Wednesday Snippet – Wolf Shifter Romance

Hi all,

Hope you’re all having a fun week (and of course, a spooky Halloween-themed one!). I’m very excited as off to see Doctor Strange this afternoon – I do love me some Cumberbatch 😉 Hopefully it will be good, or I’ll only end up seeing it half a dozen times instead of the usual full dozen lol.

In the meantime though… I’m sharing an excerpt from my upcoming release. This is the next in my wolves series and should be coming out next month, so I really hope you’ll all like it!

bfsgraywolf1Katya stood there for a long moment. She should head back to the high street, she really should. She had no business staying here with a man she’d never even met and knew nothing about. But he’d apparently saved her niece’s life. That was what she told herself as she slowly crossed back to the bed. There was a chair by the wall and she carefully pulled it up to the bed, and taking a seat gently reached out to take the man’s hand in hers. What the hell was she doing? Yet there was an odd rightness to it and she didn’t pull her hand back.

She studied his face, calm and relaxed as though he was merely sleeping, yet she had the feeling that when awake calm was not a word that would describe him.

“Where have you gone?” She whispered softly. “And why don’t you want to come back?”

With an odd sense of clarity, she suddenly knew that was the case. He didn’t want to come back from wherever his mind has taken him.

“It can’t be so bad here,” she told him. “You obviously have people who care about you.” To her shock tears stung her eyes. “It’s more than I have.”

The wave of loneliness washed over her. She had grown comfortable in the last few days but this was just a stop gap. Natalia had her own life, and while she might be welcome for a visit then she really had no proper place in it. Soon she would

have to leave, get back to her own task, and she would alone again. The way she always was. Blood was rushing in her ears and her eyes burned with tears. Abruptly the walls seemed to be closing in on her and she frantically tried to get up, tugging her hand back from the heavy weight of the man’s hand on top of it.

cottageTo her shock and horror it wouldn’t release her. Panic ran through her as she tugged harder. A small part of her knew she was being irrational, it was probably an automatic reflex in him that he had gripped on to her, but she was pretty sure a full blown anxiety attack was coming on and she needed to get the hell out of here.

“Let go of me!” She half sobbed, half shouted.

Two things happened almost at once. A wiry man in a white coat appeared in the doorway. Glancing from her tear-streaked face to their clasped hands his face drew into a frown.

“What on earth is going on here?”

Just as she was trying to answer, the grip on her hand increased even more and her attention swung to the man on the bed, who was gazing at her with deep amber eyes.

“Iyana?”

 

Don’t forget, I’m running a Halloween giveaway. Just leave a comment and sign up for my newsletter to get a free copy of my zombie-theme paranormal romance, Love Reawakened – perfect Halloween reading 🙂

Free Paranormal Romance Ebook for Halloween

Take care x

Monday Catch Up

Hi all,

Monday rolls round again – hope you’ve got a fun week planned. I think a bit of spookiness and a lot of candy is probably mandatory 😉 I’m spending my day trying to avoid facebook and twitter so no one spoils The Walking Dead for me – unfortunately it’s on too late here for me to stay up and watch so have to wait until I get home tonight. Am very nervous about who dies – I may be crying into my Halloween candy later lol.

Who else is a fan? Have you seen it yet? If you’re still in a zombie mood then check out my giveaway from yesterday – I’ve giving away free ebook copies of my zombie-themed paranormal romance (I promise it’s not as scary as TWD!) Link is here: http://shellirosewarne.com/free-paranormal-romance-ebook-halloween/

promo-3

Anyway, lots to do – really need to get some writing in inbetween being traumatised by a tv show 🙂 Hope you have an equally fun day planned!

Take care x

Free Paranormal Romance Ebook for Halloween

Hi all,

Hope you’re all having a fab weekend 🙂 We’re just a week away from Halloween – one of my favourite times of year. As you may have guessed from my writing I love all things paranormal, so what better than a holiday that celebrates all the fun of spookiness and magic? And let’s not forget some spooky Halloween reading (though I must admit I like a bit of romance mixed in).

Love Reawakened 3My novella, Love Reawakened features a sassy witch, a rather yummy necromancer, an escaped zombie, and of course, the obligatory dash of magic and romance 😉 I think it’s perfect for Halloween (okay, so I may be a wee bit biased!) so would love to share it with you. All you need to do at get a shiny FREE copy is to comment on this post telling me what you like best about Halloween and then signup for my newsletter (you should be able to do this at the bottom of your comment anyway but if not just hop over to the newsletter page of the site, it’s painless, I promise!).

