Dariel's World

Hi. I'm Dariel Raye, an interracial/multi-cultural paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and psy/suspense author, and every day of this journey is a learning experience. I'm also a counselor, musician, and animal lover. My stories are about all-conquering love and romance, and I enjoy hosting other authors as well. Enter a world where werewolves, vampires, multi-shifters, vamp-like Nephilim, Vodouin Fey, and all things paranormal capture our hearts...

You might also like to visit my website.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tantalizing Tuesday Teaser: "Arrangement" Part Two


Welcome to another Tantalizing Tuesday Teaser! If you're new to the setup, several talented authors write 200 words using a pick of their choice as inspiration. Enjoy, and be sure to click on the link at the end for more teasers :-)


This is a continuation of my Friday Flash, "Arrangement." Click here to read the first flash of "Arrangement" and see the inspirational pic chosen by our fearless coordinator.

Arrangement - Part Two

Joban owned her, and despite the warmth, the pleasant tingle in her belly, and the slow sizzle blossoming from her womb whenever he was near, she wanted freedom.

He blinked and the light disappeared from his hands, back to the netherworld from whence it originated. He stood and walked toward the door.

“Are you leaving?” She sheathed her claws, trying and failing to temper the fear in her voice.

“Would you like me to stay?” Deep, mellow tones poured over her like balm for every hurt she’d cast aside.

Nia rolled her eyes and turned her head away from him. Arrogant bastard.

He hesitated, then stepped through the door. “Nevertheless, I will return shortly.”

Nia heard him chuckle, reacting violently to his taunt and ripping the soft sheets with instinctively unsheathed claws. Damn it!  According to his reputation, angering him was not wise.

Following Joban’s silent footfalls, he unlocked the door from the outside with a snick. Nia jumped, but held her tongue. She would not cow, despite the fluttering of her heart.

He glanced at the sheets, full lips a hard line, gray eyes storm clouds. “Come. Against the wall! My patience is over.”

Nia rose, the pleasant thrill in her lower belly foreign, unwelcome.

Click here to read my friends' teasers!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Dariel's Friday Flash: "Tommy's Raging Bull"


Intriguing pic, huh? Every Friday, a group of authors get together and write 100 words max. using the same picture prompt. This pic actually told its own story. Hope you enjoy, and make sure to click on the link at the end to see my friends' Friday Flashes!

Tommy’s Raging Bull
“What the FUCK!” I’m paralyzed, overwhelmed, heart racing. That lowdown bitch will pay! Raging bull appears, a snorting, dust raising bull closing in on a bright red terrified bullseye flashes before me.
So I got a little tipsy last night at the party. Tommy’s been deployed two years, my hormones took control and... damn, it felt good, though, his hands everywhere at once, my synapses sparking like wildfire, inner walls drenched, clenching and grasping. Soon as he touched me, no one else existed, but  really? Give a girl a break. A VIDEO? VIRAL!
Tommy rolls over and asks, "You alright, Babe?"



Monday, January 20, 2014

Dariel's Tantalizing Tuesday Teaser: Gateway - The Meeting

Welcome back for another Tantalizing Tuesday Teaser. If you're new to the scene, every Tuesday, a group of authors write 200 words max (teasers) using a pic of our choice. This is another scene from "Gateway." (claps hands) Yep, I've decided to build on the original teaser. Thanks for the encouragement :-) Stay tuned until the end and I'll link you to my friends' teasers.




Figured I'd take you back a bit closer to the beginning of "Gateway." So...
Gateway - the meeting

I should be looking for a way to feed my face, but Nooo! Instead, I’m twisting and swerving, hands in the air. The Gateway Club sizzles, pulsing rhythms, bodies moving like slow motion pop rocks, and here I am, losing myself, forgetting all about my bleak reality.
Someone touches me from behind, large hands gliding... This is the last straw. “Get your hands off my ass!” I hiss, and turn to regret my demand. A quick intake of air and I’m gawking now, facing him, hips still swaying to the pounding beat. Everything’s intensified as I peer into his eyes – deep, dark. My subconscious whispers, and cold. I ignore her, reveling in the booming thump! Thump!
Intense pleasure races from the soles of my feet to every synapse in my body, the sensation heady, intoxicating. He smirks, even the strobe lights flashing more intensely behind him, and my body gyrates madly, aching for this stranger’s touch.
He wraps his heavy arms around my waist and we’re skin to skin, heat and power rolling off his body builder’s physique in waves. “Friends call me Gateway.”
I gawk, rather stupidly I must admit. “Um, this your place?”
“Tonight, it is.” Like silk.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Dariel's Flasher Friday: "Arrangement"



With Friday Flashes, a group of authors each writes a total of 100 words about the same pic. It's amazing how different our flashes can be. Hope you enjoy this week's flashes.


Arrangement
“What’s that? She whispered, raising up on her elbows.

“Ssh. Lie back. Remember?” She caught a glimpse of something in his eyes, but he glanced down too quickly. The down comforter seduced her, her body too sated to move.

