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Winner and thank you!

Wow – I had a major brain lapse here, thinking the Stay Home party wasn’t over until Tuesday!! It’s been fun, I read more than I posted, and there are some totally cool authors at this party!! Thanks to everyone, and MANY thanks to the amazing TRS team who make these events so easy and friendly.

Laurie P gets the audio version of 1-900-Surprise! I’ll email you shortly, Laurie.

Cheers everyone!

7 Wild And Free Questions: Inspiring Creativity Interview With Author Denysé Bridger

GIVEAWAY – the just released AUDIO of 1-900-Surprise!

Anyone who would like to win the new AUDIO version of my latest title, just leave a comment, and I’ll grab a random winner for it at the end of the party!

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1-900-SURPRISE!

Short, sexy contemporary with edge!

Available NOW from Eirelander Publishing

http://www.amazon.com/1-900-Surprise-Denyse-Bridger-ebook/dp/B00K1KD2Z4/

Now in AUDIO at:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/1-900-Surprise/dp/B00KB48B3S/

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/audiobook/1-900-surprise-unabridged/id878392267

When her lover, Martin Fowler is called away to Washington and she can’t go with him, Daniella LeBeaux is restless and edgy. Martin’s older, worldly, and has a reputation that would make most women think twice about trusting him. Dani loves him, and trust is not what’s making her anxious and edgy – lust and loneliness are combining with a little too much to drink. When the phone rings, and it’s Martin, delayed again, he teaches her a new way to make love long-distance style…. but who’s watching Dani? And is Martin really ready for the revenge his actions incite?

Excerpt:

An hour after her father had gone home, Martin called. He was, in fact, on his way back to New York. Despite the fact that she had an early call for rehearsals the next day, Daniella chose to wait up for him. It was approaching 2 AM now and he still wasn’t home. She glanced at the clock. Less than ten minutes had passed since her last check.

She had stopped drinking after her father had gone, taken a shower, and now she was sitting in the apartment with only candlelight and soft music for company. She smiled, unable to subdue the flutter of excitement in her stomach when she thought about seeing him walk into the apartment. She went to the window, staring at the street as if she could will the scarlet-colored Corvette to appear.

Her father’s visit, and the revelations he’d shared played through her mind again. It explained why Andrew had taken Martin on as a partner in the private investigations firm that was doing extremely well due to the talented men who ran it. To his credit, Martin had tried to dissuade Daniella’s interest in him, especially given her age. She’d been seventeen when they’d met, and her father’s disapproval of her infatuation with Martin had been vehement. Persuading either of them that her teenage crush was actually soul-deep love and adoration hadn’t been easy. By the time she was twenty-one, Martin had been convinced; it had taken more months than she cared to recall to make her father understand and accept it. But, it had finally happened, and she was happier than she’d ever been in her life. Most of the time.

The glitter of soft, dancing light from the flickering candle-flames sparkled on cut crystal and drew her gaze to the bar. She decided to have another drink, even knowing it was likely to be a bad idea come morning. She poured a healthy dose of the scotch Martin preferred, and then tried to settle into an armchair. She closed her eyes and let her head fall back against the plush cushion in an attempt to relax.

A single mouthful of the drink reminded her of the way it tasted on Martin’s lips. She let that image settle in her mind, smiling at the shiver that rippled through her. Martin was a stunning man, and she never tired of looking at him, or listening to him, or being in the same room with him.

He was tall, with dark brown hair, and equally dark eyes that dominated a strikingly contoured face. At forty, he was scarred emotionally and physically, but he was beauty incarnate to the woman who loved him. The image of his lean, muscular limbs, and her frequent cataloging of every gorgeous inch of him, made her tremble with longing.

She tossed back the remainder of her Scotch and slouched deeper into the chair erotic memories led her thoughts. The warmth of the liquor coursed through her, creating a flush on her skin that she knew would be visible had Martin been there to see it. She let herself be carried along on the alcohol-edged wave, and felt an undeniable rush of hungry desire when she thought about having Martin beside her in bed. The nights had been the hardest part of the separation—she’d been going to bed later and later over the past week in order to spend as few hours as possible sleeping alone.

She was still finding it difficult to believe just how much she missed him. The apartment was eerily quiet in the morning, and equally so when she came home. The evenings started driving her crazy within a few days. She was always wound up after the extended rehearsals, but that excess energy generally found an outlet in Martin’s arms.

Daniella abruptly cut off that train of thought by getting up to fix another drink, this time making it considerably larger than the previous one. A slow stroll back to the window revealed only darkness and an empty street below. It had rained earlier, and the scattered puddles created sporadic mirrors and reflected back the glare of streetlights and passing car headlights. An absent glance at her watch didn’t offer her any reassurance—he was nearly an hour late now. She forced down the threat of panic that wanted to blossom into a full-fledged fear and told herself that he was all right. His identity was protected and all precautions had been taken to ensure his safety. With her father in charge of that, she had no doubts at all about the quality of the security surrounding Fowler at all times.

Uncomfortable at the window, Daniella spun on her heel and dropped into the armchair again. About halfway to the bottom of this drink, memory steered her thoughts inexorably back to the bedroom she shared with Martin. The tension knotting her muscles was as much sexual as it was concern for his unexplained lateness, and the sudden ache between her thighs was more than enough to awaken her entire body with anticipation. Another gulp and the second Scotch was gone.

Daniella was beginning to feel a bit more relaxed again now that alcohol was dulling her perception but there was still an edge of panic lingering within her. She couldn’t help wondering if something had happened to Martin; he was never hours late without calling—a habit he was slowly drilling into Daniella as well. She looked at the glass in her hand, debating whether to refill it a third time. It was now almost three o’clock, and she decided to have the drink then go to bed—alone. She couldn’t suppress the flare of anger that shot through her at the prospect of another night in the huge bed without Martin. In her heart, she knew nothing serious had delayed him, which meant he simply hadn’t bothered to call.

Twenty minutes and a third drink later; Daniella was staring at the empty glass again. Her head felt pleasantly fuzzy.

Disappointment and annoyance kept her on an emotional seesaw…

Denysé

Denysé Bridger
“Live the Romance, Become the Fantasy…”
** Preditors & Editors Best Author 2012-2013 **
WEBSITE: http://www.denysebridger.com
Fantasy Pages (general): http://fantasy-pages.blogspot.com
Bound By Passion (adult content): http://boundpassion.blogspot.com

Bella, Bella Signorina – a sweetly sensual romance from Rome

 

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BELLA SIGNORINA
In its original format for the first time!
Genre: Sweetly sensual contemporary romance
Publisher: Eirelander Publishing
Blurb:
 
Set in Rome, Bella Signorina is a sweet, romantic story of two people who meet in a trendy caffè, and through the magic of dance and music discover they have many things in common. Bianca comes to Caffè Rosati every week, and for many weeks she’s been watching a special man, a handsome, charming stranger who dances, flirts, and leaves alone each week. Bianca is a woman who enjoys her freedom, and has been hurt before, so she’s not anxious to fall in love again. Something about the enigmatic Stefano has captivated her heart, though, and she is drawn to him in spite of herself. When she finally gathers her courage to approach him, and ask him to dance, little does she know that her entire world is about to change.
 
Stefano Esposito is a man who’s past relationships have not left him much in the way of ideals about women. Many have claimed to love him, none have understood him. Stefano is a rare breed in today’s world of fast-paced life and love. He is a gentleman, a man who many consider a little out of step with the times. For Stefano, falling in love is the completion of a soul, not the consummation of a sexual itch. He wants the woman in his life to respect, understand, and adore him, as he will her. When he meets Bianca, he wonders if he’s finally found the one he’s waited a lifetime for? She understands his internal conflicts, his desires, and his dreams, after only hours together.
 
When their attraction to each other flares too quickly and too intently, Stefano pulls back. Confused and uncertain, Bianca flees his beautiful home and business, and goes back to her busy life. But, once the dance has begun, is there a way to go back to what you knew before, or is it just a matter of time before the music lures you back to your dreams and, perhaps, makes them reality?
 
 
Read an excerpt:
 
I simply smiled and raised a glass when she walked over
Then love began, she took my hand, and said let’s dance…
 
Bianca allowed the music to surge into her being, until the only thing real was the easy rhythm of motion that had her spinning into the pulsing sounds of the catchy song. She’d danced with Gianni many times, and no thought was involved, only the perfect movement and the music. He was an excellent partner, and as always, the song ended too soon. Tonight, as often happened, there was a small burst of applause for the performance they’d given.
 
She smiled and turned to go back to her table when the handsome stranger at the bar lifted his glass and saluted her. For just an instant, the cafe and its patrons vanished, and there was only his sparkling eyes and the humor that emanated from him. Excitement surged into her veins, making her reckless and determined. Bianca murmured an excuse to Gianni, then changed direction and headed directly for the beautiful man she’d been wanting to meet.
 
When she stood in front of him, she offered her hand.
 
He took it, kissed it, and waited, faint challenge in his eyes.
 
She ignored the tremor working its way into her knees and making them wobbly.
 
“Let’s dance,” she invited.
 
Laughter accompanied the shake of his head.
 
Bianca eyed him with amusement.
 
“Why?”
 
“I don’t dance, bella.”
 
His voice was soft, richly modulated, and layered with too many subtleties to readily define them all.
 
“Of course you do,” she countered, her head tilting to one side. “I’ve seen you dance here.”
 
“Not like you do,” he replied.
 
He reached for his wine, and she caught his hand and tugged, gently but insistently drawing him with her as she walked back to the dance floor, her gaze locked with his startled look. The four piece band was just beginning a lively number when Bianca struck a pose and waited for him to take the lead. He did, and she was totally unprepared for the shock of awareness that went through her when he pulled her to him and they started to move like one person…
 
Denysé
“Live the Romance, Become the Fantasy…”
** Predators & Editors Best Author 2012 **
http://www.denysebridger.com

 

Defector – my latest best-seller!

 

A little background on my blog, talking about my newest best-seller: http://fantasy-pages.blogspot.ca/2014/04/a-new-suspense-best-seller-romfantasy.html
 
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DEFECTOR

Suspense/Thriller (non-romance)

ARe Romance Books | OmniLit | Amazon | Publisher

Blurb:

Andrew Dahle is a career spook, with no messy emotional ties to complicate his life. He’s worked with the best, and despite himself, he’s about to discover that he’s got friends he really didn’t know he wanted.

A straight-forward operation to grab a defector before he can leave the country with a top secret project goes wildly awry, and forces Andrew to choose between saving the life of a colleague’s son or nailing his target. To his great surprise, he saves the young man’s life, and wakes up in a hospital.

Grateful, Richard MacAvoy, a retired agent with his own elite contacts and players, steps in when Dahle is injured saving his son. Desperate to complete his mission, Andrew reluctantly accepts the help MacAvoy offers, and in the process just might learn that alone isn’t always the best way to work, and friends might be worth the vulnerability he’s always shunned.

Excerpt:

Andrew felt the shadows releasing him, the sensation an abrupt, disturbing awareness that he knew he shouldn’t be experiencing. He trusted the instinctive alertness, though, and waited for the sound to give him a clear indication of where the danger was coming from. It only took a few minutes to locate the source, and Dahle’s eyes flew open just as the needle was being inserted into the I.V. tube that ran into his arm.

Andrew pulled the intravenous out as he forced his body into motion that it clearly objected to. The man hovering over his bed jumped back, his surprise giving Dahle his only chance to make a useful move.

Andrew threw himself off the bed and into the man next to it, taking them both down to the floor with a solid thud. He recovered quickly and landed a jarring blow to the man’s jaw. In the few seconds it took for the attacker to shake himself free of the pain, Dahle located the gun inside the other man’s coat. He pulled it free of the holster and pressed the barrel snugly between the man’s terrified eyes.

“Who sent you?” he demanded, the words little more than a rasp. He could feel the pulses of pain building with each breath, and he knew he’d probably torn apart whatever stitching the doctors had done earlier.

Dahle saw the refusal to answer before his assailant tried to offer him a response. He shifted his hold on the gun, then brought it down against the side of the man’s head, the action little more than a blur of smooth, practiced motion.

Andrew staggered to his feet and glanced around the room, suddenly expecting menace from every angle. He went to the locker and yanked his bloodstained clothes from the hangers. He dressed quickly, the gun within easy reach as he kept one eye on the door, then he slipped into position and waited. Instinct and experience told him there’d be more than one man sent for this kind of job. This one would have needed a lookout to warn him of possible interruptions by hospital staff.

He didn’t have to wait long for confirmation of his assessment. The door inched inward and Andrew banged the heavy metal panel back on the intruder, causing him to stumble. With a swiftness that stirred to life all the pain that he’d been fighting, Andrew reached for the wobbling figure and hauled him into the room. As the door swung shut on virtually silent hinges, Dahle slammed his captive against the wall and glared into the dazed features of the startled man.

He recovered a little more quickly than his partner and before Andrew could prevent it, he was struck soundly in the stomach. Gasping, Dahle almost passed out completely when the man’s fist came down hard on his injured shoulder, and he lost his grip on the gun he had been holding. He wheeled back and barely managed to dodge another punch aimed at his vulnerable shoulder. He spun on his heel, used the momentum, and landed a surprisingly solid kick to the second attacker’s midsection. He went down on his knees in front of Andrew and Dahle grabbed a handful of hair, then yanked back with all his strength. He heard the distinct crack of bones, then released the man to fall into a lifeless heap at his feet.

Glancing around him, Andrew knew the room would be crawling with people before too much longer. He needed to get out of the hospital, and quickly. Picking up the weapon he’d dropped minutes earlier, he ducked his head around the door. When he saw no one coming in the direction of his room, he slipped into the corridor and headed for the elevator.

He didn’t get to the end of the hall before he heard the sounds of commotion behind him. The bodies in his room must have been discovered a little more quickly than he was anticipating. He looked automatically toward the elevator and realized he wasn’t going to reach it, or the stairs, without being spotted. His entire body was alive with pain and he could feel the knots in his stomach twisting tighter as he fought down the agony-induced nausea. He stumbled into a wall as another wash of dizziness blurred his vision and threw off his balance. With an effort of sheer determination, Andrew reached for the door knob and almost fell into the room…

Denysé

“Live the Romance, Become the Fantasy…”
** Preditors & Editors Best Author 2012-2013 **
http://www.denysebridger.com

 

Indulge in a wickedly seductive taste of CHAMPAGNE AND CHOCOLATE (mildly erotic)

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A new genre débuts at Naughty Nights Press with this highly charged, erotic Historical Western.

Available from these sellers:

ARe Romance  •  Smashwords  •  Publisher  •  Barnes & Noble  •  Amazon

From different worlds, drawn by desire, passion is about to change their lives forever…

Indulge in a wickedly seductive taste of CHAMPAGNE AND CHOCOLATE:

Austin Standish is a man of refined tastes. Intelligent and educated, Austin enjoys all of the best life has to offer. A gambler, a gunslinger, and a man who has plans to taste the sweetest prize at The Palace Casino and Saloon – the lovely owner, Chantille L’Amour, the most sought after jewel on the Barbary Coast.

Running a high-class brothel and casino isn’t exactly the life she was born to but Chantille is determined to overcome the ruin her family was left in once the Civil War ended. But, she has chosen a difficult path… one that demands much and leaves her lonely. She’s noticed the handsome man who comes into her world from time to time, and when she chooses to give in to desire, the passion evoked by Austin’s touch may change her life forever…

Excerpt:

As she led him to the private wing of the large building that housed her home and business, Chantille had time to question the wisdom of her actions—again. She’d been berating herself for most of the past thirty minutes. Austin Standish was a danger to her; she knew this on an instinctive level. Not that he would hurt her, of course. But, he was dangerous, just the same.

She was acutely aware of every panther-like, lissome step he took behind her. He was elegant in manner and dress, quietly contained but always alert. The sense of being in perilous company assailed her with new severity. She opened the twin doors to her living suite and went inside, hearing him close the doors behind him before joining him.

She continued into the room, uncomfortable as she chafed against the restraints of her heavy dress and the many layers beneath it. She’d permitted a few select men into this suite over the past five years, but none had ever made her so acutely aware of herself and the desire to shed her clothes and feel solid muscles and male hardness pressed to her warm curves. Her breasts felt heavy, and her nipples strained against the fabric of her chemise, rubbing against the soft material until the pebbled points ached. Between her thighs, a slow, steady throb began to increase in rhythm, finding a matching tempo in her heartbeat.

The soft illumination from the fireplace touched the wood that dominated the room’s furnishings, warming the smooth, lustrous finish as shadows danced on the walls and glimmered in the reflections of the mirror that adorned one wall of the room. She saw nothing, only the darkness that had grown around her so steadily throughout the past half-hour, a darkness that touched her with fears she couldn’t clearly define, much less explain.

Watching the play of light catch in the soft gold of his hair, Chantille was struck again by the intuitive knowledge that dominated the man’s handsome features. Barely suppressed sensuality and anticipation were so strong in the shadowed intimacy of the suite that she felt she could reach out and touch the things that presently put them on opposite sides of a chasm she didn’t know with certainty she wanted to close. The only thing she did know was that she wanted to be with him more than she had any man she’d ever met.

“Tell me what you’re feeling right now, Chantille.”

“Angry.”

“At me?”

“No,” she whispered, then shook her head to deny her dishonesty. “Yes.”

“Why?”

“I don’t like being vulnerable.”

* * * * *

For the first time, Chantille looked right at him, and Austin could read all the uncertainty he hadn’t taken the time to notice before. He answered her honestly, unwilling to do anything less.

“Being vulnerable isn’t always a bad thing, Chantille. Sometimes it makes you stronger.”

“I don’t believe that, and you certainly don’t.” The edge crept back into her tone. “I feel like I did when I was a child, needing to be wanted. When I came to San Francisco, I swore I’d never feel that way again.”

Austin drew in a deep draught of air and ran a hand through his hair.

“You don’t have to be afraid of anything, Chantille.” He knew the words were weak, and he could have kicked himself for them once they were spoken.

She actually managed to smile at the statement, though there was no warmth in the expression.

“Weak women hold no appeal for men like you, Mr. Standish,” she remarked.

“Is that what you want? To appeal to me?”

She laughed, a low murmur of sound that stirred the air between them.

“I want to share my bed with you, Austin,” she conceded. “What I don’t want is for it to cost me everything I’ve worked for.”

“What are you afraid of losing?”

“My independence.”

“Your heart.”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“Don’t lie to me, or to yourself.”

Chantille met his eyes as if she were trying to pierce the shadows that surrounded them, to see what lay hidden behind that confident stare. When nothing shone forth, she closed her eyes.

Austin let the silence engulf them again for a long minute, then he closed the distance, touched her chin, and made her face him. His thumb brushed at the tear welled in the corner of her eye.

“I do want you,” she murmured, voice raw with the force of her feelings.

The loneliness and the need for reassurance was almost a physical presence in the room with them, and Austin was forced to wonder just how long it had been since Chantille L’Amour had uttered those words to any man. If she ever had.

“I want you, too, Chantille.”

Austin’s whispered words were like a soft breath of air touching her face as he leaned forward to cover her lips with a tender kiss. She moved into the caress with a soft gasp, and her knees seemed to buckle as Austin’s tongue slipped into her mouth with possessive hunger.

Chantille broke the intense kiss, and her head fell back as a sigh of relief and pleasure slipped out of her. She wrapped her arms around Austin’s neck, then buried her face against his broad shoulder as she shivered into the sensations they were igniting in each other. She smiled at the slight catch already detectable in Austin’s breathing, then shuddered when his hands began to work the buttons of her gown.

Suddenly, she eased free of his embrace and took a step back. He watched, eyes narrowed for a moment as he waited to see why she’d withdrawn. The wariness left his gaze a few seconds later when she lit another lamp and stood next to it.

The soft golden glow of the flickering lamplight illuminated the deft movements of her hands as she undid the buttons and hooks that held her gown together. Austin smiled and went to sit in a chair near the fireplace, his eyes never leaving her. The beautiful amethyst silk crumpled into a heap at her feet, and she gracefully stepped free of the shimmering mass. Next, the petticoats and crinolines fell into a crisp white pile, and she smiled, her expression faintly wicked with delight. He forced himself to remain still while she undid the hooks of her corset, her actions slow and deliberate. Her eyes never lost their hold on his, and she walked toward him, hips swaying seductively.

When she was standing directly in front of him, Austin smiled up at her. His look dropped, and his eyes locked on the thrusting peaks of her breasts, mere inches from his lips, nipples a soft shadow against the white of her chemise. She bent slightly and cupped his face in her hands as she leaned into a slow, exploring kiss. Austin’s arms went around her, and he lifted her off her feet and sat her astride his thighs as he settled deeper into the armchair. The kiss went on forever and grew more intense with each tiny stroke of tongue they exchanged. When he thought he’d die for want of air, she drew away again and met his gaze.

Austin’s smile became a grin when Chantille slipped the straps of her chemise off her shoulders, then tugged on the front of the thin garment. She peeled the material away from her skin, offering lush ivory breasts to him. He was only vaguely surprised when she took his hands, and kissed each palm before placing his eager fingers over the smooth swells of her flesh. She placed her own hands on his shoulders and slid closer to him, her thighs gliding against his.

She turned as she pushed closer, and her breath hissed from between her teeth when he licked slowly at the ripe nipple she’d all but guided to his lips. She kissed his temple and pressed against him until he took the hard point into his mouth and began to suckle. He repeated the erotic play, first lavishing attention to one nipple, then the other, encouraged by the soft moans that escaped Chantille as she rocked gently in his lap.

“Austin….”

“Mmm?”

“Let me up?”

He leaned back in the chair and released her, curiosity holding his lust at bay for the moment.

She slid back, laughed shakily when her knees wobbled, then she walked a few steps from him. The light trailed her, seemed to be drawn to her within the room, and he watched with renewed fascination as she finished opening the chemise and tossed it aside.

She locked her gaze with his again for an instant, then smiled when his eyes followed the motion of her hands…

Denysé

“Live the Romance, Become the Fantasy…”

** Preditors & Editors Best Author 2012 – 2013 **

http://www.denysebridger.com

1-900-SURPRISE! A sexy short from Eirelander Publishing

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The idea for this story was born a long time ago, and a very short version of it written. That little flash/quickie once appeared in an anthology collection published by Liquid Silver Books years ago. After I requested the return of the antho, so I could work on the individual stories, I left this one in a file. Recently the idea resurfaced in my overworked brain, and I decided it might be fun to revisit it and flesh it out a bit, so to speak. I don’t know how many people are old enough to remember when late night network television was just beginning to show original dramas, but during those shows there was an inevitable deluge of commercials featuring nubile young women, mostly buxom blondes as I recall, and they were all inviting viewers to call them at their 1-900 numbers to chat… A male friend of mine dubbed them the “Bimbo Brigade” and I never forgot it–hence the moniker used in this story. It’s a quirky little fantasy type romance, and will soon be in audio–that should be interesting, to say the least. At any rate, here’s a peek at the setup. The story is only 99 cents, being a 6K short, but it sizzles!

 

1-900-SURPRISE!

Short, sexy contemporary with edge!

Available NOW from Eirelander Publishing

 

http://www.amazon.com/1-900-Surprise-Denyse-Bridger-ebook/dp/B00K1KD2Z4/

 

When her lover, Martin Fowler is called away to Washington and she can’t go with him, Daniella LeBeaux is restless and edgy. Martin’s older, worldly, and has a reputation that would make most women think twice about trusting him. Dani loves him, and trust is not what’s making her anxious and edgy – lust and loneliness are combining with a little too much to drink. When the phone rings, and it’s Martin, delayed again, he teaches her a new way to make love long-distance style…. but who’s watching Dani? And is Martin really ready for the revenge his actions incite?

 

Excerpt:

 

An hour after her father had gone home, Martin called. He was, in fact, on his way back to New York. Despite the fact that she had an early call for rehearsals the next day, Daniella chose to wait up for him. It was approaching 2 AM now and he still wasn’t home. She glanced at the clock. Less than ten minutes had passed since her last check.

 

She had stopped drinking after her father had gone, taken a shower, and now she was sitting in the apartment with only candlelight and soft music for company. She smiled, unable to subdue the flutter of excitement in her stomach when she thought about seeing him walk into the apartment. She went to the window, staring at the street as if she could will the scarlet-colored Corvette to appear.

 

Her father’s visit, and the revelations he’d shared played through her mind again. It explained why Andrew had taken Martin on as a partner in the private investigations firm that was doing extremely well due to the talented men who ran it. To his credit, Martin had tried to dissuade Daniella’s interest in him, especially given her age. She’d been seventeen when they’d met, and her father’s disapproval of her infatuation with Martin had been vehement. Persuading either of them that her teenage crush was actually soul-deep love and adoration hadn’t been easy. By the time she was twenty-one, Martin had been convinced; it had taken more months than she cared to recall to make her father understand and accept it. But, it had finally happened, and she was happier than she’d ever been in her life. Most of the time.

 

The glitter of soft, dancing light from the flickering candle-flames sparkled on cut crystal and drew her gaze to the bar. She decided to have another drink, even knowing it was likely to be a bad idea come morning. She poured a healthy dose of the scotch Martin preferred, and then tried to settle into an armchair. She closed her eyes and let her head fall back against the plush cushion in an attempt to relax.

 

A single mouthful of the drink reminded her of the way it tasted on Martin’s lips. She let that image settle in her mind, smiling at the shiver that rippled through her. Martin was a stunning man, and she never tired of looking at him, or listening to him, or being in the same room with him.

 

He was tall, with dark brown hair, and equally dark eyes that dominated a strikingly contoured face. At forty, he was scarred emotionally and physically, but he was beauty incarnate to the woman who loved him. The image of his lean, muscular limbs, and her frequent cataloging of every gorgeous inch of him, made her tremble with longing.

 

She tossed back the remainder of her Scotch and slouched deeper into the chair erotic memories led her thoughts. The warmth of the liquor coursed through her, creating a flush on her skin that she knew would be visible had Martin been there to see it. She let herself be carried along on the alcohol-edged wave, and felt an undeniable rush of hungry desire when she thought about having Martin beside her in bed. The nights had been the hardest part of the separation—she’d been going to bed later and later over the past week in order to spend as few hours as possible sleeping alone.

 

She was still finding it difficult to believe just how much she missed him. The apartment was eerily quiet in the morning, and equally so when she came home. The evenings started driving her crazy within a few days. She was always wound up after the extended rehearsals, but that excess energy generally found an outlet in Martin’s arms.

 

Daniella abruptly cut off that train of thought by getting up to fix another drink, this time making it considerably larger than the previous one. A slow stroll back to the window revealed only darkness and an empty street below. It had rained earlier, and the scattered puddles created sporadic mirrors and reflected back the glare of streetlights and passing car headlights. An absent glance at her watch didn’t offer her any reassurance—he was nearly an hour late now. She forced down the threat of panic that wanted to blossom into a full-fledged fear and told herself that he was all right. His identity was protected and all precautions had been taken to ensure his safety. With her father in charge of that, she had no doubts at all about the quality of the security surrounding Fowler at all times.

 

Uncomfortable at the window, Daniella spun on her heel and dropped into the armchair again. About halfway to the bottom of this drink, memory steered her thoughts inexorably back to the bedroom she shared with Martin. The tension knotting her muscles was as much sexual as it was concern for his unexplained lateness, and the sudden ache between her thighs was more than enough to awaken her entire body with anticipation. Another gulp and the second Scotch was gone.

 

Daniella was beginning to feel a bit more relaxed again now that alcohol was dulling her perception but there was still an edge of panic lingering within her. She couldn’t help wondering if something had happened to Martin; he was never hours late without calling—a habit he was slowly drilling into Daniella as well. She looked at the glass in her hand, debating whether to refill it a third time. It was now almost three o’clock, and she decided to have the drink then go to bed—alone. She couldn’t suppress the flare of anger that shot through her at the prospect of another night in the huge bed without Martin. In her heart, she knew nothing serious had delayed him, which meant he simply hadn’t bothered to call.

 

Twenty minutes and a third drink later; Daniella was staring at the empty glass again. Her head felt pleasantly fuzzy.

 

Disappointment and annoyance kept her on an emotional seesaw…

 

Denysé

Denysé Bridger
“Live the Romance, Become the Fantasy…”
** Preditors & Editors Best Author 2012-2013 **
WEBSITE: http://www.denysebridger.com
Fantasy Pages (general): http://fantasy-pages.blogspot.com
Bound By Passion (adult content): http://boundpassion.blogspot.com

Deadly vengeance (adult content)

ImageRETRIBUTION: Silent Death
Genre: Contemporary Action/Thriller
Publisher: Crimson Frost Books
 
 
BLURB:
Adam Walker is one of the Company’s best field agents, a highly trained, well-honed killing machine when that’s what’s needed. But, he’s also a man of many secrets, and one of them is that he’s a ninja, one of Japan’s mythical death warriors. When another of Adam’s secrets, his lover Kiku, is killed, he turns to the one person he trusts, fellow agent Shainna Barton. While Shainna covers for him on a mission, Adam metes out his revenge, and discovers that his friendship with Shainna has a much deeper meaning that either of them ever realized…
 
 
EXCERPT:
 
Adam’s steps were sure and silent as he made his way to the rear of the small theater. Exhaustion consumed him, but the residue of rushing adrenaline afforded his body a moment of false energy. Successful in yet another assignment—when the body turned up with the stolen files, there’d be no questions asked. Business as usual.
Still, the timing had been off, and there’d been no time to warn Kiku to stay at home. Uneasiness whispered inside him again, as it had for most of the past hour. Not for the first time during recent weeks, though . . . . He wondered if it had been wise to reject her desire to take their relationship to a more intimate involvement. Loving Kiku was as natural to him as breathing. But being her lover was something he hadn’t honestly considered. Not until she’d brought it to his attention.
Why he hadn’t noticed her love changing to passion baffled him now, as he thought about it. He’d told her intimacy of that kind would create distractions within his mind—the kind that might one day get them both killed. She’d been skeptical, though uncharacteristically reticent about explaining why, when he questioned her quick acceptance of his decision.
He thrust the doubts aside as he reached her office and entered. As always, the closet-like room appeared in complete chaos. An organized mess, she called it. He crossed the short space and picked up the phone as he settled on the edge of her desk. He was about to dial her home number when a flicker of movement drew his attention to the small, private parking lot separating the theater from a large apartment building next door. Adam slipped the receiver into its cradle and moved to stand in the shadows next to the small window behind her desk.
He spotted Kiku’s nearly naked body and he froze. Instinct guided him as fear and rage surged through him. Reaching beyond the haze of tumultuous emotions, he drew on his training. A careful look at Kiku told him she was dead . . . her neck broken. Again, the flicker of shadows betrayed a presence. He waited. Seconds passed, so drawn out by tension they felt like hours, but one-by-one he saw each figure with striking clarity. And in that brief instant, each of the five faces was burned indelibly into his memory. He knew one of them by name, and recognized the others as students of Caisson’s dojo. The heavy weight of the gun under his left arm all but spoke to him the alluring suggestion to pull the weapon and use it was so tempting. Adam had to force himself to resist using his weapon, a task made all the more difficult when Caisson bent over Kiku and placed a mocking kiss on her forehead.
He tore his gaze away, no longer trusting his ability to control his grief-enhanced rage. As he leaned against the wall, he realized he’d been holding his breath. Slowly, he exhaled, shaking uncontrollably despite his imposed strength of will.
When the wracking spasms of anguish subsided, he emerged from the theater’s office and left without looking back.
 
* * * * *
 
Less than half an hour later, Adam slipped into Kiku’s small flat. Like her office, it was in disarray, although not to the same exaggerated extent. He did a thorough, systematic search of the entire four rooms, removing every trace of his presence in her life. The items were few, for he seldom left even the smallest of articles behind. No photographs of them to be found, together or individually, a house rule they’d agreed to years earlier.
Hovering in the doorway, he took one final look at the place. It was so much like her, he thought, inhaling the light residue of sandalwood incense in the air. Books on every subject to satisfy her insatiable thirst for knowledge were strewn about, along with old theater posters, exotically painted masques, and cassettes and CDs in various languages. Despite his protestations, a map hung on the wall, dotted with postcards from the countries they’d traveled together. He hesitated for a moment then decided to collect the cards and destroy the map.
When he finished, he locked the door and turned his back on this place, too. Kiku would have expected nothing less from him.
 
* * * * *
 
Shainna Barton sighed in weariness as she kicked open the door to her apartment to drag her luggage inside. She’d been out of the country for over a month this time, and home seemed more appealing than she would have thought possible. She was growing tired in more ways than one.
A quick slam and the door shut firmly, leaving her in the silent, air-conditioned sanctuary she’d bought only a year before, a purchase she’d recognized as the first step toward her accepting pending retirement from the field.
She’d called home the night before, and her oldest and dearest friend had opened the apartment and stocked the cupboards for her. DeeDee Caulwell was one of the few constants in Shainna’s life. She honestly didn’t know what she’d do without her.
The phone rang. She stole a glance at the caller ID. Dee. Shainna dropped her shoulder bag and flopped into a chair as she grabbed the phone. The worry in DeeDee’s voice hit before the actual words, and Shainna automatically reached for the TV remote control to turn on the news report her friend was going on about with such dread. The reporter’s words ran together as Shainna’s world twisted wildly on its axis. Her pulse roared so loud in her ears she barely heard DeeDee say she was on her way over.
 
* * * * *
 
From her window seat, Shainna looked out at the night sky. Her chill had very little to do with the air-conditioned air. The ice reached into her soul and expanded outward to her quivering limbs. She wasn’t prone to infatuation, never had been, but there was something almost obsessive in her passion for Adam Walker. They were friends; the relationship worked for them. But Shainna had realized, long ago, the hunger she felt in Adam’s company had precious little to do with being friends. If she’d been less honest, she would have hated Kiku Shimoda, simply for being the love in Walker’s life. But Shainna was too much a realist to pretend the other woman was the reason Adam didn’t love her.
She sighed and closed her eyes, letting her head thump gently against the wall at her back. Adam’s amazing topaz eyes came into focus so quickly she was startled to discover he wasn’t next to her. She could feel him, though. All around her. Inside her heart. His pain was agonizing—and total. He was out there, and by now, he knew.
“What are you going to do, Adam?” She asked the question aloud, as was her custom when working possible angles to a puzzle. She shivered when the answer, like a cold caress, brushed her consciousness—a promise of mayhem and death—as if Adam had spoken directly into her mind. They’d been connected on some level for what felt like forever. And in that moment, she wondered if he’d actually heard her and responded.
Before the odd thought could create another conundrum for her to ponder, she was distracted by a knock at the door. She crossed the room and opened the door, breathing a thankful sigh at the sight of her friend.
“Are you all right?”
She shut the door as DeeDee glided past, shedding her coat and tossing it into a chair before she turned to Shainna.
“I’m still trying to take in what’s happened.” Shainna confessed. “This is going to destroy Adam. Especially when he finds out what the press is reporting. I don’t even know where to find him, Dee!”
“Maybe that’s for the best.” DeeDee’s features showed visible concern.
Adam Walker was always a touchy subject between them, and the gentle censure in her friend’s voice made Shainna’s temper flare.
“Okay, Shain.” DeeDee held up her hands in a gesture of surrender before Shainna had time to snap. “Truce. Back off. What are you planning, anyway?”
“If I know Adam, he’s going to find who did this.” She paced, chewed her thumbnail, and tried to make her brain function past her fear for the man. Kiku was the world to Adam, and Shainna knew—via the Division grapevine—the two had been a solid couple for some time. Whether or not the rumors were based on truth wasn’t relevant to her heart. She’d tried not to resent Kiku for Adam’s lack of interest, but it hadn’t been easy when every part of her spirit and body cried for the man in ways she wished rather to never have experienced.
“And . . . .” She finally added. “He’s going to make them pay for what they did to her—in blood.”
“That sounds like Adam,” DeeDee agreed, her tone reflecting her dislike and her near contempt for the man they discussed.
“Why do you hate him so much?”
Startled, DeeDee didn’t answer for a moment, then she laughed. “I hate what he does to you. Adam himself means nothing to me. I know you’d walk through hell for him, and he wouldn’t have to ask you to do it. What would he do for you, Shain?”
“The same thing if I needed him.”
“You’re so certain of that. Why?”
“Because he’s Adam. Because what exists between us is a lot deeper than simply trusting another agent with your back.”
“What happened in Italy last year?” DeeDee asked. “You’ve never said much, but something changed between you and Adam on that mission.”
“Yeah, we took our last day and went sight-seeing like normal people. I got drunk and told him I loved him. We blamed the wine the next day, and pretended it never happened.”
“What did he say?”
“I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.”
DeeDee’s frown of confusion made Shainna laugh. “It’s a quote we found earlier that day, a 15th century Italian poet called Pietro Aretino wrote it. Adam told me we were friends, there was no room for anything else between us.”
“But he’s always willing to ask you to risk your life for him!”
“It’s my job, Dee. And his!”
“Not this time. This time it’s personal, so you should stay out of it.”
“How am I supposed to do that? He’s going to need backup, and if I know Adam, he’s going to make it clear he wants me.”
“Doesn’t mean Michael will agree.” DeeDee reasoned. She’d been fidgeting and tidying up the apartment from the moment she’d started the conversation. Now, she stopped moving. “He does have some control over Adam.”
Shainna laughed at DeeDee’s careful words, barely recognizing the shrill, hysterical edge that turned the sound brittle. “No one controls Adam,” she said, barely above a whisper. “Michael knows that better than anyone.”
“So, what are you going to do?”
Shainna trembled. “Wait.” She returned to the window and stared into the night once again. “I’m going to wait for him. What else can I do?”
 
Denysé
Denysé Bridger
“Live the Romance, Become the Fantasy…”
** Preditors & Editors Best Author 2012-2013 **
WEBSITE:
http://www.denysebridger.com
Fantasy Pages (general):
http://fantasy-pages.blogspot.com
Bound By Passion (adult content):
http://boundpassion.blogspot.com

Ancient Pompeii on the eve of destruction

Image

 

Available again at

Amazon and through Smashwords

Pompeii lies complacent and decadent in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, the populace thriving on their depravity and their hunger for blood and Games. In the midst of the looming destruction, an ancient evil emerges, and claims not only a celebrated general of Rome, but the slave girl he has slowly grown to love and cherish. A girl who will follow him into hell itself? 

While intrigues threaten to destroy him, and the corruption within his own family grows darker, Lucius confronts emotions he is both uncomfortable and unfamiliar with. Loyalty he does understand, and in the eyes of his prize slave and lover, Xina, he sees courage and strength to match his own. When Vesuvius begins to rain death on the city, Xina is confronted with hope for survival in the guise of evil… 

Reviews: 

Whom Gods Have Favored 
By M. Nix on October 26, 2009 
***** Five Stars 

In the last days of Pompeii, Mt. Vesuvius stirs while high ranking men like Lucius gorge on power and pleasure. Lucius purchases Xina, a beautiful slave girl in the market place. He is consumed by passion for her from the start. Jealousy, passion, deceit and danger surround the handsome general and the sensuous young virgin that has become his obsession. 

Darkly emotional, Whom Gods Have Favored is an exciting and well-crafted tale plush with historical details that yanked me in until the curtain closed. Denysé Bridger’s characters are complex, riveting in their vices and weaknesses. It’s fascinating the way she explores the more sinister aspects of the human psyche. Lucius and Xina are lovers and much more in the making. In reading this wondrous story I got into the “making”, their evolvement along the course of love. Ms. Bridger paints a somber and visually stunning portrait, hammering out line after line; a gifted wordsmith with a luminous imagination. If you haven’t encountered this author before, this is an excellent intro to her style and first rate talent. 

