Coming Soon! BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE PACIFIC BLUE Author Interview and Giveaway

Hi all! Today I’m letting a fave author, Charlie Cochet, pop in and tell us all about her newest release, BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE PACIFIC BLUE. I’ve always go my eye out for a new story and this one sounds yummy. As does the thought of pumpkin dishes!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a $10 GC to one of three ebooksellers.

Good luck and keep reading my friends!

BDPB Blog Tour Banner CCochet

Hello all! Welcome to the next stop on the blog tour celebrating the release of Between the Devil and the Pacific Blue! I’m very excited to be sharing this short novella filled with romance, humor, sexy-times, mystery, and a dash of horror.

Since Between the Devil and the Pacific Blue releases on Halloween–October 31st, I thought it would be fun to chat about Halloween traditions, so throughout our mini tour we’ll be talking about everything from candy and Trick-or-treating to horror movies.

I might not go Trick-or-treating anymore, but I still look forward to Halloween. The closer we get to this holiday and the fall, the closer we get to some of our favorite seasonal treats. Whether it’s for a bake sale, party, or just an indulgent treat, there are scores of yummy recipes for everything from Halloween themed cupcakes to candy corn cheesecake. Pinterest is a fantastic place to find hundreds of amazing recipes. Here’s one board with dozens of tasty recipes including candy apples, bewitching parfaits, spooky cupcakes, and everything in between.

Aside all the Halloween treats, we also have all things pumpkin. This year I’ll be trying out a few pumpkin recipes found on this Pinterest board here. I have friends who go absolutely crazy over pumpkin recipes, so I figured it was time to give it a try. Coming from a Hispanic family, pumpkin was usually found in soup, so I was never compelled to use it in recipes. Apple was usually my go to filling for baked goods. Looking at these pumpkin recipes, I have a feeling that might be changing very soon.

Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe you’d like to share? How about a favorite fall recipe? What’s your favorite fall treat?

Between the Devil and the Pacific BlueFS500


Genre: M/M Other Paranormal
Length: Novella
Published: October 31st, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Ebook ISBN-13: 9781634766296

BDPB About

For the last six months, Detective James Ralston has worked the nightshift as security for the Pacific Blue Hotel, and every night at 2 a.m. his rounds lead him to the radio room where the handsome and mysterious Franklin Fairchild sits listening to waltzes as old as the hotel itself. James is drawn to Franklin, but Franklin is a man at the end of his rope, and James has no intention of getting caught up in whatever trouble Franklin is in. A heated encounter late one night sends James down a disturbing path and has him questioning everything around him, including his very sanity.


BDPB Goodreads



BDPB Links

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon Kindle | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble

BDPB About the Author

Charlie_Cochet_by_madison_parker150Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram | Charlie’s Newsletter

BDPB Giveaway

Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the $10 GC giveaway at the winner’s choice of ebooksellers.

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BDPB Tour Schedule

Oct 24th – Love Bytes Reviews | Oct 29th – V’s Reads | Oct 30th – Joyfully Jay | Oct 31st – The Novel Approach

He Truly Was THE KNIGHT OF OCEAN AVENUE–Review and Giveaway

Ocean Ave
Hi there! Today I’m so excited to share in the blog tour for Tara Lain’s newest release THE KNIGHT OF OCEAN AVENUE. I really liked her wolf shifter stories, but this book is a fantastic contemporary M/M romance between a sexually questioning construction worker and the glitzy stylist prepping his sister for her society wedding. It’s an odd couple that just works!

Knight of Ocean Avenue 400x600About the book:
How can you be twenty-five and not know you’re gay? Billy Ballew runs from that question. A high school dropout, barely able to read until he taught himself, Billy’s life is driven by his need to help support his parents as a construction worker, put his sisters through college, coach his Little League team, and not think about being a three-time loser in the engagement department. Being terrified of taking tests keeps Billy from getting the contractor’s license he so desires, and fear of his mother’s judgement blinds Billy to what could make him truly happy.

Then, in preparation for his sister’s big wedding, Billy meets Shaz—Chase Phillips—a rising star, celebrity stylist who defines the word gay. To Shaz, Billy embodies everything he’s ever wanted—stalwart, honest, brave—but even if Billy turns out to be gay, he could never endure the censure he’d get for being with a queen like Shaz. How can two men with so little in common find a way to be together? Can the Stylist of the Year end up with the Knight of Ocean Avenue?

How about a little taste!

GAGA’S “EDGE of Glory” played in his ear. Damn. Quit.
 He reached out and pawed at the edge of the coffee table until he finally felt the phone. His fingers found the mute button and he clicked it. Peace. He tried to roll over. Heavy.



Claws dug into his chest as the weight lifted, then disappeared. “Go back to sleep.” He rolled over until his face and body were pressed against the back of the couch. Ouch. His dick hurt. Sleep. Ouch.

Well, damn. Slowly he rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling. He glanced to the side. Clancy and Yerby gazed at him like they could command him with will force alone to open the tuna. “Hang in there, guys.”

Oh man. Not hung over. He’d had half a beer. But here he lay fully clothed on his couch, aching in his bones and feeling like someone had kicked him in the nuts. That would be him. He’d done it to himself.
He swung his legs over the side, sat up on the edge of the couch, and dropped his head. Four eyes stared up at him. “Go open it yourself.”

Three times. He’d wanked himself into oblivion three times while rewinding that frigging porno. Was there one line he didn’t engrave in his brain? Every “unh, unh, unh. Fuck me harder” was emblazoned in his memory. Jesus, Ballew. Yeah, Jesus was the operative word. But if he was going to hell for jerking off, he’d be taking every male in the world with him.

Of course, he didn’t just masturbate; he wanked to gay porn. What the hell is that about? Truth? He’d been kicked in the teeth so many times by so many women, the idea of fucking a nice uncomplicated man kind of did it for him. Well, not seriously, but the theory was attractive. And no, he would not be sharing this revelation with the guys on the job site.

The bang on his door about sent him into outer space. Who the hell? Nobody came here. He didn’t share his address much. No poker with the boys or make-out sessions with the girls. His place. His. Who was it?

The knocking came again.


He jumped up. “Yeah?” The cats looked up at his loud voice.

“Billy, it’s Jim.” The voice came through the door.

Jim. Billy looked around, grabbed the laptop, closed it tight, and slid it onto the end table. Lube. Shit. He shoved the open tube into the drawer, then staggered over to the front door. How much did he smell like sex? Damn, his sweats were halfway to his knees. He dragged them back up, then opened the door.

“Hi. Sorry, overslept.” He ran a hand through his hair.

Jim Carney was a little older than him and a good guy, if a bit of a hound dog. He grinned. “Sorry. My truck broke down. I was kind of close to here and remembered your address. Thought I’d see if I could get a ride.”

“Uh, sure.” He glanced over his shoulder. It felt strange having somebody here. “Come on in. I need to feed my cats and take a quick shower, if you want to wait.”

