The Nature of the Beast by Ciarra Sims #PNR #DarkFantasy #BoxSet #NewRelease @changelingpress

The Nature of the Beast (Nature of the Beast 3)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Sahara Kelly
Genres/Themes: Box Set, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Dark Desire,
Second editions, Single Parent/Pregnancy Romance

 

Demons from Hell are loose and among us. They shapeshift into handsome, virile forms and like everyone else they look for the perfect mate. But happily ever after isn’t in their criteria. Some unlucky woman will meet her Mr. Right and never guess the horror she’ll bear until it’s too late. But it doesn’t stop with demon spawn. Far worse, the women live through the nightmare only to find themselves raising little devils until the fathers come back to take them all to Hell. And they don’t take no for an answer.

A retreat in the forest becomes the battleground of good versus evil where there are no winners. Children born of darkness will spread through the world with strange powers and abilities, their purpose as shadowy as the woods where they were conceived. One child, born of love, holds the key. Her parents will go to Hell and back to save her from the demons that demand her blood.

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Ciarra Sims
Excerpt from HellGate

Carol turned on her side, settling in for a long night. She breathed deep and was about to exhale when the sound of scrabbling on the roof made her shoot upright. Rolling out of bed she padded to the door and hit the cabin’s lights.

Bea was sitting up on her cot, her single wool blanket grasped in tight fists. “What the hell was that?”

The light in the cabin made Carol feel foolish. “Probably raccoons on the roof. I just couldn’t sleep.”

Bea rubbed her eyes. “We have to be up in a few hours. This is going to be a bad week, I can feel it in my bones.”

Carol managed a smile. “I guess sleeping out in the woods will cure us of this silly jumpiness.”

“Yeah,” Bea agreed, “Cure us or kill us.”

Carol would ordinarily have laughed at the sardonically spoken words except somehow they didn’t seem so funny out here in the middle of nowhere. She turned off the lights, determined to brave it out when a creak on the porch made her wince. “That is no raccoon.”

A movement at the window made her gasp. Was it a bear? A face appeared and Carol almost screamed. When she recognized Alan, she breathed a sigh of relief. “It’s Alan, the camp instructor. I’ll go see what he wants.” Carol was glad to see someone who could lay her fears to rest.

The flannel P.J’s she wore were no threat to her modesty so she had no qualms about stepping out on the porch. She looked to where she’d seen Alan at the window but there was no one there. The short porch was empty.

“Alan?” Carol whispered. “Alan, where are you?”

A sound in the brush to her right made her think twice about leaving the porch. She sensed someone behind her and swung around. A shadow retreated off the porch, disappearing over the railing. A shadow with no human form to cast it.

Carol shivered. This was not funny! If the company thought this was a way to test their employees’ mettle, they’d have to come up with another plan. Carol wasn’t about to go into hysterics over some urban legend scenario set up by the camp. She backed to the cabin door, turning around quickly to twist the knob. A hand grabbed her shoulder, spinning her around.

Carol squealed as Alan’s tan face looked down at her.

“Carol? What are you doing out here? You do know you have to be up in a few hours? This isn’t going to be easy for any of you, believe me.”

Carol could only stare, blank-faced, her heart pounding. “That’s not funny!”

“What’s not funny?”

“Sneaking up on the cabin then hiding. You may get your kicks this way, but we’re not silly girls to scare into peeing our pants over some creaky noises.”

“What are you talking about? I saw your cabin light on and came to see if everything was okay. My cabin is across the meadow. It took me some time to get here.”

“Yeah sure. I saw you at the window then on the porch. Shadows don’t lie.”

“Hey. I’m telling you I wasn’t here. Jeez. Get a grip.”

Carol didn’t like his tone. She thought he was rather nice on her arrival at the camp, but now he was acting like a jerk. It was one thing to pull a stunt then enjoy a laugh over it, but to keep denying it was juvenile.

She backed toward the door. Alan’s hand came up, touching her cheek. “It’s okay, Carol. You’re in my group for the week and I won’t let anything happen to you. Scout’s honor.” He smiled at his lame-ass joke and Carol fought to keep from responding. He was darned cute and in this wilderness, it didn’t hurt to have a friend. She leaned into his hand as it cupped her jaw line.

She swore he was going to kiss her when the door swung open and Bea’s pale face emerged. “Everything okay out here, Carol?”

Flustered Carol replied, “Uh, yeah. Just ducky.”

“You’d better get some sleep,” Alan murmured. “Both of you. Rise and shine at oh-five-hundred for a brief orientation, then we pick up supplies and hit the woods. Janice hates slackers and will ride them the hardest of all. Just a tip from someone who has butted heads with her on more than one occasion. So get some shut-eye. That’s an order from your camp master. You’re under my thumb from now on and the only thing that will save you from the worst week of your life is me. So, my fair damsels, I’ll see you in a few hours. Night.”

Carol wasn’t sure if his tone was kidding or not. Bea was looking at her strangely. Carol shrugged. “What?”

