Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sinfully Ours blitz & Excerpts!


Sinfully Ours
"Sasha"
Publication date: November 30th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance


Savannah: If you had a chance to roam with the Devil on earth or take God’s hand to heaven, which would you choose?
Dominick: I think without a doubt, I’d choose God’s hand.
Savannah: I used to think so too.

Savannah and Dominick share the same last name but not the same parents.
It’s… complicated, as most everything has always been between them.
But they would never have it any other way.

This is the story of how two members from the same notorious crime family found love, solace and acceptance in no one else but each other.
How the only man this woman ever trusted with her life became her sole destruction and only salvation. How they both learned to survive their own darkest thoughts and erotic desires, painful experiences and deepest fears of the unknown through no one else but each other. How they almost fell apart each time his passion for her turned deadly for others. And how in the end, he managed to save her from herself and the life of dread she was so sure she was destined to lead.

Note for Potential Readers:
“Sinfully Ours…” is a complete story and the first in a series of standalones. But before diving in, you should know that this book is dark, period. No ifs, ands, buts. It is filled with lots of pain, tears, heartbreak and angst. But there is also hope. The idea of an HEA between the leads is tricky, but not completely improbable.

Please be advised that Savannah & Dominick are related but are not biologically brother/sister. If you’re not into atypical or unconventional romances, please put this book down and walk away. This story is messy, gritty, destructive, over the top and unstable. It contains highly intense, possibly offensive and uncomfortable themes such as (a lot of) swearing, violence (some toward women), death, attempted suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, consensual and non-consensual sex, infidelity, F/M/F and F/F sexual exploration; most all of which are described in graphic detail. I’m going to be real, some scenes and phrases are just downright lewd and crude, maybe even nasty and dirty and possibly hard to absorb. There are absolutely no punches pulled here; what you see is exactly what you are getting. This book is not suitable for anyone under the age of eighteen or those not interested in some of the *harsher* themes in a story such as this.

Please take heed to these warnings as they may be triggers for some, sample the opening pages and forge ahead with caution as this is by no means a light and fluffy read. Thank you.


SNEAK PEEKS:
Everything I ever thought I knew about the man who became my brother ten years ago has suddenly turned into something greater and more passionate. Something that I only vaguely knew existed inside of him. He’s completely naked in front of me despite being entirely clothed, dangerously yet exceptionally vulnerable. And it tells me all too loudly, too wildly, vividly and excitingly that our connection and devotion to each other, this love that we’ve always shared while like heaven to us just might be the same kind of love to force us into eternal damnation alongside the Devil himself. But I’ve never been too afraid of the fire. God knows there’s never been anything but flames waiting for me on the other side since the day I was born. ~ Savannah
It’s shit like this – the physical beauty of someone you love more than life itself – that you try to ignore for years because you know that the end result would be fucked up for all parties involved. ~ Dominick


Author Bio:


“Sasha” is the pen name for author Kiki Leach, whose more conventional works include contemporary dramas about spoiled twenty-somethings living it up in NYC, and fairytale retellings. She enjoys wine, skittles, Hershey’s chocolate bars and creating secret stories on the side that will make you ask yourself “WTF did I just read?”. In. That. Order.


Twitter / Facebook / Facebook "Sasha"


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Friday, December 4, 2015

Dying Light Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Dying Light
Jesse Sullivan
Book Four
Kory M. Shrum

Genre: Contemporary/Urban/Dark Fantasy

Publisher: Timberlane Press

Date of Publication:  November 2nd

ISBN: 0-9912158-9-3
ASIN: B014GMBV28

Number of pages: 220 Kindle/ebook
Number of pages:  465 paperback
Word Count: 79,000

Cover Artist: John K. Addis

Book Description:

In the wake of her handler’s death, Jesse has never felt more alone. Her best friend is distracted by a new love. Her mentor Rachel is missing and her boyfriend Lane isn’t returning her calls.

Worse, a Necronite with the ability to heal any wound wants to kill Jesse and absorb her power of pyrokinesis.

With little to hold her to Nashville, Jesse agrees to work as a freelance agent for Jeremiah Tate, a pharmaceutical tycoon in Chicago. Together they plot revenge against Caldwell, the mastermind responsible for the genocide of over 100,000 Necronites worldwide.

When Jeremiah fails to dominate Jesse and her pyrokinesis, tensions escalate, dividing her from her allies.

Then Caldwell gives Jesse an ultimatum she cannot refuse.


