Welcome to the Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Dystopian Reader Appreciation Giveaway!
We’re so glad you stopped by! In this giveaway, EVERYONE who enters will win TWENTY FREE – EXCLUSIVE – ebooks by the sponsoring authors (to be delivered at the conclusion of the giveaway), and one GRAND PRIZE winner will also receive a $1000 Amazon Gift Card! The Winner will be announced on February 1st at our Facebook Event. The winner will also receive an email directly.
There will ALSO be other prizes and giveaways happening at that event between now and our Grand Prize announcement! So make sure you mark yourself as attending so you don’t miss those great opportunities to win more prizes and snag more freebies!
Here are a couple of sneak peeks!
ETERNAL NIGHT, by Jade KerrionAshra’s hand trailed across Jaden’s muscled torso. He made it easy for her to be gentle. His body trembled as if he longed for her. His mouth was hungry for her kiss. He arched up against her, as if craving more. His need was like a living creature, wild and aching for her touch.
Eyes closed, Ashra shivered. Only one other person had desired her as much.
And he was dead.
She forced her way through the memories of pale bodies tangled upon cool silk sheets. When her soul-sucking power leeched out, it found no opposition. Images of the human’s life rewound in a blaze of vivid sights, sounds, and sensations.
Ashra looked up at Tera, her smile little more than a barely perceptible curve of her lips. “He fancies himself the protector of the child of prophecy. Was she among those taken tonight?”
Ashra chuckled, the sound without humor. “It’s a pity her genetic heritage wasn’t sufficiently superior to prevent her from being culled.”
“There’s more. Go deep.”
She pushed past the blackness at the start of his memories, expecting deeper darkness. Instead, the colors shifted into shades of ochre and gray. Memories, older than his body, resided in his soul; memories of an Earth long since lost to them—a planet surrounded and nourished by water; images of tall buildings glistening beneath a benevolent sun, and of thriving cities filled with the bustle of humans; memories of quiet and intimate conversations beneath a silver moon, the same silver moon that now graced Malum Turris with its light, though a thousand years older and viewed only from beneath the protection of the dome.
She saw herself as he must have seen her, a much-younger icrathari, still hopeful for the future, never realizing that the Earth they had all known and loved was irretrievably lost. Had she ever looked that vulnerable? Had her smile ever been so beautiful, so filled with love as she looked upon--
“Rohkeus?” Oh, blessed Creator, was that stricken whisper her voice?
Ashra pulled back and stared at the human. Her mouth dropped open. Her heart pounded in her chest, its beat erratic. It couldn’t be. It simply couldn’t be--
She looked up at Tera. The other icrathari nodded.
Rohkeus’s soul reborn…in a human.
Ashra threw her head back and laughed, a despairing sound. Her prince, her love, reduced to a human? Her slender fingers coiled into fists. Her golden eyes glittering, she pushed away from him, though her body trembled from the loss of his warmth. No, the human was not Rohkeus; he could never be Rohkeus.
Steeling herself against the gasp of pain that escaped from his lips as the anesthetizing effect of her kiss faded, Ashra rose to her feet with sinuous grace. “He is not one of us. Not anymore.” Nothing had been more devastating than losing Rohkeus to a human assassin. To see his soul reborn in that contemptible and weak race was an insult to the person Rohkeus had been.
“Should we turn him into a vampire?” Tera asked.
“Kill him. Set Rohkeus’s soul free.”
A Cross to Bear: A Gabriella Cross Paranormal Romance Book 1All around her, the sounds of baying wolves echoed in the night. Trees slapped her face as she ran, and she tripped more than once. She was crying now and mumbling to herself, terrified. She dared not look back, knowing that the wolves were pursuing her. She came out of the woods into a clearing leading to a tall hill. The howls came from all directions. Shadows flew through the woods in her peripheral vision, and Gabby cried out. She fell again, skinning her knee badly on a jagged rock. In her terrified state, she felt no pain, but continued as fast as she could and ran up the hill.
