Showing posts with label Virtual Book Tour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virtual Book Tour. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Spotlight: The Forbidden Series



Hidden from humans in Minneapolis/St. Paul, there is a century-old divide between vampires and shifters. All that changes when the youngest generation breaks free from old traditions and changes the very rules they have all lived by.

Forbidden Addiction
Forbidden Series
Book Four
R.L. Kenderson

Genre: Paranormal romance

Date of Publication: 8/1/2017

ISBN: 978-0-9988770-3-7

Number of pages: 270
Word Count: 78,000

Cover Artist: Estrella Cover Art

Book Description:

With a tortured past, she’s a cat-shifter who refuses to get close to anyone. Yet she can’t seem to resist the leader of the vampire protectors.

Phoenix Kaplan has never felt a connection like the one she has with Dante Leonidas. She might service him monthly, allowing him to feed from her blood, but as much as her body tells her differently, she knows it can be nothing more, not with her insecurities and inability to be intimate with a male.

That is, until she realizes the one thing she desires most in the world is something he can give her…and she propositions him to impregnate her.

She’s never wanted anything more than to be a mother, and all she needs is this one thing from Dante.

Although he should refuse, Dante can’t resist the temptation. He’s addicted not only to her blood, but also to the enigma that is purely Phoenix. And he is determined to prove to her that he can give her much more than what she asked for.
She might protect her heart with an impenetrable wall, but he’s willing to do whatever it takes to break down that wall in order to get what he desires most in the world.

Excerpt Forbidden Addiction:
Dante Leonidas raised his head from the map spread out on his desk from where he’d been studying it when he heard the rap at his door.
Phoenix.
Usually, he prepared himself before she arrived, but he’d been so lost in thought that he didn’t notice her scent or her presence, despite her blood in him. He cursed himself for not paying attention, but it didn’t really matter. He’d never be truly equipped to see her.
“Enter,” he called out.
The entrance to his office opened, and Phoenix slipped through before closing the door behind her.
Dante held his breath as the aroma of sunshine flooded the room, but it was too late. Her scent teased his nostrils, and suddenly, his pants were too tight as his cock hardened under his fly. He had to reach down and adjust himself under the desk before the painful position caused him to wince. Males always talked about having big dicks, but honestly, it wasn’t that great. It could really be a pain in the ass sometimes. No pun intended.
“Hey,” the beautiful cat-shifter said as she approached his desk.
She was sans makeup with her long red-and-black hair in a ponytail while she wore her usual outfit of shapeless clothing. Today, it was a sweater and jeans. But, despite her baggy attire, Dante could still make out her curves underneath. It didn’t hurt that he’d seen her without her clothes in the past. Picturing her naked didn’t help his hard-on.
She glanced down at the Minneapolis/St. Paul area map that he’d been reviewing before she entered. “What are you looking at?”
He pointed to the Xs he’d made in red. “I marked all the incidents on the list in hopes that maybe a pattern or something would jump out at me.” Dante threw the pen he held on top of the map as he leaned back in his chair and exhaled his frustration. “So far, it’s been a bust.”
Over the last few months, crimes had been happening to vampire and shifter residences and places of business. It wasn’t like the paranormal community was immune to crime, but the unusual part about it was how they were all coming in pairs. Whatever happened to a vampire-owned place, the same thing would happen to a shifter-owned place. The first incident had been graffiti at a vampire-owned restaurant on the same night a shifter-owned restaurant was hit. It was an obvious message to both vampires and shifters. The latest incidents were fires started at vampire- and shifter-owned homes with an hour of each other. The worst part of the entire situation was that the human police were starting to notice.
Phoenix came around to his side of the desk and leaned over to read the map and his notes. Her baggy pants hung on her hips, but when she bent over, they stretched across her ass, and Dante had to fight not to ogle her. His erection got harder, if that was even possible, and he fought his desire to pull her into his lap, strip off her clothes, and bury himself inside her.
But that would never happen.
Despite the fact that she was there to feed him, they were not in a romantic or sexual relationship. Dante didn’t know all the details about what had happened to Phoenix in her past, but he knew she had been traumatized. So, while he usually had sex with the females he fed from, the only thing he’d be sinking inside her were his fangs. His little head didn’t get it, but his big head did, and he wasn’t going to add to her issues. For now, feeding from her and being her friend was enough. But, damn, this celibacy thing just might kill him.
Maybe, someday, he would tell her how he felt about her, but today wasn’t that day. She wasn’t ready to hear it.
Turning his thoughts back to the task at hand, he asked her, “Have you guys come up with anything?”
She spun around and sat on the edge of the desk, the emerald greens of her eyes filled with vexation. “No. Are you coming to the meeting tomorrow?”
“Yes, we’ll all be there.”
“That’s good.” She nodded her approval. “One of the wolf-shifter sentinels is an officer in the Minneapolis Police Department. Damien told Vance that the sentinel would fill us in on what the humans knew.”
The wolf-shifter alpha was really proving himself to the cat-shifter alpha. Damien wasn’t going to let the newly healed bond between the two subspecies get fractured again, it seemed.
Dante furrowed his brows. “You don’t have any cat-shifters in the police force?”
“Yes, we do, but none of them are sentinels. They give us information, but we don’t share what we know back with them. It’s a good idea, what Damien did, having someone working both angles. I just hope Vance doesn’t make one of us sign up for the police academy.” She made a face of disgust. “At least, I hope it isn’t me.”
Dante chuckled. “Humans aren’t that bad.”
She looked at him like he was crazy. “Humans aren’t that bad? The same species that traditionally comes at your species with a stake through the heart?”
“Pretty sure none of the members of the St. Paul Police Department are carrying stakes.”
“No, just guns.”
He laughed again. “I suppose you have a point.”
“So, does that mean you have vampires on the force? How does that work with the sun thing?”
“Of course we do. They enter the academy before their conversion, and after, they work the night shift.” Dante frowned. “Although I never thought to have one of the Guardians work for us and the police at the same time. It is smart.”
The conversation stalled, and silence fell over the room. Their eyes met, but neither moved.
The knock at the door broke the quietness, and Dante looked at the bare skin on Phoenix’s neck. “Come back later. I’m busy.”
He swiveled his chair to face her and opened his legs. “Come here, Red.”