"Kory Shrum's writing is smart, imaginative, and insanely addictive!
I have begun to think of her books as my Kory Krack.
I beg of you to pick them up. You will NOT regret it!"
-Darynda Jones, NY Times Bestselling Author of the Charley Davidson Series


Excerpt

Chapter 1
 “Come on,” I wail. “Jumping out of a burning building is not the craziest thing we’ve ever done!”
“If you hadn’t panicked, the building wouldn’t be on fire,” Ally snaps back. She tucks the bundled laptop under her arm and starts yanking open desk drawers. Post-it notes of every color fly through the air, followed by pens, a stapler, paperclips and a Kleenex box.
I search the open office space for another door. Nada. Only one way in and out.
“I had to do something.” I thought firebombing the bad guy was my one good idea on this mission to retrieve a laptop for Jeremiah. “If I hadn’t, we’d still be stuck with him.”
We both turn our gaze to the locked door twenty feet away. A row of unoccupied desks rests between us and where we entered. The office is spacious, with rows of silver tabletops running the length of the room. Spacious—but not spacious enough with a homicidal maniac just on the other side of the door.
Something large slams into the locked office door, rattling the walls. Ominous black smoke seeps through the cracks and the smell of campfire wafts in. That smell is surely going to cling to my hair until I wash it.
“Just because we’ve been reckless before doesn’t excuse it now.” Ally slams a desk drawer shut and yanks another open. Her disheveled blonde hair hides most of her face, revealing only terrified eyes. She gives up trying to find a weapon in the desk drawer and hurries to the window. Her gaze falls on the street below. “God, Jesse. No. We’ll never survive a fall from this height.”
I shrug and pucker my lips. “It’s fine. I’ve fallen from higher. We’ll be fine.”
She blinks at me.
“You’re forgetting about my shield thingy.” I’m talking out of my ass here, but there is no way I’m letting him come in here and hurt her. He can trade punches with me all day if he wants, but not with Ally. I’ll have to find a way to break the window, jump out, and shield her on the way down.
The door shakes for the fourth time and a thick crack appears to the left of the jamb. A thicker plume of black smoke rolls through the crack and floats to the ceiling. The white popcorn tiles disappear beneath the black fog.
I go to the window and look through the glass beside her. The glass is cold under my palms and my breath fogs on the surface despite the growing heat of the room. Down below, tiny cars cut corners around buildings. One could easily be mistaken for a child’s toy.
Shit, it really is far down.
I meet Ally’s eyes and shrug. “We don’t have a lot of options.”
Sweat forms at my hairline and in the folds where my coat sits snug against my body. Chicago shines brightly around us, each pinpoint of light from the buildings and streets illuminating the dark sky.
My gaze flits from building to building, from illuminated window to illuminated window, but I don’t see salvation. We aren’t close enough to another skyscraper to signal for help. No scaffolding or window-washer platform is available to carry us to the safety of solid ground or to the roof above, where we were supposed to meet Jeremiah.
The coms in our ears buzz incoherently for the billionth time. Ally sighs in irritation. As the coms stop crackling she mashes the speak button flat with her thumb. “For the thousandth time, we can’t understand you. Something is wrong with our signal. If you can hear us, we are on the 34th floor of the Jensen building and we’re trapped. Send help.” A look of resolution solidifies on Ally’s face. “Jason’s going to kill us.”
“No.” I squeeze her arm. “So what if he’s like a hell-bent terminator with unlimited healing ability.” I snort, trying to hide my panic. “I’ve got this.”
She cocks her head. “It’s great you have firebombs and shields but we have to be careful. We don’t know the repercussions of your powers yet.”
“And getting ourselves locked in burning buildings with raging madmen is playing it so safe.”
“You know what I mean.” She steps away from the window and shifts the laptop in her arms. She yanks open more office drawers.
I arch an eyebrow. “A paper cut isn’t going to hurt him.”
“Paper cuts hurt.” She forces a smile. “But we need something to slow him down. And you’re not helping.”
