THE PLEDGE by Laura Ward & Christine Manzari COVER REVEAL

We’re excited to share the cover for THE PLEDGE by Laura Ward & Christine Manzari! Be sure to check out the excerpt below!

Title: The Pledge

Author: Laura Ward & Christine Manzari

Age: NA

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Designed by: Okay Creations, Sarah Hansen

Release date: July 27, 2015

Blurb:

Taren needs a do-over. She’s decided the best way to put the high school bullies behind her is to pledge a Taylor-Swift-lip-syncing, beer-guzzling, sorority. Sisterhood helps Taren find the acceptance she’s always craved, but not the love she needs.

Alec wants freedom. To escape his father’s iron fist and unrealistic expectations, he pledges a campus acrobatics club where he finds that drugs and alcohol aren’t the only ways to get high. His addiction to danger helps him gain his independence, but it comes at a heavy price.

When the two cross paths, Alec fears his undeniable attraction to the party girl just might threaten everything he’s worked so hard to earn. Taren hasn’t forgotten that Alec humiliated her back in high school, but she also can’t deny the chemistry they share.

Alec and Taren have nothing in common, but fate is bound and determined to bring them together. They know falling in love is a risk, and yet it’s too hard to ignore. When their worlds clash and they both end up suffering, will they fight to stay together? Or are some pledges too hard to keep?

EXCERPT

“I dreamt about this.” Alec dragged his fingertips down my neck and to my hair that lay splayed across his pillow. He leaned over me, and his weight rested on his forearms. “I pictured you just like this. Laying in my bed, your hair spread out on my pillow, your scent on my skin.” He swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat. “Your lips begging to be kissed.” Alec slipped his tongue along my lower lip. “I missed your taste. I missed…you, Taren.” He dipped his tongue inside my mouth, pulling me in for a deep, slow kiss.

The words coming from his lips were too much. I moaned into his mouth as emotion stung the corners of my eyes. He was hard as he pressed against me, and my eyelids fluttered shut as I lifted my hips into him. My hands ran all over his arms, and my fingers molded themselves to the muscles of his shoulders and back. I would never have enough time to feel him. Never.

Alec’s kisses were eager, his lips pressing against mine with such intensity I hardly had time to catch my breath. He moved down, trailing his lips along my neck until he reached my chest. Every place he left a kiss felt hot, and I felt flushed.

“I missed the way you tuck your hair behind your ear when you’re nervous.” His lips branded my right shoulder. “I missed the way you smile when you know you’re out-debating me.” His mouth traced the words into my skin before leaving a scorching touch on my rib cage. “I missed the way you can get lost in a book and fall into its pages.” His kiss settled between the swell of my breasts, and his breath feathered across my skin.

A tear rolled down my face as emotion overwhelmed me. I wasn’t just another body. He saw me. The real me.

He looked up and propped himself up on his elbow. He reached up and wiped the tear away with his thumb. He left his hand on my face and gazed down me. “What’s wrong?” His fingers stroked my cheek.

I closed my eyes, taking a deep, shaky breath. “I’m so happy we get a second chance.” Another tear escaped me, and his face pinched as he reached up to wipe that one away, too.

“Second chances don’t change the past. They just prove we can learn from our mistakes.” He pressed his face into my neck, his mouth just below my ear. “I’m not the same guy I was in high school. I’m going to prove that to you.”


We would love for you to join us in the promotional tour for The Pledge by Laura Ward & Christine Manzari! 

About the Author/s:

Laura Ward lives in Maryland with her loud and very loving three children and husband. She married her college sweetheart and is endlessly grateful for the support he has given her through all their years together, and especially toward her goal of writing books. When not changing diapers, driving to lacrosse practice, or checking spelling homework, Laura is writing or reading romance novels.

Contact Laura at:

The first thing Christine does when she’s getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She’s addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeine-laden bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.

Social Media Links: 

Advertisements

Witness to Passion – Naima Simone AVAILABLE TODAY!

RDBWitnesstoPassion_NaimaSimone

WITNESS TO PASSION

Guarding Her Body #1

Naima Simone

Releasing June 16th, 2015

Entangled: Ignite

 

Under his protection and in his bed…

For Fallon Wayland, birthdays are just another reminder of her looming spinsterhood. This year is shaping up to be no different. Unfairly fired from her job, dumped by her boyfriend, and oh yes, witnessing the murder of a high-ranking lieutenant in the local crime family… Yeah, birthdays suck.

