again, the white hot fury blinding him, feeling the need to bleed.

The Spaniard charged and slammed him into a table. The wood scraped across the dirty floor and bit into Valeryn’s back. Pain shot through his ribs, once, twice, until he shouldered Diego’s strikes and rolled off the table, grabbing a mug as he righted himself. He tossed the mug’s swill into the arsehole’s face. A heady scent of rum mingled with sweat and tobacco. Diego sputtered, swiped his profile. Valeryn tightened his grip on the metal cup, smashing it into Diego’s jaw.

Diego roared, planting his fist into Valeryn’s eye with so much force, Valeryn spun. He struggled to maintain his balance. But he failed and hit the floor on all fours. Before he could scramble up, Diego kicked him in his ribs. His breath seized in his lungs, unable to draw even the faintest of breath, he crumbled to the floorboards. Diego grabbed him up by his collar and pummeled Valeryn, rattling his brains. The smarting was fleeting as his rage flared. Like hell was he going to let the bastard best him.

He came at Diego with the ferocity of a wild beast. Blow for blow, Valeryn traded with the miscreant. Blood stung his eyes, seeped into his mouth, the metallic tang coating his lips. Somewhere over the cheers crowding his ears, he heard Henri demanding he stop his nonsense.

Why stop? The pain reminded him he was alive. Reminded him Kipp was not. That, alone, kept him going. No stopping until death.


Plunder and Pillage for your copy at these fine retailers and anywhere awesome books are sold online!

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Smashwords     iBooks

Also available in PRINT!


Raise a mug to the pirate’s life. Some fun for ya.Pillage

Let’s go a-roguing with a couple of online pirate games.

 

Easy (as in for little macks)

http://www.addictinggames.com/shooting-games/awesomepirates-game.jsp

Medium (for those who can hold their own)

http://www.miniclip.com/games/pirate-hunter/en/

 

Learn to sail…sort of. Sailing simulator!

http://www.thepirateking.com/ships/sail_simulator.htm

 

What kind of pirate are you?

http://startuppirates.org/quiz/

http://www.gotoquiz.com/results/pirate_name_generator

I was tagged as Captain Tessa Rose. “Captain Tessa Rose is a name that matches with the adventurous personality. You usually show no quarter if betrayed by a friend and have a short temper. You can be sweet when you want but might just blow a fuse. You take many risks and don’t care about never making it back.” I like the sound of that. What’s your pirate name?

Leave a comment and you could win of a copy of DEAD MAN’S KISS. One winner will be randomly chosen. Thanks for celebrating release day with me! 

Winner! Winner! Kraken dinner! Congrats, Bevieann61!


Link of the Week – Unexpected

December 30, 2014

I’ve mentioned this before here on MuseTracks. I’m a member of a group of historical romance authors, the Historical Romance Network, in a campaign to raise visibility to historical romance and show how exciting, adventuresome, and sexy (or steaming hot!) the books can be.

To help in spreading the love, 17 members of HRN have compiled excerpts of first encounters, ranging from the Vikings to the American West, in a FREE e-book. No, I’m not in this particular booklet. But some great authors are, from newer authors to best sellers.

Get your copy by clicking the link below.

http://historicalromancenetwork.com/downloads/


Mutiny of the Heart Release Party – Romancing the Pirate fun!

June 23, 2014

Yo Ho Ho! It’s a RELEASE DAY pARRRRRty!

The loooong awaited 4th full-length installment of the Romancing the Pirate series, MUTINY OF THE HEART, releases today. That’s right, TODAY!

And just like any good party, we’re celebrating with fun, games, prizes and a pinata! Well, not a pinata, but there’ll be lots of virtual confetti.

Leave me a comment, any comment, and you’ll be placed in a drawing to win one of 3 prize packs! I’ll be giving away the entire Romancing the Pirate eBook series; Blood and Treasure audio book + Mutiny of the Heart eBook; and a $10 Amazon gift card + Mutiny of the Heart eBook.

MutinyoftheHeartDraft1 (1)

 

So what’s the book about?

Blurb:

Navigating the high seas as the female captain of a pirate ship means always being on your guard—especially when one takes a temptingly handsome slave on board.

Captain Joelle Quint believes the slave claiming to be a cartographer can help her decipher the map her father left her when she was a child. She’s spent years trying to unlock its truths, hoping that it holds the answers to a dark family secret.

Sloan Ricker has no intention of remaining captive. When the fiery, red-headed captain offers him his freedom in exchange for solving her map, what begins as an opportunity to escape becomes a struggle to make the beautiful, intriguing Joelle his mistress in more ways than one.

Amidst a battle with the Royal Navy and a first mate’s jealousy, Joelle also fights her growing lust. And as much as he’d like to deny it, Ricker’s desire for Joelle has overcome his initial disdain. To get the answers, independence and love that they both long for, Joelle and Ricker must relinquish control to each other…or die trying.

 

Gimme a taste, will ya?

Excerpt:

“I give you my word, Ricker.” The sincerity in her voice matched that of her eyes. “You help me and freedom will be yours.”

Freedom would be his no matter what. The ragtag band of pirates would not stop him from taking what was his at the first chance he got. Not even the red-headed siren whose knee softly brushed against his, sending an electric wave up his thigh.

He’d never seen a woman quite like Quint. Her abilities as a captain, her feminine artfulness, her sharp intuitiveness—his curiosity in her was eating him alive. Christ! Those lips. Begging to be kissed. He better damn well focus on something else lest he do something foolish.

“Are we ever free?” Do the nightmares ever really cease?

“No,” she said. “I suppose not.”

For a fleeting moment, she drifted. What shackles did she bear? Should he care? Nay, he didn’t think so. But he wasn’t entirely sure.

“What is it that haunts you, Captain?”

“I’ve nothing that ails me.” Her chin inched higher. She may have been defiant, but Ricker saw the lie in her eyes.

“Come now. What of this map? You say it leads to answers. Answers to what?”

Profound sadness shadowed her freckled features. “Why he left,” she said, shaking her head.

“Who?”

“My father.” She dragged her fingers into her red tresses at her temple, locks slipping through, and away she wafted once more to someplace far in the past.

“Who am I really? Why did he leave me at the orphanage? Why did he come back years later to deliver the strongbox? What were the emerald and map to mean? Why didn’t he take me with him? I needed him. Missed him. Didn’t he know that? Didn’t he care?” The slender column of her neck tightened as she swallowed. ’Twas painfully obvious she fought back her emotions and tears. “I didn’t even know he came until he was gone.”

Ricker was wrong. He did care. She fought demons just as he. At least his were distinct—people, mostly. He’d overcome his sufferings. Quint’s torments were elusive, like trying to grasp the thick sea fog. She might never put her anguish to rest.

“So, Mr. Ricker,” she said, regaining her flinty battle-ready mask. “Does that satisfy your need to know what haunts me?”

“We’re all made up of scars.”

“Scars grow thick to protect the wound.”

He shifted closer in his chair toward her. “Some wounds need attention.” He gently traced the outer edge of her dressing. “To lessen the pain.”