“Sure. Too far to walk and all uphill.” He stepped in. “You have cats?”

Billy looked at Jim. The guy had a tough face with a broken nose that some women liked. “Yeah, I got two. You like cats?”

“No. Just think it’s kind of funny that you do.” He smacked Billy’s shoulder. “You crazy cat lady, you.”
Well, hell. “Make yourself at home.” Kind of. He walked into the kitchen, the boys behind him, and scooped out some cat food into both dishes. “Here ya go, guys.” He raised his voice. “Don’t let feline haters make you feel bad.”

Jim laughed from the living room. “This is quite a place you have. Jesus, man, what are you, some closet decorator?”

Billy frowned and walked into the living room. “No, I just like having a nice place of my own.”

“But you’re so damned neat.” He was holding a glass globe Billy had found in a yard sale.

“So?” He took the globe and put it back on the shelf.

“Nothing. No wonder women like you so much.”

“I’m taking a quick shower.” He started for the bedroom, stopped and grabbed the laptop, then went into his room—small with a big bed.

He glanced at his watch, still ticking on his wrist. Double shit. If he didn’t hurry, they’d both be late for work. Saturday shifts were good for making extra cash, but not if he didn’t get there.

He stepped under the water. Too cold. Shaved so fast he nicked himself and finally got some clothes on and hurried back into the living room. Jim sat on the couch holding a book, the two cats staring at him from across the room. He stared back. Billy laughed. “Have they got you cornered?”

“Shit, man, those two are scary. What are they, ninja attack cats?”

Billy sat and pulled on his work boots. He nodded at the book. “What you got?”

Jim held out the book. “This is heavy shit, my man.” The copy of Jane Eyre kind of weighed down his hand.

Billy tried to keep his brows from scrunching together. “I just like to read. I didn’t get to go to school too long, so I read, okay?” He didn’t say he read because it was like a fucking gift to finally be able to do it.
Jim set down the book and stood up. “You really are different, you know?”

“Thanks a shitload.”

“I don’t mean it bad. You’re just—not like most of the guys.”

Man, was he tired of hearing that.

My Review:
Billy Ballew is a dud with the ladies. Three broken engagements lay at his feet on the eve of his baby sister’s wedding. At 25 years old and still a bachelor, his fiercely religious mother is impatient for grandkids, and always willing to make her desire known. Billy is a hard-working man; always has been. He’s qualified to be a licensed contractor but suffers test-taking anxiety after years of ridicule in school. He’d been a late bloomer in terms of reading, though now he’s fully literate and supporting himself–and, to some degree, his parents ever since his father’s debilitating heart attack years ago. Billy dropped out of school and worked to help pay the mortgage and his younger sister’s college tuition–and his sacrifices have not gone unnoticed.

In prep for the big wedding of his sister to a hoity-toity rich guy, Billy allows himself to be talked into working with his sister’s stylist, Shazam, so that he’ll be fashionable for all the wedding events. Still questioning what keeps going wrong with his relationships, Billy is stunned to find Shaz, the effeminate redhead, strangely appealing. Billy has only been sexually active with a man once–if you consider paying a trick for some oral distraction “active”–and he is freaked out.

Shaz is more than a little attracted to his straight client. Dressing such a big, burly man–one who had interfered in a possible bashing of himself–is a fun challenge, and Shaz is determined to make friends with Billy, if only to spend more time with him. Thing is, the more time they spend, the greater the attraction simmers between them.

Okay, so there are a lot of issues at play in this story. Homophobic crew on Billy’s worksites, homophobic parents on the little league team Billy coaches, homophobic mother…casual homophobia and direct homophobia. Cheating partners and supportive friends. Men finding their way independently both sexually and financially, and that doesn’t only mean Billy, or even Shaz. There are great secondary characters here who round out the narrative.

While Billy begins to sort out his complicated feelings about possibly being gay, Shaz is sorting out the mess of being a partner to a closet case, or having the important people in Billy’s life hate both of them. The so-called ‘you turned him gay’ backlash is not Shaz’s cup of Darjeeling. A wealthy potential business partner swoops into Shaz’s life and Billy quadruple guesses what the heck a sexy, suave sophisticated man like Shaz could see in a rough, barely literate high school drop out like himself. A lot of time is spent with these two men having strong feelings for one another, and yet staying separate, working on their lives with an eye to figure out how to restart what they had barely initiated. Which only makes it sweeter when Billy rides in to the rescue. Because he does.

At his core, Billy is as decent a person as anyone could hope to know. He volunteers for little league coaching, he works two and three jobs to have money to support his family, he has two gay cats which (I’m sure even though the book didn’t say) were shelter rescues. He doesn’t sleep around and he apologizes for cursing in front of his mother. The man is a freaking saint, and thinks he’s dirt because he did poorly in school. If Shaz didn’t climb him like a tree, several times, I would have attempted it myself.

Shaz is, himself, a good egg. He works hard and values hard work. The socialite playboys he always finds himself aligned with are too narcissistic and have no sense of honor, but Shaz sees real honor and valor, even, in Billy. The more Billy embraces his sexuality, the more astounded Shaz is by his courage.

This is a well-crafted Gay-For-You romance that embraces the idea of slow changes and coming to terms with one’s self before coming out. Shaz, having been shunned by his own family, never pressures Billy to make bold moves. On the contrary, he assures Billy he cares for him exactly as he is, and will stand wherever he needs to to keep Billy within a comfort zone. Even after becoming physical, the end is far into the future, with major hurdles for Billy to overcome. I was so glad that he had Shaz beside him for most of it. The sexytimes are fun and flirty as well as being sexy-sexy. I just enjoyed the book so much.

Interested? You can find THE KNIGHT OF OCEAN AVENUE on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press (eBook or Paperback), Amazon, AllRomance, and Barnes & Noble.


Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $25 Gift Card–Open Internationally.
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Good luck and keep reading my friends.

About the author:
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her best­selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

You can find Tara at:


Sneak Peek at APPEARANCES by T.M. Smith–And Giveaway

Hi all! I’m on the road today–seeing new pieces of America with my kiddo’s–and have let TM Smith “take over” my blog to share some cool info about her OPPOSITES series, and the soon-to-be released sequel: APPEARANCES. She’s got some cool authorly bits, some exclusive chapter bits, and a Facebook party you can join with giveaways galore…

Hello everyone, Tams here (TM Smith) let me start by saying THANK YOU! to all the bloggers that are hosting me today for this special event!

