Wednesday, February 29, 2012



In worlds where the veils are thin, the forces of darkness and light blur to twilight gray.

Eight tales of magical gardens, lost temples, cosmic alignments, immortal predators, shapeshifters, wizards and gods will transport you to realms where the rules are different, nothing is as it seems and the heart keeps the balance of ages.

Told on a rich tapestry of tree and animal lore, romance, dreams, visions and verse.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012



Jerry is a golf ball. He goes wherever his owner hits him. Some days are better than others, and some situations are pretty interesting. All of this makes life very exciting.

From young children to senior citizens, this book will entertain you. Whether you are a golfer or not, you will chuckle, shake your head, and cheer Jerry, and his golfer, on.




Someone has been tampering with Earth’s Ozone Shield, and judging from the malfunction locations, Intergalactic Diplomat Katherine Morgan is convinced it’s more than a mere technical glitch. Worried for the health and safety of her people, she petitions the Peace Keeping Intergalactic Council to conduct a full investigation and offer any kind of assistance Earth might need in the event of an ambush. Unfortunately, the only assistance they can offer is in the mercy of the impetuous King of Salatiel, a man whose heart Katherine stomped on more than ten years ago.

The terms of the arrangement? Force an alliance, get Ja-el Lamar to yield at the threat of losing his kingdom. She didn't take into account how treacherous it would be, faced with everything she thought she no longer cared about, everything she left behind.

Meanwhile, Ja-el has an agenda of his own. He hates the Peace Keeping Intergalactic Council and everything it stands for. He's never trusted those in power there and he certainly won't start now. Especially not when they're sending Katherine Morgan in his direction. A woman he vowed to never see again. Whom they all know has the power to destroy him.


Sunday, February 26, 2012



When dragon shapeshifter, Cinnamon Sweetstorm d’ Vortimer, flies into the enemy land, Kardona, to rescue her teenage cousin from slavers, she doesn’t know she’ll fall in love with the king of that shifter-hating country.

Cedric Blackwell Zarek has spent the first year of his reign secretly gathering support to win back the rights and freedoms lost to the powerful and dangerous dragon priests under his father’s disinterested rule.

When they meet, Cinna Sweetstorm is in human form and Cedric is traveling incognito. As they battle the dark riders, slavers, ferocious creatures, and deadly magic, their love for each other grows—while secrets threaten and forces gather to tear apart this love that should never be...



...::Help me, Cinna. Help me.::

Cinnamon Sweetstorm d’ Vortimer woke in the early dawn, shaken from the disturbing dream of her death into reality by her young cousin Luki’s agonized mindcall.

Her fairy-dragon, Poppy, took flight from the pillow beside Cinnamon, fluttered around the room, then zoomed through the open-air vent to the inner hallway.

Bolting out of bed, Cinnamon asked, ::Are you hurt? Where are you?::

::In Kardona. Searching for First Colony ruins.:: Luki’s pain and fear muffled his thoughts.

Her skin crawled at the name of the country with its powerful, shapeshifter-hating priests and the ruthless troops they commanded, but she knew any hint of worry or sympathy would tip the teenage dragon shifter into a downward spiral of despair. ::Luki Sunseeker McDougal, report,:: she rapped out in her no-nonsense teacher’s voice.

::They trapped me at a traveler’s spring. The priests’ guards caught me in a net of stickyhold.::

::Flame through the strands and get out of there now.:: She used the voice of command to get him moving. Every passing second increased his danger.

::Can’t. Changed to human form before they came, but still…darted with quist. Thoughts are muddled. Vision blurred. Want to sleep.::

::Quist.:: She fought to keep her mental voice calm. A dart didn’t dispense an accurate dose. Too much of the drug could kill. ::Try to stay awake as long as possible, Luki. I’m coming. Escape if you get a chance, but don’t shift until you’re in a safe place.::

::Hurry. Be careful. Don’t tell Rion.::

::Do you think I want to start a war between Cymbria and Kardona?:: The thought popped out before she could grab it. The last thing Luki needed was to feel guilty.

He surprised her with a mental laugh. ::That’s right, Tart-Tongue, say what you think.::

::Luki Sunseeker McDougal, you’re growing up. Now use your wits to keep your hide—and—skin in one piece until I reach you.::

::Will do. See you soon…please.::

The hint of despair in his last word made his brave façade more poignant. Her fourteen-year-old cousin was maturing early. She promised herself she’d do everything possible to return him to Cymbria and give him the years to reach his full growth.

Cinnamon sent a quick mindcall to her housekeeper. ::Berta, Luki’s gone adventuring. I’m going after him. Please make up two packets and don’t tell anyone.::

::Doing that now, Marama Sweetstorm. Your Poppy grabbed my apron and tugged me toward the cupboard of travel supplies. The packets will be ready in two shakes of a wooley’s tail. I’ll add extra honey cakes for the young scamp. Adventuring can be hungry work.::

::You’re a jewel. My thanks.::

As she’d communicated with Berta, Cinnamon had sorted through her trunk of clothes appropriate for young men. The heavy, brown travel breeches, shirt, dark green overtunic, rapto-dragosaur hide boots with knitted cazwool socks, joined a hooded cazwool cloak. All went into a dragosaur-hide pack for Luki for the times he moved from place to place in human form. The long, adjustable rope of braided hide, used as a strap to wear around his neck in either form, was a common item utilized by non-shifters throughout Cymbria and Kardona.

Ridden by a sense of urgency, she looked through her own travel pack and the medicine roll tucked safely inside. Both were always ready for a journey. As a teacher and healer of young shapeshifters coming into their gifts, she had to be prepared to leave on short notice.

Those trips had been throughout Cymbria where her help was welcomed. This time, though, she’d venture into the country where shapeshifters were captured and kept drugged and tortured until the dragon-hating priests ordered death by burning.

Luki’s adventuring had led him into far more danger than he could handle alone...


Friday, February 24, 2012

BACK IN DREAMLAND by Cheryl Dragon

BACK IN DREAMLAND by Cheryl Dragon

7th Kind Series, Book Two

Over a year ago, four sexy aliens crashed to Earth and seduced Liz, the doctor who saved them. The captives showed her passion she'd never imagined, but when Dreamland's commander found out, the men were sent away.

Now they’re back, and Liz isn't letting go this time. They have a lot of lost time to make up for in bed, but to earn their freedom, the men have to share all their knowledge of the aliens and prove their loyalty at the secret military base. Liz has no doubts and, this time, no shame about her special men.



When one goes from sharing a bed with someone to sleeping alone, it feels lonely. When one goes from sharing with four hot men to none, no amount of pillows or sex toys can replace them.

As Liz walked into the lab where she’d worked for years, she felt lost. She’d met the men of her dreams here and had lost them thanks to her employer. Unfortunately, her options had been limited when her four aliens were taken to another location by the most secret part of the government.

Rumor was they were back now. Her lab partner, Meg, was a biologist who’d helped her care for the men. She’d sent Liz a few texts, and Liz knew Meg couldn’t tell her everything. Meg was a good friend, and she wouldn’t lie. Until Liz saw them for herself, however, she couldn’t let herself believe it. She needed to hold them or it would seem as if it was all just a dream.

A cold containment pod stood there in the lab, and Liz paused. The door was slightly open, and it sent a shiver down her back. Had something gone wrong?

She dropped her bag and sprinted to the pod, pushing open the door and expecting the worst—an empty cell.

Liz gasped in relief. Her four guys were there.

Regon ran up, and she hugged him tightly. He was the leader of the four men. His strong arms held her as her knees gave out. She buried her face in his neck. His smell was what convinced her. Their skin had a sweetness to it that wasn’t human at all. The aliens could change their appearance, but her guys played it safe. Brown hair and brown eyes. The variations in height and other details could be faked, but she knew her men. The way they touched her was possessive and intimate. Deep down they were amazingly good and patient considering what they’d been through. While many on Earth found the alien mating habits odds, Liz fell right into their arms. How could she not?

“Liz, we missed you.” Regon kissed her cheek.

Sed brushed her hair to the side and pressed a kiss to the back of her neck. Her tension started to melt away. They were real and here. She kissed Regon’s mouth hungrily then turned to give Sed the same treatment.

“You’re okay?” she asked.

“We’re fine now.” Regon stepped back and stared at her.

A small ball of fur darted out the door, then Regon closed the door for privacy. Jal and Moder, her two favorite to watch when they were intimate together, walked up shoulder-to-shoulder and smiled. She hugged them both and let them squeeze her tightly between them.

“Are you okay?” Moder asked.