I throw my hands up and pick an aisle of desks. After uselessly searching two drawers, I lift one of the office chairs and immediately know this flimsy, ergonomic piece of crap won’t be able to break a window. I throw it anyway. It bounces off the glass and comes back at me with a vengeance, clipping my knee.
“Fuckity fuck! Ow. Ow.”
Ally looks up from the drawer and scowls at me. “Injuring yourself before he even breaks into the room is not what I had in mind.”
I give her a hard stare, rubbing my throbbing knee and stumbling to another desk.
I have half a mind to remind her that it wasn’t my idea to come to Chicago. I was happy in Nashville. Sure, my boyfriend Lane—ex-boyfriend—wasn’t talking to me, but everything else was okay. The first time Jason, the insta-healing terminator tried to rip my head off, Ally had a fit. Jeremiah capitalized on it, of course.
Come to Chicago where it’s safer. We have more people and more power there. And Caldwell is up to something in the city. We could really use the extra hands.
I just wanted to stay in bed and mourn Brinkley, the man who’d given his life trying to kill Caldwell. Everyone else keeps acting like I’m supposed to be working here.
The crack in the door widens and I see an angry eye fix on me. Jason screams as if the very sight of me enrages him.
Gabriel appears at a desk two rows up from the one I’m searching. He flickers in and out, unable to hold his form with another partis—a weirdo with powers like me—nearby. He’s crystal clear when I’m alone, but when there’s two or more partis, I’m lucky if Gabriel can materialize at all. This is real inconvenient given that I need him most when the others show up looking for a fight.
“Here.” Gabriel points at a giant rock sitting on top of one of the desks. “Use this.”
No, not a rock, I realize. I place my hands on the massive stone. It’s an amethyst the size of a grapefruit. Beside it sits a little note: Don’t touch me. Please. You’ll change my energy.
I look up, but Gabriel’s gone.
I lift the rock off the desktop. It sinks into my palms like dead weight, the purple spikes poking my flesh. “Sorry, but I need your energy to club this fucker.”
I meet eyes with Jason again as he inches his fingers through the crack and starts swiping at the locking mechanism we latched behind us.
“Get over here,” I shout to Ally.
Ally makes it halfway across the room before the door explodes. Splinters the size of my leg fly at my face. I duck behind the desk, clutching the gigantic stone to my chest.
I peek over the tabletop and see Jason standing in the flames. His body smolders. His blistered arm melts from burnt to scabby to pink. He spots me behind the desk and we lock eyes. His face twists into a murderous grin.
“Stop hiding,” he calls out. “Let’s do this.”
In my peripheral vision, Ally darts to another desk, staying low.
Jason takes a step toward me. “Just think, this power could be yours if you’d challenge me already.”
“Fighting is such a commitment.” I stand slowly, but keep the desk between us. I’m hoping it buys me time if he does anything crazy like lunge for my throat. “You have to get close. You have to touch people. Sometimes, like you, they smell. No, thank you.”
Jason’s face goes perfectly smooth. Was it something I said?
A flash of black wings catches my eye. Gabriel’s still here, even if he can’t materialize. The scent of rain overtakes me as Gabriel dials up my power. My muscles contract and my body warms. My skin starts to itch around the collar of my shirt and across my belly. I feel like I have to pee.
I try not to squirm. “You know who else is in the city? Caldwell. Why don’t you kill him instead?”
Jason’s face twists up in fury again. “After I’m finished with you.”
“Why does everyone keep saying that?” I would put my hands on my hip if not for the giant amethyst. “Don’t you think I’m a badass?”
“You’re smaller.”
My temper flares. “You’re trying to kill me because I’m short?”
Ally coughs on the smoke filling the room and I jerk my head toward the sound. Jason doesn’t hesitate.
“Jesse!” Gabriel’s voice booms in my head.
My soul rips open, power exploding from my center in all directions. It’s like someone is yanking my intestines out of my belly button. I’m so overwhelmed but I can’t stop the power from flooding out of me or even slow it down.
