Header Logo

Header Logo

Friday, October 31, 2014

Catch the Fever! Spanked by the Bad Boy is Available for Pre-Order



 

Title: Spanked by the Bad Boy
Series: Bad Boy Fever
Author: London Saint James
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, erotic romance, suspense, thriller, spanking
Heat level: 5
Word count – 49k
Cover art by Mina Carter










As the personal assistant to the owner of one of the top engineering firms in Denver, Tiffany Brooks has worked hard at maintaining a professional façade, intent on ridding herself of terrible habits—like her attraction to bad boys. But when the owner of DC Construction rides his chopper into her world two years after their one-time anonymous sexual encounter, everything turns upside down.

Declan Cage is the type of guy who makes a lasting impression, especially with women, yet the gorgeous assistant at Stoub Engineering never remembers his name—or does she? Intrigued by her game, her sexier than sin body, and an infuriating prissy attitude, Ms. Brooks is begging to be taken into hand, and he’s the man to do it.

Armed with the knowledge Declan doesn’t recognize her, will Tiffany give in to her desire for him yet again, or will her past come back to haunt them both and ruin their chance at something real?


Available for Pre-Order Now!














Spooktacular Seductions #Giveaway

Happy Book Birthday Spooktacular Seductions!

Genre: Romance Anthology Release Date: October 31, 2014
Publisher: Roane Publishing

Keywords: Romance, Short Stories, Halloween, Paranormal
Falling in love can be terrifying.
Eight tales of spooky romance brought to you just in time for Halloween.

Bewitching Gypsy by Linda Carroll-Bradd Garden of Souls by Michelle Ziegler If This Be Madness by Echo Shea Encantado by Havva Murat Do You Believe in Ghosts by Anne Higa Ghost of a Chance by Lily Carlyle Where Angels Tread by Christy Thomas Spooky Hollow Café by Lisa A. Adams

 


Purchase Links:

 

Tour Schedule
Book Blitz & tour-wide giveaway: paperback copy of Spooktacular Seductions and a $10 Amazon gift card!
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.

Sex, Love and Aliens Volume 1 #Giveaway







Genre: Science Fiction/Futuristic Romance


Sex, Love, and Aliens. A science-fiction anthology, which includes:





Tangled Webs by Imogene Nix
In the course of a single day Gia Montgomery loses her job and discovers that her boyfriend—now ex-boyfriend—is a two-timing sleaze. After downing a bottle of wine, she catches sight of Cedun in her backyard. He's the Ba'Tua heir who has been living on Earth for several years. Gia struggles to ignore the strong attraction between them, because she's sure he's seeing someone else. Someone very close to her, in fact.

When the situation with her ex turns nasty, Cedun finally has a chance to set things straight between himself and Gia, but nothing is as simple as it seems. Cedun must protect Gia and sort out an impossible love-life tangle before it's too late.

Content Warning: this title contains sexy aliens and feisty heroines, together with enough action—of every kind—to keep readers on the edge of their seats



Tangled Webs Excerpt:

Turning away from her position, Gia caught sight of movement from the corner of her eye. This time she looked out the window and in her garden was a Ba'Tua male.

"Holy hell, what's he doing here?"

Gia headed for the door just as Cedun was removing his Montgomery Industries t-shirt by the side of the pool. Her mind was sluggish and her coordination impaired, and she slammed into the edge of the door as she scurried through it.

"Shit!" The curse escaped her mouth as she kept moving, her hand rubbing the injured section of her side. "Cedun, what the hell are you doing in my backyard?" In her haste, she didn't see the hose on the deck and tripped.

She did notice the bright violet of his eyes—wide and startled—and the bronzed rippling muscles as she cartwheeled, flailing for something to grab onto, then she was falling backward. It's all so slow! A thunk sound married with the explosion of pain in her head.

The water closed around her and invaded her mouth and lungs. Her chest burned as the water weighed her down. Just as it all seemed too much, strong, vise-like arms slid around her middle, hauling her up to the surface.

"Do not struggle, Gia. Let me help you." He did, hauling her out of the pool and laying her flat on the concrete.

Then he rolled her over as she hacked and coughed. Water gushed from her mouth and nose, and she moaned once the indignity was over.

"Now, De' Gia, tell me why you ran out of the house and threw yourself into the pool. De' Valerie told me that you had been removed from your post. It cannot be that which is distressing?"

"Job," she corrected, quietly hoping to stop his liquid voice. Her head and chest ached viciously, and all she wanted was bed. "I want to go to bed."

Cedun stilled. "Is that not precipitous?" A smiled crept over his face, and it turned her insides to molten lava.

Clarity speared her. Their grasp of the English language was literal. She said she wanted to go to bed and was speaking to him, ergo, he thought sex. Horror filled her.

Cedun was probably the most relaxed and least repressed of all the Ba'Tua she'd met. Gia also suspected he'd been involved with Valerie for some time. After all, Valerie was still young at forty-two.

Gia groped for his t-shirt, meaning to push him away. The realization of being so close to Cedun's muscular and unclothed chest flooded her as her hands made contact with hard and well-formed naked flesh. He'd removed that covering before her fall into the pool. Heat flared beneath her fingers as her heart rate sped up. "Cedun, I didn't mean…"

He chuckled. "I laugh with you, De' Gia."

