Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Tall, Dark and Paranormal Box Set

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We are so excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for the TALL, DARK, AND PARANORMAL Box Set with 10 full-length Paranormal Romances by 10 bestselling authors! This box set is only $.99 for a limited time! Go grab your copy NOW!

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Release Day Blitz: Mine To Have by Cynthia Eden


Mine To Have
(Mine Series, Book #5)
by Cynthia Eden

Blurb:
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Cynthia Eden continues her sexy “Mine” romantic suspense series with…MINE TO HAVE.

Is he a hero…or the villain?

When Elizabeth Ward sees Saxon Black rushing into the backroom of The Blade—a low end bar in Miami—she isn’t sure if he’s there to save the day…or just to raise some hell. But she’s being held hostage, and he’s her best hope of survival. Within minutes, she’s away from the jerks with the guns and riding fast and hard on the back of Saxon’s motorcycle. 

Death stalks them.

Saxon has been working undercover for far too long. When he finds sexy Elizabeth—with a gun to her head—he knows he will do anything to keep her safe. But once he gets her away from her abductors, the threat to her isn’t over. Someone has put a price on Elizabeth’s head, and if Saxon can’t keep her safe from the danger stalking her, then she’ll be dead.

Their lives are both on the line.

As their enemies close in, Elizabeth and Saxon must go on the run. And the longer they are together, the hotter their attraction for one another seems to burn. Saxon vows not to let anyone hurt her, no matter what he has to do, because he’s falling fast for Elizabeth. He’ll stop the killers on her trail, and then he’ll have her. Forever.

MINE TO HAVE.




Available for purchase at

         


Excerpt

Cover Reveal: Her Avenging Angel (Her Angel #7) by Felicity Heaton


Her Avenging Angel
(Her Angel Series, #7)
by Felicity Heaton

Blurb:
Once a proud angel of Heaven, Nevar is now a servant of Hell, bound to a new master—the King of Demons. Consumed by darkness and driven to seek revenge, he set in motion a series of events that awakened the Great Destroyer, a force that will bring about the apocalypse. Now, he is the creature’s master and the fate of our world rests in the hands of an angel with only darkness in his heart.

Lost in the mortal realm without any recollection of how she came to be there, Lysia is only aware that she has survived a great battle. When she stumbles into a demon bar, she finds more than a chance to discover what happened to her—she finds a dark and deadly angel warrior who stirs fire in her veins and awakens soul-searing passion she cannot deny.

With the mounting threat of the Great Destroyer, the forces of Heaven and Hell against him, and a band of dangerous angels intent on capturing Lysia on his heels, can Nevar protect the beautiful woman who is light to his darkness and find the strength to save the world?




Release Date: 
October 11th 2014


Excerpt


Lysia hovered by the entrance of the inn, unsure whether to enter or leave. Her stomach gurgled again, making her decision for her. She had to stay. There were colourful glass bottles lining the wall to her right and demons there were serving drinks to people who lined a long black bar. If they had mead and other liquids then perhaps they had food for her.

She moved deeper into the room and everyone turned to stare at her, their eyes wide. She frowned at them all. Why did they stare? She thought them all strange but she wasn't being rude by staring at them. If she hadn't been so hungry, she would have asked them, or forced them to tell her the reason.

She pushed through a group of male demons, all of which were wearing their human forms, and they turned on her. Their growls died as their eyes fell on her and they parted, staring as she passed.

Lysia leaned against the tacky black bar top.

A man walked over to her, tossed a rag over his shoulder, and smiled.

“What’ll it be?”

“I require sustenance.”

He frowned, a puzzled edge to his dark eyes, and shook his head.

Lysia tried again. “I must eat.”

He waved his right hand and another man joined him, a blond with pale eyes.

“Problem?” the blond said.

“Not getting this one,” the brunet responded.

The blond raked his eyes over her, his right brow quirking. “Taking things a bit far, aren't we? You want something?”

She nodded. “I need sustenance.”

He looked at his friend and shrugged. “I don’t understand her.”

What was there to understand? She only wanted food.

Blood.