 Fire and smoke whoosh away from me as if blown by a great wind. The air around me shimmers like pavement on a hot day. Blue flames roll over the surface of my body, suspended about three inches above my skin before erupting outward toward Jason, the office around us and anything else in its path. The only object that is safe is the amethyst cradled in my hands.
The walls and ceiling shudder under the force of my firebomb, raining dust and plaster down on our heads. One minute the windows shatter, and glass spills out into the night air. The next minute cold winter air is sucked into the room.
I open my eyes and find Jason sprawled on the floor, unconscious. My power blast knocked him out, burned his skin, but didn’t kill him. Damn.
I come around the desk, or what is left of it, and peer closer. His flesh is already healing.
I try to use my breath to slow my heart rate. I need to calm down, but my head is throbbing.
“Ally?”
No answer.
“Ally!”
“Here.” She pulls herself to standing in the middle of a cluster of desks that had obviously been pushed together in the blast.
She shakes glass out of her hair and checks the laptop in her arms for damage.
“Kill him,” Gabriel says in my ear. The weight of the amethyst doubles in my hands. “Kill him.”
The idea of killing Jason and taking his healing powers appeals to me. Instead of having to die in order to heal myself, I could simply stay alive, and after a few breaths, be as good as new again. Wasn’t that a hell of a prospect? Less pain. Less wasted time. Less danger for myself and the people around me.
I lift the amethyst, my eyes fixed on his skull.
“Jesse.”
I lift the rock a little higher as a strange calm washes over me. No, more than calm. Peace tinged with excitement. Oh god, I want to kill him. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to kill anyone.
“Jesse.”
Ally’s face appears in front of mine. Eye to eye, she blocks my view of Jason. “Baby.” She’s whispering. “We need to get out of here.”
Her voice. Something about Ally’s voice seeps into my mind and untangles my thoughts. The cold hand inside me, the one delighting at the idea of peeling Jason open and stealing his ability to heal, grows warm. Its hold on me slackens as her brown eyes come into focus. I can’t murder someone in front of Ally. What the hell am I thinking?
My muscles relax and I let the amethyst slip from my fingers to the floor.
“Come on.” Ally squeezes my shoulders. “Maybe we can crawl down the hall a little bit and find the stairs.”
“No we can’t go that way—” I don’t finish my thought. The smallest movement steals my attention and I turn just as Jason snatches up the amethyst and throws it at Ally.
“No!” I scream as the rock sails through the air. “Gabriel!”
My shield goes up around Ally. The shimmery purple light envelops her from head to toe. The rock ricochets off the force field, shoots through the broken window and out into the night. Jason screams and runs at me, head down as if he might tackle me like some football player.
“Fuck this.” I sidestep Jason and grab hold of Ally. Her shield falters just long enough for me to wrap her in my arms and yank her forward. Before she can process what is about to happen, I shove her out the big window and don’t let go.
Her shriek is muffled by the wind whipping around us, tearing at our hair and clothes.
I suppose this is a perfectly natural reaction to your friend shoving you out of a high-rise building.
“It’s okay.” I squeeze her against my chest. “The shield will hold.”
“Right?” I ask Gabriel.
“What about you? What about you?” Ally screams.
“You will not survive the fall.” He plummets with us, his wings folding back to embrace the drop. “You must shield yourself.”
“Ally lives, not me. We have a deal.”
“You must shield yourself also.”
“I don’t know how. You have to help me.”
“Envision it.” Gabriel’s wings open, lifting him up into the air. “See it grow larger.”
The field shines about an inch or so above Ally’s skin, it touches parts of me, but it sure as hell doesn’t cover anything important.
“Hurry,” Gabriel says. “See it around you.”
I close my eyes and see us falling in my head. The building rushes past us. The freezing air tears at our clothes and hair relentlessly. Lights shine from windows in a blur as we pass. I picture my shield bigger. I picture it around me and Ally, covering us both from head to toe.
“Good. Do not stop now,” Gabriel says.
I peek my eyes open to see purple has crept over my arms and shoulder, the shield half devouring my body—until pain erupts through my legs, my back, and the whole world goes black.