In case you’re not convinced yet (and really, it’s free lol!), here’s a wee excerpt:

Shocked gasps came from behind her, but the vibrations were already running through the ground. Quickly, she smeared the blood around the edges of the circle. The energy was rising now, waves spreading out as the hairs on her arms stood up, and tiny tremors ran through the soles of her shoes. She drew a final symbol in the blood on the gravestone itself, the rough stone grazing her fingers and making the lines awkward.

“Patrick Connell, rise. Come from your grave at my command. Rise from your sleep at my bidding.”

nightThe earth in front of her practically bubbled now, and then it parted, and a tall figure emerged. Neil almost shrieked behind her, but her attention stayed focused on the corpse in front of her. He was newly dead and perfectly preserved. In fact, gazing at him, you would barely know the difference if you saw him walking down the street. She was quite proud. She didn’t do this spell much, but this was a damn good raising!

“Patrick Connell, you have been raised at my command. You will do as I say and nothing more, bound to me by blood and magic. Do you understand and obey?”

The corpse looked at her, surprising clarity in his deep blue eyes. She didn’t think she’d ever raised one this ‘new’ before, and it was actually a little disconcerting how alive he appeared. He’d obviously been a handsome man, tall with broad shoulders, thick dark hair, strong jaw, and quite startling eyes. Then he opened his mouth and said a single word.

“No.”

Hooked yet? 😉 Don’t forget, just leave a comment and then sign up for the newsletter and you get it completely free!

Have a great weekend. Take care x

Guest Author Sheri Velarde with Our Last Salvation

Hi all,

Apologies for being a bit missing in action this week – have had a few website issues, technology definitely hates me lol! Anyway, we seem to be running again at least, so please excuse any minor blips while the site gets tweaked a bit. Still, moving on, it’s October, time for dark nights and scary stories – and I have the fab Sheri Velarde dropping by to chat about her new zombie-themed romance, Our Last Salvation. Scary and steamy, what more can you ask for? 🙂

 

So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself (bio).

I live in New Mexico, US, with my husband and my two dogs Eowyn and Charlie. In addition to being an author I also make jewelry, paint, and craft. However I am happiest when I am either curled up with my dogs reading a book or snuggling with the hubby and watching a movie.

I have been writing professionally for a little over five years. People often ask why I write, the answer is simple, my mind won’t let me not write. I always have stories in my head and I have to get them out or go crazy. Writing is my therapy and I can’t imagine my life without it.

People can keep up with my writing and other shenanigans on my website: sherivelarde.weebly.com.

Ooh, another multi-talented person 🙂 Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

When I was little I loved to read. I think the idea of telling stories, especially paranormal stories, was after I fell in love with Bunnicula. I started making up my own stories then. I probably started actually writing stories when I was in fourth or fifth grade.

I seem to have missed out on Bunnicula, I’ve heard a few people mention it but don’t think it made it over the pond 🙁 Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

Well I am not a get straight out of bed and start writing writer. My husband works late and we sleep in, mornings are dedicated to errands and household stuff. I do my freelance work after my husband leaves and then sit down to work on my writing after a late lunch. I work then until a late dinner. After dinner I usually try to do some edits and then start writing again until my husband gets home from work. I just feel more creative at night. I also always have either music or a tv show that I know well. I live in an apartment complex and I need noise that I like to block out the noise I don’t want. Other than that, I try to write every day. That’s the most important ritual.

I’m a night owl as well, always annoying when EDJ makes me have to get up early *sighs* Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

I primarily write a lot of paranormal romance, though I have been moving into horror and mystery a tiny bit as well. Mostly I like things that go bump in the night, in more ways than one 😉

Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

I would say Anne Rice and Stephen King. I know I am dating myself, but I grew up on both of them. Anne Rice in particular combined the paranormal and romance in a way that I can only wish I could.

What five things could you never do without?

My husband, my dogs, books, art and pasta! Lol

Lol, yup to the pasta! Tell us a bit about your new release.

salvationKol’s living her dream. Her gorgeous neighbor, Nick, promised to make her life brighter yet, until something from her past threatens the entire world.

Kol is trying to outrun her troubled past and start anew. She is finally living the life she always wanted in NYC, where she has met the man of her dreams, Nick. Just when her future is looking bright, an infection takes hold of the country, sending her and Nick on a race for their lives. Now Kol must face the pain she wanted to leave behind forever, in order for anyone to have a future.

