Monday, October 31, 2016

MYSTERY MONDAY: On stage, band leader Zach Zacata controls the emotions of thousands of fans, but he can't control his middle-aged body. LEADER OF THE BAND BY GENIE GABRIEL



Title: The Leader of the Band
Author: Genie Gabriel
Email: genene@genenevalleau.com

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2


On stage, band leader Zach Zacata controls the emotions of thousands of fans, but he can't control his middle-aged body. When he has a heart attack, best friend and sometime lover Lauren Westover provides a place where Zach can heal. And Zach realizes he has one more chance to win Lauren's love--if a killer doesn't get to them first.


EXCERPT

Staring at the woman in the mirror, Lauren slowly pushed the gray wig off her head. Her naturally blonde hair lay matted forlornly against one side of her head. As she turned her head, a white bandage became obvious, framed by a semi-circle of close-cropped stubble around her ear where waves of golden hair used to flow.

I could have lost my life instead of my hair, she reassured herself. Still, a spiral of panic threaded through Lauren’s belly.

Sometimes Lauren disparaged her beauty, especially when lechers with insulting hands expected free access to her body. However, she also knew her physical appearance garnered many opportunities a plain woman never enjoyed.

Now, hidden out in a retirement center and disguised as an old woman, no one had spared a second glance at her. Hadn't she wanted to be respected for something that didn't depend on good looks?

A commotion at the door startled Lauren away from her own musings. Zach slipped inside and slammed the door shut behind him. Then he leaned against it, gulping deep breaths of air. His silver-streaked wig hung precariously over one ear; his satin smoking jacket was missing the belt that knotted it jauntily around his middle when she left him less than fifteen minutes ago.

He slid the lock into place and limped toward Lauren. “Whoever said women lose their libido in old age never visited this place.”

He flung the wig on the bed for the cat to play with and sat beside Lauren on the vanity bench. “How are you doing?”

Lauren shrugged. “Have the police found any sign of Matt [my son]?”

Zach’s fingers tiptoed across the bare skin at the back of Lauren’s neck. “Nothing yet. Johnny is spending most of his off-duty time shaking up the homeless hangouts. But they’re a tight-lipped bunch. Don’t talk to cops much.”

Zach’s lips touched the cool skin of Lauren’s nape. “He'll be alright.”

Her shiver this time wasn’t from fear for Matt but the trail of Zach's kisses across the base of her neck. Funny how being in a place with older people had eased Zach’s mind about aging. These men and women hadn’t given up on life when their youth faded. They still indulged their passions and their dreams. They spoke their minds and pursued what they wanted without regard to what others thought.

They were free in so many ways from the restraints and criticisms of the world. Free from their own unrealistic expectations, yet at peace with taking risks and trying new experiences.

Why had Zach feared growing old? "Will you make love with me?”

Lauren turned and stared at Zach. Disbelief, humor, interest, and eagerness flickered in her eyes before she placed her hand in Zach’s.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

ROMANCE SUNDAY: Six full length novels that challenge conventional Perceptions Of Love. PERCEPTIONS OF LOVE BOXED SET FREE ON KU



Title: Perceptions Of Love Boxed Set
Authors:
Angela Castle
Tamsin Baker
J. L. Addicoat
C. L. Kraemer
Maggie Mundy
Christine Young

ISBN: 978-1-62420-284-1

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 5
Buy at: Amazon


Six full length novels that challenge conventional Perceptions Of Love.


Angela Castle

Licking her wounds after ending a six-year marriage to a serial cheating husband, Julia has run away to her grandfather's house high in the Australian Mountains, hoping to fix the old neglected building up while she contemplates her future, only to discover a huge white Siberian tiger on her door step. Tiger shifter Mohan has escaped, jumped ship and is in hiding from the hunter who has ripped him from his world and murdered those he loved, when a curvy Aussie woman turns up at the old house he’s managed to shelter in these past weeks. He offers his services as a builder by day, returning to her by night as a tiger. Despite the strong attraction he has trouble fighting, what he discovers in Julia is a new kind of warmth and kindness he is in desperate need of.

