Enter the world of the most notorious gambling den in London, where matches are made… unusually. Welcome to the world of THE LYON’S DEN: The Black Widow of Whitehall Connected World, where the underground of Regency London thrives… and loves.
What’s a young lady to do when a powerful lord tries to abscond with her and make her his mistress?
When you’re Miss Honoria Quinn, you leap from his carriage and run like the wind to find some place to hide. Trouble is, Honoria mistakenly chooses The Lyon’s Den, a disreputable gambling house as her sanctuary, a move that ends up with her having to make another choice at the hands of the Den’s match-making proprietor Mrs. Dove-Lyons: wed a complete stranger or become the lord’s mistress.
No good deed goes unpunished…
Thomas, Lord Braeton agrees to attend a wager at The Lyon’s Den only to keep his brother-in-law out of trouble. What he doesn’t count on is becoming embroiled in one of Mrs. Dove-Lyons’s schemes to marry him off. But when he tries to come to the aid of another peer, Thomas finds the only honorable thing he can do to save Miss Quinn’s reputation is put aside his hopes for a love match for himself and instead offer to marry her.
As Thomas and Honoria set out on a wary journey to matrimony, can they learn to live together and hope love will grow between them? Or are they doomed to a loveless marriage of convenience from which one or both will want to escape?
“I can be very generous with you if you are equally generous with me.”
Then, quicker than a striking snake, he sank his mouth onto hers.
Completely shocked, Honoria couldn’t think what to do, leaving Lord Danford to take full advantage of her paralyzed body. Thrusting his tongue into her mouth, he plundered here and there, then pushed incredibly deeply into her throat until she almost gagged. Meanwhile, he slid his hands up onto her breasts, squeezing them until they ached, even through her clothing. At last, he released her right breast and that hand suddenly tried to worm its way underneath her skirts, his fingers brushing her knee, her thigh…
That touch, on her most intimate flesh, acted as a bucket of cold water thrown in Honoria’s face. She gasped as though coming up for air and was suddenly free of the deadly paralysis. Rearing back, she brought her arms up between them, planted her hands squarely on his chest, and heaved him across the carriage into the opposite corner. His head hit the windowpane with a crack, eliciting a groan from the man.
Lord Danford slowly sat up rubbing the back of his head. He cocked his head and frowned, like a puzzled hound. Without hesitation, Honoria grabbed the door handle, wrenched it downward, and threw it open.
The cobbled pavement flew by with dizzying speed, but she had no other choice. Taking a deep breath, and sending up a fervent prayer, she jumped.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jenna Jaxon is a best-selling author of historical romance, writing in a variety of time periods because she believes that passion is timeless. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, Jenna has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories.
She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets–including two vocal cats, one almost silent cat, two curious bunnies, and a Shar-pei mix named Frenchie.
Can a high school romance that never happened have a second life in a small town?
Tracey Baker got out of Blakes Creek to find her purpose in life. She found it in the theatre scene in New York, but after ten years, she’s ready for a change. Working for the community theatre in her hometown is just what she needs—until she sees Ryan Greene.
Ryan Greene crushed on Tracey Baker in school, but he never thought she’d come back to Blakes Creek. When he sees her at the theatre, he’s determined to win her heart. His daughter Maisey is just as determined. She likes Tracey and sets out to prove her dad is Tracey’s Prince Charming.
Love might conquer all, but with the eyes and ears of the town focused on their relationship, Ryan and Tracey will have to prove they can set the stage alight together.
“Ryan?” Tracey held a clipboard and one of the glittery chorus girl dresses. “Do you have a second?”
“I do.” He’d rather run. “How are you?”
“I’m good. Busy. You seem busy, too.” She smiled. “You’re doing well with the sets. I can’t wait to see them in action.”
“Thanks.” Was he blushing? The tips of his ears burned. “The costumes looked good. I haven’t seen them all, but I bet they’re great.”
“Oh, they’re not done yet. I still have to get everyone fitted properly and figure out where to add more glitz like Derek wants.” She fiddled with the garment in her hands. “I wanted to talk to you about Maisey.”
