Tag Archives: adventure

Author Showcase – G.E. Stills & Shaunna Rodriguez (Pen & Ink series)

~~ BOOK ONE ~~

What’s worse than being rival authors for competing Publishers? Neighbors that’s what. Leave it to Samantha, Olivia Dixon’s publisher, to find a writer to collaborate with on a new book. Olivia’s thrilled with the idea until she learns the brilliant writer is Gabe Anderson, her detestable neighbor. After a rocky first meeting, the two writers spend several months developing their new book. Working side by side, seven days a week, their relationship evolves into something that transcends normal professionalism. To determine whether this partnership is sweet and clean or down and dirty, they take a break and go camping together. When they return from camping, Olivia still feels uncertain of their relationship. Gabe receives a call from his publisher, Irene. He and Olivia have been invited to a conference in Cancun, Mexico. After check-in they discover, to their consternation, that both their publishers are attending the conference as well. A well-known author’s estranged husband is murdered leaving her as prime suspect, until she ends up in the morgue by his side. Olivia specializes in writing murder mysteries and the temptation to solve one in real life is irresistible. Because of her relationship with Gabe, he becomes involved as well. Can Gabe and Olivia find answers quickly and solve the crime while clearing their friends of suspicion, or will more body bags be needed?

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And the killings begin.

  The doors opened onto an eerily silent floor. It was my floor, but it felt different for some reason. It could be my imagination, I thought, as I stepped out of the elevator and ran to Madeline’s door which was slightly ajar. I frowned and pushed it open with the toe of my black heel and leaned back, listening to the creak of the hinges. My stomach flip-flopped and my heart rate quickened as I stepped into the suite illuminated by a single dim light. The sheers and the cream colored, solid curtain behind them were pulled closed, shutting out the moonlight.

I couldn’t help wondering if that’d make it less or more creepier than it already was. I reached down and slipped my shoes off and dropped them quietly by the door. Next, I glanced left and right, hoping to see Gabe but thus far, there were no signs of him. I walked down three marble steps that opened into the living area and stood in the center of the floor. Looking down at the rug, I did a double-take at the shattered glass that once made up the top of a beautiful coffee table. I studied the blood that colored most of the pieces then screamed bloody murder when arms wrapped around me. I threw my elbow back and caught air just as Gabe spun me around and pinned my arms to my side. He twisted slightly and drew his knee up to block the blow he knew was coming, then yanked me forward before I was the next victim in the glass.

“Baby! Its-it’s me!” Gabe practically yelled over my screaming. He shook my shoulders gently then wrapped his arms around me.

“I said wait downstairs so why are you here?” he asked then leaned me back, shook his head and pulled me to him again.

I had several things I could say, yet, none of them came out. I’m not sure if my screams summoned the police, but the suite door banged the wall and heavy, booted feet could be heard running in. I was positive I heard guns being drawn. Gabe cupped my face in his hands then leaned his forehead against mine and closed his eyes leaving me with the impression he was going to kiss me then disappointing me when he didn’t. Knowing Gabe, this wasn’t a situation that constituted kissing.

“You make me so damn insane, Olivia. What if it hadn’t been me? What if there was a killer still in here? What if they came back for Madeline, because she got away? What if something happened to you?” he scolded. While Gabe held me against him, my mind procced his multitude of what ifs.

An officer was standing beside us now, listening to Gabe fussing at me. He had already holstered his weapon, deducing we were clearly not a threat nor killers. “Do you have any idea what happened here?” the man asked Gabe.

Gabe looked at me then back at the officer. “No,” Gabe said. The officer left to check the rest of the room.

“But I can speculate,” he mumbled for my ears alone.

I sighed knowing what that meant. “We’re writers, Gabe. We’ve written scenes far more in depth than this,” I informed him hotly.

“That’s fiction, Olivia. This is a sick and twisted reality, more so than the far regions of my mind. I don’t want you involved. I don’t want us involved and that’s why I told the officer I had no idea,” Gabe told me pointedly.