Storm Clouds
Tamsin Baker

Naylaa is United to her beautiful unicorn Bronte. She knows the legends and is waiting for the United pair that will complete their life.  When Gorvan arrives with Seinna, his United, Naylaa knows instantly Gorvan is her soul mate. But Gorvan is stubborn and scared. He wants to keep moving from town to town and doesn’t believe Naylaa about their need for one another. Naylaa must make him see it...before greed and stubbornness tears them and their beloved unicorns apart forever.

Spirit of Love
J. L Addicoat

Old buildings have an eerie haunting feeling, and the 17th Century Manor house in the Cornish countryside Julia intends to restore, is no exception. Originally her dead husband’s dream, she feels it’s up to her to complete it in his memory. When she arrives, she realizes it’ll take more than a quick clean to put the dilapidated old Manor to rights.

While exploring the house, she feels as someone, or something, is watching her. Darting shadows and movements, seen from the corner of her eyes, seem to confirm sinister happenings at the Manor in the past. The discovery of an old diary hidden in a chest of drawers and the story it tells, lead Julia in a different direction than she originally thought she would be taking.

Dragons Among Us
Christie L. Kraemer

In a world full of anomalies such as the platypus and self reproducing Komodo dragon, is the human race willing to accept that dragons may be real? Sapien Draconi-human-dragon shape shifters-all over the world face this dilemma every day. The question has become life and death as their species is plagued with unexpected and unwanted shifting in the most unlikely of places. The Ancient Ones-full-blooded dragons-can offer advice, but few seem to put forward workable solutions to the problem. The fate of the shape shifters hangs in the balance, and an answer must be found before the Homo sapiens find, dissect, and hunt Sapien Draconi to extinction.

World Change
Maggie Mundy

Clare gets transported from present day Florence to an alternate world, one that looks like fourteenth century Italy. The only way back is through a portal half a world away, plus the local High priestess wants her dead, and the only one she can trust is a vampire called Trevi. He is the only one who exits in this world, and she knows more about what he is than he does. He is hard to resist, especially when he saves her life. Trevi can take her home but he is keeping one big secret. She will have to be like him to survive the journey through the portal back to her world making a myth a reality.

Sweet Sexy Sadie
Christine Young

From the first time Sadie’s eyes met those of Brody McKenna in the hot Sierra Madre Mountains, theirs was a potent attraction—not gentle, slow, and easy, but hot, hard, and all-consuming. The daughter of a dysfunctional family, Sadie had dreams no man could wrench from her with hot sex and an all-consuming passion. She’d challenge this alpha male with all the strength she possessed. But her red hair, fiery temperament, and indomitable spirit obsessed Brody...and he knew he had to find a way to show her he was more than he appeared and convince her to make a life with him.



EXCERPTS:

TIGER MINE

Desperation was becoming a prevalent emotion in Mohan's life. With each passing moment, he slipped deeper into the unwanted state.

His food supply was limited, and he grew weaker with each passing week. Soon, he would be forced into the situation of journeying back into the human populace. It was dangerous for a creature in his situation.

As long as he remained in animal form, he had a chance of surviving. Yet, with each necessary shift to his human side, he grew weaker. His body ached with a gnawing hunger. Even in the warm climate of this new land, he was cold.

Mohan had been fortunate to find shelter; an old, abandoned farmhouse. It had several rooms and would have once been a comfortable home. Someone had left it to the ravages of time and was in need of much repair.

He would restore it if he had the resources. For now, it was a roof over his head and kept out the chill of the cold mountain nights. Still, even with a full blaze in the solid stone fireplace, it only partially kept the chill from his bones.

He had nothing with which to trade, nothing to barter, and he had limited English. All he would need to do was open his mouth to speak, and they would know he was not of this land. The clothes on his back he had taken from a pile discarded next to a large bin on a seaside street, near where he had come ashore. By day he had walked over many fertile, abundant fields through strange forests. As darkness fell, he had shifted and used the strength of his animal form. He hunted rabbits to help him continue on. As he moved further away from people and higher into the mountains, the safer he began to feel.

Stumbling across the farmhouse had been an answer to an unspoken prayer. He had collapsed in the old building, staying still until his exhaustion had faded.



Storm Clouds

AN EXCERPT

A laugh bubbled out of her as Bronte galloped through the forest. Naylaa loved the feeling of his powerful body between her legs. The power, the speed and pure exhilaration that came with riding an animal such as Bronte.