“What did she do?” He steeled himself for her answer. Maisey could tell tales and made things seem worse than reality. She craved attention, too.
“It’s not anything she did.” Tracey left the stage and strode out to the audience. “Here. This is less invasive. No, it’s what happened.”
“What happened? Did she try to set us up? She thinks I need another wife.” Shit. He shouldn’t have said that. “Sorry.”
Tracey paled. “Another? How many have you had?”
“One. Carol. It didn’t work out.” He shook his head. “Honestly, I’m not looking to date anyone.” He could be convinced if the right woman asked him on a date—like Tracey.
“Uh…she didn’t say anything about a date or a wife.” Tracey fumbled with the dress and perched on one of the seatbacks. “No, she was wearing another girl’s costume because the other girl wanted Maisey to be able to dance in the performance.”
He wobbled onto the seatback one aisle behind hers. “Come again? Maisey did what?”
“Maisey wants to dance, and she’s in the class showing she can do it. One of the girls, a friend, gave her the wrong costume—the friend’s—so Maisey wouldn’t have to pay for it and could participate. I asked Maisey, and she said her dad couldn’t afford for her to dance.”
He had to be honest, but he hated the embarrassment. “I work two jobs, and I don’t have the time or money for dance. I barely keep us fed.” He tried to hide his shame. Tracey didn’t need to see him upset. If he hadn’t been saddled with Jessica’s debts, he’d be better off.
“Do you mind if she takes part in the recital?” Tracey asked. “I saw her practice with the other girls, and she’s good. She deserves to dance. She’ll have a costume, if you’ll let her, since I took her measurements. Actually, she’s already got one.”
“How much?” He’d have to shuffle a few things to find the money, but he had to give Maisey this.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.
When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.
Genre– Sci-Fi / SF Romance Publisher– Romance Lives Forever Books
Snuggle up with the Antonello Brothers. This boxed set contains all five exciting stories in the science fiction romance series, plus links to three bonus books.
Three brothers. One missing mother. Not raised together, none of the brothers knows about the other. That is, until fate brings the youngest into the life of a former warrior-pirate. From the moment Luc decides to intervene and save a frightened child, nothing in his life will ever be the same.
If you like science fiction romance on the sweeter side, have an ache for wounded heroes, and admire heroines who don’t wait around to be rescued… The Antonello Brothers series is for you.
♥ A Stolen Heart – This child can steal anything. Including a warrior-pirate’s heart…
♥ Bro – He can be invisible, but he can’t hide from the truth…
♥ At the Mercy of Her Pleasure – She’s addictive. He can’t touch her. But what if he kissed her just once…
♥ For Women Only – His secret truth is her people’s darkest lie…
♥ Crystal Clear Truth – How can you trust when your own truth is a lie…
#1 – A Stolen Heart
A Stolen Heart
In this scene, Luc and Senthys are riding in Luc’s hoversine (a limousine that flies right above the ground). The word arcane conjures up magic and sorcery, but its definition is “requiring secret or mysterious knowledge.” To Luc, who’s an Arcane Master in the Thieves’ Guild, those secrets are the lifeblood of the skill. Here, he explains one of the basic rules to Senthys, who is three. Pietas is the king, Luc’s ex.
The boy swung his feet, which, on the short rise of the hoversine’s safety seat, meant he kicked the main seat with his heels.
That was already old and it had just started. Luc leaned down close to distract him. “Let’s learn some thief rules.”
“Why?” Senthys tilted his head. “Don’t you already know them?”
Luc stopped himself from reacting. After all, he was talking to a child, not that different from talking to Pietas. “Yes, I do, and I’m going to teach them to you. I told you there would be two rules inside the store and if you obeyed them, you could pick out a toy.”
“Oh. I ‘member.” Like Luc, Senthys folded his hands before him. “Ready.”
“You are to stay next to me at all times. You may hold my hand if you like, but do not leave me to look at things, or to see things unless I give you permission. Is that clear?”
“Say it back to me.”
“Um…” The boy fidgeted. “All of it?”
Luc decided against counting for patience–to any number. “Tell me what you understood.”
“Stay with you.”
“Good! That’s perfect.”