Liz stepped back and nodded. “I’m fine. You’re not locked up? You’re not guarded? What’s going on?”

Regon tugged her coat off her shoulders. “Meg yanked a few strings on our behalf. They won’t give us regular quarters, and the lab is locked. We can’t leave without security.”

“Pulled strings. But that’s Meg. She’s such a good friend. I wish I’d been here when they brought you back. Why are you here? What’s going on?” Liz sat on the edge of one of four cots pushed together to make one big bed.

Jal sat next to her. “Don’t worry about anything. You saved our lives when we were hurt in the crash. Meg did the best she could, but the military wants us here for something.”

“The alien abductions in the last few months have spiked. Abductions by our people, the Keelons. There are more going on in waves, and it’s overwhelming the tracking systems. Your government can’t contain it. They need to find something to help defend humans.” Sed shook his head.

Their human mimicking had improved so much. “Like you guys know anything about the abductions. You’re soldiers. It’s not your fault you crashed. Where did they have you?”

“A few hours away. Colder environment,” Regon replied.

“They think we have information about what the Keelons want. Taking us away from you didn’t make us talk so bringing us back is a new strategy.” Sed shrugged.

“Really? Seems dangerous to me. I’d do anything to be with you guys.” Liz leaned on Jal’s strong shoulder. They were all gorgeous figures of men, and her pulse pounded to fully reacquaint her body with theirs.

“We wouldn’t tell them anything until they brought us back to you.” Jal nodded.

She slid her hands over his chest that was covered by a gray T-shirt. He was the practical one who’d never lie to her. “I know how fast you guys heal. Did they hurt you?”

Big-hearted Moder knelt in front of her. “Nothing could be worse than being taken away from you.”

“You four had each other. But you’re talking to the government now? Are they going to set you free?” Liz wanted good news and time alone with them.

The tense looks the men exchanged told her she wasn’t going to get her dream, at least not yet.

“You’re here now. Everything will be fine.” Regon folded his arms.

Liz trusted them, but the feeling that they were holding back something hit her. Looking at the closed door, she shifted her gaze to meet Regon’s.

“What aren’t you telling me?” she asked.

Sed smiled. “Don’t worry about it. Meg and her security guys made some strides in speaking on our behalf, and we might be able to help and be freed.”

Liz smiled at the hope. Sed was the smartest and most technically advanced of the four, but was he correctly seeing the military men? “Meg and her security guys? I know she’s advocated for you. I’ll do everything I can, but you have to share your knowledge with the military, or they’ll never let you walk free.”

“As long as the Keelons are visiting Earth with less than peaceful intentions, we’ll never be free or safe. No matter what any of us do,” Regon said.

“What do the Keelons want? Worst case, what will they do?” Liz didn’t know how to fix the situation. She was a doctor who’d treated unexplained injuries with experimental methods. She wasn’t afraid, but she wasn’t a fighter.

Jal plucked at the buttons on her blouse. “Don’t focus on that, Liz. We have no idea what’s happened since we crashed. Their circumstances could’ve changed. Worrying won’t help.”

“You’re keeping things from me.” She stood and walked away. As much as she loved them, she knew they weren’t human. The government suspected them of being sent to spy on Earth. The possibility that the crash had been staged had been eventually ruled out. The damage and the injuries were too severe. If it had been a set up, it had gone very wrong.

Liz cared for them. She’d seen their pain and fear of the unknown over a year ago. They weren’t spies; they were victims. She believed they’d taken the ship to escape, but the military had never truly bought it. Proving loyalty wasn’t as easy as a blood test.

Regon stepped up behind her. “Worst case? The Keelons could take over Earth. Their technological superiority is unquestionable. They could make us all slaves, but controlling a planet so far away from their home would be more work than benefit. Especially when Earth isn’t a big threat. Please stop worrying. We’ll cooperate, as long as the government doesn’t separate us again.”

Liz turned and looked at the men she loved. Passion and intimacy were one thing, but they hadn’t had enough time together to build trust so deep it was unshakeable even if she wanted to have blind faith in them. “How can we fight the Keelons? I know we’ve been trying, but we need to be able to defend ourselves.”

Sed chuckled. “Don’t worry. Your friend, Meg, had a breakthrough. Hopefully, we helped her a little. There’s a lot for you to catch up on.”

“Really?” Liz smiled. “I knew Meg would figure it out. She’s got the kind of genius that can be good or bad.”

“You’re all good.” Moder slid up behind her and wrapped his arms around her body.

“I wish.” Liz let Moder’s lips on her neck slow her thoughts. She wanted to be good. To be strong enough to stand up for her men and set them free. Of course, if Meg had succeeded in creating a biological weapon, it could be used on Liz’s men as well as any invading Keelons.

Liz was stuck on the nightmare for the moment then stopped thinking about it. Instead, she gave into what all of them needed. She pulled Regon in for a kiss and held him tight.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

HOME TO STAY by Jane Leopold Quinn

HOME TO STAY by Jane Leopold Quinn

When Nickie begins restoring an old house in Parkersburg, Iowa, the last thing she expects is a stalker.

But when Deputy Sheriff Hank responds to her call for help, all thoughts of danger flee her mind. The more she's forced to be with him, the stronger her attraction grows.

He's never been the staying kind, but he can't fight his own growing feelings for her.



The hot, humid breeze had done nothing to cool off the players. In fact, the dust mixed with sweat on Hank’s face only made him feel worse. The deputies’ team, Nook’s White Sox, in honor of Chicago’s 2005 World Series champs, was playing the pathetic bunch from Raven’s Grocery Store. Waiting for his turn at bat, he leaned against the cyclone fencing and fanned himself with his batting helmet. His respiration picked up when, in his peripheral vision, he spotted a black Jeep Laredo drive by, make a U-turn, and come back. So far so good. He’d fantasized that she’d stop and watch, and here she was.

“Hey, Crossman, wake up. You’re up, boy,” taunted Pete. His knowing grin made it clear that he’d spotted the Jeep, too.

“Just give me a respectable hit,” he pleadingly muttered to what he hoped was an understanding God.

“Short! Eyes open,” the Raven’s third base coach warned.

He liked to drive ‘em along the left field line.


“Stee-rike one!”

Shit, come on, I didn’t even see that. Concentrate, you fucker. He planted his feet, practice swung the bat a couple of times.


“Stee-rike two!”

Loosen up, damnit! Hit it!

CRAAACKK. He tore down the line to first and heard the first-base coach yelling him on to second. Safely there, he panted, swiped a forearm across his brow, and tossed his batting helmet toward the sidelines. The rest of the game was a blur, even his run into home on Pete’s triple. Usually secure about his athletic prowess, he was shocked that Nickie Grace’s presence had distracted him from the game so completely.

Game over. He didn’t give a crap who won. This was when the teams playing that night went on to Nook’s for drinks, music, and pool. Sometimes he joined them if he was still feeling restless after playing softball.

Nickie wandered slowly over to the fence behind home plate where he was standing -- watching her. Well, well, well, doesn’t she look good? Jean shorts showed off her world-class butt. A white, short sleeved T-shirt with a revealing V-neck showcased the spectacular breasts, just as he’d imagined them to be. She seemed to be casually looking for someone. He sneered when she raised her arm and gave a little finger-wiggly wave to Pete. Of course, being an asshole, Pete waved back in the same manner. Fucking idiot.

She’s mine. He yanked his bat up out of the grass, knocked dirt out of his cleats, and asked, “Want to hit one?”

Her head swung toward him like she was surprised he was there. “Oh, hi. Um…Hank. I was just driving by and saw the lights. I didn’t know you were playing.”

Surprised my ass. “I’ll pitch, and you hit. Come on,” he cajoled.

“God, I haven’t played ball since I was a kid. And wasn’t too good at it then.” She toed the dirt with her gym shoe and looked at him with lowered lashes. “It might be kind of fun, though.”

She stuck her fingers in her back pockets. The position thrust those amazing hooters out.

He licked his lips in anticipation of perky little nipples poking through the thin material of her top, could almost feel the tight little nubs rolling on his tongue. “Come on, then. Try a few swings.” He tempted her with his voice while flipping the ball in the air. “I’ll toss ‘em to ya’ easy.” When she finally edged around the fence, she kept a few paces between them. Probably a good idea. She looked wholesome and sexy at the same time, and he felt randy and dangerously deprived.

