Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Welcome Guest Author Eliza Knight! #Highlander #Erotic

I'm very excited to welcome my chapter mate
Eliza Knight
to the blog today to celebrate her new release!
See her giveaway, below!
Welcome, Eliza!  Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

Thank you so much for hosting me today! Here’s a little about me…

I’m a multi-published, award-winning author of sizzling historical romance and erotic romance. While not reading, writing or researching for my latest book, I chase after my three children. In my spare time (if there is such a thing…) I like daydreaming, wine-tasting, traveling, hiking, staring at the stars, watching movies, shopping and visiting with family and friends. I live atop a small mountain, and enjoy cold winter nights when I can curl up in front of a roaring fire with my own knight in shining armor.

Awesome! Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

Last week, my erotic time-travel novella (15K) HIGHLAND STEAM released with Ellora’s Cave. It is the first in a planned series of quickie reads featuring the Comyn Clan. Here’s the cover copy…

Tragedy strikes in the Highlands, making Drostan the laird of the Comyn clan and in need of a wife to placate his people. His only choice is to trust in magic and travel to the sacred circle of stones…where he must passionately lay claim to the woman Fate brings him.

Briana is lost and alone when magic lights up the night. She meets the man of her dreams, a man who rocks her to her very core with orgasm after orgasm and somehow manages to steal her heart. The problem? The man of her dreams lives eight hundred years in the past.

Oh, my, but with all those orgasms, who would notice? Love it! As the author, what surprised you about this story?

All of my time-travels have had a humorous element. My short time-travel HIGHLAND TRYST that released in December in the SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES VOL.1 anthology had a reviewer state she nearly peed her pants from reading. I was surprised while writing HIGHLAND STEAM that it was more of an emotional journey than humorous one.

LOL! What was the hardest thing for you about writing this story?

The hardest part of writing a short story, is trying to get the characterization down, make the plot believable and show the progression of the romance in a satisfying way in a small amount of space.

Yes! So true! What are you working on right now?

I am working on revisions for a medieval romance and an erotic Regency, as well as plotting out the second book in the Comyn Clan series.

Good luck with it all! What happened to the first book you ever wrote?

It is published! A LADY’S CHARADE is a medieval romance, more like the old school styles of Julie Garwood and Kathleen Woodiwiss.  I had some really good feedback from editors, and almost had a contract, but it fell through at the last minute. Because it is the book of my heart, I wanted to share it with the world and so I self-published it. A LADY’S CHARADE has been sitting on the Top 100 Historical Romances at the Apple I-Bookstore since it was published.

That’s fantastic! What do you find easiest and hardest to write?

The easiest part of writing is coming up with the story. The hardest part is getting deep enough into the character’s head so that the reader connects. I agonize over emotional reactions, deep inner POV, etc…, just to make sure it’s on the page.

Have you incorporated actual events or people from your own life into your books?

There are definitely bits and pieces, but not a whole person or event.

Is there a theme or message that runs through your work?

I think a running theme is that love conquers all—time, villains, differences, etc… Each story seems to have its own theme. I’ve studied conquering one’s own demons, abandonment, adultery, overcoming society dictates.

Interesting! What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

Hmm… if I told you it wouldn’t be a surprise! LOL. Okay, they might be surprised to hear that when I’m not writing, I’m just a normal everyday mom. I go to the bus stop with the kids, love my coffee, make dinner, clean toilets.

Bwahaha! Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written?

I don’t really wish I’d written anything that is already published because then I wouldn’t have enjoyed reading it so much, but I would LOVE to meet a few authors: Ken Follett, Philippa Gregory, Julie Garwood, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens…

Great way to look at it! Okay, now, just for fun:

Milk chocolate or dark chocolate? Dark chocolate cover pomegranate seeds.

Salty or sweet? Sweet and Salty

Bed or kitchen table? Ooh! Both?

Beach or mountains? Both!

Give or receive? Most definitely both *grins*

Thanks for coming on the blog, Eliza! 
Where can we find you on the web?
[mentioned in a recent Wall Street Journal article!]
Giveaway!
One commenter who leaves their email address will win an ebook copy of Highland Steam! Contest through midnight EST on Sunday 3/4! Open to international! Winner to be chosen by random.org! Good luck!
Thanks for reading! Be sure to leave Eliza some new release love!