 

Ever since a disastrous, hot-as-hell kiss years ago, soldier-turned-security specialist Shane Roarke has avoided his baby sister’s reckless—and gorgeous—best friend. Yet when her life is threatened after she witnesses a gang hit, he insists on protecting her…even if she objects.

The two are forced to hole up in a safe house. Alone. Passion long denied erupts between them, burning away their inhibitions. But even as layers—and clothes—are peeled away, danger closes in. Shane and Fallon might finally have a chance at love…if they survive long enough to see it.

BUY NOW

Excerpt-Banner

 

 

 

“Can’t sleep?” Shane asked.

“No,” Fallon murmured. “It’s too quiet.”

He nodded, rising to his feet from the couch. The dog tags around his neck clacked against one another, drawing her attention to the wide, naked expanse of his chest. How she managed to sound calm and unaffected by the sight of all that taut skin should be filed under minor miracles. Especially since inside her panties she popped, sizzled, and lit up like a damn Fourth of July fireworks show.

“Here.” He scooped up the television remote from the fee table and tossed it to her. “Take the couch.” He bent, picked up his pants, and turned to step into them. “I’ll sleep on the—”

“Jesus Christ.” She caught the remote on autopilot, the sheet dropping from her numb fingers. Horror poured through her in a thick, choking deluge. Before her mind could catch up with her body, she was closing the distance between them. Her hands were reaching for him, gripping his hips above the low-hanging black band of his boxers and unbuckled, sagging pants.

Her eyes were drinking in the terrible scars marring his back.

Shane went unnaturally still, and the tensing of his muscles telegraphed his intention to jerk away. But she tightened her hold, ignored the fact that she’d violated his unspoken edict regarding her touching him.

“Please,” she whispered, unable to prevent the pain and fear from seeping through. Maybe he detected it, detected the desperate need. Because, though he didn’t relax, instead remaining as rigid as a statue, he didn’t move away from her.

Didn’t leave her.

Emitting a sound caught somewhere between a whimper and a sigh, she gently—reverently—traced the gouged-out flesh just below his waist, the hard, puckered skin surrounding the old wound. Pressing her forehead to his shoulder blade, she smoothed fingertips over the long, ridged scar aligning the bottom of his spine. Stroked the raised, shiny mark the size and shape of a nickel on the back of his upper arm.

Grief for his suffering, panic at the realization of just how close she’d come to losing him pummeled the breath from her chest, leaving a hollow, agonizing ache behind. Of course she’d known he’d been hurt; only a serious injury could’ve kept Shane from returning to the Army he loved.

But four years ago when she’d received that call from Addy about Shane being shipped home, her friend had told her he’d been shot. That’s it. She hadn’t detailed the gravity the scars covering his body conveyed. They’d kept her in the dark. Purposefully.

“You wouldn’t let me come to the hospital,” she said.

“No,” he stated, voice flat.

“Why?” she demanded softly. He didn’t reply, only fisted his fingers at his sides. “I would’ve come. If you’d let me, I would’ve,” she murmured, then bent and brushed her lips over the scar on his waist.

Jolting as if struck by a bolt of lightning, he whipped around, a fierce frown darkening his face. “What the hell are you doing?”

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Naima’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey and Linda Howard many years ago. Though her first attempt at writing a romance novel at 11 never saw the light of day, her love of romance and writing has endured. Now, she spends her time creating stories of unique men and women who experience the dizzying heights of passion and the tender heat of love. She is the wife to Superman – or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent – and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.

 

 

 

Poldark Series – Better Than Downton?

Better Than Downton?

  • RossPoldarkCover2015-2Title: Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall
  • Author: Winston Graham
  • ISBN13: 9781447281528
  • Series: The Poldark Saga #1
  • Published: Published February 12th 2015 by Pan Macmillan (first published 1945)
  • Format: Paperback
  • Genre/s: Historical Fiction
  • Source: Puchased
  • Rating: A

SYNOPSIS – (From Goodreads) Tired from a grim war in America, Ross Poldark returns to his land and his family. But the joyful homecoming he has anticipated turns sour, for his father is dead, his estate is derelict and the girl he loves is engaged to his cousin.