Forbidden Temptation
Forbidden Series
Book Three
R.L. Kenderson

Genre: Paranormal romance

Date of Publication: 8/18/2015

ISBN: 978-0-9904144-7-6

ASIN: B0100BOE7S

Number of pages: 244

Word Count: 73,500

Book Description:

Since one fateful evening at a nightclub, Kenzie Swanson and Sawyer Lennar have shared an undeniable attraction. They’ve had moments where they couldn’t ignore their desires, succumbing to their needs, and Sawyer has marked Kenzie in a way that no other man can.

But there is one problem that continues to keep them apart.

As a cat-shifter with a traumatic past, Sawyer hates humans—and Kenzie is all human.

Sawyer’s hatred pushes Kenzie away, and they try to maintain their distance from each other—until they are mistakenly kidnapped and have to act as a couple. When the unforeseen happens, Kenzie can only do so much to deny herself from being intimate with Sawyer.

Given a chance at what might have been, Sawyer and Kenzie are forced to face the forbidden temptation to be with one another.


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Excerpt Forbidden Temptation:

She stared down at Sawyer, asleep in her lap. He looked so peaceful, and she felt a little bad that she would have to wake him. She brushed his tawny hair off his face and neck before picking his head up and softly setting it down on the edge of the driver’s seat.
She climbed out of the vehicle and opened the door to the house, so there wouldn’t be anything in their path from the car to the house once she woke him.
She opened the passenger door and poked his leg. “Sawyer. Sawyer.”
Nothing.
This time, she shook his arm. “Sawyer.”
Still nothing.
She leaned in and shook his shoulders.
Nothing again.
Finally, she reached into the car and lightly smacked him on the face while trying not to fall on top of him. “Sawyer, wake up.”
“Mmm.”
“Sawyer, you need to wake up, so I can help you into the house. It’s cold out here.”
No response.
She went back around to the driver’s side since his head was lying on the driver’s seat. She sat down on the outside half and gave him a few more pats on the face since that had seemed to get a response out of him. “Sawyer, you need to get up. Now.”
“Mmm,” he muttered again. This time, he turned his head toward her and mumbled a word that sounded like make or Nate.
“You big oaf, will you please get up?” she hissed.
He opened his eyes.
Finally. Apparently, calling him names had worked.
She leaned her head over, so he could see her better. He looked at her with his amber eyes and smiled, as in an everything-is-hunky-dory-and-life-is-good kind of smile. Sawyer rarely smiled and never a smile filled with such happiness and contentment. And he certainly didn’t smile at her.
Something wasn’t right.
She tried to see his pupils since he had been drugged and knocked out, but the garage was too dark to assess them.
“Hey there, big guy. Can you get up for me, so we can go into the house?”
“Sure,” he said with a dopey smile, still lying there without even attempting to get up.
Sure? Now, she knew something was wrong.
This was not the Sawyer that she knew. Sawyer was not passive. Sawyer was not cheerful. And Sawyer certainly did not agree with anything she said.
The sooner she got him into the house, the better.
“Okay, big boy, let’s get you up.”
She exited to go to Sawyer’s side of the vehicle again. As she walked around to the open passenger door, he stared at her the whole time through the windshield, almost as if he were in a daze. He was starting to creep her out a little because he was never like this.
When she reached him, she got his legs out of the car and grabbed his hands. “I’m going to help you sit up. On the count of three, you push, and I’ll pull, okay?”
“Okay,” he answered.
She wasn’t sure if he’d even heard what she said.
“Okay.” She nodded. “One, two, three, and go!”
She yanked on his arms, hard, and it appeared that Sawyer was trying to help, but holy shit was the man heavy. She got him into a sitting position, and his feet were on the ground, but it hadn’t been easy. It took another ten minutes to get him into the house, and despite the cold garage, she had started to break a sweat.
“Let’s go to the couch,” she told him.
Thankfully, it was cleared off. Her brother was a bachelor, and even though he was in his early thirties, he still lived like he was ten years younger. After she helped Sawyer get to the couch, she looked around and noticed the place was remarkably clean. She hoped it didn’t mean what she thought it meant.
She went over to the thermostat and saw that the temperature was turned down to sixty-two degrees. That wasn’t good either. She turned the heat up to seventy before she used the bathroom. She prayed her brother’s girlfriend, Anna, had left some feminine products there.
Kenzie was in luck. She was relieved to get rid of her makeshift pad. Thank God that she was on birth control, that her periods were really light and would only last a few days, and that she was already on day three.
After she was done with the bathroom, she rummaged around her brother’s coat closet for a warm coat, hat, and gloves. Once she found a spot to leave the car, she’d have to walk home. To say she wasn’t looking forward to freezing her ass off while wondering if someone was out there, planning to kill her, would be an understatement.
She looked back at Sawyer and tried to ignore her irritation. She knew it wasn’t his fault that he’d been drugged and injured, but it wasn’t fair that she would have to do this all on her own either. She could really use his help right now.
After finding everything she needed, she returned to his side to check on him before she left. His eyes were closed, but he didn’t seem to be sleeping, so she nudged him.
He opened his eyes and looked at her. She could see his pupils now, and they didn’t appear to be dilated. That was a good sign, yet something was up. Even injured, she couldn’t believe he wasn’t taking charge, getting things done, and bossing her around.
She’d have to worry about it later though. If she had to deal with one more piece of bad news right now, she might explode. “I need to go and get rid of the car, but I’ll be back as soon as possible.”
She put on her brother’s winter gear while Sawyer watched.
“Do you think you’ll be okay while I’m gone?”
No reply.
He just blinked and stared at her hands while she put on the gloves.
“Sawyer, did you hear what I said? I need to get rid of the car. Are you going to be okay?”
He slowly raised his head and looked into her eyes. His brow furrowed, he asked, “Who’s Sawyer?”



Forbidden Heat
Forbidden Series
Book Two
R.L. Kenderson

Genre: Paranormal romance

Date of Publication: 12/16/2014

ISBN: 978-0-9904144-4-5
ASIN: B00PYRJE7Y

Number of pages: 305
Word Count: 90,500

Book Description:

Payton Llewelyn, daughter to the cat-shifter alpha, wakes up with a throbbing head and a bullet wound to the hip. Recalling the events that led her there, the scent of a shifter permeates her senses—not that of a cat though, but of a wolf.

Damien Lowell, future pack leader of the wolf-shifters, has found himself in an impossible situation. Cat-shifters and wolf-shifters aren’t friends, and what Payton doesn’t know is that his father is behind her attack. He only meant to prevent her from being kidnapped, and he now has the wounded princess of the cat-shifters in his custody.

But when the heat becomes too much to handle, Damien and Payton must choose whether to follow their instincts or question the forbidden.

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Excerpt  Forbidden Heat:

