Tuesday, June 26

Guest Author Stacey Kennedy

Demonically Tempted
Frostbite Book 2
By Stacey Kennedy

Tess Jennings, now a member of the Memphis Police Department, is on her first cold case. The suspected suicide of Lizbeth Knapp ten years ago isn’t a theory her family accepts—they believe she was murdered.

But the case is only one of Tess’s worries. Ghosts are talking, and word of her abilities rapidly spreads. A dark ghost is terrifying the spirits of Memphis, and she must force the entity to cross over.

Tess doesn’t have to do this alone. Not only does she have her ghost-lover, Kipp McGowen, but the department has brought in a medium. Dane Wolfe might answer all her questions, but he also brings a world of trouble. Will Tess finally have all she’s ever wanted, or will everything she’s vowed to protect be ripped away?


*SERIES DOES NOT CONTAIN STANDALONE STORIES. MUST BE READ IN ORDER. FIRST BOOK IN FROSTBITE SERIES IS SUPERNATURALLY KISSED*

BUY LINK
BOOK TRAILER



EXCERPT:
Copyright © STACEY KENNEDY, 2012

Chapter One

The old farmhouse had seen better days. Not only could it use a coat of paint, but it also needed a dose of love. Dry, brown grass surrounded the home, and the only flowers topped four-foot high weeds.

I glanced next to me at Zach—a cop with the Memphis P.D.—and crinkled my nose. “Someone actually lives here?”

His blue eyes met mine and he ran a hand through his blond, stylish hair and shrugged. “Max said the victim’s sister still resides in the home where the death happened.”

As he lowered his arm, he cringed, and I winced at the memory. Heck, only weeks ago he’d been stabbed and shot in the shoulder.

The man who caused Zach’s injury got it worse—by my very hand, no less—but I was glad Hannah Reid’s murderer hadn’t returned to haunt me.

I might have suffered some serious remorse. That is, if I didn’t believe God wouldn’t punish me because I killed a murderer. Brody would’ve done the same to me if I hadn’t gotten to him first. I tried my best to stick with that theory. It saved me from the lingering guilt I might—and would never admit to—have for taking a life.

Sure, there was an internal investigation through the police department, and I had been questioned until my voice went scratchy. But in the end, the shooting had been declared self-defense, and I was perfectly happy with that. Or so I told myself every day until I finally believed it.

Besides, the cops that I now worked alongside had my back throughout the investigation, and nothing would change that. We’d grown close through the time spent during the Reid case, and even closer in the weeks that followed.

“I’m going to see if Lizbeth is out here somewhere,” Kipp—a ghost, and my lover—said, dragging me from my thoughts.

Yes, our relationship was complicated and it’s insanely sick that I’m in love with a ghost, but I wasn’t about to fight my heart’s desire.

“If you find her, then come tell us, immediately. The less time I have to spend in that house, the better.” Scummy houses and me didn’t mesh well. I like cleanliness and hate spiders.

“He’s going off on his own then?” Zach asked.

As of late, Zach had caught on to our conversations better. Seeing that I was the only lucky one—or not so lucky as I viewed it—who could hear ghosts’ communication was annoying, at best.

Maybe I gave more descriptions in my answers than I normally did, or maybe he’d gotten used to having to fill in the blanks. Whatever it was, I appreciated the ease of our conversations now. The back and forth got on my last nerve.

As Kipp strode away, I stared at his scrumptious ass filling his dark blue jeans. The man might be a ghost, but he was sex packaged into muscular goodness.

One of his eyes was chocolate brown, while the other was crystal blue, and he had untidy brown hair that no matter how messy only made him look more attractive. And he was all mine.

I blinked, pulling myself away from my ogling, and frowned at Zach. “Ready?”

His gaze danced with laughter, yet a smile never appeared. “For someone who accepted a job with the department, you would think you’d hold more excitement.”

“Just because I can officially call myself part of the police department—which is absurd, by the way—doesn’t mean I still don’t have hesitations.”

My gift took a while to adjust to but I knew when to see reason. Helping ghosts that had met a horrible fate wasn’t a bad job. That is, as long as I didn’t run into any more crazy-ass killers who wanted to make me a ghost, too.

Zach approached the house, and I trailed after him, not showing half the confidence he carried in his gait.

I climbed the old steps, slightly worried the wood would break under my weight, but seeing Zach went first and the man was all power, the wooden planks could support my slender frame.

He knocked on the door. And a moment later, it opened to a woman who matched the house. She appeared to be in her fifties, but the dark circles under her eyes and the hunch to her shoulders made her look well worn.