She struggled to free herself. "Go laugh with someone else."



The Spaceship Captain's Wife by Ashlynn Monroe

Some treasures are the hardest to see.

On a dying planet, treasure waits for an honorable man to claim it. Captain Ric Julius believes the cargo of gems is what he's come for, but there is one jewel he never expected. Her name is Kateri, and she changes everything.

Saving the woman's life, and making a fortune in the process, requires only one thing of Ric—his freedom. In order to obtain the gems he has to agree to take Kateri to safety…and to make her his wife. Every man has a price, but is Ric willing to pay in full on a debt he owes to a dead man on a decomposing world?

Content Warning: contains sensual sex scenes


The Spaceship Captain's Wife Excerpt:

Why am I doing this to myself? Damn, if I didn't need the money… But he did.

As the girl came to kneel beside her father, Ric realized he'd rather face a laser pistol-wielding hijacker than this woman. The traditional charado robe that consisted of many layers of light, sheer fabric did nothing to hide the outline of her body. His mouth went dry and sweat stung his eyes.

The older woman offered him a light meal of native Darooian nuts and fruit. Ric shook his head. He didn't want to risk polluting himself with radiated food. But this transaction was too important for him to offend them.

"Forgive me, I am far too full of…of joy to eat," Ric said.

Marit's woman gazed at him for a moment. Her shrewd eyes narrowed with doubt, but she nodded and pulled the offered tray away.

The kneeling girl was so still he couldn't even tell if she was breathing. His host was watching the silent female with an unfathomable sorrow. Then he turned to study Ric without speaking for a drawn out length of anxiety-filled time. Ric fidgeted nervously.

Oh damn, I hope I haven't blown this. I'll lose the ship without this deal. Ric tried to hide his worry from the other man by keeping his face expressionless.

"We only eat food that arrives in bio locked containers. Our offering is safe. Kateri has not left this house since she was a girl of ten. She has spent half her life hiding from death, it's long past time she was allowed to live," said Marit in the gentle tone. There was no anger or censor on his face, just sadness.

The quiet girl flinched. The movement was subtle, but Ric was used to watching for the slightest tells during negotiations. The girl's posture stiffened.

So she was twenty. He relaxed a bit. She was a decade younger than he was, but at least she wasn't some underage child.

Embarrassed, Ric looked away. "Forgive me," he said, unsure if he was apologizing for the planet's destruction or his behavior.

"You have nothing to apologize for. Caution is an admirable trait. Integrity is another thing I respect. She will make a good wife…"

Marit paused as a string of quickly spoken Dar, their language, interrupted him. Her outraged voice drifted up from under the veils and proved she had a bit of spirit.

The older man's fatherly tone ebbed between anger and softness. Ric only caught a few words, but he was almost positive the girl hadn't known she was part of the conditions for this export.

When she was silent, Ric could see her shaking. The strangest urge to comfort her came over him, but he shoved it away. Perhaps it was the camaraderie of being tricked, but the protectiveness her reaction stirred in him didn't go away.

She muttered something, and he fought to suppress his grin. He had the most inappropriate urge to peek under her veil and see her expression. Was she seething with rage, or was she pouting? He wanted to know. The veil tormented his naturally overactive Metrician curiosity.

"Kateri is a good girl, dutiful. She is…uncomfortable leaving her family behind," said the anxious man democratically.

Ric cleared his throat awkwardly. He could respect the answer. If he truly cared about anyone, he wouldn't want to leave them to die either. A planet hadn't died since the days of old Earth. Pain squeezed his heart in a metaphoric vise. Guilt. His people treated their world like it was garbage, and yet Metricia would live on long after Daroo was space dust.

"Don't look so dour, Captain Aydric Julius. We will die with our gods, but our daughter will live on for us and remember our names. Saving her life is worth risking my soul," Marit said quietly. "She is the most precious gem in your cargo."

Ric nodded. No one had ever loved him as this man loved his daughter. It was astounding and humbling to be entrusted with her life. He'd never wanted such a responsibility thrust on him, but now that it was, he couldn't turn them down.

Is she willing to marry a stranger? What am I getting myself into?

Ric could tell the girl was looking at him. He wanted to talk to her and make sure she was willing. He didn't believe in much, but his honor mattered to him.



His Human by Jaye Shields

Can a human clone trained to kill also learn to love?

Elara Roberts is the captain of a space shuttle sent to retrieve a group of cloned soldiers from the planet US-2. As soon as she lands, the shuttle is overtaken and all of her men killed.

Svarog aka Rogue, is the leader of a rebel group of clones who desire freedom. He's been trained his entire life for one thing—to kill. But when he lays eyes on Elara, the only woman he's ever seen, his first instinct is to love. Taking her for himself, his new mission becomes exploring the body of the creature, and punishing any other clone male who dares come close.

Elara witnessed how easily Rogue killed her men and fears she is next. But instead, the beast seems curious and more lustful than anything else. Her best survival strategy is to play along. But when she gets a chance to escape she realizes she may not be ready to leave Rogue behind.