“You and he… Maybe it’s my gambler’s instinct but I see you two having a wild, animalistic time in the forest. Just my luck, I get Hershey bars while you get a hunky man to warm your blood. The story of my life.”

Carol smiled. “Come on. I’m not sure at this point if a Hershey bar wouldn’t be the wisest choice. Something about our camp master gives me the willies.” As they went inside the cabin Carol knew who she’d seen at the window, just as she knew the shadow on the porch had been real. Just what was up with this Alan fellow?

 

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Ciarra Sims is one of the quiet ones you have to watch out for. She lives a plain and simple life in Southern California with her pets, and tries to stay out of trouble. Her writing may be comedic or scary, depending on her mood… or it may sway toward a Regency or even a western… whatever tickles her fancy at the time. Ciarra’s writing philosophy is: “Not to fall into a rut. Keep the reader and yourself wondering, ‘What’s next?'”

Something Wicked by Dahlia Rose #DarkFantasy #PNR #DarkDesire #Interracial @changelingpress

Something Wicked (Dark Love 2)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres/Themes: Dark Fantasy, Dark Desire, Paranormal, Interracial, Second Editions

 

Humans are marks in Locke’s ledger, nothing more, until he encounters the one woman he can’t tempt, can’t coerce and can’t get out of his head.

Paris Fairchild lives from one paycheck to the next, yet Locke’s never seen anyone happier with their life. Being a demon, Locke could spirit her anywhere, give her anything, but she wants to earn what she gets on her own, no easy way out.

Instead of walking away, Locke finds himself charmed by the young woman and after stealing a kiss he knows he wants to see the world through her eyes. For the first time in an eternity he sees something besides darkness in his future. But there will be a price to pay for falling in love and breaking his contract with hell. When the hounds of hell are set loose, can he withstand the gathering storm to have a forever with Paris by his side?

 

Get it Today at Changeling Press

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Dahlia Rose

He walked in the shadows of the building. The city was ripe with sin, and he was all set to pluck the wayward fruit. Locke was the name he’d been known by for so many years he’d lost count. He frowned as he thought back. Sometimes he forgot the person he had been before. He’d given up everything, or was it nothing? Locke couldn’t remember. He knew it had been his choice to become this thing, this monster who preyed on souls. He was the strongest. He would survive while the others would be crushed.

Sirens wailing, couples arguing and fucking, the aroma of food, and the heat of the day seeping up from the cement brought his attention back to the present. Voices yelled in different languages. He understood them all. A man was trying to sell a tourist a knock-off purse. He talked as though he had little English knowledge, but knew exactly what people were saying. Locke shook his head in amusement when the guy talked the woman out of fifty dollars for a purse he claimed was authentic.

As he walked past a cafe, he took three steps back to look in the window. A waitress wiped her hair away from her face as she bussed a table, stacking dirty dishes on a big tray. She frowned as she picked up her two-dollar tip. When he looked at the table, he saw she was clearly under compensated. Without a doubt, she was the one. Locke saw a new soul to be reaped, one who clearly wanted more from life. He stepped in the Cafe La Paz and sat at a table.

Another waitress came over with a big smile, an appreciative look in her eyes.

“What can I get ya, sweetheart? I do mean anything,” she said in a breathy voice. He could smell the stink of her last cigarette on her breath. Nasty habit.

He pointed at his quarry. “You can get me… her.”

The waitress frowned and her eyes flashed with irritation before she called out, “Paris, your table.”

“Be right there.” The dark-skinned beauty glanced at him casually. Walking to the kitchen, she put away her tray. On her way back, she pulled a pad out of her apron pocket. “Good evening. Welcome to Cafe La Paz. Have you had a chance to look over the menu?”

Locke assessed her. She was pretty in a simple way. Her ebony skin had a sheen from hard work giving her the look of a polished statue made of wood. Her dark brown eyes were wide and her lashes shone like soft waves when she blinked. Her lips were full and colored with lip gloss. She was wearing her hair in a simple ponytail with soft curls in the back.

“Sir?” she prodded gently. “Something to drink?”

“Espresso,” he said. “The other one who smells like cigarettes called you Paris.”

“Yes, that’s my name,” Paris replied.

“I am Locke.” He placed his hand over his chest and bowed.

“Okay, and are you ready to order?” she asked, dismissing the introduction.

“What do you suggest?” Locke asked, amused by her businesslike attitude.

“The spinach crepes with hollandaise sauce is my favorite.”

“Then I’ll have that.”

She moved efficiently to get his coffee, and when it was ready, his meal. She checked in on him as he ate. Paris kept her distance, unlike her co-worker, who kept staring at him. Locke ate as if he enjoyed the food, but in reality every meal tasted the same to him. He didn’t need to eat, but did sometimes to blend in. The only thing that filtered through to his taste buds was the bitterness of espresso. He admitted he loved the taste of the dark brew. Even one like him had vices.

“Anything else?” Paris asked.

“No, I’ve gotten what I came for.”