“Our arrangement forbids you to use your powers.”

Arrangement? Well, it’s good to know that memory is still in tact.” He gazed at her, irritation and desire evident in his stormy gray eyes, and her traitorous body bowed, drawn to him.

He leaned over her. “So exotic.”


She hissed, claws unsheathed, coiled to strike like his mysterious ball of light.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dariel's Feature: Angela Kay Austin is Visiting


Help me welcome author, Angela Kay Austin to Musings today! She's got a new release and an interview to share with us :-) Enjoy!

Angela Kay Austin

1.    When did you know you wanted to be a writer? What were some of your first steps toward making your dream a reality? How would you say most of your stories are conceived? Dreams? Research? Experience?  I’ve always expressed myself through words.  It’s been my most “organic” means of expression as long as I can remember.  My first steps were buying a diary and writing.  I wrote about everything: first loves, teachers, friends, hopes, and dreams.  My stories are a mixture of many things.  News.  Daydreams.  Conversations. Eavesdropping.  I try to keep my mind open to everything around me for the possibility of a story idea.  I can’t say I had any particular experience, in the beginning.  I took creative writing and journalism classes in college, but didn’t do much with it.  I didn’t decide to follow my dream of writing until I was much older.

2.    Is there a common thread in your books? How do your values show up in your writing? Jungian philosophy? What do you want readers to take from your writing? I think there are a few common threads.  My books focus on the female character.  She’s usually at a point of rebuilding, and I try to challenge what she knows in some way. I like forcing my characters to step outside of who they are and what they know.  I hope that it makes the reader do the same.  I don’t know if they reader will always agree with what my character decides; however, I hope that the reader is at least intrigued.

3.    What do you look for in a good book? In what ways would you say your books exhibit these qualities?  For me to enjoy a book, I have to get lost in the story.  And I hope that happens when readers pick up my book.  I want readers to forget about whatever is happening in their own lives, and I want them to hate when the story ends.  One of the best comments I can read about one of my books is…will there be a sequel.

4.    What are some of the best social media, marketing, and publicity tips you’ve come across?  You don’t have to use every social media.  But, when you do decide to jump in and start using social media, you have to engage others.  You can't lurk and watch.  That won’t do anything for you.

5.    What are some things you know now about writing and being an author that you wish someone had told you at the very beginning? That there is more than one way to become a published author.  And that all paths to becoming a published author are okay to explore.

6.    What lifts your spirits when you’re discouraged?  Music. I like to meditate with music and silence.  Sometimes movies also lift my spirits.  I watch something that will have characters doing what I’d like to be doing J

7.    What tips can you offer towards building and maintaining a strong support system as a writer?  Don’t look for “yes” men/women.  Seek out strong relationships with people who will be honest with you about your writing.  Be careful all critique partners/groups are not equal.


Rumer Wilson married the love of her life ten years ago, has two beautiful children, and what she believes is a wonderful life to prove it. But, does anybody ever control love? Her world spirals into an unfamiliar place of uncertainty for everything she holds dear, when her husband falls in love with a woman hiding secrets. 

Sebastian Ortiz has loved many women. Rumer is a means to an end. He doesn’t want to hurt her, but he needs her – for revenge on the man who hurt his sister – the sister he’s protected from harm his whole life. 

Neither Rumer or Sebastian could imagine what comes next...

 About the Author
Bestselling author Angela Kay Austin has expressed herself through words for as long as she can remember.  Poems became songs performed with her cousin at every family gathering.  But, eventually, short stories filled her favorite pink diary.  An infatuation with music and theater led to years playing various instruments and small extra roles in TV shows before giving way to a degree and career in radio and TV production.  After completing another degree in marketing, Angela found herself combining her love for all things creative and worked for many many years in promotions and advertising.  But once again, she found herself writing, which led to her first published work which stayed on her publisher’s bestseller list for ten weeks.  Her second release hit the bestseller list at All Romance eBooks. She’s spoken on author panels, and served on boards for various author groups.  When she’s not writing, you can find her reading her favorite authors, or researching her next story idea.  Angela shares her downtime with her mixed-bred rescue terrier—Midnight, in the beautiful southern state of Tennessee.

Contact Angela:
Twitter: @AngelaKayAustin



Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dariel's Top Five Plans For the New Year


First, I'll just say I'm excited about the possibilities of this year. Biblically, the number 14 symbolizes "double blessings." We can only hope, right? This is not an exhaustive list and it's not necessarily in chronological order, but I'll share as I go. Here's a taste of what I'm planning so far...

1. Newsletter growth - one fun thing I've started on is a serial set in a bed and breakfast. Each episode will be a paranormal suspense with romantic elements. I'll tell you more about it later.

