Posts Tagged ‘Shifters’

Book Spotlight: Bane of Her Desire by Kira Shayde

Bane of Her Desire by Kira Shayde

 

erotic romance, paranormal (shapeshifters), suspense

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Passion and danger on the Serengeti.

 

 

Blurb

 

When Holly Ainran’s brother goes AWOL from an elite military force in New Tanzania, she confronts Commander Bane Ojore, a rare gray lion shifter. Sparks ignite, but Holly finds a challenge in taming this brooding, hostile beast.

 

Bane does not expect the daughter of a high-ranking Parliamentary executive to be a smart, code-breaking expert, adamant about abolishing the lion caste hierarchy and ending the lion-hyena conflict. Nor would he expect such a stunning lioness to fall for him.

 

But Bane’s job is to find the traitors supplying weapons to the hyenas and all signs point to Holly’s brother. Holly won’t give up on her brother though…or Bane. As their passion escalates, so do the risks, the danger, and ultimately, their love.

 

 

Excerpt

 

It was a four-hour drive north to the Alpha Elite military base where the woodlands gave way to a mix of savanna and semiarid bush, and the city morphed into sparse villages. Holly parked her car outside the compound and walked through the open gate, surprised no one stopped her. Then again, the Alpha Elites weren’t a typical military operation.

 

She spied Commander Bane Ojore and could not stop staring. His tight white T-shirt highlighted his dark tan and provided a tantalizing showcase for his impressive biceps and chest. His fatigues did nothing to hide his heavily muscled thighs and rear, and when he raised his arms overhead to grab a pulley rope and ease a huge canister to the ground, his rippling back muscles made her mouth water.

 

She wiped the sweat trickling down the back of her neck, finding it difficult to catch her breath, the air stifling and dry. Yet perhaps it wasn’t the climate. She waited for Ojore to finish his job. When he did, he strode past her, ignoring her completely.

 

“Excuse me,” she called out, but if he heard her, he made no outward sign.

 

Holly exhaled in frustration and followed him to the command post building. She trudged across the uneven ground, slowing down when she tripped on an protruding tree root. At least she’d been smart enough to wear sneakers. She entered the building and was immediately assailed by the odor of sweat, leather, and gasoline. Nose wrinkling, she breathed through her mouth and followed the signs on the walls to the main office. The door was ajar, but she knocked to announce her presence. No response. She knocked again.

 

“Excuse me? Mr. Ojore?” She peered around the doorway.

 

He didn’t bother looking up at her. “What do you want, Miss Ainran?” he asked curtly.

 

She rocked on her feet, taken aback by both his demeanor and his question. “How do you know my name?”

 

“It’s my business to know everything that goes on here.”

 

“Yes, of course,” she replied. Perhaps he recognized her resemblance to her brother. She entered his office uninvited and took a seat. “That’s why I have come to you. I want to know what happened to my brother, Fix Ainran.”

 

Her composure faltered, and she shook her head to chase away the fears in her mind. “I want to know if you have any information about where he is.”

 

The Alpha Elite commander looked up and studied her. He was in full human form, his black, wavy hair longer than she would’ve expected for a military officer, much less a commander. There was an ethnic flavor to his dark, brooding features, although Holly couldn’t identify his mixed ancestry.

 

For a moment the expression on his face softened. Then he clasped his hands together, all business. “Unfortunately, Miss Ainran, I have nothing to tell you.”

 

Holly sucked in her cheeks. “I did not drive all this way to be told nothing.”

 

Bane Ojore’s dark eyes narrowed slightly. “I made it clear to your father on the phone that I had no further information about your brother’s whereabouts.” The man paused and glanced out the tiny window in his office. “Miss Ainran, we may never know what inner demons possess even those who are closest to us. Our work here in the colonies is extremely stressful and physically demanding. Some leave injured; some are evicted. Sadly, some are killed in action. And some believe the decision to leave should be on their own terms.”

 

“Something must have happened to my brother before he left, Mr. Ojore.”

 

“Commander Ojore.”

 

“Yes, Commander. You must have some idea why Fix did not return.”

 

He refocused his gaze on her. “Is that important?”

 

“It is to me.”

 

“The week before your brother failed to report back,” Ojore began in a clipped tone, “we lost an entire squad during a hyena attack. Twelve men were killed or severely injured.”

 

She couldn’t begin to imagine how traumatizing such an ordeal would be for a soldier to witness. She wiped her brow, feeling the confines of the small office. “I’m deeply sorry, Commander, about the loss of your men. But are you implying my brother abandoned his obligation to the Alpha Elites and his family because he feared for his life?”

 

She squared her jaw, resolve strengthening her. “I know my brother. He’s seen death before. He’s faced death before. There has to be another reason Fix would have failed to report to you and has not reached out to his family or friends. You may have been able to sidestep this matter with my father, but you will not keep the truth from me.”

 

The commander leaned back in his chair, saying nothing, his piercing gaze intimidating, bordering on hostile. Growing uncomfortable with his attempt to unnerve her, Holly returned his stare defiantly to prove she was no pushover.

 

“I will look into the matter,” he said finally and rose to his feet. He peered down at her, his mouth compressed. “This is a treacherous area, Miss Ainran. You should not have come here alone. You are unmated.”

 

It wasn’t a question or worse, an accusation, but she sighed. She wasn’t ashamed of her unmated status, yet she knew most males found it odd due to her high caste.

