Familiar Feeling (Coven of Four #1) by Daniel A. Kaine

May 20, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

Title ~ Familiar Feeling (Coven of Four #1)

Author ~ Daniel A Kaine

Publisher ~ Wilde City Press

Published ~ 6th May 2015

Genre ~ Paranormal M/M Romance

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Drew never believed in magic. Then three years after his wife’s unexplained death he unearths a book of spells in his attic. Reading the first ‘stupid poem’ seems harmless, until he acquires his very own familiar, Felix. Drew and Felix soon realise an attraction that goes beyond their magical bond. However, there’s a coven of demon-worshipping witches out to steal Drew’s newfound power. If they want to survive long enough to see where their mutual desires take them, Felix must teach Drew the art of witchcraft. But will he be ready in time?

Buy the book

http://www.wildecity.com/books/gay-romance/familiar-feeling-coven-of-four-1/#.VVy9gM_bLIW

Meet Daniel Kaine

Daniel was born and raised in the Land of Rain, aka England, where he now lives with his four lovable furballs; Mik, Ash, Spidey and Flash. Originally trained as a Biology teacher, Daniel was unsure what to do with his life until he came across fanfiction for his favourite anime and decided to have a go at writing his own. To this day, he still cringes at the memory of the cheesy terminology he used. When not writing, Daniel enjoys a variety of activities, including running, going to the gym, bondage, watching anime, and the mass-slaying of virtual monsters in the hopes of receiving epic loot. One day, he hopes to become a werepanther and invent chocolate that can be eaten all day without making you fat.

Excerpt:

For the first time in three years, Drew stood at the top of the stairs leading to his attic. His fingers curled around the brass doorknob. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, the palm of his hand slick with sweat against the cold metal. Steeling himself, Drew turned the knob and pushed. The rusty hinges groaned and the door swung inward, revealing a dust-covered mess of boxes and furniture.

Drew stepped over the threshold, and an icy chill ran through his entire body as though the ghost of his wife had run through him in a bid to escape the dark attic. He shivered. The light hairs on his arms stood almost painfully rigid, raising goosebumps on his skin.

He took a step forward, stirring up a layer of dirt and dust as his black boots came down against the floorboards. The stale air lingered at the top of his nostrils, and he scrunched up his nose. A white figure at the corner of Drew’s right eye caught his attention, and, for a second, he was sure he’d seen long blonde hair blowing gently.

“Linda?” But it was only his wife’s wedding dress hanging from the end of a rail of clothes, the veil swaying in the cold draught that swept through the room.

Drew let out a long sigh and dropped his chin to his chest. A dull ache emanated from deep in his chest. For three years, he had kept his wife’s belongings locked up in the attic in order to avoid the constant reminders of his loss. Time had done little to heal the hole left behind.

Two minutes passed before Drew returned to the present, shaking off the memories of a time when life had seemed almost perfect. A time that was lost in the blink of an eye, turning his world upside down and inside out. He walked toward the dress and touched the soft fabric, stroking the veil as though he could feel Linda’s cheek against the back of his hand. How he longed to caress her soft, ivory skin again. Skin, that in its last moments had been spattered with splashes of crimson, as her last breath faded.

Drew jerked his hand away, the final moments of his wife’s life and death flickering in the back of his mind before fading away and leaving him cold and alone once more in the middle of the attic. His chest rose as he breathed in deep and held it for a few seconds, clenching his fists. Then he exhaled slowly through his mouth.

“I can do this,” he muttered, lifting the dress from the rail and draping it over his left arm. He picked some more of the clothes from the rail and carried them downstairs to lay across the bed.

TRIPLE TIME by Regina Kyle

May 19, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

 

I’m so excited to be back at Romance Junkies! I was here in October talking about my debut novel, Triple Threat, and it’s hard to believe I’m already back talking about the second book in the Art of Seduction series, Triple Time.

Last time around, I talked about my love for theater and how it led to writing Triple Threat. While theater is a huge part of my life, I couldn’t use it as a backdrop for every book (no matter how much I might want to). But I like to draw on my everyday experiences in my books. I think it gives them a sense of authenticity (and cuts down on the research, that’s for sure). So when it came time to write Triple Time, I looked to another facet of my busy life: law.

Although my nights are spent writing romance, my days are spent drafting legal briefs as a senior assistant state’s attorney (what most states call a district attorney). I specialize in appeals, which means that I don’t do trial work, like on Law and Order. Instead, it’s mostly writing, with the occasional court appearance where I argue not in front of a jury but in front of a panel of judges. Like my nights, most of my days are spent behind a computer, clacking away.

I really do enjoy being an appellate lawyer (most days LOL). It’s a different kind of writing than romance, that’s for sure. But it’s still about using words wisely, to maximum effect, like I learned to do as a journalism major in college.

In Triple Time, hero Gabe Nelson gets all my lawyerly qualities. Like me, he’s a prosecutor, although he does high-level, high-pressure trial work. And he has high aspirations; he wants to run for the top spot in the district attorney’s office (I’m perfectly content toiling away in anonymity, thank you).

I’ve always seen Gabe as a combination of my favorite fictional lawyer of all time, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, and Alex P. Keaton, Michael J. Fox’s character in the old TV show Family Ties. Sure, he’s a little bit on the stuffy side, like Alex. But he’s also a passionate defender of justice, one of the true good guys who believes in the system and is as concerned about freeing the innocent as he is about convicting the guilty. A lot like Atticus, even though he sits on the other side of the courtroom. I really enjoyed creating Gabe as a character, putting him through hell, and watching him grow.

It was fun and challenging for me to develop the legal subplot for Triple Time, too. Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and that was a problem for me in working through the legal issues. I needed the subplot to be believable and correct in law (I’m one of those annoying people who yells at the television when I’m watching police procedurals and something’s not realistic). But at the same time, I couldn’t make it so complicated or contrived that a non-lawyer wouldn’t be able to follow it. And I didn’t want it to over whelm the love story, either. I think I managed to get the balance right. I hope you think so, too!

US Cover

Book Blurb:

How to unravel your straight-laced lover . . .

Gabe Nelson would be a great district attorney, but his public image is too boring to get voters’ attention. Tattoo artist Devin Padilla can help him show off his fun, sexy side, but she needs something in return—Gabe’s legal expertise to track down her missing brother. She’s not his type, but they can’t keep their hands off each other, whether it’s good for his image or not.

At first, Devin thinks she got the easy end of the bargain. Gabe’s the sexiest stuffed shirt in Manhattan, and his kisses practically set her on fire. But every deal has its fine print. As their relationship goes from business to pleasure, Devin realizes this one won’t cost her soul…it’ll just steal her heart.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/qe5gccp

Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/n4tgswa

Regina Kyle2

Author Bio:

Regina Kyle knew she was destined to be an author when she won a writing contest at age ten with a touching tale about a squirrel and a nut pie. By day, she writes dry legal briefs, representing the state in criminal appeals. At night, she writes steamy romance with heart and humor.

A lover of all things theatrical, Regina lives on the Connecticut coast with her husband, teenaged daughter and two melodramatic cats. When she’s not writing, she’s most likely singing, reading, cooking or watching bad reality television. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and her local RWA chapter. Triple Tine is her second novel. She is also the author of Triple Threat, the first book in her Art of Seduction series for Harlequin Blaze.

My Links:

www.reginakyleauthor.com

www.facebook.com/reginakyleauthor

www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomreginakyle

@regina_kyle1

Excerpt:

Of all the white knights in New York City, why did Gabe Nelson have to be the one to ride to her rescue?

Devin Padilla stared at her best friend’s brother and swore again.

“It’s nice to see you, too.”

She crossed her arms. “What are you doing here?” “Heading home. Same as you should be.” Disapproval dripped from his voice as he eyeballed her, frowning no doubt at her outfit of choice. Sure, the lacy camisole clung a little too tightly to her 36Ds and her short skirt showed off her J. Lo booty. But she was a bartender, for Christ’s sake, not an astrophysicist. How was she supposed to earn enough tips to support herself and set something aside for Victor if—no, when—she found him, if she didn’t give her customers something to look at on top of her witty repartee.

“Isn’t that dive you work at downtown?”

“It’s not a dive. And yes, it is. Sometimes I pull extra shifts for a friend at The Mark.” She never said no to extra cash, and she always raked it in at the Upper East Side hotel bar.

“Hello?” a voice interrupted from the pavement. “Injured man down here.”

“Get up, Freddie. You’re not hurt. I barely touched you.”

“You know this guy?” Gabe asked.

“He’s one of my regulars. Said he’d take me to the subway.” She glared down at him, hands on her hips. Just another one in a long line of losers that had hit on her in the past six months. It was like she was wearing a sign that said Attention all guys. Are you mentally stable? Gainfully employed? Reasonably attractive? Then keep away. “The subway, Freddie. Not to heaven against a slimy park viaduct.”

Freddie struggled to his knees. “It’s not my fault. You’ve been giving me mixed signals for months.”

