Archive | December 2014

Paranormally Yours Spotlight Excerpt–“The Reluctant Gift” by Sotia Lazu

PYebook_flatFor an overview of the spectacular anthology, CLICK HERE. Following is an excerpt from author Sotia Lazu’s story, “The Reluctant Gift”:

“What the hell is going on here?” Aherin hadn’t expected to find anyone other than Salina waiting for him when he kicked his door open. Hers had been the only scent to reach his nostrils, as he approached the tomb that had become his home.

But of course, Santa and his elves only smelled faintly of candy.

“Care to explain?” He arched an eyebrow at Saint Nicholas, and was about to go on a tirade about property law, when he took in Salina sitting on the ground. Forgetting his questions, he rushed to her. “Salina? What happened to you?”

He was kneeling down next to her, when she turned and punched him in the nose. The momentum of her whole body fortifying her left hook landed him on his ass.

“Like you don’t know them.” She hopped to her feet, and assumed the fighting stance that always made his desire for her soar. Legs spread at shoulder width, knees slightly bent, her weight perfectly balanced. She held up her fists, emerald eyes sparkling dangerously.

Finding his footing just as gracefully as she had, he raised his hands, palms facing her, to show he posed no threat. “I know them. Well, him.” He pointed at Santa, who apparently saw that as his cue to cut in.

“Are you one”—he pushed his glasses a bit further up the bridge of his nose—“Aherin the Resurrected?”

So he had a nickname now? Cool. Still… “Oh, cut the fancy formalities, Nicholas. You know full well who I am. You wouldn’t have met the Missus, if it weren’t for me doing the introd…”

He trailed off at Salina’s stunned look.

“I’m a romantic,” he said to her. “They were both jolly and both single. It was an obvious match.”

Her eyes remained wide as saucers, but she waved at him impatiently. “Just tell me what is going on here. Who is he?”

Santa answered before Aherin could. “I am the Santa Claus, Ms. Crest. Feel free to call me Santa.” He glared at Aherin. “Both of you.”

Salina looked at Aherin, and appeared to believe him when he nodded his confirmation. “And what do you want?” she asked Nicky—sorry, Santa. “Is it another curse thing? Did a reindeer go missing or something? ’Cause I’m supposed to be on vacation on this plane, and I’m not even the Balancers’ favorite. Maybe you wanna check in with my sister? She’s the one who usually takes on the hero stuff.”

Even as she spoke, Aherin could see her assessing her surroundings. He’d seen her fight her way out of a couple extremely sticky situations, and knew she was about to wipe the floor with red velvet.

“Nothing like that, child.” Santa’s tone was casual now. “I’m here on my usual business, delivering Christmas presents. You”—he turned to Aherin—“were a very good boy-mpire this year!”

“Boy-mpire?” Salina snorted. “That’s not even a word.”

“I would not throw stones, dear. We have all heard your vocabulary, and I do not mean back when you were a cub.” The playful glint in his eyes belied the stern voice. “As I was saying, because of your being a very good boy-mpire, and helping avert the destruction of all universes, the Balancers have decided you deserve a present. I am here to deliver you that present: Salina Crest, if you will have her.”

Paranormally Yours is available from:

Author_pic_SLAnd don’t miss other stories by, and news about, Sotia Lazu:

 

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Hunger Moon by Melissa Snark is on Sale this Month as Battle Cry Readies for Release

HungerMoon750Hunger Moon by Melissa Snark
#1 Loki’s Wolves series
Genre:  Paranormal/Norse folklore fantasy
Published April 25, 2013

The Child Thief, Book #0 Loki’s Wolves, is permafree with most retailers.
Battle Cry, Book #2 in Loki’s Wolves, will be released Dec. 18th.

Victoria Storm faces seemingly insurmountable odds to keep her dwindling pack of werewolves alive and together. She fights hunters- including the brother and father of her deceased lover-and the pack takes another devastating loss. When they seek sanctuary in a small town near Lake Tahoe, high in the secluded Sierra Nevada Mountains, Victoria discovers they are infringing on the territory of a vastly more powerful Alpha wolf. To save her pack, she uses her feminine wiles to seduce the Alpha. Nothing comes easily for Victoria. Her plans are complicated by the Alpha’s erratic son, a ghostly wife, and a vengeful witch. Not even her status as a Valkyrie or the favor of the Goddess Freya can change the course of destiny for Victoria or her packmates.