 

“Yes,” she replied. Her lips nearly twisted into a sneer before she caught herself. As the daughter of a member of Parliament, she was schooled in proper decorum, even in situations where it was clearly not reciprocated. She laid her hands primly in her lap, taking a deep breath. “I am determined to choose my own mate rather than share an alpha male in a pride.”

 

He raised an eyebrow. “I did not require nor request an explanation.”

 

Well, isn’t he just full of himself? She pretended to brush a spot from her pants.

 

“An unmated female is a distraction to the young male lions here,” the commander continued, clasping his hands behind his back, “preventing them from doing their jobs.”

 

Obviously she should have thought of this before she visited the Alpha Elite compound. Again, she tempered her reaction.

 

Ojore rounded his desk, and Holly stole a sideways glance. Yowza. Granted, she hadn’t intended to check out the contours of his package. It certainly wasn’t appropriate, particularly considering the purpose of her visit, but his hips were directly at her eye level, and his fatigues were quite fitted. A brief image flashed in her mind of how that impressive girth would feel inside her, and her thighs pressed together involuntarily.

 

“Miss Ainran?”

 

Heart pounding, Holly averted her eyes. Had she been staring outright? She peered up and found him regarding her, his lips curved in a bemused smile. So much for him not noticing.

 

Her first instinct was to bolt upright and make a hasty exit, but he blocked the path to the door. He stepped closer, fists on hips, which had the effect of tilting his pelvis forward, almost as if offering himself to her. Holly gripped the arms of her chair, her lion senses detecting his primal male scent. She had to fight the urge to rip off his pants and devour his cock whole.

 

Damn, she needed a boyfriend.

 

 

Buy Links

 

Loose Id http://www.loose-id.com/bane-of-her-desire.html (on sale now!)

 

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Bane-Her-Desire-Kira-Shayde-ebook/dp/B00L2LCG44/

 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bane-of-her-desire-kira-shayde/1119847200?ean=9781623001780

 

AllRomance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-baneofherdesire-1553429-340.html (a staff pick!)

 

 

About the Author

 

Kira enjoys studying love, sex, and relationships, and has a thing for Shifters (and devil’s food cake). As a romance writer, Kira explores somewhat atypical pairings and settings, and can’t help adding a twinge of societal awareness to her works. But the focus is always on the developing romance, hot sex, and happy endings. You won’t find any hard-core BDSM in Kira’s stories. She prefers her hero and heroine to share the power and share the love.

 

 

Author Links

 

Website http://www.kirashayde.com

 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kirashayde

 

Twitter https://www.twitter.com/kirashayde

 

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8319459.Kira_Shayde

The Ultimate Shifter Challenge Has Kicked Off!

USC

The Ultimate Shifter Challenge has started. Check out the contest and Vote and Check Out some Awesome Authors:
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/contest_shifter_challenge.html

Thank You!

Se

Dragon Ugly is a Bestseller!

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Holy Crackers, readers (and yes I said Holy Crackers), you’ve made Dragon Ugly a Bestseller on All Romance eBooks. It stared off at 44 and has climbed to 33! Thank You so much! I’m overwhelmed with emotion. I can only say Thank You. You all are awesome and you’re making my Birthday Month even better than I could’ve imagined. So here’s a peek at what you’ve been supporting and if you haven’t picked up the book yet, here’s a sneaky peek:

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ARe Bestseller!

 

Series: Dragon New Year, Book 2

Title: Dragon Ugly

Excerpt Title: Brent wants a Mate

ISBN #: 9781939194473

Blurb:

Can a dragon shifter give more than just hot sex?

After Brent’s New Year’s fling with his friends Fletcher and Tor—and Tor’s mate Louisa—Brent is determined to find his own mate. His dragon wants him to find their mate, too, and if Brent doesn’t find a way to locate her soon, his dragon will take matters into his own talons. And that could spell trouble.

Wolf shifter Carissa has no desire to live up to her wild musician mother and artistic father’s vision of free love and sex parties. She’s buried her sexual desires and focused on building up her aromatherapy store, Scentify, no distractions allowed. Until she meets Brent. The sexy dragon shifter makes her burn with suppressed need. The only problem? His dragon wants Carissa, too. And pursuing the dominant dragon would be playing with fire.

Giving in to his dragon saps Brent of his focus and energy. Things are turning ugly—dragon ugly. How can he bond with his mate when his dragon only wants sex?

Buy Links:

Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Ugly-New-Year-ebook/dp/B00D8DE0AM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1370619118&sr=1-1&keywords=Dragon+Ugly

 

Nook:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dragon-ugly-selena-illyria/1115521270?ean=2940016708034

 

ARe:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-dragonugly-1218613-340.html

Excerpt:

With a grin, he dove into the ice-cold water and felt the pleasant shock reverberate through his body. After a length underneath, his lungs began to burn from a need for oxygen. He swam up to the surface, taking in a lungful of sweet air. The dragon exhaled a cold breath, chilling his body further as the beast settled into its element.

The sun wasn’t high in the sky yet and there was no movement on the streets. The tourists had been living it up ever since they had arrived. Brent couldn’t keep up with all the events that were planned around town, and he didn’t even want to. There were beautiful women everywhere he looked, as if it were ladies night all the time. It was enough to put a smile on the lips of any man. But it just made Brent feel tired.