“Tough, I’m involved,” I informed him, not backing down.

“Not open for discussion,” Gabe scowled at me.

Another officer had joined us and chuckled as he listened to us going back and forth.

“Married?” he asked amused.

“You’d think that,” we both told him.

“You mean you’re not?” he asked in disbelief.

“All but. We’re dating…exclusively,” Gabe informed him then held my elbow and led me away from the coffee table, AKA, crime scene.

“Stop, Gabe. Stop. I can help,” I protested as he guided me up the three marble steps and to the front door.

“No, you can’t help. I don’t want you involved in this,” he informed me then kissed me and handed me the room key.

“What are you doing?” I demanded.

“I’m going to do a walk through with them since I was the first one here. You go to the room. Take some deep breaths, run a hot bath and I’ll be there in just a minute, baby. I promise. I’ll order room service, we’ll spend the rest of the evening in bed.”

I sighed and rolled my eyes. “Bribery will get you everywhere with me,” I told him.

He wrapped his arms around me and stepped closer. “Would it get me even closer if I told you how in love with you I am?” He kissed my neck and my jaw up to my lips. “I just want my baby to be safe? It’s not that I doubt your mad sleuthing skills. I’ve seen your writing, as we write together but, again, reality, love.” He kissed me then released me and stepped back closing the suite door and shutting me out.

I grumbled and stomped down the hallway and was almost to my suite when I heard what sounded like a crash coming from the elevator. I jumped and spun around then made a mad dash to the doors that opened on their own. I wasn’t sure what freaked me out more. The doors that opened on their own or the large, maroon suitcase in front of me that was leaking a massive amount of blood on the creamy white floor. Curiosity got the best of me. I stepped into the elevator, pushed the ceiling tile that had come down with the bag off, knelt and unzipped it. My hands flew to my mouth as I toppled backward out of the elevator and screamed Gabe’s name at the top of my lungs. I was crying and nearly inconsolable by the time he reached me along with seven armed officers. He turned my face into his shoulder and rubbed my back cursing under his breath the entire time.

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~~ BOOK TWO ~~

Gabe accepts an invitation from his old college roommate Mike after he calls and offers them a week at his Denver cabin. They were in need of a vacation from their heart-pounding getaway to Cancun Mexico where they barely survived after a fellow author and her estranged husband were found murdered at a writers convention. Who could resist a rustic cabin secluded from the world by the thick, ominously quiet woods of Colorado, where even the sound of footfalls would be silent? Like the swirling snowflakes, romantic bliss and their limbs entwined on a bearskin rug sprawled in front of a roaring fire awaits them, so does murder and mayhem which seems to follow Gabe and Olivia everywhere they go. A snowstorm rages while a killer stalks the cabins and the people in them. Can the two writers who just wanted an escape from reality put the pieces together before anyone else dies or goes missing?

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Author Showcase – CJ Matthew (Maximum Reboot: The Paladin Group, Book 3)

 

 ~~ NEWEST RELEASE ~~

Wes Parker craves danger and physical challenge…

A former Air Force Pararescueman, wounded in Afghanistan, Wes lives for his Paladin reboots and cringes when he’s confronted with jury duty. An attempt at jury tampering spirals out of control, Wes’s new reboot turns deadly, threatening him and those he’s sworn to keep safe. 

Izzy Monroe knows how to keep a secret…

Con artist/art consultant working for the FBI, Izzy is in the courtroom to ID the cartel drug lord she witnessed buying stolen art. When her criminal past catches up to her, Izzy needs help dodging multiple dangers, but Wes can’t protect her if she won’t share her deepest secrets. 

 

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Isabetta Monroe tugged the knit watch cap low over her eyebrows and slipped out of the twenty-third-floor hotel room. Face averted to avoid the security camera, she quickly covered the distance to the end of the hall and backed into the concrete stairwell. She untied the navy hoodie from her waist, slipped it on, zipped it closed, and stuffed her hat in the front pouch. With the hood covering her head and a good portion of her face, she turned, filled her lungs, and began the long trip down the steps.