A snarl came from directly behind her, and she instinctively turned and cried out. A wolf was bearing down on her fast. She turned and raised a hand as the beast leapt at her with gleaming claws leading the way.
“NO!” Gabby cried.
To her amazement, the wolf changed form in mid-flight and turned into a naked man. He landed at her feet on all fours and snarled at her.
“Get away from me!” she screamed.
The naked man backed away from her warily, glancing down at his human hands with a look of confusion and shock. More wolves were coming out of the woods. They stopped when they saw the one who had turned into a human in the light of the full moon.
Gabby wasted no time considering her luck and ran as fast as she could up the hill.
“Gabriella Cross, stop!” Michael’s voice rose up over the howls.
Gabby could hardly see through her tears. She didn’t dare look back, knowing that she would find death closing in on her. She reached the top of the hill and ran across the flat expanse of rocky earth.
“Gabriella!” came the voice again.
The wolves were gaining on her.
She darted between two pines blocking her way, receiving many scrapes on her face and arms. Half blinded by tears and slapping branches, she stumbled out from between the trees and suddenly came to a steep cliff. She tried to stop, but her momentum was too great. With a terrified cry she fell forward over the cliff.
She frantically thrashed her arms as she fell to her death. Above, on the ledge, a mournful wolf cried out. The ground was coming up fast to crush her, and Gabby closed her eyes, not wanting to see her death.
Then. Suddenly. Gabriella was weightless.
Strong arms held her firmly. She opened her eyes to find a winged beast staring back at her.
Gabby passed out.
A Red Hot Christmas Paris
Fancy a little spice, plenty of heat, and something saucy in your stocking this year? - Available to pre-order now! Get your jolly on this Christmas and let Santa deliver one of The Red Hot Christmas series of standalone erotic romance novellas to your e-Reader. Full of festive frolics that will add some cheer to your holiday!
A Red Hot Christmas - Paris
Two couples, Lulu and Luc Le Grand and their firm friends, Coco Barrella and Hunter Donovan, head to Paris for a romantic getaway at The Domville Hotel. Looking forward to good company, great food, and some steamy seasonal shenanigans away from the pressures of work, the last thing they expect is to be stranded there on Christmas Eve.
Will the calm marital waters of the seemingly perfect Le Grandâs relationship become choppy when they risk not making it home to their children for Christmas Day?
And will âlove to hate each otherâ couple Coco and Hunter grow closer in the city of love, or will they be pulled apart by the unintentional reminder of their failings as they compare themselves to their married friends?
Featuring couples from C.J. Fallowfield's bestselling humorous erotic romance books The Temptress & All That Glisters, this festive erotic romance novella can be read as a standalone. It contains scenes towards the end of their stories, that werenât included in their novels, but for the best reading experience, it is recommended that you read in the order of The Temptress, All That Glisters, then A Red Hot Christmas Paris. It also contains adult material and is strictly for the over 18âs only. Itâs sure to turn your cold and wet December into a positively scorching hot, but still wet, one!
C.J. Fallowfield is an #1 Amazon bestselling author of contemporary humorous erotic romance novels.
Her alter ego, Charlotte Fallowfield, writes contemporary romantic comedy novels.
CJ is from the United Kingdom and is half French. She lives in the wonderful countryside of Wales, surrounded by rolling hills, trees and fields full of sheep and cows. Her writing aids include chocolate, Ben & Jerry's and copious amounts of coffee, wine or cider. Reading was her main pastime, until she discovered the joy of creating hot, erotic, romantic fiction, but she still tries to set aside time to indulge her appetite for steamy reads by other authors too.
Obsessive Pimpettes Promotions
O'Gallagher Nights: The Seriesby Mignon Mykel O'Gallagher Nights, #1-3 Publication Date: November 30, 2016 Genres: Adult, New Adult, Contemporary Romance
O'GALLAGHER NIGHTS COMPLETE SERIES BOXED SET ONLY $1.99 FOR RELEASE DAY!:
Synopsis: The three O'Gallagher siblings, all in one set. Includes bonus material such as slightly expanded stories & a Christmas novella not otherwise available!
