Saturday, January 14, 2017

Fated Destinations Blitz & Giveaway!


Fated Destinations
(Crimson Tree Publishing)
Publication date: December 27th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction

FATED DESTINATIONS: A Contemporary, Paranormal, and Science Fiction Romance Boxed Set
Escape from the everyday with this set of 7 all-new travel-based romances from award-winning authors. These exciting stories span the globe (and beyond!) to spin tales of love and intrigue in exotic locations. Take a mental vacation today with the Fated Destinations box set.
A Royal Problem by Julie Wetzel
Jessie is tasked with saving a set of jewels from pirates that attack her cruise ship. She jumps overboard and swims for shore, knowing only that she must find Lord Marcus at the majestic castle in Ospioria…
Mandatory Vacation by Kelly Risser
When workaholic Natalie Olsen is forced to take a vacation by her new boss, she books a cabana at the private island resort of Hibiscus Cay. But instead of relaxing, she finds herself intrigued by the handsome resort manager who seems to be hiding something…
Guide Me Gently by Peggy Martinez
Alyssa Monroe always dreamed of escaping to exotic locales as a photographer, so she’s thrilled as she sets off for Dasia Island. But only one guide is willing to take her deep into a forbidden forest… a sexy, tattooed local who sets her blood on fire and gets her camera finger itching.
Hawaiian Sunrise by Melissa J. Cunningham
Betrayed just before her wedding day, brokenhearted Jamie rents a bungalow on the beautiful island of Maui. Will the tour guide who shows her the island also be able to show her how to trust again?
Jessie’s Girl by Susan Harris
After she lost her mother to cancer, Maxine Fox threw herself into drugs, drink, and partying to cope with the loss. When she is expelled from her third school, her father decides to send her to a catholic private school in Ireland. But tattooed bisexual Max is probably not going to fit in easily…
Prisms by Kendra Saunders
The invitation was to a diplomatic peace ceremony on the desert planet of Quassdar. But Quassdar is also known for its steamy sex magick rituals, and it seems like Griffin may have gotten things a little bit mixed up…
Ashes Overboard by Sandy Goldsworthy
For graduation, Aubrey Sheppard’s fiancĂ© gave her a dream Caribbean Cruise vacation. The only problem is, their relationship ended before the ship ever set sail. Now Aubrey—an inexperienced traveler—sets out alone, nervous and unsure. A shared cab ride introduces her to someone new, who’s also trying to move on with his life…


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Friday, January 13, 2017

Warriors of Lemuria Series Tour & Excerpts!

Untouchable Lover
Warriors of Lemuria
Book One
Rosalie Redd

Genre: Paranormal romance

Date of Publication: January 2, 2016

ISBN: 9781944419004
ASIN: B019ZVIC8G

Number of pages: 400
Word Count: 86,000

Cover Artist: Melody Simmons

Book Description:

Forbidden love. Untouchable…

King Noeh wants to live his single life, fight his enemy, and honor his goddess by winning the war over Earth’s most precious resource—water. Bonding to a female shifter is not part of the plan, not until his goddess insists he take a queen by the next full moon or lose his crown. When he rescues a beautiful female from the enemy’s grasp, a forbidden attraction blooms, and he must decide between his kingdom and his heart.

Melissa hunts for a new place she can call home, one far away from her controlling master who vowed to make her his concubine. Captured by the enemy and tortured to near death, she’s rescued by a brooding, handsome king. When her master shows up at the king’s underground Keep, the tension escalates. She struggles to keep the honorable king at arm’s length, but she can’t ignore the compelling desire he ignites in her soul.

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Excerpt

“You escaped. Perhaps I should put you in the dungeon.” Noeh’s voice was low and threatening. The resulting shiver that skated across her arms wasn’t from fear.
She wanted to pound her fists against his body. “I’ll just pick my way out of there, too.”
“Don’t bet on it.”
He stood. Against her will, her body responded to his intense stare. He headed straight for her, a wall of pure, masculine strength.
 She stilled as he approached. Without thought, she squeezed the wet rag in her hand. Water dripped onto the exam table. The stone was slightly concave, and the moisture ran into a small groove down the center.
He placed his palms on the surface of the table and leaned in. Up close and personal, he invaded her space as if he had every right.
“I don’t usually have trouble with disobedience, but you…” His eyes glowed, gold flecks mixing with the blue.
She met his gaze and didn’t flinch. “I think you like the challenge.”
The skin around his eyes creased as a smile broke across his face. “You might be right about that.”


