Her Dangerous Crush by Megan Slayer #MafiaRomance #ContemporaryRomance @MeganSlayer

Her Dangerous Crush (Jordan Brothers 6)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

Danil Jordan never wanted a second chance at love. He had the woman he loved in his arms — until she left him for another man. He embraced the bitterness and displeasure with his brothers because they had the things he wanted — love and passion. Can he change his ways and have the love he deserves? Or will her past tear them apart?

Maura Wylie has deep secrets and believes the only way to run from her problems is to work as a maid in the Jordan mansion. She’s lusted after Danil for years and sees the man behind the pain. Will she be enough for him? Or will her past be more than he can handle?

There’s a chance they can make the passion burn into something permanent. Will they take the chance or walk away before someone gets hurt?

 

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Megan Slayer

Maura Burke fixed her dress and strode across the room. She’d never intended on being a servant. Her family would die if they knew she’d been reduced to cleaning another family’s house, especially the Jordan family home.

Her brother had hated the Jordan family. But her brother was dead. Kurt Wylie had sworn the Jordans were the scum of Shaker. He didn’t know them, but he’d been pretty quick to jump into bed with Danil’s wife. She knew the family and saw the human side of them. They weren’t as bad as her brother had made them out to be.

She dusted the china propped on the mantle. Her brother would have hated knowing she’d lowered herself to working for a living, but she enjoyed her job. Truth be told, she thrived in the working environment. Plus, she liked the tight uniform and earning her way.

She liked watching the family, too. No one cared who she was — although she guessed Dash knew the truth. He knew everything. Still, they left her alone and didn’t say anything about her half-brother.

She continued to dust as Danil strode into the living room. “Hello,” she said. “Mr. Jordan.”

“Call me Danil.” He stopped in front of the window. “Am I interrupting you? I’m sorry. I stomped in here when you’re cleaning.”

“No, sir.” A thrill shot through her. The job was to be a maid for the family, but she longed to have Danil alone order her around in private, too. She loved the commanding tone of his voice and the passion in his eyes. His wife hadn’t deserved him.

“If I’m in the way, you can tell me to go.” Danil folded his arms and kept his back to her. “How are you today?”

“I’m fine, sir. Thank you for asking.” She held onto the duster with both hands. “How are you today?”

He glanced over his shoulder. “Maura?”

“Sir?” He knew her name. She’d love for him to be her sir in so many ways. She resumed dusting, but memorized the sound of her name on his lips. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked such a personal question.”

“No.” He stepped up to the fireplace and tipped his head to meet her gaze. “I appreciate you asking.”

“Then I’m glad I did.” She smoothed her skirt. “How are you, sir?”

“Danil. Please, call me Danil.” A tiny smile curled on his lips.

“I will. How are you, Danil?” She swept her gaze over him. Strong, tall, lean… everything she liked in a man. His deep voice sent shivers down her spine. He could be tough and demanding, but also tender. Was he tattooed like Dash? She wanted to find out.

“I’m okay,” Danil said. “One day at a time, you know?”

“I do.” She kept distance between them, despite wanting to hug him. His sadness radiated from him.

“How long have you worked here?” Danil asked.

“A year.” Since his wife and her brother had passed away. She’d thought if she worked for them, she could keep an eye on Danil and maybe ease some of his pain — except he hadn’t paid her much attention until now.

“Do you like it?”

“I do.” She’d rather work for him, but she’d crushed on Danil since she was a little girl.

“You’re paid well, I assume?”

“I am. I have my own room in the servants’ quarters, too.” She preferred the simplicity of her life and the lack of expectations other than to do her job.

“Does my brother make you work all the time?”

“Four days a week.” Man, he was full of questions today.

“Are you working tonight?”

“In the laundry. It’s my late shift.” She fiddled with the handle of the duster. “I’m only there until eight.”

“Have dinner with me instead. Forget the laundry,” he said. “Have a night to unwind.”

Besides being a breach of worker-boss etiquette, he’d have a shit fit when he found out she was Wylie’s half-sister. He’d think she was a spy rather than a concerned person.

“Maura.”

She could lose everything if she agreed.

He nodded. “Understood. Forget I asked.” He turned his back on her. “I should’ve realized you’ve got a boyfriend.”

 

More from Megan Slayer at Changeling Press …

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on various e-tailer sites.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

 

 

A Shot at Living by Lou Sylvre #BDSM #ContemporaryRomance #LGBT

A Shot at Living (Vasquez Inc. 3)

Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

Anxious to leave London and its horrors behind, Brian Harrison and Jackie Vasquez move to Los Angeles. Brian hopes working for Luki, managing a small Vasquez Security branch, will leave him more time to live, love, and play with sub Jackie. But Los Angeles awakens old trauma for Jackie, and follows that with a brand new hit.

While Jackie struggles back to health after a crippling accident, Brian strives to find his balance as Jackie’s lover and Dom. Meanwhile, the more Brian defies the order not to investigate the disappearance of the previous branch manager, the deeper and darker the mystery gets.

Can the couple fan the lusty flames still burning between them, rekindle romance, and rise together in time to stand against looming dangers just ahead?

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or pre-order for December 27th at retailers

 

SNEAK PEEK

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Lou Sylvre

Oak Flats, Nebraska

It seemed like a hundred years since Jackie had woken up to a Midwest snow day, though in reality he’d watched a blustery snowfall outside this very window in his and Josh’s old room in Kaholo’s house less than a year ago. He’d still been a student at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, and he’d come to visit his great-uncle over the MLK day weekend. He’d gone to bed that night with clouds obscuring a sickle moon, and in that misty light he’d dreamed sweet and sexy dreams of Brian Harrison.

He’d just found Brian again a few weeks earlier, six years after their first meeting — six years after Brian had helped rescue him from a sociopath at a crime lord’s compound in the Umatilla. Back then, Jackie, an already traumatized teen, had instinctively trusted Brian. When they’d met again last year, he still felt that way — intrigued, connected, and totally safe. He imagined at the time that he might have found a friend, a lover, and the Dom of his sub dreams. Hence the hot visions of Brian warming his dreams that wintry night.

Now, a year later, he smiled at the January morning outside his window, watched the frosted branches glitter under a pale sun riding low in a crystal sky, and snuggled back against that very same Brian in the flesh.

Despite calendar proof to the contrary, Jackie felt years older — no doubt because so much had happened in little more than a year’s time. He’d graduated from the University of Nebraska, got together with Brian, and spent four long, frustrating, scary months in London, England. When he’d left the States, he’d known better than to have specific expectations of what London would be like, or the university he’d be attending, or even seeing Brian more and becoming his exclusive lover and sub. But no one could have predicted the horror story those months in England had become.

Some things had been good — specifically the being-Brian’s-lover-and-sub part. Although, truthfully, Brian had been so busy with work that Jackie had spent a lot of frustrated time waiting for him to show or call or answer his phone. He wasn’t quite sure if trying to keep busy and keep his mind off not seeing his boyfriend was part of the reason he’d gotten into such deep, deep shit. But whatever the reason, it had been shit and it certainly did get deep.

