Release Blitz: No Parking by Valentine Wheeler #LGBTfiction #interracial

Title: No Parking

Author: Valentine Wheeler

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 10, 2020

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 63300

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, bisexual, asexual, bakery, restaurant, chef, small-town politics, older MCs, interracial, family drama

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Synopsis

When Marianne Windmere’s bakery customers begin complaining that her parking lot is always full, she assumes it must be customers for the new restaurant next door. She’s never met her neighbor, and with the parking lot situation, she has no interest in doing so. But when a snowstorm knocks out the power and traps both women in the building overnight, sparks fly—until the next morning, when the buried argument comes to a head.

Can they find a way to reclaim the magic of that night? And as decades-old secrets about the history of the town and Marianne’s family come to light, can they work together to save both their businesses?

Excerpt

No Parking
Valentine Wheeler © 2020
All Rights Reserved

The travel mug banged against the counter. Marianne jumped. “Jesus, Kevin! I didn’t hear you come in.”

“It’s full again.” Kevin crossed his arms and glared. “The parking lot back there.” He made a show of glancing around the nearly empty bakery, eyes pausing on Zeke in the corner, mug in his hands and laptop open as usual, big red headphones covering his ears. He crossed his arms. “Why do you pay that kid if all he does is ignore you? And the customers?”

“You’re in a mood this morning.” Marianne pushed herself off the stool and grabbed his aluminum coffee mug. Her ex-husband was still an attractive man fifteen years after their divorce, and she couldn’t work up the energy to be annoyed at him for it anymore. “If you want to go next door and complain about the cars, go ahead.” She filled his mug with hazelnut coffee, added an espresso shot, capped it, and handed it back. “It’s not like our customers are beating down the doors for spots right now.”

“I did go next door,” Kevin grumbled, taking the cup. “It wasn’t productive.” Now it was him avoiding her gaze.

The parking lot issue wasn’t a new one—it had been a problem for a few months—and on a busy day Marianne would be filled with a low-level simmering rage as customer after customer complained about it. Still, she wasn’t going to tell Kevin that. Their relationship had improved in the years since their divorce but not quite that much.

“Not productive?” she pressed.

He sipped his coffee to cover the slight flush in his pale cheeks and didn’t answer.

“She threw you out, didn’t she?” Marianne’s estimation of her neighbor and nemesis rose a notch. “You tried to yell at her, and she didn’t take it.”

“I was very polite!”

“Hm.” Marianne put her hands on her hips and considered the man she’d spent nearly twenty-five years married to. He could be charming when he wanted to be—the whole silver fox, sparkling blue eyes and white teeth politician thing—though he never tried it with her anymore. Many women had found him suave and attractive during their marriage and probably still did. But when he wanted something from someone with no interest in what he was peddling? Politeness wasn’t his style. Generally, once charm had failed, he whined worse than any of their three kids had as toddlers. She’d learned that plenty during their marriage, and again during the divorce. “I’m sure you were.”

“I can talk to Bruce and Andrea,” said Kevin. “Just because I’m retired—”

“No need to get the city council involved, Kevin. I’ll handle my own property, thanks.” She glanced at the clock on the wall, its tarnished brass pendulum swinging below the cracked glass. “Aren’t you going to be late for your train?” He was still showing up at transit meetings in the city every other week since he had been appointed to the regional transit board as community representative now that he wasn’t an elected official. Kevin had a habit of holding onto things too tightly and refusing to let them go.

Kevin glanced down at his watch and swore. “Yeah. Shit.” He took another long gulp of coffee and leaned over the counter to kiss Marianne’s cheek. “Thanks. Who knew retirement could be so busy?” He turned to hurry out the door and then stopped and glanced back over his shoulder. “You be good, all right? Don’t work too hard.”

Marianne rolled her eyes and shooed him out with a towel.

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Meet the Author

Valentine is a latecomer to writing, though she’s always been a passionate reader. Through fanfiction she found her way to an incredible community of writers who’ve taught her to love making stories.

When she isn’t writing, she’s making bad puns, yelling about television, or playing with her small child.

Her life’s ambition is to eat the cuisine of every single country. You can find Valentine on Twitter.

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Sigil Fire by Erzabet Biship #FF #Lesfic #succubus #vampires #demons #witches #lesbian #paranormal #fantasy #romantic #suspense #strongfemalelead #alphafemale #buffyfans #lostgirl #succubusheat #tattoo #forbiddenink @ErzabetBishop

Sigil Fire_2000

Sonia is a succubus with one goal: stay off Hell’s radar. But when succubi start to die, including her sometimes lover, Jeannie, she’s drawn into battle between good and evil and a past that isn’t ready to let her go.