By the twenty-first landing, she’d established a good speed and steady rhythm. A mischievous grin appeared. For the next twenty floors, Isabetta softly whistled a medley of Cole Porter tunes.

She hesitated just outside the hotel’s service entrance. The instant the cool night air of October in Atlanta touched her face, the hair on the back of her neck went up. Trained from childhood to respect her intuition, Isabetta spent several moments studying each shadowy corner. No one lurked.

She pulled her hat back on and moved past the loading dock. Still alert, she slowed at the corner of the building, stripped off the hoodie, and rolled it into a ball. She spotted the homeless woman sitting in the same spot as yesterday. Picking up speed and without breaking stride, Isabetta dropped the hoodie onto the woman’s lap.

On the sidewalk, Isabetta stuffed her hands into her jeans pockets and fingered the metal mailbox key that had been waiting for her at the hotel desk earlier tonight. No note, no explanation. Just the small key engraved with UPS and the number 347.

She kept her head down for several blocks, then glanced up and slowed as she approached the UPS Store. Isabetta shivered. Che cavolo. What the hell? She skidded to a stop, pivoted to face a clothing-store display window next door to UPS, and pretended to admire the slinky holiday dress on the mannequin while focusing on her reflection.

Isabetta used the ambient light to check behind her. Street traffic, parked cars, and a solitary pedestrian. For as far down both sides of the street as she could see, everything appeared normal. What was out of place here? What was she reacting to? A variety of minor things could send her antenna up, but it usually took an authentic threat to set off her internal alarm.

 

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Still risking their lives…The Paladin Group.

Ginger Odom has sworn to become self-reliant…Until she is arrested in a small town and framed for the murder of a police officer. Seems everyone in the community wants her behind bars, regardless of the truth, so her aunt enlists the help of the Paladin Group. A team of wounded former military men and women, now civilian lawyers and investigators, they rescue people in serious trouble.

Hale Peters is determined to ignore his knee injury…The former Air Force Pararescueman, wounded during a rocket attack on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, accepts his first reboot for Paladin. His mission—keep Ginger safe until he can prove her innocence—becomes a bigger challenge than expected when he and Ginger clash over who’s in charge.

The Devil Dogs just want to help…The group of older veterans steps up to assist, but when Ginger’s life is threatened by the real killer, Hale and Ginger need to work together if they hope to stay alive.

 

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Survival is still her #1 mission

Sara Gallagher escaped the memories of a painfully shy childhood and her hopeless crush on the boy next door by joining the USAF where Senior Airman Gallagher excelled as a SERE- Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape instructor. But when a training accident leaves Sara scarred and deaf in one ear, she returns home to join the Paladin Group.

Chris Braxton was Peachwood’s golden boy, a rookie major league pitcher, until a drunk driver shattered his shoulder and his dreams. Now entrepreneur Chris’ upscale sporting goods company is negotiating a nationwide expansion. Enroute to a crucial meeting, he overhears the details of a planned felony. When Chris and his family are threatened, he turns to the Paladin Group.

 

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CJ MATTHEW grew up in an Air Force family living all over the US and around the world. It proved to be the perfect experience for gathering ideas and material for future books. And for meeting real life heroes and heroines in uniforms and flight-suits. She spent her high school and university years in California, which inspired her love of marine life, and the Pacific Ocean.

As a young girl, she loved books and reading. Arriving at each new duty station, the Colonel’s eldest daughter’s first priority was to locate the base library and befriend the librarians.

As an adult, CJ divided her time between the joys of raising a son and a daughter and a career in medical sales, marketing, and medical practice management. Then in 2007, CJ began her romance novel writing career. Fascinated with vampires and shapeshifters, her first stories form a unique dolphin shapeshifter series based in Santa Barbara, California. According to CJ, a huge attraction to writing paranormal romance is the ability to do serious world-building and to set your own rules. CJ spent the next several years honing her craft, acquiring a literary agent, and continuing to write while the agent pitched the dolphins to NY publishers.