But his sympathy for the destitute miners and farmers of the district leads him to rescue a half-starved urchin girl from a fairground brawl and take her home – an act which alters the whole course of his life . . .

Though it may not feel like it outside, we do live in Canada after all and the climate can be uncertain at best, the dog days of summer are fast approaching. The time of year that used to be a barren wasteland of reruns has now evolved into a trial period of sorts for new television programming some good and some bad case in point Under the Dome. To which my husband refers to ironically as our favourite comedy series but I digress.

This year, however I am waiting with bated breath for the latest adaptation from BBC One of Winston Graham’s classic Poldark saga. First published in 1945, it was a great favourite of my mother’s family and watching reruns of the original 1975 series are some of my best television watching memories.

http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2015-03-08/original-poldark-robin-ellis-looks-back-on-his-1970s-swashbuckling-2
Poldark (1975) Robin Ellis as Ross and Angharad Rees as Demelza on the Cornish coast.

Better than Downton, say it isn’t so. Shocking as the statement may be the answer is likely “yes”. Now don’t get me wrong I was so moved by Matthew and Mary’s trials and tribulations that I stayed up all night watching season three only to have the finale spoiled literally hours before I planned to watch it. Whereas the love triangle at the centre of the Poldark Saga is stuff of legend and by comparison Downton Abbey without Matthew is just a sad, sad thing that not even Carson and Mrs. Hughes engagement could revive.

I know many of us need another book series to read like we need another hole in the head but that never stops us from hoarding them all the same. The Poldark Saga consists of a weighty twelve volumes of which the first six focus largely on Ross’ exploits and the remainder concerning his decedents though I have not read them all I may have to revisit this compelling family in the near future. Regardless of whether I dive into those particular literary waters again, I for one will be watching Poldark when it premieres on PBS June 21st and if you are one of those people who has to read the story in advance there is still time!

About the Author

main.winston-portraitWinston Graham was the author of forty novels. His books have been widely translated and the Poldark series has been developed into two television series, shown in 22 countries. Six of Winston Graham’s books have been filmed for the big screen, the most notable being Marnie, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Winston Graham was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 1983 was awarded the O.B.E..

RELATED ARTICLES

 

 

The Royal We – Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan REVIEW

We are not amused.” – Queen Victoria

This supposed quotation was attributed to Queen Victoria by courtier Caroline Holland in Notebooks of a Spinster Lady, 1919. Holland attests that Victoria made the remark at Windsor Castle. http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/we-are-not-amused.html

Heather-Cocks-Jessica-Morgan-TheRoyalWe

The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

(From Goodreads) American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it’s Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain’s future king. And when Bex can’t resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick’s sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he’s fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she’s sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge Wedding Day Image (C) Getty Images, Splash, Reuters

REVIEW

Kate and Will’s wedding was not the first time I rose at the crack of dawn to watch members of England’s royal family unite in holy matrimony. I would have been 7 when my mother and I watched coverage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding some thirty some odd years ago. Oh that gown, that hideous gown! Those enormous sleeves, that bodice, the unmitigated horror.

29th July 1981:  Formal portrait of Lady Diana Spencer (1961 - 1997) in her wedding dress designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel.  (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
29th July 1981: Formal portrait of Lady Diana Spencer (1961 – 1997) in her wedding dress designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Regardless of the abomination they dressed the incandescent Princess Diana in that day, my enthusiasm for the royals was thoroughly whetted and I admit I woke up in the middle of the night to avidly watch the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s union four years ago. In fact this very morning I was very put out when my husband refused to immediately turn the page in the newspaper he was reading so I could see the new photos of wee Princess Charlotte with her adorable brother.

William&KateAs a born and bred Anglophile I freely admit that I love the royals, while I may draw the line at a subscription to Majesty magazine nor did I watch the Made for TV adaptation William & Kate, though it might simply be that I didn’t happen to be in that evening. I will admit the trailer looked a bit trite though in my current royal loving mood it might make for some good low brow watching… However I knew I had to read The Royal We when I came across its synopsis in one of the publisher newsletters I receive regularly.

While I largely enjoyed The Royal We, it did require some substantial suspension of disbelief, which I find has become more and more challenging with age. The story opens on a lovely English day – read torrential rain – and Rebecca Porter has just arrived in Oxford to study art. She is greeted at the door by the crown prince Nicholas whom she doesn’t recognize (at this point I mentally coughed into fist muttering “bullspit” – editing care of TBS) and proceeds to make comments about the history of syphilis in the royal family. Over the course of the first quarter of the book as Rebecca settles into life across the pond from her native America Bex and Nick become friends as she joins the Prince’s closely knit inner circle.