Laura & Eliza

Monday, February 27, 2012

Author Stacey Kennedy has been Supernaturally Kissed!

I'm very excited to welcome guest author
Stacey Kennedy
to the blog today!

Happy new release, Stacey!

And welcome!  Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

*waves* I’m Stacey Kennedy and I write everything from paranormal romance, urban fantasy romance to erotic romance. But my books always have the same themes—dominant men, humor and a whole lot of the steamy stuff!!

Awesome! Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

My latest release is SUPERNATURALLY KISSED. It’s a ghost romance with a mystery and has a sexy romance as well. It was a blast to write and I never thought I could fall head over heels in love with a ghost but…it’s true, I did!

That’s awesome! I love the cover! Which character is your favorite and why?

Oh my, I could never answer this question. I have so many characters that I adore and all for different reasons. Of course, I love Tess and Kipp, plus Zach and Caley, but honestly I really do adore them all. If I picked just one they might get a wee bit jealous and we don’t want that!

LOL No, I suppose not! As the author, what surprised you about this story?

Everything! LOL! I’m a panster, which means I don’t plot my stories so every step of the way is a surprise to me. I don’t have a set idea what’s going to happen so I’m always pretty stunned at the end to see how it all turned out.

OMG me too! Will there be any sequels or other books in the same series?

Yes, there will be four books in the Frostbite series. The second book, DEMONICALLY TEMPTED is completed and with my editor. I’m just waiting on hearing back if she approves of the story and to get working on edits. I’ll tell you this much, book two definitely shocked me silly! I totally wasn’t expecting to go where the characters took me. It’ll be exciting to get it out there and see if it surprises the readers too.

Oh, man, that’s the coolest feeling! What was the hardest thing for you about writing this story?

The fact that the hero is a ghost. Kinda obvious, right? It was a real challenge when it came to the love scenes and I definitely had to get creative to get these two in a few hot and heavy moments. But I loved that challenge. It made it really interesting to write!

Definitely sounds intriguing! What are you working on right now?

I just wrapped up a BDSM full-length erotic romance, SWEET SUBMISSIVE. It’s currently in my agent’s hands and I’m waiting on feedback. Yes, I’m biting my nails and hoping to hear back soon!

Ooh, sounds dee-lish! What happened to the first book you ever wrote?

The first book I ever wrote was The Willow that came out with Liquid Silver Books in 2010. It’s by far the most special series to me because it’s what started my journey as a writer. So I couldn’t have been happier when Entangled Publishing gave me the chance to lengthen the short novels into full-length. The first book, WEREWOLVES BE DAMNED, will be released in July 2012 in trade paperback.

Woot! Woot! What do you find easiest and hardest to write?

The easiest and most fun for me is the first draft. I absolutely love it!! The hardest part for me is grammar and edits. The comma and I have a hate relationship. I’ll admit I’ve gotten better than when I first started out, but I still put commas in places they just shouldn’t go and leave them off all the time.

LOL The dreaded comma! Have you incorporated actual events or people from your own life into your books?

HECK NO! I could never use anyone I know in my books. *shudders* That’d just be too weird!

ROFL! Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written?

Easy answer. Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson Guardian series or her Dark Angels series. I’m a HUGE fan of hers. I love her work beyond words and the world she has created is simply fabulous! I’d LOVE the chance the write in it.

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

Like I said above that’s a really hard question to answer. I love Tess from SUPERNATURALLY KISSED because her snarky attitude makes me laugh. But I also enjoy my time with Nexi from WEREWOLVES BE DAMNED, she’s probably the funniest character I’ve ever written and she’s got a real kick-ass attitude that I enjoy!

Ooh, some heroine love, I see! Okay, now, just for fun:

Milk chocolate or dark chocolate? Milk Chocolate

Salty or sweet? Sweet

Bed or kitchen table? Both! *wiggles eyebrows* It’s fun when you start out in one place and end up in another!

Beach or mountains? Beach

Give or receive? Give, but you’ll never hear me complaining about receiving.

Ghosts harass and annoy Tess Jennings to save their souls. Sometimes she helps them. Other times she ignores them. But one ghost will give her no choice.

Kipp McGowen, a cop with the Memphis Police Department, will stop at nothing to gain her help, including using his ghostly charms to seduce her.