The child bounced in his seat.
How delighted this boy was to do well. Luc must encourage that. “The other rule is not to steal anything in this store. Say it back to me.”
“Don’t steal in the store?”
“That’s right!” Luc patted his hands together. “What a good job.”
Senthys clapped, grinning.
“I’m going to tell you something and I want you to always remember it. Honorable thieves do not steal unless under contract. If an honorable thief cannot afford something, then he must work a regular job to earn the money.” Luc placed a hand on the boy’s arm. “My Deshai are honorable. They do not take things without a contract. Understand?”
“Yes, sir. Can I have a contract?”
“You can have one when you reach level thirteen. At that level, you can be hired professionally.”
“Are you level thirteen?”
Luc brushed at his sleeve. “I’m level forty-eight.”
“Oh.” The boy nodded as if impressed. “Is that better than thirteen?”
Amusing, however deflating that might be. “Quite a bit better,” Luc told him. “It’s the highest in the Guild. Arcane Master.”
Senthys cocked his head. “Then that’s what I want to be. A Arcane Mister.”
Kayelle Allen writes stories with immortal gamers and warriors who purr. She is the author of multiple books, novellas, and short stories, a US Navy veteran, and has been married so long she’s tenured. Become a Tarthian Empire citizen (or an immortal) and help rule the Empire at https://KayelleAllen.com/immortality
Diari doesn’t mind when Mommy goes into the city for work, because she and her little sister, Fatima, get to spend the whole day with Daddy.
From when the moon trades places with the sun until the sun trades places with the moon, daddies and daughters do everything together.
A day with Daddy means cooking, learning, dancing, and playing. After all, Daddy knows that with a little imagination, a sense of fun, and a lot of love, every part of a normal day can feel special!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Aissatou Balde is the creative director and editor in chief of TalesandTurbans.com, a lifestyle brand sought after by all those looking for an authentic and positive representation of womanhood, motherhood, and family. Aissatou currently lives in Indiana with her husband, Alhassane, and her two daughters, Diari and Fatima. Visit Daddiesanddaughtersco.com for more information.
It’s no surprise that six-year-old Diariatou Sow would become an author at such an early age. Diari is an avid reader, eager learner, and incredibly creative kid who loves learning new languages. When she is not dancing, drawing, playing with her little sister, or writing with her mom, she is hanging out with her dad, which is her favorite thing to do.
Nandi L. Fernandez is an illustrator, concept artist, and animator. While she grew up in Uganda, Zambia, and Liberia, her love for travel, art, and exploring different African cultures was nurtured. Nandi has worked as a concept artist and has illustrated educational materials and various children’s books. She currently resides in the United Kingdom.
In three years of college, there are seven times my life seemed to suddenly turn into a Jane Austen novel; seven times my life, instead of becoming a romance, turned into a made-for-TV drama.
What am I doing wrong?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jeanette Watts has written three Jane Austen-inspired novels, two other works of historical fiction, stage melodramas, television commercials, and humorous essays for Kindle Vella.
When she is not writing, she is either dancing, sewing, or walking around in costume at a Renaissance festival talking in a funny accent and offering to find new ladies’ maids for everyone she finds in fashionably-ripped jeans.
GENRE: Mystery (from the author: genre – mystery– “It is a bit hard to define as it combines elements of a YA adventure and her grandmother’s cozy love story.”)
Rose Hawthorne: The Irish Wanders follows Rose, a celebrity author in her early seventies, who dislikes the limelight but does like Hermes scarfs, round violet sunglasses, and old colonial hotels. One day, she receives a letter asking her to visit Newgrange, Ireland and discover something that has been hidden there for a thousand years.
She asks her granddaughter Samantha to accompany her, but she hadn’t expected her to continually post photos of their progress on her Instagram account. An encounter with an old love and an unexpected discovery leads Rose deeper into the past, where she finds she must make a hard decision about her future.
Dear Rose Hawthorne,
I have read and re-read your books many times and think that you might be just the person to help me. It is my belief that something valuable is hidden in the archaeological site at Newgrange, Ireland. I am not certain what it might be, but I have recently read a book that leads me to this conclusion. Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate anything, but I feel that you might be able to make an exciting discovery. At the very least, you may be able to write a new book based on what you might find sleeping in a niche in Newgrange.