“You are incredible my friend. It has been too long since we have run like this.”

I know Naylaa.

Bronte’s home was just ahead of them, hidden amongst the rocks and trees. Beneath her hands, Naylaa felt Bronte’s skin prickle.

“What is it Bronte?”

I can smell something, foreign and delicious.

The tingle of excitement and arousal that ran through him made Naylaa shudder. She had never felt that particular current within Bronte before and in turn felt her own body soften.

I need to go.

He turned without her direction and began to run. She let Bronte have his head.

“I trust you, Bronte. Take me to it.”



Spirit of Love

AN EXCERPT

A sense of foreboding settled in Julia's stomach as she quickly returned to the car. She didn't know what it was about the manor, but each time she visited, the hair stood up on the back of her neck. It felt as if something or someone was watching her.

Starting the car's engine, she drove slowly down the weedy, rutted path, the car bouncing as its wheels sank into the potholes. Julia cringed at the jolts and scraping sounds coming from underneath the vehicle. "I should never have sold the Landcruiser. What was I thinking, bringing the Jag?" She knew what she had been thinking. She was the Mistress of the Manor now, and wanted to show off.

As she bumped along through the avenue of trees, the manor revealed itself. Grey stone blocks of the fa├žade gave a haunting welcome. Julia swallowed a lump in her throat and tears pricked her eyes. It wasn't right. Richard should have been here with her. He'd wanted to restore the old mansion for a while. This was his dream house.

Instead, it had become his burial place.

She'd promised, while she knelt at his graveside, to restore the old manor in his memory. That had been two years ago. The memories of the time still haunted her. Grief and loneliness had held her back. Mentally, she felt stronger now, and able to accept having to carry on alone. "Get a grip on yourself Julia. It's an old house. It's bound to have a few creaks and groans."

Parking the Jag next to the front door, she unpacked, placing the bags in front of the massive wooden doors. The leering gargoyle face on the door knocker sent a shiver through her. Placing a hand over its face so she wouldn't have to look at it, Julia turned the door key in the lock and pushed the door open.



Dragons Among Us

AN EXCERPT

Aleda crawled from her sleeping bag and, individually, stretched her muscles. She’d always enjoyed camping. It was the only time she slept well. Something about the unpolluted air, the nights sounds of nature and knowing there were no other people about produced a sleeping potion no doctor could recreate. She dressed warmly against the morning chill and meandered to the stream to get water for coffee and cooking. Not having done much the day before, her ravenous hunger puzzled her.

“Must be the good mountain air.” She made coffee, scrambled eggs, and toasted bread with a slender wire camp toaster, which she held over the fire. As she sat in her chair enjoying the taste of food and quiet of the surrounding woods, hair on the back of her neck began to stand on end and her skin tingled. She shook off the feeling and poured another cup of coffee. The sensation of eyes observing her movements overpowered her senses and her amulet began humming, the sound increasing in volume with each passing minute.

“Enough!” Aleda tossed her plastic plate to the table with a clatter, stomped to her tent and retrieved a heavy coat. “I’ll nip this foolishness in the bud, right now!”

She hesitated as she started to storm from the camp. Camera. Quickly returning to her tent, she stomped away from her personal sanctuary, Nikon in hand, stomach complaining. Half a dozen paces from the camp, after wreaking a rushing flurry of birds into flight, Aleda realized, if she was to find out what was inducing her amulet to hum and her hair to stand on end, she would need to slow her pace—think before she stumbled into trouble. She proceeded into the stand of trees serving as the backdrop for her camp. Sauntering to nearest the evergreen, she placed her hand on the bark and felt a buzzing sensation tickle her palm. Aleda stumbled backward, dumbfounded by the commotion stirring within her. Logic and reason said she shouldn’t be sensing anything by touching the tree.

“This whole trip is turning out to be totally illogical.”



World Change

AN EXCERPT

Oh my God, her head hurt. That would teach her to drink so much. Clare squinted as she tried to open her eyes. Tina had better be suffering as much or there was no justice. That had been one weird dream. She couldn't remember coming back to the hotel, plus her mouth tasted like the bottom of a birdcage. Not that she had ever tried licking one, but was pretty sure this was what it was like. Her hand hit thin air as she reached beside the bed for her water bottle. There was a bedside table with a glass on it. There was no hotel room, or sister in the other bed either; there was no other bed. She tried to sit up but her head thumped and she decided for now it was better to lie back down.