Even under the harsh lights, her skin looked silky soft. His lips hummed with the desire to trace the firm line of her jaw down to the round chin, then over those lush lips…and…

Mentally shaking himself out of his X-rated haze, he took her by the shoulders and settled her at home plate. Closing her hands around the bat and lining her up with the pitcher’s mound, he instructed, “Swing a few times. Practice, Nickie.” Pretending that he was only appraising her swing, he gazed his fill at her body while advising her to keep her head up and shoulders back. “Bounce a little on the balls of your feet.” Yeah, bounce a little, baby.

She bounced, swung at the air a couple of times. “Well, okay, let me have one.”

“Be happy to,” he muttered meaningfully under his breath as he headed to the mound. Sweat trickled down the side of his face. He scrunched his shoulder up to swipe it off and threw his first pitch.

A swing and a miss.

“Yikes!” she cried. Running to pick the ball up and toss it back, then breathing heavily, she pointed the bat toward the ground and tapped it on home plate. “Can’t you do any better than that, big guy? Afraid to get it anywhere near the plate, huh?” She taunted and air swung again, twisting at the waist, showing off sweet, smooth thighs and plump little knees.

What the hell? She’s trash talking? “Oh, ho. Feeling cocky, are we?” he laughed. “You’re in my ballpark now.” He lobbed one in, harder this time.

A swing and a miss.


“I heard that, sugar,” he crooned musically.

“Don’t sugar me. Throw a good one, and I’ll hit it,” she demanded, settling a serious expression on her face.

“Problems, honey?” he goaded. She looked so cute with her front sticking out over the plate and her ass jutting out behind. His cock twitched and lengthened as he envisioned coming up behind her, bending her over, and sliding his dick home right into her cunt.

“Hey, I told you I haven’t done this for a long time,” she hollered back. “Give me a break.” She swung again as the ball whizzed past her and bounced off the backboard. Squinting her eyes in irritation, she picked the ball up and stalked it out to him on the mound.

He grinned broadly, taunting her. “That’s three strikes. You’re out, cookie.”

“Sugar, honey, cookie? What are you doing out here?” Her eyes sparkled even as she growled, “Your weekly baking?” Then she hauled off and shoved the ball into his stomach.

He doubled over playfully, then straightened up to tower over her, giving her his most seductive smile. The need to touch her was overwhelming, and he pressed the back of his forefinger into the sweaty space between her upper lip and her nose. She gave a little shocked “ah,” and suddenly his fingertip landed on her plump, moist lower lip, dragging it down. He sobered, held his breath as his gaze clashed with her deep blue eyes. He recognized the same deeply blue, sensual gaze from last night at her house.

The heat steaming off them, around them, from the hot lights of the ball field in the sultry, humid Iowa summer night unraveled him, played havoc with his breathing. She looked pretty winded too, her breasts rising and falling unevenly, almost touching his chest. They hadn’t been playing that hard.

“I don’t like those cutesy names,” she hissed fiercely, but breathlessly. There was a discomfort in her gaze. A vulnerability along with the anger.

His head spun with how turned on he felt. Damn. “Get back there and hit one.” He sounded a little breathless himself, a little husky. “I’ll throw it easy.” Things had turned weird, and why he needled her, he had no idea.

“Don’t bother.” Her voice shook, too, but challenged him. “Just get a decent one over the plate, and I’ll slam it,” she promised. Back at the plate, businesslike, she balanced the bat on her shoulder and glared at him, daring him.

At least she wasn’t running away from him. “Ok, here goes.” He lobbed the ball faster than the previous ones and was rewarded with a loud crack as it sailed over his head into the outfield. “Youch, that’s a beauty. Good one,” he yelled admiringly as he sprinted out after it.

She jumped up and down, squealing, “I did it. I did it!”

“Run to first base!” he shouted from the outfield, then just about tripped over his big feet watching her breasts bounce when she took off down the base line.

By the time he belatedly snatched up the ball, she’d tagged first. He cut her off short of second, snaking an arm around her waist and sweeping her up off her feet. Pulling her back tightly against his front, he fanned his fingers wide across her midriff.

“Put me down, you oaf!” she shrieked when they collided. She squirmed in resistance, and when her feet hit the ground, her backside wriggled over his groin.

Oh, yeah. He thrust his happy cock against her soft ass, growling low, his lips brushing her ear. His head reeled at her lemony scent made more potent by sweat. One arm around her middle, the other trying to tame her flailing arm, he snuggled her back, crushed his hips into her enticing bottom, and his breath blew hot and harsh over the skin of her neck. Fuck, she smells good. And feels better.

She stiffened, went completely still except for her own rough breathing, then burst out of his grasp with arms batting at his. “What’re you doing…?” Her elbow slammed into his gut.


FOXED by Sam Cheever

FOXED by Sam Cheever

Sinopa Breckenridge is restless. Something is bubbling just under her skin, making her shiver and sweat at the same time. She's noticed other changes too, like enhanced hearing, and the ability to see things she shouldn't be able to see in the dark. But more important, are the sexual changes. Her skin is so sensitive...her sexual core wound so tight...that she can barely think anymore.

So she's taken leave from her job as a magazine columnist and she's escaping to Last Chance, Alaska, to the cabin in the woods her grandmother left her in her will. She hasn't been there since she was a small girl, but she remembers it was very remote and quiet there. A good place, she thinks, to get a handle on whatever is going on with her body.

But she doesn't count on Crevan Dakota. He appears to be part of the countryside in her remote little part of the world at Last Chance. And, from the very first he sets his sights on Sinopa. His very presence ruins any chance she has of taming the beast clawing for release under her skin. In fact, being with him is about to set the beast free. And it's possible that neither of them is ready for what happens next!


Dire Wolves: Foxed
Sam Cheever
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2012 Sam Cheever

This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

Sin walked around the railing to the bow of the wide, low-slung ferryboat. A brisk wind skimmed across the icy water, carrying the coolness over her heated skin with the efficiency of a high-end air conditioning unit.

She closed her eyes, dropped her head back, and sighed with pleasure. The scent of the ocean brought memories flooding back. Memories she'd thought were long forgotten. Memories from a much simpler time.

"Penny for your thoughts?"

Sin's eyes flew open, and she turned toward the deep, slightly raspy voice. The owner of the voice leaned against the railing a few feet away, his golden eyes sparking with good humor.


He cocked his dark head, his grin widening. "You had the most beautiful smile on your face."

Embarrassment brought heat to Sin's face. "Oh. Yes. I was remembering my visits to Last Chance as a child."

The gold eyes widened. "You lived here when you were young?"

She frowned. "How do you know I don't live here now?" Maybe they didn't have any black people in Last Chance since her Granna died.

He straightened and closed the distance between them, his stride long and loose. "Because I live here, and I'm sure I would have noticed you before this." He extended a large hand. "Name's Crevan... Dakota."

She clasped the offered hand and felt its extreme heat, the calluses on the long fingers. "I'm Sin..." When his eyes widened she laughed. "Sorry, Sinopa Breckenridge."

"Ah. Audra."

She blinked at him for a beat before realizing what he meant. "You knew my granna?"

"I did, casually. She died a couple of years back, didn't she?" Something about the way the sexy gold gaze held hers told her he knew exactly when her Granna had died. She got the impression not much escaped Crevan Dakota's notice.

Sin nodded, noting the slight tightening of his jaw. Maybe he knew what had happened that night.

"My brothers and I used to play down by the creek. The area in front of her cabin had the widest beach, with the cleanest sand."

Warmth slid through her at the memory. "It did, didn't it? I remember that."

"Some of the others who lived out there wouldn't let us play in front of their properties, but Miss Audra never minded. In fact, she used to bring us lemonade and cookies."

"I always loved my time in that cabin."

"So you're moving back?"

The question shocked her. She wasn't sure why. It shouldn't have. "For a while, yes." She guessed she was having trouble committing to the idea.

A bell started to jangle above their heads, and she realized they were close to land. Crevan's gaze slipped over her again and grew speculative. She couldn't shake the sense he was seeing more than she wanted him to. After an uncomfortable moment he extended his hand again, this time engulfing hers in both of his. "Welcome back to Last Chance, Sin. Despite the name, it's really a beginning rather than an ending."

Her cheeks felt tight when she returned his smile.

"Mr. Dakota? We'll be docking in a few minutes."

Crevan turned to the man standing just inside the cabin door. The ferryboat captain was small and wiry, with bulging muscles and a weather-reddened face.

"Thanks, Steve."

The captain inclined his head at Sin, giving her a look that made her shudder. "Ma'am."

She glanced away, uncomfortable under his scrutiny.

Crevan lifted her hand and placed a kiss on the back of it. Just a tender touch of warm lips that made the skin beneath his soft lips tingly and warm. "I'm sure I'll be seeing you around."