“Mixed signals?” She raised one Doc Marten and aimed it at him, making him flinch before she broke off and scuffed the ground in front of him. He scuttled back like a frightened crab and she couldn’t help but scoff. “How’s that for a mixed signal, dirtbag?”

Gabe put a hand on her shoulder. “You’re relieved from duty, Freddie. I’ll see the lady home.”

“Like hell you will.” Devin shook off his hand. No way she was spending one minute more than necessary with Dudley Do‑Right. No matter how dead sexy he was. “The subway’s two blocks from here. I can make it just fine on my own.”

“I’m sure you can. But a gentleman always makes sure his date arrives home safely.” Gabe tugged off his suit jacket and wrapped it around Devin’s shoulders, shielding them—and the breasts barely concealed by her skimpy top—from Freddie’s prying eyes. “Isn’t that right, Freddie?”

“I’m not your date.” Devin’s gaze ping‑ponged from one man to the other. “Either of you.”

“Humor me.” Gabe’s hand held steady against the small of her back. The shivers she hadn’t noticed subsided, tempting her to succumb to the warm, reassuring feeling of a good man’s touch.

His touch.

“Have it your way.” Freddie stood and backed away slowly. “But I’m telling you, man, the chick is trouble.”

Devin started for him but Gabe held her back, and damn if his touch didn’t make her quiver all over again. What was it about Holly’s stuffed‑shirt brother that got her engine revving faster than a dirt bike at the X Games?

It couldn’t be the banging body she was pretty sure he hid under all those designer suits—broad shoulders that led to an equally broad chest, narrow waist, lean hips and long, strong legs. Or his stormy, gray eyes, intense and mysterious, never revealing what was going on behind them. And it sure as hell wasn’t his lips, full, firm and just right for hours of sensuous kissing.

“That’s a chance I’ll have to take.” Gabe slid his hand to her elbow, leaving a trail of goose bumps in its wake.

“It’s your funeral,” Freddie tossed over his shoulder as he fled into the darkness.

 

In My Bookcase:

The Night Belongs to Fireman, by Jennifer Bernard

Goal, Motivation and Conflict, by Debra Dixon

Making it on Broadway, by David Wienir and Jodie Langel

 

Snaps

Norwalk library event

With authors Jamie Schmidt, Erika Kelly and Sugar Jamison and Harlequin editor Patience Bloom at a library book talk/signing

SEP3

Fangirling over Susan Elizabeth Phillips

ivote

My writing mascot, Romanatee

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With Jennifer Bernard at RWA14

Author Insight:

People ask me all the time how to become a romance writer. And I tell them the three things:

  1. Read, read, read. You can’t write in a genre if you don’t know the rules. And the first way to learn the rules is to read what’s out there.
  2. Join your local chapter of RWA. Go to meetings. Listen. Take advantage of the courses offered by RWA national, your chapter (if they offer them) and the many other chapters out there that have on-line offerings.
  3. Write, write, write. Some of it will be bad. That’s okay. Like Nora Roberts says, you can’t fix a blank page.

Day in the Week:

7:00 a.m.: Wake up after daughter and husband (teacher) are off to school

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Work my day job as an assistant state’s attorney

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.: Dinner and family time (usually watching something on TV)

9:00 p.m. – the wee hours: write, write, write, mixed with promotional stuff like updating social media, doing blog posts, sending business emails, etc.

 

Behind The Mask by Carolyn Crane

May 18, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

Giveaway Information

(1) $75.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice & open internationally)

(32) Digital Copies of either Against the Dark, Off the Edge or Into the Shadows (winner’s choice & open internationally)

Rafflecopter Code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1c9cd1c919/?

BehindTheMask

About the Book

 Title: Behind The Mask (Associates, #4)

Author: Carolyn Crane

Release Date: May 19, 2015

Category: Romantic Suspense

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: Coming Soon!

Barnes & Noble: Coming Soon!

Kobo: Coming Soon!

iBooks: http://apple.co/1JdSfO7

 

Book Summary:

 

TO SAVE HER PROSTITUTE TWIN SISTER SHE HAS TO SWITCH PLACES WITH HER…

When her estranged sister is won in a card game by a brutal drug cartel, Zelda knows what she has to do: take her place. Save her. Focus on infiltrating the shadowy group–and try not to think about why she left the spying game years ago. She’s slept with dangerous criminals before; she can do it again.

Hugo Martinez is one of South America’s most lethal and wanted men, a legendary mercenary living on a windswept mountain. Even at the height of the war he wasn’t in the habit of taking women captive, but the American whore has seen his face. And he and the orphan boy need a cook. He shouldn’t want this woman, but there’s something so unusual about her…

Meanwhile, Zelda finds herself falling for her captor…but is he the killer she’s been hunting all these years?

~~~

Crane Author Photo

About the Author

 I am a RITA-winning author of romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and other tales of love and adventure (and erotic & dark romance as NYT bestselling author Annika Martin). My books have been published by Random House and Samhain, and I also go the indie route. I work a straight job as a marketing writer, I love to read in bed and run, I’m passionate about helping animals, and I make my home in Minnesota with my husband and two cats.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

~~~

Blog Tour Stops

 

Monday, May 18, 2015

 

Straight Shooting Book Reviews (Excerpt): http://www.straightshootinbookreviews.com

Romance Junkies (Excerpt): http://www.romancejunkies.com/rjblog

Ramblings From This Chick (Guest Post): http://ramblingsfromthischick.com

Under the Covers Book Blog (Guest Post): http://www.underthecoversbookblog.com

Lush Book Reviews (Excerpt): http://www.lushbookreviewss.blogspot.com

Badass Book Reviews (Review): http://www.badassbookreviews.com

Urban Girl Reader (Excerpt): http://www.urbangirlreader.com

 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

 

Happiness is a book (Review): https://happinessbook.wordpress.com

Reading by the Book (Excerpt): http://www.readingbythebook.com

That’s What I’m Talking About (Review): http://twimom227.com

Cricket’s Chirps (Review): http://www.cricketschirps.com/

The Romance Dish (Review): http://theromancedish.com

The Book Review (Review): http://www.cluereview.blogspot.com

 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

 

Em & M Books (Excerpt): http://www.emandmbooks.com

Ex Libris (Guest Post): http://www.stella.exlibris.com

Herding Cats & Burning Soup (Interview): http://www.herdingcats-burningsoup.com

The Book Nympho (Review): http://thebooknympho.com/

Long and Short Reviews (Excerpt): http://www.longandshortreviews.com

Love Affair with an E-Reader (Review): www.loveaffairwithanereader.blogspot.com

 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

 

Paranormal Haven (Interview): http://paranormalhaven.com/

Becky on Books (Review): http://beckymmoe.com

Amy’s Blog (Excerpt): http://www.amymanemann.blogspot.com

So Many Reads (Excerpt): http://www.somanyreads.com

Angela Quarles Blog (Excerpt): http://www.angelaquarles.com/blog

Goldilox and the Three Weres (Review): http://goldiloxandthethreeweres.blogspot.com

 

Friday, May 22, 2015

 

Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell (Review): http://books-forlife.blogspot.com

Blogging by Liza (Excerpt): http://lizasblog-liza.blogspot.com/

Bring Your Own Book Club (BYOB) (Review): https://www.facebook.com/byobclub1.0

Peaces of Me (Interview): http://www.suespeaces.blogspot.ca/

Ariesgrl Book Reviews (Excerpt): http://www.ariesgrlreview.com

  1. K. Crouch (Review): http://ckcrouch.com/

 

 

FALLING FOR HIS BEST FRIEND by Katee Robert

May 18, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

FallingbadgeKR

Falling for His Best Friend

by Katee Robert

 When Avery Yeung decides to stop waiting around for life to align to get pregnant, her best friend Drew convinces her that he’s the only man for the job. Fans of Nicolette Day’s No Strings Attached or Maisey Yates’s Unexpected, will devour the sexy addition to the Out of Uniform series by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Katee Robert.

 

Rafflecopter: Spread the love and enter to win the tour-wide giveaway!

1 $30 Gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble

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 FfHBF

 

Title: Falling for His Best Friend

Author: Katee Robert

Series: Out of Uniform #2

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: May 19, 2015

Publisher: Entangled Brazen

Synopsis:

Avery Yeung’s biological clock just went off early. Thanks to her family’s medical history, she’s running out of time to get knocked up. And the only guy within donating distance? Her overprotective—and irritatingly hot—best friend. So clearly she needs an anonymous donor…

Anonymous donor? Over Sheriff Drew Flannery’s dead body. While daddyhood will never be in the cards for a man with his past, Drew won’t let Avery shop for a “popsicle pop.” He’ll do what’s right for his best friend by doing his best friend. But only if they do it properly.

