The Blood Covenant
He feels her hand jerk slightly under his touch and smiles at her. She is timid and sweet, and he likes the feel of her soft white skin, and the contrast of his dark olive tone to her lily white.
“Do you have a wrap, Kate Reese?”
“Wrap? Yes, it’s in, uh….” Oh my God, can I at least stop tripping over my own tongue!
“I believe your wrap is in the study. Allow me?”
He offers her his arm and watches as she hesitantly places her small hand around his elbow. She glides in those stilettos and he slides his eyes behind her and watches that beautiful ass swish and sway on the way to the study. She identifies her green suede coat from the pile and he notices the label inside; Italian…leather from Florence, and he smiles. He holds the coat for her as she slips her arms into the sleeves, then he slides the coat onto her slender shoulders, letting his hands graze her hair and neck. He loves the feel of her, touching her; he loves her petite stature to his height and mass. He watches as she pulls those long crimson locks from the collar of her coat and flings her hair back. He is assailed, once again, by the scent of roses. She turns to him, looking into his eyes again, before quickly looking down.
She is unable to maintain eye contact with him for more than a few seconds. “Do I make you nervous, Kate?”
“No, no, no… I, really, I just need to go. Thank you.” Nervous? Does he make me nervous? He scares the hell out of me! Who looks like this?
The familiar sweet ache of fulfillment filled Sera’s body, warmth spreading out from her core. She wanted to revel in it, lie replete in her lover’s arms. Except Aidan had already faded from the unfocused mist of another realm.
“No,” she called after him. Don’t go. Don’t leave me.
The mist faded more. I’m dreaming.
The sting of disappointment wasn’t enough to lance the bubble surrounding her. She didn’t want to leave, or for the dream to end. Even as she tried to draw him back to her, to keep him with her, the dream slowly being replaced by cold, stark reality.
“No,” she moaned.
Strong hands at her shoulders, even more solid than in her dreams, yanked her the rest of the way into the real world. Her dream world faded, and she opened her eyes to collide with intense sky-blue eyes. Concerned eyes. Searching eyes.
His name punched from her lips. “Aidan.”
The residual sensations from her dream, still buffeting her body, didn’t fade nearly as fast, leaving her both keyed up and needy. She never woke to the man leaning over her.
Just a taste.
Not thinking it through, Sera pushed up with one elbow and pressed her lips to his, needing that contact more than she could say. Aidan stiffened, but didn’t pull back. So, she kissed him again, lingering over the touch, savoring the taste of him, the citrus and smoke scent of him all around her. Strangely familiar, but she didn’t linger over that thought, too focused on the man.
This Aidan was real.
Before he could kiss her back, or she tried to take it further, the rest of her sleep-fog drifted away, and harsh reality intruded. She was in her bedroom, the pale light of early morning filtering in through the white blinds and curtains covering her window.
Aidan was here to keep her safe. Only to keep her safe.
I shouldn’t be doing this.
With a groan, Sera dropped back to the bed, flopping an arm across her eyes so she didn’t have to see his reaction. “Sorry.”
Title: Darkest Thoughts
Author: Gordon Brown
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR
Gordon also helped found Bloody Scotland - Scotland's International Crime Writing Festival and lives in Scotland. He's married with two children.
Gordon once quit his job in London to fly across the Atlantic to be with his future wife. He has also delivered pizzas in Toronto, sold non alcoholic beer in the Middle East, launched a creativity training business called Brain Juice and floated a high tech company on the London Stock Exchange.
He almost had a toy launched by a major toy company, has an MBA, loves music, is a DJ on local radio, compered the main stage at a two-day music festival and was once booed by 49,000 people while on the pitch at a major football Cup Final.
The Good Girl’s Guide to Being Bad
“Sadie?” Colton said.
“Y-yes?” I said back.
“You’re not going to go all weird on me after this, right?”
My eyes snapped to his. “What?”
He licked his lips, gaze shifting down to watch as I licked my own in reflex. His voice was a bit lower when he said, “Don’t get any crazy ideas. I’m not in love with you or anything, so there’s not going to be a happily ever after for us. Just know it’s all for the bet.”
“I do know that,” I said, eyes spitting fire. “And you’ve got to be the most arrogant, egotistical maniac if you think one kiss would be enough to erase all the crap you put me through over the years. Nobody’s that good a kisser, Colton.”
Colton shrugged. “We’ll see.”
“If you ever actually do it,” I retorted. “Or are you scared you’ve talked yourself up so much that you won’t be able to deliver?”
He chuckled lightly. “Oh, I always deliver.”
“Then what are you waiting for?”
“Just waiting to see if you’re going to back out.”