Content Warning: this story includes a deadly, devastatingly sexy clone who isn't above foul language and dirty sex


His Human Excerpt:

"Why do you want to go to Earth so bad?" Elara asked.

Rogue didn't answer readily, instead, he appraised her, his gaze lingering on her sweat-soaked blouse. "You haven't been here long, woman, but surely long enough to see this planet rivals the hell that the humans make us read about. It's dry here, hot enough to melt the skin right off your body during certain seasons. Those tunnels you saw dotting the landscape, those were burrowed by one of US-2's many creatures. Leave my side, and they'll snatch you up and swallow you whole. It'd probably be an easier death than you deserve."

"Excuse me?" Elara glared at him. "Did you keep me alive to insult me to death?"

"Why would you sign up to take men as slaves, take them to a war they can't even understand?"

"I'm not the bad guy here!" Her voice echoed through the cave, the sound suddenly making her feel more brave.

"Neither am I. Unless I'm crossed." He stood, still nude, his well-muscled body towering over her. "Now that you're my captive, perhaps you can appreciate what we are fighting for. Freedom." With that, the clone walked away from her. She glanced away, trying to avoid looking at the well-carved butt cheeks as the massive soldier walked away. He had a perfect body. The kind of body that was built to kill.

Elara's mind spun. Not only had two clones tried to rape her, but her epic plan to seduce Rogue didn't work. He'd never before had a woman, and she still couldn't please him. Yet he'd protected her from those men.

As far as Rogue was concerned, she wasn't sure what happened. He'd seemed so close to coming. He'd moaned, but then he'd been disgusted by her, shoving her away. She should have been happy that his cum didn't fill her mouth, but it also meant her death.

But if he was going to kill her, why didn't he just leave her to those men?

Finally alone, the terror of the day washed over her. She'd watched her peers murdered, she'd gone down on her captor, and she'd nearly been raped by two killers. Tears leaked down her cheeks, quickly dried by the intense heat on US-2.

Just as soon as he'd left, Rogue returned. His strong hand pulled her out of the fetal position to face him. When he saw her tears, he sneered in disgust. "I'm leaving to retrieve rations. Don't try to escape."

Hope bloomed within her. Of course she'd try to escape. Was this clone daft? She just never thought she'd be left alone to try.

Elara thought back to the initial attack on the space shuttle. The interior had sustained damage, but clearly the clones had been careful, obviously planning to try to take it to Earth themselves.

Rogue pulled on his military cargo shorts, not bothering with a shirt. He pulled a sachet of lotion out of his pocket and slathered it over his hard chest and chiseled stomach. It was a body meant to punish.

She barely heard Rogue's final warning before he departed. Something about danger. Duh. Elara may have been surrounded by a planet of rebel clones, but she was a military captain, specially chosen for this very mission. Her femme fatale Plan A had failed, but now she had no other choice but to try to ass kick her way off this planet. She was sure as dead anyway, might as well die trying.




Gravitation by Beth D. Carter
Can Bree and Niah's love overcome their species being at war with one another?

Bree has spent her whole life hiding from the aliens who destroyed what was once Earth. When she stumbles across a wounded alien, common sense tells her to kill him before he can kill her, but her compassionate side refuses to obey. Instead, she helps him.

The two forge a temporary truce when they're forced to band together for protection. But as the days slip by, the alien Niah won't leave her, and as friendship gives way to something more, she can't help but wonder when, or if, them being on opposite sides will break the fragile bonds of love forming between them.

Content Warning: contains sexual content, strong language, and some violence



Gravitation Excerpt:

Niah's leg must be healing nicely if he was able to move around to her side of the cold fire pit. She should be feeling fear because now he could easily overpower her. Kill her. Only he did neither. He just laid there with his hand on her hip and his eyes staring deeply into her own.

This was wrong. So horribly wrong.

And yet…it didn't feel wrong.

And that scared her more than anything.

"Shh," he whispered, and his hand ran soothing circles across her hip bone.

Bree closed her eyes because she couldn't stand looking at him anymore, couldn't face the attraction she was developing. And somehow she must have fallen asleep because the next time she opened her eyes it was daylight.

She sat up quickly, looking around. Niah was gone. His leg splints were in a nice pile, the only testament that he'd been there. She ignored the stab of pain that pierced through her and told herself it was better this way. He had gone back to his people, to where he came from. It was time she went to where she belonged.

As she gathered her things and slipped her backpack over her shoulders, she thought about when she asked him to save one life as a thank you. Well, it seemed like he'd done just that.

He'd spared hers.

Buy Links:   Beachwalk Press     Amazon    Barnes & Noble   


~Giveaway~ 

Beachwalk Press is giving away a $10.00 Amazon GC during this tour. 
For a chance to win please fill out the rafflecopter below.



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kiss My Lips by Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku #Giveaway

Title: Kiss My Lips
Series: Holiday Series, #2
Genre: Romance/Contemporary/Multicultural/Interracial
ISBN: 978-1502776549 (Paperback)
Publication Date: Wednesday 29th October 2014
Cover Artist: Love Bites And Silk

Kiss My Lips (Holiday Series Book 2) is a sequel to
Stolen Valentine Kiss (Holiday Series Book 1).
 Add to Goodreads


Blurb
Will one kiss seal their love?