Welcome to the Appearances pre-release blog hop, sneak peak and giveaway! Today I’m going to share the first two chapters of Appearances with you, a little behind the scenes while writing this book as well as going over my process for choosing some of the names in the series. And, there might be a little giveaway, maybe. The best part is, this is an all day event on Facebook as well, so be sure to join the event and check back throughout the day as I’ve lined up some pretty amazing authors and bloggers to help me host who will be having giveaways of their own. {click here to join the event!}

Schedule (all times are CST central standard time zone)
Author TM Smith: 8-10AM CST
Charlie Cochet: 10-11AM CST
Alina Popescu: 11AM-1PM CST
Angel Martinez: 1-2PM CST
Author TM Smith: 2-3PM CST
Lucien/Raven: 3-4PM CST
J. Scott Coatsworth: 4-5PM CST
Crystal Marie: 5-6PM CST
Author TM Smith: 6-7PM CST
Carly Rose: 7-8PM CST

Let’s start with the book that started it all, Opposites.
Opposites is an adult dystopian majorly M/M series set a few centuries in the future in a society where to be gay/lesbian is the norm. To be straight labels you an Opposite and makes you the outkast.
Opposites, book 1 is available now through Amazon, ARe and Smashwords.
The Library, an Opposites novella, is available now through Amazon, ARe and Smashwords.
*WARNING* Opposites is an Adult Dystopian series that contains explicit sexual content and relationships between gay, lesbian and straight couples.

Some insider info about the books:

Something that I’ve been asked a lot over these last couple years, “How did you come up with the names for your characters?” I knew straight away that this was going to be an epic sort of story, even an author friend that read an early draft commented it was like a gay Game Of Thrones. So I knew that with all the names I’d have to remember already, I did not want to use last names as well. In that aspect, I took on a Dune quality where as everyone is known by their name and their house.

Another question I’ve gotten is: Why are the names so similar?

I thought I was helping readers with that as well, but it may not have come across accurately. Take House Gaeland for instance. Fathers; Rian and Cirian. Mothers; Amaya and Amelia. Children; Aiya and Aiyan. There is a similarity in the names that made me think, these are all from the same house. I guess it didn’t translate as well to some of my readers, sorry about that.

I also tried to use names that were specific to that culture for certain characters. I researched popular and historic names of each culture and that is how I came up with Nadi, Kaden, Theresa, Taryn, Tanis and a few others. There were some names I knew I wanted to use before I even started outlining the story. I chose the name Aiya after hearing it on a sci-fi movie many years ago, it always stuck with me. Adding the ‘n’ to it for her twin brother was easy. Rian was a spelling I’d read in a book and I loved the uniqueness of it. One of my favorite movies is ‘In A Child’s Name’. The mom in that movie was Theresa, with an ‘h’, no one ever really spells Theresa with the ‘h’ anymore and I’ve always liked that more classic spelling.

I wanted to pay respect to my family name, grandparents things like that somewhere as well. Gilley was my late Irish grandmother’s maiden name, so it was a given that the house in Ireland or that part of the country would be called House Gilley. Dr. Anthony Smith… my grandfathers, Robert Antony and William Smith. I write under the name TM Smith not because I don’t want people to know that Tammy Middleton is the author, but because it’s the name my parents gave me. Tammy Michelle Smith is way to long to print out so I shortened it. (For a listing of names, Houses and their meaning, head over to TTC Books and more)

And now, meet the guest of honor today, Appearances…

Appearances, can be deceiving.
Raven and Tanis are trying very hard to merge their vastly different lifestyles, but Tanis’s issues with his own past could prove to be more than their fragile relationship can handle. Is their love for each other strong enough to weather the oncoming storm?

Aiya and Sawyer have fought hard to be together in a world where Opposite relationships are generally forbidden. Yet, they are still forced to keep their relationship a secret while they are outside the walls of House Gaeland.

Everyone assumes that the only threat lies outside their walls, the group of rebels led by Cillian. But something is happening within House Gaeland, something that hasn’t happened since GWI. And with all the attention focused on that, their guard is down. An evil that was under their nose all along strikes, and someone will make the ultimate sacrifice to save another.

At the end of Opposites Cirian shared a secret with his children, the identity of the person known to them as Gorilla Man. Everyone was coming to terms with the relationship that was developing between Aiya and Sawyer, and Tanis proposed to Raven.

Now it is time for Aiya and Aiyan to travel to their spouses homes and meet their people. But that is more the backdrop of this story, as this book concentrates more on the ever growing relationship between Raven and Tanis. The Priest from House Gaeland and his warrior from House Orion. Raven is wise but slightly naive. He never gave much thought to a family or a husband, not that it’s forbidden, he just never thought he’d share his heart with anyone but God. But the inked upped, muscled upped man from Greece that Raven describes as all attitude, muscles and ink… well he rooted his way in there under the radar.

While the relationship between Raven and Tanis doesn’t seem to be moving any faster than the twins, in actuality it is. Aiya and Aiyan have known about their matches for years, they know them even if only on paper. These two young men are learning about each other as they go. And once they get to Greece, Raven learns that the description of his fiance from before they met, “A man in every port”, well there wasn’t ever a truer statement. Tanis had always been promiscuous, and now it may come back to bite him in the ass, so to speak.

More secrets will be revealed and a new threat will emerge. But the root of everything that keeps these people and these relationships strong, their love and faith in one another, is the constant that will keep them all alive.

Thank you all for stopping by today and continuing to support my efforts with this series. And a huge thank you to all the bloggers that are posting this today, I couldn’t do it without all of you! Be sure to stop by the event today on Facebook, I’ve lined up some pretty amazing authors and bloggers to help me celebrate and they are giving away some goodies throughout the day as well. And above all, remember, Love is Love!

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win
a swag pack fro TM Smith!

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Image of T.M. SmithAbout the author:

A military brat born and raised at Ft. Benning Georgia; Smith is an avid reader, reviewer and writer. She now calls Texas home from her small town on the outskirts of the DFW Metroplex. Most days you can find her curled up with her kindle and a good book alongside a glass of something aged and red or a steaming cup of coffee!

At 42 years young, she’s decided to enter the next phase of her life by adding the title of “author” to her list of accomplishments that includes single mom of three disturbingly outspoken and decidedly different kids, one of which is Autistic. Smith is and outspoken advocate for Autism and equal rights for the LGBTQ community.

Her Opposites series is based outside the normal parameters of social acceptability, examining a ‘what if’… What If to be gay or lesbian were the norm? What if to be straight labeled you as an Opposite and made YOU the Outkast?

You can catch up with Tammy on her website, Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook, and twitter.

I’m still hoping to release Appearances on August 31st, but right now that is a tentative date. I’ve had some personal issues these last several months, one of those being Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I’ve now had the surgery on both hands, but it has set me back quite a bit with my writing. So I wanted to let you all know that I am moving forward as fast as my body will allow, and also share the first two chapters with you. An appetizer, if you will. Do remember that this is still a work in progress and while it has gone through BETA and a round of editing, there is still some clean up to do before release. So ignore any mistakes and enjoy this exclusive look into Appearances.

Hey there! It’s V again! Due to the content of these chapters, please don’t read if you’re not “Adult”
or, if you don’t like M/M romance. ‘Cause this may be a bit graphic…
~ Chapter 1 ~ Unyielding
Aiyan walked through the garden, violin case in hand, heading toward the bench that sat in the center. Sitting, he removed his violin and stroked the strings. He hadn’t played in days and needed to feel the instrument in his hands as he poured his pain into the music. It was the only outlet he could think of at the moment that wouldn’t cause someone else bodily harm.

