Just Released ~ NovelTea Next Door

Blurb: Second in the NovelTea Series

Government agent Grant Gerard knows he’s cocky. It’s the reason he can do this job day after day. He’s always kept his life simple and uncomplicated…until destiny took a turn when he met bookstore/tea shop owner Juliet Truesdale.

Armed with a new lead pertaining to known criminal spook, Alexis Guthrie, Grant enlists Juliet to aid the investigation which ends up at the door of her neighbor, Adam Trudeau. This investment banker neighbor of hers seems harmless enough despite his annoying interest in Juliet. Will this turn of events only usher in more dangerous or even deadly situations for the duo? Can Grant allow Juliet into his heart and keep her safe from the danger looming in the distance?

A Night of NovelTea (book 1) brought us into the world of secret agents aka: spies through the eyes of the naïve bookshop owner, Juliet. She doesn’t know what’s going on but she has no choice but to go along with it. In the second book, NovelTea Next Door, I had to bring this world to life even more especially as it is written from the perspective of government agent, Grant Gerard. That included creating a villain and a believable case to solve. I hope you will enjoy this sequel. It is dedicated to all the readers. Thank you.

Here is the Prologue to NovelTea Next Door from the first person perspective of the villain.

The sweet darkness of midnight embraced me like an ever expectant lover. Standing alone in my solitary state peering out at the shadowed city streets, I was captivated. The black sheet of the night skyline twinkled with a diminutive number of stars. Leaning over the balcony railing, I slowly inhaled a gulp of the crisp air. This was the time of day when I felt alive—when my true spirit was released and I could feel it breathing inside of me.

It had all been just too easy. His arrogance and their conceit have played right into my hand. Before they put the pieces together, all evidence of my existence will be gone and they’ll once
more be rubbing their heads wondering what went wrong.

I’ll be sad to end this charade. It has served me well. Perhaps too well. I was becoming overly comfortable in this guise—making contact with too many people…like her. She would have loved the real me if only I could have shown her. In another time or another place, I might have had that chance. Maybe I still will. I’m beginning to grow tired of this game. At any rate, time has a way of catching up with you in the end.

Visit my website to read the first chapter.


Don’t miss out on book 1 of the series: Available now: A Night of NovelTea.

Juliet Truesdale believes life is passing her by as she runs her parents bookstore/tea shop until the day a handsome, mysterious stranger enters the shop, steals her heart and turns her life upside down, throwing her into a mix of dangerous yet comical situations she never could have contemplated.

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Shifting Desires Is Out

Beast Magic, by Sapphire Phelan
Cat's Claw, by Jude Mason
Purr For Me, by Skylar Sinclair
Publisher: Phaze
Release date: July 28. 2008
Genre: erotica, shape shifter, paranormal
ISBN 978-1-60659-056-0


Blurb from Beast Magic:

They came from two different worlds.Ramses was a werelion. Shana Tory was human. The Dreaming foretold them as soul mates.So Ramses tracked her down in America, and when he found her, made her his and brought her back home with him to the South African Bushveld.But others from his pride, led by one evil lioness, do not want them together.Besides their lives, will their love survive the coming war?

Jude Mason's Cat's Claw Blurb:

The death of a long time friend, leads Morgan Fields on an extraordinary quest into the backwoods where she finds love and so much more. Joshua Lansing, the son of her deceased friend helps her explore the heritage she never knew was hers.

Skylar Sinclair's Blurb for Purr for Me:

Panteara is a beast-shifting panther. For the females of her kind, they shift into half human, half panther on their day of birth--their birthday. Lucky for her, it happens to be on Halloween. This primping puss is all sexed up and heading out to a friend’s Halloween party dressed as, you guessed it, a sleek pelted and curvaceous panther.Roarke Rawling has been coerced by his sister, Tabby, into going to this damn Halloween party and, to top if all off, he’s dressed in a skintight lion tamer’s costume. Bored out of his mind, ready to leave the party with a vest pocket full of unwanted woman’s phone numbers, he catches sight of a luscious cat woman entering the party. Now, there’s one pussy he’d love to tame.Sit back and get ready for the fur to fly when you mix together a sexy panther and an arrogant lion tamer.

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Now available - Having it All by Jamie Hill

Having it All

Having It All

Buy Here

Read the Excerpt

by Jamie Hill

Genre: Contemporary
ISBN: 978-1-906590- 80-2

College student Mandy Stevens is skeptical when handsome Nick Westchester asks her out. Growing up in a small town, Mandy's had little experience with men and dating. She suspects Nick's intentions are less than honourable.

Nick Westchester has never met a woman who captivates him the way Mandy does. He starts out wanting to seduce her, but ends up falling hard for Mandy, and vows to do whatever it takes to win her heart.

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Table for Two

Table for Two (A Harris Grove Story)
by Meg Allison

Sandra Larsen and David Jenkins have nothing in common—except that their best friends just got married.

Despite their petty bickering and sarcastic barbs, David has fallen head-over-heels for the feisty restaurant critic. He has one week to convince her they should share a permanent table for two.

Imprint: Short and Sweet Novella
By Grace Publishing


Chapter One
“Strangers in the Night”

The punch tasted like carbonated syrup and the veggie trays had wilted. Other than that, Sandra supposed the wedding reception could be called a hit. Unless you counted the fact that she just lost her best friend.

She took a long sip of her drink and winced as the fizzy liquid made her teeth ache from sugar overload. Maybe she could get some water somewhere.

“Nice party.”

She glanced to her left over the rim of the clear plastic cup and tried not to grimace. David Jenkins had to be the most irritating man she’d ever met. Too bad she’d be seeing a lot of him now that their best friends had tied the knot.

“I said, nice party, don’t you agree?” He looked down at her from such height that she had to lift her chin to meet his gaze. At five eight, Sandra was in no way petite. The man should be on a basketball court.

“Yes, it is.” She looked away, hoping he’d get the hint and leave. Instead, she heard him chuckle.

“Man, you aren’t going to make this easy, are you, Ms. Larsen?”

That got her attention. “Make what easy, Mr. Jenkins?”

He waved a hand in the direction of the dance floor where the newlyweds, Jenny and Mark Thompson, danced to When I Fall in Love. “This being best-friends-in-law, stuff. We’re going to have to get along now, no matter what.”

She raised a brow. “And just what gives you that impression? Why do we have to get along? We’re not the ones that just got married.”

“No, but I have a feeling that if we want to be part of Mark and Jenny’s new lives in any way, we’re going to have to at least pretend to like each other. You know they won’t stand for us fighting.”

No, she and David weren’t exactly bosom buddies. They were as different as night and day, summer and winter…head lice and caviar. She smirked.

But why would anyone really care? So what if they’d squabbled over who should toast the future bride and groom at the engagement party last year? People disagree from time to time, and it all started with one of his inane clueless man comments. David made a lot of them.

The scene she made at the bachelor party last month couldn’t really matter now, could it? She had apologized. Sort of. Sandra had been told by a very reliable source – or so she thought – that David had hired a stripper for the party and she refused to let that little peccadillo go by without protest.

Then the whole incident at the rehearsal dinner…well, that was better left unmentioned for all concerned. Although, in her defense, Sandra couldn’t help it if the restaurant they held it at had received three health code violations in the past six months. If only Jenny had asked her beforehand, it would have been a moot point. Sandra certainly could not, in good conscience, have let David eat that shrimp and lobster platter knowing what she knew.

