#NewRelease – Moonlight Rescuer #PNR #werewolves

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Winnie loves her son and would do anything for him, even apply for demeaning jobs, if it means putting a roof over his head. Spending their days in her car, and their nights at a shelter, hasn’t been easy, but she does whatever she must to keep him safe, even if it means sleeping with one eye open. She’s never asked for a handout, and she’s never expected one. Hard work is all she’s ever known, but sometimes that isn’t enough. It’s been so long since she has believed in fairy tales that the last thing she expected was for Prince Charming to come along and save the day.

Braxton has no idea what it is about Winnie that draws him like a moth to a flame, but his wolf is intrigued by her, and that’s more reaction than he’s ever gotten from the beast where women are concerned. When he overhears her conversation with her son, he knows he can’t let them spend the night somewhere as unsafe as their car or a shelter. But getting Winnie to let him help is another matter. A woman like her isn’t going to trust easily.

Despite her hesitancy, Winnie allows the wolf to help for the sake of her son, even though she knows getting close would never be wise. But the more she gets to know the stubborn man, the more she realizes the kindness showing in his eyes isn’t a mask. Sawyer doesn’t want anything from her that she isn’t willing to give, which makes him all the more intriguing. Can Winnie put her past behind her and trust a man again? Sawyer makes her want to believe that fairy tales really do come true.

Excerpt

Sawyer Braxton sipped his beer as he looked out over the crowd at Lagoona’s. He’d been watching the woman at the bar, for the last fifteen minutes, as she filled out an application. There was something about her that drew his attention. Her clothes were worn in places, her hair unkempt, but her tiny stature and dainty features made his protective urges rise to the surface. Even from the span of the four tables that separated them, he could see a dirt smudge on her cheek, and he wondered where it had come from.

She handed the application over to the bartender and then turned to leave. She hadn’t taken three steps before the asshole behind the bar ripped her application in half and tossed it. Sawyer bit back a growl as he rose to his feet, intent on going after her. Something didn’t seem right, even if he couldn’t figure out what. She cleared the door before he could catch her and he raced into the parking lot. Scanning the bumper to bumper cars, he saw her slip into an older hatchback with more than its fair share of dings and scrapes. A small figure moved in the backseat.

Not wanting to scare her, he walked slowly toward her car, his keen sense of hearing picking up the conversation she had with what he assumed to be her child. He’d never been one to chase after a single mom before, assuming she was single, but for some reason, he wanted to get to know this woman better.

“I’m sorry, honey,” she told the child. “We missed curfew at the shelter. We’re going to have to sleep in the car again tonight.”

What the hell? Was she living out of her car, with a small child in tow? He didn’t know how she’d fallen so far, but Sawyer knew that he couldn’t leave them in this parking lot with their future so uncertain. If anything happened to them, he’d never forgive himself.

Sawyer approached the vehicle and hunkered down next to the door, in hopes he wouldn’t frighten them. The woman was turned toward the back, still talking to her child.

“Benjamin, I’m doing the best I can.” She sounded tearful. “We’ll get to the shelter on time tomorrow, okay?”

“I don’t like the shelter,” a small voice said. “Why can’t we have a house again?”

“Soon, baby. Mama just needs to get a job first.”

Sawyer tapped on the window, making the woman jump. It was cracked enough that he could talk to her, without her fearing for her safety.

“I didn’t mean to eavesdrop,” he said, “but it seems you’re in a bit of a bind.”

Her lips thinned, and her eyes flashed. “And let me guess, in return for certain favors you’ll get us a motel room for the night.”

He sat back on his heels. “Um, not exactly.”

“Then what do you want in exchange for a place to stay?” she asked, distrust etched on her lovely features.

“Nothing. I just want peace of mind from knowing that your son and you are safe for the night. I heard you say something about sleeping in your car, and despite how small Ashton Grove is, that still isn’t the safest thing you could do.”

“You really just want to help us?” she asked, seeming uncertain.

“That’s all I want. I’m in the blue truck over there,” he said pointing to his new ride. “Why don’t you follow me? I’ll get you a room at the motel for the night, and then I’ll pick you up for breakfast in the morning, and we can figure out something more permanent for you.”

“Permanent?” The distrust was back in her voice.

“I work construction for the local wolf pack. My boss and alpha might know of a place where you could stay while you get back on your feet.”

Her eyes widened. “You’re a-a-a wolf?”

He nodded. He scented the air and didn’t smell fear. Curiosity and a hint of…arousal? Interesting. Maybe she was just as intrigued with him as he was with her. The boy in the backseat gazed at him with a bit of wonder in his eyes.

“I’ll wait to make sure your car starts, and then I’ll get my truck,” he said.

#NewRelease – Moonlight Keeper @kitcatjms #PNR #romance

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Genre(s): New Adult, Paranormal, Mainstream
Published: May 3, 2017

Broken. Damaged. And nearly without hope.