The two men walked away, serving others who seemed to have no problem ordering what they desired and receiving it. She cursed them and everyone who communicated with them with ease. While she could understand many languages, she could write and speak only one. Without being able to speak to the serving staff, she had no chance of getting blood.

A woman beside her cast a glance her way, looked down at herself, and slipped off her seat and walked away, disappearing into the heavy crowd.

Lysia sighed, perched herself on the seat, and leaned on the bar with her forehead resting on her arms. She was warmer inside this noisy inn but still hungry, and still tired. She needed to feed. How?

A male stopped to her left.

She turned her head towards him and ran her eyes up from the waist of his impeccable crisp black suit to his shoulders and then his face. Vampire. She knew his kind and could see through his façade to the wretched monster beneath. He smiled, his fangs on show to her and his pale blue eyes swirling with ill intentions.

“Having trouble?” The dark-haired vampire leaned his left elbow on the bar beside her and she sat up.

She nodded. “I need to order blood.”

He frowned at her and her heart sank. He didn't understand her either.

“What language is that? I’m afraid I’m not familiar with it. Can you mime what you want?” He shifted closer and she focused hard on every word he said, listening closely so she could grasp the words he used and use them too.

He smiled a little wider, and shifted a little closer. His gaze drifted down to her chest and back up again.

“Mime?” He made a show of using his hands to make shapes.

She was about to do as he asked when he danced his fingers over her left shoulder.

A cold shiver ran over her flesh and skated down her spine.

Lysia flicked her right wrist and hurled him across the room, scattering the crowd and ripping a few shocked gasps from them.

A male further along the bar looked her way.

She froze as her eyes met his, heat pulsing through her, a visceral throb that reached right down to her bones.

The male was handsome, but darkness clung to him, danger that called to her and lured her to him. There was evil in him.

He would know her tongue.

He raised a glass filled with green liquid and tipped his head, causing threads of his silver-white hair to fall and brush his brow. He swept them back and she caught a brief glimpse of tiny horns above his ears. Her belly flipped and heated.

“Kudos for giving Villandry hell,” he said above the thumping music, his deep rumbling voice doing funny things to her insides and turning her knees to rubber.

She presumed Villandry was the name of the vampire now picking himself up off the floor across the busy room. She wasn't sure what kudos meant though.

Lysia swallowed her trembling heart, slipped off her seat and approached the pale-haired male with all the confidence she could muster when he was staring at her, his jade eyes burning into her body and setting her aflame.

Rousing strange feelings within her.

She halted beside him.

He swivelled to face her, set his drink down on the bar but kept his left hand on the stem of the elegant glass, and raised an eyebrow.

“Why are you naked?”

He held his right hand out and black material appeared in it. He offered it to her.

Lysia took it and stared at it, unsure what to do with it.

The male huffed, released his drink and stood, managing to tower over her despite the fact she was taller than the other females present. He moved closer to her and took the material back, but she didn't notice it leaving her hands. The heat radiating from his big body washed over her, cocooning her in warmth and strengthening the feelings stirring in the pit of her belly.

She stared down at the strip of cut, hard muscles visible between the armoured plates around his hips and his breastplate. A warrior. Her heart accelerated. Her breathing quickened. She dragged her eyes back up to his face and found he wasn't looking at her. He busied himself with slipping her arms into the garment he had made for her and she busied herself with memorising every sculpted plane of his face, from his straight nose and strong jaw, to his firm lips as they compressed into a mulish line.

She inched her gaze up higher, to the stunning jade eyes that were focused on their work with an intensity that made her ache inside with a desire to have them locked on hers with the same ferocity.

They shifted to meet hers and then dropped, a fascinating glimmer of shyness in them that lasted only a heartbeat before coldness swept in to wash it away.

He tugged the material closed over her front and tied a belt around her waist, fastening the garment in place.

“There,” he murmured, “now people will stop looking at you funnily, and you can stop looking at me funnily.”

He stepped back, a scowl darkening his striking eyes. She hadn't been looking at him strangely. She was merely fascinated by him. Now that she was close to him, she could sense the depth of the darkness within him but something else countered it, something she could only describe as good. There was more to the male before her than she had anticipated, and it made the pull she felt towards him grow stronger.