In spring of 2015, CJ gave up on New York. From August to October she self-published the first three of the Dolphin Shore Shifter series. In 2016 she released two additional dolphin books and debuted her romantic suspense series: Paladin Group. The Paladin books are set in a small southern town, and star wounded air force veterans, men and women warriors turned civilian lawyers and investigators determined to continue their rescue work.

In October of 2016, CJ is introducing A Major Seduction, book 1 of the Colonel’s Daughters contemporary romance quintet.

A member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and Kiss of Death, CJ lives and writes near a lake in the woods northeast of Atlanta. When she isn’t writing or reading romances, CJ spends time with her two grown children, their spouses, a brilliant grandson and a feisty cat named Max.

Schedule permitting, CJ loves to travel, to discover new favorite places as well as meeting new reader/friends in both the US and around the world. Her books have sold in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the UK.

Max flatly refuses to travel.

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Author Showcase – G.E. Stills (The Tiger’s Rage)

A magical night of sexual abandon turns into a nightmare for Marni. She passes out in the hotel room of a man she has just met while in the grip of a drug induced fog of sexual bliss. She wakes days later to learn the man has abducted her and taken her to another world. Marni soon discovers she has been changed dramatically in outward appearance, as well as internally. Her new life is filled with people who care deeply for her and those who would use her ruthlessly. **The Tiger’s Rage is filled with action, adventure, humor, and descriptive sexual encounters.** 

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Excerpt: for the 18+ reader: strong language, descriptive sex scenes and graphic violence.

 

He was just finishing breakfast in the cafeteria three weeks later when the watch on his arm vibrated its attention signal. He pressed one of the buttons on the side of it. The watch hands vanished to be replaced with a blank screen then a message began to scroll across it.

Come to the operating room, the words read. She is ready to be moved. Kara.

Komel took a final sip of his drink, dumped his tray and cup in the slot for soiled utensils located in the wall, then headed down the hall toward the operation room. Kara admitted him when he knocked on the door and after greeting her, Komel gazed down at Marni. The woman he viewed appeared a lot different than the one he had carried in this room. The IVs in her arms were gone and the straps on her limbs had been removed. Komel swallowed his anger. This wasn’t the first time he had witness the results of Kara’s surgical alterations to the women he brought here from Earth. Even so, each time left him with a feeling of disgust at seeing what had been done to them just to please the sick and twisted ideals of the emperor.

Kara had elongated the corners of Marni’s eyes and surgically applied permanent makeup to highlight them. The tip of her nose was black, and her lips were black traced with white. Colored sequins of red, orange and white were embedded between her elongated eye sockets and her temples in a spreading spray pattern. Three long black whiskers were attached above her upper lip on each side.

“Her whiskers look so real,” he said.

“They are real,” Kara said. “They’re even attached to her central nervous system and will provide sensory signals just like a real feline.” Proudly Kara pried one of Marni’s eyes open to reveal that they were still green, but the pupils were elongated into points at the top and bottom.

“Contacts?” he asked although he knew better.

“No, they’ve been surgically altered. When she is finished, she will resemble an Earth tiger as much as possible and still remain human. I realize tigers don’t have pointed pupils, hers are more like a domestic cat, but it goes with her enhanced nocturnal vision.”

Komel winced.

Kara brushed Marni’s hair back to show that the woman’s ears were long and pointed now. Komel’s gaze drifted downward and saw that Kara’s alterations hadn’t been restricted to Marni’s face. Her pubic patch was gone. A plastic ornament resembling two tiny plastic hands encircled her enlarged clitoris holding the covering hood back and making it always available for stimulation. Komel couldn’t resist grazing his hand over the smooth skin of her arm. Not a hint of the fine hair remained on them.

