Excerpt from Natural Woman by Kacey Hammell (from Stranded: A New Year’s Anthology)

My final Stranded excerpt share comes from Kacey Hammell. Her story, Natural Woman is a sweet one about a woman with a scarred face finding a man who proves to her how beautiful she is. Check out the excerpt and don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Stranded, releasing December 23!

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About Natural Woman:

After a heartbreaking tragedy years ago, Cora has lived in a self-inflicted solitude, hidden away from the pitying looks of her neighbors.
But when one of the worst storms in years plows through, a stranded traveler requires her help. With New Year’s Eve fast approaching, Nick’s open honesty reassures her how beautiful she is. And his gentle hands teach her that there is more to her than the scars she carries.

Excerpt:

“Sorry, I can’t say I remember knowing your family.” He smiled, chagrined.

Cora shrugged. He was a lucky one then. Especially not knowing her sister. “No worries. We kept to ourselves a lot.” She gulped down the last of her hot chocolate. “My dad was away a lot because of the Army and my mom liked to keep us close to home. Does Gloria know you’re on your way? The phone lines have been down the last couple days. I am sure you know your mom doesn’t have a cell phone.”

Nick nodded. “I’ve tried convincing her to get one. I tried the payphone at the train station. When no one answered, I suspected there may be an issue with the lines.”

“The main reason I was trying to get the snowmobile fixed was to go check on her.” She stood. “Would you like some more?” At his nod, she took his nearly empty mug, refilled the two again, then reclaimed her seat.

“That’s a lot of miles to trek in this weather, Cora. Especially alone.”

She stared at him. The sound of her name on his lips held her captive.

Soft.

Lazy.

Sweet.

No one had ever spoken to her like that. Swallowing hard, her hand shook as she lifted the mug to her lips for a sip.

She was hardly well-versed in dealing with the opposite sex, unless it had to do with cattle or feed prices. Nick unsettled her.

Her palms were sweating and her heart raced.

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Excerpt from Dante’s Heaven by Natalie G. Owens (from Stranded: A New Year’s Eve Anthology)

Today I’m sharing another Stranded excerpt, this one from my girl Natalie G. Owens and her story Dante’s Heaven. Check it out and remember to look out for the release of Stranded on December 32. Pre-order details are below!

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About Dante’s Heaven:

The path to paradise begins in Hell…
Dante Santoro is out to redeem the sins of his father, and won’t stop until he’s settled the score and made up for lost time. Destiny King has built a new life for herself from the ruins of pain and tragedy. There are things that can never be forgotten, betrayals that will never be forgiven. But sometimes, the horrors of the past can be erased through a night of magic, happenstance … and second chances.

 

Excerpt:

Before he could take another step, his foot snagged on something hard and unyielding. Arms flailing, he saw the concrete floor rush at him. Rather than try to stop himself from falling by grabbing at the wall, his mind made the split-second decision to let his hands take the brunt of the hit and save his skull.
       As he fell, something dark danced at the edges of his vision before a hollow tinkling sound made him gasp. Oh yeah, right. His men hadn’t sealed that fucking hole in the floor yet, leaving it exposed without boards to protect the unwitting trespasser. His keys had slipped in there to God knew where. He landed on his palms and pain shot up his left arm, then concentrated on his wrist.
Groaning, he lifted himself up, holding his wrist, which now ached like a motherfucker. “Son of a bitch,” he hissed.
A creaking sound behind him caught his attention.

“Mr. Messina! Are you here? It’s Destiny King.”
        He’d given her his Italian mother’s maiden name. While he wanted to forget his Puerto Rican side, his father’s people, he still felt like a traitor by telling that white lie. Perhaps he was no better than their ilk. But how else would she ever consent to meeting him? Not if he told her his real name.
        Panic coursed through his system with the force of a freight train. The door!“Don’t close that door!” he shouted as he turned around and hurried back where he’d come from. Her tall, lean form became clearer under the dim lights as he approached. The fitted coat highlighted her curves as though it had been made for her. Her hair was long and wavy, shiny, healthy.
        Such a long way from where she’d started. So different from the girl he’d once caused to cry. The girl whose heart he’d seen broken in so many pieces that he hadn’t thought she could get them back together again.
“Mr.—”
        A few feet from her, he hit the brakes on his feet and came to a dead stop. The door slammed hard behind her, the rod kicked to the side. They were trapped.
        She narrowed her almond-shaped brown eyes on him, unflinching. A far cry from the skittish girl she once was.

“You…” That lone syllable reeked with irritation. “Dante Santoro. I should have known you’d be the one to want me back in Hell.”

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Cover Reveal: Masquerade by Victoria Vale + Giveaway

Cover Reveal for

Masquerade: Scandalous Ballroom Encounters Book 1 (An erotic Regency era romance)

By Victoria Vale

Coming Valentine’s Day 2015

Scandalous Ballroom Encounters is a series of erotic romance set against the dazzling, opulent backdrop of the Regency era in London, England. Lords and Ladies were expected to behave with propriety during those times … but what happened behind closed doors, when no one could witness the debauched and lusty encounters between members of the nobility?

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Margaret Seymour is bored by the stifling constraints of society dictating her behavior as a debutante in search of a husband. Her prospects are promising by the standards of London society, yet, not one of them causes her heart to flutter, or her head to fill with scintillating, forbidden fantasies. Those feelings are reserved for Camden Rycroft, Duke of Avonleah—a man who isn’t even aware of her existence.

While attending a scandalous Vauxhall Gardens masquerade, Margaret finds herself in the duke’s arms. His promise of a night of pleasure is tempting, but is it worth it when Avonleah is a known rake notorious for his short attention span and avoidance of marriage?

Camden Rycroft is intrigued by the masked vixen he encounters in the Gardens. After one night with her leaves him hungry for more, his desire for her turns into a fiery obsession. Despite the scandal that could ensue from their affair, he finds himself unable to extract himself from a situation destined to end in pain. When faced with losing Margaret to a potential husband, will he rise to the occasion, or risk living without her?

Excerpt:

Her breath caught in her throat as his hand came up to her face, thumb stroking her cheek before finding her lower lip in a gentle caress.

“Maggie,” he whispered. “How is it that I have managed to go so long without knowing you? I feel certain I could never have forgotten you if we’d met.”

She swallowed past the lump in her throat, her chest heaving as her breath raced between her parted lips. “I-I do not know,” she stammered. “We have never been properly introduced, but have attended many of the same functions. B-but, I’m not … that is to say … I am not always so daringly dressed, nor are my parents as wealthy or titled as you. We may occupy the same ballrooms, but we are not within the same circles, I’m afraid.”

He creased his brow at that. “Still, it was wretched of me not to notice you. Now that I’ve seen your face, I feel certain I’d never forget it.”

A half-smile pulled at the corner of her lips. “You cannot know how long I have wanted that,” she said, her voice dropping to a near-whisper as she lowered her eyes.

He chuckled. “Surely my notice is not worth so much.”

She shrugged. “For a young debutante prone to flights of romantic whimsy, it is,” she admitted. Maggie knew she should not say these things. Beyond this night, she could not fathom anything more coming of their little liaison. To bare her secrets to him would only leave her vulnerable to the pain to be endured when it was over. Yet, she could not stop now that she’d given voice to her deepest desires. “You must know how many hearts you’ve stolen simply by walking into a room. Many a night, I have watched you take a lady into your arms and waltz with her, wishing that I could be her. To be so close to you, moving together … to know your scent and your touch …” She paused, realizing that she’d said far too much.

Camden circled behind her, placing his hands upon her shoulders. His lips brushed the back of her neck and she shivered. “I cannot deny that knowing you have watched me from afar all this time does not bring me pleasure, Maggie,” he murmured, his lips tracing a path toward her ear. “When you watched me with those women, did you wonder if there was more to our association than a simple waltz would suggest?”

She nodded in response, unable to speak when he was nibbling at her neck, teasing the most deliciously sensitive spot just beneath her ear.

“You wondered if any of them would accompany me home, didn’t you? You thought about what I might be doing to them once I got them here.”

Maggie groaned as he took the shell of her ear between his teeth. “Yes,” she sighed. “I did.”

“How did you feel when you thought about it—when you imagined all the wicked things I did to those other ladies?” His hands worked at the buttons running down her back, sliding them loose one by one, opening her gown.

“Jealous,” she admitted.

He gripped the sleeves and pulled, lowering her gown to the floor and leaving it in a pool around her feet. He grasped her waist and pulled her against him, his lips trailing along her shoulder. “Did you fantasize about me, Maggie? Did you wonder what it would be like to be one of them?”

“I did,” she said, her voice low and husky. “At night, alone in my bed, I closed my eyes and tried to imagine what it was like to be with you.”

“Oh Maggie,” he said, his voice tinged with amusement and mock horror. “Never say you were ever so naughty.”

She giggled, biting her lower lip and leaning back against him, resting her head on his chest. “I was.”

“You touched yourself when you thought about me, didn’t you?” One of his hands slid across her stomach, lowering slowly toward the apex of her thighs. “Did you pleasure yourself to your fantasies of me?”

She gasped as he cupped her mons, his fingers massaging gently and drawing moisture from within. “Yes,” she said, her voice strained as he continued to tease her. “Yes, I did.”

“Show me,” he whispered, removing his hand.

Maggie groaned in agitation, wishing for his touch again. Yet, he seemed to be waiting for her to fulfill his command.

“Show me how you pleasured yourself, Maggie,” he said, his voice a bit rougher this time—a demand she dared not refuse. Not if she wished for more of the pleasure he could give her.

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In celebration of her debut release, Victoria’s author friends have donated various ebooks and audiobooks to her cover reveal giveaway!

About the author:

cropped-vic-vale-name-red-lips-white-bk-1000-by-500.jpgVictoria Vale has written over two dozen Romance and Young Adult novels under various pseudonyms. As a lover of erotic romance, she enjoys nothing more than a sexy hero paired with a sassy heroine, flavored with a dash of spice and lots of heat. A wife and mother of three, she enjoys reading (of course), cooking, sewing … and other activities that aren’t appropriate for inclusion in a biography.

Visit her online: www.eroticromancebyvicki.com

Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/eroticromancebyvicki

Follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/eroticabyvicki

Friend her on Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/vickivale

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Excerpt from When the Party’s Over by Casse NaRome (from Stranded: A New Year’s Eve Anthology)

Today’s Stranded excerpt comes from Casse Narome’s When The Party’s Over, a story about second chances. Meet her characters and pre-order your copy of Stranded for only $0.99!

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About When the Party’s Over:

Le Lan Lee has a choice to make. On New Year’s Eve, she receives a message from her past. Will she answer Fate’s call? The decision regarding helping an old flame out of a jam will lead her down the path of life or death, and love or hate.

 

Excerpt:

“I’m not sure if I own anything that will fit you. You have like three inches on me and not as much ass.” She eyed my body, one of her short manicured fingernails tapping against her coated chin.

I was five-foot-seven and straight up and down. Even my hair could barely keep a curl. My mom said I could have been a model, I was blessed and cursed with her height. Her green eyes gave the Asian features of my father’s genetics an even more exotic look.