Ooh, definitely sounds interesting. Where did your inspiration for it come from?

Seriously? It was while I was visiting a friend in NYC. We were on the roof of his building when some military helicopters flew over in formation. He wondered aloud what that was all about. I of course said zombie apocalypse. Seems reasonable to me. Lol That was the beginning of an idea. On a said note, we later found out it was Prince Harry being flown somewhere.

Hehe, not quite as dramatic, but yeah that would probably have been my first thought as well. What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

I loved writing my heroine. She is fragile from past issues, but also one of the strongest characters I have ever written. Kol faces things that would make most people break, but she keeps going and going. She never loses all of her hope. I love that about her.

What was the hardest part about writing it?

For me love scenes are always the hardest to write. This one was no different. I always say that this book is going to have closed door love scenes, but that never happens. My characters are just too darn frisky.

Lol, I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about… 😉 Who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

It’s a tough one, but I am going to go with Nick. Most heroes in romance are uber alpha male (and I do like that and write that) but Nick is the softer, caring and supportive hero that makes our heroine a stronger and happier woman. That can be pretty sexy too.

Aww, and yup, very sexy! Why should we run out and buy it right now?

It’s a short and super sexy read that will be sure to heat up your weekend! Running from zombies has never been so hot!

Well, I know I’m convinced 😉 If you want to get your hands on a copy of Our Last Salvation the link is here:

Buy Link:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2cqXyxH

Have a great weekend. Take care x

Release Day – Love Reawakened

Hi all,

It’s release day, it’s release day (sing it with me). As you may have guessed I’m a little bit excited 🙂 Love Reawakened is a story close to my heart. I know some people have gone, ‘zombies, really?’ and since I’m probably the biggest horror wuss you’re ever likely to meet, then I do see their point. Like most of my stories though, I had very little choice in how it went down lol! The characters spoke to me, and that was that, I just couldn’t ignore them. You try getting any peace with a smart-ass witch and a rather drool-worthy necromancer knocking around in your head – and that’s before you start throwing in magic, zombies, some secondary characters who seem to insist on taking over every scene (yes, Carisa and Deacan will be got to eventually!) and my zombie cat called Mittens. (hey, he doesn’t shed anymore, maybe it’ll catch on) I’ve really loved getting to live in their world for a bit – and there’ll be more stories from there coming – and I just hope you do too.

Cemetery in a foggy full moon nightBlurb

For Emma Strachan, raising zombies is all in a day’s work. A girl has to pay the bills somehow! But when what should be a simple raising goes horribly wrong, Emma is forced to ask for help from the one man she swore never to see again.

Garret is used to being a loner, as a necromancer he works best that way and frankly, with the dangers he faces every day, it’s easier not to have to look out for anyone else. When Emma shows up on his doorstep desperate for help, he vows to ignore the raging attraction between them – after all a pretty, fun-loving witch has no place in his world.

Can Emma and Garret put aside old resentments in order to try and defeat a zombie unlike anything they have seen before? When the dust settles, can they count on any future between them?

Buy Links (will update with Nook and iBooks when they go live)

Also don’t forget I’m having a Release Day Party over on Facebook. There’ll be fun, games, giveaways and some awesome other authors taking part. I’d love you to come join in 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/events/1500862333570037/1512255099097427/

Promo 4

Love Reawakened Prequel (Free Read) – Part Four

Hi all,

Hope you’re having a fun weekend! The clocks have gone back here last night, so an extra hour – which I may need to recover after cocktail pitchers last night! Today, I’m sharing the next part of my free prequel to Love Reawakened. (Again,this isn’t fully edited yet so please excuse any mistakes) Hope you enjoy 🙂

6683.NECROMANCER01Emma shivered as she stood in the cold cemetery. Really, whoever said being a witch was going to be glamorous? Right now, she’d settle for warm and indoors. Her eyes settled on the tall figure in front of her. Maybe warm, indoors and with some company? His broad shoulders flexed as he made intricate movements in the air. She hadn’t quite realized the amount of power he possessed. It filled the air all around her, strumming through the ground and sending shivers through her. Normally magic warmed her, but death magic was weirdly cold, sending a chill seeping into her bones.

She forced herself to concentrate on what he was doing. This was a police investigation and two officers stood stiffly to attention on the other side of the grave. It was an important raising, hopefully it would bring a murderer to justice.