“The visible changes I’ve made to her appearance are small in comparison to what my medications have done inside her. These changes are still taking place. Her bone structure is being altered, lightened and yet strengthened, her lung capacity is increased, her heart is larger and more efficient. She has greater flexibility and strength than she ever had. She will never grow body hair again not even the follicles remain. The one exception is the hair on her head. Her night vision has been vastly improved to go with her feline shaped eyes.”

“And yet you say she is still human?”

“In many ways yes, but in others she is more than human. Pick her up we need to take her to another room to continue her transformation.”

Komel lifted her in his arms and a long tail brushed against his knees. He glanced at the naked woman he held and saw the tail originated where her human tailbone had been. He raised an eyebrow.

“The tail is real, just like her whiskers,” Kara said to answer his unspoken question.

Kara strode to the door and he followed carrying Marni. They paced down the hall and descended a flight of steps to another room. This room he was familiar with and disliked. It was a prisoner torture chamber.

“I hate this place,” he said.

“She will not be tortured. Attach her to that H railing so we can further prepare her.”

While seething inside, Komel attached restraints to Marni’s wrists and ankles so that she was suspended in a spread-eagle manor. A man, pushing a cart, joined them. He examined Marni top to bottom and front and rear, while touching her several times, but not in a sexual manor.

“This is a magnificent canvas to work with,” he said. “She will not come to?” he asked.

“She will not regain conscious until I administer medication to end her comatose state.”

“Then I’ll call you when she is done,” he said.

Komel climbed the steps with Kara.

“When the artist calls me, I’ll call you. When he is finished, her transformation will be almost complete.”

They separated and Komel went to perform his other duties. Late in the afternoon Kara sent him a text and he joined her in front of the door leading into the torture chamber. When they entered the room, he saw that a woman had joined the artist. Next, he looked at Marni and sucked in his breath. Her throat, most of her breasts, stomach, core and inner thighs were white. The rest of her, including most of her face and tail was orange with black strips. Her hair was snow-white and with her head tilted back the way it was, reached to her waist.

The artist was spraying a clear substance on her which he explained, “When this spray dries in a few minutes it will make the paint I have applied permanent. I think she looks beautiful, if I do say so myself. The hair extension my assistant has applied is also permanent without the application of the proper chemical.”

Kara walked around Marni inspecting her for any spots the artist had missed painting. “I feel certain his majesty will be pleased with her,” she told the man. “Dismissed.”

The artist and his assistant left the room. Kara shifted her attention to him while they waited for the glistening spray to dry. “She is a beautiful specimen. I hope you agree. Carry her to her room.”

Komel released Marni’s restraints and lifted her into his arms tenderly. He followed Kara to Marni’s room and after fitting his eye to the scanner to activate the locking mechanism, waited for Kara to open the door. She held it open then strode past him to turn down the bedding. He laid Marni on the bed and pulled up the sheet to cover her.

Kara took a large syringe from her pocket and plunged the needle in Marni’s arm. “In forty-eight hours she will wake and be ravenously hungry.”

“And madder than hell,” Komel added. “Look what has been done to her. I think I know her well enough to say she’ll tear things apart in rage.”

“I’ve thought of that. Give me your watch.”

He unstrapped it and handed it to Kara. She pressed buttons on the small keyboard entering a code. “The software I just uploaded allows you to control the implant I’ve installed in her. It does two things. If she displays any aggressive action, you can trigger it with the touch of this button.” She pointed it out on the keyboard. “It will suspend all of her motor functions except her heart and breathing for fifteen minutes. She will be incapable of moving. Her implant will also cause her body to release calming endorphins that will overcome aggressive thoughts. His majesty also has the ability to control her implant.”

“Lucky for his majesty. During the short time I’ve known her, I get the impression Marni is stubborn and has a fiery temper.”