“You have to have something that is a little too tight on you and extra long? It is too late to go shopping.” I was beginning to panic.

A slow smile spread across her green caked face. “It doesn’t have to be long on me because that will make it even shorter on you!” She snapped her fingers and brushed past me, grabbing my arm as she went, dragging me deeper into her closet. She flipped through the pinks, reds, and oranges. Yep, her closet was color coded as were the racks of shoes.

“Found it,” Sara declared as she freed a sultry devil’s red dress from the rack. “This is what you are going to wear with your black fuck-me red bottom pumps and sheer black stockings. You are going to look so delicious you’ll be irresistible.”

I eyed the dress suspiciously. “Uh, I can barely walk in those shoes and my butt is going to be hanging out of that dress.” I nibbled on side of my cheek.

“Damn close anyway,” Sara said with a grin. She seemed way too excited about the possibility.

 

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Excerpt from Hacking for Love by Zee Monodee (from Stranded: A New Year’s Eve Anthology)

Here is another sneak peek inside of Stranded: A New Year’s Eve Anthology. This one is from Zee Monodee, a tear jerker about a cancer survivor finding love. Check it out, and remember that you can pre-order Stranded for only $0.99 and have it delivered to your ereader on December 23!

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About Hacking for Love:

Aloof and reserved business magnate Enzo Caparelli settles for a quiet night in on this New Year’s Eve, as does scarred and cancer-recovering medical doctor Viveka ‘Vivi’ Sari at The Cape, Enzo’s hotel in Central Manhattan.
Neither had counted on the younger Caparelli brother, Fabrizio, playing matchmaker and hacking into the hotel’s security system to strand them in the penthouse suite that night.

Excerpt:

He threw a glance at the door to the other penthouse suite on the floor—Fabrizio’s. The brat must be playing with his toys again. On New Year’s Eve. Would Enzo never get any respite from his kid sibling who refused to grow up? He really should not have let his brother be the only one who understood how the fucking system worked. Enzo didn’t have a head for informatics, though. Business and management, yes. Anally so, in fact. That’s what made them a good team until now—synergistic, an unbeatable duo.

Wait until I get my hands on the little shit.

Long steps took him to the solid walnut door and he pounded on the panel. Nobody answered for a long time, but Fabrizio must be in. He couldn’t work the system that much with remote access.

Or could he? A drop of cold sweat danced down Enzo’s spine.

“Fabrizio, porco demonio! Open this damn door!”

The panel swung inward under one of his slams and he stilled, hand in mid-air. There, across the threshold, stood not the devil’s spawn but a tall, beautiful brunette dressed in nothing but a terry-cloth robe that bared the creamy white valley between her breasts.

All words evaporated from Enzo’s mind as he focused on her. Barefoot, she stood almost eye to eye with him. She must’ve been around five-ten since she didn’t need to tilt her head much to face his six-foot height. Big doe eyes sat on a makeup-free face with a delicate bone structure and the most kissable lips he’d ever seen. Her mouth parted, betraying her surprise, no words rolling from her tongue. Her chin-length hair looked impeccable, hardly what one would expect if she’d just been in the shower or the tub, as evidenced by the glimmer of moisture on her skin. She appeared mature, though, not at all a girl but a fully blossomed woman.

Which would make her older than Fabrizio. He’d never have pegged his brother for the cougar or MILF-seeking type.

And speaking of the little bastardo—Enzo didn’t spare her another glance before storming into the suite and scanning the open-plan living room. He’d started toward the hallway leading to the bedrooms when something swiped at his feet and he found himself flying into the air to land with a dull thud on the shag-pile rug in front of the couch. His forehead hit the glass-topped table in the process, and he saw stars.

“Who the hell are you, and what are you doing here?” she demanded.

The dulcet tone contrasted with the sharpness of her words. Fuck it all. How could he be thinking of her phone-sex voice when she’d sent him flying onto his stomach and got him hurt in the process? A deafening tattoo now beat against his skull, something warm and sticky on one side of his face. Darkness came from one eye, and then the other, too.

I can’t believe I’m going to pass out, were his thoughts just before he fainted.

 

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An Excerpt from The Promise by Carly Fall, from Stranded: A New Year’s Eve Anthology

Yesterday, I posted a teaser from Satisfaction my contribution to Stranded: A New Year’s Eve Anthology. Now, I want to share an excerpt from another one of the stories. The Promise by Carly Fall is a sad/sweet story of two lovers finding each other again after years of being apart. Check it out, and don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Stranded, releasing December 23.

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About The Promise:

Three years ago, Gabby watched her lover and best friend, Lucas Tate, walk out of her life. Despite his promise that they’d be reunited after her high school graduation, a few months later, Lucas’ correspondence ceased and she never heard from him again.
She encounters him once more on a snowy New Year’s Eve—when he walks into the convenience store where she’s working. With the bad weather closing all highways, the two end up stranded together for the night, trapped with each other, along with their past. Will Lucas’ reasons for abandoning Gabby be enough for her to forgive him and move into the future he so desperately wants with her?

Excerpt:

Gabby set down her wine and stared at him. His intense gray gaze bore into her. Instead of diverting her stare, she took in the whole package. Gone was the young, untouched Lucas she knew. Now, his features seemed a little harder, more weathered. A few days of scruff covered his jaw and upper lip, and she shivered as she remembered the way those whiskers had tickled her mouth the last time he’d kissed her. As he sat back in his chair shoving chips in his mouth, her gaze wandered down his chest to his tight waist and the camo pants he wore. Big, black boots finished off the picture of the most beautiful man she had ever seen.

She couldn’t do this.

It was impossible to sit here in this shitty little office and make small talk him. Their relationship was far beyond the petty conversation. A surge of adrenaline coursed through her, and she wasn’t sure if it was brought on by alcohol or her contained rage and hurt of the past three years.

Despite her earlier promise to herself that she would leave the past behind and remain polite tonight, she blurted, “Lucas, let’s cut the crap, okay? What happened to us? Why did you dump me?”

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An Excerpt from Satisfaction, Stranded (A New Year’s Eve Anthology)

In just a little over one week, Stranded: A New Year’s Eve Anthology will be released to all ebook stores and in paperback. I’m so excited about this group project, my second one this year. I’ve been so privileged to work with some very talented ladies to bring you guys a collection of sweet and sexy NYE themed stories. I hope you’ll enjoy this teaser from my contribution to the anthology, Satisfaction. Also, be sure to pre-order your copy from the ebookstore of your choice, for only $0.99!

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About Satisfaction:

Audrey Hammond can’t think of anything worse than being trapped in her office with co-worker Shane Watson on New Year’s Eve. Aside from the fact that he’s beaten her out of more lucrative advertising accounts than she can count, he’s a smooth-talking smart ass who always seems to know how to get under her skin.
Yet, when a broken elevator at an office party leaves the two stuck together with no chance of escape, Audrey may find that Shane is not at all the person she thought he was—and maybe, she’ll find herself falling for the last guy on Earth she’d have ever thought she wanted.

Excerpt:

As Derek encouraged them all to make themselves comfortable, Shane took the seat next to Audrey on purpose. She stiffened, only furthering his amusement. The woman couldn’t stand him, and quite frankly the feeling was mutual. He didn’t exactly hate her, but from the day he’d come to work at Ramsey, Collins, and Associates, Audrey had been his biggest competition. She had been the most promising intern in the building, and she knew it. So did everyone else. Within six months, Shane had quickly established himself as her match.

Boy, had that burned her up. Their interactions went from civil and polite, to frigid and intense. It only worsened with every milestone they surpassed on their career paths. She’d been the first to nab a marketing associate’s position, but Shane had been hot on her heels. From there, the battle for clients began. Somehow they always seemed to pull the same assignments, and even when there were three or four teams bidding for the same client, it always boiled down to him versus Audrey.

“You’re wearing your lucky blouse,” he murmured, sliding a slim, leather portfolio containing his notes onto the glass tabletop. He hadn’t so much as looked at her, yet Shane could practically feel her scowling.

“I don’t have a lucky blouse,” she whispered. Her foot bounced beneath the table—a nervous habit of hers he’d noticed over the years. It was even more bouncy than usual, which meant she was going to slay her presentation today. The more nervous Audrey was, the better she performed.

“Sure you do,” he said, daring a look in her direction. She shocked him by meeting his gaze, narrowing those cool blue eyes of hers as if he’d aroused her suspicions. “Ivory silk with a bow at the neck. You always wear it for big clients.”

She frowned and glanced down at herself. Her eyebrows shot up as she looked back up at him. She narrowed her eyes again, as if suspecting him of some dirty trick just for pointing out a damned blouse.

“You’re wearing a new cologne or something,” she accused.

Shane fought back a smile and a laugh. “Do you like it? It’s called ‘eau de whoop ass’…a can of which I intend to open in this room today.”

Her nostrils flared and her red lips tightened at the corners. “Cute, Watson…real cute. If you think you can charm your way into this commission, you’re in for a rude awakening.”

“You think I’m charming?”

 

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Bound (Chained Trilogy Book 2) is now available!

The wait is over! The second installment in Gwen and Caden’s saga has been released today at all ebook outlets! Get your copy, and don’t forget to leave those reviews when you’re done. I value all reader feedback and look forward to knowing what you all think of Bound!

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Read the first chapter here

She bound him in chains … he repaid her in kind … now she is bound to him, in more ways than one.
Caden Maignart must choose a wife and sire a son—a burden weighing heavily upon him as the firstborn son of a high lord. Weighing even more heavily is the notion of impending war, which has become a near certainty thanks to the volatile feud brewing between two families entrenched in hate. Caden knows that the key to mending things between their families lies in Lady Gwendolyn Toustain, the daughter of his family’s mortal enemies, but earning her trust will prove to be an uphill battle.

Gwen trusted Caden to help her convince his father that she was not the one who broke the peace between their two houses … a mistake that led to her becoming his prisoner. All hope is lost when it comes to forging peace between their houses; unless she relents and agrees to marry her captor. While passion and desire led her into Caden’s trap, Gwen is not certain she can bring herself to become his prisoner for life—in the bonds of holy matrimony.
Yet, the kingdom of Alemere is at stake, as are the lives of people they both love. Caden and Gwen will be forced to forge a path toward peace—not only within the realm, but within their complicated and volatile bond.

When the line becomes blurred between captor and captive, who will be the first to bend?

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Redemption (Angels Among Us Book 3) is now available in audio!

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I’m excited to announce the completion of another audiobook. The Angels Among Us audio collection is now complete! Nathan and Carmen’s story is truly enhanced by the very talented effort of narrator Henry McNulty. Check out the audio sample below and click the buttons below to download from these ebook retailers. Never listened to one of the AAU audiobooks? Click here for links to the other series audiobooks. Remember, you can listen to your first book free when you sign up for a 30 day trial with Audible!