She tried to open her eyes, but she had a headache, and the daylight hurt her pupils. Then, there were the smells. She wasn’t at home or any other place that was familiar, and the scent of wolf-shifter was strong.
Wolf-shifter. Payton sat up in bed, jarring her side and sending shooting pains through her head.
“Oh,” she moaned as the previous night came back to her.
She’d left the restaurant after dinner with friends. Three humans had come out of nowhere and attacked. She had been injured, and then surprisingly, a wolf-shifter had saved her. It was all very strange.
There shouldn’t have been any wolf-shifters in the Twin Cities, but she supposed a few would slip past their radar every once in a while. Since this one had rescued her, she was shockingly unconcerned. So, that was not what bothered her the most.
Actually, it was the humans. Something about them and that whole situation disturbed her. She’d been in the lit parking lot of a busy restaurant in a good neighborhood. Why had they picked her to rob? Why there? Unfortunately, thinking only made her head hurt worse. She’d worry about it later. She should be more concerned about the present anyway.
She looked around the room, finally noticing her surroundings. Hardwood floors and walls all around showed that it was a cabin of some sort. From her spot on the bed, she looked through the window and could see the cloudy winter sky and an endless sight of bare trees with a small amount of snow coating the branches.
The scent of cedar was strong, but it wasn’t the wood cabin. It was her wolf.
My wolf?
She mentally shook her head. She’d meant, her wolf rescuer. It was obviously his place. She looked at the empty spot next to her with the rumpled sheets and the dent on the pillow. This was obviously his room. Had he slept next to her?
A cupboard slammed in the other room. Sticking her nose in the air, she caught a whiff of food cooking, and her stomach rumbled.
She searched the room for a clock with no luck, and she assumed it was late morning or early afternoon. It was light outside, and days were short in November, so midday was a good guess.
Throwing back the covers, Payton attempted to swing her legs over the side of the bed.
Bad idea.
Pain radiated everywhere. She would need to do this a little slower.
Carefully, she put her right leg on the floor first. She noticed her right leg was bare. She looked down at herself. She could feel she was sans underwear. A man’s flannel shirt was the only thing she wore. She grabbed the collar and brought it to her nose. Although the smell was faint, it was the wolf’s shirt. It had been washed after he’d last worn it, and now, her scent covered it, too.
She pulled up the shirt to look at her throbbing hip. The wound was bandaged and clean from what she could see. Next, she picked up a chunk of her hair, seeing it had also been washed.
He had bathed her, and she wasn’t sure how she felt about that. She appreciated his care, but she knew he’d seen her naked—as if things weren’t already awkward.
She lowered her shirt and moved to place her other foot on the floor. She was working up her motivation to stand when the wolf came to the door, carrying a tray of food.
They both froze.
“Payton?”
Wow. Now, this was a man.

Forbidden Blood
Forbidden Series
Book One
R.L. Kenderson

Genre: Paranormal romance

Date of Publication: 07/01/2014

ISBN: 978-0-9904144-1-4
ASIN: B00LDTYYDQ

Number of pages: 302
Word Count: 96,000

Book Description:

Next in line to lead the vampire species, Princess Naya Kensington has always abided by her royal responsibilities. At the urging of her best friend, Naya breaks the rules and crosses the line when she goes to a human nightclub. Following a chance encounter, Naya alters her life with a singular act forged from lust and blood.

Vaughn Llewelyn has secrets and obligations of his own, but he ignores them when he spots Naya across the nightclub. He wants her in a way he’s never felt before, and although he can’t possibly have more than one night with Naya, he knows no one else will do.

One night of forbidden love creates a bond that will forever change both of their lives…as well as their worlds.

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Excerpt  Forbidden Blood:

As Naya moved closer, she found a small opening near the corner of the bar. When she reached the counter, it was obvious as to why the space had been empty. Next to her sat a disheveled man perched on a stool. He stank of alcohol and smelled like he was about a week overdue for a shower. He ogled her, making her uncomfortable, but people were swarming the bar around her, so she was unable to put the space she wanted between herself and the dirty drunk.
However, she was sick of people forcing her to do things she didn’t want to do, whether it was consciously or subconsciously on their part. She was going to get a drink, head to the floor, and dance until she started to have fun, even if it killed her. She would not let anyone ruin her plans.
“Hey, baby,” he said as he scooted closer, looking her up and down and almost falling over in the process. Apparently, his intoxicated state wasn’t going to stop him because he next slurred, “You’re hot,” as he swayed into her personal bubble.
She’d had to hold her breath when he spoke since his teeth hadn’t met a toothbrush in some time.
Naya faced forward and ignored him, hoping he would get the hint. While situations like this didn’t happen often, she had learned that silence was sometimes the best policy.
He leaned in closer. “I said, hey, baby.”
This time, she gave him a stern look. “Sir, I am not your baby.” She turned away, praying the straightforward approach would work.
“Wanna come home with me tonight? We can grab a six-pack of beer and fuck.”
She gasped. “No!” Gross.
“What? You don’t like beer?” He laughed at his joke and extended his hand to touch her.
She jerked her arm away and lifted her chin with confidence. “I’m here with someone.”
If only it were true.
He called her bluff. “I don’t see anyone with you. Why are you playing hard to get, dollface?”
She groaned. Why won’t he go away?
She took a small step back, irritated that she had to be the one to leave, when she sensed a presence behind her. Even though she couldn’t see the person, she knew immediately that he was big, male, and powerful. But she wasn’t afraid. In fact, a calm sense of relief came over her, and she instinctively recognized he was the one who had been watching her. The deep feelings he’d first stirred in her now flared to life. Anticipation, excitement, arousal, and exhilaration fused into one. Her head was spinning as her nostrils flared, and the lonely place between her legs blazed to life.
From the mirror behind the bar, she caught a glimpse of a virile male before he slipped his arm around her waist and pulled her flush against him, engulfing her body with his own. He kissed her neck and lingered there as if he had the right.
She tilted her head and let him.


