Wolfsblood by Marteeka Karland #paranormalromance @MarteekaKarland

Wolfsblood (Wolfsblood 5)

Cover Art by Marteeka Karland

 

In Earth’s brutal future, humans are no longer at the top of food chain. Paranormals roam the frozen wastes, predators as protective as they are dangerous — especially when it comes to their chosen mates.

Snow Wolf: Xander needs no one, but the woman calls to the Vampire within, daring him to take her. Instinct wouldn’t allow him not to hunt her, especially with another male sniffing around what is his by right.

Fire Wolf: Logan knows the second he scents the little fire wolf she’s his mate. Convincing a Wolfsblood to mate with a Lionsblood, though, will be a tall order. Fortunately, he’s up to the task.

Shadow Wolf: Leiah has no clue what she’s in for when Shadow Wolf Rikker claims her and threatens to take her from the only family she’s ever known. Can two Shadow Wolves find a balance before Leiah’s pack is torn apart?

Savage Wolf: Bred for battle, Lyndal’s nature demands conflict. Felice’s Vampire nature demands blood. She doesn’t count on Lyndal weaving a sensual web around her…

Possession: Harael. Relaren. Valael. They’re predators. Killers. So how is it the three biggest, baddest Vampsblood out there have been undone by a mere slip of a girl — a human at that? They never saw this one coming. No one — not human, not Vampsblood — is going to come between Josette and her mates.

 

Available today at Changeling Press
preorder for May 15th at retailers
also in paperback at Amazon

 

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Marteeka Karland
Excerpt from Snow Wolf

Xander’s anger was as cold as the frozen rain stinging every bit of his exposed flesh. He watched his prey with fury. How dare she? The Snow Wolf embraced a male of her kind before slipping into the small opening in the rock beneath the natural overhang.

As soon as he’d realized this was where she lived, Xander had scouted out the caverns until he knew them like the back of his hand. He’d only seen the woman from a distance, but her obvious familiarity with the other man put Xander in a killing rage. The unnatural attraction he had for a woman he’d never even met didn’t bother him in the least. It was what it was. Xander intended to take the woman for his own before the night was upon them, and that was all that mattered.

Soundlessly, he followed the couple into the cave beyond the rock wall. Only the slight sound of their distant voices deeper underground drifted to him, but it was enough. Xander followed, waiting for the moment the male turned away from her. He would not kill the man. Yet. If he proved to be too much of a nuisance later, though, Xander would eliminate the threat.

Knowing the caverns in this area well, Xander recognized the direction his woman and her companion headed, and he veered off. The farther away from them he was, the less likely they’d know he followed. Crawling through smaller crevices, he made his way to the community buried deeply in this particular branch off the Mammoths. It was getting late, and Xander knew the woman would make her way to her residence soon. He intended to be there waiting on her. It was time he claimed what was his.

Never had a woman intrigued him like she did. The pull toward her was unbreakable, and Xander wasn’t a man who fought his inner cravings. Being half Lionsblood, he recognized the call of a mate. Being half Vampire, he knew he could choose to ignore it, but he didn’t really want to. He wanted to explore her before he dismissed her. If he had her a time — or fifty — he could think again. All he had to do was work her out of his system, and he could move on with his life. Xander wasn’t made to be tied to someone. He was more animal than man.

It took only a few minutes to reach her den and enter through a crevice in an out-of-the-way corner she’d covered with a heavy boulder, presumably to keep out the draft as well as unwanted guests. Xander’s strength, however, was enormous. Not only did he have the enhanced strength of the Lionsblood, but he was gifted with many abilities of the Vampire as well. More so than even his brother, Shiffley. Shiffley had always helped humans, even before he met the female he’d mated with. Now, he was positively smitten. Xander refused to be like that. He was a loner, pure and simple.

Once inside, he surveyed her room with a critical eye. There were several small feminine articles — pastel bed coverings, scented candles, a colorful vase, and a small bar of scented soap — but nothing masculine. Good. She didn’t share her living space with the man. That would have been unfortunate.

For the man.

Situating himself in one of the darkened corners, Xander settled in to wait. Which he did. For over two hours. To say Xander was in a foul mood by the time the door to her den opened was a severe understatement. To put it mildly, he was seething. He waited until she was in the room and the door firmly shut behind her before making her aware of his presence.

“Where the hell have you been?” He growled, the question so full of menace Xander half expected her to run screaming from the room. Lesser men and women had in the past.

Not his woman. She merely looked around until she spotted him where he leaned against the wall.

Xander straightened then and stalked toward her. He didn’t move quickly, but took his time, approached her warily. No doubt she’d bolt at any second.

“I wondered when you’d finally get around to joining me.” Her tone was mild, not in the least distressed. If he hadn’t known better, he might have suspected she knew he’d been following her. “Have a seat. I’ll make us some tea.” She gestured toward the small couch, the only piece of furniture in the room other than her bed. Lighting a small lamp set in a natural alcove in the rock, she set about her task, not once looking back at him.

Of all the things Xander had expected, this wasn’t one of the options. The Snow Wolf acted as if this were an everyday occurrence to her. He wondered exactly how many men she’d entertained here.

Immediately, he tried to tamp down on the inquiry because it sent his temper spiraling out of control.

The Snow Wolf turned to him as if sensing his rage, her face serene. She might have been in the room with a close friend for all the fear she showed. She didn’t seem to consider herself in any danger at all. “Drink this.” She handed him a cup of dark, steaming liquid. “It will help ease your discomfort.”

On some level, Xander knew he should say something. He knew what he was feeling was so far out of the norm for him as to be on a completely different plane of existence.

Anger was nothing new to him. Everyone got angry. But the intense, rolling jealousy was something else altogether. He knew it, but seemed helpless to stop it. What the hell was happening to him?

 

About Marteeka Karland

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

Marteeka at Changeling Press |Website

 

Raven, Red by Connie Suttle #UrbanFantasy #shifters

Cormac Flynn, a raven shapeshifter, is ancient, Celtic, and cursed.

Arianne Leone, a mountain lion shapeshifter, owns an art gallery in Deep Ellum, a popular tourist attraction and haven for musicians for decades.

Together, they are charged with guarding the one who bears the Hermit’s Stone, an ancient artifact that has held worlds together—and kept them separate—for eons.

Possession of the stone falls to Ari’s friend and art student, nineteen-year-old Nico Garcia. When Nico’s parents are killed in an attempt to destroy him, Ari and Mac must set aside their differences and work together, protecting Nico at all costs…

 

About the Book

Raven, Red
by Connie Suttle

Series
Lion and Raven

Genre
Adult
Urban Fantasy

Publisher
Independent

Publication Date
October 26, 2019

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RAVEN, RED EXCERPT

A Lion and Raven Novel

© 2019 Connie Suttle

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

September

Costa de la Muerte

Northern Spain

 

Fierce winds screamed across the sand, blowing spray off the Atlantic and drenching anyone foolish enough to tread the beaches during such a storm.

Locals blamed the winds for nightmares and other unnatural occurrences, while oscillating stones in the area rocked and rumbled, giving life to ancient tales.

Had anyone from the nearby village of Mordomo ventured out, perhaps they would recall their encounter with the et Inpaenitens, thinking they’d met the Santa Compaña instead.

Perhaps not.

This night, these spirits were especially agitated.

It is gone.

Those words passed silently from one to another, as they found themselves able to break formation.

Then our chance to destroy it has come, whispered throughout the company.

First, we must find it. Belhar, eldest, strongest, and the one who’d enthralled his companions, insisted. No matter where it travels. It holds us only while it is here.

Might we travel then, to find it?

Only the strongest among us, Belhar admonished. I will choose who may go, and who must stay. Remember, your duty is to open the gate, should the opportunity arise.

The winds whipped into a higher-pitched scream as the et Inpaenitens resolved to act accordingly and free themselves forever.

Dispersing completely for the first time in centuries, they left no footprints behind for the winds to erase.

May, the Following Year

Deep Ellum

Dallas, Texas

Arianne Leone looked up from her painting when the bell over her art gallery door jangled, announcing a visitor. She’d bent low to paint the red and yellow colors of the Indian Blanket wildflowers found in Palo Duro Canyon.

Paintings of the canyon were some of her best sellers, so she straightened her spine and stepped back to survey her work. The focus of the painting was a well-known rock formation, called the Lighthouse.

“Ari, it’s me,” Nico Garcia called from the front of the gallery.