But there’s nothing “proper” about it. Between the bed, the kitchen counter, and against his squad car, Avery and Drew are having the hottest sex ever. They can’t get enough of it—or each other. And without knowing it, they’ve crossed the one line that could ruin their friendship forever…

 

See where it all began with book 1 of the Out of Uniform series, In Bed with Mr. Wrong.

Get More information at: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Katee Robert.04.205px.png

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and it changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and speculative fiction romance novels, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her wee ones, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. Connect with Katee at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google + | GoodReads | Instagram | Tumblr | Youtube

Schedule

 Monday 5/18

Pretty Sassy Cool

Becky on Books

Jen’s Reading Obsession

mignon mykel : reviews

The Lusty Literate

Talking Books Blog

Romance Junkies

Lisa’s Loves(Books of Course)

Reading Between the Wines Book Club

Tuesday 5/19

Feeling Fictional

Four Chicks Flipping Pages

Monlatable Book Reviews

The Literary Gossip

Epic Narrative Book Reviews

Adria’s Romance Reviews

A Little Fiction of Every Flavour

Kitty’s Blog Spot!

Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews

Read My Mind

Read, Write, Ripley

Southern Yankee Book Reviews

Wednesday 5/20

BJ’s Reviews

Smitten with Reading

Unbound Passion (soon to be) Happily Ever Chapter

Archaeolibrarian – I dig good books!

Life With Two Boys

Happily Ever Chapter (formerly Unbound Passion)

Joyfully reviewed

Thursday 5/21

Seeing Night Reviews

Harlie Williams, Writer  

Reese’s Review

Em & M Books

Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

Read Your Writes Book Reviews

Southern Yankee Book Reviews

Friday 5/22

My Reading Reality

Once Upon An Alpha

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm

Kimmy Loves to Read

BB’s Book Reviews & Book Marketing Sales & Promotions

From the TBR Pile

Twin Sisters Rockin’ Book Reviews

Those Crazy Book Chicks

Renee Entress’s Blog

Kimmy Loves to Read

As the Pages Turn

Vampire Legacy by Ella J Phoenix

May 17, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

VampireLegacy_Coverart_ARE_200x300

Vampire Legacy (Book 4 of the Dragon Heat series)

Publication Details

Title – Vampire Legacy (Book 4 of the Dragon Heat series) Author – Ella J Phoenix

Publication date – May 1, 2015 Publisher – Self Publishing

Word count – 115,000

Sales Links:

Smashwordshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/537176

AllRomanceEbookshttps://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-vampirelegacybook4ofthedragonheatseries-1784372-340.html

Nook/B&Nhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vampire-legacy-ella-j-phoenix/1121794511?ean=2940151883085

 

Contacting Ella J Phoenix

Facebook – www.facebook.com/ellaj.phoenix

Twitter – twitter.com/ellajphoenix

freebook

Sales Promotion for Sexy Book Blogs Tour

Vampire Legacy (Book 4 of the Dragon Heat series) and Dragon Heat (Book 1) will be FREE to download from AllRomanceEbooks & Amazon.com.

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Backcover blurb

When Tardieh discovers a letter from his late father, he opens a door to old memories. The letter from Petran is a tale of intrigue, attempted murder, and betrayal, but leaves more questions than answers in its wake.

Petran, the King of Vampires, an ancient monarch known for his cunning ploys and many lovers, knows the animosity between draconians and vampires is brewing in Romania. Upon discovering his draconian neighbor has fallen ill with a strange Curse, Petran is determined to discover the cause, and a cure. In doing so, he finds an unexpected ally in his neighbor’s daughter, a striking Draconian Duchess.

All Lady Natalia, the Duchess of Moldavia, wants is to save her people from a Dragon Lord’s tyranny but she’s only a woman, who has no place meddling in politics. With his health failing, her father has big plans for her, so when the King of Vampires agrees to help her find a cure for the Curse plaguing her people and her father, Talia begins to see him as more than an old family friend. He awakens desires in her she knows she should not have but cannot resist, or deny him.

***Warning: this novel contains hot, steamy, descriptive sexual scenes. Enjoy.***

Excerpt

Vampire Legacy

Book Four of The Dragon Heat Series

By Ella J Phoenix

Copyright © 2015 by Ella J Phoenix

Amazon.com Edition

All rights reserved

Glossary

Apa Dobrý – group of five gods, creators of life on Earth and the Universe

Apa Sâmbetei – the Land of the Souls, the afterlife

Calathor – someone who can cross to the Land of the Souls and return unharmed

Draco or Draconian – a dragon in human form

Hiad – the Underworld

Inmã – the soul

Konec – God of Death, Keeper of the gates of Hiad

Razbians – lizard people known for their lack of intelligence

Soartas – the three witches of Destiny

Sujha – a non-pure being, offspring of the union between two different races

Terhem Viahta – the Land of the Living, the Earth

Ucidhere – God of Death, lord of the Land of the Souls

Zmyzel – Goddess of Life
Chapter Two

Wallachia, Romania, 1799

The Border between Vampire and Draconian territories

 

“Halt,” the driver shouted as the carriage jolted in place.

“For Hiad’s sake, what is it now?” Petran heard Arthur, his chamberlain, yell from a few feet ahead. He’d been riding at the front of the line with the other guards.

“The wheel got stuck again,” the driver answered.

Petran let out a long sigh and rubbed his eyes with the palms of his hands. This trip was getting on his nerves. He loathed travelling by…well, he loathed travelling. Vampires didn’t have to depend on slow horses or carriages for transport, they teleported. Petran was a wizard at that skill, having mastered it far better than his counterparts. Diplomatic visits like this one, however, called for a more substantial method of arrival, as protocol dictated. He hated diplomacy but knew the world would be an intolerable chaos if its leaders didn’t follow minimum decorum. And so here he was crossing the Carpathian Mountains by carriage in a never-ending spring drizzle, going at an agonizing four miles per hour and getting stuck in every shallow hole on the road. It was pure torture.

“We must move before any outlaw dracos sniff us out here,” Arthur added from outside the coach. “These roads are full of them.”

“Nah, dracos ain’t allowed to shift no more in these parts, only with the permission of their lord,” one of his personal guards replied in a nonchalant manner.

“The very definition of outlaw, you door-knob, is one who doesn’t follow the law,” Arthur grunted in reply.

Great, now they were discussing grammar. “I do not care what it means or what is stalling us,” Petran growled from his cabin, not even bothering to open his coach’s window. “Just get on with it before we all turn into ashes with the coming sun.” His men were all vampires and could hear a pin dropping, so there was no need for wasting his energy with an elevated voice.

It worked. Arthur and his guards stopped the blabbering at once and got on with getting the task done.

When the carriage finally resumed the drive, Petran shifted uncomfortably on the hard leather seat. Next time he would teleport to the nearest spot then make the final distance by foot. It was better than enduring an overnight trip at turtle-speed surrounded by incompetent morons. He had to admit, however, he too had had his share of utter uselessness when it came to operating human inventions.

After a couple of excruciatingly painful hours of uncomfortable jostling, they crossed a draconian village, and then started their way up the hill toward the Dragon Lord’s castle. At last. Three quarters of an hour later, the carriage came to a halt—a planned one this time around.

Petran didn’t wait for the formal protocols but instead, he promptly stepped out of his cubicle and stretched his legs. The end of their journey was in the middle of a wide stone bridge, which connected two sides of a gorge. Its end landed on an elevated platform that hosted a colossal door, carved into sheer rock.

“We have arrived, your majesty.”

“I can see that, Arthur,” Petran replied trying to remind himself that butchering his own servant would be unwise. He took a deep, calming breath and admired the majestic wall before him.

The Dragon’s castle had been literally carved into the mountain. The only entrance was through the impossibly long stone bridge, which was adorned by intricate carvings. The symbols depicted an ancient story of war and victory, of the Golden Age of the Dragons. A colossal door greeted visitors at the other end and a few feet above it two towers stood as if poking out of the mountain itself.

“Who comes there?” the tower guard above them yelled down.

“It is I, Petran, King of Vampires, from the House of Basarab. I come to pay my respects to your lord Somenski the Truthful, Draconian Lord of Moldavia.”

“I was not informed my lord expected visitors,” the impertinent sod replied. “I must consult first with—”

Suddenly, the stone door creaked alive and an entourage of dracos emerged.

“Let him through,” a feminine voice uttered. It was soft yet full of confidence.

Petran narrowed his eyes trying to see who had voiced the command, but only managed to distinguish a lithe shadow among the many male bodyguards.

He waited in the drizzle as the tower guard nodded once and disappeared into his cubicle. After a short moment, the heavy door creaked alive again and slowly opened up to its full range to welcome the visitors. The female stepped forward and stopped at the mouth of the grand entrance. A couple of servants rushed after her, holding up some sort of tent in an attempt to protect their lady from the rain. She gently lifted her hand, indicating that there was no need for it. As the servants stepped back, she lifted her chin high and looked straight at Petran.

And his gut clenched.