Aria McFay has suffered at the hands of her uncle and his twisted pack, but she’s not giving up just yet. When she manages to escape, the first place she runs is to Ashton Grove, Georgia, and her childhood friend, Lucas Adams, in hopes the pack will take her in and protect her.

Heartbroken, yet determined.

Seeing Aria again only serves to remind Lucas that he’s known his destined mate since he was ten years old, except Aria never knew, because Lucas didn’t feel worthy of her. He’s worked hard to build a life for himself in Ashton Grove, but how can he claim her after everything she’s been through? Even he isn’t that selfish.

What the heart wants…

Aria may be damaged, but she still wants Lucas just as much as she did when they were kids. But the sexy wolf seems determined to keep their relationship as friends only. What will it take to make him see her as something more than his childhood friend? If Aria can’t have Lucas, she doesn’t want anyone.

Available Here:

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Excerpt

Aria’s body ached, her latest beating having left fresh welts and bruises. She felt like one, big, walking sore, but no matter what they dished out, no matter how severe her punishment, she refused to bend to her uncle’s wishes. It would be a long, cold day in Hell before she’d bow and scrape before the likes of Boudreaux LeBlanc, her uncle’s best friend. The man was insane, not to mention the meanest son of a bitch she’d ever met. He’d never had a kind word for anyone in his life, and now her luck had run out because he’d decided he wanted her for his mate. Even worse, her uncle was in complete agreement. Sadistic bastard.

Boudreaux wasn’t the first man her uncle had tried to pair her with. There had been three others over the past two years, and Aria knew what would happen when she refused to back down. The pain and horror of what happened those other times lived on in her mind. While it may not have scarred her physically, emotionally…well, let’s just say she wasn’t going to trust men very easily ever again.

She pushed the curtain aside and peered through the window. It had been quite a while since she’d been free to roam the pack grounds. Uncle Remus had deemed her unfit company until she’d give her word that she would mate with the loco Boudreaux. Because she had refused, she’d been locked in her room for a week now, and it was never going ot happen; she’d never give her word to mate with him. She was lucky her small closet had been turned into a tiny half-bath when she’d joined the pack shortly after her eighteenth birthday; otherwise, she wouldn’t even have had a toilet to use, or a sink so she could wash up. Her hair was filthy, the long strands greasy and repellent. She’d plaited it, doing the best she could with what little she was given.

Uncle Remus was afraid if he let her out of her room, she’d find a way out of the small cabin, and once that happened, he knew she’d hit the road. Well, swamp. It was a long way to the nearest town. What he didn’t realize was that the boards in the corner of her room were loose, enough so that she’d been able to dig a little each night. It wasn’t a big hole, but it was big enough for her animal to fit through. All she had to do was shift, dig the rest of the way out, and she would be free! Naked, but free. But hey, everything came with a price. At this point, anything was better than prostituting herself to an abusive asshole for the rest of her life. However long that might be. Boudreaux had already had one mate. She’d died less than a year after their mating ceremony. There were rumors that he’d killed her, not that anyone was going to step up and do something about it.

She winced as she moved, her muscles pulling and contracting painfully. Aria had heard murmurs in the hall earlier, when no one thought she was listening, or maybe they just didn’t care if she knew her fate. Her uncle was desperate and had determined the best way to control her would be to drug her. He’d ordered Ruth Ann, the pack cook, to dose her food with sedatives, like valerian root. She was certain there would be other things in there, things meant to keep her calm and docile. She had little doubt they would continue to dose her food until it took effect, and since she didn’t plan to eat it, that could be a while. Well, either that or she’d starve to death.

No, she needed to escape, and she needed to escape right now.

A glance out the window showed the sun was setting, which meant the guards outside the cabin would be changing shifts. If she was going to run away, it was now or never. Aria slipped out of her clothes, shifted into her animal, and dug her way out of the room. Once she popped out on the other side, nose twitching, she froze and scanned the area, looking for signs of trouble. It looked like no one was paying attention to her. Fast as she could, she made a dash for it, leaving the pack behind her.

Aria didn’t stop until she reached a small settlement not far from the highway. She shifted back, grabbed some clothes off a line in someone’s backyard, and made her way to the road. She’d have to be careful, if her pack had realized she was missing, they would be searching for her. Watching from the tree line, she waited until she saw a car with out-of-state plates on the front. Texans were friendly, right? Then again, they probably ate rabbit stew.

Stepping up to the edge of the highway, she held out her thumb, hoping they would stop and give her a lift. Hitchhiking was dangerous, but it had to be safer than staying with her family. Anything had to be safer than that.

The car slowed and pulled over. The man behind the wheel appeared to be in his sixties and gave her a kindly smile. Aria pulled open the door and slid into the passenger’s seat.

“Thank you for stopping,” she said.

“Young thing like you shouldn’t be hitchhiking.” He noticed the bruises on her arms and frowned. “Are you in some sort of trouble?”

“My family can’t find me,” she confided. “I need to get as far from here as possible, as fast as possible.”

He nodded and put the car in gear. “Buckle up. I’m on my way to Chattanooga. You just tell me when you want to be let out.”

