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.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Zaidi Features: "A Struggle Of The Heart" by Marie Fostino

My Zaidi feature for you today is from an author who is new to me, and that's always exciting! Marie and I met on Facebook, and after chatting a bit about her writing, I immediately invited her to share her new release, "A Struggle Of the Heart." Love this beautiful, unique cover. Hope you enjoy, and remember, your comments encourage :-)

BLURB:  Annette Ferrari lives in Lawton, OK with her family when she decides it is time to leave and make it on her own. She moves to Norman with her girlfriend Lynn when she meets Aaron. It is love at first sight as he captures her heart. As they spend time together their love grows. Aaron joins the army and they continue their love through letters. Annette's life is turned upside down as she experiences the Oklahoma Bombing and her letters from Aaron stop. Broken hearted Annette devotes her mind to her studies. Tim a class mate befriends Annette and lets her know how he feels about her. But it isn’t until a disturbing event happens which changes her course of life and love.

My First Love
“Are you all right?” I asked with some trepidation.
“No,” he said and my heart constricted into a tense ball. Aaron planted his feet firmly on the bench. He leaned forward, placed his elbows on his knees and rested his head on his hands. I sat down next to him and after a few silent moments, slipped my arm tenderly around him. My heart skipped a beat as I wondered what could be so wrong when everything had seemed so right.
“I need to tell you something,” he said finally “and I’m not sure you’re going to like it.”
My heart sank with those words and I managed to mumble, “Okay, go on.”
“Do you know what ran through my mind before I came over to see you today?” Not waiting for an answer, he continued. “I thought about the way we met, our date fishing, and how funny you were trying to impress me with your skills.”
 I gazed up at him and gently squeezed his waist. “I thought about that too,” I replied nervously, wondering where all this was leading.
“I remember everything about those first few days I spent with you,” he said, his voice shaky.  I felt a distinct trembling inside and wondered if Aaron was about to break up with me.
“My point is that I loved each and every moment we shared together, Annette and I did not expect anything like this to happen.” He shoved a hand in his pocket and pulled out a rubber band to tie back his long black hair.
“What’s going on, Aaron?” I asked in frustration.
“I didn’t expect to fall in love,” he said closing his eyes for a moment. I could feel hot tears gathering behind my eyes and blinked to stop them from falling down my cheeks.
“I love you too… so what’s the problem?”
“I have to leave on Thursday for Fort Jackson in South Carolina. I’m going to boot camp, so our time together will soon be over.”
Although I heard the words, I could not rationalize or accept what he said. We’re in love! My mind screamed. How could he do this to me?
“I’m so sorry, Annette but I have to go,” he said almost in a whisper. Aaron turned to me drawing me into his captivating dark eyes. Then he pulled me close and hugged me desperately, as if for the last time. I began to sob uncontrollably and he cradled me in his arms for some time. I had never been in love before and Aaron’s shattering news tore at my heart. Even though we had only known each other for a brief time, I fell hard for him. This just could not be the end.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Flash: "Mine"

We're back again with another fabulous inspirational pic and our special variety of 100-word flashes. This week's is especially dear to me as I  love animals. They are very spiritual creatures, and I wonder at times if they walk on two legs while we sleep ;-) Check out my friends' versions, here. Enjoy!

They came for her again tonight, vying to touch her soft skin, force her to submit, rendering her unconscious. I have watched over her since creation, her conception human…this time, fragile.

Worlds have come and gone, our souls entwined, two as one, corporeal forms of no consequence.

Her attackers’ eyes reflected fear, disbelief, their meager minds unable to fathom one such as myself. I ripped open their bodies bare-handed, leaving them unrecognizable, an impressionistic wall mosaic.

Lifting my love with hands she recognizes by touch, I brought her here, shifting to comfort her. Ever her beloved companion.