The ebook HUNGER MOON is on sale for 99 cents from December 8th to December 26th.

 Buy links:

Amazon     B & N     ARE      iTunes   

Kobo    Google Play    Read for free on Scribd

Fast Facts About Melissa Snark:

* Melissa Snark is published with The Wild Rose Press & as an Indie author with five unique titles.
* Her Loki’s Wolves series includes THE CHILD THIEF, HUNGER MOON AND BATTLE CRY.
* She lives in the San Francisco bay area with her husband, three children and a glaring of cats.
* She blogs about books and writing on TheSnarkology.com.

MelissaSnark author photo for bookWebsite
Blog
Email: melissasnark at gmail.com
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Twitter: @MelissaSnark
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Excerpt:

“You killed my brother, bitch.”

“Worry about your own life, Sawyer. Daniel is dead.”

Victoria held the blade of her dagger even with his jawline, against the strong column of his throat. Cold steel kissed flesh, but she lacked the will to make the final thrust to sever his carotid artery.

“Because of you.” His brown eyes blazed with hatred, more intense and consuming than the inferno raging around them.

Every part of the warehouse was on fire, and there was no way to know how much longer the structure would stand. Cinder and smoke swirled everywhere.

Red-hot embers dusted the bare skin of her face and arms faster than her enhanced healing could repair the damage, but she didn’t feel the burn. Fury consumed her heart and protected her from the wrath of flames, but the pain of her loss, the weight of her guilt, crippled her.

“Yes, because of me,” she said. She blinked back tears. She should kill him. There was no other choice, because the survival of her pack depended upon stopping the hunters who pursued them, the hunters he led. Doubt stilled her hand. The man’s life hung in fragile balance between her desire for revenge and uncertainty.

“Do it,” Sawyer said with a sneer, as if he sensed her hesitation. She straddled his chest, keeping one of his arms pinned against his side with her knee. His free hand groped for the shotgun on the ground, just out of reach.

“Has your death wish gotten so strong you’re committed to joining him?” She sniffed, attempting to scent his fear, but inhaled a lungful of thick smoke that scalded her throat. Tears filled her eyes and a cough racked her chest.

“I’m going to rip you to shreds.” Teeth bared, Sawyer’s upper body heaved while he attempted to unseat her. The hunter had plenty of fight in him. Her wolf’s strength far exceeded that of any human, even a skilled hunter such as a Barrett man.  He gave up obtaining the shotgun and grabbed for her throat with his free hand.

Victoria placed her palm flat on his breastbone and shoved him back.

“Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it all before, and yet I’m still here. I’m starting to think you’re incompetent, Sawyer.”

“Give me a knife. I’ll show you incompetent!”

“Now, why would I do something stupid like that?” Despite her taunting tone, doubt twisted her gut into knots. Her hand remained rock steady. The dagger never wavered; the fine edge of the blade bit into his flesh and drew a thin line of blood across the side of his throat.

He’s Daniel’s brother.

He was also the man who had helped murder her parents and most of her packmates.

The pain of the cut caused Sawyer to grunt; his throat worked while he swallowed, a convulsive clench that betrayed his fear, though his features remained set in a stoic mask.

A hand brushed her wrist, confident and intimate, cool to the touch. Victoria glanced up to stare into a face she knew by heart, every plane and angle committed to memory, although he was far more handsome than her imperfect recollection.

She stiffened.

Impossible! It can’t be.

She gazed into the man’s familiar face, and the entire world beyond his warm brown eyes ceased to exist: the fire, her pack, the man at the business end of her knife—all of it simply stopped.

She blinked, and her surprise faded. Her mind made the logical leap: it was possible.

He’s a ghost.

A strangled snarl emerged from Sawyer’s throat, but Victoria did not look at him. The hunter shouldn’t have been able to see his brother’s ghost. He lacked her gift of spirit sight. She kept a steady grip on the hilt, discouraging him from moving lest he slit his own throat on the blade.

