Saturday, February 20, 2016

Everlasting Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!


Everlasting
L.K. Kuhl
(Everlasting Trilogy #1)
Published by: Clean Reads Publishing
Publication date: February 18th 2016
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult


Seventeen-year-old Sophia Bandell is scared of boys, and her biggest fear is dying. Boys make her uncomfortable and itchy and dying is …well …dying. She is ecstatic when her long lost friend calls her, inviting her to spend the summer with her on the beach at Charleston, South Carolina.

When a plastic saucer hits her in the head as she’s sunbathing, Sophia has no idea it will forever change the course of her life. It is there she comes face to face with the impressive Tate Forester.

She is scared and …itchy, but he’s gorgeous and she can’t shake him from her mind. They begin dating and Sophia soon knows he’s the one.
But things turn dark when she learns Tate isn’t the person she thinks he is, and the real reason her friend has brought her to the beach will teach her about life after death.

This everlasting summer on the beach gives Sophia a sweet taste of first love—the happiness as well as the heartbreak.


EXCERPT

We stood there and looked around, an awkward silence playing between us. Then he stepped closer and took my hand in his, sending a bolt of staggering electricity zipping through my chest. “Her hand fits perfectly in mine.” He whispered this, as if confirming it with someone. His gaze locked on it, analyzing, then with a shake of his head, he spoke louder. “Sophia, I’m sorry. I …I lied to you.”
I looked at him—bewilderment crinkling my face—and tried to understand. “Lied?” My voice broke. “I don’t get it.”
“I wasn’t sick that day. Well, in a way I was, I guess. The truth is, I was gut-sick. That guy …he was sitting by you the whole day …and …and he never left your side. I’d check throughout the day, but he was still there. I couldn’t help it. I was insanely jealous.” He looked down, his tone deepening as he flexed his fingers that were still laced through mine.
“What?” His words astounded me. I swiped my brow with my free hand. “You were jealous …of me?”
He released my hand and paced back and forth, the nervousness seeping through as he wrung his hands. “I know it’s stupid, but I couldn’t help myself. I love the way you laugh and …I like you, Sophia …a lot, and it hurt me to see you with someone else.”
He lifted his hair off his forehead, pushing it up. His eyes locked on mine again, captivating me. I couldn’t look away. My self-consciousness took over—heckling me. The way I looked right now—with my hair a matted mess from the mist, and no makeup on—must look ridiculous. I drew away, making myself smaller.
I laughed my nervous laugh and kicked the sand with my shoe. “Who, him? You mean …Brian?” My words wobbled, but I giggled, unable to believe that Brian talking to me could make anyone jealous.

Author Bio:
L.K. Kuhl lives in Nebraska with her husband Gene of twenty-nine years, young son, Nathan, and Greg, their Black Lab dog. She has two older daughters, Morgan and Brittani and son-in-law, Trevor. L.K. has been writing for over twenty years. She first began writing children’s books and poetry, moved on to writing music, and is now writing Young Adult and Adult novels. She loves spending time with her family, vacationing, writing, reading, and taking long walks. It’s the characters who write their own stories in her novels, and she is just their messenger, sharing it with the world.

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Friday, February 19, 2016

The Spirit Chaser Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway

The Spirit Chaser
Book One
Kat Mayor

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance,
Horror, Ghosts

Publisher: Kat Mayor

Date of Publication: November 13, 2015

ISBN:1517161479
ASIN: B01845NL8K

Number of pages: 424
Number of words: 134,300

Book Description

Some places are too evil. Some places should be left alone.

Austin Cole has it made. Star of the hit television show Spirit Chaser Investigations, he has become the world’s most famous paranormal investigator. Although hard work, a talented investigation team, and favorable genetics have something to do with it, it’s his lack of fear and willingness to take risks no one else will that make Spirit Chaser Investigations cable’s number-one show.

When a ghost-hunt-gone-wrong seriously injures his best friend and lead psychic, Austin is forced to find a replacement for a team member he considers irreplaceable.

Casey Lawson can’t catch a break. She’s been on her own since she turned eighteen and is scraping by as a part-time psychic and cashier at a New Age store. When a desperate Austin Cole calls her up and offers her a position on his team, has her fortune finally changed?

He’s a control freak; she’s stubborn and opinionated. It takes time, but when they finally realize they’re working on the same side, everything clicks, both on and off screen.