She sleeps. Mine.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Zaidi Features: Interview with Krystal White and a Look at "Unforeseen" (Alessandra Powell series)

Welcome back for another Zaidi Feature! I had the pleasure of meeting this new, rather prolific author during our first Zaidi Features event on Facebook. If you haven't met Krystal White or read any of her books yet, you should definitely take a look. She'll tell us a bit more about what's available now, and what's coming soon in her interview, so sit back, enjoy my interview with Krystal, and leave an encouraging comment if you're so inclined :-)

Book description:

Alessandra Powell was raised by her grandmother. Not because her parents were dead, but rather because her mother didn't want her and her father wasn't even aware of her existence. 

When tragedy struck and her grandmother died, Alessandra was faced with an impossible decision. She could reach out to her father and convince him to help her or go into foster care until she’s 18. 
In this installment of the series we meet Alessandra and follow her life as she goes through all of these life altering changes.

Hello there!    

My name is Krystal and I love reading and writing! I doubt I could be without my kindle as I take it everywhere with me as every moment I can spear I spend it reading. 

I have always thought of myself as quite inventive and I figured it was time to put my creativity and imagination to work. That's when I decided to buy a smaller laptop that I could easily carry with me and furiously write whenever possible!

That's how late 2014 I began writing. I love it and I hope you enjoy reading my stories almost as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Happy reading,



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?

The idea of writing didn’t really take form in my mind until late 2014. I had some down time from work and was able to squeeze quite a few more reads in between appointments (as I carry my kindle with me everywhere). Towards the end of the year I began thinking how I would have written things differently if I were the writer of any given book and that’s how the idea was born.
I researched online how difficult it would be to publish and realize via Amazon wasn’t as hard as all the other venues. Then at the end of November 2014 I began writing.
I had no prior writing experience- other than the usual essays for college or reports for work.

2.    What 3 things would you like readers to know about you?

I love write. Even though I just started writing I do see myself writing for as long as my fingers allow me too.
I am a reader above all and if I don’t LOVE my own story I don’t publish it! Honestly, I do have about six written stories sitting in my document file waiting for me to figure out what is missing in order for me to love them. When I do, then I’ll publish them.
I am a mother of two wonderful children who are the center of my world.

3.    What role does your family play in your writing, if any? Any pets? If so, how many and what kind?

My husband works at night and doesn’t come home until midnight- which is perfect for me as I write at night. Typically my productive hours are from 7pm-11pm.
I sit down in my living room after my children and I have had dinner and write while they play.

4.    What are you doing when you’re not writing? Day job? Health concerns or caring for family?

Yes, I do have a full time job. Thankfully no current health concerns.

5.    Tell us about your books. Genre, titles, any favorite characters? What can we look forward to from you in the near future? WIP’s, upcoming releases?
So far I’ve published the following books and I consider them to be YA/NA:

A MOTHER’S SACRIFICE. It’s about a young Russian medical student who met the man of her dreams and he turned out to be her worse nightmare. She fled and left him and everything behind but feared for her life and that of her loved ones. When she realized she was pregnant with his baby she decided to give her up for adoption hoping he would never find out about the baby or go looking for her if he did.
This book takes us through the daughter’s journey and this installment ends when the daughter reads a letter her mother left for her to read on her 18th birthday.

NOTE: There’s alcohol, sex and male rape in this story. I have yet to begin writing book 2, but plan to do so this year.

SECOND CHANCE AT LOVE.  This is my one standalone and it has a HEA!
Melissa- who is the main character of this story- grew up alone and not thinking much about herself. It wasn’t until she was in her junior year at college that she began to grow as a person thanks to her new roommate who took it upon herself to help Melissa out of her cocoon.
I love this story because we see how Melissa grows as a person and how she fights for who she wants to be and what she ultimately deserves.  

So far this series has been my favorite to write! I LOVE all the characters and I loved how the story turned out!
It is about a young girl who grew up with her maternal grandmother since her mom was a stripper and basically dumped her at her mom’s footsteps.
Alessandra knows who her biological donor is, yet he doesn’t know she exists. When her grandmother dies she is faced with the decision of either going into foster care or asking her father for help.
After this, the series is about her new life and everything she faces from that moment forward.