I hope that this proposal interests you. I regret that you must undertake this trip at your own expense. Should you wish for additional information, please e-mail me at Rousseau@gmail.com
“Oh, come on,” she had said in an e-mail, “you’re not going to give me a clue like that and expect me to guess, are you?”
The letter writer replied that they were not giving anything away but added that Rose would not be disappointed if she came to investigate.
The writer had never revealed himself, and she had never been able to trace the letter as there had been no return address.
Rose had e-mailed a few more times, requesting more information but had received very little.
The author of the letter had asked her only to read all that she could about the site from the Neolithic and Celtic periods.
When again she asked what she should be looking for, the author suggested something about the size of her palm. He hinted that it might be the most extraordinary artifact ever discovered in Ireland.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Shannon O’Gorman is a retired ESL teacher who has recently completed her second walk on the Camino de Santiago. She is currently training her dog to accompany her on a Camino one day. She lives in California with her husband and daughter when university is not in session.
Taboo contemporary erotic romance (Five flames) BDSM/Ménage/Multiple partners/lesbian/gay Approximately 87,000 words, 293 pages HEA ending
During the day, Miranda Cahill works diligently on her doctoral thesis. At night, she has sex with strangers.
Public coupling, multiple partners, age play, spankings, bondage, lesbian lust—each salacious adventure exposes new dimensions of her depravity. Her secret life explodes when she realizes her masked partner at a kink club and the charismatic colleague courting her are in fact the same man.
Dickens scholar Mark Anderson seems like an affable, uncomplicated Midwesterner, but he has hidden depths, myriad talents, and an unlimited appetite for erotic variety. With Mark as her guide, Miranda comes to accept the intricacy of her own desires, as well as to trust her heart.
Reader Advisory: This novel is an erotic romance featuring a committed relationship and culminating in a wedding. Nevertheless, the main characters participate in a wide range of taboo sexual activities, both together and separately.
Excerpt (Rated R)
“Lovely,” sighed a cultured feminine voice, close to her ear. “Don’t you agree?”
Miranda whirled round, startled and embarrassed. She hadn’t realized that she had companions in her blatant voyeurism.
They were young, close to her own age, and enough alike in stature and demeanor that they could have been siblings. Both had thick brunette hair. His was brushed back from his brow, while she wore hers in a bob with blunt bangs. They were both clad in tight black jeans and tank tops that highlighted every curve and swelling of their athletic bodies. Prominent nipples capped her small breasts, clearly visible through the clinging fabric. His half-engorged organ was equally obvious.
Of course both of them wore masks. Near-identical brown eyes gleamed behind their dominoes. It was their mouths, though, that captured Miranda’s attention, their ripe perfect lips inviting, sensuous, bowed in the perpetual promise of a smile.
Miranda ached to kiss those mouths, to trace their luscious curves with the tip of her tongue. She felt the ache in her throat, in her chest, in her painfully taut nipples, in the damp, hungry recesses of her sex. Her palms yearned to glide over those smooth thighs, those flat bellies. She wanted them, both of them, craved them in a visceral way that was totally new to her.
She stifled a moan, and took the hand the woman extended.
“I’m Marla,” the other woman said, her voice melodious and a bit husky. “And this is Marcus.” The young man smiled mysteriously but said nothing. “We were admiring your costume.”
It took Miranda a moment to recall the red velvet jumpsuit that she had chosen from Lucy’s wardrobe. It was defiantly flamboyant, clinging to her body like a sensuous second skin. A gold-colored zipper ran from the scoop neck down to her navel. Matching zippers adorned her wrists and ankles. She knew that the color suited her, contrasted with the hair spilling over her shoulders like a river of jet. She also knew how obvious it was that she was naked underneath the velvet. Not a shy garment, but perhaps just right for tonight.
Choked with desire, she found it difficult to speak. “Thank you,” she managed, finally, then couldn’t resist asking, “Are you twins?”