Just when things are looking up, a new threat emerges. Over the years, Austin has angered plenty of demons, and one of them has set her sights on him. Now he’s the one in danger, and it’s up to the team to rescue him from the riskiest investigation of their lives.


Excerpt

 “I got your message. I guess that means Austin tracked you down.”
“Yeah, he did, and I have some questions about that for later.” Casey threw her purse on the entry table and flopped down on the couch. “But first I want to talk about you. I saw what happened on the finale. It was awful.” Casey paused for a moment. “How are you doing?”
“Yeah, that wasn’t my finest moment.” No it wasn’t. Casey thought it was a crappy thing to do, televising what had to be the lowest point in Barrett’s life. But she understood about ratings and the Almighty Dollar. “I’m better now, though,” he told her.
“How did it get in your head?”
“She was strong. Very strong.”
“She?”
“Yeah, the entity self-identified as female. She got in before I even knew I’d been attacked.” An involuntary shiver went through Casey’s spine. Barrett had always been careful. If an entity could get hold of him like that, then no one was safe.
“So, do you remember what happened?”
“Thankfully, no. I have vivid memories of everything that happened before we entered the warehouse. But after that, it’s all kind of a blur. This is what I do remember: She put the darkest thoughts of violence and rage in my head.” It had been like seeing his friends through someone else’s eyes. He had been crazy-out-of-control-angry at Gary and Luis. But the level of hate he’d felt for Austin was off the charts. Not only did he want him to suffer a slow, agonizing death, he wanted to inflict the pain and watch every excruciating moment as he slipped closer and closer to the edge. Barrett exhaled. “Anyway, the next thing I know, I’m in the hospital with a broken arm, terrified of something I can’t name or describe. You remember how I was in high school? When everything was hopeless and I was hating life?”
“Yeah,” Casey said. For as long as she had known Barrett, depression had been a daily struggle. He was the typical high school loner, a bit of a weirdo who didn’t fit into any of the usual cliques. He wandered around the halls with a sad, empty look in his eyes. The dark cloud over his head was what drew Casey to him in the first place. She was an outcast in her own right. Being the preacher’s emo daughter who spoke to ghosts didn’t win her any popularity contests. His vulnerability struck a chord with her. She wanted to take him home with her, like a stray puppy, and hold him until he felt safe and secure. But her comfort was not what he needed.
“That was nothing compared to the level of depression and despair I was feeling after the … thing”—he couldn’t bring himself to articulate the word “possessed”—“attacked me. I found out later that the doctors placed me on a suicide watch.” Barrett shook his head. “Weird. Sorry to unload on you. I’ll save the confessing and emotional vomiting for my priest and shrink.”
“No worries. I shouldn’t have brought up a sore subject.”
“No, Casey. You’re one of the few people who’ve even asked how I’m doing. My boyfriend, Derek, wants to ignore it, pretend like nothing happened. He’s afraid if we discuss it, I’ll lose it or something. I think a few of my friends are even kind of scared of me.” Barrett sighed. “Well, enough about me. What have you been up to, Ms. Lawson? Something fabulous, I’m sure.”
“Not really. I’ve been working at my friend’s store. It’s a low-stress job and not taxing on the brain. I’m kind of at an in-between place in my life right now. Trying to figure stuff out.” Casey paused and took a breath. “So, what’s the deal with this Austin dude? He tells me you’re the one who suggested me as a replacement. Why?”
“Because you’re the best. And Spirit deserves the best. They’re great people and I don’t want some attention-seeking charlatan screwing things up for them.”
“Well, if it’s so great, why don’t you want to go back?”
Barrett sighed and put his hand to his forehead. “That is a completely fair question, especially since I’m the one who gave Austin your name. But truthfully, I’m still in recovery mode. When Luis exorcised the she-demon, he got rid of my familiars, too. And I relied on them a lot.” Unlike Casey, Barrett came from a long line of seers. The familiar spirits that helped him see the future and communicate with the dead had been in his family for generations. “I mean, I can still see ghosts, but I can’t see the future anymore, and that kind of sucks.”
“So ask them back.”
“No, I don’t want to do that. After the she-devil got in, I’m not itching to open myself up again.”
Casey couldn’t blame him. “Well, even without your familiars, you’re still a million times better than most of the so-called psychics out there. And when you do get better, you’re going to want you’re fantastic job back.”
“No. I have my own personal reasons for not wanting to return that I’d rather not get into. It’s a great job, Casey, just not great for me.”
“Well, I haven’t even interviewed yet. Once Austin meets me, he might say forget it.”
“I know for a fact he has no one else lined up. The job is yours to refuse or accept.”
“I don’t know. I’m going to tell it like it is. Some people can’t handle that.”
“That’s what makes you the perfect choice. Austin is very persistent, very charming, and very persuasive. It’s nearly impossible to tell him no. And once he gets his mind set on something, he won’t stop. The team needs someone like you to stand firm, because Austin can’t see the danger and really doesn’t understand it. He’ll lead them all straight into hell without even knowing it.”