2. Finish and release "Dark Sentinels Prequel: Syreena" - February

3. Finish and release "Dark Sentinels Book Three: Parrish"  - hopefully April (that's Parrish above)

4. I've already started writing flashes with a group of talented writers - 100 words on Fridays and 200 on Tuesdays. One already fits perfectly with a series I'm working on. (you can see the series-related flash below)

5. Finish and release "Ashanti's Becoming" and "Taking Palima" - hopefully June and August

Celia’s Claiming
Celia stretched, entwined her fingers in the wild vines above her head and gazed at the swamp. Each minute movement released sinuous energy, returning her body to its former supple grace. She slid her hands along her curves, relishing the feel of her own skin, renewed life. The moment his gaze landed on her, his life force zinged straight to her core.
She turned and glided toward him, darkness disguising her features just long enough. Every nuance, color, and movement vibrated in stark contrast.
“Better?” She spoke softly, moved slowly, fighting primal instincts, her heart lunging against her chest to get on with it.
He leveraged his back against the stone wall and stood, gray eyes slits, the light inside him a beacon. 
Her stomach clenched, the need to touch his dark hair unfamiliar.
He towered over her, regaining his strength quickly, as she knew he would.
She took an audible breath, closed her eyes, and pressed her soft curves against him, her body starving for more – long overdue.
“Who? What… are you?” His deep voice accused, eviscerating illusions of rightness, the swamp’s call shredding her heart.
She heard her own voice echo through him, her long lashes brushing his chest as she glanced up.
“I wish” She stopped, nearly doubling over in pain, then blinked, moisture dimming her vision.
”Your decision?”

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dariel's Friday Flash: "Gateway"

Gateway
Rush hour. Even worse now than it’ll be this evening. I swerve, dumbstruck, a near miss for the car behind me. It can’t be! He’s…he’s…
Pull it together, girl. I manage to pull over despite the hissing and screaming. My knees are rubberbands, every hair on my body electrified, muscles clenching, imaginary tazers beelining for my clit. How?
“Gateway?”
He smiles, knowingly. Well, more of a smirk, the same cold eyes, and slides the heavy chain around his hunky shoulders.
I can hardly walk, my body quivering, pulsing, threatening to explode. “Answer me, dammit! Gateway?”

He narrows his eyes. “Of course.”

Click here to check out more Friday Flashes!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dariel's Feature: Interview With Natalie Gibson #RomTrp


Join me in welcoming author Natalie Gibson to my site! Natalie and I have worked on a number of events together, and in addition to being an exceptionally creative writer, she's a caring person with a rare penchant for fairness. While taking site inventory and writing my New Year goals, I realized she'd never been featured at my site. Something had to be done and quick, so here's a peek at her life and a peek at her work. Enjoy :-)


Interview
  1. What do you want readers to know about you as a person? Yikes. I've never been the kind of person who was interested in my favorite authors as people. I only want their creations for my enjoyment. So it's a little difficult for me to imagine that anyone would want to know anything about me. Here goes: A. I am a country girl, no matter how sophisticated and fancy I want to be. Get me too far from the forests and I can't breath. Any time at all in a large city and I feel claustrophobic and seriously stressed. B. I am not as depraved as my books might suggest. My imagination is overactive. C.
  2. What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned during your career as a writer/author? The importance of a professional editor and design team. To ignore everything and everyone else and just write what you enjoy. Treat other writers with respect even if you don't like their books – I know how much time and effort went into each one and every book isn't for every person.
  3. What lifts your spirit when you’re discouraged? My husband. Without Eric I would have given up, thinking myself a piece of crap writer, a long time ago. Reading also works for me. Both a great book and a terrible book can inspire me to write.
  4. How do you spend your time when you’re not writing? Any other hobbies or passions? I love seasonally appropriate crafts but I often see these amazing things in my head and then they come out like a kindergardener did them. I love reading. We have a huge collection of movies and quality t.v. shows on DVD. I don't watch t.v. because I don't like commercials.
  5. Tell us about your books – genre, titles. Any favorite characters? I write what I like to read. No matter what genre, my stories are filled with action and adventure that will keep you turning the page, haunting images that stick with you, and endings that keep you coming back for more. My blend of paranormal and urban fantasy, whether it be contemporary or historical, provides for an entertaining read. If you enjoy your romance on the steamy side and heavy on the paranormal, then try the books ofSinnis. If you're looking for something darker with mind-bending thrills, then check out the Carrier Trilogy. As far as favorite characters, I am partial to them all, but if I could only pick one it has to be Maeve Lovejoy, heroine of book 1 of Sinnis, because she is the one that started it all for me. She is the first character I created.
  6. Is there a common thread in your books? If so, what do they have in common? What do you want readers to take from your creations? My books are for entertainment. They don't hold life lessons. I want my readers to lose themselves in my stories, to start reading thinking they will just read a chapter before bed and then BAM it's morning and the book is finished. I write strong women, because I am a strong woman. I don't do the shrinking violet. In my stories the women don't need a man to save them. They want a particular man, and usually end up being the one to do the saving. Just because I find the alpha male sexy in the bedroom doesn't mean I want to be bossed around in regular life. I am not a submissive woman and I don't like to read or write about fainting, weak, ignorant, helpless females.
  7. What can we look forward to from you in the near future? Works in progress? Projects? Wretched Blood, Book Two of the Carrier Trilogy, follow up to Hateful Burden is now finished and in the hands of my editor and design team. I have a vampire horror stand alone I am itching to write and a couple short stories that won't leave me alone.
  8. What are some of your favorite writers’ resources? Online sites? Resource books? Describe your research process. Oh, man. Wikipedia is of incalculable value. As far as online sites, none specific.
  9. What advice would you offer a writer to help increase productivity? Share the load. Don't try to do everything. It takes time to figure out the programs that design covers. That is time you should be writing. Find a group of supportive people to be on your team.  Get out of your comfort zone. Write in a strange place, where the dirty dishes aren't calling to you and the half watched season of Game of Thrones isn't tempting you. Write something for fun. Write every day. Even if you hate it the next day, just put words on the screen. Worry about editing later, but don't forget about it completely. 
Natalie's Books
The Sinnis series is my attempt to combine all the elements I enjoy in a good read: action, adventure, magic, mystery, romance, and racy sex. The stories center around the Daughters of Women, a secret order of magical adepts, each with abilities granted to them from their mother's bloodlines. Some will be, and some will give birth to Sinnis, a generation bound to an ancient race of men they call Guardians—the Nephilim. 
If you enjoy your romance on the steamy side and heavy on the paranormal, then try the books of Sinnis.  These are currently priced cheaply (first 2 at .99 cents and the other 3 at 2.99 each) because they are being professionally edited, redesigned inside and out with all new covers, and offered in paperback for re-release all during next year with new titles as The Nephilim Bound Series.  The 6th and final book will be written in 2014 and released at the beginning of 2015.