Multiple murder deep. Pair of true psychos deep. Jackie’d had to save himself and a friend from them, and he’d pulled it off pretty well. Still, in the end Brian had come to the rescue with exquisite timing.

In the aftermath, Brian had been politely asked to resign his Scotland Yard job, and Jackie had been less than welcome to return to London University — somehow the blame for his psych prof having been a sociopathic murderer had come to rest on Jackie’s own compact, freckled shoulders. He and Brian had decided they would be all too happy to put London behind them. They’d packed up their things, Marley the cat and Soldier the dog, and booked their flights.

“Maybe we’ll come back someday, though,” Brian had said after they’d boarded the plane at Heathrow, U.S. bound. “I’ve lived here more than six years, and up until now, I loved it. If you were with me, I’d love it more.” Jackie would have been willing to talk more about the possibility, but as soon as the plane reached cruising altitude, with its accompanying reduced engine noise and unplugged ears, Brian got horribly, mercilessly airsick. The subject had never come up again, but he supposed it probably would sometime in the next year or two.

Meanwhile here they were, the two of them, still at Kaholo’s house after Christmas and New Year’s. They were enjoying a very long layover on the way to Los Angeles, where Jackie would be continuing to work toward his master’s and then hopefully his doctorate. Brian would soon be working for Luki. He’d been hired to manage the recently abandoned Los Angeles office of Vasquez Security.

Or, make that VSI — Vasquez Security, Incorporated. After recovering from cancer, Luki had taken a giant step back from his close management and daily work with the very successful business and made it a limited corporation, with Jackie, Josh, and Kaholo owning a 29 percent share between them. Luki held on to his own 35 percent while Sonny held 16 percent in his own right, meaning as a married couple they still had a controlling 51 percent of the business. The rest had been divvied up between Josh’s year-old daughter, Jade, a marvelous friend named Margie, and a stock pool for VSI employees. He’d explained to Brian and Jackie that decentralizing had been part of his plan, making branch managers much more independent.

“I guess that means you’re working for yourself, sort of,” Jackie had said to Brian later while they walked a path through the oak trees at dusk, throwing sticks along the way for Bear, Luki’s chow mix, and Soldier, whose white Belgian shepherd coat made him hard to spot in the snow.

“Hah!” Brian smiled and took Jackie’s hand, warming it even through their gloves. “I don’t think there will ever be even a hint of a question about who’s the boss at VSI, to tell the truth.”

Jackie had laughed and teased, “You mean the answer isn’t going to be Brian Harrison?”

Brian had actually snorted at the ridiculous idea. “Hell, Luki’s nickname is ‘Boss.’ I don’t think ‘decentralizing’ went so far as to change that. And besides who would ever want to argue with him?”

But when Jackie spoke to Jude, Luki’s office admin — who also happened to be a very good friend — she snickered.

“He just thinks he’s the boss,” she’d said. “And I let him go on believing.”

 

MORE FROM LOU AT CHANGELING PRESS …

Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and likes to conjure it into books. The sweethearts on her pages are men who end up loving each other — and usually saving each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and very, very sexy. As if you’d want to know more, she’ll happily tell you that she is a proudly bisexual woman — a mother, grandmother, lover of languages, and cat-herder — of mixed cultural heritage. She works closely with lead cat and writing assistant, the (male) Queen of Budapest, Boudreau St. Clair. She lives in the rainy part of the Pacific Northwest, and hearing from a reader infallibly brightens the dreary weather. Find her through her links listed here, or drop her a line at lou.sylvre@gmail.com.

 

The Naughty List by Cameron Allie #BDSM #HolidayRomance #Contemporary #preorder

THENAUGHTYLIST

The Naughty List

Series: Naughty or Nice (Book One)

Genre Information: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Holiday, BDSM

Length: 40,000 Words

ABOUT THE BOOK

Can Kylie be naughty enough to get on Santa’s list this Christmas?

When Kylie confesses that she’s never enjoyed sex, she didn’t expect her friend to suggest joining her at a BDSM club. Every December, the club’s Santa picks one woman from his naughty list to take home for a night of uninhibited, wild sex. The catch? She has to prove she can be naughty enough to please him.

Already nervous, the last thing Kylie anticipated when she walked into the club, was that she’d recognize Santa. She certainly hadn’t expected the holiday Dom to be her brother’s, nicer than nice, best friend.

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SNEAK PEEK

“Can I tell you something that’s a little embarrassing for me?” Kylie sat on her friend’s sofa, sipping hot cocoa while watching Love Actually. In the next room, the freshly decorated Christmas tree was twinkling brightly.

Kylie had met Hannah at work a few months ago, and they’d instantly hit it off. They were both single, both thirty years old, both personal trainers, and both on their second career after failing to enjoy what they’d originally set out to do.

Hannah had gone to college to become a social worker, but she had underestimated the emotional drain that came with such a demanding job. She’d burned out very quickly. Kylie had become a daycare teacher but had quickly become frustrated with the broken system and had quit after her first year.

As the holidays drew closer, Hannah had invited Kylie over to trim the tree and partake in some traditional holiday merriment. With the tree finished, a batch of gingerbread in the oven, and their bellies full from hot chocolate, they were both pretty tuckered out, and yet tomorrow they had plans to go shopping.

“Of course.” Hannah glanced over but turned back to the screen.

Kylie thought Hannah’s divided attention might make her confession easier to deliver. “I’ve never enjoyed sex.”

“What?” Turning so fast she nearly spilled her mug, Hannah grabbed the remote, paused the film, and set down her cup. “What do you mean, you’ve never enjoyed sex?”

Kylie shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s always been just okay. Like I could take or leave it. It’s something I should do because, well, that’s what you do in a relationship, right?”

Hannah frowned. Clearly she didn’t understand.

Disappointed, Kylie wanted to disappear into the couch. She wished she hadn’t said anything.

“Maybe you haven’t been with the right guy?” Hannah suggested.

“I’ve been with my fair share of men. None of them seem to do it for me.” She didn’t consider herself a floozy, but after a long-term relationship, a few shorter ones, and a couple of one-night stands, she knew sex was just a big disappointment for her.

“Maybe you’re just not into sex. Some people aren’t. Maybe you’re asexual. Do you have sex with yourself?”

Kylie blushed. She really shouldn’t have started this conversation.

When she didn’t answer, Hannah brazenly went on, “Like, do you own any toys or touch yourself? Stuff like that?”

“I shouldn’t have brought it up.” Kylie went to pick up the remote to un-pause the film, but Hannah snatched it from her.

“No. This is important.” Hannah switched the TV off. “You know I won’t judge you, right? You can tell me anything.”

Kylie wasn’t sure. Their friendship was so new, but they’d bonded very fast. Kylie felt closer to Hannah than she did to any of her friends from high school. At times she even felt closer with her than she felt to her own sister.