“I’m back here,” she replied.

“Oh, that’s really good,” Nico breathed a sigh as he caught sight of her latest work. “I wish my final project was half as good.”

“It was great—you’ll get an A.”

“Thanks for letting me work on it here—that made a lot of difference. Too many distractions at home,” he admitted. “College is harder than I thought.”

“At least the semester’s over—when will your grades be out?”

“Maybe next week,” Nico shrugged. He was worried, Ari could tell.

“You’ll do fine,” she reassured him. “I just know it.”

“The raven came back again yesterday,” Nico said.

“Because you’re feeding him,” Ari teased. “Did you ever figure out what the red patch is under his beak?”

“I still can’t tell, and I can’t really ask him, can I? He does like tamales, though.”

“You working the night shift?” Ari asked.

Nico’s parents owned Blue Taco, the Mexican restaurant across the street from Ari’s gallery. It was a popular restaurant for standard Tex-Mex as well as authentic regional Mexican dishes offered as daily specials.

“Yeah. Gotta go in at six,” Nico answered Ari’s question. “Thought I’d come early and see you, first.”

“Want to use the studio during the summer?”

“Yes.” By the breathless tone of his voice and the way his dark eyes lit up, Ari understood Nico’s true purpose in paying her a visit.

“You’re welcome to use it anytime. I’ll get you a key so you can come and go.”

“All right,” Nico’s enthusiasm spread with his grin.

“I may come to the restaurant for dinner tonight—all this talk of tamales is making me hungry.”

“We can go together—you know Papa will not let you pay.”

“He needs to let me pay,” she said. “He has to cover his bills, just like everybody else.”

“The restaurant is doing really well,” Nico argued. “Besides, you let me paint here.”

“I’m still paying for my dinner. I’m just letting a friend paint in my studio—there are no strings attached. I remember art school, and how much it would have helped me to have an artist’s space to do my work. Instead, I had two roommates who couldn’t stop talking about guys and getting drunk.”

“Mama keeps asking me about a girlfriend. I have girl friends, but those are two separate words for now.”

“I hear that.” Ari and Nico bumped fists. “Want a soda or some water?”

“Water. It’s hot outside.” Nico followed Ari to the small fridge she kept in her workspace. “Something weird happened last night, though. Papa thought it was a burglar outside. The police came, but they didn’t find anything.”

“They may have been scared off. Don’t let your guard down,” Ari warned. “People seem to get crazier during the summer heat.”

“Gonna paint some more after dinner?”

“I think I’ll go home. This is almost finished, and I have a crick in my back from bending down to do the flowers.”

“Is it already sold?”

“Yeah. Somebody in Virginia wants it.”

“Cha-ching,” Nico laughed.

“Hey, that’s rent,” Ari poked his shoulder. “Do not diss the rent.”

Ari found herself flinging her arms around Nico as a deafening explosion sent them flying across her studio. Time slowed as she reflexively covered him as well as she could before their bodies hit the concrete floor.

Across the street, fire and screams erupted; Blue Taco had been reduced to little more than rubble. The bomb that leveled the restaurant had shaken the gallery and blown out its plate glass windows.

Ari came to her senses first, lifting her head—and her weight off Nico. Her back felt as if it were on fire. “Nico?” she whispered desperately. His eyes were closed and his hair was covered in dust and debris that continued to fall around them.

She’d covered the rest of him, so his clothing was relatively clean. “Nico?” Ari stretched out a shaking hand; temporarily deaf, she couldn’t hear his breaths or his heartbeat, and she didn’t trust her eyes to tell her whether Nico was alive. Touch was the only sense she had left.

There—a pulse. Ari found herself wiping tears away. Reaching for her cell phone in a back pocket, Ari groaned in pain. Her back felt as if a thousand needles were stabbing her relentlessly.

“Nine-one-one, what’s your emergency?” the voice on the other end of her call answered.

“Explosion. Injury. Seven-nine-nine Durrance Street in Deep Ellum.”

“We have several units on the way to that area. Stay on the phone; someone will arrive soon.”

Nico escaped with minor injuries. A paramedic was forced to pick glass and splinters from Ari’s back once the dust settled and first responders arrived.

Everyone inside the restaurant perished.

“He’s nineteen and his parents just died,” Ari hissed at Detective Norm Little, who’d arrived to ask questions. She’d disliked him on sight, and when he asked if Nico were in the country legally, she almost slapped him.

Another detective joined the first; Ari wanted to snarl at him before he opened his mouth. “Norm,” Lance Elliott frowned at Detective Little, “I think you’re needed outside.”

“But,” Little began to argue.

“Out. Side.” Detective Elliott jerked his head toward the open space that used to be a door into Ari’s gallery.

Ari studied Detective Elliott with a critical eye. Forties, a little bit of gray, no paunch, single or divorced, she decided. Elliott didn’t budge when it looked as if Detective Little wanted to argue again. She watched with satisfaction as Little turned and walked stiffly toward the entrance.

Once Little left the scene, Lance visibly relaxed. “Sorry about that,” he apologized to Ari. “I’ll take it from here. I don’t suppose you have a security camera outside?”

“Yeah. I can send you whatever it captured—before things blew up.”

“Can we do that now? How’s the kid?” Lance’s voice had gone soft when he asked about Nico, causing Ari to lift an eyebrow.

Bad cop, good cop, she thought to herself, before leading Lance to the back, where Nico shivered on Ari’s sofa.

Shock, Ari pulled in a weary breath. “Nico, I have a blanket. I’ll get it for you.” Detective Elliott could wait—Nico was more important.

“The back of your shirt is bloody,” Lance Elliott called after her.

“Damn. And I just changed shirts,” she cursed.

Lance hated this part of his job. “I’m sorry, Nico,” he handed Nico’s driver’s license back to him. “But we have to find out who did this. Right now, you’re the best source of information we’ve got.”

“Nothing is different,” Nico stuttered his reply. Ari had draped a blanket over Nico’s shoulders, but the kid was still shivering.

“I have a note here that says your father called Plano PD last night,” he said, trying to keep his voice even.

“We thought it was a burglar—Mama heard somebody running beside the house, so Papa called the police. They didn’t find anything. I’m not sure they looked very hard.”

“He told me the same thing earlier—that they had to call the police,” Ari spoke up.

“I’ll send somebody out to check again.” Pulling his phone from a pocket, Lance excused himself and walked toward the gallery door to place a call.

“I’ll call Plano PD,” Captain Belwether told Lance over the phone. “Can’t hurt to check. Now, what’s this beef between you and Norm?”

Lance forced himself not to curse. “The kid just lost both parents,” he growled a reply. “Norm decided to air his racism and asked if the kid was here legally.”

“Of course he did,” Belwether sounded grim. “I’ll expect you to file a report on the incident when you get back to the station.”

“I’m sure Norm already has his complaint written about me overstepping my authority,” Lance grumbled.

“I’ll talk to him when he gets back. We don’t need this blowing up on the news—that we’re this cold-hearted.”

“Except Norm is exactly that.”

“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that. He’s close to retirement. He and I will have a talk and he’ll choose his words more wisely next time.”

“Right. I may have camera footage from a security camera across the street. I’ll let you know if there’s anything useful.”

“Body count is at twenty-nine and expected to go higher,” Belwether said.

“Damn. Look, I need to go. I don’t know how long the kid can hold up, and I still have questions to ask.” After ending the call, Lance walked back to the studio behind the gallery. His phone rang again before he reached his destination.

“House in Plano just destroyed,” Belwether barked. “Homes on both sides damaged. We have to get the kid someplace safe. Somebody’s after the whole family.”

“I’ll bring him to the station. We can go from there,” Lance studied Ari and Nico, who were now huddled together on the sofa. Ari’s arms were around Nico, as if she knew something else had gone wrong already.

Ari followed the detective to his car; Nico walked beside her, still wrapped in the blanket she’d given him. At first, Lance intended to take Nico to the police station, but Nico refused to go without Ari, as if she were his only remaining lifeline in a world gone off the rails.

“We’ll get through this, Nico,” she spoke softly to him as Lance opened the back door of his vehicle. Ari stifled a scream when a raven, bearing a small patch of red feathers at his throat, landed on top of the car with a concerned kraw!

“Don’t,” Nico begged as Lance waved an arm to shoo the bird away. “He’s my friend.”

“We can’t take him with us,” Lance began.

“Come. With. Nico,” the bird croaked, sending a shiver through Lance. Ari gasped softly but didn’t say anything.