Ishtar Bound (Book One of Sinnis): Surrounded by magical enemies with an intimate knowledge of her abilities, a matchmaking witch of the highest rank must fulfill both her duty to her coven and her desire for a love of her own, even if the two goals collide.

Maeve Lovejoy has always been good at her job even though her services come at a high cost. Though her matchmaking abilities are stronger than ever, the most potent in any coven's recorded history, her introduction to Aaron has confused matters. Believing she's found a partner who can love her and allow her to continue practicing her arts, she shares her secrets with him. Is it a coincidence that soon after someone is locating and murdering Maeve's matches? When Aaron disappears is it because he is a member of a rival black magic sect or has he become their victim?
 (insert cover)

The Carrier Trilogy is a gaslight-era paranormal horror series. They are told through the eyes and words of Lady Ramillia Winmoore, daughter of the late Earl of Brooksberry. She finds herself immersed in a society of cruel immortals that will stop at nothing to claim her and to use her for their own personal gain. In this dark urban fantasy, paranormal powers are bred and collected, but she is determined to protect herself and her children—no matter what the consequences may be. These books are dark and gritty in a way only the late 1800s London can be. 

Hateful Burden (Book One of the Carrier Trilogy) is a gaslight-era paranormal horror novel as well as a psychological thriller where friends and foes are not always what they seem. In this dark urban fantasy, paranormal powers are bred and collected.

Lady Ramillia Winmoore, daughter of the Earl of Brooksberry, has suffered from gaps in her memory her entire life. But this darkness is a blessing. Whenever she feels threatened, it takes over and protects her from feeling pain or even the slightest bit of discomfort. That is until the day she awakens strapped to an examining table at the West Freeman Asylum for Lunatics. 

Imprisoned for the gruesome murder of her parents, Ramillia learns she has lost ten months to the darkness. Forced to endure years of torturous treatments in a grimy, hidden cell, salvation arrives in the form of a benefactor named Sir Julian Lawrence. Betrothed to her through an arranged marriage, he helps her gain freedom.

But appearances are deceiving and soon Ramillia learns the cost she must pay. The horrors she encounters in his household are far worse than the asylum when he inducts her into a society of blood-thirsty, cruel immortals. Soon she is forced to join them and accept their way of life. 

Now Ramillia must break free of a prison she cannot see, kill an enemy that cannot die, and find a daughter that she cannot remember—all with the help of an ally she does not know. Who is Sally and can she be trusted? Is this mysterious and frightening woman trying to save her or is she planning on saving Ramillia for herself?


Wretched Blood (Book Two of the Carrier Trilogy) is now finished and in the hands of my editor and design team.  It will be available in ebook format and paperback at the beginning of 2014. 

I write contemporary erotica under the pen name NG Lovejoy.  I have 4 short stories, the Mount Haven Quickies.  If you like your stories hot with a dash of romance in a wide variety of kink, check them out.

Thank you for having me, Dariel!  Thank you readers for joining us.  Feel free to connect with me.  I'd love to hear from you.

