Allison Merritt stops by with a hot demon sheriff and a Giveaway @allison_merritt

Please help me welcome the lovely Allison Merritt to the blog today. She was not only gracious enough to answer some questions, but she’s sharing her HOT! upcoming release, and giving away some goodies.

Peeps! We have a HOT DEMON SHERIFF :D Read on to find out more.

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Allison, thanks so much for stopping in with us. And for letting us delve into your mind. First, tell me about this hot demon. If the book became a movie, which celebrities would play the characters?

 If Wystan became a movie, I’d love to see Henry Cavill play him. Man, does he have the jawline and the muscles for being a badass demon-slaying hottie sheriff? Yes, yes, he does. And for Rhia, I’d like to pick Anne Hathaway. She’s so talented, and I think she’d really capture Rhia’s personality.

 I’ll just say YUM! at Henry Cavill and we can move on ;)

 What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?

 I got a late start on watching Game of Thrones, seriously, I’m just now on season two, but I’m so into this. It makes me want to write fantasy romance. I love movies. It’s not unusual for me to bring home a different DVD ever couple of days to watch. When I’m not on my bum, I like to walk and take photographs of nature.

 It has a great storyline, love the angst, LOL.

 What’s your favorite comfort food?

 Lemon meringue pie. I call it solid sunshine, because that’s what sunshine would taste like if you could get a mouthful—you know, if it was a thing you could taste and not get horribly burned when you ate it.

 What’s your favorite color? Do you decorate your space and/or dress in this color often?

 It’s blue. I have more blue shirts and a couple of dresses than normal. I told my husband not to let me buy any more blue clothes, but it just keeps happening somehow. It’s not my fault cute clothes come in blue. We should complain to the manufacturers.

 Yay for blue! the best color ever.

  If you could time-travel, where would you go and why?

 I have an awful hankering to meet Nikola Tesla. You know the guy invented a way to get electricity without using all that crap Edison did? I curse Edison every time I get an electric bill. Tesla seems like he was a really interesting man. Little is really known about him, but I’d sure like to talk to him.

 Why are manhole covers round?

 They were inspired by stroopwafels. Have you ever had one of those? They’re an amazing thin wafer cookie filled with caramel syrup. They’re fantastic with ice cream.

 Do you have any upcoming news you’d like to share?

 Just a couple of months ago, I submitted Eban (The Heckmasters, Book #2) to my editor and I’m pleased to announce it’s coming out in April 2015. I just got the cover. I promise, between that and the story, everyone will be blown away.

  

Fast Five:

 Coffee or Chocolate? Chocolate

 Jewelry: Precious gems or gold? Gems

 Beach or Mountains? Beach

 Early Morning or Late Night? Late night

 Fruit or Veggies? Fruit

 

About the Book:

 WystancoverTitle: Wystan (The Heckmasters)

Length: 228 pages

Pubisher: Samhain Publishing

Publication date: October 21, 2014
Buy links:

Samhain            Amazon          B&N          Google Books

 

Blurb:

Her search for safety lands her in a totally new kind of danger.

 The Heckmasters, Book 1

 Certain that an ad for a job in a small New Mexico Territory town is the answer to her prayers, Nebraska schoolteacher Rhia Duke packs her sister into a rickety wagon and heads west.

 Except when they reach the near-deserted town, she learns the truth. There is no job, no future, and no welcome in the bleak blue eyes of the handsome sheriff.

 The minute Rhia’s runaway team thunders into town, Wystan Heckmaster feels the change in the air. One of three sons of a demon who dared love a human, he keeps watch over a Pit guarded by seven seals, and slays any Hellbound demon that attempts to free the master imprisoned within.

 With a gut full of regret and a forgotten town filled with reformed demons, Wystan is certain of one thing: he can’t be the man Rhia needs. But when the truth behind Rhia’s flight from Nebraska comes to light, Wystan must open his soul—and pray there’s enough love between them to overcome the darkness rising from the Pit.

 Warning: Contains a take-no-prisoners sheriff, a woman who can’t outrun her supernatural secrets, and a dusty town where hope is as thin as dust in the wind. Author recommends keeping a glass of cool spring water at your elbow while reading.

 

Excerpt:

 Something changed in the air the moment the wagon crossed the town’s border. Too  early to be a supply train, and there was no way in hell it was visitors. Berner didn’t host  town fairs, theatre troupes, peddlers, or bible thumpers.

 Wystan Heckmaster slapped his battered Stetson on his head, collected the keys to the  jail, then stepped out the door. The first thing he saw was a pretty woman with hair the color of maple sugar—a rich brownish-blonde. The frown on her face spoke volumes, and the air around her pronounced trouble. She made a straight path for him.

 “Mr. Heckmaster. Or should I call you Sheriff? Or Mayor? I need to discuss the ad in the Lancaster County Republican with you. Someone placed an ad, but your brother tells me there is no school here. I’m sure there has to be a mistake. There’s only one Berner in New Mexico Territory. I’m very capable at reading maps. If I wasn’t, I would be ashamed to call myself a teacher.”

 He doubted she had taken more than two or three breaths during the speech. If she made talking in rambling paragraphs a habit, no wonder she looked so peaked.

“Teacher?” He glanced along the street, but it was deserted as usual. “Lady, we don’t have a school here. Certainly no need of a teacher.”

 Her hands balled into fists that settled on her hips. The dress she wore was patched—the egg yolk yellow faded into something even more disgusting. It had little flowers dotting the material, but they looked as worn as her scuffed black boots.

 “Then what was the purpose of placing an ad in the Lancaster County Republican?”

 She spoke with the fierceness of a mama bear warning predators away from her cubs.

 Wystan reached into his shirt pocket and drew out a toothpick. “I didn’t place any ad in any Lancaster County anything.” He looked past her, expecting Eban to saunter up the street. Eban had to be the brother she’d referred to since Tell was still on the trail.

 “Someone did,” she insisted. She fished a crumpled and much-folded piece of newsprint out of the pocket hidden by the folds of her skirt. “See? Right here it says, ‘School teacher wanted for spring term at Berner Schoolhouse. Wages paid based on experience. Room and board provided. Apply in person at City Hall, Berner, New Mexico Territory.’ I’m sure my eyes don’t deceive me.”

 Wystan stared at the clipping, then back at the woman. A galaxy of freckles spattered across her nose and cheekbones, making her look younger than her eyes said she was. Full figured and sure as shittin’ a grown woman. The wariness and worry darkening her hazel eyes gave her away as one with a lot of trouble on her plate.

 “I can read.”

 She pulled the ad away from his face, folded it, and returned it to her pocket. “Where would you suggest I look for an explanation, Mr. Heckmaster?”

 Fussy little thing. “I assure you that no one in this town did. There’s been a mistake. Sorry to inconvenience you, Miss Schoolteacher. Now turn around and head home.”

 A flush colored her cheeks. “I can’t head home! I have no home to return to. My little sister and my friend are waiting at the doctor’s office for me to straighten this mess out. The ad says that room and board will be provided. I’d expected to move into a room, sir.”

 “You left them with Eban?” That explained his absence.

 “Beryl is ill, Sheriff. This is the first town we’ve seen in days and it was past time for her to get some attention.” Despair crept into her voice.

 Wystan shifted his weight and transferred the toothpick to the other side of his mouth. “Eban’s not exactly trained in human medicine.”

 The woman’s mouth opened into an O. She shook her head and seemed to regain her senses. “He’s a veterinarian? He seemed certain he could help Beryl.”

 Wystan cleared his throat. “Sure, animal doctor. I’m sorry for your misfortune, lady, but as you can see, Berner’s about run into the ground. There’s nothing here for you or your friend. Might be best to move along.”

 She seemed to deflate. “Move along.” Her lips moved, softly forming the words, but it was as though she didn’t comprehend them. “We’ll move along, right down the trail into the next town where there won’t be any teaching jobs either. Sylvie, Beryl, and I will starve to death on the side of the road with no one in the world to care.”

 

Buy links:

Samhain            Amazon          B&N          Google Books

Click on the link for the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the Author:

10624850_848959491804943_4194715946300646117_nA love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she’s not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.

 Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that’s gathering dust after it was determined that she’s better at writing fluff than hard news.