“How about I tell you something first? Something I don’t normally share. Will that help?”

Kylie stretched forward and set her mug down on the coffee table. “Look, Hannah, I don’t want to push you—”

“I visit a BDSM club,” Hannah announced. “You know what that is?”

With wide eyes, Kylie nodded.

“I visit a BDSM club, and recently I’ve been holding the attention of two Doms. Do you understand?”

“Sort of.”

“Sometimes, I have sex with both of them. They tell me what to do, and I do it. No questions asked.”

Kylie’s heart started to race. Maybe she could open up to Hannah. Her lifestyle brushed up against the things Kylie had often fantasized about trying but had never acted on. Two Doms though, that wasn’t for her. She just wanted one good sexual experience. Was that too much to ask for, for Christmas?

“So, that’s my little secret. How about you? Do you have sex with yourself?” Hannah circled back to her original question, leaving Kylie with a million questions she wanted to ask, but didn’t yet dare to.

Bravely, she replied, “Yes.”

“So you think you would enjoy sex? You know, with the right partner?”

She nodded.

“Are you gay?”

Kylie shook her head. “No! Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m just not.”

“Okay. So maybe it’s the guys you’ve been seeing. What are they like?”

They’d all been jerks. Well, not all of them, but most. “They’re either really boring or selfish assholes in bed.”

Hannah pursed her lips.

As she thought about it, Kylie wrung her hands. “Can you tell me more about the BDSM club?”

Slowly, a grin came over Hannah’s mouth. “Got a little fantasy tucked away in there?”

Kylie felt her face go red again. “Maybe.”

“So the club I go to is kind of like a night club. There’s a bar, some dancing, a main stage for exhibitionists, but there are also private rooms. There’s a dungeon master to ensure everything is safe and consensual. And when it comes to alcohol, there are strict rules, particularly for those engaging in active play.”

“But what goes on there?” Kylie didn’t want to be nosy, but she was curious. She wondered what active play was.

“Some people go to hook up or act out a scene. Some go to meet new people or show off their subs. There’s all types of fetishes going on, though admittedly, this club isn’t as hardcore as others I’ve been to. This one is a little more vanilla, but it’s not uncommon to see a good whipping or paddling. What are you into?”

Kylie bit her lip as she considered telling Hannah. “I’ve read all the books.”

Hannah rolled her eyes. “You mean like that Grey book?”

Clearly, that wasn’t impressive. Everyone and their mother—hell, their grandmother—had read about Christian Grey.

Kylie gave her a little more. “I’ve read Tiffany Reisz, Anne Rice, Sierra Cartwright, Joey W. Hill, Angela Knight, and Angel Payne. To name a few.”

“Okay. There’s something there to work with.”

Briefly closing her eyes, Kylie fessed up. “I’ve watched a lot of videos, too.” Her blush deepened as she glanced at her friend. “And I’ve joined a couple of online chats, but nothing ever face-to-face or via video. Only messaging.”

Save Santa the Trip

Preorder with eXtasy Books

On sale at eXtasy Books on December 20th 2019. All other retailers by December 27th 2019.

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My Dragon, My Dom by Dulce Dennison #GayRomance #LGBT #shifters #paranormalromance #holidayromance #Christmasromance

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Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight

 

Officer Corbin Richters has gone through more partners than he can count. They all claim he’s difficult to work with, but he knows better. They’re scared being gay might be something they can catch. Idiots. When he’s assigned yet another partner, his inner dragon perks up and takes notice. Josh is different from anyone he’s ever met. Unfortunately, he’s also human.

When the two are tasked with getting Christmas trees for families in need, they never count on growing close. The more time Corbin spends with Josh, the more certain he becomes the man is his mate.

*NOTE: This is a re-release that has been freshly edited and has a new cover.

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or pre-order for December 20th at retailers

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SNEAK PEEK

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Dulce Dennison

Corbin Richters watched the sexy-as-hell man walking through the door of the precinct, his blue uniform fitted snugly to his shoulders and chest, silver badge gleaming under the fluorescent lights, his stride powerful and purposeful as he approached Captain Meeker. The dark hair on his head stood out in disarray but it was artfully done, the waves beckoning to be touched in an intimate caress. His eyes looked green from this distance, and they took everything in with a swift assessment that said he was ready for whatever danger that might be lurking within the precinct walls. Whoever he was, he wasn’t a rookie. No one got that hard-edged look, the look of a predator, the first day on the job.

Corbin’s heart kicked in his chest and his hands clenched on top of the desk. What he wouldn’t give to peel away that uniform and see what lay beneath the crisp, blue material. He unconsciously licked his lips as he thought about trailing kisses along those broad shoulders. Corbin’s skin heated and his cock twitched in his pants. He felt his scales ripple under his skin and fought for control. Hell, here he was fantasizing over the man, and he wasn’t even sure if the cop was into men or women. Or both. It had been a long time since he’d had such a reaction to someone on first sight, and he wanted to explore the feelings a bit more.

“Damn.” He sneaked a quick glance around. Had he said that out loud?

Corbin watched as the officer shook hands with the captain and then as Captain Meeker pointed at Corbin. Why on earth was the captain sending Mr. Sexy his way? Not that he was going to complain! Still, he had to admit to being curious. What did the man’s voice sound like? Would he offer to shake hands? Would that small contact arouse Corbin’s dragon even more? The beast was already more than a little intrigued.

The object of his desire strode across the room with panther-like grace, his movements fluid and beautiful, and stopped at the edge of Corbin’s desk. The officer flashed him a smile, one that had his dragon — lusty beast — perking up considerably, and held out his hand.

Corbin stood and shook it, an electrical current shooting up his arm, swirling down through his chest, and settling in his balls, making them draw up tight. His cock gave another jerk, but if the officer noticed — and something told Corbin that he had — he wasn’t commenting on it. Corbin had thought the man would pack a punch, but it still took him by surprise, this visceral reaction. He couldn’t remember the last time his dragon and he had been in total agreement on their choice of bed partners.

The man’s voice was crisp and clipped as he introduced himself. “Josh Myers.”

“Corbin Richters.” Corbin released Josh’s hand reluctantly before he did something stupid, like jerk him closer for a different sort of embrace. As it was, he wanted to bury his nose against the man’s neck and inhale that incredible scent that was teasing him.

“It seems I’m your new partner,” Josh said.

Partner? Corbin shot the captain a look. No one had said anything about a new partner. Corbin had only been part of the Blueberry Hill Police Department for a little over a month, having been lucky enough to land the job within a week of hitting town. And yet he’d already gone through two partners. The men had claimed Corbin was too rough and rude, but he knew the truth. They didn’t care that he was black. They hadn’t wanted to work with a gay officer. Probably afraid it would rub off on them or some stupid shit like that.

“I take it this is news to you,” Josh said, that gorgeous smile flirting around his lips again. Lips that looked full and soft, the kind of lips a man could kiss forever.