His life had changed drastically over the past several months. He met and married his match who, thankfully, turned out to be his soul mate. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he loved Kaden like no other almost from the minute he laid eyes on him. He realized just how much and how much he stood to lose when Kaden was kidnapped by his uncle. An uncle he didn’t even know he had until after they’d rescued Kaden and brought him back home where he belonged.

He heaved in a deep breath and brought the instrument up to rest on his shoulder, running the bow across the strings a few times to adjust the tone. Then he closed his eyes and let it all go, let all of the pain and anger flow out of his body and into the music. He thought of Kaden inside the palace, in their room packing for their impending trip to House Devi. He thought back to the first time they’d made love after the incident. How loving, tender and gentle he was with his husband; who was still broken and bruised from his captivity.
For a moment he felt the anger seeping back into him as his thoughts strayed to Gorilla man, his uncle, and the violin screamed out a note in agony. He released a breath and regained his composure, moving his thoughts back to Kaden and how they’d leaned on each other in those days and weeks when they first returned to the palace. The melody leveled out as Aiyan stopped trying to control the emotions and just let them flow freely,
the insanely beautiful whine of music filled the night air.
Kaden closed the last suitcase and lifted it off the bed, carrying it over and sitting it by the door with the others. He stood upright when he thought he heard a shrill cry coming from outside their bedroom window. Their bedroom was just off one side of the garden when you looked out the window, which made sense as the garden was Aiyan’s favorite place to be. Kaden walked over and threw the window open, closing his eyes and smiling when he realized what it was he’d heard.
Kaden quickly made his way out of the palace and out into the garden, hell, he would have just jumped out the window to make the trip quicker if he thought he could do it without hurting himself. Kaden rounded the corner and stopped, soaking in the sight of his husband, completely oblivious and completely sexy. Aiyan’s eyes were closed and the tip of his tongue just barely escaped his mouth, as his head jerked to the side occasionally with certain notes of the song. Kaden could see how relaxed he was surrounded by the things he loved most. The garden that captured so much color and beauty, and his violin that shared not only the color and beauty inside of Aiyan, but the talent he held as well.
Every emotion Aiyan was feeling played across his face as he felt them, Kaden just stood still and watched. The emotions blended flawlessly with the notes; anger brought on a loud shrill note and a scrunched up face; happiness brought on a flowing, sharp squeal and a slight smile; and then sadness was the lightest note of all as a tear trickled down Aiyan’s cheek. Aiyan’s eyes opened when he heard a low crack as Kaden moved toward him, stepping on a twig.
“Oh, sorry, I was just letting off some steam.” Aiyan said, moving to put away his violin.
Kaden moved quickly over to him, “No, please… don’t stop. It was beautiful my prince, please play more for me.” Kaden slid onto the far corner of the bench, smiling slightly as Aiyan smiled back at him.
“You like to beg, don’t you?” Aiyan said playfully, that crooked grin taking over his face. It was true, Kaden had said those exact words to him the night they met, here in the garden, the first time Aiyan kissed him. “No, please…don’t  stop.”
Aiyan put his instrument away and then just sat there, silent, staring at the ground. Kaden could not only see, but feel the war of emotions raging inside him. The bond they had seemed to have been there since that first meeting, when they saw the same vision of them kissing on the bed. And it only grew stronger when they were separated. Truth be told, their bond had saved Kaden’s life when Gorilla man had thrown him down that well.
Kaden reached up and pushed Aiyan’s hair back behind his ear, stroking the lobe with his fingers softly as he did. “My prince, tell me what troubles you.”
Aiyan didn’t speak, didn’t look up at him, he didn’t even flinch. Kaden scooted a little closer and ran his hand down Aiyan’s arm, joining their fingers together. Still, Aiyan didn’t so much as squeeze his hand back, not even acknowledging Kaden’s attempt to placate him. Kaden brought himself around in front of Aiyan, wedging himself on his knees on the ground between Aiyan’s legs, staring up at him, refusing to be ignored.
They stared into each other’s eyes for several long, intense moments. Kaden toyed with the right words to say, and decided words weren’t what was needed right now. He leaned up and kissed his husband. He just held his lips to Aiyan’s briefly, not attempting to deepen the kiss. When he pulled back Aiyan’s eyes remained closed and he took a few shallow breaths.
“Don’t shut me out Aiyan, not now, we’ve been through too much for you to give me the silent treatment.” That crooked grin was trying to make an appearance Kaden thought, as the corner of Aiyan’s mouth twitched slightly. “There is nothing you can’t tell me. I know you want to deal with these emotions and this anger you feel on your own, but that is the problem Aiyan. Have you thought that the reason you can’t get past this is because you are trying to do it alone? You aren’t alone Aiyan, I am here, right here in front of you, begging you to…….” Kaden didn’t get the rest of his sentence out before he was grabbed and hauled up into Aiyan’s lap. Aiyan’s lips came down on his hard and fierce as Aiyan attempted to tongue fuck him right there on the bench.
Aiyan’s fingers dug into Kaden’s shoulders and he poured everything he was feeling into the kiss. Kaden moaned into his mouth and melted into his touch as the kiss ignited a fire inside him. The combination of his own hunger coupled with Aiyan’s left his head spinning. Aiyan pulled back, gasping for breath, when he opened his eyes Kaden saw that they’d turned gold around the rims and he smiled. Aiyan leaned forward until their foreheads were touching, still breathing heavy.
“Okay Kaden, okay. Let’s go back to our room and talk.” He panted out between breaths.
“Just talk?” Kaden whispered.
Aiyan barked out a laugh and smacked his ass, which caused Kaden to yelp. They barely made it into their room before Kaden quickly divested them of their clothing. He pushed Aiyan back against the door and climbed up him, devouring his mouth. Aiyan spun them around as he lifted Kaden up off the floor, and slammed him up against the unyielding wooden door. Kaden wrapped both legs around Aiyan’s waist and thrust his hips up.
Aiyan threw his head back and gasped when Kadens thick, hard cock rubbed up against his own. Aiyan kissed him again, his lips as unyielding and hard as the door Kaden was pressed up against. Then he proceeded to fuck Kaden into oblivion, right there up against the bedroom door. Kaden woke in their bed with the soft touch
of Aiyan’s fingers, trailing down his back and over his ass, then tracing back up the path they’d just taken.
“Are you awake?” Aiyan whispered.
“I am now.” Kaden just chuckled.