“He said my name,” Nico turned to Ari, his eyes wide. “He’s my friend,” he turned back to Lance.

“Right. Get in the car. Bird, if you’re coming, get in and don’t make a mess.” Lance only said what he did for Nico’s benefit—no way would that bird get in the car.

Except he did, lifting off the car’s roof and flapping to Nico’s shoulder.

“Damn,” Ari breathed. “Nico, get in the car. We should go.”

“Go now,” the bird insisted.

“Right,” Lance repeated and slid into the driver’s seat.

“I’ve hauled a lot of things in my car, but I don’t think I’ve ever driven a raven across town,” Detective Elliott shook his head as he stopped the car at a red light. Ari sat up front with him; Nico and the unnamed raven were in the backseat.

“I’ve never seen a raven with red feathers under his chin,” Ari sighed. “No idea about this one, or why he showed up now. Nico’s been feeding him tamales behind the restaurant, but I’ve never seen a wild bird settle for riding in a car, even if it is with the guy who keeps him in Mexican food.”

“I can’t figure that out, either, but then nothing about this case makes sense. Why not include a raven who likes tamales and can talk?”

“Most people would freak out,” Ari pointed out. “About a talking raven.”

“I think I’m past that now.” Lance moved the car forward when the light turned green. “I can’t wait to see what happens when we take the bird into the station.”

“I-umm right heere,” the Raven squawked, making both jerk in their seats.

Ari and Nico were led to Lance’s office, where Lance offered them drinks and a place to sit. Ari watched as Lance considered his questions carefully.

“Nico, I know this is hard, but can you tell me whether your parents have acted different lately—anything out of the ordinary?” Lance asked.

Nico was seated on Lance’s desk chair while the raven clung to its high back, hovering above Nico’s right shoulder. The detective leaned casually against the desk to ask his questions, attempting to put Nico at ease while they talked.

“No. Everything was the same,” Nico denied. “School ended last Friday, so I was scheduled to work full evening shifts since then. I usually work weekends when I’m in school unless I have a project to finish and need the time.”

One of Nico’s feet bounced beneath him, making his entire leg shake—a sign of anxiety. He was doing his best to hold it together, when he’d become an orphan in the time it took to blink. Ari understood his fear and confusion.

Too well.

“Have they taken any unusual trips? Been somewhere they wouldn’t normally go?”

“They took a trip to Spain last September. Ever since Mama had us take a family DNA test and she found out she had connections to Garcias in Spain, well, she wanted to go. Papa took her.”

“What part of Spain?” Lance scribbled on his yellow notepad.

“Well, they went to Madrid, of course. Went to see lots of things. Ended up at Santiago de Compostela, before going back to Madrid and flying home. Mama had pictures on her phone. She sent me some of them.”

“Actual connections—as in relatives?” Lance lifted an eyebrow. He was following a trail Ari hadn’t yet considered.

“Distant cousins,” Nico’s shaking leg ramped up a notch. “They didn’t meet any of them—Mama only wanted to see where our Spanish ancestors came from.”

“You’re saying it was just a tourist trip, then?”

“Yes. They had fun. Came back tired and full of stories.” Nico choked on his words. Ari jerked her purse open to dig for tissues—she had some, somewhere. Nico drew his sleeve across his face, eliminating the need. The raven croaked softly and began preening Nico’s hair.

Nico sniffled and then chuckled at the attention he was getting.

“Was there anything they brought home besides pictures? Did they have an itinerary—anything on a computer?” Lance asked as the raven inspected his work, then preened more hair, giving Nico a nice lift to his bangs.

“If they did, it’s on Papa’s computer at home. Mama uses her phone. She hates the computer.”

“Nico, we can’t get to that computer,” Lance said.

“Why not?” Nico raised reddened eyes to the detective.

“I didn’t want to break the news like this, but your house was destroyed not long ago. Looks like that call to the police last night should have been investigated better. Do you have anything we can use on your phone? By the way, you shouldn’t answer it if anyone calls. We think someone may be looking for you, too.”

“Here’s my phone,” Nico pulled it from his pocket. “Why would anybody want to kill us? We didn’t do anything.”

“That’s what we’re trying to find out. Is there anything on here that you don’t want us to see? I’ll have somebody look through those pictures your mother sent.”

“No.” Nico shrugged helplessly. “I’ll give you my password so you won’t have to break into it.”

“Lance, a word?” Ari’s head jerked around as someone appeared in the doorway.

“I’ll be right back,” Lance said, straightening and walking swiftly from the office.

“Norm’s dead.” Belwether didn’t waste any time giving Lance the bad news. “Went to ask questions at a business across the alley from the restaurant. He was killed inside, along with both store employees. Their security system was ripped out and stolen. I’ve got uniforms all over the place, and forensics checking for evidence.”

“We need to look at the recordings Ari Leone sent to my phone,” Lance growled. “Damn. Norm wasn’t a friend by any stretch, but this really pisses me off.”

“We’ve blocked off half the street, and that won’t go well with tourists and visitors in Deep Ellum tonight.”

“Maybe it’s for the best—we don’t need a crowd getting killed if these assholes are still around.”

“I was hoping they’d died in the restaurant. Unless there are two teams, they hit the house after the restaurant.”

“Yeah, or maybe they planted those bombs at the house last night and detonated remotely.”

“I think the Plano cops are getting questioned about their visit to the house last night,” Belwether grimaced. “If there were any evidence to find, it’s probably obliterated by now. Bomb squad is investigating. I asked for cooperation from the Plano PD. They couldn’t say yes fast enough. Get Mona on those security recordings ASAP,” Belwether added. “I want to know who or what went into that restaurant and killed thirty-four people.”

“How high will the death toll climb?” Lance asked, after wincing at the updated number.

“Restaurant had a max capacity of ninety-five, plus staff and owners. I doubt it was full, but it could be close.”

“I think I want to have a conversation with the Plano officers who went to Nico’s house last night.”

“So do I. We can have a sit-down later. How’s the kid?”

“Not the best. Still in shock, but that could crack any minute. He doesn’t have any family in the States and doesn’t want to go anywhere without Ms. Leone.”

“Is she willing to stay with him—at least temporarily?”

“That’s the feeling I get. There’s something else, too.”

“What’s that?”

“A talking raven, who refuses to leave the kid’s side.”

“This isn’t the time for jokes, Lance.”

“I’m not joking. Didn’t you notice the bird on the back of my chair when you pulled me away?”

“Wasn’t looking for one. Damn, must be slipping,” Belwether mumbled.

“Come back with me. See for yourself.”

“I think I will.”

Belwether followed Lance back to his office. Just as he’d said, the raven perched on the back of Lance’s chair while Nico, arms crossed tightly over his chest and head down, studied his shoes.

Work shoes, Lance realized. Black leather athletic shoes, suitable for employment in a restaurant. The rest of Nico’s clothing was black, too, with the Blue Taco emblem on the left shoulder of his black polo.

Everything else the kid owned had been blown apart. All he had was his phone and a backpack he’d carried to the gallery before going to work.

“I’ll be damned,” Belwether whispered, jerking Lance away from his thoughts. Belwether was looking at the bird instead of the kid. “Does he have a name?” Belwether stepped into Lance’s office to ask Nico. Lance, wearing a frown, followed him in.

“I don’t know.” Nico’s arms tightened around himself.

“Mac,” the raven croaked.

“Your name is Mac?” Belwether sounded incredulous.

“Cor-mac. Flynn. Call. Me. Mac.” There was a frown in the raven’s croak, since his beak couldn’t transform to convey the message.

“Fucking hell,” Belwether swore softly.

“I think you should ask your questions later,” Ari stood abruptly. “Nico’s had enough for the day.”

“What. She. Said,” the raven agreed.

“We can put Nico in a safe house with guards,” Lance suggested.

“He can come home with me, Detective.” Lance understood that Ari didn’t like Belwether’s intrusion nor his words. She was right, though. Nico looked as if he were barely hanging on.

“Take them to her place,” Belwether snapped at Lance. “Ms. Leone, don’t leave town. I’ll have a unit outside for your protection tonight. Tomorrow, Detective Elliott will call and set up another interview.”

“Thanks for all the warmth and hospitality,” Ari’s eyes and voice had gone so cold Lance wanted to shiver. “We’ll be fine.”

Nico was up and out of the chair fast. Mac flapped to his shoulder and held on. Ari swept out of the office first, followed by Nico.