She looked herself over. The sleeves were too long, concealing her hands, and the material reached her ankles. The garment covered all of her, leaving nothing on show. Had that been his intention?

“What do you want?” he said, bringing her focus back to him.

She lifted her eyes to meet his. “Blood.”

He back peddled, almost falling over his seat, a flicker of something dark crossing his handsome face. His eyes shone pure violet.

He had eyes like hers.

And he understood her.

“Leave me alone,” he barked and snatched up his drink with a shaky hand. He downed it, slammed the glass back onto the bar top, and shoved it forwards, away from him. “I’m not interested.”

Lysia frowned and shrank back. Why was he rejecting her company? He had given her something to wear, had seemed concerned about her, and now he was pushing her away. She clutched the robe over her chest in both hands and risked a step closer to him instead.

“I only desire blood… but I cannot order it.”

His violet gaze darted to her and away again. A shadow settled on his troubled features, turning them grim. He looked down into her eyes for long seconds, stealing all of her attention, sucking it away from the room and her surroundings.

He raised his hand and she flinched away, anticipating the strike.

It didn't happen.

She squinted, remaining held away from him, and looked up into his eyes.

He cocked a single pale eyebrow and waved his left hand. The brunet male behind the bar came to them. He had been signalling the serving staff.

Lysia grimaced.

She had much to learn about this realm.

“Blood, straight up,” the white-haired male said.

The servant’s expression turned wary and he shifted foot to foot. “I’m not allowed to serve you blood, remember? You made me promise.”

He had? She canted her head, studying both men. Why had the man asked the servant not to give him blood? Did he drink it as she did?

The pale-haired warrior scrubbed a hand down his face and sighed. He pressed both hands into the bar, digging his black claws into the wood, and leaned forwards, closer to the man.

“It is not for me. It is for the woman.”

The brunet shrugged. “She has to order it then.”

The warrior tipped his head back, screwed his eyes shut and sighed, and she felt he was searching for calm. He drew several slow deep breaths before opening his eyes again and fixing them back on the barman.

“I do not think she knows how,” he said.

“I tried, but the man didn't understand me.” That brought his gaze back to her and she shivered under the intensity of it.

“That would be because you are speaking a language this man doesn't know… one I don’t have a fucking clue about either but for some godforsaken reason I can understand you.” He shoved his fingers through his hair, clawing it back until it tugged at his forehead, smoothing the skin, and ground his teeth. He released his head, dropped his hands to his sides, and huffed as he leaned over, bringing his face close to hers. “Repeat after me if you desire… blood.”

She nodded, noting that it had taken a lot of effort for him to speak that final word. Why?

She leaned closer to him, trying to shut out the noise of the room so she could hear every syllable that left his lips.

She watched how they moved as he spoke. How his tongue moved. How his teeth moved.

Her focus shattered.

He had fangs.

Made for drinking blood.

Yet he had asked the man not to serve it to him.

And she had asked him to speak of it, something which had evidently pained him.

She stepped back and his pale eyebrows dipped low above his now-green eyes.

“I’m sorry. I have troubled you with my request.” She went to turn away but he caught her arm in a vice-like grip, holding her firm. She looked down at his black fingers around her and the claws that blended into the robe he had given her, and then up into his eyes.

He shook his head and spoke again, slower this time. “A glass of blood, please.”

Lysia swallowed to wet her parched throat and spoke the sounds he had made, repeating them several times over and growing in confidence when he smiled, making her heart flutter in her chest. He nodded and jerked his head towards the brunet behind the bar.

She turned to face him. “A glass of blood, puh-leeese.”

“We’ll work on that last bit,” the warrior muttered beside her, a touch of warmth in his deep voice.

The man nodded. “That’s ten quid.”

Ten quid?

What was a quid and where did she find ten of them?

“Money,” the brunet said.

She looked down at herself. As the warrior had clearly mentioned, and this man knew, she had come here naked. She had no coin.

The warrior huffed and slammed two pieces of reddish paper down on the bar top. “It’s on me. Plus my usual.”

The bartender looked displeased and Lysia feared he wouldn't give her the blood because the warrior was paying for it, and had requested this man not serve him blood.

She bared her fangs and growled at the brunet, preparing to attack.