 

Social media links:

Blog – http://havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com

Facebook – http://facebook.com/allisonmwrites

Twitter – http://twitter.com/allison_merritt

G+ – http://gplus.to/allisonmerritt

Goodreads – http://goodreads.com/AllisonMWrites

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/allisonmwrites/

Hot Days, Hotter Nights with a new Kindle, free books and great authors @AmberKallyn #BlogHop #Giveaways

Hot Days Hotter Nights Banner Aug2014

Hot Days and Hotter Nights


Hot days… yup, with temperatures usually around 110 degrees, I got that.

Hotter nights? Let’s see if I can make you grab a fan :D

Enjoy the excerpt from Burned (Dragos book 1), grab the book for FREE at any e-tailer, and enter my personal giveaway below.

The hop runs from 9 a.m. PST Thursday, August 14, through Sunday midnight PST, August 17.

Burned_Drago1_Kindle_Apple_Smashwords_BN Burned (Dragos #1)

Get if FREE from  Amazon   B&N/Nook   iBooks/Apple   GooglePlay   Kobo   ARE

 What happens when a dragon falls in love with a fireman? Someone’s bound to get… Burned.

 When Calla, a dragon shifter, heads to a sleepy mountain town to investigate their recent arson outbreak, she doesn’t expect to come face to face with the dark dragon who killed her mother, or find her destined mate beneath the burning rays of the moon.

 Firefighter Scott O’Neil can’t fight his attraction to her, even after he finds out what she is, and the shocking secret of his own past.

 5 Cherries by Whipped Cream Erotic Romance
“intense and incendiary…I recommend this for all of the dragon lovers out there…”

 4.5 Blue Ribbons by Romance Junkies
“Kallyn’s take on dragon shifters and mating is enthralling.  Her writing is vivid so that it’s easy for the reader to visualize each scene throughout the story as they take place.  From the scorching hot sex scenes to the incredible dragon fight scenes and even the heartrending scenes…”

 

Excerpt (R+)

Scott stared at Calla’s upturned face. Her eyelids were partially closed and a fine sheen of sweat dotted her forehead. He wasn’t sure he really saw a flash of reddish-purple encircling her enlarged pupils.

Her strawberry lips parted, her breathing turning into gasping pants. Sexuality rolled from her in waves. His body tensed, muscles tightening as his cock hardened.

His hand on her arm twitched as her skin became hot. Burning. “Are you all right?” Scott tried to let go, but their skin seemed fused.

Fire and lightning, a mix of pain and rampant lust, spread through his body, sending every nerve zinging. He pictured plunging into the wet heat of this woman.

She whimpered, her breathing fast, and plastered her soft, curvy body to his, rubbing against him like a cat.

Her hands roamed his sides. Her breasts pushed at his chest, nipples hard peaks. It took all his control not to drag her to the ground and fuck her.

He tried to think. To control the rampaging lust stomping all over the word caution. Everything else disappeared–the sounds of the band inside the bar, of the insects in the forest–until only the two of them remained. His skin heated where her soft hands ran over his chest, down his thighs, up his hips. His cock pounded every time she came close, but the woman teasingly stayed away from his crotch.

Her nails finally traced the bulge straining at his jeans. Suddenly, he was able to let go of her arm. Scott fought to step back from the flushed woman who’d changed from a queen of ice to a fire nymph.

“What–” he began.

“Love me,” she whispered, her voice husky, raw. She grabbed two fistfuls of his hair and yanked his head down.

Her soft, warm lips pressed to his. He groaned as the object of his fantasies freely offered herself to him. Her tongue slid into his mouth, tracing his teeth. He pushed back, kissing her with barely restrained passion. She nipped his tongue, drawing it out and sucking.

Her taste, a combination of Smokey’s whiskey-beer and vanilla, filled him, stoking his desire. Her scent, cherries, curled into his nostrils with every heavy breath he took.

Control almost shot, Scott’s cock strained against his jeans. He wanted to rip their clothes away and plunge into her heat. Her lithe body bumped against him, her legs sliding between his as she rubbed along his pulsing cock.

It wasn’t every day a beautiful woman threw herself at him. Just how much had she drank? The thought helped him to find some tiny bit of control. It took every last ounce he could summon, but Scott grabbed her shoulders and pushed her back a little. “Honey, wait. I don’t want to take advantage of you.”

She growled deep in her throat and fisted her hands in his T-shirt, then ripped it down the front.

 Burned (Dragos #1)

Get if FREE from  Amazon   B&N/Nook   iBooks/Apple   GooglePlay   Kobo   ARE

 

GIVEAWAY

My personal giveaway is easy.  Random.org will select two commenters to win a $5 Amazon or Starbucks gift card (winner’s choice). Winners will be announced Monday, August 18th.

I’m looking for some awesome, sexy books to add to my reading list.

In the comments below, tell me who your favorite Book (or movie) Boyfriend is :)

Don’t forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner. Good luck and I hope you enjoy the hop!

 

To enter for the Grand Prizes, please fill out our RaffleCopter form

And don’t forget to check out all the participating authors :) There are a ton of great smexy authors sharing bit of work and lots of prizes!

Powered by Linky Tools  Click here

What Type of Dragon Are You? #Dragons

I found something AWESOME!

If you know me, you know I LOVE dragons. Dragon anything! (How to Train Your Dragon 2 was great, by the way :D )

On Facebook, there are a ton of annoying quizzes. Which popsicle are you, what’s your color, yadda yadda. But this one I couldn’t resist.

My results:

 

Pyrodermoid

 

Pyrodermoid (Fire-Skin Dragon) is a Pterian Biped (wings, two legs). This species of dragon might sound familiar; they, “have a nasty habit of lighting themselves on fire”. Ring a bell? No? Well, no fear. A Pyrodermoid is a passionate, sometimes wild, creature. If you are a Pyrodermoid, you may wear your feelings on the outside. You can be a little over-aggressive if someone shows threat to a friend, family member, or even one of your ideals/ opinions. Your soul is untamable, like a fire.

It fits me well, LOL.

SO, Q4U: What type of dragon are you?

Find out by taking this quiz: http://www.playbuzz.com/kattw10/what-type-of-dragon-are-you

 

Shadow’s Moon Cover Reveal by @jamigrayauthor

Shadow’s Moon is an excellent addition to the Kyn Kronicles series. Gray is really coming into her own…I couldn’t put it down once I picked it up. It held my interest from beginning to end.” – Taylor Jones, Black Opal Reviewer

“Shadow’s Moon is riveting. I was caught up in it from the very first word, and I simply could not put it down. I read right through to the end, finishing at 4 in the morning. I can’t wait for the next one in the series. Gray has turned into a first class author of paranormal thrillers.” – Regan Murphy, Black Opal Reviewer

JamiGray_ShadowsMoon1400

SHADOW’S MOON: BOOK 3 OF THE KYN KRONICLES, 2013 Golden Claddaugh Finalist

Even a wild heart can be broken…

A blonde, a brunette and a monster walk into a bar and all hell breaks loose.

It should have been the start of a bad joke, but days from a full moon Xander Cade, Tracker for the Northwest Motoki Pack, finds nothing funny about confronting an enraged Shifter in a crowded Portland nightclub filled with unsuspecting humans. The resulting carnage frays an already thin veil of secrecy shielding the supernatural Kyn community from public scrutiny, and ensures she can’t escape the one man she’s been determined to avoid, her Alpha and mate, Warrick Vidis. Dominating, protective and compelling, Warrick threatens her individuality like no other.

As the Northwest Alpha wolf, compromise isn’t in Warrick Vidis’s vocabulary, but when his reluctant mate, Xander Cade, refuses to leave off the hunt for a killer, he has no qualms using whoever or whatever necessary to protect her or his pack. A series of unusual deaths involving lone wolves, along with anonymous threats against him and his Pack, begin to jeopardize his normal steely control. Add in Xander’s continual reluctance to fully accept their Soul bond, and the line between intellect and instinct begins to blur, leaving him wondering if one woman’s love and acceptance will be enough to save both man and wolf.

As the danger escalates, threatening not just their Pack but those closest to them, Warrick and Xander must find a way to trust each other and accept their rare bond or risk losing everything-their pack, their friends and each other.

 

Now available in eBook and Print at: AMAZON / BARNES AND NOBLE / BLACK OPAL BOOKS / ARe / SMASHWORDS / iBOOKS

READ AN EXCERPT

Silence descended between her and Warrick, stretching until it played along her nerves. Slowly, like a door creaking open, he began to loosen his end of the bond. Her wolf began to settle as it sensed his. He studied her, and she could see both the wolf and man looking back. He reached out, but she stepped out of the way and caught a fleeting sense of hurt and confusion. But she couldn’t allow his touch to weaken her resolve.