Yes, the restaurant owner hadn’t been pleased and maybe she could have been a bit more discreet, but really! In hind sight, she should let the big oaf take his chances with a little food poisoning.

She set her half-empty cup down on the buffet table and crossed her arms over her stomach. While she didn’t like David, she disliked the idea of missing out on Jenny’s new life even more.

“Well, maybe we can work on it,” she conceded. “What do you suggest?”

“First off, how about calling me Dave like everyone else?”

“I can handle that, but I’ll call you David.”

He smiled. Sandra moved away an inch. Sure he had a nice smile, but the man was hopeless otherwise.

Indulge your senses... with stories of the past, present & paranormal.
Meg Allison, Author

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Need a break from SEX-SEX-SEX?

All That Is Right, a sweet fairy tale brought to life in the modern world, is now available from MojoCastle Press.

* * * * *

Can a newfound love, a young girl’s belief in magic, and modern psychotherapy come together to fulfill the dying wish of a fairy queen?

That’s the last thing on Butch Thomas’s list of possibilities as he struggles to understand the dreams that have been tormenting him. It’s also the last thing on Julia Austen’s list as she tries to steer herself and her twelve-year-old daughter, Daisy, through an ugly divorce from a violent man.

When the lives of these three people converge in a therapist’s waiting room, the wonders of a distant time and place seem more and more to hold the key to their salvation.

First, though, they must believe.

* * * * *

He fought to ignore the lightning scorching his belly and the thundering of pain through his limbs. I am dying; surely I am dying ran like a song through his mind. Oddly, the refrain helped numb him.

Firelight licked the damp, lumpish walls that arched all around. Murmurings filled the air, melodic whispers and sighs, as if the fire’s fingers had coaxed voices from the throat of the earth. He took a labored breath and forced his mind into clarity.

The throat of the earth . . . Slowly, he turned his head to the left, to the right. He was lying on straw. It rustled beneath his skull and poked into his hair. He squinted into the gilded, dancing darkness. The ceiling seemed festooned with flowering vines. But he was not within an arbor. The blackness seemed studded with winking stars. But he was not beneath the sky.

Then he knew.

It was roots that hung from the ceiling, roots both thick and fine, entwined with flowers. He tried reaching out to touch them but his arm felt as heavy as a bloated boar. Suddenly, the scent of the flowers wafted over him like prayer--foxglove, cowslip, primrose--and he could smell the wedding of their delicate fragrance with the rich, heavy breath of the soil. He knew, too, that the surrounding glimmer came from stones, smooth and shiny and veined with crystalline colors, purposefully embedded in the earth to adorn this space.

The Folk had brought him here. This was one of their sanctuaries. They were everywhere around him, melding with the shadows. They were keeping vigil.

A cool, thin hand, light as the call of a nightingale, covered his forehead. Someone spoke in a strange language he strangely understood.

"Myklwyn, do not struggle so. Surrender to the embrace. Much love and promise lie within it. But first . . ."

~ from All That Is Right, copyright (c) K. Z. Snow

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Cosmic Hearts - a sexy sci-fi romance

COSMIC HEARTS now available at Aspen Mountain Press!

Book Blurb:

In order to save his planet’s people, Chance must gain the help of Vestalumbria’s princess. He proposes an offer she can’t refuse—a chance to unite with a king.

But refuse she does. Valeen wants to help Chance, but she has her own problems—she must find out the truth—why males are forbidden on her planet.

As Valeen learns the secrets hidden from her by her dictator of a mother, she has to rely on the handsome king to aid her, especially when she’s abducted by planetary pirates. Her heart begins falling for handsome king, but she’s not sure their people can live together in harmony.

Can the two of them co-exist and unite their Cosmic Hearts?

Book Excerpt:

“Where are you from?”

“Planet Kion. The name is Chance.”

He removed his black leather gloves, slowly pulling each finger seductively from its imprisonment, and set them on the serving unit.

Once his hands were free of their confines, Valeen wished they were roaming along the smooth fabric of her catsuit. His fingers looked strong, and the thought of what those large, now naked hands could do to her, made her smile.

Be still, wait until he makes a move, she cautioned herself. She wasn’t sure if he was joking about being her experiment, but she’d gladly accept the offer.

“You have great hands, Chance, and an unusual name.” Had she said that aloud? “I am not familiar with your planet. Where is it located? In this galaxy?”

“Close enough.”

Valeen didn’t know why, but when he touched the small of her back, she felt a charge bolt through her body as if her circuits went through a field of meteors. Stars, he was brazen, and must be unfamiliar with the laws of her planet. She wasn’t very knowledgeable of males, because they hadn’t lived on her planet for years, but she’d heard about them from some of the women she knew.

She hadn’t come this close to a male since she’d been very young. Then, her only interest had been in having playmates, but now her interest went beyond playing games. Well, maybe playing games, but not the kind she’d played when she was younger.

Usually when she visited beverage stations or commodity bases, where she went shopping for attire, she didn’t allow males near her, nor did her guards. But this attractive man couldn’t be overlooked; she didn’t mind his closeness at all. In fact, she wanted him to touch her some more. Maybe even kiss her, and perhaps press his hard-looking body against hers.

What in the name of all the planets was she thinking?

“Valeen, such a lovely name for a beautiful woman.”

He seemed to cringe and made a discouraged face. Had he considered the comment ridiculous? Shifting again, he appeared to relax.

“Ahhh, so, Chance from a close-enough galaxy…” She touched his chest lightly. “You are a flatterer and a charmer.”

Her fingertips trailed down the zipper on the front of his shirt in a flirtatious move. Valeen had never done anything so outrageous or impulsive before in her entire life. She smiled at the thought that she was flirting with him.

Venus, Mercury, and Mars.

It was a ballsy thing to do, and not her usual reaction.

“Only if it gets me a kiss.”

Get it today at Aspen Mountain Press: Buy it here

Kara Griffin
Kara's website

GET COSMIC! An interactive blog: Get Cosmic Blog

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Hot never felt so good!

“Oh my God!” she exclaimed. “I thought I was alone!” Logan could make out the slightest movement of her arms as she fought to keep her head above water. “You could have warned me you were here,” she accused spiritedly.

“And miss the show?”

There was a brief pause. “I hope I didn’t disappoint you,” she said with mild sarcasm.

“There’s nothing indecent about the naked body,” he defended himself, wading slowly closer. It was as though he was being guided by his rock hard shaft as it strained toward the source of its hunger. “Are you ashamed of it?”

“No, I’m just not in the habit of parading around naked in front of strangers I haven’t slept with...yet.”

Her words inflamed Logan, which he was sure were her intentions. His breath turned heavy. “Strangers? We’re hardly that, or have you forgotten I’ve already held you in my arms?”

“Don’t remind me,” Libby said. “If you were any kind of gentleman you’d leave.”

“What makes you think I’m a gentleman?”

“You’re a fireman,” she reminded him curtly. “Surely firemen have honorable scruples.”

“I’m a man first,” Logan corrected softly, making certain Libby understood that. “Would it make you feel any better if I removed my trunks?” he joked.