“Is Ashton Grove, Georgia on the way? I think it’s in the mountains.”

He smiled at her. “Well, if it isn’t, I’ll get you as close as I can. You just sit back and rest. We’ll have you somewhere safe soon.”

“Thank you.” Aria let her eyes drift closed, finally able to relax for the first time in a while. Not much longer and she’d be safe with Amber, the shifter she’d been talking to in Ashton Grove.

When the call had gone out last year that the Ashton Grove pack was seeking new members, she’d contacted them, without her family’s knowledge. She knew at least two members of the pack and thought it would be a nice place to call home. Now, things were different. She didn’t delude herself into thinking she’d have a happily-ever-after there. It would be a resting spot. Maybe the alpha would be able to give her sanctuary while she figured out the next leg of her journey. That’s all she would ask of him. It wouldn’t be fair to bring danger to his door, not after everything the pack had been through. Her friend, Amber, had told her demons were on their way to Ashton Grove; of course, that was more than six months ago now. She hadn’t heard from Amber in a while, and she worried about her friend, but she was trying to keep her contact with Ashton Grove to a minimum so her family wouldn’t look for her there first.

Letting the hum of the car lull her, she fell into the first restful sleep she’d had in a week or more.

NEW RELEASE: Beauty and Her Beast

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Maggie Miller has lived a hard life. She’s been on the streets since the age of sixteen and has learned the hard way how cruel men can be. Despite the fact that she knows nothing is ever free, when alpha wolf Zach Drake offers her a hot meal and a place to clean up, she cautiously accepts. After not having eaten for days, the thought of food that doesn’t come from a dumpster is too good to pass up, no matter the consequences. It wouldn’t be the first time a man suggested she pay with her body.

Broken wolf Zach Drake is appalled to find the small, stuttering woman living in a box behind the town bar. With dirt smudging her face, she could be anywhere from barely legal to thirty, but none of that matters to the insistent wolf in his head that is begging him to take her home. The thought of anyone harming sweet Maggie is enough to send him into a rage, but he holds himself in check as he coaxes her into his truck and back to his house. It’s the first time his wolf has seemed happy since they lost their mate twenty years ago, and Zach isn’t ready to let go of the sensation just yet.

EXCERPT

Zach snarled at the woman who approached him. It was a dark night for him, the one day of the year he dreaded most. Several buxom beauties had approached, but he’d sent them all running. Monster. Beast. He’d heard the whispers and didn’t much care. No one could understand the pain he felt every day. His brother and sister-in-law tried, but even they gave him a wide berth when he was in one of his moods.

Between the two brothers, Weston was the one everyone fawned over, the one ladies dreamed of when they lay down at night. Zach was the nightmare parents told their children, the story of how not to live your life. As alpha of his pack, he held his position more from fear than respect.

A braver woman than the others settled on the stool next to him and ran her finger down his bicep, a sultry smile on her lips and a world of promise in her eyes. She was attractive in a fake, made-up sort of way. Her hair was teased and styled to fall in chaotic curls past her shoulders, but the honey blonde of her hair was as fake as the rest of her, the dark roots a testament to the time she spent at the salon.

“What do you say you buy me a drink and we can get to know each other better?” she said, licking her lips.

“I have a better idea. You can take your hand off my arm and scurry your fake ass back over to your table of friends.” His eyes narrowed on her, and he showed a bit of fang. It was enough to make her blanch, and she nearly toppled from the stool as she ran away.

The bartender sat another beer in front of Zach.

“You’re going to scare off my best customers tonight. Any other night you’d have taken that woman up on her offer, hauled her into the alley, and had her suck your cock. And don’t tell me you wouldn’t.”

Zach shrugged. He wasn’t about to tarnish Delfinia’s memory tonight of all nights. Sexual pleasure was the last thing on his mind. He sipped at the cold brew in his mug. He really wasn’t the heartless bastard everyone thought. Zach loved his brother, and he loved his sister-in-law. In some way, he loved every member of his pack, even if he didn’t always show it. What he couldn’t do was fall in love, not ever again. Losing Del had killed part of him, and it was a piece that would never heal and never be replaced.

He tipped up his mug and drained every drop before slamming it down on the bar. Even though this was his favorite place in town to hang out at night, it just wasn’t the place to be right now. After a few days had passed, he’d come back, and he’d be in a better mood. Maybe then he’d be ready to take up the blonde’s offer and haul her into the alley like the bartender had suggested. For now, it was better for him to take his ass home and be miserable alone.

He could snarl at everyone in a few days just as well as he could today, but maybe his wounds wouldn’t be quite so painful then. Fake it ‘til you make it. Zach had lived every day of his life that way since Del had been ripped from his arms, and he’d continue down that path until he either became so nasty that the pack rallied to take him down, or until a miracle happened and some light finally shone in his dark world.