In this book you will find political drama, kidnapping, assassination attempts and a whole lot more!

I am currently working on book 5 in this series.

1-    FORTUITOUS is book one of the series and so far this is my naughtiest one! The sex is steamer, a bit more graphic- even though I don’t go into too many details as I think that’s what erotica books are for- and the alpha males are more demanding here.
One of my readers said: “it was like 50 Shades, but without the graphic sex”. I don’t know if I completely agree with her as there’s no submission or domination; however, as I said the alphas are more controlling.

2-    LIFE AFTER LOVE is book two in the series. It is mostly finished and I expect to publish it by July 2nd in order for my readers to have a new story to cozy up to for July 4th. 

This is my venture into shifters. I had one basic idea for it and now it has taken a life of its own! This is my best selling series.
1-    ALPHA QUEEN is book one and here we meet Princess Lexi Valentina Lyon who has always been different than everyone else and when she meets the man of her dreams her grandmother finally confesses why Lexi is so different.
Lexi is the direct descendant of King Leonidas- who was the last King of Alphas. Now she will give birth to the man who will become the King of Alphas nearly a thousand years after Leonidas.

2-    SUPREME ALPHA is book two of the series and here Lexi is already married to Prince Raven and has given birth to the future King of Alphas. Since its been so long without a supreme ruler there are shifter kingdoms that oppose the idea of having someone above them and will do everything in their power to rid themselves of Lexi, her son and anyone who wants him to rule.
An all-out war is inevitable and in book three we will see who wins!

I am currently writing book 3 and it will be published late July.


UNBROKEN is book one of a new series. I don’t know how many books it will have yet as I am still writing it.

WIPs: I currently have about 18 novellas in different stages sitting in my computer. The moment I feel they are complete and I LOVE them I will go ahead and publish them J

My favorite character so far is Alessandra Powell. Second favorite Anabella Summers. I am writing about some very cool kick-ass girls that will make it difficult for me to choose a favorite later on.

As far as WIPs that I can talk about now I began writing a new series called Taming Her. It is a mixture of stories about strong independent girls that intimidate the men who know her and it takes a certain kind of strong alpha male to come into their lives and make them see that equality and love are achievable in a relationship.

I am super excited about book three of my King of Alphas action shifter series as the battles will continue and some epic extinct shifters will be revived using dark magic! It’s shaping out pretty great!

Then I began writing a sexy shifter series with a lovely leopard as the female character that I am having fun with ;-)

All in all, lots of exciting stuff and a bit of everything to please all (or most)

6.    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?

Common thread? YES! I LOVE writing about strong women. I don’t really like clingy crybabies. I like my main girls to be strong women. Yes they make mistakes, but they own them, learn from them and ultimately move on. Also, there’s cheating, death and sex in my books as that is all part of life.

One of my readers pointed out that on my series I LOVE cliffhangers! And I’ve got to say that I do, but since I tend to publish the next installment rather quickly it shouldn’t be too painful for those of you who hate cliffhangers.

A takeaway would be that we all have problems. We all experience pain, heartache, loss, betrayal and many other awful things; however, at the end of the day we are still here and we must persevere.

7.    What do you look for in a good book? In what ways would you say your books exhibit these qualities?

I want a book that draws me in! I hate to read something that may be too predictable or that the story takes too long to develop. That is why I take all of this into account in my books. I do keep them somewhat short and sweet!

8.    What are some things you know now about writing and being an author that you wish someone had told you at the very beginning?

