Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Paranormal Love Wednesday


Welcome to Paranormal Love Wednesdays blog hop. This is my first time participating in this weekly blog hop featuring paranormal stories. Vampires, witches, and werewolves....oh My!  This hop is open to authors and writers who's work is unpublished or published. Works in progress are also welcome, some come and join in on the fun to check out some fun and exciting stories.  Authors sign up at Clare Dargin's Blog.

Today my excerpt is from Book 3 of my Raven's Falls Series, Witch and The Vampire. 


Blurb:

No matter how hard she tries, Dehlia Lee McQueen can’t seem to overcome her feelings for her boss, the vampire; Niall Cowan. The steamy encounter they shared in his office haunts her days later after the breakup and she tries to find a way to get him off her mind. 

The little Friday night visit to Club Ravenous is just what two neophyte witches need to take their mind off McQueen duties and let their hair down for an evening—but there is no rest for the wicked. A demon appears to them at the club and they discover a new threat looming in Raven’s Falls. 

Even though she was the one to break it off with him, Niall knows he can never let Dehlia go. Silently he stalks her in the night and follows her to Club Ravenous and decides to make his move on her. He wants to pick up where they left off, but he shelters a dark secret from the past—one that Dehlia may have a hard time forgiving. 


Available at Amazon   Are   Barnes and Noble  


I'm sharing Dehlia and Niall's story because they are close to my heart. I enjoyed writing all the Raven's Falls Series, but for some reason I felt a special connection to these two. Perhaps it's because their love is forbidden...Curious about a town full of witches, vampires, and shifters? 





Check out the full Raven's Falls Series on Amazon Barnes and Noble  All Romance ebooks


Chapter One

Dehlia Lee McQueen piled her shoulder length tightly coiled hair on top of her head and gave herself another glimpse in the mirror. Her long black lashes formed a luscious veil over her brown eyes. The dusky shade of eye shadow with a hint of silver flecks highlighted the gold shimmery shadow above it. The liquid eyeliner she used adorned her almond shaped eyes while the berry blush made her cheekbones stand out.

“Perfect.” She purred before removing the red silk robe and donning a black leather bustier with a matching black skirt that stopped just above the knee. She pulled the zipper up in the middle of the form fitting bustier and gave her bosoms a slight push upward. Now she was ready to blow off some steam at Club Ravenous far on the other side of town. After being fired by Niall over a week ago, she fully immersed herself in McQueen magic to keep busy--to keep herself from initiating contact with him. She needed some way to forget about her love interest and move along with her life.

Unfortunately, she noticed that magic was not her forte and felt something was missing. She even toyed around with casting a spell to completely remove Niall from her heart and mind, but Jasmine had warned her this could somehow backfire on her. McQueen magic couldn’t be her destiny and all she had to offer as a witch and a person. 

A knock jolted her from her thoughts and her cousin, Jasmine’s voice filtered in through the oak double doors. 

“Dehlia, girl, are you ready?”

Dehlia slipped several gold bangles on her left wrist and her delicate gold designer watch on the other. “Just a moment,” she chimed before securing the ruby pendent on a gold chain around her neck. With a sigh of satisfaction, she walked over to the door and opened it. 

Jasmine rushed in with a large smile on her face. “Oh, look at you.” She closed the doors behind her and leaned against the wall. “You’re going to knock em dead girlie!”

“Thank you for suggesting we get out for a while. You’re right, I do need a break.” Dehlia returned to her gold trimmed vanity mirror and picked up her favorite fuchsia lipstick and carefully applied it.

“You’re looking pretty awesome there, yourself cuz,” she observed with a smile. Jasmine sported a knee length black and red designer dress and a black bolero jacket and knee length patent leather boots. Usually the young woman pulled her hair up into a topknot bun, but tonight, her long wavy tresses rained past her shoulders. Her dark brown skin glinted with a hint of golden makeup.

“Well, we’ve both been hitting the books pretty hard. Tobias is a slave driver, never letting up.” Jasmine smiled, flashing her perfectly white teeth. 

“He means well, he just wants us to be prepared since he is an advanced witch.”

“I can’t wait until I’m at Rose’s level. Hey, enough talk about witchery. Are you trying to replace Niall with another?” 

“How’d you know?” 

“It’s written all over your face. Girl, you’re on the rebound.”

“The possibilities are endless, but I wish I could easily erase Niall from my mind,” Dehlia stated boldly. “He really hurt me last week, Jasmine and I just need to forget about him, even if it’s only temporary.”

“Are you secretly trying to make Niall jealous?” Jasmine’s heels clicked against the shiny wooden floors of Dehlia’s chambers as she walked over to her. “I know you’re upset over him but have you tried to contact him?” 

Dehlia sighed and in agitation, tapped her French-manicured nails against her vanity. “Between me and you, I’m furious at the fucker.” She turned, put a hand on her hip and paced the floor.

“How dare he fire me for something I had no control over. And further more, why should I contact him? He’s the one who booted me out of his life.” A pain resonated across her chest at the episode in Niall’s office. That night, she’d returned home and stormed into her chambers, but Jasmine was just going to bed and without thinking, she poured her heart out. “Thanks for lending an ear, I really needed to talk to you, and I’m not sure if Rose would have understood me.”

“It’s okay,” Jasmine assured her. “But should you really give up on him without a fight? I know he’s a vampire, but you’re in love with him babe.” 

“I don’t want to think about this because it hurts to much Jasmine.”