Accepting Logans marriage proposal was the most exciting event of Lornas life. But deciding in what country to marry her fiancé proved to be more than a tearful ordeal. When Lornas dad announced unexpected news, the wedding wheels spun in a different direction.

With other family members stirring conflict, would there be a wedding? Or would their shared kiss deepen their desire?

"If you have any uncomplimentary remarks to make about Lorna, make sure you bite your tongue and don't utter them to my hearing or to hers. If it kills you Arabella, be nice to her, or you keep away from me!" he snarled, his gaze unrelenting.

"What has c-come over y-you?" his older sister stammered. Unsettled and shocked, Arabella struggled to come to terms with his fury.

A strong feeling of satisfaction washed away Logans wrath. "Are you in or are you out, Arabella?" he asked a dry look on his tense face.
For a long while, she kept mute. Maybe he should have shocked her into good behaviour months ago. He breathe in and out rapidly, relieved he had gotten this nerve-wracking confrontation out of the way. Of course, as the only sibling he had, he needed her support but not at the expense of his happiness.

With tears trickling down her face, she asked, "Is Lorna the one for you? Are you sure this is what you want?"

He marched to the kitchen, grabbed tissues and chucked it into her hands. "Yes. I have never been surer of anything in my life, Arabella. Don't stand in my way. I won't let you or anyone else deny me a lifetime of joy and love."

Sniffing and wiping her eyes, she peered at him. "I didn't expect you to put up a fight, Logan. I thought I was helping you weed out another desperate woman from your life."

"You couldn't be more wrong. Lornas not desperate, I am," he admitted with pride.

"Why are you desperate to marry her?" she asked, her interest fanned.


He rolled his shoulders and flexed his fingers. "Because I love her. Who can understand love, Arabella? Lorna fills my every waking moment and my nights. I can give up everything to be with her. I want to make her happy, I want to teach her to trust again," he countered, shaking his head. "She fills the void in my heart and I can't help it."







Stellas a fun loving mother of two, married to her very own gorgeous alpha male who satisfies her romantic appetite.

Writing romance novels is now her full time passion. In 2010, Stella created Flirty & Feisty Romance Novels laced with the right cocktail of blazing passion, intrigue & toe-curling romance set in fascinating Africa, enticing Europe and America. There are seven contemporary romance novels in the basket; Loitering Shadows, Stormy Defense, Beyond the Lady, The Gardeners Ice Maiden, Sparkling Dawn, Husband to Rent, Stolen Valentine Kiss (Holiday Series #1).

My first historical romance is on my writing desk at the moment. In my leisure, I go swimming, reads romance novels, go to the Cinema and watch TV.
Flirty & Feisty Romance wishes you an amazing holiday season.

Our promise...is to deliver an intensely emotional experience you'll never forget.




Complete the rafflecopter for a chance to win the $10 Amazon Gift card.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I think I can. Maybe I can. I'm going to do this!




One of my goals for this year was to become more organized—both in my personal life and my work life. Well, here it is, the end of October, the year close to coming to an end and I’m sorta there. But I have marked a few things of that list of To Do’s for 2014, so I suppose sorta is better than nada.










After months of saying I'm going to go ahead and just jump, then even more months of procrastination with my feet dangling over the edge, I finally just did it. I jumped.



Or, maybe I should say I’ve put all my little author ducks in a row. I started out last year saying, "I think I can." Moved on to, "Maybe I can." To, "I'm going to do this." And, I did.


A few months ago I started a FB Group, Slip Between the Pages with London. Shout out to the crew there. Let me take a moment to tell you just how much they rock. They, as a group, are responsible for picking the character name of a hero that is now included in one of my WIPs. Want to meet the inspiration pic behind the sexy homicide detective who they named, Rylan Kane Harcourt?


 
I’ve also put together a monthly newsletter, Slip Between the Pages with London which will launch its first issue starting in November. I’m hoping to include things about what’s going on in my little corner of the writing world, interesting and fun tidbits, a spotlight on other authors as well, and…. I guess you’ll have to wait and see what will be included by the time the final issue hits your email in-boxes. *Smiles*

Oh, and since tomorrow is Halloween. Happy Halloween everyone! Take a page out of my book, and eat way too much chocolate :)

XoXo
London



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mid Week Halloween Tease - He Cannot Have You #MWTease

Bwahahaha....Welcome to Mid Week Halloween Tease, where my author friends and I post a little something from a WIP, flash fiction piece or from some of our published work for you, the readers. As always, a HUGE thanks to fellow author Sandra Bunino for creating this weekly event.  

In the spirit of something spooky how about demons, angels, and a psychic who sees what others can't? That's what you'll find in my story, Crimson Sin part of the Midnight Seduction anthology by Evernight Publishing.