 

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Cover Reveal: Stranded (A New Year’s Eve Anthology)

I’m excited to be a part of a new group project with five other awesome authors! Our holiday themed anthology, Stranded, will release December 26, 2014 and includes six stories of people stranded together on New Year’s Eve under extenuating circumstances. My contribution, Satisfaction, is a light romance with humor, which you can read more about below. Pre-order information coming soon! Make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter to be informed when Stranded is released!

 

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About Satisfaction:

Audrey Hammond can’t think of anything worse than being trapped in her office with co-worker Shane Watson on New Year’s Eve. Aside from the fact that he’s beaten her out of more lucrative advertising accounts than she can count, he’s a smooth-talking smart ass who always seems to know how to get under her skin.

Yet, when a broken elevator at an office party leaves the two stuck together with no chance of escape, Audrey may find that Shane is not at all the person she thought he was—and maybe, she’ll find herself falling for the last guy on Earth she’d have ever thought she wanted.

 

Read on for more about the other five stories!

The Promise by Carly Fall

Three years ago, Gabby watched her lover and best friend, Lucas Tate, walk out of her life. Despite his promise that they’d be reunited after her high school graduation, a few months later, Lucas’ correspondence ceased and she never heard from him again.

She encounters him once more on a snowy New Year’s Eve—when he walks into the convenience store where she’s working. With the bad weather closing all highways, the two end up stranded together for the night, trapped with each other, along with their past. Will Lucas’ reasons for abandoning Gabby be enough for her to forgive him and move into the future he so desperately wants with her?

 

When the Party’s Over by Casse NaRome

Le Lan Lee has a choice to make. On New Year’s Eve, she receives a message from her past. Will she answer Fate’s call? The decision regarding helping an old flame out of a jam will lead her down the path of life or death, and love or hate.

Natural Woman by Kacey Hammell

After a heartbreaking tragedy years ago, Cora has kept to herself and hidden away from the pitying looks of her neighbors, solitude her only companion.

But when one of the worst storms in years plows through, a stranded traveler requires her help. With New Year’s Eve fast approaching, Nick’s open honesty reassures her how beautiful she is. And his gentle hands teach her that there is more to her than the scars she carries.

Dante’s Heaven by Natalie G. Owens

The path to paradise begins in Hell…
Dante Santoro is out to redeem the sins of his father, and won’t stop until he’s settled the score and made up for lost time. Destiny King has built a new life for herself from the ruins of pain and tragedy. There are things that can never be forgotten, betrayals that will never be forgiven. But sometimes, the horrors of the past can be erased through a night of magic, happenstance … and second chances.

Hacking for Love by Zee Monodee

Aloof and reserved business magnate Enzo Caparelli settles for a quiet night in on this New Year’s Eve, as does scarred and cancer-recovering medical doctor Viveka ‘Vivi’ Sari at The Cape, Enzo’s hotel in Central Manhattan.

Neither had counted on the younger Caparelli brother, Fabrizio, playing matchmaker and hacking into the hotel’s security system to strand them in the penthouse suite that night.

 

Sneak Peek: Chapter 1 of Bound (Chained Trilogy 2)

The release of book 2 in the Chained Trilogy is less than 2 weeks away! I can’t wait for you all to read it … so much so, that I’m posting chapter 1 to give you all a little tease. For those who wanted to know the reason for Caden’s actions at the end of book 1, this should offer a little insight.

*Warning: Do not proceed if you haven’t read book 1. Major spoilers and all that*

BTW, that “30 years later” bit is a reference to the prologue (which I am keeping under wraps until release *wink*). But I can say that it gives insight into the beginning of the War of Four Kings, and the blood feud that pitted Caden’s family against Gwen’s in the first place.

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Chapter One

Minas Bothe, Daleraia

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30 years later …

 

“Open the door, this instant! By the gods, I vow you will not know peace until I am released!”

Urien Durville, squire to Sir Caden Maignart, leaned against the heavy door of his master’s bedchamber and closed his eyes. He pressed his fingertips to his temples with a heavy sigh, and tried to massage away the headache forming there.

It had been a fortnight since Lady Gwendolyn Toustain became a prisoner of Minas Bothe, yet for Urien it had felt like an eternity. Every morning, after Sir Caden took his leave of the chamber in which he kept the lady confined, the upheaval began. Unhappy about being imprisoned, she never missed an opportunity to make her displeasure known.

“Milady,” Urien said, just loud enough to be heard through the door, “you must know by now that your behavior will gain you nothing. You are only causing yourself—and us all—undue distress.”

Her reply came in the form of a resounding crash that echoed through the chamber and rattled the door. Urien’s eyes flew open. A sigh of exasperation turned into a growl in his throat as he turned, swinging the door open with a swift tug. The tongue-lashing dancing upon his lips died as an object came hurtling at him from within the room.

With lightning-quick reflexes, he reached up and snatched the object—a cooper chamber pot—out of the air. Thankfully, it was empty.

Tucking it under one arm, he clenched his jaw in determination and marched into the room. With his gaze narrowed upon Lady Gwendolyn Toustain, he kicked the door closed behind him.

The person standing before him did not present the perfect picture of a lady that Urien had become accustomed to. Dressed in only a linen chainse, with her unbound hair hanging down her back in loose, unkempt waves, Lady Gwen more resembled a bird about to take flight than the daughter of a high lord. Wide, dark eyes resided in an angular face with slashing cheekbones and full, opulent lips.

“You have succeeded in gaining my attention, milady,” he hissed, teeth clenched and eyes narrowed.

“Good,” she spat, her nostrils flared with righteous indignation. “I must insist that you summon Sir Caden this very instant.”

So it begins.

Urien folded his arms across his chest, lifting his chin in challenge. She would not bait him into this again. “Milady, we have been through this every day for a fortnight. Milord is occupied.”

“Yes,” she replied with a sneer, “I am well aware of what occupies so much of Sir Caden’s time. You will go to him this instant, and inform him that I wish an audience with him straightaway. His plans to make war against my family can wait for a short time, I am sure.”

Urien’s fingers curled into his palms, and he trembled. “Hear me—”

“No. You hear me.” The chain uncoiled and dragged against the stones, scraping noisily as she advanced upon him. Despite her bonds, Urien fled, matching every backward step to one of her forward ones. “If you think me an annoyance now, wait until you have had the privilege of standing outside of that door every day for yet another fortnight. I have only begun to make a nuisance of myself.”

The chain reached the limit of its length, causing her to come up short. Despite himself, he flinched, taking another step away. Sir Caden had warned him to not underestimate the lady. She might be a slight little thing, but she was cunning, and stronger than she appeared.

“Milady, please,” Urien pleaded, nearing the end of his rope. Perhaps he did not have what it took to be a hardened knight like Sir Caden. He could not even manage one, tiny shrew of a woman. “I am only doing what I was commanded. I am his squire, ‘tis my duty to obey and serve him in all things.”

“Serve your master by protecting him from me,” she insisted. “For if I have to spend another fortnight in shackles, I swear to every god of my people that I will use this chain to strangle him as he sleeps!”

Without so much as a word, he turned on his heels and retreated. The devil take that woman! He was a squire, not a bloody nursemaid. Shoulders squared with determination, he strode confidently down the curving stairs of Minas Bothe’s northern tower.

His boldness carried him through the great hall, and out the front doors, which had been thrown open to allow servants to come and go toting casks of ale, barrels of wine, and baskets full of fresh bread from the bakehouse.

Tonight, the great houses of Daleraia with eligible daughters of marriageable age would feast with the Maignarts. Lady Victoria had sent for them in hopes that her eldest son would choose one for his bride. Now nearing his thirty-third year, the heir to Minas Bothe, and future High Lord of Daleraia had procrastinated on the matter of marriage long enough.

Within the inner bailey, the knights and their squires were about their swordplay; among them, he expected to find Sir Caden. It was his custom after taking breakfast to indulge in swordplay for a few hours before seeing to the other tasks that required his attention inside of the massive keep.

The winds blustered quite strong today, pulling at Urien’s clothing and causing the garments to cling to his long, slender frame. Tendrils of cinnamon-hued hair came loose from the leather thong taming it at the back of his neck and whipped about his face.

Through the howling of the gusts, the clashing of steel upon steel, as well as the grunts, bellows, and curses of the men rose and fell. Squires cheered as their knights sparred, and pages looked on with young, wide eyes. Beyond the swordsmen, more knights instructed their squires at the art of the flail, mace, and morningstar. Further on still, others trained with spear and shield.

This is where I belong, down here training with the other squires … not playing nursemaid.

If Sir Caden wanted the harridan monitored day and night, he could bloody well do it himself. It was on the tip of his tongue to tell Sir Caden just that when he laid eyes upon the knight’s broad back. Even from behind, he knew his master, a man of exquisite grace and precision with the longsword. His booted feet moved as if engaged in a graceful dance, his every muscle taut and controlled as he held the weapon before him in a two-handed grip.

Urien drew up short, not daring to interrupt his practice, but determined to have a word with him the instant the sparring match was over.

His opponent was none other than Lady Loreena Maignart, sister to Lord Theodric and Sir Caden’s aunt. One of Daleraia’s many knighted shield maidens, she’d proved herself to be as fearsome as any man, and more skilled with a sword than most. Not a man among them would dare to ridicule or challenge Lady Loreena, whose skill had been proven on and off the battlefield. Upon the field of the Battle of the Athils—the last skirmish of the War of Four Kings—she earned her knighthood. There existed only a handful who could claim the honor.

Akin to her brother and nephew in looks, she possessed strong, handsome features, glittering blue eyes, and midnight-black hair cut short in the style of a man.

The dark curls tumbled about her head riotously as she struck first, slashing low. Caden reacted without hesitation, his shield blocking his legs in a downswing. Loreena backpedaled with a few graceful steps, recovering just as his blade arced toward her middle. She deflected it with her own sword, while planting her foot in the middle of his chest and throwing him off balance. Before he could regain his footing, she was upon him, bringing her sword down over his head.

He fell to one knee, but brought his shield up to repel her sword. The blade clashed against the shield with a resounding clangor, causing Urien to wince—he knew the pain of such a powerful blow which now radiated up Sir Caden’s arm.

As the knight rose, his sword arced upward, knocking Loreena’s blade from her grip, sending it crashing to the stones below. She lifted her shield defensively and crouched for her sword, but he advanced upon her before her fingers could find the hilt.

Kicking the weapon aside, he dropped his shield and unsheathed the shortsword at his waist. He advanced on her, swinging both weapons now in the fighting style known to Daleraia. He slashed with the longsword and thrust with the short, landing a blow at her shoulder with one as the other glanced off her shield. The lady knight cried out from the blow, but did not bleed as the weapons were blunted. She’d suffer no more than a bruise from the blow.

With a grunt of annoyance, she charged, her shield raised. He thrust with his shortsword, but her shield made contact with his wrist, causing him to bellow in pain and drop the blade. Recovering quickly, he spun and slashed with the longsword. Her hand wrapped around his wrist, halting the blade. With her other hand, she brought the shield up and thrust it at Caden’s middle, forcing the air from his lungs and sending him staggering backward.