“Why are you running scared?” His question was stiff.

“Let me ask you something,” she said. When he gave a short nod, she continued. “Why did you bond us?”

“You were dying.” His voice was gruff, almost angry. “I—we need you.”

Need, not love. His choice of words scraped over her heart. “Need?” she asked around the tightness of her chest.

“If we lost you, the pack would be devastated.”
“What about you, Warrick?” she whispered.

“An alpha can’t have a weakness, Xander,” he said, searing her with the brutal truth.

“So you consider a mate a weakness?” Oh, this was just getting better and better. Why had she thought she could make this relation- ship work?

“Did you forget what happened with Chavez?” he gritted out, rubbing the heel of his hand over his chest.

His movement had her realizing she was projecting her pain through their bond. Furious with herself, and with him, she reeled in her emotions. “Chavez’s mate was crazy.”

“He covered for her because he loved her, and now his pack is in upheaval.”

She wanted to punch him. The urge was so powerful, she had to curl her hands into the leather of her bike’s seat behind her. “So it’s not a mate that you consider a weakness, but the emotion behind it?” she pushed.

“No,” he growled. “You should never give an alpha wolf someone of his own.”

Confusion momentarily overrode her anger. “Why?”

His lips thinned and his jaw tightened. “An alpha is the ultimate protector. Protection of our packs is a natural directive. We will do whatever is needed to protect what is ours. Even if they don’t want to be protected.”

“Even a mate?” She kept her tone careful as she began to get an inkling as to why he was so damned determined to keep his heart out of her reach.

“To protect a mate some would burn the world,” Warrick answered. “Even at the expense of our pack. Chavez is proof of that.”

“Warrick—” she started.

He snarled and ran a hand through his hair in obvious frustration. “My wolf recognizes you as our mate.” Possessiveness stormed down their bond confirming his words.

Mate. A deep thrill hummed through her at his claim, but her heart ached because there was more to it. Dreading his answer, she asked, “And the man?”

“Is torn.” His face was grim. “Claiming you protects and strengthens the pack, but increases the danger to you.” His and me was left unsaid.

“You think you can claim me, but keep me at arm’s length? As if that will somehow keep me safe?”

He didn’t answer, but she could feel the belief in his screwed up logic. She and her wolf took exception to his assumption, and there was no stifling her growl. “I don’t need you to keep me safe, Warrick. I need you to accept me for who I am.”

Feminine fury rose and burned against his male arrogance. Her challenge was the last straw. She practically heard his control break. Swearing, he trapped her between his body and the bike before she could blink.

Being caged brought her wolf snarling to the forefront. Claws broke through and she swiped out, leaving thin bloody lines across one cheek before he captured her hands in his. He snarled back and took her lips with savage intensity. Ravaging her mouth, he took sharp bites of her lower lip before laving the stings with his tongue.

 

 

Available in eBook and Print now at: AMAZON / BARNES AND NOBLE / BLACK OPAL BOOKS / ARe / SMASHWORDS / iBOOKS

 

Jami Gray Small

Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. Her latest release, SHADOW’S MOON was a Golden Claddaugh Finalist, and the first in her newest series, HUNTED BY THE PAST, hits shelves in July 2014. She is surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and a male lab, who masquerades as a floor rug as she plays with the voices in her head.

Come stalk Jami at any of these fine locations:

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Google+ / Amazon

 

New Release ~ Demonstorm (HoaV #6) is here! #Vampires #romance #Ebooks

DemonStorm_Kindle Demonstorm, Heart of a Vampire, Book #6 by Amber Kallyn

 Release Date: April 13, 2014

Available at      Amazon     B&N/Nook     Google Play

(Other retailers coming soon)

Amazingly Awesome cover art by Dawné Dominique

Blurb

A vampire demon half-breed must save the only woman able to mend his soul.

Half-demon, half-vampire, Sean MacDougal is an outcast, unwelcome by all. When the Arcaine world finds out a war is brewing that will affect all paranormal creatures, Sean is the only one who can find the demoness who holds desperately needed answers.

Used for centuries as the pet Seer of the demon who destroyed her family, Mayah is rescued by a strange half-breed who asks, rather than demands, her assistance. Unable to trust, she pretends to agree, but only if he helps rescue her brother, held prisoner deep in the frozen wilds of Alaska.

Becoming a protector fulfills an emptiness within Sean he never knew existed. Being protected makes Mayah feel safe for the first time in centuries. Hunted by an entire demon army, led by the one who wants Mayah back, they must learn to trust in themselves, in one another and in the emotions sparking between them–no matter how hard they try to resist.

Excerpt

Chapter One

 The Judgment Hall of the castle hummed as it filled with a variety of Arcaine creatures. Jordan, King of the local vampire clan, stood at the front, his arms crossed as he glowered at anybody who got too loud. A cell phone rang out–some hip-hop song–and the King’s glare turned sharp. A young vampire slid deeper into his seat, hastily fumbling to silence the noise.

The long rows of wooden benches overflowed, yet more Arcaine were still arriving.

Whispers said a war was coming. One that threatened to fracture the paranormal world.

Unfortunately, that was all they knew about the darkness drawing near.

Jordan, a newly found cousin, had invited creatures from all over Arizona and the southwest to his historical castle that was hidden from mortals. Together, they would discuss what steps to take to gather more information.

Sean MacDougal stood in the shadows against the wall at the back. Few clan vampires gave him a second glance, used to ignoring him. Outsiders though, had differing opinions on allowing a demon vampire half-breed like Sean to live, much less listen to a conversation regarding such delicate discussions.

A group of Fey, tall and unnaturally beautiful, glided into the cavernous Hall. As one, they stopped, turning their eerie gazes toward Sean. They knew what he was, by the scent of his power, as well as his strange eyes–light gray irises surrounded by a thin band of vampire red, and a second ring of the purest demon black

Sean straightened, ready for whatever was about to come.

One man, at the back of the group, drew a sword as he shouted, “Demon half-breed.” He lunged for Sean.

Pulling one of the thin but deadly katanas from the sheaths across his back, Sean met the Fey’s swing. Swords clashed, ringing out in an echo of magical metal. Blue and red sparks danced above the blades.

“You dare draw a weapon while given sanctuary?” Jordan’s yell boomed through the room, making everyone freeze. Intoned with over a thousand years of power, the man could make others quake with a mere glance, much less his reverberating voice.

Jordan’s wife, Dalia, slid between Sean and the Fey man, pushing their blades down. “Come, now. We’re here to work together.”

The Fey literally trembled with the need to continue his attack. “Abomination,” he growled. Turning to glance over the room, he added, “Everyone knows the law of the Council. Half-breeds are to be killed on sight.”

Dalia hummed lightly under her breath. Her strange Omega magic could bring the feeling of peacefulness to any Arcaine. “This one is an exception,” she replied sweetly, brushing back a lock of pink-streaked blonde hair from her face.

The Fey man’s eyes widened. “Not possible. The Council doesn’t make exceptions for his kind.”

“I can take care of this, Dalia,” Sean said exasperated, his voice laced with barely contained anger. Then his heart sank as he caught sight of the man storming toward them.

Connor Gregory stepped in front of Sean, pushing the Fey man hard enough to send him stumbling.

“I am the Council’s representative here.” Connor bowed slightly, lips turned up in a smirk. His deliberate flash of fangs contained deadly intent. “He is under my protection. Spread the word.”

The Fey’s sword arm shook as he faced a Judge.

Appointed by the Magic Council, Judges were recruited from the strongest, most powerful of all Arcaine and given the power to be not only judge and jury, but executioner as well.

Staring at the back of Connor’s head, all Sean could think about was smashing the flat of his sword against that skull. Knocking some sense into the man must surely prove he could take care of himself.

“Any questions?” Connor turned, his gaze piercing the entire room. Guests and clan vamps alike flinched, many sitting lower in their seats to avoid his glare.

When there was no answer, Connor waved his hand for the meeting to progress. After a long moment, conversations resumed. Connor leaned against the wall next to Sean.

“I could have taken care of it,” Sean mumbled, trying to ignore the fiery blaze of resentment as he shoved his fingers through his short, dark hair.

“Aye, son. Perhaps.”