Libby let out an unladylike snort that quickly turned into a husky laugh. Logan had the feeling she didn’t like the little sound of betrayal and ducked beneath the surface to cover it up. He laughed, but didn’t follow her. She couldn’t go far, and a hunch told him she wasn’t about to give him the satisfaction of viewing her shapely form again. The light of the moon was enough to reveal that Libby had swum back to the deep end. She reached for something near the diving board, reminding Logan she’d dropped her swimsuit there.

There was a trace of laughter in his tone when he realized what Libby was doing. “Need any help?”

“No!” She turned around as though to make sure he hadn’t moved from the middle of the pool. “Just stay where you are!” She quickly turned back toward the deck.

That was all it took for Logan to do the exact opposite. He didn’t like being told what to do, especially by some smart mouth troublesome female who was snapping at him as though he was a five-year-old in trouble for stealing a cookie. Her tone reminded him too much of what it had been like growing up with five older sisters who never wanted him around. He didn’t think twice about kicking off the bottom of the pool and swimming in her direction, surfacing right behind her.

A grin spread across Logan’s face as he watched Libby struggle to slip into her bikini bottoms with one hand while the other gripped the edge of the deck to keep afloat. He waited until she reached for her top and then let her know he was there. “I told you I’d help you.”

“Oh!” Libby shrieked, and spun around. The bikini top slipped from her fingers and Logan watched it float away on the surface of the water.

The situation wasn’t so amusing anymore when he raised his eyes to realize the light of the moon was resting squarely on Libby’s breasts. The crystal clear water did nothing to shield how perfect they were, or the fact that there was enough flesh to fill his hands, and then some.

And he’d thought her skinny?

In spite of the cool water Logan felt his blood pressure reach the boiling point, his heart rate skyrocket. He was about to explode and for a crazy moment he was tempted to reach out and touch Libby. His balls tightened beneath his penis, demanding release of the lust bubbling there. A wise man would turn and swim away from her before he did something stupid. He’d made bigger mistakes but right now he felt like this was the granddaddy of them all. It wouldn’t take much to make him lose control.

Damn…he wanted to lose control!

“Why don’t you just kiss me and get it over with?”

She sounded angry but Logan quickly picked up on the huskiness of her tone. He arched a brow. “What makes you think I want to kiss you?” he countered arrogantly, grinning in spite of himself. Kissing her wouldn’t do much to eliminate the lust fire in his blood.

Contradicting what his body wanted, Logan retrieved Libby’s bathing suit top where it came to rest at the side of the pool. He held the tiny scrap out to her and she snatched if from his fingers with a grudging thank you. Instead of putting it on she held it against her breasts.

“How long are you going to be here visiting your grandmother?” he suddenly demanded. Maybe he could disappear for a few days. He had a friend in Ft. Lauderdale who’d been bugging him to visit.

“I, ah, on and off the whole summer,” Libby replied with clear reluctance.

Logan watched her carefully, interested in her slight hesitation and wondering at the reason behind it. His curiosity peaked when she refused to look him in the eye. Then her words registered and he frowned. Great, they were going to be running into each other on a fairly regular basis.

“Do you mind pretending you’re a gentleman long enough to turn around and give me a moment of privacy?” Libby questioned in a voice dripping with feigned sweetness.


Print and ebook offered at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid

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Brain Dead by Tracey H. Kitts, Coming Soon

The following is an unedited excerpt from Brain Dead, by Tracey H. Kitts, coming in August from New Concepts Publishing.

On her way home Jane pulled in at the same gas station where she'd stopped earlier in the week. The same kind looking old man was behind the counter and waved to her before turning on the pump. Her heart fluttered just thinking about Luis and she dropped her keys again as she walked past the pump.

By the time she bent to pick them up Luis's long fingered hand covered hers.

"Allow me, mon cher," he said softly.

"Thank you," she said breathlessly.

He looked even better than she remembered. His long dark hair was pulled back tightly and he was wearing another pair of black leather pants. This time his shirt was the same deep blue of his eyes and his long coat also looked like leather. His perfect skin seemed to glow underneath the dim lights.

Jane could barely take her eyes off of him long enough to go inside and pay. When she walked back past him his sensuous lips curved into a smile. As lovely as his smile was, it unnerved her, so she quickened her paced and tried to ignore the way her stomach muscles twitched when he was close to her.

"Go dancing with me," Luis asked, catching her by the wrist.

Jane paused longer than she should have before saying, "I don't even know you."

"Yes, you do," he sighed. Then seeing the lack of recognition and fear in her eyes he added playfully, "We met a few nights ago. I'm Luis, remember? The man who's not going to mug you, but would love to take you dancing."

She laughed, and it did Luis's heart good. It had been a long time since he'd heard that sound. He smiled his appreciation, and his smile warmed her in spite of the cold night wind. Jane had never asked a man to go home with her, let alone a complete stranger. But she came damn close to doing just that.

"Were you just hanging around here, hoping I'd show up?" she teased.

"No," he laughed. "I ran out of gas just up the road, and I was returning Nelson's can."

As he said this he pointed to a small gas can he'd left beside the door. The old man inside, who must have been Nelson, waved his thanks and took the can back inside.

"Oh." Jane blushed, feeling stupid for her comment.

"But don't think I wouldn't have if I'd known I would see you tonight."

His voice was a seductive whisper and it carried on the wind like a caress.

"Alright, Luis I'll go dancing with you, but on one condition."

"What is that, ma chéri?"

"Tell me your last name."
"Luis Phillippe," he said as he bowed to kiss the hand he still held. "At your service. But you have yet to tell me your name." He smiled seductively.

She watched with rapt fascination as his sultry lips got closer and closer to the back of her hand. They were cool to the touch, but sent fire through her veins. Jane had removed her gloves after work, but Luis didn't seem to notice the scrapes across her knuckles.

"Jane Masters," she panted.

You can find out more about me and my books at http://www.traceyhkitts.com/

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The Loves of Her Life now available

My erotic-fantasy novella, THE LOVES OF HER LIFE has just been released from eXtasy Books. My heroine, Estrella, has the second sight and the ability to use "sexual magic". Will she use her abilities wisely? That's for you to decide!

Here's a brief excerpt to pique your interest:

The Loves of Her Life: Two of Wands
by Celine Chatillon

The latest from the Tarot Card Series at eXtasy Books.

Spoiled and pampered Princess Estrella knows she must marry Prince Norbet for the good of her people. But she loves Lord Aiden, her childhood sweetheart, a soldier who must fight the dragon that threatens both their kingdoms. With her second sight she can see into the future and knows what is best for all… But even with this
awful knowledge, how can Estrella choose between the loves of her life?

Scene Set-up: Things steam up when Estrella and Aiden act out the story of the beginning of the world during the Summer Solstice celebrations...

"Give us the rest of the story!" cried the spectators. "Honor the Summer Solstice! Honor the goddess!"

"Well, if you put it that way…"

Estrella wrapped her hands tighter about her lover's neck and pulled his lips toward hers, kissing him passionately. Their tongues met and the electricity of attraction surged through both. Instantly, Aiden crushed her curves against his. He rhythmically rubbed the bulge beneath his loincloth against her belly. She moaned and
reached down to stroke his erect flesh in time with the music, which had taken a serious turn into a steady, sultry, throbbing beat. He slid a hand under her short, filmy skirt and stroked the growing dampness between her thighs.

He chuckled. "You're as wet as the legendary flood of the Dragon's lair. Obviously, all these eyes focused on your luscious body is a turn on."

