Archive for the ‘Demons’ Category
I just got a new review for Seven Sins Inn: Pietro and Callisto from Long and Short Reviews- Erotic Romance.
“Seven Sins Inn: Pietro and Callisto was a definite page turner and one I would recommend to anyone looking for an interesting and sizzling tale.”
Guest Author Promo: Evangeline Anderson
I’m excited to announce my new book, The Covenant, is now out from Ellora’s Cave. I really enjoyed writing this one and I bet you’ll enjoy reading it too. It has it all–a hot, brooding vampire, a serial killing demon, and of course, lots of hot sex. So step on over to EC and check it out here:
Kaitlyn Richards is a witch with powers beyond the norm. Her unique abilities make her one of the few people in the state of Florida qualified to be an S.E., or Supernatural Enforcer. As part of her duties she uses her home as a magical holding cell for creatures too strong to be contained in normal human jails.
Holden Sumner is a three-hundred-year-old vampire on a mission—he’s been stalking a serial-killing demon for centuries and he needs Kaitlyn’s help to kill it. The problem is, she won’t give him the time of night. But Sumner is determined to get under her skin.
Though Kaitlyn is reluctant to get involved with a vampire, she agrees to help Sumner search for the killer. But in order to drive the demon back to hell and stop the slaughter of innocents, she will have to bind herself more tightly than she ever thought possible to a man she doesn’t want to love.
She and Sumner must form a blood covenant…or die trying.
Sumner just looked at me, stared into my eyes for a long, breathless moment. Then his pupils dilated, the inky blackness within eating the pale iris until it was nothing but a thin silver ring. “See yourself, Kaitlyn,” he murmured. “See yourself as I see you.”
And suddenly I did.
It was like looking into a mirror that someone had placed in my mind’s eye. In it I saw a woman with long brown hair and big brown eyes. She had a generous ass, full breasts and wide, curvy hips. She didn’t look anything like the cover of a fashion magazine but somehow it didn’t matter. She was absolutely stunning.
Beautiful, Sumner whispered in my head. You’re so beautiful, Kaitlyn. From the moment I saw you, I wanted you. Wanted you so much.
He pulled me to him and kissed me again, gently on the mouth. “Can I see you naked now?”
Though the idea had made me feel nervous and uncomfortable before, now it didn’t bother me a bit. “Of course.”
Standing, I shimmied out of the nighty and let it fall in a little puddle of black lace on the floor. I hooked my thumbs into the sides of my panties but before I could push them down, Sumner said,
I raised an eyebrow at him and gave him a little smile. “I thought you wanted to see me naked.”
“I do.” His voice was thick. “But I want to make you naked myself. Come here.” He was sitting on the side of the bed, legs spread, so I came to stand between them. He was tall but the bed was low—his face was about the level of my inner thighs. I had a vague idea that having his face so close to such an intimate part of me would have made me extremely uncomfortable in the past. Now I felt intrigued.
“Well?” I murmured, running a hand through his hair. It was thick and silky between my fingers. “Now what?”
“Now this.” Slowly, Sumner slid the black lace panties down my thighs, revealing the soft thatch of well trimmed curls at the top of my mound. Leaning forward, he rubbed his nose against me there, making me shiver as he inhaled. “God, you smell good.” His voice was a low growl and I felt a shiver of anticipation go through me.
“What else?” I whispered, tugging lightly at his hair.
Sumner looked up at me with a predatory grin. “Impatient, Kaitlyn?”
I tugged a little harder. “What if I am?”
“Patience, sweetheart. I promise to make the wait worth your while.” He began pulling the panties down again at what seemed like an excruciatingly slow pace. Obviously he was in no hurry. In fact, he actually knelt at my feet and helped me step out of them before sitting back on the bed. “God, you’re gorgeous,” he murmured, his eyes drinking me in. “Just let me look at you for a moment.”
I twirled in a little circle for him and gave him a wink. “Like what you see?” I asked, throwing his own words back at him.
“You have no idea how much,” he said hoarsely. “I can’t wait anymore. Come here.” He gestured for me to step closer which I did with no reservations whatsoever.
Sumner reached out and took me by the hips, pulling me close and then closer. He leaned forward and at first I thought he was going to inhale my scent again. Instead he pressed his lips gently to the very top of my slit, kissing me there as though he was kissing my mouth. I gasped when I felt his tongue flicker out to taste me just the tiniest bit. God, I needed more! Why was he going so slowly?
“Because I want to savor this,” Sumner murmured and I realized he must have caught my impatient thought through our strange connection. “I’ve been wanting this—wanting you—from the second I saw you.” He looked up at me, his eyes filled with pale fire. “Now spread your legs.”
I did as I was told, feeling strangely powerful as he drank me in.
“Beautiful… So hot. So wet.” Sumner spread me delicately with his thumbs, opening me, putting my slippery pink inner folds on display. In the past such a thing would have mortified me. Not now. Instead of a blush of embarrassment, I felt a slow sexual flush of desire heating my body.
It wasn’t just that I was opening myself up for him, or giving him a show. It was the expression in his eyes—the reverent, almost worshipful way he looked at me. When he leaned forward to place a teasing, tender kiss on the aching bud of my clit he touched me like I was something incredibly precious and rare, kissed me as though he might break me if he wasn’t careful. I felt beautiful—adored in a way I never had before.