“Fine. But, surely your paths will cross again. If so, what will you do? You can’t avoid the man forever. I’m telling you, I’m sensing we’ll run into him tonight. Are you looking to bed him down if you too somehow are able to patch things up? You know what will happen if you allow him to feed on you.”

“Yes, I’m aware of Clara’s curse and it got me thinking last week.”

Jasmine sucked in a breath. “About what? How to lift it? Girl, you’re crazy if that’s what you were thinking.”

“Look, it hurts like hell and I want some semblance of a normal life without a stupid curse hanging over my head. I’ve liked Niall for years now and I’ve always put those feelings off because of McQueen destiny. It’s up to me to think for myself.” She held her head down for a few seconds and quickly looked at her cousin. “Even if it means giving up my powers. Oh Jasmine, if I still have a chance with him, then yes, I’ll give up my powers. But I’m not going to pursue him.”

“You’re letting pride stand in the way. Why go to the club, just go and see him.”

Dehlia shook her head stubbornly. “Yup, I guess I am stubborn. Let him pursue me.”

“Uh-uh, the easy way out. So if he doesn’t come to you first, then you have nothing to worry about, right?” The young witch frowned.

“C’mon Jasmine, lay off.” 

“I know you better than you know yourself.” Jasmine teased. “Maybe you’re banking on him showing up at the club—to make him jelly. Um-hmmm.”

Dehlia nudged her cousin with a smile. “Stop.”

“Yeah, see that? I knew it!” So, say we do run into him and let’s say you succeed in your little campaign of getting him jealous. You bed him—then what, genius? You know what will happen.” 

“I’ll cross that bridge if and when I get to it,” Dehlia admitted with a sigh.

Jasmine shook her head stubbornly. “You’re hoping it will.”

“I haven’t been truly happy in years. Niall’s a vampire, I’m a McQueen; you can’t help who you fall in love with. When I’m with him---He makes me feel so much, like a longing that’s being satisfied. I don’t know if you can understand what I’m trying to say.” 

“Yes, I think I do. He’s possibly your anchor, your soul mate, like Rose and Storm are soul mates. Clara and Micah too. Even so, you know the consequences. Are you prepared to take them on if this comes to pass?” Jasmine asked. 

“At this point in my life--yes.” 

“Does he know about your secret?” 

Jasmine’s words were like ice water washing over her. Dehlia sucked her teeth, a little nervous habit she’d picked up since the Blood Moon. “Let’s not go there.”

“Listen, if you two have another chance, he should know before the two of you have sex. I mean, I’ve had my doubts about you and him, but you’re my cousin so I want to help you any way I can.”

She smiled. “That means a lot to me, it really does. If only Rose felt the same.”

“Everyone has their opinions on the matter,” Jasmine explained, “It’s no big deal, so let’s go. It’s eight o’clock and everyone else is either out and about or asleep.”

“Rose and Storm?” 

“I haven’t seen them since yesterday.” Jasmine told her. “They’re probably off on one of their romantic getaways. And they really deserve one. I think she’s finally learned the meaning of balance, and Storm sure as hell has been looking very happy these days.”

“Good, I don’t need Rose sticking her nose in my business.” Dehlia walked over and opened her walk-in closet. She bit her lip as she plucked her best pair of thigh high leather boots with the gold tips from the shelf and flopped on her black velvet Chaise Lounge to put them on.

“She’s only looking out for your best interest,” Jasmine reminded her gently. “She and Storm put up a hell of a fight.”

“We all put up a hell of a fight. Tonight I’m partying until the sun comes up.” Dehlia zipped the last boot and slipped into her black leather jacket. 

“Who’s driving?” 

“I will.” Dehlia snickered. 

“Awesome! I’m planning on having a few drinks too.” Jasmine chortled. “And if we both get smashed, we’ll just call a taxi.”

“Sounds like a plan to me.” 

“Cool, let’s blow this joint.” Jasmine entwined her arm around her cousins’ and they headed down to the garage.

Chapter Two

Dehlia and Jasmine maneuvered their way through the crowd of Club Ravenous, the most prestige club in Raven’s Falls. Immediately Dehlia was filled with a euphoric feeling as she stalked through the sea of writhing bodies. Her heart pumped in time with the heavy beat of the music. Men made eye contact with her, some winking, and others, stopping dead in their tracks in awe of she and Jasmine’s presence.

“You’d think they’d never seen a witch before,” Jasmine snickered.

Sensing what the men were thinking, gave Dehlia a boost of confidence, but deep down she’d never give them the chance. There was only one man she wanted tonight, and she couldn’t find him anywhere. Regret hung heavy in her chest because she’d expected to find Niall here since he’d fired her. At least she hoped he’d be here.

The two women made their way over to the blue glass neon bar. Mirrors decorated the place, giving it a three dimensional appeal. Expensive spirits sat on glass shelves in the middle, and the blue glass extended in a triangle. 

Couples sat around the bar, drinking and dry humping one another, and there were a few lonely souls scattered about, drowning their sorrows or staring whimsically at the several large flat screen televisions perched in the ceilings. The people around the bar stopped and nodded at the McQueen witches before tending to their business. Several bartenders worked the bar, two males and a female. 

“It’s absolutely gorgeous in here,” Jasmine said breathlessly as they perched themselves in the black leather stools. “We really should get out more, don’t you think.”