Loreena recovered her sword, as well as his. Bending her knees, she held one high over her head and the other extended before her, advancing upon him with slow, measured steps. She circled him as he regained his footing, finding his only remaining weapon, the blunted dirk sheathed against his ribs. Pulling it free, he went for her fearlessly, heedless of the two longswords outmatching him.

With a hearty laugh, she lunged, both swords swinging with expertise and flair. Caden ducked beneath the first one, driving his shoulder into her middle as the second one came down between his shoulder blades. If the swords were sharpened, she’d have laid his back open like a butchered side of beef.

Heedless to the pain, he tackled her to the ground. Straddling her, he knocked the second longsword from her hand and captured her wrist, pressing it to the ground. He held the dirk against her throat with his other hand, and leered at her in triumph.

“I do believe you have been beaten,” he declared as the gathered knights, squires, and pages applauded him. “Do you yield, Aunt?”

Loreena’s blue eyes twinkled with mischief as she stared up at him. “Aye, Nephew. I yield.”

Caden grunted in satisfaction and stood, offering her a hand up. She took his hand and used it to pull him off balance as she rose, driving her knee upward and between his legs. He crumpled with a groan of agony, his hands clutching his middle as he writhed upon the ground.

Loreena stood over him, hands upon her hips, a robust laugh shaking her shoulders. Others who had gathered around fought to contain their laughter, yet failed miserably.

“Have I taught you nothing, Nephew?” she teased, now offering him her hand. “Never trust a woman … not even the ones in chainmail.”

“Especially the ones in chainmail,” Caden agreed, accepting her assistance to stand. “Well met, Aunt. A valuable lesson that I will not soon forget.” His gaze met Urien’s over her shoulder and narrowed. “Pardon me. I believe there is a matter that requires my attention.”

Urien swallowed past the lump in his throat as Caden advanced on him. The knight’s jaw clenched and his nostrils flared, his fingers clenching at his sides as if he wished to choke the life out of him.

He took the squire by the shoulder, turning him back toward the castle. He had no choice but to match Sir Caden’s pace, his shoulder throbbing from the tight grip the knight had on his shoulder.

“You have thirty seconds to tell me why you are here, instead of standing guard outside of my door as I instructed you.”

Urien took a deep breath and spoke before he could lose his nerve. “Milord, something must be done about Lady Gwendolyn,” he said in a rush. “She is relentless in her attempts to undermine me, and delights in making a pest of herself.”

Caden’s lips twitched in amusement. “Never say you cannot handle a task so small as a woman.”

Urien scowled. “I think we both know she is no ordinary woman, milord,” he grumbled. “A more exasperating female cannot possibly exist upon this earth. She speaks too freely and boldly, without restraint or regret, and she makes threats—”

Caden paused, turning to face him. The amusement faded and his countenance became thunderous once more. “She threatened you?”

Urien gulped again and cleared his throat. “No, milord … that is to say … well, it was not I she threatened, rather … well, you, milord.”

The knight’s chest swelled and his jaw began to twitch, this time with anger. For a moment, Urien feared his reaction, but then reminded himself that the lady would be the one to suffer the consequences, not him.

At long last, the knight spoke, his voice like a rumbling roll of thunder. “Find Sir Hektor, and inform him that I would appreciate his help in training you today. Go back to your swordplay, Urien.”

He fought not to let relief show upon his face, but within he felt like jumping for joy. “Aye, milord, but what of the lady?”

Sir Caden turned back toward the front doors of the castle, his back stiff. His measured footsteps were akin to those of a man-at-arms marching off to battle.

“That is no longer your concern.”

 

 

 

 

Gwen paced toward the single window in Caden’s room, then back toward the bed—as far as her shackle and chain allowed. The iron dragged against the stones below, scraping in a manner that set her teeth on edge. Yet she could not find it in herself to cease pacing, not when every fiber of her being craved movement.

She was accustomed to constant activity—riding, walking, archery. Beyond Seahaven’s walls, the forests stretched on, offering miles and miles of places to discover. She missed the smell of the sea and the feel of damp grass beneath her feet. The shady treetops of Seahaven’s woodlands and the gurgles of its streams. She longed for white sand between her toes and the surf lapping at her ankles. Most of all, she craved the company of the people she held dear.

Pausing mid-stride, Gwen sank onto the bed, lowering her face into her hands. Evrain’s body would have been delivered to Seahaven by now. Her mother would be inconsolable, and her poor sister-in-law … Josaine had been his lady for all but a year, and now she had been made a widow. It was too cruel to be borne.

Ah, and Jorin. Her youngest brother was alone in Vor’shy, and while Gwen did not doubt Lord Mador Saint-Clair had done his best to comfort and protect him, a young man would need his family during such times as these. Josaine had Gwen’s mother, Lady Enid, as well as Achart, who had been released from Minas Bothe to return Evrain’s body to Seahaven. While her third brother, Leofred, remained locked away in the castle dungeons, he was aware of her presence here. They might be separated by several levels of stone, but they were near enough. Jorin had no one to draw solace from.

“Tinitas, give me strength,” she prayed aloud to the god of the sky and seas. The vengeful deity was said to have a heart carved from stone. Unfeeling. Strong. A force with which no man dared to trifle.

Would that my heart were made of stone.

Aye, a heart of stone. It would have saved her from the pain of betrayal.

Lifting her head again, she clenched her jaw, fighting back the tears that threatened to spill. Standing, she filled her lungs with a deep, cleansing breath and issued a slow exhale. Determination filled her entire being as she strode toward the window and threw open the shutters. Closing her eyes, she embraced the biting cold and the howling winds atop the Radaughorm Mountains. The cold stung her skin and sank as deep as her bones, yet Gwen felt exhilarated. The hem of her chainse billowed around her calves, and her hair became a living thing fluttering about her face.

For a moment, she forgot the chain coiled at her feet and the shackle circling her waist. The wind dried her tears and filled her lungs with frigid air. For that small amount of time, Gwendolyn Toustain was no longer a prisoner … she was free.

“Planning to jump, wench?”

His voice boomed in the cavernous room, and Gwen heard it even over the howling of the wind. She turned to face him, her arms falling to her sides. The wind continued its assault, its frigid fingers yanking at her chainse and fondling her skin, causing goose bumps to prickle.

An expression of pure rage had marred his face when first he entered the room. However, the moment their eyes met, it changed into something else altogether. She stood, captured in the thrall of his gaze. His steely blue eyes darkened, and his jaw clenched. He wore black, as he had since his brother’s death. A leather jerkin clung to his chest and abdomen, and the sleeves of a linen shirt were cuffed to the elbow. Breeches in an equally dark shade clung to his thighs and legs. His hair was windswept and standing on end from being out of doors.

Gwen’s mind flooded with memories—Caden’s mouth on hers, his hands caressing her in the most intimate of ways, their bodies joining as one. She lowered her gaze and shuddered.

Gods, even my body betrays me.

Had his perfidy not been enough to purge her from all softer emotions? Curse him, even after the pain he’d caused her, Caden Maignart’s gaze was still enough to make her weak. She’d become a bloody fool, one who well deserved the predicament she now found herself in.

“I would not give you the satisfaction, Daleraian,” she declared, lifting her chin. She strode toward the windows and closed the shutters, casting the room into silence as well as near-darkness. Though the sun had risen hours ago, the rooms of Minas Bothe remained in perpetual shadow. The wailing winds forced its residents to close the shutters more often than not, blocking out any and all light.

Candles, braziers, and a cavernous fireplace offered a meager orange glow that cast sinister shadows across Caden’s face as he came further into the room.

“Milady does me a disservice,” he replied, his tone laced with annoyance. “You suppose I wish for you to suffer, and that is simply not true.”

Gwen’s control snapped and she rushed forward, her bare feet slapping over the stones. Her fingers clenched, the desire to wrap them around his neck overwhelming.

“What do you think you have done with your shackle and your chain?” she bellowed, grunting as the length of the chain prevented her from further movement. Screaming in frustration and anger, she grasped the chain and gave it a rough yank, causing it to rattle and clank. “Day after day you keep me here, chained to your wall! I am forced to remain in this room with no one to talk to, nothing to do, not even the light of the sun upon my face. The only company I am allowed is yours, and it is dismal at best. You will not even inform me of the condition of my brother, Leofred, nor your plans concerning the impending war. Where once I thought we were allies, you have ensured that we can never be anything but enemies.”

“No, you did that!” Caden railed, coming within arm’s length of her. The anger was back, turning his face to stone and his eyes to narrow blue slits. “You, with your shackles, and your chain. Did you think my father would pardon you for the crimes committed against myself and my men because you are a woman?”

“I thought he would pardon me because of your promise,” she hissed. Her voice trembled with anger. Her hands began to shake at her sides. “You made a vow to me, one that I believed would be upheld.”

“Why?” Caden asked, his voice dropping as he approached her, coming so close that she could smell him. He smelled of the outdoors, leather, horse, and something else—that distinct scent that was his alone. His hand came up to her face, his thumb stroking the line of her jaw. “Because we made love? Because I said things to you that I should not have said, and allowed myself to feel things that could not possibly lead to anything good?”

The surface of her skin tingled at his touch. It resounded through her in pangs of longing so strong and fierce that she had to fight to contain them. His countenance had softened, and in the place of anger was something else altogether.

Hope, perhaps.

Tenderness.

Desire.

“No!” Gwen cried out, snatching away and putting a bit of much-needed distance between them. Steeling herself, she turned her back to him. She would not fall prey to his seduction again. “I trusted you because you are a knight of Daleraia,” she said, her voice as biting and cold as the wind beyond the window. “I believed you were a man of honor. Obviously, I was mistaken.”

“Goddamn it, Gwen, you do not understand!” She could hear him pacing behind her, his breath racing. “If I wished for you to suffer, all I needed to do was allow my father’s gaoler to come and drag you away. He would have stripped you of your clothes and thrown you into a cell within the depths of the dungeon. Would you prefer it there amongst the rats and fleas, with no more than gruel, bread, and water day after day? Perhaps you would favor sleeping on a straw pallet as opposed to my bed—the bed I vacate every night to preserve your dignity, I might add. Do not think the guards and gaoler would be any kinder to you than I, for you would be making a terrible mistake. How long before they notice the feminine body beneath that chainse of yours, I wonder? How long before they grow bored enough to seek you out, looking for a bit of sport? Aye, you would fight them, I know, but even you are not fierce enough to win that battle. Make no mistake, if they wanted you, they would have you and no one would speak up in your defense.”

“Enough,” Gwen declared. The trembling became stronger now, exacerbated by the terror his words had conjured. “Do not think to mollify me by making yourself out to be my shining, heroic knight. How am I to believe you after what you’ve done? I risked everything to free you. I defied my family and my father’s most trusted advisors because I believed in your innocence and wanted to make things right. This is how I am repaid.”

“I had no choice,” he argued. Gwen still refused to face him, yet felt him nearing her once more. Her back stiffened in response, awareness causing heat to suffuse through her. “I did what I could to protect you, but nothing would sway my father from having you as a prisoner. ’Tis only temporary … until a ransom can be agreed upon. You and Leofred for the rest of my men.”