Aiyan didn’t speak again for a while. He just ran his hands along Kaden’s skin, setting it on fire. Finally, he let out a ragged sigh, “I’ve never felt the kind of anger I feel toward him Kaden, and it scares me. I swear sometimes I feel like the hatred will consume me. I want to kill him, I want him to suffer. What does that say about me Kaden, for Christ sake, he’s my uncle?!”
Even if the touch of Aiyan’s fingers on his skin hadn’t gone from gentle to rough, Kaden could feel Aiyan’s anger inside him through the bond they shared.
Kaden rolled over onto his back and Aiyan laid his head on his chest, he ran his fingers through Aiyan’s hair comforting and calming him all at the same time. “It says that you are my husband, my partner and you will do anything to make sure I’m safe. I would do the same for you. Do you feel better, now that you told me this?” Aiyan nodded but didn’t speak. “Then that is enough for now. I love you Aiyan and we will deal with this together. Everything, always together.” Aiyan smiled and Kaden could feel the curve of his husbands lips on his skin, which made him smile in turn, remembering.
Those three words took Aiyan back to the past, to the night they decided to get their named tattoos. When Aiyan first broached the subject just days before their Mehndi ceremony, Kaden had balked at the idea. But then when Aiyan and Raven showed Kaden drawings of what Aiyan was suggesting they do, Kaden couldn’t deny the sentiment in the gesture.
“I want to get our names tattooed on our arms, here.” Aiyan spoke softly to Kaden as he withdrew his fingers from where they’d been wrapped in Kaden’s and rolled up his sleeve, showing the spot on his upper arm.
Kaden scowled at him, “Don’t you think that is a little grandious, my prince? And what would they say? Aiyan and Kaden, respectively. Or M’anam and My Prince?”
Aiyan turned that wickedly sexy crooked grin on his partner before he answered. “I think our given names, and in a calligraphy style of writing with maybe a celtic border?” Aiyan presented his answer as a question, it would seem he had put a lot of thought into this venture. Kaden still wasn’t convinced, until the next day after lunch, when Raven found him and Aiyan in the library and showed them the drawings he’d made in a likeness of what Aiyan wanted the tattoos to show.
“Wow, that’s really simplistic. I was expecting something more… just, more.” Kaden was pleasantly surprised with the simple, uniqueness of the designs. He had no ink anywhere on his body, having never found anything he wanted to permanently place on his skin. But this, this was a representation of his commitment to Aiyan, a way to show everyone he belonged to this man. So when Raven told them he could do the tattoos right then, Kaden didn’t allow himself time to reconsider, he just nodded in agreement and followed Aiyan and Raven. It was a given that Aiyan’s tattoo would be placed on his left upper arm as he already had a large eagle, and a dragonfly on his right upper arm. Kaden thought his should go on his left arm as well, not only to mirror where his future husband’s ink would go, but it was also the hand where their wedding rings would be.
Kaden followed as Raven led them to the area of the palace where the guards slept.
“The Guardai and The Order are housed in this wing of the palace. And while Raven’s room is in the main area of the palace with the family, he still keeps a room here as well. He has artwork, instruments, some swords he’s collected and his tattoo equipment here.” Aiyan told Kaden as they walked through the never ending hallways within House Gaeland.
“Oh, and the collection of bibles.” Aiyan stopped mid stride and turned to face Kaden. “There are bibles dating back to before Anthony’s time, Raven has, what a dozen or so?” Aiyan turned to Raven who just nodded his response, before turning back to Kaden. “I’ve read several of them. It’s so interesting to see the different translations, how they are all different, and yet… the same.”
Raven entered the room they’d stopped at and Aiyan and Kaden followed him in. The walls were covered almost floor to ceiling with art and drawings, some of which Kaden was certain Raven had created himself. There was a small bookshelf that indeed held a dozen or so bibles, a rack that held several swords and in the corner sat the oddly made chair that could be molded and shaped to hold a person’s body in the correct position for whatever ink they would be getting at the time. Raven motioned for Aiyan to sit as he opened the case with the tools, “You first Aiyan, so Kaden can see what I’m doing and how, since this is his first tattoo.”
Kaden watched as Raven took the wax paper he had drawn the design on and held it over Aiyan’s arm. His gaze continued to roam over Aiyan’s bare chest, those hard muscles and defined abs, up to his adams apple and then landed on that crooked grin. When their eyes met, Aiyan’s dominant brown eyes sparkled, full of love for only Kaden.
“All done!” Raven stated, turning and grabbing a towel from the table next to him. He ran the towel over the design and then applied some type of ointment from a jar. He noticed Kaden watching his every move, a question in his glare. “It’s just a precaution, some healing herbs mixed with the oils from the allive plant. Can you believe they used to apply tattoos with needles, driving the ink into the skin, and there was so much blood. The risk of infection then was much higher than now, the laser pretty much cordarizes the skin as I draw the image, so no risk of infection. But, better safe than sorry, right.”
Aiyan smiled up at him and twisted his body, holding his arm out for Kaden to see. There on his lover’s arm was his name, Kaden, in a fancy script with a border across the top and bottom of the words that was somewhere between the design of barbed wire and a trinity knot.
“Your turn.” Raven waved his hand motioning Aiyan out of the chair and all but pushed Kaden into it. Kaden closed his eyes and rested his head on the back of the chair. He felt the tight grip of Raven’s fingers, digging into his arm to hold it still, the heat from the laser as it traced each letter into his skin. A.I.Y.A.N and then the faint trace of the border, but it was never uncomfortable or painful. He opened his eyes when he felt the brush of the towel on his skin.
Aiyan pulled him up and into his body and they were chest to chest, Kaden had to hold in a gasp when their naked nipples brushed together. Aiyan leaned down and kissed him, running his fingers over his name that was now permanently inked on Kaden’s arm, keeping time with his tongue that brushed over Kaden’s bottom lip. Aiyan pulled back but kept his hand on Kaden’s arm, gently tracing the letters of his name,
“Everything, always together.” He whispered.
Aiyan raised his head and smiled down at him, moving his body up and over Kaden’s. His smile widened when Kaden groaned and thrust his hips up, rubbing their groins together. They were both already impossibly hard, again. “Ready for round two? Want me to fuck you into the mattress this time?” Aiyan said, leaning down and running his tongue along Kaden’s collar bone.
Kaden just laughed and rolled them on the bed where he was on top of Aiyan. “Oh no my prince, I’m going to fuck you into the mattress.”
~ Chapter 2 ~ Angry