Her eyes went back to Garret, concentrating on his movements, on the words he chanted. Pure necromancy, such as he performed, had some subtle differences from the way witchcraft was used to raise, but many of the basic elements were the same and she could follow what he was doing at least. She could feel the pressure in the air as he drew the circle together, a moment before the ground before his feet boiled and bubbled, and a figure rose out of the churned earth.

Emma was barely aware of Garret droning the ritual words, of the police officer stepping forward and asking various questions. All she could do was stare at the corpse. The man was dead, yet standing in front of her. He was short, had probably been stocky in life but already the muscle was wasting away, giving him a scrawny, slightly saggy look that was a little un-nerving. His dark hair was still quite thick, but his face was drawn, his eyes sunken and the deep brown colour dull and glassy. He was there and yet not. She could see him walking a few steps around, answering the policeman’s questions, and yet he was robotic, stiff, like an animated puppet with someone pulling the strings. With Garret pulling the strings. She looked at the necromancer. He seemed perfectly calm, unbothered by being in the middle of a graveyard having a conversation with a corpse. But then, this was commonplace for him, wasn’t it. Maybe he did it everyday.

Bile rose up and she forced it back down. She couldn’t do this. There was no way she would be able to control someone who had once been a living, breathing person like that. What possible right did she have? She needed to get out of here. Turning on her heel, she half-ran, half-stumbled away from the grave, away from the talking corpse, and most of all, away from the man who had brought him back to life. At the end of the cemetery, she sank onto a bench, her legs shaking. Tears filled her eyes. She didn’t belong here, what kind of witch couldn’t even look at a zombie without having a panic attack. She was never going to be able to do this, and she might as well give up the whole thing. Get a normal job, wait tables or some such crap. God, she was an idiot to think she’d had any chance of being something special.

She didn’t know long how she sat there, but the sound of footsteps made her slowly raise her head out of her hands. Garret was stood in front of her, his deep brown gaze boring into her.

“There wasn’t a lot of assisting happening back there,” he commented. “Want to tell me what happened?”

Her vision blurred again. Great, now he was disappointed in her as well. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I just…”

What was she supposed to say? That she was a failure, an idiot, that she’d been stupid to think she could ever do this in the first place?

“I’m sorry,” was all she could manage to repeat.

His gaze softened slightly and he held his hand out to her. “Come on.”

She simply stared at it, blinking back her tears. “Where are we going?”

“You look like you need a drink. Or maybe six.”

She took his hand, letting him pull her to her feet. Couldn’t argue with that.

***

e357bcbdf3612bebf7cd279e7f997beaGarret leaned his hip against the side of the bar, his lips twitching as he watched her down another shot. For a little thing she sure could put them away. Her eyes met his and a smile spread across her face.

“You’re slacking. What’s up, can the big, bad necromancer not keep up with an itty bitty girl.”

She staggered slightly on the last words, and he quickly reached out, grasping her round the waist and supporting her against him. Her skin was warm and he could feel her soft curves leaning into him. Not a good idea. He grabbed his beer with his free hand, gulping it down. Maybe that would cool him down. Her head tilted up at him, her green eyes sparkling.

“You trying to cop a feel, sweetie? Don’t worry, I’m not exactly complaining.”

Garret sputtered on his beer. “No!” When she mock pouted at him, he found himself stuttering. “Not that you’re not… but we’re… look, I think maybe you’ve had enough.”

What the hell was wrong with him? He never got fucking tongue-tied around women, let alone little slips of girls where he was certainly not going to take advantage of a student/teacher relationship.

She was still grinning up at him. “I’m fine. I want to dance.”

Yeah, like that was a good idea when she was nearly falling over just propping up the bar! She was already heading towards the dance-floor though, half-dragging him behind her. Er, hell no!

He stopped dead, her body jerking back into him when she refused to let go of her death-grip on his wrist.

“I don’t dance.” He told her firmly.

For a moment she studied him, head tilted to one side. Then she shrugged and released his wrist. He was surprised at the pang of loss her touch caused.

“Your loss,” she laughed. “I’ll catch you later. Or if you actually want to stop being such a grouch and have some fun, come find me.”

Before he could answer she had turned, her hips blatantly swaying as she made her way to almost the dead-centre of the dance floor. Taking a few steps backwards, he leaned back against the bar, bringing the beer to his lips as he watched her. Arms raised, she twisted and twirled, her hips rolling to the music. The thin t-shirt rose up, baring the skin of her mid-drift and her hair swirled around her like a dark red cloud. It took all of about thirty seconds before she had drawn the eye of pretty much every guy in the room. He watched as the first one approached her. Her smile was light as she shook her head, but the first guy had barely stepped away before another one was there. He drained his bottle and slammed it back on the bar harder than needed. For fuck’s sake! He was definitely gonna regret this but he couldn’t leave her to the wolves.

