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Holiday Cheer is THREE #SexySecretSantas!

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Naughty is darn sexy in the Christmas-y town of North Pole, Maine!

NAUGHTY ST. NICK

By Award-Winning and Bestselling Author Calista Fox

ON SALE NOW—JUST $0.99!!

http://amzn.to/1AcS9nf

 One hot sleigh mechanic + one provocative woman named Vixen = a very SEXY Christmas!

Having landed himself on Santa’s Naughty List, Nick Santos is given a chance at redemption. Granted, he’s tasked with some daunting challenges—pimping Santa’s ride and fixing the town’s holiday bling in the once year-round Christmas Capital of the World, North Pole, Maine. Playing Secret Santa comes with some unexpected perks, like finally catching the eye of the woman who sparks his deepest desires, Vixen White.

Vixen has no idea what’s come over Nick this holiday season, but his good deeds around town help her to remember the magic of Christmas, long forgotten. And his sexy grin and a searing, stolen kiss under mistletoe have her wishing her dream of being Naughty St. Nick’s one and only will finally come true.

CalistaFox_NaughtyStNick (1)

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NAUGHTY ST. NICK — Excerpt

CalistaFox_NaughtyStNick (1)

As far as hangovers went, Nick Santos woke with one that deserved a “Best in Show” blue ribbon.

Merry fucking Christmas to me.

No doubt he was in need of some Christmas cheer, but he’d gone way, way overboard last night. And it was only December thirteenth—twelve whole frickin’ days from the Big Holiday Bang.

Not that there was much to cheer about in North Pole, Maine these days. Nor was there any sort of holiday bang of late. It was more of a holiday fizzle.

He sighed as he rolled onto his back, incapable of cracking even one eye open, knowing it’d be bloodshot and blurry as hell. And his head… The incessant throbbing made him feel as though it’d been used as a soccer ball in a world championship game, getting kicked up and down the field with no reprieve in sight. For sure, he’d killed off some brain cells last night.

What had possessed him to get sufficiently sauced with his old high school pals Kris and Rudy was beyond him. Thank God Jenny Bells had stopped into the bar to make a late-night delivery from Sugar Plums, the bakery down the street.

“Soak up some of that alcohol, boys!” she’d said to the poor slobs starving at half-past midnight.

Then she’d taken pity on Nick and his friends and had offered to drive them home. Otherwise, they would have stumbled around the town square, making asses of themselves the way they’d done in their younger years, before Rudy had moved away.

And speaking of home… Was Nick even in his own bed? Had he stayed put when Jenny had dropped him off, or had he made a house call? Lord only knew where he’d ended up in his drunken state—and that dream he’d had! What a doozy it’d been. He’d actually dreamt he was at the North Pole. Not the small town where he’d lived all twenty-five years of his life, but the alleged one, frozen tundra and all. In his reverie, Santa Claus had been miffed at him and had put Nick on his Naughty List.

Oh, yeah…big surprise there.

He snickered and it sent a shockwave of pain down his neck, making him wince. He’d had some wild times in the past, no denying it. In fact, there’d been one extremely memorable night a couple of years ago when he’d done it up right with two girls he’d met at Yule Tide’s—the same bar where he’d gotten schnockered the previous evening with the boys.

The women had been from San Diego or San Jose or maybe even San Francisco. He’d long since forgotten where they’d hailed from and what their names were. But he certainly hadn’t forgotten those decadent hours they’d spent together, naked limbs entwined, various positions explored, lots of moaning and groaning going on.

For sure, that wicked threesome merited him a top spot on Santa’s bad-boy list. Not that he hadn’t deserved the self-indulgence, given the depressed state of affairs in his life and the town, but he could concede the fact that he might have pushed some boundaries in the ecstasy department.

Sadly, it’d been the only high point of the last few years. He easily surmised that living in the Christmas Capital of the World—or at least, it had been until the economy had tanked and their local department store Santa had passed away—was what had made Nick think of Santa in his inebriated state.

He grimaced.

Seriously? Santa Claus?