“Ms. Knapp?” Zach asked.

“Yes.” Her voice dripped with despair. “Are you the detectives?”

Zach nodded. “Is it still all right if we come in?”

She widened the door, and moved aside. “Please call me Anna.”

“Thank you, Anna.” Zach entered the home. “We appreciate you taking the time to discuss Lizbeth with us.”

I hesitantly followed and tried my damndest not to let my repulsion in the house show. Not an easy feat.

“Please, will you have a seat?” She waved out to a couch that I wouldn’t sit on even if it had a layer of plastic over top of it.

I held back my desire to gag, and twirled my finger in my brown, shag-cut hair. “I’m okay here, thanks.”

Zach grimaced at me before he took a seat and shed all emotion as he turned to Anna. “We’re aware that this will be difficult for you to discuss, but we need you to remember anything you can from when Lizbeth died.”

“I’m not sure I can tell you anything that…” She peeked up at the ceiling. I followed her gaze seeing dark brown stains, and restrained my shudder. “…Max, was that who I spoke with?”

“That’s right. He’s the sergeant.” Zach smiled softly. “He told us the necessary information, but I’ve learned it’s always best to hear it directly for myself.”

In all actuality, I hadn’t heard all the details except that I was officially on my first cold-case.


About the Author

Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart-squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and they even give you a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll also find fast-paced action, life-threatening moments and a big bad villain who needs to be destroyed. Her urban fantasy/paranormal and erotic romance series have hit Amazon Kindle and All Romance eBooks bestseller lists.

Stacey welcomes comments from readers. You can find her at www.staceykennedy.com



Monday, June 25

Still Time for a Second Chance

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos
So, the other day, I watched a great movie, even though I'm sure my husband would've preferred something else. I can't help that I enjoy the occasional romantic comedy. I am a romance author after all. *grin* (My usual movie genre is action/adventure or paranormal.)

A few things mentioned in the movie solidly struck home. One of the topics was something I'd been enthusiastic about and on top of at the beginning of the year. Fitness. But as good intentions usually go, I made progress and then flailed around when I hit a rough patch. Although, I won't beat myself up for slipping since that won't fix anything.

The day after watching the movie, I hopped on the elliptical that's been incognito as a coat rack recently, and while I know I have a busy few months ahead of me, I'm adamant to get back on the horse and not neglect the goals I made for myself this year.

Looking at the calendar, July will start the second half of the year. That's still plenty of time to make progress on whatever goals we'd still like to do. Knowing that we're heading into the second part of the year strikes a fire in my belly that I still have time to turn things around, and it's really revved me up.

How about you? Is there anything you resolved to get done this year that you're ready to tackle?

Friday, June 22

One Day Blitz - Guest Author Leia Shaw

Excerpt from Destiny Bewitched:

She struggled beneath him, her cheeks flushed and chest heaving. Several necklaces – silver chains with various charms and a piece of leather tied around a feather – drew his gaze to her pale, slender neck. A neck he could sink his teeth into. He liked the look of her underneath him far too much. Two hundred years without a woman…why couldn’t Ares just have had him flogged?

“Let me up,” she yelled. “You’re squishing me.”

Reluctantly, he did. “You’d be more than squished had I been someone else. Your stance is too narrow. That’s why you fell over so easily.”

She scowled at him and straightened her clothing. “Don’t tell me how to fight.”

“Then stay behind me and I’ll do it for you.”

“Never.”

“Stubborn.”

“Bossy.”

Gods, she was a saucy thing. Repressing a smile, he picked her sword up off the ground. “Spitfire and ambition will only get you so far, Samantha.” He held out her sword. “Knowledge and patience are the foundation for success.”

“My sister doesn’t have time for me to be patient.” She started to put the sword back into its sheath.

“No.” He grabbed her wrist and, under her icy glare, he positioned her sword arm out in front of her. “Widen your stance.”

She tossed him a dirty look but did as he said.

He walked a circle around her. “Good. Now scan.”

She looked left then right. “Clear.” She took a step forward but he grabbed the back of her shirt and tugged her against his chest.

“Never forget the sky,” he rasped against her ear.

Her breath quickened and he could hear her heart pound wildly. She looked up then whispered, “Clear.”

“Good. I can’t use a dead witch so try to keep yourself alive, yes?”

“I suppose I can try,” she answered drily.


Destiny Bewitched blurb:

Deemed “trailer trash” by humans and the daughter of the most disgraceful family of witches and warlocks since the Puritan age, Samantha is used to fighting her own battles. When her younger sister is taken to the Underworld, Sam doesn't hesitate to rescue her.