About the Author:
 
Kory M. Shrum lives in Michigan with her partner and a ferocious guard pug. She has dabbled in everything from fortune telling to martial arts and when not reading or writing, she can be found teaching, traveling, or wearing a gi. She is the author of four books in the Jesse Sullivan contemporary fantasy series. She is also an active member of both SFWA and HWA.







Scrubs blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Scrubs
Brooke Harris
(Modi #2)
Publication date: December 4th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance



I like fast cars, beautiful women and great sex.
I hate drugs. I can’t stand the idiots who take them and I loathe the bastards who supply them. Drugs cost me my whole world.
I wear many faces; right now I’m Doctor Lucas Callaghan and I’ll be him until I get my revenge.
My real name will be the last words to ever pass their lips.

I hate my name, Aoife Brennan, as soon as people hear it they treat me differently because of my father.
Medical school isn’t my dream, it’s his. But, it’s the least I owe him after everything I’ve done. I’m trying to be a good girl, but even good girls make mistakes.

He’s lying about who he is, she’s kidding herself about who she can be. They’re polar opposites with one very big secret in common.



EXCERPT

I follow him to the front door. We both stand in the hall for longer than necessary. I don’t offer to let him out, even though I know I should. But I want him to kiss me again. I want so much more than I know I can have.
He reaches for the doorknob. He’s going to let himself out. God, I don’t want him to go. Not like this.
‘I’m sorry,’ I say, finally breaking the silence.
‘For what?’
‘I shouldn’t have kissed you.’
‘And I shouldn’t have kissed you back.’
He’s smiling. And for the first time since we met, the cloud of sadness that usually rests in the corner of his eyes is absent.
‘Are we okay, then?’ I stutter.
‘You mean am I going to tell anyone about this?’
‘Well, yeah?’
‘No, Aoife. No, I’m not. I’m as much to blame as you are. Probably more so because I should know better.’
‘I’m not a child, Lucas. I do understand the word no.’
He looks at me as if he wants to rip my clothes off. I kind of wish he would. I take a deep breath.
‘If you kissed me again, I wouldn’t say no this time either,’ I say.
My teeth clamp against my bottom lip. I can’t believe I said that out loud. But all I can think about is how good his lips felt on mine and how much I want to feel them again. Kiss me, Lucas. Kiss me.
As if he reads my mind, Lucas’ hands grip my waist. One hand just above each hip, cementing me to the spot. His eyes focus on mine with such intensity, it burns.
‘You should say no, Aoife. You should run a mile from me.’
‘Why? Because you loved someone and losing them has fucked with your head?’
His eyes narrow, and his grip on my waist tightens almost to the point of hurting. I know it’s a flash of temper. This man is the nearest thing to a stranger to me. He could lose it completely and really hurt me, but I know he won’t. I trust him as I’ve never really trusted anyone before.
‘No. Because you don’t know me. You don’t know what I’m capable of.’
‘Then show me.’
‘Be careful what you wish for.’
‘I’ve already seen what you’re capable of. I’ve seen how much you care about people, but you try to hide that under a layer of fancy talk and cocky attitude.’
He forces me backwards, his hands still on my waist. I make a weird noise that I haven’t heard before as my back collides with the wall behind me, slapping the air out of my chest.
‘Don’t go there, Doctor Brennan. You’re not a psychology student.’
‘No. I’m just the girl you kissed. The girl who is still standing in front of you ten minutes later and waiting for you to do it again.’



Author Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Brooke Harris is a self diagnosed romance addict. Realising at the age of seven that being a real person and not a cartoon character may prove a hindrance when applying for a role as a Disney Princess, she decided to create her own stories. As a grown up Brooke tried swapping the heels and tiaras in her stories for sex and revenge and published her first book, Rules of Harte in 2014. The Harte Series went on to become a #1 international bestseller.

Brooke lives in Kildare, Ireland with her young family. She daydreams about a climate where it doesn’t rain every day, but secretly she loves the green fields and heritage of Ireland.

Brooke also writes Psych-thriller under the pseudonym Janelle Harris.

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dragon Lore Series Tour & Excerpts!

Dragon Maid
Dragon Lore
Book Two
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press
64K words

Release Date: 10/5/15

Genre: Paranormal romance

Tumble off reality’s edge into myth, magic, and Scottish dragon shifters

Book Description:

When pressed, Jonathan Shea admits magic runs through his blood, but he’s always been ambivalent about it—until a dragon and her mage show up in the Scottish Highlands, and then all bets are off. Jonathan’s charmed and captivated by the dragon—a creature fresh out of myth and legend—but the woman bonded to it is so enticing, he tosses caution aside and catapults into the magical power he’s avoided for so long.

Britta and her dragon prepare for a battle to save Earth. Freshly transplanted from a much earlier time, she feels awkward, out of place. The first person she lays eyes on is Jonathan. There’s something about him. She can’t quite pinpoint it, but he has way more magic than he lets on. Magic aside, it runs deeper than that. For the first time ever, she questions the wisdom of remaining a maid. If she doesn’t make up her mind damned fast, though, her choices will fritter away. Beset from every side, she’s never needed her magical ability more.

Surrounded by dragon shifters, Celtic gods, Selkies, time travel, and a heaping portion of magic, Jonathan comes into his own fast. Fell creatures target him, Britta, and her dragon. In the midst of chaos, he and Britta find scorching passion and love so heartbreakingly tender, it will change their lives forever.