“Daniel?” she whispered. The roar of the inferno engulfed her voice.

A faint smile fluttered across his lips but the expression remained deadly serious. His hand locked tightly about her wrist. Daniel leaned forward. His lips feathered a soft kiss upon the shell of her ear. His honeyed voice murmured as sweet as her memories, causing her excruciating pain, soul deep. She missed him so damned much.

“Not my brother, lover. You can’t kill Sawyer.”

Victoria’s fingers relaxed. The knife fell from her hand. “I won’t, for you.”

Daniel turned his head and looked his brother in the eye. “There’s been enough killing.”

Sawyer’s features contorted in agony and his hand rose, reaching for his brother. “Danny, I—”

Before Sawyer’s hand touched his brother’s face, Daniel’s body lost substance. Energy crackled in the air, and his form shimmered about the edges. His firm grip grew weaker with each passing second until his hand opened, and he released her wrist.

Her eyes filled with tears. “Please, don’t go.”

Daniel looked at her; a sad smile touched his lips. “I’ve got to go, baby.”

She closed her eyes, and tears slid down her cheeks. The hot air of the burning warehouse sucked moisture from her skin. Her aching heart pounded, full and heavy, ready to burst. She opened her eyes and forced a brave smile. She extended her arm and brushed his fingertips. “I miss you.”

His hand closed on her fingers, and he squeezed. A smiled played on his lips.

“I miss you, too,” he said. Then he was gone.

The Rock Star Series… Rocks!

Two great stories from award winning author Sandy Wolters

When One Door Closes Book CoverWhen One Door Closes

Her marriage a disaster, Lilly closes the door to her personal life. Can meeting Bruce open a door to a new life or will her fear shut her off from love?

All Lilly has ever wanted to do is sing, but being an internationally famous superstar has turned her life into a living nightmare. Closing the door on her destructive marriage, she runs to her best friend’s rural home in northern Arizona, hoping to stay out of the public’s eye and sort out her life.

Bruce Silk, a Flagstaff police officer, doesn’t approve of his brother’s rakish rock star lifestyle but still keeps an eye on his remote home when he’s out on tour. More than once he’s had to arrest groupies who invaded the property to steal some small memento from the famous Clay Silk. So why does he feel sucker-punched when he slaps the cuffs on this latest trespasser?

When One Door Closes is the first book in the “Rock Star Series.”  Each book in this series is stand alone.

Excerpt:

            Curiosity gripped him. Who was this woman his philandering brother seemed to care so much about? Bruce watched from the kitchen doorway as she finished preparing their hot cocoa. Her small size seemed incongruent with the amount of sensuality exuding from her. No wonder she’s Clay’s favorite, he thought as a pang of jealousy swept over him.

            Dominating the room, her sensuous presence relaxed his cop perceptions and stimulated his male senses to a full appreciation for the view in front of him. Looking at her feet, he realized that despite the six-inch heels, the top of her head had only come up to his chest while he was handcuffing her. Damn, he thought, she is one fine woman. Who the hell wears those kinds of shoes sitting on a back deck all by themselves?

            Observing her skintight, leather-clad legs, lust filled him as his eyes and his imagination quickly moved to gaze at her curvaceous southern regions. Staring at her beautifully rounded bottom, his mind swiftly moved to a destination that he had not been fortunate enough to visit lately, even though it wasn’t for lack of opportunity. A lascivious grin, coveted by most of the women around these parts, crept across his face.

            Lilly turned to find him leering at her, locked away in his own private daydream. Still it was a look she would recognize anywhere. She’d seen it countless times but never really appreciated it until tonight. Too bad, she thought, that I’m not the type of person to have a one-night stand, unlike my husband. A stab of fresh pain hit her in the chest, and she had to catch the sorrowful moan before it left her lips. No. I’m not going to do that to myself—not anymore. She had an inkling that if she let him, this man could make her feel better for a while at least. Letting these dangerous thoughts slip away, she cleared her throat to get his attention.