About the Author:

R.L. Kenderson is two best friends writing under one name.

Renae has always loved reading, and in third grade, she wrote her first poem where she learned she might have a knack for this writing thing. Lara remembers sneaking her grandmother’s Harlequin novels when she was probably too young to be reading them, and since then, she knew she wanted to write her own.

When they met in college, they bonded over their love of reading and the TV show Charmed. What really spiced up their friendship was when Lara introduced Renae to romance novels. When they discovered their first vampire romance, they knew there would always be a special place in their hearts for paranormal romance. After being unable to find certain storylines and characteristics they wanted to read about in the hundreds of books they consumed, they decided to write their own.

They both live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area where they’re a sonographer/stay-at-home mom/wife and pharmacist/mother by day and a sexy author by night. They always love hearing from their readers.








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Monday, August 7, 2017

Review: The Vessel Trilogy

Purchase information, Excerpts, and more on this series can be found in the Spotlight below.

Book One: 3 Shimmering Stars
Who doesn't love a chick who can fight and a hot protector and if that doesn't sound great throw in an ancient prophecy between good and evil? That's a good start for a series and for an urban fantasy reader like me that is Nirvana. However, I would like to see a new twist on this trope. This series did not do that. The author even starts the story in a dance club, just like a lot of books. The author has a great idea for this book and the rest of the trilogy, but I just felt like the story lacked depth. Everything seemed to flow without too many hitches and the conflicts that did arise ended too fast. I would like to have seen a little more inner turmoil with Genevieve as she struggles with her new powers and destiny.  

I finished this book because I agreed to review it. The story and characters were ok and I liked it enough to read the next story. The author created enough groundwork for the rest of this trilogy that I am curious enough to see what happens next.

Book Two: 3 Shimmering Stars
I'm glad I continued reading this series because book two was better than book one and I would rate it a 3.5 if I could. In this book, the characters seem to have a little more depth and the plot is driven by the characters and not the need to just tell the story. It is easier to see the inner conflict that I did not see in book one, but the author still relies more on cliches instead of creating a new story. The prophecy still drives Genevieve to develop her powers as a vessel and Jude continues to protect her and oversee her development. The ultimate battle is coming soon and sides will be chosen by all. I do like the connections the author makes to mythology and literature through the names of her characters and settings. 

This one was easier to read than the first one and I think the author did an even better job with the cliffhanger at the end.   

Book Three: 4 Mystical Stars (one minor spoiler)
The biggest issue I have had with this series is the lack of character depth. I think because so much of the focus is on Genevieve in this book, it is easier to really see who she is and how she has developed throughout this series. This is my favorite of the three books. I also think because Gen and Jude were not so focused on sex they had the chance to develop a deeper relationship we saw a stronger connection between them. 

The biggest issue I've had with this series is the lack of elaboration is some of the scenes. Things just always seem to go in Gen's favor without much effort. The final battle is a good example. It just seemed to happen and yes, Gen was attacked but there wasn't much of a fight to win and I think the twist at the end would have been better if the author alluded to it before just throwing it out there. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Sale Blitz: Sunder


Title: Sunder
Author: Tara Brown
Genre: YA Romance
Blurb:
Every town has its secrets. Secrets that hold it, and the people who live there, together.

When Liv Daniels moves to Wolfville, Maine with her father, she discovers the small town has more than its fair share.

But the quaint, coastal townsfolk aren't the only ones with secrets.

Liv has one too.

Hers is buried deep inside of her, where even she doesn't know it exists.

But someone does, and he's not going to give up until he breaks it free from her.

But how do you free someone from a secret they don't know they have?

What do you do when the person you're supposed to destroy becomes the one thing you can't live without?

Don't miss this suspenseful standalone YA romance!

Release Day Blitz: Talk Bunny To Me


Title: Talk Bunny to Me
Author: A.R. Barley
Genre: MM Paranormal Romance
Publisher: MLR Books
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: 
When werewolf hunter meets bunny shifter, romance is the last thing either one of them expects to find... but

Benjamin Holland is a werewolf hunter--and a pretty successful one. He's hunting a rogue wolf in Minnesota when he trips over a bunny shifter and takes the twitchy nosed little dude back to Illinois. It's strictly catch and release. He needs to get laid, but after getting his heart crushed by his best friend Peter he's not looking for a forever mate.