“Down girl.” The white-haired warrior caught hold of her arm again, wrapping long fingers around it, and heat blazed through her.

She looked across at him, her eyes wide. He glared at the bartender.

The man heaved a sigh, swiped the money off the bar, and walked away. A sharp spear shot through her heart and she tried to pull away from the warrior to follow the man, afraid he wouldn't return.

The warrior’s grip on her arm tightened and he pulled her closer, until her backside bumped against his thighs. An achy shiver bolted through her and she spun to face him, catching the shock in his eyes before he covered it. He had felt it too.

“He will be back with your drink and then you can leave me alone,” he said in a gruff tone, released her and sat back on his seat, turning his profile to her.

Lysia’s heartbeat began to climb, awareness of the people around her creeping back in. The vampire was on his feet again and glaring at her. Others stared her way too. Some of them not mortal. She didn't like how they watched her, not when she was weak.

Only the warrior felt as if he wasn't a threat to her and that he would protect her rather than seek to harm her.

She didn't want to leave his side.

The brunet returned as the warrior had said, bringing an elegant glass of green liquid for him and one filled with dark liquid. He set that one down in front of her and moved off to serve another patron.

The warrior eyed her expectantly.

He wanted her to leave.

Lysia sucked down a breath for courage and reminded herself that she was a warrior too and as powerful as any of these beings on her best day. Today was not her best day though and it was wreaking havoc on her courage, leaving her feeling vulnerable. She was injured, starving, and everything around her felt so alien and unfamiliar.

Except for him.

He made her feel safe.

She made sure she had all of his attention before she whispered, “Allow me to stay. The men here mean me harm.”

His face darkened, his jade eyes swirling into blazing violet, and he slid his deadly gaze towards those staring at her.

She felt their eyes leave her.

“Sit,” he growled, more a command than a request, and she obeyed.

She took the stool beside him, swivelled to face the bar and picked up her glass. She sipped the blood, her gums itching and fangs aching to descend. She wanted to gulp it down but it was such a small quantity and she didn't think the warrior would buy her more.

It wasn't enough to appease her hunger. It would only take the edge off it.

She would need more and her heart said she knew where she wanted her next meal to come from.

Her gaze slid to the warrior, settling on his strong neck and the pulse hammering there, powerful and steady, a beat that called to her.

She wanted to bite him.

About the Author

Felicity Heaton writes passionate paranormal romance books as Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton. In her books she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons!

If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena  Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, Felicity Heaton’s best selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series she writes as F E Heaton or any of her stand alone vampire romance books she writes as Felicity Heaton. Or if you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try Felicity Heaton’s new Vampire Erotic Theatre series.

In 2011, five of her six paranormal romance books received Top Pick awards from Night Owl Reviews, Forbidden Blood was nominated as Best PNR Vampire Romance 2011 at The Romance Reviews, and many of her releases received five star reviews from numerous websites.


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

            

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: "Rules of Ascension" by Suzy Knight





Rules Of Ascension
By Suzy Knight

Blurb: 
As a child, Lady Elsabeth Durnfir dreamed of marrying a prince, but after seeing her elder sister’s personality make a complete 180 degree turn after her engagement to Crown Prince Henry of Estoria is announced, Elsabeth has traded in her childish hopes of a fairytale wedding for the equally unlikely hope of inheriting Durnfir Manor and the surrounding land.

Life at court is not something she is interested in, or good at, but in order to help prepare for her sister Alicia’s wedding, Elsabeth must live at court for an entire year. As well as trying to fit in at court while living up to her sister’s reputation, Elsabeth has a secret to keep. But, court is full of secrets that are all about to come to light.
How will Elsabeth survive court without destroying her family’s reputation—and how can she get Prince Frederick, the renowned rake, to stop teasing her?


Available for purchase at

   

Excerpt


The high table had never been so full. The king and queen sat in the center, as always, with Georgiana on the queen’s left and Henry on the king’s right. However, Alicia was in Frederick’s normal place at Henry’s side, leaving Frederick no choice but to sit between Elsabeth and Georgiana, not willing to subject one as innocent as Elsabeth to Georgiana’s stern gaze of disapproval.

