Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Return to Atlantis Help (read an EXCERPT!)

Manu fights against the Gloom for Atlantis. As the general’s son, he carries the weight of a thousand expectations on his shoulders. When a priest of the ocean goddess discovers that their princess survived the ambush that killed her parents, no one but Manu is more qualified to retrieve her.

Two decades after she was found on a beach, Kailani has dedicated her life to ocean conservation. Her early childhood may be a mystery, but discovering she's a lost princess sounds like a lunatic’s fairy tale. She’d rather stay on the surface...



In small leaps, Kai made progress that week. It still wasn’t enough. 
“Decent,” Manu said at the end, clicking his stopwatch. She’d been overjoyed weeks ago to discover such technologies still existed in their realm.
“What’s my time?” she asked him.
“Don’t worry about your time.”
“What’s my time, Manu? I want to know it.”
He sighed and led her from the racetrack to the armory. They each claimed a trident before entering a vacant sparring room. The barracks had several, built for training in focus groups as needed. “One minute, thirty-nine seconds.”
“Thirty-nine seconds of failure,” she concluded, deflating.
“It isn’t failure.”
“It is until I beat the requirement,” she muttered, rubbing her neck.
“Princess.” She glanced up into compassionate brown eyes, so very expressive and open it startled her into silence. He took her by the shoulders and squeezed with both strong hands. For that moment, she was captivated. Lost. Those eyes were all that mattered. “You’ve made greater improvement within seven days of training than you have in the weeks since your arrival. There is only so much a mer can be expected to master in limited time. You’re harder on yourself than you must be.”
“I want to succeed.”
“I understand that. But even our Myrmidon recruits receive a year of training.”
“I don’t have a year to do this.” 
He sighed and dropped both hands, the loss of their warmth distracting her. “Please put those back.” When he blinked, heat surged to her face and she hastily added, “If you don’t mind. My shoulders are tight from all of the weapons training and that kind of helped.”
And then, without asking anything more, Manu maneuvered behind her and returned both hands to her shoulders. He squeezed lightly at first, introducing her to a blend of pleasure and pain. “Ow, ow, ow. A little left with this hand,” she muttered, tapping his fingers with her right.
“Here?” His thumb kneaded into the juncture of her shoulder and neck.
And it was magical. Within a few seconds, one of the worst kinks loosened.
“Fuck yes,” she murmured, rolling her neck to one side and sighing. The man’s hands were absolute bliss. The last time she’d received a massage as good, she’d been dating a hot machinist’s mate during a naval deployment, a sailor with hands strong enough to tighten nuts and bolts without tools. But he’d still known exactly how much pressure to use, never hurting her.
And at that moment, her brain decided to recall that her body owned a vagina. It wasn’t the most convenient moment to remember such things, but her imagination decided to wander from the platonic act of him kneading her shoulders to wondering how his fingers would feel in other places.
Between her legs. Skimming her naked skin. Squeezing her breasts. Inside her. 
His breath stirred her hair, sending goosebumps prickling over her arms every time she imagined his lips touching the nape of her neck. Not for the first time, she wondered what it would be like to sit on his face instead of trying to punch him in it. Her nipples tightened harder than glass beads.
God. She must have been seriously hard up for a lay to fantasize about Manu of all people. The man didn’t have an ounce of interest in her. And from what she’d once interrupted, she thought he had a woman. To distract from the flourishing, unwelcome thoughts flooding her body with need, she cleared her throat. “Manu?”
“There’s something I’ve been wondering. My true name is Zephyrine. It’s Greek.” She peered at him through the reflection in the wall.
“Yes?” Though he canted his head and gave her a look that suggested he thought she’d gone crazy. Maybe she had.
“And yours is Manu. That isn’t Greek. How does a mer from Atlantis end up with a name belonging to another culture?”
“Many of our people have close ties to Pacifica,” he explained. “Though their gods are different.”
Her brows rose a mile.
“The limited number of high mer required many of our ancestors to broaden the gene pool by inviting nobles of the other underwater kingdom to our city. My mother’s family hails from their region and emigrated from Pacifica as part of your grandfather Maui’s royal retinue. He was a prince among her people. Our people.”
“Maui. As in the god Maui?”
“He was a great mer, but not the actual god Maui. A descendent.”
“A descendent of the actual god Maui, who married my grandmother, a descendent of the goddess Thalassa.”
Manu shrugged. “We can’t choose who we love,” he muttered, the comment sounding like a loaded statement.

Just 1 More...

I can't resist a great read --
and my friends always write the best books...

After making one bad decision after another, fox shifter Erena is back at the Rock Creek Clan with her tail between her legs. Her past mistakes seem to be forgiven, but her position feels tenuous—and more tenuous still, with the arrival of a sexy misfit who gets under her skin.