Cillian sat at the table pushing the food on his plate around in circles, more interested in reinforcing his men than eating. The encampment he’d found shelter in wasn’t much more than a stones throw away from the palace, but in hind sight, he thought this would be the last place his family would look for him anyway.

He sat and listened to one of the elders telling some of the other’s of how proud he was of the man one of their own had become. This Sawyer, son of Adam and Anna who were proud Outkasts. Apparently Sawyer’s mother died during child birth, and then his father died in a fire here on the grounds just over a dozen years ago. Sawyer was basically adopted by the Ambassador’s of House Devi, the house of that bastard Indian filth that his nephew had wed.

Apparently his niece who was wed to the feisty little bitch from the greek house was, in fact, in love with Sawyer. He tucked that little morsel of information into the back of his mind for a later date. Soon, Cillian would have to weed out how many followers he had here, and if it was even worth staying or moving on to the next group of Outkasts.

Cillian held his knife in a tight grip, jaw clenched, drawing on every ounce of reserve he had to stop from climbing over the table and cutting the old man’s tongue out of his mouth. If for no other reason than to see him bleed. A gruff voice to his right drew Cillian out of
his murderous thoughts.

“If you ask me, the whole lot of them should be burned at the stake. I mean, who are they to tell us who we should love. That I can’t have the same liberties, freedoms and opportunities they have because I’m a man that likes women.”

Cillian stole a glance at the stranger beside him. He was a big man, with arms the size of tree trunks, long dark hair pulled back in a ponytail with a weathered grin plastered on his rugged featured face. Next to him sat a smaller but toned younger man with redder hair
than Cillian had ever seen in his life.

“And who’s that, your girlfriend?” Cillian nodded in the red heads direction, drawing a snarl and a glare from the smaller man.

The big man threw his head back and bellowed, a full laugh that was so loud and boisterous, it shook the table. “No, Augie here is my best mate, a damn fine lad, even if he does prefer the company of a man to that of a large breasted female.”

“You know who I am?” Cillian questioned.

“Ah, yes, the bastard child of Kiernan and Gabriel. The former Ambassador’s to House Gaeland, and the current Ambassador’s to House Gilley. Dumped off here with the outkasts just hours after your birth when you failed your mapping test. Does that about sum it up?” the big man stated in a gleeful tone.

“Well, it seems you have me at a disadvantage. You are?”

“Hell’s Bell’s, how rude of me, names Robert!” the big man thrust his hand toward Cillian, who grudgingly shook, then reached over and shook the red head’s hand as well.

“So what can I do for you fine gentlemen today?” the clipped tone Cillian spoke in assuredly shown his patience was wearing thin.

“Word travels fast among those that are loyal to your cause Cillian. We should talk, but not here, somewhere more private. A group of us have a place a mile or so north of here where we prefer to spend our time, we just come here to the main camp for food, supplies and occasional company. Meet us at the stables in an hour and you can follow us there, meet the rest of our group, and… get to know us a little better.” Robert stole a glance at Augie and Cillian couldn’t help but be curious at what they were offering. He also had a niggling feeling of recognition in the back of his mind every time he met Augie’s green gaze.

Cillian simply nodded once in reply, to which Robert nodded in agreement before he and Augie stood and left the tent. What harm could come from hearing them out, Cillain thought. His mind ever wary of trusting anyone played out the various scenarios. Perhaps they were allies to his cause, but perhaps they weren’t and they meant to capture him for his brother. Just the thought of Cirian and his charmed life made Cillian’s blood boil.

No, Cillian brushed the thought aside, there was something in the red headed mans stare, an anger that swayed Cillian. His gut told him the men were sincere and that he could at least trust their intent. Appetite renewed, he quickly downed his food before leaving the tent virtually unseen, to go and meet his new friends at the stable.

Did that wet your whistle? Anticipating the full story? Well just you wait! As it is right now I’m at 26 chapters (52000 words approx) and there is still a bit more to add. So, again, I’m hopeful I can still bring this to you on August 31st, but I will definitely keep you all up to date on the official release date.

Continue reading

Steampunk With Heart–Guest Post and Giveaways

Hi there! Today I’m letting my good friend and writing pal Susan Kay Quinn take over my page for:
Steampunk with Heart: Steampunk IS Romance
with Susan Kaye Quinn and Scott E. Tarbet
She’s a great gal and an awesome writer–who might could like giveaways as much as me, so:
**see bottom of post for steampunk giveaways** AND
**see Steampunk With Heart Page for Facebook Party schedule**

Without further ado, Susan, and her fellow steampunker, Scott…

Susan Kaye Quinn: As I was writing my steampunk romance (ThirdDaughter, The Dharian Affairs #1), it struck me that the term Steampunk Romance is just a bit redundant. Yes, some steampunk stories have romance as the main driver of their plot, but to me, the entire genre is inherently romantic. These stories take place in a bygone era (or entirely fictional analogue of one), alleviating some of the oppressive ideas of the past while keeping the lush aesthetics and romantic ideas about relationships and love. How could that be termed anything other than Romantic?

I discussed this very issue with fellow Steampunk Romance author Scott Tarbet, over tea and fictional crumpets (the tea was real; tea is always real):
Susan Kaye Quinn: Scott, you suggested the title for our little chat, Steampunk IS Romance. How is it you think Steampunk is romance?

Scott E. Tarbet: Steampunk is all about goggles, right? We use them as a convenient symbol of the entire genre. Through our steampunk goggles we look at the world in a different way, a more romantic way. We get to reimagine reality (sometimes the Victorian past, sometimes alternative futures) without the fettering realities of modern technology and recent history. We get an imagined do-over.

Let’s face it: from an historical perspective the 20th Century was horrible. Sure, there were rapid technological advances, but with them came the worst wars, genocides, and horrors in all of human history. What a wonderful thing it is to put on our Steampunk goggles and imagine a simpler, more romantic world without that 20th Century baggage!
Susan Kaye Quinn: I love the idea of using our magic googles of re-imagination! Speaking of imaginative retellings, your book, Midsummer Night’s Steampunk, is a Shakespearean love story retold in a steampunk setting. It’s like a multiplication of romances! Can you tell us a bit about it, and how the romance of steampunk plays into your story?

Scott E. Tarbet: Susan, you’re 100% right! A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk (AMNS) is just what you would expect from the title: a resetting of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy/romance into the Victorian Era. Let me do a little stage-setting:

If you ask any three Steampunks for a definition of what Steampunk is, you’ll get at least five different answers involving the clothing, the weaponry, and the literature. But common to every definition I’ve seen is the gender politics. Did the genders have equal rights and influence in the real life version of the Victorian Era? Not even close. Would the 20th Century have been very different if they had been? Ooooh yeah!

One of my favorite academic writers, who takes on Steampunk as a field of study, Dr. Mike Perschon, puts it this way: “[W]e make the past in our image, as we do whenever a nineteenth century woman isn’t slowly going crazy in a room with psychedelic wallpaper.”

Writing AMNS I had great fun projecting how history would have been different if Vicky, the mother of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, who happened to be the eldest daughter of Britain’s Queen Victoria, had been able to take that brat over her knee and straighten him out. There would have been no World War I, no Russian Revolution, no World War II, no Holocaust, no Cold War. Millions around the world would have lived out very different lives. The world we live in today would be a very different place.
Would the two young girls in Shakespeare’s romance also have been different people? Yes, in fundamental ways. As a result many of the elements of their respective romances would have been different in interesting ways. My heroine, Pauline, is a Sorbonne-educated engineer, the epitome of the strong, educated woman.

So AMNS gave me the opportunity to play with this romantic concept, and bring these three strong women (and several others) to the center of the stage of world politics. It was a lot of fun.

My turn to ask you, Susan: the world you create in Third Daughter also has gender politics flipped on their ear, making strong female characters possibleóeven necessary. How did that feel for you as a woman, and as a writer?