She gave him a curious look before ripping the receipt off her notepad and placing it on the table with a smile. He was finished his assessment. He reached into his empty pocket and the money he thought of appeared beneath his fingertips. He pulled it out and placed it on the table before standing and walking out the door.

Paris rushed after him a few seconds later. “Sir! Sir!”

He turned. “Locke.”

“Sir.” She didn’t use his name. “You left one hundred dollars for a meal that cost twenty. Don’t you want your change?”

“No, that’s your tip,” Locke replied.

“Why?” Paris asked.

He liked her bluntness. “Because I think you deserve that, and much more.”

“Uh-huh,” she said warily. “I’m giving you notice now, creeps who follow me home usually get a burst of Mace in the face. No one does anything in this town for nothing.”

“It’s just a tip,” Locke assured her. “Goodnight, Paris.”

“Yeah, goodnight.” Paris turned and headed back into the cafe.

He’d made the first move. From there he played the scenario out in his head. She was fierce in her distrust but he sensed the goodness in her like a beacon reaching out. She would make the bosses very happy indeed. A soul like hers fetched a pretty penny in the depths of hell.

More from Dahlia Rose at Changeling Press …

Maybelle Summers and the Demons from Hell by Jonathan Wright #DarkDesire#DarkFantasy #PNR @changelingpress

Maybelle Summers and the Demons From Hell

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres/Themes: Action Adventure, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Dark Desire

 

Maybelle Summers is a hot honey blond with a heart of gold and notably bad taste in men. That golden heart prompts her to make another in a long line of bad decisions — to wit borrowing money from one Burdette Hunter, the local crime boss.

Enter Quill, an Incubus sent to seduce Maybelle into giving up her soul to Satan. But like Maybelle, Quill sometimes makes bad decisions — like falling for Maybelle. And claiming her — but not for Satan.

Fortunately Maybelle’s equally head over heals for Quill. All of which sets Maybelle on a course that will put Burdette, his collectors (Bad Bob, Bo Williams and Lark Conner), and even Satan himself on her trail. Unfortunately — for Satan — Maybelle’s not really quite as human as she thought she was.

Sometimes even Satan’s past can catch up with him…

 

Get it Today at Changeling Press

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Jonathan Wright

Two a.m. in Hollow Glen. Owls and crickets and Bad Bob — one of Burdette Hunter’s bill collectors, 6’ 5” and nothing but nasty. He kicked in the door to Maybelle’s trailer.

Another man, tall and lean, but nowhere near Bad Bob’s 6’ 5”, hung back in the shadows, waiting near the door.

Bob grunted, stooping a bit to get in the door, “Okay, Maybelle, I come to collect.”

Maybelle was still awake because thinking about the inevitable — in this case Bad Bob or an equivalent permutation — made sleep impossible. Having just erased the simple chalk design on her kitchen table after putting away the five little pink birthday candles and fussing about the melted wax, she shrank back, trying not to be lush and sensual, failing badly.

I wish for a hero and I get nothing. Typical. A complete waste of a pentagonal. She quickly wished hives and bad breath on the person who’d sold her the “self help” pamphlet, figuring she’d get similar results. “What, it takes two of you to break my fingers?”

Bob glanced around, frowning. “What? Don’t play games, bitch. Look, Burdette don’t want me to break nothin’. He just wants to talk.” Bob grinned like a gator, all bad teeth and naked hunger. “He told me I get to make sure you got all your workin’ parts in order.”

Maybelle expected Bob had exaggerated the flexibility of his own authority somewhat. Then she glanced at the other man, who stood quietly, watching. Hard face. Hard body. Hard eyes. She thought he said something, low and menacing.

Frying pan or the fire? She snarled at Bob. “I don’t have the money. Went for doctor bills for Miss Elma, down at the end of the street.” The street being the end of the dirt path folks around here called a road. “The medicine probably saved her life.” Probably nothing, it had. Maybelle got some degree of satisfaction from that.

Bob smirked. “Don’t matter.”

Maybelle understood that better than a Nobel prize winning physicist understood gravity. Burdette wanted to fuck her, and own her, and not in a good way.

“Burdette says you can turn tricks. That body’s worth somethin’. Got to be sure, though.” He moved quicker than she expected and pinned her hot curves against the wall, which flexed alarmingly.

Sepulchral voice from the other. “So what’ll it be? Frying pan or the fire?”

Maybelle chose — having no choice — and screamed defiantly, “Fuck you!”

Bob would have laughed but instead sailed out the door. Hideous shapes snagged his screaming ass and disappeared into the night. His end did not bode well.

Maybelle gasped with shock, breathing heavily, heaving tits and flushed face. “What — what just happened?” She stared at the hard guy and trembled. “What’s goin’ on?”

“Nothing you need to know. Maybe best if you don’t.”

Maybelle didn’t like the sound of that. “He didn’t see you.” She trembled before his penetrating stare.

“Wouldn’t have liked it much if he had.”