“What. She. Said,” the raven repeated on the way out.

Ari fumed while Lance drove her and Nico to her house in North Dallas. She knew Lance kept looking her way, hoping to find a way to apologize for the Captain’s gaffe, but she refused to allow an opening.

Besides, it didn’t take a genius—just someone with sensitive hearing—to know Nico was holding back tears while he stroked Mac’s feathers in the back seat. The occasional sniff let her know exactly how things were.

“I’ll call tomorrow,” Lance said as he saw them to Ari’s back door. He waited while she unlocked it and turned off the alarm.

“Thank you, Detective,” Ari said before shutting the door in his face. She was grateful to be stronger than she looked as Nico fell into her arms and sobbed. Mac hopped to a nearby kitchen counter and spoke soft mumblings only a raven might understand.

 

Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the tour for RAVEN RED by Connie Suttle, we’re giving away a paperback copy of the book to one lucky winner!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Raven Red by Connie Suttle. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Connie Suttle.  Giveaway ends 3/31/2020 @ 11:59pm EST.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

About the Author

CONNIE SUTTLE is the author of the Blood Destiny series, the Legend of the Ir’Indicti series, the High Demon Series, the God Wars series and the Saa Thalarr series. Other titles are scheduled for release very soon.

Connie earned her MFA from the University of Oklahoma and has taught courses at the university level. Reading (and writing) have been a constant throughout her life.

The author lives in Oklahoma with her patient, long-suffering husband and three cats. Obviously, the cats are not so long-suffering and are certainly not patient.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  BookBub  |  Amazon

 

 

 

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SPOTLIGHT: Security (Spaceport series) by Shelby Morgen #99cents #futuristic #PNR #shapeshifters

Spotlight: Security (Spaceport Multi-Author 1)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

A dark corner of a seedy bar on the edge of nowhere. A woman who’s seen too much. A man who moves through the shadows with the grace of a cat.

She’s on his tail, and he’s determined to find out why. Once he might have been flattered to have her checking out his ass. Now he knows women are dangerous. And far, far too expensive.

But Commander Kala Decoltéir always gets her man, and she wants the space pirate they call Dancer — no matter who — or what — he is. This time, Dancer has no escape.

Publisher’s Note: Spaceport is a multi-author shared universe that does not need to be read in order.

Get it TODAY for $0.99 at Changeling Press!

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2017 Shelby Morgen

“You look like something a drunken Kitali yarfed up.”

Desk Sergeant December Ramie held out a cup of coffee, which, from both color and experience, Kala knew would be exactly the way she liked it. “Thank you for that observation, Sergeant.” The coffee just might allow her to live through the coming interrogation.

“After an all night karaoke spree in Haze.”

Posol na khui.”

“Boss, how long have we worked together?”

“Five years, fourteen days, twelve minutes.”

December shook her head. “Gotta love that computer enhanced memory of yours. Five years, Commander. And in that time, how many days have you taken off?”

“Off?”

“R and R. Shore leave. Vacation. Personal and family leave. Anything.”

“I don’t have a family. Bio-genetically engineered soldier, remember?”

“You may be genetically enhanced, but you’re still Human.”

“I’m a cyborg. I require minimal maintenance from bio-engineering. I never miss my scheduled maintenance.”

“Scheduled maintenance. What are you, a freighter? You may be cybernetically enhanced, but you are not an android. You’re a woman. You’re so busy trying to keep this place from falling apart, you’re killing yourself. Look at you. You’re not sleeping, you’re living on caffeine and junk food, and you look like hell. You need some down time, Commander.”

Kala’s ocular implant went fuzzy, and she thumped the side of her head. “This place is falling apart. Been down to the Pits lately? Try a walk-about on Level 26. Make sure you go heavily armed. The best I can do is to try to keep the galactic refuse from overflowing into the public areas. Between Holly Barbaric stirring up trouble wherever she goes and the Dollavera brothers finding ways to exploit every disaster to their financial benefit, I’m expecting a riot any day now. I don’t have time for R and R, Sergeant. I’m trying to keep our little world from ending.”

“Thompson’s perfectly capable of covering for you for a few days, Commander.” Ramie held out a personal vid panel opened to a full color brochure. “You can afford one day off duty for a trip to a day spa. It won’t even take a day. One shift, even.”

Kala barely glanced at the brochure. “Thompson’s a good man, but he’s Human. There’s a reason the Adana Council recruited me for this office. Allied Planet Security is making it hard for honest businessmen to trade within AP space, let alone the not-so-honest ones. All the fringe planets and ports are getting inundated with displaced riff-raff. We’re getting hit harder than most, because we’re the closest port of call to the major trade routes with Old Earth. Things are going to get far, far worse around here before they get any better. If they ever get any better.”

“So you’re just going to push yourself till you fall apart? What will that accomplish?”

Well, it’ll get me out of here, Kala thought, but she didn’t say so out loud. She cataloged Ramie’s list of complaints, looking for an acceptable solution. “What about sex?”

Ramie nearly choked on her coffee. “What about sex?”

“If I promise to get myself laid, will that get you off my back?”

Ramie grinned, cat-like triumph stealing over her face. “I’m not sure sex qualifies as R and R, but it’s a compromise I can live with.”

Belatedly, Kala realized she’d been played. She sighed. She had four times normal Human strength, could calculate any math problem at the speed of a Human computer, and her bio-tech system implant allowed her body to repair itself from otherwise deadly wounds in battle, and yet she’d just been outmaneuvered by a single Human female. Again. “Fine. I’ll set about capturing a suitable male.”

She had the satisfaction of seeing Ramie’s eyes open wide in alarm. “Capturing? Commander, maybe we need to talk about Human mating rituals…”

It was Kala’s turn to grin. “Trust me. I know all I need to know about mating rituals. It’s been a while, but my memory’s good.” She downed her coffee and headed out for rounds, wondering how long it would take Ramie to figure out she’d been kidding.

Mostly…

 

Find more from Shelby at Changeling Press …

Shelby Morgen loves writing offbeat tales that defy as many rules as possible.

She likes chocolate with her peanut butter, suspense with her romance, and kink with her sex, and she’s always had a hard time keeping science fiction, fantasy and paranormal from mixing with her kink.

Shelby shares her belief in electronic publishing with her longtime friend and partner, Bill, her husband of nearly four decades.

 

 

Emotional Rescue by Lily Vega #PNR #shifters #NewRelease @LV_Writer @changelingpress

LV_SSRescue

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

Alistair, a human by day and a stone gargoyle by night, goes along with a scheme that could break his curse, but he risks losing the woman of his dreams.

After being burned by love, Kendra sets her sights on her employer’s hunky gardener for a down-and-dirty romp. Their physical connection has the potential to be the emotional rescue they both need, until Kendra discovers the secrets Al’s been hiding.

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or pre-order at retailers for September 13th

 

   

 

Praise for Emotional Rescue (Set in Stone) 

“…it’s sweet, succinct and alludes to an exciting potential future. It’s a short-shot of fun and romance with a nugget of adventure to tickle a reader’s imagination. I am glad I read this little book and think it’s a perfect afternoon indulgence.”

— Xeranthemum, Long and Short Reviews
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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Lily Vega

Kendra’s job as the personal assistant to a wealthy entrepreneur involved little more than calendar management and simple errands. A colossal waste of her MBA.

At least the generous paycheck helped to make a dent in her student loans.

Who the hell was she kidding? The real reason she’d procrastinated in applying for a better job had everything to do with her boss’s hunky gardener.

Whenever they’d spoken, the air seemed charged with current. Every time she caught a glimpse of his physique or looked into his soulful eyes, her heart sped like a rabbit spying a wolf. Since she’d met Alistair, he’d inspired a number of naughty fantasies.

Mr. Wong’s business trip to Shanghai provided the perfect opportunity for quality time with Al. The frenzied departure of her typically Zen boss could be blamed on Mercury retrograde or a zombie apocalypse. Not that she believed in astrology or zombies, but a girl could use any excuse to seize the day. A romp with the hot gardener might be just the thing to satisfy her base urges enough to allow her to break out of her comfort zone and jumpstart her career change.

She didn’t dare consider the possibilities of a long-term relationship. After discovering her two roommates doing the nasty with her boyfriend in the kitchen of their apartment, she’d stopped believing in relationships. After kicking all three of them out, she had allowed her life to become a mind-numbing rut.