She smiled against his lips. "And I can tell you're as hard and straight as the legendary granite obelisk that marks the end of the world."

"Atillo then entered Adala and the whole world blossomed!" exclaimed a self-appointed narrator, a thin, bookish-type who seem to relish the telling of tales. "Soon, all the world was filled with the beautiful evidence of their love."

"Hmm, are you ready for me to fill you with the evidence of my love, my dear?" Aiden whispered in her ear. "I'm about to burst as it is."

"As am I. But wasn't there another person in the legend that brought the two together? The oak tree, Amillo?"

"You're right." Aiden tweaked a pointed nipple through the thin material of her shift, causing Estrella to moan.

A shadow crossed their path.

"And Amillo came and cradled the lovers in his branches to better assist their joining," their narrator said in hushed tones.

Estrella and Aiden hesitated then slowly turned to see their oak cradle.

The well-dressed stranger!

"I thought I'd volunteer my services in the part of Amillo. I am an amateur scholar of these old myths and legends. The chance to help act out one with such a handsome couple was… irresistible."


Buy it at eXtasy Books: http://www.extasybooks.com

And more good news--I've received a nice review of my hot romantic-comedy BEAUTIFUL DREAMER:

"Beautiful Dreamer by Celine Chatillon is a very nice read. Who is the Knight in Shining Armor; the cowboy, the Sheriff, or the Deputy? What is in that sleeping potion? In a hysterically funny, well-written novel we find all the answers and ask more questions!" --Nancy Erikson for Paranormal Romance. Org Reviews

Thanks Nancy. The infamous Mrs. Giggles gave BEAUTIFUL DREAMER a review, too, but I'm too scared to check it out. If you see it, tell me if it's worth a review blurb or not.

Keep cool--and remember to read hot!


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The Cutler Brothers Series - Ebook and Print!

The Cutler Brothers Series

Contemporary Spanking Romance

Three Hot Novels in One Ebook and Print Volume!

Book One – Cade
The beautiful, but irritating Riley Barnett has been a thorn in the side of the U.S. Marshals Service ever since she entered the Witness Protection Program. And now that she once again believes her identity has been compromised, new U.S. Marshal Cade Cutler is the one sent to placate her. When it turns out that she’s right this time, Riley has to depend on Cade to protect her, even if that means putting up with his spankings every time she refuses to follow his silly rules!

Book Two – Madoc
After attending his brother’s wedding, U.S. Marshal Madoc Cutler knows one thing for sure – there is absolutely no way he would ever fall for a woman as quickly as his brother did. But he can certainly appreciate an attractive woman, and when he comes across a beautiful waitress at a small-town diner, he can’t help but notice her. However, things become complicated when he recognizes her as the runaway fugitive, Shayna Matthews. His plan to quickly transport her back to Denver to stand trial goes awry when a snowstorm forces them to take shelter in tiny, secluded cabin in the woods. Could he possibly have been wrong about not falling for a woman as quickly as his brother did?

Book Three - The Cutler Brides
In the third book of the series, both Cade and Madoc are back, as well as their naughty brides, Riley and Shayna. While down in Texas for a family get-together, the two girls decide to go searching for a buried treasure described in local folklore. Unfortunately, they don’t have a lot of luck finding the treasure, but they do find a mystery that needs solving. They begin poking around a suspicious mining company. Even though this gets Riley and Shayna repeated spankings from their husbands, the girls refuse to give up. They’re going to find out what’s going on, no matter what!


Book One - Cade
Cade closed his notebook and slipped it into the inside pocket of his suit jacket. “We’ll look into it, Ms. Barnett, and get back to you,” he said, getting to his feet.

Riley did the same, her frown deepening. “How are you going to look into it? Will you be posting Marshals outside my apartment building then?” She really hoped so; she hadn’t slept well the past couple of nights.

He inclined his head. “If we determine that you’re in danger, then you’ll be given protection,” he told her. “But I don’t think you have anything to be concerned about. As I said, a lot of people own black SUV’s.”

Riley stared at him in disbelief. Did she have to end up at the bottom of some river somewhere before they believed her? She opened her mouth to argue, but Cade Cutler was already walking toward the door.

Annoyed, she followed after him. “How will you know if there really is a threat from the SUV if there’s no one here to see it?” she persisted.

In the small entryway, he turned to give her a placating smile. “Like I said, we’ll look into it.”

She folded her arms to glare at him. “You’re not going to do a damn thing, are you?” she said sharply. “Now that you people have already gotten my testimony, you couldn’t care less about what happens to me.”

His jaw tightened. “I’ll be in touch,” he said, ignoring what she’d just said as he turned to leave. He was just reaching for the doorknob when the greeting cards on the table along the wall caught his eye.

Riley watched in confusion as he picked one up and read it, and then did the same to another and another. But before she could ask what he was doing, he turned to fix her with a hard look.

“What the hell are these?” he demanded, holding up the cards.

Her brow furrowed. “Birthday cards,” she said, her tone implying that it should have been obvious to him.

“I can see that!” he growled. “But this one’s from your mother! And these,” he added, gesturing with the others, “are from the rest of your family!"

She shrugged. “Duh! Who do you think sends birthday cards?”

His eyes narrowing, Cade tossed the stack of birthday cards back onto the table and strode toward her. “How about, duh, you’re in the Witness Protection Program! Which means that you’re not supposed to tell anyone where you are. That includes your family! You’re so worried about your identity being compromised, and here you are broadcasting it to the world!”

Ignoring the implied insult, Riley lifted her chin to glare up at him. “My mother would never tell anyone where I am,” she told him coldly. “And neither would any of my sisters.”

His brows drew together. “Really? How reassuring,” he scoffed. “What about the people that might be snooping through your family’s mail to find out where you are? Have you thought about that?”

She frowned at the words, wondering if that could be true, but then told herself it was ridiculous. Nobody, not even Albert Donatti, the main mobster she had testified against, would bother with digging through the mail just to find her. Besides, even if he had, her family had addressed the envelopes to her new name.Riley gave Cade another shrug. “That would be impossible because my mom and my sisters didn’t put my real name on the envelope,” she said. “I’m not stupid, you know!”

“That’s debatable,” he retorted. “So, how many relatives does your family have that live across the country?”

She gave him a confused look. “What are you talking about?”

He held up the card from her mother. “It doesn’t matter what the name on the envelope says,” he told her. “The card says Happy Birthday to My Daughter on the front. I think people will figure out that it’s you.”

Before she could say anything, he added, “I’m going to have to call my boss and let him know about this.”

“Good,” she muttered. “Because I want to talk to him, too. That way I can tell him that you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, and that he needs to send someone out here who does!”

At her words, Cade paused in the act of reaching into his pocket for his cell phone, his eyes narrowing. “Okay, that does it!” he growled.

Riley braced herself for another one of his snide comments, and was totally surprised when Cade grabbed her by the arm and marched her over to the couch instead.“What are you...?” she began as he sat down, but the rest of what she’d been going to say came out in a rush of air as he gave her arm a quick tug that sent her tumbling headlong over his knee.

Riley was so stunned that she simply lay there draped over his lap as she tried to catch her breath. When she finally came to her senses a moment later, it was to push herself upright, but a strong hand on her back held her down. What the hell was he doing?