Godless. Deceiver. Minion. Charlatan. Sinner.
Some say that I am such. Others believe I’m a conjurer, medium, a seer. A few believe me to be a prophet, a godsent, a way to find that which has been lost to them. I say I’m a slave, cursed and caught within a gossamer web that holds me somewhere between two worlds. In one world, I’m a devout follower, caught within the heady embrace. It’s my lover who calls to me night after night, beckoning that I should come, wishing me to see what he has done. While in the other world, I’m flesh and blood just as any other.
 The woman who sets in front of me has come for my help. Quietly she cries. Her tears fall until they find a resting place on her silky covered knee. I watch her, dressed in her mint green dress suit, meticulous hair pulled up in a harsh, tight roll. Her nails were perfectly groomed and a three karat diamond shimmering on her left hand. Perched upon her delicate lobes are small pearl earrings.
She reaches into her bag, clasps something shiny within her palm, then hands me a silver necklace adorned with a delicate cross. I know it belongs to her daughter, she need not tell me such. I reached out, took the cross, linked my fingers around the necklace, gripped the cross between my fingers, and slipped beneath the veil.
 This coming together is always a blending, a copulation of mind, body, spirit, senses, and liquid vision. Yet I’m in two places when I move between light and shadow. Those around me who only walk within the physical world, and who believe, seek me out. Asking for my help. The devoted come from all walks of life. They urge me to tell them of my sight. Heartfelt, please, they implore, hoping for a flicker of news, of light.  I experience the ache and need to know of their sons, their daughters, their lovers, their friends, their husbands, their wives.
Those who reside on the other side seem to seek me out in order to tell their story, how they came to be. But somehow when I’m beneath the veil, the lover I seek pulls me into the darkness. He will take me beyond all I know.
“Can you tell me? Can you see what has happened to my Grace?” the woman asked.
The chill upon my skin begins to subside, replaced by a familiar burn. Blood courses through my veins, pumps through my heart. I cannot fully see him, but I breathe in the fire from his glinting skin.
“Yes…” The word falls from my lips in a smoky whisper.
My thoughts race. It takes me a moment to focus, orientate myself to my new surroundings. My breathing is now erratic. My life force flows faster through my veins and the beating rhythm increases as though my thumping heart will leap wildly from my chest. The blood rushes to my cheeks.  Heat envelopes me.
 A clock. The sound is strange. The clock begins to strike the hour one, two…echoing the dull clanging tones down the barren halls of the ancient home I find myself in. I lift my chin, narrow my vision, and witness eyes staring back at me from within the broken shards of the mirror that hangs on the wall. Those eyes are aligned with dark bruise-like circles beneath them, more familiar to a corpse than to me.  
Outside, the wind whooshes across the high roofline in a low whine. It’s as if the wind knows of my dark lover’s arrival and bemoans his coming. The howling of the wind rushes forth, writhing, moaning in exquisite pain, searching for release, whirling down the chimney where it leaves blackened ash scattered at my bare feet.
I can feel him. Static electricity ebbs and flows through the air I breathe. I inhale deeply. Each breath draws me closer to the edge of my own existence until we are interlocked together within the confines of his world, and tormented within the hell of mine.
I float, suspended somewhere between the liquid of my vision and the hazy realization of this life, waiting for his caress. It won't be long. His touch alone sustains me, calls to me, steals my very breath, and flows within my veins like tongues of fire lapping, laving, allowing my skin to burn.
“Paris? Ms. Hutchison?” Mrs. Byron sounds worried about me. I don't know what it looks like when I cross the veil, but I can only imagine.
 The corners of my mouth turn up in delight when I see eyes the color of ruby ringed in a deep shade of crimson. They move forward from the mirrored shards that hold my reflection. As always, I’m captivated by their inhuman, perfect beauty. The wickedness within me wages war with the light, for he is my true desire, my temptation, my burning damnation, and he has found me, as I knew he would.
“Grace, do you know of her?” I asked him.
I watch a sinful smirk cross over the perfect features of his angelic face.
“Of course, little one,” he replies.
“Has she crossed over into the light?” I inquire.
“Grace walks within your realm, surely you must know this?”
“She is still within the earthly veil?”
His quiet laughter dances over my hand that hold's the silver cross, heating my skin.
“Yes, Paris, Grace is still within the earthly veil.”
“Where?” I ask, all the while watching wings of black arc over my body and Zion’s, enclosing us.
“Where her lover lies.”
I see the front of this ancient home, the numbers once shinny are rusted and obscured by vines that flow up the front wall, reminiscent of webs.  
“Now,” he says, brushing his large palm down my right cheek, “give the woman the answer she seeks.”
I move back from Zion’s seven-foot muscular frame, break the connection, the vision. I cross back, over the thin veil that had surrounded me, and open my eyes to the physical world, only to see Mrs. Byron watching me, bright blue eyes rounded in fear, anticipation, hope.
Steam flows from my hand, reminding me of the necklace I hold. I open my grip, releasing the cross. I place it onto the mahogany table to my right.
“Well?” Mrs. Byron asked. She has moved forward onto the edge of her seat, grasping her Prada bag for dear life.
“Grace is with her boyfriend, Mrs. Byron. I am unclear as to why Grace has left her apartment, her job, why her car was abandoned, but you will find Grace and Jimmy located in an abandoned home on Dennison Drive. Four-ten Dennison Drive.”
“Oh, thank God!” A torrent of tears freefall down her pale face. She wipes them quickly with her hand. “Thank God!” she repeats, grabbing up the necklace from my side table, clutching it. “I don't know how you do what you do, Ms. Hutchison, but thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”
 “You are welcome, Mrs. Byron. I'm glad to give you good news,” I answer, wearily.
****