She barely managed a nod as he turned away and sauntered toward the cabin. His stride was easy and sure despite the jerk and roll of a docking boat beneath his feet.

And as she watched those long legs, tight round buttocks, and broad shoulders disappear inside the cabin, the beast under her skin rose up and snapped its teeth, demanding release.

Sin groaned and swiped a hand over her clammy brow. She hoped she hadn't made a huge mistake coming to Last Chance.

She strongly suspected she might have.


Monday, February 20, 2012



Wolves of Climax Book One

Cassidy moves out of the only city she's ever known and heads to the distant town of Climax, British Columbia. Her grandfather left her an estate, and she lined up a job in the small mining town.

She arrives and discovers that her inheritance is nothing more than a run-down shack, and the men she's supposed to work with are drop-dead gorgeous. It's impossible to resist the advances of the men in Climax, especially when she's never felt so isolated.

Garret is the foreman of the Gregor Copper Mine, but also alpha to a small pack of wolf shifters. Recent events in Climax have made life complicated—loggers are trying to encroach on their land, one of their pack mates is missing, and their new female dispatcher is a mouthwatering distraction. When Cassidy is threatened, the men band together, realizing the little human is more important to them than they ever imagined.



“You’re nice and tight, baby doll. Even better than I imagined you’d feel wrapped around my cock.” Having a woman’s bare flesh, moist from lovemaking, pressed against his was something he savored. She smelled like a woman, sweet and feminine—both things he rarely got to enjoy around pack mates and working at the mine. He inhaled deeply at her neckline, tempted to sink his incisors into her flesh.

“What’s the matter?” she asked breathlessly. He’d stopped pumping into her, shocked by his own thoughts. How many females had he bedded over the years? Too many to count. But he’d never had the desire to mate, to mark one of them as his. It must have been due to the territorial threat Evan presented. He still stood to the side, a low growl rumbling from his chest.

“Nothing, darlin’. Do you need it harder? Faster?”


She hugged his shoulders, smoothing her small hands over his back. When she lifted her head off the mattress, seeking a kiss, he turned away. Kissing was an intimacy he avoided. He was sure it would kill him to offer himself in such a way. It was so much easier to just have sex for sex’s sake, no complications, no guilt, no emotion. Rather he sank his head to her neckline and began to fuck her good and hard, his forearms curved under her shoulders. The bed rocked and she cried out with each upthrust.

“Travis…” she cried.

“Bring her to a precipice so I can join in,” said Patrick.

He fucked Cassidy harder, suckling her earlobe and then tonguing her erogenous zone. She was peaking. He could feel her pussy spasm radically around his cock. “Get some bacon fat,” he managed to mutter, trying to keep himself from spending inside her just yet. He wanted this night to last. As difficult as it was to admit it, there was something different about his human girl. Something intangible.

When Patrick returned, he rolled them to their sides, holding one of her legs over his hip to make room for his friend. It would feel immeasurably better having another cock share her body. He could already imagine the squeeze and Cassidy’s cries as she climaxed harder than she ever had.

“Take her pussy from behind, Red. You need it.” He slipped out of her and assisted her to her hands and knees. Travis poked his head under her arm and sucked her swaying breasts as Patrick thrust his ready cock into her pussy, doggy-style. She screamed, a cry of ecstasy, unadulterated pleasure. He slipped away to avoid being crushed by their violent movements.

Evan couldn’t stay away. He climbed onto the head of the bed where Cassidy clenched the bedding in both fists to keep herself grounded as Patrick fucked her like a stallion from behind. Beads of sweat rolled down his face, spilling onto her pale back. Travis watched as the other man licked his finger and then brought it to her nether hole. He held her hip with his free hand and impaled her ass slowly. At first she jolted out of her lust-filled haze and tensed. But Patrick stilled, only pressing further in measured increments. Her breathing became more labored, and her hips swayed as if inviting him to continue.

“Help her out, Evan. Give her something to amuse herself with.”

Evan didn’t hesitate to tilt her chin up. Her wild eyes connected with his briefly, but shifted to the large cock poised near her face. “Will you?” he asked.

She licked her lips and then opened her mouth for him, her body jerking each time Patrick fucked her. Cassidy sucked half his length, supporting one hand on his thigh. Her eyes were closed as she lost herself in the act, engorging herself on Evan’s thick meat.

He kissed her back, admiring the feminine curve, grace, and beauty. Patrick had two fingers deep in her ass as he worked her cunt. She’d accepted the intrusion, no scent of fear lingering around her.

It was time. Travis lay on the bed, his erection waving freely as the bed jostled. Patrick pulled free, continuing to stoke his cock as he knelt on the bed. Evan cupped her head in both hands now that he had her to himself. She shifted her body until sitting on her knees, giving full attention to his cock, the thick length disappearing down her throat and reemerging, over and over.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A WOLFISH SCANDAL by Sandra Sookoo

A WOLFISH SCANDAL by Sandra Sookoo

He has nothing to live for. She has nothing to lose. Together, they have everything to gain.

The year is 1863 and Lyndal Carson's life is at a premium. Afflicted with a heart ailment wherein she can drop dead at any time, she makes a pact with herself to create one scandal and to really live before she dies. Tired of being a handmaiden to her family, she writes the letter that will change her destiny.

Grey Rutledge, a werewolf who is hounded by a reporter and haunted by memories, endeavors to provide a diversion large enough that the paper will forget its interest. He invites twelve women to his estate on the premise of choosing one of them for his mate. After losing his family, the only thing he wants is heirs and a woman by his side.

As the days go on, both Lyndal and Grey find that elusive piece missing from their lives. When their respective secrets are revealed, they both run the risk of losing everything. Danger catches them unaware during an innocent afternoon but it's what is decided as life hangs in the balance that will change their lives forever.


Chapter One

May 15, 1863

Indianapolis, Indiana

"I beg your pardon. Could you please repeat that statement? I'm afraid I didn't quite catch it the first time." Lyndal Carson perched on the edge of the straight-backed wooden chair and stared at the wrinkled little man behind a narrow desk. Her mind kept stumbling over his assessment of her ailment, but she couldn't believe it was true. "I suppose it's plausible. I have been experiencing chest pains of late."

Mr. Weebly—Dr. Searson's assistant—cleared his throat and adjusted his mustard yellow bowtie for the third time since he'd sat down. He folded his blue-veined hands on the cherry wood desk top. "I am very sorry, Miss Carson, but you have angina pectoris and in quite an acute stage, I might add, or at least that is what Dr. Searson has written here. I would be happy to schedule you a second appointment with him, or perhaps I could transfer your case to Dr. Whitley? His office is two blocks east of here. I would be happy to make the arrangements."


Dr. Whitley was the exact reason why she'd chosen to entrust Dr. Searson with her examination. Dr. Whitely was her mother's second cousin once removed and everyone in the Carson family saw him. She'd wanted to avoid having the whole family descend upon her if the results of this visit went eschew—which it looked as if they were. Once the family caught wind of the diagnosis, she'd be forced into bed until her demise and never granted freedom again. "The last time I saw Dr. Whitley was on my twelfth birthday when I had scarlet fever. I’d rather not repeat the experience."

Yet, in a moment of rebellion, she'd decided to buck family tradition regarding doctors. At the moment, she couldn't think past her illness to contemplate what would happen if the family found out. "I'd rather not have my medical history from this point forward shared out of this office." At least she could attempt to keep it a secret.

"I understand." Mr. Weebly again cleared his throat. "Are there any questions?"

Lyndal glanced around the small, homey office. From the blue-and-white striped papered walls to the dark hardwood floor to the framed degrees, it screamed practitioner of medicine and conveyed calm, friendly conversation. "Where is Dr. Searson?"

"With his daughter. The day you came in for your examination, she had gone into labor. He was in quite a rush to get to her bedside being his first grandchild and all."

"Yes, I can imagine. The office was very hectic, which was why I had to come back today." Three days ago when she'd come for her appointment, there had been papers scattered all over the floor, leather-bound volumes stacked on the desk as well as letters and correspondence lying about the area.

Mr. Weebly's laugh grated like dried corn husks in a breeze. "Our poor clerk sneezed so violently, he startled the doctor and chaos ensued. The clerk was fired. We haven't quite found our bearings or sorted out all the paperwork."