Corbin cleared his throat, hoping to get better control of himself. “Yeah, I hadn’t heard that I was getting a new partner today.” He met Josh’s gaze. “But I’m glad you’re here.” Too direct?

Josh’s smile broadened and there was something in his eyes, a warmth that told Corbin his advances might be welcome. He supposed time would tell. It was possible the guy was just being friendly and he was reading into things.

Corbin pointed to the desk butting up to his. “That will be your space. There should be some supplies in the drawer, but if not, we can ask the receptionist on our way out.”

“Hitting the streets early?”

“I thought we’d swing by Espress Yourself and grab some coffee. There’s no charge to officers for a regular brewed cup, and they usually have a few different flavors going. You have to pay for those fancy drinks though.”

Josh smiled again. “Sounds good. I can check out the desk when we get back.”

“The black SUV near the back is ours.”

Josh scanned him from head to toe. “I’m guessing your size has something to do with us getting the biggest vehicle. What are you? Six foot four?”

Corbin grinned. “Six-six.” Not that Josh was short. He had to be at least six-two.
They strolled out of the rear precinct door and headed to the SUV. Corbin popped the locks with the key fob and slid in.

“So…” Josh glanced his way as he snapped his seatbelt into place. “Your place or mine?”

 

MORE FROM DULCE AT CHANGELING PRESS …

With an overactive imagination and a penchant for making up stories, was it any wonder Dulce Dennison decided to be an author? From cowboys to shapeshifters, she has a story for them all, but her passion lies in writing m/m romances. Dulce believes in love in all shapes and sizes, and that everyone deserves a happily-ever-after.

Dulce Dennison is a pen name for erotic romance author Harley Wylde and award-winning science fiction/paranormal romance author Jessica Coulter Smith.

 

 

Cuckold’s for Christmas by Stephanie Burke #Christmas #holidayromance #newrelease #interraciallove

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Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

After having her heart broken by a cheating ex, wealthy and disabled divorcee Emma-Jean Lawson twists her misfortune into an empowering statement… by opening up an all-male strip club named Cuckold’s. Now all she has to do is find her star dancer.

Noel Winters has a big wet problem. The once Principal Dancer for the Paris Ballet has turned to teaching his beloved dance to others after a career ending injury, but now a busted water heater, just in time for Christmas, has him seeking other means of income to keep his business afloat. An ad from Cuckold’s catches his attention. It can’t be that hard being an exotic dancer, can it?

When Emma and Noel meet, there’s an instant attraction, but is sex alone enough to hold a relationship steady? And where did the guys with guns come from? Suddenly their happily ever after is looking grim, but with two of the most magical allies helping along the way, maybe they will pull it together in time to have a happy holiday after all.

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or pre-order at retailers for December 20th

   

 

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MORE FROM STEPHANIE AT CHANGELING PRESS …

Stephanie is a USA Today Best Selling, multi published, multi award-winning author, Master Costumer, handicapped, wife and mother of two.

From sex-shifting, shape-shifting dragons to undersea worlds, sexually confused elemental Fey and homo-erotic mysteries, all the way to pastel-challenged urban sprites, Stephanie has done it all, and hopes to do more.

Stephanie is an orator on her favorite subjects of writing and world-building, a sometime teacher when you feed her enough tea and donuts, an anime nut, a costumer, and a frequent guest of various sci-fi and writing cons where she can be found leading panel discussions or researching varied legends and theories to improve her writing skills.

Stephanie is known for her love of the outrageous, strong female characters, believable worlds, male characters filled with depth, and multi-cultural stories that make the reader sit up and take notice.

 

 

Viper (Bones MC) by Marteeka Karland #bikerbooks #holidayromance #newadult

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Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Marteeka Karland

 

Who knew I’d find my destiny at Christmas? Not me. Or her daddy. Don’t mean I ain’t keeping her.

Darcy: I didn’t run away from a sadistic stepfather and a mother who wouldn’t protect me just to be carted off by some strange man. I fought the son of a bitch. Woulda won, too, except the bastard had help.

Viper’s rough around the edges and some kind of badass biker, so there’s no way this is going to work out well. Unfortunately, he calls to me on a purely sexual level. Makes my heart race and my body melt just looking at me. It doesn’t help he’s actually nice to me. He claims to know my dad. My real dad. Says he’s been sent to bring me back. I have no idea if I believed him or not. Just don’t really have a choice but to go along. At least for now.

Viper: I tracked the cunning little wench for three fuckin’ days. In the fuckin’ snow. She’s good, too. She survived on her own in a hostile environment with only a little trouble. That alone would make me respect for her, but then she had to go and kick me in the balls. Had I not been on the ground in agony, I’d have been turned on beyond belief. Now, with her safely under my protection, I’ve got to figure out how to keep my hands off her so her father won’t kill my sorry ass. He’s our intel man and one of my best friends, so I don’t want to cause him grief. But I want Darcy. Badly.

It’s Christmas Eve, and there’s an enemy on our doorstep with a unique gift. One that will leave us all with some hard choices — Darcy especially. What unfolds next is something none of us ever planned for.

Warning: Viper (Bones MC 4) deals with issues of abuse and human trafficking that may be triggers for some readers.

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or pre-order for December 20th at retailers

   

 

SNEAK PEEK

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Marteeka Karland

Winter hung heavy in the hills of Kentucky. One thing Viper hated was winter. Not because of the cold, snow, and ice, but because of the absolute silence in the outdoors. It made hunting that much more difficult. Normally, he enjoyed a challenge, but when the prey was human, there could be nothing to give him away. He’d been on her trail for three days now. There had been no sign of a fire or that she’d sheltered anywhere other than a snow dome she’d built to block the wind and keep in as much of her body heat as she could.

She was good, he’d give her that. He’d been in the service with men who couldn’t do what she could, especially given the few resources she had. As far as he could tell, she had nothing but the clothes on her back. One thing was for sure, once he got her back to the Bones compound, she had some explaining to do.

“Anything yet?” Data sounded anxious. And with good reason. Their intel and communications man had only just found out the he had a daughter, and only because her mother had called exactly three days ago — an hour before Viper and Arkham had been set on her trail — and informed him. Though the woman had remarried several years earlier, she kept in touch with Data. Why, Viper didn’t know. That was Data’s story and one he’d have to share with his daughter. Apparently, the only reason his ex had told him about Darcy now was because she’d run off, and her mother was done with the girl. Couldn’t deal with Darcy any more. Data’s daughter was her daddy through and through. Though Viper had no idea what Darcy had done, it was enough to make her mother and the woman’s husband abandon Darcy while the couple and their other two daughters — not Data’s — went to California on vacation. Data had been livid. Viper had a feeling his next assignment would be to hunt down the girl’s mother and stepfather and teach them a lesson.

“I’m just that little bit behind her, brother. Another hour and I should have her, though.”