That made her shiver. Christ, exactly the kind of guy I want and don’t need. And like that, her nipples got hard and her cunt got hot and wet and she started to tremble.

“What’s your price?” she asked in her patented hot-honey voice that meant she wanted to be fucked right now and which only seemed to manifest at really inconvenient times like this.

He looked her up and down. She saw his cock get big and hard in his pants. Major myth, that guys got hard from just looking at women. But there he stood, hard as a rock.

She smelled his male musk, like a drug to her libido. Her voice dropped an octave, into a husky whisper. “So — so you want to — you want my — body?”

Still nothing, unless one counted the discernible tightening of his jaw and the way his eyes narrowed. His hands flexed, opening and closing like he would use them to mold her body to his will.

She shivered again. “Okay. Yeah…” She stripped, not from fear but because she had come close to something very like death and he had saved her and she wanted him to see her nude body and know he could have her if he wanted. Afraid, yes. Very afraid. But getting more and more aroused under his flat stare. Jesus, even his eyes are quiet.

When she stood nude before him, he touched her, almost reverently, hard hands gently but confidently tracing the map of her raging hunger, the hunger she hated for the crappy men it brought into her life. She closed her eyes and moaned, then silently cursed herself for a slut.

“Quiet,” he commanded. “This time I’ll judge your worth.”

… this time… That scared the shit out of her, and made her screaming hungry for his cock. She leaned back against the flimsy wall and moaned again, unable to move except as his hands commanded. “Who are you?” she gasped, already on the edge of unending ecstasy.

“The fire.” His voice went deeper, making her tremble. “Your wish was simple, so the payment is simple. I take you.”

 

More from Jonathan Wright at Changeling Press …

 

Dragon in Training by Emily Carrington #BDSM #DarkFantasy #GayRomance #LGBT #shifters @changelingpress @CarringtonEmily

Dragon in Training (Dragon in Training 1)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight
Genres/Themes: BDSM, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy,
Dark Desire, Gay, Shapeshifters, Elves Dragons and Magical Creatures

 

Dragon Food: Something is hunting along the Gulf coast of Florida, and Mark Tavery is tasked with finding it. His expertise in dragons is his pride, but he can’t say the same about his romantic relationships. When he picks up a lamp during his investigation, he’s shocked at his instant attraction to, and all-consuming need for, the genie inside. Mark’s greatest desire is to have Luke in his life and in his bed, but giving in to the promise in Luke’s touch means Mark runs the risk of killing the genie he loves.

Dragon Fire: Luke is a genie with almost limitless power, but it does him no good when his lover, Mark, won’t let him have the two things he really wants: for Mark to rely on him as an equal partner during magical conflicts, and to be dominated in bed. Will Luke ever get the chance to prove that he can be both strong in the field and the perfect submissive in the sack?

Dragon’s Bane: Atlas, a genie-god with nearly limitless power, has one task. He must find the modern equivalent of Cerberus and kill it. He discovers the three-headed dog’s incarnation are three figures that surround his current master — Dan’s current lover, Reese, Mark, a water dragon and Reese’s obsession, and Luke, Mark’s genie. Mark and Luke find their memories are altered and untrustworthy. One thing is clear: Only their love for each other can save them — and everyone at SearchLight — from Atlas completing his terrible final task.

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also available in paperback

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Emily Carrington
Excerpt from Dragon Food

Being trapped in a lamp for twenty years at a time wasn’t as unpleasant as it sounded. Damn lonely but not unpleasant. Luke, like all genies, was able to make his prison a palace, and as long as he kept busy, each time of confinement went swiftly. He’d been alive for over ten centuries; what was a score of years?

This stint was almost done. He went to the covered clock that hung on the other side of the room, walking easily with the almost imperceptible rocking of the lamp under his feet. His last mistress, after getting what she most wanted, had tossed his prison over the side of a boat, and he’d been forced to go with it.

He brushed the clock’s velvet curtain aside so he could study the face. The hands read April 2004, and he nodded. Almost twenty years had passed. His lamp would be picked up soon. Goddess, God, or fate always made it so.

Luke grabbed his wrists and stretched upward, wincing at the satisfying series of pops that walked up his back. “About time.” He shot a glance at his bookshelves. “This time, I’ll bring back more books.” He leaned backward and rolled into a handstand. Facing away from the clock now, he headed for his closet. Its doors slid back, disclosing outfits that reflected the many centuries of his existence. His first-meeting wear would never be current, but that didn’t matter; peacock behavior was for mortals.

He laughed. “Says the man who keeps almost everything he wears in any century.” He curled down into a crouch, then stood, shedding both boxers and T-shirt with two fluid movements. “Maybe a traditional genie turban…” Brushing clothes this way and that on the closet’s bar, he didn’t at first feel the summoning tingle that started at the roots of his hair. “Or a business suit?”

The tingling spread down to his neck and then out to both hands. Luke scrabbled for his boxers. “Wait! I’m not ready!”