“Rum lessens pain,” she countered.

“’Tis true.” Ricker handed Quint her cup and picked up his own. “To pain,” he said, tilting his mug in a toast.

Her slow drink was like a slow burn of a gun’s corded fuse. The tension was near to igniting. With each passing second, his trousers grew uncomfortably tight. He wanted to kiss her. Had to kiss her. Would kiss her. Now.

The moment he drained his cup, her mouth descended upon him hard and voracious. Ricker recovered from his surprise before she pulled away slightly.

“To rum,” she rasped.

He grabbed her by her nape. No way was he letting her get away with that. He returned the favor, attacking her lips, raiding her mouth, feeding off the warm taste of liquor, the soft roll of her tongue. Damn, she tasted divine. Better than cool water to a dying man.

“What the devil?”

A rapier on the wall rattled at the slam of the door.

“Get your bloody hands off her!”

Ricker rose to his feet to face Valeryn. The heat of anger flushed up his neck, from both the interruption and the threatening demand. Things were about to get nasty. “What’s your trouble, friend?”

“Oh, I’ve no trouble I can’t be rid of.”


I want my copy NOW!

Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Carina Press    Kobo   iBooks

And anywhere great eBooks are sold.


Now for the games! Click on the links to play.

  • Easy!

We’ll start out easy with a pirate-themed words search

Mutiny of the Heart – Pirate Word Search game


  • Medium!

Moving on to something a little tougher, because, hey, your a bad-ass wench/rogue. Try your hand at the Mutiny of the Heart sliding puzzle.

Mutiny of the Heart sliding puzzle game


  • Hard!

And for those of you who like a real challenge, try the Romancing the Pirate word scramble. 

Romancing the Pirate Word Scramble Game


Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win one of 3 prize packs – Romancing the Pirate eBook series; Blood and Treasure audio book + Mutiny of the Heart eBook; and a $10 Amazon gift card + Mutiny of the Heart eBook.


Claimed By the Beast Nocturne Cravings

December 27, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

9781460325254

Buy Link Kindle Claimed By the Beast

Buy Link Nook Claimed By the Beast

 

Available January 1

Dr. Daphne Panetta is desperate to find a cure for a virus that turns its victims into zombie werewolves. Infected Konstantin Gevaudan should be nothing more than a test subject, but the only thing Daphne fears more than the beast within him is her own intense attraction to the virile man himself….

When the research facility where he’s being held goes up in flames, Konstantin has no choice but to take Daphne on the run with him. For the desire burning between them can mean only one thing: she is his true mate. But how can he claim her without changing her—forever?

 

Excerpt:

 

Where the others were seemingly mindless killing machines, there was a self-awareness in his eyes. He was a predator, to be sure, as ravenous as the rest of them. What made him terrifying was his cunning, his obviously human logic.

And this one had a name—Konstantin Gevaudan.

Obviously aware of her scrutiny, he stepped forward, prowling toward the observatory as if she were the one on display.

The shadows fell away like a cloak, the bright sodium lights blaring down on his massive form. He stood, rising up bipedal and perfect, with none of the abnormalities of the others except for those eyes blazing that strange electric blue, like an LED bulb. Form followed function, each part of his body designed with the same purpose in mind—to be the most efficient killing machine. Thickly muscled, but his tread was light, graceful. His movements were fluid synchronicity. In fact, he was horrifyingly beautiful.

He knew it, too. The beast stopped under a particularly focused shaft of light, displaying himself for her. The sleek pitch of his silky pelt, the sculpted planes of his musculature so much like a human’s but still so alien, and the sly, knowing look in his eyes.

Daphne found herself almost hypnotized by the creature, unable to look away. Maybe he was somehow part King Cobra and he’d caught her in a death sway. Her rational, educated brain told her this was more information than they’d ever been able to gather before. No matter how uncomfortable it was, how ugly, or even how she ached for Bethany, she had to keep him engaged. The cameras were still recording.

Although, the primal, basic animal part of her brain screamed for her to break the spell, to flee. To hide away so his horrible eyes couldn’t dig down into the meat of her, into her fear. The faint beep from the lapel of her lab coat vaguely registered—she was excreting pheromones at dangerous levels. The infected could scent them even through all the barriers.

The throng of the deformed, snarling infected were suddenly in frenzy mode, throwing themselves against the electrified walls, their claws scraping down the enchanted glass as they struggled to get at her—prey.

A sound that Daphne first thought was an earthquake rumbled deep, until she realized it was coming from it—him—Konstantin.

His muzzle retracted in a snarl, revealing supernaturally straight white teeth that looked more at home on a barracuda than a wolf. She shuddered and his lips twisted farther. He turned his great head slowly toward the wolves, as if focusing the sites of a weapon.

The bass sound began to build, but it wasn’t until the space around him trembled with its might did the noise erupt from him in a deafening roar that was itself the hand of a vengeful god smiting the wretched masses.

Infected wolves yelped and whined as their ears bled and it seemed their nervous systems had been paralyzed by the sound. They dropped to their bellies, their yips quickly fading.

Daphne prayed to any gods that were listening they’d caught a digital imprint of the roar and could reproduce it. It could be the weapon they needed if they couldn’t synthesize a cure.

His attention snapped back to her, his appraisal blatant, intense, and obviously human. She refused to look away or back down, even though her adrenaline spiked again.

The beast lifted his nose to the air with purpose, his too sharp eyes still focused on her. As if that scent were some delectable sweet she’d prepared especially for him. He stalked forward closing the space, coming as close to the observatory bubble as any of them had ever dared.

That primal part of her screamed at her to run and the logical part agreed, but she stood her ground. She knew he could smell her fear like a perfume, but that was the difference between humans and beasts. Daphne refused to be controlled by her lizard brain. She was a rational being in charge of her own actions.

The only thing between them now was the glass. She swallowed hard, her saliva thick as a wad of cotton in her throat. Daphne’s fingers hovered over the button that would slam the panic protocol wall between the enclosure and the observatory.

His regard was as intense as it had been before, but instead of staring her down, he sized her up. His gaze lingered on her breasts.

Undeniably male, and human.

Suddenly where there’d been a beast, there was a man. She jerked back from the glass, unable to control the visceral reaction to the intrinsic need to put more space between them. If she’d thought the beast was horrifically beautiful, the man was even more so.

Daphne could see the beast looking out at her from underneath his skin.

What beautiful skin it was—smooth and unblemished, like alabaster. He was as pale as the moon, the silvery sheen of his flesh utterly surreal. His powerful body seemed compacted now, coiled and waiting to strike. This creature was still every inch a predator.

Her gaze was drawn down from his broad shoulders, his pecs, his defined abs, and lower still to that ridged triangulation of muscle that directed her study to the last place she wanted to look.

Yes, every long, thick, hard inch of predator.

Already high on adrenaline, her body responded in kind. Fear and lust induced many of the same bodily responses. Clinically, it was a simple matter of biology, as basic as breathing.

Only her breathing wasn’t basic. It shuddered out of her in staccato bursts, her lips plumped, nipples tightened, heartbeat thundered, and her thighs clenched hard against the electric jolt of desire that stabbed through her.