I knew I shouldn’t let my feelings rule me, knew that what we were doing was just for tonight and that tomorrow I would probably regret it. But I couldn’t regret it now any more than I could feel ashamed of being nude in front of him. Letting Sumner see me in all my naked glory, letting him touch me and kiss me and explore my body was a heady experience—it made me feel free. Free to give in to all my darker impulses.
Gripping the back of his hair, I tugged hard. “You’re driving me crazy. What are you waiting for, Sumner?”
He looked up at me, licking his lips. “For you to be ready. But I think you are.”
I opened my mouth to agree but suddenly the world tilted and I was on my back on the bed with my lower legs hanging over the side. I felt dizzy for a moment and realized that Sumner must have done one of his vampire moves—so fast it couldn’t be seen with the human eye. Only this time he’d taken me with him. Taken me and put me exactly where he wanted me because there he was, kneeling in front of me, a ravenous look in his eyes.
“Let me in, Kaitlyn,” he ordered in a soft, almost dangerous voice. “Spread your legs and let me in.”
I couldn’t have resisted if I’d wanted to. Parting my thighs I welcomed him, moaning softly as his broad shoulder split me wide, opening me for him completely. I had never felt so vulnerable—so exposed.
Sumner pressed his mouth to my slit and took a long, slow taste, licking upwards as though he was eating an ice cream cone. I moaned and jerked under his mouth and he looked up at me and smiled.
“Feels good, sweetheart?”
“Feels incredible,” I admitted. And it did. To be perfectly honest, I had never enjoyed this particular act before. I had always felt too self conscious to really relax and let myself go. Then, too, I had never been with anyone who seemed so completely into it. Most guys seemed to think it was something they had to do—but it was clear that wasn’t the case with Sumner. From the look in his eyes he was enjoying himself as much as I was—maybe more.
He licked me again, another long, slow taste, and then kissed me gently, swirling his tongue around and around my clit, making me moan and thrash. God, he was good! But when he looked up again, his eyes were pale-on-red.
“Sumner?” I looked at him uncertainly.
“Can’t hold back anymore, Kaitlyn,” he growled hoarsely. “I’ve been trying to go slow—didn’t want to scare you. But, God, you smell so good, taste so good…” The naked hunger in his face was both frightening and compelling. I felt a surge of heat between my thighs—knowing he desired me so fiercely was intoxicating.
“Then don’t.” Reaching down, I grabbed a handful of his hair again and pulled him toward me. “Don’t hold back, Sumner. I’m not afraid of you. Take what you want.”
“Can’t help it. I have to.” He buried his face between my thighs again, his open mouth hot and wet and urgent against my pussy.
And then he devoured me.
Bio: Evangeline Anderson is a registered MRI tech who would rather be writing. And yes, she is nerdy enough to have a bumper sticker that says “I’d rather be writing.” Honk if you see her! She is thirty-something and lives in Florida with a husband, a son, and two cats. She had been writing erotic fiction for her own gratification for a number of years before it occurred to her to try and get paid for it. To her delight, she found that it was actually possible to get money for having a dirty mind and she has been writing paranormal and Sci-fi erotica steadily ever since.
Walking the Plank – Pirates and Heroes
Reading through these fabulous guest posts on villains, heroes, and everything in between, one thing is perfectly clear: There is a point of no return for these characters, when they’ve done something irredeemable. Much like walking a plank, you can only go so far before falling into some shark-filled, treacherous waters, with little hope of escape – and if the character is bad enough, you might even hope that he’s eaten or drowns.
It’s also perfectly clear that the point shifts, depending on the reader.
This was something that I thought about constantly while writing The Iron Duke. My hero, Rhys Trahaearn, isn’t a nice guy. He’s arrogant and overbearing, and his moral center pretty skewed. A former pirate, he was a thief, and he didn’t hesitate to kill anyone who threatened him, his crew, or his ship. Sure, he had his reasons and a tortured history – and depending on where a person’s perspective, he might have even been justified in those reasons: the law failed him and many other people, and so he chose lawlessness.
Now, the worldbuilding itself gives him a little more leeway there on redeemable/irredeemable, because the pirate stuff he does would never fly in, say, a contemporary novel. No question, he’d be an out-and-out bad guy if the setting was modern day America (or Somalia). His actions would be unforgiveable. Much like the serial killer of the modern suspense novel, the excuse of a bad childhood only goes so far (but then you make that serial killer only murder bad guys, and you’ve got a Dexter – a hero of another sort).
So Rhys has a history that pushes him close to the edge of that plank, but there are other circumstances that keep him from falling overboard: because he freed England from an oppressive regime, he’s also considered a national hero. Even the heroine, who doesn’t like his pirating ways at all, is grateful to him for that.
And although Rhys isn’t a pirate anymore by the opening of the novel, he still often does exactly as he wants without considering what others want or need – and there’s always a point where overbearing and alpha can turn into: he’s a jerk.