She gave a weak smile that wavered under the mass of dread forming in her stomach. How very bizarre to be discussing an office mishap when her very fate hung in this man's hands. Her chest constricted. The spasm of terrible pain she'd been accosted with for the last few weeks returned and she pressed a gloved hand over her apparently diseased organ. A few seconds of concentrated breathing lessened the pain, allowing her to relax somewhat. "Could you tell me what exactly angina pectoris means? Is it a complication from the scarlet fever all those years ago?" Had fate come back around to claim her this time where it had failed before?

"Absolutely not." Mr. Weebly shuffled through a few papers. "You'd indicated on your form the scarlet fever had not progressed into rheumatic fever. Though your heart may have been weakened from that event, I firmly believe this current illness is not related."

"Is the angina fatal?" She could barely force the word past her lips as she clasped her hands tightly in her lap to still their shaking.

"Oh my, yes." His faded green eyes behind the spectacles blinked. "In your case, since it is so acute, I can in good conscience say you might live another six months if you steer clear of anything that will excite you—sudden loud noises, or strenuous exercise." His fingers drifted to his bowtie again. "Of course, that includes abstaining from sexual intercourse, horseback riding, or hiking, etcetera."

Her cheeks burned from the suggestion. In all her twenty-five years, she'd never experienced the thrill of sexual relations—or anything else he'd mentioned. Maybe she would feel differently had she actually done them. "The likelihood of any of those things occurring within the next several years, let alone days or hours is slim." She twisted the ends of her shawl around her fingers. "What would be an acceptable form of passing the time?"

"Well for you I would say sitting quietly, perhaps reading or reflecting on the day. A bit of embroidery if you are not too tired. Stick with bland foods, no rich sauces and no heavy desserts. Smoking is frowned upon as is singing, hearty laughter or any sort of activity wherein high excitement or heavy emotion will be produced."

"Basically I should avoid anything that makes life enjoyable."

"I wouldn't say that. You can derive pleasure from mild living."

"I possibly could but what would be the point?" She bit her bottom lip. "And if I do not follow your orders and engage in one or more of these things?"

"Ah, well your heart could very well give out from shock and you can drop dead with no warning."

As twin spirals of panic and depression climbed her spine, Lyndal stood. "Thank you for taking the time to clarify my ailment. I rather doubt I will return to your office since it is my intention of making my last days as fulfilling as possible." As she held out a hand to Mr. Weebly, it shook so badly she knew he must notice.

"I understand." He clasped her fingers in a weak grip then broke the connection. "Best wishes, Miss Carson. I am sorry I didn't have better news for you."

"So am I, Mr. Weebly. I suppose it is a fitting ending to my somewhat second-hand life." Outwardly, she remained calm, as if she were just told the milliner couldn't finish a hat on time. Inwardly, a whirlpool of fear, trepidation and resentment churned as she stepped across the floor, let herself out of the doctor's office and stood on the sidewalk in front of the building.

Only then did she allow her shoulders to slump and her eyes well with tears. Somewhere in the back of her brain she registered the cacophony on the street. Horse's hooves struck the cobblestones, the calls of vendors and workers on scaffolding echoed off the brickwork. Children cried and laughed as they tripped after their mothers. Conversation drifted past as she stood, watching the colorful patchwork parade pass by as they went about their lives unaware that hers could very well end in a matter of hours.

All of her life she'd been the good daughter, the doting sister, the patient woman who worked at charitable causes tirelessly and without complaint even though her heart and soul yearned for adventure. She'd done everything anyone asked of her, but never had the chance to live for herself. She'd not experienced life as she'd wanted; never had the opportunity to do something so bad that folks would create a rumor about it—not that she'd ever considered it. Most importantly, she'd never had the chance to push out of her confining shell of proper decorum. Fate meant to take away her time on this Earth before she could figure out what exactly she wanted to be known for.

A tear escaped down her cheek. Lyndal wiped the moisture away. She stepped out of the way of a woman carrying an infant. After giving a polite greeting, she made her way along the wooden walkway. Front display windows from shops caught her attention and provided opportunity to focus on something other than her imminent demise.

The latest fashions in high-button boots, kid gloves, dresses and gowns tempted her in dizzying arrays of colors and textures. She glanced down at her own dress of tan cotton printed with black checks shot with red thread. If she were destined to die any moment, the likelihood of attending a lavish soiree and dancing in a gentleman's arms long after midnight in a gown of rich satin or silk was unlikely. Then her focus shifted and she caught sight of herself reflected in the glass. Average height, curves too full for the current fashion even with the corset, round flushed cheeks and plain brown hair that peeked out from beneath the brim of her conservative straw bonnet, she was hardly the woman with a full dance card at even a church social.

Maybe in another lifetime…

With a tiny sigh, Lyndal proceeded on her journey. She clutched the strings of her reticule in one hand. Feeling a tad parched from the hot May sun and dust, she ducked into a café on the corner of Washington Street. After being led to a table near one of the windows and placing her order for a pot of Earl Grey and a plate of tea cakes, she arranged her full skirts over her crinoline and gazed again at the street traffic.

Somehow, she needed to affect a change in her life. If I want to matter to someone, if I want to make a difference—leave a memory behind—I need to stop waiting around for excitement and find it myself.

Perhaps it was interference from Providence; perhaps fate had one more trick up her sleeve, or perhaps it was merely a careless gust of wind when the front door opened, but a page from the Indianapolis Journal on an empty table nearby fluttered and took flight. It came to rest against her skirts. Lyndal bent slightly and plucked the errant paper from the floor then gaped as a headline from a personal advertisement caught her eye.

Wealthy land owner in Noblesville, Indiana hosting a house party—including Independence Day festivities—for the express purpose of finding a mate. Marriage could be an eventuality but the certainty of that outcome is not a definite. Companionship is the more immediate necessity. Experience in sensual bedroom arts is preferred but not required.

Inquires collected through the 30th of the month. Please indicate physical characteristics, flaws and any special talents. Also include a brief history and a short essay of why you would like to be considered.

Responses should be addressed to Mr. Franklin Garrett care of Rutledge Estates, Route 5. If you are chosen as one of the twelve candidates, further instructions will be sent no later than June 15th. As a footnote, ladies' maids or attendants will not be needed and are definitely not desired. Rutledge Estates boasts more than enough staff.

Shock ricocheted through her insides at the audacity of a man blatantly asking self-respecting women to reply to such an inquiry. Just think of the scandal! What kind of gentleman would proposition one woman let alone ask for a dozen to reside in his house without a proper chaperone? She crumpled the paper in her fists. A man who was not a gentleman. A man who cared not for conventions or rules. A man who wished to live life on his own terms. Her skin prickled. He must be quite powerful to thwart the proprieties and make it a public spectacle—or very daring.

"Is there a problem, miss?" A young woman in a black dress and white frilled apron asked as she set out the items for tea.

"Oh, no, but thank you. This looks lovely." Only when the woman moved on to attend to other diners did Lyndal smooth the paper out on her lap once more.

Experience in the bedroom arts? Surely the person who wrote this missive didn't mean to take the women he selected into his bed. Her cheeks heated at the thought. She swallowed around the lump in her throat. Was it a lark, a practical joke played on the newspaper office to take readers' minds off the war, a political stunt, a personal statement? What arrogance was at play to even pen such a request, what bold confidence that anyone would respond. Searching through the society section, her gaze landed on a grainy black-and-white photograph of the man in question.

Too blurry to do him justice, the one feature that seemed to jump off the page was his eyes. Intense, dark and focused, as if he watched her from the paper, they demanded her attention and subsequent submission. Her heart beat a little faster. Dark hair, heavy brows and a strong jaw that spoke of determination and an unwavering will. Yet her focus returned to his eyes. In her imagination, she could easily invent a tale of wounded vulnerability or maybe basic human need. Would his lips be firm or supple against hers? Was he a man of gentle caresses or did he demand women yield fully to him in the bedroom?

A blush heated her whole body and again, her heart raced with excitement or fear. Nonsense, Lyndal. You would never succumb to such temptation for the express reason you will not respond to this advertisement. Yet she couldn't look away from his eyes. As a whole, the picture portrayed a man of power, a man of magnetism. What would he be like? Was he as terrible as she thought based solely on his advertisement? Would she want to be judged on so little?

Quickly, she scanned the words again. Rutledge Estates. She vaguely recognized the name. Her brother Thomas had talked enough about an eccentric man who lived in that area. Currently, her reporter brother was in Kentucky, but before he'd left, he'd skulked about an orchard where livestock went missing and small animals were found slaughtered, all centered around the full moons. He'd told her he meant to solve the problem.

She believed him. Thomas had always been a role model. A lone tear fell to her cheek. While her siblings followed their dreams, she languished at home, never having adventures let alone visiting the small town of Noblesville where apparently big happenings could be found.