Patrice 
Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed 

4 Kisses: As noted, the setting of Whom Gods Have Favored is the book’s strongest selling point. The research is evident, and Bridger’s characters are comfortable in their world. Lucius is immediately a strong, sensual character and his desire leaps off the page. Xina, on the other hand, is a little less well defined. She is introduced as a strong, take no prisoners heroine but seems to undergo a personality change when she enters Lucius’s household. I wanted her to show him that spark, because he seemed like a man who finds it both maddening and desirable, but instead Xina retreats into typical slave-girl mode almost immediately. While this is probably more realistic, it was a little disappointing. The attraction between them feels genuine, however, and though the introduction of the paranormal element is only peripherally connected to the main characters until the epilogue, it provided an interesting resolution to the story. 

Reviewed by Melanie Hayden 
Romance Divas 

4 Stars: Set during the time when Rome ruled the world, Whom Gods Have Favored gives us a glimpse of what life would have been like had we live in Pompeii before Mt. Vesuvius destroyed all. Much as I hated reading about the enslavement of women and the helplessness that ensued, it was definitely a part of life and Ms. Bridger did an excellent job of bringing that to view. I found myself loving Lucius, despite the fact that he was a male that was used to getting whatever female he wanted. I felt for Xina, in the fact that even though she was born into a brothel and subjected to naked men, she was an innocent in the true ways of the male, and she was just trying to survive life as a slave. There is a unique twist that takes the story in a whole new direction, and made for an interesting read. The story was a good love story that spanned the ages. 

Stacey Landers 
Just Erotic Romance Reviews 

Vampire mystery / romance is back at a discount price!

ImageA WHISPER OF HUMANITY
Now Priced at $0.99
 
Available from:
 
Blurb:

When Detective Faith Fitzpatrick is assigned as a liaison to the police force in Montreal, intent on helping the detectives there capture a killer who’s MO matches one she’s hunted at home in Los Angeles, she is ill-prepared for what awaits her in the beautiful jewel city of Canada’s French province. Mysteriously drawn to her temporary partner, Adrian Blackthorne, she rebels against his allure, only to be drawn into an even deeper darkness when Adrian’s past snares her – and she becomes a pawn in the deadly battle between the vampire Blackthorne and the powerful master he has long denied?

Excerpt:
 

Julianna was seated at the bar again, her rage telegraphing itself to everyone within her orbit. She could feel the wide circles made to avoid her, and felt perverse satisfaction at the awareness that many of those present were decidedly afraid of her just now. She was almost spitting with indignation, and the wine in her hand no longer appeased her mood in any fashion.

“Damn you!” she hissed in an undertone.

“I hope you don’t mean me,” a new voice observed with mild amusement.

Startled much more than she should have been, Julianna swiveled the bar stool and smiled.

“Of course not, Adrian.”

Adrian surveyed her with a critical eye, and perched on the stool next to her. “Then who is in danger of damnation?” he asked with more curiosity than genuine interest. He had other concerns at the moment. But, winning Julianna’s help usually meant having to ease into the need for it, so, he played the friendly game of banter.

“No one you need worry over, I assure you, mon amour.” She looked back at him, quickly and accurately reading his mood. “You didn’t come here for conversation, Adrian. What is it you are trying to ask of me this time?”

“Have you seen anybody new here tonight?”

Suspicion flared within her, but it never reached her outer composure. “Many people drift in and out, Adrian. Am I expected to keep a record of them for you?”

“This one’s a cop,” Blackthorne told her, his voice hard. “An out of town cop named Faith Prentice. Shiller told her she might like this place.”

“Perhaps she would?” Julianna suggested with a tilt of her head. “Many do.”

“Was she here, Julianna?” Adrian demanded, quickly losing patience with the verbal fencing.

“No.”

Something in the flat reply sparked suspicion in Adrian, and he turned her eyes back to meet his when she looked away.

“When was she here?”

She glared at him, but offered no answer.

“Julianna!” He grabbed her arm, not bothering to be gentle, nor to masque his considerable irritation. “Where is she?”

She jerked her arm free of his grasp and considered her answer. She quickly decided it would be much easier to get the young woman out of her club than risk Adrian?s wrath. There was a certain amount of enjoyment in the knowledge that this would deny Cartier of his prize, too. And, she added mentally, he would blame Adrian for that loss, not her.

“She is with Cartier.” She dropped the news with a toss of her head, and laughed as he rushed toward the back room?

Cartier recovered quickly from the blow that had sent him reeling away from Faith, and he turned glowing eyes to the one who’d dared to strike him. Adrian! He should have known. Even through the lust-enhanced hunger, Cartier was aware of Faith inching across the floor in an effort to escape. The scent of her fear was as tempting as her passion of minutes earlier. He’d find this one again, he promised himself, if she were fortunate enough to escape him after all this night.

“You are going to push me too far one day, Adrian,” Cartier warned, his eyes still blazing fury at the younger vampire.

“Maybe,” Adrian agreed, one eye watching Faith’s progress as he tried to fight down the urge to kill. “Tonight I intend to see that a friend remains safe.”

“This lovely creature is a friend of yours?” Cartier asked, once more taking firm control of both himself and the situation. “Your taste improves, Adrian.”

The mantle of ice had returned. Adrian knew there would be no further need to fight — not tonight, at any rate. Cartier was considering another time and another venue for their next meeting. Adrian had no illusions about it being a pleasant encounter. If anything, he sensed death in the other’s mind. True and lasting death. It was not the first time since Cartier’s return that Adrian wondered when the master vampire would demand his retribution – in full. So far, despite frequent confrontations, Cartier had not seriously attempted to destroy him. Yet, Adrian felt the time was nearing.

“Take her, Adrian. You’ve risked more than you know for her,” Cartier whispered softly. He watched the wariness grow within the former knight’s deep blue eyes then filter into Adrian’s expressive features. The ancient vampire laughed quietly as Blackthorne grabbed Faith’s arm and helped her to her feet. They were out of the room without another word being uttered?

 
Denysé
 
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