“Use your magic, stupid,” spoke up Benji’s voice. His maker was long gone, but his voice seemed to always come at the best and worst times.

He laughed again and started to think himself into a pair of swimming trunks, but the summoning tingle encompassed his whole body. Naked, his own powers frozen for the moment of transport, he was sucked out of the lamp.

Well, he was definitely going to make an impression. He grinned inside himself like a fully risen sun. Best case scenario, his new master would be blind, and thus his nudity wouldn’t matter.

Transport complete, the tingling feeling receded. Hovering above the water like a leaf in an updraft, Luke gazed down at the man who treaded water below him. His new master’s eyes were hidden by what Luke assumed was a newfangled version of the scuba mask his last mistress had worn on occasion. Dark brown hair like bittersweet chocolate made little plastered curls on his forehead and neck, and his face was lightly tanned.

“Put some clothes on!” Benji all but screamed, and Luke snapped his fingers.

Swimming trunks appeared. He sank into the water, cradling the lamp under one arm to keep it from floating away. In the same breath, he buried his magic within himself, rather like covering a neon pink and spiky-bad haircut with a hat. Any other magical beings within a hundred meters of him would know where and what he was, but those farther away would have no idea he was here unless they were seeking his magic-signature specifically. Partial anonymity would help him focus on only his master.

His magic safely hidden away, he smiled at said master. “Hello, Master. My name is Luke.” That hadn’t been his name when Benji had made him a genie; he’d adopted the new name some hundred fifty years ago. He swam forward a few strokes, surreptitiously checking out their surroundings. A mostly empty beach was visible in the middle distance. Though he couldn’t be sure, he thought he might still be in the Gulf of Mexico, where his mistress had dropped him. The water was ocean-buoyant with salt, and calm. He hadn’t been summoned to save his master from drowning.

His master pushed up the mask, revealing blue eyes just a shade lighter than the water around them. He laughed, a deep, rough purr. “Whichever of my coworkers hired you, tell them you had me going for a minute, especially with the mirrors or whatever you used to appear naked in midair, but I’m not interested in any one-night stands.” He pulled the mask back down. “Oh, and tell them — whoever they are — that they don’t know my taste in men at all.” He struck out for shore.

That was the first frustrating part: convincing his new master that he was in possession of a genie. The second would come when Luke had to explain the rules. Well, soonest begun and all that.

Luke did another check of the beach. There were people there, but none of them seemed to be staring in their direction. They were alone out here in the water. He vanished, reappearing in midair before his master’s eyes. “Can you explain this?” He rolled over on his back, tipping his head back so he could look at the man in the water. “What’s your name, Master?” Not that it mattered. Masters and mistresses usually didn’t want you to use their name; it was just something to ask so the silence wouldn’t rush in. He hated silences. They were annoying.

“I’m Mark,” his master said. “Of SearchLight.”

Luke didn’t recognize that name, but it was apparently significant to his master.

“I don’t know how you’re doing this,” Mark said, “but there’s surely a trick of science involved.” He swam under Luke, who resisted the urge to roll over and keep him in view.

Mark passed his hands under Luke, not quite touching him.

He could feel the heat of those hands, and he wanted to move just enough to make the contact, however brief, skin to skin. Mark’s voice — steady like a professor’s but rough as if he used it as a weapon — called to all Luke had denied himself for far too long. This new master looked nothing like Jesse, but that somehow made Luke’s desire okay.

“Okay,” Mark said, “this is sophisticated.” He sounded intrigued. “What kind of technology?”

Luke turned over. “You’re a man of science?” Why couldn’t he run into someone who believed in anything and everything? No, that would be too easy.

“More or less.” Mark’s eyes shone like a mirage. Yes, he was intrigued. “Is this some new science?” His eyes flicked to Luke’s swim trunks. “You’re not hiding some kind of…” He shook his head, muttering, “Nothing’s that small, and this isn’t Star Trek.”

Not understanding the reference any more than he knew the meaning of SearchLight, Luke ignored it. If he had to know, he’d find out. “I promise, I’m not using any sort of scientific find to stay suspended up here.” He made his trunks disappear for a moment, waited until Mark’s jaw had dropped far enough and his cheeks had colored before poofing the trunks back into place. “See?” His gaze flicked down to the water, and he wondered if Mark was sporting an erection or if that was just the play of light on water.

“Yeah… I see.” Mark started for the beach again, tugging once, harshly, at his swim trunks. “Will you answer a question?” His voice was unsteady, but when he glanced over his shoulder, that gleam was still in his eyes.

Fighting the need to swim under Mark, maybe even touch him, Luke said, “Sure.” He sank back into the water and swam beside Mark. “You’re a little confused, right? Let me try to help. I’m a genie, and you rubbed my lamp.” He paused. Twenty years was too long to go without a tease or two. “Feel free to rub other things.”