Outraged, she turned to glare over her shoulder at him, only to let out a startled gasp when she felt his hand come down hard on her jean-clad bottom. Oh my God, the brute was spanking her!

Book Two - Madoc

Shayna’s hands trembled as she hurriedly shoved what little clothing she had into the small overnight bag she’d brought with her when she’d left Denver. Of all the men in the diner she could have flirted with, she had to pick a U.S. Marshal!

Tall and broad-shouldered, not to mention ruggedly handsome, she had noticed the Marshal the moment he’d walked into the diner, and had been disappointed when he had chosen a booth instead of taking a seat at the counter. So when Madge, the other waitress she worked with, had suggested she serve lunch to him, she had not only jumped at the chance, but had openly flirted with him. She’d figured that he was probably only passing through town, but had toyed with the idea of trying to convince him to hang around for awhile. Little did she know that he was there to arrest her, she thought bitterly. And if Madge hadn’t learned that he was a U.S. Marshal from her conversation with him earlier, then Shayna would still be at the diner obliviously going on about her business.

God, she had been so stupid! Stupid to stay in Flint Rock for so long instead of going to Canada like she had planned. Stupid to think that a pair of ugly, non-prescription, black-framed glasses would be enough of a disguise to alter her appearance. Stupid not to dye her hair like her sister had suggested. Still silently berating herself for her stupidity, Shayna grabbed her coat from the bed and put it on. If she hurried, maybe she could catch one of the truckers down at the gas station near the freeway and bum a ride with him. Anyone heading north would be fine with her.

She picked up her suitcase from the bed, and was just about to cross the small room she rented at the boarding house when there came a loud banging on the door.

“Federal Marshal!” a man’s voice called. “Open up!”

Shayna froze, her hand tightening reflexively on the handle of her overnight bag as she stared at the door. Oh God, he’d found her, she thought. She couldn’t go back to jail! She had to get out of there!

The Marshal banged on the door, louder this time. Heart pounding, Shayna looked around wildly for some other escape route. Her gaze immediately locked on the window on the other side of the small room. Not having to think twice, she dashed over to it. Instead of opening easily like it should have, however, the window didn’t budge. Dammit, the darn thing was stuck!

Tears of frustration welling in her eyes, Shayna dropped her bag on the floor and tried to force the window open, but it did no good. The stupid thing probably hadn’t been opened in ten years! Spotting a heavy bookend sitting on the low shelf beside the window, she grabbed it and was just about to use it to break the glass when the door burst open.

Still holding onto the bookend, Shayna whirled around with a startled gasp to see the handsome Marshal from the diner standing in the doorway, his weapon drawn and pointed at her.

“Shayna Matthews, you’re under arrest,” he told her. “Drop that and put your hands up.”

Shayna knew she should obey, especially since the Marshal had a gun pointed at her, but she couldn’t make herself do it. “You’ve got the wrong person. My name is Jane,” she said, her voice trembling. “Jane Cooper.”

His golden-brown eyes went to the bag sitting on the floor beside her. “Nice try,” he said sarcastically. “Now, drop what you’re holding and put your hands up.”

She swallowed hard, but still didn’t do as he told her. “You’ve got the wrong person,” she insisted.

The Marshal clenched his jaw. “I’m not going to tell you again,” he warned her. “Drop what you’re holding and get your hands in the air.”

Shayna didn’t move. She couldn’t let him arrest her. Running had only made her look more guilty, and if she went back to jail, they weren’t likely to let her out on bail this time. The thought alone was enough to make her stomach churn.

Her gaze darted to the door and she wondered if she could somehow get past the Marshal. Apparently, he must have read her mind because he started toward her even as she tensed to make a run for it. Shayna’s hand tightened on the bookend and before she even realized what she was doing, she drew back her arm and threw it at him.

Shayna just had enough time to see the Marshal’s eyes go wide before he ducked. Knowing she would only get one chance at escape, she immediately ran for the door. But she didn’t get more than a few feet before a strong hand closed over her arm and spun her around. With a cry that was half frustration, half rage, Shayna balled her hand into a fist and took a swing at the Marshal.

“What the...?!” he began, catching her arm before her fist could connect. “Dammit, take it easy!”

But Shayna wasn’t about to take it easy. If she didn’t get away from him, she was going to be spending a very long time in prison, maybe even the rest of her life. With that horrific thought motivating her, Shayna savagely tried to jerk free of the Marshal’s hold.

“Stop it!” he ordered her, his grip tightening on her arms. “Dammit, I don’t want to hurt you!”

“Then let me go!” she shot back, still struggling against him.But it was obvious that the Marshal wasn’t going to let her go, and Shayna fought him wildly. Once she even managed to get her arm free long enough to try to scratch his face, but he quickly captured her wrist in his hand again.

Frustrated, Shayna tried to shove him away from her. To her surprise, she actually managed to catch the Marshal off balance long enough to knock him back onto the bed. She didn’t catch him that unaware, however, because instead of releasing her like she hoped he would do, he tightened his grip on her wrists and pulled her down with him.

Ending up sprawled across his lap, Shayna was so stunned for a moment that she didn’t even realize the Marshal had let go of her arms sometime during their fall onto the bed. As soon as she did, though, she immediately tried to push herself upright, but a strong hand on her back pushed her down again. She started struggling as hard as she could, anything to keep him from grabbing her arms again. She knew the moment he did, she would end up in handcuffs.

But Shayna was surprised when the Marshal didn’t even try to jerk her arms behind her back so that he could handcuff her. She thought for a moment that she might actually have a chance to get away, only to gasp in surprise when she felt his free hand come down hard on her jean-clad bottom. She stilled, her eyes going wide. Had he actually just spanked her? What the hell did he think he was doing?

Before she could say anything though, he brought his hand down again on her other cheek, harder this time, and she yelped.Her face flaming from embarrassment and anger, Shayna tried to push herself off his lap again, to no avail. “Let me up, you jerk!” she demanded.

The Marshal gave her ass another hard smack. “Not until you agree to behave yourself,” he growled.

Shayna cried out as his hand connected with her bottom yet again. “Owwwww! You have no right to spank me!” she told him.

“If you had just come quietly like I told you to, then I wouldn’t be forced to do this,” he retorted, punctuating each word with a sharp slap to her derriere. “But you leave me no choice. Trust me; spanking you into submission is a lot better than the alternative.”

Shayna didn’t know what the alternative might be, but she had certainly never been spanked in her life, and she couldn’t believe how much it stung! But every time his hand came down on her ass, it felt like her cheeks were going to catch on fire.

“Now, if I let you up, are you going to behave yourself?” he asked, pausing momentarily.

Shayna gritted her teeth. Damn the man! “Yes!” she hissed. “Just let me up already!”

Taking Shayna’s arm, he set her back on her feet. Though she really wanted to slap his handsome face, she settled for rubbing her sore bottom instead, only to stop when she realized that the Marshal was reaching for his handcuffs.

Book Three - The Cutler Brides

Flipping through the fashion magazine she’d brought with her, Riley stopped when she came to an advertisement for a pair of sexy, high-heeled sandals. “Aren’t these cute?” she said, holding the magazine at an angle so that Cade could see, too. “Wouldn’t they look great on me?”

Her husband looked up from his outdoor magazine to glance at hers. Upon seeing the shoes however, he lifted a brow. “I’m sure they would, but I don’t think you need any more shoes, do you, honey?”