            He came back from wherever his imagination had just taken him to find her smiling sweetly at him. As she moved toward him with the mugs in hand, he was grateful she had let him off the hook so easily. There was no way in hell he wanted to explain where his daydream had taken the two of them. It was bad enough that she obviously knew that his thoughts were lustful—no need for her to know how much further they had taken him.

Read entire first chapter HERE.

“The book made me laugh, made me mad, made me feel the pain of the characters at times, that kinda adds up to a good book that is well written.” – Douglas C. Meeks

“This is the fifth story written by award winning Author Sandy Wolters. Her finely honed, excellent writing style swoops the reader right into her tales of romance, mystery, struggles, and tenderness.” – Nancy of Utah

“Take these three people, combine them with one nasty, good for nothing, succubus of a husband, rabid fans, a no nonsense housekeeper and a big mushy dog and you have the makings for a delightful way to spend a lazy day enjoying yourself with a good story.” – Penelope Adams, PRG

” There are so many emotions in this book, You are happy, sad , angry and laughing in a matter of pages. You won’t put the book down. The only sad thing is that it has to end.” – Patricia (Goodreads)

Another Door Opens

Another Door Opens Book Cover

Can a man who has never lacked for women in his life meet the challenge when the woman he truly desires wants nothing to do with him?

Clayton Silk has reveled in the attention he receives as a rock star. His only close friend is Lilly, another international rock star, but she has chosen to step back from the spotlight and enjoy her relationship with his brother Bruce, which has started Clay thinking about his life.

When he decides to take a break from touring and spend some time with Bruce and Lilly, he meets a woman who drives him to distraction, a woman who resists all his usual charms, and makes him wonder what it will take to break down her resistance before he loses his mind. As he discovers, it may just cost him her life.

Excerpt:

They were both startled when Barney picked that moment to come running through the house. He moved back and forth in front of them with urgency. When all he got was curious looks, he stopped and gave them both an inquisitive stare.

Nancy reached for the dog. “What is it, boy?”

Barney started to whine quietly, his big blue eyes almost hidden from view because of his wrinkles, but still able to convey his consternation through his expressive face. Nancy set her beer on the table and moved forward so her knees were almost touching the mammoth-sized dog. “He looks like he’s in distress, Clay. What’s wrong with him?”

At that moment, both Nancy and Clay heard a faint voice. “Help! Help!”

Nancy jumped back and practically landed on Clay’s lap. She grabbed his leg and held on for dear life. Never taking her eyes from the dog, she yelled, “Did you hear that? Clay, did you hear that? Did Barney just actually say help?”

Something akin to terror sparked in Clay’s eyes as he looked at the enormous dog in front of him. Shit, he thought, this can’t be happening! Did the damn dog actually find the spooks and get himself possessed? Unnerved because he no longer knew what to expect with the disembodied voices and where they were coming from, Clay’s voice broke when he spoke. “Barney?”

Panic set in, and Nancy’s fight or flight instinct raised its ugly head as the dog moved slowly toward her with a look of desperation in his expressive eyes. The death grip she had on Clay’s leg would definitely leave bruises.

The beast gradually opened his mouth and spit a slimy, mucous-covered, green mass of feathers out on her cozy, white bathrobe. Nancy jumped and gasped for air at the sight of the unmoving bird covered in goo and lying limply in her lap, its bony little legs straight up in the air with talons clinched tight in a death grip.

Nancy and Clay, stunned at the gift Barney had brought them, stayed perfectly still, not knowing what to do next or how to react.

Barney nudged the bird with his cold nose and whined. The bird chose that moment to move as fast as possible to get away from its captor. It turned quickly, gained its footing, and ran as fast as its little legs would carry it up the bathrobe. With determination, it dove down the front opening of the robe and found respite between the warmth of Nancy’s bare breasts.

Jumping up, Nancy stood there, stunned, not knowing what to do, arms spread wide, fists clenched and chest heaving, her body stiffened with pure panic. Her eyes, filled with hysteria, darted toward Clay, whose eyes crinkled with humor. He had his fist pressed against his mouth to stop the laughter, but one look at her standing there, ready to freak out, and he burst out laughing.