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One steamy afternoon with the smokin’ personal chef to the leader of their dragon colony left Petra in seriously hot water. Now she’s two thousand miles away from home, with a newborn baby, and she hasn’t told the father he’s, well, a dad.

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True love awaits and passion burns bright in the Westmore Wolves Series.

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Monday, February 11, 2019

EXCERPT: Ignite the Flame by Susan Griscom


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When the tragic death of her father brings Addison MacKenna back to the town where she was born, she can't understand the strange sensations that have begun to consume her. Plagued with nightmares of her father's sudden and brutal death, Addie struggles with her anguish and refuses to believe that his demise was accidental.

But that's not the only thing Addie struggles with.

Cael Sheridan may be arrogant and mysterious, but he's also undeniably gorgeous. A member of a secret society, he is sworn to protect the woman he believes to be the daughter of his recently murdered mentor. In the process, he finds it impossible to resist her magnetic sensuality, complicating his efforts to shield and guide her as she learns the secrets she carries.

Fate has brought them together, but will it make them stronger or destroy them in the end?

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The eerie wail of the howling wind sent shivers down Addie’s spine. Pulling her jacket sleeves down over the palms of her hands, she gripped the steering wheel to hold it in place. Thank God the heater worked. The vicious cold air outside mixed with the fog floating in from the ocean, enveloping her truck, filling her with an ominous sensation.

It swirled its way over the landscape, transforming the spectacular terrain into something unfamiliar. Sinister. The late morning haze shrouded most of the highway, snaking its way through the massive redwoods, stirring visions of her nightmare. The roar of the surf thrashing against the rocks emphasized the menacing force.

She shuddered. Her breath quickened. Hot and tingly blood pulsed through her body, swamping her with a sense of dread. The force strengthened and burned as though her veins were on fire.

Addie inhaled, holding her breath for a few seconds before exhaling. “Deep breaths, Addie, slow, deep breaths,” she whispered as the memory of the horrible nightmare flooded her mind.

She concentrated on her breathing, feeling the rapid beat of her heart, determined to steady her nerves.

“Think of something else,” she demanded and glanced down at her camera and tripod. She’d remembered to bring them along today, hoping the sun would come out so she could go to the cliffs during her afternoon break, still determined to decorate her bare apartment walls with pictures of the giant waves crashing against the massive rocks. She grimaced, leaning forward to peek at the sky, perturbed the sun wasn’t going to cooperate.

Addie turned her concentration back to the road. One wrong turn could be fatal if her truck were to swerve and go over the cliff. Her new truck—well, new to her anyway—was sturdy and powerful, exuding confidence and strength, the exact attributes Addie needed at the moment.

She absently tapped her fingers on the steering wheel. “Another cloudy day. I should have taken pictures during the summer months, like any other normal person.” She glanced up at the sky again before bringing her eyes back to the road.

That was when she saw him standing in the center of the highway.

She screamed, grasped the wheel with both hands, and steered to the right. The truck lurched. Her camera and tripod clunked against the passenger door and then fell to the floor. Addie tried to straighten the wheel, but the gravel on the side of the road sent the wheels spinning toward the ditch. She slammed on the brakes, skidding several feet before finally stopping inches from a very steep slope.

“Oh, God … did I hit him?” She’d heard a thump against the truck. “I must have hit him.”

Her hands shook. In fact, her entire body trembled with fear. Forcing her uncooperative limbs to move, Addie shoved open the heavy truck door, held on to support her quivering body, and stepped out. Her rubbery legs buckled under her as the fierce wind blew her jacket open. Steadying herself, she used both hands to keep it closed and crept to the back of the truck, scanned the area, but saw no one. Not even a hint of a body.

She called out. “Hello? Sir, are you all right?”

No one answered. The silence was disturbing, as if something had sucked all evidence of life out of the area, leaving nothing behind except the sound of the wind rustling through dead leaves and the surf pounding against the rocks below. Still holding her jacket closed, she sprinted to the other side of the truck, but there was no trace of the man.

Her stomach knotted. Her eyes fell upon the dents and scratches on the front fender. She studied them for a few seconds, but it was impossible to tell if there was any new damage. Just last week she’d miscalculated a turn and scraped the fender against the dumpster at work.

Keeping her jacket closed with one hand, she held her long dark hair back from her eyes with the other and searched the area the best she could. She didn’t see anyone.

“Where did he go?” She ran back to her truck, pulled herself up onto the seat, and quickly shut the door. Her hands shook as she pushed down on the locks, and for a moment, she just sat, frozen.

“No one was there.” Her eyebrows tightened and tears stung her eyes. Certain there was nothing to do, Addie glanced down the highway before slowly easing the truck back onto the road. With one hand on the steering wheel and the other fumbling with her seatbelt, she glanced in the rear view mirror. Addie let out a long, uneasy breath, and managed to relax some, but questioned her sanity.