Daphne jerked her eyes back to his face—it looked like something that belonged in an art museum. Or maybe it was the face of the Devil himself, with those damned infected blue eyes staring back at her.

His mouth curved in a scimitar of a smile, lifting his head as the animal had done. Scenting the air—her desire.

Even though he looked like a man, he wasn’t. She knew the bio suit worked. He’d infected Bethany, ripped her humanity away from her not on instinct, not because no matter what he ate he was always starving, but because he simply wanted to.

Guilt flooded her again, disgust at her body’s reaction to the monster.

His head cocked to the side, as if he could hear her thoughts and found them strange. He splayed his hand on the glass, the electric current there having no effect on him. Or if he felt it at all, he demonstrated no reaction.

Her hand rose of its own accord, slowly like moving through water, and settled palm flat against the spot where his rested. She wanted to jerk her hand away, he was a monster. He was a test subject. He was the enemy.


MuseTracks Guest – L. Anne Carrington – Just Write!

October 1, 2013

MuseTracks is pleased to welcome journalist, radio host, reviewer, and author L. Anne Carrington. She has brought us some sound advice and an excerpt. Enjoy!

Just Write!

Famed author Anne Rice once gave this advice to new writers: “There are no rules in this profession. Do what is good for you. Read books and watch films that stimulate your writing. In your writing, go where the pain is; go where the pleasure is; go where the excitement is. Believe in your own original approach, voice, characters, story. Ignore critics. Have nerve. Be stubborn.”

In most cases, these words couldn’t ring more true. A few writer colleagues discussed their ideas of developing their respective novels with me, and confused by the conflicted feedback she’d received on her manuscript, one had shelved her own project for some time.

“Just write,” I told her.

She once again dusted respective manuscript, encouraged by telling her story first, and worked on the editing details later.

We all read the books, the blogs, attend the conferences, frequent the message boards and websites, attend the writer’s groups and conferences, yet we’re still left scratching our heads in bemusement as to if we’re creating our work the “right” way.

Maybe that’s the problem; we’re so focused on turning out the perfect manuscript and getting published that we’ve lost focus of the true purpose of potential books: to tell our stories.

Some writers tend to think in order to “sell” their work, they must dash out something that’s the current “trend,” but once the market is saturated with a specific genre, your work will remain on the slush pile for an undetermined amount of time.

Write what you know, not what’s “in style.” There’s a story that’s run through your subconscious for months (or years, if you will), characters yearning to be created and developed. Why not share them with the world? Who cares if they aren’t the “current trend?” It’s your work in progress; make it your creation!

There’s no guarantee that your work will get noticed by a publishing house sooner, but it won’t be competing with thousands of other stories with the same theme. Sometimes, it’s good to write a novel about a subject that isn’t trendy or cool, but at the same time, can grab a reader’s attention and tell an amazing story from the first chapter to the final sentence of the last page.

Pay attention to advice and feedback, but don’t take all of it literally. Otherwise, you’ll drive yourself into a frenzy and just become frustrated. Try incorporating a few of those suggestions into your work. If the ideas improve your manuscript, by all means, use them. If not, it’s fine in some cases to skip suggestions.

Yes, novels are written for readers to enjoy and take them away from the world’s woes, but at the same time, it’s also good to bring something to the market that is original and exciting. Who knows, your book could begin the next big trend, but not if you don’t take risks and bring your own voice and excitement into the mix. I’ll see you on the book shelves and e-readers!

*****

EXCERPT FROM UPCOMING BOOK THE MARILYN DIARIES:

Late June 13/Early June 14, 2011

I’ve had plenty of what I like to call “Murphy’s Law (anything that can go wrong will go wrong)”days since starting at CONSOL, but today started out as the worst thus far. When I say “started,” the day ended on a high note, which is why I’m still awake at four-thirty in the morning and plan to take a personal day from work.

Everything went downhill from the moment I arrived at work. Janice was in a foul mood; I must’ve been the only person on whom she didn’t unleash one of her fits. A wrestling show was in town, and I swear they drove poor Rodney and other arena security personnel insane!

A freak thunderstorm came into Pittsburgh shortly before lunch and we lost power. Try doing office work these days with zero electricity…not going to happen. Duquesne Light seemed to take their good old time once the storm passed, which made Janice even more difficult to contend with. I don’t want to know what those poor guys in security went through before power was restored around three o’clock. Since we obviously couldn’t have lunch, the majority of employees were ravenous once the lights came back on. Vending machine raid…haha! Toni and I ended up splitting pizza from a place across Fifth Avenue.

Things were quiet for a while this afternoon (Janice’s grouchiness aside) until I finished at five. I walked to the parking lot alone today since Rodney was busy with security detail for tonight’s event. Of all evenings, Little Putt Putt didn’t start at all. Not on the first, second, or even fifth try! Worse, when I went to call Joe to see if he could pick me up after his shift (since the buses are often crowded and it’s almost impossible to get a cab during evening rush hour) and the auto club to pick up Little Putt Putt, my cell phone was dead! I know God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but this whole day was ridiculous.

Looking back, I think Little Putt Putt’s latest trouble could’ve been a sign from God things were (are?) about to turn around for me. Before I headed to a nearby pay phone, I lifted Little Putt Putt’s hood to see if I could immediately spot the latest problem (though I’m no expert on cars) and tie a white cloth showing a disabled vehicle, which avoided Little Putt Putt being tagged and towed as “abandoned” by the city, and me stuck with abominable charges.

I never made it to a phone, but almost had the life scared out of me – at first.

When I looked up from under the car hood, a man was standing on its other side. I wasn’t sure what to think since I heard the Rescue Rapist is still at large. He approaches unsuspecting women offering to help with some kind of problem, but instead takes them to isolated areas where they are raped. Janice warned us about the guy, but I never thought much about it since – with the exception of tonight – Rodney always accompanied me to and from the parking lot.

Well, this man wasn’t the Rescue Rapist, but a genuine Good Samaritan. He was a bit heavyset with short dark hair (a few gray strands blended in), a welcoming smile, and perhaps the most intense brown eyes I’ve ever seen. He wasn’t terribly tall, but certainly taller than I am. Judging from the way he was dressed, I presumed he came to Pittsburgh for business.

He introduced himself as Peter and wondered if I had car trouble. I laughed and said Little Putt Putt dying was common. Wow, you can tell I have little experience with men! Haha!

Anyway, next thing I knew, Peter had his suit jacket off and fiddled under the hood. I don’t know what he did, but Little Putt Putt turned over on the first try – something that never happened the entire time I’ve owned that crazy car! 

The most amusing part was when Rodney came outside to the lot on his break and spotted me talking to Peter. He wanted to know if I “failed to tell him something” after Peter left for the Marriott to change clothes. When I asked what he meant, Rodney wondered why I never told him that I “knew Pete Klass.” Of course, I had no clue what he meant.