Riley looked up at him from beneath lowered lashes. Though even she had to admit she had more pairs than the average woman, shoes were definitely her weakness and she couldn’t resist buying the newest style in footwear when it came out. “Well, actually, I do,” she said. “It completely slipped my mind until now, but we were in such a rush to leave that I think I forgot to pack the shoes I was going to wear to your parents’ anniversary party.”

Cade gave her a dubious look. “Did you really forget or did you deliberately decide not bring them just so you could buy new ones?”

A blush crept into her cheeks. She had made a conscious decision not to pack them, of course, but only because they really didn’t go with her dress. “Of course I forgot!”

Riley tried to sound as truthful as she could, but Cade saw right through her lie. She used to be a really good liar back when she was in the Witness Protection Program, but for some reason, she couldn’t ever seem to lie convincingly to her husband.

“That’s what I thought.” Cade let out a loud, dramatic sigh. “Well, you know what this means, don’t you?”

“What?” she asked innocently.His mouth quirked. “It means you’ll be going over my knee for a good, sound spanking when we get to the ranch, sweetheart.”

Her pulse still skipped a beat at hearing her husband say the words. It was amazing how much her attitude toward spanking had changed over the past year, she thought. When Cade had put her over his knee to give her a spanking that first time at her apartment, she had put up a terrible fuss, kicking and squealing for all she was worth. Actually, she had made a fuss the first half dozen times he had spanked her. After they’d gotten engaged, however, something had happened to change all that and she’d started looking forward to getting spanked. But knowing she could never come right out and tell her fiancé that, she’d started to do little things to get him to spank her. Perceptive as he was, Cade had quickly figured it out. So now whenever she wanted a spanking, all she had to do was just act a little naughty. Almost anything would do, like buying yet another pair of shoes. It wasn’t that Cade really cared whether she bought a new pair; it was just simply a signal to him that she wanted to get spanked.

“Don’t you think your parents might notice if you dragged me off to the bedroom the minute we got to their ranch?” she pointed out.

Cade frowned slightly as he considered that. “You’re probably right,” he agreed after a moment. “I guess I’d better spank you now then.”

She gasped. “Now? Are you crazy? On the plane?”

But her husband had already taken her hand and was pulling her to her feet.

“Honey...” she began, but the words trailed off as he led her toward the back of the plane.

Since it was an evening flight, the interior of the cabin was dimly lit, something a blushing Riley was grateful for as they made their way to the restroom. She needn’t have worried, though, because none of the other passengers were paying any attention to them.

While Riley couldn’t deny that the thought of her gorgeous, dark-haired husband spanking her thirty-thousand feet in the air was rather thrilling, it also made her a little nervous, and she stopped outside the door to the restroom to voice her concerns to Cade.

“Honey, we can’t,” she protested. “Someone could hear.”

His mouth quirked. “Then we’ll have to make sure we’re quiet.”

As Cade opened the door and urged her inside, Riley could only wonder what had gotten into her husband. He was always up for adventure, especially when it came to sex, but they’d never done anything this daring. Not that she was complaining really. The whole thing was a major turn-on!

The small bathroom seemed even tinier with her tall, broad-shouldered husband in it with her, but Riley found herself forgetting all about her dislike of tight spaces when Cade ordered her to turn around and put her hands on the wall in that soft, sexy voice of his. Eager for her spanking, Riley obediently placed her palms on the wall, bending over just enough to thrust out her bottom.

Instead of placing his hand on her back like he usually did when she was draped over his knee, though, Cade wrapped his arm around her middle. Holding her close against him, he ran his other hand over her short skirt.

“If we were home, I’d give you a warm-up over your skirt,” he said in her ear. “But in the interest of time, I think it’d be best if I just get straight to the main event.”

* * * *

“There’s a rest area coming up. Want to stop and take a break?” Madoc asked.

Shayna pulled herself away from her thoughts to glance at her husband. “Sure.”

After using the facilities, she and Madoc still didn’t feel like getting back in the SUV right away, so they walked up to the small picnic area situated on a grassy hill just behind the main buildings. When they got to the top, Shayna was surprised by how far she could see. Even though the hill wasn’t very high, it still towered above most of the nearby Texas countryside, and the view was beautiful. Slow, rolling hills, covered in waving grass, spread out as far as the eye could see. Here and there, a cow or an oil well dotted the landscape, but mostly it was uninterrupted and pristine. She wished they had thought to grab a bite to eat and bring it up here. It would have been nice to sit and have lunch at one of the small tables while they enjoyed the view.

She turned to give Madoc a smile. He was sitting down on the bench-style seat, his arms lazily outstretched to either side of him on the picnic table. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it, hon?”

His golden brown eyes traveled up and down the length of her body to take in the tank top and shorts she wore, lingering on her bare legs.“Not as beautiful as you,” he said, his mouth curving into a sexy grin.

Shayna felt herself blush at her husband’s compliment. She’d never blushed so much until she’d met Madoc. He just had a way of looking at her that made her think he was always visualizing her completely naked.

Reaching for her hand, he gently pulled her closer until she was standing between his legs. As his arms circled her waist, Shayna automatically looped hers around his neck. With a little laugh, she bent her head to kiss him on the mouth. The kiss wasn’t some quick peck on the lips, but instead, it was slow and passionate, leaving Shayna breathless. When she lifted her head, she couldn’t suppress the sigh of pleasure that escaped her lips.

“Too bad we’re not someplace a little more private,” she said huskily.

Madoc made a show of looking around the deserted rest area before lifting his gaze to hers again. “I don’t know. It seems pretty private to me.”

Her eyes widened. “You can’t be serious?”

“Why not?” He slid his hands up to cup her breasts through the thin tank top.

Shayna caught her breath as she felt her nipples immediately harden in response. It had always been a secret fantasy of hers to make love outdoors, but she didn’t think she could ever be bold enough to act it out. “Madoc...” she began.

But her husband was already unbuttoning her khaki shorts and pushing them down her legs. As he gently ran his hands up her bare legs, Shayna felt the last of her resolve disappear, along with her shyness. Surely, they could have a quickie without getting caught, she told herself.Shayna waited breathlessly for Madoc to take down her panties, but instead he surprised her by taking her hand and guiding her over one of his muscular legs. Though she went willingly, she couldn’t help but give him a confused look over her shoulder.

“I thought we were going to booty,” she said.

The corner of his mouth edged up. “We are,” he said, lightly resting his hand on the curve of her bottom. “But since I don’t know how much spanking we’ll be able to do while were at my parents’ ranch, I thought I’d give you one now to tide you over until we get home.”

Shayna hadn’t thought about that. But she supposed Madoc was right. They wouldn’t have much privacy at the ranch. Which would mean she would have to wait two weeks for another spanking.

She gave her dark-haired husband a naughty smile. “Well, when you put it that way, I definitely think you’re right. I do think you should give me a spanking.”

For more of my sexy, erotic fiction, visit my website at http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com/

"Stories so hot, they'll make your cheeks blush!"

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The Vampire Oracle: Chalice by Ericka Scott

Available now at Cobblestone Press

Reclusive vampire Sapphire McKenzie lives in her penthouse apartment with fortress-like security run by her AI computer, Van. She’s been hailed as the greatest armchair detective since Mycroft Holmes and has solved every case she’s ever been asked to investigate – and even some she hasn’t.