Was she seeing things? No, she saw him. Why was he standing in the middle of the road, and how did he just vanish? Where had he come from? She hadn’t seen a car parked anywhere and knew this stretch of the road. There wasn’t a house or any other building around for at least a quarter of a mile.

Addie tried to picture his face after only a brief glimpse of the man. He wasn’t someone she recognized. He wore a tattered black leather coat that hung down to his thighs and his thick black hair, falling just inches above his shoulders, blew around his face. Any more detail was impossible to recall.

The idea of a man standing in the middle of the road and then just vanishing was absurd, but she had seen someone and the whole experience frightened her. She considered the possibility that it was a ghost, but he’d looked so real. Then again, she had never seen a ghost before, so how would she know what a ghost really looked like? No, no, the ghost theory didn’t cut it. He had been real.

She needed a distraction, something to take her mind off the man, and out of habit, pushed the power button on the radio before remembering it had stopped working during an electrical storm a week ago. Frustrated, she banged the top of the dashboard with her fist. The veins in her fingers burned, and as she opened her hand, tiny sparks shot forth from her fingertips.

“Ouch!” She shook her hand as the radio crackled for a few seconds, then began to play. Perplexed, Addie glanced at her hand as though it belonged to someone else and then back at the radio again. She shrugged, deciding the jolt from the sudden stop had somehow jarred the wires.

In an effort to calm down, she sang along with the radio, her voice timid. Every now and then, she glanced in the rear view mirror as if the man were somehow running behind her. She couldn’t help wondering how he’d materialized out of nowhere, and then ... poof, just vanished. Was he a figment of her imagination?

The song changed, luring her back to reality. She glanced at her watch. She was late for work, and Gerry, her boss, would be livid.

Cael Sheridan stepped out from behind a thicket of Manzanita bushes and onto the highway. He looked left, then right, and proceeded to walk along the side of the road, a bit more cautious of oncoming traffic than he’d been a few minutes earlier. She’d nearly run him over. He knew it had been careless of him to be in the middle of the road, but from what he’d remembered, there usually wasn’t much traffic on this stretch of highway, especially this time of year.

It had been several years since he’d been back to Whisper Cape, though he sensed not much had changed. The narrow highway was completely deserted other than the one truck. The swirling wind stung clear down to his bones. He pulled up the frayed collar of his coat and frowned as the loose strands of fabric tickled his chin.

Glancing down the side of the cliff, he paused to admire the roaring surf crashing against the rocks.

“Ah, still breathtaking.” He smiled, then breathed in, as the cool moist air filled his lungs. He reveled in the fresh ocean breeze with the faint taste of salt in the air.

Yes! I love this coast.

Taking in another deep breath, and suffering the bite of the wind, he continued walking.

He hadn’t meant to frighten the woman in the truck, but hadn’t wanted to die either. So he did what came naturally to him and disappeared.

Hiking along the road, Cael willed his thoughts back to business. He was tracking a killer on a hunch—a hunch leading to the sister of his friend, his mentor, Ristéard.

Soon after Ristéard’s death, his sister had left New York and moved out west to Oregon. Cael’s gut warned him the murdering monster, known as Eidolon, might have followed her. Cael was certain Eidolon hadn’t found what he’d been looking for when he’d slaughtered Ristéard. Eidolon was sinister and deranged. Cael knew he would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. He enjoyed the walk into town, but picked up the pace, hoping he’d arrived in time.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Just 1 More...

I can't resist a great read --

and my friends always write the best books...

Snow leopard shifter Blair Kincade has spent a lifetime using football to fill the gaping hole in his soul. Being an alpha without a pride sucks. As does being lied to about it his entire life by none other than the one he should've been able to trust: his adopted father. Meeting a visiting Russian snow leopard turns into finding the last survivors of his destroyed pride. And the possibility of a mate bond with a woman strong enough to stand by him...

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One year ago, wolf shifter Emma accepted her dream job teaching PE at a Norwegian international school, finally freeing herself from her mother's incessant matchmaking. As the alpha's heir, walking away from her pack, from her obligations--potentially even her fated mate--weighed heavy on her heart. But deep down, she knew it was the right decision. Unfortunately, her sacrifice may have been for nothing--because the new history teacher has fangs...

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Everyone in Arnn - a small farming town with more legends than residents - knows the story of Witchwood Hollow: if you venture into the whispering forest, the witch will trap your soul among the shadowed trees. After losing her parents in a horrific terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, fifteen-year-old Honoria and her older brother escape New York City to Arnn. In the lure of that perpetual darkness, Honoria finds hope, when she should be afraid. Perhaps the witch can reunite her with her lost parents. Awakening the witch, however, brings more than salvation from mourning, for Honoria discovers a past of missing children and broken promises...

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