Rebecca and Nicholas further bond through nights spent watching Devour, an American show that sounds like a wonderful parody of Vampire Diaries.  It isn’t until Bex’s (I won’t comment on the unfortunate shortening of a lovely name) first Thanksgiving away from home that they declare their mutual love and begin seeing each other in secret.

Duchess of Cambridge, and her wedding dress-Photo (c)-Getty / Rex / Reuters / PA / AP / PR / EAP / Wenn / Wire / Pool / Splash / AAP
Duchess of Cambridge, and her wedding dress-Photo (c)-Getty / Rex / Reuters / PA / AP / PR / EAP / Wenn / Wire / Pool / Splash / AAP

The Royal We occupied an uncomfortable place in my mind, a little too far fetched to be realistic (okay, more than a little) and too close to reality at the same time. Queen Eleanor instead of Elizabeth? Prince Nicholas of Wales? A younger, wild and free spirited red haired brother, who it was rumored, was a bastard? While I know that a lawsuit would be a massive overreaction the parallels to life were a bit over the top. It was one thing for Prince William to marry a commoner, though it is a stretch to define Kate Middleton as common, just listen to her speech if you don’t agree. Furthermore considering it is only within our lifetime that Prince Charles was allowed to marry a Catholic, can you imagine the fervor if the intended was an American?

prince_and_me_01I found The Prince & Me to be far more realistic. A prince from a much smaller – read less notorious – country on exchange to the United States but it was released in 2004 so it might just be that I was a decade less cynical than I am today. Regardless of my qualms The Royal We was an enjoyable if overlong read provided that you don’t look too closely.

 

 

A Night of Serious Drinking – René Daumal GUEST POST

GUEST REVIEWER – Surly Joe


  • ANSDTitle: A Night of Serious Drinking
  • Author: René Daumal
  • ISBN: 0715632752 (ISBN13: 9780715632758)
  • Series: Stand Alone
  • Published: May 2004 by Gerald Duckworth & Company, Ltd. (first published 1938)
  • Genre/s: 20th Century Literature/Philosophy

SYNOPSIS – (From Goodreads) A Night of Serious Drinking is among Rene Daumal’s most important literary works. Like Daumal’s Mount Analogue it is a classic work of symbolic fiction. An unnamed narrator spends an evening getting drunk with a group of friends.; as the party becomes intoxicated and exuberant, the narrator embarks on a journey that ranges from seeming paradises to the depths of pure hell. The fantastic world depicted in A Night of Serious Drinking is actually the ordinary world turned upside down. The characters are called the Anthographers, Fabricators of useless objects, Scienters, Nibblists, Clarificators, and other absurd titles. Yet the inhabitants of these strange realms are only too familiar: scientists dissecting an animal in their laboratory, a wise man surrounded by his devotees, politicians, poets expounding their rhetoric. These characters perform hilarious antics and intellectual games, which they see as serious attempts to find meaning and freedom.

REVIEW

This is going to be easy, I thought.  It’s a short book, less than one hundred and twenty pages.  It’s got a great title – A Night of Serious Drinking.  Sounds amusing, probably a bit comical.  I’ll read it in a few days, think about it for a couple more, then pound out a review and maybe celebrate with a drink or two of my own.

Don’t be so quick to judge, the book said back.  Just because I’m a small book, don’t assume.  You have no idea what you’re in for.  First of all, my author, Rene Daumal, who wrote me in 1938, was completely anti-establishment, a poet, a philosopher and a bit drug-addled.  Probably on the thin edge between genius and lunacy.  So don’t expect anything linear or basic.  Second, despite my amusing title, I’m way more complicated than you realize.  Sure I appear to have on a superficial level, a tale of a twenty-four hour alcoholic binge, where a group of very drunk people discuss all kinds of topics in a very drunk way, where nothing makes sense but everyone thinks they’re spewing brilliance.  That’s the point of Part One, “A laboured dialogue on the power of words and the frailty of thought”.