About Natalie:
I have always loved reading. In middle and high school, I could be found with my nose in a book between classes while others were flirting and primping. In a small way, I hated to turn 16 because it meant I could drive to school and didn't have the extra hour in the morning to read a few extra chapters. I love paperbacks. I adore my Kindle. I love the ease of buying books and the secrecy I can enjoy them in. No more bright pink or swarthy man-laden covers being seen and judged by cashiers for this gal!
If I had to pick a favorite genre it would be paranormal romance. I do read tons of other stuff. I like action and adventure, and choose paranormal, fantasy or sci-fi over everything else. If a book only has romance without all the running and chasing and fighting of vamps or dragons or cyborgs, then I'll probably pass.
I am married to a kind, artistic, highly intelligent man, who looks like a nerdy biker. He rocks the sideburns and forearm tattoo better than anyone I've ever seen. Eric's paperback collection is one of the main reasons I married him. He had a massive amount lining the walls of his bedroom (how sexy is that!) and I knew I had to have them–and him–as my own. We have an almost 6 year old daughter, who is witty, fun, and too smart for her own good sometimes. I started writing during my maternity leave and now have 7 full length books and a number of short stories available for purchase. I love to play card and board games and I am a sore loser– the worst. I was born and raised in East Texas and I have lived as far from home as Austin, Texas where I earned a BFA from UT in Acting with a History Minor.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Readers' Heaven - Dariel's New Year Reunion: Last Day!

Hi, and welcome back to our New Year's Reunion! It's day seven, last day! Every day you take a look and comment, you'll receive extra points, so if you're new to the event, you'll want to take a look at posts from the last six days to catch up. Make sure you enter the Rafflecopter and include your email address in your comment. Don't miss a day, and have fun :-)
Rachelle Ayala
What You’ll Love about Vera and Zach from “Knowing Vera” by Rachelle Ayala
Zach Spencer: athletic, endearing, panty-melting, selfless , heroic, amputee.
Zach, Zach, and more Zach! He’s everything a girl could want from his panty-melting grin to his swimmer’s physique and roguish Aussie accent. More than that, he is every kind of wonderful combined in a hunkalicious sweetheart who puts other people first. He lost his leg in a rescue attempt, but instead of turning bitter or giving up on life, he decided to make his life more meaningful by caring for other people. He doesn’t look for sympathy or excuses, but lives his life to the fullest. He’s honest with his feelings and loves Vera even when she wasn’t very lovable. But he has self-respect and walks away when Vera shoves him one time too many.
Zach’s completely and unashamedly romantic. He remembers the little things Vera asks for and surprises her by giving her much more than his boomerang. Oh, and did I mention how talented he is??? Swwooonnn.
Vera Custodio: Vibrant, gutsy, sexy, caring, sentimental, tough.
Vera hasn’t had it easy. Death hangs over her family: her father, two brothers, and now, her beloved uncle is dying of cancer.  But Vera cares. She cares a lot about her mother and her niece, as well as her best friend, Maryanne and her baby. Then, there’s Zach. Even though Vera can’t admit to any feelings for Zach, she stood by him when he was injured. She sat at his bedside, sang to him, and helped the nurses care for him. Little by little, her heart opens to Zach, but when she finds a horrible family connection to him, she is determined to find the truth, no matter what dangers she might encounter. She’s just a little too crazy and a much too bold. Going to Australia, she meets shady characters and gets herself kidnapped and dumped in the ocean. But she’s strong and takes loving care of Zach as they struggle to survive and seal their love on a deserted island.
Vera’s my kind of tough chick: one who is daring, doesn’t love easily, but is true blue to the end for the one man she lets into her heart.
Here’s what some reviewers said about Vera and Zach.
“Zach is a loving hero, who made me want to love him. And Vera is a strong, though a little damaged, heroine.” A Generous Helping of Romance review
“Zach is totally swoon-worthy and a great hero who will take your heart. He lost his leg in an accident trying to save a friend is so great at dealing with it. Every woman should have a Zach in their life!” - Family Fun and Life review
“Well, Vera yes indeed have a love that can relate to many Filipina. As what I thought, I fully understand her dilemmas in falling in love. Avoiding and keeping herself from falling to someone, that is a very great challenge! ... My favorite genre was romance and I don’t want it plain, I want it lavish, catchy and r-e-a-l-i-s-t-i-c !  Well I can relate to Vera, the pain, agony and repentance she had experience, I felt the same while I read the pages.” Sleepless Gal review

Book Description:
Vera's dating Zach, casually, not committed, when she discovers her long-departed father is the killer of Zach's mother many years ago.
Meanwhile, Zach reevaluates his life after losing his leg in a tragic accident and realizes he's falling in love with Vera.
Can their timing be so wrong? Vera knows the relationship is doomed, but she cannot resist the tugging of her heart and Zach's panty-melting grin.
Caught in a web of family secrets and hidden agendas, Vera and Zach must depend on each other for survival. A dangerous killer is on the loose, and Vera must find the truth, wherever it leads, even if it destroys her chance for love forever.