Never again would she let herself be gullible enough to trust a lover. Best to stick to casual sex and her vibrator to fulfill her needs.

She peeked out the window. The lawn was lush and green. Each blade of grass stood basking in the rays of the sun. The rose bushes displayed their velvety petals. Pansies added splashes of purple, blue, and yellow to the grounds. The landscape displayed Al’s care, but the man himself was nowhere to be seen.

If he was into her, she’d limit their liaison to a one-night stand. Even if it killed her, she’d let herself have one taste and move on.

“Excuse me.” The deep rumble of Al’s voice sent a quiver from the back of her neck to the tips of her toes. “I need to water the bamboo plant behind you.”

“Of course.” When she moved out of his way, her high-heeled sandals caught the edge of the Persian rug and she stumbled.

His hand shot out to steady her. Up close, he was even better looking. At over six feet tall, he towered over her five-foot frame, making her feel petite.

She gazed into his eyes and took a deep breath of his earthy scent — fresh-cut grass with a light hint of flowers. An image of him rolling around shirtless in a meadow flashed through her mind. She clutched at his soft shirt and the muscles of his chest contracted underneath.

“Would you consider… “

“Yes.” His hand slid up her arm to caress her shoulder.

A laugh spilled from her lips and her nervousness vanished. “I didn’t finish asking the question.”

“Your wish is my command. After I water the plant, of course.” He continued to rub lazy circles on her shoulder. “Wong will skin me alive if he returns to find his favorite frond droopy.”

“How do you know it’s his favorite? The house and grounds are full of greenery and flowers.”

“The bamboo sits where he can see it while he works at his desk. An object of desire is usually kept close.” His voice went deeper on the word “desire.”

 

More from Lily at Changeling Press …

Lily Vega lives in the Midwest with her sexy husband who combines all of Dean Winchester’s best qualities with a flair for computers. She continually cultivates her dirty mind, fueling it with caffeine and craft beer. She believes all creatures, especially those of the night, deserve mind-blowing sex with a happily ever after.

Check out www.facebook.com/LilyVegaWriter for quirky posts and photos of hot guys. Visit Lily’s website at LilyVega.com and follow her on Twitter @LV_Writer.

 

 

Secret Princess by Michelle Hasker #PNR #UrbanFantasy #shifters @changelingpress @Michelle_Hasker

Secret Princess (Dragon Mates 1)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight
Genres/Themes: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Shifters,
Elves Dragons and Magical Creatures

 

Posing as her best friend’s lover shouldn’t be a problem. At least that’s what Tonya tells herself — until she meets Michael’s twin brother Gabriel, and finds out just how hot fire dragons can burn.

 

Get it Today at Changeling Press

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Michelle Hasker

It was wrong. Oh, so wrong. Burning in hell was the least of her problems. If Michael could see what Tonya was picturing the two of them doing right now, he’d toss a bucket of water on her. Her best friend would never look at her the same way again. Hell, she was worried about herself.

How insane was it that her inner dragon believed Michael was her soulmate? The fact that he was also a dragon didn’t mean they had to mate. She’d been around other dragons and not heard a peep from hers. Why, oh why, did her stupid dragon think that her best friend was her one true mate?

There were many who never even found their soulmates. She’d once wondered if she’d be one of them. But apparently her dragon was crazy. With her luck she’d already met hers and didn’t even know it. In the meantime, she’d been drinking buddies with Michael for years. Once he’d gotten her the job here, their friendship had evolved until she could honestly say he was her best friend. Hiding her crazy, lust-filled dragon from him was tiresome, though, and in the end she’d confided in him.

Tonya had been afraid to tell him in case it ruined their friendship, but he’d taken it better than she’d imagined. In fact, he seemed rather pleased that her dragon lusted over him. The man was an enigma, but in the end she decided it didn’t matter. Michael meant too much to her for her to walk away. Since he didn’t care when her dragon misbehaved, they were usually able to ignore her.

“Are you listening to anything I’ve said?” Michael waved his hand in front of her face and stared at her.

“What?”

“God, Tonya, what is wrong with you today?” He stood up and crossed the room to look out the large window in his office.

“I don’t know.”

“I know it’s not your dragon’s fault. I can sense when she’s acting up.”

“I think I’m still annoyed with your family. More than annoyed, I’m angry with them. None of them deserve you!”

Michael spun back around. “You aren’t going to back out, are you?”

“No!” She sat up straight and shook her head.

“Is your dragon still trying to convince you that I’m your soulmate?”

Tonya sighed and leaned back in the chair. She crossed her arms and her legs. “Yes. I’m so irritated. I’m positive she’s not even considering other men.”

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m glad. Her interest in me is what I’m hoping on using to convince my parents and family that we’re a couple. If you’d found someone else I couldn’t take advantage of you this way.”

Tonya groaned. “Do you need to use words that could be construed in a sexual manner by my dragon?”

“Sorry,” he apologized, but Michael didn’t look even one tiny bit sorry. “But you have to admit that your confused dragon is going to make pulling off this ruse even easier.”

“And how are you going to get your dragon to cooperate?” Tonya stared at him. They were both silent for a long moment. “I still say your parents should love you for who you are, not what they want you to be.”

“I don’t want anyone in my family to know. Can’t let them know. You don’t understand.” Michael frowned, staring at her. “You have to promise not to say anything. I know how hard that’ll be for you, but I need you to do this for me. This is extremely important to me.”

“I know. That’s why I’m going along with this. You know I’ll do it for you. But not taking your asshole family down a peg or two might be impossible. You better not leave me alone with them. I can’t promise what will happen if you aren’t in the room.”

“You know I’ll owe you big for this, right?”

“No, you won’t. You’ve been keeping my secret for years so I think we’ll call this even.”

“I don’t think so.” He looked as if he was going to say something else but his office door opened, and they both turned as one to stare at who would have entered without knocking first.

 

More from Michelle Hasker at Changeling Press…

 

Dragon Alliance by Stephanie Burke #PNR #UrbanFantasy #GayRomance #NewRelease @changelingpress @Flashycat

Can Iffear and Vulwin survive the results of their mating?

 

Dragon Alliance (Dragon 2)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Genres/Themes: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Gay,
Elves Dragons & Magical Creatures, Magic, Shapeshifters

Iffear comes to Vulwin at his most vulnerable, but as their magical enemies and a plot to destroy the Dhrovish throne make themselves known, the newly mated couple find themselves drawing closer together in order to survive.

Get it Today at Changeling Press

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Stephanie Burke

“So, this is nice.” In his human skin, Vulwin, aka Win Arcarius, was an unmistakable albino black man with long, pale blond hair and bi-colored eyes that were to die for — or at least that was what his agent believed. He looked around his new quarters and gave them an approving smile.

He was tall, sleekly muscled with large eyes, one green eye and one silver, that peered out at audiences from a set of lashes so long they looked like they had to be fake. His cheekbones were high, his lips were full, his skin was an extremely pale tan, and his attitude, like his clothing, was fierce.

Beside him walked his proud mate, his dragon, who was wearing a tight, white tank top, a pair of tight denim jeans, and the most kick-ass pair of black riding boots that the world had ever seen. Probably because they were Dhrow-made and designed with his protection in mind.

In comparison, Win looked ready for the runway in his long, flowing red tunic and loose black pants. He was wearing black leather sandals on his feet and was resplendent in his gold jewelry… huge bangles on his wrists, several delicate chains in his ears, and rings on every finger and toe. He was a model in every sense of the word, and walking into this upscale tattoo shop and piercing parlor was guaranteed to bring traffic to a halt.

Strutting before them was a tiny black cat, Chinsie, who looked more of the human kind of pet than anything she looked like Under the Hill. Around her neck was a spiked collar of gold, and she moved with the same protective attitude she had presented before. She was a bad-ass and she knew it.

Once inside the small brownstone mansion, Chinsie took off like a shot to a bay window covered in plush silence pillows, obviously her spot in the shop front room, and perched herself like royalty.

“I thought you said you’d be gone for a month, bossman,” the short woman behind a tall glass counter said as she put down a sketch pad, looked up, and –”Well I’ll be damned.” Her mouth dropped open when Iffear reached out and grabbed Win’s hand.

“Plans change,” he offered, his voice deep and gravelly and still enough to put a shiver in Win’s loins. Was there ever a case of a creature passing on being in heat to another creature of a different species? He still didn’t know, but damn, he was feeling like he was in rut around his mate. “This is –”

“Win Arcarius,” the woman managed, eyes growing wide in shock. “Supermodel and spokesman for about a bazillion products. I’m sure you know you’re beautiful, but do you know how beautiful you are?” While she spoke, she not so secretly pulled her phone off the counter and began taking shots of them.