This place looked old, very old. The walls were white washed stone and the windows at the far end of the room had wooden shutters. They hardly let in enough sunlight to illuminate the room. The bed was a four-poster, with curtains around it that were pulled back. The other side of the room comprised a fireplace and a chair beside which were stacked books. The books, like everything else, appeared exceedingly old. They were leather-bound, not a modern looking cover amongst them.

This couldn't be happening. It had been a dream. She had been drunk. It had to be. Clare closed her eyes, hoping when she reopened them she would be awake and back in Florence. It didn't work. The panic was returning as her pulse sped up. The door opened and a man walked in with a tray. She didn't recognize him. Was he room service? He wore old-fashioned clothes and was followed by someone else. This man she knew. He was called Trevi and had taken her flying through the air and into the woods. What the hell was going on? Where was the hotel and Tina? She wanted to see her, not this. Clare pulled up the bed cover and clutched it in her hands as she pushed her body back into the pillow.



Sweet Sexy Sadie

AN EXCERPT

Sadie didn't know what to make of Brody. Exceptionally handsome and charismatic, he'd made her smile the first time she saw him sauntering down the road toward her. Good lord, but he looked as if he owned the world. Tall, tanned from the sun, amber-green eyes that sparkled as if he saw some light humor in everything. He was wiry and sleek; a quickness about him surprised her. His blue-black hair was tied back with a leather thong, his chin angular.

Perhaps he did own this part of the Sierra Madres. His family seemed to own most of this town.

Her research had brought her to this place, Cactus Junction. Now the prospect of getting to know an interesting man would be an added perk. In the bathroom she slipped out of her clothes and into a tepid shower. A few minutes later she emerged squeaky clean and ready for the next part of her adventure.

Unpacking her clothes and taking out her laptop, she opened it. What do explosive experts do?  Hmmm....

Why, they blow up things. What would he blow up around here?

Lord but that sounded crazy to her. Before typing in the necessary info to pull something up on Google, she leaned back, relaxing into her chair. The wallpaper was outdated, and the old fan complimented the air conditioning. She realized she liked the atmosphere.



Saturday, October 29, 2016

SCI/FI FANTASY SATURDAY: Love and faith collide in this exhilarating Gothic novel when Ethan, a boy destined for the priesthood, finds that he cannot resist the alluring heart of Victoria,THE VAMPIRE'S DAUGHTER BY LEIGH ANDERSON



Title: The Vampire's Daughter
Author: Leigh Anderson
ISBN: 978-1-62420-232-2
Genre: Fantasy
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4


TAGLINE

Love and faith collide in this exhilarating Gothic novel when Ethan, a boy destined for the priesthood, finds that he cannot resist the alluring heart of Victoria, The Vampire’s Daughter.

BLURB

When Ethan discovers that the love of his life, Victoria, is actually the child of a monstrous beast and must marry another man to save her family, he retreats to a monastery to live out the rest of his days alone. But the Church has other ideas. Ethan’s mentor asks him to lead famous vampire hunter Dom Calmet back to his home village to rid the town of the vampires that plague it. Ethan must then take a journey, emotionally and literally, back to the town of his youth and decide between love and faith when he once again meets The Vampire’s Daughter. Containing many tropes of a classic Gothic novel (an obscure heroine, an indecisive hero, an exotic location, references to classical literature, dark castles, a foreboding sense of danger) combined with the sensuality of a modern romance, The Vampire’s Daughter will leave you gasping for more.