He had no idea who she was, but this lady was by far the most striking woman he had ever laid his eyes upon. She wore a simple yet elegant dress made of dark blue velvet, which hugged her slender waist and molded her breasts in shape. Dark grey eyes were framed by thick lashes, and fiery red hair was plaited onto a high bun carrying no adornments or precious stones. She didn’t need any, her beauty was arresting enough without any subterfuges.

“Welcome to the house of Somenski the Truthful, Draconian Lord of Moldavia, your majesty,” she stated, going down on a perfect bow.

Petran nodded in acknowledgment, as decorum dictated. “I come to pay my visit to your lord. I trust you received my missive.”

“Yes, your majesty, we did,” she replied. “Unfortunately, we misread your message for it predicted your arrival after the rainy season.”

No, she hadn’t misread his missive for that was exactly what he had sent. He knew it, she knew it. But she had clearly decided to avoid embarrassing a royal visitor by pointing it out. Wise decision. He was too good a poker player, however, to think of explaining why he had unexpectedly pushed his visit forward. There was no need to ruin a good neighborly relationship with the truth.

“Please, let me provide you shelter from this drizzle,” she said flicking her hand in the air. At once, her entourage rushed to Petran’s side and lifted the small tent up, successfully shielding them both from the rain.

“Please follow me,” she requested with a short bow, then without waiting for any response, turned around, and started making her way into the mountain.

Petran narrowed his eyes at the slight sway of her hips. Who was she? In a formal encounter, one would introduce oneself declaring his name and rank in the household. Despite her obviously well trained manners, she hadn’t properly informed him of her lineage and position. It probably had not been on purpose but nonetheless it made him weary, maybe even irritable. He detested not knowing all the players on the table, or not having all the facts at his disposal at all times.

Petran shook his head and chided himself. He was overthinking things again, a habit which Arthur, his trusted Chamberlain, had subtly highlighted more than once. It was best not to assume the worst. This was a simple visit, official but of a kinder nature, from one neighbor to another. There was no point of seeing mischief in the shadows. It was best to simply ask for clarification. One always receives what one commands.

With that in mind, Petran accelerated his pace until he was side by side with the young woman. They had now entered a tall chamber which seemed to have been carved straight into the mountain. “Please accept my apologies for not having sent an emissary with the adjusted date of my arrival, Lady…”

“Oh, please your majesty, there’s no need for apologies. We are your servants,” she replied politely, without looking at him, and without stating her name. Again. She had simply ignored decorum all together.

Damn her. Was she Somenski’s new wife? No, occurrence of such magnitude would have quickly made its way to his ears. He hadn’t been advised of any matrimonies of late, either. Unless the old sod had decided to take on a mistress—a much younger one from the looks of it.

Petran ran his eyes over the lady by his side. She was worth taking, for sure. With marble skin, flaming red hair, and delicate features, her beauty was a marvel. Their society widely accepted royal mistresses—some of them were even better treated then the official wives, living a life of glamour and luxury, not having to carry the burden of the continuation of their house name or of having to protect their reputations.

A small smile lifted the corner of his lips as a tinge of jealousy enveloped his groin. If only he had found this red-haired gem before his draconian neighbor, he would have shown her what it was like to bed a true king—over, and over again.

The object of his lustful thoughts paused, then turned to face him, meeting him eye-to-eye. An obvious question was stamped on her face, as if asking for justification for such inappropriate staring.

Well, he too could ignore decorum. “My mind must be playing tricks on me for I could swear I have seen you before, milady. Did Somenski officially introduce you as his royal mistress in the last Open Games?”

Her eyes widened in shock and her jaw dropped. “Your majesty!”

At once, Petran realized that maybe he’d been too blunt, but tiredness from the long trip prevented him from finding apologetic words, only ones of perplexity reached his tongue. “Well, don’t look at me so bewildered, milady. I too find myself confused.”

She opened her mouth again, then turned on her heels, took a couple of steps and stopped facing the other way. Petran watched in amusement as she obviously fought to gain her composure. It was quite entertaining actually.

After a few heartbeats, she turned around again. “Apologies, your majesty, for my lack of manners,” she said in controlled somber tones. “I should have introduced myself.”

“Yes, you should have,” Petran replied curtly, not giving her space to evade him any longer.

A hot blush colored her cheeks but she took his reprimand in silence. Bowing low, she said, “I am Lady Natalia Somenski, Duchess of Moldavia.”

Now it was Petran’s turn to look astounded. Lady Natalia? As in Little Natalia, Somenski’s daughter who had been sent away to boarding school just a few years ago?

“It’s been three decades, your majesty,” she replied politely, and Petran realized he had spoken aloud.

Bloody Hiad.

“I hadn’t been informed of your return, milady, nor had I realized time had elapsed so fast,” he muttered gravely, trying hard to make it sound like an apology. He wasn’t one to make amends or justify his actions, but apologies were definitely in order. One thing was to ogle over Somenski’s mistress, but another one entirely was doing it so to his daughter, even if she was a delight to the eyes.

“Yes, time does tend to creep up on all sons of Apa Sâmbetei, no matter who you are—a mere vassal, a king, or even a royal mistress,” she replied softly, but her subtle derision was not missed in his ears.

Was she jesting with him? Petran stared at those grey eyes, his tired mind taking longer to find the right come back.

Before he managed to find his voice again, Lady Natalia resumed their walk. “Please, let me take you to your chambers. You must be in need of a rest after your long journey.”

He was indeed but—“I’d rather see your father first, if possible.”

She nodded once, acknowledging his request and carried on.

Petran followed the lovely Natalia along the endless corridors taking everything in. Somenski’s castle was a medieval fortress carved within the mountain. Impossibly tall chambers led to other even taller hallways. Maybe it was how enormous everything was, or maybe it was the earliness of the morn, but the castle looked rather empty. After a few minutes, they reached an alcove, which looked like the entrance to the kitchens.

“Your entourage may follow my servants to the stables, where they may take care of your horses.”

Petran nodded to his men, a silent order for them to comply with the lady’s suggestion. Arthur stared back at him for a flicker of time, as if undecided whether to comply or to rebel against his orders. That bloody chamberlain! Petran would have to teach him some manners. He lifted an eyebrow at Arthur, leaving no doubts as to which the right decision was. After a heartbeat, his servant got the gist of the message and moved along with the others toward the stables. Wise decision.

Petran had known Natalia’s father for centuries and trusted the old sod, even if he were a dragon. But the main reason he denied the safety of his guard’s company was to ensure privacy. There were disturbing rumors travelling around, too disturbing to ignore. That was why Petran had decided to pay his neighbor a visit, with the excuse of collecting the rent the draco owed him.

Now, accompanied by just one servant who lit the way with a single candle torch, his lovely hostess guided Petran along more corridors and chambers. This was no castle, but a maze of towering proportions. Finally, they reached a hollow alcove, which held a colossal waterfall without an end. Crystal chandeliers filled the steep walls surrounding the waterfall, which radiated rays of light in several directions, creating an eerie yet awe-inspiring effect. Several doors filled the ledge along the empty space, framed by verandas, which emerged out of nowhere, as if glued to the stone wall. Petran looked down, and saw only an endless pit into which the waterfall disappeared.

“This is our water view façade,” Lady Natalia said, probably sensing his curiosity.

“Do you mean that these balconies are the entrance to the royal chambers?”

“The back entrance,” she explained then turned to the opposite direction. “The front is through the heart of the mountain.”

After a few more minutes tailing Natalia along the labyrinth of soaring chambers, they reached a tall wooden door.

A faint come in reached Petran’s ears after Lady Natalia knocked. She opened the door and stepped aside to let him in.

A sudden putrid smell reached his nostrils.

The room was dimly lit by a single candle, but it was enough for him to distinguish his frail neighbor lying under heavy covers on the four post bed. The draco was the source of the foul smell. The smell of death.

Damn the Soartas, Petran cursed silently. The rumors were true. Somenski was dying.

“Petran,” his neighbor murmured with a straining voice. “How glad am I to see you.”

“Hello, old chap,” Petran replied lightly, stepping inside the room.

Natalia pulled a chair close and motioned for him to take a seat by her father’s bedside. Petran obliged, even though he desired nothing but to lift the covers and investigate what in Hiad had taken down a millennia-old dragon.

“Apologies for not having met you at the gates,” the draco said. “But as you see, the Soartas decided to teach me a lesson.”

“If I didn’t know better,” Petran replied. “I would think you sent your daughter to greet me on purpose, so I would be too smitten to demand the rent you owe me.”

Somenski’s wrinkled face lifted as he cackled without reservation, but the laughter soon turned into an ugly cough. At once, Natalia jumped to his aid, bringing him a glass of something, which smelled like rotting seaweed. As they both struggled to control the attack, Petran noticed in horror that the draco’s skin suddenly shifted from smooth beige to green scales, his eyes turned yellow, his irises thinned into slits, just to pop out again after a moment. It seemed as if Somenski had lost control over his mutation, as if his dragon was trapped inside and was struggling to come out. Merciful Soartas, it was painful even to watch.