“She’s one little girl! You’re a big bad Marine sniper! This shouldn’t be that fuckin’ hard!” Viper raised his eyebrows. Data was normally a by-the-numbers kind of man. He never got excited unless it was warranted. Kind of like when he realized his crew was in the middle of El Diablo’s muscle with only one team and minimal backup.

“Relax, brother.” Arkham sounded almost bored when Viper knew he was alert and watching as intently as he was. “Girl’s wily. Uses the landscape for cover. Even found a snow dome where she slept last night.”

“She can’t last out there forever with no fire. Rein her in!”

Viper knew when a man was on the edge. Didn’t take a genius to know Data was there. “We got this, brother. We’ll have her back at the compound by tomorrow.” It was a hard promise, but one Viper intended to keep. He ground his teeth. One little girl indeed.

Light was fading in the winter sky. Clouds hung heavily, promising more snow after nightfall if not sooner. Nothing stirred around them. Animals huddled down to wait out the coming storm. Even the evergreen trees were still in the slight breeze. The silence was nearly total.

“Got her,” Arkham muttered through his earpiece. “Your four o’clock. She just sat on a fallen log.” There was a pause while Viper looked in the indicated direction. “She’s done, Viper. I’m headed in.”

Sure enough, the girl sat on the long about a hundred yards away. She looked up at the sky, then at her surroundings and put her head in her hands. Yep. She was done.

Viper made his way to her as Arkham came at her from the opposite direction. They were almost on her before she realized she wasn’t alone. Immediately she slipped off the log and crouched into a defensive position, grabbing a rock beside her to use as a weapon.

She didn’t say a word. Viper expected to see fear in her eyes, and perhaps there was. But mostly what he saw was a cold, hard determination.

“We’re not gonna hurt you,” Viper said, hands out in front of him as he approached her.

“I know,” she said, her voice a whisper of sound.

“Viper!” It was the only warning Arkham could issue before the girl attacked. She launched herself at Viper. In reflex, he caught her.

Two things happened when he closed his arms around her. First, Viper recognized she was more than a girl. The woman had curves aplenty, two of which were mashed against his chest, rubbing over him with every movement of her body. Second, the woman was fucking fierce. Viper was perfectly capable of defending himself, but he was hesitant to do anything for fear of hurting her. So she pummeled him with that fucking rock. By sheer luck, she didn’t catch his head with it, only his jaw. Viper retained his hold on her with one arm securely around her waist while using the other to block her blows as best he could. For such a small little thing, she packed quite a punch! Despite his efforts, she still connected several times before Arkham disarmed her. Bastard didn’t help him any more than that. And still, she fought. Apparently frustrated with her lack of progress, Darcy shrieked, kicking out and continuing to hit at him with her fists.

“Knock it the fuck off, woman!” Viper finally set her on her feet and captured her wrists in his hands and wrapped his arms around her, trapping her with his superior strength. “Look at me, Darcy!” Viper used every ounce of command he possessed. In the end, it was probably the use of her name that made her pause in her tirade. “Look at me!” When she gave him a wary look he took a breath. “Your father sent us to find you and bring you home.”

“I’m not going back! I’m old enough to make my own decisions, and I’ll be damned if I go back to that bastard!” Her struggles resumed. She tried to hike her knee up into his groin, but he managed to avoid it, pulling her tighter against him. It was getting exceedingly hard to ignore the lush curves pressed against him. The woman was tempting in the worst way.

“You’ve never even met your dad,” Viper said, struggling to hold her while not hurting her. “I assure you, he’s a good man.”

“Rayburn, my stepdad, is a molesting bastard and my mom is nothing more than his pimp! I’ll kill both of them and you before I go back!”

Viper was so shocked, he relaxed his hold for a second, giving the girl enough leverage to break free. Darcy promptly kicked him in the balls before spinning around to flee again. Arkham caught her, spun her back around, and zip-tied her hands behind her back, ensuring he didn’t get a repeat of what Viper got. Once she was secured, he looped a length of rope around her waist and tied her to a tree.

“That should take care of that.” Arkham turned his attention to Viper, kneeling down beside his biker brother. “You gonna be all right?”

“Shut the fuck up, you smug bastard.” Viper tried to sound menacing, but it was hard to do when his balls were stinging. Didn’t help with him down on one knee looking up at the big man, either.

“Just trying to help a brother out.” Arkham raised his hands in surrender before turning back to their prisoner.

“You gonna fight me, girl?”

“You gonna try to take me back to that hellhole?” She had to look up at Arkham, but Darcy didn’t seem the least bit intimidated. In fact, she looked to be sizing him up, looking for the easiest way to take him down.

“Hadn’t planned on it,” he said.

When Arkham didn’t offer anything else, Viper added, “It’s your biological father who sent us. We’re takin’ you back to the clubhouse.”

She looked from Arkham to Viper. “Biological father. Clubhouse?”

“Yeah.” Viper groaned as he got to his feet. “Look. I’m Viper. This is Arkham. We’ve been huntin’ you for three fuckin’ days, sweetheart. I’d like to get out of the fuckin’ snow.”

 

MORE FROM MARTEEKA AT CHANGELING PRESS …

Erotic romance author by night, emergency room tech/clerk by day, Marteeka Karland works really hard to drive everyone in her life completely and totally nuts. She has been creating stories from her warped imagination since she was in the third grade. Her love of writing blossomed throughout her teenage years until it developed into the totally unorthodox and irreverent style her English teachers tried so hard to rid her of.

 

 

JACKAL (Devil’s Boneyard MC) $0.99 SALE! #99cents #books #discounts #booksale #bikerromance #NewAdult #singlemom @HarleyW_Writer

 

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If you haven’t read the first book in the Devil’s Boneyard MC series, now is a perfect time! Get it for the low price of $0.99 for a limited time at online retailers.

Bestseller at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes!

Josie: I spent an amazing three days with Jackal before he disappeared, back to his club, the Devil’s Boneyard. He’d made it clear what we had was a temporary thing — he never wanted the picket fence and kids. I was fine with that. Then I faced the scariest thing ever. Telling my big brother, Tank, a Dixie Reaper, I was pregnant and alone at the age of nineteen. He wanted to go after Jackal, but I wouldn’t let him. I wanted this baby, and I knew Jackal wouldn’t. I never expected to see him again. Funny how fate has a way of surprising you.

Jackal: I’ve thought about Josie often since I walked away from her over two years ago. When I’m finally back in Dixie Reapers territory, I knew I’d look her up, see if we could have some more fun. I never counted on the little girl glued to her hip, or the fact the kid was mine. So I did what I do best. I ran. But now I want something I’ve never wanted before. My family. Because Josie and our daughter, Allegra, are exactly what’s been missing in my life. I just have to do some groveling and hope she’ll forgive me. Easy, right? I’ve never had a woman tell me no.

Figures the one I want more than anything might be the first to send me packing. But when she gets an unexpected visitor who threatens her and our child, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep them safe. Now that I’m ready to keep my woman and kid, I’m not letting anyone take them away.