EXCERPT

Victoria and Gregory rode toward the village at a steady pace. She was looking forward to seeing Ethan, and Gregory was glad to be out of the barn. As she got close to the village, she could sense something was wrong. She could hear the faint sound of a woman crying. Sorrow seemed to hang in the air. As she got closer, she could see a few people moving about quickly and quietly. Some were boarding up their windows; others were reinforcing their animal enclosures. Riding through the town, the usually cold people looked at her with disgust. In one house, she saw a little child pointing at her until the mother came up to close the drapes. A group of older women gathering firewood stopped and mumbled as she got closer. She dismounted at the blacksmith's and greeted the man with a smile, but he did not repay her in kind.
"Thank you for watching Gregory for me for a few hours, sir," she said as she tied him in his usual stall.
"No need to thank me," he replied as he untied the horse and gave her back the reigns.
"Why?" she prodded, confused.
"You should not be here," was all he said as he headed inside.
She led her horse back out into the street and looked around. There was hardly anyone about. A few prying eyes watched her from the houses.
"I have just as much right to be here as any of you," she thought to herself as she held her head up high. She felt herself getting mad, but she wasn't sure why. Why were the people staring and pointing at her? Why would the blacksmith say she didn't belong there? What had she done to any of them? She decided to go to her future home and see if Ethan was there.
She tied her horse to the hitching post at the end of the walk. She approached the house and ran her fingers through what looked like claw marks on the oak front door. She did not remember seeing them there before.
"Hello?" she called inside as she opened the door. A small fire was going in the fireplace, telling her Ethan had been there and most likely would return. She felt herself calm down and her anger at the people melt away. The room was warm and safe. She closed the door and looked around the cottage. It already looked so homey, fully furnished with curtains on the windows and rugs on the floors.
She ascended the wooden steps to the second floor and opened the first door to a room on the left. It was small with equally small furniture—most likely a child's room. She imagined that one day, her and Ethan's children would be playing on that floor looking up at her with wide-eyed wonderment. Then their eyes reflected fear, and she thought of how the townspeople reacted to her today and how, even now, she was an outcast. She sighed, frowned, and shut the door on the frightened children she imagined were there.
She opened a door on her right and found the master bedroom. She entered the room, took off her cape, and hung it on a hook by the door. She walked over and placed her small hand on the large pine spindles of the bed. She walked to the far side of the bed, running her fingers over the covers. A multi-colored crotched blanket overlaid a beautiful pink and ecru quilt. She folded the blanket back so it only covered the foot of the bed and the quilt could be more fully seen. The quilt was so soft to the touch. She bent down and put her cheek to the fabric. She sighed in delight. She looked at the door and listened to see if anyone was there. When she only heard silence, she took off her shoes, climbed up onto the bed and laid long ways across it. It was a large bed. She stretched her hands way above her head and still could barely touch the other end. She laughed at herself and how she found such delight in such a simple thing.
"What are you doing?" a voice asked.
"Ahh!" she screamed as she sat up straight and turned toward the voice. "Ethan! You startled me!"
"I startled you?" he asked. "What are you doing in my house?"
"Your house?" she asked. "I thought this was our house."
Ethan began to laugh as he put the wooden club he was carrying by the door. "You should see yourself," he said. "Why were you so afraid? I did not mean to scare you."
"I do not know," she replied, settling herself down. "Everyone was just acting so strange when I got here. I guess I am just on edge..." she trailed off, noticing the club. "What is that for?"
"Do not worry about that," he said, taking off his coat and sitting on the other side of the bed. "Everyone is a little nervous. Some wolves came into town on Sunday night and killed a man."
"Oh, my goodness," Victoria said, putting her hand to her mouth. "That is awful. Who was it?"
"Mr. Stanek," he said. "We just had the funeral this morning,"
"I am sorry I missed it," she lamented.
"It's all right; you had no way of knowing about it."
"Still, I feel awful." She laid back and placed her head on one of the pillows.
Ethan looked at the sorrow on her face. He knew Father James was wrong about her. She cared and felt deeply for every person.
"Wait!" she said, sitting straight up again. "You said 'wolves' as in many of them? Is that what clawed the front door?" she asked.
"Yes," he said. "There were five by my count, but some people saw more."
"A whole pack attacked the town?" she asked. "That is like something out of an old legend, back when werewolves ruled the woods at night."
"I know," Ethan said. "The whole town is worried about the next full moon. Everyone is boarding up their windows and reinforcing their doors. I'm sure they are overreacting, though. Werewolves. How silly. They were just normal wolves. This cold weather probably has them desperate for food."
"You actually saw them?" she asked. "My God, are you all right? You were not injured, were you?" She crawled over to him and put her hand on his face.

"No, no, I'm fine," he said, chuckling over the fuss she was making. He liked how much she cared for him. "I'm fine," he whispered, looking at her beautiful face. His face turned stone serious and he exhaled slowly.