Anything had to be better than merely existing.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child. Her first stories may have been written in crayon, but now she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and spills over from her professional life into her personal one. When she went on that first date with her husband, she never expected to hear the words “marry me” pop out of his mouth–and judging by the shocked look on his face, he hadn’t meant to say them either. But, being the hopeless romantic that she is, Jessica said yes and they’ve been married since 2000.

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NEW RELEASE: Wolf Charming

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Jessica Coulter Smith is back to writing werewolves. If you enjoyed the Ashton Grove Werewolves, get ready to meet the Iron Hills Wolf Pack! The all new series kicks off in October with Wolf Charming, with many more to follow. If you’d like to hear about future releases, please take a moment to sign up for Jessica’s newsletter.

About the Book

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: October 10, 2016

Weston Drake is a lot of things. Player. Bestselling author. And stubborn as fuck werewolf. At least, he’s stubborn when it comes to his mate. He’s known that Abril Forrest belongs to him for the past five years, but their fourteen year age gap has kept him away. She’s more than legal enough now, but his thirty-five to her twenty-one still makes him feel like a lecherous old man. No matter how much his wolf craves her company, and his body craves her touch, he resists the lure of his chosen one. What would a sexy woman like her want with an older man like him?

Abril has fought like hell to carve out a life in Grover Falls, despite her dismal beginning. Raised in the trailer park with her junkie mom and a father who would just as soon sell her as look at her, she’s worked hard to leave her past behind. But in small towns, people never forget. Men think she’s easy because of who her parents are, so she’s always avoided relationships, or dating in general. But there’s one man she’d give herself to in a heartbeat. Weston Drake is everything she’s ever wanted, but he’s never once looked her way.

Until now.

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EXCERPT

His brother, Zach, nudged him. “You’re drooling again. If you aren’t going to man up and talk to your mate, you could at least appear a little less like a stalker.”

Weston scowled at him.

“Look, you know the two of you are meant to be together. What would it hurt to introduce yourself and ask her out for dinner? If you don’t claim her, your wolf is eventually going to go insane.”

Zach wasn’t telling him anything he didn’t already know. His wolf was already going a little crazy without their mate. Weston had thought about approaching Abril several times over the last few weeks, as his wolf had gotten more insistent, but he always drew back and kept his distance. She was so young and had so many possibilities in front of her. It would be wrong of him to claim her. The last thing she needed was a serious relationship when she should be partying with her friends and having a good time.

“Weston, please talk to her. Don’t make me put you down. You know if you lose control of your wolf, I won’t have a choice in the matter. The town may know about our dual nature, and they tolerate it, but a loco wolf isn’t going to go over well.” Zach placed a hand on his shoulder. “She’s yours, and you know it. Go to her.”

“No.” Weston tore his gaze from his tempting mate and faced forward again. Keeping away from her was the hardest damn thing he’d ever done.

Romance in Moonspell

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NOW AVAILABLE at CHANGELING PRESS

Genre(s): Action Adventure & Suspense, Urban Fantasy

Theme(s): Werewolves, Shapeshifters (Other), Elves, Dragons & Magical Creatures

Length: 242 pages

Bellamy Crawford aches for the touch of her mate. Wolves and cats might not mix in the animal kingdom, but his heated gaze tells her that this kitty shifter will be more than welcome in the big, bad wolf’s bed.

Reika sucks at being a fairy, but she still tries… one botched spell at a time. Who knew setting your home on fire could have such yummy results? One look at wolf shifter Jax, and she wonders what else she can send up in flames.

Lacey escapes a mental institute and a killer, only to run straight into the arms of hot dragon shifter, Draco Coldstorm. The sexy fireman, known for putting out fires, is definitely setting her ablaze. But with a killer on her trail, does she really have time for love?

Publisher’s Note: Romance in Moonspell (Box Set) contains the previously published novellas A Familiar Sin, Fire Within, and Twisted Fate.

 

EXCERPT

Bringing Bellamy flowers was a little awkward with such a large audience. All of her sisters were present, along with a handful of other raven shifters. If this didn’t go well, he’d be the laughingstock of the community for weeks to come. He only had to hope that she’d felt something the other day, too. He thought he’d caught a flash of something in her eyes as she’d looked at him, but he might’ve been wrong. There was only one way to find out. Man up and approach her.

As he neared the small group huddled around his target, the talking died down to a minimum. The young shifter behind Bellamy narrowed his eyes and set his jaw, clearly wanting to stake his claim. Seaton wondered just how close the two were. Did he have real competition there? Or was the young man just fantasizing? Getting a good look at him, he realized it was Rio, a raven known for his penchant of getting into trouble. He had to be a few years younger than Bellamy, didn’t he? She seemed older, anyway. Not that her age mattered one whit to Seaton.

He paused beside her chair and waited until he had her attention. When she looked up at him, he presented her with the bouquet he’d picked up on his way over. Her smile lit up her face as she accepted the blossoms, inhaling their scent.

“Thank you, Seaton. They’re lovely.”

“You’re welcome. I thought I’d come by and see how you were doing.”