Food was served within moments of him sitting down; the kitchen had pulled out all the stops tonight. Frederick watched as his plate became laden with thick cuts of roast beef; golden, crispy potatoes, and thick gravy. The servants knew his habits well, giving him only the smallest helping of greens but loading him with still-warm rolls of bread and the thickest of the beef slices they had.

Not long after Frederick demolished his first roll, the king called for a toast to the happy couple. This was a precedent that would set the theme for the evening, for every few minutes there was yet another toast. Frederick sipped at his wine, sometimes only pretending to drink, knowing the evening meal was going to be long the toasts were not likely to stop, and he hadn’t quite recovered his head from the night before. However, after the fourth or fifth toast, he noticed Elsabeth swaying a little in her chair as a servant dashed forward to refill her wine goblet. The flush in her cheeks confirmed his suspicions as another lord stood to toast the couple. The prince leaned in to Elsabeth and whispered in her ear. “Pace yourself, sip the wine or simply pretend to drink. If you get too drunk, you’ll fall out of your chair, and then what would Lissy say?”

Elsabeth hiccupped, her big blue eyes staring at him from under her dark, long lashes. Seeming to have to concentrate on her motions, she nodded and put the cup down, glaring at it suspiciously. A smile tugged at the prince’s lips as he watched her frowning at her cup as though the cup itself were to blame for her inebriation.

Georgiana leaned past Frederick to glower at the young woman. “Is she drunk?” she hissed, eyebrows knitted tightly with judgment. Frederick felt that same knot in his stomach that he had felt earlier when Elsabeth had floundered under the queen’s questioning. It was almost a protective feeling, which didn’t make sense, as he didn’t know her at all. Besides, I never go after innocents—I only ever pursue women who understand that I’m not promising anything.

Nonetheless, he turned in his chair and rested his chin on his hand, careful to position his elbow quite obviously on the table, blocking Georgiana’s view. His distraction worked. “Get your elbow off of the table at once! Are you a heathen?” Georgiana’s whisper could cleave wood, the tone was so sharp. With a flash, she hit Frederick’s elbow with the bottom of her fork, causing him to curse and rub at the offending body part.

“Jeez, Georgiana. Is there really a need to turn to violence?”

“It’s all you men seem to understand.” She sniffed and turned away, focusing on her own meal once more.

New to the castle, the servants played it safe by putting a little of everything on Elsabeth’s plate. But, Frederick noticed her request second helpings of everything except the gravy. If the way she gazed longingly at the steaming tureen was anything to go by, he suspected her refusal of the gravy was in accordance with her wish to lessen the chance of spilling on herself.

Frederick sighed and sat back in his chair, watching Elsabeth play with the food on her plate. He felt himself smiling again as he watched her keep dropping her potatoes, her coordination suffering greatly from the amount of alcohol she consumed. There was something endearing about her, but it’s not like he could bed his future sister-in-law to get her out of his system.

“Will you tell me something?” he asked, leaning forward to take her fork from her slack grip. She pouted at him, following the fork with her gaze.

“Sure,” she mumbled, watching as he speared a golden potato and waved it tauntingly before her.

“Why were you so floundered by my mother’s question? Surely there are things you enjoy doing?”

“Of course,” sighed Elsabeth, gaze still focused on the potato he held out. “But I promised Alicia I wouldn't tell about the embroidery and nothing else I do is very ladylike.”

“What do you mean by ‘not very ladylike’?” He fed her the potato and speared another.

“Well, I teach the village children to read, and in return they teach me dancing. Alicia says I shouldn’t dance like a commoner. I like to walk through the gardens while the dew is fresh, but it ruins my dresses. I don’t much care for fashion, but I like sewing.” She opened her mouth patiently, expecting a reward for her answer. He obliged, holding out the second potato. Spearing a third, he twirled it while he contemplated his next question.

“Why can’t you tell anyone about your embroidery? That’s a very ladylike hobby. You must have seen how much my mother enjoyed the piece Lady Alicia made.”

Elsabeth shook her head and wobbled slightly in the chair. “I have a secret. Lissy made me promise.”

“I won’t tell anyone, I promise,” he whispered, leaning closer and teasing her with the potato, touching it to her lips and pulling it away before she could bite. A swipe of her tongue across her lips almost made him forget why he was trying to get information.