Love Reawakend Prequel (Free Read) – Part Three

Hi all,

It’s creeping towards weekend, and creeping towards release day for me as well. Only a week left to go! I’m definitely getting excited, and I’m hoping to share that with the next installment of my free read prequel. If you missed the first parts you can find them here: Part One  Part Two 

Really hope you enjoy! 🙂

witch-fantasy_00408573Emma slowly came back to consciousness. Her head hurt, she definitely wasn’t in her own bed and she was now getting a weird sense of déjà vu. She cautiously opened her eyes – please don’t let there be gravestones everywhere, please! To her relief she at least seemed to be in a bedroom, though she’d been right, it wasn’t hers. The neutral walls, plain furniture and dark sheets were completely unfamiliar. Where the hell was she?

“Hello?” She managed to call out. Fuck, her throat hurt too. This was not turning into a good day.

“Good morning, sleeping beauty.” The low voice shot through her, and her eyes scanned the room, settling on a tall figure rising from a chair in the corner.

Okay, the day might be looking up. Her brow scrunched up as things started to come back to her.

“You were in the graveyard, you carried me… wait, I wasn’t dreaming?”

He shook his head. “Sorry, sweetheart. How are you feeling now?”

Emma ignored the question, her mind racing. Fuck, it hadn’t been a dream. Her face burned as she remembered fuzzily telling him how cute he was. Urgh, she was never going to live this down!

“I’m sorry, for erm… stuff I said. I was a little out of it.”

He grinned at her, and she couldn’t help notice how his eyes lit up, and little crinkles appeared at the corners. God, she was staring again!

“Hey, anything said under a concussion can’t be held against you.” He winked at her. “And besides, you at least had the good taste to prefer me to my brother. Otherwise you might have something to apologise for.”

Emma closed her eyes as heat seared her face. Shit, there were two people who’d seen her embarrass herself utterly.

“Emma.” His voice was soft, rolling over her name, and her eyes flew open, shooting to him. His gaze was warm. “You honestly have nothing to feel embarrassed about. I was flattered such a beautiful woman thought I was… ‘cute’ to use your words.”

She groaned again, but he made her feel a little better.

“Now, how are you feeling?”

She sat up slowly. “Not too bad. My head kinda hurts, and my ankle, but I’ll live.”

He stepped up next to the bed, his fingers were light as they probed the lump on her head, but it still made her winch.

“You have a nasty bump, and your ankle is sprained. It could have been a lot worse though.”

Emma nodded slowly. “I know. I guess it was lucky you and your brother showed up.”

For a moment anger flashed across his face. “It was damn lucky. God knows what that incompetent teacher of yours was thinking.”

“It was my own fault,” Emma sighed. “I wasn’t sure on one of the symbols and I should have checked.”

“She should have been watching you, that’s her job.” He paused. “Well, it was.”

Her brow creased in confusion. “What do you mean ‘was’. Oh God, you haven’t got her fired. I said it was my fault!”

Shit, she couldn’t be responsible for that. The other students would curse her to high heaven, not to mention poor May might not be one of her favourite teachers, but she had a family to support. Her hand was suddenly taken in a warm grasp.

“Calm down, honey, she’s not fired. She’s just not going to be teaching you necromancy anymore.”

The heat of his palm was traveling up her arm, and it was hard to concentrate on anything else. What did he mean? She was seriously not getting kicked out of the class – okay, so it might not be her strong point, but she would work harder. She was going to get this, damn it.

“Well, I want a new teacher for it then.” She told him firmly.

He grinned at her, his thumb rubbing across the back of her palm, sending tingles shooting through her. “That’s already been arranged.”

She blinked up at him. “Really? Who?”

His grin grew broader. “Me, of course.”

 

39340Garret bit back a smile as the book sailed through the air, narrowly missing his head.

“We might need to work on your aim as well,” he mildly commented.

“If I was aiming for you, then I would have damn well hit you. Not that it would have made a dent in your thick head anyway!”

Hands on her hips, she glared at him. Her face was flushed, her eyes spitting green fire. Damn, she was adorable when she was pissed. Probably not the best time to tell her that though – not with so many throwable things within reach.

“You need to calm down,” he told her. “You’re letting your emotions get the better of you. Some aspects of witchcraft you can get away with that, but necromancy requires a calm centre. There’s no place for emotion among the dead.”