Mating is the last thing on Justin's mind. He's just escaped an arranged marriage to his warren's next Rex. He wants to make up for lost time and build a life for himself in Chicago, but the more time these two spend exploring the city together the better they get along. When Justin's ex-fiance tracks him down to the city, they're going to have to decide if forever might just start with one magical night.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Cover Reveal: Magnus's Defeat


 

MAGNUS'S DEFEAT cover reveal

4"    

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Title: Magnus's Defeat Series: Sons Of Judgment, #3 Author: Airicka Phoenix Genre: Urban Paranormal Release Date: JULY 12, 2017
   
He swore to end her.   All Magnus had to do was pick up a package and get his brother’s child back. A simple task that any Caster worth his salt could have done in his sleep, except nothing had been that simple for him in years.   For centuries, Magnus relished in the slaughter and annihilation of the demon race. Ridding the world — and hell — of every last one was an oath he was determined to keep. But Magnus had his own gnawing beasts devouring his soul with memories of a past he was powerless to change.   Zara was something else. She was beautiful and powerful, and the very definition of evil. Yet everything about her called to him, beckoned him to forget his nightmares and vengeance. She could fix everything if he would just submit, but she was the very thing who had ruined him in the first place and Magnus submitted to no one.   But Zara proves to be much more than just the source of his agony. She’s a key to ending the war, a power that can tilt the scales and save them all, or will she be the reason he loses everything?   She may end him first.
 

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HAVE YOU READ BOOKS 1 & 2?

   

OCTAVIAN'S UNDOING ***99C***

 

AMAZON | B&N | iTUNES | SIGNED PAPERBACK   Add on GOODREADS

 
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GIDEON'S PROMISE

 

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Airicka Phoenix is a multi-genre author of over twenty-five bestselling novels starring strong female leads and sexy alpha heroes. She started her journey after never finding the type of books she wanted to read. Her love of tortured souls and forbidden romance carried her into writing her own hard-earned happiness. Currently, she lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her babies and can be found hard at work on her next project.  
For more about Airicka, visit her at airickaphoenix.com   ___________   FOLLOW AIRICKA’S NEWSLETTER for updates, new releases, sneak peeks, and more. (no spamming. Promise)   AIRICKA’S NEWSLETTER  
For more about Airicka and the realm she rules with an iron fist--and tons of chocolate--visit her at: AirickaPhoenix.com
   

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Release Day Blitz: Possessed by a Vampire