To survive the harsh land, she makes a deal with a demon — the most dangerous of creatures in the realm.

Even with those lustrous horns, Geo is as hot as the hell she's stuck in. Fighting nasty beasts in a supernatural version of the gladiator games is easy compared to falling in love with a man who has no future to offer.

Author bio:

I began my writing journey while I was stranded at the airport waiting for my delayed flight. I browsed the Border’s kiosk and grew frustrated that I couldn’t find the “it factor” — the perfect combination of alpha male-ness, ass-kickery, strong females, magic, and sex.

So I spent the next four hours on an airplane writing my first book on scraps of paper and an airsick bag (which thankfully I didn't need to use).

Now I spend too much time in my head, plotting evil villains and the hot men (and women) who ruthlessly kill them. I think far too much about fae politics, dragon power games, and how fast werewolves can change forms. But writing my paranormal romance series has given me a productive place to express those dark places in my mind.

I live in New England with my husband and two kids. Though I will go to my grave denying it, my husband insists I would be thrilled if he suddenly sprouted fangs.

Media:

www.leiashaw.com
www.leiashaw.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/LeiaShaw
@LeiaShaw

Tuesday, June 19

Guest Author Erica Manfred

Excerpt from Interview with the Jewish Vampire

“So nu?” said the vampire thoughtfully as he sat down next to me at the Mitzvah bar on Orchard St. “You must be Rhoda?” He’d picked me out of a line-up of twenty-something’s. I didn’t know whether to be flattered or insulted.

We had met through JDate. I was a Jewish divorcee of forty-one who claimed to be thirty-five and might be considered zaftig if you defined that liberally. He had been dead for a long time but I didn’t know that right away. I just thought he was pale. An undead double for Jeff Goldblum, he was tall, slender, with a mischievous smile, flashing green eyes and long black hair. His incisors were kind of pointy when he smiled and his skin was pasty white, but that didn’t put me off. Everyone looked pretty sallow in the dead of winter in New York City. I immediately wondered if I could drag him off to my lair later that night.

Despite the fact that I had a pretty face, I didn’t get a lot of action on JDate because I had checked “a few extra pounds” in the body size box. “A few” was an understatement, which is why I always met dates at night in bars. I wore black and got there first so they would see me sitting down. My face was a lot slimmer than the rest of me. Jewish guys were the worst when it came to weight—and everything else. Only a Jewish supermodel who ran a law firm was good enough for the Jewish princes I met on JDate.

I was perched on a barstool too teeny to accommodate my rear end, which spilled over the edges. I peered at everyone else's barstools and felt worse seeing all those visible edges. I decided that from now on my goal in life would be to sit on a barstool and be able to see the edges. I tugged on my low-cut tunic top trying in vain to hide the bulges between chest and crotch which seemed to have a mind of their own, ballooning out despite my best efforts. At least I was showing some cleavage, my best physical attribute. He rescued me from what was rapidly becoming a severe fat attack.

“So, you’re a journalist…” he said, putting his elbow on the bar and turning towards me. I had listed that profession on my profile. “Do you have a tape recorder with you?” he asked, not realizing I suppose that tape was so last century and reporters now carried digital recorders.

“Why do you ask?” Men had asked me a lot of strange opening questions on first dates but whether I had a tape recorder was not one of them.

“I would like to tell the story of my life.” He leaned forward and gave me such an intense look I had to turn away. “Would you be willing to interview me?”

No, I wasn’t interested in the story of his life. I was interested in getting to know him in a more biblical sense. I figured he was just another narcissistic celebrity wannabe. As a writer I was constantly getting hit on--not by attractive men--but by people who thought their lives were so fascinating they would make surefire bestseller material. All they thought they needed was a writer to tell their story which, of course, I would be thrilled to do on spec because they didn’t have any money. None of them realized that writers are not charitable institutions.

“You will want to write my story,” he said urgently, “You’ve never heard anything like it before. It will make you rich and famous.”

“Sure, sure. So what’s so special about your story?” I asked wearily, disappointed that he was only interested in my writing skills, not my body.

“I’m a vampire,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Sure, and I’m the Queen of the Damned.”

“What will convince you?” he asked.

“Hmm. Hold on a minute,” I said, playing along. I dragged a cross out of my purse, which I happened to have because I’d visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral with my niece earlier that day and got one for free. I held it up in front of him.

“I’m a Jewish vampire. Doesn’t do a thing for me.”

“How about a Jewish star?”

“Don’t be silly, only Christians are afraid of the devil.”