As I blushed but stood firm, Colton’s eyes met mine one last time.
“This doesn’t change anything,” he said.
And then Colton Bishop was kissing me.
Title: The Head Hunter
Author: Kindra Sowder & Santiago Cirilo
Hosted by: Lady Amberâs PR
Year 2020: Caesar Meldano, Area 51 scientist and operative, survives the meteor strike that will change the world, creating a new threat to humanity.
Year 2027: The Government of Defense becomes the new world order while Caesar lives a life of seclusion, everything he has ever known gone in the wake of the creatures brought to life by the Syc Parasite brought to Earth by the meteorites. All while the world as we know it crumbles to fall to G.O.D. The monsters trying to rip them apart arenât the true threat to the human race, but only the beginning of the horror.
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/b5766p
Kindra Sowder was born and raised in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA until the age of 12, when her family moved to Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from high school in 2006 with full honors and as a member of her high school Literary Club and the Spanish Honor Society. In January 2014, she graduated with her second degree in Criminal NeuroPsychology. She married her husband Edd Sowder in May 2014 and still lives in Spartanburg, SC where she is basing Burning Willow Press. Her works have earned multiple award nominations.
Santiago Cirilo was born April of 1973 in Puerto Rico, He is No#6 of seven children to Hector and Maria Cirilo both originally from Puerto Rico. Santiago lived in both Ohio and Puerto Rico at a young age. Growing up in Lorain, Ohio was a big challenge for Santiago. Being bilingual and adapting to America culture was just the easy task, growing up with 5 brothers, 1 sister, in a 2 bedroom duplex was the hard task. During his teenage years to adult hood Santiago always had the passion for the entertainment business, but never had that push to precede it. Santiago was involved in numerous high school Dramatic Arts Programs hosted and coordinated events. You just couldn't get him off stage or away from any type of camera. After college Santiago enlisted in the United States Army Infantry. For 6 years Santiago was a member of the 101st Airborne Infantry at Ft. Campbell Ky.Santiago's dedication to America has earned him numerous achievement awards and metals to add helping in one mission as a Translator and Infantryman for USA Special Ops, Marine Recon, and Navy Seals. Once Santiago's military term was up, he was hired at Gibson Guitars in Nashville, Tennessee. In less than 1 year Santiago moved up in ranks from a level 1 sander to being personally responsible and only builder for Chet Akins guitars and guitars for "A" List artists to include Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Keith Urban and Toby Keith. During his time at Gibson, Santiago followed his heart and faith, and started going back to school for a Paralegal & Performing Arts Degree. Working 8 plus hours and going to school at night and weekends, gave Santiago the dedication and Drive to be successful in both professions.
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/b5766p
Written by Stacey Rourke
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Release Date: April 25, 2019
Buy Link: CLICK HERE
With a touch of her hand, Octavia Hollows can restore life. Yet, she couldn’t save the man she loved from the horrific accident that stole him from her. Octavia thought she could outrun the pain, but ghosts from the past refuse to be silenced. Out of options, she chooses to retrace her wayward journey across the country in search of answers. Surrounded by baffling mysteries of the undead, what she learns about herself along the way might become her greatest weapon.
In the beautiful beachfront town, Octavia stumbles upon a mutilated body caught in a fishing yet. Unfortunately, even her necromancing abilities can’t get this traumatized corpse to talk. Out of options, she thrusts herself into undercover work on the high seas in search of the killer. When startling truths about her parents are revealed, Octavia finds herself on the cusp of solving her greatest mystery of all.
Can answers about her own heritage sink Octavia’s voyage to save her true love?
If you like snarky humor, fantastical monsters, and farm-animal sidekicks, The Journals of Octavia Hollows are the paranormal cozy mystery novellas you've been waiting for!
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Florida with her husband, two beautiful daughters. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.
RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012 and Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013
Readers' Favorite Fantasy Silver Medal Winner for 2015
Readers' Favorite YA Fantasy Bronze Medal Winner 2017
Utopia Award Winner Author of the Year 2018
Utopia Award Winner for Best Villain 2018 for Ursula in Rise of the Sea Witch
Author/Founder of OUAB
Axeviathon – Son of Dragons
After what seemed an agonizingly long wait, Sila sat up cautiously, her wary eyes on the prone male lying a few feet away on the ground. She watched him silently, only moving when his breaths appeared unchanged to her untrained eyes. Clasping the blanket more securely around her, she turned towards the shower enclosure. In the end, she could manage only a few steps from the bed before a calloused palm encircled her ankle. Sila glanced back with a frightened gasp. The male lay in the same posture as before but now his strange gold eyes were open and staring up at her, their glitter pronounced despite the diffused light. The hand she had noted relaxing by his side now held her by the ankle in an implacable, but not ungentle, grip. She tugged her captured foot experimentally; his response was to squeeze it gently without letting go. He said something undecipherable to her in his deep, growly voice with the guttural notes. But with her translation device pinned to her drying work-suit, Sila could not comprehend him. Ensnared by the strange unblinking eyes, she shook her head frantically to convey that she did not understand him. Letting go off her ankle, he propelled himself fluidly off the floor in a move that had Sila taking a wary step away from him. He made no move to come closer, staring down at her from his greater height.