Fae is a blood witch turned vampire, running a tattoo parlor and trading her craft for blood. She notices that something isn’t right on the streets of her city. The denizens of Hell are restless.

With the aid of her nest mate, Perry, and his partner, Charley, she races against time before the next victim falls. The killer has a target in his sights, and Sonia might not live to see the dawn.

**Includes First Christmas: A Sigil Fire Holiday Story**

 

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EXCERPT:

The dream wrapped around Fae like gossamer silk. It was always the same. The woman’s back was to Fae—shapely curves illuminated against the shadows, the stranger’s face just out view. They were in a dark and winding alley, with the back side of row houses and businesses cluttered with dumpsters and badly repaired fences. The area behind the shops looked ramshackle and smelled worse. A combination of rotting garbage and the reek of something far worse.

A sense of urgency pounded through Fae. She needed to find this woman. Needed to find her now.

Dark demonic wings fluttered in the background, causing the mystery woman to flee. Her skirts whipped up, revealing calves that sucked the air from Fae’s lungs.

An aura of silvery wings hung behind the woman, vanishing as quickly as they appeared. The alleyway grew disjointed—a true setting from a nightmare. The red of her hair was only visible for a moment.

“Help me!” the woman’s sultry voice begged, out of breath and shrill with terror.

Fae’s dream self darted behind her. Shadowy faces and writhing figures moved in the periphery of her vision. She stared straight ahead. She had to focus. To find the woman.

“Wait!” She reached out, but only caught the tendrils of mist that filled the void.

The air chilled as Fae streaked through the fog. A fractured scream echoed in the murky dampness. Seeing anything became more difficult. The swampy odor of decay made Fae gag but still she pressed on. Don’t look. Just move.

Fae panicked. “Where are you?” The need to find the woman was overwhelming. There was something important about her. Even if Fae didn’t know what it was—she had to find the stranger. With her heart racing, Fae kept moving.

“Stop!” A terrible scream rang out in the darkness.

Fae’s pulse thrummed in her throat; her fangs clenched in fear. Where was she? Fae’s footsteps rang hollow as she ran, eyes searching, senses reaching out for any sign of the woman. Around her the buildings changed. Cold concrete walls penned her in. There was only one way to go. Forward.

A dim figure loomed in the distance, barely visible against the mists. Large wings unfolded, the odor of sulfur and dark rotting things made her sour stomach flip once more. The sound of tearing clothes and panicked screams met her ears. Shit.

Fae snarled, racing toward the sound of sobbing. Her boots hit the pavement, puddles of water and filth spraying out as she ran.

There was the mystery woman. Long, red hair draped over the concrete, defiled by the refuse on the ground surrounding her.

A streetlight shone bright in the foggy night air, and Fae was finally able to see the woman’s face around the creature that held the woman prisoner in its grip.

Full, red lips parted in shock as the demon’s fingers tightened around her throat. With her wide eyes brilliant and dark against her ivory complexion, it was clear she was dying. Her gaze met Fae’s, a panicked expression of recognition, and as she looked at her attacker, fear.

Fae stepped forward. “Get off her, asshole,” she hissed, taking another step forward.

The being turned its head, empty eyes staring right into her soul.

“Fae.” Its lips tilted up into a satanic grin and he turned, revealing more of the partially nude woman.

Fae startled and took a step back. “How do you know me?” Her hand felt for a blade at her side. Nothing. Dammit!

Fae would have to try and save the mystery woman with only her strength.

Her fingers brushed the oily feathers of the demon’s wings, intent on pulling it away from the girl, but instead she ended up with nothing.

Dark laughter filled the hollow passage, and in a burst of noxious smoke, the being was gone.

Fae spun on her heel trying to see where it had gone, then moved back and knelt at the woman’s side. “Red.”

“Find me,” the woman whispered, her eyes locking onto Fae’s. A delicate smile drifted across her lips as she, too, began to fade into the mist.

“No!” Fae’s heart twisted in her chest. Just when she had found her, the woman was lost yet again. “No!” Despair clogged her throat.

The shadows of the alley loomed dark as the streetlight fell dim.

***

Fae jerked awake. She lay twisted in the sheets. Her breath came in gasps as the dream faded, leaving her cold and alone in her bed. She had seen the stranger’s face. Finally.

Her dog, Jellybean, whined in the darkness and snuggled in closer, her furry black face burrowing deep under the covers.

“Red,” she whispered. “I’ll find you.”

Staring out the window into the moonless night, Fae listened as the wind whipped the trees outside into a frenzy. Something was coming. But so was she.

About the author:

Erzabet Bishop is a two time USA Today award winning and bestselling author of paranormal and erotic romance. She lives in Houston, Texas and when she isn’t writing about sexy shifters or voluptuous heroines she enjoys playing in local bookstores and watching movies with her husband and furry kids.

 

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