They gave similar, musical laughs. “Not exactly,” said the one called Marcus. “But we enjoy pretending.”
On June 16th, I will randomly select one grand-prize winner who’ll get a $10 gift certificate, plus two runner-ups who can choose any ebook from my indie back list.
Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – over one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Lexa Kozlov must pay off her family’s massive debt to the mob… all while raising even more money to save her little sister. The result? A never-ending (and incredibly illegal) stakeout for the Bratva. Lexa barely has time to sleep, let alone find love.
Enter Caelin Vass, the handsome Scotsman who runs Empire Investments. Caelin offers Lexa a new job with dollars galore, as well as a hot bod (his own) to contemplate every workday. Even so, Lexa isn’t sure. Freaky things keep happening whenever Lexa and Caelin are alone. The energy between them is magical, sensual, and way overwhelming.
Is Lexa leaving her old prison just to enter a worse one… or is Caelin Vass all he seems and more?
***12,000 word novella, previously published on Kindle Vella as Blood Slave***
Don’t you just love this cover…
My heels click along the wooden floor as I make my way through the shadows. At last, I reach the end of the hallway. The next door is closed, but its shape is outlined by the light beyond.
That’s where my potential employer waits. Caelin Vass. My heart thuds faster.
I press my palm against the door. It swings open with barely any pressure. Stepping across the threshold, I enter a fancy version of the Lucky Ladies’ Lounge. Where Otto’s place is all torn furniture covered in questionable stains, this room holds real leather club chairs. Across from the sitting area, there’s a large wooden desk. Red velvet curtains cover the windows. Plush oriental rugs line the floor. Oil paintings of the Scottish countryside cover the walls.
On a nearby couch sits the exact man I saw last night. Turns out, my hallucinating skills are pretty accurate. Vass’ broad shoulders fill out his dark suit perfectly. Every strand of his dark hair is perfectly combed to highlight his intense stare.
Oh, those eyes.
Vass is the kind of man who looks right through you. I feel exposed, like every scintilla of my soul is laid bare on the fancy carpet. Vass also sports the perfect level of scruff on his chin, too. I’m a sucker for that. And don’t get me started on his lips. I can’t help but picture his full mouth on my breast.
Wait, WHAT? Am I really thinking about sex right now?
I straighten my skirt and wait by the door. Vass keeps staring at me. A strange kind of electricity fills the air. The room seems to collapse until there is only me and Vass. I don’t believe in hocus pocus, but if I didn’t know better? I’d think the guy is trying a mind spell on me. What did they call it in that movie I watched with Mom? Vampire glamour.
The guy is just trying to psych me out, end of story. It’s another power play, like having his secretary ask me to strip down while he can watch it all on closed circuit cameras or whatever. Total creep move. The more I think about it, the angrier I get.
And my temper takes over. Again.
I set my fist on my hip and run off my mouth. “Next time, if you want to see my lady bits, take me out to a nice dinner first. You know, like an actual man.”
The sense of power and connection instantly snaps. An odd chill fills the room. Vass watches me for a long minute. And I might be imagining things, but it seems that his lips are parted in an expression of disbelief.
I squint and get a better look. Turns out, I’m totally right. His mouth is hanging open.
Score one for Lexa.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
CEE BEE writes stories that blend epic fantasy, steamy romance, and lots of sass. If you want immersive tales that transport you to fresh worlds (and new book boyfriends) then you’ve come to the right author. To learn more about CEE BEE, please visit http://www.ceebeeauthor.com. Her new book, VIOLINS AND VAMPIRES, is available on Kindle Unlimited: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09ZYVCNC3
Hey friends! Seelie Kay stopped by to tell us about her sizzling new release “Vive La Resistance”. A must read for PNR lovers who love a dash of suspense!
Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy
Three flames, 21+
An Interview with Seelie Kay:
Q. Why do you write romance?
Since the onset of the pandemic, I have totally changed my attitude toward writing romance. While I was long enamored of the happily-ever-after because it brought me and readers joy, I have concluded that my true purpose in writing romance is to give me and my readers hope. Let’s face it, the pandemic has been traumatic—for everyone. It evolved into one of the most chaotic situations of our time, something we had never before experienced. I was grasping at anything that would give me hope and found myself turning daily to romance books and tales of finding or sustaining love. So now, I write to give people hope.