Petran had never liked dracos, never trusted them—who could blame him after so much animosity over the centuries? His great-great-grandfather Vlad Dracul, had tried to make amends and even went as far as enduring the trials and became the first vampire member of the Order of the Dragon, but to no avail. He was soon betrayed and assassinated, giving Petran’s great grandfather, Vlad Tepes the perfect excuse to lead one of the bloodiest campaigns in their history. After all that, there was no trust, no peace between Vampires and Dragons. Just between neighbors.

Somenski was different though. His ill-timed sense of humor and love for self-scorn had managed to break through Petran’s prejudices. And when the old lizard had come to Petran asking permission to harvest a section of his territory in exchange for a small fee, he’d had no reason to refuse the request. Over the years, that simple exchange had turned into an unexpected friendship.

After a few moments of struggle, the coughing resided and Somenski managed to take a deep breath.

Still troubled by the disturbing sight, Petran leaned forward and rested his elbows on his thighs. “So the rumors are true. You have been afflicted by the strange Curse that is wiping out your serfs.”

Somenski didn’t reply straight away. He took a few more sips of the strange water Natalia offered then sunk back on the pillows. “I would entertain you with some fairytale as an explanation, but I’m afraid you’d want too many details and I’m not in an inventive mood tonight.”

“Good, because I, on the other hand, am in the investigative mood this eve,” Petran replied trying hard to keep his tone jovial.

His neighbor didn’t find it funny. A heavy aura had descended in the dark chamber.

“Somenski,” Petran said, breaking the silence, “I don’t believe in divine curses. I believe in facts, and the fact is that your country has been stricken by a disease that can bind a millennia-old dragon to a bed.”

The draco opened his mouth to answer but another coughing fit made him change course. Once again, his skin changed into thick scales and his eyes turned yellow, like a wave, which came and went. And just like before, Natalia was right there to help her father, promptly supporting him up as he contorted in agony.

“We don’t know what’s causing this ailment,” she replied cleaning her father’s chin then helping him drink the strange, smelly tea. “Some country folks believe we’re being punished by Apa Dobrý but these are just superstitions driven by ignorance. The only thing we do know is that the illness blocks dracos from shifting, therefore, locking them in human form.”

“How can that be?” Petran had never heard of such thing, and had he not seen it with his own eyes, he wouldn’t have believed it.

She exhaled and shrugged weakly. “We need to shift to gain our strength, since he cannot…”

“He cannot gain enough strength to fight the disease,” Petran added, finishing the sentence for her.

She nodded affirmatively.

“What happens if you don’t shift for a length of time?” Petran asked, but the answer didn’t come from Natalia.

“Then our bodies deteriorate in a matter of months,” a male voice replied from the back of the room. “Like many have in the last year.”

Petran jumped to his feet at the sound of the new comer.

Kalaur, the Dragon Lord of the Eastern Mountains was standing by the balcony door. His imposing figure blocked the entire breadth of the frame.

Just like Somenski, the dragon lord owned a good chunk of East Europe, but unlike his old chap, Kalaur had never managed to gain Petran’s trust. He was cold-blooded and ambitious—never a good combination to have for a neighbor.

“Oh, my lord,” Natalia exclaimed holding her chest in her hands. “You startled us. I thought you had left when we came in and didn’t find you by my father’s side.”

Apparently Kalaur decided her remark was not worthy of his attention because he continued his statement as if he had never been interrupted. “Yes, it is a terrible Curse indeed but not to fear, I have my best physician developing an antidote as we speak.”

“Developing an antidote with what?” Petran asked. “I have never heard of anything like this disease before?”

“No disrespect, your majesty,” Kalaur replied clearly not meaning his words. “But this is a draconian matter.”

“The House of Basarab has been my neighbor for longer than you have, Kalaur,” Somenski uttered gravely. “Remember your place.”

“It’s alright, old friend,” Petran intervened quickly. He wanted to pin Kalaur’s tongue to the wall for his insolence, but held himself in check. Petran needed answers and apparently, the bastard had some. “I understand that in times like these, one’s patience is tested. Would it be too upsetting if you told me when this antidote will be available?”

“Soon,” Kalaur replied. “My physician is conducting the final tests.”

“On whom?” Somenski asked. A deep crease wrinkled his brow. “By Apa Dobrý, Kalaur, don’t tell me you are testing this drug on our own people!”

“How else would you like us to find a cure for your disease? Besides, they are just peasants,” the bloody lizard retorted with a short shrug. “There are plenty left still to work the lands.”

Petran never took kindly to blunt cruelty, but knew well that some lords in these parts of the world still saw their land as their kingdom and the peasants as mere serfs who should be grateful for a roof over their heads. Petran would never rule this way but unfortunately, as Kalaur had put it, it was truly none of his business.

“They are still our people, my lord, our flesh and blood,” Natalia commented. Apparently, she didn’t share Kalaur’s detachment. Despite her soft voice, her spine was as rigid as a rod, her jaw locked, and her pink lips pursed into a thin line. “I have been watching over the villages affected, and I believe there’s a pattern. After the first wave—”

“Nonsense,” the dragon lord barked interrupting her. “You are inexperienced and know nothing of the ways of this land, milady. Leave the serious affairs to those who know what’s best.”

Petran narrowed his eyes and fantasized about his fists connecting with Kalaur’s long nose. However, he came here to find out what was happening to his neighbor, not to start a fight with a powerful dragon lord, even if he were a deserving prick. So, he sat back down again and dared not intervene. He was also secretly hoping Somenski would come to Lady Natalia’s rescue, but the opposite occurred.

“He is right, my dear,” Somenski said, agreeing with his despot visitor. “You have been gone for a number of years.”

“And in London, the feeblest places of all! Once you are mine,” Kalaur added, “I will teach you how to be a true draconian duchess.”

Petran froze. Once she was his? What in Hiad? His eyes darted to Natalia, expecting surprise or revulsion but he found only stillness.

“And do not you worry, my friend,” Kalaur turned his focus to Somenski. “I will ensure your girl is provided for once you’re gone.”

“I’m not dead yet,” his neighbor replied without a hint of his usual lightness.

“So, are congratulations in order then?” Petran asked, testing the waters.

“We haven’t announced it yet, but—”

“Yes, Natalia will soon become the Duchess of Cossack, and my wife,” Kalaur said, confirming the horrible news.

Damn the Soartas. “And when is the happy date?”

“Soon,” Kalaur replied taking a seat at the feet of the bed. “And Natalia should start preparing for it. Running my castle will be a strenuous task and I accept nothing but perfection and precision. You shouldn’t have allowed her to live in London for so long, Somenski. She probably led a life of idleness and superfluity.”

“She was studying at the best boarding school for girls in our world, Kalaur,” Somenski replied. “The Mother Superior ensured me she spent her days either studying or working as a volunteer.”

As the two dragons discussed Natalia’s life as if she wasn’t there, Petran couldn’t stop his mind from wandering. Even though the times were changing and the word of revolution and female emancipation was spreading like fire, Romania was still virtually ruled under the feudal system, where one’s life decisions were not one’s own. Women were betrothed as soon as possible, sometimes even before they could walk, guaranteeing the continuation of wealth within noble families. Of course, Somenski would be thinking of ensuring his only daughter’s future with a good marriage, especially now that a strange disease had afflicted him. But Kalaur was far from being his best option, of that, Petran was certain. The bastard had never taken a wife before, nor had he ever showed any interest in doing so. Why was he so open to the idea of marriage now? The answer was obvious. Natalia was the catch of the century—wealthy, beautiful, young and his neighbor. Joining their wealth and lands would be no trouble. The problem was that Somenski’s lands were the only thing between Petran’s and Kalaur’s—a perfect barrier, which Petran was not ready to lose.

From the corner of his eye, he saw a slight change in Natalia’s posture. While the two dracos discussed what she should or should not do in preparation for her new life, Natalia kept quiet as tradition dictated, but Petran could sense her turmoil inside. Her eyes searched, her fingers twitched. It was clear that she was enjoying the conversation as much as he was.

Slowly, a plan formed in his head.

He had to protect his territory at all costs. If the marriage between the two draconian families brought them as one, Kalaur would have free passage to Petran’s lands, and that was too dangerous even to contemplate. No, he needed to stop the marriage, and there were only two means of doing so—finding another, equally profitable prospect for Kalaur, or making the lovely Natalia unfit for matrimony of high class. The latter seemed a much more attractive option. And why not? Deflowering such a beautiful rose was hardly a sacrifice in Petran’s mind. If any rumors of promiscuity would reach the ton, her future as Duchess of Cossack would be dismissed like a serf begging for money. Kalaur valued his reputation too much to jeopardize it with a disgraced bride. Poor Somenski would suffer the blow, of course, but there was little Petran could do to prevent that misfortune. He was fond of the old dragon, but not enough to risk his country for him. After all, losing a good neighbor was nothing compared to losing a crown.