WARNING: Lots of over the top hot sex, an alpha biker who just can’t seem to get it right, and an adorable little girl who will steal your heart. Guaranteed HEA. No cliffhanger.

   

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Praise for Jackal (Devil’s Boneyard MC 1)

“…the sex is hotter than a firecracker. If MCs are your thing, you’ll like these stories.”

— 4 Stars from Alberta, Manic Reader Reviews

“Gruff bikers with a sweet exterior and club that will protect their family from everyone–that is what I loved about this series. This book has multiple plots, which keep you in your toes. Josie’s brother Tank is a Dixie Reaper and when she finds herself pregnant after spending a couple days with him, the Dixie Reapers rally around her and her child. It is a sizzling romance with a hint of violence.”

— 4.5 Stars from Sorrel, Long and Short Reviews

READ A SNEAK PEEK … 

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2018 Harley Wylde

“I’m sorry, Tank. I tried to stop her,” the Prospect from outside said as he loomed behind me and reached for my arm.

“Don’t you fucking touch me!” I said, snapping my teeth at him.

The Prospect jumped back, jerking his hand away from me. Asshole. What the fuck was wrong with guys? Like it was okay to just manhandle a woman. Bad enough they’d eye you like a piece of candy and you just knew they were undressing you with their eyes, but touching was a no-no unless I said it was okay.

Tank groaned and met me in the middle of the room. “What the fuck are you doing here, Josephine?”

“It’s Josie,” I said. I’d only told him that about a million and one times, and he still didn’t get it. Josephine was the name of some prissy princess type, and that so wasn’t me. I was high-heeled boots, black leather, and a good dose of sass all the way. “I hate that fucking name and you damn well know it.”

“Fine. What the fuck are you doing here, Josie?” Tank asked.

“Mom has gone too damn far this time. Either you do something, or I won’t be held responsible for my actions.” And she had gone really fucking far. I was beyond livid, but I didn’t know where to turn except to my big brother. Well, half-brother, but he was still the only family I had outside of Mom. That I knew of. Dad was such a horndog, it wouldn’t surprise me if we didn’t have siblings in every damn state. Maybe even a few other countries.

“You know your whore mother doesn’t listen to a fucking thing I say,” Tank said. “You’re nineteen, Josie. Move the fuck out.”

“And go where?” I mean seriously. Did he expect money to just magically appear? I’d tried the college thing, but it wasn’t for me. I wasn’t about to tell anyone I’d been stalked and attacked on campus. Mom would make it all my fault, and Tank would likely beat the fucker into the ground. Then big brother would be in jail. Now that I’d refused to go back… No, I wasn’t going to think about that because big brother was going to fix it. At least he fucking better.

Tank shrugged.

I screeched and stomped my foot before marching over to the bar. The Prospect handing out drinks stared at me wide-eyed, not that I was surprised. I was acting like a fucking brat and I knew it, but dammit. I was seriously losing my shit over this mess.

My life had become so fucked up in a very short time, and I didn’t see any way out of it. I didn’t have anywhere else to go, and I refused to listen to my mother this time. She’d ruled my life long enough. I was going to take a stand. I just preferred not to take that stand and end up living in a cardboard box behind the diner. I might not be a prissy princess, but I also knew I didn’t have the skills to survive on the streets. Just the thought of not being able to wash my hair every day was enough to give me hives.

Okay, so maybe I was a little bit of a prissy princess.

“Whiskey,” I snapped at the Prospect.

“You’re underage,” Tank said.

“Since when do you obey the law?” I sneered. Please. As if my big, badass biker brother gave a shit about what was legal or not. I’d be willing to bet every penny in his account came from illegal dealings. Not that I’d ever asked, and I never would. I didn’t give a shit what he did, as long as he stayed alive and out of jail.

Tank tossed his hands into the air and turned away from me. “Someone else can deal with this shit.”

I could feel someone moving closer to me, but I was a little more interested in staring down the Prospect who still hadn’t given me my fucking whiskey. I glared, and he glared right back. Little did he realize, I could do this shit all night, and I was not leaving until I’d had a drink or five. No way I was dealing with my fucked-up life stone-cold sober. If I had to go home to the she-beast known as Mom, I was going to need some liquid courage. Even that wouldn’t likely be enough to face the fate she had in store for me. Just the thought of it made me want to puke.

“Give. Me. The. God. Damn. Whiskey.”

“You’re under –”

I growled and bared my teeth at him. “You’re about two fucking seconds older than me and I know you’re all up in here whoring and drinking your ass off every night. Don’t you lecture me, you fucking prick.”

I heard a chuckle to my left and turned my head in that direction, but the baleful glare I was going to blast the guy with fizzled and died when I got a good look at him. He was quite a bit older than me, probably close to my brother’s age, but God was he sexy as hell. His chocolate eyes just pulled me in and promised all sorts of wicked delights. My gaze strayed down his chest, and I couldn’t help but lick my lips. The material clung to him, showing off very well-defined pecs that I wouldn’t mind exploring. The patch on his cut said he was part of Devil’s Boneyard, an MC I hadn’t heard of before now. But if he was here on Dixie Reapers property, then he must be okay.

“Jackal,” he said, holding out a hand.

“Josie.”

“So I heard.” He smirked. “So, do you really want a drink? Because there are other, much more entertaining ways to blow off steam.”

“Oh, are there?” I asked, playing along. I didn’t whore around, but no one would believe me if I told them that. I dressed to kill, but I’d taken my own virginity with a vibrator when I’d turned sixteen. No way I was leaving something like that up to a fumbling guy who didn’t know fuck all about pleasing a girl. Since then, I hadn’t seen the reason to get overly dirty. But this guy… Yeah, I could see myself getting all hot and sweaty with him.

He reached over and trailed a finger down my bare arm, making me shiver in the most delicious way. “I bet I could keep you entertained for hours. Maybe days.”

“Days?” My gaze dropped to his lap and the rather impressive cock straining against his jeans before flicking back up to his face. “You seem awfully sure of yourself.”

“Oh, baby, you have no idea.” He winked and I couldn’t help but smile.

I’d often had fun flirting with Tank’s brothers, but there was something about this guy that made me want to do much, much more. For the first time in my life, I was tempted to take a true walk on the wild side. He seemed like the type of guy who could make a woman forget her name, claw up his back, and beg for more. If I was going to let some guy fuck me, he was definitely at the top of the list of possibilities. He had this sexy smirk that made my panties damp, and the way he ran his hand through his hair had me wanting to lean just a little closer. And those tattoos peeking out from under his sleeves! Oh yeah, I wanted to explore those with my tongue.

“Maybe you should convince me,” I said.

“I thought you’d never ask.” His eyes blazed as he reached for my hand, tugging me off the barstool and leading me out the front door.

I didn’t know where we were going, and right then, I didn’t much care. As long as I wasn’t heading home, I was all right with any destination, especially if Mr. Tall Dark and Sexy was leading the way.