I dragged out a mirror and held it in front of his face. No reflection. He said Ah and the mirror didn’t fog up. When he opened his mouth I saw that his long incisors were, in fact, fangs. I shrank back, not thrilled about the notion of becoming dinner. I looked more closely at him, noting that like Anne Rice’s Louis, he was utterly white and smooth, as if he were sculpted from bleached bone, with brilliant green eyes that looked like flames in a skull. Unlike Louis, however, he was not wearing a finely tailored black coat but an overly long shlumpy one that looked like it came from the nineteenth century without a stop at the cleaners along the way. His full black hair, with waves combed over the tips of the ears and curls that barely touched the edge of his white collar, made me long to touch it. He was one handsome dude although his wardrobe could use some help.

“So,” he said, “ask me some questions.”

He certainly had piqued my curiosity, so I decided to go ahead and interview him. If he really was a vampire I’d have the scoop of the century, if anyone believed me. If not, at least I’d have the opportunity to flirt with a good-looking guy. Maybe I should have been more frightened, but I’d interviewed many dangerous types, including serial killers, so I was pretty nonchalant about the risk involved. Plus my life had been seriously lacking in drama lately and here was an opportunity for a little excitement.

I pulled out my pen and started making notes.

“Wait a minute,” he said, sounding upset. “I thought you were going to record this”

“I am recording it. This pen is a digital recorder.” I showed him my latest reporter’s gadget. “As I write, it records, so I can play back any part I want.”

“That would have come in handy in Hebrew class when I was a kid. I was always getting lost during the rabbi’s Talmud commentary. Too bad I had to use a quill pen.”

He wanted me to give him a pseudonym so I’m calling him “Sheldon” after my ex-husband, who was a bloodsucker if ever there was one.

“I didn’t know there were any Jewish vampires.” Actually I didn’t know there were any vampires at all, but I was suspending disbelief for the moment.

“Vy not a vampire? Vy a duck? Just kidding. I miss Groucho. We used to hang out at Grossingers in the heyday of the Borscht Belt.”

I laughed. In addition to being a hottie, he was a regular vampire comedian. You never know what will turn up on JDate.


Interview with a Jewish Vampire
by Erica Manfred


The last thing zaftig middle-aged journalist, Rhoda Ginsburg, expected when she signed up for JDate was to fall in love with a vampire. But when she meets drop-dead gorgeous Sheldon, a Hasidic vampire, she falls hard. She rationalizes that he may not be alive, but at least he’s Jewish.

She learns that back in the nineteenth century Sheldon was a rabbi who was turned into a vampire by Count Dracula, an anti-Semite who got his kicks from turning Orthodox Jews into vampires because then they’d have to drink blood, which isn’t kosher.

Soon after she meets Sheldon, she discovers her beloved mother, Fanny, is terminally ill, so she comes up with the crackpot idea of getting Sheldon to turn Fanny and her friends, known as “the goils,” into vampires.

Once she becomes a vampire, Fanny tires of her boring life in Century Village, Florida, and, seeking thrills, she goes clubbing and disappears into the nightlife of South Beach in Miami. When Fanny and her goil posse “go rogue” and start preying on the young, Rhoda and Sheldon must track them down to keep them from killing again.

Interview with a Jewish Vampire turns vampire lore on its head, proving that not all vampires are young and beautiful and it IS possible to be undead and kosher.


About the Author:

Erica Manfred is a freelance journalist, humorous essayist, and author. Her most recent book is the novel, Interview with a Jewish Vampire. She’s also authored two non-fiction self-help books, including most recently He’s History You’re Not; Surviving Divorce After Forty. Her articles and essays have appeared in Cosmopolitan, The New York Times Magazine, Ms., New Age Journal, Village Voice, Woman’s Day, SELF, Ladies Home Journal, and many other publications. Erica lives in Woodstock, New York with her Chihuahua, Shadow, and her daughter, Freda. Brought up by Jewish parents who spoke Yiddish but avoided religion, she got her Jewish education at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation which welcomes Jews from all backgrounds, from atheist to Orthodox, to vampire. Her website is www.ericamanfred.com, or visit www.jewishvampire.com

Tuesday, June 12

Guest Author Mysti Parker

Elves are People, Too—A Love Story
by Mysti Parker

In 2001, a little movie called “The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” hit the big screen. During that three hour stretch in a dim theater, I munched happily on popcorn and fell in love all over again.

I’d fallen for its predecessor, “The Hobbit”, many years before, when I wore out the little 45 record that came with an abridged children’s version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic tale. I adored Bilbo. My heart sped as I listened to the gravelly-voiced narrator describing the terrified hobbit’s trek into the dragon Smaug’s lair. No matter how many times I listened and read along, the story captivated me, even when the record skipped at every other paragraph.