The Darkest Joy by Dahlia Rose #DarkFantasy #DarkDesire #PNR #interraciallove @changelingpress

The Darkest Joy (Dark Love 1)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres/Themes: Dark Desire, Dark Fantasy, Interracial, Paranormal

 

For Bliss, Caim would tear hell apart. To bring Caim to the light,
Bliss would sacrifice everything.

 

For a crime committed in the halls of heaven, Caim fell from grace to become one of the fallen. His punishment is to serve in the pits of the underworld as collector of the devil’s debts.

A thousand years in the servitude of demons is more than Caim can bear. Now he has a chance to be free and to find peace. He has found what he seeks most in the eyes and arms of Bliss Tadeo, a phlebotomist in a small town called Merry, North Carolina. With her eyes and her heart she has soothed the beast within Caim and given him a chance for redemption — if they can survive his ultimate escape from hell…

Publisher’s Note: The Darkest Joy (Dark Love 1) is an edited version of a previously published work by the same name.

 

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Dahlia Rose

So beautiful. He watched her smile as she strapped a piece of rubber around a patient’s bicep. The smile was brilliant, kindly and full of encouragement as she slipped a hollow needle into the vein. She murmured reassuring words to ease her patient’s fears. The lifeblood of the man began to fill the tube. Even from far away he could hear her every word. She talked about the weather, and asked about children, a conversation to take a person’s mind off what was happening and help them into a happy place. Finally she was done and then she flashed that glorious smile once more. Perfection.

No one could see him as he walked down the corridor behind her as he had done for weeks now. He watched her work and at night he sat outside her window and watched her sleep. Her beauty took his immortal breath away and the normalcy of her life gave him hope for himself. After thousands of years one mistake made him who he was now. Only redemption could free him from his immortal torment, his dungeon, his curse. He sat next to her, invisible, as she wrote up charts at her small desk, in her space, her sanctuary where she worked. He inhaled the scent of hair like it was a fine wine. The dark tresses smelled like honeysuckle and vanilla spice. He wanted to run his finger down the creamy chocolate shoulder that was exposed when she took off her lab coat. When she turned, her nose was just a breath away from his, yet she did not know it. Her breath caressed his lips. It had the scent of the strawberry soft chews she liked to snack on at her desk. He stared into eyes that were like liquid chocolate. Her lips were full and she wore gloss that had a slight color of gold. Pictures of family and friends were all around her, trinkets of her human life that she treasured. One picture she favored the most and she looked at it every day. She caressed the silver frame with the word grandmother in raised letters. He heard her speak of the woman frequently, saw them go out to lunch, and watched as she hugged her with affection and love. He longed for an emotional connection, a bond with another person that couldn’t be broken, he craved…

The call jarred him from his place next to her. It was like a sledgehammer to his head. He hated when this time came around, he hated being away from her. But if he did not go to his duties the repercussion would be great and by the time his punishment was over a hundred years would have passed and she would be long gone. A frown darkened his face as he moved away from her. He promised to return to no one but himself. The next time he would reveal himself to her slowly, letting her know the man before she knew the secret. Next time. Her name was Bliss. Bliss… Bliss… Bliss, he repeated the name over and over in his head. She would be his Bliss and his salvation.

He felt it in the fiber of his being. He closed his eyes and phased out of this world owned by humanity and into a world no one wanted to see. The walls of rock were dark with soot and the ground scorched the soles of shoes. As he walked, the heat caused the rubber to hiss as if you had dropped water into a hot frying pan. He hardened his heart to the screams of torment around him, the pleas for mercy or even a drink of water to quench eternal thirst. Had he shown any compassion the consequences would be dire for him and for the person whose plea he answered. No, it was better to pretend he did not see the bodies chained to the rock walls or hear the lashes from Qumuel’s whip against the flesh of his captives as he passed.

“What took you so long, Caim?” The snarl came from the demonic lips of Belial.

His face was almost flawless in its beauty but it belied the pure evil hiding underneath. There was no one more malevolent; more filled with hate and destruction than Belial. Caim had long stopped fearing him; he looked at him now with total disinterest.

He leaned his shoulder against the steaming rock wall; it burnt a hole through the fabric of his black shirt down to his skin. It burned his flesh but Caim did not even wince. Such was the life of a fallen angel in hell.

“So no answer?” Belial asked.

“Why should I give you excuses, Belial? You are not my master, you only dispense assignments. You are basically a secretary. And as soon as I was summoned I came.” Caim replied mildly. It gave him great pleasure to see the flaming anger turn red in the demon’s eyes.

“Your insolence will not be forgotten. One of these days my revenge will be swift.”

“Said the demon to the fallen angel who lives in hell with him.” Caim scoffed unconcerned. “Why was I summoned? Give me my assignment, secretary, and go back to making coffee.”

With a snarl reminiscent of a lion’s roar Belial was on his feet. His tail lashed the desk in front of him and spilt it in two. Black ooze flowed from the wood and talons sprouted from Belial’s hands. Gone was the perfect man. Now, the face of a demon was visible and pure in its hate.