“You don’t say.” Dehlia looked around at the d├ęcor. “It’s a shame we’ve been so focused on our craft over the years.”

One of the bartenders with long raven hair and a five o’clock shadow approached them. “What are you ladies drinking tonight?” 

Jasmine flashed her pearly whites. “I’ll have a Buttery Nipple.” 

“Good choice,” the bartender said in a dark husky growl before extending his hand to Dehlia. “My name is Decker.”

“Hello. I’m Jasmine. Do you greet all the patrons in this manor?”

“No, you just so happened to capture my attention,” Decker grinned. “It’s an honor to have McQueen witches here at Club Ravenous. 

“And this is my cousin, Dehlia.” 

“Nice to meet you,” Decker glanced quickly at Dehlia and smiled before returning his gaze to Jasmine. 

Dehlia watched in amusement as the bartender’s gaze settled on her cousin’s breasts. “And I’ll take a Cosmopolitan, if you don’t mind.”

“Of course.” Decker nodded. “I’ll have your drinks to you in a moment,” he said softly and cast Jasmine another appreciative look before walking off. 

“Ah, looks like someone has a fan.” Dehlia teased.

“He is cute.” 

“He’s a roughneck.”

“And a griffin.” 

“Yes, I saw the gold amulet around his neck. There aren’t many griffins in Raven’s Falls though. I’ll need to read up on their history one day.”

“A man who works with his hands and mates for life peeks my interest.” Jasmine said in husky tone. 

“How’d you know his hands were calloused?”

“Dehlia, that’s the first thing I look for in a man. I’ve always been attracted to the blue collared gentleman.” 

“At least he’s not a vampire.” Dehlia’s shoulders slumped as she thought about Niall.

“Aw, honey. Cheer up. We’re not here to drown our sorrows, we’re here to celebrate.”

Decker returned, setting their drinks down in front of them. “For cousin Dehlia, he said with a smile, and for the lovely Jasmine.” 

Dehlia could feel the attraction between her cousin and the griffin and smiled. “Thanks Decker.”

“You’re welcome. Is there anything else I can get you? 

“No, we’re good. I’m not all that hungry.” Dehlia admitted.

“Are you sure? We can put on a couple of steaks, or maybe some seafood?” Decker pushed a few menus in their direction. 

“We’ll think about it,” Jasmine told him. “Thank you, Decker.

“I’ll be back to check on you ladies in a few, “Decker said with a smile before leaving to wait on other patrons.

“Oh damn. He really likes you, Jasmine.” 

“I know. I wonder what his story is?” 

“Why don’t you find out?” Dehlia took a few sips of her drink and surveyed the club. 

“Don’t want to be too forward. I think I’ll let him pursue me,” Jasmine wiggled her eyebrows and sipped her drink. She swiveled the stool around to gaze at the crowded dance floor. “See anything you like?”

“Well, there are many eligible bachelors here in Raven’s Falls.” Dehlia checked out the dance floor and recognized many of the townspeople, many of whom were lion, dragon, and jaguar shifters. 

In the midst of it all, Dehlia set her sights on a tall, buff blond haired man who was similar in appearance to Niall. Like her love interest, this man was dressed in black suit and tie with the exception of his hair, which hung a bit longer than Niall’s. He caught her looking and raised his glass to her. “There’s a prospect.” She continued studying the man as he stalked through the crowd, all the while, keeping his gaze on her. But there was another presence that caught her attention.

Jasmine nudged her. “He’s coming over—oh shit. Guess who else is here?” 

“I know, Niall’s here.” Dehlia stole a glimpse at the vampire. He’d even dyed his hair to a dark brown. Before she could speak, the blond stranger was standing in front of her. 

“What are you drinking, sweetheart?” 

The voice was an octave lower than Niall’s. He eyed her with piercing hazel eyes that promised only a night of gratuitous sex—nothing more. He was a handsome man, but at such a close distance, she had to admit to herself he was nothing like Niall. 

At least with the vampire, there was familiarity, warmth, and kindness between them. This man seemed so cold---and predatory, yet his sexual appeal radiated heavily from him. She sensed something else about him too, but couldn’t put her finger on it. She was about to send him along his merry way when she looked to her right and caught Niall scowling at her. The vampire leaned against a glass pillar, almost daring her to talk to the stranger. 

“Cosmopolitan.” She snatched her gaze away from Niall looked up at the man and licked her lips. If she was going to play this game, she had to play it cool. Niall needed to be taught a lesson and after the treatment she received in his office, he deserved what he got.

Decker strolled up and the stranger ordered. “A Cosmopolitan and another whiskey.” Decker nodded and fetched the drinks. “I’m Kohl,” he said as he pulled the stool next to her a little closer and sat down. “So----what brings you here tonight?” His gaze cut her to the quick, but she wouldn’t let it show. She looked up just in time to see her cousin’s warning glare. Something was off and Jasmine simply shook her head. 

“Just having some fun with my cousin,” Dehlia admitted. 

“I see.” Kohl narrowed his eyes and leaned over to whisper in her ear. “Come dance with me. After that, we can go back to my place and fuck until the sun rises---witch.”

An icy, erotic chill surrounded her and she suddenly realized this to be a huge mistake, but with Niall watching in the distance, she couldn’t help but to put on a show. “But we’re getting ready to leave soon, so---“

Kohl’s eyes spoke his disapproval. “You were so ready to throw yourself at me,” he said with a sly smile. “Can’t a witch and a demon have a little fun together?”