One of the girls pulled away from the group and dragged a chair over for him. He settled himself and placed his elbows on his knees, studying Bellamy. With the sun kissing her tanned skin, she looked like a goddess. The scent of suntan lotion drifted to him on a breeze, mingled with what he knew was Bellamy’s own unique scent. It was an intriguing mixture.

“I’m doing well, thank you.” She smiled. “I never got a chance to properly thank you and the other trackers.”

“No thanks were needed. We were tasked with a job and we did it. I’m just glad we found you before something bad happened to you.” He paused. “We did find you before then, right?”

“Yes. He merely yelled and threatened before you showed up. I have no doubt he would’ve harmed me if you hadn’t arrived when you did, though. I really do owe you and your friends my life. Is there anything I can do to repay you?”

This wasn’t exactly how he’d planned to ask, but he’d take what he could get.

“There is one thing.”

“Name it.”

“Go to dinner with me, tomorrow night.”

Her eyes widened slightly. “Dinner? As in a date?”

Seaton nodded. “Yes, I’d very much like to take you out on a date.”

A delighted smile curved her lips. “I can’t think of anything I’d like more. What time should I be ready?”

“Say, seven?”

“Seven sounds perfect.”

He rose. “I’ll let you get back to your pool party. I didn’t mean to intrude. If I’d have thought about it, I’d have called ahead to make sure it was okay to stop by. In the future, I won’t drop by unannounced.”

“We have an open door policy here,” Bellamy told him. “Stop by any time you want. I seldom go out so you can find me by the pool or reading in the sunroom most days.”

“Well, we’ll just have to do something about that. Can’t have you cooped up in the house all day every day.”

One of the girls snorted. “If you can get Bells out of the house, more power to you. We invite her to the movies or out for ice cream all the time, but she almost always turns us down.”

“She even turned down my invitation to the bookstore the other day, and everyone knows how much she loves to read,” another said.

“Well, I do believe I’ve just been challenged. I’ll have to come up with something that lures you out of the house,” he told Bellamy.

“If anyone can do it, I’m sure it will be you.” Her cheeks flushed. “I look forward to seeing you at dinner tomorrow.”

He lifted her hand and kissed the backs of her fingers. “Until then.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JCS small

Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child writing her first stories in crayon. Today she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and spills over from her professional life into her personal one. When she went on that first date with her husband, she never expected to hear the words “Marry me!” pop out of his mouth – and judging by the shocked look on his face, he hadn’t meant to say them either. But, being the hopeless romantic that she is, Jessica said yes and they’ve been married since 2000.

Author Site     Blog     Facebook     Twitter     Instagram

SPOTLIGHT Holidays in Hell

Title: Holidays in Hell (Demons in Darkness Series #1)
Publisher: Etopia Press
Pages: 64
Tags: bdsm, bondage, demons, dom, domination, erotic
fantasy, erotic romance, erzabet bishop, holidays, incubus, kink, paranormal erotic romance, paranormal romance, redemption, sub, submission, succubus, wax play
Blurb:
This year Christmas just got a little hotter.
Deck the halls with all things kinky. Jonas is an incubus with an incurable lust for women, gingerbread, and holiday lights. He needs one more soul to meet his quota. Amid the baubles and frivolity of the Winter Carnival, he meets Holly Pendleton—a woman with emerald green eyes and a body
built for sin—and marks her as the final soul to end his contract. But now
Jonas faces a heart-wrenching decision: take what he needs to feed his hunger, or sacrifice himself for the woman who has lit his own demonic soul on fire. Tied up with red ribbons, Holly just might be Jonas’s deepest Christmas wish and the one woman who could set him free.
Holly Pendleton is still recovering from the death of her husband and Dom. The holidays are especially lonely until a dark stranger walks
in the door to Harlowe’s Bookery and Christmas Shoppe. The man’s enigmatic gaze holds her and ignites her body and her mind. When Holly accepts a job to decorate the sexy client’s apartment, she unknowingly steps into an age-old battle between the forces of darkness. Jonas Corsair is a man who makes her blood run hot and her dreams even hotter. But will she survive his hold on her soul?
Buy Links:
Etopia Press: http://goo.gl/QxC433