 

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Normally zany and often naughty talking, G. E. has a serious and compassionate side if you can find it. He cares deeply for his friends and hasn’t met an animal yet he didn’t like. He is terrified of heights so hasn’t braved the tramway ride in his home town. He lives in the southwest while longing to live by the sea. He often says, “We have the sandy beaches but where is the water?”

He heeds the call of the many characters that pop into his mind and demand to have their stories put in print. Their tales are both serious and humorous. A multi-published author his stories cover many genres including contemporary romance, paranormal romance and science fiction. His stories are both erotic and non-erotic in nature. G.E. is the leader of a local writers group and in addition hosts a meeting of his own locally on fiction writing bi-monthly.

G.E. Stills loves to hear from his readers and can be contacted at any of these sites.

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Author Showcase – Rebecca Chastain (Madison Fox Urban Fantasy Series)

Reading Order

1. A Fistful of Evil

Madison Fox just learned that her ability to see souls is more than a sight: It’s a weapon for fighting evil. The only problem is she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing.

On the positive side, her money problems are over and her coworker is smoking hot. On the negative side, evil creatures now actively hunt her, and deadly experiences are becoming the norm.

When she thinks it couldn’t get worse, a powerful evil sets up shop at a local hotel’s video game convention, and it’s got its eye on more than the gaming geeks—it’s hungry for Madison’s soul. Madison needs to become an expert illuminant enforcer overnight to save her job, her region…and her life.

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2. A Fistful of Fire

 

Madison Fox survived her first week as California’s newest illuminant enforcer, but if her grumpy boss, Mr. Pitt, was impressed, he hasn’t told Madison. In fact, there’s a lot her boss has been closemouthed about, including the dark secret haunting his past.

But Madison’s problems are just igniting. Neighboring regions report an uncharacteristic flare-up of evil, fire-breathing salamanders blaze unchecked across the city, and Black Friday looms. Trapped doing cleanup amid mobs of holiday shoppers, Madison watches from the sidelines as dubious allies insinuate themselves in her region.

As suspicions kindle and the mysterious evil gains strength, Madison must determine who she can trust—and whose rules to follow—before her region and career go up in flames.

 

 

 

2.5 A Fistful of Flirtation 

Madison finally gets her date with Dr. Love—and if they had picked any other restaurant, she might have had a chance of enjoying it, too . . .

~~ NOTE TO READERS  (From Rebecca) ~~

If you have not read A Fistful of Evil and A Fistful of Fire, this novelette will include SPOILERS. Catch up on the series first so you don’t miss out! 

A Fistful of Flirtation will be available to readers who sign up for my VIP newsletter http://www.rebeccachastain.com/newsletter/

 

 

3. A Fistful of Frost

Madison’s job—and soul—are on thin ice.

Madison Fox is determined to reform Jamie, her half-evil pooka, but the bond linking her to Jamie works both ways. Already, it has manipulated her into bending the rules. If she continues down this path, she could doom her soul. Since her judgment can’t be trusted, a high-ranking inspector now dictates Madison’s every interaction with Jamie, and each directive drives them further apart. 

Unfortunately, Madison has bigger issues than the potential degradation of her soul. Winter has struck with a vengeance. Frost moths plague the entire state, reinforcing the artificially frigid temperature. Worse, cold-blooded, soul-stealing enemies are flocking into her region from the north—creatures Madison has little defense against. 

With the inspector scrutinizing her every misstep, Madison is in for the battle of her life. If she hopes to survive, she must make an impossible choice: save herself and her region or save Jamie.

An imaginative urban fantasy filled with heart, humor, and plenty of butt-kicking action—A Fistful of Frost is a book you won’t want to miss.

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I expected the inspector to look like an Army Ranger, tall, muscular, and radiating an “I could kill you if I wanted to” vibe. The woman who stepped from the car shattered my assumptions. Midfifties, petite, and pale, with a slash of bright auburn in her chin-length white-blond hair, Inspector Pamela Hennessey didn’t look authoritative until her assessing gaze landed on me. Then I fought not to squirm.