Unforgettable Lover
Warriors of Lemuria
Novella
Rosalie Redd

Genre: Paranormal romance

Date of Publication: March 2016

ISBN: 9781944419028
ASIN: B01A2JDJM4

Number of pages: 155
Word Count: 33k

Cover Artist: Melody Simmons

Book Description:

The Betram ritual, when the full moon occurs on the summer solstice, is a sexual rite—and a requirement—for all unbonded Stiyaha of age. The irresistible urge to mate drives their inner beasts. Some succumb and transform, while others hide behind masks. None can escape the compelling need.

For Leonna, Betram offers one night of freedom from a destiny she doesn’t want. Eager to participate, she’s drawn to a formidable male whose tenderness burrows into her soul. Despite discovering she’s below his status, she is caught up in their passionate frenzy, and loses her heart to a male she can never have.

Though reluctant, as an unbonded male, Prince Nicholai must participate in the Betram ritual. Because he fears harming anyone he gets close to, he dons his mask and vows to stay in human form. What he doesn’t expect is the intensity of his hunger for a certain honeyed female hidden behind a disguise. As much as he longs to forget her, he can’t, for she’s unforgettable.

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Excerpt

Murmurs from the crowd picked up. Titters of ‘Prince’ and ‘Nicholai’ were clear, even above the din.
She picked up brush after brush, trying to contain her mess. With her one good hand, she scooped as many as she could back into her container.
“He’s moving faster, coming our way.”
Two more brushes and she put the cup back on her short table. Her rapid breaths fueled the adrenaline that surged through her body.
“Very nice. Is this yours?” Nicholai’s deep voice resonated into her chest.
As she tried to calm herself, his unique scent of cloves and rain filled her lungs. Melting on the inside, she remembered all that he was, all that he’d done to her. She refused to look at him for fear he’d recognize her.
“Y…Yes.” She managed to get the words out, but they were husky, strained.
“You have a nice eye for detail. Have you other paintings?” He stepped closer to inspect her canvas. She caught a glimpse of his profile. His high cheekbones and aquiline nose exemplified his handsome features. He turned toward her.
She caught her breath. Those deep blue eyes were the ones she remembered, the ones she’d imagined in her dreams the past couple of nights. His brow furrowed, and she realized she hadn’t answered his question.
“I do. Have more paintings.” She turned toward her stack of completed pictures, but knocked the cup of brushes off the table.
Like twigs upon the rocks, they bounced and jogged before coming to rest on the stone floor. “I’m…sorry.” She bent down to pick them up—again.
He lowered himself on one knee and picked up a handful of brushes. Just as she reached for one, he did as well. His finger ran along hers, lighting up the skin along their connection.


Untamable Lover
Warriors of Lemuria
Book 2
Rosalie Redd

Genre: Paranormal romance

Date of Publication: May 2016

ISBN: 9781944419066
ASIN: B01CIZMJDK

Number of pages: 320
Word Count: 73k

Cover Artist: Melody Simmons

Book Description:

Submit…or lose him forever.

As alpha of the feline shifters, Demir will do whatever is necessary to protect his kind. When his independent and headstrong second in command takes on a dangerous solo mission for revenge, he goes to her aid. As they battle the enemy, not only must he must fight his internal demons, but also his desire to claim her as his mate.

Battle-hardened Aramie leads a band of female warriors to search for the sacred blue sunstone. The unthinkable happens and she spirals into a frenzied need for vengeance to avenge her loved one’s death. She hunts for the killer while Demir’s life is on the line, and she must decide—submit to him as his mate, or lose him forever.