“Leave this club or we’ll banish you now.” Dehlia promised, her heart pounded painfully against her chest. She’d been so busy trying to make Niall jealous she hadn’t realized she’d attracted a demon. Oh no. Another demon in Raven’s Falls?

“And put so many lives at risk?” Kohl said with a snort. “I’d love to see you give it a go.”

For the first time in her life, fear held Dehlia in its cruel gasp as she studied the bar. She glanced over at Niall who stood with his arms folded across his chest, giving her one hell of an eye gazing. He’d been staring at them the entire time. 

“Meet me in the parking lot in five,” Dehlia whispered and winked at him. “I’ll give you a night you won’t forget.”

“That’s what I’m talking about. Didn’t know you McQueen witches were so easy,” he said with a husky laugh before rising to his feet. 

When the demon left, Jasmine and Dehlia stared at each other. “This was a mistake, I’m so stupid,” Dehlia opened her purse and flung some cash on the bar for Decker. “Keep the change,” she muttered quickly as she and Jasmine left the bar. 

“You were too hasty,” Jasmine whispered, but it’s okay. No harm done.

“Rose would kill me if she found out.”

Ignoring the vampire, Dehlia walked past him until he grabbed her by the arm. 

“What the hell were you doing?” Niall asked, his lips set in a harsh line. His cerulean eyes blazed his anger. 

“Get the hell off me, Niall.” She snatched away from his grasp and continued following Jasmine through the crowd and out of the entrance. 

“Didn’t know he was a demon, did you?” Niall called from behind them. 

“He’s not the only demon in our midst,” Dehlia bit back sharply. 

“You wound me,” Niall said with a chuckle.

Kohl appeared in front of them, his arms folded and his eyes glowing. “Two McQueen witches,” he said with a matter of factedly smile. 

“We don’t have time for this,” Dehlia said.

“I’m here to strike a bargain with you,” Kohl said in an icy tone. 

“We don’t work with demons,” Jasmine folded her arms. “Don’t know how you got into Raven’s Falls, but we’re going to send your ass packing back to the void.

Kohl held up a hand. “No, wait! There’s something you should know—A powerful warlock is after you.”

“What?” Jasmine’s high pitch shriek broke the silence of the parking lot.

“He’s back from the dead and if you don’t act now—“

“What’s in it for us?” Niall sneered.

“You’ll live.”


Don't forget to check out Paranormal Wednesdays Blog 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Hot For Friday Hot Kiss! ~ Denying Bjorn!



Welcome to the Hot For Friday weekly blog hop. Today, readers will enjoy posts from authors with fun weekly tasks or awesome questions. Fellow authors, hop on in and join the fun over at the Book Boyfriends Cafe. 

Today's hop is all about our characters sharing a smoking hot kiss. Now, this kiss can be slow and sensual, or a hungry,  I can't wait to rip your clothes off simmering hot kiss!! LOL  Today I'm featuring Lydia and Bjorn from Denying Bjorn, Book 2 of my Pyreer Series. 


Lydia Riley has managed to sever ties with her old lover and relocate to Diamond City to start a new life. Months later strong feelings for her boss, Bjorn Jensen develop and they become close. However, she's not ready to trust him with her secret and continues to deny him the truth. Between past and current threats, she realizes the odds are stacking up against her and the skeletons in her closet could cost she and Bjorn the happiness they've been waiting all their lives for. 

Bjorn has fulfilled his destiny by over-seeing the wellbeing of his Dragon Lord. For centuries, he's led a lonely existence as a Protector, but now he's forced to take a long hard look at his life. The brown-eyed beauty from Moonbay City has captured his heart and soul, but there’s just a few things standing in their way of having a normal relationship. His immortality and a little curse from a shaman he encountered centuries ago. 

Eventually Bjorn discovers Lydia’s past and helps her overcome an old rival. During the process, he makes a major sacrifice that could condemn him to darkness beyond the Realm of Pyreer.



After dinner, Bjorn and Lydia took a stroll along the beach. She’d slipped off her shoes,
enjoying how the smooth, powdery sand felt beneath her feet and between her toes.
She shivered in anticipation as she listened to the waves crashing against the beach. This
was sure romantic, and for once, she felt as though she could let her guard down. Lydia’s
heart almost stopped when she felt Bjorn’s hand reach for hers.

Stifling a moan in her throat, and trying to ignore the hardening of her nipples, she
spoke. “It sure is a beautiful night, isn’t it?” she murmured as she gazed up into the sky.
Resting beneath a myriad of thin clouds, the half-moon beckoned to her. She always
appreciated the beauty of the sky.

Bjorn looked up as well while squeezing her hand. “Yes, so beautiful. Nights like these
help to clear the mind, especially when you have someone to share them with.” He looked
down at her before stopping in his tracks. Seemingly mesmerized, he pulled her gently
against his hard body, leaving her breathless.

Lydia found herself staring up at the tall man as he looked down at her. Helpless, she
was drawn into his sights and relaxed against his taut body. Warmth heated her loins, and
wetness soon followed as a warm breeze caressed them both. She inhaled the intoxicating
richness of his scent. The strong, spicy aroma mixed with pure, unadulterated male
infiltrated her senses as she closed her eyes.

“Kiss me,” she demanded. She needed this, needed him. His presence was like a breath
of fresh air. A few months back she hadn’t anticipated on finding someone so soon. She was
taking a chance and it didn’t scare her.