But when I get into Part Two – “Delusions of paradise” – this is where the satire and the drunken hallucinations begin, the indecipherable scenarios and the made-up words, the strange guided tour to the top of a hill with a view of  “palaces in every style, stations, lighthouses, temples, factories, and miscellaneous monuments”.  This is where the Fidgeters and Fabricators and Clarificators live, through whom I critique modern society.  Sure we’re in an age of progress, but so much is meaningless.  We have all kinds of material goods that are loved by the masses, “who worship them without having any idea why”.  We have artists and cinema and dance.  It’s all “the art of making useless gestures”.   We have education, where kids learn everything they need to know through books without ever having to actually experience anything.  We have religion, with churches being nothing more than “holy water factories”, where, as you read, the people “were carrying out rites without understanding them, others were explaining rites without performing them”.  Do you see what I mean about the complications of this book?  It’s like looking at a painting by Dali.  If you stare long enough, the clock dripping off the table might just start to make sense.  But then it won’t.

SD2

And then it’s over.  The epic binge is over.  After all the philosophizing, the dreaming, the hallucinations, real life commences.  As the narrator states, “There were many things to be done towards the business of living”.  Part Three is the final part.  It is the painful post-drunk emergence into “The cold light of day”.

1933-Rene-Magritte-The-Human-Condition
The Human Condition – Rene Magritte (1931)

Was I worth it?  The short hundred and twenty pages that you underestimated and assumed would be quick and simple and probably didn’t understand?  Read me again and find out.  Just like a surrealist painting, I’ll probably be totally different the second time around.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

RDRené Daumal was a French spiritual surrealist writer and poet. He was born in Boulzicourt, Ardennes, France.

In his late teens his avant-garde poetry was published in France’s leading journals, and in his early twenties, although courted by André Breton co-founded, as a counter to Surrealism and Dada, a literary journal, “Le Grand Jeu” with three friends, collectively known as the Simplists, including poet Roger Gilbert-Lecomte . He is known best in the U.S. for two novels A Night of Serious Drinking and the allegorical novel Mount Analogue: A Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing both based upon his friendship with Alexander de Salzmann, a pupil of G. I. Gurdjieff.

Daumal was self-taught in the Sanskrit language and translated some of the Tripitaka Buddhist canon into the French language, as well as translating the literature of the Japanese Zen scholar D.T. Suzuki into French.

He married Vera Milanova, the former wife of the poet Hendrik Kramer; after Daumal’s death, she married the landscape architect Russell Page.

Daumal’s sudden and premature death of tuberculosis on 21 May 1944 in Paris may have been hastened by youthful experiments with drugs and psychoactive chemicals, including carbon tetrachloride. He died leaving his novel Mount Analogue unfinished, having worked on it until the day of his death.


 

CK

In his own words – Surly Joe is a moderately nondescript Toronto-based white guy who spends too much time contemplating the nature of boredom.  His aspirations waver between wanting to be either a professional gambler or a Zen monk, with a touch of writing on the side.  After completing university with a degree in a subject that does not readily lead to any sort of viable employment, he wandered through Europe and Northern Africa for a while collecting stories and useless trivia, circumstance led to a career back in Toronto.  He now spends his money on food, friends, wine and annual trips to Las Vegas.

 

Waking the Dragon (Vale of Stars #1) – Juliette Cross EXCERPT

 

Waking the Dragon Banner 851 x 315

  • Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing
  • Date of Publication: June 9, 2015
  • ISBN: 978-161650723-7
  • ASIN: B00ONTR98A
  • Number of pages: 288
  • Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs

Waking The Dragon-HIGHRES

 

Book Description: The Gladium Province is on the verge of civil unrest as humans and Morgons, the dragon-hybrid race, clash once more. But amid disorder can also arise passion…

When the bodies of three human women are discovered in Morgon territory—with the DNA of several Morgon men on the victims—it’s just a matter of time before civil unrest hits the Province. But for ambitious reporter Moira Cade, it’s more than just a story, and it may mean risking her own life.

Descending into the dark underworld of Morgon society, Moira is paired with Kol Moonring, Captain of the Morgon Guard, for her protection. Fiercely independent, Moira bristles at his dominance, and defies his will at every turn. Yet resistance proves futile when passion flares between them, awakening powerful emotions within both, body and soul. But as the killings continue, can their fiery newfound bond survive an even greater evil—one that threatens all of humanity, Morgonkind, and Moira’s very soul?…

AVAILABLE AT

Amazon | B&N | KoboBooks | Kensington

EXCERPT

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

The beautiful blonde froze.