Gwen crossed her arms over her chest defiantly. “I do not believe you. I put my trust in you once, I won’t be so foolish again.”

She felt his fingers, gentle upon her hair. Her breath caught and held, burning in her lungs as his touch ran over the tangled strands.

“I do not expect you to trust me,” he whispered. “Nor am I foolish enough to believe that our friendship could ever be repaired. Aye, I tricked you. I stole your freedom. I am a bastard, and you have every right to hate me. Yet, when this is over, I do hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. My actions might have saved you from a fate worse than death.”

Suddenly, his touch was gone. She turned to find him striding toward the door. His shoulders were broad beneath his jerkin, squared with determination and rigid with resolve.

“You have not yet heard my demands,” she called out, halting him at the door.

Amusement pulled at the corners of his mouth as he turned to face her. “Aye, wench? What makes you so certain that I will grant any of your demands after the way you have driven poor Urien to madness?”

Gwen shrugged dispassionately. “If you are going to assign a gaoler to me, you might want to ensure that he is up to the task. I am no shrinking violet.”

“No,” he agreed with a smirk. “No, you are not.”

“I want a hot bath,” she said, raising her chin. “Not just a basin to wash with as you have provided thus far. A real tub, hot water, and a maid to tend me. As well, I grow weary of staring at the walls of this room day after day. I wish to be allowed a moment of respite. I give you my word that I will not attempt escape.”

He laughed in response, the sound echoing loud and boisterous. “I believe you,” he said with a snort. “You may have the bath if you promise to cease your campaign against Urien. The boy acts under my orders. I am more than up to the task of bearing the brunt of your shrewish rage, the boy is not.”

Gwen’s hands found her hips. “You mean to leave me here, languishing in boredom?”

“It was my belief that Dinasdalian ladies preferred a life of idleness.”

She glared at him. “Do you know me so little? I am going mad with naught to do but worry.”

Caden sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger. “I will try to remedy that. For now, the bath you requested will be granted, as well as clean clothing.”

“One last thing.”

“Why am I not surprised?”

She ignored his muttering and continued. “I wish to see Leofred. I have not spoken with him since the night I was imprisoned, and I wish to see for myself that he remains unharmed.”

Caden nodded, stroking the thick growth of beard upon his jaw. “Let me think about how best to arrange that,” he said. “I would like to be able to give it you.”

Gwen frowned, studying him with curiosity. As ever, he bewildered her. On the surface, he appeared a man of honor and integrity. Yet, the secrets he kept from her and the actions he’d taken without her knowledge condemned him. The sullen man who had stood in this very chamber and sentenced her to imprisonment, and the one who had so passionately tutored her in lovemaking were not the same. The conundrum, of course, was discerning which man he truly was.

She wanted to believe that he was the second man—the one who had defended her from degradation at Gaiwan’s hands, the one who held her as she grieved her brother, whose mouth had worshipped every inch of her body with reverence and tenderness. However, that belief had gained her nothing but pain in the end, and Gwen could not allow herself to forget that.

“Thank you, Sir,” she said with a stiff curtsy.

His gaze lingered upon her for another moment before he turned to leave. “And you may as well know,” he said over his shoulder, “Leofred was moved to a tower room overlooking the bailey not a day after you were detained. He will serve out the remainder of his time here in relative comfort. I hope that will ease just a bit of your worry, milady.”

Get an ebook copy of Chained for only $0.99 (Limited time only!)

To celebrate the upcoming release of Bound, book 2 in the Chained Triology, book 1 has been currently discounted to only $0.99. Get caught up before book 2 is released, and don’t miss out … this price cut is only temporary!

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The discount has been applied at all e-book retailers:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1r2079t
Barnes & Noble: http://bitly.com/1vt0VM1
iBooks: http://bit.ly/1zHFm8x
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1zHFm8x
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The Guardians is now available!

I am so thrilled to finally announce the release of this book. The Guardians has been nearly 2 years coming, and I couldn’t be happier with the direction the story has/is taking. You can grab book 1 at all ebook retailers (except for iBooks at the moment. There was a small problem that I’m working to fix. I hope it will be become available within the next few days).

Don’t forget to let me know what you thought of The Guardians after you’ve finished with a review!

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Amazonb

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

AllRomance Ebooks

Smashwords

In the war between Heaven and Hell, a special race of humans with supernatural abilities will represent the balance between darkness and light. They are known as The Guardians.

Jack Bennett comes from a long line of Guardians, a fact that has been drummed into him since he was a kid. When he and a select group of elite Guardians are called upon by Michael the Archangel to complete a special assignment, Jack gladly accepts. Seven years later, a failing mission and personal losses have left him jaded, bitter and without room for love or relationships in his life.

The past that Addison Monroe is so desperately trying to escape is one she can’t outrun. The darkness inside that causes her to act unpredictably has gone unexplained until now. A woman claiming to be an angel appears with a revelation that will shake Addison to her core. Her dark nature is explained as Addison discovers that she is one of the Nephilim—a child born of a human mother and demon father.

Despite the dark nature she was born with, Addison has been chosen by Heaven for a special purpose. Ten scrolls spelled to open up portals between Hell and Earth … ten demons who are using them to come and go from Earth at will, a violation of the terms set by heaven in the battle for souls … one demon known as the Great Duke of Hell who will stop at nothing to defeat her. Fighting alongside two Guardians, Addison must uncover the legendary Seal of Solomon—a ring that is said to possess the power to destroy demons, and wield it against the enemies of Heaven.

As his task to protect her develops into something more, Jack will find separating his job from his personal life nearly impossible. Ignoring the dangers of becoming too attached, Jack will find that a woman whose very nature should repulse him, might just be his saving grace.

Video Blog Ep. 3: Ebook Pricing (Reader Expectation vs. Author Reality)

I’ve been wanting to blog about this topic for quite some time now, so I’m glad I got around to recording this. While I offer free books, as well as some that are priced cheaply, it just isn’t feasible for me to make a living offering all of my books for little or nothing. I’ve often had readers say that they believe $3.99 is ‘expensive’ for an ebook. This video offers insight into how much an author makes per book, while keeping in mind the cost of producing a book and the labor involved. I hope it offers some perspective on the topic of ebook pricing, and the fact that while authors want to give their readers the best deal possible, we also want to make a living doing what we love!

The Guardians is now available for Pre-Order!

The release of The Guardians, book 1 in The Guardians Trilogy is set to release October 31. You can reserve your copy now and have it delivered to your e-reader at midnight on release day! For the first time, I am able to offer pre-0rder to Amazon readers, which is a really exciting development. By reserving your copy now, you won’t have to worry about forgetting when release day is. You’ll already have your copy ready to go! See the links below to pre-order your copy of The Guardians!

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Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iBooks

Kobo

At this time, AllRomance ebooks does not offer pre-orders. The Guardians will become available there on release day.

About The Guardians:

In the war between Heaven and Hell, a special race of humans with supernatural abilities will represent the balance between darkness and light. They are known as The Guardians.

Jack Bennett comes from a long line of Guardians, a fact that has been drummed into him since he was a kid. When he and a select group of elite Guardians are called upon by Michael the Archangel to complete a special assignment, Jack gladly accepts. Seven years later, a failing mission and personal losses have left him jaded, bitter and without room for love or relationships in his life.

The past that Addison Monroe is so desperately trying to escape is one she can’t outrun. The darkness inside that causes her to act unpredictably has gone unexplained until now. A woman claiming to be an angel appears with a revelation that will shake Addison to her core. Her dark nature is explained as Addison discovers that she is one of the Nephilim—a child born of a human mother and demon father.

Despite the dark nature she was born with, Addison has been chosen by Heaven for a special purpose. Ten scrolls spelled to open up portals between Hell and Earth … ten demons who are using them to come and go from Earth at will, a violation of the terms set by heaven in the battle for souls … one demon known as the Great Duke of Hell who will stop at nothing to defeat her. Fighting alongside two Guardians, Addison must uncover the legendary Seal of Solomon—a ring that is said to possess the power to destroy demons, and wield it against the enemies of Heaven.

As his task to protect her develops into something more, Jack will find separating his job from his personal life nearly impossible. Ignoring the dangers of becoming too attached, Jack will find that a woman whose very nature should repulse him, might just be his saving grace.

Video Blog Episode 2: Independence Day

September 23 marks my anniversary as a published author … a published  independent author. And so, for me … today is my independence day! I look forward to many more years on this journey with my amazing readers! Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to be alerted with a new blog is posted! And, don’t forget to comment with your questions. At least once a month I plan to answer them on video during a segment called ‘Ask Elise’. The questions can be about anything book-related, writing-related, or personal (within reason).

The Guardians Book 1 Cover Reveal

I wasn’t kidding when I said the wait was over … and here’s the proof! I’m so happy to finally get to show off the beautiful cover for book 1 of The Guardians series, which will release October 31. I will have pre-order information soon, which for the first time will include Amazon, an option I was previously unable to use. So, be on the lookout for that!

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Add to your Goodreads lists

In the war between Heaven and Hell, a special race of humans with supernatural abilities will represent the balance between darkness and light. They are known as The Guardians.

Jack Bennett comes from a long line of Guardians, a fact that has been drummed into him since he was a kid. When he and a select group of elite Guardians are called upon by Michael the Archangel to complete a special assignment, Jack gladly accepts. Seven years later, a failing mission and personal losses have left him jaded, bitter and without room for love or relationships in his life.

The past that Addison Monroe is so desperately trying to escape is one she can’t outrun. The darkness inside that causes her to act unpredictably has gone unexplained until now. A woman claiming to be an angel appears with a revelation that will shake Addison to her core. Her dark nature is explained as Addison discovers that she is one of the Nephilim—a child born of a human mother and demon father.

Despite the dark nature she was born with, Addison has been chosen by Heaven for a special purpose. Ten scrolls spelled to open up portals between Hell and Earth … ten demons who are using them to come and go from Earth at will, a violation of the terms set by heaven in the battle for souls … one demon known as the Great Duke of Hell who will stop at nothing to defeat her. Fighting alongside two Guardians, Addison must uncover the legendary Seal of Solomon—a ring that is said to possess the power to destroy demons, and wield it against the enemies of Heaven.

As his task to protect her develops into something more, Jack will find separating his job from his personal life nearly impossible. Ignoring the dangers of becoming too attached, Jack will find that a woman whose very nature should repulse him, might just be his saving grace.

Video Blog Episode 1: Support a Soldier Challenge

It’s my very first video blog. Yay! I’m so excited about this new thing I’m trying out. I hope you all like it. The plan is for me to do this every week. I’ll probably stick with it since it’s more fun than writing a blog and less of a chore. Anyway, next week’s blog will be the cover reveal for the first book in The Guardian’s series!

Also, if there’s a topic you’d like to hear me talk about in my video blogs, you can comment on this post, or email me at: elisemarionwrites@yahoo.com. I’ll also be adding a section called ‘Ask Elise’, so if you have any burning questions, bring ‘em on!