And back at the theater in 2001, when Orlando Bloom tossed that long blond hair (ok, I know it was a wig) behind his shoulder, raised his bow, and drew the string back toward his pointed ear, I fell in love with Legolas.

Actually, I fell in love with elves.

Through a trilogy of films, Tolkien’s immortal characters were resurrected by director Peter Jackson’s genius. One might imagine my giddiness over the first installment of “The Hobbit” coming out this December. Yet, as I read the books and drooled over Legolas in the films, I knew something was missing.

I didn’t know what that something was until 2009. In that eight-year span, I quit my job to become a full-time mom, moved to rural Western Kentucky, had two more babies, and became hooked on roleplaying games like Everquest and The Elder Scrolls. In those games, I came to realize what I’d missed in Tolkien’s version of fantasy—the elves!
Yes, there were elves, but I wanted more of Galadriel, Arwen, and Legolas. I wanted more than their portrayal as perfect, whimsical beings. I wanted to get behind the scenes to see what secrets lay in their tidy closets.

And that’s when I started writing. It began with me writing about the elven characters I played in computer games. One of the stories about a dark elf sparked something special. I decided to break away from the fan-fiction slant and create my own fantasy world. After much rewriting and editing, I submitted “Let There Be Love” to Midnight Showcase Fiction (now Melange Books), and they accepted it right off the bat.

From then on, I had my motivation. Freedom, in the form of my very own creation, not confined to someone else’s vision or a game’s pre-set lore. In my world, which came to be called Tallenmere, I held the reins. I could dive headlong into stories where elves were at the forefront, and not just charming minor characters. They would experience passion, anger, jealousy, violence, and treachery just as any human would, with some necessary differences, of course, to give them a unique spin.

So that’s where I am today, carving out the world of Tallenmere one elf at a time. I hope you’ll come along with me on this journey. But beware—you just might fall in love, too!

****

One lucky commenter will win a PDF or Kindle of BOTH A Ranger’s Tale and Serenya’s Song



Serenya’s Song
Tallenmere, Book Two
by Mysti Parker


Blurb:

In the fantasy world of Tallenmere, no one ever said love was easy...

Serenya Crowe may be a half-elf commoner, but she's no ordinary woman. With the ability to interpret dreams, and a birth defect that forces her to wear gloves, she’s endured small-town gossip and the cruelty of her husband, Sebastian, The Earl of Summerwind. All she's ever wanted is to live a quiet life and raise a family. When she meets the new stranger in town, her world and her heart, are turned upside down.

Wood-elf Jayden Ravenwing is an ex-secret agent who wants nothing more than to forget matters of the heart. He left the bustle of Leogard and his failed marriage to make a fresh start in Summerwind. He never planned to fall in love again, especially with the enchanting Serenya Crowe.

When a strange portal opens on the Crowe property at the edge of town, Jayden is thrown into an investigation, knowing that if he fails, Serenya and everyone in Summerwind may die.

Together, he and Serenya must overcome an ancient evil, and their own inner demons, to save Summerwind and find the love they've always dreamed of.

Amazon

Author Bio:

Mysti Parker is a full time wife, mother of three, and a writer. Her first novel, A Ranger’s Tale was published in January, 2011 by Melange Books, and is the first in a fantasy romance series. She is also the proud writer of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder’s Top Writing Blogs award.

Links:

Email: mystiparker@yahoo.com
Unwritten
Twitter: @MystiParker
Facebook Page
Goodreads Page
A Ranger’s Tale: Melange Books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords
Serenya’s Song: MelangeBooks

Friday, June 8

Shameless Summer Giveäwäy - Winner Announced

red hot books

Hey everyone! Sorry for the day late start. I'm participating in the Shameless Summer Hop. What's the prize? A $10 digital gift card to Amazon.com available internationally to enter see below for the Rafflecopter.

EDIT: Thank you everyone for entering! I loved reading all of your comments!! Congrats to the winner Shamara C! I hope you all have a shamelessly awesome summer!

Wondering what you'd possibly want at Amazon? Don't worry, here's a few options! ;-)

Techno Crazed 
Hacked Investigations, Book 1

Private investigator Hannah Franklin's life is turned upside down after being contacted by a former employee of MAX Home Security, the leader in security services. But they're not just protecting people anymore. Hannah's informant claims to have proof that MAX has ordered the assassination of politicians who stood against the corporation.