The constant lack of confidence scratched at his already raw temper. So did the fearful glances from some around the room–not at the vampire Judge, but at Sean and his mixed blood. He barely contained a low growl.

It was bad enough anyone who saw him immediately realized what he was. They either ran away in fear that he must be possessed by a crazed bloodlust, or attempted to take his head per Council law. None could concentrate on the part of him that was vampire–they only saw the certain looming destruction by his demon half.

It was driving him insane to have everyone here continue to coddle him as if he wasn’t a nearly thousand years old. Soon he would be overcome by a bloodlust like they feared. Not because of his demon nature, but from his overprotective parents.

His mother, Ashlyn, swooped in, shooting glares at the group of Fey as they moved off. She patted his cheek. “Are you all right? I’ll teach those jerks to threaten you.”

Sean sighed, shaking his head at the uselessness of it all. She refused to think of him as anything more than a child, as if they hadn’t been on the run for centuries, protecting each other. He hadn’t failed her. Yet since finding their family and a home with this clan, as well as his father, she was more overprotective than ever. As if she was trying to compensate for the rough struggle of the past, or something.

Ashlyn sidled to Connor, placing a chaste kiss on his cheek. When she met his gaze, her eyes smoldered with such intense love, it nearly took Sean’s breath away.

And Connor, his father, looked at her with the same emotion.

Sean scooted away, uncomfortable.

He didn’t begrudge his mother her happiness. Didn’t even feel resentment anymore at his recently found father. He was truly happy they’d rekindled their love. His mother deserved it.

But he chafed at the chains of protection both his parents wanted to shackle him with.

A group of younger vampires sitting a few yards away laughed loudly. He caught a few whispers, glances his way.

How could he ever prove himself worthy of the clan no one ever let him?

Oh, sure. He was a master sword-fighter. Long swords, short, he was proficient with them all. His father had recently taught him the joys of using a katana. Sean now wore a matching pair of the thin, yet deadly, Japanese swords strapped across his back. Designed by an ancient sword master, the blades were not only unbreakable, but imbued with magics.

Every Arcaine was needed in this time of uncertain trouble, but even with all his skills, no one would give him a chance.

The huge doors slammed open and a short, old crone strode in. Stringy white hair fluttered around her deeply lined face.

Some in the room hushed, bowing their heads as the old woman walked by. Others seemed to freeze. The power roiling off her hit Sean. He took a half step forward, undeniably drawn to her magic.

She stopped, smiling kindly, before continuing to the front of the room.

The King and all those arguing with him fell silent as they took a few steps back, making way for the woman.

When she spoke, her voice was impossibly strong. Full of immense magic, more powerful than Sean had ever felt before. “All must leave but those who be in charge, and the few on this list.” She drew out a sheet of paper and gave it to Jordan.

“Connor, Ashlyn, stay.” The king read the rest of the list of those the woman wanted to remain, then he hesitated, sending the crone a sharp glance.

“Aye. I want the man,” she said.

“Sean,” Jordan finally stated, looking up briefly.

Ashlyn opened her mouth to speak, but Connor shushed her. Surprise coursed through Sean as he slowly made his way to the front of the room.

The other leaders began to grumble, but a quick glance from the old woman quieted them. Great. Yet another person trying to keep him “safe”.

Jordan repeated her edict to the lingering crowd, “You heard her. Out.”

Vamps and other creatures began filing out, most avoided looking Sean’s way. When everyone was gone save for the large group who had been on her list and the leaders of each type of Arcaine creatures present, the doors were closed and barred.

The woman pulled a long, black cloth from a hidden pocket and laid it over the seat of Jordan’s throne. From another pocket she drew out a silver cup. Something clattered inside as she shook it, then dumped the contents on the cloth.

Small bones tumbled over one another, only to stop prematurely, as if guided by magic rather than gravity.

The woman didn’t look at the bones, but rather the crowd around her. “Most of ye know me. Some call me Jezamine. Others call me witch, seer, prophetess. Call me what ye will, no mind to me. But I have seen the next step needed if we not be dyin’ in this comin’ darkness.”

Niki, one of Jordan’s vampires, held her husband’s hand. Shane, the local sheriff and Keeper of the Peace between the Arcaine, stared at the bones scattered over the throne as if entranced.

Dalia twirled her pink and blonde hair as she stepped closer to the throne, peering at the bones. “What do you see?” she asked.

“There be one we need.” Jezamine glanced up sharply, staring at each person. Then her gaze landed on Sean. And stayed.

He looked into the crone’s black eyes, feeling as if he was falling into endless depths.

“Demon,” she said.

He was unable to shake his head, or move in any way, as he attempted to deny her words. “Only half.”

She shrugged and with a smirk, stated, “Close enough.”

She finally looked away, leaving him feeling as if she hadn’t been looking at him, but rather into him. “It be a demoness we need. She can see the future, knows about the slimy darkness comin’ over us all.”

Jordan stood straighter. “We’ll gather our best men–”

“Nay,” the crone interrupted. “Ye’re men are no match for this task. No match for the deadly poison in demon claws. Not for her, either.”

Before Sean noticed her moving, Jezamine stood before him. She slid one long, sharp nail beneath his chin and raised his head. Once more he fell into her gaze. She blinked and glanced away before he could try to break free.

The crone stared at his mother. “You coddle this one like he be child. Do ye not see the man?”

Ashlyn opened her mouth, then closed it without a sound.

Jezamine nodded to Jordan. “This one. He be immune to such poisons, and so much more,” she stated cryptically. “He must go. Retrieve the one who can be our help. And he must go alone.”

The room erupted in anger, those not his clan shouting about his tainted blood, how a half-breed could never be trusted.

Sean caught his father’s assessing stare. There was not only a surprising confidence in Connor’s gaze, but approval as well. His mother, however, looked like she was about to cry.

Standing tall, Sean faced Jezamine. “Thank you,” he said softly.

“It not be easy,” she warned. “But ye have it in ye to succeed.” She smiled beautifully, and for a split second, he glimpsed the shadow of a much younger woman shining from her gaze. “Succeed in many ways, if ye choose,” she chortled.

“We’ll get you prepared, packed–” Connor began.

“He must leave tonight.” Jezamine pulled out a notebook, stuffed with papers and all sorts of strange items, from yet another hidden pocket and handed them to Sean. “Trust yerself. That be yer key.”

 

***

 

The overpowering stench of decay in the cavernous dining hall made Mayah’s stomach churn. The sight of demons and a myriad of Arcaine creatures sitting at the long rows of wooden tables and piggishly shoveling food into their maws made bile rise to burn the back of her throat. Raucous laughter filled the air, grating, making her temples throb with a headache.

Someone tossed a cup onto a table and the eighteenth fight of the six-hour long feast broke out. A dog-faced demon wrestled some sort of rock creature across the floor.

Sitting beside her, Brüs laughed as he banged his golden chalice in front of him, shouting, “More!”

Mayah rubbed the chaffed skin beneath the leather collar at her throat, careful not to prick her skin on any of the sharp spikes of specially created iron. The metal, mixed with numerous things debilitating to any demon, would send her reeling from even a small cut. Poison would seep through her blood, taking inestimable time before her body could neutralize it.

Minutes later, the rock creature lay sprawled against a wall, unconscious, bloody and ignored. The dog demon sat back down and continued eating, those around him slapping his back with hearty congratulations.

Unfortunately, that meant Brüs was no longer entertained.

As the last “dancer” was claimed by one of his guests to attend their needs, Brüs grasped the iron chain connected to Mayah’s collar.

He jerked her close enough that she nearly vomited at the rotting stink of his fetid breath.

She glanced up at Brüs, brushing back her many colored braids, ranging from white-blonde to the deep red of blood. It was hard, but she swallowed the nausea and forced all emotion from her face, giving him only a pleasant, if blank, expression.

“You. Dance,” he commanded.

Calming the quick flash of anger, she smiled sweetly. “I didn’t realize I’d been forced down here tonight to be entertainment for you and your men.”

He scowled, taking a minute to process her words, in a near-drunken haze from the demon brew he’d been gulping down by the barrel. His pitted, scarred face remained tinged by the gray that proclaimed him an Abatu demon–one who thrived on destruction and death–rather than flushed red like some of his completely drunk companions.

“You ain’t fulfilling any other duties. When’s the last time you had a prophecy for me like a good demoness?”