It’s sunset, the time of day in which my lover is free from his spiritual bonds. Unbound to walk within the physical realm as a mortal, only like no other, with glinting skin, fiery to the touch, but as close to a man as one can be who has fallen.
I have come to understand that angels, heaven, and hell do exist. There is a battle which wages daily for the souls of mankind. There was not only a war in heaven, but there is an ongoing war in hell. Only those who have the sight and those who cross over know of this truth, and I, being cursed with sight, have seen firsthand the war that wages. I’ve been caught within the crossfire, marked by some who wish to use me, exploit my so-called gifts, targeted by others who seek to destroy me for my knowledge, and loved by one who protects me.
I found my way over to my little desk that’s shoved up against the far wall of my tiny bedroom. I grabbed a book from the overhead shelf and placed it beneath the small desk light. I had just opened the pages of the worn book when a strange and eerie cold sensation filled the room. I turned toward the direction of the radiator and it was working, its vibration evident through the pipes. 
My attention was drawn away from the shuddering of the radiator and toward my bedroom door. Deliberate rapping on the tiles, footsteps, coming down the hallway echoed out in rhythmical taps. Each footstep reverberated loudly within my walls and seemed to be getting closer and closer. All too soon, the sound stopped, followed by a distinctly hard knock at my door. In the next instant there was a mechanical drumming of fingers on the hard wood surface. I paused for one moment, got up from the old desk chair, and slowly walked to the door. My breath was now visible as I exhaled. From beneath the door six or seven large, black cockroaches scurried across my floor, scattering in numerous directions. 
“Oh!” I blurted out, startled then quickly placed my hand over my mouth to stop from screaming.
The black bugs continued to scurry, then multiplied into hundreds. They were crawling up the walls and across my ceiling. Soon, the walls became a black mass of swirling bugs before they vanished into thin air, exposing once again the familiar white of the walls and ceiling.
Every hair on the back of my neck stood on end. A sick feeling flipped and twisted within my stomach. I backed away from the door, not making a sound, hesitating to breathe. Whoever had come for me was not of the physical world.
    My door swung free. Before me, half obscured in the dim lit hallway stood… “Sarif?” I muttered in disbelief. The last time I saw Sarif, he had been chained on the other side. Punishment for going against orders. 
He smiled wickedly and moved forward with little effort, crossing the threshold with one foot and then the other. He entered my room. Three others followed behind him. 
“Paris,” he greeted. His voice was tinted with an accent I can never quite pinpoint. “I am very pleased to see you once again. It has been far too long.”  
I continued to back away from him. To say I distrusted him would be an understatement.  Moving slowly, I never removed my eyes from his angular face. My head was full of differing scenarios, trying to come up with a plan of escape, but I knew there would be no escape from this evil one.
 Sarif sniffed the air like a canine. Akin to the others of his kind, he could smell my fear.
“You are frightened, my child.”
His voice sent a shiver through me. It was sweet like honey and flowed in a singsong manner over his all too venomous lips. 
“Get out!” I exclaimed.  
This emotional outburst pleased Sarif greatly. His smile widened. I experienced his sense of evil pleasure as it rolled through the room reminiscent of a fog. Unlike my ability to sense human feelings, he was allowing me to taste his emotion. It was thickly flavored, heady, and tickled down my spine as if it seeped into my body like acid.
Sarif turned to acknowledge the others who were standing beside him. I could only guess that my anger was but an amusement to them. They laughed devilishly. Then they too allowed me into their thoughts, emotions. Compared to them, I was nothing but a frail, angry, mortal woman, shaking in fear before them, and my fear fed them.  
To Sarif’s right stood a tall, pale, silver-haired being with brooding grey eyes. The color was freighting against the white of his skin. He was dressed in black from his shirt to his shoes and wore a ring on his pinky finger of a lion’s head. This indicated he was once part of the elite guard. Sentinels placed upon earth to keep watch on heavenly artifacts, make sure they were never found. I had never met this being before but knew he, like Sarif, would be skilled and vicious.
To the left of Sarif were two shorter more bulky beings. One stood straight in his posture, but he was swaying anxiously from the right ball of his foot to his left. His hair was brown and tied back from his face in a long ponytail. His face was nondescript except for his eyes. They  were different from the tall, pale, silver-haired being. His eyes were coal black with just an outline of crimson.
The third being had shaved his head. His dark black skin matched the black color of his eyes. He had a long jagged scar that ran from the top of his bald head down over his right eye and came to a stop in the middle of his square jaw. Both he and the anxious one were dressed in black from head to toe with no markings to indicate their rank or past affiliations. 
Sarif turned his gaze back to me, still grinning. He gestured to his right with his long thin hand.
“Paris, this is Malic.” Sarif paused. He turned to look at Malic. “Paris is the one I spoke of.” 