“So, I’ll see you at the Open Games, Petran.”

Kalaur’s words brought him back from his machinations. “Yes, you certainly will,” he replied promptly. “Your opening ceremony has cost me a small fortune already.”

“How so?”

“My wife, Hillia, believes it is a fair reason to buy the entire dress collection from every single couture master in Paris,” Petran replied not bothering to feign his disgust. Then he turned his attention to his new target. “Are you planning on attending the games, milady?”

“I’d love to but I’m afraid my father won’t be fit enough to travel by then,” she replied softly.

“Nonsense,” her father grunted in disapproval. “I want you to go and enjoy your time there. This may be your last Open Games as a Somenski.”

“So may the Gods in Apa Sâmbetei allow you to be fit enough to go as well, old friend,” Petran added. “If Kalaur’s magician is as good as he claims, the cure is within reach.”

“Of course, he is as good as I claim him to be,” Kalaur barked, but didn’t explore Petran’s bait any further. “And I plan to officially announce the engagement at the closing ball, so you better be there Somenski.”

“I haven’t made up my mind yet,” Somenski replied. “I’m still considering your proposal, Kalaur. Don’t push me.”

“Fine but for once, my neighbor, time is not our friend.” Kalaur stood up and started making his way back to the balcony. “I must go now. Those godforsaken outlaws are driving my militia mad.”

“Are you still having trouble with the rebels?” Petran asked in a nonchalant manner, but he knew very well, Kalaur and his so-called invincible dragons were taking a beating.

“Not for long,” the draco grunted in reply. “They’ll soon feel what it really means to oppose their Lord.”

Petran nodded in acknowledgement and watched Kalaur step out of the balcony and jump. After a heartbeat, a large black dragon emerged from the shadows and disappeared into the waterfall.

“I thought dragons weren’t allowed to shift at whim anymore,” Petran stated with a blank face. “Shouldn’t he have asked your permission first, Somenski, since he’s in your lands?”

Somenski threw his head back and let out a loud laugh. Yes, of course it had been a joke, just like Kalaur’s reign.

“Kalaur’s laws apply to anyone but him,” Natalia muttered quietly.

So she does have a mind of her own. Interesting.

“Oh, my Talia, you won’t be doing me any favors by antagonizing Kalaur,” Somenski warned softly. “He may be my only chance for a cure.”

“I pray for Apa Dobrý every night, father,” Natalia replied. “They wouldn’t be so cruel to strand you this way.”

For a moment, Petran let himself admire the good daughter Natalia had become, and a hint of envy unsettled his heart. If only his own son was as compliant as she was. Tardieh refused to learn, to abide by Petran’s instructions. He was as indifferent to the rules as the rebels who ransacked the draconian states.

“Well, old sod, I too must be on my way,” Petran said standing up. “I don’t have rebels to deal with but I must find shelter for myself and my kind before sunrise.”

“Nonsense,” Somenski bellowed, then coughed furiously. When it subsided, he carried on. “You will spend the day here. I have enough dark rooms in this castle and Talia has already arranged proper accommodations for you and your entourage. I will not take no for an answer.”

Petran was counting on that. “If that is your will, your lordship,” he replied bowing low in friendly mockery. “I will not refuse.”

Somenski let out another loud laugh, and this time he managed to hold off the coughing fit. “You dare mock me in my own house, you blood sucking fool!”

“Of course, where else would I do it?” he replied with an impish shrug.

More laughter reverberated in the room and Petran’s was in the mix. His gaze met Lady Natalia’s for a fleeting moment. A shy smile lifted the corner of her cheeks. By Apa Dobrý, she was truly beautiful. He definitely understood why Kalaur was rushing to take her as his wife. But now Petran was in the race, and judging by the way her grey eyes gazed at him, Kalaur had a serious contender against him.

Here’s a little bit about me.

I was just nine years old when I discovered my passion for the paranormal world. That passion led me to a number of amateur theatre productions in my home town, and ultimately to a bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts.

It wasn’t very cool to have spent five years working my ass off for no money. But, I have to say, it was then that I made my first attempts into the literary world. The first ones were writing children’s plays for my family’s language school. After a couple of blunders, I decided to translate Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream into a dancing and kicking play. It was so much fun that after that, let’s just say that I caught the bug.

But it was really my mother who brought me into writing. I call her “my catalyst” – she’s always been the one who I went to for advice on my acting career, my travel adventures, my love life… And she was always the one to say, “Go for it!”

So, I did. I travelled around the world, lived in several different continents, met several great people and had not-so-great lovers. In one of my “go for it” adventures, I met my husband. And then my life really changed.

I’m not saying that my marriage is perfect, or that he is perfect. No, I wouldn’t lie to you like that, now, would I?

In the beginning it was fantastic. We were in love and living together after two weeks into our relationship. But as all of us – married girls – know, passion has a very bright but short blaze. After a few years, I found myself still loving him, but not wanting him as much as I used to. Around that time I started devouring at least two erotica romances per mouth. And, what do you know – my marriage went back in full swing again. I was in love, full of passion and energy! Of course that I was fantasizing about the vampires and werewolf heroes I read in the books, but did it really matter? What’s the difference between doing that and buying naughty-nun-and-priest outfits? It’s all about using your imagination to bring the spark back to your love life, isn’t it?

Well, actually it wasn’t that simple. Now, I have a clear conscience about it all –better erotica books than cheating, right? But in the beginning I tried to hide my “hobby” from my husband. Can you believe it? Yes, I did. And I think there are a lot of us who do it too.

One day I decided to try children’s psychology to solve my conundrum– if you don’t make a big deal out of it, the brat won’t realize you’ve just said the c-word out loud.

The strategy worked. I realized that my husband didn’t really care what I read – what he wanted was his passionate wife back. So, yeah, win-win.

A few months later, I started a project with my mom– did I mention she’s a fantastic writer? Yep, she is, but life wasn’t very kind to her, and after a handful of really nice books, she quit. So I made a commitment to myself to get her to start writing again. I promised that if she helped me out, I would find her a new literary agent and launch her favorite novel in Europe. While putting together the list of literary agents to be targeted (I even had them broken up into categories!), I discovered that a number of them were actively looking for new paranormal romances. But when I suggested it to my mother, she came back with – “Why don’t you write it?”

That made me stop and I asked myself, “Yeah, why don’t I write it?”

It wasn’t easy but after years travelling around the world, translating other people’s work and devouring paranormal romances, I finally took the courage to put my passion into words and start my first novel, Dragon Heat – Book One.

In less than two days I finished the full synopsis of Book One and the first thoughts for two and three.

Now, I am developing a new series, dedicated to one of my favorite characters I created in Dragon Heat but unfortunately could not give him the attention he deserved.

My mom is now back writing and working on her new novel. And my marriage is still going very very well.

I hope you enjoy your read and that my book inspires you to get out there and dare, the same way the novels I read inspired me.

 

By Apa Dobrý, go for it!

 

Ella

MINDING HER BOSS’S BUSINESS by Janice Maynard

May 17, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

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MINDING HER BOSS’S BUSINESS: USA Today bestselling author Janice Maynard asks the question – Can a boss on a royal mission mix business with pleasure? In Minding Her Boss’s Business, diplomat Alex Ramon’s Miami mission is on the rocks. Convincing the exiled Montoros to give up their American life and return to Alma’s throne has become personal. Not only is his trusted aide Maria Ferro flirting with a potential prince, but Alex is actually jealous! So jealous, he might sabotage his goals so he can take Maria to his bed a prize more tempting than any commission from the crown. But Alex doesn’t know that Maria has a longtime crush of her own—and it isn’t on the playboy prince.…

Buy the book

http://www.amazon.com/Minding-Her-Bosss-Business-Dynasties-ebook/dp/B00PQIE07A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431880001&sr=8-1&keywords=MINDING+HER+BOSS%E2%80%99S+BUSINESS+by++Janice+Maynard

Familiar Feeling by Daniel A. Kaine

May 15, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

 New Release May 6th

 

~Synopsis~

Drew never believed in magic. Then three years after his wife’s unexplained death he unearths a book of spells in his attic. Reading the first ‘stupid poem’ seems harmless, until he acquires his very own familiar, Felix.
Drew and Felix soon realise an attraction that goes beyond their magical bond. However, there’s a coven of demon-worshipping witches out to steal Drew’s newfound power. If they want to survive long enough to see where their mutual desires take them, Felix must teach Drew the art of witchcraft. But will he be ready in time?

~Author Bio~

Daniel was born and raised in the Land of Rain, aka England, where he now lives with his four lovable furballs; Mik, Ash, Spidey and Flash. Originally trained as a Biology teacher, Daniel was unsure what to do with his life until he came across fanfiction for his favourite anime and decided to have a go at writing his own. To this day, he still cringes at the memory of the cheesy terminology he used.
When not writing, Daniel enjoys a variety of activities, including running, going to the gym, bondage, watching anime, and the mass-slaying of virtual monsters in the hopes of receiving epic loot. One day, he hopes to become a werepanther and invent chocolate that can be eaten all day without making you fat.