“Ah, babe,” she heard him say just before bending down and crushing his lips against
hers.

This was what she’d been wanting all along. She welcomed the gentleness, compassion,
which was quite the opposite of what Lars had shown her. Lydia opened her eyes, only to
meet his intense gaze.

His tongue slipped through her lips, seeking out and conquering hers. Together, their
bodies molded as one, they succumbed to this long-overdue passionate moment. She stood
on the tips of her toes, reveling in the moment. She needed more of him, she decided as she
ground herself against the large bulge forming in his slacks and wrapped her arms around his
body. His cock pressed against her tummy as their kisses crested.

Soon, Bjorn broke the connection, pressing his forehead against hers. “Doll, you really
need to stop.” His breathing was uncontrolled. “We both have work tomorrow, and it’s
getting late.”

She nudged him regretfully and gyrated against his throbbing cock. “You’re such a
damned tease, Bjorn.” She wanted to take things slow, but her burning body demanded to
be beneath his, writhing in passionate play until the sun rose.

She’d realized some things since they’d been together tonight. Lydia’s heart ached at the
thought of parting for the evening. Sure, she’d see him tomorrow, but tonight . . . they’d
sleep alone. Could she succumb to much-needed sleep after being with this man who
awakened something deep within her?

“I’m trying to be good, but you . . .” Bjorn breathed against her ear. “You’re making this
hard for me.”

Lydia snickered. “You know, I could easily use that against you.”

Bjorn laughed. “Yeah, well . . . no pun intended. I’m finding it difficult to control
myself.” He draped an arm around her shoulders, and they continued walking along the beach. 


Denying Bjorn is available at


Amazon    Barnes & Noble    All Romance Ebooks

Don't forget to check out all the other blogs participating in the hop!





Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I'm Still Writing!

Hey there. I know it's been a while since I've been posting on social media, etc. I've had several authors and  some readers write and ask if I'm still around. Um yessss. LOL I've been releasing books, although they are re-releases.

Which leads me to another question I've been asked. Why am I releasing previously published books? Well, I saw the potential to expand on a few of my previously published writings from various publishers. There are books I've re-read and taken reader reviews into consideration about fleshing out my characters, and expanding plots.

Most, if not all of my books are paranormal with some contemporary and futuristic pieces tossed in. I started off writing paranormal, with vampires being my main theme, but that market is saturated. I still enjoy writing some vampire books, but as you know, I enjoy writing in different genres.

So, I'm giving you an update. Currently I'm writing Michael Blue Eyes, Book 2 Demetri's Woman and my Vaakulsian Dragon Shifters, and working on a military book for Sugar and Spice Press. I've already submitted The Last Tour to Kelly Ann, and I'll be receiving a contract for that piece any day now.

So, there you have it folks. I've been writing since 2009 and I don't plan on giving it up anytime soon!

Ciao


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New Re-Release ~ Denying Bjorn

* * *  Note, This Is a previously published title that has been expanded from 20K to 38,366. Publisher and plot has changed and there are new characters added. ***



Lydia and Bjorn have a long story that will be told in later tales in this series. 

Lydia Riley has managed to sever ties with her old lover and relocate to Diamond City to start a new life. Months later strong feelings for her boss, Bjorn Jensen develop and they become close. However, she's not ready to trust him with her secret and continues to deny him the truth. Between past and current threats, she realizes the odds are stacking up against her and the skeletons in her closet could cost she and Bjorn the happiness they've been waiting all their lives for. 

Bjorn has fulfilled his destiny by over-seeing the wellbeing of his Dragon Lord. For centuries, he's led a lonely existence as a Protector, but now he's forced to take a long hard look at his life. The brown-eyed beauty from Moonbay City has captured his heart and soul, but there’s just a few things standing in their way of having a normal relationship. His immortality and a little curse from a shaman he encountered centuries ago. 

Eventually Bjorn discovers Lydia’s past and helps her overcome an old rival. During the process, he makes a major sacrifice that could condemn him to darkness beyond the Realm of Pyreer. 


Excerpt:

Chapter One


Moonbay City 

Lydia Riley winced as the large Dhampir, Lars pulled her close to him as they passed a vampire while strolling down the stone steps of the opera house. She abhorred his possessive ways, and these days, his jealousy had escalated. 

Warm breeze blew through her curly updo as they stood on the sidewalk, waiting for the limousine. Out of the corner of her eye she could see him staring at her. 

Lars cleared his throat. “Did you enjoy the opera?”

She nodded as the limousine pulled up and the chauffeur slipped out and quickly opened the door for them. “I did,” she said in a low, unenthusiastic voice. She scuttled to the opposite side, but the Dhampir failed to keep his distance. 

“You’ve been very moody lately.” Lars replied. 

She gazed out the window as the limousine pulled off onto Moonbay Avenue. “Guess I’m not feeling well.”

“Tell me the truth,” He spat. “I’m tired of your lies. Isn’t there something you’d like to address?”

She turned and gazed into his eyes. “I’m sick of your jealous, possessive ways, Lars.”

“What do you mean?”

“When we were walking down the steps and passed that vampire, you pulled me close, like I was going to try and fuck him or something. You do that a lot lately.”

“His fangs were descended,” Lars said in a low, uncaring tone. “I heard his thoughts and it pissed me the fuck off.”

“Why should it even matter? I was with you. I’m not going to be with someone else when we’re together.” She massaged her temples and closed her eyes. “I can’t do this anymore,” she admitted. “I’m not a possession.”