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Excerpt

Demir tensed. A healing stone? Was it possible? A tiny drop of hope weaseled its way into his chest.
Sidea inhaled and let out a slow breath. “With Demir back, you won’t have to fight the males anymore. Even though our species heals fast, I hate to see you get injured defending your role as interim leader.”
He fought against the invisible bonds, straining, kicking in his mind. In his condition, he couldn’t lead, and because he still lived, Aramie wasn’t officially Pride leader. His gut twisted into a tight knot. He’d put her in an awkward position, and he hated himself for it.
“I need to finish.” Aramie’s voice returned to a normal volume.
The chair creaked as she settled in her spot next to his bed. Tools clinked together. Cool metal caressed the skin on his cheeks.
Snip-snip.
Small tendrils of hair fell onto his cheek, tickling his skin. He relaxed again under her care. His mind reeled through a storm of confusion, but he couldn’t pinpoint its source. All he knew was a welcoming peace at her touch.
“I’ll see you in the Grand Hall.” Sidea’s words hung in the air.
Her soft footsteps retreated across the floor. The door clicked shut.
“I wish you would talk to me, tell me what I should do.” Aramie caressed the hair around his mouth, wiping away the stray strands she’d clipped. Her finger circled his diamond stud above the hairline of his lip.
He wanted to grab her wrists, make her stop, and part of him was glad he couldn’t. All his adult life he’d avoided physical contact. Even with Eleanor, his deceased mate, he’d controlled when and how she touched him. To have Aramie touch him now, in such a personal way, beat against his spirit, reinforcing his weakness.
“The males only follow my command in deference to you.” Her voice contained a small hitch.
The flat end of the scissors rubbed against his skin. With gentle care her fingers glided over his upper lip, and he wanted to lick her, taste her skin on his tongue. Her attention to him teased his nerves, increasing his yearning. He’d gone from relaxed to being enticed in a matter of moments. In his mind, his cat howled in frustration.
“Sidea and I will find Blue Pool, find the healing stone. I won’t stop until we do.”
A drop of wetness splashed on his chin, and she wiped it away. Why did the females cry over him? Had she gone soft? If he could, he’d tell her to suck it up. He’d chosen her as his second in command for a reason.
Metal clinked against metal. She must’ve put the scissors back on the tray. That meant she would leave him soon. His stomach clenched. Why did he care? The only females he’d ever cared about were Eleanor and Melissa.
Eleanor had been timid and submissive—a perfect mated female. She’d always done as he’d asked, and never once challenged his authority. Her beautiful smile and deep green eyes were as clear to him as the last time he’d seen her, over five hundred years ago when the great scourge had claimed her life. Bile rose in his throat. It seemed like only yesterday. 
Even though his lifespan was over two thousand years, he still had more time than not…or so he used to think. At this point, he wasn’t sure he had more than a few days left.
The memory of his mate reminded him of Melissa, who’d looked so like his Eleanor he’d obsessed over her. What a fool he’d been, pining for a female who didn’t want him. When she became pregnant with the king’s child, he’d lost his lucidity and threatened her. Aramie had interfered, commanding him to stop. He’d slapped his own warrior across the face for her insolence, but he’d let Melissa go.
After all he’d done, Aramie was here now, attending to his needs. I am such a shit.
“I’ll be back as soon as I can.” She rose from her chair and padded to the door, lingering there for a moment. Her soft breaths sounded loud in the quiet room.
“Please come back to me,” she whispered.
She really doesn’t want to be Pride leader…
The door closed behind her, but the enchanting scent of strawberries lingered.


Unimaginable Lover
Warriors of Lemuria
Book 3
Rosalie Redd

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: 1/3/17

ISBN: 9781944419103
ASIN: B01N7K0PCU

Number of pages: 290
Word Count: 67k

Cover Artist: Melody Simmons

Book Description:

A shifter and a human together? Unimaginable…

One careless decision. The colony betrayed. Tanen’s only course is a desperate hunt for justice, but his solo mission is cut short when he’s mortally wounded. Rescued by a sweet, innocent woman, he can’t deny the passion that burns between them. Now he must choose between his duty and honor or his desire for the precious, but forbidden, human female.