“Madison Fox and the pooka Jamie,” she said, not quite a greeting and not a question. It would have sounded rude if not delivered in her posh British accent. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”

“All good, I hope,” I quipped.

She eyed me up and down, giving me a noncommittal, “Mmm.”

My smile froze at the corners.

Rose climbed from the driver’s seat and shut the car door with more force than necessary. The Latina empath gave me a curt nod, as if we were strangers and not coworkers and friends. What the hell? I stopped pretending to smile. Jamie shifted closer, brushing his gloved hand against mine, worry crinkling his eyebrows as he read the tension of the group. I gave him a shoulder bump to reassure him, pretending to be relaxed. Pamela’s gaze snapped from our touching hands to our shoulders to our faces, and I fought the urge to leap away from Jamie as if I were doing something wrong.

“Give me a net and let’s get your purity test out of the way, Madison,” the inspector said.

“Pardon me?” Wasn’t a purity test a medieval way to judge a woman’s virginity? Not only had that ship long since sailed, but I also didn’t see how it would be relevant—or anyone’s business. I checked Brad’s neutral expression. Did details about my sex life fall under the impress her or don’t embarrass me category?

The inspector rounded on Brad, wispy-fine hair flaring on either side of her pink headband earmuffs. “She doesn’t know what a purity test is? You haven’t tested her once in the last five days?”

“Madison’s purity has never been in question.”

A warning frizzled down my spine at Brad’s bland tone. She’d put him on the defense. I glanced to Rose for a clue, but she only grimaced and looked away.

“Don’t let your recent victories make you arrogant, Brad,” Pamela said. “Of course her purity is in question. She’s bonded to a pooka.”

Aha! This wasn’t about virginity; this was about Jamie’s dual nature and the metaphysical bond he’d placed on me. I’d been warned—repeatedly—to be careful of Jamie’s darker half; more than one bonded enforcer had been corrupted by a pooka’s morally ambiguous influence. No one had mentioned purity tests.

“This is to see if Jamie has . . . changed me?” I asked, choosing my words carefully in deference to Jamie. Nothing in his expression said he took offense to the insinuation that our link might have tainted me. He saw nothing wrong with wielding atrum as readily as lux lucis, and if I failed a purity test, it’d probably make him happy.

“Changed you?” Pamela echoed. “No. I need to know if the pooka’s bond has sullied you.”

So much for being tactful. I peeked sideways at Jamie, but he hadn’t reacted, his gaze focused beyond Pamela on the people walking by.

“Is there a problem?” the inspector asked.

“No. Of course not, but, Inspector Hennessey—” I shot Brad a desperate look.

“Call me Pamela. Never Pam.”

“Got it. Um, Pamela—”

“She doesn’t know how to make a net,” Brad said for me.

“Why not?” Pamela demanded, spinning to confront my boss again, the hem of her wool coat flaring to reveal the calves of her pale leather boots.

“I haven’t had the luxury of instituting a methodical training regimen with Madison.”

“Mmm,” Pamela said.

I was starting to hate that noise.

“And if she encountered a frost moth?” she asked.

“She has a lighter.”

One I’d purchased this afternoon at Brad’s insistence. Shaped like a small blowtorch, with a trigger to ignite the flame, it was the fanciest lighter I’d ever owned. It also had the distinction of being the only lighter I’d ever purchased with the intention of using as a weapon—or at least I thought that was the plan. I pressed my lips together. Now wouldn’t be a good time to confess that after reading Val’s entry on sjel tyver, I’d completely forgotten to ask the handbook about frost moths—what they looked like, where to find them, or how to kill them.

“I can instruct Madison on nets now,” Brad offered.

The inspector shook her head. “Let’s get the inquisition out of the way.”

The what?