Q. Do you prefer a certain type of romantic hero?
That also changed during the pandemic. While I still adore smart, dashing gentlemen who aren’t afraid to live on the edge, I found myself focusing more on principled men, those willing to fight for what they believe in. And now, you will that find my heroes also have a strong sense of family. They value the support a family can provide. Of course, the definition of “family” varies and comprises more than the traditional assortment of parents, siblings, and relatives.
However, these “heroes” continue pair with strong, independent women who aren’t afraid to fight for what they want, even love.
Q. Why did you write “Vive la Resistance?”
At the foundation of this book is the belief that people cannot be afraid to speak out against wrongs, especially those inflicted on others, and they must be willing to fight against evil, even at the risk of death. Soldiers and peacekeepers do that every day. We live in turbulent times. It is so easy to say, “Not my problem,” and turn away. But sometimes, you don’t have that choice. You have to stand up and fight back. Donovan Trait is a vampire lawyer. In the human world, a very respected lawyer. Now he must use his skills to save the half-bloods—vampires whose blood is mixed with human or Were. What began as a Vampire Coalition vendetta against his turned wife, Judge Shirley Magnusen, who gave birth to half-blood twins in violation of her marital agreement, has extended to the elimination of all half-bloods. A campaign of genocide. However, this is not a battle that can occur with boots on the ground in the presence of humans and Weres. It must be fought in the shadows to prevent exposing the vampire world to humans. So it must be fought virtually, and soon it becomes clear that the resistance may be winning battles, but the Vampire Coalition will never concede the war. The final battle must occur in person. Sacrifices will be made, lives will be lost, and the vampire world will be shattered. But the real question is, what will emerge from the ashes? Vive la Resistance (Long Live the Resistance)!
Things are gonna get messy…
An illegal union, a banned birth, a Great Lie, and now, genocide. Vampire lawyer Donovan Trait and his wife, chemically-turned Judge Shirley Magnusen, are battling for their lives and the lives of their children. The Vampire Coalition wants them dead, but now the despots have also decided to expand their net, targeting any vampire whose blood is mixed with human or Were. Half-bloods are already treated like dirt by the Vampire Nation. They have been subjected to centuries of discrimination and cruelty at their hands. As the Coalition embarks on a campaign of terror, destruction, and slaughter, millions of half-bloods emerge from the shadows, ready and willing to reclaim their place in the Vampire Nation. The problem is, war cannot be unleashed out in the open in the human world. Battles must be fought in other ways. Even with an island of highly-skilled vampire nuns and a few Weres and humans at their side, it appears the Traits may be fighting an unwinnable war. Their only option may be to sacrifice their own lives in the hopes of setting all other half-bloods free.
Donovan shifted on the lounger and muttered incomprehensively, then he emitted a rumbling snore.
“Hey, y’all. So yeah, vampires are real and they’re not above doing the dirty to those who share their blood. Take a look at this.” The Tik-Tokker grinned. “You are not gonna believe it. It’s so shady.”
Video of the Coalition camps rolled across the screen. Occasionally, the camera zeroed in a dirty or bruised Millennial, or a guard pushing a group of people into a building, their ankles locked together with some sort of rope. They were seen eating off of metal plates and lined up to fill a metal cup with something from a barrel. It wasn’t water. The liquid was rust-colored and thick, like blood.
“And the dudes running the place have a Marie Antoinette fetish. You know—” The woman mimicked a knife across her throat. “Off with their heads?” She giggled.
A guillotine appeared on camera. About ten people were in line, each with a black hood over their heads and their arms bound behind them. One at a time, they were pushed onto a stage and forced to their knees, their necks positioned directly under the blade. With manic efficiency, a guard released the blade. Most heads flew into a barrel in front of the platform. The ones that rolled off onto the stage were kicked to their final destination. The headless bodies were tossed onto a pile on the ground.