About the Author:

Kat Mayor is a native Texan, wife, and mom. In addition to The Spirit Chaser, she has written a young adult series, The Circle. She’s a full-time reader, part-time writer, and when she’s not kicking a story around in her head, she loves to read and review books on Goodreads.




Thursday, February 18, 2016

Accelerated Passion Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Accelerated Passion
Lily Harlem

Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance

Date of Publication: February 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-943576-61-6

Cover Artist: Erin Dameron­Hill

Book Description:

When speed and seduction combine, sparks are sure to fly.

Some girls enjoy makeup, low-cut dresses, and bedding famous men. Not me. I’m happiest in my oily overalls, with my hands in an engine, chatting with the guys on my team about aerodynamics and wing position.

So when infamous Formula One champion, Dean Cudditch, comes into my life, I’m content to leave him to his lothario ways. Dean seems on top of the world when draped with adoring female fans, and I refuse to be another of the champ’s conquests.

However, as I get to know the real Dean Cudditch, I begin to see a softer side to him that makes him all the sexier. My resolve crumbles when he admits that it’s my mechanical mind and engineering know-how that turn him on. Before I know it, I’m racing down the fast lane of seduction, passion, and lust. One thing is for sure: when Dean is behind the wheel, it’s going to be one hot ride.




Excerpt

“But…you’re a girl.”

“Er, yeah, last time I looked.” Frankie resisted the temptation to throw a wrench at the gorgeous man standing in front of her.

“She’s the best of the best.” Eric Tucker, the man who’d hired her, rested his hand on her shoulder in a fatherly gesture.

“Well, obviously I need the best of the best. It’s what I’m used to.” Dean Cudditch, Formula One champion, shifted the helmet in his hand and continued to stare at Frankie as if she were some kind of alien lifeform.

“And you’ve been trying to replace Ruben for the last few years,” Eric said, “but it hasn’t been happening. Now is the time to get a lead engineer like Frankie on board.”

“I can do the job,” Frankie said. “Wouldn’t be standing here if I couldn’t.”

What a prick. Why should he need convincing? She had top university qualifications, practical know-how, the experience. Hell, she had experience coming out of her ears. Five years traveling the world on the Ferrari team did that to a person.

Dean frowned and rubbed at the crease marks on his forehead. The fireproof mask he’d worn when driving must have had a kink in it during his training lap. “And you’re Australian.”

“And that’s a problem because…?” Fuck it, amazeballs driver or not, she was going to kick him in the balls in a minute.

“It’s not a problem.” He kind of shrugged, and the cream all-in-one racing suit he wore creased around his collarbones. “Just haven’t heard of you.”

“It’s a big world. You can’t possibly know everyone.” And she was beginning to wish she didn’t know him. Sure, she’d admired him from afar for years. What woman wouldn’t? He ticked all the boxes—sexy, talented, rich, dangerous—though now he was adding asshole to the list she suddenly wasn’t as keen as she had been.

“The world of Formula One isn’t that big. It’s the same people doing the rounds year after year.” He frowned.

“Yeah, well, I’m a highly qualified engineer, not an adoring groupie. Maybe that’s why you’ve missed me while you were bedding all those other women who follow drivers around, strutting their stuff at parties in tight dresses but can’t tell one end of the car from the other.” She was on a roll. “And I wear this so you can’t see my tits.” She plucked at the shapeless oil-stained overall she wore. “So perhaps that’s why I didn’t appear on your radar. Well, I’ll tell you something. I’ve been working the circuits, managing a team, a winning team, I might add, and if it hadn’t been for Eric doubling my salary, I wouldn’t be standing in front of your misogynistic, misinformed, egotistical sorry ass now, would I? And, while we’re on the subject—”

“Okay.” Harold squeezed her shoulder. “We get your point.” He coughed as though uncomfortable.