Caim took battle stance. From his back, black wings ripped their way through the fabric of his shirt. In his hands appeared a black sword. If Belial wanted a fight he would give him one, feathers against scales.

More from Dahlia Rose at Changeling Press…

 

Demon’s Grotto by Kate Hill #PNR #DarkDesire #Vampires #Shifters @chagnelingpress @katehillromance

Demon’s Grotto, where monsters sate their lust. Will you spend the night?

 

Demon's Grotto (Demon's Grotto 1)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres/Themes: Paranormal, Dark Fantasy, Dark Desire, Shapeshifters,
Vampires, Werewolves

 

Ben wants Laura to reconsider staying overnight at Demon’s Grotto, and he has information about the club’s history that should convince her. He tells her three creepy love stories, hoping she will change her mind.

Rise of the Creature: When a mad doctor brings a dead man back to life, only his beautiful assistant can make that life worth living.

The Demon Within: A man on the run stops to rest at a rooming house, not knowing that it’s the hunting ground of a gorgeous succubus bent on devouring handsome guests.

Don’t Cry, Wolf: An ad for a maintenance man at a bed and breakfast is answered by a former soldier who’s harboring a hairy secret. The business’s lovely co-owner becomes involved with this sullen hunk who’s more than she imagined possible.

After hearing these stories of love and murder, will Laura decide to spend the night at Demon’s Grotto?

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Kate Hill

Despite the cold, misty night, Laura felt optimistic and excited, like she did whenever she was about to start a great story. Demon’s Grotto, the new club that had opened in a very old building, would be an amazing topic for an article. She’d already heard good things about the club. The name itself was an attention grabber, and the place seemed to deserve that dark, dangerous label.

She’d heard rumors that it was haunted. Staff and customers alike had seen, heard, and even felt a lot of strange things since the place opened. With her keen interest in the supernatural, Laura couldn’t wait to get to work. She didn’t think ghosts, demons, and werewolves were real, but she liked to fantasize and she also knew that many people liked to believe. In all her years of writing about paranormal creatures, she had never actually met one and doubted she ever would. Like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, some things were meant only for entertainment. After all, you can’t find proof of something that doesn’t exist. Yet her job wasn’t to prove anything. She was just here to tell an enticing story.

Pausing outside the club, she gazed up at the old building that had once been a rich family’s mansion. The current owners had kept the old style, even through renovations. The ornate building was stained sable. The front door was black with red lettering that stated the club’s name and hours.

Laura was about to step inside when a man of average height wearing a wrinkled gray suit approached. He had thick black hair, a square jaw, and rich brown eyes that had an almost haunted expression.

“Hey,” he said. “You’re Laura, right?”

“Yeah. Do I know you?”

“You called the owner about coming here to write a story about the place.”

“Yes. Do you work here?”

“Sure. Yeah. When I heard you wanted to spend the night here to write your story, I knew I had to talk to you first.”

“Why? Do you mind if I take notes?”

“No. Go ahead.”

“What’s your name, by the way?”

“Ben.”

“And what do you do here, Ben?”

“I’m the maintenance guy.”

“Oh. So you must know all about the building.”

“More than I ever wanted to.”

“So why did you want to talk to me, Ben?”

“See that coffee shop across the street? Can we go there?”

“Why don’t we just go in the club?”

Ben’s dark eyes shifted toward the door. He shook his head. “No, Laura. I don’t feel like I can speak freely in there. If I’m going to tell you everything I know, it can’t be within those walls.” For the first time he truly nabbed her interest.

“Okay. Sure. We can go to the coffee shop,” she said, adjusting the strap of her laptop case more comfortably on her shoulder.

He headed to the coffee shop, and Laura followed. It had started raining harder, and when they stepped inside, they were both soaked. After ordering, they took their drinks to a table near the window.

From there, they had a clear view of Demon’s Grotto. A couple of people went in, and a few others came out. It seemed like a normal club. “That place has been bad news since the time it was built,” Ben said, breaking her thoughts.

“What do you mean?”

“It was built in the early 1800s by the Damp family. Frederick Damp brought his wife and four kids over from England. Within two years of moving into the house, three kids and his wife died. One son, Raymond, survived. He married and had twin girls. When they were sixteen, one twin went crazy and killed the other. She was committed to an asylum and died there a couple of years later.”

Laura curled her lip. “That’s terrible.”

“It doesn’t get any better. Before they were killed in a carriage accident, Raymond and his wife had another child, a son, Martin. He married, but poisoned his wife, and then he drank the same poison himself. They had one child, Cyril, and this is where the story really gets strange.”

Laura chuckled. “Stranger than that?”

Ben didn’t return her smile, but stared at her with those dark, haunted eyes. “Much stranger than that.”

Dragon Heart by Stephanie Burke #GayRomance #LGBT #DarkFantasy #UrbanFantasy #NewRelease @changelingpress @FlashyCat

 

Will Vulwin and Iffear’s quest for justice and revenge
lead to war between two Fae factions?