I still consider myself a new author as I’ve only been writing for six months; however, it seems that having a team to support you is a must and I hope to have help soon J

9.    Along that same line, what are some of your favorite resources?
So far I’ve written what comes to mind. I call the creative side of my brain KRYSTALVILLE as I write what the characters who live in this part of my brain want me to.
Believe it or not, I don’t write anything down! Whenever a new idea comes to mind I grab my laptop and begin writing. I have no idea beforehand what the book will be about or what my characters will do or where will they live or what will they do. When the story begins, I am simply the medium my characters use to have their stories told. I LOVE not knowing where my stories will take me. Everything from the characters names, where they live, what happens to them and how the story ends is new to me.

10.What lifts your spirits when you’re discouraged?

My children!

11.Other than writing, what’s your passion?

Reading and watching TV – if I can. I DVR everything that I like and try watching an episode or two whenever possible. Mostly, I write and play with my children.

12.Not limited to writing, what do you believe are some of your greatest accomplishments so far?

              Definitely my children and helping my dad get some very important items from his bucket list before he passed away.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Short Story Sneak Peek: "Coffee Shop Romance"

Wishing everyone a restful Memorial Day weekend. My father, a retired veteran, passed on 2007. I celebrate his life, the legacy he left behind, and most of all for being an example of how a man treats a woman when he truly loves her.

I'm working on two manuscripts right now, and when I come to an empasse or just need a break from whatever I'm working on, I write something else! Here's a sneak peek of a short story I'll work on as time permits. This one was inspired by a Friday Flash. Hope you enjoy it, and please share your comments.

Coffee Shop Romance
(see “Obsessed” in Friday Flashes)
Sheena pressed her palms against the tree bark, her fingertips gliding over the comforting texture again and again. Her heart pounded in her ears. Am I being foolish? Yes, and worse, I’m behaving like a stalker.

She removed her palms from the bark with effort, fighting the compulsion prompting her to continue rubbing the tree indefinitely while counting in multiples of seven.

Turning back, she trotted across the street to Satori, her favorite coffee shop. She could always watch for him from there without the danger of being discovered. She wondered if he still thought of her at all. He seemed interested that night, but again, daylight has a way of exposing dreams...

Friday, May 22, 2015

Flash Friday: "Creative Discipline"

It's another Flash Friday, and as always, we're doing it with the same picture and 100 words, each take unique. Take a look at my friends' posts when you finish here. Enjoy!

Creative Discipline
“Stell, how long do you expect me to pay for a momentary lapse in judgment?”

“I’m not discussing this with you now, Jason. My show is coming on.”

“You’d rather watch this damn show? When did it get to be more important than us?”

“Us? Oh, so now it’s us. You’re the one with the roving eye, so put the blame where it belongs and maybe we can talk.”

Stell cut her eyes in Jason’s direction. He stood over her with the serving platter, a bottle of her favorite wine, and his erect cock crowned with a paper dunce hat.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Zaidi Features: "Black Horse" by Addison Kline

Author : Addison Kline
Genre : Romantic Suspense


"What would you do if the only man you ever loved was the son of the man that murdered your parents?"
In Addison Kline's fiery romantic suspense novel, Averi Ford's future collides with her past with ferocious intensity. Averi Ford and Colt McClain have loved each other since they were children. They both come from a broken past. Colt's mother died when he was young, and Averi's parents were taken from her at the tender age of five. The same man is responsible for both of their broken childhoods: Tom "Black Horse" McClain. He also happens to be Colt's father. Now twenty years after the crimes that fractured both of their hearts, Black Horse is getting out of jail and he's coming after the girl who testified against him: Averi, herself. Colt wants to hide her, but Averi refuses to run.
"Our past does not own us, and we owe it to our hearts to show the world that love can arise from the darkest of places. We just have to survive Black Horse to tell the tale."

Available May 28th
Get your copy now at Amazon!


 Addison Kline is an award winning, best selling novelist who writes mystery, psychological thrillers and romantic suspense novels. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, their sons and two rambunctious dogs. Addison has had a love affair with the written word since before she entered school. Her grandmother taught her the glory of taking an adventure in the pages of a book. When Addison isn't writing, you can find her reading, going for an adventure with her sons, or traveling with her family.