She bowed her head, long used to showing a submissive pose while not cutting herself on the spiked collar. Her many-colored braids fell over her face, helping to hide her raging emotions until she could control them once more. “Truly, it grieves me to be feeling so sickly of late. But if you wish me to use my last bit of health to dance for you, I shall certainly do so.”

He grumbled, but allowed the end of the chain to slip from his grasp.

Mayah leaned back, keeping her gaze down and her fisted hands hidden in her lap, out of fear this might be the time her anger escaped.

After a few calming breaths, she risked a glance up from beneath her lashes. Her blood cooled at the calculating glint in his black eyes, as if he wasn’t nearly as drunk as he made out.

“If I don’t get a prophecy soon, perhaps I’ll allow you to join the dancers. Permanently,” he stated.

She hid the shiver that oozed down her spine, knowing exactly what he implied. Only her status as Seer and Prophetess saved her from being mauled in the beds of his guests.

The thought of fulfilling that role, when even some of the pure blooded Succubi demonesses didn’t always survive the night, snapped a tight band of bleakness around her heart.

“Of course, perhaps you may still have some usefulness after all. Can’t allow some brute to take your virginity and your powers along with it.” He sat back in his throne, rubbing his chin as he added his ultimate threat. “Maybe instead, the punishment should go to your brother. I could visit my other castle and see him. Listen to his delightful screams. Think that might reawaken your Sight?”

“No, Sire,” she whispered, struggling to remain outwardly impassive, even as a hopeless, white-hot anger filled her soul. “I shall try harder to find your future. I swear.”

“Make it soon, or your precious kin will feel my wrath.”

“Yes, Sire.”

“Good.” He turned back to his slop, but she noticed the watchful gaze he kept on the crowd.

And on her.

She picked at the fruit on her plate, not bothering to pretend to eat.

Her mind spun. If she didn’t share her recent visions, her future would become even more uncertain than it currently was as the slave of this Abatu demon. He wasn’t just a prince of their hellish realm, but one of the most powerful warriors she’d ever seen.

Lately, he’d been working for a darkness that was easily creeping over everything with a nefarious plot of its own.

Another war was brewing, like those of the long distant past.

Only this time, her visions made her fear this war might be the one to end all of the Arcaine, and all of humanity–not just on earth, but in all realms, including her home.

Not many could face Brüs and survive. But this darkness scared her more than he ever could.

***

Available at Amazon B&N/Nook Google Play

Hope you enjoy :D

Amber

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas! #ebook #sale #vampires and #romance

Present Stock Photo

Another year. Another birthday.

Ask my kids, Mom is 24 years old… again :D

This year, I’m happy to give all of you a present as a way of saying thank you for all your support this year. Personally, I think I have The Best! readers. You all rock! So, as a Happy Birthday, for a limited time, you can get three of my books for only 99 cents, total!

Heart of a Vampire, Bundle (Books 1-3)

by Amber Kallyn

HeartofaVampire_Bundle_LRG If you’re interested, you can get a copy at this sale price at

Amazon     B&N/Nook     Apple

***On Sale for 99 cents for a limited time***

***This is a book bundle of the Heart of a Vampire series, Books 1-3

Book 1 – Bloodstorm

(Available Free on all Etailers)

When duty forces a shaman to stop a vampire from her revenge, love doesn’t just burn… it bites.

For two hundred years, Niki DeVeraux has been tracking the monster who murdered her family and made her a vampire. She finally catches up to him only to face more than she bargained for in a too-sexy sheriff who makes her remember she’s still a woman. With duties as Keeper of the peace and Sheriff, Shane Spencer must protect humanity and stop the friction between the local Arcaine races before it turns into an all out blood war.

When wolves start turning up dead, the tension between the races grows and suspicion falls on Niki. Shane knows she’s not to blame, and it has nothing to do with the primal urges she stirs within him. Working together, they must stop the hostilities from going over the edge. Trouble is, the desires raging between them might prove more dangerous than the surrounding threats.

Book 2 - Hungerstorm

After centuries alone, can a vampire king trust the woman who’s woken his heart?

Jordan MacDougal, laird and King of his vampire clan, walks a thin line of civility between his clan and the local shifter pack. When his vampires began to disappear and the wolves accuse the intriguing woman who’s touched his heart of being evil, he discovers that the traitor in his midst may be closer than he thinks.

A newly turned vampire, Dalia Jensen wakes to an unusual and frightening new world with no memory of the past year of her life. Accused of working with the Master Vampire who held her prisoner, her inability to remember the truth leaves her reeling under the allegations of vicious past actions. Uncertain of her culpability, she’s unable to trust her own instincts as the reigning Vampire King turns her world upside down.

When the wolves call for her trial, demanding her life for those killed and tortured during that blank year, Jordan and Dalia must work together to find the truth, and save the love blooming between them.

Book 3 – Darkstorm

After a millennia apart, can two vampires rekindle their love, or will the line between right and wrong keep them apart?

Hunted by the demon who imprisoned her for hundreds of years, Ashlyn MacDougal is fleeing with a secret which could destroy her soul. When she runs into her lost love, Connor Gregory, life twists upside down.

Thrown together by circumstance, they must resolve their past. With demons after them, Ashlyn and Connor come to find their love still burns. Yet, the secrets she hides, and his duty to his job, might just keep them apart for another eternity.

Buy at Amazon     B&N/Nook     Apple

And here’s to the upcoming holidays. I hope you and yours have a hell of a time filled with great friends and lots of love!

KC Klein on Inspiration and a Giveaway @kckleinbooks

    Please help me welcome the lovely KC Klein to the blog today, talking about a writer’s inspiration. Also, make sure you leave a comment and your email to be entered in her giveaway : )

Finding Inspiration In Texas

 First, I wanted to thank Amber for allowing me to come on her blog and do a guest post. What better place to talk about my latest book in the Texas Fever series, Hustlin’ Texas, than at a blog dedicated to romance? Amber has been so kind to work around my schedule and all my last minute postponements. Thank you so much Amber for working with me. Your patience has been amazing. J

A few years ago, before I even thought about writing a series, I started thinking about a sweet little love story that was centered on a headstrong young woman who had fallen for the cowboy next door. Add to it my heroine’s absolute passion for horses and a desperate rancher, and I had myself a story. So naturally when I started writing, I had to place my book in a small town in Texas. Well, the problem was I live in Arizona and had nUntitled-1 copyever been to Texas.

I was grateful to learn that the southern part of Texas has similar landscaping as Arizona and after interviewing and following around some local horse ranchers I was able to pull off a realistic Texas setting. But…I still felt the need to visit Texas and get the feel of the local flavor.                        

My best friend, Pam Silva, took pity on me and invited me to stay with her family who lived in the small town of Whitesboro, Texas.

Untitled-2 copy I learned a lot. I toured both small and large working horse ranches, saw long-horned cattle up close, found out in Texas that just about everything can be fried…catfish, hushpuppies, okra, sweet hushpuppies, and that no one I saw seemed as interested in pool like the woman on my cover. (What a shame.)

I also found that I wasn’t the first author, by far, to be inspired by Texas. In the Stockyard Museum in Fort Worth there is a wedding dress on display called the “Bad Luck Wedding Dress.” Due to technical difficulties I lost my pictures of the dress, but found a photo and the history of the gown on the museum website. Though you can’t tell from this photo all I have to say is that the women back then must have been very, very tiny.Untitled-3 copy

Alongside the dress was a romance novel by Geralyn Dawson who was inspired to write an entire series around the legend of this dress. Here’s her book cover. Untitled-4 copy

How cool is that to find your book kept in the Stockyard Museum alongside the actual dress that inspired your book—if only. (Insert heartfelt sigh here)

Well, maybe my book won’t make it into a museum, but I hope it will make its way into readers’ homes and hearts.

Thank you for letting me share a tiny bit of what inspired me in Texas. Below is the blurb and teaser of my latest book, Hustlin’ Texas. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, leave a comment below with your email address and you’ll be entered into a drawing for an e-copy of Hustlin’ Texas.

Thanks again and happy reading.

Hustlin' Texas (ebook) (2)Excerpt

Jett nodded, then glanced around the crowded bar. When he turned his gaze back on her, a person would be hard pressed to describe his eyes as anything sweet or candy like. “I was hoping you’d be up for a little game of nine-ball.”

Nikki took a sip from her beer and raised her brow in question. Nine-ball was the hustler’s game. It was short and quick, without all the rules of straight pool.