I pushed Rhys to that jerky line a couple of times – I pushed him to the edge of that plank – pretty deliberately. For some readers, I know that means he goes straight over, because their plank is shorter than mine. There’s one scene that was actually difficult for me to write, where he is his usual “I know what I’m doing, I’m totally in control of myself” mode, and he inadvertently hurts Mina, the heroine. He’s immediately remorseful and horrified as soon as he realizes what had happened – which, to me, meant that he’s just barely hanging on to the edge of the plank by his fingernails, but there’s still the possibility that he can pull himself back up – but to a lot of readers, I knew that he took a flying leap right into the water.
That is always the risk that heroes like this will run. There will never be a one-size-fits-all-readers plank for our characters to walk. As I writer, I accept that.
As a reader, it makes for a lot more interesting experience with each book. When I read a review, I never know whether a hero or heroine will cross my personal line into irredeemable territory . . . and I think that’s a good thing. It keeps everything exciting. Maybe not as exciting as hanging upside-down from an airship and shooting a spear at a kraken, but still a pretty damn good time. Heroes that walk to the edge of the plank keep us on our toes, if nothing else – hoping they don’t go over and become shark-bait (or hoping that they do.)
The Iron Duke Excerpt:
Mina turned to find a man as big as his voice. Oh, damn the newssheets. They hadn’t been kind to him—they’d been kind to their readers, protecting them the effect of this man. A hollow fear shivered within her, much like the first time she’d run into a razor-clawed ratcatcher in an alley—the instinctive knowledge that she faced something dangerous and that she didn’t wholly understand.
Not that Rhys Trahaearn looked strange, or mutated as those ratcatchers were. He was just as hard and as handsome as the caricatures had portrayed—altogether dark and forbidding, with a gaze as pointed and as guarded as the fence that was his namesake. The Iron Duke wasn’t as tall as his statue, but still taller than any man had a right to be, and as broad through the shoulders as Newberry, but without the spare flesh.
But it was not his size that made her wary. And for the first time, she could see why his crew might follow him through kraken-infested waters or into Horde territory, then follow him back onto shore and remain with him. When he leveled that cold, detached gaze at them, as if he couldn’t care less whether they dropped dead in front of him, they would be too terrified to do anything else. He leveled it at Mina now, and the message in his eyes was clear.
He didn’t want her here.
Because of her bloodline or her occupation? Mina couldn’t decide. It hardly mattered, anyway—she was here now.
She glanced at the man standing beside him: tall, brown-haired, his expression bored. Mina didn’t recognize him. Like the Iron Duke, he wore a fashionable black overcoat, breeches, and boots. A red waistcoat buckled like armor over a white shirt with a simple collar reminiscent of the Horde’s tunic collar. Perhaps a bounder and, if so, probably an aristocrat—and he likely expected to be treated as one.
Bully for him.
She looked to the duke again. Though she’d never been introduced to someone of his standing before, she’d seen Superintendent Hale meet a marquess without a single gesture to acknowledge that he ranked above her. Mina followed that example and offered a short nod before addressing him.
“Your Grace, I understand that you did not witness this man die.”
“And your companion . . . ?”
“Also saw nothing,” the other man answered.
She’d been right; his accent marked him as a bounder. Yet she had to revise her opinion of him. He wasn’t bored by death—just too familiar with it to be excited by yet another. She couldn’t understand that. The more death she saw, the more the injustice of each one touched her. “Your name, sir?”
His smile seemed just at the edge of a laugh. “Mr. Smith.”
A joker. How fun.
She thought a flicker of irritation crossed the duke’s expression. But when he didn’t offer his companion’s true name, she let it go. One of the staff would know.
“Mr. St. John has told me that no one has identified the body, and only your footman saw his fall.”
“Did your footman relate anything else to you?”
“Only that he didn’t scream.”
No scream? Either the man had been drunk, asleep, or already dead. She would soon find out which it was.
“If you’ll pardon me.” With a nod, she turned toward the steps, where Newberry adjusted the camera’s thermite flash. She heard the Iron Duke and his companion follow her. As long as they did not touch the body or try to help her examine it, she did not care.
Mina looked down at her hands. She would touch the body, and Newberry hadn’t brought her serviceable wool gloves to exchange for her white evening gloves. They were only satin—neither her mother’s tinkering nor her own salary could afford kid—but they were still too dear to ruin.
She tugged at the tips of her fingers, but the fastenings at her wrist prevented them from sliding off. Futilely, she tried to push the small buttons through equally small satin loops. The seams at the tips of her fingers made them too bulky, and the fabric was too slippery. She looked round for Newberry, and saw that the black powder from the ferrotype camera already dusted his hands. Blast it. She would bite them through, if she had to. Even the despised task of sewing the buttons back on would be easier than—
“Give your hand over, inspector.”
Mina hackles rose at the command. She looked up into Trahaearn’s face and heard a noise from his companion, a snorted half laugh—as if Trahaearn had failed an easy test.
The duke’s expression didn’t soften, though his words did. “You’ll finish more quickly if I assist you. Will you allow me?”
No, she thought. Do not touch me, do not come close. But the body on the steps would not allow her that reply.
“Yes. Thank you.”
She held out her hand and watched as he removed his own gloves. Kid, lined with sable. Just imagining the luxurious softness warmed her.
Mina wouldn’t have been surprised if his presence had, as well. With his great size, Trahaearn seemed to surround her with heat just by standing so near. His hands were large, his fingers long and nails square. As he took her wrist in his left palm, calluses audibly scraped the satin. His face darkened. She could not tell if it was in anger or embarrassment.