Tess must help solve the five year old cold case of Hannah Reid, because solving the case will save Kipp. But a bigger problem presents itself. Tess is falling in love with a ghost. Now she must decide. Keep Kipp forever or find the killer…

Thanks for coming on the blog, Stacey! Where can we find you on the web?

Excerpt:

A ghost is determined to capture Tess's attention and make her admit she hears him, while she's on a blind date...

The boys headed to the bar. I glanced over at Caley, who bounced up and down on her seat in excitement. “I did good, right?”

I nodded, not at all ashamed to give her props for her choice. “He’s not only sexy as sin, but a gentleman too. You did great.”

The ghost snorted.

I’d forgotten all about him and had hoped he wouldn’t follow me into the bar. Nothing would ruin my excitement now. A long time had passed since I’d met anyone worth meeting. The ghost wouldn’t put a damper on my fun.

Within minutes, Trent and Brandon returned to the table with four beers in hand. I claimed a bottle, took a long sip and sighed in happiness. After the day I had, the beer comforted me. The alcohol refreshed the senses, revived the mood and removed the tension sitting heavy on my shoulders.

Trent grinned. “Looks like you needed a drink.”

I licked the dribble of beer from my lips. “I’ve been craving a beer all day long.” I set the bottle onto the table. “So, tell me, what’s it like to play baseball as a pro?”

I’ve never regretted saying words more in my life. One question led to a twenty-minute conversation I wished I’d never instigated. Caley, the traitor, had vanished onto the dance floor with Brandon, which left me with the pompous stud.

“I’ve grown as a player…” Trent went on.

“This guy is a fucking joke,” the ghost said.

I almost turned my head to nod, but of course refrained. I continued to listen to Trent’s words without truly hearing what he had to say. I merely muttered “yeah” or “cool” when appropriate.

“If I were him, I would’ve skipped the conversation all together and had you back in my bed the moment I laid eyes on you.”

He did not just say that! My stomach leapt up into my throat and my body warmed in places that shouldn’t from a ghost. He’d only said words—not used soft touches to entice me—but the way his voice carried into my soul, the effect had been similar to sweet caresses. “The coach has been pleased…”

The ghost’s tone dropped an octave. “I wouldn’t have wasted the time with small talk. I would’ve used my mouth to learn my way around your luscious curves and used your responses to tell me about the woman you are.”

I squirmed on the stool in an attempt to ignore the soft purr of his voice sending shivers down my spine. I even leaned in further toward Trent and tried to concentrate on his boring conversation.

“After I tasted your sweet skin and saw your desperation for more, I would kiss your mouth until your lips were rosy and swollen. I’d deepen the kiss by tangling my fingers through your hair and holding you close to feel all of me.”

I gulped, crossed my legs and squeezed them tight. He’s a ghost! Nothing that involved him should arouse me. But the pulse between my thighs declared he held the power to make me undone.

“I’d kiss my way along your jaw while I lowered my hand to trail along your stomach. Then I would seek to discover all those little places that make you squirm.”

He ran his finger from below my ear all the way to my nape. His touch forced my eyes closed. A cold shiver danced along my skin to leave goose bumps in its wake. Wild sensations stole my logical mind. My will to ignore him plummeted.

“Tess,” Caley shouted.

I opened my eyes, and after taking a moment to focus, I discovered not only Caley staring at me, but Trent and Brandon too.

She frowned. “What’s wrong with you?”

I shook my head and released the breath stuck in my throat, which came out in a slow wisp of air. “Nothing—I’m fine.”

“I’d lower myself between those luscious legs of yours, tempting you and teasing you. I’d stare into those pretty green eyes of yours until they widened in pleasure.”

“You’re not fine,” Caley retorted. “Your face is bright red.”

“I’d wait until your hips arched toward me and begged me to take you. Then, and only then, would I give you what you desire.”

I grabbed my beer, took a big swig and a couple more. All eyes stared at me with blatant confusion. Part of me wanted to move away, while the other needed to hear more.

“Ah, Tess,” Caley whispered. “Seriously, are you okay?”

I paid my obvious inappropriate behavior no attention. The fantasy the ghost built in my mind needed to have a conclusion. “Yes. Yes. I’m good.”

“I would thrust against you, demanding you react to my intentions. You’d scream out and I would echo the sound with a moan of my own, as I used all my strength to satisfy you.”
Caley chuckled nervously.