The bird chose that same moment to stick its head out of the opening of the bathrobe. “Help,” it yelled once again. She felt it shaking with fear and realized the poor thing was only trying to protect itself. Barney tried to reach out with his nose to comfort his newfound toy, but the bird quickly retreated back into the warmth and safety of Nancy’s breasts.

Read entire first chapter HERE.

“What a beautiful love story.” – Teresa Jensen

A Magnificent Story. This is a fun story to read as it has moments of unforgettable humor, paranormal events, a massive dog named Barney who saves an injured small bird, romance, and a dominating housekeeper… Read this story, you’ll love it!” – Nancy of Utah

“Ms Wolters does not disappoint writing another heartfelt love story, a bit of the paranormal, a scoop of mayhem and a dollop of intrigue.” – Gloria Lakritz, Paranormal Romance Guild

ABOUT THE AUTHOR    

Sandy Wolters is a prolific writer with five other novels to date.  Soul Mates, her steamy time travel romance, won first place in the Paranormal Romance Guild’s 2013 Reviewer Choice Awards for Paranormal Romance-Novella. Find out more about her and her writing at these links:

And check out all of her titles:

  • Maggie Mae – Steamy contemporary romance with a ghostly paranormal twist
  • Justice For Emily – Steamy romantic suspense/crime drama with a ghostly paranormal twist
  • A Brother’s Love – Contemporary romantic suspense
  • Soul Mates – Award winning, steamy time travel romance
  • Rock Star Series:
    • Book 1 – When One Door Closes – Steamy contemporary romance (stand alone) – Bruce and Lilly’s story
    • Book 2 – Another Door Opens – (Conclusion to series) Steamy contemporary romance with a ghostly paranormal twist (stand alone) – Clay and Nancy’s story

Paranormally Yours–an Anthology of Great Stories

PYebook_flatSeven of today’s hottest paranormal authors come together to bring you a boxed set guaranteed to keep you warm on a cold winter’s night. Do shifters make you howl? Or do you prefer the bite of a vampire? Perhaps the controlling hand of a demi-god is more your style. Paranormally Yours has a story—or seven—to set your pulse racing.

Available at:

FEATURING:

The Reluctant Gift by Sotia Lazu

Salina has earned her one-year vacation on Earth, damn it! She’s been an exemplary sentinel for her pack, and saved all the universes.

Too bad she hasn’t been very effective at kicking Aherin to the curb. She had one little lapse in judgement—sleeping with the annoyingly persistent vampire—and now he just won’t leave.

As if that wasn’t enough, her holiday plans are spoiled, her world is turned upside down, and she’s going to miss out on a yummy family dinner, all because she’s kidnapped on Christmas Eve.

By Santa.

Author links:

Dreaming of a Wolf by Sofia Grey

Alun was Olivia’s first, and he was supposed to be her forever. After a tragic accident steals him away, Olivia wonders how she can ever be whole again.

When he starts talking to her in her dreams, she has to ask herself: is she going mad with grief, or is there still a chance for their forever?

www.SofiaGrey.com

Catch me blogging with Allyson Lindt at www.GeminiGirls.com

Red Dawn by Ann Gimpel

Llyr is a whale shifter with a big problem. The seas are dying, poisoned by heavy metal contamination and barrels of trash. In a bold and desperate move, he and his mate Galatea, the Sea Witch, hatch up magic to allow him to spend as long as he needs to on Earth.

Masquerading as a marine biologist, Llyr signs on with a firm whose mission is to save the oceans. When his boss turns out to have malevolent underpinnings, Llyr returns to the sea for answers. With death lurking behind every corner, he and Galatea find themselves boxed into an impossible situation.

Author Links:

Courting Mortality by Loralie Hall

Eli’s spent eternity thwarting the same family curse that granted his brother, Loki, ever-lasting fame. Eli kind of got screwed in that one. His plan to stay single and detached has worked for several millennia. And then he meets Marley. She’s making him abandon all his resolutions, except the one that never lets him forget the curse. Falling for her means her death, and he won’t let that happen.