Broken promises and ruined love hardened Sheri’s heart. When she finds an injured and extraordinarily sexy man on her property, she’s pulled into a world she never imagined. As she nurses him back to health and they bond over their love of books, she’s torn between the lessons she learned from her rough past and the need to seek solace in Tanen’s arms, but she must learn to trust him, and herself, in order to survive.

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Excerpt

Movement caught her attention. A dark form slumped against the far wall.
She inhaled and took a step back.
The man groaned louder.
“Who are you? What are you doing in my shed?”
The only sound, his labored breaths and her own heartbeat.
She emboldened her tone with as much confidence as she could. “You’re trespassing. I’m calling the police.”
“No…don’t.” His words were short, strained, yet the tenor of his voice weaseled its way into the deepest recesses of her soul, calling to her. The sensation warmed her insides. She held her breath.
He moaned again. His dark form moved.
Her medical training kicked in and she had the urge to rush to his side, help him, but she remained wary. “Are you injured? Should I call an ambulance?”
“Is it dark outside?” His strained voice carried across the small space.
A strange desire to hear him speak again washed over her. She fisted her hand. “What difference does it make if it’s dark outside? If you’re injured, you need help.”
“Please, tell me…is it,” a quick intake of breath, “…dark yet?”
The cultured way he spoke made her still. His accent was one she’d never heard. Sweat broke out on the back of her neck, dampening her collar. He seemed in pain, but she wasn’t sure. Her curiosity warred with her fear, and she wavered between barricading herself in her house with Coop and rushing to aid him. Instead, she remained fixed in place.
“It’s dusk.” She choked the words out, her throat tightening from her confusion.
He leaned his head against the wall. She couldn’t see his features, but from his outline, she could tell he was a large man. “Don’t…fear me. I’ll leave…soon…dark.” His words washed over her again, stroking her insides.
With a quick move, he stood. A stifled groan eased from his lips, and he rested his shoulder against the wall.
She took a step back. It took all of her inner strength not to run.
Coop growled.
Something wet dripped onto the wooden floor, the rhythmic splashes an eerie omen.
“Craya.” He tipped over, his body sliding down the wall until he landed on the floor.
“Stay, Coop.” Without a second thought, she raced to his side.
This close, the dim light was enough to see his features. Rough stubble on his chiseled jaw accentuated his luscious lips and broad nose, but what caught her attention was the intensity in his eyes. His gaze swept across her features, reading her, assessing her…devouring her. Warmth spread through her and she had the sudden urge to curl up to him, find out if his lips were as delectable as they appeared. Her cheeks heated, and she shook her head to clear her thoughts.
She peered at his clothing. Blood stained his jacket, or what was left of it. Tattered and torn, the ragged material clung from his wide shoulders. His narrow hips led to muscular legs. He wore an odd pair of trousers that looked hand-made.
With a quick tilt of his head, he glanced at her. “Don’t…touch me.”
Her training kicked in and she brought out her mother nurse side. “You’re injured and need help. I’m a nurse. Let me assess you.”
His gaze narrowed, the intensity in his eyes focusing on her.
Her heart skipped a beat, but not from fear.
He tried to stand again, but failed and gripped his chest with his free hand. “I have to…leave.”
“The only way you’re going anywhere is in an ambulance. Let me get my phone.” She turned to go, needing to get help on the way as soon as possible.
He gripped her arm, stopping her flight.
Heat and something more, something sensual and powerful flowed between them.
“No!” The word was a low command.
Despite she knew nothing about this man her body responded to his order, her nipples peaking beneath her shirt. Her mind raced. Why did she react to him this way?
 She glanced from his face to his hand and back again. He released her, and fell forward, his palm slapping against the wooden floor. “I’m s…sorry. No infirmary.”
Infirmary? That’s an odd word. She blinked. “You need medical attention. A hospital is where you belong—” 
She stilled. Blood drained from her face. What if he’s a criminal?
Coop rubbed against her leg. His chest rumbled.
The man’s nostrils flared, and his intense gaze locked onto hers. “Don’t fear. I’m not a danger to you.”
She took a step back, toward the exit. “Are you running from the law?”
A deprecating chuckle eased from his throat then was cut short. As he inhaled, his lungs wheezed. “Not in the way you think.”
“But you are running.”
“I…I need to go.” He rose once again, but couldn’t maintain his balance.
She caught him before he fell. Even with her big bone structure, his weight was almost more than she could bear. “You’re not going anywhere in this condition. You’re coming inside with me, so I can take a look at you. Then, we’ll talk about an ambulance. Okay?”
His nod was all the confirmation she needed.