Threads of sadness wove around her ailing heart. That was part of the problem. I have not traveled. I have not seen the world or even the bulk of Indiana. Even if I were to decide tomorrow to embark on a tour, the chances of me finishing it are slim.

In some distraction, she nibbled at a delicately frosted cake while she went over the advertisement for a third time. As a clock in the bowels of the café struck the three o'clock hour, a switch was thrown deep inside Lyndal. If she wanted to indulge in a scandal before death claimed her, this would surely be the most direct route. The man's intentions left precious little to the imagination, yet the temptation of the forbidden already began tugging at her. She yearned to feel a man's arms around her, glory in the touch of his lips on her skin, dare to indulge in sins of the flesh in order to determine for herself if the act was every bit as wonderful as the servants whispered about in the kitchen when they didn't know she was there.

Except … her heart was too frail to survive the fall into the improper, but… it would be a grand way to expire.

I want an adventure before I die. Something to call my own.

She popped the tiny cake into her mouth, chewed and swallowed as a devilish grin slid over her lips. Why not take the opportunity fate provided and see where it led? She may not have the first idea of how to properly conduct a scandalous liaison, but she'd always been a quick learner. She carefully tore the advertisement from the paper and tucked it into her reticule. After all, there was a difference between the intention to sin and actually doing it. Once she was safely ensconced in her bedroom at home, she'd pen the necessary essay and accompanying information then decide if she had the wherewithal to actually send it to post.

* * * *

An hour later, Lyndal hid a yawn behind her hand and shifted in her chair. The essay she'd been attempting to write lay forgotten on her lap. It was an impossible endeavor to pretend everything was all right when it was exactly the opposite. Though the angst made for terrific motivation while writing, her heart wasn't in the stories she wanted to create.

She stifled a burst of bitter laughter. Her heart. Stupid broken organ that failed before its time. Yet not for the world would she share her devastating news of the morning. It was the one thing that truly belonged only to her. She refused to suffer her family’s pity or be their project.

Dropping the book onto the sofa cushion beside her, Lyndal watched the activity in the drawing room. Cheerful chatter filled the air as her sister, her mother and her grandmother all rolled bandages or worked at sewing sleeves onto shirts that would be shipped to the men fighting in the conflict. Lucy, the family maid, folded the completed garments and packed them into a box while several cousins flitted about the richly-appointed mauve area, jabbering like magpies.

Conversation centered around the conflict and how Thomas fared since he'd decided to chase after a local unit and report on daily life in war time. When that topic flagged, subject matter shifted to the charity endeavors, how the war would affect the United States economy then it landed squarely into planning Meredith's reintroduction to society now that her year of mourning for her husband was over.

"Make a note, Lucy. We need to be flexible enough to add the last minute additions of any prominent Union officers should they be in town next month." The elder Mrs. Carson tapped a journal with her fingernail. "We must be sure the seamstress will have all the gowns done early. I would like to have the photographer here a week prior." Her faded blue gaze landed on Lyndal. "You have a gift of diplomacy, my girl. Stop by tomorrow and badger them into hurrying, won't you?"

Of course, so their wrath falls on me instead of you. She merely stared at her grandmother, neither committing herself to the task nor declining it. Won't you feel sorry when I'm gone? Who will do your errands then?

"Dear, why don't you come help your sister roll bandages?" Lyndal's mother fluttered a pale hand in Lyndal's direction. "Meredith's worked for hours without a break. I am sure she would welcome the assistance."

Lyndal covered an unladylike snort with a sudden bout of coughing. Two to one Meredith had directed Lucy to roll the bandages and had only begun the task to feel superior. She glanced at her sister. Dressed to the height of fashion with her rich chestnut hair hanging in fat sausage rolls, Lyndal had serious doubts that Meredith's smooth hands had toiled in work this afternoon. If I agree, I'll be stuck doing the rest of her tasks while she reaps the praises—same as always. But she kept the thought to herself and stood, shaking the wrinkles from her dress. "No thank you, Mother. I have a letter to write that simply cannot wait."

"To whom?" It was her sister who inquired though all conversation in the room stopped. "I wasn't aware you corresponded with anyone besides Thomas."

Ironic the only man—not counting her brother—she'd write to this afternoon was, in all probability, a womanizing wastrel, but being told she had a fatal disease of the heart necessitated sweeping changes in her life. The fact he might be well-known to the female population only added further excitement to the undertaking.

"Does it matter? You only want to know in case you'd like to steal them away." Lyndal frowned as chest pain returned in crushing bands. "You are all so wrapped up in your own little pursuits and stabs at attention you cannot see what is right in front of you. I am quite capable of conducting my life without your supervision. Now, if you will excuse me, I'm feeling tired and need to lie down."

Oh, please don't let this be the moment I expire.

Her mother sniffed, but nodded. "Well, there is no call to be rude, Lyndal. In the future, it would behoove you to emulate Meredith in all things polite. She'll be a senator's wife someday, you know."

Of course, how could I ever forget? Everyone in the Carson household pandered to Meredith for whatever reason. Thomas—the eldest of the three—was a hero in their eyes since he'd put his life on the line to follow the war. Meredith—already married and widowed—resembled a china doll, so perfect was she in looks and temperament. Why wouldn't a man of wealth and power wish to wed her? So where did that leave Lyndal?

Nowhere. No one sang her praises for social grace and etiquette. No one desired to be matched with her. No one wanted to hear about her hopes and dreams. In fact, no one except her father, and perhaps Thomas, had ever thought she'd turn heads or make tongues wag. Her eyes welled with sudden tears. Too bad her father's work with the newspaper kept him away from home for long hours.

It is my life and my choice. I refuse to die without having lived at least for a day.

With as much dignity as she could muster, Lyndal crossed the room. As soon as she gained the hallway beyond, conversation started anew as if she'd never interrupted its flow.


Friday, February 10, 2012

DETERMINED LOVER by Zenobia Renquist

DETERMINED LOVER by Zenobia Renquist

Caveat Emptor Book Six

Medusa must decide if dealing with the pain of her past is a fair price for loving the man who would be her future.

Medusa and Darius have escaped with their lives, but to where? The location is an unknown, like their relationship.

After nearly two hundred years apart, Darius is ready to move forward, but Medusa cannot reconcile her present self with the past she purposefully forgot.

Caveat Emptor -- Let the Buyer Beware.


Caveat Emptor: Determined Lover
Zenobia Renquist
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2012 Zenobia Renquist

This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

His breath was coming too fast... panting. She could barely feel his heart beating beneath her hand where it rested on his chest. His lean, muscled body was wracked with visible pain. Medusa knew Darius was dying despite his earlier denials.

She wouldn't let that happen. They had been reunited after nearly two centuries apart. Medusa had never thought such a thing possible, but she hadn't known about Darius's immortality. Or perhaps he wasn't immortal when they met. Whatever the case may be, his immortality hadn't come with invulnerability. The spell he'd cast to help them escape death at the hands of his cohorts had stressed his body to the breaking point.

Medusa had to save his life before she could think about reveling in their renewed relationship. Only a few things kept her from acting. First, neither of them had any clothing since they had fled capture after a round of getting re-acquainted sex. Second, Darius's escape spell had landed them on the side of a very high mountain with no path down. Medusa could jump it, but not with Darius in tow. She couldn't use a magical transport spell either. Transporting without knowing where she was or where she wanted to go had its own dangers, but the strain of more magic running through Darius's body might kill him.

That left the cave at their back as shelter against the elements and possible attack. She glanced over her shoulder at the wide opening of the cave. Her vampiric sight, able to pierce any darkness, couldn't make out the back of the cave, which meant it was deep. She couldn't tell if it was inhabited.

Darius wheezed before coughing. His cough had a watery sound and a coppery smell. He had blood in his lungs. She smoothed her hand through his kitten-soft hair in a soothing gesture. The motion calmed her as much as him. She loved petting his hair and watching the light shimmer off the scattered strands of blond and red combined with the brown. She wouldn't lose him.

Medusa didn't have time to worry about what dangers the cave held. She could handle any animal, no matter how big. She needed to get Darius to a safe, secure spot so she could help him recover.

She lifted him against her chest and rushed inside the cave.

"I should be carrying you," Darius whispered. He tried to laugh but it came out as a cough instead.

"You need to shut up and save your strength."

He grunted but didn't try to speak again.