Frankie swallowed down her next words which were a combination of player, jerk, and risk-taker.

One side of Dean’s mouth twitched.

She wasn’t sure if it was the start of a smile or if he wanted to retaliate to her outburst.

He narrowed his eyes and continued to survey her.

She bit on her bottom lip to prevent speaking further.

Sometimes, Francesca May, try thinking things instead of saying them.

Her mother’s words came back to her. Damn it, this wasn’t a good start to her new job. Dean had to trust her with his life. He’d be depending on her for not just glory but also safety, and she’d called him a whole ream of unpleasantries the moment they’d met.

“Well then,” Dean said, his voice unnervingly calm. “Seems like you can talk the talk…what did you say your name was?”

“Frankie. Frankie Wright.”

“Ah, yes, Frankie. As I was saying, it seems like you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?”

She beat down a wave of irritation that swarmed within her. Wasn’t that what she’d just said? “Yes.”



About the Author:

Lily Harlem lives in the UK and is an award-winning, best-selling author of contemporary erotic romance. After giving up a busy career in nursing she now spends her time enjoying her army of rescued pets and penning steamy stories. She writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including, HarperCollins, Totally Bound, Pride Publishing, Evernight and Sweetmeat Press. She also self-publishes novels that range from emotionally charged erotic romance, to steamy ménage a trois and, with Natalie Dae, (Harlem Dae) dark BDSM that pushes all the boundaries.

One thing you can be sure of, whatever book you pick up by Ms Harlem and in whichever pairing or genre takes your fancy, is it will be wildly romantic and down-and-dirty sexy so make sure you hang on tight for the ride!

For more information on other books by Lily, visit her website: www.lilyharlem.com.




Burning Rivalry Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!


Burning Rivalry
Aubrey Parker
(Trevor’s Harem, #2)
Publication date: February 16th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance


Good girls finish last.

The contest is heating up in every way imaginable.

Bridget still only wants one thing: the money she needs to sort out her life, and the lives of those who depend upon her. And so far, nothing has broken the boundaries of what she’ll do for that money—though that edge keeps pushing further and further each day.

But now, battle lines are being drawn. Kylie versus Bridget, and everyone else falling over themselves to choose a side.

Kylie’s convinced Bridget wants to win, no matter what Bridget tells her to the contrary. And Kylie is determined that the top spot will go to her, and to her alone.

And all the while, Daniel Rice lurks at the edges of the contest—an unforgettable, unforgivable thorn in Bridget’s side, a ghost haunting her steps, a desperate need in her yearning core.

They say the competition can only have one winner. But the way things are going, Bridget isn’t sure there will even be that many.

Choose a side in Inferno Falls’ sexiest adventure yet.


Sequel to:
28005382

EXCERPT

I have zero interest in marrying Trevor, so I haven’t given that detail attention, but it’s clearly been on the other girls’ minds. I’ve seen it in their indecision. Since nobody is really telling us what to do and what’s good or bad by their definition — what earns us points versus losing them — the ad-hoc harem has been playing it by ear. Trevor runs a sex empire and likes having girls on his dick, so it makes sense to have a lot of sex and climb onto his cock. But it’s all been done halfway — Jess and I have discussed it. The saying goes that a man wants a woman who’s a lady in the parlor and a whore in the bedroom. Since this mansion is like half parlors, pretty much everyone is defaulting to whore in most places, but there’s always the danger of going too far. Of being too loose, too willing. Somewhere deep down, if he’s looking for a wife instead of a mistress, Trevor must want that lady half as well.
When Jess gave me that explanation yesterday, I laughed at her. Who gives a shit what Trevor wants? Why would she change who she was? Because he’s hot and loaded, duh.
I know she’s joking. Mostly. But some of these girls are kidding less than others, and I think they’d strangle their own mothers to get their conniving hooks in Trevor’s back.
So when Jessica pulls me aside and tells me that I really need to start paying attention because everyone else seems to know I’ve been selected for a date with Trevor, I’m not all that surprised. The time was going to come when we’d need to play at affection, and that’s fine so long as he doesn’t expect me to do shit I don’t want to do.
I am surprised, however, when Jessica tells me that there’s only one date today. Not everyone will have this chance to ooh and aah over our host and generally grovel for his attention. It’s a group date, just like TV taught me to expect.
One billionaire.
Three girls.
And somehow, despite doing my best to be invisible, I’m one of them.
Kylie walks by me and accidentally spills hot coffee all over me.
I realize she is, too.