Title: Possessed by a Vampire
Author: Susan Griscom
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR
Blurb: They possess the power to make their dreams come true—but it won’t be easy.
Preston Knight—Elvis to his friends—loves being a vampire. The night he was turned was the first step to him becoming the kind of man he always hoped to be. Now, he’s a rock star. What could be better? But the one thing that would make his world complete is just out of reach. The woman he yearns for has some serious secrets, and despite him knowing that she wants him just as much as he wants her, she won’t let him in.
Lily Gray never asked to be a vampire. The choice was taken from her eons ago, and things never improved. Now, she finds herself peddling drugs on the streets of San Francisco and playing the part of doting wife to a possessive and sadistic vampire with delusions of grandeur. But family means everything to Lily, and she’s willing to sacrifice everything for it…even her one chance at happiness with the sexy-as-sin vampire who sets her heart ablaze.
When one night of passion opens the door for a century of secrets to be revealed, Lily and Preston must fight for not only what they believe in but also what they love.
Susan Griscom writes paranormal and contemporary romance. She's hooked on sexy romances and is a huge fan of superheroes and bad boys confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers, and abilities beyond the norm mixed with steamy romance, of course.
She loves those days when she gets to sit around in her sweat pants, doing nothing but writing emotionally charged stories about love and violence.
She lives in Northern California in wine country and one of her favorite weekend excursions is wine tasting with the love of her life. Together, she and her romantic husband have five great superhero kids and eight mini-superhero grand kids, so far.
Author Links:
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Possessed by a Vampire: http://amzn.to/2oFsb8p
CHAPTER ONE
ELVIS
“It’s up to you, Elvis.” Lincoln, the dealer, nodded in my direction and waited. I kept my gaze trained on the center of the table where chips sat in a small pile. I didn’t need to look at my cards again. I knew what I had: an eight and a queen of hearts.
   There were six vampires at the table, counting both Gage and me. Gage had folded right after the deal, and so had one of the other players. I was the last to bet, and sometimes I liked to spice things up a bit, so I matched the bet and sat back.
   Heavy smoke hung in the air like delicate streams of fog, swirling in circled patterns under the light hanging from a long cord above the table. Four other lamps hung on fixtures attached to the otherwise stark, tawny brown walls. Even with all the bulbs, the room seemed dark.
   Maybe it was the darkness of the souls in the room. I wasn’t sure.
   A droning sound buzzed from outside. It was a little annoying, but I managed to drown it out as I nonchalantly watched the faces around the table as the dealer placed the three cards of the flop face-up, revealing a nine of hearts. He slowly separated them, sliding the top card off the nine to reveal a jack of hearts.
   Holy fuck!
   It was raining hearts for some reason, and I held two of them already. I held my breath, waiting to see the third card in the flop. The dealer slid the jack over. Crap, an eight of diamonds.
   Not exactly what I was looking for, but a pair of eights with a queen high wasn’t completely a loss so I decided to hang in there and see if one more heart would show. There were still two cards to go, and a flush was possible.
   I kept my eyes straight, my thoughts blank—or I tried—like I usually did as each card was revealed, always attempting to keep my composure, never deviating from the norm, not wanting to give away my emotions. I was an expert at reading people. Especially in a poker game. A blink of an eye, a slight twitch, a swallow, the slightest movement, anything . . . different could give someone’s hand away. I wanted to reach up and finger my shades that sat on top of my head. Just one little nudge and they’d be sitting comfortably on my face, shielding my eyes. But not only were dark glasses frowned upon in this high-stakes game of Texas Hold ’em, but any movement out of the ordinary might tip someone off about my cards.
   This wasn’t our normal gathering with my brothers at the mansion. This was a high roller, unsanctioned but heavily guarded poker game with some seriously high-powered city officials that I’d bet my right nut were a drug cartel of some sort or another. The two thugs in the monkey suits positioned on either side of the door to the entrance had stood like statues most of the night; the bulge of a holster protruding from under their jackets an obvious clue. At least they were on the outside of the room, but they still remained at the ready if their services were required.