TheMarilynDiaries_cover“I forgot you don’t follow wrestling,” Rodney said before he filled me in on who Peter really was, his career with both Global Wrestling and International, and he now worked backstage as a producer for most of International’s shows. “You don’t have to worry about Pete, Marilyn. He seems like a nice guy, at least the few times I’ve talked to him.”

Even though Little Putt Putt started, I didn’t get home until about an hour ago. Rodney invited me to hang out with him during Live From…, even though he had to work security detail most of the evening.

Rodney told me during one of the commercial breaks he overheard Peter got in some kind of trouble for barely returning on time from the Marriott. Just what I needed to hear; the poor man reprimanded for being kind enough to help me with my car. Surely Peter’s bosses didn’t expect him to show up in a dirty, greasy suit! If I didn’t feel guilty before, I certainly did after Rodney told me what happened. 

He managed to drag Peter from backstage after the show and they came over to where I was sitting. Peter looked surprised that I was still at the arena. Dummy me; I blurted an apology about his getting in trouble for running late because of my car problems. Peter smiled and said no apology was necessary before he asked me to dinner. Eleven-thirty was rather late for a meal, but I‘d eaten nothing since the late lunch with Toni.

Long story short – I’ve rambled enough at it is – we had dinner at the Marriott and talked for a long time (at least between fans asking Peter for pictures and autographs. Seriously, I wouldn’t want his job.). When the restaurant/lounge closed at two AM, he walked me to where Little Putt Putt was still parked. We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses before parting ways. 

I’m now exhausted, but need to set the alarm so I can call Janice and let her know I’m taking a personal day. I probably won’t hear from Peter again (he likely meets girls every night), but tonight had a memorable ending to what started as a horrible day. 

Good night/morning.

Love, Marilyn

Donovan closed the diary and grinned at a group of people surrounding him in the locker room. “For those of you not already familiar with the story, now you know through my mother’s own words the true story of her and Dad’s fateful meeting.”

****

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY:

L. Anne Carrington is an author, freelance writer/journalist, and radio show host whose previous work covered topics from fiction to news stories, human interest features, and entertainment reviews. She wrote The Wrestling Babeinternet column for seven years, is a former music reviewer for Indie Music Stop, former book reviewer for Free Press (an imprint of Simon and Schuster), and pens several other works which appears in both print and Web media. One of her freelance articles, An Overview of Causes of Hearing Loss and Deafness, was bought by Internet Broadcasting Systems, a company that co-produced NBCOlympics.com for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics in addition to being the leading provider of Web sites, content and advertising revenue solutions to the largest and most successful media companies.

In addition to the December 2010 publication of her bestselling novel The Cruiserweight by Night Publishing, Ms. Carrington hosts The L. Anne Carrington Show on Spreaker Radio Wednesdays at 2:00 PM Eastern.

Ms. Carrington spends time between Pittsburgh, PA and Tampa, FL, continuing to write.

*****

AUTHOR LINKS: 

Web Site:

http://www.lannecarrington.com

L. Anne Carrington Books on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/L.-Anne-Carrington/e/B0055STQL6/

L. Anne Carrington Books on Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/l.-anne-carrington

L. Anne Carrington Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/theloric2

L. Anne Carrington on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/lacarrington1

L. Anne Carrington YouTube Channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/LAC1962

The L. Anne Carrington Show on Spreaker Radio:

https://www.spreaker.com/show/the_l_anne_carrington_show

The Book Shelf Blog:

http://newandgoodreading.wordpress.com


Kitty Kitty, Bang Bang – Celebration

September 19, 2013

I’m so terribly excited. My alter ego, Harlowe Wilde is releasing a book this week. Kitty Kitty, Bang Bang, an erotic novella debuts this Friday. Commence with the fanfare and confetti.

To celebrate, I will be give one lucky reader will randomly be chosen for a free copy of the eBook. All you need to do is leave a comment. That’s it!

HarloweWilde_KittyKittyBangBang800

Blurb: 

Reilly Shay has built a reputation as a highly successful cat burglar. Her current contract—to steal a one-of-a-kind diamond bracelet—puts her one step closer to freedom from her employer. But she suspects her days are numbered. She’s a target for cops and crooks, and no one has her back since her ex-partner, and ex-lover, Grant Aubrey turned on her.

Grant gladly takes the job to capture Reilly at her latest heist. He loved her and she betrayed him. Case closed. But as he waits in the shadows of a Greek villa and watches her crack the safe, old desires emerge. And, suddenly, taking her in isn’t nearly as enticing as just taking her.

Will one night of dangerous passion be the death of them both.

Excerpt:

Damn. Reilly never got tired of the rush of cracking a safe. She swallowed her excitement as the safe’s lock whirred open. Slowly, savoring the moment, she opened the metal door. The diamond and pink-orange sapphire encrusted bracelet shined brilliantly under the tiny display light inside. Even as she removed it from its perch in the safe, the gemstones captured the moonlight filtering in from the balcony windows. Gorgeous.

Reilly couldn’t help the triumphant smile. The piece would look lovely with the matching necklace and earrings she’d already secured.

She wrapped the bracelet in a black felt cloth and tucked it into her utility belt. She closed the safe door and returned the exquisite oil painting of an Italian garden back on the hook, hiding the wall vault. Now all Reilly needed was the ring and the Lotus Collection would be complete. And then she could finally take that vacation to Belize. She closed her eyes imagining the warm tropical breeze tickling her skin and the fruity savor of a mango daiquiri.

“What took you so long?”

Reilly’s heart lodged into her throat. She whirled around, her Glock drawn, aiming into the darkness. Even if he hadn’t spoken, she’d recognize Grant’s wide build lounging in the shift of shadows. His back to the bay of windows and the shimmering Mediterranean Sea behind him created an aura around his form. Though she couldn’t see his face, she heard the smile in his voice. God, she missed that smile.

“Traffic was bad.”

Grant chuckled. “Same ole Reilly Shay.”

She inched forward, keeping her gun trained on him. She was no fool. Reilly couldn’t see it, but she knew damn good and well he had a gun on his lap pointed at her.

“How’d you know I’d be here?”

“It was only a matter of time,” he said. “Word has it someone’s hacking and disarming sophisticated security systems and disappearing without a trace with the Lotus pieces. Only you have that type of skill. Only you would leave more valuable and easily accessible treasures behind.”

“Flattery will get you nowhere.” She tasted the bitterness in her tone.

“There was a time it got me everywhere,” he said.

And anywhere. But that was before Paris. Before he ruined it all. Grant Aubrey had shattered her trust in him when he gave her up to Interpol to save his own ass. She’d barely escaped the authorities when they moved in on the flat she shared with him. The ugly scar from the bullet she took in the shoulder offered her a daily reminder to trust no one—even the man she once so desperately loved. Wearing a bikini had never been the same since.

And, if you are so inclined, show some love by ‘liking’ Harlowe’s Facebook page.

Don’t forget! Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy. 


MuseTracks Guests – Kristal McKerrington and Joe E. Legend – On Wrestling Romance

September 9, 2013

MuseTracks  is happy to host author Kristal McKerrington and wrestling great Joe E. Legend. They are here to talk about a new sports romance subgenre, wrestling romance. Take it away Kristal and Joe.