Author Bio:
I love to write stories with characters that feel real enough to friend on Facebook, or slap across the face. I write to make you feel, think, and burn with the thrill that can only come from getting lost in the pages. I love to write unforgettable characters who wrestle with life's largest problems. My books may always end with a Happily Ever After, but there will always be drama on the way there.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Revolution blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!


Revolution
Jessica Frances
Publication date: January 26th 2016
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult



I was raised in a world where humans no longer rule.
In the past, we made a terrible mistake by creating a new species we thought would serve us as our army, which led to our downfall.
There was a war, we lost, and many lives were massacred. It was the end of life as we knew it and the beginning of a hell we were now trapped in. We became enslaved to what we now called Superiors, becoming pets to them, simply there to entertain.
In a world so miserable, I managed to do the unthinkable: I fell in love. But even that was doomed, because to love a Superior was forbidden.
What the rest of the Superiors didn’t know was how deeply a human could love or how resilient we became when we were hurt.
The Superiors never could have imagined an uprising, which was why they never saw it coming.
Humans deserved to be free, and I would stop at nothing to deliver that promise.
My name is Tilly, and I am still alive with one sole purpose: to begin a revolution.

~

I had been raised to believe humans were worthless. We owned them and controlled them, and when we were done with them, we threw them away. Therefore, I never thought I would ever feel more for Tilly than disinterest. I never expected to want to save her.
It was forbidden for a Superior to love a human. No one had ever crossed that line, but I did. I fell madly in love with her, so it was no surprise how we ended up.
I was raised to be a soldier, and that was what I was always going to be. However, I was not a soldier for the Superiors, not anymore.
I became a soldier for humans, and I would stop at nothing to help them. They deserved to be free, and I would die protecting them.
My name is Johnny, and I am here with one sole purpose: to finish a revolution.



EXCERPT

“How can you do that to these humans? This is beyond cruel!” I demand of her, not as afraid of her as I am of Jax.
She saunters over to me, her expression one of someone feeling carefree. “Many reasons, one being I make a lot of money doing this. Another is it is great entertainment.” She shrugs. “You humans are beneath us. I think it is disgusting that you are allowed into Superiors’ homes. You deserve to be in cages and in gutters. You are genetic mistakes that I would love to completely wipe out.”
“You wouldn’t even exist without us!” I yell, angry at her words.
“You humans stupidly created a species superior to you in every way, and then you tried to exterminate us when you realized you were no longer at the top of the food chain. You failed, and now you are forever destined be our slaves, our pets, our playthings. You are weak, disgusting, disease-ridden beings who deserve every ounce of pain I give you.”
Without warning, she shoves one of the sticks at me, zapping me with an electric shock powerful enough to send pain coursing through my entire body, forcing me against the back of the cage.
I scream, shocked and scared at how painful the experience is.
She doesn’t stop, and I swear my heart gives out. But then she pulls back, her laughter slowly filtering through my ears as I begin to calm down.
“Pathetic,” she mutters to me, turning around and moving past the cages, randomly choosing humans to zap.

Author Bio:
Jessica lives in Adelaide, South Australia. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV. Connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.





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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Carnal, The Beast Who Loved Me Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

CARNAL,
The Beast Who Loved Me
Exiled
Book One
Victoria Danann

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: 7th House

Date of Publication: February 15, 2016

Number of pages: 366
Word Count: 91k

Cover Artist: Victoria Danann

Book Description:

The angel, Kellareal, stopped the genocide of generations of hybrids, who had been bred for research and spent their entire lives imprisoned. Against orders, he spirited them away to a dimension where they would have freedom and purpose.

In a vindictive fit, Rosie Storm asked Kellareal for a place to hide out. He knew just the place for her to grow up, learn emotional control, and other things.