About the Author:
After finishing a rewarding career in finance and accounting, it was time for Rosalie Redd to put away the spreadsheets and take out the word processor. The award-winning author pens paranormal, science fiction, and fantasy romance in her office cave located in Oregon, where rain is just another excuse to keep writing.








The Producer Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!


Trillionaire Boys’ Club: The Producer
Aubrey Parker
Publication date: January 10th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

These hot, powerful men don’t impress me.
I’m not new to this secret club of billionaires. I know all about their Syndicate … and even some of their plans to control the world. I’m Alyssa Friggin’ Galloway, publicity genius, and I’ve dealt with all of them: Nathan Turner, who built the Boys’ Club, and even the insufferable Ashton Moran.
They’re all the same: all arrogance and bluster, using women like disposable things. I’m immune to their charms.
So why does the worst of the worst … Cole Freaking Ellison … intrigue me so much?
To stay afloat with all these MEN, I need to be tough. So I hold my ground. But Cole? He sees right through me to the vulnerable thing beneath.
Cole wants to control me. He wants to use me for his own pleasure.
And against all judgment, I want to let him.
The Producer is part of the Trillionaire Boys’ Club series by Aubrey Parker. Each book tells the story of one of the Club’s powerful members … and you’re going to want to collect them all.

EXCERPT

Alyssa’s lips purse to laugh, but I’m not kidding. I’ve never done anything precisely like this before, and that newness makes the errand feel dire and serious. I want her. I will have her. I’m not willing to wait, and if Alyssa doesn’t like the disorder caused by my early arrival? Well, she doesn’t need to be in charge of everything all the time, does she?
I walk closer, wondering at my own actions. Not caring. Only feeling the need that’s been burning within me all day while thinking about her.
I’m an edge-walker, but not usually this devious.
Today is different. Today I’m like a criminal, bent on achieving my need through any means necessary. So I called her assistant, Susanne, and told her I was from UPS and that there was an oversized package she needed to sign for. When the assistant left the office, I sneaked in behind her and locked her out. I’m sure she can call the superintendent or someone to let her back in, but that’ll take time. She could cut to the chase and call Alyssa, but her boss won’t be answering phones for a while.
She’ll be otherwise occupied.
Unable to speak.
“Cole …”
A sentence without a predicate. She doesn’t know what to say.
At least not anything more than my name.
“Let’s cut the shit,” I tell her.
Alyssa looks frozen in place. Ravishing. I got hard the moment I decided not to wait until four. Now I’m throbbing. I want her. I haven’t stopped thinking about her since that text.
I’ll try hard to prepare myself.
It turns me on, knowing she’s thinking about me. Alyssa comes off as such a straight-laced girl. A total pro. She wears her sensible girl suits with her sensible girl skirts that never rise immodestly high. Heels that are common but understatedly sexy, if you know where to look. She wears her hair like she’s going to court, but all I can think of is shaking it loose. Her features are always so hard, but if you pay attention it’s easy to see just how breathtakingly beautiful she is.
Once you know Alyssa for a while, you start thinking that she’s sexless. But one couched text, with its barely-there innuendo, was enough to shatter that impression. Yesterday morning could have caught her off guard. Our encounter on the bathroom floor might have been a one-time thing she’d instantly regret. But her text changed that. It made me see, through the thinnest of cracks in her frozen facade, that Alyssa isn’t a robot.
Now I know she’s truly a woman, with desires to match my own.
My cock strains against its confinement. I watch her chest rise and fall; her nipples push against her silky white blouse. She’s breathing long and slow through moist, gently parted lips. Her eyes stay on mine, hungry under her reservations.
“Let’s stop bullshitting each other and fuck like animals.”
“You need to leave.”
“You don’t want me to leave,” I say, shaking my head. “So tell me. Forget about what’s proper for once, and tell me what you really want.”
Her eyes flick toward the door. I’ve locked that one, too, same as the outer door her assistant is probably already finding closed.
“Say it, Alyssa.”
“I don’t know what you want me to say.”
“Say you’ve been thinking about me.”
Alyssa says nothing.
“Say you’ve been wet all day, waiting for four to come.”
She swallows. I step closer. I move around the desk. Alyssa looks for all the world like she’s about to startle and flee. But she doesn’t go. Instead she lets me walk up next to her, close enough to smell. She says nothing as my hands run up her sides, as I brush her hair away from her long neck. She tips her head sideways, just a little. I can’t see her eyes from behind, but I imagine them closing.
Say the truth,” I whisper into her ear.
“I want you.”