 

Dragon Heart (Dragon 3)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres/Themes: Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Gay Romance
Dragons Elves & Magical Creatures, Single Parent/Pregnancy Romance

 

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Vulwin and Iffear know who was responsible for the attempts on their lives and how these attacks were carried out; they now only need to discover why. Seeking revenge could shatter the tentative peace and reignite the war between two Fae factions, but blood spilled in hate demands justice. How far will they go to fulfill a blood oath and see the Dragon Stones laid to rest once and for all?

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Stephanie Burke

“I will kill them all.” Vulwin wasted no time in breaking the magic circle he had created and stumbling down the stairs to his Dragon.

Mai hustled after him, looking as incensed as a Brownie could look as she flicked her fingers at him, cleaning him up and changing his clothes into a longer black tunic as he moved.

Vulwin had several things on his mind at the moment, but first he wanted to be with his mate. He left the wooden stairs and made it to the bedroom where Chinsie still sat beside a slumbering Iffear.

“Well, the link is broken to the chain and the poison,” Mai informed him as he moved into the bathroom. There was a popping sound and a smell of fresh herbs filled the air. “But you might want to bathe him to remove the rest. I have drawn a bath of elderberry, honeysuckle, plantain, and comfrey. It should soothe his pain and pull out what is left of the poisons in his system. I’m going to burn these sheets and change the bed… and then you can tell me what that grateful soul whispered to you.”

“A name, Mai,” Vulwin spoke softly as he unwound his Dragon from the blanket that encased him as Chinsie looked on. “It gave me a name.”

Mai tilted her head to the side and considered her friend’s mate for a moment. “I am to assume that this name will cease to be?”

“You can be assured that his direct line will cease to be,” Vulwin growled, but the aggression was restricted to his voice as he tenderly cradled his Dragon in his arms. His eyes filled with love as he stared down at Iffear.

“Bathe.” Mai waved her hand toward the waiting bath. “Get out and take your romantic nonsense with you. I have work to do. Chinsie and I are going to ward this house properly now that my secret is out.”

“Iffear didn’t know?” Vulwin pulled his eyes away from his mate long enough to ask.

“He suspected, but then he left me to my privacy. He gave me a choice. He has always given me choices. He’s cool like that.”

“Yes, he is,” Vulwin agreed before turning and exiting the room, his mate in arms, and he felt powerful Brownie magic begin to cleanse the air.

He had no idea how long he sat in the tub, cradling his mate close before Iffear jerked in his arms, his eyes snapping open.

“Settle,” Vulwin purred at Iffear, hugging him tighter to his chest. “Settle, my Dragon.”

“What happened?”

Vulwin smiled to discover not a hint of weakness in his mate’s voice. He watched, amazed, as Iffear sat up, his eyes traveling around the room, before he turned and centered his gaze onto him. “Vulwin?”

“You were poisoned.”

Iffear’s eyes widened at that before a low growl rolled from his throat. “How?”
His hand went to his chest, going to grip the amulet, and he started when he discovered that there was nothing there. Again his gaze went to Vulwin for an explanation.

“I sang it to rest, my Dragon. The soul is at peace.” Vulwin felt the tension leave his mate as he relaxed against him again.

“Yes.” Iffear was nodding. “I don’t feel its lure anymore, nor its cries of pain.” He looked up at Vulwin, his red eyes glittering in joy. “I thank you, my mate.”

“It was also how you were poisoned.” Vulwin knew that his voice had deepened in anger, but he couldn’t help himself. Someone had tried to make him suffer, to take away the one thing that he held most dear.

“It would not have killed me.” Iffear sniffed. “I am virtually indestructible, even more so with your protections holding me safe.” He waved the threat away. “It was a stupidity of their belief system and outdated information, I would assume.”

“Yet they did this to annoy me? To claim my vengeance? To start a war? It doesn’t make sense.” Vulwin reached out and pulled his Dragon into his arms, inhaling his scent, feeling his body warm and alive in his arms. “Why?”

“Miscalculation, I suppose.” Iffear hugged Vulwin back just as hard. “I am sorry I scared you.”

“Having a mate passing out mid-coitus will do that to a Dhrow.” Vulwin relented and joked a little, though he was still horrified at the thought of losing his mate. “You stole years of my life away.”

Iffear snorted, flicking him on the nose with a wet finger. “You haven’t even reached maturity yet, Dhrow. You have years to spare. And then you can’t start losing them until after our son is grown. Seeing you have a neat piece of contraception jewelry, um… thrust upon you, that won’t even happen until the king decides to release you.”

Iffear chuckled but stopped as Vulwin stiffened in his arms. “Say that again?”

“No son, because you haven’t reached your majority?” Iffear pulled back enough to look back up at him again. “Contraception ring?”

“It is not common knowledge that I have not yet reached the age of my majority,” Vulwin said carefully as his mind roared with plots and information and schemes. Being politically minded was a bitch some days, but in other ways it did more than make one suspicious of everyone else’s motives. Sometimes it pointed you in the correct direction whether you wanted it to or not.