Now that he had adjusted to the water temperature, heat surged through Brent’s body, and he felt the dragon pushing him to shift. He dove under the surface again, as gills split along his neck in searing stripes of pain. Webs glued his fingers and toes together by thin membranes. He opened his eyes and took in the dark blue tiles and the bright white flooring of the pool. Oxygen flooded his lungs. He breathed in the chilly water and blew out bubbles. Flipping onto his back he gazed up at the shifting surface of the water. Beyond, the world moved in and out of focus. He saw a flock of birds fly overhead and the plants waving to and fro around the pool. Sounds were dampened under the water. It was peaceful.

He tried to let go of the tension and the stress that had been filling him lately, but it seemed that his dragon had something on its mind.

“When will we find our mate?” The dragon’s question surprised him. It whispered through his mind like scales brushing against the inside of his skull. He hadn’t even realized that his dragon had been looking for a mate.

“Are you looking for someone for now or forever?” he asked. The answer was important. He had to be sure this was what the dragon really wanted.

“Not temporary,” it whispered. “Always.”

Brent felt relief sweep through him. So that was it! But the relief was quickly followed by worry. They were still young in human years, not even twenty-five yet. He had a job, but he wasn’t even sure if he wanted to continue working at the Dragon’s Lair. His future seemed up in the air.

He tried to push away these thoughts and focus on what the dragon wanted: a mate. He thought of Tor and Louisa. Once they’d been mated at New Year, they had seemed to exist in their own little world, so cozy and close. Tor stayed over at her place practically every night unless she needed some alone time. A pang of envy burst in Brent’s stomach.

The more he thought about the idea of a mate, the more it appealed to him. Part of him wanted someone for himself. He wouldn’t be opposed to sharing with his friends from time-to-time, but when all was said and done, she would be all his. But another part of him was scared. What if there wasn’t anyone for them? What if she wasn’t out there? What would he do then? How would his dragon react to that? It had happened before—dragons searching the world over and not finding anyone. It was a sad and pitiful existence. Some thought it was punishment for past deeds, but Brent didn’t like to think that. Not even the coldest bastard deserved to be alone. Brent suddenly yearned to experience that first blush of love and contentment, to feel what it would be like to love and have that love returned.

“When?” The dragon pressed.

“I don’t know,” he told it. How should he go about finding her? A dragon matchmaker? A witch? Or should he rely on pure luck and fate?

“She’s here, in town,” the dragon pressed. “I can feel her.”

Brent almost changed back to his human form from shock. He hadn’t felt anything unusual, but then again his senses had been bombarded by so many things as of late. The fact that the dragon had been keeping this from him sent a wave of scalding heat through his body. The dragon had watched him fumble through one encounter after another, each less satisfying than the last. Why hadn’t it just told him it wanted a mate? “What do you mean?”

The dragon hissed out a cool stream of mist, interrupting his thoughts and pulling his focus back to the beast. “You must clear your senses. Use mine.”

Brent didn’t know how to open himself up to the dragon without undergoing a full shift. He felt his frustration mounting. The ability to share senses was supposed to be fluid and effortless, and yet it seemed to be all or nothing with his dragon.

“Stop. Let it go and relax. Think about our mate,” the dragon urged.

“Easy for you to say,” Brent muttered. How was he supposed to do that if he didn’t know anything about his mate?

He floated up to the surface and closed his eyes, letting the gentle lapping of the water center him. His limbs went limp and he sank down again, letting the soothing waters envelop him. Brent tried to picture his ideal woman, or at least an outline of her. A woman with curves, and a healthy appetite. A woman who was intelligent, strong, capable, independent, and full of respect for herself. Just thinking on those qualities made Brent’s heart ache. His frustration with his life grew as he thought of all that he yearned for. He missed having someone to spend time with, to cuddle with. He missed the basic human contact and comfort that he could find in a relationship. He wanted to be able to wake up with someone, make them breakfast, go out on dates, and spend the evenings talking about their days.

“Yes,” the dragon hissed. “Think on that.”

Brent’s body became buoyant, and once again he floated with ease.

Now he tells me, Brent thought. In his mind’s eye he could see the faint hint of clear, chocolate-brown skin, and light brown eyes. A cool breeze drifted over him, raising goose bumps. He inhaled deeply. The scent of the forest wafted past his nose. They were nowhere near the woods. With another pull of air, he got the scent of a million different perfumes, some herbal, some floral, and some spicy. Heat churned in his gut as his balls hardened. Arousal traced a fiery path along his spine. Shock reverberated through his system at the sudden onslaught of pure, unadulterated need. It had been a long time since he’d had a taste of real, honest-to-gods desire, and he didn’t even know who it was that his body wanted.

He tried to sense something of her personality beyond her multitude of scents. The imaginary woman imbued him with warmth and comfort, a coziness with the spice of sexual excitement that only increased his need for her. He felt his cock thicken, filling with blood as his body temperature spiked. Brent tried to push past the feeling and concentrate on locating the woman. It was one thing for the sexual chemistry to be there, but to be able to stay with someone, he would need to forge a real connection to her. With a mental shove, he tried to open himself up to her more, get more of a feel for who she was.

He hit a wall, hard, and bounced back. All sense of her vanished and the outline of her image wavered, then disappeared. He pushed again, trying to seek out that thread that connected them. He gritted his teeth as he tried to force himself past the wall. Brent pictured his energy like a large wave of water as it crashed against the solidity of her barriers again and again. He tried to reform the water’s shape to something sharper, like a sword or icicle, but again he was blocked.