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REBECCA CHASTAIN is the USA Today bestselling author of the Madison Fox urban fantasy series and the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles fantasy trilogy, among other worksInside her novels, you’ll find spellbinding adventures packed with supernatural creatures, thrilling action, heartwarming characters (human and otherwise), and more than a little humor. Rebecca lives in Northern California with her charming husband and two bossy cats.

Website: http://www.rebeccachastain.com/
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Author Showcase – Laura Kaye (Ride Wild: A Raven Riders Novel)

Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders… 

Wild with grief over the death of his wife, Sam “Slider” Evans merely lives for his two sons. Nothing holds his interest anymore—not even riding his bike or his membership in the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. But that all changes when he hires a new babysitter.

Recently freed from a bad situation by the Ravens, Cora Campbell is determined to bury the past. When Slider offers her a nanny position, she accepts, needing the security and time to figure out what she wants from life. Cora adores his sweet boys, but never expected the red-hot attraction to their brooding, sexy father. If only he would notice her… 

Slider does see the beautiful, fun-loving woman he invited into his home. She makes him feeltoo much, and he both hates it and yearns for it. But when Cora witnesses something she shouldn’t have, the new lives they’ve only just discovered are threatened. Now Slider must claim—and protect—what’s his before it’s too late.

 

 

 

 

It was just the two of them. Standing nearly chest to chest in a downpour. Not speaking. Not moving. And Cora felt torn between the desire to hug him for coming after her and hit him for provoking the anxiety she managed to keep battened down tight ninety-nine percent of the time.

“I was a dick,” he said.

“Yep,” she agreed.

He stared at her for another long moment. “I’m kinda fucked up over here, Cora.”

Her lips almost twitched in humor, but she bit back the impulse, because those seven words were quite possibly the most honest, personal thing he’d said to her in three months of working for him. And it felt . . . important, like some wall had come down between them. Or, at least, started to. “I know, but on some level, aren’t we all?”

He didn’t answer, but what he did say still hit her square in the chest. “You’re the best thing that’s happened to my boys in years. I don’t want to mess that up for them. I’m sorry if I have.”

“You haven’t,” she said, shaking her head, rain catching on her eyelashes as she peered up at him. “But don’t do it again.”

Slider gave a single nod, then leaned forward, his face coming close and then pausing a hairsbreadth away. For a moment, Cora was sure he was going to kiss her, but then he grasped the handle and yanked opened the squeaking door. “Now get in.”

Shaking a little—from the chilly rain, she told herself—she climbed onto the old bench seat. The rain had plastered Slider’s T-shirt to his chest, giving her a pretty clear view of the lean, muscular frame beneath. And she found herself wondering what kissing him might’ve been like. How hard his body would be against hers. How far she’d have to tilt back her head to meet his mouth. How ticklish his whiskers would be against her lips.

The wondering made her shiver.

He slammed his door and frowned at her. “You okay?”

“I’m wet, cold, and irritated, but sure. I’m great,” she said defensively. Because she was still a little miffed at him for making her freak out—and for making her feel curious about kissing him.

Just a little curious. Hardly at all, really.

Damnit.

The corner of his mouth lifted. Not much, but the movement was there. And it made Cora stare. Because the change in his face, small and fleeting though it had been, made the corner of his eye crinkle a little, too. “Well, I think I can help with two of those,” he said, putting the truck in gear and swinging a hard U-turn.

“Wait, where are we going? The clubhouse is the other way.”

“Uh-huh,” he said, slanting her another glance. All the amusement was gone this time, though, and in its place was something intense she couldn’t name. “I’m taking you home.”

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New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller Laura Kaye is the author of over thirty books in romantic suspense and contemporary and erotic romance and has sold more than one million books in the U.S. alone. Among her many awards, she won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense of 2014 for Hard As You Can. A former college history professor, Laura grew up amid family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Laura also writes historical fiction under the name Laura Kamoie, also a Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today bestseller.

Laura is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Maryland Romance Writers, the Washington Romance Writers, and she is past president of the RWA-Contemporary Romance Writers.

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