   Gage and I didn’t normally seek out games with such high stakes, but he’d been bored lately, and when he ran into Lincoln—the game’s host—at Club Royal a couple of weeks ago, Lincoln had invited Gage and me to join. Said they’d recently lost two of their regulars and needed a couple of fill-ins.
   When Gage had approached me, I shrugged him off at first, not wanting any part of something that sounded so sketchy. But after he’d pestered me for the entire week, I finally gave in, needing a distraction from the long hours—sometimes days—apart from Lily, the sexy and sweet vampire I’d been trying to get to know better. Except, for the past few months, she was either playing hard to get, or just wasn’t that interested in me. Though I had a difficult time believing the latter of those two options since she continued to meet me whenever she had the time or, in her words, “could get away.” Away from what, I hadn’t been able to find out. Yet.
   Getting thoughts of Lily off my mind was nearly impossible. Her fair, silky-smooth skin; her mesmerizing dark coffee eyes that could hold my gaze for hours on end; the tips of her long, thick locks kissing the cleavage of her breasts where my lips longed to skim. I managed to clear my head just in time, as it was my turn to bet again. I slid my bet forward, raising the pot three thousand for appearance’s sake. In truth, without another heart or a ten, I had squat. I didn’t think the pair of eights would cut it. I had an excellent chance for a straight or a flush if either of the next two cards went my way. Since Gage had already folded, he sat still as a statue beside me, his hands together on the edge of the table. I knew he was busting a gut wondering what I held in my hand.
   There were only four of us left in this hand, and I didn’t want to go home with a loss. Not against these guys. Two of them sat puffing on brown cigarettes, looking rather tough. They were tough, the sort who would drain the blood from a homeless person and leave them to die in the gutter without so much as a “thank you, ma’am.” Particularly, the one at the end with the light brown, wool Stetson on his head. The word dangerous exuded from his pores. He wore that hat pulled low on his brow, shading his eyes just enough to where it was legal but not enough to reveal much about him. A neatly trimmed goatee graced his chin and upper lip. A long ponytail made of cornrow braids hung down his back. He seemed on edge, or maybe it was just an act to throw me off.
   Which he did when he raised another five thousand. That was steep. Not that I didn’t have the money. These days, my bank account overflowed, but it wasn’t that way in the beginning. I hadn’t always been the man I was today, and money hadn’t been abundant back then. The circumstances surrounding my rebirth as a vampire weren’t something I would likely forget, though I’d never spoken about them, not even to Gage. The way I’d been turned hadn’t exactly been conventional vampire behavior and had left an ache in my soul I didn’t understand and an emptiness that I could never satisfy.
   I peeked at my cards and considered the raise. Either the guy had something powerful, or he was bluffing his ass off and had nothing. Since I had the queen of hearts, I knew he couldn’t have a royal flush. But that didn’t rule out a straight or four of a kind. The bald-headed guy next to him folded, as did the next two. Now it was up to me, and six thousand was just about all I had left in chips, so I shoved the entire stack I had into the middle of the table.
   “I’m all in,” I said with feigned confidence.
   After the bet had been matched, the dealer flipped the fourth card.
   A fucking nine of spades.
   Shit.
   I watched out of the corner of my eye as cowboy hat’s mouth curved up on one side, the tip of his fang biting into his lower lip. Could mean he was nervous. Or cocky. Either way, my hand was dead unless a ten or another heart showed up.
My heart skipped a beat when the fifth card was flipped over. There it was, sparkling as if someone had lit it on fire. I managed to keep my composure as I chilled, though I could have sworn I heard fireworks go off outside.
   The beautiful ten of hearts.
   Stetson vamp chuckled and said, “Too bad. You played a nice hand.” Then he laid down his cards. A pair of nines, giving him four of a fucking kind, which would beat most hands. When he started to grab at the pile of chips, I cleared my throat.
   “Hold on there, space cowboy,” I heard myself say, not sure if the cockiness in my voice would help or hinder, but that pile of chips in the center of the table belonged to me, and there was no fucking way I was letting this douche have them. I had a fucking straight flush, queen high. Beat that you fucking cocksucker. I wanted to gloat but managed to keep my cool and simply turned the two cards in my hand over and placed them face up on the table.