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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Thursday, January 12, 2017

#Blur Blitz & Giveaway!


#Blur
Cambria Hebert
(GearShark, #4)
Publication date: January 10th 2017
Genres: M/M Contemporary Romance

Nothing but a #blur…
There’s a new kid in town, and he’s hell on wheels.
From what we’ve heard, it may be because
he knows exactly what hell’s like.
Lonely.
Scorching.
Unforgiving.
You may know his brother, the NRR hotshot
(and former GearShark cover model)
Lorhaven.
It’s only natural a driver with his background and family connections
has sped his racecar into the newest, hottest division.
But that’s not all.
Arrow may be following in big bro’s tread marks,
but he doesn’t plan to stay there.
He’s swerving onto the road less traveled…
and a lot more controversial.
He’s opening up about his private struggles with sexuality
to tell a story that’s gone unheard until now.
One thing’s for sure; Arrow may have a painful past,
but his foot is heavy on the accelerator.
With speed like this, he’s bound to leave everything behind in
nothing but a #blur.
Check out the full feature article inside…

Author Bio:
Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.
Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).
Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.
Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC. 


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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hunger Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hunger
Goddesses of Delphi
Book 4
Gemma Brocato

Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance

Date of Publication: Jan 10, 2017

Number of pages: Approximately 220
Word Count: 66K

Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde Media

Book Description:

Lia Thanos, Muse of Comedy, has joked her way through hundreds of lifetimes. But the past few months have been no laughing matter. She and her sisters have been locked in a battle to save Olympus from a hostile takeover. Now, the god challenging them has upped his game and personally selected the mortal man destined to help Lia win.

Botanist Ben Jordan has his hands full; running a farmer’s market, helping his hearing-impaired sister, and trying to figure out why crops around the world are failing. If the trend can’t be reversed, humans will starve and chaos will destroy the world. The only good news is the long-time famine he’s faced in his love life came to an end when he met Lia.

Despite the fact that Ben finds it hard to believe immortal gods exist, he accepts the challenge to help Lia, a woman he yearns to spend the rest of his life with. But Pierus and his daughter, Hunger, will stop at nothing to keep the two apart.
  