Shoving aside the bizarre image in his head of the decidedly not-so-jolly one wagging a finger at him and making a disappointed tsking sound, Nick finally opened his eyes, propped himself up on an elbow and surveyed the room.

Yep, it was his. A hint of relief washed over him. He really hadn’t wanted to discover he’d made a reverse booty call. True, his Little Black Book held the phone numbers of a multitude of single gals in northern Maine and across the western border into Quebec and the eastern one into New Brunswick, but he wasn’t inclined to whip out said book these days.

Truth be told, he hadn’t been the least bit enticed by the handful of available women who’d blatantly hit on him at the bar. The only one Nick longed to spend his nights with was the shapely, raven-haired, sky-blue-eyed temptress, Vixen White—who never bothered to give him the time of day. She was of the keep to yourself and don’t flirt with the town rowdies variety. Nick being one of them, of course. Along with Kris and Rudy.

Spending an evening with Vix, as he’d called her since grade school, was an even farther-fetched dream than conversing with North Pole’s icon, Santa Claus himself.

Vix’s granddaddy—the dearly departed department store Santa they’d all loved—had warned her about Nick long ago, he suspected. Nick couldn’t hold a grudge against Mr. White, who’d been right about Nick back then. Though…not recently. Of late, Nick had secretly vowed to give up his carousing ways if Vixen would stop sidestepping him whenever she saw him coming and give him a shot at romancing her. Sometimes, she’d actually cross the street if he headed in her direction.

He had no idea what that was all about, because on those rare occasions when he caught her off guard, she was always a bit breathless, with a distinct sparkle in her big blue eyes. He didn’t know if she even realized it, but Nick never missed stuff like that—especially when it came to Vixen White.

Still… He’d apparently dug too deep a hole for himself to ever climb out and win her over. Once he’d graduated high school and had started working as a sleigh mechanic, fixing up the old-fashioned horse-drawn ones that pulled the kids and the tourists around town on wintry days and nights, he’d nailed his coffin shut.

Naughty Nick the Sleigh Mechanic. Yeah, that’d win over Traditional Good-Girl Vixen.

Not.

The frustrating part was that he wasn’t just a mechanic. He’d parlayed his extensive knowledge into designing elaborate sleighs that sold-out in showrooms all over the world. He still helped to maintain them occasionally. But, mostly, he was known for his designs now, rather than his tune-up capabilities. Though, he was still called upon from time to time. Even Santa wanted him to hop-up the Christmas sleigh and—

Whoa!

Nick bolted upright in bed—and his head nearly exploded from the exertion.

“Son of a bitch!” he yelped as a thousand needles pricked the backs of his eyes, making them water. The pressure in his head burst wide open, sending pain shooting in all directions. He dropped back to the mattress, his head cradled in a fluffy down pillow.

“Urgh,” he mumbled miserably. “What kind of a dumbass are you?”

When the throbbing dimmed to a somewhat tolerable degree, he tried to sit up again. Slowly. Carefully.

Okay, good. Take it easy, man.

He gently swung his legs over the edge of the bed. His chin dropped to his chest.

Lord have mercy.

His bare feet pressed to the hardwood floor. Either he or Jenny had removed his dusty tan suede boots and socks, though he wasn’t sure which one had done it. No matter. He was glad to be free of them, because it was hotter than hell in his room and he was sweltering with the rest of his clothes still on.

A heat wave at Christmastime in North Pole, Maine was about the silliest damn thing he’d ever heard of—aside from that ridiculous dream about Santa.

Christ, what had they been drinking at Yule Tide’s? Some beers, yes. A few shots. Rudy was buying, so what the hell, right? Then, just before Jenny had come into the bar, they’d been served some sort of rich, frothy cocktail that had actually tasted like Christmas, garnished with a peppermint stick. After that…well, things had gotten hazy.

And, obviously, they’d stayed that way.

Despite his hangover, Nick let out a soft chuckle at how absurd his subconscious mind could be. Santa asking him to install a state-of-the-art GPS system in the dashboard of the sleigh, along with 4G phone and data service, an iPad and high-def speakers so he could crank the Christmas tunes…? What a hoot!