Confusion turned to anger and determination. I’m going to get to you, he thought. You will be mine.

 

Buy Links:

Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Ugly-New-Year-ebook/dp/B00D8DE0AM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1370619118&sr=1-1&keywords=Dragon+Ugly

 

Nook:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dragon-ugly-selena-illyria/1115521270?ean=2940016708034

 

ARe:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-dragonugly-1218613-340.html

Cover Candy

My new cover for Dragon Ugly coming December 14th from Etopia Press!

Its part of the Dragon New Year Series.

What do you think?

Se

Heroes, Villains and In-Between- Cat Marsters

Cat Marsters—The Original Sinner: Striker

When I first wrote Striker he was going to be a villain, plain and simple. He had one function: to tempt my heroine, Chalia, away from the man she loved. Striker had varous magical powers and he wasn’t above using them to get what he wanted. When he got angry he’d explode things. Like buildings. People. Cities.

I kinda liked him.

And that was the problem. I wanted him to be the bad guy. I even tried to kill him off. But I couldn’t do it. Well, I did, but no one stays dead for long in my books. At the last count, Striker had been declared legally dead three times. He’s still walking around.

But herein lies the rub. I can’t make him a romantic hero. He kills people for fun. He once cut someone in half, vertically, with a sword made out of fire. Got angry and flattened an entire city. He explodes pickpockets. Kills people for looking at him a bit funny. He’s a psychopath. A proper unhinged nutter. He’s a villain. So why do I like him? Why does everyone else?

Well, he’s hot for one thing. A giant walking pheromone. But we’re not that shallow, are we? He’s funny, for sure—he has a very nice line in sarcasm. He can do anything. I mean quite literally, anything. Travel through time (what, like it’s hard?). Kill immortal beings. Being people back to life. Make it snow, just because Chalia says she likes it.

Is that it? Do we like him because he loves his woman? He’ll quite literally do anything for her, up to and including mass homicide (she’s never asked, but he’s waiting for the opportunity). Making it snow is nothing: when she died he brought her back to life. When she decided she wanted a baby, despite the gods attempting to keep him from procreating by making it physically impossible for the only woman he loved to carry a child (okay, so he can’t do everything—cut the guy a break, he’s a homicidal maniac, not a fertility expert) he travelled in time to change the course of history and befuddled the gods out of noticing until the baby was born.

Or do we feel sympathy for the devil? Striker was, after all, once an ordinary person. A very good-looking, smart, rich, and mischeivous person, but with no more inclination to mass murder than you or me. And then a random accident got him stranded in an alien world for twelve years, all alone and with just a few magical powers lent to him in order to survive. Telling himself every day he’d get back to the woman he’d left behind. Thinking of the one and only night they spent together. Pickling in his own madness. By the time he returned he was lean and hard and strange and cold, and he might still have turned into something resembling a human being were it not for the fact that his One True Love had buggered off and got engaged to someone else, and told him in no uncertain terms that she wanted him out of her life.

So he flattened a city. As you do.

The thing is, he does love Chalia, but that’s about his only redeeming feature. And it’s not much of one. He loves her selfishly, like a child loves. He doesn’t want to share her. It’s kind of hard to figure out whether he really loves his daughter or not—even I’m not entirely sure if he does, or if he just takes care of her because Chalia wants him to. I wrote about Striker’s relationship with his daughter, Chance, in my first Ellora’s Cave book, Almost Human. She doesn’t know what to make of it, and neither does he.

She knows her father is the most evil man in history. That’s going to give a girl quite a complex.

Excerpt from Mad, Bad & Dangerous, available now ffrom Ellora’s Cave.

Was this how Striker had become so terrible, so powerful and so dangerous? Was this why he’d rampaged through Euskara twenty years ago, murdering Magi and stealing their power, flattening cities, roasting people alive—just to mirror his own pain?
What the hell could have hurt such an inhuman man so badly?
He found himself on the ground, back in his human body, staring at the scryer in his palm. It glowed red then the face resolved into Striker’s visage.
“Who the fuck are you?” he asked.
The same shock of fear and disgust ran through Bael, but far less powerfully than it had before. “Why did you do it?” he asked.
“Do what? Who are you?”
“Kett’s— I’m…a friend of Kett’s,” Bael said through the bad taste in his mouth.
“Oh yeah.” Striker’s mouth twisted cruelly. “You ran away.”
“You murdered hundreds of my people.”
Striker shrugged, as if he couldn’t see what the two things had to do with each other.
“Why did you do it? You flattened the city of Vaticano twenty years ago. You stole power and tortured innocent people. Why did you do it?”
Striker shrugged again. “What are you, a groupie? I did it ’cos I wanted to, kid. I enjoyed it. I’d do it again—”
“No, you bloody wouldn’t,” came a female voice, the voice of the brunette at Nuala’s house. Chalia. Chance’s mother…
Understanding stabbed Bael in the heart.
“You did it for her,” he said slowly. “Because she hurt you.” With every word he became more certain, the knowledge creeping into him like fog.
Striker’s face turned to granite.
“Because she did something to you,” Bael went on. “Because she hurt you so badly it screamed inside you, and all you wanted to do was make everyone else feel as much pain as you. To hurt and maim and burn and slash and kill, because that’s what she did to you. And she never stopped you. She stops you now but she didn’t then. And you went on sucking power out of people so you could destroy more and more, bigger and bigger, until you’d destroyed a city and killed thousands—”
A jolt of power suddenly surged through the scryer, like the shock from ungrounded metal, making Bael flinch and lose his thread.
The view on his scryer tilted, as if someone else had taken hold of the device, and Chalia’s face appeared, pale and shocked.
“It was you,” Bael said, and her lovely dark eyes swam with fear and guilt and pain.
“What did you do?” Bael asked her.
Her hand went to her throat, lovely and unlined even twenty years after Striker had burned and destroyed cities in her name.
“I got engaged to someone else,” she said distantly. “Who are you?”
“Baelvar.” The world had narrowed to the scryer in his hand and the anger pulsing through him.
Chalia regarded him through the scryer. “You’re Kett’s mate, yes? The Nasc. With power.”
Bael clenched his fist and looked away.
Striker laughed softly. “What did she do?”
“Someone else,” Bael said.