O’Gallaghers has been a long-lasting establishment in San Diego, known for its Irish brews and fare. When the next generation of O’Gallaghers take over though, it becomes known for a little bit more…
THE BOOKS INCLUDED IN THE O'GALLAGHER NIGHTS: THE SERIES BOXED SET!
ONE NIGHT STAND (O'Gallagher Nights #1)Conor O’Gallagher. Thirty-two, six-foot, and all muscle. Flashes of dimples behind his black beard, quick winks for the lady patrons, and a tattoo sleeve that leaves the ladies begging to be his nightly conquest. Because one of them will be. Every night at close, Conor brings one, two, sometimes more, up to his apartment and has his merry way with them. The women always leave satisfied, and always know he’s a one and done kind of guy, no repeat performances. But what happens when one of his one night stands comes back into his life five months later, and pregnant no less? What happens when one night gives you more than you bargained for? Conor’s about to find out…
ABOUT LAST NIGHT (O'Gallagher Nights #2)Synopsis: Rory O'Gallagher. Thirty, five-ten, and long, lean muscle. The middle O'Gallagher is as known for his prowess in the bedroom as the oldest is, and for so much more. Women have always been attracted to him. People have always flocked to him. But then there was Emily Winters. With her white blonde hair, icy blue eyes, and cold demeanor toward him, Rory shouldn't want anything to do with her. But so help him, he does.
ALL NIGHT LONG (O'Gallagher Nights #3)Synopsis: Brenna O'Gallagher. The baby sister of those sexy O'Gallagher boys has her own story to tell. Her brothers think she's something she's not... but the truth is, most of the rumors had always been true. At twenty, she decided she needed a change. Then her brothers hired him. He makes her feel like she's spiraling backward, but is she really? Has she found the one person she can confide in, the one person who will not judge her? And just how long can she keep it from her brothers before the repercussions settle in and she not only loses him, but the respect of her brothers? Her road hasn't been easy--and it's not about to start smoothing out now.
ABOUT MIGNON MYKELMignon Mykel is the author of the Prescott Family series, as well as the short-novella erotic romance series, O'Gallagher Nights. When not sitting at Starbucks writing whatever her characters tell her to, you can find her hiking in the mountains of her new home in Arizona.
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In a Ranger’s Armsby Donna Michaels The Men of At Ease Ranch, #1 Publication Date: November 28, 2016 Genres: Adult, Entangled: Lovestruck, Contemporary Romance
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2gydYqU
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2fAkGKP
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2gtQEwO
Synopsis: Former Army Ranger Stone Mitchum doesn’t have time for sex. Since starting a company with his brother and two buddies, he’s had more important things on his mind. Like transitioning veterans back into society. But when his curvy new tenant falls into his arms—literally—his libido snaps to attention.Jovy Larson has four weeks to prove she’s worthy of taking over the family business. Her challenge? Sell gluten-free, vegan food—in the middle of cattle country, Texas. It’s a tough task, but not half as tough as fighting her attraction to her sexy, surly landlord. Before she knows it, Jovy’s tangling sheets with the hot cowboy, stalked by a jealous cow, and strategizing ways to help Stone’s ranch. But by the time her lease runs out and the test is over, she’s faced with a new challenge…competing against Stone’s sense of duty to win his heart.
ABOUT DONNA MICHAELSIt’s all my mother’s fault. She read to me when I was little and sparked my imagination. Now, my mind is the limit, and believe me, there’s no limit to my mind. Hello, I’m Donna Michaels, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Award winning author of Romaginative fiction. I write romance through the H’s—Hot, Humorous, Heartwarming reads with strong alpha cowboys and military men who are equally matched by their heroines. With a husband in the military fulltime, and a household of nine, and several rescued cats, I never run out of material. From short to epic, my books entertain readers across a variety of sub-genres, and one has even been hand drawn into a Japanese Translation.