Susan Kaye Quinn: Wow, that’s quite a question! Third Daughter definitely turns gender politics upside down, imagining an analogue India where Queens rule and society is very used to the fact that all women, especially the Daughters of the Queen, carry significant influence and power. As a writer, I loved playing with the concept of male courtesans, and how a princess who carries true power might have to wrestle between marrying for love and marrying to keep her country from war. That premise takes a classic political intrigue and interweaves a very feminine perspective into it without losing either the romance or the adventure. Add in the inherent lushness and romance of an east-Indian aesthetic, and I like that reviewers are calling it vivid and crisp. It tells me that I got something right in the descriptions!

Personally, as a woman who has worked in engineering but now writes fiction, strong female characters come naturally to me. But I know that female empowerment is a huge issue in India, and I hope that I can, through a small flight of fancy, give a taste of that empowerment to young woman, no matter where they live in the world.
Speaking of India, Scott, I hear you have an east-Indian character in your story as well! Can you tell us about her and her role in the story?

Scott Tarbet: I do! Her name is Lakshmi, and she is the Steampunk analogue of the character Titania in Shakespeare’s play. In the play, Titania and Oberon are the fairy queen and king. In my adaptation they are genius inventors. Lakshmi is the daughter of the sultan of Golkondah, a physician, engineer, inventor, and philanthropist. Truth be told, not only is she my ideal woman, but she is everything I myself would like to be my idealized feminine side. To me she embodies all aspects of love: romantic, filial, and godly. She is a profoundly romantic figure, in the best possible sense.

Her efforts to stave off the disasters that will befall the 20th Century world the analogue extension of the conflict between Titania and Oberon over the little Indian boy are the heart of the political intrigues of the novel. Together with the other queens, she forms the heart (literally and figuratively) of the resistance to evil.
I think of Lakshmi as embodying all that is best and most charming in the Steampunk genre: she represents the bridge between unattainable magic and the good that can come from attainable technology. The spirit of Lakshmi is why I love Steampunk.
Now, I see that Third Daughter is part of a series, The Dharian Affairs. What can you tell us about the future of the characters we meet in Third Daughter without spoiling the surprises for us, of course.
Susan Kaye Quinn: The Dharian Affairs will be a trilogy: Third Daughter, Second Daughter, First Daughter. Aniri, the spunky Third Daughter who wrestles with love and duty, will be the main character throughout, but in Second Daughter, we’ll get to see more of Aniri’s beloved sister, the princess whose fate was sealed from the start by an arranged marriage to protect an alliance. In First Daughter, the adventure will continue closer to home, where Aniri’s oldest sister and heir-apparent, the First Daughter, plays a prominent role in bringing the trilogy to a close. In fairy tales, the number three plays an almost mystical role, and I love the idea of exploring each daughter’s role in the fate of the Queendom.
Will we see more from the characters you created in AMNS?
Scott Tarbet: Yes! There’s a short story called Ganesh that tells the backstory of one of the characters in AMNS. It is to be part of anthology of AMNS short stories at some point in the future. I’ll soon be putting it online exclusively for people who have already enjoyed AMNS.
The next book set in the AMNS universe, Lakshmi, is well underway. It’s up to Xchyler Publishing whether it will come out before or after my novel Dragon Moon.
Susan, it has been a great pleasure chatting with you. All the best to you and your readers!

Susan Kaye Quinn: The pleasure was all mine, Sir!

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, which is young adult science fiction. The Dharian Affairs trilogy is her excuse to dress up in corsets and fight with swords. She also has a dark-and-gritty SF serial called The Debt Collector and a middle grade fantasy called Faery Swap. It’s possible she’s easily distracted. Her business card says “Author and Rocket Scientist” and she always has more speculative fiction fun in the works. You can subscribe to her newsletter (hint: new subscribers get a free short story!) or stop by her blog to see what she’s up to.
Third Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #1)


The Third Daughter of the Queen wants to marry for love, but rumors of a new flying weapon force her to accept a barbarian prince’s proposal of a peace-brokering marriage.

I reviewed THIRD DAUGHTER back in December. SO GOOD! Check it out here.

Scott Tarbet is the author of A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk from Xchyler Publishing, Tombstone, in the paranormal anthology Shades & Shadows, and the forthcoming Lakshmi, Dragon Moon, and Nautilus Redux. He writes enthusiastically in several genres, sings opera, was married in full Elizabethan regalia, loves steampunk waltzes, and slow-smokes thousands of pounds of Texas-style barbeque. An avid skier, hiker, golfer, and tandem kayaker, he makes his home in the mountains of Utah. Follow Scott E. Tarbet online at his website or on Twitter.

A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk

Immerse yourself in this Steampunk retelling of Shakespeare’s classic, replete with the newfound wizardry of alternative Victorian technology, mistaken identities, love triangles, and deadly peril, set against the backdrop of a world bracing itself for war, and Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

Twenty prizes are up for grabs, folks!
All you gotta do is click this little linky-loo…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, and as always: keep reading my friends!

SPIRIT Book Blitz and Giveaway

Release Date: 04/30/13
Summary from Goodreads:
Not even a guardian angel is more powerful than Death.

Always careful to watch out for others, Shayna put too much trust her abilities to keep herself safe and has been cut down by crazed man. Now she is trapped in the land of the dead, watching as her two best friends suffer the consequences of her death; their powers are fading and soon they will too. Shayna is desperate to return to the land of the living to save them from a similar, cold fate. To save her friends Shayna must turn away from the Light and, in doing so, sacrifice her wings.

But the longer Shayna stays among the dead, the further she slips from sanity. If Shayna cannot find her way back she will be condemned and lost forever among the restless souls of the dead. With nothing left to lose, she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back, with or without her wings.

Available from:
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Excerpt #2:
Traffic was still zipping up and down Main Street, life moving on without me. I kept close to the building, in the darker shadows, as I glanced up, down, and across the street. The last thing I needed was for my guardian angel to take me by surprise again. The sidewalk was clear, and from this distance, I couldn’t see anything by the park across the street, next to Anthony’s building. I had never really registered that he lived across the street from Cemetery Park, so named because it was an active cemetery up until the early 1940s.

Sometime in the sixties, the city decided to convert it into a park, but they never moved the bodies. The place always creeped me out, especially when I saw people playing fetch with their dogs or taking a picnic with their kids, knowing they were on top of hundreds of unmarked graves. But I wasn’t prepared for what I saw that night.

Dozens and dozens of spectral entities were all around the park, obscuring the finely manicured lawn. In the last few days, I had seen other ghosts’ fleeting forms, but none as tangible as me and none returned my gaze. Here though, when I crossed the street and stood in front of the park next to Anthony’s apartment building, no less than four spirits turned their deathly gaze upon me. For a
moment, I felt as though I couldn’t move, like a mouse caught in a corner as the big angry cat hunkered down in front of it, just waiting.