I gripped the edge of the table in front of me and held on tight.

“You’d come into your orgasm because I’d leave you with no other choice. But I wouldn’t stop there.” He ran his finger along my exposed lower back and the coldness against my hot skin made me shiver. “Without giving you the chance to recover, I’d flip you over on your knees,” his tone dipped lower, “and fuck you senseless.”

I shot up from my seat, which caused the stool to slam back into the person behind me, who swore in return. “I have to go.”

Caley nodded. “Ah yeah, I think you do.”

Without another word—or a goodbye to the living men or the dead one who had got me all hot and bothered—I bolted from the bar and ran so hard my calves burned, reminding me of the three-inch heels strapped to my feet.

The ghost didn’t follow me and nothing pleased me more. I needed some space, time to return to reality or to pleasure the need out of me—either would do.

Within only a few minutes, I arrived at my condominium, which appeared more like an old textile factory, but inside were renovated modern apartments. The arousal burning inside me hadn’t vanished. The wetness between my thighs was a constant reminder of the ghost’s words.

I ran up the stairs while I took my keys out from my back pocket. At the thick mahogany wooden door, I raised my key pass to the scanner, grabbed the chrome door handle and swung it open.

Just three doors down, I opened the door to my condo before slamming it closed behind me. I didn’t bother to lock the door and did the only thing I thought of now. I sprinted to the bedroom, stripped out of my clothes and finished the fantasy the ghost had built in my mind.


Thanks for reading! What part of the excerpt did you most enjoy?

Laura & Stacey

Cover Reveal: LUMINOSITY by Stephanie Thomas #YA #Dystopian

I'm very excited to be a part of the cover reveal of my MRW chapter mate's upcoming YA SciFi/Dystopian novel, LUMINOSITY (The Raven Chronicles, #1), which releases September 11, 2012.

First, for the blurb:
My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.

The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.

But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I’ve already helped them win.


So, whatd'ya think????

Thanks for reading,
Laura

Sunday, February 26, 2012

#SixSunday #47 - Never tease a #vampire...

Happy Sunday everyone! Thanks for stopping by again this week. I've got six more from my recent release, In the Service of the King. Here, Shayla's getting the king worked up with a little teasing...
“What did I tell you about biting yourself?”

The tension in his voice and flashing gold behind his dilated eyes thrilled her and reawakened her body. “Well, someone ought to,” she whispered.

His mouth dropped open around elongating fangs, and he easily pushed her up on the bed and crawled between her thighs. “Just someone, Shayla? Anyone?”
Don't forget to check out the Other Sixers' Posts and follow the #sixsunday hashtag on twitter.

Would you please consider voting for ITSOTK for GraveTells Book of the Month? Through Tuesday! THANK YOU!
Thanks for reading and, hopefully, commenting too!

Laura

Friday, February 24, 2012

Author Rachel Firasek on Why She Writes Paranormal Romance

Welcome fellow Entangled author 
Rachel Firasek!
See below for Rachel's giveaway!
Now, take it away, Rachel...

Why I Write Paranormal Romance

I remember reading romance novels in high school, tucking them in the seams of my chemistry book in the hopes that everyone would think I was studying and not losing myself in the throes of someone else’s passion. The novels back then were riddled with Pirates, Indians, and hard bodied Sheriffs. Yes, I was snatching my mother’s historicals and plundering the pages, feeding my young mind fantasy and romance.

I wrote my first short story in high school. It was a historical-fantasy set in the times of Rapunzel and unicorns. My hero was a dashing knight that fought the evil army for the hand of his fair maiden. The fire-breathing dragon then ate said hero. My teacher said she wasn’t quite sure how I thought this was a romance. I told her that romances could be tragedies-Romeo and Juliet. She laughed and gave me an A.

Years passed and I didn’t write. I grew a family and worked on my career. In 2008, my husband took a position as a civilian contractor in Kuwait. It was hard but we survived. In the meantime, I was still reading, but I had progressed from the western historical of the late 80’s and 90’s to contemporaries. This wasn’t quite the genre for me at this time. I needed to escape from reality and contemporaries were too close to home. 

So, I found Lyndsay Sands. Her vampire series was light, funny and so different from anything that I’d ever read. She made me laugh and brought me out of the depressing mood of missing my hubby. This style let me forget how stressful my days were and allowed me to laugh when my husband wasn’t there to make me smile.