With a moan, Elsabeth nodded. “Okay, but you can’t tell anyone! Lissy can’t sew at all, so I can’t tell anyone that I can, or they might notice that my work is identical to the work that Lissy claimed as her own.” With a triumphant grin, she leaned forward and snatched the bite of potato, chewing happily.

Frederick sat back in his chair, watching Elsabeth as she reclaimed her fork and enthusiastically attacked her vegetables. Why would Alicia lie about that? It’s not as though Henry would care if she were able to sew or not. Yet she made her sister promise to keep it a secret? Frederick didn’t think Elsabeth was lying, but it gave him something to think about. He knew how the court worked, a skill with embroidery got you close to the queen—could Alicia have planned it all in order to get herself close to Henry? He shook his head clear of such thoughts. Henry is cautious, and Georgiana is like a hawk. There’s no way anyone would be able to trick their way into the royal family.

He focused on Elsabeth once more, smiling as he watched her eating with such exuberance. She seemed completely at ease, now that her inhibitions had melted away. It was hard not to laugh at her disastrous attempts to feed herself, her coordination having suffered greatly, but he didn't think he could feed her again. Not if she was going to moan in pleasure with every bite.

When the meal was finished, it was time to dance. Queen Charlotte and King George followed Lady Alicia and Crown Prince Henry out onto the floor. Georgiana had disappeared again, which left Elsabeth with Frederick. He helped her out of her chair, trying not to let others notice how heavily she leaned on him. At least she isn't tripping over her dress anymore. The music started before they reached the floor, where the tables had been pushed aside to make a dancing area. Other couples joined the royal family, giving Frederick the chance to pull her in closer than was appropriate. Only because I need to be able to hold her upright, that’s all there is to it, he told himself, ignoring the curious glance Henry shot across the room.

Their fingers were entwined and his other hand rested on her lower back, his thumb gently rubbing small patterns. He was careful to move slowly and not to turn her too often, but he couldn't help the grin that spread across his face as he watched her bite her lip in concentration. “Are you doubting me again, Ellie?” he whispered, making her head snap up. She glared at him.

“My name is Elsabeth. And I've never once doubted you, so there.” She stuck her tongue out at him, and he struggled to quiet his laughter. He tugged her closer so her hips were pressed against his.

“I’m sorry, Elsabeth, I’m glad to be thought of so highly by such a discerning young lady.” She shivered and looked up, her eyelids fluttering with the effort to keep them open.

“Are you teasing me?” she said, her head tilted to one side like a curious puppy.

He smiled, his gaze locking with hers. “Never.”


About The Author

Suzy Knight is an average English girl, who after completing a degree in boring business management decided to travel halfway around the world to the land of kpop and kimchi to be a teacher.
 
Whilst in Korea, Suzy rediscovered her passion for writing and managed to write the novel Love and War in between working at her academy and volunteering with animal rescue. Two years later and she’s back in England with her rescued Korean puppy, Panda.
 
Now she is working on her next novels, while training Panda to be less nervous. 
You can find Suzy at
 
         

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Americana Fairy Tale by Lex Chase



 Americana Fairy Tale 
(Fairy Tales of the Open Road #1)
by 
Lex Chase

Blurb:
Modern fairy-tale princess Taylor Hatfield has problems. One: He’s a guy. Two: His perfect brother Atticus is the reincarnation of Snow White. Three: Taylor has no idea which princess he is supposed to be. Four: Taylor just left his prince (a girl) at the altar. Despite his enchanted lineage, Taylor is desperate to find his Happily Ever After away from magic, witches, and stuffy traditions. Regrettably, destiny has other plans for him. Dammit.

When word reaches Taylor that Idi the Witchking has captured Atticus, Taylor is determined to save his brother. He enlists the help of rakish and insufferable Corentin Devereaux, likewise of enchanted lineage. A malicious spell sends Taylor and Corentin on a road trip through the kitschy nostalgia of roadside Americana. To save Atticus, they must solve the puzzles put forth by Idi the Witchking. As they struggle, Taylor and Corentin’s volatile partnership sparks a flash of something more. But princesses have many enemies, and Taylor must keep his wits about him because there’s nothing worse than losing your heart… or your head.