He growled. “Aren’t you?”

Lydia gasped and set back in the plush seat. Things had to change. She’d been contemplating leaving the Dhampir for quite some time now, and he had to have known how she felt. It was no secret he could read her mind, but she was sure he was waiting for her to admit it first. That’s the kind of person he was. 

“I’m not arguing with you Lars. I have a headache and you’re not helping it.” She heard him chuckle as she rubbed her temples. “I know you’ve tried controlling my mind, but I’m getting to the point where I’m strong enough to pull out of it.

He laughed. “I guess that means I’ll have to probe deeper inside your mine, my love.”

“You make me sick.” She grit her teeth looked out the window wishing she were anywhere else but with the Dhampir. 

When they pulled up to the mansion, she didn’t even wait for the chauffeur to open the door. As she walked up the brick steps, she heard the Dhampir’s heavy footsteps behind her and felt his heated gaze. Her flesh pebbled and her pulse raced. She was certain the bastard was contemplating a long night of sex. But then, there was dinner. Lars enjoyed late dinners after long days of running his business. And of course, he required her companionship. He called the shots, but for months she allowed him to dictate her. Now she was simply tired of the life. 

“Good evening Mr. Lars.” One of Lars’s servants greeted and ushered them to the dining hall. 

“Good evening Jack.”

The table was set with a bottle of red wine, blood red candles and an exquisite smorgasbord of her favorite foods. As they settled down at the table, her stomach twisted in knots. Food was not what she desired at the moment. She wanted to be alone. Lars gazed at her as the servants dished out the food on their plates. 

“Talk to me Lydia.” The large Dhampir sat back in his chair and narrowed his eyes. 

She shrugged. “What do you want me to say?”

“Did you not enjoy our time together tonight?”

“Lars, it’s just—“

“You’ve been different for several weeks now. Don’t take me for a fool and tell me what’s on your mind.”

Lydia glanced across the room at the black lacquer piano, then to the servants standing nearby. Lars had been a client she’d hoped would turn into a love interest, but that was almost a year ago. Now things just weren’t working out that way. She’d always had a hard time expressing herself.

“I’m just not happy, Lars.” Who the hell was she kidding? She’d never been truly happy a day in her life, she’d been merely existing, a walking corpse just like Lars. 

“Not happy?” Soulless eyes flashed in anger as the Dhampir leered at her from across the table. His squared jaw set tight, his sensuous lips curved into a frown. Nostrils flaring, he cleared his throat.

Lydia could see the vein throbbing between his eyebrows and he never took his eyes off her. She sipped her wine before speaking. She refused to allow him to scare her, which was exactly what the beast was trying to do. 

“The jealousy, possessiveness. Whenever another man looks at me, you pull me close and growl, demonstrating to the world that I belong to you. I don’t like that.” she looked him in the eye and stood her ground. 

“You do belong to me.” He reminded her firmly.

“Lars, I can’t go on like this.” She admitted. 

“I see.” Lars sighed in agitation. “Lydia, we’ve been seeing each other how long now?”

“Almost a year now.” She shifted slightly beneath his gaze before setting the wine glass down on the red velvet tablecloth. 

“You’re willing to walk away from me and all of this…finery?”

She quickly glanced around the mansion with all its authentic antique furnishings. Although she still lived in a luxurious condominium with her cousin, Dawn, she spent much of her time in the Dhampir’s home. The white marble floors with flecks of gold glinted in the candlelight and at the door next to two huge pillars stood two very competent servants who’d served them a meal fit for a king. 

“You’ve treated me very well, but it’s time for me--us to move on.” Lydia reached across the table and gently laid her hand over his large pale one. A part of her did care something for him, but that wasn’t enough to make her want to stay. At this point in her life she only wanted to be alone.

He’d given her everything her heart could desire except love. She knew she was nothing more than arm candy and a warm body to sate his carnal desires and bloodlust with, nothing more. Sooner or later he’d move on, she was certain.

“I’ve told you about the undercover police posing as Dawn’s clients, Lars. We all have too much to lose, and I wouldn’t want something happening to you just because of what I used to do.”

Quickly he removed his hand from beneath hers. “Lydia, when we met, you were nothing but a whore.”

Anger rose inside her and she stood abruptly. “I don’t have to listen to this shit!” Before she could step away from the table, Lars was next to her, grasping her arm. 

“You’ll listen to everything I have to say.” He bared his teeth and put his face close to hers. 

She yanked her arm away, but trembled when he slowly walked around her, lightly touching her body with the tips of his fingers. What would he do to her now? She was no match for his strength. His eyes gleamed, and she realized he was getting off on her fear. Lars always liked to be in control.

“I’m not afraid of you,” she lied. 

He grinned and reached out to touch a breast. Her nipple pebbled beneath his fingers and she gasped. “No, but you want me.”

“No, I don’t.” That was another lie. But she knew if they had sex, she’d feel empty on the inside. It always ended that way. 

“Oh, you’re such a liar. Your breathing has changed and I can smell your arousal. If I asked you to get down on your knees right now, you’d do it.”

“Don’t be too sure of yourself.” 

He was almost correct, but only if she gave in. His touch ignited something lust inside her, but it was nothing but lust. Sometimes she could barely stand him and hated his sexual control over her. These days she’d grown tired of his arrogance and didn’t understand how she could have lived with that treatment all this time. And as far as her getting to her knees, she had her dignity. This arrangement was truly was over with. 