Hosted by What's the story promotions and Be My Book Boyfriend 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Zaidi Features: "Five Delights" by DJ Prewer

1 Woman, 5 Men.  1 day, 5 Ways.

Having been attracted to sex from a young age, Skye commences an erotic journey towards her ultimate sexual goal - an orgy, believing that nothing else could compare to being fucked by several men at the same time.   

The first stop in her journey of sexual discovery is a day at The House, where 5 lovers of her choosing are ready to fulfil her all her required desires.  Her day starts by searching for the red door of bliss that would be the first gateway to increasing her knowledge of sexual pleasure and pathing the way to her ultimate goal. 

Having selected her five lovers from the group of ten men, Skye leaves to shower and prepare for her day of delights. When she returns to the room all the men are naked, waiting to fulfil all her needs for the day.  With a different outfit and fragrance for each lover, her day of delights begins.

A shiver steals over my body as Marco's large hands leave my hips and glide their way along my spine, up towards my nape.  His soft fingertips dance along my jaw, rising to capture the sides of my face, as gentle kisses circle my lips.  When I finally open my mouth to his, he devours me.  On and on the kiss goes, tongues darting in and out, teeth grazing my lips, stealing my breath from me until the pressure in my chest is almost suffocating, and I pull away.
     Marco turns me around and I lean against him, feeling his hard cock nestle against my lower back.  He guides my arms behind me so that my hands cup his growing erection.  I squeeze him gently, embracing his rigid cock.  He is so much more than a handful.
     "Close your eyes, Angel.  Let me remind you of who you are."
     Oh, yes please!
     His fingers glide down my neck and move to the top of my dress.  "Have I ever told you how much I love this dress on you?  This long zip, running all the way down the front, is such a turn on.  I bet every man who looks at you wants to unzip it, lusting to discover what is hiding underneath."  His fingers begin to pull downwards on the metal clasp, opening my dress up to expose my red lacy bra.  "Ah, beautiful girl, I love this colour on you.  It's so fucking sexy it makes my cock throb."
     I close my eyes and rest my head against his shoulder, as Marco cups my breasts.  Fingers splay towards the scalloped edge of my lace bra, pulling it away to expose my hardened nipples beneath.  Heat floods my body, and I groan as he rolls each of the tight nipples between two fingers.
     "You don't play fair, Marco."
     "I know...but you like it that way."
     I smile my agreement, and lean in to kiss the smooth skin under his jaw, drawing a quiet moan from deep within his chest.  With my tongue I explore the surface of his tanned skin, nibbling on the raised muscle at the side of his neck.  With each gentle bite, I squeeze my hands around his cock, dragging my nails over the surface of the soft cotton of his pants.  I can play dirty too. 
     "I see this party has already started without me."
     With a startled gasp I open my eyes to see Mason standing before us.  A sly smile on his face.  Obviously they had this planned all along.  I wouldn't be too surprised if they were responsible for breaking the water pipe too.
     "Sorry mate, couldn't wait any longer.  Angel needed some...um...counselling."  Marco replies with a husky chuckle.  He reaches to open the front clasp of my bra, moulding his hands around my breasts, lifting them, offering them up to Mason.
     "Well, luckily for Angel, I can help with that too." Mason confirms as he pulls my zipper all the way down, opening my dress up completely.
     I close my eyes, resting my head back into the crook of Marco's shoulder, knowing that this is exactly what I want...what I need.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Flash Friday: "Beneath"

Flashing in 100 words again based on the pic above. Take a look at my friends' posts when you're finished here. I'm waxing a little creepy today ;-)

I wake from a vivid, intimately familiar dream, flushed and yearning.

“Come,” he whispers, his command filling my mind, and I obey.

Moss from old mother oak hangs low, leaning. She watches.