Amazon    iBooks    BN


Excerpt

The angel motioned her over.
“Rosie, this is Free. He’s the leader of the Exiled here at Newland.” Kellareal turned to Free. “This is my adopted niece, Rosie.”
Rosie jerked her attention to the angel. She’d never heard him suggest a title for their relationship before, adopted or otherwise.
“With your permission, I need a couple of minutes with Rosie to say goodbye. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks to check on things.”
“Always good to see you,” Free said to Kellareal, in a voice so gravelly it almost startled Rosie.
The angel took her by the elbow and walked her toward the edge of the settlement, near the wall.
“So here are the rules.”
“Rules?” She almost sounded alarmed.
“Yes. Rules,” he clipped, sounding serious enough to get her full attention. “Extraordinary measures have made these people stronger and smarter than humans. Given the right circumstances, they’re also more dangerous. As far as they know, you’re a human girl, who needs a place to hide out for a bit. I don’t want them to suspect differently. Do you get me?”
She pulled back, looking affronted. “Yes! I get you! You don’t want me to do anything a…” She made quotation marks with her fingers. “…’human girl’ wouldn’t do.”
“Exactly. And lose the adolescent attitude.” She rolled her eyes. “Rosie, please don’t make me look bad.”
She sighed. “Okay. I appreciate this.”
“Well, I hope you still feel that way in a couple of weeks of working here.”
“Working?” She seemed surprised.
“Yes. Working. It’s not all kittens and rainbows here. Pull your socks up.”
Rosie was narrowing her eyes and gearing up for a reply when Kellareal vanished leaving her wondering what ‘pull your socks up’ means. She turned toward the Exiled leader, whom Kellareal had called the Extant, and began walking in his direction. When a gust of wind ruffled her hair, she looked toward the east, where the human city could be seen below and in the distance.
Free looked down at her and smiled when she reached him. “Let’s get you situated. I see you didn’t bring belongings?”
She looked around like she’d misplaced them. “No. I guess I didn’t think about it.”
“No matter. We’ll sort it out. You can stay at my house with my family. We can always use help at the Commons. The unmated males spend a lot of time there. Drinking. Eating. Since they’re not mated.” He added, smiling as if that explained the whole of the universe. “If anybody gives you any trouble or unwanted attention, just come to me. I’ll take care of it.”
For a scant instant she wondered what it might be like to be a young woman who had to worry about men trying to press their physical advantage and thanked the gods she’d never have to find out how vulnerable that would make someone feel.
“Thank you,” she smiled in return. “I don’t have any experience working at… um, working.”
Free looked at her sideways. “You seem capable. You’ll learn.”
By the time they reached Free’s house, it was almost dark and evident that Newland had no power for lighting. The house, like the other buildings, was made of roughhewn logs, with a small but cheerful light coming from the front windows. It appeared to be three stories and larger than most of the other buildings.
Free opened the door and entered before Rosie. The room wasn’t plush or luxurious, but was definitely inviting. The upholstered furniture was worn, but friendly-looking. The fire was small, but welcoming.  
“Serene!” His growly voice rumbled. Rosie couldn’t tell if he was displeased or if his voice always sounded like that.
A woman, roughly the same age as Free, appeared from the back of the house wiping her hands. She cocked her head at Rosie. “Hello,” she said. Her voice was also raspy, but not as deep as Free’s.
“Hello,” Rosie replied. “I’m…”
“She’s Kellareal’s ward,” Free interrupted. “She needs a place to stay for a while.”
Serene smiled. “Of course. You’re welcome.”
The door crashed open behind Rosie. “Hey, I…”
Rosie turned to see an extremely good-looking boy staring at her.
“Rosie. This is our youngest son, Charming.”
She looked from Free to Serene for a hint that he was joking, but saw none. Turning back to the new arrival she said, “Nice to meet you, Charming.”
She fully expected him to break into a fit of laughter and tell her that wasn’t really his name. Instead, he said, “Hi. Rosie.”
“She’s going to be staying with us for a while. Show her to Carnal’s room.”
“But…” Charming started.
“Show her to Carnal’s room.” Free repeated with a bit more insistence in his tone. “Then come back down for dinner.”
“Okaaaay.”
Rosie estimated Charming’s age at eighteen or so. He had honey colored hair, streaked with blonde, just like his mother. And yellow-green eyes. Also just like his mother. He was as tall as Free with a powerful, athletic build that suggested it would become even more impressive in a couple of years.
He gave Rosie a smile that was, well, charming and motioned for her to follow up the stairs. “This way.” He stopped at the second story landing and said, “Carnal’s room is there.” He pointed down the hall to the right. “My room is up there.” He pointed to a narrower staircase that led upward. “The attic room. It has a great view. I can see just about everything that happens in Newland,” he said proudly.
Rosie smiled and turned toward the room Charming had pointed out, noting that there was another room down the hall. 