Hello All,

Its an honour to be here with you. I’m here with Joe E Legend to present a themed sports category which has been around for a while. Yet its only now starting to get a lot of attention. Its wrestling romance. A theme to which a few people scoff at. However with real wrestlers coming into publishing I’m seeing the genre flourish.

Together Joe and myself have successfully launched a imprint with Solstice where other celebrities, even other wrestlers are starting to take part in. Most recently signed there is Leaping Lanny Poffo. A wrestler who rose to his fame in the 80s-90s. He’s just one of the many talented authors which Solstice hosts within its rankings.

Joe and myself wanted to bring something different to the table other than Non-fiction, this is when we released books such as Waking Up His Wife. You’ll find an excerpt below and myself went on to write the current book on sale Fighting For Love, there is excerpt of this one below too. We hoped to use these books to bring this old Sports Entertainment to the romance industry successfully. So far its going well.

L. Anne Carrington first started to move wrestling and romance together when she released her first wrestling erotica. It became a best seller. Before too long I followed her and have worked with her to help to push wrestling erotica alongside her. My first own creation is Fighting For Love. Which is currently on sale in Print and Ebook on Amazon. Buy links will be at the end of this blog.

Taking men who live out of a suitcase, break down their own bodies for our personal entertainment and most of them have bodies which most women dream of.  Sounds like the perfect males for a love story right? Well that is what I thought. Soon, I found myself picking the brain of the wrestling legend himself. Now we are running several series of books. He put up with my questions before joining me as a co-author.

Having strong men, women make for great books. I’m glad to share this new genre with authors. So the next time you watch WWE with your children or see a local wrestling show, you can think of all the wonderful stories they can give you.

Thank you for having me and Joe E Legend today, we are delighted to have had the chance to stop by. We hope you will enjoy the excerpts.

Fighting For Love Excerpt:

Fighting for Love cover I“I know what the others are like and the things they do to people like me, but you don’t do that though do you? You don’t screw women and leave them.” Those words were like ice being poured down his spine. He shivered and realised he stood out in a cooling Virginia night in his wrestling gear.  With night, owls and crickets started to come to life, filling the air with their sounds.

His trunks and his boots were the only items of clothing to cover his body. They didn’t protect him against the cooling air.  They made the air feel even cooler, for they were designed to allow his body to breathe.

“No-” Carl answered and when he went to take away her fears about him, she moved forward and did what he used to think as the unthinkable. She leaned her body against his and he instantly saw the ball round shape of the tops of her breasts, moving up and down in gasps. Her heaving breasts captured his brain and left him powerless. They weren’t huge, but were big enough to make him weak.

Wrapping her arms around his neck quickly, she captured his lips underneath hers in a feverish pitch of uncontrollable desire and lust. He almost fell backwards with the intense power behind her kiss. He felt heat explode through him and his skin burst out into an inferno of flames.

His arms remained wide around her and the more she kissed him, the more he started to kiss her back.     No woman with her looks ever kissed him like this and he was completely trapped, locked in the centre of her spell. He didn’t know anyone could kiss with everything they held inside them and still leave the other person knowing there might be more to give.

The feel of her hot, electric tongue caressing his and the way her hand fitted at the bottom of his neck made his blood pool rushed down through his body. His cock grew hard and tense as it pushed against the tight fabric of his trunks. His legs became like jelly and he felt his own arms hold her against him. Not wanting this kiss to stop and not wanting to be swept away by this new found ecstasy.

BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Fighting-For-Love-Kristal-McKerrington/dp/1491286318/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1377673459&sr=8-2

Waking Up His Wife-Coming Soon

Excerpt:

The sudden movement of her burying into the thick duvets, pillows and sheets made pain explode through the front of her head.  Pain lashed out at the backs of her eyes making tears form just behind her eyelids, they threatened to spill over.  The heat of her tears clashed against the cool air of the room, leaving her eyes protesting against it. The hot burn of them was enough to send her cold hands flying to them, in desperate hope of cooling them.

The room started to spin and aches started to take over the rest of her body. Like a marching of soldiers, with a steady, determined pace. The aches came in a series of waves making her feel dizzy and sick. Almost as if she found herself in the grips of the rough, wild and explosive Irish Sea. With its venom for ships and those who tried to conquer it on a daily basis. She felt like death and it wasn’t a feeling she’d ever been to use to.  It wasn’t a feeling she wanted to get use to or ever have to deal with again.934121_162464673930925_1748577106_n (1)

She barely ever drank; she was more use to being on ‘drunk patrol’ rather being drunk herself.  Without opening her eyes, she knew she faced down a killer of a hangover.  She knew this wasn’t going to be easily fixed by a simple aspirin and fry up.  She searched blindly for shades and hoped none of her clients were going to be too loud today.

Her hand searched the bedside table and she found nothing. She tried to remember where she left them and felt sure they’d been there. She wasn’t going to open her eyes to see where they were. She wanted to stay in the darkness as long as possible.

“Aww.” She groaned and she replaced her head deeper into the embrace of her nest of pillows hoping relief might come out of more sleep. It offered her a welcoming embrace at the edges of her mind.  She hoped it might take her over soon as another wave of sickness finished beating at her.

She’d never felt this sick on boats crossing some of the worst oceans or in planes which felt like they might fall out of the sky.

“How’s the hang over?” Came a voice which caused her head to jerk up and brought her eyes shooting open into the bright morning light of her hotel room.  A series of chain reactions shot off around her body like a pin ball in a pin ball machine.  Its reactions caused her to struggle to not whimper aloud against the pain that flooded her.  She instantly regretted her sudden movements.

The entire room spun around her, her head screamed at her to lay it back down on the safety of the pillow.  She felt last night’s aftermath of alcohol race up her throat into her mouth and she forced herself to swallowed back.   The burn of it made her to cough against its alien presence within her throat.  Her body shivered against the sudden cooler air it met. It made the hangover punish her even more with its tight grip.

Connect with Kristal and Joe E Legends:

Kristal’s Fan page: https://www.facebook.com/kristalsmckerringtonsfanpage

Kristal’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/K_McKerrington

Joe’s Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/JoeELegendAuthorPage

Joe’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheJoeELegend

L. Anne Carrington’s Book: http://www.amazon.com/The-Cruiserweight-L-Anne-Carrington/dp/1456465198/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1377673569&sr=8-2&keywords=Cruiserweight

 


MuseTracks Guest – Vivi Dumas – Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

August 17, 2013

It is always so exciting to be a part of a cover reveal. And today, MuseTracks is honored to host Vivi Dumas and the next book, Stolen Innocence, in her Dueling with the Devil series. To celebrate, Vivi has brought us an excerpt, plus a chance to win a copy of the book. (The ARC of Stolen Innocence will not be available until September. But it will be worth the wait!)