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Kira’s finally mine.
And nobody and nothing is going to take her from me. I’ll fight for her, to the death. Do anything for her.
There’s no more living without her. No more holding back my feelings.
If only it was enough.
We’re surrounded every day.
Everyone knows us. Now, they suspect. The odds are stacked against us more than before.
We live in the shadows, hiding our love from the entire world.
But not for long.
I refuse to live like this anymore.
I’ll do whatever it takes to own her. I’m waging a dark war against those that stand against us.
And I will win.
That girl is going to be mine forever, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE BOOK!
Meet K.I. Lynn
K.I. Lynn is the USA Today Bestselling Author from The Bend Anthology and the Amazon Bestselling Series, Breach. She spent her life in the arts, everything from music to painting and ceramics, then to writing. Characters have always run around in her head, acting out their stories, but it wasn't until later in life she would put them to pen. It would turn out to be the one thing she was really passionate about.
Since she began posting stories online, she's garnered acclaim for her diverse stories and hard hitting writing style. Two stories and characters are never the same, her brain moving through different ideas faster than she can write them down as it also plots its quest for world domination...or cheese. Whichever is easier to obtain... Usually it's cheese.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Join her group | Goodreads
Meet N. Isabelle Blanco
N. Isabelle Blanco was born in Queens, NY (USA). At the age of three, due to an odd fascination with studying her mother’s handwriting, she began to read and write. By the time she’d reached kindergarten, she had an extensive vocabulary and her obsession with words began to bleed into every aspect of her life.
N. Isabelle Blanco spends her days working as an author, web programmer, marketer, and graphic designer. That is when she isn’t handling her “spawn”, as she calls her son, and brainstorming with him about his future career as a comic book illustrator.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Title: Destiny Awakened
Series: Destiny #4
Author: Nana Prah
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: November 6, 2016
Published by: Decadent Publishing
Join us for H. Peter Alesso's CAPTAIN HAWKINS Book Blast today! Please leave a comment to let him know you stopped by!
Title: Captain Hawkins
Author: H. Peter Alesso
Genre: Science Fiction
Jamie Hawkins was living on an obscure planet in the twenty third-century when on one fateful night—his life changed forever. His heroic effort to save the lives of innocent women and children, caught in the cross-fire of war, placed him squarely in the crosshairs of avenging soldiers.
A former marine, Hawkins was stunned when his rescue effort was seen as treachery. Unfairly convicted of treason by a corrupt judge, he was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor on an infamous penal colony.
Once in prison, his courage and perseverance won him the admiration and trust of his fellow convicts. While he was plotting his escape, an enemy attacked the planet--giving this daring warrior his chance. Together with his fellow prisoners, he launched a bold assault and high-jacked an enemy warship.
From then on, the rebel ship Indefatigable, engaged in multiple ship-to-ship and fleet actions until the exploits of Captain Jamie Hawkins became legendary.
The black of night had fallen, but Jamie Hawkins couldn’t sleep. Though the surgeons had patched up his many wounds, the remorseless pain persisted, even now, months after his medical discharge from the Marines.
BAM! BAM! BAM!
Despite his desire to ignore the unwelcomed thundering blows, he answered the door to his country home and found his neighbor, tall scrawny seventeen year old Joshua Morgan, gasping for breath.
“Captain Hawkins, come quick! Come quick, or they’ll all be killed!”
“Who? What are you talking about, Joshua?”
“I’ve just come from the city—it’s a war zone. People are dying,” Joshua’s voice broke. “The hospital is taking care of the wounded and sheltering women and children, but its force shield is buckling.” He finished in a breathless rush, “It’s only a matter of minutes before it fails.”
A troubled frown creased Hawkins’s face. Their mothers had been friends and he had known Joshua since he was born.
Has the boy been drawn into the turmoil? He wondered.