Silence.

She peered down the darkened corridor of the cellar beneath the Vaengar Stadium. No one.

The Morgon with black hair and black eyes at the bar had told her the restroom was this way. The only sound was the wafting crackle of the torches. The only sight was long shadows cast by flickering flame. An eerie tendril of fear snaked up her spine. Even half-drunk, something primitive warned her of danger, like the innate foreboding a deer senses when the tiger stalks unseen from the trees.

She shook it off, flipped her long hair over one shoulder, and walked on, knowing the restroom must be just around the bend up ahead.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

She stopped again and spun around, unable to tell from which direction the sound came.

“Bennett? Is that you?” A hollow echo of her voice reverberated down the empty corridor. “Stop it! You’re scaring me.” The last came out a faint whisper. A presence—corporeal, malevolent, and drawing closer—plunged her into icy fear. Her pulse quickened. A hiss of wind pressed the thin fabric of her mini-dress to her thighs. The flame on the wall guttered to nothing, then relit anew.

Tick.

Tick.

Directly behind her. She whirled and stared up at a massive Morgon man who stood only feet away. A behemoth silhouetted by the flambeau. His pointed wings, half-open and huge, kept the rest of him in shadow, as if the light itself repelled him. She could see nothing but his eyes—amber orbs with serpentine slits, bright as the torch-flame. Her breath hitched in her throat. She fell back against cold stone, scraping her bare shoulders against the rough cavern wall.

He passed near a sconce, the light illuminating hard, angular planes, the ancestral lines of the dragon sculpting his face in stark relief—more beast than man. Her heart thrashed against her ribcage.

“I—I lost my way, I think. I should go.” She gestured in the direction she had come, inching along the wall.

He moved with lethal grace, angling closer in slow, even steps.

Tick.

Her gaze dropped to his large hand. Claw-tipped fingers spread wide, the sharp nail of the index tapping the stone. She bolted left, only to find a wall of six Morgon men blocking her exit. They’d materialized out of the shadows in silent stealth. Unmoving, watching. Backing against the wall, she swiveled her head from those blocking her path to their master stalking closer.

“What—what do you want from me?” Her voice cracked, primal fear ripping through her gut.

By now, she’d reached the pinnacle of terror, petrified in place. Tangible evil seeped into her skin as the sinister creature loomed, enveloping her in his shadow. Something screamed for her to run, while a compelling power rolling from the beast kept her pinned in place. It was as if his very presence demanded obedience, subservience.

The beast braced one arm next to her head, her panic filling up the confines of their space. He inhaled a deep breath, drinking her fear in like the sweetest nectar.

“Will she serve, my lord?” A voice of authority from one of the Morgons in shadow—sultry but edged like a razor.

Her chest rose and fell, drawing the beast’s gaze. He leaned closer, trailing one claw lightly over her swelling breasts. Viper-swift, he clamped her mouth with his other hand, stifling her screams, and continued his exploration of her naked skin with the blade-like nail. Her rapid pulse beat frantically at the base of her neck.

“Perhaps.” One word, grating and broken. The voice of a monster.

He snaked his claw across the bottom of her throat, then down the line of her cleavage, pressing just enough to scrape the skin, a thin line of red rushing to the surface. Keeping her immobile with his crushing weight, he scraped a drop of blood from her breasts. He opened his mouth, revealing a row of sharpened teeth, the canines most prominent. Reeking of menace and power, he licked the tip of his claw.

“Perhaps.”

His voice fell to a raspy whisper. A rumbling growl rattled her bones. A flash of flame and shadow and all was black.


About the Author

Juliette calls lush, moss-laden Louisiana home where the landscape curls into her imagination, creating mystical settings for her stories. She has a B.A. in creative writing from Louisiana State University, a M.Ed. in gifted education, and was privileged to study under the award-winning author Ernest J. Gaines in grad school. Her love of mythology, legends, and art serve as constant inspiration for her works. From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance–brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes. Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.

Juliette is a multi-published author, including her Nightwing series with Kensington Publishing and The Vessel Trilogy with Samhain Publishing.

Website | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Newsletter

Tour giveaway

  • $20 Amazon GC
  • 2 bundles of Soulfire and Windburn, books 1 and 2 in the Nightwing Series

a Rafflecopter giveaway