When her informant is killed and an attempt is made on her life, Hannah has no choice but to contact a freelance hacker. Her only hope now lies in the hands of a man she never expected to welcome back into her life.

Ian Bradley has lost his girlfriend and his job, as well as having acquired a very annoying gnome. Now his ex, Hannah, is in danger, and she needs his help. Ian vows to protect Hannah with every resource available to him -- and as a technomage in a high-tech world, his resources are almost endless...

Read the Excerpt

Reviews:


"Fun and unexpected... Sarah weaves futuristic society, magic, and a grumpy gnome into a fun story!" - Lisa Kessler, Author of Night Walker 


"Techno Crazed is a fantastic beginning to the series. The story is full of diverse, engaging characters and fun twists along the way...I can't wait to read more about Hannah and Ian." - Kinley Baker, Author of Ruined



Jungle Heat
Amazon Chronicles, Book 1

An Amazon Princess and a weretiger must find love enough to heal their peoples' painful history.

The Amazon Rainforest still contains a few secrets. One of these secrets is a hidden village of women whose history is filled with the horror of conquering men.

Adara Rukan, princess of the Amazons, ventures away from her village to find something waiting for her. Andrei "Rei" Makarov is a weretiger and a biologist on assignment. Can Rei and Adara find love enough to bridge their two separate worlds?

Read the Excerpt


Reviews:

"Jungle Heat was like a quick escape to a secret world. It was exciting and a little different from the typical shifter story." - Bookie Nookie, The Romance Reviews

Find my books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks and Changeling Press.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 7

Blacklist Rogue is now available!

Hey everyone! I'm very excited to announce that Blacklist Rogue, the third book in my Hacked Investigations series, is now available for purchase! This book downright kicked my butt at times, and I'm thrilled with its outcome.

Here's the blurb, excerpt, and buy links. Also, make sure to subscribe to my mailing list by the end of the day since I'll be sending out a newsletter tomorrow. :-)

Thanks for sharing in my exciting release day! I'm also hanging out TRS's Party site today. I'd love to see you there!
Hacked Investigations 3: Blacklist Rogue
by Sarah Mäkelä
Genres: Futuristic, Paranormal, Action Adventure/ Suspense, Cyber-Punk, Erotic Romance
Length: Novella
Buy now: http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1821


Blurb:

When MAX Home Security tries to hire their private investigation firm to prove the corruption the company is on trial for occurred without the knowledge of the upper management, Ian and Hannah are reluctant to help.

Unfortunately, MAX's legal team thinks it looks good for their PR to have Hacked Investigations involved, forcing Ian and Hannah's hand. But Ian's headaches are getting worse, and Hannah and Ian will have to rely on each other even more if they stand a chance of getting out of this mess alive.

Excerpt:


Ian Bradley hit send on an email to one of Hacked Investigations' frequent customers. This time, the business owner had needed him to check on his future partner to make sure there wouldn't be trouble if he signed the partnership agreement. Ian had the potential business partner's email hacked in no time, and within five minutes, he'd completed his task.

Easy.

The client was paranoid, and, even if Ian thought those types of assignments were frivolous, he had a paycheck on its way.

Slender, feminine arms wrapped around his chest as Hannah hugged him from behind. Her lips brushed his earlobe, and her velvety tongue slid along the edge of it. "Now that we've wrapped another case, how about we celebrate?" Her voice was a low purr.

He shivered and placed his hands over hers. "I'll be right there. Let me lock down the computer. Bernard has been surfing some nasty porn sites. I'm not chancing that he'll get another virus on my machine."

Hannah nibbled his neck, and he groaned. She pulled away, trailing her fingertips over his chest and shoulder.

Swiveling in his chair, he watched her saunter toward the bedroom. Once she got to the doorway of the bedroom, she looked back at him, giving him a seductive smile.

Ian grinned and then spun around to face the computer. He changed the password again, tweaking the system's safety features, and shut it down.

From the living room, he heard Bernard, the pint-sized gnome, talking in hushed tones entirely different from his usual loud, obnoxious demeanor.

The urge to see what mischief Bernard was getting into nearly drove him toward the living room, but Hannah's sexy smile won out. He headed toward the bedroom, thinking of the things he'd like to do to her. His hand was hovering over the doorknob when the phone rang.

Sighing, he walked to the office phone, but it fell silent. From the other room, Bernard spoke in an annoyed, yet strangely husky voice. "Uh huh. Well, buster, I don't care who you are. There's someone important on the other line giving me some, uh, juicy details about something," Bernard said. He had a slight manic pitch that always grated on Ian's nerves.