“Well, I can see why you like them as much then.” She snapped at him.

He couldn’t help the laugh that escaped him then. She was coming along nicely, whether she realized it or not, but patience was not something the little witch seemed to have any reserves of.

“Yes, the dead are frequently preferable to the living. No talking back, no attitude problem, no throwing things.” He grinned at her. “They tend not to be quite as much fun though.”

Her brow scrunched at him, as though she was trying to decide whether he was making fun of her or not.

“I have a raising tonight. I was going to ask if you wanted to come and assist me, since you’ve been doing much better, but if you’re going to throw things…”

For a long moment she stared at him, and he could see the struggle behind her eyes. Then she sighed and the anger seemed to seep out of her. “I would really like to see it done properly.”

He grinned at her. “Great, it’s a date.”

“A what?” Her voice went up an octave.

He laughed at the shock on her face. “Don’t say I don’t know how to show a girl a good time. But in the meantime… back to work.”

“Slave-driver,” she muttered under her breath.

“What was that?”

“Nothing! I didn’t say a word.” The smile she shot him was positively angelic. Yup, he was probably in trouble here.

tumblr_n0qucd56B61sjoq1co1_500

Love Reawakened Prequel – Part Two

Hi all,

Well, with it being a bit of a non-stop week, I seem to have missed my usual Saturday blog hop, so thought I would share another part of my new free read, which is the prequel for Love Reawakened. Hmm, I really do need an actual name for it (suggestions welcome!). Anyway, hope you enjoy! 🙂

The-Witch1Coming up to the class was not a pretty sight. There were about half a dozen students, all reasonably young and female, milling around in shocked panic. A tall, dark-haired woman was trying to balance checking on a worryingly still slumped form on the ground while keeping herself between the rest of the students and a dirt-covered snarling animal.

“I’ve got the creature, check the one on the floor’s alive and get them out of here.” Deacan barked orders and Garret nodded, quickly moving to the still figure on the ground.

His brother was a genius when it came to strategy and assessing situations, and he was used to following his orders. They worked well together as a team. Deacan was already drawing power, his hands shaping symbols as the creature’s snarling died down.

Garret crouched down next to the young woman, and gently checked her for injuries. There was a nasty bump on her head and the stickiness of blood when he touched it. She’d possibly twisted her ankle as well, but she would live. He carefully turned her over. Pretty, with dark red hair pulled back from a pale face. He took off his jacket, gently placing it behind her head. She was probably better coming round on her own. His eyes roamed past her to the symbols on the ground. What the hell?

 

Emma groaned as pain speared through her. Her bed had suddenly become very uncomfortable, there was what felt like rocks in it, and her pillow was weird and scratchy and smelled of … guy. Slowly she opened her eyes. The sky was dark above her and when she managed to turn her head she could see gravestones.

“Great, I’m having a nightmare.” She muttered to herself.

There was shouting close by, and she closed her eyes again as it made her head throb more. Through the fuzziness she started to make out words.

“Could have been killed… why weren’t you watching her… what the hell kind of teacher are you?”

“Please,” she whispered. “Quiet, need quiet.”

Abruptly the noise stopped and she was suddenly aware of someone leaning over her. Opening her eyes again, she blinked up into the face of one seriously hot guy. Okay, her dream was looking up. He smiled down at her.

“How’re you feeling?” His voice was low, gravelly, and did funny things to her stomach.

“My head hurts,” she whimpered.

“I know, sweetheart, you took a bit of a bump. Let’s get you somewhere more comfortable and we can get it looked at.”

Sweetheart? Mmmm, for someone who very rarely dreamed her subconscious was really on form here. If it would just get rid of the throbbing pain in her head then this might really be getting good.

“Can you stand?” He was asking, and she tried to get to her feet, only to realize her ankle didn’t want to behave either. A cry of pain escaped her when she tried to put weight on it, and she ended up almost falling on top of him.

“Easy, honey,” he told her with another grin. “We have only just met.”

“I don’t think I can walk,” she groaned, and then let out a cry of shock when he swung her up into his arms.

“Come on then, never let it be said I don’t help damsels in distress.” His eyes twinkled down at her.

“Not a damsel,” Emma muttered. “Am a witch.”

He laughed. “I know that, no reason you can’t be both.” His gaze suddenly shifted past her and his tone turned brisk. “All sorted, D?”

“Yup, he’s back in the ground. And, I see you have things well in hand here.”