Clearly, the warm weather, the ill effects of the economy on the town that used to be crawling with tourists this time of year and was now at an immobilized standstill, and the loss of Mr. White three years ago had kicked his imagination into high gear.

Wait’ll the guys get a load of this!

Gingerly making his way down the hall, he stopped into the bathroom to brush his teeth, then went to the kitchen and hit the brew button on the coffeemaker he’d set up before he’d left the house and had tied one on with Kris and Rudy. He impatiently tapped his toe as the coffee started to drizzle into the carafe.

When he had a decent amount collected in the glass container, he lifted it from the burner and poured the desperately needed caffeine into his favorite Got Sleigh? mug.

He padded over to the credenza against the far wall, where he’d left yesterday’s mail. With bills and coffee in hand, he shuffled lazily to the round, glass-top table in the breakfast nook. The blinds were partially open and he averted his gaze from the bright sun streaming through.

But out of the corner of his eye, he caught a flash of vibrant red and a distinctly familiar shape in his backyard…

He spewed his first sip of coffee, the liquid flying from his gaping mouth and covering the smoky tabletop in tiny droplets. He set the mug down and slowly turned his head.

Holy fucking reindeer shit.

There sat Santa’s sleigh.

NAUGHTY ST. NICK

By Award-Winning and Bestselling Author Calista Fox

ON SALE NOW—JUST $0.99!!

http://amzn.to/1AcS9nf

One hot sleigh mechanic + one provocative woman named Vixen = a very SEXY Christmas!

Having landed himself on Santa’s Naughty List, Nick Santos is given a chance at redemption. Granted, he’s tasked with some daunting challenges—pimping Santa’s ride and fixing the town’s holiday bling in the once year-round Christmas Capital of the World, North Pole, Maine. Playing Secret Santa comes with some unexpected perks, like finally catching the eye of the woman who sparks his deepest desires, Vixen White.

Vixen has no idea what’s come over Nick this holiday season, but his good deeds around town help her to remember the magic of Christmas, long forgotten. And his sexy grin and a searing, stolen kiss under mistletoe have her wishing her dream of being Naughty St. Nick’s one and only will finally come true.

Get In the Mood with #SexySecretSantas? AND WIN AN AMAZON GC!

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New York Times bestselling author Erin Quinn, Award-winning and Amazon bestselling author Calista Fox and USA Today bestselling author Mary Leo bring you Christmas cheer with sweet and spicy holiday romances! These stories hit #s 1, 2 & 3 on Amazon bestselling lists when initially released–and they’re available for just 99 cents each!

Get your holiday groove on with KISSING KRIS KRINGLE, NAUGHTY ST. NICK and ROMANCING RUDY RAINDEAR!!

EXCLUSIVE for this TRS party, if you post a review for NAUGHTY ST. NICK and email a copy to Calista(at)calistafox(dot)com, you’ll be entered in a drawing for an Amazon gift card!

NAUGHTY ST. NICK

By Award-Winning and Bestselling Author Calista Fox

ON SALE NOW—JUST $0.99!!

http://amzn.to/1AcS9nf

One hot sleigh mechanic + one provocative woman named Vixen = a very SEXY Christmas!

Having landed himself on Santa’s Naughty List, Nick Santos is given a chance at redemption. Granted, he’s tasked with some daunting challenges—pimping Santa’s ride and fixing the town’s holiday bling in the once year-round Christmas Capital of the World, North Pole, Maine. Playing Secret Santa comes with some unexpected perks, like finally catching the eye of the woman who sparks his deepest desires, Vixen White.

Vixen has no idea what’s come over Nick this holiday season, but his good deeds around town help her to remember the magic of Christmas, long forgotten. And his sexy grin and a searing, stolen kiss under mistletoe have her wishing her dream of being Naughty St. Nick’s one and only will finally come true.

The Underworld is no match for a Goddess, Awakened

Goddess-Awakened-LGWith a little help from a goddess, battling evil is a piece of cake for Jocelyn Gibson.

A descendant of the goddess Iris, Jocelyn Gibson may have forgotten about the realm of magic, but it hasn’t forgotten her. When Eric Hendricks is targeted by a demon, Joss must step in to battle the evil and save the town’s awkward, but endearing, vet…who also happens to be the man she loves.

Joss’s new inn, a culinary career specializing in cooking with lavender and a new love all make for a fine recipe of disaster. She needs to embrace her inner goddess and harness the powers she never knew she had before it’s too late.

Goddess, Awakened

The Goddess Connection, Book 1

Fantasy/paranormal romance novel

About 89,700 words

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks | Kensington

 

The Goddess Connection Series

Every woman should embrace her inner goddess. What’s your connection?

In each novel of The Goddess Connection series, the heroine is somehow connected to a goddess. Her lifelong quirks will become strengths once she finds her true place in the world, and accepts herself for who she really is.

And in each, the heroine is encouraged to embrace her inner goddess. And the hero treats her like one! As it should be for every woman.

 

Mini excerpt

In starting her life over, Joss had expected some resistance, even some trouble, but not this. The bedroom floor boards trembled beneath her golden-slippered feet. Tendrils of an unseen power curled upward from deep within the ground, tingling through her toes. She paused to steady herself, then continued to put the finishing touches on her costume. The tremors grew into rumbles and their hum seeped beneath her skin. When their tiny wisps twined through her mind, she clenched her hands. Enough. Go away.

Thick as starlight on a clear summer’s eve, sweet as the lavender blossoms she had yet to plant, energy whooshed up through the cracks of the worn wood and out into the October night.

She gripped the bureau until it passed, the vibrations rolling over her in lessening waves. Bubbly, effervescent waves. “Third time tonight, Taz.” Each departure took longer, and more of the essence remained.

When the dog whined, she stroked his fur. “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt you.”

Even if tonight the waves were palpable enough to make her hairs stand on end. Oh, no, please.

Nothing could ruin tonight. More than a party, this event would determine her future. And after three years of grief, she’d never allow anything to trap her in its clutches again.

 

About the Author

Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.

Contact Details

Website: http://catemasters.blogspot.com

Email: cate.masters@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cate-Masters/89969413736?ref=ts

Twitter: @CateMasters

A hot angel on a Harley will make your holidays happy!

Ground-Rules-LGCan a bad boy angel and a dispirited mortal find a Christmas miracle together?

Luke, newly promoted to Watcher Angel, has been watching one human too closely—Alice. Unfortunately, she’s now his latest assignment. Good thing the ground rules forbid getting involved with a human.

Alice Garner scores a great contract to illustrate a children’s book by a famous author, but lack of inspiration forces her to cancel her holiday plans. Alone on Christmas to meet her looming deadline, Alice wishes on her treetop angel for help. She wasn’t expecting an angel to answer, especially one as surly as Luke.

As they try to restore Christmas cheer to another, Luke brings Alice more than inspiration. He reawakens her heart. Now Alice has to convince him he’s her greatest wish. With a little Christmas magic, can she convince him to break the ground rules and stay?

 

Reviewers said: “A perfect love story with a little hint of Christmas…

This was such a short, sweet, light-hearted story about finding love, even if you’re not looking. Ms. Masters took a simple love story and made it magical, drawing the reader into the world where angels can make your dreams come true. And the fact that Luke could make a mean margarita certainly didn’t hurt, either. I’m a sucker for a Christmas story – throw in a hot angel on a Harley and we’ve got a party!”

and “Luke is the Harley, hunky not-like-you’ve-seen-before Angel. Had his heart broken and doesn’t want to listen to his heart. It reminded me of It’s a Wonderful Life with a love twist. If you want a good book to get you into the spirit of Christmas and miracles I recommend Ground Rules.”

and “This fun fantasy tale will keep you reading and waiting to see just what happens next. I didn’t see this ending coming, and I consider that an accomplishment for the author.”

 

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/366969

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ground-rules-cate-masters/1107758916?ean=2940045342803

What’s your goddess connection?

GoddessInflamed-LGSome promises were made to be broken…

When your life is hell, visiting the Underworld doesn’t seem much of a leap. On her twenty-first birthday, Lily MacInnis learns the hard way—by meeting relatives who not only live there, they own the place. And expect her to move there to marry Zeveriah, Archduke of Section Six and Hades’ up and coming CFO. Suddenly, Lily’s life doesn’t look so bad, but how can she make sure she doesn’t get trapped there in a marriage to a demon?

Bodie can’t let Lily fulfill that destiny. As Ruling Prince of the Sixth Heaven, he’s waited an eternity for the chance to bring down his nemesis, Zeveriah. Seems like he’s wanted Lily for an eternity too. But once he saves her, will she be his downfall?

Before her birthday, Lily didn’t know a damned thing. She’s about to learn all about The Damned, and find out everything she thought she knew was a lie…

 

Goddess, Inflamed

The Goddess Connection, Book 2

Fantasy/paranormal romance novel

Heat level: Hot as Hades

About 66,300 words

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

Goodreads

Read the first chapter on Wattpad

 

The Goddess Connection Series

Every woman should embrace her inner goddess. What’s your connection?

In each novel of The Goddess Connection series, the heroine is somehow connected to a goddess. Her lifelong quirks will become strengths once she finds her true place in the world, and accepts herself for who she really is.

And in each, the heroine is encouraged to embrace her inner goddess. And the hero treats her like one! As it should be for every woman.

 

Goddess, Spellbound

GoddessSpellbound_LGGoddess, Spellbound

Blurb

Ancient pyramid tomb doors. Mummified warriors. Artifacts appearing from nowhere. And that’s just Sandy Whitaker’s work as museum curator. When spells become curses, and the dead return for vengeance, her dream job turns into a living nightmare.

The warrior Iker’s triumphed over difficult pharaohs and returned from battles victorious, but dealing with Sandy Whitaker is his hardest task yet. A descendant of Egyptian goddess Bastet, she’s headstrong, naïve and completely alluring. Can he convince her to perform the ritual spells to save the Queen Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s eternal soul? More importantly, can he help her realize she doesn’t need to be descended from a goddess to be one herself?

Sandy reluctantly embraces her heritage as Sanura, demi-goddess of cats. But even with her new powers, can she fulfill her destiny? If she can survive being kidnapped by a cobra shifter, she’ll do her best to perform the Pyramid Texts ritual spells so Hatshepsut can sail into the Afterlife at long last. But once the queen pharaoh is gone forever, will Iker leave her too?

 

Goddess, Spellbound

The Goddess Connection, Book 3

Fantasy/paranormal romance novel

Heat level: Sensual

About 68,400 words

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

Goodreads

Read the first chapter on Wattpad

 

The Goddess Connection Series

Every woman should embrace her inner goddess. What’s your connection?

In each novel of The Goddess Connection series, the heroine is somehow connected to a goddess. Her lifelong quirks will become strengths once she finds her true place in the world, and accepts herself for who she really is.

And in each, the heroine is encouraged to embrace her inner goddess. And the hero treats her like one! As it should be for every woman.

 

Just Released: Maher Men by Brenna Lyons

Maher_MenSpeaking of new releases, we are thrilled to show off the latest from Brenna Lyons in her bestselling Night Warriors series: MAHER MEN. It’s available today on Phaze.com and coming to ARe, Amazon, and BN.com soon. By the way, you can get the rest of this series for 25% off at All Romance just for today.

About the Book

The blue-eyed Maher men have always caused a stir. When Kord finds his mate, he doesn’t know that the stone has a hand in destiny once again. The stone needs a suitable warrior for the König princess, and a mixing of the bloodlines alone will make the match.

Julia Farmer doesn’t know she was bitten in childhood. She doesn’t know she was transfused with Warrior blood. While she’s not Blutjagdfrau, she shares the Warrior’s drives, much to her father’s dismay. There’s instant attraction between Kord Maher and Julia, but when she hides the fact that she’s a Warrior daughter from him, he ends up on the wrong side of the Rules of Sanction.

Shana has never taken chances. She never wanted excitement in her life. Then, her world was turned upside down. Vampires are real, and one vampire hunter seems intent on her safety–and on her. Bryant will not call a halt until Shana accepts his protection–and him–no matter what.

Adam is inflexible, abrasive, and full of himself. Jo is…completely unimpressed. Too bad, because Adam never backs down when he sees something he wants. Jo wants nothing more than to dump the warrior Kord assigned to her, but ditching one of the Maher trackers isn’t as easy as one might believe. Adam Maher is one of the most infuriating men Jo has ever met. So, why can’t she get him out of her mind?

Gabriel is Adam Maher’s younger son. By all accounts, he’s inherited the Maher hot blood. He printed at 17 and was refused. Then he made a pass at the wrong woman and found himself vilified in Hunter range. To top it all off, one of Adam’s enemies has set his sights on destroying Adam by destroying his son. The beast doesn’t know how effective his plan might be. The chosen bait to draw Gabriel in is the same protected who refused to be Gabe’s mate a decade earlier, and his blood still hasn’t cooled.

Preview

“What is it?” Maman’s voice was a whispered plea.

Julia opened her eyes, stretching beneath the light spring quilt on her bed.

“You know what,” her father commented. “Stay here. Paul and Jack will go with me.”

That simply, Julia was wide awake. Jack was going somewhere with Father. They would take her along if she was fast enough. Father would take her with them. Father never denied her anything.

She slid from her bed and pulled her shoes on over her bare feet. She strode down the hall and out the back door, turning the knob with both of her tiny hands, then bolted across the lawn to the garage. She stumbled, her nightgown catching on her shoes; Julia lifted it and ran on. Father would demand she dress before they left, but if she took the time to dress first, they might be gone before she reached them.

Julia stopped in the doorway to the garage, looking around in confusion. Her father and brothers weren’t there. She couldn’t have missed them. All four cars were still inside.

She turned back to the house, confused. Where could they have gone this late at night?

“Juu—lia.”

She turned to the sound of the whisper, her brow furrowing at a dark outline disappearing into the tree line. Julia smiled. Jack was playing with her as he often did after her nap. Was it a game of tag, then?

She rushed into the trees, following the faint rustlings and movements from tree to tree until the tree house rose high above her. “Jack?” she called, looking up the slats nailed to the tree trunk.

There was no answer.

Julia looked around; Jack was nowhere to be seen. He couldn’t ghost from her while she wore her amulet. She touched the disc to assure herself it was still there. No, he wasn’t ghosting, so he had to be teasing her. She scowled. Father didn’t allow the boys to tease her.

“Jack,” she demanded. “Show yourself, or I’ll tell Father.” Julia planted her fists on her hips.

Still, her brother didn’t show himself.

“Father will hear—” She stopped, taking a step back in surprise.

A man stepped from the trees, but it wasn’t Jack. “There you are, Julia,” he greeted her in a heavy accent she couldn’t place. “I’ve been looking for you.”

She shied from his offered hand.

The man chuckled. “Come now. Don’t you recognize me?”

Julia shook her head shyly. This man looked like a Warrior save his clothing, but it was no Warrior she knew. Who else would come here? Strangers didn’t come to their estates.

As if he read her thoughts, the man knelt down a few feet from her. “You needn’t be frightened. Could anyone harm you on Landwirt soil?”

She laughed at that, pressing her chubby fingers to her mouth. It was true. No one would dare harm her here—not while her father was Lord Farmer.

He smiled wider.

“Do you know Father?” she asked.

The man settled on the grass. “We have met each other many times.” He leaned closer to her. “I would ask your help, Julia,” he whispered in a conspiratorial tone.

“You need my help?” No one ever asked for Julia’s help. When she offered, people patted her head and sent her to play. “What kind of help?”

“I have lost my amulet.” His eyes were pained, much as Alan’s had been when he’d broken Maman’s favorite vase with his wooden practice blade.

Julia smiled. “I can get you one. Father has a whole drawer—”

“No!” He put up a calming hand as she startled. “Your Maman might see you. How would you explain your actions?”

She bit her lip, working at the problem and at a loss for an answer to it.

“I would be in even more trouble then,” he confided.

“Then how can I help?” she asked in confusion.

“If you give me your amulet…”

Julia fingered the metal disc over her chest uncertainly. “Father says—”

“Never to take it off?”

She nodded.

“Your Maman has told me you’ve lost yours before.”

Julia winced. She had lost it twice. Once, the chain broke while she was swimming. The other time, she lost it while she and Jack played in the woods.

“Did anything bad happen to you, Julia?”

“No,” she admitted.

“Do you think anything bad could happen here?”

“No.” That was said with more conviction. What could happen? Maman called this their sanctuary, and Jack said that meant it was their safe place.

“Was your father angry with you for losing your amulet?” He smiled a knowing smile at that.

Julia giggled. He knew Father well. Father was never angry with her.

“Will you help me, Julia?” His eyes were serious, hopeful.

She fingered the amulet. She’d never lied to Father. If she told him she lost the amulet—

“Julia,” he whispered.

She looked at the doll in his hand with a gasp of surprise. “Babette.”

“Yes. It is very like your Maman’s Babette, but this one has dark curls like you do and not golden like your Maman’s.”

Julia nodded, touching the doll’s beautiful pink dress.

“Trade with me,” he offered. “I will give you this Babette for your amulet.”

She nodded again, incapable of begging for the beautiful doll. It was even prettier than Maman’s Babette. Julia had longed to play with Maman’s doll for as long as she could remember. The man set the toy in her outstretched hands, and she hugged it to her chest.

“Julia,” Maman called. “Julia, where are you?”

“Quickly, Julia,” he urged her. “I must be well away before your Maman arrives.”

She pulled off the amulet and handed it to him. It slipped through his fingers and fell to the grass. Julia laughed, looking to him, intent on commenting on his clumsiness.

She went still, caught in the red glow of his eyes. Fangs sprouted in his mouth, and claws took the place of the fingernails on his hands.

Julia turned and ran, dropping the doll at the base of the tree and scrambling up the slats toward the tree house. Strictly speaking, she wasn’t allowed up there without Jack or Paul, but there were worse things in life than a broken arm.

“Julia,” Maman called again, annoyance in her tone.

A hand fisted in the back of her nightgown and yanked Julia from her perch. She screamed as she fell, kicking as fingers bit into her upper arms.

“Julia!” Maman was closer now, her voice panicked.

Julia screamed again at a sharp pain in her shoulder. Her body went leaden and her mind disconnected from the world around her. Memories danced in her mind: playing with Jack, riding on Father’s shoulders, cuddling in Maman’s arms when she was ill.

“No!” Maman screamed.

About the Author

Brenna Lyons wears many hats, sometimes all on the same day: former president of EPIC, author of more than 95 published works, office administrator, columnist, special needs teacher, wife, mother…and member in good standing of more than 60 writing advocacy groups. In her first nine years published in novel-length, she’s won 3 EPIC e-Book Awards (out of 15 finalists) and finaled for 3 PEARLS (including one Honorable Mention, second to NY Times Bestseller Angela Knight), 2 CAPAS, and a Dream Realm Award. She’s also taken Spinetingler’s Book of the Year for 2007. Brenna writes milieu-heavy dark fiction, mainly science fiction, fantasy and horror, straight genre, romance and erotic crosses, poetry, articles, and essays. She teaches everything from marketing to choosing an indie publisher, and she’s been called “one of the most deviant erotic minds in publishing today” by Fallen Angels. Find out more about Brenna at Youtube or her site http://www.brennalyons.com

Meet Me in the Mating Arena

With rock-hard fortitude, Marohka Taunton battles to maintain her position as top mineralogist and refuses to see why she should marry even if the law requires she take a mate. Fighting her attraction for Stihl Fermesium, she struggles to save her father’s company.

Stihl, determined to win her as his mate, is faced with the commission deal of a lifetime and needs the money to save his family land. He wrestles with her emotional resistance and discovers someone other than Marohka is unhappy about their union. In fact, they want to separate them in the most basic of ways, death.