Bio:

Cat Marsters lives in Essex and belongs to a pride of adored cats. On occasion she can be persuaded to admit ownership of a demon puppy (but not if you suspect your flowers have been trampled). She enjoys watching TV and films that showcase the looks and talents of Richard Armitage, David Tennant and Hugh Jackman, reading books that make her laugh, dyeing her hair, and talking about herself in the third person.
Cat has been writing all her life, but in order to keep herself rich in shoes and chocolate, she’s also worked as an airline check-in agent, video rental clerk, stationery shop assistant, and laboratory technician. She’s still aiming for the fairytale cottage of her childhood dreams, and asks all potential Prince Charmings to apply in writing with pictures of themselves and their Aston Martins.

Buy link: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-8185-mad-bad-dangerous.aspx
Website: http://catmarsters.com
Blog: http://etaknosnhoj.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/K8JohnsonAuthor
Facebook: http://facebook.com/catmarsters

Heroes, Villains and In-Between- Katie MacAlister

Out Now!

Villains! I love the little devils. Not because I’m secretly a sadist who likes to see all her happy little characters tormented by some nasty villain…well, OK, maybe I do, but mostly I love villains because in them, I see the opportunity of redemption.

There’s nothing that chimes my bells more than a bad boy character, a person who at some point in his life, made a choice that led him into a path of no return. Mind you, I don’t like characters who were born bad—Magoth, a demon lord in my dragon books, is one of my favorite characters, but despite wishing I could turn him around and make him a hero, I know in my heart I can’t because he never truly was ever good to begin with—but give me a man who made some bad choices and was damned because of them, and I’m on the spot ready to bring him back to the fold.

That’s one reason why Baltic, one of my dragon heroes, is my favorite of all the dragons. He started out as the villain, a man who had committed acts so heinous, everyone feared him. So far as anyone knew, he was a psychopathic murderer bent on the destruction of everyone and everything. He remained that way through the three silver dragon books, with only a hint in the last one that perhaps there was more to him than was obvious.

Coming to NAL Signet May 3,2011

I knew the moment I first wrote the words “dread wyvern Baltic” that some day, I was going to take this uber-villain, and turn him into a hero. I couldn’t resist—he was just so bad, so apparently focused on everyone’s destruction, I had to find out what had made him that way, what forces had driven him to become the most hated character in all of dragon history, and spin him around.

It turned out the force that had sent him on a spiral of villainhood had been love. Baltic loved and lost, and that loss drove him more or less insane with grief. The depths of his love, the power it held over his mind, and how it forced him into choices that others would never have made is what intrigued me. I loved exploring just how far his vengeance would take him simply because I knew how much pain he suffered every single moment of his existence.

The joy, of course, was when it came time to write Baltic’s books. Redemption, how sweet thy name! I reveled in the opportunity of taking a villain that readers had despised for three books, and finding a way to not only make them love him, but more importantly, make him whole again. The answer was again love—what once destroyed him, now could make him a warm, funny, loving person, one who still had enough naughty quirks to satisfy my bad-boy lust, but who could now be free to conduct heroic acts…even if they were done with a villainous flair.

Heroes are well and fine, but give me an angsty, tormented villain, and I’ll happily plot his redemption, glorying in his badness every step of the way.

For an Excerpt from the upcoming The Unbearable Lightness of Dragons Click Here.

To Pre-Order (print): Amazon,B-A-M,  Barnes & Noble, Book Depository,  Borders, Chapters, Indie Bound, PenguinPowell’s

To Pre-Order (eBook): Kindle,  Nook

Katie’s page: http://katiemacalister.com/

Bio:

For as long as she can remember, Katie MacAlister has loved reading. Growing up in a family where a weekly visit to the library was a given, Katie spent much of her time with her nose buried in a book. Despite her love for novels, she didn’t think of writing them until she was contracted to write a non-fiction book about software. Since her editor refused to allow her to include either witty dialogue or love scenes in the software book, Katie swiftly resolved to switch to fiction, where she could indulge in world building, tormenting characters, and falling madly in love with all her heroes.

Two years after she started writing novels, Katie sold her first romance, Noble Intentions. More than thirty books later, her novels have been translated into numerous languages, been recorded as audiobooks, received several awards, and are regulars on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. She also writes for the young adult audience as Katie Maxwell.

Katie lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and dogs, and can often be found lurking around online.

Heroes, Villains and In-Between- Mina Carter

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.

Coming to Ellora's Cave March 11th

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.