“Am I, um, displacing someone?”
“Displacing?” He opened the door to a decidedly masculine space. It was minimalist to the extreme. A wood platform bed with four thick square legs, but no headboard. A double shelf unit with a few books, rocks, and feathers on one side and folded clothes on the other side. There was a paraffin lamp on a small square stand by the bed and another on the shelf unit. There wasn’t much there, but what was there was neat as a military barracks. Bed perfectly made. Nothing out of place. “No. Not at all. This is my oldest brother’s room, but he doesn’t come home often.”
“Oh.”
“Do you need help with your stuff?”
“No. I, ah, didn’t bring anything. I’ll get my, ah, stuff in the next couple of days.”
Charming nodded. “Well, then, let’s have supper.”
When Rosie told Kellareal she needed a hideout, the last thing she had in mind was becoming an exchange student. She didn’t want to get to know and be part of a family, but not eating would raise suspicion. After all her cover was human and humans must eat. So she said, “Okay,” and followed Charming back downstairs.
“Is Carnal away at school?”
Charming paused mid step to laugh. “Nothing like that. No. He’s on patrol right now.” He resumed descent, but stopped at the bottom of the stairs. “Smell that? We’re having elk stew with parsnips and onions. You’ll love it.”
Rosie had to admit that it did smell good. The kitchen was square with a table and chairs in the middle of the room, but the first thing that attracted her eye was the wood stove and the precision cut stack of firewood next to it. The front panel had been left standing open to heat the room with coals left smoldering from cooking. She’d seen such stoves in books, but never in person.
Charming’s parents had already filled their bowls and were waiting patiently.
She sat down across from Charming and pulled in her chair just as he reached out and tore off a large chunk of brown bread from the dome-shaped loaf in the middle of the table. Next to it sat a pot of stew.
“Go on. Help yourself,” said Charming with his mouth full.
So she stood and ladled a generous portion into her bowl, while Free carried on quiet conversation about livestock.
After a few minutes, Charming said, “Why aren’t you eating?”
Everyone stopped and looked at Rosie.
“Well, it looks so good and smells even better,” she said, looking from one to the other. Serene smiled in response. “But to be honest, I’m worried about the sauce.” It was tomato-based. “These are the only clothes I have at the moment.”
They all looked at her thin white boyfriend shirt, which caused a blush.
Serene rose from the table and retrieved an apron. She flicked it in front of Rosie and tied the top close to her neck.
“There,” she said. “Tomorrow we’ll see about scrounging up some other clothes.” She looked at Free. “What was Kellareal thinking?”
Rosie was grateful enough to warm to the idea of getting to know the family.
Free shrugged. “Got a lot on his mind. Always.”
“Thank you,” Rosie told Serene as she dug into the stew. “Oh my gods. This is incredible!” she said before quite finishing the first bite.
Serene beamed and Free did not miss the signs of her pleasure, which in turn pleased him. He turned to Rosie.
“The large building next door is the Commons. Tomorrow morning, Charming will take you over there and introduce you to the woman in charge. She’ll lay it out for you and get you started right.”
“Okay. And thank you for having me.”
Serene interjected. “We’re very sincere when we say you’re welcome here for as long as you’d like to stay. Kellareal must think very highly of you. If you’re special to him, you’re special to us.”
Rosie nodded and returned her smile, not wanting to spout off about what a pain he could be. She thought better of being the one to tarnish the rosy esteem in which he was held.
“No reason to wait till tomorrow morning. I’m headed over there right now.”  Charming was talking to Rosie. “Come and go with me. I’ll be the envy of Newland, arriving with a beautiful woman.”
Free glanced at me. “Do you want to go, Rosie?”
She hesitated. Charming pled with his eyes in such a cute way she had a hard time saying no. “Maybe for just a little while.”
Free then turned to Charming. “Make it clear that she’s a special guest of mine,” he warned.
“Sure, Pop.”
“Charming, this is not a joke. Can you be trusted to take care of Rosie?”
Charming grew instantly serious, transforming his looks so that he appeared older. “Yes.”
Free nodded.



About the Author:


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of eleven romances. Victoria's Knights of Black Swan series won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES TWO YEARS IN A ROW. Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild.

Her paranormal romances come with uniquely fresh perspectives on "imaginary" creatures, characters, and themes. She adds a dash of scifi, a flourish of fantasy, enough humor to make you laugh out loud, and enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. Her heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, psychics, past life therapists. Her heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners. **Usually.

Victoria lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband and a very smart, mostly black German Shepherd dog.






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