Reaching for the phone and fearing the worst, Ian hoped whoever had called their business line wasn't already completely insulted by Bernard's behavior. He mentally made a note to keep Bernard caged when at all possible.

"Oh, stop your whining. You can call back later." Impatience picked up in the gnome's voice as did his volume.

Ian barely managed to pick up the office phone as he heard the other phone slam onto the receiver in the living room. "Hello? Anyone there?"

"Ah, Ian, hello. It's been a while." Senator Kendall's voice came through clearly.

"Hello, Senator. How can we help you?" Ian said, remembering the trial by fire the three of them went through with MAX Home Security after their first meeting not long ago.

"Who was that? A new assistant?" The senator sounded both intrigued and insulted. "Never mind. You need to know about what's going on. So far, my team has brought the corruption suspicions up to middle-management level, but we're blocked from going to the executive level." He let out a harsh sigh. "All leads we have point to a separate operative within MAX who has worked outside the executives' knowledge. Or so they say. There are rumors about a side project. Something that would make the current fiasco seem like playground material. I don't have details yet, but there's a lot of money from the yearly budgets we cannot trace. Company meetings and trips without receipts, cargo requests of military grade equipment reported as lost in transit, and much more. There are people who have their signatures on documents they claim to have never seen or signed. Some people who haven't worked for the company in years."

"You're kidding." Ian couldn't believe what he was hearing. He'd known his former employer was no good, but this... It was almost more than he could imagine.

The senator chuckled, but there was no humor in the sound. "What's worse is money coming from sources they have marked as trade secrets, meetings around intellectual property and business licenses. MAX doesn't provide licenses to the public, which makes it even more suspicious. When we try to question them about it, we get shut down about speculating on things not relative to the trial."

"So, the executives are playing cloak and dagger games? Pushing the blame down and claiming they had no idea?" he asked.

"Exactly. And with MAX Home Security being such a large company with so much influence and power, other politicians are treading lightly, fearing the collapse of a global trillion-dollar company. 'What's a little corruption to spare ourselves another collapse?' That's the word going around. Anyway, the former president of the company is clearly outraged. With the company having been in his family, his children work there in various positions. The old man strongly believed his children should get no special treatment and needed to work their way up the chain, so to speak. One of them, Johann Li, reached out to my office to ask how he could help save the business from all this."

Ian frowned. This had become more complicated than he ever dreamed. He knew there wasn't a good side to MAX. They'd tried to kill him and Hannah, but what he really wanted to know was why Senator Kendall had called. Why share these details with him?

He had opened his mouth to say as much when he heard a door open. Hannah leaned against the doorframe leading to his bedroom, concern creasing her brows together. He held up a finger, then returned his focus to the senator, who was still talking.

Ian cleared his throat. "Excuse me for a moment, Senator, but what exactly is it you want me to do?"

Senator Kendall sighed. "I'm calling to warn you. You'll be receiving a call soon. You'll know what I meant then."

Buy now: http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1821

Tuesday, June 5

Guest Author Marie Treanor

Excerpt from Blood Guilt by Marie Treanor

(Here, Maximilian is dying from loss of blood after a drunken fight, and Mihaela has made a deal with him: her blood in return for his help…)

He lay perfectly still, watching her every move. Despite his tattered, modern clothes, he looked like some decadent, talented Renaissance youth. Which he probably had been.

Mihaela sank onto the bed beside him, and, willing her hand not to shake, she placed the point of the stake over his heart. Still, he didn’t move. It was possible that he couldn’t.

“I’ve killed many vampires,” she warned him, and wished her voice didn’t sound so husky.

A spark of humor, so faint as to be almost indistinguishable, lightened his pain-wracked eyes. “Then you have another advantage. I’ve never killed a hunter.”

Watching him for any sign of sudden attack, she leaned slowly over him, angling her head to offer him her throat. As his face disappeared from her vision, her tingling skin seemed to grow tighter. Since he had no breath, there was no warning before he touched her throat. She couldn’t suppress her gasp or her jerk of surprise. But still he didn’t move, just waited for her to settle and return to the same position. Again, his cool lips touched her neck. Shards of fear sprayed outward to every nerve-ending she possessed. At least she called it fear, because even that was easier to bear.

Tensing even further, she curled her fingers into a fist, around the air, around the stake, and waited for the pain of his bite.

Concentrate on the stake. It’s all that could save your life. Her neck prickled with sensation. It was his tongue, licking over her vein.