Malic was the tall silver-haired being. His mouth turned up with a wicked grin. I had obviously been the topic of conversation.
“I am very pleased to meet you,” he acknowledged as if this were a social occasion and etiquette was required. 
Sarif continue, waving his hand to his left. “This is Kael and Balen.” 
They too gave evil grins. The white of their teeth pronounced. Both Kale and Balen tilted their head to one side in unison, scanning me.  
“Why are you here, Sarif?” I asked. 
“I am here to give you what you want, my child,” Sarif replied.
The three beings moved, coming closer, but never maneuvering ahead of Sarif. Balen turned his hand and made a quick gesture toward the door. In one fluid movement, and without touching it, the door shut behind him. This indicated he was a conjuror. 
“Sarif, I don’t—” Sarif placed one bony finger to my lips. “Stop!” I yelled. I jerked my face from his icy touch. He was freezing.
“Hush, my child. I know what it is you desire. I am only here to give you what you seek,” Sarif assured me. He studied my surroundings before continuing. “So it would seem your Zion is not present tonight,” he whispered into my ear, sending frost down my skin. “I wonder how well you will fair without Zion here to save you?”
He seemed to ponder his own words.
“You seem sure he won’t,” I said smugly.
“No, he will not.” He paused, allowing his words to sink into my mind. “You know Zion does not love you. He cannot love such a frail pathetic creature.” The evil ones face was close, far too close to mine. “There is a way to be with him, to stay with Zion. You would no longer be frail, weak, pathetic.”
“I cannot stay with him, I know this,” I said.
“You do not know much, child. It is possible to live within the same world, to be as powerful as Zion. It is easy, really. It would mean giving up your world, your weaknesses which binds you here to this place.”
“You mean my soul, don’t you?”
“Yes, your soul would be part of the bargain.”
“Zion already has my soul!”
“He is too weak to take it.” Sarif’s voice was taunting. “Maybe it is not weakness.” He  paused and pondered that, working his jaw with his hand. “No, not weakness. We both know Zion is not weak, however, I think we both know if he loved you, if he truly wanted you, he would keep you.”
“I—”
“You are nothing to Zion, a play toy, something to take his attention.”
“I want you to leave!” I insisted.
“So soon, my child?”
“You should know firsthand what Zion will do to you,” I said, trying to fight back the only way I could.
“Yes, but where is he now? Why has he not come to your rescue? Can you not see he does not care for you?”
I wanted to lash out, to rebuke him, to banish him, to tear the evil one apart with my words and send him back into the pits of hell where he belonged, but I couldn’t move my lips. I felt intense cold. It burned like fire upon my cheek. Sarif was running his fingers down the side of my face. My body shook intently. The others moved, mimicking his movement, positioning    themselves to his side.
Sarif continued to move forward, backing me against the far wall of the room. I was trapped with nowhere to go. He leaned into my neck, placing his nose to the base of my throat. I froze. He took in deep breaths. “Um...” he muttered in a deep almost growl. “I understand his pull, his desire.”
“Take her, Sarif!” Malic shouted. 
“Yes,” Kale murmured, “take her!”
Malic, Kael, and Balen watched intently while the evil one pressed himself firmly against me. They became eager in their movements, waiting to leap in behind their leader. A vibration rumbled from Sarif’s body, hitting me. The power surge was intense, sending shockwaves through my frame. Once again, he allowed me to taste his emotion. The rage bounced off my body, whipped around me, then smashed back into my flesh as though he were going to rip me apart. His breath became labored. I could feel his hand come down from above my head. He began to grope at my waist. 
“Stop!” I blurted out then found I was unable to speak further. 
It was his icy cold lips. They completely covered my mouth. A ripping sound came from my body followed by shooting fiery pain that shot through the top of my leg. He tore the front pocket from my jeans, exposing my upper thigh. His razor sharp fingernail marked my skin. The cut burned. 
Don’t scream, Paris. Do not scream. Do not give him the pleasure of your fear, I kept telling myself. I tried in vain to pull my body from his, but it was pointless. 
Sarif placed one cold hand to my throat. He crouched down, and flicked his tongue to the cut on my upper thigh. The tip of his tongue elongated before he licked the crimson blood from my flesh. Guttural sounds emanated from his body. He shook. Slowly his fingers began to wrap around my throat, cutting off my air. I gasped.
Thunder filled the room. The icy air whipped around me, shooting my long hair around my face and neck. A deep penetrating growl echoed off the walls. It was bone chilling. Sarif’s fingers loosened from my throat. I closed my eyes, welded them shut.
“This is it,” I said under my breath, bracing myself for the impending attack. 
“Take her, now!” Malic exclaimed.
Thunder reverberated from the walls, causing them to shake as if we were experiencing some sort of earthquake, bouncing the books off my shelf. They hit the floor with numerous thuds. Sarif’s body shifted slightly. I opened my eyes to see the desk lamp as it fell from the desk. It hit the floor and shattered into a thousand pieces. Glass flew wildly, scattering everywhere. My desk chair fell over. It bounced up and down several times and came to rest, less one wooden leg. 