Hawkins had listened to the broadcasts throughout the day, absurd in every detail; demonstrators declared that they were only protesting injustice, while the government insisted the violence was a last resort against rebels.
Which is the greater lie?
“I told one of the doctors, I knew someone who could help. My flyer’s right outside, sir. You must come,” begged Joshua, his expressive eyes pleading.
A more kindhearted man, who possessed his insight, might have agonized over what was happening in the capital city, but though Hawkins was not unsympathetic, past adversity had left him more hardboiled and cynical than most.
“That’s not my concern anymore,” he said.
Joshua’s desperate voice squealed, “You’re a veteran. You could make a difference, sir.”
Hawkins put his hand on his hips, threw his head back, and barked, “Ha!”
Then, giving vent to a deep inner passion, he demanded, “What difference can one man make?”
As a Marine, Hawkins had been a hot-blooded warrior, always quick to action, so at this moment of great upheaval, while frenzied violence was playing out in the capital, he surprised himself with his reluctance to act. As he ran his hand over the long jagged scar that marred his chest, one thing was certain, the foolish mutinous passions of the people could only lead to ruin.
But the look that spread across the boy’s face was indescribable—it was as if he had just lost his hero.
“Alright, if you won’t come, at least tell me how to maintain the shield,” said Joshua, showing a daring and persistence beyond his years. “I’ll go back alone, but you must tell me what to do.”
“You have no idea what you’d be getting yourself into. All hell has broken loose. Can’t you see, you can’t contribute anything worthwhile, and most likely something terrible will happen?”
“I must go back, my mother is a volunteer at the hospital,” said Joshua. Throwing back his shoulders with a determined jerk of his chin, he challenged Hawkins’s jaded gaze, pleading, “Please. Tell me how to fix the shield.”
Hawkins opened his mouth, but the words froze on his lips. The boy’s courage was a splash of cold water in his face, stinging his sense of honor. It wasn’t in his nature to send this boy to certain death--for Joshua could never accomplish what had to be done--nor it was in his makeup to let innocents be condemned to death with the hospital’s destruction.
A gritty resolve washed over Hawkins. He said, “Let’s go.”
Wearing a brown pilot jacket, tanned rawhide trousers with knee-high leather boots, calfskin gloves, and goggles, Hawkins skillfully maneuvered the single seat flyer at breakneck speed. Joshua desperately clung to him to stay on the back of the motorcycle-like vehicle--his arms wrapped tightly around Hawkins's waist.
What they saw was a madhouse--Newport was ablaze with savage fires that lit up the horizon--scores of them. Just hours before it had been a vibrant city, the capital of Jaxon, renowned for its culture and history, thriving with business and commerce, home to over a million inhabitants going about their ordinary daily lives, now it was a battlefield.
Though his home was a mere two dozen kilometers outside the city, it was impossible for him to fly directly there. There were several sharp mountain peaks in their way, one tremendous one, flanked by two smaller ones, causing Hawkins to race the engine of single-seat turbojet to gain altitude. The noise and vibration of the straining sputtering engine roared into the dark rainy night until they were able to ascend to three thousand meters.
When they reached the outskirts of the city, they descended to a hundred meters, but skyscrapers rose in their path causing them to fly directly over a paved highway that connected the planet's capital to the suburbs. It was swollen with traffic--pedestrians, motorcycles, trucks and cars--choking the road. There were people of every description; disheveled housewives and construction workers, unskilled laborers and local tradesmen, reeking hobos and sharply dressed businessmen, young and old, men and women alike, all seeking safety. Some carried cherished possessions while others brandished antiquated bullet guns, since the government had already confiscated most laser and plasma weapons. This crowded mass of human unhappiness snaked its way along its ill-chosen path intent on escaping the terrifying violence.
Is Joshua's mom in that mob? Hawkins wondered.
Those remaining in the city suffered under a shower of high explosive aerial bombs intermixed with artillery shells. With sirens wailing, Hawkins saw bombers overhead dropping death from the skies and heard the repeated firing of artillery in the distance. He couldn't tell who was doing the shooting.