“You were nothing but a whore, fucking every unremarkable man willing to pay you five hundred for the hour,” he whispered in her ear. “How much did I give you the first time we met?”

Lydia’s anger escalated. Lars often put himself above other men. Her heart pounded as she fought to swallow the knot in her throat and her gut churned at that distant memory. When she didn’t answer, he cruelly pulled her hair and jerked her head back. She grasped the large fist and dug her nails in, but he simply laughed. 

“Is that supposed to hurt?” His voice boomed around her. “Baby, you know I like pain. Please, dig harder.” She felt his cock stiffen against the small of her back.

“I hate you! Dammit Lars! I had money before we met, even had my own personal assistance business. I didn’t want for a damn thing!”

“Why did you jump at my proposal?”

“You know the answer to that,” she gasped. 

Lars chuckled. “You grew tired of the business, as I knew you would. Now answer me! How much did I pay the first time we met?” His grip tightened and she swore she’d be bald by the time he was finished. 

“Five thousand!” she cried out in agony. “Lars, you’re hurting me!” She dug her nails in deeper, trying to draw blood. 

He shook her. “How long?” 

“Five thousand for an hour! Dammit Lars, you’re fucking hurting me! Let me go.” She tried pulling away, but he held her fast. “You’re not the first client who paid me that much!”

“No, but I was the last and that’s right, I paid you very well. The first time I laid eyes on you when I looked at the website, I knew I had to have you. And I did. I bought you, Lydia. Don’t you ever forget it! I’ve given you luxuries you wouldn’t otherwise have,” He snapped. 

“Lars, before I met you I knew what it was like to dine at expensive restaurants and take trips. I’ve always been wise with my money. Don’t make it sound like you’re my savior, because you’re not. I was doing just fine before I met you.”

He loosened his grip on her hair and stood in front of her as a blank look crossed his face. “And you want to leave me after I’ve treated you so well? I don’t understand why you want to throw what we have away.”

She rubbed the crown of her head. Why couldn’t the asshole see, she truly didn’t need or want him. She had, in fact enjoy him treating her like a queen. She had, in fact grown tired of the business and hoped something more would ignite between them. But it never came to pass. Although she knew the type of man he was, something inside her made her cling to him, but recently she’d come to the conclusion this was all a mistake. 

“Lars, you paid me for exclusivity. You knew this was simply business, nothing more nothing less. And just for the record, I didn’t ask you to do any of those things. Seriously though, I have no problem returning everything you’ve ever given me.” 

Lars shook his head. “Now why would I want to do that? Everything I’ve given you is yours to keep.” He reached for her, but she pulled away. “Lydia, don’t be like that.”

“This has to end, Lars. I’ve been feeling like this for quite some time. Something in me has changed. Everything between us is simply materialistic. You’ve treated me like a queen, but you can’t give me what I truly need.”

“And what’s that?” 

“I want love, and trust. This isn’t a relationship, but an arrangement. Sometimes I find I’d rather be alone. Why can’t you understand that? Surely, you’ll replace me.”

“Ah, such exquisite beauty cannot be easily replaced.”

Lydia rolled her eyes at that little comment. “Lars couldn’t help but eyeball other women whenever they went out. Hell, she wouldn’t be surprised if he had some other honey set up on the other side of town. Whenever she looked at another man, he’d always made her pay for it—in bed.

“Don’t think like that woman. Of course I look, I’m a man and I haven’t been with anyone else since we’ve been together.”

“Dammit, Lars! I told you to stay out of my head.”

“Truthfully, I saw this all coming,” he admitted. “You thought you did a pretty good job keeping it from me, but when you’re sleeping, I could easily read your mind.”

She gasped. “Then why so pissed at me?”

“Because despite what you think, Lydia. Dhampirs are quite capable of love---only it’s a different love than what humans are used to. I do wish you’d reconsider.”

“I’ve made up my mind,” she said quickly. “I can’t do this anymore.”

“Your cousin Dawn continued with the escorting even though she knew the area was hot. She knew you both were possibly being watched. I told you, sweetheart, in this line of work, it’s only a matter of time before it catches up with you.”

Lydia frowned. “Yeah, I know. Look, it’s getting late and I’d like to go home now.”

“Stay the night, maybe you’ll change your mind in the morning.”

He was convincing, but it was now or never. She had to make this change. “No, I want to be alone tonight.”

“Very well. I’ll let this go—for now. Perhaps you’ll change your mind.” He reached for her but she pulled away.

“Don’t!” Lydia picked up her black satin clutch. “I’ll send for my things.”

“Lydia, I’m a very determined man. Do you honestly think I’ll not pursue you anymore? I was determined to have you and I got you. You didn’t even have the common courtesy to tell me from the beginning. I had to go and probe your mind to find out things about you. Do you really think I’ll let you walk away so easily?”

She shrugged as she walked to the entrance of the elaborate dining hall. “What are you going to do, lock me away somewhere?”

“Don’t tempt me, little one. I’m sure finding pussy as good as yours will be quite the challenge.”

She shook her head at his arrogance and continued walking. “You’re impossible Lars!”

Before she could exit, he stepped in front of her, forcing her to look at him. “Just a question for you, babe. Why did you wait so long to call it off? I know you’ve become a master at guarding your thoughts, but you left yourself wide open while asleep.”