 The icy cold within the room was replaced by a scorching hot sensation. Heat waves seemed to rise from the back of Sarif’s body, causing a distortion within my vision. At that moment, the evil one was ripped from me, thrown back. He smacked the floor with force and  slid across the floor like a rag doll, hitting the entry door, making a large jagged crack in the doorframe. Dark red blood ran down the back of Sarif’s head, around his neck, and trickled down his chest.
Malic, Kael, and Balen hissed from between their clenched teeth and moved quickly, backing away from me. Zion stood in front of me in a cat like stance of protection with his arms spread wide, as if to shield me from the vile being’s view. Zion’s teeth were bared and his eyes flashed with fire and wicked fury. 
“Sarif, you dare challenge me and threaten what is mine?” Zion’s voice was deep, booming, and resounded harshly off the walls. The mirror hanging to my right cracked.  
“Zion,” Malic acknowledge.
Malic, Kael, and Balen crouched down and bowed their heads in submission to Zion. Sarif sat against the wall, smiling an evil toothy grin. He wiped the blood from his neck before tasting it. 
“Welcome, Zion, my brother.” The evil ones voice was mocking.
“You have made a dire mistake,” Zion replied in a velvety smooth voice.
 Sarif spoke slowly as he rose to his feet. “I only seek to fulfill her desire. She has willingly offered herself to you, yet you have refused to take what she has given of her own free will.”
“Paris is mine!”  
“Yes, Zion, but are you too weak to take what is yours?”  
“Sarif, you dare to challenge me?”
“No,” Malic muttered.
Sarif’s voice was eerie, calm.” I do not challenge, brother. I merely speak the truth. The seer has given herself, why have you not taken her, used her sight?”
Zion adjusted his stance.
“Sarif, you were dead to this earthly host the moment you touched her pristine flesh. I will rip you from your mortal coil!” 
“No!” Malic yelled.
 Zion turned his head in a methodical cat-like motion. He stared with hate and venom at Malic, Kael, and Balen. He snarled. Growled. The sound was like a large jungle cat. Balen visibly trembled. “Do you dare to challenge me as well?” 
“No, Zion,” Balen mumbled.
 “Then leave this place and know my mercy on this night, but if you dare bother what is rightfully mine again, you shall meet your end, I assure you.” 
Malic nodded. He, Kael, and Balen stood up slowly then backed away from Zion. They never turned their bodies or removed their eyes from Zion as they left the room.   
“So, Sarif, it would seem your underlings have left you to me,” Zion stated with no emotion. 
“Zion, I have no malice toward you.”
Sarif shifted his weight. He looked at me with pure hate. He took a step back toward the door.
“No, do not go,” Zion said calmly.  
His velvet smooth voice seemed to echo within the confines of my mind even while he spoke to Sarif. Paris, do not watch this.
Zion lunged toward Sarif, teeth bared, knocking him against the far wall. The attack was quick, so fast I could hardly process the movements. Zion’s teeth ripped through the supple flesh of Sarif’s throat. Deep crimson blood flowed from the wound like water flowing freely from a cascading fountain. As horrible as this moment was, I found no will to look away from the brutality. A part of me was unsure if I was really witnessing this bloodbath.
Zion growled deeply and threw back his head, swallowing the large hunk of Sarif’s flesh that was clinched between his teeth. In another burst of fury, Zion smashed his powerful fist though the evil ones chest, removing Sarif’s heart in a swift moment before he pulverized it between his fingers. It was in this moment that Zion’s mouth turned up in pure pleasure. He smiled wickedly, shaking his head from right to left. He was the predator, victorious.  He looked at the lifeless body then licked the bloody remains of Sarif’s heart from his powerful hand.
In that flash of a second, Sarif’s body slumped, hit the floor. A high-pitched ear-piercing screech filled the air. A dark black shadow left the body. It flew up from the mortal remains of Sarif in a snarl. The black shadow swirled and twisted around the room, emanating a putrid rotten smell, an odor of death. The blackness gave one last agonized groan then disappeared into a mist.
During the gory scene, Sarif’s blood had found its way to me. It hit my face and chest, ran down my arms, dripping from my fingertips, and began to stain the floor beneath my feet. I shook in fear and disbelief. I hadn’t moved. I was still standing against the back wall of the room. When I realized it was over, my body went limp, and slid down the wall onto the hard floor beneath me. I became aware of a shooting fiery pain in my leg. I grabbed at my thigh, applying pressure, trying to get the burn to stop.
Zion seemed to stiffen before becoming fully erect. He turned to see me covered in blood, shaking, and slumped on the floor. He leapt in one swift movement to my side.
“Are you hurt?”
“I...”  
 Zion scooped me up, softly cradling my body in his arms, then placed me on the bed. He began to wipe the blood away, inspecting my face, neck, chest, and arms, searching for wounds until he found the scratch upon my upper thigh.
“You are injured!” 
“Burned,” I muttered, trying to find the words that seemed to be scattered incoherently within my mind. “My leg—”
“The host’s death was too quick; I should have made him suffer for touching you.”
“His body…”
“Is gone,” he said, answering my unspoken, unfinished question.
“But he’ll be back, won’t he? Sarif will find a way back. He wants me for his own.”
“He cannot have you,” he said softly. “I will never allow it.”

Happy Halloween! May you all have a spooktacular night.


FOR MORE HALLOWEEN TEASES: