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Celebrating my latest print collection! Arbor Heights!

 

 
Beneath the Shield Jack Torres has been harboring, zealously nurturing a hidden guilt for three years. This mire of emotions has hardened his heart and his want to reconnect to the living world, keeping him isolated and unapproachable. Brant Teller is a chance encounter Jack keeps from growing physically violent in a crowded nightclub. Parting ways, Brant doesn’t expect to see the brooding, silent officer again. Yet when a domestic violence call brings the surly officer right to his ER, Brant takes a chance. What begins as a Sunday of football has the possibility to become so much more. If Jack will open himself up enough to release the agony of his own personal nightmare.
Together Isaac hadn’t counted on the resurgence of an old attraction when a friend arrives in the flesh unexpectedly. Through Shawn’s pain and healing, they grow closer. But nothing could unite them more than supporting a mutual friend when he is attacked. Quinn creates an energy between the three of them that none could explain. A passion that they all want to explore. If they can only find a way to be happy together.
The Good Life Chad Rarig and Sonny Phillips have been friends since skinned knees and after school homework. Life is pretty normal, if a bit bland for Chad, until he receives a phone call that changes the rest of his entire life. With Sonny’s strong shoulder in friendship and his mother’s support, he cautiously embraces his fate, one that includes binkies and an utter loss of sleep. Sonny offers a chance to let Chad settle into this new wilderness of parenthood, sharing his home with his best friend. Only he definitely hadn’t anticipated having to deal with an attraction that left him panting and hungry as a starving man for his best friend. His gay best friend who thinks Sonny is straight, because he’s never told him the full truth to preserve their friendship above all else. Can Chad come to terms with all the challenges of fatherhood and still keep Sonny’s friendship? Will either be willing to take the risk to cross that line from friendship to something more?

 

The Witch Who Cried Wolf by Sarah Mäkelä


The Witch Who Cried Wolf by Sarah MäkeläThe Witch Who Cried Wolf
 by Sarah Mäkelä

Cry Wolf, Book 1

Be careful what you wish for…

A potion gone wrong: Mia Brooks is a reluctant witch, with powers that she tries to hold in check. But when her magic gets mixed up, supernatural forces are unleashed and suddenly she’s being pursued by werewolves—that she didn’t even realize existed…

Hidden emotions: Ethan Parker, Mia’s brother’s best friend, is home from deployment for the holidays. Mia’s not only hiding from werewolves, she’s trying to keep her feelings for Ethan secret; it would be a disaster if he knew she’s been nursing a long-time crush…

The power of love: Things take a terrifying turn when Mia and Ethan are attacked by a werewolf. Ethan is amazed when Mia reveals her paranormal prowess as she tries to shield them from danger. But can she really protect them from the darkness that lurks? And how can he tell her that, for ages, he’s been denying what he really wants? Mia…

Buy Now

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Excerpt:

Jessa’s New Age shop—Eternally Magick—was empty. Usually, Jessa was around. But, right now, she wasn’t. I leaned against the front counter, resting my forehead against the cool glass. Athames, crystals, jewelry and really cute dragon statues were locked in the case beneath my fingertips. While I enjoyed hanging out at the shop and seeing what new potions were available, I wished Jessa had given me some kind of clue as to why she wanted me here. But she was my best friend and mentor; the reason had to be important, if for nothing else to spend much needed time together.

I glanced over my shoulder at the wall of ingredients lining the shelves, ripe for the picking. It had been a while since I’d made a new potion. Maybe if I could stock up on a few things…

“Not what you’re here for,” I whispered to myself. The urge to see what she had nearly drove me away from the counter, but I held myself in check.

Making potions was one of my hobbies. I loved the creativity and excitement that went into building something from nothing, and the brief connection with my power.

Tapping my fingers on the counter, I stared at the curtained-off backroom. Worry crept into my chest. Why wasn’t Jessa here? She never stood me up. This wasn’t like her.

“Jessa?” Usually she came right out when the bells on the door chimed. Biting my lower lip, I considered going into the back. Someone could steal things without her keeping an eye on the store.

“Coming,” Jessa called. The black-haired and blue-eyed beauty swept into the front of the store like a hurricane of flowing skirts. She always looked like she’d just come from a Renaissance faire.

I loved the way she dressed, but I knew that style would never be my thing. My parents would think I’d flipped my lid, and my older brother…. Shudder. Nolan would laugh at me, probably joking with his best friend—and my crush since forever—Ethan Parker.

“Where have you been? I was getting concerned.” Stepping around the counter, I wrapped my arms around her and she embraced me in a hug smelling of lavender and honey.

“Just in the back. I had to wrap up a call and I guess I didn’t hear you come in.” Jessa smiled, but something was up. She appeared a bit too eager to pretend everything was fine.

“What’s going on? Are you okay?” I placed my hand on her shoulder, trying to be comforting.

The door chimed, and we turned in unison toward the shop’s new arrival.

I blinked in surprise.

The man towered in the doorway, over six feet of pure muscle. If his shirt were a little tighter, I probably would’ve been able to see six-pack abs through it. What was he doing here?

He strode in as if he owned the place. There could be no doubt: ladies would drop their panties at his command. If I didn’t have a boyfriend…. Stop it, Mia!

“I’m looking for the owner,” the man said, his deep voice as smooth and sinful as his looks. Yet beneath his delicious exterior, something about him put me on edge. The hint of arrogance in his eyes and the sharp flare of power as he walked in the room were instant triggers. This guy wasn’t a mere mortal. He was something else, but I couldn’t put my finger on what. Aside from Jessa, I’d never met anyone else with this level of power.

Maybe I needed to get out more.

Jessa cleared her throat, as captivated by him as I was by the sound of it. “I’m the owner.” Her voice hit all the sultry tones and she swayed her shoulders. “Can I help you?” I wished I could pull her aside and tell her my feelings, but that would look way too awkward.

“We spoke over the phone. I’m interested in the potion.” He leaned his hip against the counter, standing only a couple feet away. Too close for comfort.

Since Jessa had business to take care of, I sidestepped toward the wall of ingredients, but Jessa grabbed my wrist, keeping me beside her. I cast her a dirty look, but she didn’t pay me any attention, focusing her gaze instead on Mr. Way-Too-Sexy.

“Right, I don’t have any of that in right now, but this woman makes some of the best healing salves I’ve seen.” Jessa nudged me forward, nearly throwing me into Mr. Sexy’s arms.

Glancing up his body to his eyes from so close strained my neck. My five-foot-six frame probably looked tiny beside him. An overwhelming sense of lust and intimidation washed over me.

“Hi.” I fought against a shiver.

If you enjoyed the excerpt, please enter my TRS Party giveaway on the sidebar! Also, check back for more excerpts.

Sarah Mäkelä
Dark, Magical Encounters of Passion…
http://www.sarahmakela.com

Christmas in Jul… January!

Okay, so it isn’t July and Christmas only just passed and you may be no longer of the spirit. But in case you are, I have to give a shout out for my boys who took part in the Red Velvet Christmas.

Brad loves his partner of ten years, but he and Sandy have fallen into a rut, especially when it comes to the bedroom. Taking the advice of his Wiccan friend, Brad cooks a special love potion into cupcakes in the hopes of spicing up his and Sandy’s love life.

When Sandy turns on the charm and the sex after dinner, Brad is overjoyed that his magical cupcakes have done the trick. Or have they? Either way, it just might be a very happy Christmas this year.

You can pick it up here.

Excerpt:

Brad pulled the cupcakes out of the fridge where he’d had them cooling and started frosting them. He’d put the potion — which had been cinnamony smelling and sweet on the tongue — into three of the cupcakes on the end, carefully marked with a Sharpie marker on the pan. He frosted the other nine and put them on the fancy, three-tiered serving tray along with the pecan squares and lemon bars, then added a couple of drops to the remaining frosting, turning it the palest pink.

Okay. It was done. There was no turning back now. He put the three special cupcakes on a plate and left them out for Sandy.

He pulled out the steaks so they would warm up to room temperature and made a salad for supper, then went to his office to read, wait. Worry. Had he done the right thing? Was their sex life really so boring that he was resorting to magic? He supposed maybe that was the proof it was.

Sighing, he made himself focus on his book. He wasn’t going to think about the cupcakes with their special something extra until he’d finished this chapter, damn it.

He heard the door opening around seven, Sandy’s “Honey, I’m home,” ringing out through the little house. It had started as a joke, long ago, and was now what Sandy called out every time he walked in the door. Hell, even the way they said hello was routine.

“Hey.” Brad chuckled and shook his head at the slight husk to his voice. He’d finally gotten engrossed in his book and it was hot. Hot enough that he was a little revved.

“I see the steaks just need to be grilled. You want me to do them?” Grilling was always Sandy’s job.

“Sure, love.” Brad rubbed himself through his jeans, just enough to heat up.

“Cupcakes for dessert — how lucky am I?” Sandy’s voice carried easily up the stairs to him.

“Red velvet. Your favorite.” Oh. Right. The cupcakes. He’d almost managed to forget.

“You’re too good to me. I’m going to be daring — I’m having one while I cook the steak.”

Moments later he heard the back door closing, Sandy going out to the deck to cook the steak.

It smelled good and he put his book down, shaking his head at his own stupidity. Christ. What was wrong with him? He had stability, happiness, true love. He leaned out the second-story window, snow falling on his shoulders. “Do you have your gloves and hat on?”

Sandy looked up at him, indeed wearing hat and gloves and a little winter vest. His lover smiled, the look warm and full of love. “I’m good, babe. Five minutes, okay?”

“Salad’s already made. Meet you in the dining room with the wine.” He’d left it out to breathe, hadn’t he? He’d better check — maybe he’d just thought he had. God knew he did it every Saturday — it would be easy to totally be remembering another week.

“Sounds perfect.” Sandy gave him a last grin before turning his attention back to the grill.

Brad headed down to the kitchen, where Sandy’s cupcakes sat covered with a huge red plastic bowl with reindeer on the side. Sandy always said uncovered food invited bugs. Brad went to peek, but the back door opened. “Can you bring me a plate?”

“Sure, honey. I’ll be right there.”

Sandy waited while he brought over the plate. “You make that honey Dijon dressing I like for the salad?”

“Don’t I always?” Every Saturday.

Sandy smiled as he put the steaks on the plate and came in, toeing his boots off and leaving them on the mat by the door. “You do.”

Brad grinned back and opened the Cabernet, which he seemed to have neglected to do earlier, the scent filling the room.

“Mmm. I do love our Saturday night steaks.” Sandy came over and kissed his lips, the buss sweet and gentle.

“I do, too, love. How are the guys?” Sandy’s lips tasted sweet, so one of the cupcakes must be gone. “How’re you?”

“Same old, same old. Billy got a promotion, but no extra cash, Don’s got a new boyfriend. Yadda, yadda.” Sandy rolled his eyes as they went into the dining room, Sandy carrying the steaks, Brad carrying the wine and the salad.

“I missed you today,” Sandy told him as they sat.

“I was just here like always, love, puttering about.” He had to admit, he did enjoy his lazy Saturdays.

Sandy nodded and dished up Brad’s plate for him, then his own. “There’s a new exhibit at the art museum. Van Gogh. We could go together.”

“Oh? That sounds like a good afternoon outing. See the museum then have a look at the lights?” he suggested. It would make for a lovely Sunday.

“That’s what I was thinking.” Sandy smiled at him, and maybe it was his imagination, but there seemed to be something extra in it.

Brad dug into his steak, laughing at himself. God, he was a giant dorkfish. It was just a silly potion — it wasn’t going to make a difference. And he didn’t need it to.

They made small talk as they ate, the bottle of wine went down easily, the steak was delicious and everything was easy. Normal.

At least it was until the end of the meal. As he finished eating, Brad felt something slide along his leg.

He jumped, looked down at his leg and then at his lover. “Sandy?”

“What?” Sandy looked at him innocently.

“Nothing…” He had to laugh. Had to.

Sandy smiled at him and he felt that thing along his leg again: Sandy’s foot.

“What are you up to?” He reached down, touched Sandy’s toes. Footsie? His Sandy? Really?

“You want to retire to the bedroom?” Sandy waggled his eyebrows comically and Brad laughed again.

“It’s early for Saturday and I haven’t done the dishes…” Still, Brad nodded, stood.

“They’ll still be there tomorrow, right?” There was a light in Sandy’s eyes Brad couldn’t remember seeing in a long while.

“I imagine so.” Like Brad wouldn’t slip down after to clean up.

Standing, Sandy took his hand and drew him close. He could feel the warmth of Sandy’s body. His chin was tilted, Sandy’s brown eyes looking into his own. His cheeks heated, the look so wanton, so intimate.

Sean Michael

smut fixes everything – www.seanmichaelwrites.com

TRS New Year Party, The Diamond Series and Cassandra Dean: FOOL’S GOLD Excerpt #2

Hi peeps,

Here we are at the end of the Party. I hope you had tons of fun and enjoyed your glimpses at The Diamond Series. I’m currently having fun writing the third and last book in the series, EMERALD SEA, and I hope you all enjoyed your time at the Diamond Saloon.

Finally, don’t forget the giveaway below and Happy New Year!

Cassandra
xx
 
Fool's Gold The Diamond Series Book 2 Decadent Publishing Western Escape

 
Christmas in Freewill

Christmas Eve, the Diamond Saloon is empty of its people, and Pearl la Monte has a hankering to retire early. A pounding at the Diamond’s door rids her of such a fool notion. Her irritation rises when she sees the prissy, polite-like Garrett standing outside.

Ethan Garrett has a powerful need to gain succor. When the saloon’s voluptuous redheaded singer scowls at him from the threshold of the Diamond, he doesn’t stop to think on how his ire at her has disappeared. Or how he just wants to spend some time in her company.

When a blizzard storms in, trapping them, will they spend their time arguing or find their irritation for each other disguises something more?
 

 
 
~ Excerpt ~

Cautious-like, and never removing her gaze from him, Pearl made her way from behind the bar to seat herself at one of the Diamond’s tables.

Garrett joined her, settling himself opposite and parking his hat left of his still-untouched whiskey. “Well now, I’ll see if I can’t sort this mess into a manner approaching some sense.” He stared down into the glass as if it possessed every answer he’d ever sought.

Time passed. She contemplated the man sitting afore her. She’d always thought his face too pretty, even if he did have that twice-broken nose and cheekbones as sharp as razors. And she supposed the girls were right, his shoulders were broad and looked to be powerful, something she supposed again was desirous in a man. His neckerchief hid the skin of his throat, but she had occasion to know it was burnt golden by the sun, and she had a hankering it would taste awful nice–if one should be inclined to nibble on it. But she weren’t. Inclined.

A thump started in her chest, one she felt too often when looking at him. But when she remembered his polite way of speaking to her—and only her—those feelings disappeared.

Shifting, she reminded herself she didn’t want him in the Diamond, and something all-fired powerful must be rattling around his brain for him to be silent so long. Garrett always looked to be done with any discussion five minutes ago, and for him to be contemplating his glass and almost companionable in his silence…. Hell, something had to be not right.

 

And now, the giveaway
One lucky person will win a Cassandra Dean swag pack, including a mystery prize! International entries are welcome – if Australia Post can reach your country, you can enter.
 

 
Cassandra Dean
Cassandra and Lucy ~ Facebook ~ Twitter
Goodreads ~ Tumblr ~ Pintrest ~ Amazon.com

 
 
 

The Amazon Chronicles by Sarah Mäkelä – Excerpt #1


The Amazon Chronicles by Sarah MäkeläThe Amazon Chronicles
 by Sarah Mäkelä

The Amazon Rainforest still contains a few secrets…

One of these secrets is a hidden village of women whose history is filled with the horror of conquering men. When the princess of the Amazons falls in love with a weretiger biologist, the tiny village will be changed forever.

This collection contains the four previously published paranormal romance novellas in the Amazon Chronicles series: Jungle Heat, Jungle Fire, Jungle Blaze, and Jungle Burn.

Buy Now

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | IndieBoundDiesel

Excerpt:

Adara raced over the dense forest floor, trying to escape the shadow closing on her heels. Fear pumped adrenaline through her body as she ran toward her village through the darkness. Panic tangled with the sheer need to survive. If only I’d listened. What was I thinking, coming out alone?

She shot a glance over her shoulder. Her foot smacked against a tree root in the moment of distraction, pitching her body forward. The fall came in slow motion.

Cursing under her breath, she rolled onto her back. Dry leaves clung to her blonde hair. The subtle, musty scent of slow rot rose from the rich soil, mixed with something coming from behind her. The dark shadow loomed. Her gaze rose to take in her pursuer, wondering if the beast would be her doom.

The tall, broad-shouldered creature towered over her. Watching. It wasn’t human or animal. The village wise woman had warned her of beings like this, but they’d seemed like fables. How could something so fantastical be real?

Even as she trembled with fear, this creature captivated her. The black and orange stripes covering his shoulders and arms evoked a distant memory, yet the design was uncommon in the Amazon.

His hair hung in straight, black strands like a human’s, but his face had the nose, mouth, and eyes of a feline. His muscular, naked body reflected a splendid combination of both species. Sweat-shiny skin glistened through the inch-long fur that covered him. His white chest intrigued her, all the way to the patch of fur barely covering his groin. Leaves and branches framed his face with a lush green background. He crouched over her. His piercing golden eyes focused solely on her. His stare reminded her of a cat from her village staring at a small rodent before pouncing.

As he leaned down, she grabbed her kris from the garter on her thigh and pushed it against his stomach. She didn’t want today to be the day she died. Her people needed her. She wouldn’t let this beast deny them their princess.

The animal cocked his head at her. He brushed his lips over her throat, whiskers tickling her chin.

Her body stiffened. What is he doing? Bewilderment spread through her as his feline lips touched her neck. Instead of biting her, his canines grazed lightly, gently, from just below her ear down to her shoulder, almost as if exploring her flesh, instead of seeking to rip open her throat.

She tensed. Even with her weapon pressed against the beast’s stomach, she still feared for her life. As an Amazon princess, she wasn’t easily scared. But this feline made her heart pound. If only she had brought Rubia with her. She wouldn’t be in this situation and could’ve stood a better chance against this feline.

Why does he persist in toying with me? Adara swallowed as a low burn started in the pit of her stomach. These feelings confused her.

A soft sniffing sounded in her ear right before his tongue scraped rough caresses on her skin. Other jungle cats marked their territory. Did this animal believe she was his? She didn’t want to find out.

Without waiting for the feline’s next move, Adara drove the kris deep into his stomach, meeting resistance as it plunged through flesh and muscle. She forced it further as his blood flowed onto her hands, making the hilt of the kris slick, weakening her grip.

He roared and leapt back with her kris still embedded in his abdomen.

She scrambled to her feet. His scream so near the side of her face made her ear ring. Bringing up a hand to her ear, Adara felt a trail of his wet blood drip along her cheek.

He straightened his spine and strode back to her, her kris still buried in him. It seemed as if it were nothing more than a minor annoyance to him. She clenched her hands into fists and dropped them to her sides.

The reality of what she saw struck her. She froze. How could he act so unaffected? He shouldn’t have been able to move around so casually. It wasn’t possible. How can I outrun something like that? This can’t be happening. Her mother had always warned her to be careful when traveling through the forest. Why hadn’t she listened? And how could she feel so drawn to this animal when he intimidated her?

“Who are you?” Gritting her teeth, she forced her voice to resonate with the commanding tones of an Amazon huntress, and fervently hoped it didn’t betray the panic racing through her veins. Her people’s beliefs restricted them from showing fear in front of strangers. Not that they saw many. But her tribeswomen were survivors in dangerous times. Their history brimmed with reminders.

The feline bared pointed white teeth. “Call me Rei.” His husky voice reverberated like a deep growl.

He launched into the air and, before she could react, flattened her to the ground. Air whooshed out of her lungs. Her eyes widened and locked onto his.

He pinned her arms next to her head and pressed his feline lips to hers. His tongue scraped across her lower lip, causing nips of pain to cut through the alluring sensation.

She shook her head hard, breaking the kiss. Her breath rushed out short and quick. Never before had she kissed anyone. His mouth on hers created fiery stirrings within her body that felt almost too good. Her racing pulse only spread the warmth throughout her body that much faster.

Twice a year, her tribeswomen associated with Indian men. The younger girls were forced to stay in a hut during those visits, although Adara had snuck out once with Rubia in a fit of rebellion. She’d spotted one of her kin pressing her mouth against an Indian male’s. Could this be what happens?

But men weren’t to be trusted. Her kin had learned that the hard way many, many years ago.

Her mind flashed to the tales she’d heard from the wise woman. Horrible reminders assaulted her, memories of the men from long ago, enslaving her kind, killing them ruthlessly with diseases and swords.

She could imagine the cruelty of the conquering, pillaging men as vividly as if she had been there herself, so strongly had the wise woman spoken. It had taken weeks for her to sleep soundly after listening to that story.

Sudden panic swept away the lust that burned inside her. This creature could do the same. He’s chased me, after all.

“What do you want from me?” Adara asked, trying to sound forceful, but instead her voice came out husky. She cleared her throat and returned his gaze.

Talking with an animal! Rubia would be jealous. Her tribeswomen would never believe this story… if she survived the encounter.

Rei smiled, warmth emanating from him. “You.” His chest rumbled, and he rolled the word off his tongue like an exotic purr.

If you enjoyed the excerpt, please enter my TRS Party giveaway on the sidebar! Also, keep checking back for more excerpts.

Sarah Mäkelä
Dark, Magical Encounters of Passion…
http://www.sarahmakela.com

The Witch Who Cried Wolf by Sarah Mäkelä – Excerpt #5


The Witch Who Cried Wolf by Sarah MäkeläThe Witch Who Cried Wolf
 by Sarah Mäkelä

Be careful what you wish for…

A potion gone wrong: Mia Brooks is a reluctant witch, with powers that she tries to hold in check. But when her magic gets mixed up, supernatural forces are unleashed and suddenly she’s being pursued by werewolves—that she didn’t even realize existed…

Hidden emotions: Ethan Parker, Mia’s brother’s best friend, is home from deployment for the holidays. Mia’s not only hiding from werewolves, she’s trying to keep her feelings for Ethan secret; it would be a disaster if he knew she’s been nursing a long-time crush…

The power of love: Things take a terrifying turn when Mia and Ethan are attacked by a werewolf. Ethan is amazed when Mia reveals her paranormal prowess as she tries to shield them from danger. But can she really protect them from the darkness that lurks? And how can he tell her that, for ages, he’s been denying what he really wants? Mia…

Buy Now

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | All Romance eBooksiTunes

Catch up with the previous excerpts.

5th Excerpt:

However, who the heck was at the door? No one should be here right now. If they found out I was a witch making potions in my kitchen. Greg…oh no. That bastard couldn’t be here.

I poured the love potion into the waiting jar. Whoever it was would wait until I could hide everything. However, the doorbell didn’t ring again. With the potion and salves tucked away in the cupboard, I cracked open the door. No one was there.

On the porch, a dozen roses sat in a vase, and the rumbling of an engine drew my attention to a We Do Flowers van driving away. Greg. Had to be. No one else would be this extravagant, and yet part of me couldn’t care less about receiving a dozen roses. What I wanted was affection and someone to care about me, not someone always going out of their way to impress me.

Maybe I should just be grateful. This Christmas season was my first with a boyfriend in my life. I picked up the vase, sniffing the fragrant flowers. If these had only arrived a little sooner, I could’ve used some of the rose petals for the love potion. I shook my head. That would be wrong on so many levels.

My cell phone’s alarm buzzed, and I set the roses on the kitchen counter. If I wanted to be at Jessa’s shop on time, I’d need to get going.

The note from the roses dropped onto the counter.

Babe,

Something came up at the office. I’ll be here later than expected. Let’s reschedule for tomorrow.

Greg

Disappointment fluttered in my stomach, but maybe this was just as well. It wasn’t like I needed more on my plate right now. But what if this was the beginning of our relationship’s downward spiral? Something came up at the office? That had to be the ultimate I’m-having-an-affair excuse. At least, it was in the movies.

I grabbed the non-contaminated healing salve, tightened the lid on it, and headed to Jessa’s shop. When I got there, Jessa was leaning against the counter, her perky boobs on display for Mr. Sexy as she talked with him. “Here she is now,” Jessa said, her gaze sliding over Mr. Sexy’s chest, as he turned his attention to me.

I smiled and held up a paper bag. “Here’s the healing salve. I wrote out some instructions to go with it. They’re in the bag. I hope your friend feels better soon. If he isn’t improving within a day or so, you should talk him into going to the doctor.”

Mr. Sexy nodded, but he didn’t answer. Instead, he peeked into the bag and cocked an eyebrow. “That’s all of it?”

I opened my mouth to say something, but Jessa beat me to it. Yet again. If she’d wanted to be the star of the show, she should’ve made the salve.

“With salves, you rub it on the wound and it acts as a protective layer. Your friend leaves it on, and it works its…magic, if you will.” She glanced between him and me. Jessa had too much fun playing the role of the sexy witch out in the open, but I didn’t really like that idea. If people knew our powers weren’t fake, what would they do to us? Would there be a modern day Salem Witch Trials, like in ye olden times?

A shiver raced through me, and I turned my attention away from the man staring straight at me, curiosity burning in his gaze.

“Got it. I’ll show him the instructions and tell him what you said. Can I have your number, in case he has any questions?” Mr. Sexy flashed me his winning smile. There was no doubt in my mind that he wanted my number, not Jessa’s, or Eternally Magick’s since he had to know what that was. Besides, a quick Google search could find it.

“Just call the shop, but I’m sure everything will be fine.” I waved at Jessa. “Gotta go. I’ll see you later.”

Mr. Sexy caught my wrist and pulled me toward him. It took everything inside me not to react. “You sure I can’t have your number?”

My jaw dropped open, and I sputtered, unable to form any words. Being this close to him set my body on fine. Power radiated down my arm from his touch, caressing my body. I groaned, unable to resist his musky wild masculinity.

The look of hurt in Jessa’s eyes snapped me back to reality.

“I have a boyfriend. Sorry.” Jerking free from his grip, I ran outside without looking back, afraid of what I’d see.

If you enjoyed the excerpt, please enter my TRS Party giveaway on the sidebar! Also, keep checking back for more excerpts.

Sarah Mäkelä
Dark, Magical Encounters of Passion…
http://www.sarahmakela.com

It’s Never Too Late for A Christmas Miracle (excerpt-G)

Expecting her first child, Sherri Wilder Davison wants nothing more than to spend time with her father over the holidays, but fate has a way of changing her best-laid plans.

Adam Davison is willing to do anything to make his pregnant wife happy. He will face hell to have her home for the holidays.

For Sherri and Adam, the holidays are a time of celebration and love, but this Christmas will be unlike any they have ever faced.

When a horrible blizzard causes an automobile accident that puts the lives of those Sherri loves on the line, can a Christmas miracle save them?

Excerpt:

Looking over at Adam, I’m amazed that such a handsome man could love me. Stubble showed on Adam’s rugged face. I liked the way the short growth of beard rubbed on my face when he nibbled on my ears. Adam’s dark brown hair was cut short, emphasizing his deep blue eyes and strong nose. The small dimple on his chin made him seem more approachable and much less serious. His tall stature and muscular body always made me feel precious yet delicate, like a porcelain doll, but Adam never treated me like anything other than a desirable woman.

“How are the roads? Do you think we can stop so I can use the bathroom? Your son is pushing on my bladder.” Wiggling in my seat, I tried to alleviate the uneasy pressure.

Adam looked over at me with a dreamy expression on his face. His gaze settled on my stomach as it undulated. “Sure, I could use some coffee. How are you feeling? Little Pea looks active tonight.”

“I’m okay except for the kicks to the bladder. I swear he’s practicing his temper tantrums so he has them right when he comes out. Oh Ricky, we are in so much trouble,” I replied with a silly high pitched whiney Lucille Ball-type voice, then smiled.

I am thankfully in the third trimester of my pregnancy. I’d passed the dangerous stage where many women miscarry as well as the dreaded morning sickness phase that sucks the very life out of a body. Now I had abundant energy and looked forward to finally getting ready to meet our son. We still had two more months to go but I already felt like a beached whale, not to mention the walking with a waddle. Adam loved talking to my stomach, he’d even been reading storybooks to our peanut each night.

Adam and I had eloped to Hawaii five years ago during our Christmas vacation. We’d kept our wedding private, only us. Today we are closer than most married couples, enjoying the same things, especially our cottage home on the Huron River, old movies, television shows, and snuggling up with a blanket on those cold Michigan nights.

While we both loved our families, neither one of us enjoyed traveling which became the basis for the fight. I’d won the the argument after the announcement of my father’s recent diagnosis. I’d spent hours on the phone with my sister, then on the internet gathering information on Alzheimer’s. The dementia had already begun to kick in when Dad accidentally set fire to his home. Luckily, Syndie had already moved in with Dad and got him out of the house in time. My need for family had only become stronger since I’d learned about my pregnancy and the arrival of the first grandson.. I didn’t want my baby to miss out on his remaining grandparent.

Fear about my father never getting to meet or know my little peanut became a constant in my mind. Adam and I had distanced ourselves from our families over the years. We were always so happy spending time with just each other, we’d just never considered what those choices did to others. Having a baby changes things. My sister’s wedding invitation plus my dad’s diagnosis, well, both convinced me that we needed to get back to Ohio. Christmas seemed like a perfect excuse.

After pulling into the gas station, Adam stopped the car next to the pump. I grabbed my purse. “I’m going to use the bathroom, grab your coffee, then get a snack while you fill up. Is there anything else you want?” I walked over to Adam’s door as he let himself out.

Adam bent down to kiss my belly, making my muscles clench. How does such a beefy man do that yet still look so masculine?

“Why don’t you also grab me some pretzels. I don’t know if the coffee will be good on my empty stomach. But with the way the snow has been falling, I want to make sure we can take the turnpike rather than Route 2.”

Route 2 is known as Death’s Highway. The area of Route 2 between Bono and Sandusky claimed dozens of lives due to the large semi-trucks in addition to the awkward two lane road. People couldn’t see what was coming around the next bend so head-on collisions were frequent. The horrible blizzard-like conditions from Lake Erie only made the road more treacherous.

After grabbing the coffee, pretzels and some crackers for myself, then paying for them, I headed back to the car. The snow made the car hard to see from the door of the gas station. Driving in this mess wasn’t a comforting thought.

“Adam, the weather looks really bad. Maybe we should turn on a local radio station to check on the road conditions.”

Making slow progress, we listened to the bleak weather bulletin. Little did we know one single radio announcement would change our lives forever.

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The Witch Who Cried Wolf by Sarah Mäkelä – Excerpt #4


The Witch Who Cried Wolf by Sarah MäkeläThe Witch Who Cried Wolf
 by Sarah Mäkelä

Be careful what you wish for…

A potion gone wrong: Mia Brooks is a reluctant witch, with powers that she tries to hold in check. But when her magic gets mixed up, supernatural forces are unleashed and suddenly she’s being pursued by werewolves—that she didn’t even realize existed…

Hidden emotions: Ethan Parker, Mia’s brother’s best friend, is home from deployment for the holidays. Mia’s not only hiding from werewolves, she’s trying to keep her feelings for Ethan secret; it would be a disaster if he knew she’s been nursing a long-time crush…

The power of love: Things take a terrifying turn when Mia and Ethan are attacked by a werewolf. Ethan is amazed when Mia reveals her paranormal prowess as she tries to shield them from danger. But can she really protect them from the darkness that lurks? And how can he tell her that, for ages, he’s been denying what he really wants? Mia…

Buy Now

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Catch up with the previous excerpts.

4th Excerpt:

Most of my supplies were rather dusty. It’d been a while since I’d made a salve, even though Jessa probably imagined that I made them every other day. I wish. If I’d had somewhere other than the house my grandparents had left me, maybe I would have. But without that other option, I preferred this place maintained its pleasant scent. Some of the potions I’d concocted smelled downright awful.

After wiping down everything, I put my dried herbs and infused herb oil into a saucepan to simmer. Being in the kitchen and working on the salve freed my mind. The worries of the day no longer plagued me as much.

The lovely scent of herbs wafted through the kitchen. If I needed to make one batch for Mr. Sexy, I might as well double the ingredients to make some for my own uses. It never hurt to have this stuff on hand.

The rattling of a hamster wheel drew my attention to Pat. The pet store hadn’t been sure whether he was a boy or girl, so I’d opted for an androgynous name. I thought of him as a boy, but I couldn’t tell with his long hair. Besides, the one time I had held him, he bit my finger. We kept a comfortable distance now, except for when I needed to clean the cage.

Since I was a witch, I guess that made Pat my hamster familiar. I smirked, shaking my head.

The herbs would need to sit for half an hour before I could do anything else. A mischievous thought snuck into my head. Huh, since Ethan would be back in town, I could make a love potion. He could be on his knees declaring his love and devotion while I basked in satisfaction and victory. Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. Knowing Jessa, she might encourage me to do it, but I wasn’t about to risk my already shaky, non-existent relationship with Ethan.

The more I tried to shove the thought out of my mind, the more alluring making the love potion became. It had been a while since I’d created one. Besides, I didn’t have to use it. I could sell it to Jessa for the store, or keep it aside in case Greg became too much of a jerk this holiday season. Maybe if he showed me a little more love, he’d act better. Then again, that might make him worse.

Magic could react unpredictably. The saying, Be careful what you wish for, strongly applied here.

I could work on two things at once. The love potion would be easier. It only required a few ingredients, an incantation, and focusing my energy. The healing salve made me more nervous. More things could go wrong. If the love potion didn’t turn out right, the person might be a jerk or not fall for it. If the healing salve went wrong, it could—

La, la, la…. Not thinking that way. I mixed the melted beeswax into saucepan with the herbs and oil, forcing my power into the patch to try to heighten the healing potency. Then I removed it from the heat and strained it through cheesecloth into jars.

With the salve nearly done, I turned my attention to the love potion. Taking a few deep breaths, I cleared my mind of the stress I’d felt crafting the healing salve and everything else that had gone on today. The idea of seeing Ethan tomorrow frazzled me, but instead of letting it do that, I imagined what it’d be like to have a real relationship with him. When he was with my brother, he laughed and joked around. His eyes sparkled, and his face lit up. They were more like siblings than Nolan and I, and we were blood.

Clenching my fists, I forced the negativity away. Stop it. Calm down and breathe.

Taking another deep breath of the delightful herbs, I blew it out, redirecting my thoughts again to Ethan. He was the last person I should be thinking about when doing a love potion.

I lit a pink candle made of beeswax, then set about mixing sultry herbs and spices. Cinnamon, rosemary, lavender, cloves. I chanted the incantation I’d found in my grandmother’s grimoire. Within moments, the love potion was ready. I just needed to pour it into a jar, then I’d be done.

Glancing at the clock, I grinned. This hadn’t taken quite as long as I’d thought, and my kitchen smelled amazing. Maybe Jessa was right. I should flex my magical prowess more often.

I set the healing salves to one side, the jars still too warm for a lid. The pot in my hand, I carefully carried it over to the final waiting jar for the love potion. My doorbell chiming made me jerk, and a splash of the love potion landed in one of the salves.

I blinked at the mess.

Oh, my goodness. This was horrible. Now I couldn’t sell it to Jessa even if I wanted to, which I didn’t. But what if I used my own potion and fell in love with someone? Though it wasn’t like I’d be taking it in close proximity to someone else. If I was injured, I’d be holing up, not out on the town.

If you enjoyed the excerpt, please enter my TRS Party giveaway on the sidebar! Also, keep checking back for more excerpts.

Sarah Mäkelä
Dark, Magical Encounters of Passion…
http://www.sarahmakela.com

The Witch Who Cried Wolf by Sarah Mäkelä – Excerpt #3


The Witch Who Cried Wolf by Sarah MäkeläThe Witch Who Cried Wolf
 by Sarah Mäkelä

Be careful what you wish for…

A potion gone wrong: Mia Brooks is a reluctant witch, with powers that she tries to hold in check. But when her magic gets mixed up, supernatural forces are unleashed and suddenly she’s being pursued by werewolves—that she didn’t even realize existed…

Hidden emotions: Ethan Parker, Mia’s brother’s best friend, is home from deployment for the holidays. Mia’s not only hiding from werewolves, she’s trying to keep her feelings for Ethan secret; it would be a disaster if he knew she’s been nursing a long-time crush…

The power of love: Things take a terrifying turn when Mia and Ethan are attacked by a werewolf. Ethan is amazed when Mia reveals her paranormal prowess as she tries to shield them from danger. But can she really protect them from the darkness that lurks? And how can he tell her that, for ages, he’s been denying what he really wants? Mia…

Buy Now

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | All Romance eBooksiTunes

Catch up with the first two excerpts.

3rd Excerpt:

If things weren’t bad enough, I had a date with Greg tonight, on top of needing to make a healing salve. It would take time to get right. If this guy’s friend really was in bad shape, then I needed the proper blend of herbs and supplies. If I rushed this, I could end up doing more harm than good.

“What? Oh, come on, honey. Don’t be that way. You know I have the best of intentions.” Jessa sounded hurt, and I couldn’t stay mad at my best friend. That would just make the whole situation worse.

“Fine. Your intentions were good, regardless of how it came across. Now help me get the ingredients. Ugh! I’ll have to put this together quick. I’m so glad my date isn’t until late. If Greg had scheduled to pick me up when he gets off work, I’d be majorly screwed.” I opened a jar of lavender, sniffing the relaxing scent, and felt a hundred times better.

Jessa placed a few jars in a tan tote bag with her store’s logo on it. “I can’t believe you’re still seeing him. Doesn’t your brother hate his guts?” She glanced at me, a look of disapproval in her eyes.

“Geez…you as well? Can’t a girl have relationship bliss without even her best friend disapproving? Why does everyone have to second-guess me and my decisions?”

“Honey, it’s not you we’re second-guessing.” She wrapped her arms around me, stroking my back gently. I rested my head on her shoulder. “It’s your choice in men.”

I jerked away, not happy with the direction this was going. “That’s not fair! Everyone has their moments of…. Fine. I’m not thrilled with dating Greg, but I won’t break his heart before Christmas. Besides, I don’t want to be alone for the holidays. Sue me if I’d rather be in a lame relationship with a pushy guy, than with no one at all!” I tugged a jar of wolf’s bane off the shelf and dropped it in the tote bag. “If you all have such a problem with me dating him, then why can’t I do the deed after the New Year? It could be a resolution.”

Jessa opened her mouth to give me a piece of her mind, but my cell phone chimed a melodic dubstep tune. “I’ll ring this up.”

Nodding, I mouthed a thank you. “Hey, Greg.”

“Sis, if you ever call me that again, we’re going to throw down, and you know I’d never hit a girl.” Nolan’s tone was playful, but his voice resonated with a clear underlying anger at the mention of my boyfriend.

“Sorry, Nolan.” Hearing my brother’s name, Jessa glanced in my direction, and I walked a little farther away from the counter. “What do you want?”

“Huh, why do you ask like that?” Mischief saturated his words, and I wished I hadn’t answered the phone. Nolan was a great brother. However, behavior-wise, most people usually thought I was the older sibling instead of visa versa. Wonder why.

“Now isn’t—”

“Ethan is arriving home tomorrow. I have to work late, so you don’t mind picking him up from the airport, do you?”

I sucked in a breath, surprised he was even asking me this. Should I turn him down? Make him find someone else to handle this?

“Great. I’ll text you the flight info. Thanks, sis.”

“Nolan!” His words punched me in the gut. “Nolan?” Looking at the cell phone, I gritted my teeth, seeing he’d taken the coward’s way by hanging up once he had what he wanted. When was I ever going to learn?

“Honey? What’s wrong?” Concern softened Jessa’s voice.

I shrugged, not wanting to get into this.

“No, you can talk to me. What did your brother do this time?”

I headed to the register, closing the space between us. “It’s just that I have so much going on, but Nolan has delegated to me the responsibility of picking Ethan up from the airport tomorrow. If I were him, I would have at least tried to get off work, especially since he’s known about Ethan coming back home for the holidays.” Letting out a sigh, I grabbed the tote bag’s handle, but Jessa held onto it.

“Call him back. Tell him you can’t.” She smiled at me. “Besides, Ethan is his best friend, so he should grow some balls and deal with it himself.”

“I’ll do that.” Jessa’s smile turned into a glare, and I threw up my hands. “I’ll do that right now then.” Digging into my pocket, I pulled out my phone and rang Nolan. The chime of a text came through in my ear. Ethan’s flight details. But I only managed to get through to Nolan’s voicemail. “He’s not answering. Grrr….”