Oh Jesus Christ, help me…

“It will numb the pain,” he said unexpectedly, and the movement of his lips against her skin made her shudder. She managed to nod, and then his lips closed more strongly, like a lover’s kiss. It was hard to keep still, to ignore the damp heat forming between her thighs. His teeth grazed her vein, and bit.

Her mouth opened without permission, but at least her cry was silent. There wasn’t even pain to speak of, just the shock of his teeth sinking into her, and then the faint, strangely sensual pull of his mouth against her skin, scattering novel sensations through her entire body. Her vein seemed to contract; she could feel the blood being drawn out of her and into him. It was weird, cold, intriguing…and achingly pleasurable. His lips moved on her skin, his tongue lapped, his suck deepened and strengthened; and everything inside her, her very womb, seemed to pulse under the insistent tug of his mouth.

A tiny sound gurgled deep in her throat. She clung on to the stake, as if to sanity, while her free hand clutched at the quilt and then at his shirt for support. And then, it seemed, it was over.

The draw of blood stopped; his teeth detached from her throat, and he raised his head to examine her. His face seemed cloudy; his gray eyes had darkened and yet somehow blazed almost silver with a lust that drove straight between her legs.

“Hunter blood is sweet,” he whispered. “You taste…good.”

Without warning, he pushed her down onto the pillow and loomed over her. Panting, she tried to reposition the stake, but he was too close, and he gave her no time.

“More,” he said huskily and returned to her throbbing throat.

Since he half lay across her, heart to heart, there was little she could do. Her stake lay on its side between them, useless until she could draw it free and plunge it into his back. Except, God help her, she didn’t want to.

The slow, delicious pull of his mouth on her throat began again, but stronger this time and more rhythmic. It couldn’t have been more different from the act of violence she’d witnessed earlier when he’d killed a vampire almost instantly with his bite. The strong, slow, beats of his undead heart vibrated through her chest, as if speaking to her own, galloping pulse. Cords of pleasure seemed to have formed between his mouth and her sensitized breasts, squashed beneath the hardness of his chest, and all other pleasure points of her body. Between her legs was throbbing, aching lust. She began to move under his mouth, rubbing her breasts against him, circling her hips in search of the comfort she needed deep inside her.

My God, I’m going to orgasm from his bite. This isn’t possible. Oh God, he’s killing me, and I love it.

She couldn’t just give in to this urge to do nothing, to reach for more. It wasn’t in her nature to surrender, but she had never imagined it would be this hard to resist being slaughtered. Forcing herself, she dragged her hand and stake free from between their bodies. She found his back, and through his T-shirt, counted his vertebrae with her fingertips until she found the position of his heart.

His back, his whole body moved, undulating with the passage of her fingers, as if he welcomed her attentions as caresses. Delicately, she placed the pointed end of the stake…




BLOOD GUILT
(Blood Hunters, Book 1)
By Marie Treanor
eBook coming 5th June 2012
The first of a new vampire romance series, a sequel to the Awakened by Blood trilogy.

Natural enemies, deadly attraction…

Mihaela, a fearless vampire hunter secretly haunted by loneliness and childhood tragedy, finds it difficult to adjust to the new world order where vampires are not always the bad guys. She's taking a much needed vacation in Scotland when she sees a little boy being chased through the streets of Edinburgh. Rescuing him brings bigger problems - two vampires from her past: Gavril, who killed her family; and the reclusive and troubled Maximilian, gifted Renaissance artist and one-time overlord of the most powerful undead community in the world. Maximilian once saved her life and now needs that favor returned.

The earth moves for Mihaela in more ways than one. From Scotland to Budapest and Malta, she races against time to prevent a disastrous, vampire-induced earthquake and save an innocent yet powerful child – all while fighting a dreadful attraction to Maximilian, her only ally, whom she can’t afford to trust. For Maximilian, the hunter becomes a symbol of renewed existence, as he struggles to accept his past and rediscovers his appetite for blood and sex - and maybe even happiness.


Author Bio:

Marie Treanor lives in Scotland with her eccentric husband and three much-too-smart children. Having grown bored with city life, she resides these days in a picturesque village by the sea where she is lucky enough to enjoy herself avoiding housework and writing sensual stories of paranormal romance and fantasy.

Marie Treanor has published more than twenty ebooks with small presses, (Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Changeling Press and The Wild Rose Press), including a former Kindle bestseller, Killing Joe. Blood on Silk: an Awakened by Blood novel, was her New York debut with NAL.

Website: www.MarieTreanor.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marie-Treanor-Paranormal-Romance/105866982782360
Newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marietreanornewsletter
Blog: Marie Treanor's Romantic Theme Party: http://romanticthemeparty.blogspot.com/
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