Excerpt

“Will you please tell me what’s going on?” Ben’s earlier calm evaporated as Mnemosyne chanted in a language he didn’t understand.
“I will. I know we only just met, but Pierus has deemed you my partner in this challenge. It’s going to require you to suspend disbelief and trust me.”
“A lady just materialized out of thin air and I haven’t even once considered myself crazy.”
“There is that. Will you come with me?” Lia moved toward a door to the left of the stage.
With one last look at his statue-like friends, Ben followed.
Lia’s hips swung side-to-side as she preceded him down a hallway lit by florescent lights. Even as fucked up as reality seemed at the moment, he still noticed the seductive sway. Barely curbing the urge to increase his speed so he could grab her ass, he shook his head.
Maybe he was certifiable.
She opened a door on the right side of the corridor and slipped inside.
He followed, closed the door, and then leaned against it. “I’m waiting.”
“You already know my name is Thalia. What you don’t know is that I’m immortal. I’m the Muse of Comedy and Agriculture. And mortals—the entire human race—are under siege. You just don’t know it yet.”
“Bullshit!” he scoffed.
“Wish I could say it was. That it’s just a huge prank that is part of the comedy club’s regularly scheduled entertainment.” She took up a position behind her desk, resting her palms on the dark wood. “But this is deadly serious. My sisters are Muses as well and we are in a supernatural fight for the safety of all mortal kind.”
As she sat in the chair behind her, the look on her face was earnest, brows raised, eyes wide. She believed her own psychosis. He searched his memory for anything he might have read about how to deal with delusional behavior. He had nothing other than recollected warnings about not encouraging that kind of behavior, and maintaining a distance in case of possible violent outbursts.
He took a step toward the desk, and then another, shaking his head as he did. This was no way to establish distance between them. He took another step and closed the gap, until the only thing between them was a block of wood. Not a very good barrier, considering the way she’d leaped over the bar when Paul had been going schizoid.
“I suppose next you’ll tell me Zeus is real and is your dad.”
She nodded solemnly. “And Gaia is my mother. Although she isn’t a god. She’s a primordial deity.”
He didn’t bother to restrain his snort. He had to be dreaming.
“I’m happy to pinch you if you think it would help. But I get to pick where I pinch.” Lia dropped her gaze to his ass, then lifted her eyes and offered with a bright smile. She gestured to a straight-backed chair.
Ben sat down hard enough to bite his tongue. Thanks to the pain he experienced, he knew he wasn’t dreaming. “Okay, I’m willing to go on a little faith here. Maybe you should start at the top.”
“In my first or second incarnation, a deity named Pierus challenged Zeus, claiming his nine daughters were superior to the Muses. While my sisters and I inspire the world to good things, Pierus and his offspring represent all the bad juju out in the world. His bitches come with names like Greed, Strife, Doom, Disease…you get the idea. It appears my challenge might be with Hunger.” She stood to pace behind her desk. “Zeus got pissed at Pierus, and transformed his children into magpies for all eternity. But the evil bastard still manages to rise up every thousand years or so to challenge us.”
Thousands of years? “How old are you?”
“Twenty-four.” She moved around the desk and leaned her hip on the edge. “In this lifetime. If you counted up the entire number of years I’ve been alive, my age is closer to six-thousand and twenty-four. No wait. Is it eight-thousand? I’ve sucked at math in every lifetime.”
Okay, that little fact freaked him the fuck out. Unable to deal with it, he filed the detail for exploration later. “Tell me more about this challenge.”
“Okay, but you have to know, until recently, no mortals in this millennia ever knew of our existence. Only three other men even have a clue at this point. You’re kind of a rare breed.”
She propped a hand on her hip, pulling her T-shirt taut over her breasts. Ben dropped his gaze to the luscious display and swallowed hard to move past the need to cup his palms around them.
Lia cleared her throat. “Um, just for now, eyes up. But this attraction you feel might be part of the challenge.”
“Don’t you feel it?”
“The connection? Yeah. When you touched my wrist, I had a premonition that we are meant to be together.”
“You too? I saw us in a darkened room with…I don’t know, maybe crows flying around us.”
She tipped her head to the side and pressed a finger to her lips. “That’s new. I’ve never shared foresight with anyone before. One more nail in your coffin.” She winked at him, followed the motion with a chuckle.
Her quiet laugh swirled through him, twisting like an auger along his body. Everything from his waist down drew tight, went hard. However, his brain heard coffin. “I’m not going to die thanks to this challenge, am I?”
“You won’t. Not if we beat Pierus. Unfortunately, we have to play to win.” Lia hopped up on the desk, swinging her legs. She held up her hand, closed her eyes and lifted her face. Almost like she was speaking to someone in her mind.
Ben studied her casual posture, her easy confidence. For a six-or-eight-thousand and something year-old, she was dead sexy. Oh, Lord. What was he thinking? Or better, which head was he thinking with? Even if his attraction to her was a result of his unknowing involvement in this challenge, he didn’t mind giving in to it.


About the Author


Gemma's favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a 'round tuit,' and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she'd write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to 'Dear Author' were gratifying.

After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy.

Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue a career as a romance author.