Author Links

For Heaven’s Cakes by Diane Saxon

Twelve years of living in Ireland smoothed Beau’s rough edges, and hard work as a construction worker made him a wealthy man. The call of his pack is stronger than he can resist though, and he isn’t averse to returning to show his small home town in America what he’s made of himself.

What he doesn’t anticipate is meeting the local pharmacist’s daughter – in his wolf form. By day, he renovates the pharmacy, and tries to cajole the lush assistant into having dinner with him. By night he watches Catherine bake her fantastic creations and blossom through her art.

Sleeping on her bed each night in his wolf form isn’t exactly ideal, but how does he tell her the wolf she’s come to love, is the man she lusts over?

Author Links:

Uncaged by Christy Gissendaner

Mixed breed vampire shifter, Gabe Moncrief, has made a name for himself in the Cage, an arena where only the strong survive. He’s training for the fight of his life–and vengeance–when Rain Pettis appears. As an Elemental – a supernatural being descended from Zeus himself – she holds the key to his future in the Cage.

As much as she loves her brothers, Rain needs to break away from their overwhelming influence to become her own person. Gabe is the only shifter capable of standing up to them. But when Rain learns a secret that tests her loyalty to her family, she has a decision to make. Does she risk it all for love? And can she bear watching Gabe endanger his life within the Cage?

Author Links

 

Pursuing Grace by Anita Cox

Though Grace McGovern just graduated college, she’s restless, has no idea what to do with her life and to top it off, she finds herself single and unsatisfied with relationships in general.

Roman intends to claim Grace and make her his mate and part of his pack. He’s searched for her for five years and now she’s within his longing grasp, apart from one minor problem. She has no idea she’s a wolf.

As Grace tries to identify and cope with her inner wolf, she also needs to figure out the unprecedented and undeniable pull Roman has on her. Could he finally offer her the fulfilling relationship for which she’s been yearning?

Author Links

 

 

 

20th Annual Holt Medallion Contest

FROM THE VIRGINIA ROMANCE WRITERS:

Dear Author

The Virginia Romance Writers chapter of Romance Writers of America® is proud to announce our 20th Annual HOLT Medallion Contest for published authors. We would be honored to have you join our efforts to recognize and promote excellence in romantic fiction by entering your 2014 copyright romance book(s) in our competition.

The HOLT Medallion Award was named for VRW’s first elected president, Cynthia Holt, and serves as the acronym for Honoring Outstanding Literary Talent. Pewter medallions are awarded to the authors whose books are selected by a panel of romance readers as the best in each of twelve categories. What makes the HOLT unique is our purpose of reflecting the actual marketplace. Judging panels are comprised only of avid romance readers who participate with enthusiasm and sincerity. They’re looking for a good read, a book they would buy and an author they would follow. Their judging decisions reflect these inclinations. No editors, agents or writers are eligible to judge.

Eligible titles are romance novels, or novels with a strong element of romance, with a copyright date within the year preceding the competition (i.e., for the 2015 contest, books must have a 2014 copyright).

The eleven categories in which authors may enter are:

  • Historical
  • Mainstream/Single Title Contemporary
  • Long Contemporary
  • Short Contemporary
  • Long Inspirational
  • Short Inspirational
  • Paranormal/Time Travel/Futuristic/Fantasy
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Extra Spicy/Erotic
  • Novel with Strong Romantic Elements
  • Romance Novella

In addition, we have two bonus categories:

  • Best First Book ($5 additional fee)
  • Best Book by a Virginia Author (free for current Virginia residents)

Finalists will be announced on May 9th. Winners and Awards of Merit recipients will be announced at the June Meeting of the Virginia Romance Writers Chapter on June 13, 2015. They will also be published in a full page ad in RWR and Romantic Times magazine. In addition to the medallion (winners only), the winner and finalists receive a certificate.

The 2015 HOLT Medallion Contest will be accepting entries from December 1, 2014 through January 15, 2015.  Please visit www.virginiaromancewriters.com for rules and entry form.

Sincerely,

Lori Stacy
2015 HOLT Medallion Contest Coordinator
HOLTMedallion@gmail.com