Mama always said still waters run deep. She knew. Growing up, she told me of the visitors. “This still, lifeless lake connects to the earth’s core, and sometimes visitors come, our paths bound.”

My visitor sends dreams, announcing his intentions, and I go to him, barely stopping to drop my cotton gown. 

We never speak aloud, his desires immediately melding with my own. I will never leave this place. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

News: Share Your Opinion and Join the Party

Just gabbing today about my "Feminine Private Parts" poll and an author friend's party, so this will be short and sweet. That's my new logo above. I'm keeping my original one, too, but decided it wouldn't hurt to have more than one. I'm also blogging at The Romance Studio today, so f you haven't shared your opinion yet, click here to take the poll.

Tomorrow, I'll be hanging out with an author friend to help celebrate her new release! Abigail Owen (you've probably seen some info about her new release in Zaidi Features) is throwing a big Facebook party with prizes (Kindle Fire, Amazon GC, books, swag) valued at over $250. You're invited, of course, so join us at "Sarai's Fortune" Release Party!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Zaidi Features: "Antagonize Me" by K.C. Nelson


Antagonize me
by T.L. Smith
Release Date: May 5, 2015

Goodreads -- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25119156-antagonize-me

 RD AM Cover

I wanted what she had, she had what I wanted. With her long blonde hair and her legs that never ended, she had him, but I wanted him.

We can’t always have what we want, and sometimes that’s the way life is meant to be. Sometimes destiny places other people in our path, a path that should not be mixed. But also sometimes, just sometimes, the paths cross, causing an explosive reaction.

Tanner was my crush. A crush that I’ve had since I first laid eyes on him. But now he’s dating my friend… my beautiful, flawless and perfect friend.

Then out of nowhere Kyrone bursts into my life, taking me over bit by bit. I don’t know how to feel about that. I don’t know what to do. He frustrates me. He annoys me. But most of all, he makes me smile.

RD AM Teaser 1
Buy Links:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1zu4nIn


Nook - http://bit.ly/1DVo8Jc

RD AM Banner 2

Meet The Author:

T.L. lives in Brisbane, Australia with her 2 children. She started writing because of her love of reading. T.L. acknowledges she could never do what she does if it wasn’t for the bloggers that pimp her and the fans that support her and read her books.

From T.L.

I love to read, absolutely love it.
Let's rephrase that I'm bloody addicted, I would read a book a day.
I live in beautiful Queensland and have for nearly my whole life, I have 2 beautiful children that always put a smile on my face.

I'm a vivid dreamer and decided one day I was going to let it all pour out into a book. I like emotion and i try to put as much as possible in there <3

RD AM Teaser 2
Stalking Links

Web Page -
Facebook –
Twitter –
tsu –
Google + -
Amazon Author Page --

RD AM Full Cover

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Zaidi Features: "Sarai's Fortune" (Shadowcat Nation B. 2) by Abigail Owen with Video

Sarai’s Fortune
(Shadowcat Nation #2)
By Abigail Owen
Zac Montclair’s first priority is to protect his people. With the escalating war between factions of shifters over land and resources, he has agreed to an alliance between his polar bears and the Shadowcat Nation of cougar shifters. But the treaty comes with a condition…he must accept one of their Seers into his Timik and put her under his personal protection.
Sarai Bouchard doesn’t need her supernatural gift to know that Kyle Carstairs’s obsession with controlling her ability will eventually result in her misery and demise. Her power is essential to her people’s survival, so when Kyle goes rogue, she’s sent to Zac Montclair to keep her safe. However, her visions reveal that while staying will lead to their becoming lovers, it also leads to his death. Leaving Zac will result in her own.
If Sarai can’t find a way to change the future, she will be forced to choose…save her lover or save herself.