Meet My Character Blog Hop: Sir Caden Maignart

Welcome to my stop on the Meet My Character Blog Hop. Thanks to author Kacey Hammell for inviting me along for the ride. Click her name to check out her smokin’ hot Contemporary Romance hottie, Michael Harmon.

Now, on with the introductions. Trust me, you want to meet this guy’s accquaintance.

Meet Sir Caden Maignart, the hunky hero from my latest release, Chained.

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The firstborn son of Lord Theodric Maignart, Caden comes from a long line of kings and warriors, and it shows through in every aspect of his personality. He knows his duty and he does it well, but only when it pleases him to do so. Despite being bound by duty, Caden is a man who knows his own mind.

And can we talk about the body for a second? Years of swordplay, archery, and riding have honed his form to perfection, making him nice to look at, but more importantly a force to be reckoned with. The Maignarts are famed warriors and famous for their blood lust, and Caden is no exception. Knighted at the age of sixteen for protecting his home from invaders with only a handful of men, Caden’s reputation is well earned.

While Caden is a hardened and seasoned knight, he does have a sensitive side … one he keeps well hidden beneath his outer armor of lordly strength. He hasn’t married yet because he has yet to find a woman who can engage his mind as well as his body. While he may not want to admit it out loud, Caden is dragging his feet in getting to the altar because he is waiting for love. Seeing the bond that his parents have shared over the years has set his standards high and he’ll settle for nothing less. In the meantime, he has no problem playing the field and there is no shortage of available women willing to satisfy the well-known knight.

 

Caden is a practical man, one whose every move is calculated and well thought out. He is honorable to the core and fiercely protects the people he considers his friends. His first duty is to his family, and within that circle is where Caden’s honor is the strongest.

You can get to know Caden better by downloading Chained, now available at all ebook retailers. Be forewarned, though …. I can’t be held responsible if you become as enamored with him as other readers of Chained have. *wink*

Be sure to continue on with the blog hop and check out some more awesome characters from my girls Alicia Michaels, Carly Fall, and Casse NaRome! Their character meet and greets will be posted soon!

 

ChainedEbookHouse Toustain … House Maignart … two royal houses once embroiled in a bloody feud … Thirty years of peace now broken in an instant …

Sir Caden Maignart has been captured, beaten, locked in a dungeon, and wrongfully accused of kidnapping and oath-breaking. Determined to free himself and his men, and clear his besmirched name, Caden does not count on the willful nature of his captor, Lady Gwendolyn Toustain, the daughter of the man who was once his father’s mortal enemy. After several attempts at escape, the lady orders him bound and chained to a wall in her chambers—where he will remain under her personal guard at all times and kept from conspiring with his men. While the lady’s high-handedness infuriates him, Caden cannot deny that everything else about her drives him to distraction. Forced into close proximity with her, Caden soon finds it hard to remember his mission of escape.

When Lady Gwendolyn of House Toustain first lays eyes on her prisoner, one thing about him is abundantly clear: Sir Caden of Daleraia is a dangerous man. Yet, she must show him no fear. The captured band of knights from Daleraia are her only clue in the mystery surrounding the disappearance of House Toustain’s sons, and it falls to Lady Gwen to seek justice. Is this kidnapping merely the ploy of mercenaries out for a ransom? Or has Sir Caden acted on the order of the High Lord of Daleraia and broken the peace? As she searches for the answers, she never expects the surge of passion that ignites between herself and her prisoner. The longer he remains in her clutches, the more Gwen realizes that though she has him chained, she is the one who has been captured.

Download at:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
AllRomance Ebooks
Smashwords
Kobo

About The Guardians Series: Your Questions Answered

So, you know how you get an idea and get so jazzed about it, you get yourself all worked up over it? Maybe it was a New Year’s resolution, or maybe you were going to start a new diet, or a huge redecorating project. You get the idea. That initial burst of energy when the idea strikes is so powerful you start feeling like Wonder Woman (or, Superman if you’re a guy reading this post) and you feel like you can knock that sucker out with one punch.

Sometimes things work out and that energy carries you until the end of your project or idea. Other times, your ambition doesn’t exactly line up with the time you have, or the actual energy you possess once that initial burst of adrenaline wears off. It happens to us all in different areas of life, and I am hardly immune to the phenomenon.

In 2012 I concluded the Angels Among Us series. In the final book, I teased a spin-off series featuring the Guardians, a hybrid race of humans created by God to fight the battle against the demons and their minions on earth. I promised the first book by spring of 2013, and … well, there really isn’t one single reason why the project never made it off the ground. There are actually several reasons that all converged to rob me of the motivation to write the books.

I got pregnant with Baby M (the roughest of my three pregnancies and delivers), my husband went through some very serious health issues, other projects took up more time than I’d anticipated, I struggled with migraines … and on top of all that, I just lacked the drive to do it. The idea was so awesome at first, I couldn’t wait to write it. Then, the longer it took me to get to it, the less inspired I became, until I wasn’t sure I’d ever want to do it.

I answered everyone’s questions and emails in the best way I could, by telling you all it had been delayed but was coming. Which was the truth. Despite all my other projects, The Guardians has never been away from my mind. I just didn’t want to force it, because when creativity gets forced, the story is never as good as it can be. If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I prefer to let things happen organically.

 

So, I’m happy to announce that the delay is over. The Guardians Series WILL hit virtual bookshelves this year (likely October). What’s changed? Well, I went to New Orleans in May for a book convention and got my socks knocked off with Inspiration. If you’ve never been, it’s definitely one of those places you want to put on your bucket list. A city so full of history and mysticism … NOLA is a colorful place, and I found myself watching the scenes of this story playing themselves out in the city and even in the bayou. I am excited to make this city come alive and introduce you to the characters of The Guardians trilogy. Within the next couple of weeks, there will be a cover reveal and release date announcement, so stay tuned for that.

 

I hope this puts some of you at ease about the series and answers your questions. It was never my intention to wait this long, but sometimes waiting is best. In waiting, I found the inspiration I needed to make this series what it should be. Thank you all for your love and support throughout this writing journey.

 

Happy Reading,

Elise

Chained Trilogy Book 1 is now available!

I have been waiting a long time to announce that the first book in the Chained Trilogy is now available! Starting this series really breathed new life into me as a writer and I cannot wait for my readers to become familiar with Alemere, the world I’ve created. I hope you enjoy Caden and Gwen’s story.

ChainedEbook

House Toustain … House Maignart … two royal houses once embroiled in a bloody feud … Thirty years of peace now broken in an instant …

Sir Caden Maignart has been captured, beaten, locked in a dungeon, and wrongfully accused of kidnapping and oath-breaking. Determined to free himself and his men, and clear his besmirched name, Caden does not count on the willful nature of his captor, Lady Gwendolyn Toustain, the daughter of the man who was once his father’s mortal enemy. After several attempts at escape, the lady orders him bound and chained to a wall in her chambers—where he will remain under her personal guard at all times and kept from conspiring with his men. While the lady’s high-handedness infuriates him, Caden cannot deny that everything else about her drives him to distraction. Forced into close proximity with her, Caden soon finds it hard to remember his mission of escape.

When Lady Gwendolyn of House Toustain first lays eyes on her prisoner, one thing about him is abundantly clear: Sir Caden of Daleraia is a dangerous man. Yet, she must show him no fear. The captured band of knights from Daleraia are her only clue in the mystery surrounding the disappearance of House Toustain’s sons, and it falls to Lady Gwen to seek justice. Is this kidnapping merely the ploy of mercenaries out for a ransom? Or has Sir Caden acted on the order of the High Lord of Daleraia and broken the peace? As she searches for the answers, she never expects the surge of passion that ignites between herself and her prisoner. The longer he remains in her clutches, the more Gwen realizes that though she has him chained, she is the one who has been captured.

 

Purchase at one of these ebook stores:

Amazon

iBooks

Kobo

AllRomance

Smashwords

Chained is now available for pre-order!

ChainedEbook

Get your copy of Chained  delivered to you on release day, and take advantage of the special, pre-order discount! Save a buck when you pre-order Chained from iBooks, Kobo, or Smashwords (Barnes and Noble coming soon)

Sorry Amazon readers, as of now Kindle does not offer the pre-order options to self-published authors. However, the special, discounted price will be available for Kindle readers the first week of release!

Pre-Order Now!

iTunes

Kobo

Smashwords

Cover Reveal: Hot Summer Nights

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I am so excited about this group project I got to be a part of. Getting together with 8 other authors to offer up an anthology of hot summer stories has been one of my funnest projects of the year so far. Read on for more about Hot Summer Nights, which includes my Contemporary short story, Life After Death.

HSN-BoxSet

Hot Summer Nights Volume One

A multi-author anthology by: Alicia Michaels, Carly Fall, Casse NaRome, C.J. Baty, Elise Marion, Kacey Hammell, Natalie G. Owens, Peggy Martinez, and R.K. Ryals

Genre: New Adult/Adult, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal, Time Travel

Release Date: July 30, 2014

Website: www.dasiaisland.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dasiaisland

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22430015-hot-summer-nights-volume-1

 Pre-order information coming soon!

 

Blurb:

Welcome to the exotic paradise of Dasia Island. In the Elysium Resort, nestled among the lush beauty of the rainforest, adventure and romance await. In these nine short stories by bestselling and award winning authors, passion ignites between people from all walks of life, with stories ranging from New Adult to Erotic Romance, and even a bit of Paranormal and Time Travel thrown in—after all the island itself has a mystical history, with mysteries and legends to explore. Lose yourself in the magic of the island … you’ll never want to go home again!

Beauty and the Brain by Alicia Michaels (New Adult Contemporary Romance)

Chloe Sanders would rather be anywhere than on vacation with her parents. It’s not like they ever pay any attention to her, and being a witness to their constant fighting and boozing isn’t exactly her idea of fun. Still, when they drag her along on a trip to the Elysium Resort for a week, Chloe is determined to have a good time—knock back some drinks, spend all her spare time shopping or at the spa, and maybe even in the arms of a hot surfer. She certainly doesn’t count on Chase, who’s roughing it in the rainforest with a research group, studying wildlife. He’s an annoying know-it-all, and not shy about letting Chloe know what he thinks of her bratty ways and expensive lifestyle. The two couldn’t be more different, but in the swelter and mystery of the island, opposites just might attract.

 

 

The Laws of Attraction by Carly Fall (Contemporary Romance)

High-end criminal attorney, Jared Greer, has spent his adult life working for his father’s legal firm and chasing the next big client. The legal world is shades of gray, and he doesn’t think about right and wrong when representing a client—he thinks of the paycheck. His hard work has paid off, and he lives a lavish lifestyle filled with expensive cars, a luxury apartment, and the best of everything.

He takes a private jet to Dasia Island for a meeting about possible representation with a CEO of a toy company accused of knowingly producing toys that killed 15 children. As Jared and his assistant, Monica, work through the case documents and share some of what Dasia has to offer, their passion on the magical island makes Jared consider the way he lives his life, especially if he wants Monica in it.