We stopped at a Harley that made me want to drool, it was that goddamn beautiful. He swung his leg over the seat, then held out his hand. I climbed on behind him, my body fitting against his like we were two pieces of a puzzle. I wrapped my arms around his waist and held on as he pulled out of the lot and headed for the front gate. The Prospect on duty let us through, and Jackal opened up the bike on the highway, flying down the road and taking us farther and farther away from my small Alabama town.

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Visit Harley Wylde 

Harley Wylde is the International Bestselling Author of the Dixie Reapers MC, Devil’s Boneyard MC, and Hades Abyss MC series.
When Harleys writing, her motto is the hotter the better — off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place. She doesn’t shy away from the dangers and nastiness in the world, bringing those realities to the pages of her books, but always gives her characters a happily-ever-after and makes sure the bad guys get what they deserve.
The times Harley isn’t writing, she’s thinking up naughty things to do to her husband, drinking copious amounts of Starbucks, and reading. She loves to read and devours a book a day, sometimes more. She’s also fond of TV shows and movies from the 1980’s, as well as paranormal shows from the 1990’s to today, even though she’d much rather be reading or writing.
You can find out more about Harley or enter her monthly giveaway on her website. Be sure to join her newsletter while you’re there to learn more about discounts, signing events, and other goodies!

 

A Changeling for All Seasons Vol. 10 #PNR #UrbanFantasy #holidaybooks #Romance

A Changeling For All Seasons 10 (Changeling Seasons (ebook) 10)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

Ten tales of Christmas Magic from your favorite Changeling authors.

Oops! by Anne Kane: When Stephanie, Jackie and Caroline kidnapped the wrong man, bondage, obedience classes and more are needed to make sure there’s a Merry Christmas this year!

Gift of a Lifetime by Ana Raine: More than just a handsome face, Logan proves to be exactly the Master Ryo has been waiting for…

Mistletoe and Masks by Angela Knight: From rescuing a ten-year-old from an evil Santa to celebrating a BDSM Christmas, superheroes Lock and Ultra explore discipline, dominance and the kinky way…

Santa’s Reject by Lily Vega: A scratch from Cupid’s arrow infuses Beryl with Christmas spirit and saddles her with a mad crush on her new boss, Killian — a.k.a. the Tooth Fairy.

Candy Caned by Kiernan Kelly: Stephen, a Dom who knows Daniel better than anyone else, understands exactly what Daniel needs this Christmas.

Ribbons and Bows by Marteeka Karland: It may take more than ribbons and bows to tie his woman to his side, but Samson’s up for the challenge. The rest? That’s up to Jerrica.

Under the Mistletoe by Saloni Quinby: Only by working together can Leland and Vilek hope to survive Christmas Eve and find a love neither expected.

Visions of Sugarplums by Sara Jay: Will Heath take a chance once Sugarplum brings him a pretty Christmas present he can’t resist?

Christmas Party by Shelby Morgen: When the two IT people voted least likely to ever get a date collide at Cherie’s office Christmas party, is the chemistry they share enough to make up for all the reasons they’ve been determined to stay single?

Santa’s Slay by Stephanie Burke: Jack Frost does not nip… he bites — and bites hard. Peter’s learning that being naughty can be so nice.

 

Get it Today at Changeling Press
also available in print

Pre-Order for December 6th at retailers

   

 

Praise for Gift of a Lifetime (Yule Tied) 

“If you like stories with a touch of holiday spirit, if you want to watch two men with opposite and complementary desires find each other’s match, and if you’re looking for a read that is very hot almost from the start, then you might like this short story.”

— Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
Praise for Santa’s Reject (Yule Tied) 

“There were so many creative touches in this tale. Everything from the names of certain characters to the economic value of the teeth that Killian collected had clearly been thought out carefully. I grinned every time the protagonist drew my attention to yet another funny pop culture reference that had been tucked away in a description or conversation These little surprises made it so much fun to read.”

— Astilbe, Long and Short Reviews
Praise for Under the Mistletoe (Yule Tied) 

“A paranormal Christmas story! Just recently I was commenting that they are so rare, so it was great to come across another one so soon. And with a mix of supernatural creatures, some evil demons intent to do harm, and lots of danger this is quite the holiday adventure.”

— Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
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Spirits of Christmas by Kate Hill #PNR #UrbanFantasy #christmas #holidaybooks #giveaway

Spirits of Christmas (Wild Witches of Beaver Bay 2)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

On Christmas Eve twenty-five years ago, a brutal murder was committed at the house where Christa Wild works as a live-in maid. When the other servants leave for the holiday this year she stays behind, hoping that any spirits dwelling there will help her regain the psychic power she lost. She’s surprised when the intriguing but disturbed owner of the house appears several days before Christmas.

Action star Joel Connor has kept a terrible secret for most of his life. Despite his success as an athlete and actor, he is plagued by flashbacks of a gruesome attack that destroyed his family. This Christmas, Joel returns to the house where it happened to face the ghosts of the past, but finds he is not alone.

Joel and Christa are instantly attracted, but will his psychological state prevent them from finding peace and love?

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or pre-order for December 6th at retailers

   

 

FROM THE AUTHOR…

Whenever I write the first draft of a story, I listen to music that in my mind becomes the soundtrack to the book. Since Spirits of Christmas is set during the holiday season, I listened to Christmas music when I wrote the first draft. This is the playlist I had when I sat down to write Joel and Christa’s story:

Mary Did You Know

Feliz Navidad

A Spaceman Came Traveling

Do You Hear What I Hear

Carol of the Bells

The story is a paranormal Christmas-themed romance, but it also involves murder and a hero dealing with fear. Some of the music I listened to was dramatic and some was for light-hearted moments in the story. It was fun to surround myself with Christmas before December even arrived!

Happy Holidays!

Kate

 

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Kate Hill

Frost created intricate shapes on the window overlooking the snow-covered front yard of the spacious suburban house where Christa worked. For the past month, she’d been a live-in maid, even though it wasn’t her real vocation — or it least it hadn’t been until an accident changed her path in life. Maybe changed wasn’t accurate. She intended to return to her former profession, but before she could do that, she needed to either recapture the gift she’d lost or reinvent herself. Each path presented its own challenges.

She turned her gaze back to her cell phone that lay on the desk and listened to her mother.

“Christa, you’re sure you won’t change your mind and come home for Christmas?”

“It’s not that I don’t want to, Mom, but you know why I have to stay here.”

“At least let us come and spend the holidays with you. Your father and I don’t like the idea of you being alone in that particular house.”

“There’s nothing wrong with the house.”

“If spirits are there, they’re not happy. It might be dangerous for you.”

“How can I explain to you that I know I’m supposed to be here? I’ll be fine.”

“Christa, when your gift was working –”

“Mom!”

“Just hear me out. When your gift was working, I trusted that you knew where you should be and what you could handle, but it’s not back, is it? So far, you haven’t contacted any spirits in that house.”