Ann Gimpel
Buy Link: Taliesin Publishing
Buy Link: 
Amazon
Buy Link: 
All Romance E-books
Buy Link: Barnes and Noble
Blurb:
A modern day psychiatrist and a dragon shifter stranded in time can’t escape their destiny, no matter how unlikely it seems.

In a cave deep beneath Inverness, a dragon shifter stirs and wakens. The cave is the same and his hoard intact, yet Lachlan senses something amiss. Taking his human form, he ventures above ground with ancient memories flooding him. But nothing is the same. His castle has been replaced by ungainly row houses. Men aren’t wearing plaids and women scarcely wear anything at all.

In Inverness for a year on a psychiatry fellowship, Dr. Maggie Hibbins watches an oddly dressed man pick his way out of a heather and gorse thicket. Even though it runs counter to her better judgment, she teases him about his strange attire. He looks so lost—and so unbelievably handsome —she takes him to a pub for a meal, to a barbershop, and then home. Along the way the hard-to-accept truth sinks in: he has to be a refugee from another era.

Never a risk-taker, Maggie’s carefully constructed life is about to change forever. Swept up in an ancient prophecy that links her to Lachlan and his dragon, she must push the edges of the impossible to save both the present and her heart.

Excerpt:
Kheladin listened to the rush of blood as his multi-chambered heart pumped. After eons of nothingness, it was a welcome sound. A cool, sandy floor pressed against his scaled haunches. One whirling eye flickered open, followed by the other.
Where am I? He peered around himself and blew out a sigh, followed by steam, smoke, and fire.
Thanks be to Dewi— Kheladin invoked the blood-red Celtic dragon goddess— I am still in my cave. It smelled right, but I wasna certain.
He rotated his serpent’s head atop his long, sinuous neck. Vertebrae cracked. Kheladin lowered his head and scanned the place he and Lachlan, his human bond mate, had barricaded themselves into. It might have only been days ago, but somehow, it didn’t seem like days, or even months or a few years. His body felt rusty, as if he hadn’t used it in centuries.
How long did I sleep?
He shook his head. Copper scales flew everywhere, clanking against a pile that had formed around him. More than anything, the glittery heap reinforced his belief that he’d been asleep for a very long time. Dragons shed their scales annually. From the looks of the pile circling his body, he’d gone through hundreds of molt cycles. But how? The last thing he remembered was retreating to the cave far beneath Lachlan’s castle and working with the mage to construct strong wards.
Had the black wyvern grown so powerful he’d been able to force his magic into the very heart of Kheladin’s fortress?
If that is true— If we were really his prisoner, why did I finally waken? Is Lachlan still within me?
Stop! I have to take things one at a time.
He returned his gaze to the nooks and crannies of his spacious cave. He’d have to take inventory, but it appeared his treasure hadn’t been disturbed. Kheladin blew a plume of steam upward, followed by an experimental gout of fire. The black wyvern, his sworn enemy since before the Crusades, may have bested him, but he hadn’t gotten his slimy talons on any of Kheladin’s gold or jewels.
He shook out his back feet and shuffled to the pool at one end of the cave where he dipped his snout and drank deeply. The water didn’t taste quite right. It wasn’t poisoned, but it held an undercurrent of metals that had never been there before. Kheladin rolled the liquid around in his mouth. He didn’t recognize much of what he tasted.
The flavors are not familiar because I have been asleep for so long. Aye, that must be it. Part of his mind recoiled; he suspected he was deluding himself.
“We’re awake.” Lachlan’s voice hummed in the dragon’s mind.
“Aye, that we are.”
“How long did we sleep?”
“I doona know.” Water streamed down the dragon’s snout and neck. He knew what would come next; he didn’t have to wait long.
“Let us shift. We think better in my body.” Lachlan urged Kheladin to cede ascendency.
“Ye only think that is true.” Kheladin pushed back. “I was figuring things out afore ye woke.”
“Aye, I’m certain ye were, but…” But what? “Och aye, my brain is thick and fuzzy, as if I havena used it for a verra long time.”
“Mine feels the same.”
The bond allowed only one form at a time. Since they were in Kheladin’s body, he still had the upper hand; the dragon didn’t think Lachlan was strong enough to force a shift without his help. There’d been a time when he could have but not now.
Was it safe to venture above ground? Kheladin recalled the last day he’d seen the sun. After a vicious battle in the great room of Lachlan’s castle, they’d retreated to his cave and taken their dragon form as a final resort. Rhukon, the black wyvern, had pretended he wanted peace. He’d come with an envoy that had turned out to be a retinue of heavily armed men…
Melissa Keir
What’s Happening Now? Interview with Melissa
1.    First, looking back, how do you feel about your 2013 goals and how well did you do in reaching them? What helped or hindered your success?
I didn’t get as much writing done as I wanted. Life does get in the way. I went back to work full time this year again and it has taken up time that I didn’t have for writing. But I’m happy to have the rights back to three of my titles and be able to self-publish them. I loved the stories and they received many positive reviews so it’s important to me to get them back out to my readers.
2.    Life happens, and every writer is subject to its effects (positive or challenging). What personal (spiritual, emotional, physical, professional) life changes do you foresee affecting your writing this year?
The dreaded day job has kept me busy. I come home after a long day and writing is the last thing on my mind. With working during my lunch and any break time, I’m exhausted and not in a good place. I’m hoping that I can cut the hours down and have more time to enjoy life and write. J
3.    What have you learned about yourself recently as a writer (one random thing)?
I’ve learned that I write better in first person. I love getting into the character’s head and sharing their perspective with the reader.
4.    How many books have you published (include anthologies)? Tell me about them (genre, bibliography)
I have seven books published. Three I received the rights back to and am self-publishing soon. The covers are up on my website (http://www.melissakeir.com). I also have three books in the Wilder Sisters Series about five girls who grew up in Amherst, Ohio but left after high school. They all return home to face their demons. My final story is in a flash fiction anthology titled “Hot Flashes”. All my books are contemporary romances and feature sizzling romances.
5.    What can we look forward to from you in 2014 (special projects, books and anthologies of course)
I have a brand new story coming out in January, titled A Chalkboard Romance. This is a third person story about a one night stand between a parent and teacher. I’m also re-releasing my books, Second Time’s the Charm, Three’s a Crowd, and Protecting His Wolfe with new covers and new content.
6.    Which of your books would you suggest to someone new to your writing and why?
Most people who are new to me read my Wilder Sisters Series. I love the connection between the sisters as well as the small town life. Forever Love is the first book in the series, although you don’t have to read them in order or all of them to fall in love.
7.    What’s your favorite online hangout (complete link – only one)?
My favorite online hangout is my facebook page. I love chatting with friends and sharing funny photos as well as what’s going on in my life. Be sure to stop by! http://www.facebook.com/melissaakeir