StolenInnocence_CoverStolen Innocence: Dueling with the Devil Book 3

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: VPG Publishing and Promotions, LLC

Publication Date: 10/4/13

Website: http://vividumas.com/stolen-innocence/

GoodReads: http://goo.gl/xMNuDN

Blurb:

They say ignorance is bliss, but when it comes to love and mating, Charity Lovell wished someone had schooled her on the ins and outs. She fell hard when she saw the beautiful face of the fair-haired demon as he lay broken in Lucifer’s dungeon. Her body ached for him. Her heart cried for him. This had to be her mate, right? Who else could make her trade her soul to the Devil to save someone she didn’t know? Someone should’ve told her love wasn’t quite as straight forward as that.

Damon lived an uncomplicated life, even as the alpha of the Lake Charles pack and the son of Lucifer. He should’ve taken a mate years ago, but held on to the hope of love. Only one female came close to making him believe he still had a chance for happiness. Yet, her heart belonged to someone else. Once again, the feeling is back, stronger than ever. And again, his female has pledged herself to another. Damn demons were ruining his love life. This time Damon plans to fight for what was his and win his rightful mate.

Excerpt:

Damballa eyed Lucifer suspiciously as the angel dusted off a boulder and gracefully lowered himself on the hard, burnt-orange surface. “What bring you to the slums of Purgatory?”

“Not many people still think of me as an angel. You’re showing your age, Damballa.” Lucifer’s smile gleamed in bright contrast to his ebony skin.

“You shouldn’t pry in other’s minds without their permission. Does age matter when you’re no longer amongst the living?”

“Valid point.”

“Again, why are you here?” Damballa demanded.

Lucifer inhaled a deep breath and sighed as he released it. His face displayed an Oscar winning expression of disappointment. “Everyone’s so impatient these days. All that television and those video games. Do you get those down here?”

Crossing his arms across his chest, Damballa stared at Lucifer without a response.

“I guess you want to know why I’m here.” Lucifer laughed at Damballa’s grunt of frustration. “I need your help.”

Damballa narrowed his eyes, tightening his arms in their locked position, closing himself off even more. “How can a lowly human priest banished to Purgatory help the Prince of Hell?”

“When you put it like that, it make me second guess my visit. But then again we both know the greatest Vodou priest who’s ever walked the Earth isn’t exactly a lowly human. Didn’t your followers even deem you a god?”

“You know I was stripped of my title and those followers turned on me with vengeance.”

“Some don’t appreciate those who think outside of the box. I, on the other hand, appreciate innovation, especially when it goes as far to the dark side as you delved.”

Damballa strolled over to the hollowed out cavern wall filled with books, pretending to study its contents. His hand trembled as he removed a book of spells from a shelf. Sorrow lingered in his heart when he thought of his demise. The darkness took everything he loved away from him and landed him in this fiery stone prison. Love was an unstable drug. No one could predict its side effects. For him, they were lethal.

“Regret and self-pity only lead one down the road to condemnation. They’re useless in seeking redemption. I know what you want. And I can get it for you.” Temptation slithered amongst Lucifer’s words.

A chuckle tickled Damballa’s throat. “There is nothing on Earth for me. I’ve glanced at the world a few times and they’ve turned it into a shithole. I’m not looking to go back to a place I no longer recognize.”

Pushing himself off his seat, Lucifer appeared beside Damballa. “You underestimate me. I mean I know what you really long for.”

Damballa faced the Prince. He raised a brow in question. “What is it you think that I want?”

“I can give her back to you. And I’ll throw in a bonus.”

“No. She has ascended,” Damballa spat.

Lucifer barked a laugh. “There’s no ascension for those who trade their soul to the Devil.”

“What do you mean? She made a deal with you?”

“Yep. I helped her people. She was really pissed at what you did. In exchange, I have her soul until I decide what I want to do with it.”

Grabbing Lucifer by the shoulders, Damballa shook the Devil. “You’re lying. She would never…she wouldn’t give herself to you.”

Lucifer shoved Damballa’s hands off his shoulders. “Your little lady was willing to offer herself to the highest bidder. Isn’t that why you killed her in the first place?”

Damballa struggled to keep from striking Lucifer.

“You’re not crazy. You know I could incinerate you right here. She wanted a life for her family. One not involving running around as wolves for the rest of their lives. A little blood signature on some parchment and we had a deal. I must admit the new E-sign makes brokering deals much easier.” Lucifer cracked a slow grin and chuckled to himself. “Anyway, I have her soul and the world got werewolves. Maybe not a full recovery, but a good compromise. Seemed like a fair trade at the time. Now, I’m offering to return her back to you. Slightly used needless to say, but who cares when it’s the love of your life.” The jagged edges of Lucifer’s teeth showed when he smiled fully.

Damballa’s heart and head raced with anticipation. “And what do I have to do to get her back?”

“Just a little magic.”

“What kind?”

“I need to manifest on Earth,” Lucifer answered casually as he picked imaginary dirt from under his finger nails.

Damballa choked at Lucifer’s words. “Do you know how much dark magic that requires? I don’t even know if I can harness enough energy to jump start the process. That requires a blood sacrifice.”

“Okay. Let me know what you need and I’ll order it.” With those last words, Lucifer disappeared.

A shiver whispered down Damballa’s spine. No matter what dark magic he practiced in the past or how badly he wanted Ariella back, unleashing Lucifer on Earth was a terrifying thought.

* * *

The female crouched in a ball in the corner of the cell, hugging her long legs tight to her chest. Her ankle-length, brown skirt billowed around her on the twin-sized bed. Her honey-colored hair hung in a thick braid, dangling over her shoulder, glistening like spun gold in the dim light. Every now and again, Charity found the woman staring at her with haunting green eyes threaded with ribbons of amber, giving them an iridescent quality. For three days they had sat in this godforsaken hole without a word. Charity debated on speaking to her. Usually talking was a no brainer, a natural affliction she wielded like a weapon. But the odd symbols and murmured chants freaked her out. She was in enough trouble without pissing off some crazy witch. Especially one trapped in Lucifer’s dungeon.

The clamor of keys caught Charity’s attention. A burly demon balanced two trays in one hand as he unlocked the cell door. He pushed the heavy titanium bars open, clipping the edge of the top tray against the doorframe. In slow motion, the plate toppled to the floor. Charity watched the slop they considered food splash in a multicolored mess on the ground and sighed in both frustration and relief.

“Looks like one of you will not be dining tonight,” The guard laughed.

The girl in the corner stayed silent, glancing longingly at the destroyed food. The demon haphazardly dropped the other tray on the edge of Charity’s bed. She flashed him her famous f-you smile before he slammed the cell door shut. Charity remained in her spot and listened to the click-clack of his boots echo down the hall. When the sound disappeared, she stood and picked up the gruel left on her bed. As fowl as the food looked and smelled, it was the first nourishment they had brought in three days.

Charity walked cautiously over to the stranger in the corner. “Hi. You look like you need this more than I do.” Piercing emerald eyes met Charity’s gaze. A familiar sadness glowed behind the brilliance of the girl’s stare. “Can I sit?”