Amazon    Barnes and Noble    iTunes    Kobo

Excerpt

…Jonathan tried not to stare, but it was a losing battle. The woman—no, the dragon shifter—was the most perfect, the most alluring, creature he’d ever laid eyes on. Tall, with high, rounded breasts, a slender waist, and curvy hips, she looked like a goddess. Who knew? Maybe she was. The Celts had many deities. He fumbled with his rucksack and pulled out a turkey sandwich on rye bread, which he handed to her.
She yanked the wrappings aside, dropping them onto the floor while she stuffed food into her mouth, chewing and swallowing quickly. “Ye said there were two of these meat and bread things.” Britta surveyed him, her golden eyes alight with interest.
“Yes, I did. If I give you both, I’ll be hungry.”
She shrugged. “Not my problem. Also, I requested mead.”
Jonathan’s lips twitched. He corralled the smile that wanted out. Britta was an imperious bitch, yet there was something so undeniably appealing about her straightforward nature, it was impossible to feel offended. “No mead. At least I don’t have any. We could ask the other witches, or if we found you some clothes, we could go into the city and buy a proper meal, and as much to drink as you wanted.”
She cocked her head to one side and popped the last bite of sandwich into her mouth. “I can go as I am. Shall we walk or use magic, witch?”
“Um, no, you can’t go as you are. You’d be arrested.”
She tilted her chin up. “Why? I can see where I might freeze to death, but who would give a jolly fuck whether I’m dressed or not?”
Before he could craft an explanation, Kheladin stalked over, trailed by three female witches stroking the scales on his lower body. “Lachlan kept a clothes chest against the far wall.” He pointed with a talon. “I’m certain some of his shirts and tights would work, though there’s little to be done by way of shoes.”
Britta’s gaze landed on a particularly large heap of gold jewelry and coins. “I could borrow a bit of money from your hoard, just a coin or two, and—”
Kheladin’s eyes whirled faster, glittering dangerously. “I doona think so. Unless your First Born bondmate orders me.”
“No need to disturb Tarika.” Britta turned a brilliant smile on Jonathan and tapped his chest with her index finger. “He can buy me what I need.” Magic shimmered around her. “Come close, witch. We’re leaving.”
Kheladin stumped to Britta’s side. The counter spell he summoned to dampen her power sparkled, and multi-hued strands wrapped around her. Her lips curled in fury, and she raised her hands to call magic of her own.
“Not so fast,” Kheladin snapped. “First, ye’ve forgotten ye need clothes. Second, Tarika was in an all-fired hurry to find me. Such a big hurry, ye went without food or rest. Why?”
Britta shook her head so hard, her hair danced about her body. She swept the heels of her hands down her cheeks, distorting her perfect features. “Och aye, whatever is wrong with me? Nay, I know the answer. The Morrigan is furious because Lachlan triumphed over the black and red wyverns, and their dragon shifter mages.”
“Good the old Battle Crow even noticed,” Kheladin growled and breathed a fiery gout of flames.
“She did more than notice. She cast a spell to disrupt our memories out of sheer meanness. If ye wouldna have reminded me… Hell, ’tis surprised I am we got here at all. The Celtic gods, Gwydion and Arawn, sent us to warn you and Lachlan. They told us their magic would trump the Morrigan’s, but not forever.” One corner of her mouth turned down. “’Twould appear I just ran up against forever. Or mayhap their magic got subverted by your wards.”
“What impact has the Morrigan’s mischief had on the rest of our kind?”
“Those in Fire Mountain are safe so long as they remain there. The memory-altering spell only snares them when they set foot on Earth.”
“We just saw Gwydion, Arawn, and Ceridwen, and they dinna tell us aught of any such casting. Did they try to neutralize it?”
She cast a look Kheladin’s way that said he should ask something worth her time answering.
Jonathan watched the exchange, chest tight with excitement, feeling he’d fallen into one of the old tales where heroes and heroines walked among humans.
“Let me try again.” Kheladin sounded exasperated. “Did the Morrigan wake the black wyvern’s mage, Rhukon?”
“’Twas the first thing she did.”
“So all our effort was for naught.” The dragon clanked his jaws together. “I must alert Lachlan. Where’d the Celts find you? And how long ago?”
Britta rolled her eyes. “Not in Fire Mountain, though I admit Tarika and I retreated there after Rhukon, Connor, and their dragons teamed with the Morrigan, and things werena looking good. Nay, the Celts plucked us out of the sixteen hundreds. They told us enough about what the future holds to alarm us and sent us on our way.”
“Aye, and how long ago was that,” Kheladin prodded.”
“Mayhap a week. Tarika had things to attend to afore we could come. Why is that important?”
“Because Lachlan and I just sought them out, and they reminded us they doona censure their own, meaning they have no plans to clip the Battle Crow’s wings.”
“I believe I understand.” Tarika forced her voice through Britta’s vocal chords. “They rousted us out to excuse themselves from action. Craven bastards, the lot of them.” Fire rolled from Britta’s mouth.
“For the love of the goddess,” she sputtered from around flames. “Stop that.”
Kheladin inclined his head. “Though the circumstances leave much to be desired, thank you for coming.”
A warm smile lit Britta’s face. It softened her features and made her look barely more than a girl. Jonathan’s cock stiffened where it pressed against his jeans. Breath caught in his throat, and he fought against touching her, running his hands down her golden skin. He drew magic around himself to mask his lust, make it unobtrusive, but she noticed anyway.
Britta turned an appraising glance his way. “Aye, ye’d do well to hide your rut from me.”
Embarrassed at being caught out but curious too, he asked, “Why?”
She tossed her head at Kheladin. “Tell him, dragon. Mayhap he’ll believe it if he hears it from another, ahem, male.” Her last word dripped sarcasm…