After his initial reluctance to come, he agonized over whether he would arrive in time. A nearly impenetrable wall of smoke, flame, debris, and explosions added extra heart wrenching minutes to the journey.
Every two minutes a new wave of jets would be overhead and a new barrage of artillery shells would join in. The roaring fires pulsed, like the blind fury of an agitated buzzing beehive. Little fires grew into big ones, right before his eyes. Big ones died down under the valor of firemen, only to break out again a few moments later.
Hawkins saw the panic in the street. The city's civil-defense included shelters that were now overflowing with refugees. Many had left their homes and defied the flames to run to the bomb shelters distributed throughout the city, only to find there was no room for them. In addition to the death and injury, everywhere there was evidence of psychological trauma--children sat in rubble--their dead parent's bodies nearby. It was impossible to gauge how much more the citizens could take. Panic and raw nerves grew tighter with each passing minute. The people prayed for a respite--but there was little hope for mercy on this night.
Hawkins heard the crackling of the closest flames and the screams of victims and firemen, alike. Smoke blurred his vision and seared his lungs. Nevertheless, he kept going with Joshua clinging to his waist.
"Arf! Arf!" choked Joshua.
"Here cover your mouth with this handkerchief," yelled Hawkins over the uproar around them.
The sirens wailed.
"Oh, no," said Joshua. "Are we too late?"
"We're almost there," said Hawkins.
They heard detonations high in the air. The sky was alive with a deadly dance of destruction.
Farther down the street, Hawkins could see soldiers breaking through the defensive ring of some diehard demonstrators, sending them fleeing in every direction. He couldn't quite make out what the people were yelling, but he could see one oversized banner fall to the ground.
It read, "Beware the Wrath to Come!"
About the Author
As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations, and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of ten books.
Take Me As I Am
#TakeMeAsIAm #ReleaseBlitz #ShanielWatson #ObsessivePimpetteâsPromotions
Cover Designer: Sarah Hansen at okay creations
Can one night of passion ignite a fire that will last a lifetime?
Sexy, overbearing, bold, take no prisoners Ava Alexander drives me crazy. Sheâs the opposite of me and everything I donât want in a woman.
Then thereâs Sage Wilsonâ¦everything I should and do want. Avaâs a match, and if I let her, sheâll burn down everything around me. But one night is all it takes. A night seared into my mind of a raven-haired temptress with a body made for the worst kind of the sweetest sin and regret.
I donât want to hurt anyone. If I let her break down my defenses, thatâs exactly what will happen.
Iâm a woman who knows what she wants and I make no apologies for it. Smart and successful, I have everything. Except for the one man I have my sight set on, Christopher Reed, my best friendâs brother. Heâs handsome, caring, patient, the voice of reason. But donât be fooled, as I learned, underneath all his controlled reserve is a man that commands obedience, and heâs not easily swayed by my charms and bold demeanor. But Iâm a woman determined to show him Iâm exactly what he needs. Thereâs only one problem: Sage. The one person standing in my way.
The Imperfection Series Book 1
Imperfections Come to Light
The Imperfection Series Book 2
Shaniel Watson lives in New York and is a full-time working mother of two beautiful little girls. She enjoys going to amusement parks and eating ice cream on warm summer days with her kids. You can find her reading or writing with her headphones on, music at full blast, on weekends and late into the night while everyone else is sleeping.
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Buried Secretsby J.C. Valentine Publication Date: November 29, 2016 Genres: Adult, New Adult, Mystery, Thriller, YA, Suspense
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2gl3EBQ
Synopsis: How do you live with yourself when you don’t even know who you are?On a chill October night, a girl goes missing setting the small town of Oakridge on edge. James has spent the last five years running from a past that still haunts him to this day. Now he finds himself thrust back into a life he thought he left behind. Finding out his new home may be haunted and reconnecting with an old friend while being thrust into a murder mystery, James finds himself trying to figure out which end is up while questioning his own sanity. **AUTHOR’S NOTE** Buried Secrets is a New Adult, mystery thriller with very little romance but heavy on the suspense.