 Excerpt -

Palms sweaty—heart steady—battle ready—Marohka reviewed her strategy for the fight. A crowd sat watching her from the observation deck. One of the elders read the rules over the loud speaker. “The person who pins his or her opponent for ten itons . . .”
Her gaze darted to the man standing in the middle of the mating arena. Orange padded walls framed Stihl’s body. Sizewise, he stood over four leg-lengths’ tall, giving him a half of leg advantage. Weightwise, he out matched her by at least a hundred pounds. Yet, neither his size nor his weight worried her. She’d beaten bigger men before at the gym where she worked out.
Bigger, but soft, she amended.
Under his  skintight workout suit, she recognized a strong athletic man who worked out regularly. Her stomach churned at his muscle mass. The odds of her winning against a seasoned opponent ground to zero.
A blinding  force of reality struck her—she could lose.
Unwilling to  accept the possibility, she struggled with a way to win. She had two options, trick him with a fast maneuver or draw blood. Per the rules, any blood spilled disqualified him. Then, if she were lucky, the match over, and she’d be free forever.
She smiled at  the reassuring thought. A strangely sweet odor hit her senses. With a quick  glance at her target, she caught sight of his mischievous grin. A dimple flashed from the corner of his mouth.
Recognition  dawned. Her opponent, none other than the guy by the staircase last night, winked at her. A fleeting notion sped through her head. Does she really want to win?
“Marohka Taunton  meet your future mate, Stihl Fermesium,” the formal voice rang from the speakers.
With a nod of  greeting, Marohka placed herself under tight control. Every muscle on alert, she waited for the contest to begin. She clenched her teeth to hide the spark of fear vibrating through her nervous system.
“Now after being introduced and read the rules, let’s see a fair fight.”
“Looks like you  were wrong. It’s not over.” Stihl grinned.
She shifted into her fighting stance. Knees bent, one  foot a step behind the other. She pictured ways to defeat him. “It soon will
be.”


Read First Chapter of “Mating Rituals”
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Tina

Five reasons I love mythology-based paranormals

Goddess-Awakened-MED

For a writer, the stuff of myth and legend is treasure. Pure story gold. Heroes and heroines who don’t simply embody the hero archetype, they invented it. Here are a few reasons I love paranormals based on mythology:

  1. Myths are classic. They’re the originals. The stories most every other story is based upon in some way.
  1. Immortality. Immortals particularly intrigue me. Existing since the dawn of time tends to lend interest to a character, doesn’t it? They’ve seen it all, done it all, but still have to keep up with the latest.
  1. Different versions of myths. Not all legends are the same, even about the same character. It allows for a little, ahem, leeway for writers. Some creative license. Room to play–expand the character traits, place them in situations they’ve never before faced.
  1. Kickass heroes to make you swoon. Don’t you love them? Alpha males with special talents or powers. When paired with a strong females who can bring them to their knees, the sparks fly off the page!
  1. The coolness factor. They may be old school, but immortals in the present have rock star cool. By definition, an immortal would still exist in present time, and I love nothing better than placing an ancient character in a modern setting — like Satan (though in this story, I used his very old mythological name of Lord Plouton).

I am not, however, a fan of stereotypes. I love to mix it up. Sometimes a lot! My Kensington release, Goddess, Awakened, isn’t strictly written around mythology. I mixed in a little fantasy, some intelligent and intuitive (not to mention adorable) animals, a modern heroine and a brooding, intelligent veterinarian who has more hero in him than he suspects, all in a magical setting of the small Pennsylvania town of Boiling Springs (a real town, but without the mysterious ley line!).

What about you? Do you love a little mythology mixed in your paranormals?

 

Goddess, Awakened

The Goddess Connection Book 1

Fantasy/paranormal romance novel

About 89,700 words

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks | Kensington

About the Author

Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.

Contact Details

Website: http://catemasters.blogspot.com

Email: cate.masters@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cate-Masters/89969413736?ref=ts

Twitter: @CateMasters