Excerpt:
Holly Pendleton balanced a pile of books in her arms and made her way out of the stockroom. She glanced over at her boss and best friend, Gracie Harlowe, at the register and smiled. She enjoyed the busy throng of people at the winter carnival and usually looked forward to it. She had worked other retail jobs in the historic downtown shopping district, but working here was a dream come true. When Gracie had called her up three months
ago and offered her the assistant manager’s job, she had taken it and hadn’t looked back.
Teetering on the edge of depression for months after watching her husband die of cancer, Holly was having a hard time finding the
holiday spirit this year.
Derek had only been thirty-four, she thought bitterly.
They’d been married for nine years, but she had known him since she was a geeky freshman in high school. The hole was too big to fill, and it left her feeling empty.
Still, she was grateful to Gracie for kicking her in the pants and getting her out of bed and back into the world again. Just in time for the holidays too. It was a special time that she and Derek had always shared. He would have wanted her to be happy.
She laid the stack of Christmas cookie books on a festive table near the window display and straightened the array of titles. Her gaze wandered to the small kitchen at the back of the store, and she made a mental note to grab some more cookies to refill the party trays on the dessert table.
“Holly!” Gracie waved her arms. “Can you grab me another stack of Fifty Shades of Grey?”
She glanced at the display where the books were and found they were down to one copy. Not good. Sales had started to slow down, but erotica had been steadily increasing over the past few months. It made her
laugh to see the smut novels near the holiday displays, but it made the
customers happy, so who was she to quibble? Besides, she loved reading them herself.
“I’ll get them!” Holly wound her way back into the stockroom and yanked a box off the overstock shelves. She grabbed a box cutter, deftly opened the box and placed the books on a cart, adding some of the second, third, and the new fourth book in the series, as they were getting a little on
the low side too.
Erotic romance books were one of the few things she let herself enjoy these days, and she had several customers who came back to ask
her about the latest and greatest. It was a fantasy land that took her beyond the walls of hospitals and now, the silence of the apartment at night. Reading was safe. She never even considered dating again. That part of her life was over.
Holly shook off the melancholy and hoofed it back onto the
shop floor. Stacking the books onto the table, she arranged them in orderly piles of gray covers with erotic masks, ties, and handcuffs. She passed the romance section and gathered up some of her favorites to restock her promo shelf at the storefront. Cherise Sinclair, Kallypso Masters, Jasmine Haynes, Red Phoenix, Rachel Kramer Bussel…she loved them all. There were so many great writers that had made bondage erotica take off. Fifty Shades may have gotten the public reading again, but she had been a fan for years. Now the movie had come out for the famous books, and she wondered how it compared.
Smiling wistfully, she caressed the covers and wished her husband were still with her. She missed his firm hand and their power exchanges. He had been more than just her husband. He had been her Dom. Losing
him had been the collapse of her entire world. If it hadn’t been for these
books and Gracie, she would still be huddled in a miserable ball, crying her
eyes out and wondering why he had to die. He was so young, and they hadn’t had much time.
“Can you help ring for a second?” Gracie called out and made a quick jaunt to the restroom in the back of the store.
Holly moved behind the counter and smiled as a woman arrived in front of her to check out. It was a unique store, and she loved being here.
Gracie had crafted a special place for book lovers, and every holiday she
spruced it up beautifully. Even when she wasn’t working here, Holly loved to come and check out the newest selections and pick up a couple of items for the house. Halloween, Christmas, or whatever was happening, Gracie always seemed to have the perfect balance of home décor and books to dive into, whether it was a cozy mystery or a pulse-pounding thriller. In the early days, it had just been decoration, but now she had expanded the business to selling the trees and offering to spruce up clients’ homes. The shop was every bit as special as Gracie, and it had, over the years, become Holly’s second home, even before she started working there.
Decorating clients’ businesses and homes and working behind the shop counter kept her busy. Putting up a tree gave her joy, and she saw how
other lives were touched by a few twinkle lights and some tinsel. She’d done some decorations for the folks in the cancer ward, and this was a natural transition. If she could bring happiness by hanging a wreath or by delivering an order of books to a shut-in woman, then she was pleased to do it. It took her mind off the loneliness and gave her a purpose. This time of year especially.
The front door opened with a blast of snowy air, and an imposing thirty-something man sporting a thigh-length leather coat blew in. His
chiseled features and mass of dark hair made her catch her breath and falter in her task of ringing up the woman in front of her. The black sweater he wore under his coat looked striking against the dark blue of his eyes. The gray slacks draped over his frame, his black boots befitting the weather outside. He said nothing to her, his gaze captivated by the display of holiday decorations.
How odd.
He reminded her of one of the Doms in her collection of books. Heat spiked through parts of her she’d thought were as dead as her
husband. She wondered how it would feel to unwrap that package.
Blushing, Holly turned back to the customer in front of her.
Good grief, she hoped he hadn’t noticed her staring.
Holly finished ringing the books up and slipped them into a bag. She tossed in a candy cane with a card offering their holiday decorating
services attached. “Here you go. Have a wonderful day.”
The woman waved good-bye and shuffled out the door into the snow. Looking anywhere but at the enigmatic man in front of her, Holly fought
the sensation of butterflies fluttering in her stomach. He was incredible. The way his well-built form filled the space made her eyes automatically seek him out. Warmth stirred in her lower belly, and she nibbled on her lip.
“Hello. Welcome to Harlowe’s.” She fiddled with the hem of her sweater and felt a surge of heat rush up the sides of her face.
Ugh. How lame was she to just blurt that out?
The man raised an eyebrow, a dark and sensual smile sliding over his features. “Thank you.” His voice melted over her like chocolate, and
she shivered.
Holly turned away and busied herself with stuffing bags with holiday activity lists. What kind of horrible woman was she to even be reacting
to another man just a year after her husband’s passing? Lusting after the man in gray. Her lips thinned. No. She wasn’t ready for those feelings. Especially not from a stranger she had seen for all of thirty seconds.
She sneaked a glance at him while she straightened gift bags. He walked up to the Christmas tree in the front window and stroked its branches. Fingering the ornaments, he explored their small holiday store with a
reverence that reminded her of a priest in church. Men usually didn’t bother with Christmas tree ornaments, but he was enraptured. It was mystifying.
A flush crept across Holly’s face. Stirrings of longing zapped through her body as she wondered if this dark-haired stranger knew his way around a flogger. Sighing deeply, she knelt down to pick up a bag that had fallen off the counter while she worked.
“Time for a cold shower tonight,” Holly mumbled. Sensing someone in front of the register, she stood.
“Hi. Did you need help finding anything…?” The very source of her temptation stood right in front of her. Oh God. She wanted to reach
right across the counter and run her tongue over those amazing lips.
Holidays in Hell is the beginning to my new series, Demons in Darkness. The next two books will be released in 2016.