Dragon’s Dare
Dragon Lore
Book Three
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press
85K words

Release Date: 10/19/15

Genre: Paranormal romance

Tumble off reality’s edge into myth, magic, and Scottish dragon shifters
Book Description:

Bloated on chaos, the Morrigan leaves the Scottish Highlands to gather power. A trip through Hell yields quite the assortment of allies tagging along behind her. Fell creatures straight out of myth and nightmare that haven’t darkened Earth’s boundaries for centuries heed her call.

Heartily sick of the Morrigan’s maneuvering, the dragons are close to shutting their world off from everywhere, Earth included. If they do, every dragon shifter bond will be broken. Horrified, Lachlan and Britta launch a desperate campaign to hang onto their dragons.
Magic may bite back, but if the dragons take their magic ball and go home, Earth will fade, along with all other worlds. That suits the Morrigan fine. War and anarchy are her favorite companions, and she collects misery like children gather beloved toys.

Arianrhod’s fellow Celts found out about her fall from grace and her half-Druid son, Jonathan. With nothing further to hide, she goes back in time hunting Angus, Jonathan’s father. Forty years apart was a steep price to pay. The world needs Angus’s magic. And Jonathan needs all the help he can get. Late to accept the power thrumming through him, he holds a key role in keeping the world from spinning off its axis. Reluctant at first, Jonathan finally gets it.

Absolute focus.

Absolute commitment.

Anything less and everyone he loves will pay an unthinkable price.