“Oh, grosss,” the woman complained. She leaned toward the camera. “Kind of like a bad zombie movie, isn’t it?” She sat back in her chair and made a face. “Whatever. I mean, like, are we supposed to believe that’s really happening? Isn’t that against the law or something?” She cackled. “As if.” She leisurely stretched her body, her crop top exposing a belly button ring. “I’m so shook.”
The woman tossed her hair over her shoulder and smiled. “Now, I’m not sharing this for the views. It is kind of sus. But if this shit is real, someone needs to get off the pot and do something about it. Aren’t there any woke cops out there who can play the James Bond card? Before anymore—” She swiped her finger across her throat and giggled. Then the screen went black.
Donovan shot up in his chair and blinked. Once. Twice. He shook his head and attempted to gather himself. What the hell? Sure, he had needed the sleep, even if it was only a thirty-minute nap, but the dreams he could do without. It had been less than forty-eight hours since the worldwide kidnappings. Donovan knew preparations for rescue were underway. But he also knew Bengotten and Hannigan were capable of even greater cruelty. He could only imagine the terror and the torture the victims were being subjected to.
It was difficult to understand how the vampire world was capable of this. He had long prided himself on their natural superiority, their ability to rise up above the petty politics and unjustified violence in the human and Were worlds. Yet overnight, vampires had become the monsters, the tyrants capable of such evil. That astonished him. For the first time in his long existence, Donovan was ashamed of being a vampire. If it was possible, he might very well submit to being turned into a human or a Were. He buried his face in his hands. Yes, he could live as a human. Perhaps he could ask Dr. Alvarez to find a way to turn off his vampirism, maybe using the gene-editing Marilyn could not stop talking about.
Writing under a nom de plume, the former lawyer and journalist draws her stories from more than 30 years in the legal world. Seelie’s wicked pen has resulted in twenty-two works of fiction, including the new paranormal romance series Donovan Trait,as well the erotic romance Kinky Briefsseries and The Feisty Lawyers romantic suspense series. She also authored The Last Christmas, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The President’s Daughter, Seizing Hope, The White House Wedding, and participated in the romance anthology Pieces of Us.
When not spinning romantic tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. Currently, she resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, WI, where she enjoys opera, the Green Bay Packers, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.
Seelie is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!
Warrior Priest by Kate Hill Science Fiction Romance
What happens when a warrior priest from a strict religion meets a free-spirited priestess from a new age commune?
Jade and Selena are as different as two people can be, but to facilitate an alliance between their worlds, they engage in a cultural exchange. With their galaxy in danger from a planet that wants to conquer or destroy all others, they realize the importance of their assignment, but it is difficult for a warrior priest and a nonviolent priestess to understand each other.
Selena is both attracted and appalled by his old school masculinity, and Jade is tempted to break his vow of celibacy until marriage due to his powerful desire for her. Will this unlikely pair not only find common ground, but unconditional love?
At six feet three inches with a large build, Jade often considered his cell at the
temple cramped. During his travels, he’d lived in caves, cottages, tents, and mud huts. He
had even endured a Kimbrian prison camp. Still, he wasn’t fully prepared for Selena’s
“It used to be a caravan,” she said.
They removed their boots, left them on a rubber mat, and hung their coats on
hooks near the entrance.
“Ned and Rayne helped me renovate it so that I’d have a little more space.”
“Yes. Before joining the commune, he was a builder. Well, he still is. He’s been
in charge of building many of our shelters and clinics all over Neidress. He’s super
talented and smart.”
“I got that feeling.”
“He’s also great with his hands. He can build just about anything.”
“That’s a little surprising,” Jade admitted, picturing the plump, bookish priest.
“I know, right?” Selena chuckled. “It’s said that looks can be deceiving. Come on.
I’ll put some wood on the stove. It’s freezing.”
While Selena walked to a small, old-fashioned iron stove toward the center of the
house, Jade glanced around. The caravan was made for efficiency, but it had an almost
storybook charm. It fit Selena perfectly, but Jade felt too big for the house.
“It’ll heat up fast in here.” Selena stood and brushed wood chips off her clothes.
“That’s a guarantee.” Jade smiled and stepped closer to take her in his arms.