I devoured her series, then moved on to Laurell K. Hamilton, such a different kind of read and not necessarily a romance, although there are some romantic elements in the series. Her book spoke to me in ways that I can’t explain, but I’ll try. They were dark and twisted. The bad guy wasn’t always bad and the good guy didn’t always get the girl. This was just what I needed to pull me away from that place in my heart that wanted to scream at my husband, “What are we doing this for?” 

It gave me an outlet for the pain. I loved them. So, I began writing.

In my opinion, this is why so many readers love the paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy genre. We can escape our realities, however bad they are at the time, and lose ourself in a completely made up world with its own set of rules.

Those stories gave me hope that someone would like my twisted sense of humor and ideas. I write dark Urban Fantasies with hardcore heroines that just want to find the light, kind of like me--or at least the woman I strive to be.

Paranormal opened up a world of make believe to readers across the world. It’s a huge genre now, and from the industry news, it’s not going anywhere. I’m glad, because neither am I.

What is it about the paranormal world that draws you in?
Giveaway!
One commenter who leaves their email address in their comment will win their choice of one of the three ebooks in Rachel's series. Open to international. Winner to be chosen by random.org. Contest runs through midnight EST Monday 2/27! Good luck!
And Rachel's newest:

Sadie’s days fighting off greedy claim jumpers ended in 1856 when Osiris snatched her from her filthy room and placed her with a trio of phoenixes. After 150 years living a respectable life saving souls, she’s tired of playing by the god’s rules. It’s time the master of manipulation learned her creed: live hard, play for keeps, and never let the enemy see you suffer. 
 
Osiris never imagined the true queen he’s spent two millennia searching for would be a half-pint redhead with a mouth that makes him blush. She needs a gentle hand to breach her defenses, but living with her and keeping his natural arrogance at a simmer proves a challenge worthy of any champion.

While Osiris teaches her the wisdom needed to rule a world with fairness, the irritating god only intensifies Sadie’s belief in her creed, reinforcing the walls that keep her from happiness. If Osiris can’t win her hardened heart, Sadie’s ascension might threaten the world he’s struggled to create.
Thanks for reading!
Laura & Rachel

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Guest Author Aubrie Dionne on Matchmaking #SciFi

I'm very excited to welcome fellow Entangled author
Aubrie Dionne
to the blog today to celebrate her new release!
See below for a giveaway, too!

Take it away, Aubrie... 


Matchmaker, Matchmaker Make Me A Match…
Anyone familiar with Fiddler on the Roof knows what I’m talking about…couples being matched up. This is exactly what they do on the colony ships in my New Dawn series, and for good reason. Generations must live on the ship, and with such a closed environment and harsh deep space conditions, the survival of humanity lies on producing the strongest, hardiest future generation. Desperate times calls for desperate measures.

In Tundra 37, the main character, Gemme Reiner, is the matchmaker. She loves her cushy job with a nice view of deep space and a comfy chair to swivel around in. Yes, she has thousands of matches to supervise, but the computer does most of the work, and all she has to do is hit the approve or disapprove buttons. It’s very simple up until the day her match flashes on the screen. He’s the gorgeous lieutenant that everyone wants for themselves. Not only will she look like she’d contrived the pairing, she just might lose her job. And she can’t even think about his hands touching hers, or how he’d make her feel. Out of the question. 

After Gemme presses the delete button on her match, a comet shower pummels the ship, destroying the pairing system forever. Her job as the matchmaker is over, and she must join an exploratory team, led by the handsome lieutenant, to find minerals able to power what’s left of the ship. Only, she finds much more than minerals in the vast tundra. The truth to why the computer has entwined their destinies unfolds in an ancient alien device buried deep in the snow. 
What would you do if you were matched to the hottest man on the ship? Would it be a blessing or a curse? Would you press accept or delete?
Thanks for hosting me today, Laura!

Aubrie Dionne
Romantic Science Fiction and Fantasy
Get Swept Away to Other Worlds...

http://www.authoraubrie.com
http://authoraubrie.blogspot.com

A New Dawn Novel - Book Two
Gemme is a hi-tech matchmaker who pairs the next generation of Lifers aboard the Expedition, a deep space transport vessel destined for Paradise 18. When the identity of her lifemate pops up on her screen, she’s shocked that he’s the achingly gorgeous and highly sought after Lieutenant Miles Brentwood—a man oblivious to her existence. Believing everyone will think she contrived the match, she erases it from the computer’s memory.