Jessa shrugged. “If that’s the case, you’ll have to let it go. It’s Nolan’s problem. While you love your brother, you can’t let yourself get caught up in his faults. Learn to say no.”

Easy for her to say now, when she’d basically done the exact same thing to me by telling me to come visit her shop and then nearly forcing me into Mr. Way-Too-Sexy’s arms.

“Great advice. I’ll have to remember that next time something gets shoved down my throat.” Pushing the tote’s strap onto my shoulder, I squeezed my hands into fists. “Sorry. I know you meant well. You’re my friend and mentor. You want me to use my magic. Nolan, on the other hand, is just being lazy.”

While she looked a little hurt, she grimaced. Shame slumped forward her shoulders. “Chin up. It’s going to be okay. Especially if you were to dump—”

“Jessa!” Weren’t people supposed to chill once I got out of college instead of being so…pushy? Argh! They didn’t have any right to push their agendas into my decision making.

If you enjoyed the excerpt, please enter my TRS Party giveaway on the sidebar! Also, keep checking back for more excerpts.

Sarah Mäkelä
Dark, Magical Encounters of Passion…
http://www.sarahmakela.com

The Witch Who Cried Wolf by Sarah Mäkelä – Excerpt #2


The Witch Who Cried Wolf by Sarah MäkeläThe Witch Who Cried Wolf
 by Sarah Mäkelä

Be careful what you wish for…

A potion gone wrong: Mia Brooks is a reluctant witch, with powers that she tries to hold in check. But when her magic gets mixed up, supernatural forces are unleashed and suddenly she’s being pursued by werewolves—that she didn’t even realize existed…

Hidden emotions: Ethan Parker, Mia’s brother’s best friend, is home from deployment for the holidays. Mia’s not only hiding from werewolves, she’s trying to keep her feelings for Ethan secret; it would be a disaster if he knew she’s been nursing a long-time crush…

The power of love: Things take a terrifying turn when Mia and Ethan are attacked by a werewolf. Ethan is amazed when Mia reveals her paranormal prowess as she tries to shield them from danger. But can she really protect them from the darkness that lurks? And how can he tell her that, for ages, he’s been denying what he really wants? Mia…

Buy Now

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | All Romance eBooksiTunes

Link to 1st Excerpt

2nd Excerpt:

Mr. Sexy’s lips twitched. “The potion? Or…salve? Can you help me, or not?”

I looked behind me, noticing how Jessa was ‘busy’ tidying a few shelves that were perfectly fine. A small smirk tugged at her lips.

“Sure, I can help. What exactly do you need?” Healing potions? This was great, just great. He didn’t even know what he needed, nor did he know the differences between potions, salves or poultices. Not that many people outside of the metaphysical community did, but that wasn’t my fault. Besides, there were plenty of ways to do them. It didn’t help to say healing potion. I knew some concoctions that cured the flu, helped with burns, even helped with migraines.

The man cocked an eyebrow at me as if I was stupid. “A…healing salve. Are you serious? I’ve told you what I need.”

Jessa placed her hand on my shoulder. “What she means is, what does it need to do?” She pursed her lips, running her gaze over the man. “On the phone, you said that someone you know had some kind of…poisoning?”

While I enjoyed making potions and other healing remedies, I couldn’t help but wonder why this guy wasn’t taking his friend to a hospital or doctor instead.

Mr. Sexy scratched the back of his neck, causing his shirt to lift. My gaze skimmed his navel and part of the defined six-pack I’d known was hiding there. Somehow, knowing how hot he was under his shirt calmed my nerves a little. Surely, he was fine.

Maybe it’d just been a long time since I’d met a nice looking guy who wasn’t a jerk, and didn’t just storm off to join the military when I needed him. But…I was so not going to think about Ethan right now.

“Right. Not food poisoning. Lead poisoning.” Something flickered in his eyes. What was he hiding? “My friend was injured when the metal got into his system, so if there’s something you could put in to help with that, too.”

Jessa nodded, a frown tugging at her lips. “We can help. Have you taken him to the hospital?”

Mr. Sexy narrowed his eyes first at her, then he slid his gaze to me. “He’s more into the holistic, alternative approach to medicine. He’s assured me that if this doesn’t work, he’ll go to the doctor.” With another caress of his gaze over my body, he crossed his arms over his chest. “Think you can handle it, princess?”

My jaw dropped. For a moment, I couldn’t believe he was both checking me out and kind of insulting me. “Yeah, I know a recipe. I’ll just get the ingredients and head home. When do you need it by?” That was stupid question. He’d just told me his friend was injured. There wasn’t time for me to mess around. “Sorry, I can drop it back by a little later.”

“Why can’t you do it here and now?” Irritation hardened the set of his jaw.

Jessa jumped in before I could say anything. “While we have the ingredients to make the salve, she would need her supplies.” She waved her hand around the store. “I don’t have everything here. Usually—”

“That’s fine. I’ll be back before the store closes. That’s a couple hours from now, correct?” At Jessa’s nod, Mr. Sexy turned on his heel and was gone before she could say anything, the bells chiming in his wake.

I ran a hand through my hair, staring at the door. Shock radiated through my chest. A man I didn’t know, with an injured friend who he wasn’t forcing to go to the hospital, wanted a potion from me. Too much about this situation was weird. And one person had set this all up.

Jessa widened her eyes. “Don’t look at me. I had no idea it would turn out as it had. Besides, you never really do anything with your magic. I figured you would be happy to explore more of your power. That’s what you want, or else you never would’ve sought me out.” She tapped her chin, mischief sparkling in her eyes. “I’ll share the profits with you, fifty-fifty.”

Sighing, I shook my head. “I want your help with my power, but you threw me under the bus. You didn’t even ask me if I wanted to do this or not! You decided for me.” This day could end whenever it felt like it. My bullshit limit was rapidly approaching.

If you enjoyed the excerpt, please enter my TRS Party giveaway on the sidebar! Also, keep checking back for more excerpts.

Sarah Mäkelä
Dark, Magical Encounters of Passion…
http://www.sarahmakela.com

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