Erzabet Bishop is a bestselling and award winning author who
loves to write naughty stories. She is the author of Lipstick, Dinner Date,
Crave, The Science of Lust, Wicked for You, Arcane Imaginarium: Spirit Board, Holidays in Hell, Sigil Fire, Written on Skin, Club Beam, Pomegranate, A Red Dress for Christmas, The Black Magic Café, Fantasies in Red, Sweet Seductions: The Erzabet Bishop Collection, Holiday Cruise, Fetish Fair, Temptation Resorts: Jess, Temptation Resorts: Marnie, Taming the Beast, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation along with being a contributor
to many anthologies. Erzabet has been a finalist in the GCLS awards for 2014 and 2015, winning the Goldie for her spot in two anthologies. She has been nominated for the 2016 Golden Flogger Award for Crave. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores.
She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies. When she isn’t writing, she loves to review music and books.
Follow her reviews and posts on Twitter @erzabetbishop.
Links:

 

SPOTLIGHT: The Forever Forest

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www.gaylecranfield.co.uk

www.facebook.com/therightturnbook

www.bookstrand.com/gayle-cranfield

 Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/s/ref=is_s_ss_i_0_9?k=gayle+cranfield&sprefix=gayle+cra

Amazon US

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Amazon Australia

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Www.Twitter.com/@gaylecranfield

 

 

Gayle Cranfield was born in London and found her forever after, Mark at the age of 14.

After nearly 30 years of being together, they have two children, both at a university, and now live in Wiltshire in the South West of England somewhere between Stonehenge and Bath.

Whilst on a road trip around California in 2013, she read some disastrous books and when she returned home decided to write one of her own. Having never creatively written a word since school, she picked up her iPad and hesitantly started to write in secret thinking she’d write a short story, before she knew it she had 97000 words!

That was four books ago. She has written three erotic thrillers for Siren Publishing and this time has written her first erotic/paranormal, The Forever Forest, and has chosen Evernight to publish it for her.

“It is great to see your work come alive,” Gayle says. “Although you have various Beta readers telling you it is a great story and a real page turner until a publishing company says ‘Yes we want your work’ you only think your friends are being nice and trying not to hurt your feelings. Seeing the front cover being emailed to me for approval is always the best part and Jay Aheer has done the most amazing job, as she always does ,with all the Evernight Authors.

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The Forever Forest

A series of unusual, and unexplained murders in Bath, England, pushes Detective Sergeant Rebecca Leigh and Psychic Investigator, Gabriel Lewis, to work together.

They discover a link to a new Steam Punk nightclub, The Wolf’s Den, where owner Darius Wolf, when interviewed, disorientates Rebecca.  On exciting the club, Rebecca collapses, seemingly intoxicated, leaving Gabriel no choice but to take her to his home.

She has no memory of meeting Wolf, but attraction between Rebecca and Gabriel reaches boiling point as she discovers Gabriel is not as he seems. The timid psychic is a Dominant in the bedroom and turns her world upside down, as the normally strong willed Detective realizes what has been missing in her past relationships, the submission Gabriel requires from her.

Darius, now obsessed with Rebecca, gains access to her dreams when she is kidnapped by him, leaving Gabriel having to find a passage into Rebecca’s dreams and save her from The Forever Forest.

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Excerpt – The Forever Forest

“You mentioned Jekyll and Hyde earlier, I’d that how you see me?” Gabriel asked as they sat eating their pasta.

“A bit yes. You seem so quiet normally, but this morning, when we were in your bedroom, you were a different person. More forceful.”

“I asked you this morning if that scared you and you said no, but when you walked in here today you seemed very nervous.”

“Apprehensive I think is more the terminology you should be using.”

“Why?” he asked casually.

“The word dominant conjures up many images in my head. I’ve read books, and I know what it means.”

“Is that how you see me?”

“Yes.” She gulped.

“You are a very astute woman. You’ve already worked me out from this morning?”