Just as comets pummel the ship and destroy the pairing system forever.

With the Expedition disabled, the colonists must crash land on the barren ice world of Tundra 37 where Gemme is reassigned to an exploratory mission, led by Lieutenant Brentwood. Only in the frozen tundra does she understand the shape of his heart and why the computer has entwined their destinies.
Prequel to A New Dawn - Book Three
After watching his love leave on a colony ship, James Wilfred must save those left behind from a planetary apocalypse. Their salvation lies in an unfinished ship tucked away in a secret government base, and only James can break in and pilot him and his people to freedom on a nearby space station.

Skye O’Connor’s boyfriend never returns after his gang attempts an assassination of the Governor, and the State Building is destroyed. Worse, crazed moonshiners addicted to the chemical Morpheus have stormed the city, and she must find a safe place for her and her boyfriend’s daughter. When a heroic man saves her, Skye asks to accompany him on his quest to find the last colony ship left on Earth.

As the city falls around them, James and Skye must work together to build a new future, all the while rediscovering their ability to love, before the apocalypse claims them both.
GIVEAWAY!
One commenter who leaves their email will win an ebook of A Hero Rising! Open to international, winner to be chosen by random.org, contest will run through midnight EST on Friday 2/24! Good luck!
Thanks for reading!
Laura & Aubrie

Monday, February 20, 2012

Welcome Guest Author Caridad Pineiro! #Nocturne #Mummy #Curse

I'm going to try to avoid getting all fangirly *grins*, and just say...

I'm very excited to welcome fellow Harlequin Nocturne author 
Caridad Pineiro 
to the blog today to share her new dark paranormal erotic romance...

Take it away, Caridad...

My favorite stories have always been ones about redemption and the power of love.   The hero in NOCTURNAL WHISPERS, Lord Alec, is definitely a man in need of redemption. He’s been cursed for centuries since he stole a mummy’s child to help pay off some gambling bets.  Lord Alec was the spare heir and because of that, a little ignored and a little wild. It’s what made him a bit callous in his regard for others.

Until he’s cursed, and his brother dies, and Lord Alec finds himself shouldering immense burdens alone.

He’s incredibly lonely, but worse, he can’t find love until he makes up for the wrong that he’s done by returning the mummy child to its mother.  But to do that, he may have to betray the woman with whom he is falling in love.

Here’s a little teaser for NOCTURNAL WHISPERS and an excerpt for you!
For over a century, Lord Alec Wright has been condemned to wander the Earth searching for a mummy he stole from an Egyptian tomb. Cursed to see all his loved ones die, he also must endure the spirit that tortures him with unrelenting arousal every night until he atones for his crime.

After years of searching, Alec has finally found what he seeks—but museum curator Kate Morton stands his way. The mummy’s spirit is affecting her as well, driving her wild with desire. It is the perfect opportunity for Alec to seduce Kate and obtain the artifact. But in his quest to end his torment, will Alec wind up losing his heart?

NOCTURNAL WHISPERS, Chapter 1:

She came to him as she always did, her exotic kohl-lined eyes dark as midnight, her full lips stained blood red as she taunted him. “You know what I want.”

Lord Alec Wright trembled with both fear and pleasure, well aware of his visitor’s desire. He tried to speak, but she covered his mouth with her cool, smooth hand, silencing him. The sweet, spicy perfume of myrrh, which had been rubbed into her skin when she'd been entombed centuries earlier, nearly overwhelmed him.

“No more empty promises,” she said, a sad smile slipping onto her lips, her eyes fathomless. She ran her free hand across the smooth lines of Alec’s chest, rousing the desire she used as punishment for his crimes.

Alec steeled himself against her touch, fighting the arousal she stirred so easily with her luscious beauty. Death had forever sealed her exquisiteness, and, with his selfishness, he had condemned them to be bound together until he fulfilled her one and only wish.

She snaked her hand downward until she reached the head of his erection. Encircling his engorged length with her palm, she stroked up and down, dragging a moan from him.

“Such strength.” She bent her head to kiss the side of his face, still covering his mouth with one hand while tempting him with the other. Her power kept him pinned to the mattress as she wrought her torture.