However rough his skin was, his fingers were nimble. He deftly unfastened the first button, and the next. “This was not the evening you had planned.”
She did not say this was preferable to the Victory Ball, but perhaps he read it in her voice. To her surprise, his teeth flashed in a smile—then his face quickly hardened again, as if his smile had surprised him, as well. He bent his head over her hand again and Mina found herself staring at his short eyelashes, so thick and black that his eyelids seemed lined with kohl. She looked away, but gold glinting through the thickness of his dark hair drew her gaze again.
Three tiny rings pierced the top curve of each ear. His earlobes had been pierced, too, though he wore no jewelry in them.
And so the newssheets had dressed him up. In a drawing, his thickly-lashed eyes and jewelry would have appeared feminine. But not up close, not in person. Instead, the effect was . . . primitive.
Unsettled, she focused on her wrist. Only two buttons left, and then she could work.
She should be working now. “Were the dogs patrolling the grounds before the body was discovered?”
“No. They search for the point of entry now.”
Mina pictured the iron fence. Perhaps a child could slip through the bars; a man could not. But if someone had let him through . . . ? “Have you spoken with your man at the front gate?”
She had not asked the gatekeeper his name. “If Wills has a prosthetic left leg, and often saves a portion of his supper in his beard for his breakfast, then we are speaking of the same man.”
“That is Wills.” He studied her with unreadable eyes. “He wouldn’t let anyone through.”
Without my leave, Mina finished for him. And perhaps he was correct, though of course she would verify it with the gatekeeper, and ask the steward about deliveries. Someone might have hidden themselves in one.
His gaze fell to her glove again. “There we are,” Trahaearn said. “Now to . . .”
She pulled her hand away at the same time Trahaearn gripped the satin fingertips. He tugged. Satin slid in a warm caress over her elbow, her forearm.
Flames lit her cheeks. “Sir—”
His expression changed as he continued to pull. First registering surprise, as if he hadn’t realized the glove extended past her wrist. Then an emotion hard and sharp as the long glove slowly gave way. Its white length finally dangled from his fingers, and to Mina seemed as intimate as if he held her stocking.
Her sleeve still covered her arm, but she felt exposed. Stripped. With as much dignity as she could, Mina claimed the glove.
“Thank you. I can manage the other.” She stuffed the glove into her pocket. With her bare fingers, she made quick work of the buttons at her left wrist.
Mina looked up to find him staring at her. His cheekbones blazed with color, his gaze hot.
She’d seen lust before. This marked the first time that she hadn’t seen any disgust or hatred beneath it.
“Thank you,” she said again, amazed by the evenness of her voice when everything inside her trembled.
“Inspector.” He inclined his head, then looked beyond her to the stairs.
And as she turned, the trembling stopped. Her legs were steady as she walked to the steps, her mind focused.
“Tell me, captain: Did you plan to assist her, or undress her?” she heard his companion ask. Trahaearn didn’t reply, and Mina didn’t look back at him.
Even the pull of the Iron Duke was not stronger than death.
Meljean was raised in the middle of the woods, and hid under her blankets at night with fairy tales, comic books, and romances…and that pretty much explains everything about her. Meljean is the author of the Guardians paranormal romance series, and the Iron Seas steampunk romance series. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and daughter.
Heroes are always a complex subject, especially in fiction and particularly in romantic fiction. On the surface of it, they seem simple. The hero is the good guy with the perfect moral compass, who always does what’s right and gets the girl. Right?
Yeah, I suppose. But, being honest? That’s the sort of hero who bores me to tears. I don’t like reading them and I sure as eggs is eggs don’t like writing them. A writer has to like his or her hero, and even fall in love with them a little themselves, otherwise how can we do their story any justice or even write a story that is credible?
My heroes are usually deeply conflicted, not perfect, and even sometimes can be considered down-right bastards. But deep within, there is something there that is redeemable. Something about them which is just waiting for the right circumstance, and the right woman to come along to make them shine, or show them the way to being the man they want to be, and of course, the hero I want to write about.
Let me share with you my thoughts on one of my favourite heroes. I make no secret of the fact I am a Jensen Ackles fan. I’ve been hooked since watching him play on Dark Angel with Jessica Alba. But my favourite role of his has to be Dean Winchester.
Like my heroes, on the surface Dean isn’t hero material. He’s rough, violent, has questionable morals when it comes to women (okay, the lad’s got the morals of an alley cat at times) and has a more meaningful link with his car than most people. He’s a liar, a conman and for a good portion of the series’es (how the hell do you make series plural anyway?) he’s wanted for murder.
If we dig a little deeper though, there is something compelling and actually heart-rending about the character. He lost his mother at a very young age, but not young enough that he doesn’t remember her like his brother, and grew up dealing with his Dad’s one-man war against everything that goes bump in the night.
He didn’t have a normal childhood, instead moved from pillar to post as John Winchester hunted, and being responsible for his little brother for large periods of time. Both boys were brought up with the knowledge that the monster under the bed isn’t a story, but is real, and how to kill it in a variety of bloody and brutal ways.
As the story progresses, we see different facets of Dean’s character revealed like little gems. His ability to kill can’t be questioned, and he’d rather take that on himself than let his brother do it and suffer agony over it. He spent time in hell and started the apocalypse, but he fights harder than anyone to put that right.
The sweetest episodes for me are the ones were we see what Dean actually wants. Far from the gung-ho, action-driven lifestyle he has, and which most men would kill for in their dreams, he wants a home and family. He wants to be normal.
However, when the shit hits the fan, and the world is about to end…even though he can’t do anything and the very attempt will probably kill him…he doesn’t back down. He faces down the devil himself to try and save his brother.
Violent, egotistical, arrogant…determined to do right, unbelievably noble and sweet as all hell. That’s why Dean Winchester is one of my favourite heroes.
Mina Carter Bio:
Mina Carter was born and raised in Middle Earth (otherwise known as the Midlands, England). After a slew of careers ranging from logistics to land-surveying she can now be found in the wilds of Leicestershire with her husband and young daughter…the true boss of the family.
Suffering the curse of eternal curiosity Mina never tires of learning new skills which has led to Aromatherapy, Corsetry, Chain-maille making, Welding, Canoeing, Shooting, and pole-dancing to name but a few. A veteran Star Trek RPGer, she’s run both games and groups of games but now finds her home in Bravo Fleet, one of the internet’s oldest Star Trek simm groups.
She juggles being a mum, working full time and writing, tossing another ball in the air with her cover artwork. For Mina, writing time is the wee hours of the morning before anyone wakes up and starts making demands, or any spare minute that can be begged, bought or conned.
Her first stories were penned at age 11, when she used a stationery set meant for Christmas thank you letters to write stories instead. More recently, she wrote for her own amusement and to save on outrageous monthly book bills. Now she’s totally addicted and needs her daily writing fix or heads roll!
Heroes and Villains
Sometimes there is a very fine line between the two. Call it the bad-boy syndrome or the anti-hero, but many story “heroes” often flirt with both sides. It can make for a nice dynamic, particularly if the heroine isn’t entirely sure what to make of it. And of course, she’s most likely going to be attracted to him, just for that reason. If he’s truly bad, can he be redeemed? And will she be the one to do it?
For myself, I don’t mind it if my heroes straddle the line, because people generally tend to exist in shades of grey, and that’s exactly how I like my characters. I enjoy watching a hero’s layers slowly peeling back as we discover what makes him tick and what those inner motivations are. Often we find certain actions that may have appeared villainous or untoward at first become much more heroic once we know *why* he did them.
Not that those reasons necessarily excuse them from being an asshat, but it lends a certain amount of sympathy to their plight and it can be much easier for a reader to connect with that character. We can make allowances as to why he very well *should* end up with the heroine.
In my debut, A Brush of Darkness, Brystion the incubus has a certain element of the anti-hero in him. He’s motivated by the need to rescue his sister, but my heroine Abby has very little incentive to trust him, particularly when she has her own set of missing people to deal with. Of course, they end up having to join forces in the end…but things aren’t always what they seem. As much as Abby is attracted to him, she’s also very much aware that Brystion is an actual daemon, and one known for his overly seductive traits. Although she does give in to him (partially due to attraction and partially due to a deal they worked out), there is always a niggling of uncertainty in the back of her mind. Will he love her? Or betray her?
Here’s a little excerpt of A Brush of Darkness:
“I wasn’t trying to seduce you. The offer was genuine.” He pushed his hand through his hair. “It’s a little disconcerting to be turned down by a mere mortal.”
“Just a mortal,” I snorted. “Real nice. I’ll see what I can do about soothing your ego, O gracious and tactful one.” I chewed on my lower lip thoughtfully and gave him a sly smile. “Of course, you probably shouldn’t feel too bad. After all, I am wearing a magical amulet now.”
His mouth pursed. “You are?”
“Sure. It’s made of silver and moonbeams and blessed by a flatulent dwarf,” I intoned gravely. “It’s a guaranteed ‘plus four’ against Incubus Seduction.”
“You’re an ass.”
“Kiss, kiss, darling.” I fluttered my eyelashes, puckering my lips in mock affection.
His hand snarled into my hair, fingers twined tightly at the base of my head. “This is a complication I don’t want, Abby.” He growled the words, but there was no mistaking the desire that smoldered behind his now glowing eyes.
“The bulge in your pants says otherwise,” I retorted, perversely nudging my hips against him. A little voice in the back of my mind was going into apoplectic fits at my boldness. As far as I was concerned, the incubus had been acting like some sort of preternatural cocktease since we’d met and I’d had enough.
He let out a stifled groan, his other hand snaking down to grip my ass. “You’ll regret it,” he breathed, releasing his hold on my hair to trace a curious thumb over my jaw. His face drifted closer until his mouth brushed mine. I shuddered at the delicate intrusion. His fingers slid up to the small of my back.
“Probably.” I sighed, my mind happily unable to focus on anything but the way he was nipping at my lower lip. “I regret a lot of things.”
The incubus stared at me, an unnamed emotion flickering across his face, and then his lips were on mine, fierce and possessive. He devoured me utterly. There was only the sweetness of his tongue, probing hot and wet into the velvet contours of my mouth. It swept shallow, lingering to taste the soft edges, and then moved deeper, pulsing and rhythmic to match the rapid beating of my heart. I jerked forward to bury my hands in his hair, my ragged breathing giving way to a low cry of longing.
“How’s that ego?” he purred.
“Rock hard from the feel of it,” I gasped. “Just the way I like it.”
I had a naked incubus in my bedroom. With a frying pan of half-cooked bacon and a hard-on. And a unicorn bite on his ass. Christ, this was turning out to be a weird morning.
Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and as sexy as sin incubus who shows up searching for his sister—and is convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invading her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As Abby is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, she realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.
A marine biologist in a former life, Allison Pang turned to a life of crime to finance her wild spending habits and need to collect Faberge eggs. A cat thief of notable repute, she spends her days sleeping and nights scaling walls and wooing dancing boys….Well, at least the marine biology part is true. But she was taloned by a hawk once. She also loves Hello Kitty, sparkly shoes, and gorgeous violinists.
She spends her days in Northern Virginia working as a cube grunt and her nights waiting on her kids and cats, punctuated by the occasional husbandly serenade. Sometimes she even manages to write. Mostly she just makes it up as she goes.
Facebook: – http://www.facebook.com/apang
Twitter: – http://www.twitter.com/allison_pang
Those wonderfully flawed heroes…
Heroes and villains—often two sides of the same coin. We can have heroes with rough edges, questionable backgrounds, possibly scarred or crippled—either emotionally or physically—and yet they’re still heroic, they still come through for the heroine, and they always leave us wanting more. The same with villains—a villain can have a few good points and still be thoroughly evil, though a good villain is rarely redeemable—unless, of course, he’s going to appear in a later story as a hero.
Then, of course, it generally takes a good woman to redeem him, right?
But what about those flawed heroes—the ones who make mistakes and screw up, who are somehow damaged or imperfect—what is it that makes us want more of them? I’ve become intimately acquainted with a terribly flawed hero, a man who has greater strengths than most, and yet who continues to make the kinds of mistakes that make you want to strangle him. And yet, in spite of his flaws, I find him one of the most compelling men I’ve ever met within the pages of my own books—he’s Anton Cheval, my über-alpha in the long running Wolf Tales series.
The spirit guide Igmutaka describes Anton perfectly: “His power appears absolute, at times, but what makes all of us love him the way we do is that he is very much, at heart, a simple man. He’s not perfect. He makes mistakes. When he succeeds, he does it with great modesty, when he fails…Ig’s chuffing snort had to be laughter…when he fails, he does it magnificently.
Ig is right. Nothing Anton does is done without passion. He’s never half-hearted, never merely trying. He does. He errs, and yet when he realizes his mistakes, he never hesitates to ask forgiveness, to apologize. And sometimes, when he’s done something wrong for all the right reasons, he will apologize with the caveat that, if faced with the same circumstances, he’ll probably do the same thing again. No, he’s not a perfect hero—he’s complex, he’s flawed, and to me, he’s a more powerful character because of those flaws.
One of his most redeeming traits? Anton loves unconditionally. He loves his packmates, his mate Keisha, his closest friend Stefan. He loves his daughter Lily more than life, and he recognizes Lily as the finest accomplishment he’s ever achieved, and that’s only because half of her DNA comes from Anton’s bonded mate. He’s quick to recognize Keisha as the true head of their pack—even though he’s more powerful, he respects her common sense, her good heart, and her ability to turn him inside out with a single glance. He loves her, and while he occasionally infuriates her, everything Anton does is motivated by love.
And what of the beta hero? The average man thrown into extreme circumstances who is still able to prevail? That would be Dawson Buck, the hero in my upcoming DEMONSLAYERS story, StarFire. Dawson Buck is an average guy, a veterinarian in a small Arizona town, a true geek at heart who loves his work and knows he’s chosen animals to care for because they rarely come with emotional baggage. But when he’s thrown into an unbelievable situation—asked to care for a badly injured woman from another dimension—Dawson not only rises to the challenge, he goes above and beyond what is asked of him. He becomes a true hero in every sense of the word.
In spite of his fears, in spite of the unbelievable situation, Dawson prevails. He’s afraid, he doubts his abilities, and yet he puts fear and his lack of confidence aside and takes unimaginable risks for the greater good. And, he also manages to find the love of his life along the way.
So what makes a hero heroic? I think it’s his willingness to give everything to keep his loved ones safe, his ability to make mistakes and then correct those mistakes, to admit when he’s wrong, to keep quiet when he’s right (no, gloating is NOT allowed!) and to love without reservation.
I write my heroes from the perspective of a woman who’s been married to her very own hero for almost forty years. There’s a lot of my man in every hero I write—his quirky sense of humor, his powerful need to protect, even his ability to admit mistakes. Neither of us is perfect, but I think that’s part of what makes a marriage work, and it’s what makes a fictional hero more heroic—the chance to make mistakes, and the courage to make them right.
Kate Douglas is the lead author of Kensington Publishing’s Aphrodisia imprint and the author of the popular erotic romance series Wolf Tales as well as the Zebra series, The DemonSlayers. She is currently working on her newest Aphrodisia series, Dream Catchers. Kate and her husband of almost forty years have two adult children and five grandchildren. They live in the beautiful mountains of Lake County, California, north of the Napa Valley wine country
1st chapter excerpts:
Comment to win your choice of either Wolf Tales VII-11, Sexy Beast VII & VIII, DemonFire or HellFire! Good Luck! Winner Announced at the end of the month.