There was a hint of amusement in that voice and Emma managed to twist around slightly to see another man grinning down at them. Wow, he was hot as well, her dream imagination was on form tonight!

“Hey, I’m just helping out,” the man holding her groused, and he set off moving, the second man keeping pace with them.

Emma looked up at her rescuer. Her head was really feeling fuzzy but he was just gorgeous. Dark hair, close-cropped to his head, deep brown eyes that held a hint of mischief, couple of days stubble as though he hadn’t been bothered shaving. She slowly reached up a hand, tracing her fingers over the dark shadow on his jaw. He paused, looking down at her.

“You are really cute,” she told him.

A startled laugh escaped him, rumbling through the deep chest she was being held against.

The second man was laughing as well. “Better hurry up, Garret. The poor girl obviously has a concussion.”

“Shut up, D. She might just have good taste.”

Emma frowned at him. “Yup, have good taste. That’s why this is a good dream.”

“Sweetheart, you’re not dreaming. You banged your head, do you remember?”

Her frown deepened. “Dreaming.” She gestured to the other man. “He’s cute too, but not as cute as you.”

“See, D, excellent taste.” He shifted her slightly in his arms. “What’s your name?”

“Emma,” she murmured. “Am gonna sleep now. Is it weird to go to sleep when you’re already dreaming?”

“No, stay awake for me. Emma, can you hear me?” His voice was getting faint and she felt her head lolling back against his arm. “Shit, D, I think you’re right about the concussion. Can you get us out of here?”

It really was a shame. It had been such a promising dream and she hadn’t got to have any fun, but she just couldn’t make her eyes stay open.

witch 2

Love Reawakened Prequel – Free Read Part One

Hi all,

Cemetery in a foggy full moon nightWell, we were going to have a new release today but unfortunately, as often happens in both life and publishing, things haven’t gone quite to plan. Some issues were picked up in final checks and rather than rushing it out when things weren’t quite right, we’ve agreed to put back a few weeks to the 29th October. While, I’m obviously a little disappointed, it does mean I have a bit longer to get things planned out and I get a Halloween-week release – so have an excuse to go overboard on the spooky stuff 🙂

It did give me a bit of a dilemma on what to post here today though, as I had nothing planned apart from squeeing about my new release. So, I’ve decided since I promised you something shiny and new, then that’s what you shall get! This is the first part of a brand new, never-seen-before free read. It’s a prequel to Love Reawakened (so if you’ve read earlier versions you will hopefully recognise some of the characters), and will probably be eventually released as a free read on Amazon – but you saw it here first. Since I wasn’t planning on releasing this quite yet, you’ll have to excuse me if it’s not as well-edited as the final copy will be. Really hope you enjoy! 🙂

nightEmma cringed as the warm stickiness covered her fingers. Urgh, did blood have to be so… well, icky! A shiver ran through her as the cold of the graveyard seemed to seep into her bones. Concentrate! There were five other students stood behind her, the previous three had all managed to do this, and she wasn’t going to look like an idiot by wussing out. She took a deep breath, trying to focus on the fresh scent of the grass and dirt, not the metallic smell of blood. Her fingers shook as she slowly began to trace symbols with the blood. She could do this, had done it a million times in the classroom.

A hum of power slowly began to grow, the hairs on her body rising and a soft vibration buzzing through the soles of her shoes. Her movements became more confident, the symbols automatically appearing beneath her fingers as the power rose. A sound behind her snapped her out of her trance. What the… ? She glanced around, there was nothing amiss, one of the other students had probably stood on a twig, but it had broken her concentration. Her brow furrowed as she stared down at the symbols, the rhythm suddenly lost. Was it a full circle or a spiral to complete this one? Think!

She looked back again, searching for May, their instructor. The tall woman was stood right at the back, laughing at something Teresa was saying. They didn’t look over. The rest of the students were starting to stare at her, and Emma could see scorn on their faces. This should be a simple spell, but already she could feel the power starting to fade. No! She could do this. It was a spiral, she was sure it was a spiral. Dipping her fingers back into the red stickiness she finished the symbols, stepped back and brought her hands down to close the circle. Power hummed along it and she breathed a sigh of relief. See, nothing to worry about.

The ground began boiling in front of her and it was an effort of will to stand her ground as the dirt parted and a smallish form rose up. Animals only at this stage, thank God, they weren’t to be trusted with humans. The dog-like shape looked a bit ragged but it was moving. Emma took a deep breath and prepared to chant the ritual words. Before she could even open her mouth it turned to face her, lips drawn back over snarling teeth and an unholy fury burning in its glassy eyes. Oh shit, something was seriously wrong here.