The smile that spread across Win’s lips was genuine as he pulled Iffear in closer. “Thank you.” His voice was accented in a way that most humans could not place, though the companies he represented loved it. “It’s nice of you to say so.”

At their close contact, the woman’s smile became a smirk. “Vacation, boss? Going to Europe for a month or so? So is that what the kids are calling it these days?”

“Mai,” Iffear groaned and Win smirked back at her. “What happened is none of your business.”

“Mai.” Win grinned. “I think I like your style.”

“Mai Wind,” she introduced herself, her purple-tipped afro adding height to her short stature. “Resident piercer and apprentice tattooist. And you better like my style. I’m wearing your name on my ass.” She hopped off her high stool and walked around to meet them, spinning around at the last minute to show the stylized WA on the back pocket of her pants. She turned to face them, holding out her hand as she drew closer. “And dare I pray you want to get your tongue pierced today? A nipple?” She pointed to his crotch. “Something in the lower region, perhaps?”

“I can’t take the time off from using my tongue to let it heal.” Win almost sounded disappointed as he shook her hand. “And if I can’t take the time to let my tongue heal, then anything lower is out of the question.”

“Ohh, kinky.” Mai chuckled before looking up at Iffear. “I hope he’s pulled you from your life of celibacy and popped your second virginity so you can stop being such a raging bitch.”

Win’s laughter was loud and obnoxious and he didn’t care. Talk about getting your roles reversed.

“Why do I like you?” Iffear snarked down at her, tapping her on the nose with his free hand. “And why haven’t I fired you yet?”

“Because I am the one who keeps your sorry ass organized. What would you do without me, boss?” She laughed, punching him lightly on the arm. “Like the time those drunk twin sorority girls –”

“So,” he spoke loudly over her, “This is my shop manager and main piercer, Mai Wind. She’s snarky.”

“I like snark.” Win chuckled.

“And Mai, this is Win Arcarius, my husband.”

 

PRET OPS by EmmaRay Garrett #SecondEdition #PNR #Vampires #Werewolves @changelingpress

Even on the toughest op, there’s always time for love.
If you don’t get killed first.

 

Pret Ops (Pret Ops 5)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Renee George
Genres/Themes: Action Adventure, Paranormal, Bisexual and More,
Shapeshifters, Werewolves, Vampires
Length: Box Set

This collection contains the previously released Pret Ops novellas FamiliarWarWolfInfiltrator, and Identity.

In a world where preternaturals work behind the scenes to keep men and supermen safe, the Recondite Corps is the CIA, FBI, and Armed Services all in one.

Familiar: In the wilderness of Siberia, the past will resurrect itself and secrets will be exposed. There’s only one way to defeat The Veil, but can Stas and Nat do it, alone?

WarWolf: All Jeremiah has to do is convince Joshua that in order to stop the mounting violence between the human mob and the Heteroclites, they’ll need the help of the only female the Ascendant vampire can’t forget.

Infiltrator: Brian O’Connor has been in the office too damn long. Rescuing the President’s daughter from guerillas sounds like the perfect op: a little action, a little fresh air, an exotic locale.

Identity: After building the newest branch of the Corps, Cyber Operations, John and Cole Marshall are ready for a real test of their new unit’s skills. Being called in to track down a stalker turned murderer targeting one of their own sounds right up Cy Ops’ alley.

 

Get it Today at Changeling Press

 

cooltext305124184649700

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Emma Ray Garrett
Excerpt from Pret Ops 3: Infiltrator

Charlie groaned, lifting a hand to her aching forehead. “What the hell have you gotten yourself into now?” The sickening pound in her skull didn’t provide an answer.

Charlene Thompson, First Daughter, was stuck in a shit hole, somewhere near the equator based on the oppressive heat, with no idea who’d cracked her on the skull and brought her to this place. It was safe to assume it had to do with her father and/or politics, but beyond that…

The acrid smell of wood smoke and the sickly sweet stench of decomposing plants clogged her nostrils. Her skin felt grimy, sticky, where sweat had partially dried and mixed with the dirt of the floor beneath her. Charlie ached for a hot bath for about a half a second. You can bathe when you’re free.

Weak sunlight drifted in through tiny, irregular holes cut high into the walls of the room. Her vision blurred and her stomach pitched, but Charlie choked down the bile. Blinking to clear her sight, she struggled to her feet. Her entire body protested each movement, but Charlie fought through the pain and staggered to the nearest wall.

She stood on weak legs, breathing slowly, and pressed her shoulder to the wall, completely focused on staying upright. She stayed there for what felt like hours but was probably only a few minutes. Finally, the thumping in her skull ebbed to a dull throb and the triple vision cleared to a muzzy, but coherent, single sight.

“Now what?” Charlie looked around the dimly lit space. A wooden door faced her, but she didn’t see any handle or knob. “Great.”

From outside she heard voices speaking, though she couldn’t make out the words. The rapidity of the speakers’ cadence reminded her of Spanish. Having grown up in New Mexico, and despite the situation she was in, the sound of the language comforted her.

The earthen room blocked out the dialogue. Thinking the door might offer better eavesdropping, Charlie straightened from the wall and made her way toward it. Getting there took all the strength she’d mustered and she slipped to the floor beside the rickety entrance. The voices outside weren’t much clearer, but the depth of the tones suggested the speakers were probably male. She caught a word here or there, but three she heard distinctly gave her hope. Rio Orinoco and transportamos. The first words signified the Orinoco River, in northeast Venezuela, and the second suggested they were transporting something.

“Probably me.” Knowing where she was gave Charlie a sense of control. She’d never been to continental Venezuela, but she’d enjoyed the islands off the coast more than once.

She forced her sore brain to think about her college geography. The Orinoco River was one of the longest in South America. Her memory wasn’t the best, but she hoped they were in the Lower Orinoco, near the delta and the Atlantic Ocean. Based on the humidity, it was quite likely. It was possible she was somewhere in the plentiful mangrove forests, the swamps, of the country.

Charlie held onto her hope. Even if she were in the middle of a swamp, she’d rather escape and take her chances with Mother Nature than stay here and wait. Tensions between the States and Venezuela hadn’t been the best for more than twenty years. However, a lot of the country was urbanized. If she could escape, and make her way out of the jungle, if that’s where she was, she had a good chance of getting home.

The voices outside grew louder, approaching footsteps launching her heart into her throat. She couldn’t afford to let her captors know she was awake. Without thinking, Charlie scrabbled away from the door, flopping onto the floor and closing her eyes. Something scraped against the wood and the door opened.

Though her blood pounded, Charlie stilled her breathing to soft, shallow expulsions and inhalations. She rolled her eyes beneath her lids, the action stilling any fluttering that might give away her cognizant state. The footsteps moved closer and she felt a hard, round object pressing into her back. She didn’t react and her visitor shoved at her deeper.

When she remained unresponsive, he must have been satisfied. With a grunt, he shuffled away, the sound of rubber soles on dirt sending relief surging through her body. The door closed with a squeak and a thump and Charlie had to stifle a sob. She had no doubt the man had nudged her with a gun.

“What have you done, Dad?” Anger at her father gave her strength, but Charlie couldn’t sustain it. She needed to formulate a plan of escape. Whether her father was involved or not, Charlie knew it was up to her to get free. Waiting on the US government for a rescue wasn’t an option.

She got up slowly and crawled back to the door. She pressed her ear to it, listening, learning. More and more words became clear, and Charlie felt the beginnings of a plan form.

 

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“…and I — I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

-The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost

The last line from award-winning author Emma Ray’s favorite poem pretty much sums up her life. Her tendency to do her own thing is what her friends and family love best, and least, about her. Chaos is a constant in the Garrett home, which currently houses her intelligent, energetic children, a devoted husband, a very large, very lazy, white tom-cat, a very crazy, very small black cat, and a very happy, very healthy rescue pooch — who’s black and white.

Other books by Emma Ray Garrett

 

The Recruit by Julia Talbot #GayRomance #NewRelease #PNR #shifters @changelingpress @juliatalbot

 

One wolf who’s lost everything. One kitty who doesn’t play well with others.
One hell of a team.