He nodded his head toward the tables in the back. “I heard you played.”

“Then you heard wrong.” She took another sip, eying him the whole time. “I’ve given it up for Lent.”

The corner of his mouth hinted at a smile. “Found God, have you?”

“Among other things.”

Jett glanced to the tables, then back to her. “One game. No money.”

Nikki shook her head. “I don’t play for fun. No thrill in it.”

He swallowed, and she could see his jaw work. “Then we’ll play for a favor. A debt. You up for a little more red in your ledger?”

She didn’t want to ask, not really, but gambling was too deep in her blood not to hear the stakes. “What’s the favor?”

He smiled, not the golden boy smile she’d come to know, but instead one that lacked any charm at all. “Well, Texas, that’s the thrill part. You don’t know until the end. Anything goes. No boundaries.”

Her heart did a funky jump-start in her chest at the possibilities, but her game face was ice-cold. “No limits?”

“None. Unless that’s too much heat for you? We could place some ground rules if you want to play it safe.”

Nikki knew what Jett was doing. It was so obvious, and yet, there was that achingly familiar thrill that zipped up her spine and buzzed in her blood. Some families were predisposed toward red hair or near-sightedness. The Logans were addicts. Throw a dart at the family tree and you’d hit a vice—drinking, smoking, shopping. You name it, and the Logans could turn anything into a compulsion. But really, under all the addictions, there was only one. One vice that was as indicative of a Logan as dark hair, brown skin, and blue eyes.

It was very basic, really. The Logans were gamblers.

There were stories as far back as her grandfather, if stories in the Logan family could be believed, who won his first car—a 1950 Cadillac—on the toss of a coin. Then there was her father, Dakota, who’d bet on every sports game invented, and even ones that hadn’t, like golf without clubs. Her father had once bet a hundred dollars on his ability to throw a golf ball through the eighteen holes. Legend had it, he’d won that hundred, but lost the money in the same night in an “I can piss into a can from the second story” contest.

So Jett knew what he was doing. And Nikki was smart enough to know this was more than a simple favor and way more than a simple game of pool. She also knew something else. Jett was no match for her in this game.

She hid her smile with a sip of her drink. The thrill of a “sure thing” was headier than any shot of tequila, more exciting than a leather-jacketed man on a motorcycle.

“Oh, I can take the heat,” she said.

“But can you handle this much heat?”

“Oh, I can handle it. Because we both know I can beat you with one hand tied behind my back and blindfolded.”

His eyebrows arched. “Then you’d best start figuring out what your favor will be.”

Nikki put down her bottle, no longer needing the buzz. “Already have.” Her car fixed…for starters. “You really think you can beat me at pool?”

God, he was so cocky. It was almost tragic.

His eyes narrowed and there was absolutely no humor in his voice when he spoke. “Oh, I’m betting on it.”

BIO: KC Klein has lived most of her life with her head in the clouds and her nose buried in a book. She did stop reading long enough to make a home with a real life hero, her husband, for over sixteen years. A mother of two children, she spends her time slaying dragons, saving princesses, and championing the belief in the happily-ever-after. Her debut novel, Dark Future, is a finalist in the 2012 Prism contest and has been honored with a reviewer’s choice award. Her other titles include a sci- fi, 2012 RONE award winning romance anthology, Hotter on the Edge, and the first two books in her Texas Fever contemporary romance series, Texas Wide Open, and Hustlin’ Texas. KC loves to hear from readers and can be found desperately pounding away on her laptop in yoga pants and leopard slippers or more conveniently at www.kckleinbooks.com. Sign for her quarterly newsletter for updates on her latest releases, sales, and free giveaways.

Blurb for Hustlin’ Texas:

 “Sassy, sexy, fun, but sweet at heart, KC Klein knows how to spin a tall Texas yarn.”—Lori Wilde

 “A sexy read. KC Klein’s hero is as hot as a Texan summer’s day. KC is an author to watch..” —Rachel Gibson

 Only one person in Oak Groves is happy to see bad girl Nikki Logan back in town…

 Oak Groves’ most beloved bachelor, Jett Avery, lives by a simple set of rules. Getting involved with a complicated woman isn’t one of them. He learned that the hard way two years ago when he spent one of the most incredible nights of his life with Nikki Logan. But then she hightailed it out of town, never to be seen again—until now. It might be time to break one of those rules…

 Picking up the pieces of her life, Nikki is back in Oak Groves, face to face with the one man she’s done her best to forget. But she has her reasons for being here—and they don’t include winding up in bed with Jett. Especially since he’ll never forgive her once he finds out the truth about why she’s back…

 Buy links for Hustlin’ Texas:

Amazon: http://kckleinbooks.com/HustlinTexas

Barns and Nobel: http://kckleinbooks.com/BNHustlinTexas

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/hustlin-texas

 Blurb for TEXAS WIDE OPEN:

 “A tortured hero, a love that defies distance and time…this is a book you won’t soon forget.” –Cat Johnson

 Katie Harris loved growing up on a ranch. She had her horse, the beautiful Texas prairie, and Cole Logan, the cowboy next door. But there are a lot of secrets hidden under a Texas sky…

Katie always knew she’d marry Cole one day—until he broke her dreams and her heart. But now that Katie’s father is sick, she’s back home, older, wiser and nowhere near the love-sick fool she once was.

Cole knows Katie doesn’t want anything to do with him. But after so many years, he can’t pretend she’s no more than a neighbor. Holding his ground was hard enough when she was seventeen. Now that she’s her own woman, Cole’s heart doesn’t stand a chance…

“Passionate, gritty and fast paced…with a hot blooded, honorable hero to make every woman’s knees go weak.”—Diane Whiteside

 Buy Links for TEXAS WIDE OPEN:

Amazon: http://kckleinbooks.com/TexasWideOpenAmazon

Barns and Noble: http://kckleinbooks.com/TexasWideOpenBN

Blurb for DARK FUTURE:

A woman caught between two futures…

Awakened in the middle of the night by a future version of herself, Kris Davenport is given a mission: go travel in time to save the world–and his life. Of course, her future self doesn’t tell her who he is just sends her into the darkness and straight into an alien invasion.

…must choose between the man who has her heart…

He turns out to be ConRad Smith, the callous, untrusting military commander of Earth’s army and the world’s last defense. There’s only one way for Smith to know for sure if this strange woman is an alien spy–slice her throat. Except, he didn’t anticipate the desire he would feel as he interrogates the hot-tempered, warm-blooded woman. 

…or the fate that saves the world.

As Kris and ConRad struggle to trust each other in a world on the brink of destruction, they each will have to face the ultimate choice of whether to fight or die… survive or forgive. 

 Buy Links for DARK FUTURE:

Amazon e-book: http://kckleinbooks.com/AmazonDarkFuture

Amazon print book: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Future-Kc-Klein/dp/0062117041

Avon Impulse: http://www.avonromance.com/buy/dark-future-epb/

Barns and Noble: http://kckleinbooks.com/BNDarkFuture

Website: www.kckleinbooks.com

Blog: http://kckleinbooks.tumblr.com

WordPress: http://kckleinbooks.com/writing-from-the-edge-blog/

Links To Social Media:

Twitter: @kckleinbooks

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKCKlein

Pintrest: http://pinterest.com/kckleinbooks

Amazon Author page: http://kckleinbooks.com/AmazonAuthorPage

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5163507.K_C_Klein

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop & Lots of #Giveaways

Blog Hop_Banner 

Blog Hop:  12 Days of Christmas

Event Date:  December 1st  – 12th 2013

Hosted by: As You Wish Reviews & Confessions of the Paranormal
Sponsors: As You Wish Tours & Book Dragon Designs

Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies

(From Very Best Baking/Libby’s Pumpkin)

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Glaze (recipe follows)

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease baking sheets.
COMBINE flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.
BAKE for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle Glaze over cookies.
FOR GLAZE: COMBINE 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl until smooth.

 

Book Giveaway for the Hop Winners (See the Rafflecopter link below to enter)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hungerstorm

Buy from  Amazon     B&N     Smashwords     Kobo     Apple

After centuries alone, can a vampire king trust the woman who’s woken his heart?

Jordan MacDougal, laird and King of his vampire clan, walks a thin line of civility between his clan and the local shifter pack. When his vampires began to disappear and the wolves accuse the intriguing woman who’s touched his heart of being evil, he discovers that the traitor in his midst may be closer than he thinks.