The creature crouched back onto strong hind legs, before leaping straight at her as though the circle didn’t exist. Emma screamed, the sound being echoed behind her as the other students started gasping and crying out. The creature’s weight slammed into her chest and she was flung to the ground. Pain shot through her head, and then it all went black.

 

The two men strode easily through the graveyard, keeping pace with each other with the habit of long use. Both moved silently, long strides eating up the space between the carefully kept graves.

“I still don’t think it’s a good idea. You know you can’t keep something like that to yourself forever, sooner or later the council is going to find out.” Garret ran a hand over his close-cropped hair in frustration.

The other man simply smiled back at him. “I’m aware of that, little brother. However, neither will I be a test subject for them to prod and poke, subject always to their will.”

“Come on, D, I’m sure it wouldn’t be like that. They can’t force you to do anything.”

Deacan’s smile grew grim. “No, they can’t, but it’s better if they don’t realize that for a while.”

Garret snorted. “I would have thought anyone who knew you would realize that.”

“You would think.” Deacon’s tone was light. “Anyway, this discussion grows dull, what are your plans for the rest of the night?”

A laugh escaped the younger man. “I don’t know yet. Probably head out to find something to amuse me.”

“Or someone?” Deacan asked slyly.

Garret grinned, his brother knew him so well sometimes. “Hey, it passes the time. You should come along sometime, find someone yourself. God knows, you live like a goddamn monk most of the time.”

“You have no idea how I live, little brother, but I’m afraid I must decline this time. Things to do.”

As though in synch they paused at seeing the small group on the hillside. Garret’s sharp eyes picked out the details first.

“Witches who still need the training wheels on,” he snorted disdainfully.

“Come on now, you know you’ve played teacher before.” His brother gave a mock shudder. “Don’t know how you manage it myself.”

Garret shrugged. “It pays. Doesn’t mean I have to approve of witches getting in our business though. Should stick to their pretty light shows.”

A scream suddenly rang out from the group, followed by gasps and shouts. The brothers looked at each other.

“Apparently they should.” Deacan grunted, as they both ran towards the class.

graveyard

Tuesday Teaser – 13/10/15

Hi all,

Hope your week is off to a good start. It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for a wee Teaser. This is from Love Reawakened, which is hopefully realising this week (fingers crossed, I’m waiting to hear back whether the formatting is going to be done in time or whether we might need to push back a little. Shall keep you updated!) Anyway, hope you enjoy this in the meantime 🙂

39340

Humph! Garret snorted to himself. We would have managed just fine, thank you very much! It would have been preferable to being beholden to the irritating man. As his brother left the room, Garret sank back crabbily against the pillows.

“Why?” he muttered. “Really, you couldn’t think of anyone else?”

He opened his eyes to Emma standing over him, hands on hips and glaring.

“Oh, silly me! When you were lying on the ground unconscious and covered in blood with a life-threatening zombie bite, I should have scrolled through my address book to find someone you would approve of! Next time I’ll goddamn leave you there!”

Tears glistened in her eyes, and the guilt reared up again. Damn, he could be a real ass sometimes. He reached out for her hand, tugging lightly so she sat down on the edge of the bed, albeit with bad grace.

“I’m sorry, honey. I know you only did what you thought was right at the time. It’s just a bit of a shock seeing him again.”

Her gaze softened a little. “He does love you, you know. Why else would he drop everything to come and save your sorry ass?”

“So he could hold it over me for evermore?” he suggested glumly.

She sighed. “I’m sure that’s not the case, but either way, you’re alive. So surely it’s worth it?”

He supposed it had to be. He stroked his thumb over the back of her hand, the softness and warmth of her skin soothing him. She smiled down at him.

“Besides, if you’re talking about owing people, don’t I get anything for helping keep you alive back there?”

He grinned at her. “Nice try, honey. If I remember rightly, I got injured by your zombie, while saving your ass. So if anything, you should owe me.”

She leaned forward, a wicked glint in her eyes that sent blood pooling to certain areas.

“Is that so?” she whispered, her lips a breath away from his. “I kinda liked the idea of you owing me.”

He swallowed. “Oh yeah? And what would you want in payment?”

She closed the distance between them, crushing her lips to his, and he groaned as the world dropped away.

9dbeb7b6ffb7668450f2e291978d903a