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Excerpt

…Jonathan Shea cradled Britta in his arms. She was asleep, the rhythm and cadence of her breathing revealed her exhaustion. He still couldn’t believe he’d found a mate, and a woman linked to a dragon at that. Britta KilKerran was actually the Countess of Cumbria, or she had been a few hundred years back. He wasn’t certain such a title still existed.
It didn’t matter. He’d offer up his life to protect the woman slumbering against his chest. He loved her dragon too, but Tarika scarcely needed his protection. When he thought of the scarlet-scaled dragon, one of the First Born, the place on his neck where she’d marked him with a mating bite tingled. It was her contribution to his bond with Britta.
She stirred in his arms. He stroked strands of long, red-gold hair away from her face and spun a small spell to keep her asleep. They’d just come from a major battle to free Tarika and Kheladin, another dragon, from the Morrigan’s clutches. Both of them needed rest, but his heart and mind were too full to let go quite yet.
After years of never believing the rumor about his mother being a Celtic deity, he’d finally met her. He brought it on himself by calling for her when they desperately needed help, but he never believed she’d actually show up. Regardless, he couldn’t deny her existence anymore—no matter how much he might want to. Arianrhod had abandoned him when he was so young he had no memories of her, and when he cut to the bone of things, he resented the crap out of her neglect.
Jonathan shut his eyes for a moment and summoned an image of his father. Tall and rangy with shaggy, rich brown hair and amber eyes, Angus had been a dreamer. He did his best for Jonathan, but often as not, he’d been caught up in some trance state or another. Though Angus hadn’t said so, Jonathan understood his father was relieved when he grew old enough to be on his own. Once Jonathan left Ireland, Angus vanished. Their modest cabin near Inishowen remained, but Jonathan knew better than to waste time hunting for a man who didn’t wish to be found.
Had Arianrhod seen Angus all these years he’d been missing? Jonathan could ask her, but she might just stare him down with those inscrutable eyes—one gold, the other silver—and not bother to answer.
He tightened his hold on Britta, and she nestled closer. She was more comfortable about Arianrhod being his mother than he was, but then she was far more comfortable with magic in general. He blew out a breath, recognizing his life would never be the same.
Not that he wanted it to be, but he would’ve preferred finding the love of his life without having to deal with a long-lost parent. Particularly one who stirred up a welter of prickly feelings. Now if Angus were to show back up, it would be a different story…
Britta wriggled against him, and her golden eyes flickered open. She regarded him sleepily through thick red lashes. “Ye canna rest, my love?”
Jonathan shrugged and offered a sheepish smile. “Lots to think about.”
She cupped the side of his face in one hand. “Do ye wish to talk about anything?”
He shrugged again, feeling uncomfortable. What was there to say, really? He was a little old to be struggling with parent issues. Besides he’d long since come to terms with his father’s magic being too pervasive for him to spend much time around normal humans. Jonathan dealt with some level of that as well, but his job as a software engineer who designed games let him keep to himself.
Britta brushed her hand across his lips. “Whenever ye wish, I’ll be here. Tarika too. She’s verra old and much wiser than either of us. If ye canna get the information elsewhere, mayhap we can figure out what sort of hold the Celtic gods had on your da.”
“Thank you. I’ll keep it in mind.” Jonathan reached around her and snagged a bottle of Irish whiskey off the nightstand. “Would you like some? I can get us glasses.”
“Och, and I can drink from the bottle. No need to get fancy.”
She smiled, and it transformed her into something so striking he couldn’t look away. A high forehead gave way to sculpted cheekbones and a defined chin. One of his old T-shirts covered her from chest to knees, but the outline of her breasts was clearly visible through the well-aged beige fabric.
His cock stirred, and he rolled his eyes. “We made love twice after we got here. I don’t understand why I can’t get enough of you.”
“Are ye complaining?” She quirked an arched red brow.
He shook his head and drew both of them to a half sitting position against the carved oak headboard. He uncorked the bottle and handed it to her. She drank deep before handing it back.
Britta narrowed her eyes and watched him drink. “We’re far from home free,” she blurted without preamble.
“Which problem are you referring to?” He placed the bottle on a side table not bothering to cork it. He wasn’t done yet, and likely neither was Britta.
She moved away and sat cross-legged facing him, her lovely face creased with concern. “We may have permanently removed Connor and Rhukon and their dragons from the action, but there have to be other corrupt dragon shifters. We must seek them out and destroy them too.”
Jonathan shook his head. “It won’t matter unless we get to the heart of things.”
“Aye, ye’re correct. We must find a way to corral the Morrigan, or she’ll just entice more mages and dragons with promises of limitless power.” Britta caught her lower lip between her teeth. “Tarika plans to warn the dragons. She believes the dark mages want to drain their dragon bondmates’ power.”
Jonathan straightened and recaptured the whiskey bottle, taking another swallow. “I thought mages became dragon shifters because they loved dragons and wished to share their lives with them.”
“Aye and that would be true—for most of us. Power lures dark mages, though. Far more power than can be had through the normal dragon shifter bond.”
“How do you know?”
“I saw it in Connor and Rhukon’s minds afore we thrashed them.”
“You didn’t say anything.” He handed her the bottle. Maybe they should eat something, if they were going to drink much more.
“I would have. Eventually. Tarika and I needed to determine just what it meant. And if ’tis really true, or just conjecture on our part.”
He kissed her forehead before swinging his legs over the side of the bed. “I’m going to cut up a bit of cheese for us and get some crackers.” He pulled on a pair of black sweat pants, securing the waist string to keep them from falling down, and got to his feet.
“Excellent.” She grinned. “Plotting revenge is hungry business, but ye dinna have to cover that amazing cock.”
He bit back a laugh, enjoying the compliment, and made his way to the kitchen. His apartment was small enough to keep talking. “Did you discuss this with Lachlan?” he asked as he chopped cheese off a block and opened a box of biscuits.
“Nay, but Tarika and Kheladin figured out what was going on while they were held prisoner.”
Jonathan returned to the bedroom and plopped the snacks on the bed next to Britta. “How does this bondmate thing work? Would Lachlan be privy to the dark mage problem, if it’s in his dragon’s mind?”… 



About the Author:

Ann Gimpel is a national bestselling author. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. Once upon a time, she nurtured clients, now she nurtures dark, gritty fantasy stories that push hard against reality. When she’s not writing, she’s in the backcountry getting down and dirty with her camera. She’s published over 30 books to date, with several more planned for 2015 and beyond. A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.

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@AnnGimpel (for Twitter)