“Yes. I’m a Detective you know, it’s my job.” She tried to make a joke, but she knew it just sounded like panic.

“The term Dominant can mean all sorts of things in life.”

“What does it mean to you?”

“I’d like you to look at yourself,” he said, deflecting her question.

“In what way?” she asked.

“You are an extremely dominant woman in your work, and I presume you are like that because you are in a very male oriented world and have had to learn to be like that. Am I right?”

“To a certain extent, yes,” she agreed.

“But I get the feeling that is not your natural personality.” He took a long drink from his glass and refilled both glasses again.

“How so?” She nodded in thanks to the wine and picked her glass up and put it to her lips. The wine, along with the food that Gabriel had prepared, was a taste sensation. “Every now and then I see Alice falling down a rabbit hole, only fleetingly, but it’s there.”

“That’s a strange analogy, explain.” She smiled as she put her glass down and picked up her fork once more.

“I know you’re good at your job and you are obviously very thorough, but I get the feeling that this persona, this hard woman, is not the real you. You have been dragged out of your comfort zone with this career and have had to learn to adapt.”

“Keep talking.” This man was good.

“You are an extremely foreboding personality and I wouldn’t want to cross you at work, but last night and this morning I saw a different side to you, a timid side, and one I’d like to explore a little further.” She went to open her mouth, but Gabriel put his hand up to stop her saying anything. “Before you jump down my throat, hear me out please.”

“Ok.” She was beginning to take offense at his hint that she was weak.

“You do not socialize with people from work, do you?”

“No, they’re a bunch of arseholes. I like a few of them, but I still wouldn’t choose to  spend any amount of with them, Tanya is probably the only one I would see out of work.”

“So is that because you don’t want people to see the real you when you take your mask off?”

“I’m sorry?”

“When you get home, do you close the door behind you and lock the woman away and the little girl is released?”

Rebecca didn’t say anything, visions of her unicorn pajamas folded on her bed suddenly flicked through her mind.

“I take it by that silence I’m correct.”

“Go on…”

“Let’s take another avenue. Tell me about your last relationship.”

“Er, ok, I met Harry when I was working on a stalking case few years ago. He was the victim before you ask.”

“And you started a relationship with him?”

“After the case was over, yes, I did. He was a lovely man and wanted to marry me, but it wasn’t what I wanted.”

“What did you want?”

“Something else.”

“And what was that?”

Silence reigned as Rebecca couldn’t quite give him a reason why she didn’t want to marry Harry.

“Did you ever take that mask off in front of him?”

“Why do you keep going on about a mask?”

“Because I think, and please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, that you are such a force in your work and all you want to do when you get home is curl up and lock the door with a book and a glass of wine. Am I right so far?”

“Possibly.”

“Harry met you in a work environment, didn’t he?”

“Yes.”

“When he was possibly at the lowest time in his life being stalked, making him jumpy and needy.”

“True.”

“And you were the strong Detective Sergeant Rebecca Leigh, crime fighter extraordinaire.”

“Now you’re taking the piss.” She laughed. “You had me believing you then.”

“Look at the situation. Was it the tough DS Leigh he fell in love with, or the little girl lost that escapes to her fantasy world in books or TV?” Silence again. “How was your sex life?”

She blushed. “Good, I think.” She hated talking about her sex life as she’d discussed with Tanya that morning.

“Was it always you that took the lead, perhaps always instigated sex?”

She thought for a moment. “He was busy, always working long hours.”

“And you weren’t?”

“That’s not the point,” she answered abruptly.

“It totally is the point. He saw you as the dominant personality in your relationship and in all aspects of it, and I don’t think you are. Yes, you are dominant in your work life, but you want to be that woman who is taken care of, too.”

“I think I get what you mean.”

“So I want to explore that side of your quieter personality, not the tough CID Detective Sergeant.”

“How do you intend to do that?”

“There is one avenue I want to explore with you, Rebecca. It will probably make you very apprehensive.”

“What’s that? You’re killing me here, Gabriel. Get to the point will you?”

“I want you to submit to me.”

“What, in everything I do?” She panicked.

“No, just in the bedroom or wherever sex occurs. Your life is your own. I would not try and change that. I like that side. It’s feisty, but it is Rebecca I want to explore further, not Detective Sergeant Leigh.”

“I’m not into whips and chains and things.”

“Stop panicking. It’s not all about that. It’s about control. It can be, but that’s not what I want from this.”

“What do you want from it?”

“Basically, to Dominate you in our sex life.”

“I’m not sure about this, Gabriel. Is this something you’re used to?”

“It has been in the past, yes. It can make a very interesting relationship. Basically I want to pleasure you in every way possible, and I want to ensure that you have enough orgasms to make your ears bleed.”

“And what do you get out of this?” she asked curiously.

“To take care of you. Don’t worry, you will satisfy me, too, but my purpose will be your pleasure.”

“The perfect man?” She chuckled.

“You said it, not me.” His eyes looked over his wine glass, and although she couldn’t see his mouth she knew he was smirking behind the blood red liquid.