EXCERPTBlackness surrounded him, its endless pools of ink swallowing him whole. He couldn’t see his hand in front of his face, but he felt the terror seeping through his skin, past his bones and making its way down to his very soul. James knew he was in the throes of one of his nightmares again. He could never make out a thing, just knew the feeling it left him with. He tried to make himself wake up, but couldn’t find his way out. The feeling that someone was coming for him caused panic to swell and his heart to accelerate, threatening to break free from his chest. Not knowing what was coming, fear lacerating his insides, James started to run blindly. In his bed, his feet kicked out wildly, tangling in the linens and ratcheting up his terror, because to James, he was trapped. His breathing labored and coming in short, sharp bursts, James cried out at the same time his body bolted upright in the bed. Sweat beaded on his brow and dampened his skin, his clothes suctioned to his body uncomfortably. He was clammy and winded, shaken, but he already felt better for knowing he was free from that awful feeling of suffocating terror that had threatened to overtake him just moments ago. Scrubbing his hands down his face, James breathed deeply, hanging his head to his chest while his body calmed. As his adrenalin levels normalized, and he began to feel more like himself, James gave a final sigh of relief. Stabbing his fingers through his hair, he was readying himself to try to go back to sleep when he looked up and choked on his breath. His entire body went rigid in an instant. His breathing, his heartbeat. Everything ceased to work. In the next instant James threw himself back against his headboard, fear gripping him once again. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He would chance rubbing his eyes to be sure his vision was true, only he was too frightened of what he would find once he opened them again.
ABOUT J.C. VALENTINEJ.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry. J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors. Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB
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The Fighter and the Baroness
“Can I wear it through the security portal?” I ask, broken shoes in one hand.
“No, I’m sorry. It will buzz,” the security person explains. “The portal is created to alert us to most metals besides gold and silver.”
I can’t tell him I wear gold. Real, irreplaceable, century-old heirlooms. He wouldn’t believe me anyway. “If it’s okay with you, I’d like to try.”
He lifts his arms in subtle agreement, a have-it-your-way, and I enter the booth, walk out without incident. Employees from two checkpoints stare at me while I pick my stuff off the band. I shake my head, slowly at first, but then I have nothing to say, no witty comeback, and my flight instinct kicks in. I get up on my toes so I don’t stumble in the too-long skirt and stride as slowly as I can into the transit hall.
I need to not stress the hell out. Just, I wish someone was with me to talk me down. I could call Elfriede. I don’t have my phone. I need a new phone. God, how pathetic am I?
Once I’m sure security isn’t following, I haul butt down the corridor. Tiles are cold under bare feet, it turns out. I’d step into my shoes again, but one of them is broken. Would people stare less if I limped and my heels creak-clacked against the floor?
A high-end fashion store beams in the distance. “We’ll help you blend in. Hurry, hurry,” it calls. I run. Benches are in the way. I’m getting clumsy. I’m panicking. Suddenly, a potted palm tree appears out of nowhere, half-blocking my view of the Promised Land, and my torso doubles around it as I slam to the ground.
I let out an ungraceful oomph. And realize I’m not on the ground after all. No, there’s an arm around me, and miraculously I’m on my feet, wobbly but sort of erect.
“You all right?” an American accent asks.
“I was going to Cloe’s over there,” I explain in German, pointing feebly and not feeling as regal as I’ve been taught. Dark eyebrows contract from within a tanned face above me.
“Sorry?” His arm is still strong around me, really freaking strong, and somehow I’ve got a death grip around it while trying to pry him off.
I translate the same stupid sentence to English. “I was going to Cloe’s. It’s over there.”
His brows are perfectly thick or thin and their arcs are so perfectly perfect they look like they’ve been combed, but then the furrow between them smoothens and I discover his eyes.