Alec murmured a protest and fought against the desire threatening to consume him, but she only laughed and tenderly bit the side of his neck before working her way down his body. Soon her lips were poised just above the head of his cock. The bittersweet smile turned wicked as she licked the tip of his foreskin and dragged a moan of pleasure from him. “You cannot resist, even though you know what will follow.”

No, he couldn’t resist her. He had never been able to resist the allure of his darkest needs. As the “spare heir,” he'd found his parents had cared little for what he did. No matter what, their attention had always been on his older brother. Alec's failure to earn their approval had led him to try ever more outrageous activities to snare their notice, even if his behavior resulted in disapproval. That self-destructive bent was what had brought him to this: a life of pleasure-pain spent searching for a way to satisfy a mummy’s desire.

She took him into her mouth then and moved on him, working him with her tongue and lips. Her full, generous breasts rubbed along his thighs, creating even greater need.

He wanted to touch and taste, to feel their lushness in his mouth, but he was caught in the web of her power and could not move, could not truly enjoy her. Because the passion with which she dominated him was her punishment for his misdeeds.

She aroused him even more, drawing out his need until he was shaking beneath her.

With a satisfied laugh, she left him poised on the edge and faced him, determination in eyes black as midnight.

“You know what I want.”

She finally released him from her dominion so that he could whisper a sibilant, “Yes."

Before his eyes, her skin lost its creamy olive hue and became pale as alabaster. A heartbeat later her striking features eroded as her skin became dust as dry as the Sahara. An unseen wind rose up, blowing away her features until she was a faceless entity above him.

She opened what was left of her mouth and keened with centuries-old pain. The sound ricocheted inside his skull, bringing distress so powerful that it pulled him from the nightmare.

Alec bolted up in bed, breathing heavily. His body was hard and aching from the desire she had awakened—a brutal desire he was cursed to endure, alone, until he fulfilled her one and only yearning: to reunite with her child.

In his head came her keening cry once more, reminding him of the loss she had suffered not once, but twice. First when her toddler had died of a fever, and then again when Alec had taken the child's preserved body from beside the woman's mummified remains.

Gritting his teeth against the agony of her wail, Alec rose from the bed and shuffled over to a table, his erection almost painful. He drew in a shaky breath, willing his desire to subside as her presence faded, leaving him with some semblance of peace.

Only when he found her child, the mummy he had traded for money to pay off some gambling debts, would he finally have true tranquility and an end to his lonely existence.

At the Formica-and-metal kitchen table that was nearly an antiquity itself, he shuffled various papers and notes. He preferred staying in older, out-of-the-way locations to avoid the paparazzi who were forever trying to hunt him down. This little walk-up had been the perfect place to conduct his investigations, he thought, reviewing his papers yet again and arriving at the same conclusion that he had weeks earlier, when he had begun his trek to New York City.

Her child was here, likely stored away in the New York Center for Antiquities’ basement like many other dusty pieces of history. Much like the mummy’s remains were now in a British museum, visible to one and all who wished to view the collection of ancient treasures spirited away from Egypt's sands.

So close, he thought, planning how he would get his hands on the tiny bundled child so he could return it to its mother.

Leaning a hand on the tabletop, Alec shifted more papers and unearthed the recent article he had printed from the internet. He stared at the picture of the lovely, dark-haired curator who had just come on board at the museum.

Dr. Kate Morton. Fresh-faced and full of a zeal that radiated even in the posed photograph.

No doubt one of her tasks as a new hire would be to familiarize herself with the museum’s collections and review the inventory in storage.

A perfect opportunity for him to use his skills to seduce the young curator and convince her to give him what the mummy desired.

Maybe then Alec would finally be free of the mummy’s curse. Maybe then he’d secure an end to a solitary life that had grown too tiresome to endure.
Caridad PiƱeiro® is a multi-published and award-winning author whose love of the written word developed when her fifth grade teacher assigned a project – to write a book that would be placed in a class lending library. She has been hooked on writing ever since. From the start, Caridad’s novels have received acclaim and have helped redefine the landscape of modern romance novels. She has won numerous awards for her several dozen books and been featured on television programs and in newspaper articles. When not writing, Caridad teaches workshops on various topics related to writing and heads a writing group. Caridad is also an attorney, wife and mother.

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