Coming to Summer House Publishing March 28th, 2011

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!

Website: http://mina-carter.com/

Out Now, Blood Claim: Tainted!

Blurb:
Syrus was seeking revenge. Jessye was just trying to adjust to having a new leader. Their desire burns hot, but the past and stubbornness stands between them.
Syrus will claim Jessye as his consort and gain the revenge for the murder of those he loved. Jessye will submit to him. Like hell, Jessye says. She is no one?s consort. She stands on her own and doesn?t need him. But her hunger for him haunts them both between the hunt for a murderer and political games.
Dark magick and blood, anger and desire will bring them together but also push them apart. Love, lust, need, revenge can all be tainted. Forgiveness and acceptance can heal it all.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content and graphic language.
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An Excerpt from Selena Illyria’s Blood Claim: Tainted

The moon hung full and luminous in the sky as Jessye and her team hugged the western wall of the property. The mission was simple: capture Lorrie, dead or alive. If alive, she would be tried in the high court for the murder of Syrus and Rysen’s family.
But only if she was taken alive. Jessye preferred her dead.
Over the past few months, Lorrie had managed to capture and kill too many of Jessye’s people. She glanced at Syrus in front of her. Correction: their people. The last one had been taken from one of Syrus’s safe houses.
Anger trembled through her before she could gain control of it. Syrus paused in front of her and looked back at her in question. She shrugged. He shook his head and moved forward.
She crept after him. A shiver of unease traced its chilly fingers up her spine as the seconds slipped by. Syrus paused again, his dark head turning this way and that in the pale moonlight. She opened her mouth to ask what was wrong but closed it when she saw him give the signal to keep moving. She blew out a relieved breath and crept along until he stopped again.
?Halt! Who’s out there??
She rolled her eyes. Moron. Like someone trying to break in is going to answer. She shook her head and waited. Her grip on the dagger in her right hand tightened. She wanted revenge, but first they needed to get into the compound.
?Jessye, I’m going to send some people on ahead. You’re with me.? Syrus’s voice slipped into her mind seamlessly, raising goose bumps over her skin. It still made her uncomfortable having this mental connection to him.
The sounds of a scuffle ahead brought her out of her thoughts. A soft groan floated on the air as she and Syrus moved forward.
?Threat’s taken care of.? Adrian, Syrus’s second in command, shifted from wolf back to man and returned to the group.
Lights flashed on, and for a second, Jessye was blind. A whip cracked, and pain stung the side of her neck.
A woman encased from head to toe in leather appeared before her, a bright red band on her arm signifying she was one of Raphael’s guards. She flicked her wrist, and a sharp crack rent the air. Pain burst on Jessye’s neck again. Not too far from her, she heard the sounds of Syrus and Adrian fighting off their own attackers.
Jessye growled and took a step forward. She focused her energy into her hands and threw a burst of power at her opponent. Jessye aimed her power at the woman’s wrist.
The whip flew from her hand to the ground. It didn’t stop her, though; she flicked her wrist again, and a burst of power hit Jessye on the cheek. With a growl, Jessye rushed her and took her down. Jessye got the upper hand and managed to land a few blows to the woman’s face. Her rival finally stopped moving.
All around her, the sounds of fighting filled the air. ?Fall back. There’s too many of them,? Adrian yelled.
A hole opened up in the enemy line, and Syrus rushed through it.
?Shit.? Jessye ran after him. She refused to have him captured or killed because he’d lost his head in the name of revenge.
?God damn it, Syrus. Get back here!? She didn’t care if anyone heard her; all she cared about was getting the team back to the safe house alive. Their footsteps rang across the cobblestoned walkway as he ran around the side of the house. She swore, her legs working overtime to catch up. ?Get your ass back here, you meathead. You’re going to get us killed.?
Either he didn’t care or he couldn’t hear her, because he ran faster, climbed up the gate, and went over the top. A soft thud told her he’d landed.
Jessye grumbled as she followed, tired, her energy nearly spent. She looked around for Syrus and found him a few feet away. ?The mission is shot. We need to go, now.?
He stopped moving, much to her relief. ?Lorrie’s in there. I know she is.?
?And we’ll come back and drag her out by the hair, but we need to go now. Think of your people. They need you.?
I need you, she added silently.
He turned around, and for a moment hope bloomed inside her. But the feeling was short-lived. A lithe blonde encased in a pearlescent silk sheath came into view. One pale hand held a wicked-looking curved dagger with serrated edges.
Lorrie.
?Syrus, look out!? She ran toward him and watched in slow motion as Syrus turned around. His face contorted in a mixture of shock and anger. He lunged for the woman and missed, and the blade sank into his side. Syrus tried to reach for her again, only to have her move out of the way.
?I’m going to kill you.? Syrus lifted his arm. A dagger gleamed in the moonlight. He thrust it at her.
Lorrie sidestepped him. ?Missed me. Try again, mongrel.?
The dangerous dance happened in flashes of awkward movement. His steps stumbled as she moved with fluid grace out of the way. Syrus tripped and fell to a knee. A cruel smile curved on her lips. The dance slowed down until both parties were standing still: him kneeling, his dagger hand planted on the ground while his arm covered his midsection, and Lorrie standing over him.
Dark red stained his shirt. The blot grew bigger with each movement. Lorrie raised her knife again. The shock wore off. Jessye leaped into action, rushing toward him. Lorrie looked up. A sneer contorted her pretty face. She turned and ran into the darkness. Jessye would have gone after her had Syrus not sunk to the ground, holding his side. Jessye dropped down beside him. Taking him in her arms, she tried to cover the bleeding with her free hand.
?Lorrie? Go after Lorrie.? Syrus struggled to get up.
A quick survey of their surroundings showed that Lorrie had disappeared.
?Shut up and lie still. I’m not leaving you. We’ll get her next time. I can’t teleport. I don’t have enough energy.?
The blood felt hot against her palm. The pungent scent of his liquid life floated through the air and grew thicker with each second. He was losing so much blood that she wondered if he would be able to heal.