Book Info:
Author: Abigail Owen
Cover Art: Debbie Taylor
Page Count: 258
Word Count: 60240
ISBN (digital): 978-1-5092-0135-8
ISBN (print): 978-1-5092-0134-1
Release Date: 5/13/2014
Rating: Spicy (PG-13)

Praise for the Shadowcat Nation Series:
ANDROMEDA’S FALL is one book that you need to have mapped out time to read because it will not let you put it down. From the first page when the injured Andie jumps through the window into the Keller home to the fantastic (I didn’t want it to end) ending, you will be enthralled. –Anneta, Sweetko, Fresh Fiction
I fell in love with this book from the very beginning. This is the first book I have read by Abigail Owens and it most certainly wont be the last! From the first chapter I was hooked. Andromeda’s Fall had mystery, intrigue, betrayal, romance, a sassy heroine who can kick butt and of course sexy shifters. - Solmarie, The Masquerade Crew
Andromeda’s Fall is an outstanding romance. The writing is flawless and does nothing to distract from the story unfolding…. I highly recommend the outstanding Shadowcat Nation and the writing of Abigail Owen. - Delane, Coffee Time Romance & More
Additional Media:

Excerpt :

“You don’t like being a Seer?”

Sarai narrowed her eyes. Very few people realized that about her. She shifted in her seat to face him more fully. At the same time, she tried her best not to touch him, but the way he was angled, her entire right thigh was now plastered up against him. She ignored the sensations the contact was causing.

“Why would you ask that?”

“Your tone of voice right then. Sounds like you resent your gift.”

She gave him a little half smile. “Not at all.”

“I don’t believe you.”

She turned back to the window, determined to stay that way this time. “I can’t help what you believe.”

“If you ever want to talk about it—”

“I don’t.”

After a beat, he said quietly, “—I can be a good listener.”

Eager to end the conversation, she said, “Wouldn’t know it by this conversation. I didn’t take you for such a talker.”

Another long pause. Sarai bit her lip, feeling a little guilty. He was only trying to be kind. She just couldn’t encourage a relationship with this man. Not with the way it was destined to end.

“Believe it or not, I used to talk a lot. My parents called me a chatterbox.”

Suddenly, Sarai was in the middle of a rare look into the past. She didn’t get them often, but it was known to happen. She saw Zac as a little boy, nattering away to his parents, who listened with half-amused, half-exasperated smiles. He was the spitting image of his dad. Suddenly, as she watched, his father tossed his head back and laughed long and loud. A great billowing sound which made Zac and his mother laugh with him.

With a blink she forced herself out of the image. She hadn’t needed that personal look into Zac’s life. She was trying to keep her distance. Zac’s parents were dead now. Killed by the same pack of wolf shifters who’d killed Andie’s mother. She knew that much about him.

“Your father had a great laugh,” she murmured. With great effort, she kept her face turned away.

Her words seemed to drop into a void.

“How would you know that?” He sounded merely curious. “You can see the past?”

Sarai gave a tiny nod. “Sometimes. Just glimpses. Memories, I think. You must’ve been thinking about them.”

“He did have a great laugh,” he said after a moment. Even more softly, he murmured, “I used to laugh more. When they were alive.”

Sarai jerked her head around, turning wide eyes his way, astonished he’d opened up to share something that personal. She felt a sudden, unwanted connection with the lost, lonely boy who’d had to become a man much too fast.

As though he were embarrassed by his statement, Zac laid his head back against his seat and closed his eyes, settling in for a nap and effectively tuning her out.

Sarai watched him for a moment, before she too pulled her gaze away. After a long time, she murmured, “Me too.”


Award-winning author, Abigail Owen was born in Greeley, Colorado, and raised in Austin, Texas. She now resides in Northern California with her husband and two adorable children who are the center of her universe.
Abigail grew up consuming books and exploring the world through her writing. A fourth generation graduate of Texas A&M University, she attempted to find a practical career related to her favorite pastime by earning a degree in English Rhetoric (Technical Writing). However, she swiftly discovered that writing without imagination is not nearly as fun as writing with it.

For additional information, contact Abigail Owen @ abigail.owen.books(at)gmail(dot)com.