   His face paled, if that were possible. His dark-stubbled jaw flexed. His eyes narrowed to slits. His left ear twitched, and he placed both his palms on the table as he stood, glaring at me. Everyone sitting around the table stiffened. The chips lay in a heap in the middle. He kept his large, ebony eyes on mine, gaze never faltering. I allowed myself to stare right back, not moving a centimeter. I was good at stare-out games. I’d had a cat, many in fact, and we constantly used to play this game. Stetson hat was no different in my mind. Though I was positive he thought differently. This guy was too fucking arrogant for my taste. I’d wondered from the moment I sat down if he was going to be trouble.
   “Jace, you ready?” he barked.
   The guy at the end of the table—Jace, I assumed—nodded. “Yep, I’m all tapped out. Ladies.”
   Stetson hat shrugged into a light brown wool coat, generously embellished with dark brown fur at the lapel, all the while keeping his gaze glued to me. “Be sure to join us again. I look forward to the opportunity to win that back.” His eyes briefly averted to the large pile of chips in the middle of the table before returning to mine, and then he touched the rim of his hat and nodded like he was fucking Clint Eastwood. “Gentlemen.” He kept his lips tight as he turned and walked out. Stopping by another vampire on his way, he looked down at him, made some sort of gesture with his hand, and left the room. Jace, and two other large vampires went with him.
   Gage cleared his throat. “Fuck, man. That was intense.” The three dudes left at the table all sighed heavily.
   The vampire that Stetson hat had gestured to stood up. “Roach would like you to join him at his employer’s mansion.” Roach? What the fuck kind of person named their kid Roach? I almost laughed. The poor guy. No wonder he was so intense. “It is open to you any Friday evening. That is the night they entertain small groups. Midnight. Here’s the address.” He slipped me a card. I glanced down at the etching on the flat piece of metal.
   It read:
   Sweet’s Delicacies
   Whatever your pleasure, we’ve got it.
   Sweet Towers, Sky Deck.
   When the vampire left, Gage grabbed the card from me. “Shit. Looks like he wants a rematch.”
   “Well, he isn’t getting one,” I retorted and threw the fancy card down on the table. This was over right now. I didn’t want any part of whatever the fuck that guy was dealing.
   “I wouldn’t be so quick to pass on that invite if I were you, Elvis,” Lincoln, the vampire who’d hosted the night’s game, said. “That vampire works for Sweet, one of this city’s most dominant and influential business owners. He has the support of the local labor board, as well as several other highfalutin bigwigs in the city. It’s quite the honor to be invited, even if it was by his right-hand man. Sweet doesn’t give out invitations to his private parties very often. And his parties don’t have anything to do with card games, if you get my drift. Roach must have liked you.” He winked.
   I raised my eyebrows at Lincoln in question.
   “You know. Sex, drugs. Those kinds of parties. Group or single, whatever you desire. Or so I’ve heard.”
   Whatever kind of parties, I wasn’t into group sex or drugs. I had a woman, or at least a woman I wanted, as the vision of Lily’s striking brown eyes set against her smooth, deep black hair floated through my mind I got to my feet and shrugged into my jacket. “Come on, Gage, let’s split.”
   As Gage and I strolled down the sidewalk through the Tenderloin, we noticed a couple of ladies of the night hanging out on the adjacent corner.
   “That was a grueling hand. Made me a tad thirsty, what about you?” Gage asked.
   I shrugged. “Sure, I guess.”
   I was a bit dry since I hadn’t taken in any fresh blood for a day or so, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to take the time to quench my thirst right at that moment as visions of Lily’s lovely face floated into my head. It was difficult to shake them away because I was excited to get to the bar where we usually met, hoping she would be waiting there for me.

   But Gage’s suggestion sparked a need I hadn't considered, and I gave in. As we flashed across the street directly in front of the two women Gage quickly compelled both of them to not be alarmed by our sudden appearances. Then he sank his fangs into the neck of the one closest to him. The other stood still, staring blankly at me. My own fangs dropped at the thought of drinking her blood. As I sank my canines into her vein, I had to remind myself that I needed the energy this would provide me in order to fully enjoy my time with Lily without the annoying pang of hunger distracting me.
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