Medusa carried him to the depths of the cave. It went back a fair distance. Good. That meant she would see any intruders long before they saw her. She expected Darius's cohorts any second. There was no way the mages would pass up recapturing an escaped vampire and a mage traitor.

Low growling from an animal stopped Medusa. She placed Darius on the ground behind her, propped against the cave wall, and then faced the oversized lump ahead of her -- the one she had mistaken for a rock a moment ago. It unfolded itself into a very large, very grumpy bear.


"Quiet. I'll deal with this and then help you." She stayed close to the wall as she paced forward. A quick snap of her metal ring-covered, floor-length dreadlocks near the bear's head would frighten the animal into running from the cave.

She turned her head in a quick jerk while adding a small telekinetic push with her hand so one lock would hit the bear. Except it didn't. Her hair waved forward as though pushed by a breeze and then settled against her side once more. The usual sound of metal links clashing against one another was absent. That was when Medusa remembered her haircut at the time of her capture. The mage holding her had sheared off her hair at the roots and had taken great delight doing it.

The hair grew back in a matter of seconds, resuming its rope-like style as it grew, but the metal links she used to adorn her hair, turning it into twenty lethal chains the use of which she had honed over the last two hundred years, were gone. She had to come up with another method to deal with the bear, who had only grown more agitated with her movements.

She had vampiric speed and strength as well as sight in the inky darkness of the cave, but she didn't want to hurt the bear, only convince him to leave. Maybe a show of power would do it...

She rushed the bear. He smacked her with his paw, and she let the blow knock her to the ground. It was her turn to grunt when he brought his front legs down on her shoulders. The attack might have crushed a mortal, but she hadn't been mortal in a very long time. Sick as the bear was, she could easily have overpowered him, but instead she let him think he was winning.

He went for her neck, ready to rip her throat out, but she grabbed him in a tight hug. His teeth sank into her shoulder as he tried to pull free. She ignored that pain to see her plan through.

The bear had tasted her blood. She knew what that meant for a human -- a mental connection between them, and for the human, longer life, faster healing, and enhanced strength and speed. She only hoped the same held true for other mammals. "Hear me and understand."

The bear stilled. Medusa could smell fear again, but she didn't have time to reassure him. He could understand her. That was all she needed to know.

She loosened her hold. "Let me up."

He released her and jumped back.

She sat up and held her hand out to him. "You didn't hurt me. I did that so you could understand me." She wiggled her fingers at him. "Come here."

He looked at her one way and then the other before stepping forward so she could touch his head.

"Good boy. Good boy. You're a big, beautiful bear, aren't you?" She smiled when the bear grunted. "My friend and I only need shelter. That's all. We didn't mean to disturb you. Can we stay?"

She smiled when he licked her hand.

"Thank you." She gave his head a pat and then turned her attention back to Darius.

His was another heartbeat that didn't sound steady. Unlike the bear, she couldn't feed Darius her blood. Renewed relationship or not, he was still a mage. He might have helped her escape and professed to love her, but that love might not extend to sharing blood with a vampire. Besides, she had something better to share.

She returned to him and knelt at his side. "Darius?"

His odd eyes -- one blue and one brown -- looked at her, but they were unfocused. He tried to speak, but she covered his lips with her finger. She smiled when he kissed her finger.

"You aren't healing. You need power. Take it from me." She placed his hand over her left breast, above her heart.

Darius rasped, "Such beautiful breasts." His fingers twitched as though he would have squeezed the small yet pert mound but he didn't have that much strength.

"Yes, they're lovely. Now take the energy you need."

"Kill you. No." He pulled at his hand, but she held him.

"It won't kill me. I can die one hundred mortal deaths and still be fine. Take my energy, damn it. I won't lose you again. You said you wouldn't die. Have the centuries turned you into a liar?"

Darius sucked in a breath as he closed his eyes.

She thought he was breathing his last until she felt it. His power. He drew on her life force, pulling the energy through her body and into his own. The more he took, the better he got, but the weaker she felt.

The world turned fuzzy and then black. She really hated mortal death. She liked to avoid it at all costs. Only for Darius would she endure it this time.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012



Arcane Shot Book I

Ruby Night Divine is a gun shop owner. She's also a witch who knows magic can fail. She's experienced it firsthand, with full-blown tragic consequences. Smith and Wesson is a whole hell of a lot more reliable, and nothing's as cathartic as the ability to put a few holes in the things that piss you off. Like Derek Stormwind.

A powerful sorcerer, Derek is determined to get to the bottom of why she pushed him away and ran three years before. He also needs her help. A coven needs training to help them fight a demon and his minions. While Ruby is willing to do it, she's sure it's just a ruse to get back in her heart - and her bed. The thing is, that's where she wants him. Unfortunately, her bed's already made, she's this close to losing her soul, and she fears nothing can save her. Not Derek. Not even Smith and Wesson.


Chapter One

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. The Macbeth quote fit to a fucking T as Ruby stared through the four-power scope of the 50-caliber military grade sniper rifle and saw 100% trouble coming her way, complete with battered cowboy hat, his own Chris Cagle Chicks Dig It theme song and honest-to-Goddess dragonskin boots. How the hell had Derek Stormwind found her?

Okay, scratch that. She’d always known he’d find her. She’d just nurtured an unrealistic hope that he would be like most men and, once he realized she didn’t want to be found, and that she’d made following her trail a real pain in the ass, he’d sniff out easier prey. But Derek Stormwind was definitely not like most men. Which was why she’d rather be stuck up the backside of one of Artemis’s hunting hounds without a flashlight than face the next few moments.

Putting the rifle down on the counter, she uncapped a mini-sized vodka bottle and dashed the contents into her open Dr. Pepper can, then brought the soda to her lips for a healthy swig. Too healthy. She choked, hacking over the part of it that had apparently gone down the wrong tube. Meanwhile, he was crossing the street, seconds away from putting his hand on the brass doorknob and invading her store. Unless she was mistaken and he was in town for a French manicure from the salon next door.

Hell, she needed an extra moment. Flicking a glance down at her feet, she wheezed out the command. “Theo. Kill.”

The elderly mastiff erupted from behind the counter, a bulldozer of rippling muscle and sheer bulk that would have knocked her off her feet, if she wasn’t practiced at flattening herself against the ammo case behind her to give him take-off room.

As Derek came through the door, the dog was clattering across the floor like an approaching herd of marbles, making menacing and somewhat asthmatic noises similar to low level wheezing thunder. A froth of drool hit the display case, spattering the glass and obscuring the array of handguns there. Ruby stuck the soda back under the counter and pummeled her chest with one decisive fist at the same moment the dog launched his considerable weight onto his hind legs and hit Derek’s chest with both front paws.

“You great big baby.” Derek tried to fend off a tongue that Ruby knew was like a lukewarm and slimy hand towel. “Still a crappy security guard, buddy.”

He should look ridiculous, struggling with the dog, but of course he didn’t. He’d braced all that well-sculpted muscle against canine attack, which just emphasized the fit of his T-shirt over his broad shoulders. The way his thighs and ass flexed in his worn jeans basically screamed sex-in-faded-denim. The hat was low on his brow, hiding the brown hair he kept trimmed short. He’d not yet looked her way, but she knew what kind of impact those eyes had when they turned toward a female.

His handsome, shit-eating grin could disarm a woman at twenty paces. But every time Ruby looked into those dark blue eyes, the country theme segued quite decisively into the Khazad-Dum score from Fellowship of the Rings. She could hear Gandalf standing before the Balrog, thundering like the voice of God.

You shall not pass.

Her gaze dropped. Anyone else would think the scuffed-up dragonskin boots were some kind of alligator skin. He had a healthy reverence and respect for dragonkind, particularly the non-shifters. However, when she’d pressed him for an explanation of those boots, he’d simply said, “I had a disagreement with that one.” She’d caught a dangerous glint in his eye, the honor-bound sorcerer crossed with the gunslinger who’d only be pushed so far. She’d told him he was something between Merlin and Wyatt Earp. It had earned her a flash of that devastating grin.

He was one of the most powerful sorcerers she’d ever known, directly or by reputation. He flew so far under the radar that to most he was a myth, or a scary bedtime story. But she’d had him in her bed, and while the feelings he conjured from her there could be overwhelming, they were far from nightmarish. In fact, the only good dreams she had anymore were about him. Which just pissed her off. If she could have banished him from her mind without banishing other important things, things she couldn’t afford to lose, she would have. That’s what she told herself.

Pull it together, Ruby.