Available to purchase 





Excerpt




“I’m getting a shower,” Taylor said and quickly shuffled into the bathroom. In the silence, Taylor pressed his back to the door and slid to the floor. He clamped both hands around the crotch of his shorts and hissed through clenched teeth, “Stop, stop, stop, please, stop.”
He had to stop thinking about his dream. And thinking about Corentin in that way. Corentin wasn’t even his type! And Corentin’s type was clearly not a raging homo-sheckshual. By all of Taylor’s understanding, Corentin’s breed of redneck was of the misogynistic racist variety. Taylor paused. Was he just telling himself that? Taylor mentally felt around the edges of the dream. He flinched with the dirty feeling.
Shower. He needed a shower. Now.
He picked himself up off the floor, then staggered to the tub. The enamel had seen better days, with that lovely rusty ring around it. The shower curtain seemed to be a repository for all assorted natures of DNA. Taylor gingerly touched it in an effort to move it just out of the way enough to turn the faucet. Scuffed up and mottled with rust, even the faucet made him wince. He ripped off a sheaf of cheap toilet paper to use to turn the faucet on. First the water belched into the tub, then after a few rude bubbling gurgles, ran in a steady stream. It wasn’t particularly warm, however. Taylor surmised he didn’t really need a hot shower anyway.
He disrobed, dropping his clothes in a heap on the floor. But on second consideration, he didn’t have anything else to change into. What he had on his back was it. Like his cum-stained cargo shorts. Yuck. He scooped his clothes off the floor and hung up his shirt on the towel rack. He’d have to do something about his shorts, because they’d smell and get uncomfortably crusty. He chuckled. He would never have predicted how contentious he’d become about cleanliness until he only had one change of clothes for the foreseeable future.
As the tub faucet ran to get some marginable level of lukewarm, he cranked the faucet in the sink. He let the water run over the crotch of his new shorts and scrubbed them as best he could with the questionable cracked soap bar.
Corentin knocked once on the door. “Come on, man. Gotta pee.”
“Hold your horses,” Taylor huffed. “Let me get in the shower first. Great Storyteller Almighty.”
Taylor hustled and wrung out his shorts. He hung them also on the towel rack and finally hopped into the shower before poor pitiful Corentin could have an accident on the floor. Some self-reliant huntsman he was. Couldn’t he go out back and take a piss on a tree? Of course, there would likely need to be some nature of tree on the premises.
Taylor jerked the curtain across the tub for privacy and instantly regretted taking a fistful of it in such haste. “Okay! It’s safe.”
“I heard princesses were prissy, but I didn’t think it applied to male princesses,” Corentin said as he walked in.
Taylor could see the outline of his body through the haze of the shower curtain. He pushed himself back against the far wall to gain some distance. A small gap remained between the curtain and the shower wall, and he carefully peeked. With a familiar clanking of a belt buckle followed by a zipper, Taylor instead sent his gaze upward to Corentin’s face and his bare shoulders. Corentin had done away with his shirt, and Taylor’s face heated with the view. Corentin was lean, like a panther, his tattooed skin pulled tight over his biceps and hard abs. He finished, flushed, and turned away to zip his pants. Taylor pressed his fingers to his lips at the sight of the rise of Corentin’s tight rear as he shifted to the sink and washed his hands.
He studied himself in the mirror while Taylor stared through the shower curtain.
Corentin swung open the door and called behind him, “Don’t use all the hot water.”
“O-oh-okay,” Taylor croaked, his face hot from gawking.
The door shut with a click, and Taylor sighed with the relief. He looked down at himself in disappointment. Taylor was filthy from dirt, sweat, and whatever else was lurking in Corentin’s disgusting truck. He turned, reaching for the cracked soap bar. The blacked grooves in the soap made him reconsider. He reached for the mini Johnson & Johnson shampoo bottle and uncapped it. After a careful sniff, he tried to make sure it wasn’t rancid and questioned if it was possible for shampoo to go rancid. Figuring he would chance it, he scrubbed himself down with the terrible No More Tears formula.
He breathed one more time, trying to cope with the lukewarm water, and then decided it was time to face the reality of a nasty motel room with a man he didn’t trust who made him blush. He shut off the water and carefully maneuvered out of the shower without touching the petri dish that served as a curtain.