~Giveaway~

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~Blog Hosts~

 

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KILTS AND DAGGERS by Victoria Roberts

May 14, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

Victoria Roberts' KILTS AND DAGGERS
Rafflecopter Giveaway

Open April 27 – June 1

Giveaway for 3 copies of MY HIGHLAND SPY by Victoria Roberts

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Romance Junkies – May 14

 To celebrate the release of KILTS AND DAGGERS, the second title in Victoria Roberts’ Highland Spies series, Fagan Murray, the strong and handsome captain of Laird Sutherland’s guard has agreed to sit down with us and answer our questions so you can know more about this rugged Highlander!

Do you want to start a family? Or are the Walsingham sisters + Torquil plenty?

Grace and I are newly wed, and believe me, I love to practice bedding my wife. But I don’t know that I’m quite ready to tempt fate. If God decided to bless us with a bairn, let’s just say that I’d pray for a son. In truth, I don’t know what I’d do with another lass. The men are sorely outnumbered.

What makes the Highlands so special?

Besides me?

The Highlands is a place like no other. This is the land of my ancestors. This is my home. Between the bonny lochs, heather draped moors and the sea, I can’t imagine any place better. And there’s nothing like the sound of bagpipes in the morn. Where else can you find that, eh? Oh, and all the men wear kilts, lasses. :)

 

Kilts and Daggers

By Victoria Roberts

My Highland Spy, Book 2

Sourcebooks Casablanca

Scottish Historical Romance

ISBN: 9781402292033

May 5, 2015

$7.99 Mass Market Paperback

 9781402292033

About the Book

“This book begs to be read and reread.”—RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars on My Highland Spy

Ever since Lady Grace Walsingham discovered her uncle and sister are spies for the Crown, she has yearned for adventure. She’s counting the days until she can leave barbaric Scotland behind, even if she must endure Highland captain Fagan Murray’s company for weeks.

Fagan has a simple mission: escort the haughty Lady Grace back to England. But nothing is ever easy. The sharp-tongued woman needles him at every turn. But when a menacing threat follows them on their journey, Fagan’s grudging tolerance for Grace turns to respect…and into a perilous attraction that could seal their fate.

 

More praise for My Highland Spy:

“Beautiful! This book has it all.”—Night Owl Reviews, 4.5 Stars, Reviewer Top Pick

“One of the best… an outstanding Scottish romance.”—Romance Reviews, 5 Stars

“An exciting Highland tale of intrigue, betrayal, and love with a braw Highland hero and strong English heroine any reader will love.”—Hannah Howell, New York Times bestselling author of Highland Master

 Highland Spies series:

My Highland Spy (Book 1)

Kilts and Daggers (Book 2)

Plaids and Petticoats (Book 3)

Buy the Book

MY HIGHLAND SPY (Book 1)

Amazon | Apple | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound | Kobo

 KILTS AND DAGGERS (Book 2)

Amazon | Apple | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound

 

About the Author

Victoria Roberts writes sexy, award-winning Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. Prior to ever picking up a single romance novel, she penned her first young adult novella at 16 years old. Who knew her leather-studded motorcycle hero would trade in his ride and emerge as a kilt wearing Highlander wielding a broadsword? Victoria lives with her husband and their two beautiful children in western Pennsylvania.

Connect with Victoria Roberts

Website – www.VictoriaRobertsAuthor.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/victoria.roberts.395

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5763317.Victoria_Roberts

 

Excerpt from KILTS AND DAGGERS by Victoria Roberts

“Mister Murray, I don’t feel at ease discussing these subjects with you.”

“Then call me Fagan. Mister Murray was my father’s name anyway.”

Grace looked around and then softened her voice. “Now is that truly appropriate?”

“I told ye before. Ye’re a long way from England, lass. Lest ye forget, ye’re in the Highlands now. We do things differently here.”

She lifted a brow. “How could I forget?”

“Ruairi said ye’ll be staying with us for a few weeks. More to the point, I already call Ruairi’s wife Ravenna.” He turned up his smile a notch. “Ye and I are practically like family. Ye will call me Fagan, and I will call ye Grace, or I could always call ye bhana-phrionnsa. I’ll be kind enough to give ye a choice.”

“Ravenna may permit you to call her by her Christian name, but I certainly do not, Mister Murray. Although you do make me laugh, I’m afraid you and I are far from family.”

***

When Grace’s eyes smoldered, Fagan knew he shouldn’t get too close to the flame for fear of getting burned. There was still enough time to take his leave. Otherwise, he’d be verbally sparring with a lass in the middle of the great hall. Ruairi would no doubt have his head for causing mischief with his kin so soon after the wedding.

Fagan slapped both hands on the table and casually stood. Instinctively, he took another step back in case the lass suddenly had a strong urge to reach across the table and throttle him—or worse. Nevertheless, once she heard what he was about to say, the table wouldn’t provide enough space between them.

“Verra well then. I think bhana-phrionnsa suits ye quite nicely.” When Grace’s cheeks turned scarlet, Fagan smiled. “Donna say I didnae warn ye. Remember I did give ye a choice.” He winked at her and then turned on his heel.

“Wait!”

He had a hard time trying to mask his smile. He turned around slowly and lifted a brow. “Aye?”

Grace flew to her feet, walked around the table, and closed the distance between them. She lifted her head, and by the way she was unsteady on her feet, he swore the daft lass was standing on the tips of her toes in a futile attempt to look him level in the eye.

“England and Scotland have been warring for centuries, Mister Murray, yet somehow Scotland has never won.” Lifting her skirts, she brushed his arm with her shoulder and took a few steps away from him.

That was until he called after her and stopped her dead in her tracks. “Cuine a chì mi a-ris thu, Grace?” When will I see you again? He made certain he said the words as though he spoke to his lover, which obviously had the desired effect because her whole body stiffened, and then she left him without a backward glance. Fagan’s mood was suddenly buoyant. He wasn’t exactly sure why he loved to unnerve Princess Grace, but he had one hell of a time doing it.

Author for Ava Louise

May 13, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

AUTHOR AVA LOUISE’S

MAY 4TH WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR

OF INTERGALACTIC MATCHMAKING SERVICES

(the series)

 

The Intergalactic Matchmaking Services series begins with Maggie’s Story, Ava Louise’s debut novel. In the series, you’ll meet characters that play a role in all of the books of the series, but this cozy Sci-Fi with romance is easily read as a series, or each book as a standalone. The characters are full-fledged and lovable!

“Maggie’s Story” — Women Wanted: Must have a sense of adventure and be open to new experiences. Must also be willing to relocate. Please contact…Intergalactic Matchmaking Services.
Maggie Cline decides to investigate her romantic possibilities after she becomes a target when she identifies the shooter in a local murder.
Can she find a soul mate away from everything she knows and has worked hard for here on Earth? What about her loyal companion? Will she have to give up her cat, Mamzell, for a chance at love?

Genre: Science Fiction, Romance Publisher: Amazon Digital Services (January 27, 2014) ASIN: B00I44AGA8

“Shirley’s Story” – Just as Shirley decides to try opening herself up to a chance at love, a stalker from her past returns. How does she move forward when her past comes knocking? What’s going on with her young student, Hannah? Will her dog, Oreo, be okay with Shirley looking for love?

Genre: Science Fiction, Romance Publisher: Amazon Digital Services (March 4, 2014) ASIN: B00ISU9RE4

“Penny’s Story” – Penny was supposed to be dead. At least that is what Claire has believed for ten years. Find out what happens when Claire’s sister comes out of the Witness Protection Program. Penny is fighting a losing battle with cancer and needs Claire to raise Sunny, Penny’s newborn daughter, once the cancer takes its final toll. Why is Penny’s ex-boyfriend, Jason, telling his cronies that Penny has money and information about their illegal dealings? How does the cartel find out she has even left the Witness Protection Program?

Genre: Women’s Fiction Publisher: Amazon Digital Services (November 30, 2014) ASIN: B00OV8QBXC

Will Marko have to watch as another woman he cares for dies a horrible death? Will he lose his job as Medical Officer on the starship for bending the rules? Can Pacer finally have the peaceful retirement he desires? How will Claire deal with her quiet life being turned upside down? Catch up with Maggie and Daxon, along with Shirley and Mathenzo.

All of the Intergalactic Matchmaking Services books are available as an e-book on  Amazon

 

About the Author:

Ava Louise was born a U.S. Army brat overseas, in France. She is the proud mom of two wonderful young men. It’s taken her a while to figure out what she wanted to be “when she grows up,” but Ava has finally found her niche in the writing world. Since writing came to her later in life, she likes to think she is living proof that it’s never too late to reach for a dream or to achieve it. Before writing her own stories, she usually reads from a wide array of genres. She loves Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Mysteries, Thrillers, and Young Adult.