Nicole Dennis Bio
Ever the quiet one growing up, I often slid away from reality and curled up with a book in my lap to slip into the worlds of my favorite authors, too numerous to name here, but never forgotten. They saved me from dark times, low moments, and probably from making choices that would have led down darker paths.
Since then, I had a fascination with fantasy, paranormal and the neverending appeal and beauty of romance. Always the happiness and perfection of romance. It seems only natural all of these loves would come together in my writing. I began to craft little stories for my dolls when I was around eight, but all that changed the summer I was fourteen and introduced to my aunt’s Silhouette Presents novels. Oh my, what a world that opened.
It’s been non-stop since that hot New Jersey summer. It’s only gotten worse (in a good way) now?I moved out and created a personal library full of novels filled with dragons, fairies, vampires, shapeshifters of all kinds, and romance, always I came back to romance. Still, there were these characters in my head, worlds wanting to be built on paper, and stories wanting to be told and I began writing them down whether during or after class. I continue to this day, only recently has it begun to become fruitful for me, spreading out to let others read and enter my worlds, meet my characters, and see what I see.
No matter what I write, my stories of romance with their twists of paranormal, fantasy, and erotica will always have their Happily Ever Afters.
I currently work in a quiet office in Central Florida, where I also make my home, and enjoy the down time to slip into my characters and worlds to escape reality from time to time. At home, I also become human slave to two crazy cats – an angelic red tabby and a semi-demonic black-orange calico.
I love to hear from readers and fans, don’t be shy. Find me on the ‘net or send me an email.
Find me at the following links:
A Necklace with a Surprise
*curled up in a Papasan with a purring red tabby on lap* Hello everyone! Thank you, Serena, for having all of us from Breathless Press on your blog. This is such a wonderful pleasure to join you. This is my beloved kitty, Mia, who often lends a paw or flicks a tail across my keyboard, when I?m writing and insisted on joining me. She often keeps a snarky muse from butting into my blogs so it?s a good thing she?s here.
Demon Heart started out as a promise to my youngest cousin to create a story with her as the main character. Constance, the heroine, took on a lot of my cousin?s appearance and quirks while I was writing. Of course, I had to create a fabulous hero for my cuz and Aramir the fire demon appeared. Still there had to be the reason why these two were brought together.
Something beyond a typical reason for Aramir to first be bound to the jewel. Then a reason for Constance to want to help or love Aramir beyond him being a simple?simple?? ::grin::? sex demon.
I don?t want to give away too much.. But I do hope you enjoy the reasons I came up with for Connie and Aramir along with the preternatural town of Maple, Maine, which I will be visiting soon with future stories with Breathless Press.
Don?t forget to comment for a chance to win a free pdf copy of Demon Heart!
Can a fire demon bound to a ruby necklace find a way to love?
Running errands before Halloween, a dazzling ruby necklace in a window display draws Constance Morelli into a store where she hears the tale of a demon bound as a sex slave by an evil sorceress. If she stands naked under the moonlight and repeats a spell, the demon will appear to grant every sexual desire she ever dreamt about. Not quite believing the story, but seeing a flame in the fire, she takes the jewel home and finds herself in possession of a naked demon hunk named Aramir.
After 4,000 years of dealing with various mistresses in one sexual way or another, Aramir knows what to expect when he appears in the moonlight. Only this mistress is different and he finds himself fed, clothed, and treated like a real man not a slave. What is a bound demon to do with such a lady?
“Holy cannoli, I can?t believe I?m doing this.” Connie ran a hand over hair that ran in wild waves to her shoulders. Her dark forest gaze looked around the quiet, empty backyard somewhat secluded by the fence and huge old oak trees, climbing roses, and lilac bushes. Still, in a neighborhood as small as hers, she never knew when some old coot or horny teen stared out a window, binoculars pressed to their eyes to catch the latest gossip.
A cold nose pressed against her bare skin giving her a bit of a shock. Then a soft whine.
She looked down at the small chocolate lab and terrier mix she recently rescued from the local shelter and brought into her small home. Dropping a hand from where it had a chokehold on the white satin robe, she gave one silky brown ear a scratch.
“Do you think I?m nuts, Cocoa?”
As a baker, what else could she name the little brown and white dog except her favorite baking ingredient? Chocolate. Luckily, it fit the little mutt to perfection.
The dog tilted her head and barked once.
Constance sighed. “Thanks. I?ll take that under consideration.”
The skinny tail swished and thumped against her leg.
Warmth flooded her chest from the ruby flame. It gave her strength to open the robe, lay it over the wooden railing, and walk down to the grass. She looked up as the moon came out from behind the clouds to flood her lawn with the pure natural light.
“This will either work or put me in the mental ward, Cocoa,” Constance said.
After a soft whine, the dog laid down, head on paws.
“Thanks for the support, girl.”
A little woof left the dog as an ear flicked in her direction.
Connie grinned. She cupped her hands around the necklace and lifted it from her skin. After another long inspection of the jewel, she watched the inner flame flicker under the natural light.
Would this actually work?
Standing nude in the moonlight, the necklace her only adornment, she clasped a hand around the flame, closed her eyes, and recited the words.