When he finally managed to shove the dog back down to all four feet, which put his gigantic head at the height of Derek’s waist, she had her hip propped against the shelf behind the cash register and was eying them both, hopefully with a faint trace of disgust in her coffee brown eyes. “I’m trading him in for a Chihuahua. The littler they are, the nastier they are.”

“Make sure it’s a female. I hear they’re even meaner.” He glanced up at the marquis. “Arcane Shot. Firearms, shooting range, safety courses and permits? A bit of a change from your previous career at Witches R Us outside Carmel.”

She shrugged. “I got tired of running a craft shop for the Wiccan wannabes, who think granola and hugs will change the world.”

“And this will do a better job of that?” He eyed the sniper rifle under her hand.

“Sometimes magic comes through, sometimes it doesn't. But Smith & Wesson is always ready to come to the game.”

“No argument there. I prefer a sawed-off shotgun myself. A classic. Took me awhile to find you. Your magic's gotten stronger."

And darker. She could tell he thought it, but points for him, he didn’t say it. "Told you I didn’t want to be found.” She tried to modulate the energy around her so it was more candy and flowers, less like the ominous stillness and yellow jaundice of a pre-tornado sky. Of course candy and flowers might make his already uncomfortable scrutiny go to full red alert status.

“So you ran away and decided to run a gun shop because...people suck?”

Her lips twitched. He knew how to pull a smile out of her, but this time she firmly told herself not to give him that advantage. “I didn’t run away, but that last part works. Why are you here, Derek?”

He seemed in no hurry on that score. He eased Theo back to four paws, sauntered up to the counter, giving her a nice eyeful of how the man could walk. Damn him. “I understand you followed Raina out here. She still operating her overpriced escort service with succubi and incubi in sheep’s clothing?”

“Still. It’s doing well here, with the military base nearby. Things were getting a little hot for her back on the West Coast. Soldiers are more adventurous, a little less afraid of danger, so her cover’s safer.” She flashed a humorless smile. “I think she’ll last longer out here.”

“She should change professions.”

“She would, but this one pisses you off. It’s a perk to her.”

“That’s a given.” He gave her his easy smile then. That good ol’ boy expression only enhanced the sexual confidence that made any wise woman wary. “I’m here about a job for you.”

The disappointment twisted inside her like a poisoned athame. She cursed at herself. Cerridwen, Circe and Cassiopeia. Female perversity was the bane of her existence. There was nothing more ridiculous than the fact she’d only wanted one thing more than him not to find her, and that was for him to find her. Now on top of that, she was feeling absurdly insulted that he’d come this far to find her merely for a job.


Friday, February 3, 2012

DREAMSCAPE by Rose Anderson

DREAMSCAPE by Rose Anderson

Unable to deny his own translucence, Dr. Jason Bowen determines his lack of physical substance could only mean one thing - he's a ghost. Murdered more than a century before, Jason haunts his house and ponders the treachery that took his life.

When Lanie O'Keefe arrives with plans to renovate her newly purchased Victorian mansion, Jason discovers, ghost or not, he's still very much a man.

Despite its derelict condition and haunted reputation, Lanie couldn't be happier with her new home, but then she has no idea a spirit follows her every move throughout the day and shares her captivating warmth at night. Jason soon discovers he can travel through Lanie's dreams and finds himself reliving the days before his murder with Lanie by his side.

It took one hundred and twenty years for love to find them, but there's that insurmountable little matter of Jason being dead.



“I’ve a mind to taste you again.”

Thrilling to those desire-laden words, Lanie waited breathlessly. The full-body tremor had returned and with it the low unfurling in her belly. Surrendering to the wanton feelings, her trembling legs widened in offer.

Her glistening invitation displayed so provocatively in the moonlight, Jason feared his heart would burst from wanting her. Helpless to do otherwise, he fell between those silken thighs and wrapped his arms around her hips.

Needing to rein in his passions, he rested his head against her thigh in an attempt to still the firestorm raging in his balls. It had been years since he’d lain with a woman and never with one who had so thoroughly stolen his heart and soul like this lovely creature had. He so wanted this first time, hers and theirs, to be everything it could be. She needed to know how wondrous it was for a man and a woman to share this most intimate act. If Cathy had taught him anything, it was how important this intimacy was. Before his death he’d tried everything to break through that frigid, albeit deceitful, wall. He pushed thoughts of Cathy from his mind. She wouldn’t steal this precious moment like she had upstairs.

Drawing Lanie closer, he showered her inner thighs with occasional kisses interspersed with warm, flat licks. Higher now, he nibbled her lips, grazed with his teeth and sucked them, and when he felt the diamond nub hard against his tongue, he dwelled there even longer, teasing her flesh with slow persistent circles. One finger followed and found her slick and hot inside.

Shifting his body to accommodate his now overly hard and throbbing cock, Jason eased another finger into her heat and curled along the slippery ridges within. Her muscles clenched around his fingers. The incredibly hot tightness made him groan in anticipation of his cock following his fingers’ path. He shifted again, bending his knee to make room for the ache in his balls. He hoped he could last. He had to. Looking up past her belly and breast to read her face, Jason saw for himself Lanie was as mindless as he.

The sight of her lying there, head turning from side to side in her pleasure, her breasts heaving as she panted, made his cock feel like he’d explode with want of her. Pressing his groin hard into the mattress to maintain his control, he resumed pleasuring her with his tongue. Before long he felt her building release, and worked his fingers fast, each thrust and withdrawal widening and stretching in cadence with his tongue’s warm, rapid licks. He murmured hotly against her flesh between passes with his tongue, “Yes my love, you crave this as much as I.”

“Yes, Jason, oh yes,” came her breathy reply. Jason was creating more pleasure than Lanie ever thought possible. The vibration began in her legs and unfurled along her spine. Her hands released their tangle in his hair. Afraid of making a sound as the pleasure stole her senses, she gathered the pillow on either side of her head to muffle the sounds attempting to tear from her throat.

The pillow muted an animalistic groan that turned Jason’s blood to molten steel. Wanting to delay this first release, he stopped his focused attentions to travel up along her body laying kisses along the way. Pressing belly to belly with her, Jason pulled the pillow-clutching hands away. His weight pressed her into the bed and his thrumming cock and balls rested against the steaming wetness he’d left behind. Cupping her face with both hands, his eyes searched hers. Seeing she was ready, he kissed her deeply.

Lanie returned Jason’s kiss wildly. The moment was primal, her scent was all over his face, and she could taste herself on his lips. Reaching down, her fingers closed on his cock and, stroking now, she murmured his own words at his lips, “I’ve a mind to taste you…”

He could clearly see the hot determination lighting her eyes, and abandoning himself to the moment, Jason rolled over on his back to let her have her way. Her hair fanned out over his thighs as she nuzzled her cheek along his cock. When she kissed the head, his hands wound themselves in the midnight silk. Her questing tongue lapped the full length of rigid steel, and reacting to tentative licks, his seed dribbled over them both. He heard her maidenly gasp of surprise, the sound followed by soft sounds as she opened her mouth to draw him in. It was too exquisite to wait any longer. Their time had come.

Feeling Jason pull at her hips, she stopped her ministrations to follow where he led.

Jason drew her to him and kissed her again. He whispered at the corner of her lips, “Are you ready, my love?”

Lanie nodded breathlessly. She was ready for something, and she instinctively knew with Jason it would be glorious.

Jason maneuvered himself between her open thighs and found her flesh hot like a firebrand. He ran the tip of his cock up and down over her slit to wet him as he parted her for his entry. Yes, it was time. She was hot, swollen with desire, and slick, very slick. He pressed into her. His body pushed forward as her legs pulled back and she stretched to accommodate his access. He groaned against her neck as he sheathed himself fully in her wondrous fire.

Perfect. Jason held her tight and allowed her body to mold around him. He whispered softly, “You’re so tight around me, love, so warm.” It had been ages since heat like this warmed his blood fully, ages since he’d felt such exquisite perfection engulfing him. At first he didn’t want to move, but soon the grip of her desire compelled him. Pulling out nearly all the way, he eased back in with the same delicate slowness. He planned to go slow. He planned to hold himself in check. But he didn’t plan on the depth of her desire.

Lanie began to meet each thrust with a rising tempo of her own. The sensation of gliding cock meeting each delectable ridge was exquisite. Lifting her hips each time he pressed forward, she sheathed him to his root.

Before long their steady cadence increased, and Lanie’s pleasure mounted as his balls slapped against her flesh in a bold and rhythmic tempo.

Bathed in a moonlit sheen of exertion, Lanie’s back arched, and in that moment Jason could feel her mind—her focused pursuit, the blissful abandon, and the surety that this was meant to be.



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