 

The Recruit (Alpha Squad 1)

 

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres/Themes: Paranormal, Gay, Men in Uniform, Shapeshifters, Werewolves

 

When Alpha Ops team leader Tuck’s last mission goes terribly wrong, he and his team are put on hiatus until they can get their proverbial stuff together. His guys are starting to get restless, and a bear shifter, a couple of predatory birds, and a fox can be pretty impatient when they’re bored. When their benefactor decides a new team member will be their salvation, Tuck has no choice but to accept.

Jayden isn’t interested in working with a team who really wants nothing more than to kick his butt. As a cougar shifter, he’s perfectly happy to work alone. So why does Tuck make him want to stay? The two of them have to find a way to work out their issues, or the team may never get another job. Good thing they have enough attraction to keep them going, even when everything else is going off the tracks.

 

Get it at Changeling Press

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2018 Julia Talbot

Jayden Fell bounced as he waited for his contact. He was so fucking bored. So bored. He needed to do something, anything that was fun and exciting and… Look at that. That was a pretty man. Lupine, he’d bet, bitchy, but pretty. Fuckable.

The guy was moving slow, looking around. Cautious.

Whoa. Looking for him, he’d bet.

Jayden wondered how long it would take. He could tell the moment the man scented him. That big body vibrated with awareness. “Come out, come out, wherever you are.” He chuckled softly, his ears twitching. Not yet. This was too much fun.

The guy turned in a circle, frowning. “Look, I’m supposed to meet a contact here, but a member of my team died last time out, so I’m a little twitchy. Show yourself before I start shooting shadows.”

“That sucks. I mean, you can shoot at me, but that wouldn’t be very friendly.”

“I’m not feeling friendly.” Listen to that growl.

“Goodie.” Jayden didn’t need this shit. He wasn’t a fucking applicant. He was supposed to have this contract already.

“Where the hell are you?” The man turned and looked right at his hiding spot.

“Are you blind or am I that good?” He slid out of the shadows, letting himself be seen.
That got him an even deeper scowl. “Just give me whatever information I’m supposed to get from you.”

He let one eyebrow lift. “Obviously we’re waiting for the same thing, then. Information.”

“What?” Dark eyebrows rose high. “You’re the courier.”

“The courier? Me? Hardly.”

“Then who are you?”

“I was told you were my pick up. Tucker, yes?”

“That’s me.” Tucker drew up, still frowning. “Who the fuck are you?”

“Obviously in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Time to hasta. Jayden wasn’t sure what had gone wrong, but it sure had.

Tuck grabbed his arm. “No. Tell me.”

“Hands off, pup.” He growled softly, giving a clear warning. “I don’t need to be fucked with.”

“Then tell me what the hell you were told. I can’t leave without whatever you were supposed to give me.” The voice was more wolf than man now.

“I was told my team leader was picking me up for training with a new team. Nothing more.”

“Team leader…” Tuck went ice cold. He pulled out a phone, punching numbers furiously. Yeah. Time to get the hell out of Dodge. Whatever this was, he didn’t need some FUBAR shit.

“Yeah. No. Get me Daniel, you fucking lying cat.” Tuck was snarling, but watching him hard.

“I’m out of here. Obviously, someone’s wires are crossed.”

“No.” The word shot out like a bullet. “You wait. If you’re on a team it’s mine, so you follow my orders anyway.”

“If your boss doesn’t trust you enough to tell you he hired a new guy, I’m out.” A team was only as strong as the lead.

“Did you not hear me?” The wolf was in his path in a heartbeat, still holding the phone to his ear. “You’re not going anywhere until I get to the bottom of this.”

“I heard you.” He just didn’t care. Two totally different things.

One hand landed on his chest when he made to pass by. The touch was like grabbing an electric fence. He blinked up, stunned into stillness. What the actual fuck?

Those golden-brown eyes flashed at him, surprise plain, but then someone came on the line of the phone Tuck held. “What the fuck? Sending me a new team member and having Lucien lie?”

The heavy brow lowered, and then his teeth bared. “I won’t do this bullshit. This isn’t how this works. If I can’t trust you… if Lucien’s being fed shit intel…”

Someone talked for a good long while on the other end, making the Tuck guy look like he was going to explode. “Then just send the right information from now on. Jesus. I take it this means we’re back in the field?”

Oh no. Nope. No way. He wasn’t going to be whatever this was. No way. He felt like he was a pawn, somehow. Jayden didn’t like that feeling. Too often it made for bullet holes in flesh.

Which burned. Like whoa. He was the anti-fan.

“Fill Lucien in on the real sit-rep, please? Assholes.” Tuck hung up, then stared at him. “New team member. Christ.”

“Apparently not. No harm no foul, man. I got no intel on you, and you got none on me. We’re solid.” Why would someone put him where he wasn’t wanted?

“No.” Tuck blocked his escape again. “My team doesn’t run in the field without you, and I’m not letting them down. Get your ass moving.”

Jayden let one eyebrow lift, let himself sink into pure D insubordination. “No.”

 

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Julia Talbot lives in the great Southwest, where she’s embraced hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Torquere Press, Ellora’s Cave, and Changeling Press. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved.

Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, her website at www.juliatalbot.com, at Cafe Risque http://caferisque.blogspot.com andhttp://changelingpress.com/author.php?uid=66 at Changeling Press.

 

Dragon Stone by Stephanie Burke #GayRomance #LGBT #NewRelease #UrbanFantasy #PNR @Flashycat @changelingpress

 

He is Vulwin Valas — The Silver Prince.
Heir to the Dhrovish throne, strategist, warrior… model?

 

Dragon Stone (Dragon 1)

 

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres/Themes: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Gay,
Magic, Shapeshifters, Elves Dragons & Magical Creatures

 

His Shining Majesty, King of the Dhrovish Throne, has one son, the Silver Prince Vulwin Valas who is a prince, a strategist, a warrior, and a… model?

In the human world, Prince Vulwin Valas is known as Win Arcarius, openly gay, very promiscuous, and one of the most highly sought-after models ever. To the Fae Realms, he is known as the Silver Shadow, the King’s assassin, and someone not to be crossed.

A routine visit home suddenly becomes more complicated, and Vulwin finds himself with a new mate, a new enemy, and a future he never considered before with… a dragon.

Iffear comes to Vulwin at his most vulnerable, but as magical enemies and a plot to destroy the Dhrovish throne make themselves known, the newly mated couple finds themselves drawing closer together in order to survive.

 

Get it from Changeling Press

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2018 Stephanie Burke

Vulwin would have never noticed the male if it hadn’t been for the cat.

Really, in this age of mass hysteria about the agents of evil, who was brave enough to walk around with a cat in tow? And not only that, the cat was huge, black, and definitely noticeable.

The second thing he noticed was the chains around the male’s wrists, waist, and neck — rather his corded waist, very thick wrists, and a neck that was exposed due to his lack of hair.

He didn’t have a chance to contemplate this event further because his king, with a boding voice, bade him approach. He entered the audience chamber and ignored the massive set of silver doors that slammed shut behind him.

“I see you have returned to us from the realm of man.” The king eyed him from the top of his tousled hair to his bare feet. “Unscathed?”

Vulwin nodded, standing tall before his king. “That I have, Your Shining Majesty.” Vulwin wanted to smirk at the man, indeed he did, but common sense prevailed and he contained his amusement at this old familiar back and forth.

“Strip.” The order was given negligently as the king turned to speak to one of his many advisors.

Vulwin looked around the chamber. Some things never changed. His king’s pet crows still perched along the rafters of the dimly lit room. A mixture of candles and old fashioned gas lights gave the whole chamber a yellow tinge, while burning incense took away that odd smell that filled the chambers because of the gas lights.

This audience chamber was dominated by the huge circular throne platform. It stretched along the back wall, its concave design dominating the small room. In the center sat the highest chair, the throne of the king, draped in furs and embroidered silks given as tribute from faraway lands. On either side of the throne sat two chairs, one for each of His Majesty’s advisors who helped him maintain peace and order in the realms.

Knowing that he would be ignored until he complied, Vulwin let go of the human glamour he wore, his long, pale gold hair disappearing with a subtle flow of light, lengthening until it became the knee-length silvery white that helped lend him his second name, Valas — silver in the old tongue.

As the light passed over his body, it took along with it his human skin tone — the pale gold that humans called albino and that his human manager found attractive — and in its place his natural skin bled through.