Thank you for having me on your blog. I hope everyone has a wonderful and fulfilling New Year.
Jade Kerrion

Eternal Night ebook "What makes Kerrion’s writing so compelling is the beautifully flawed characters that find themselves in unexpected relationships...these kind of character level conflicts make Kerrion’s writing so deliciously addictive."—Noor A Jahangir, Author of The Changeling King “Everything you want in a great story. Love, intrigue, action, betrayal, and understanding.”—Ch’kara Silverwolf, Author of Daughter of Light and Dark Alone for a millennium, since a human murdered her beloved consort, Ashra, the immortal icrathari queen, rules over Aeternae Noctis, the domed city of eternal night. Her loneliness appears to be at an end when her consort’s soul is reborn in a human, Jaden Hunter, but their reunion will not be easy. Icrathari are born, not made. If Ashra infuses Jaden with her immortal blood, he will be a vampire, a lesser creature of the night, a blood-drinker rather than a soul-drinker. Furthermore, Jaden is sworn to protect his half-sister, five-year-old Khiarra. She is the child of prophecy, destined to end the eternal night and the dominion of the Night Terrors—the icrathari and the vampires. As Ashra struggles to sustain her crumbling kingdom in the face of enemies without and treachery within, Jaden fights to defend his sister and unravel a greater mystery: what is the city of eternal night, and how did it come to be? E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
READ AN EXCERPT
With Tera beside her, Ashra strode forward. A wall of vampires parted to reveal the other two icrathari, Siri and Elsker. A dark-haired human slumped at Elsker’s feet, his wrists cuffed behind his back. Ashra stifled a chuckle. Surely Tera was overreacting; the human was by far the weakest creature in the chamber. Tera knelt down, wrapped her fingers into the human’s hair, and pulled his head back. The human’s face was handsome enough—the slash of his cheekbones accentuated his perfectly proportioned, sculptured features—but taken as a whole, he was not compelling enough to justify the fuss. Ashra shrugged. “You’re wasting my time, Tera.” Apparently undeterred, the icrathari warlord shook the human hard. His eyes flashed open. They were brilliant green, the exact color of the emerald ring Ashra wore on the index finger of her right hand. His gaze was unfocused, and the reflexive narrowing of his eyes matched the clenching of his jaw, hinting of wrenching pain. Tera looked up and met Ashra’s gaze. “Taste his soul.” Ashra recoiled, her upper lip curling in disgust. She had no desire to taste a human’s soul. Over the centuries, humans had grown weak, their small lives consumed by superstition and fear. It was better to live on the edge of perpetual starvation than fill her hunger with the pitiful excuse humans called a soul. “Go deep,” Tera said. But why? Ashra’s brow furrowed. She glanced at Siri and Elsker, but the two icrathari shrugged, apparently no more clued in than she was. She looked back at Tera. The icrathari warlord known as Ashra’s Blade was the epitome of calm understatement. If she was so insistent, she must have had a reason. Ashra knelt beside the human. Without flinching, she placed her hand against his muscled abdomen. It was bloody, his flesh ripped by a vampire’s talons. The man tensed at her touch, and his eyes flared wide with agony when her soul-sucking powers leeched into him. His breath came hard and fast, his chest heaving with the effort as he twisted in Tera’s unyielding grip, trying to break free. Ashra’s eyes narrowed. The human was weakened—tapped into his life source, she waded through his dazed thoughts and shivered from the echo of each spasm of pain that wracked his body—but still, he fought Tera on the physical plane and Ashra on the psychic dimension, denying her access to his memories and to his soul. She frowned and slammed her will against his, tearing an anguished scream from his throat, but still, his will did not crumble. Askance, Ashra looked at Tera. “Did you taste him?” Tera nodded. “It wasn’t hard the first time; he didn’t know what to expect, but apparently, he does now and is doing a fine job of fighting back.” Was that grudging respect she heard in Tera’s voice? “Does his soul really matter?” The icrathari nodded again. Ashra’s shoulders shifted with the motion of a silent sigh. His resistance left her with little choice. She leaned forward and glided her lips over his in a whisper of a kiss. Human myths spoke of succubi and incubi—demons that, with a touch, could stir lust in their unwilling victims. All