Her ex-lover, Drake Chastain, is a retired basketball star living off his fame and fortune until women he’s dated begin disappearing, then reappearing…dead.. With Drake framed for murder, Sapphire has to leave behind the safety of her home to save the man she loves…or die trying.


            Fighting back a swell of nausea, Sapphire watched the shadow under the door recede. Whoever had attacked her apparently wanted her alive, and not dead. She pressed a hand to her temple and shuddered when it came away sticky with blood. Or perhaps he just wanted her to die slowly. She hadn’t lost a lot of blood, but being unable to manufacture more of the precious life force put a crimp in her situation. She needed to feed.

She knew she had recovered from the blow to her head much faster than her attacker had anticipated. Then she’d hidden in her closet. Now, if she could just get him to open the door…

She rested her ear against the thick wooden panel, hoping to get a clue as to his location. Closing her eyes, she concentrated on picking up the tiniest of sounds, and was rewarded when she heard a flurry of noise. Running footsteps, a slamming door, and then…silence. Had her attacker been disturbed? Or had he just left her to die? She slowly twisted the door knob and pushed, but the door remained stubbornly closed.

It was insane. No doors in her penthouse locked of their own accord. Access to all rooms, heating, air-conditioning, and security—indeed, absolutely everything inside the apartment was controlled by her assistant, Van Helsing. She had always known people were not a good security risk. Someone downstairs had to have let the intruder onto her floor and disabled the alarm when the security system was breached. That’s why she’d created Van.

He was the perfect assistant, simply because he wasn’t human. Van was an artificially intelligent computer program she’d designed five years ago. No way would he ever turn against her. Perhaps he thought that by keeping her locked away, he was keeping her safe.

She raised her fists to start banging and shouting for help, when the small amount of light seeping under the door dimmed.

Damn it. The intruder hadn’t left after all.

Her first moan was unintentional. But the intruder paused, as if he were listening. So she moaned again.

“Come closer, you bastard, and open the door. I’ll give you a taste of pain,” she murmured under her breath. Then she moaned again, theatrically.

This time, she clearly heard someone approach the door.

She put her hand on the knob and felt it turn. Whoever was on the other side was strong; the door shuddered. But it obstinately stayed shut.

“Well then, don’t open, damn it.” A male voice cursed.

Sapphire went still. She knew that voice. Drake Chastain? If Drake had broken into her apartment and hit her on the head with a baseball bat, then he was surely responsible for the disappearances and deaths of all those other women. The world spun dizzily for a moment. But if he were responsible, then she was wrong about everything. In which case, being locked up was the safest place for her for the time being.

The door shuddered under her hand again.

“Oh, please,” Sapphire murmured. “Don’t open.”

To her surprise and chagrin, the door swung wide and sunlight flashed in, blinding her.

Although she couldn’t see, she did the only thing that came to mind. She lunged out, fangs bared, and prepared to dispense with her attacker before he killed her first.

A spitting wildcat was Drake’s only thought as he held the tall, thin redhead at arm’s length. Once again, he was glad for his height and long reach. A hurricane brewed in the depths of Sapphire’s sea-green eyes, and with each toss of her head a sinister hiss slid through her gleaming fangs. She kicked out at him with her long legs and managed to land a few blows dangerously close to his balls.

He didn’t want to risk her disabling him, so he tossed her into the middle of the bed.

“Damn it woman, I’m here to rescue you.”

He braced himself for impact when she pulled up into a crouch. She stared at him, her breath coming in harsh gasps. That’s when he saw blood and a fast-coloring bruise on the side of her beautiful face. Instinctively, he reached out to push her long curly hair aside and take a closer look at her injuries.

She flinched, as if she expected him to hit her.

“What happened?” he whispered. “You’re hurt.”

“As if you don’t know. You broke in and attacked me.”

“No, I didn’t. ” Drake shook his head. “Your apartment security had already been breached when I arrived. You can ask Chester; he’ll back me up.” Drake hoped so, anyway.

Chester? Management fired him six months ago.”

“What? But—I –” Caught off guard, Drake motioned behind him, as if he could miraculously conjure up the doorman to substantiate his story. When he looked back at Sapphire, she was smiling. “What?”


It might have been nothing, but her smile changed her entire demeanor. To his relief, he realized she was no longer afraid of him.

“Well, if you didn’t break in, who did?”

“You didn’t see who attacked you?”

“Nope.” Sapphire shook her head, and then grimaced with pain. “I only heard the whoosh of air right before something hit me. I take it you didn’t see anyone, either?”

“I wasted the opportunity. When I first came in, I thought there might be someone in the kitchen, but I came to the bedroom instead. As soon as my back was turned, I heard someone running. Then the front door slammed.”

“You didn’t go after them?” Sapphire’s voice sounded odd, and Drake shot a sharp look in her direction.

“Are you okay?”

She raised her hand to her forehead, and before Drake could cross the room, she fell, hitting her head on the footboard of the bed.

He lifted her off the floor and placed her in the center of her bed. Then he ran a hand across the back of his neck. He recognized her symptoms and knew what she needed. Blood. She’d obviously lost just enough to make her weak. She’d need to feed…and soon.

His cock hardened as he looked at her. She was dressed for bed in a filmy white nightgown that showed off more than it hid from view. He could see her nipples through the fabric, and at the junction of her thighs was a mound of darkness he knew hid the pink lips of her sex. The soft curve of her breasts rose and fell with each breath she took. It had been over two years, but he could still remember the feel of their weight in his hands. He ached to touch her, to taste her. To fuck her. All he had to do was climb onto the bed with her. She needed him.

No. He shoved his hands into his pockets and turned away. She didn’t need him. She needed blood. Anyone’s blood. She had a stable of young studs on whom she fed regularly. It was also a given that her nightly feeding was probably accompanied by a generous dessert of sex. Yet the thought of her being with someone else, even if there were no feelings involved, sickened him.

She had left him. He was the one who had called her, sent flowers, and tried everything to win her back. But she had spurned all his efforts. So what made him think she’d want him now? Hell, just a few minutes ago, she’d seemed convinced he was the one who’d attacked her.

Yet…he glanced back over at her thin build, and his heart tugged painfully in his chest. He still loved her. It would only take one word from her, and he’d offer up his neck and his heart.

Sapphire stirred and moaned, her hand fluttering to her head. Then she opened her eyes and looked at him.

Hell, it didn’t even take a word.

Heat coiled up from her belly. She had wanted Drake for so long. It had taken every ounce of willpower she had not to call him. Now, he was here. She had to clench her hands in the bedspread to keep from leaping from the bed and tearing off his clothes. But this had to be something he wanted, too.

When a look of indecision flitted across his features, her heart shattered. She had caused him so much pain, of course he was going to just walk away. It would be so much easier for both of them if he did.

His eyes bore into hers before he turned toward the door. A whimper of pain and regret filled the air, and with a start, she realized it came from her. She closed her eyes and forced back the tears threatening to spill down her cheeks. Although it would break her heart if he left, she wasn’t going to let him see her cry.

A rough thud made her jump. She opened her eyes and blinked in surprise. Drake had shut the door and propped a chair under the knob to jam it shut.