 

The Art of Losing Inhibition by Casse NaRome (Contemporary F/F Romance)

One man’s trash is another woman’s treasure.
Reeling from the loss of her husband to a carefree socialite, uptight Kennedy retreats to Dasia island for a little bit of R and R. Will she learn to let loose in the arms of Basil, the wild-child trust-fund baby with a silver tongue?

 

His Island Paradise by C.J. Baty (Contemporary M/M Romance)

Gar Lancaster wasn’t depressed, no matter what his sister said. He didn’t need a trip to a tropical island to meet some guy for a vacation romance. But when Mike Peters kissed him on the balcony under a sea of stars with the pounding waves hitting the shore below them, things changed.

Maybe, he didn’t need a happily ever after. Maybe happily for right now would be okay. Whatever happened, Gar was pretty sure he was in way over his head.

 

Life After Death by Elise Marion (Contemporary Romance)

When his friends invite him for a guys-only vacation to the exotic Dasia Island, the last thing Jameson Blake expects is to run into Victoria, his ex-wife. The loss of their son in a tragic accident left their marriage in tatters, and together they were never able to move past it. But in the wilds of the rainforest, revelations will rock them both, forcing them to confront their past. In the process, the realization that love has never died between them will rise to the surface. With that knowledge, will Jameson and Victoria be able to overcome the past and strive for a future together?

 

Layover by Kacey Hammell (Contemporary Romance)

 

Hand’s off. That’s Gemma Sands’ cardinal rule when it comes to dating co-workers. Even though she’d like to get her hands on Michael Harmon.

Michael has his own idea about where he’d like to put his hands. But Gemma’s steadfast rule means Michael simply admires from afar.

But fate has other ideas when an unexpected layover on Dasia Island pairs the couple in less than ideal conditions. Forced to share tight quarters, and unable to resist their passion, they finally surrender to every touch they need so desperately.

 

 

 

Woman in the Mist by Natalie G. Owens (Paranormal Time Travel Romance)

A free spirit and sole heir of the 5-star Euthykhia Hotel, Garrick Kaili ‘Kai’ Langston remains on Dasia Island out of loyalty to his family. But this sprawling, recently renovated building, originally built in the thriving period between the two major world wars, harbors some dark secrets. Unsolved mysteries that continue to haunt at least one of its oldest residents…

A man shot to death, his murderer never found…and a young woman disappearing into thin air on the same night in 1965. A curse, or simple foul play? Some say Poppy Drummond’s fate was to be swallowed by deadly mists near the ruins of Dasia. Others claim such notions are merely fruit of the meanderings of a crazy mind…

But Kai is just about to find out—the truth is never what it seems…when the walls between fantasy and reality come crumbling down.

 

 

 

Guide me Gently by Peggy Martinez

 

 

City of Sin by R.K. Ryals (New Adult Contemporary/Paranormal Romance)

On the Island of Dasia, there’s a legend about a city of sin, a tragic story that ended in a mist of death. Haven Ambrose is a Journalism major on a mission. River Brayden is a meteorologist with a tropical system to follow. Their love is strong, but is it strong enough to survive a storm that leaves them stranded them with an ancient evil?

 

 About the Authors

 

Alicia Michaels

Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of Narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Wherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. The mother of two and wife to an Army sergeant loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.

Carly Fall

I am a wife, a mother and a slave to Nicky the dog.

I love to laugh, I think chocolate and wine should be considered their own food group, and I wish Christmas happened twice a year.

I love hearing from readers, so please send me an email at carlyfall@gmail.com, or connect with me on Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter.

 

Casse NaRome

Casse NaRome is the alter ego of a self-proclaimed awesome weirdo. She is also an Air Force Brat, so she has picked up the odd habit of never staying in the same place for too long. Casse is never serious, has been accused of wishing her life was a sitcom – laugh track and all. She loves to laugh and occasionally snorts but that is sexy, right? She talks to herself out loud and is fine with being a little insane.

Casse NaRome has three series including the bestselling YA/NA Sci-Fi & Fantasy, The Reborn series from Bayou Brew Publishing as well as the adult paranormal Death Knows My Name from Soul Mate Publishing and the NA paranormal Part Time Reaper

CJ Baty

CJ Baty lives in southwest Ohio with her very patient husband and two encouraging children. Her heart however, lives in the mountains of Tennessee where she hopes to retire some day. The mountains have always provided her with inspiration and a soothing balm to the stresses of everyday life.

The dream of writing her own stories started in high school but was left on the back burner of life until her son introduced her to Fan Fiction and encouraged her to give it a try. She found that her passion for telling a story was still there and writing them down to share with others was much more thrilling than she had ever expected. Publishing her own stories has been a highlight in her life.

 

One thing she has learned from life and she is often heard to say is, “You are never too old to follow your dream even if it takes you fifty years!”

 

Elise Marion

Elise Marion is a lover books and has a special place in her heart for sweet and sensual romance. Writing about love across all walks of life is her passion, as is reaching people through the written word. The Army wife and stay-at-home mother of three spends most of her time taking care of her children. Her second job includes writing stories about characters that people can fall in love with. When the Texas native isn’t caring for her family or writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, singing loudly, or cooking up something new in the kitchen.

 

Kacey Hammell

 

Avid Reader. Romance Author. Redhead…

Canadian-born author Kacey Hammell is definitely a book-a-holic. A romance reader from a young age, she fell in love with happily ever afters.  These days, as a multi-published erotic romance author, she enjoys adding a lot of heat, sass, and emotion to the many genres she writes.

 

A mom of three, Kacey has made certain each of her children know the value of the written word and the adventures they could escape on by becoming book-a-holics in their own right. She lives her own happily ever after with her perfect hero in Ontario, Canada, and is a true romantic at heart.



 Natalie G. Owens

Pink velvet and black lace. Light and darkness. A world of contrasts exists in Natalie’s stories because every rose has its thorn. Her favorite stories to write are romances with a dark edge featuring brooding heroes, strong heroines, and a good dash of fantasy.

Married with one son, she now calls the beautiful island of Malta home after eleven good years in Atlanta, GA. When she’s not working or writing—or muttering to herself about it like a batty old maid—she enjoys spending time with family and friends (both online and offline), reading, cooking, watching a good movie, taking trips, and ogling shoe store displays.

 

Peggy Martinez

When not writing, Peggy can be found spending time at home with her husband, her teen son, and four little girls. She loves reading, writing, soap making, aromatherapy, gangster movies, prepping for the zombie apocalypse, and downing insane amounts of Twizzlers and Kazoozles.

As if being a wife and homeschooling mom of five doesn’t keep her busy enough, Peggy Martinez is a full time Author who has six published books, including The Time Warper Series, State of Decay, Sweet Contradiction, and Unnatural Occurrence. Peggy’s dream is to own a small homestead where she can raise some chickens along with her five kids, tend to a large garden, and one day take her dream vacation’s to Ireland, Greece and Scotland.

 

R. K. Ryals

 

R.K. Ryals is the author of emotional and gripping young adult and new adult paranormal romance, contemporary romance, and fantasy. With a strong passion for charity and literacy, she works as a full time writer encouraging people to “share the love of reading one book at a time.” An avid animal lover and self-proclaimed coffee-holic, R.K. Ryals was born in Jackson, Mississippi and makes her home in the Southern U.S. with her husband, her three daughters, a rescue dog named Oscar the Grouch, A Shitzsu named Tinkerbell, an OCD cat, and a coffee pot she honestly couldn’t live without. Should she ever become the owner of a fire-breathing dragon (tame of course), her life would be complete.

 

 

 

Cover Reveal: Chained (Chained Trilogy Book One)

Coming July 6, 2014!

Pre-order info coming soon!

ChainedEbook

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00014]

House Toustain … House Maignart … two royal houses once embroiled in a bloody feud … Twenty years of peace now broken in an instant …Sir Caden Maignart has been captured, beaten, locked in a dungeon, and wrongfully accused of kidnapping and oath-breaking. Determined to free himself and his men, and clear his besmirched name, Caden does not count on the willful nature of his captor, Lady Gwendolyn Toustain, the daughter of the man who was once his father’s mortal enemy. After several attempts at escape, the lady orders him bound and chained to a wall in her chambers—where he will remain under her personal guard at all times and kept from conspiring with his men. While the lady’s high-handedness infuriates him, Caden cannot deny that everything else about her drives him to distraction. Forced into close proximity with her, Caden soon finds it hard to remember his mission of escape.When Lady Gwendolyn of House Toustain first lays eyes on her prisoner, one thing about him is abundantly clear: Sir Caden of Daleraia is a dangerous man. Yet, she must show him no fear. The captured band of knights from Daleraia are her only clue in the mystery surrounding the disappearance of House Toustain’s sons, and it falls to Lady Gwen to seek justice. Is this kidnapping merely the ploy of mercenaries out for a ransom? Or has Sir Caden acted on the order of the High Lord of Daleraia and broken the peace? As she searches for the answers, she never expects the surge of passion that ignites between herself and her prisoner. The longer he remains in her clutches, the more Gwen realizes that though she has him chained, she is the one who has been captured.

Add to your lists on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22328684-chained

Enter to win an autographed papebrack: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/94372-chained

 

Photography by Imagine Images (Larry J Stephens)

Models: Jason Lee Erickson and Nandii Ramesra

Cover Art Design by: Najla Qamber Designs

I’m going to Indie Bookfest 2014!

Indie Bookfest 2014

 

Attention all Florida readers! August 8-9 I will be attending Indie Bookfest in Buena Vista, FL at the Buena Vista Palace! Join me on Saturday, the 9th from 1-4 pm for a book signing, where I will be selling and autographing paperback copies of my upcoming Medieval Fantasy novel, Chained! I may have some special guests with me as well … stay tuned for more info!

 

ibf

By the way, when I come to IBF, I won’t be coming alone! Making a special appearance at the book signing at Indie Bookfest (August 9) are my very gorgeous models for the Chained Trilogy book covers. By then Chained will have been released, and they’ll be with me to greet readers, take pictures and sign books. And just wait until you see the cover. These two showed OUT in front of the camera and delivered some beautiful images, three of which will grace the covers of the trilogy.
If you live in Florida, this is an opportunity most won’t get: to get a copy of the book in paperback signed by the author as well as both cover models. Check out the Indie Bookfest Website for ticket info (book signing is FREE)
www.indiebookfestcon.com

An open letter to the organizers of the RT Booklover’s Convention

To the Romantic Times Magazine, and organizers of the RT Booklover’s Convention,

I will never forget the first time I heard about the RT Booklover’s Convention.  As a newly self-published Romance author, I was thrilled at the thought of an event that huge. I wanted to be a part of something that celebrated readers and writers of Romance, and I wanted a place to network, build relationships, and interact with readers.

 

Last year I attended my first RT in Kansas City and had a great time. The panels were interesting and informative, the parties were fun, and I got to spend time with authors I had forged friendships with via social media. It was why I was so excited to attend this year’s RT convention in New Orleans. I had every intention of making RT a part of my year travels. However, I found myself very disappointed in the way my fellow indie authors were treated this year. I am speaking, specifically, about the Giant Book Fair.