Taylor considered his clothes. His shirt could use airing out, and his shorts were a definite no. His only option was a towel around the waist. He didn’t even like that option in high school, let alone in the middle of nowhere with the current company. Ringo was there, though. That made it better. Ringo would save him.
Covering himself, Taylor took a breath. On a mental count of three, he turned the doorknob.
And the chill of the overworked window unit hit him square in the bare chest.
Fuck,” Taylor gasped and scuttled to the bed. He immediately wrapped himself in the threadbare blanket, which didn’t help at all. He had a string of curses on his tongue when he finally glanced up and saw Corentin.
More specifically, saw Corentin’s tattooed torso.
Corentin, on the other hand, busied himself with making notes in his monstrosity of a book. His brow would furrow every time he underlined something with a determined gesture across the page. He seemed not to notice Taylor’s open staring at the intricate black ink of an oak tree drawn in the style of Gustave Doré. The trunk of the tree was a full sleeve with the roots growing from Corentin’s left wrist, and at his shoulder, the branches twisted in a windblown manner across his collarbone, shoulder blade, and a few branches even curled at the base of his neck.
Taylor swallowed. At least it explained why Corentin was so covered up for June weather. But something was strange about the tattoo. There were seven boughs, but only one had leaves.
Corentin kept making notes and didn’t look up. His brow furrowed into an even angrier contortion, and he wrote faster. When he apparently ran out of space, he flipped his book to sit horizontally and wrote in tiny print in the margins. He hesitated, tapping his pen on the paper.
Taylor pulled the blanket higher on his shoulders. The steam from his body captured under the blanket helped in making the chill of the room bearable.
Corentin scribbled again in his book. He frowned and scribbled in a repeated gesture. He shook his pen with a flick of the wrist and tried again. He grunted and threw the pen. “Fuck,” he said and went fishing in his messenger bag. He feverishly reached around, looked in, and then reached around again. He puffed a sigh and upturned the bag onto the carpet.
A palm sized bottle of liquid bounced across the floor and Corentin scrambled to snatch it midtumble. He glanced at Taylor and offered a smile. “Hand sanitizer. Can’t go anywhere without it.” He quickly shoved the bottle into a side pocket of his bag.
Taylor said nothing, merely watching the bizarre display as Corentin poked through the crumpled receipts, hair ties, old cracker wrappers, and various unidentifiable crumbs and wadded-up trash. He also flipped through a collection of condoms in shiny magenta wrappers and printed with hearts and lips. Taylor tightened his grip on the comforter and his face heated. Well, at least they were cherry flavored or something?
Corentin shook the bag again, and Taylor remained silent.
As a roll of duct tape tumbled out.
And then zip ties.
Taylor’s eyes snapped wide. Corentin had fucking huntsman death tools on him at all times. He shivered and scooted back on the bed. He judged the distance from the bed to the door in case he needed to run at a moment’s notice. Obviously a naked guy running down the interstate would get some attention. But he hadn’t seen any cars on the interstate since they ended up here. He nibbled at his lip. Maybe if he stole Corentin’s truck? That seemed like a good idea.
“Ah!” Corentin said, clearly relieved he apparently found a pen, and ignored the zip ties and duct tape. He resumed his furious scribbling.

About the Author

Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” She knew then she wanted to make the world a little more interesting too. 

Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure and epic love—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes if you’re going to going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love. 

Lex is a pop culture diva and her DVR is constantly backlogged. She wouldn't last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind. She is incredibly sentimental, to the point that she gets choked up at holiday commercials. But like the lovers driven to extreme measures to get home for the holidays, Lex believes everyone deserves a happy ending. 

Lex also has a knack for sarcasm, never takes herself seriously, and has been nicknamed “The Next Alan Moore” by her friends for all the pain and suffering she inflicts on her characters. She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine now residing in the burbs of Northwest Florida, where it could be 80F and she’d still be a popsicle. 

She is grateful for and humbled by all the readers. She knows very well she wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them and welcomes feedback.


You can find Lex at

               

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