Of the four staring at me, two were small girls who looked to be about nine and ten years old. They both wore plain white dresses that hung past their knees and cinched up to their necks. Their high-top black dress shoes were practically lost in the shadows. Another of the four was a war veteran. Of what war I couldn’t be sure, but he didn’t look much older than me as he glared my way. The last was an old, hunched over Chumash woman. Her bedraggled, dark hair swung down, obscuring her face from time to time as she swayed where she stood. Her face was a relief map of wrinkles, a testament to the long life she had before she died.

I wasn’t sure who to keep my eyes on; they were all glaring at me but spread out enough that I had to make an effort to look at each of them. The larger of the two girls tilted her head to the side, drawing my attention to her. Her large eyes looked black in the night. She blinked slowly, her mouth opening slightly, as she lifted one hand and crooked her pale finger, beckoning me to come. Absurdly, I felt the desire to step forward, to answer her call, just like the pull of the White Light.

I managed to keep my feet planted on the sidewalk, though my toes were dangerously close to the edge of the grass. I had the feeling that if I crossed the line of cement and desecrated ground, that tiny waif of a girl would be on me like a rabid dog on the last bone in the world. I shifted my weight and took one small step backward. I heard the howling of the lost souls milling about the grounds. The girl’s head snapped back, and her mouth opened into a terrible black maw. She screamed long and loud before she rushed for me.

Her fingers were crooked into claws and her hands stretched out as she flew across the ground in her mad rage. I flinched against the sounds she made, feeling something for the first time in days, and covered my ears. I panicked and scrambled backward, tripping over my own feet, and fell to the ground. She was nearly on top of me. I started to gather the shadows about me, ready to flee, but as she reached the edge of the grass, she slammed into an invisible wall, then bounced off and tumbled backward.

The milling mass of spirits began to shift toward us. The noise and reverberating energy drew their attention like moths to a flame. I pushed back, putting a little more distance between me and the edge of the cemetery, before I got to my feet. I dusted my hands off on my jeans out of habit and straightened my sweater. When I finally found the courage to look up again, the entire population of the cemetery was pressed close to the edge of the grass, practically looming over me. I clenched my hands into fists to keep them from shaking and lifted my chin. They couldn’t cross the line to get to me, and there was no way they would get me to do it for them. I was fine; I just had to stay on the sidewalk.

The soldier caught my attention, pulling it away from the still glaring, screaming girl in white. He stepped forward out of the crowd. A few tendrils of pale white slipped from his shoulders. He wasn’t quite at the grass line. His face was calm and sad. I watched as he inclined his head toward me in a nod, which I returned. One corner of his mouth lifted in a small half smile. I stepped forward.

He lifted his hand, his fingers splayed as if he would intertwine them with mine. I lifted my hand, opening my fingers and began to reach for him. I took another half-step forward, a few blades of grass bending over the toe of my boot.

“Shayna, no!” a voice called out like a ringing bell in the still, silent night.

Rest of the books in the Elemental series:
(link to Goodreads)
About the Author
Like so many other writers, Shauna grew up as an avid reader, but it was in high school that she realized she wanted to be a writer. Five years ago, Shauna started work on her Elemental Series. She released the first installment, Earth, on May 1, 2011 and has since released four sequels, with the series coming to an end with Spirit. She is currently hard at work on a new Urban Fantasy series, staring a spunky witch with a smush-faced cat named Artemis.

Author Links:
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1 – Signed Paperback of winner’s choice of books 1-5 in
the Elemental series. (US only)
1 – e-book of winner’s choice of books 1-5 in the
Elemental series. (INT)

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Get caught in UNDERTOW and WIN!!

Undertow, the shocking sequel to Dragonfly, is OUT NOW!

Early Readers are saying…

“An incredibly powerful sequel to Dragonfly. I found myself riveted to the last page by the depth of feeling, loss, tragedy, and love in this gorgeously woven story. A definite must-read.” –Jolene Perry, author of Out of Play

“As far as a second book for a series goes, Undertow knocked it out of the park.” –Jessica, Bend in the Binding reviews

“My God I am so emotional! I have to give a huge KUDOS to Leigh because she knows how to write a story like no one’s business!” –Tee, Diary of a Book Addict reviews

Undertow pulled me under and left me gasping for air and wanting so much more. I couldn’t stop thinking about these characters, and now I’ll never be able to get a shirtless Bill Kyser out of my head.” –Magan Vernon, bestselling author of The Only Exception

Amazing! The characters are lovely, but they’re also flawed–that sort of ‘realness’ and honesty breathes life into them and is truly refreshing to come across as a reader. A fantastic story with a unique execution.” –Kristin, Goodreads reviewer

Book 2 in the Dragonfly series
by Leigh Talbert Moore
On Amazon
Falling in love will pull you under…
-Bill Kyser has a plan to take the sandy farms of his hometown and turn them into a world-class tourist destination–and become a billionaire in the process. 
-Alexandra “Lexy” LaSalle has a plan to change her life by becoming a world-famous artist. 
-Meg Weaver has a plan to hold onto Bill no matter what she has to do.

Three friends, three dreams.
One fatal decision will change all their lives forever.
In Dragonfly, Bill Kyser gave Anna the three journals that held the story behind the powerful developer’s seclusion and the damaged lives of his family members. 
Anna hopes to find a way for Julian to know the truth, but as she digs deeper into the tragic events of the past, she realizes silence could be the only option. 
Now she’s in an alliance with the man she formerly feared. And if Julian finds out what she knows, she could lose for good the boy she’s starting to love.

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“The characters were intriguing, the mystery and story were interesting, and definitely have ME WANTING MORE!!!!!!!” –Mandy, The Romance Bookie

“Great book to dive into poolside, but I will warn you may get so swept up in it you may end up with some sun burn so I STRONGLY suggest you invest in some sunscreen as well as a copy of Dragonfly.” —Nichole, Book Addicts Not So Anonymous

“Gossip Girl meets VC Andrews in this contemporary family saga. Love, lies, and betrayal become the new normal when Anna enters the world of Jack and Lucy Kyser.” –Magan Vernon, international bestselling author of The Only Exception

On Amazon
by Leigh Talbert Moore
Three bad things I learned this year:
-People you trust lie, even parents. 
-That hot guy, the one who’s totally into you, he might not be the one. 
-Things are not always how they appear.

Three good things I learned this year:
-Best friends are always there for you, even when they’re far away. 
-That other hot guy, the one who remembers your birthday, he just might be the one. 
-Oh, and things are not always how they appear.
Anna Sanders expected an anonymous (and uneventful) senior year until she crossed paths with rich-and-sexy Jack Kyser and his twin sister Lucy.
Pulling Anna into their extravagant lifestyle on the Gulf Coast, Lucy pushed Anna outside her comfort zone, and Jack showed her feelings she’d never experienced… Until he mysteriously withdrew.
Anna turned to her internship at the city paper and to her old attraction for Julian, a handsome local artist and rising star, for distraction. But both led to her discovery of a decades-old secret closely guarded by the twins’ distant, single father. 
A secret that could permanently change all their lives.

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