 

In 2013, there were two book signings held at the RT convention. One was for independent authors, ebooks, etc. The other was for mostly traditionally published authors. At the time, I was disappointed to know that RT felt the need to separate indies from traditional, as if there was some reason we could not share a space and sign together. However, I was happy just to have a table to sign at RT.

 

When I registered for the 2014 convention, I was elated to see that the two signings would be combined. Anyone who has ever attended RT knows that many people who cannot come for the whole week, make the effort to come to the Giant Book Fair. The amount of attendees at the Giant Book Fair are exponentially more than those who would attend the Indie and Ebook Expo. It hardly seemed fair that only traditionally published authors would have access to those crowds. For that reason, I was excited by the change. One book fair, traditional and indies signings together—that is what was promised. That promise was never fulfilled.

 

While I did not register early enough to secure a table at the book fair, several of my indie author friends did. Even though I was not part of the signing, to see the way indie authors were treated at the book signing was very hurtful to me. Indie authors are a community, and what hurts one of us hurts all of us.

 

At this point in my open letter, I would like to pose the following questions. What motivated you to separate indie authors from traditionally published authors for the Giant Book Fair? What logic was applied in this situation? Who decided that indie authors were not good enough to sign alongside the traditionally published authors? Did you think that readers would care that we were mixed together?

 

Let me tell you something I’ve learned in the three years I’ve been in business as a self-published author. The majority of readers out there don’t care who publishes their favorite books. There are many who can’t even name the publishers of their favorite books. All they know is that they love to read. The authors they love inspire and encourage them—we transport them to different worlds and different places and write characters that they can fall in love with. Whether we are traditional or indie, we are who they come to this event to see. To have a joint signing with both indies and traditionally published would have been RT’s chance to show that they support the rapidly growing indie movement. On the surface, it seems as if you do. You allow indie authors to register for your convention and pay the nearly five hundred dollar fee—the same as the traditional authors. You host many panels at the convention about indie and self-publishing. You even teamed up with Smashwords and Amazon this year—two businesses that are at the forefront of the indie publishing movement.

 

However, your decision regarding the book fair is very telling. It shows us exactly where we stand in your estimation and just how little you think of us. My next question to you is: how could you? How you could separate indie authors from the others? How could you give them a smaller table space than what was originally promised? How could you allow your volunteers and staff to herd readers away from the indie room and toward the traditionally published? Lastly, how could you allow your staff and volunteers to refer to the traditional authors as ‘published’ and the self-published authors as only ‘aspiring’? Actually, I’m going to take this a step further and ask: how dare you refer to us as aspiring? With this insult, RT has blatantly shown us that we are not real authors to them. We do not count, because we don’t have the backing of a traditional publishing house. Even though a large portion of us sell enough books a year to be able to support our families. Even though some of us have followings of thousands of readers who are rabid for our books and support us by purchasing, reading and reviewing those books. Even though some of us have earned the distinction of being on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal bestsellers lists.

 

How dare you trivialize those accomplishments by calling us aspiring? I went into business for myself as a self-published author almost three years ago and in that time I have created a brand and grown that business. I help my husband support our family, and now my household has two steady incomes. Indie authors are bold and brave, we are intuitive and we are resilient. We are changing the face of publishing, and those who cannot acknowledge this and accept those changes are stuck in the past.

 

I am taking this time to say that I do not plan to ever attend the RT Convention again. I am sure my measly $500 registration means nothing to you in the grand scheme of things, but this is a matter of principal. I do not believe any Indie author should fork over that much money to be treated poorly at your convention. All of those authors who were forced to sit elbow to elbow in a tiny room separated from the rest of the signing deserve an apology and a refund, and in the future you might consider handling this sort of thing differently.

 

I am sure in the days to come, you’ll start rolling out the excuses. I’ve already seen a few of your tweets defending these actions or trying to ‘lay rumors to rest’. What I am hoping, is that you will not just talk, but listen. You posted on social media that you wanted feedback and you are sure to get exactly that from the many authors and readers who were outraged by this situation. It is my hope that you will take our feedback seriously and rethink the current format of your convention, which is discouraging for Indie authors, to say the least. Until significant changes are made, I will only support conventions that support freedom of choice and artistry instead of deriding it. I implore my fellow authors to do the same … not just Indies, but traditionally published as well. We are all published authors, and we are all a part of the wonderful Romance community. There is room for all of us on the bookshelves of readers and at the RT Convention.

Sincerely,

Elise Marion (more than just an ‘aspiring’ author)

 

P.S. If any of my reader or author friends reading this letter wish to share their thoughts with the good folks at the RT convention, you may do so at this email address: trent@rtconvention.com

They have stated that they welcome feedback. Show them where you stand. By the way, Trent (who’s email address this is) is a great guy, so be nice to him. He was nothing but courteous toward us when we interacted with him and was doing the best he could. Thank you

Kings of Cardenas Series is now available in a complete e-book set!

If you’ve never read any of the books in the Kings of Cardenas Series, now is your chance to own them ALL. Also, you can save 5 bucks when you get them as a set, as opposed to separately. Take the journey of the Largess royal family and indulge in court intrigue, passion, and romance!

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Now available at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

Coming soon to Kobo and iTunes!

The Groom needs your help to win the Rone Award!

The Groom w EM LogoHello my lovely readers! InD’tale Magazine has nominated The Groom for its annual Rone Award in the Romantic Suspense category. What does this mean? The Rone Award recognizes achievement in Independently published books in the romance genre. Their reviewers are professional and aren’t exactly easy to please, and Groom managed to get a 4.5 out of 5 rating, which is spectacular! It’s an honor to just be nominated and this is actually the second year in a row one of my books has been in the running. I would love to make it to the finals, and possible even win this thing!

 

What does this have to do with you? Well, the first round of voting belongs to the readers! In’Dtale is asking readers to vote for their favorite books in each category. I would be thrilled if you, my wonderful readers, would take a moment to cast your vote for The Groom. If I make it to the final round, my book goes into judging, which will then determine if it wins or not.

 

Here’s how to vote. There are 2 ways:

 

1) Visit In’Dtale’s website by going to this link: http://indtale.com/2014-rone-awards

In order to vote this way, you will need to register with In’Dtale and create an account. They need voters to do this to ensure that you’re an actual person before you’re allowed to vote. Once you’ve created an account, you can find The Groom under the heading Suspense/Thriller.

2) There is a second, simpler way to vote, which is by email! Simply copy this text: Romantic Suspense category: The Groom by Elise Marion

and email it to: anasmith@indtale.com

It’s as simple as that! I will be sure to update you all on whether or not The Groom makes the final round. Thank you so much for all your love and support. I have the best readers an author could ask for. You all have made this journey a memorable one!

 

 

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The Gypsy is now available!

I am happy to announce that the final installment of the Kings of Cardenas series is now available at select ebook retailers. The Gypsy is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and AllRomance Ebooks. iTunes and Kobo will be soon to follow, as well as Paperback books. Writing this final book was bittersweet, but I am happy with the way I left things. Be sure to check out the very end of the book (after the epilogue) for a very special surprise. Trust me, you want to check it out, this is HUGE!

Download your copy of The Gypsy now!

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Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

AllRomance

As a young man, Desmond Brandon was a dreamer. When his sister married the king of Cardenas, the son of a Gypsy dancer and a sailor became a titled lord with more wealth, land, and power than he could have ever hoped to possess. It wasn’t long before he discovered the true nature of both his adulterous wife, and the gilded cage of the royal court. With the stars dashed from his eyes, Desmond cultivates a reputation for himself as a conscienceless rake, one that he wears over his jaded heart as a badge of honor. When Desmond visits The Red Rose, a high-end brothel that caters to the tastes of the wealthy and titled, he never expects to find the woman who will turn his world upside down. Yet the beautiful Ana is not what she seems. Despite the mystery surrounding her, Desmond finds himself enthralled by her. As feelings of passion begin to develop into something more, the Gypsy lord will be forced to face the things he’d hoped to forget.

Anastasia Harden does not want to keep the truth of her past from the man she loves, but the revelation would tear them apart. Yet, when that truth becomes a danger to them both, she is left with no choice but to reveal all. Faced with the possibility of losing everything, Anastasia will learn that the wild heart of a Gypsy is not so easily captured, or tamed. Will the jaded Gypsy lord return her love, despite her deceit? Or will the truth tear them apart and doom them both in the process?
Elise Marion concludes the Kings of Cardenas Series with this stunning story of love, deception, passion, and intrigue.

The Gypsy Cover Reveal + Release Announcement

I am so happy to he able to finally announce a release date for The Gypsy. The wait is over, March 15! Thank you for your understanding and patience as this project took me longer than expected. But, I think you’ll be happy with the outcome. Also, I’m happy to announce a little bonus for you guys. So many of you have expressed curiosity over the Queen Mother, Alexandra Largess. I’ve been asked time and time again who she really is and why she is so cold. You wanted her story, so now I’m telling it. At the end of The Gypsy will be a short story entitled The Queen Diaries, an inside look at Alexandra and her thoughts. And who knows? She might even find love!

 

TheGypsy02

As a young man, Desmond Brandon was a dreamer. When his sister married the king of Cardenas, the son of a Gypsy dancer and a sailor became a titled lord with more wealth, land, and power than he could have ever hoped to possess. It wasn’t long before he discovered the true nature of both his adulterous wife, and the gilded cage of the royal court. With the stars dashed from his eyes, Desmond cultivates a reputation for himself as a conscienceless rake, one that he wears over his jaded heart as a badge of honor. When Desmond visits The Red Rose, a high-end brothel that caters to the tastes of the wealthy and titled, he never expects to find the woman that will turn his world upside down. The beautiful Ana is not what she seems. Despite the mystery surrounding her, Desmond finds himself enthralled by her. As feelings of passion begin to develop into something more, the Gypsy lord will be forced to face the things he’d hoped to forget.

 

Anastasia Harden does not want to keep the truth of her past from the man she loves, but the truth will tear them apart. Yet, when that truth becomes a danger to them both, she is left with no choice but to reveal all. Faced with the possibility of losing everything, Anastasia will learn that the wild heart of a Gypsy is not so easily captured, or tamed. Will the jaded Gypsy lord return her love, despite her deceit? Or will the truth tear them apart and doom them both in the process?

Elise Marion concludes the Kings of Cardenas Series with this stunning story of love, deception, passion, and intrigue.

*Includes bonus content: The Queen Diaries (A Kings of Cardenas Short Story)

Come hang out with me at The Novel Experience!

TheNovelExperience1 March 28-30, 2014, I’ll be hanging out at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Georgia for a fun Author/Reader book event. The event is FREE! You can come for the whole weekend, or you can just attend the book signing (where I’ll be signing books) on Saturday from 10-5. VIP tickets are available for a great price and include some awesome perks! I’ll also be hosting a party Saturday night from 9 until … A bachelorette bash themed after The Groom and other wedding-themed books by other authors. Bring your singles for the entertainment and get ready for some bawdy fun!   Get more info at the Novel Experience Website. Like the Novel Experience Facebook Page.   Hope to see you there!