Valas was proud of his skin tone, black as the starry night with a tracery of brilliant stars that gleamed when the light hit it just so. Others called his complexion speckled, the mark of a blessed child, and with his easy life he tended to agree with those old tales. No one else in the realm had skin like his and he was proud to show it off, a little miffed that his current assignment had him hiding it from prying eyes, but content to be smug about it when he was summoned to make his periodic trips home.

Removing the glamour was but the first step. With a wave of earth magic, he conjured from the floor a low table that sprouted forth like a small tree. It grew to about waist height and then Vulwin began to carefully remove the jewelry that adorned his body, starting with the delicate chains and hoops of gold that swung daintily from his long, pointed ears.

Unlike other Fae, the Dhrovish could be identified in an instant from the long, arching ears that rose up majestically from the sides of their heads. It was a point of pride to sport the most perfectly arched ears and the Dhrovish adorned them properly to show off their shape. He knew that Elvhenkind often looked down upon the Dhrovish for their midnight complexions and their large, ungainly ears, but he thought they were overcompensating for their lack by harping on the subject. Besides, a good, large set of ears generally meant that the Dhrow was sporting something thick and meaty between his thighs.

Oh yes, Vulwin Valas had a massive set of ears.

The necklaces of gold followed and the many rings that adorned his fingers and toes were removed next. Then the human clothing was carefully pulled off and folded, the long tunic of black silk, the loose fitting pants, and the anklets with their tiny bells.

He wore no underpants — he couldn’t get used to that human concession — so he stood there naked save for the thick swirl of ornate gold rings that encircled the base of his cock, his chastity device.

He stepped back from the conjured table and turned his gaze to his king…

 

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Have You Been Flashed?

It’s the question Stephanie Burke is asking. Stephanie is a multi-published, multi-award-winning wife and mother of two whose unparalleled imagination causes her no end of trouble. From sex shifting shape-shifting dragons to undersea worlds, up to sexually confused elemental fey and homoerotic mysteries, all the way to pastel challenged urban sprites, Stephanie has done it all, and hopes to do more.

Stephanie is co-founder of the charitable organization Write 4 Hope, co-creator of the Japanese Culture and Anime Convention Mikomicon, home-school mom, English tutor, an orator on her favorite subject of writing and world building, a sometimes teacher when you feed her enough coffee and donuts, an anime nut, a costumer, and a frequent guest of various sci-fi and writing cons where she can be found leading panel discussions or researching more and varied legends and theories to improve her writing skills.

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

You can find Stephanie at
TheFlashcat.net
Facebook.com/TheFlashCat
Flashycat2004@aol.com
Theflashcat.tumblr.com

 

 

The Leopard Prince by Raisa Greywood #NewRelease #PNR #scifi #shapeshifter #aliens @Raisa_Greywood @changelingpress

I’ve accepted my mate and my leopard.
Can we protect our female from the evil pulling us apart?

 

Leopard Prince (Shifter's Mates 4)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight
Genres/Themes: Futuristic, Paranormal, Scifi, Alien Encounters, Shapeshifters
Length: 107 pages

My brother is dead, executed at the hand of my beautiful and fierce snow leopard mate, Chen Daiyu. But Norkad was a pawn in a bigger game, and chose death over helping me protect my female. I want to resurrect him just to kill him all over again.

The bond between me and my elegant, deadly mate grows stronger every minute, until we know each other better than we know ourselves. She is perfection, body and spirit, and in her feral desires that heat the blood in my veins.

But there are those who would use my Daiyu for their own purposes. And when they take her from me, nothing will stand in the way of getting her back. For her, I would destroy worlds and dance in the ashes.

Get it Today at Changeling Press

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2018 Raisa Greywood

My leopard lounged in smug contentment in a corner of our shared mind, purring as she washed her paws.

“Gloating is unattractive,” I told her.

So is pouting. Why are you unhappy, Xīngān?

“I want to be left alone with my mate. There are too many demands on our time. Why can we not have a few days to ourselves?”

She laughed, knowing exactly what I wanted. It included a bed, a locked door, no comms, and definitely no clothes.

Be patient, little cub. You will have your whole lifetime to enjoy Dakar’s company once we finish our duties.

Heat blossomed in my belly as I thought of all the things I wanted to do to my delicious mate. Dakar inhaled sharply and glanced at me as our shuttle approached his ship, leaving the muddy ball of Earth behind us. His eyes darkened and he smirked, revealing the points of his canines. The sweet, musky perfume of his arousal filled my lungs and I hid a smirk. I wasn’t the only one who wanted that locked room.

The docking bay opened, its marker lights drawing a path into the belly of the ship. Akari whimpered behind us. I knew the eagle must be frightened, but I had no way of comforting her until we landed and the doors closed behind us. She was probably like most shifters; terrified and uncomfortable with confinement. The sensation must be worse for large birds.

My mother and sister would be able to help her. She would be more comfortable among female shifters. Jinjing’s calm presence would soothe her as well, but I doubted my sister by mating would leave Huang.

The bay doors closed behind us and the atmosphere equalized with a hiss of pressurized air. Dakar unfastened his harness and opened the shuttle doors. A male I didn’t recognize poked his head inside and grinned at Akari, but she hid her face behind the Dalai Lama.

“Welcome back, Commander. If you’ll step out, we’ll get you unloaded.” He disappeared from the door.

“Go ahead, and take the human with you. I’ll sit with Akari for a moment.”

Dakar blinked at me, giving me a questioning glance. “Are you –”

I glanced back at the young eagle. She was shaking badly and her pale skin darkened with the tracery of feathers. “I’m sure! We’re about to have a lot of trouble in here.”

He looked over my shoulder and frowned. “Miss Takamoto, I’m afraid you can’t shift in the shuttle.”

I growled and pushed him out. My leopard hissed and added a hard swat to his backside as he stumbled from the shuttle. Stubborn males! She chuffed out laughter as he stared at us from the deck. I’d have to apologize later.

“Akari, I’m sorry, but my mate is right. You can’t shift in the shuttle, but I know a place that will be big enough for you if you can hold it for a few more minutes.”

She exhaled, then wiped a hand over her face and stood up. “Yes, revered leopard. I’m ready.”

I took her hand and helped her step down from the shuttle. Males bustled everywhere and the noise of conversation and equipment was loud compared to the silence and peace of my home. I could hear Akari’s harsh breaths over the noise and the stench of her fear filled my nose.

She shifted several times as she tried to control her panic, making the males stop their work and stare. Their attention made her distress worse, and I wished I’d thought to clear the deck before taking her out.

Trying to control my irritation, I pushed my leopard’s strength out to encompass her in a bubble of peace. “Pick one shape, Akari. I don’t care what you do, but choose one and I will help you keep it.”

She whimpered one last time before settling on my arm, her feathers fluffed out to make her appear larger. I wished that I could hood her and tie jesses around her feet as the ancient falconers did. Her talons clenched tightly on my arm. The Ximeran fabric prevented them from digging into my flesh, though I knew she’d leave bruises.

She fought me with every step. Her immature body demanded that she protect herself against perceived threats. Her lack of control was worrisome and I knew we’d have to keep her secluded until she grew comfortable. I hurried through the corridors toward the holo, hoping I could keep her under control until we reached that place of safety.

Exhaustion from nearly twenty-four hours without rest made me irritable and easily angered. As the door shut behind us, I shook her from my arm. With a dismayed screech, she took to the air and perched on a branch above my head. I knew I shouldn’t take my aggravation out on her, but I was simply too tired to coddle her further.

“Someone will bring you food shortly, Akari. It will be a male, and I suggest very strongly that you don’t hurt him. You may hide if you wish.” Remembering the shy boy who served as the cook’s steward, I added, “Quite frankly, he’ll be more comfortable if he doesn’t see you. You will be confined here until you can regain control of your eagle.”

She flared her wings, clicking her beak angrily. I held my gaze on her until she settled, and said, “I’m sorry. I know you have troubles and I will speak with you later. Right now, I’m exhausted. My brother is badly injured, and I’ve insulted my mate. I must see them and rest before I can give you the attention you need.”

 

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Raisa is an up-and-coming author of romance with a dark and naughty twist. Her heroes are sometimes flawed but always the alpha in the room, while her heroines are atypical and can take anything those bossy alphas dish out.

The one thing that Raisa most loves is tipping tropes on their ears and making fun of them. She also adores alliteration.

She’s lived all over the world but currently resides in the Midwestern United States with her husband, two irascible cats, and a big bay rescue horse.

Visit Raisa on her website!