The female unwound her long body and dangled her legs over the side of the tiny bed. As she sat up and light shone upon her face, Charity gasped at the female’s overwhelming beauty. Handing the girl the tray, Charity lowered to the edge of the mattress, close to the foot of the bed. Her cellmate shoveled the food into her mouth with her hands, filling her cheeks like a chipmunk. How long had it been since she ate?

“Wow. You were hungry. How long had it been since they fed you?” Charity had been here three days and this was the first sign of food she had witnessed.

The girl choked down the stuff in her mouth with a look of embarrassment. “Seven days,” she announced through the food left in her mouth.

“Seriously?”

The girl nodded affirmation.

Charity pressed her lips in a thin line. Heat rose from her stomach, spreading throughout her body and flushing her face. “They’re not going to fucking starve me to death. Lucifer said nothing about starving to death.” I really got to think through shit before I act on it. That boy better be worth it. He was fine as hell.

The girl stopped eating, tilted her head to the side and studied Charity. Swallowing the mystery meat she was chewing, the female asked, “You look familiar. Who’s your people?”

“I’m with the New Orleans pack. My name is Charity Lovell. What’s yours?” The girl choked on something. Charity thumped her back as she coughed up a piece of bread. “You okay?”

The female nodded in affirmation even though her face remained red. “Yes. It’s been a long time since I met someone from the New Orleans pack.”

“Oh. You know someone from the pack? Who?”

“I doubt anyone I know would still be earthbound.”

Charity raised a brow. “And what did you say your name was?”

“I didn’t, but it’s Ariella Lovell.”

It was Charity’s turn to freak out. Her throat tightened and her head swam. How did she end up in a cell with her great-great-great-grandmother who died in the seventeen hundreds? “You can’t be. She died a long time ago.”

“Darling, you’re in Hell. Why are you shocked to run into someone who no longer walks among the living?”

Sweat moistened the palms of Charity’s hands. She fought the urge to touch her to see if she was real. She had heard of Ariella’s beauty. Listened to the stories about how the pack came to be, but she assumed most of it to be folklore, stories the elders told to keep them in check. But they hadn’t exaggerated about her allure.

“How did you end up here?” Charity asked.

Ariella laughed harshly, without humor. “Bad choices. I guess I can ask you the same.”

“A guy.” Charity folded her legs under her and shrugged.

Amusement lit Ariella’s face as she smiled. “That’s the same as bad choices. I’m glad Lucifer held his end of my deal. Tell me about my pack. I’ve worried so much through the years that the Devil would renege on his promise. Does the curse still run through the females in the family?”

* * *

“I didn’t fucking ask her to serve herself up for me,” Laurent barked at the massive wolf sitting across from him. “I was passed the fuck out. Haven’t even spoken two words to her.”

Damon jumped out of his seat, catching the lunging wolf midair. “I think we all need to calm down.”

A feral growl escaped Ty, the Alpha of the New Orleans pack. He shoved Damon away from him. “This is your fault Boudreaux. You came to us for help. We trusted you. And you vouched for them.” The wolf jerked his thumb towards Laurent and his friends.

Laurent’s sister, Bell, stood with her hand on her hip, blue eyes ablaze. “That chick was off. She went all Twilight-Wolf on us. Like she imprinted on Laurent. I told everyone something was wrong with her.”

“We don’t imprint!” a pretty she-wolf growled from the back of the room.

Bell inhaled to begin another rant, but her brother cut her off.

“Bell, sit down and be quiet,” Laurent grumbled. Bell muttered something under her breath. “You’re not helping. Sit!” Laurent snapped.

Stepping in the middle of the eclectic crowd of supernaturals, Damon ran a hand through his hair and cleared his throat. “This is no one’s fault. Charity is an adult. She made a choice, albeit stupid, but one she made on her own. She believes Laurent is her mate. When we rescued him from Lucifer’s dungeon, she definitely had some kind of attraction to him. Wouldn’t leave his side. We can’t change any of that now. We have to work together to figure out how to get her back.”

“Why the hell would Lucifer trade Laurent’s life for hers?” Tact wasn’t Bell’s strong suit. This time her fiancé, Xavier, nudged her lightly, swinging the ice-blue glare in his direction. “What? It’s a valid question.”

The five members of the New Orleans pack looked at Ty, waiting for his response. Them and their damn secrets. Damon shook his head.

“She’s one of the few members left of our original lineage. Charity’s family is the reason there are werewolves. The females of her line are cursed with the inability to shift until they find their mates. It keeps their other powers dormant until they find the one they love.” Ty spoke in hushed tones as if Lucifer himself eavesdropped on their conversation.

The whole room remained silent, allowing the gravity of the revelation to settle. Damon paced the length of the purple flowered sofa. The small living room became more constricting. Jacque, a shifter demon and Xavier’s brother, rose from his chair. He strolled over to Damon and Ty.

“How did her family start a species?” Jacque questioned.

Ty rubbed the back of his neck. “Her great-great-great-grandmother was promised to Damballa, but she gave herself to another. As punishment, Damballa cursed us to turn to wolves. He was so enraged he killed Ariella and then offed himself. It’s told Ariella brokered a deal with Lucifer before she ascended to allow us to maintain our human form except on the full moon. Later we learned to adapt and shift when we needed. Afraid that one of the Lovell females would eventually be able to reverse the curse or become too powerful, Lucifer bound their powers until the found a mate, which only a few did. It’s like one of those fucked up Lifetime movies.”

“What kind of powers do Charity’s people have?” Laurent asked.

Ty shrugged. “We don’t really know. None of them has ever used them to my knowledge. That’s why it’s dormant until they mate. If or when they find the one they belong with, they focus on their partners and not their powers. Only one has left the Ward and might have accessed her powers. We’ve asked Red to come here today.”

“Who names their child Red? Is that like Apple or North?” Bell stopped laughing when Laurent shot her a menacing glare.

“It’s a nickname cause she loves the color red. Her real name’s Simone,” one of the females of the New Orleans pack corrected, rolling her eyes at Bell.

“Someone talking bout me?” A fine, leggy female in a painted-on red dress walked into the small room followed by two equally hot females. Red’s thick mahogany tresses fell around her face in long spirals. She crossed the room to Ty and kissed both his cheeks. The other two women repeated the gesture. “Look like y’all started the party without us. What’s all the commanding my presence about?”

Ty hesitated before answering. “It’s about Charity.”

The short honey-toned female crossed her arms. “What the fuck she do now?”

“Jade, don’t start,” Red chastised before turning back to the Alpha. “What she do, Ty?”

Ty laughed nervously. “It’s bad this time. She done turned herself over to Lucifer.”

“What the fuck, Ty? You’re supposed to keep an eye on her and call us when she gets out of hand,” The female in the wife-beater and ball cap fussed. Even with the boyish clothes, she couldn’t hide her pretty features.

“Look, that girl’s a handful. Dani, you know for yourself. How many times you had to go find her outside of our territory?” Ty aged as the conversation continued. Lines cut deeper in his face from worry and stress.

Damon interrupted to get the conversation back on tract. “Hi, ladies. We were trying to figure out why Charity would be important to Lucifer. Ty seem to think the females in your family has some powers that might attract Luc’s attention, but not sure what kind. Do you have any idea?”