“Sit” he growled in Alliance Standard, pointing at the bed and Sila found herself perching nervously on it.
He shot her a last look before striding away to the enclosure. Before Sila could contemplate making a move, he strode back to hold his hand out to her. The open palm with the web-like spikes between the fingers held the translation device. He had retrieved it from her work-suit, Sila surmised. This time, she knew why he offered her the device. Retrieving it gingerly off his palm to hold it loosely in her fist, she pondered where to pin it on the blanket she wore in lieu of clothes.
“Going somewhere?” the Ur’quay male inquired.
At his words, she turned her attention back to him. The device, Sila realized, seemed to work just fine in her fist.
He stepped back from her to meet her eyes. “Before, when I stopped you” he clarified patiently. “Where were you going?”
“Umm … just to the”, she gestured towards the shower enclosure, “to get my clothes.”
He cocked his head, the mysterious unblinking eyes studying her. “It is not dry yet. Use the blanket for now.”
Sila hitched the blanket about her shoulders nervously, wishing she could read his expression more clearly. It was too dark to discern much except the glint in his eyes when he occasionally came into the path of the light seeping through the open archway.
“Would you like more illumination?” he offered.
Sila hesitated, conscious that all she had on was a blanket. She’d much prefer to be properly clothed before facing him in brighter light.
“I can see as well if not better in the dark” he said, the guttural tones even.
Sila flushed, perfectly comprehending what he meant to convey to her. Strange as it was, the Ur’quay seemed to share her ability, except it was clear that this male possessed formidable control over his mind. Much more than her, who he seemed to read like a book. Sila, never having met anyone with this advantage over her, didn’t know what to make of it — whether to be excited by the prospect, particularly when she had thought herself to be different from everyone, or afraid of his ability to read her mind.
“You’re reading my thoughts again” she stammered out, a tad accusingly.
“Did I not ask you to protect them, Terran?” he growled back in response.
Unlike everyone else she had met in her life, Sila did not have to work to block him from her mind. He was an absolutely blank slate — she could hear nothing and sense nothing from him. Since stepping foot on this starship, her mind had been uncluttered, with only her thoughts for company. As far as Sila was concerned, it was the only saving grace of her entire ordeal.
She glanced away, to pluck at her blanket again. “I don’t know how to.”
Sila sighed, unutterably candid. On this topic, evasiveness would serve no purpose. “Not with you. You seem to hear my thoughts no matter what I do.”
“I will teach you” he declared.
Sila stared up at him, rendered speechless by his offer.
“Do not worry. The blanket covers you well.”
Before Sila could respond, he said something inaudible and the lights in the room brightened. Though not as harsh as the previous cell, it did allow her to clearly note his expression. She stood up to face him, blanket clutched tight. For the first in their acquaintance, she allowed her eyes to wander over him without fear. The large expanse of muscled bronze skin seemed flushed, a stark contrast to the scales on his lower body. His eyes studied her damp hair unblinkingly with an expression Sila found hard to decipher.
“When will you send me back to the other cell?” she inquired diffidently.
He cocked his head, clearly puzzled. “The other cell?”
“The one where I was before. This one is much nicer.”
“This is not a holding cell” he growled in outrage, the glitter in his eyes pronounced. “This is my rest-chamber” he informed her through gritted teeth.
Despite the growls and palpable ire, he was careful to keep his distance. It reassured Sila immeasurably. Some of her natural effervescence reasserted itself.
“Rest-chamber? Oh, you mean this is your room. It is very nice — much warmer than the cell, with a really nice shower. Thank you for letting me use it.”
For the first time since she’d met him, he looked uncomfortable.
“I apologize, Terran. We are not used to prisoners on this starship and did not anticipate that your species needs warmer temperatures and more frequent sustenance than us.”
“Oh, I thought perhaps you did not feed your prisoners” she remarked guilelessly.
The unblinking eyes zeroed in on her. “Ur’quay are signatories to a charter on the treatment of prisoners of war. We do not believe in starving them” he informed her regally.
Sila stared at him, slack-jawed in shock. “Am I … are you saying that I’m a prisoner of war?”
Blood of a Huntsman
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