myths were based in reality. The maddening beauty and soul-sucking powers of the icrathari had spawned the legends of succubi and incubi. With a touch, the icrathari could lure their victims into a state of sexual ecstasy, bending the will and baring the soul. The human tensed against Ashra, resisting the intimate contact. She almost recoiled. Had the centuries dulled her innate powers? Surely she had not forgotten how to lure a man. She closed her eyes and remembered love. As always, Rohkeus’s fine-featured face—those beautiful gold-flecked green eyes, so unusual for an icrathari, and teasing smile—came to the fore. With a dreamy half-smile, she deepened the kiss, driving the memory of love before her like a sharpened stake. At last, the man relaxed, succumbing to the kiss. She leaned into him, heedless of his crimson blood staining her white gown. He was warm, feverish even. Just skimming over six feet, he had more than twelve inches on her, but his physical strength, compared to hers, was puny. She was well aged; over four millennia old, she was the oldest of the icrathari and the strongest. She could have broken his neck with as little effort as a human child snapping a twig. Her hand trailed across his muscled torso. He made it easy for her to be gentle. His body trembled as if he longed for her. His mouth was hungry for her kiss. He arched up against her, as if craving more. His need was like a living creature, wild and aching for her touch. Eyes closed, Ashra shivered. Only one other person had desired her as much. And he was dead. She forced her way through the memories of pale bodies tangled upon cool silk sheets. When her soul-sucking power leeched out, it found no opposition. Images of the human’s life rewound in a blaze of vivid sights, sounds, and sensations. Ashra looked up at Tera, her smile little more than a barely perceptible curve of her lips. “He fancies himself the protector of the child of prophecy. Was she among those taken tonight?” Tera nodded. Ashra chuckled, the sound without humor. “It’s a pity her genetic heritage wasn’t sufficiently superior to prevent her from being culled.” “There’s more. Go deep.” She pushed past the blackness at the start of his memories, expecting deeper darkness. Instead, the colors shifted into shades of ochre and gray. Memories, older than his body, resided in his soul; memories of an Earth long since lost to them—a planet surrounded and nourished by water; images of tall buildings glistening beneath a benevolent sun, and of thriving cities filled with the bustle of humans; memories of quiet and intimate conversations beneath a silver moon, the same silver moon that now graced Malum Turris with its light, though a thousand years older and viewed only from beneath the protection of the dome. She saw herself as he must have seen her, a much-younger icrathari, still hopeful for the future, never realizing that the Earth they had all known and loved was irretrievably lost. Had she ever looked that vulnerable? Had her smile ever been so beautiful, so filled with love as she looked upon— “Rohkeus?” Oh, blessed Creator, was that stricken whisper her voice?
~*~
E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository Connect with Jade Kerrion at: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon
Beth Trissel

Scottish Time Travel Romance Novel, Somewhere My Lass

Blurb: Will Mora and Neil be too late to save a love that began centuries before?

'‘The MacDonald comes’ warns Mora Campbell when Neil MacKenzie finds the young Scotswoman lying unconscious at the top of his stairs after he discovers his murdered housekeeper slumped at the bottom. Mora’s claim that she’s his fiancĂ© from 1602 and was chased to the future by clan chieftain, Red MacDonald, through ‘the door to nowhere’ seems utter nonsense. Neil thinks she’s addled from the blow to her head until his life spirals into chaos and the avenging Highlander shows up wanting blood. Mora knows the Neil of the future is truly her beloved Niall who disappeared from the past, but he must also remember. And fast. 

Although Niall’s kinsmen believe he’s dead, and Mora is now destined to marry his brother, she’s convinced that if she and Neil return to the past, all will be right. The balance of the present and future are in peril if she marries another, and the Neil of the present will cease to exist. The only problem is how to get back to 1602. An ancient relic, the ultimate geek friend, and a little Celtic magic help pave the way back to the enormous challenge that awaits them. If they’re in time.


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