She looked around, panicked. Her heart thudded against her chest, and a sense of dread took hold of her. Exposed, in the middle of what appeared to be a driveway, she heard the sounds of a scuffle drift through the night toward her. No help was coming for them.
Sweat soaked her brow and ran in rivulets down her face. Her damp shirt stuck to her like a second skin.
Moving as quickly as she could, she laid Syrus on the ground, shrugged out of her jacket, and wadded it against the wound.
Closing her eyes, she reached out with her mind for help. ?Don’t you dare die on me.? She hit him in the shoulder with her free hand.
He coughed. ?If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you cared about me. You’ve done a damn good job of avoiding me these last few months.?
?I don’t care about that,? she lied. She looked around, but no one had answered the call. The sounds of battle continued to drift toward her. ?You’re the leader of our little motley crew of rebels. I refuse to try and lead them without you. I’d just end up killing them all.?
A light breeze brushed her face, and she shivered. Goose bumps broke out over her skin as the sweat cooled.
?I’m not healing.?
?What??
?I’m not healing, and I feel odd, like fire is lapping through my veins and swirling around my stomach.? He struggled again to sit up. ?My heart is pounding so fast.?
His voice sounded hoarse, as if he had been yelling.
No, no, no. It can’t be?
Not voicing her worry, she raised her blood-covered hand to her nose. A light, bitter odor wafted to her nostrils. With great trepidation, she flicked her tongue over her palm. A burst of acid washed over her taste buds, chased by a sickening sweetness.
He’d been poisoned.
?I’m dying, aren’t I?? he asked softly.
?Not on my watch, meathead. I’m going to get you out of here if it’s the last thing I do.? She gathered as much of her energy as she could and focused on teleporting them. Warmth flooded her body and pulsed through her veins. A sense of floating surrounded her. The sensation stopped. The gates they had climbed over came into view. They had moved only a few feet.
A sense of weariness took hold of her. Panting softly, she tried to push back her exhaustion and gather more energy.
?Sassy, you okay??
She slapped him on the arm. ?Stop calling me that, or I’ll have to start calling you sugar britches in front of your troops.?
He chuckled. ?What else should I call you? Honey seems to be too sweet for such a firecracker like you. How about I start calling you Sparky??
She winced. ?That’s even worse than Sassy.?
?Then Sassy it is. Just as long as you don’t start calling me sugar britches.? A fit of coughing cut off his laughter.
Her heart stuttered in her chest. He opened his mouth, but she shook her head and put a finger to her lips.
Voices floated toward them. It sounded as if they were arguing.
Her energy still hadn’t recovered. She couldn’t move them just yet, but she could shield him. ?I’m going to get up. Don’t move, do you understand? Regardless of what you see me do, don’t move.?
?What are you doing?? He struggled but couldn’t sit up.
Jessye moved out from under him and laid his head on the ground. ?Don’t move. I’m too tired to deal with distractions.? She stood up. Her fangs lengthened, and she bit into her palm. Blood welled up fast, and a pang of pain hit her abdomen. Hunger mingled with a gnawing ache that quivered in waves through her body. I need to feed.
With that reminder, she called on her remaining power and focused on what Blyder had taught her about protection magick and blood.
Apprehension dogged her steps as she began to walk in a circle. She made two complete loops, muttering in the old language, and turned her palm downward to let the blood drop to the ground. With each drop that hit the stone, a small beam of light shot upward to the sky. She continued to walk the third circle until Syrus was completely encircled in light.
?Sassy??
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him try to rise. ?Stop moving. If you break the beam of light, it will cut you in two. Besides, I don’t want to tell Rysen I lost you.? Her head swam, making concentration difficult.
She muttered the last of the incantation and slammed her palm down onto the ground. When she lifted her hand, what remained was not a bloody bite wound, but a perfect pentagram. She straightened up and swayed on her feet.
?What’s wrong with you??
It took a bit more energy than she had to regain her balance.
?Damn it, Sassy. Answer me. By the laws of blood claim, as I have declared you my consort, I order you to tell me what is going on.?
?I’m fine.?
?Liar.?
?Shut up and stay where you are. If you hurt yourself trying to get to me, I swear I’ll kill you. You and Rysen need justice for Lorrie killing your family. Don’t let stupidity stop you.?
The voices came closer. She reached down and unsheathed a small knife from her boot.
?Jessye, please.?
?It’s okay, ma ch?re. Just us.? Adrian came into view, and her shoulders sagged in relief. Golden eyes flashed at her. Shoulder-length dark brown hair blew in the breeze. Rips in his black outfit showed off peeks of his muscular body. ?The house is abandoned. Everyone fled once they saw the bursts of light coming from this direction. They probably thought bad magick was happening, and frankly, so did I. Glad to see it was just you protecting le capitaine. Temar will take down the barrier. You should lean on me, oui? You look about ready to collapse.?
He held out his hand, and she looked down at it.
?It’s clean. I promise you. Washed off the blood before we came over.?
?Don’t be stubborn, Sassy. Take his hand,? Syrus said. ?And once we get back to the compound, and I’m able to see straight, I’m going to spank your ass.?
She whirled around too fast, and the world tilted on its side. She clenched her jaw and glared down at him. ?Try it, and you’ll be pulling back a stump.?
Syrus’s sapphire blue eyes glowed, making her pause. ?You’ll do as you’re told, Consort, and I’ll do as I please.?
Adrian grabbed her biceps and held her back. ?Calm down, ch?rie,? he whispered against her ear. ?He is worried is all. Be still and let this pass. Come let us patch you up, then you can proceed to tear each other apart, oui??
Fire roared through her veins. Warmth seeped into her body. She could feel her energy supply begin to rise. With the surge of power came the tingling reminder of a need for sex and more blood.
?Fine. Wouldn’t want to kill my consort before I’ve had a chance to teach him some manners.? She pulled out of Adrian’s arms, but it wasn’t anger that made her walk away. Syrus looked so pale that his skin was almost translucent.
She marched off and joined the rest of their mission party. She rested for a bit, and as her power rose, her body mended itself. A few minutes later, she had enough energy to teleport. ?I’m going on ahead.?
Not waiting around for a reply, she traveled with her mind to the compound.
? Selena Illyria, May 2010