There was no flash of light. No rumble of sound. The ground didn?t shake. No warm hands on her body.
Her eyes opened. She looked around.
Cocoa whined in question.
“Well, Cocoa, that was a whole lotta nothing. I feel like a complete idiot.” Constance moved toward the patio and snagged the robe. “At least I got a beautiful necklace out of the deal. It?ll go great with my outfit for the dance.”
She lifted it again, only this time, something was different.
The jewel was darker. It felt empty.
Cocoa growled, low and nasty.
“You called me to your bed, milady?”
Spinning, pressing the robe to her front, Constance?s jaw dropped at the sight of the six-foot-three-inch naked male standing at the base of the porch. Not just any male, but a true blue hunk of walking sex.
“Oh my?” she squeaked.
Out Now at Aspen Mountain Press Chocolate Snake Bites: Blurb: Every relationship has problems and for months now all Dale and Val have been doing is fighting. He wants it to stop. So drastic times call for drastic measures. Dale takes the Love?s Bane potion hoping that Val will be too busy lusting after him to fight with him, but sex can?t solve every problem. Val doesn?t want part of her lover. She wants all of him, even the dark aspects of his sexual desire. She yearns for his brand but every time she brings up the subject he shuts her down. How can they communicate when he won?t open up? Will the arrival of his brothers and a trip to the Demonic Snake court help their relationship or hurt it? Buy Link: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/chocolate-snake-bite/prod_315.html Excerpt: ?Don’t do it,? Cody warned. Dale looked up into Cody’s hard sea blue gaze and nearly reconsidered his actions. His thoughts turned to Val and the last few weeks. He shook his head, path resolved. ?I have to do it. There is no other way.? Cody shook his head. ?This kind of magick isn’t something you just pickup. It’s not something you mess around with. Do you even know what’s in this so-called ‘aphrodisiac.’? Dale winced. ?No. Look, it comes from a reliable person. I trust my source.? ?What does Pietro, say about this? After all, that kind of potion is restricted for demons.? Cody picked up a glass and started cleaning up. His eyes focused on Dale making him squirm from the intensity. ?He doesn’t know?? Dale’s voice trailed off as guilt surfaced for the umpteenth time. Ever since the thought had entered his mind about gaining a small sample of the Love’s Bane, he’d felt guilty. Pietro, King of the Demons was one of his best friends. If he found out what Dale was up to, Pietro would have his balls. ?Let me remind you of why it’s banned. Love’s Bane is an aphrodisiac that is highly addictive. Taken in high qualities it could poison you. It there hadn’t been a pact between demons and warlocks the magickal beings would still be trying to destroy your asses with it. So, I don’t care how bad your relationship problems are. Don’t. Do. It.? Cody emphasized the last few words in short clipped tones. With a sigh Dale looked away from Cody. ?Look, I’m at my wit’s end. I don’t know what to do about Val. She and I have been fighting lately, a lot. I mean we’re a passionate couple but it’s just too much lately. I’m starting to worry that she’ll want to break it off with me.? He loathed feeling so vulnerable. ?I’m Dale Thornston, heir to the Serpentine Throne, the fourth most powerful house in all of Demon world and I’m here, sulking in a bar, drowning my troubles in some drink called Chocolate Snake Bites and talking to you about things I would never tell another soul, not even my best friends or brothers. It’s pathetic. I should be at home fucking the daylights out of my mate, not here. If she hadn’t had to work late again?? he stopped talking and dragged a hand over his face. ?I’m tired of being alone at home.? He would have felt a lot better if he didn’t feel she was avoiding him because of their last fight, which started off over with if there was coffee left in the pot and escalated to not spending enough time together. Dale didn’t know what they were talking about anymore, it was all shouting and crying lately. He didn’t want to lose her and he would do anything just to know that she still wanted to be with him. ?Then why don’t you ask her about her feelings instead of doing something stupid?? Cody asked. ?Such a simple question. Don’t you think I’ve tried that? We either getting interrupted or in a fight and I always end up sticking my foot in my mouth. It just feels like we’re never going to stop fighting. It doesn’t help that there’s a new guy in her office and it’s very clear that bastard wants what’s mine.? His stomach roiled and raged. Anger boiled in his veins as an image of Val’s new co-worker and boss, the werewolf Alexander Hughes rose in his mind. The bastard had made it clear that he wanted Val and would play dirty to get her. ?That son of bitch,? he growled. ?He’s scheduled a week long business trip to Italy with Val. She loves Italy. How the hell can I compete with that? I don’t have time to go to Italy. No one in the garage is responsible enough to be left in charge. Why the fuck did I hire so many morons?? Dale rested his head on his forearm and groaned. If Pietro could see him now he would be kicking his ass. With a heavy sigh he threw back the rest of his drink and looked up at Cody. ?Look, you love her. That should be enough. Show her you still care. Fights come and go but love?? Cody shook his head. Dale nodded and slid off the bar, throwing down a few dollars and a tip. ?Thanks, man. Um, question. Why the hell did you give me a Chocolate Snake Bites? That’s not my usual.? Cody shrugged and then a smile curled his lips. ?Thought you’d get my humor, you are after all a Snake shifter demon and your bite well, I’ve heard things.? http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/chocolate-snake-bite/prod_315.html