Ava Louise can be found online at:

Email: AvaLouiseAuthor@yahoo.com Website: http://avalouise.net/ Blog: The Road to a Dream: http://avalouiseauthor.blogspot.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ava.louise.35 Twitter: https://twitter.com/@avalouiseauthor

TWICE A TEXAS by Linda Broday

May 12, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

Twice a Texas Bride Blog Graphic

Rafflecopter Giveaway

3 copies of TEXAS MAIL ORDER BRIDE (Book 1)

Open 4/27 – 6/1

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Romance Junkies – May 14

Hi there. I’m Callie Quinn, wife of Rand Sinclair, the middle brother in the Bachelors of Battle Creek series – Twice a Texas Bride.

What was your favorite story as a child?

I loved Cinderella. My mother used to read it to me and my twin sister every night. I never tired of listening to how the prince fell in love with Cinderella and rescued her from her horrible stepmother. After my mother died when I was eight years old, I found out just how evil a replacement can be. I dreamed that a handsome prince would come and take me and my sister away. Though he didn’t arrive until many years later, he finally found me. Rand is my prince, my love, my whole world.

What activity makes you lose track of time?

I love to paint on canvas. When I sit down with a vision in my head, it might be many hours before I realize how late it’s getting. I love to create beautiful pictures, blending the light shades with the dark. It’s sort of like life. We have times of darkness and then rays of light shine through. The picture, like life, is complete only when you have both.

What makes you smile?

Every single time Rand takes me in his arms. And when he gets this devilish twinkle in his vivid blue eyes, I know I’m in for so much pleasure my heart won’t be able to hold it all. The moment he hungrily presses his lips to mine, I feel this need rising up and know for certain he’s going to fill it. But there are also quiet times in the parlor at night. He looks at me and my lips curve in a smile. I think to myself how lucky I am.

 

Twice a Texas Bride

By Linda Broday

Bachelors of Battle Creek, Book 2

Sourcebooks Casablanca

Historical Western Romance

May 5, 2015

ISBN: 9781492602842

$7.99 Mass Market Paperback

 9781492602842

About the Book

“Linda Broday’s books always take me back to a west that feels true. Her love stories run deep with emotion. A delightful read.” —Jodi Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Promise Me Texas

 

Callie leaned into him, borrowing his strength. “I’m so tired of being scared, Rand.”

“Running away won’t change that. Trust me with your secrets. There’s no reason to hold back any longer.”

She knew he was right. It was time to come clean.

“Start with your name,” he said.

Left with emotional scars from his time in an orphanage, Rand Sinclair has vowed never to marry. But when he discovers Callie Quinn and a small orphan boy hiding on his ranch, he can’t help but open his home to the desperate runaways.

Callie has been betrayed by every man she’s ever known. While she’s grateful for Rand’s incredible kindness, she knows it’s only a matter of time before he shows his true colors. But she needs this safe haven—maybe the outlaw on her trail won’t find them here. Yet as Rand slowly uncovers her secret fears, they each come to realize that the only way to keep her safe is for Rand to risk everything to offer her the protection of his name…and his heart.

Where to Buy

TEXAS MAIL ORDER BRIDE (Book 1)

Amazon | Apple | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound | Kobo

 

TWICE A TEXAS BRIDE (Book 2)

Amazon | Apple | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound

 

About the Author

Linda Broday now resides in the panhandle of Texas on the Llano Estacado. At a young age, she discovered a love for storytelling, history, and anything pertaining to the Old West. Cowboys fascinate her. There’s something about Stetsons, boots, and tall rugged cowboys that get her fired up! A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Linda has won many awards, including the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold Award. She blogs regularly at www.PetticoatsandPistols.com.

Connect with Linda Broday

Website – www.LindaBroday.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/lbroday

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/lindabrodayauthor

Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/Linda_Broday

 

Praise for Linda Broday

“Broday understands the West and its lure. Without stinting on the gritty reality of a rough Texas life, she brings strong characters and deep emotions into a very realistic western romance that pulls no punches.”—RT Book Reviews, 4 stars, on Redemption

“Linda Broday is a wonderfully talented author, who has a knack for bringing the west to life.”—Roundtable Reviews

“Broday’s style of storytelling is captivating; readers become emotionally involved in her stories, and are not disappointed with the outcomes.”—The Best Reviews

“A compelling tale… sure to touch western romance fans seeking a sentimental love story.”—RT Book Reviews, 3 stars, on The Cowboy Who Came Calling

 

Excerpt from TWICE A TEXAS BRIDE by Linda Broday

Toby barreled out the kitchen door, trailed by Biscuit. “What’cha doin’?”

“Hi, pardner.” Brett ruffled Toby’s dark hair. “I brought you something.”

“What is it?”

“Your very own tepee.”

“To keep?” Toby’s eyes widened and his big grin spread.

“Maybe. We’ll see how it goes. If you mind your elders, you can keep it. If not, I’ll have to take it back.”

“I’m the best boy in the whole world.”

Brett’s grunt seemed to say that time would tell as he arranged twelve long poles on the ground and began tying the tops of three together with a length of rawhide. “Where do you want to put this, Rand?”

“Let’s move it over by the woodpile, where it’s out of the way.” He was going to be the only white man with an Indian tepee on his ranch. How had this sorry state of affairs come to pass? But he wouldn’t say no. It meant too much to Brett and to Toby.

Callie came from the house looking fit to be tied. “Hello, Brett. I hope this isn’t what it looks like.”

“Miss Callie, I wanted something special for Toby to play in, that’s all. If you draw the line at him sleeping out here, that’s all right. It’s up to you to decide when and how often you want the boy to use it.” Brett gave her a smile. “I’d never undermine you.”

“This could be very magical to a child,” Rand said gently.

“Please, ma’am?” Toby begged. “I wanna be an Indian.”

Biscuit gave a loud whine and spun around in a circle as though she too was adding her two cents’ worth.

“Please?” Toby persisted.

When she lifted her eyes to Rand, he gave her a lopsided grin and a wink. Getting tangled up in her warm whiskey gaze could be quite pleasurable, he found.

“Oh, all right.” Callie threw up her hands. “But I won’t have you sleeping out here, young man. You’ll play in it only when I give you permission. And you’ll have chores to do each day before you can play. Understand?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“It’s too dangerous out here at night anyway, with that mountain lion hanging around,” Rand said. “I’ll keep an eye on him during the day. I don’t want you to worry.”

Toby hugged Callie, then threw his arms around Brett’s waist. “Thank you. I’m glad we came here.”

Brett returned Toby’s hug, then knelt to rub Biscuit’s head. “Now tell me where you got such a fine-looking animal.”

Rand stood watching the pint-sized squirt relay what little facts he knew. He already loved this little kid. Whatever had happened to them, it made him happy that he could help bring a light to the boy’s eyes. He remembered how dull they’d been when he’d first found them in the run-down bunkhouse last week. His mind turned back time to the days following his, Cooper’s, and Brett’s escape from the orphan train. To avoid detection, they’d slept during the day and traveled by the light of the moon, eating food whenever they found some or managed to kill a rabbit or squirrel. Cooper was always the one to watch over them and fight when things called for it. He’d once tried to kill Tolbert Early in a bathhouse for attacking Brett.

Toby had that same protective instinct. Rand only prayed he could help the boy stay a boy a while longer. Once you became a man, you could never go back.

“Where are you, brother?” Brett asked.

“Just thinking that you’d best explain what we need to do.”

With Biscuit supervising and pretty much getting in the way, they all pitched in erecting the tepee, which was made from buffalo hide.

Working side by side with Callie proved the best part. Each time their hands touched, a current ran up Rand’s arm. He couldn’t imagine what might happen if the touching involved a bed and the scent of night around them. He’d probably just explode faster than a load of nitroglycerin. Likely find pieces of him three states over.

The haunted look had begun to fade from her eyes a little, and she wasn’t as tense and anxious as when they first arrived.

Maybe, just maybe, the fear would be gone soon.

And then he intended to kiss the daylights out of her.

Of course he’d go slow. He closed his eyes and watched it play out in his head.

He’d start by kissing each eyelid, then move to her shell-like ears and trail kisses down her long slender throat.

Tiny nibbles at the corners of her mouth.

Trace the seam with his tongue.

Breathe her fragrance.

Whisper tender words.

Only then would he press his lips fully against hers and take all that she wanted to give.

And then…

“Rand!”

It took a minute to sink in that someone was trying to get his attention. “What?”

“Where did you go?” Brett asked. “I need you to help me get these sewn buffalo hides around this tripod and cone I’ve made. Of course, if you’d rather take a nap—”

“Just show me what to do,” Rand snapped.

As they worked, Rand’s gaze kept straying to Callie’s soft, round curves. The woman was going to be the death of him yet.

Even so, he was realizing he’d die a happy man if he could only get a taste of her lips.

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