A newly turned vampire, Dalia Jensen wakes to an unusual and frightening new world with no memory of the past year of her life.  Accused of working with the Master Vampire who held her prisoner, her inability to remember the truth leaves her reeling under the allegations of vicious past actions. Uncertain of her culpability, she’s unable to trust her own instincts as the reigning Vampire King turns her world upside down.

When the wolves call for her trial, demanding her life for those killed and tortured during that blank year, Jordan and Dalia must work together to find the truth, and save the love blooming between them.

Hungerstorm on Goodreads

Read an Excerpt HERE

Personal Blog Giveaway

$10 Amazon Gift Card

Share in the comments below (and make sure you leave your email address) what your favorite Christmas cookie is : )

Winner will be chosen after the blog hop ends on the 16th.

Blog Hop_Divider

Grand Prize: $150 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
First Prize: One (1) eBook from Every Participating Author

To enter the giveaway, go to the RAFFLECOPTER HERE

For more Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes & Giveaways - Hop along the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop!

 

New Release ~ Firestorm (Heart of a Vampire, #5) is here!

Firestorm_Kindle

Firestorm (Heart of a Vampire, Book 5)

Release Date: 11/13/2013

       Buy From    Amazon     B&N     Apple

Coming soon to: Smashwords    Kobo    

A Viking vampire must face his tortuous past to save the woman who holds the key to his future.

Eric Wulfgar escapes from twisted dreams, only to find they have followed him into reality. Feeling like a shell of the man he once was, his king’s orders to help a New Orleans vampire clan might require more than he can give. But he has no choice to leave the shadows and return to the living.

Cat Bienville is frantic. Something strange is stalking the vampires of New Orleans. When the missing turn up dead with no explanation and her sire goes missing, she runs out of options. Left in charge of her coven, her duty is to keep her people safe. Only, she’s not prepared for help to come in the form of a chauvinistic male with a tattered soul.

When friends may be foes, Cat and Eric must find balance with one another in order to unveil the evil in their midst, even as a bigger threat darkens the horizon. Yet, Cat’s past may fracture their growing love. For how can she give Eric her heart, when her deepest secret may be more than he can ever accept?

Buy From    Amazon     B&N     Apple

Excerpt

Trapped.

Caught in the deepest recesses of his mind, Eric Wulfgar curled on an ice-cold stone floor. So very cold it seeped into his bones.

And pain.

Eternal agony ate at his limbs, into his very soul.

Laughter rang out from the unending darkness, so sweet and musical it should have warmed him. Instead it chilled him to his core. Fear shuddered through him as he realized where he must be. Her dungeon.

From the nothingness, a ball of light appeared. He blinked against the brightness. As his vision focused, he stared at his nightmare come back to life. The glowing orb highlighted long crimson hair framing an angelic face. Lines of cruelty etched around her shining green eyes and laughing red lips.

He stared at the sorceress, unbelieving, uncomprehending. She had killed his family, then captured him and his twin brother long ago.

He would not give in to the whimper building in his dry throat. The memories of this place and his time here with her, had been buried, locked so deeply he’d thought them gone. He’d not been forced to face them in a millennia.

Biting his tongue, he savored the coppery tang of blood filling his mouth, but it was faint, as if none of this was truly real. As he struggled to escape, she laughed harder. It was too late. He had no strength left.

And he cursed himself for such weakness.

Shadows crawled across the floor. Invisible hands grabbed him, flipping him onto his stomach, and yanking his arms and legs out wide.

Fire whipped along his back, burning from shoulders to knees, as she used her favorite whip–blazing with magical hellfire. Flames licked across his skin, over and over, digging deeper, until he was beyond hoarse and could only scream soundlessly. He welcomed the death hovering just beyond reach.

The lashes stopped.

Senseless from pain, his mind nearly broke as he remembered what came next. The sorceress would never let him die.

Her smooth, soft hands caressed his face and arms. She kissed his neck, her flowery scent making him gag.

“My beasts are hungry,” she murmured in his ear.

He wanted to cry out, to beg her to stop. But he was a warrior. A Viking. He refused to be as weak, as broken as she wanted. He would not bend to her desires.

When he responded with nothing but silence, she hissed, “Fine.”

Clutching his hair, she wrenched his head back, then slapped him. Her nails raked furrows down his cheek. The scent of his blood spiked into the air.

And the monsters came, drawn by their endless hunger. Wolves, bears. Other creatures so grotesque and hard to look at, he couldn’t even begin to name them.

Biting.

Chewing.

Devouring him alive.

Finally, blessed darkness took his mind. For a while, he floated, unfeeling, unthinking.

As always, she forced him to wake. Then the healing began, even more agonizing than the rest. Eric’s mind wavered and he knew he would thankfully soon be lost.

The memories dimmed.

It was a short respite. Another feminine laugh echoed around him, this one childlike yet holding a chilling hint of lunacy.

The vision of the sorceress changed, merging into another memory. Long blonde hair curled around a youthful, innocent face. Fiona’s image was comforting, the twin of his king. She skipped across the dungeon’s stone floor toward him, smiling shyly. Yet, like the sorceress, it was false, hiding pure evil.

More recent evil, he knew, not sure where the thought came from. These memories had never been locked inside that dark well. Instead, they were the force that had shattered the barrier he’d long ago erected to hide the past.

All too soon, the pain resumed. His skin burned. No whip this time. Fiona used shards of rowan wood, one of the few kinds of trees remaining with enough earth magic to hurt the vampire he’d become.

She slid the tip of a dagger beneath his skin, then shoved another sliver of rowan into the wound. She moved down the length of his body, adding long, rough scars to those he’d received millennia ago. His skin burned as if, at any moment, it would melt from the intense agony.

Uncontrollable shudders wracked him from the pain. Nausea followed. He would have vomited if there was anything in his stomach. All he could do was heave until the cramps mixed with the fiery burning from the wooden slivers.

He desperately prayed to Odin, begging to fade back into mindlessness. But release eluded him.

From the surrounding darkness, seemingly so far away he shouldn’t be able to hear, his brother shouted their family war cry.

Fear coursed through Eric as a new vision appeared before him. His brother stood in a strange, dark place. Multicolored lights flashed over Brandon’s angry face. A ball made of thousands of shards of glass dangled from a high ceiling. It spun in circles, shooting refracted light over his brother.

Magic filled the air, trapping Brandon. It stank of the sorceress. As her laughter washed over him, he realized she’d finally come to claim their souls as she’d failed to do long ago.

He had to save his brother. Save them both.

With a cry of rage, he called on his ancestors’ berserker strength. His vision blurred. Finally refocused. Blinking in the dim, flickering candlelight, he worked to sort out his memories and thoughts.

Pain no longer leeched at his body, though he still felt weak as an infant. He lay on something soft, facing a blackened, rock hewn wall that didn’t resemble the sorceress’s hellish dungeon.

“Hush, now. It will be all right,” a woman said softly from behind him.

Strangely, her voice soothed a part of his ragged heart. He cautiously turned. The woman smiled at him, breathtakingly beautiful, with an angelic face and short blonde hair.

His lungs compressed, forcing his breath to rush out. As he clenched his fists, he realized he wasn’t chained. He watched her, hiding his triumph. She would pay for that stupidity.

With a roar, he leapt up and lunged toward her.

“Eric, stop,” the woman commanded.

His body obeyed. More damned sorcery.

“You’re safe,” she said, then began to hum.

He remained locked in place. Slowly, the tune came to him. It had been his mother’s favorite melody, one she’d sung to him and Brandon as children.

His focus cleared and he realized she was neither the sorceress, nor his king’s sister. Her short blonde hair was streaked with… pink stripes? Her eyes drew him in, mesmerizing, calming his rage.

“That’s right,” she whispered. “No one will hurt you here.”

“Where’s my brother?” His voice was a hoarse croak.

“My name is Dalia. Do you remember me?”

He tried to shake his head, but still couldn’t move. An overpowering urge filled him. Not anger, as expected, but an unfounded, yet undeniable need to protect this woman.

“That’s all right. It will come in time.” She continued to hum and his tense muscles relaxed a little.

Across the room, a door opened, letting in more light. A large man stood silhouetted in shadow. Eric’s instincts screamed. Keep the woman safe at all costs. His duty.

She turned to glance at the intruder, and the magic over Eric slipped. It was all he needed to break free of her spell. He jumped between her and the doorway, crouching to a fighting stance, baring his fangs. He ignored the light-headedness, his body shaking from weakness.