“Then if my gift is gone, spirits can’t hurt me, right? Mom, I’ve made my decision. I want to stay, and I don’t want you or any member of the family to come here. Remember, it’s not my house. I might get fired if I have overnight guests.”

“Who would know? You said the other servants have already left for the holidays. Your employer offers two weeks paid vacation at Christmas. Anyone would take advantage of it.”

“Anyone who didn’t take the job specifically because of what happened here on Christmas Eve twenty-five years ago. That’s not me.”

“You’re a grown woman and we can’t force you to do the right thing, but you’re being foolish. You’re alone in a house where a terrible crime was committed. Christa, please come home. If any spirits lurking there want to contact you, they can do it at any time — like when the rest of the staff returns.”

“Mom, I’ll be fine. If I feel something is wrong, I’ll leave.”

“If you need anything, please call. We’ll come right away.”

“I will. Love you.”

“We love you, too.”

Sighing, Christa turned off her phone, leaned back in the chair, and gazed out the window again. Snow fell faster and thicker. She missed her family, and being away at Christmas would be hard, but she also missed her gift. Her family had been incredibly supportive when she’d lost it after the accident eight months ago. They’d helped her through depression, anger, and frustration. They’d put up with mood swings and had always been there to listen. When she’d learned about a job opening at a house where a family had been brutally murdered, she had applied immediately. It was as if the job called her, similar to the sensations that accompanied her gift. She couldn’t deny the pull.

Now, as Christmas Eve approached with no sign of any spirits, her hope waned. Her mother was right. If she was meant to contact spirits here, surely they would have connected by now. Yet maybe if she waited for the anniversary of the murders, any spirits in the house would be stronger.

“Just because I’m alone at Christmas doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate.” Christa stood, pocketed her phone, and turned on the lights to the small plastic Christmas tree that stood near the desk in her room.

This morning she’d bought it and several other decorations at a local discount store. She’d even made a wreath and hung it on the front door. Now she was about to bake Christmas cookies.

Not only would keeping a festive spirit help her through the holiday without her family, but maybe if the house experienced some warmth after so many cold Christmases, any ghosts in it might be encouraged to engage with her.

She slid a bit on the polished hardwood floor in the long corridor leading to the stairs.
“Shoot.” She stopped to tug off her fuzzy socks before jogging back to her room to put on yoga socks with rubber bottoms.

The winding staircase led to a spacious foyer. The aroma of apple pie, supplied by Christa’s trusty wax warmer, wafted through the house. To the right, she leaned through an archway into the large, dark living room and switched on the light. At night, that room in particular gave her the creeps. She’d placed a few decorations around, hoping to make it a bit cheerier, but even the reindeer and elves seemed to glare at her with their painted eyes. She stepped in and turned on the electric candles in the windows. That was a little better.

In the kitchen down the hall, Christa took her phone out of her pocket, placed it on the counter, and turned on her favorite music app. She selected her Christmas play list and soon she was singing along with carols while mixing cookie dough.

Before long, she had a batch in the oven. The scent of warm chocolate filled the kitchen. Closing her eyes, she inhaled deeply.

“Mmm. Can’t wait for those to be finished, but in the meantime –” She sat at the table, pulled out her red glitter pen, and wrote notes in her Christmas cards. She’d mail them tomorrow and her family should get them in time for the holiday.

What was that?

She looked up from her cards, paused her music, and strained to listen. Had that been a car door closing?

“You’re getting paranoid, Christa. Get a grip, girl.”

Even if there was a car thief, in this neighborhood they wouldn’t go for her little economy car, but one of the pricey ones parked in front of the other huge houses down the street.

She nearly resumed the music app, but something didn’t feel right. Instead, she pocketed her phone, reached for the nearby frying pan, and stood. On her way to the foyer, her heart pounded. Was this how it happened to those poor people all those years ago? Had they heard their killer approach, or had he taken them totally by surprise?

The key turned in the door. Christa furrowed her brow. Only other members of staff had a key. Someone must have forgotten something and returned for it.

“Hello?” Christa tried to sound firm. “Who’s there? I’m warning you, I’m armed.”

“Then I’m calling the cops, because you’re trespassing on my property.”

That calm, precise male voice wasn’t familiar to Christa, yet for some strange reason, she recognized it. She had never met the owner of the house, but she knew that he neither lived in nor rented it. Was it possible that he had decided to visit today? If so, he probably hadn’t expected any servants to be here. They were supposed to be on Christmas vacation.

“How do I know you’re the owner?”

The door burst open, slamming into Christa and knocking her onto the wooden floor. She landed, her scream turning to a grunt. Her frying pan flew from her hand and landed out of reach. Cold wind and snow swirled around the slim man in a black coat and gloves who stood over her. Ice crystals covered his sleek, dark hair. A fierce expression on his angular face, he glanced around the foyer. Blue-gray eyes, like slivers of crystal, glanced from Christa to the frying pan. Not only did he sound familiar, but he looked familiar, too.

“Is that your weapon?” He didn’t smile, but she sensed his amusement. “I think if I were in the kitchen, I’d have picked up a knife instead, but whatever.” He held up his keys. “Like I said, I own the house. What’s your excuse for being here?”

 

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More from Kate Hill at Changeling Press …

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Kate Hill (Also writing as Saloni Quinby)

Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, I started writing over twenty years ago. My first story was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then I’ve written over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels. I love to blend genres. I also love horror and a happily ever after, so if you’re looking for romance with witches, aliens, vampires, angels, demons, shapeshifters and more, there’s a good chance you’ll find something to your taste here.

When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, watching horror and action movies, working out and spending time with my family and pets.  I love hearing from readers, so feel free to leave a comment at my blog or connect with me on Twitter.

 

 

Her Christmas Wedding by Megan Slayer #Mafia #Contemporary #Romance #holidayromance #holidaystory

Her Christmas Wedding (Jordan Brothers 5)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

Jaxon Jordan has the woman of his dreams in Emily Wilson. She’s all he’s ever wanted, and they’ll be married on Christmas Eve. But dreams don’t always come true and sometimes are set off course. When a woman claiming to be Emily’s real mother comes on the scene and plants doubt in Emily’s mind, it’s up to Jax and the Jordan family to get to the truth.

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or pre-order for December 6th

   

 

For a Naughty Excerpt, visit Changeling Press …

 

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More from Megan Slayer at Changeling Press …

When she’s not writing the stories in her head, Megan Slayer can be found luxuriating in her hot tub with her two vampire Cabana boys, Luke and Jeremy. She has the tendency to run a tad too far with her muse, so she has to hide in the head of her alter ego, but the boys don’t seem to mind.

When she’s not obsessing over her whip collection, she can be found picking up her kidlet from school.

She enjoys writing in all genres, but writing about men in love suits her fancy best.

Megan can be found at https://www.facebook.com/theauthormeganslayer.