He turned to her with a grin and a shrug. “The lock wouldn’t work.” Then he paused, as if suddenly realizing she’d thought he was going to leave. His grin widened, and he struck an erotic pose and waggled his eyebrows at her. From where he was standing, Sapphire had a perfect view of his front, and his back was reflected in the full-length mirror on her bedroom door. He blew her a kiss, and then slid his hand up and down his torso before unbuttoning one button on his shirt.

She started to get up, but he motioned for her to stay still. Then he undid another button and shifted his pose. Through his tight slacks, the muscles in his butt clenched.

Heat flamed between Sapphire’s thighs, and she ached for his cock as much as she hungered for his blood.

His hands hovered over the next button. But instead of slipping it through the material, he grasped the shirt and pulled it off over his head in one graceful movement. His chest and arm muscles rippled, but before she could get a good look at him, he turned his back, teasing her. He rocked his hips to music only he could hear, and she suddenly realized he was undoing his belt. She heard the rough rasp of his zipper and found she was holding her breath.

Copyright 2008 Ericka Scott


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OBSESSED by K. Z. Snow

Following are a blurb for and excerpt from OBSESSED , coming this Friday July 11 from Changeling Press. Although the story can easily be read alone, it follows a relationship arc that began in PLAGUED (from Ellora's Cave) and continued into TORMENTED (from Changeling).
WARNING: This is a male-male romance. Although the excerpt below is a tame PG, the rest of the story is not.

* * * * *

After nearly 660 years, Adin Swift is dreaming again.

As a vampire, he slept like the dead. Now that he's reverted to mortality, vivid dreams surface every night to torment him. And the most disturbing ones involve his best friend, Jackson Spey.

It was their "otherness" that drew them together ten years earlier—two extraordinary men living outside the mainstream, one a bright and beautiful vampire, one a cynical and handsome wizard. Their unique bond took on more dimensions than either was willing to acknowledge. Until now.

Realizing he can no longer ignore the desire that's been simmering for a decade, Adin must face the heart-wrenching fact he's in love with two people: the woman to whom he's committed and the man he can't seem to live without. Two confrontations ensue over the course of one explosive weekend, and they will forever alter three people's lives.

* * * * *
Standing just inside the door, he closed his eyes and relished for a moment the unmistakable mixture of smells. The most obvious came from the incense and anointing oils Jackson favored for his meditations and rites. But twined through those fragrances were other recognizable odors that marked this unusual man’s daily life—the heady richness of leather, the musty dryness of old books, the slight fruity-grainy tang of alcohol. And underlying all was the distinctive scent of Jackson himself. It was by far the most provocative.

Adin began to feel lightheaded, weak in the knees. Suddenly, a place he’d visited a dozen times before seemed like some exotic den of iniquity, presided over by an irresistible satyr.

For fuck’s sake, come back to earth, he admonished himself. Damn, but his imagination was stuck in overdrive. He wondered what to do. Sit in his car and wait? Try calling Jackson at the woodshop? Find a diner and have a soothing bowl of soup?

Rejecting all those options, Adin decided instead to make himself at home. What the hell. It was something he’d normally do and would expect Jackson to do. They were friends, after all. Leaving his things in the car, since he didn’t want to seem presumptuous about the length of his stay, he walked into the flat.

It was dim. The windows, set low in the building, didn’t admit much light. And there was precious little to admit on this dreary November day. If it hadn’t been for the faint sounds of other lives floating above, somewhere beyond the ceiling, Jackson’s dwelling would have seemed like a private, insular cave.

If there was such a thing as a "woman’s touch" in a home, this one clearly didn’t have it. Still, Adin had always loved the messy minimalism of the place. A kitchenette and dining area were off to the right, a living area off to the left. Some remodeling had obviously been done to turn these into one large space. The far walls were lined with bookshelves Jackson had built. Ahead, down a short hallway, were the bedroom and bath and a couple of closets.

Adin walked farther inside, peeled off his jacket, and hung it over one of the four chairs surrounding the pecan dining table. He dawdled there, letting his gaze wander over the sprawl of papers and magazines, pencils and draftsman tools. A crystal goblet, its bottom rouged with several drops of wine, stood near one of the chairs. Adin admiringly drew two fingers over a bare spot on the table’s top.

Jackson had built the piece. Modernist in its sleek simplicity, meticulous in its construction, it was a work of art. Like everything he made. The table was originally for a client but it hadn’t met Jackson’s standards. So he’d kept it. To this day Adin had no idea where or how it was flawed.

He strolled over to the brimming bookshelves. A mobile, made of old diecut Halloween figures, hung from the ceiling near one end and spun lazily whenever the furnace blower kicked in. Adin gave it an affectionate tap before turning to the shelves.

It was here, more than anywhere else in the flat, that Jackson Spey was revealed in all his whimsy and worldliness. Antique volumes with embossed-leather and gilt-stamped covers were scattered amidst common hardcovers and paperbacks. Their array of subject matter would have made little sense to anyone who didn’t know the man.

Objects with either occult or personal significance were tucked between the books. Invariably, they piqued Adin’s curiosity as well as his amusement. A Mexican Day of the Dead figure was poised precariously on a model of a Harley chopper. A primitive phallic symbol wore a conical wizard’s cap. There were several framed diagrams, elaborately colored and gilded, that represented arcane philosophies. Evocative as they were, they didn’t capture Adin’s attention like his favorite framed drawing. Smiling, he found it where it had always been, propped between an impressive collection of Arkham House first editions. It was a caricature of Jackson himself, lying supine and bug-eyed beneath the lowering ass of a tentacled monstrosity. The caption read Don’t Mess with Cthulhu.

Shoving his hands in his pockets, Adin blew out a sigh and looked around. He didn’t want to venture any farther into the apartment. He didn’t trust himself. Considering how he’d been feeling, he could end up doing something perverse if he got near Jackson’s bedroom. Crawl into the bed, maybe, or search the nightstand for sex toys, or rub articles of clothing against his face and inhale their scent.

He plucked a handsome, older collection of Yeats’s poetry from one shelf and was about to settle in with it when the front door squealed open and a blade of cool air cut into the flat.

"Adin! Hey, I thought that was your vehicle in the driveway."

And there was Jackson, all six feet two-some inches of him, in the flesh and jacketed in black leather. After flashing a grin, he kicked the door closed with his heel and spun toward the kitchenette, obviously to empty the shopping bag he carried.

Adin couldn’t seem to move. His heart pounded in his throat. "Hope you don’t mind that I let myself in."

"Course not." Jackson pointed vaguely in his direction. "What’d you pick to read?"

"Yeats." Adin slapped the book against his empty hand then inserted it back in its slot.

"One of my favorites, too."

Jackson didn’t turn around to answer. Still, the gruff, graveled voice, which always seemed commanding regardless of its volume, seemed to grip Adin’s lower abdomen rather than enter his ears. He suddenly couldn’t control any of his senses. They were all focused on the tall figure moving between counter and refrigerator. Adin’s gaze swept down the length of him, from wide shoulders to tightly rounded ass to those long, lean, denim-clad legs. The smell of leather and sawdust seemed to snake through the air, slither up his nose, and lodge in his brain stem.

Finished depositing his groceries, Jackson turned. "Did you grab yourself something to drink?"

"Uh, no. I haven’t been here that long."

"Want something?"

Shit, do I ever.

Copyright (c) 2008, K. Z. Snow

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