He’d never win this fight.

It didn’t matter. He would do his duty until death took him. From habit, he reached over his shoulder, grasping for his battle-axe, BrynTröll. It wasn’t there.

The man stepped closer, from shadow to light, just as he’d done millennia ago.

Eric dropped one knee to the stone floor, bowing his head. “Sire.” His voice was little more than a choked whisper.

“Thank the gods you’ve returned to us,” his king said. Rough hands grabbed Eric’s arms, pulling him to his feet.

The rush of anger, the need to protect the woman, spilled from him as if he’d been drained of all energy. He slumped against the man, staring into his face. “Jordan,” he whispered.

“Don’t talk. And you shouldn’t be standing.” Jordan half-carried, half-led him back to the bed and pushed him down onto the mattress.

The woman, Dalia, poured a glass of thick, red liquid, then held it to his lips.

The scent of blood hit him and his stomach roared. When he tried to grasp the cup, his hands shook so badly he spilled the warm drink over his chin and chest.

“Let me hold it,” she said kindly.

He drank. The taste–salty, coppery, yet sweet–only inflamed his hunger. He gulped it down.

Needed more.

As if reading his mind, Dalia refilled the cup four times. Finally, the ravenous ache settled to a bearable level. As warmth rushed through his chilled body, his mind grew clearer. The recent past filled the gaps in his memory.

Dalia, his king’s charge. Vampires from their clan disappearing. He’d been following a lead, trying to find them, when it led to a trap.

Kidnapped.

His king’s twin sister, working with other vampires and, strangely, wolf shifters. They’d all taken pleasure in torturing him.

He fisted his hands in his lap, trying to shove the memories away before they engulfed him.

Pushed them back into the dark depths with the rest. Locked them all up tight.

Slowly, they receded, but didn’t go far. Ghostly whispers hovered at the edge of his mind, flickering like images seen from the corner of his vision.

He once more saw his brother facing evil.

“Where’s Brandon?” he asked again, this time stronger.

Jordan sighed. “We have much to discuss. But you’re with us again. Right now, that’s what matters.”

Pain lashed over Eric’s back. There, then gone. He heard laughter, the sound promising more.

Jordan and Dalia didn’t move, didn’t seem to hear anything amiss.

Eric stared at his king, realizing that while he might be awake, his sanity was lost.

***

Two Weeks Later

In the impossibly cold March night air, Cathrina Bienville raced through the edges of the bayou, outside her beloved city of New Orleans. Even with her vamipiric speed–the trees and miniscule glimmers of light from distant plantations flashed by–there didn’t seem to be any way she could win this race.

Behind her, the baying of the chasing wolves grew louder as they closed in.

She tripped over an exposed root and fell, splashing face first into a puddle of bitter brackish swamp. Spitting grit from her mouth, she rose. Snowy mud dripped down the front of her dark sweater and jeans. Appropriate spy attire, she’d figured earlier.

Running once more, Cat tried to breathe deep. The growing ache in her chest screamed from a deeper pain. She prayed her fall hadn’t damaged something internal.

A branch sliced across her cheek, ripped at her long red hair falling from its bun. Strands tumbled in her face, obscuring her vision. She shoved it back, leaves and twigs poking from the tangled mass.

Freezing sweat dripped down her face, stinging her cuts and scrapes. The heady scent of blood surrounded her.

The howls drew ever nearer, making her stomach lurch.

What was supposed to have been simple–checking out a deserted plantation for her missing coven members and hopefully finding her sire–had turned into a dark, breathless flight from at least six wolves.

All of them out for her blood.

Not good odds. Not in her favor anyway.

At least she’d eaten recently. Right before the alarm had sounded, she’d come across a wolf in his human form. Just as he’d swung his blade for her neck, she’d whispered her precious command. Fire rose from the ground around his feet, distracting him long enough for her to sink her fangs into his delectable throat.

The magic from the shifter’s blood, the only thing sustaining her desperate flight, was fading.

She flashed through the trees, dodging claw-like branches that seemed to surge out and try to capture her in their grip. The ground sucked at her shoes with each step.

The scent of magic drifted to her on the icy breeze. Her plantation, and the wards creating a barrier around it. Almost home, yet still seemingly so far.

Howls rent the air. They were so close now, she could hear claws scrabbling over the ground. She tried to push herself faster still.

The world became a blur, filled only by the sounds of her labored breaths, her thundering heartbeat, and the baying of the hounds at her heels. She caught the stench of wolves, wet fur mixed with decaying meat and blood.

The trembling in her legs slowed her pace.

Howls echoed as the pack sensed their prey within striking distance.

She broke through the last line of grasping branches. A few hundred yards ahead, a line of trees stood sentinel at the edge of her land, marking the boundary of the magical barrier.

A wolf snarled, slamming into her back, sending them both tumbling. It snapped its toothy muzzle at her neck. Fetid breath washed over her face.

She punched it in the throat. Clawing its fur, she shoved her last shreds of power into the command. “Incendium.”

Flames erupted from her palm, hungrily spreading over the beast. Its yelp escalated into a screeching wail of agony.

Shoving it aside, Cat rose to her knees. Not twenty feet away, the other wolves crouched. Bulky shadows glared at her with glowing, ice blue eyes.

She raised her arms, though the effort made her dizzy, and held her hands out, palms facing them.

The wolf beside her stilled. Burning hair and flesh wafted on the cold air.

The rest of the pack howled, the sound ear splitting. Then as one, they fell silent, watching her. None advanced.

Not giving them a chance to realize she had no strength left, Cat stood, trying to hide her shakiness. She walked backwards until she reached the barrier.

As she stepped through, magic swept over her skin in a tingling warmth. She lowered her hands and leaned against a tree. The pack approached the fallen wolf, their anguished howls resuming. Cat turned and stumbled over the stretching fields, towards her home.

She’d failed.

Again.

New Orleans had never been normal, not since the long ago days when her father had claimed the area for the King of France. But lately, dark magics were running rampant through the city.

Dark enough to take out her sire, the leader of their local coven. Jacques Gervais was the most powerful vampire she’d met in her centuries of life. Not only was he missing, so was Cat’s best friend. Just a girl–it had only been a hundred years since her turning–Abby Cameron was still nearly as weak as a mortal. She didn’t know how to use her vampire powers well. If Cat didn’t find the two of them soon…

As she climbed the porch steps to her front door, her head bowed, her shoulders drooping from the heavy weight of worry, she had to admit she was lost and sinking fast. With the mystery of the missing and murdered vampires, the sudden arrival of so many wolves, and the dark magic flooding the city, she needed help.

She couldn’t solve this by herself.

Not with her life intact.

An errant thought hit her. That of a young vampire she’d once helped and befriended. Niki DeVeraux had ended up in some small town in Arizona. More importantly, she’d been taken in by a huge coven of vampires.

Cat wasn’t comfortable reaching out and explaining her problems to others–she’d been brought up to be a proper lady who kept such things to herself–but perhaps they’d be able to help. She had to do something, or her sire and best friend would certainly end up dead… and she’d end up murdered, right along with them.

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Hope you enjoy :D

~ Amber

Cover Reveal: “Bring On the Heat” 10 Book Boxed-Set #EroticRomance ~ Coming Soon!

BringOnTheHeat300

A scorching collection from ten of today’s hottest authors.

Isn’t he gorgeous? I could just sink my teeth into him :)

Surprise! I’ve been working on a secret project with some AWESOME! authors. Coming this January, we’re releasing a 10 book bundle of erotic paranormal romance.

So here’s the deets

Title: Bring On the Heat

Genre: Erotic romance

Length: Approx 263k words

Release date: January 6, 2014

The anthology includes stories from the awesomesauce authors:

Eden Bradley

Cassandra Carr

Stephanie Julian

Amber Kallyn (Burned, Dragos Book #1)

Keira Kohl

Adriana Kraft

Emma Lai

Anh Leod

Ann Mayburn

Cari Quinn

For more information and to meet all the authors, visit us on FaceBook : )

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/BringOnTheHeat

Coming soon! We’re going to have some awesome giveaways, so stay in touch. Also, Interested in getting the ebook for FREE?

Make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter, because I’ll be sending out a call for people interested in reading the bundle and, after we release it in January, giving an Honest review on Amazon and Barnes & Noble (and anywhere else you want)!

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