Red scanned the faces in the room with a deliberative expression. She met the gaze of the two females who arrived with her. The one they called Dani nodded in encouragement. “We’ve not spoken of our powers to anyone outside our family. It has brought nothing but unhappiness to the women who have used it.”

Jade spoke up. “But you know that’s why he wants Charity.”  Red released a breath she was holding and plopped into an armchair, covering her face with her hands.

“How bad can it be? It’s a freaking power. We all have them,” Bell interjected.

Red lifted her head, her pretty face lined with worry. “We’re necromancers.”

The room went dead silent.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway. Follow the link below! And please leave a comment. Vivi would love to hear from you! 

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Author Bio:

ViviDumasPicAlthough Vivi Dumas grew up an Army brat, she calls Louisiana home, but have endured the hot summers and cold winters of Maryland for the last 16 years. She is a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University with an MBA in Finance and Marketing. Her analytical side has honed a career in the financial industry for almost twenty years. To balance her logical, numerical day job, she unleashes her creativity in her writing.

Vivi pens multicultural paranormal romance, mixing the two genres she loves. Her steamy paranormal romances indulge in worlds inhabited by demons, werewolves, vampires, and other supernatural beings. She has published works with Decadent Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and Breathless Press.

Website: www.vividumas.com

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MuseTracks Guest – Malia Mallory – Romance and Spice

July 26, 2013

MuseTracks is happy to welcome returning guest, erotic author, Malia Mallory. Malia has brought us a sexy excerpt and a chance to enter in her giveaways which include books, gift cards and a Kindle Fire.

Help! I Like to Read Romances!

Occasionally, I’ll become involved in a conversation about romance reading. The same questions always seem to arise. Are romances unrealistic? What about the kinky ones? Can I read BDSM without wanting to participate? Are my reading preferences normal?

First, fiction is fiction is fiction. Does it often depict real life? Sure. But most people read for entertainment and sometimes complete realism is not what they are looking for. I don’t think people should be afraid of words. I don’t think people should feel any discomfort about reading romances, even kinky ones.

If a reader likes to read Stephen King, do we make assumptions about their mental state? Not generally. If you read a police procedural, are you looking for ways of getting around the law? Not necessarily.

Romances provide positive feelings, though there can be conflict and heartbreak along the way. They highlight love, finding someone who understands you and building a loving relationship. What could be happier than that?

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Need_600x900I’m very excited about my new release, His Passion, Her Temptation, which is the fourth book in the Dominating BDSM Billionaires Series. His Need, Her Desire (Book 1) is currently free at most online retailers. His Desire, Her Surrender (Book 2) hit bestseller lists in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Her Wish, His Command (Book 3) released in June.

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His Need, Her Desire (Book 1) is currently FREE at most retail outlets.

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | All Romance | Kobo | Bookstrand

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His Passion, Her Temptation Blurb

Granger Pharma executive Monica Granger is hiding her relationship from her family. She has to. Her lover is the son of her father’s biggest business rival. Ben Coron is more than Monica can resist; he’s everything she’s ever wanted—including dominant in bed.

But when Coron Health makes a play for Granger Pharma, Monica’s relationship—and her life—blow wide open. She loses her job, and her family rejects her. Someone’s stealing Granger’s vital trade secrets, and worse, Monica’s brother is dodging attempts on his life.

Their passion is too strong to keep Monica and Ben apart for long. They must thwart the takeover and heal the rift between their families. If they don’t, they’ll never trust one another enough to pursue the dominance and submission they both need.

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His Passion, Her Temptation Excerpt

“So, do you want to eat now … or later?” Monica’s smile turned seductive.

“Well, I think I might need you first.” His hand reached to touch the silkiness of her hair.

“I agree. Food can wait.” Monica pulled his head down and kissed him, greedy to taste his lips.

Without breaking the kiss, Ben guided her out of the hallway into the living room.

Monica slipped her finger under the edge of his collar. “You know, it doesn’t seem fair that you get to call all the shots.”

“Oh? I call all the shots?” Ben’s hands roamed to her rear and squeezed.

passion_tempt_600x900“Yes … you decide when and how …” Monica licked the edge of his lip.

“One, that isn’t quite true, and two, I haven’t heard you complaining.” He gave her a playful pinch on the ass.

“Oh no, I’m not complaining.” Her hand moved to the front of his pants, cupping him.

“Then what?” His hands slid down to the back of her thighs.

“I thought it might be fun to … try a little something else.” She rubbed him through the fabric of his pants.

“What did you have in mind?” Ben swept his hands up her back and tangled his fingers in her hair.

Monica tilted her head back. “Do you recall that night before I left for Hawaii?”

“I do believe it is burned into my memory.”

“Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t be interesting to reverse things.” Monica observed his face for a reaction.

“Reverse things?”

“Oh yes.” Her finger laid a trail down the front of his chest. “You,” she poked him gently, “would do as I say.”

“I see. Are you finding you have a dominant streak?” he teased.

“I’m not sure, but I have a desire to find out.” The thought of taking charge appealed to Monica, not all the time, but perhaps occasionally.

Ben smiled. “That sounds … enticing.”

“I hoped you’d think so.” Monica walked around him, patting his ass with her palm.

“How would you start?”

“I’d tell you to disrobe for my viewing pleasure.” Monica enjoyed looking at the hard planes of Ben’s body, so different from her own curves.

“Shall I?”

“Oh, yes.” Monica crossed the few steps to the seating area and settled herself into an upholstered chair.

Ben approached Monica and then turned his back toward her. He loosened his tie and pulled it free, tossing it over his shoulder in Monica’s direction before unbuttoning his shirt and letting the fabric fall to the floor. He turned slightly and caught her eye. Monica flushed under his wicked gaze.

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His Passion, Her Temptation is available for preview and purchase at the following online retailers.

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | All Romance | Kobo | Bookstrand

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widget1This month I’m part of the Insatiable Reads Book Tour, where the hottest authors in romance debut their sizzling new reads! We’re touring the web and awarding prizes the whole month of July.

To enter giveaways and meet the other writers, follow us at:

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IR Giveaway Rafflecoptor Code:

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Malia Mallory Biography

malia malloryMalia Mallory lives in Hawaii with her husband and daughter. She’s been working with words since alphabet blocks rolled into her crib, not only writing her own work but copy editing and proofreading the work of others. She has loved to read about relationships since she first sneaked off with her mother’s Harlequin.

Malia Mallory is the best-selling author of The ABCs of Erotica series, which covers the erotic spectrum from BDSM to ménage and everything in between. More releases in the series are on the way. She has also released the Mia’s Cop Craving series and Santa’s Backdoor Baby. Malia’s books have hit the bestselling erotica lists at both Amazon and iTunes. Her books are available in electronic format at major retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Sony, Diesel, Smashwords and AllRomance Books.

For a free copy of B is for Beach from The ABCs of Erotica, head to her website and sign up for the newsletter.

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Connect with Malia Mallory

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Don’t forget to leave a comment and help congratulate Malia on her newest release!