All Rights Reserved

Last Call Europe: Dog Sled Out Now!

OUT NOW at Changeling Press Last Call Europe: Dog Sled!

BLURB:
Werewolf Silvano wants a break from the drama in pack business. A night out is exactly what he needs. He doesn’t count on his rival’s familiar Hexuba strolling into Last Call.
Black cat shifter and wizard’s familiar Hexuba has always wanted Silvano even though he’s the enemy. One night is all she asks to indulge her wildest fantasies with him. Come morning she’ll be gone.

Will one night be enough?

BUY LINK:
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EXCERPT:
Last Call Europe: Dog Sled
Selena Illyria
All rights reserved.
Copyright ?2010 Selena Illyria

This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

Silvano stood in his bathroom staring at his foggy reflection in the mirror. He drew in a breath and blew it out. Tension sung through his body as he prepared himself for the monthly fuckfest. Or, as his elders liked to call it, the compatibility test. He didn’t buy it for a second. Find your mate by fucking them. He scoffed at the notion but there wasn’t much he could do about it. Either he slept with all the available females in his pack to find a suitable alpha female or he lost his pack. So it was decreed in the pack bylaws, the rules his father had followed as laid out by his father before him and so on and so on, ad nauseam.
As a hormone-driven youth, he’d reveled at the chance to fuck so many willing women. Now, as an adult of thirty-four, with his thirty-fifth birthday right around the corner, he was tired of it. All of it. He’d fucked practically every available woman in the pack. His father had even thought of bringing in women from an allied pack to see if he would fit better with one of them. He’d turned them all down. It wasn’t just the sex that was tiresome, but also the elders and his second lieutenant, the rules, the obligations…

He was alpha, the leader, and yet he couldn’t make up new rules or lead his people the way he wanted. The system was antiquated, governed by laws and decorum that didn’t fit into today’s world of paraphiles, people obsessed with the paranormal and all aspects of it. The young pups lived in a sort of static environment, caught between tradition and the modern age where werewolves could blend in with the normal populace without being shunned for doing so.

The other problem on his horizon was twofold. One was from an ex-pack member, Turk. The man had been begun to dabble in the dark arts, accessing the magick in his blood from his wizard ancestry all in a bid to take over the pack that had exiled him long ago. Silvano feared for his once childhood friend. According to reports, Turk was going insane, being driven by dark forces. There was very little Silvano could do short of killing the man, and he was reluctant to do so. Many in both packs had blamed him for Turk’s current behavior. Silvano had refused to step aside during the pack challenge and let Turk win.

He shook his head. Silvano couldn’t have allowed that. The man was unstable. And now there was the problem of Turk’s black cat familiar: Hexuba. Just thinking her name heated his blood. His cock went from flaccid to semi-hard. He could see her face, the velvety dark chocolate colored eyes. Just a glance made him want to drag her someplace private, away from distractions, and discover what secret places on her body made her cry out and moan.

“Fucking hell.” He fisted his cock at the base and stroked slowly, allowing the arousal to grow. “Hex.” He hissed out her name as his mind painted her image among the wisps of steam. Her delicate nose, high cheekbones and lush, full lips came into view. He groaned again as his thoughts drifted to feeling those lips against his as she explored his body. Silvano could feel the pebbled tips of her nipples scraping across his belly as she moved downward. He wanted to feel her mouth on him, feel her tongue lap at the slit atop his cockhead before swallowing him whole.

The fantasy continued to build as his imagination painted Hex on her knees, lips dragging along his hardened length. The minx would tease him, giving him just enough pressure to send pulses of pleasure up his spine and throughout his body before releasing his cock. She would lap up his seed while pumping him with her hand before returning to torment him with her mouth, and he would love every minute of it.

“Silvano, are you ready?” a high-pitched female voice called out.

The fantasy evaporated just like the steam and he swore. His cock lost some of its hardness as real life came crashing in. With a sigh, he shook his head. “Time to do my duty.”

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