“I honestly didn’t know how to tell you and I’m sorry for that. Please be understanding. That’s all I want, do you think you can at least try to respect my wishes?”

“Very well. I’ll give you some time, but I’m not giving up on you completely.”

Her heart lurched. That’s what she as afraid of. She looked away, but he quickly slipped a finger beneath her chin, forcing her gaze to his. “Lars.”

The Dhampir bent down and captured her lips with a kiss that promised hours upon hours of exhilarating pleasure. Her body betrayed her and she knew it was his way of hopefully luring her back. Coming to her senses, she gently pushed him away. 

“Stop with the mind controlling. I’ve made my decision.”

He smiled. “You can’t blame a man for trying.”

“Goodbye Lars.” 

She felt like a heavy weight had been lifted from her shoulders and somehow she was free. But she knew it was temporary. Sooner or later Lars would pop back up in her life. The decision to relocate was definitely the right thing to do and she was looking forward to it.

“Goodbye---Lydia.”

* * *

Lars watched as Lydia strolled from view, the long red dress accentuating every curve. His cock jerked against his pants. He should have taken her at least one more time. How dare she cast him aside as though he were some busted old toy?

“Will there be anything else tonight, sir?” The servants eyed him curiously. 

“Just clean up and we’re good,” he told them. Suddenly, the doorbell rang. Perhaps Lydia had changed her mind. A loud buzz sounded off and he walked to the speaker and pressed the button. “Who is it?”

“Ms. Joan here to see you,” Jeeves, his butler informed over the intercom. 

“Send her in.” He’d hope Joan would have held off on meeting, but apparently the viper had been casing his home, waiting for Lydia to leave.

“Well, got any good news?” Joan strolled in wearing a black suite with white pinstripes. For a woman in her sixties, she looked damn good, he thought to himself. But she was off limits. He walked over to the bar and poured them both a Scotch. 

“I see my niece has finally left. Oh. Now Lars, you know I don’t do Scotch. Got any Hennessey?”

He rolled his eyes at the incessant woman. “Not at the moment. What about a Gin?”

“I guess,” Joan said in a huff. “Anyway, nice work. I know how you feel about Lydia. Thank you for helping me to chase them away. I never suspected they’d move out of the city. Hell, as it is, the brothel isn’t bringing in money like it used to.”

“Perhaps hiring women with a little more couth would help out,” Lars said sarcastically as he turned to gaze at her. “And you owe me big. I wasn’t counting on them relocating. She’s left me and it’s all your fault.”

“Yes, I do owe you. If you hadn’t put the heat on the girls like that by sending in some of your crooked cop friends, Dawn’s escorting business would still be going strong. And I’m sure you’ll have no problem with pursuing Lydia. The girl just needs a break.”

“Well, you have your daughter, Dawn to thank for continuing with the escorting. Lydia was quite content with not selling her ass, I made sure of that.” 

“Aww, but tonight you’ve finally found out where you stand with my niece, hunny. I’m so sorry for that loss.”

“Sure you are.” He snapped. 

“Perhaps I can spend the night—maybe help you forget all about the child. Hell, after all; she’s just a child.” Joan walked over and grabbed his cock. 

“Don’t do that.” He pushed her hand away. It wasn’t that he didn’t enjoy the manipulation of his manhood. It was just in poor taste to bed Lydia’s aunt. He did, after all have his standards. If the need would arise, he’d seek someone else out. Hopefully, he’d get the beautiful goddess out of his head by the end of the week, but he doubted that seriously.

Joan smiled, showing her perfect white teeth. “What’s the matter, having performance issues tonight?”

Lars snarled. “Don’t taunt me Joan or I just may turn my friends on you. I’ve already done enough damage where Lydia’s concerned. She’ll never forgive me if she finds out.”

“Oh stop being such a martyr. Lydia doesn’t want you anymore, accept it and move on. It’s not like you loved her.”

Lars sighed and turned his back on the annoying woman. “Joan, like me, you’ll never know what love is. Now—get the hell out.”

“No, not yet. There’s just one more thing.” Joan sauntered around, looking at the exquisite paintings on the wall. 

“Now what!” He turned to look at her. She was really starting to piss him off.

“Fleur de Lis, Dawn’s catering business must be destroyed.” She grinned as she stared the Dhampir in the eye.

“Have you lost your mind? Why destroy your daughter’s business?”
“Well, that’s between me and my daughter. Now, here’s what I’d like for you to do--”

“No, you crazy woman. I’ve done my part and have no reason to hurt Dawn’s business. What gives with you?”

“So, we’re not partners?” Joan grinned. 

“Joan, get the hell out or I’ll put you out myself.” His fangs descended when he became angrier. If Joan wasn’t Lydia’s aunt, he’d kill her right now.

“So now you’re turning on me? Oh, I do think you should watch your back, Dhampir.” She set the crystal glass on the counter and glared at him. 

Lars struggled not to rip her head off. “Joan, you’re pushing me. Leave now before I do something we’ll both regret.” 

“You’d never get away with murdering me,” she said with a laugh. 

“Oh, you’d be surprised with what I can get away with. Don’t think me a fool, woman. You’re human. I don’t have to kill you right away. I’d gladly make you suffer until I grow tired of torturing you. Now, get the fuck out!”

“Very well.” She turned on her heel and exited the hall. 

He continued staring at the spot where she had stood until he heard her leave his home. Manipulating Lydia the way he had almost made him ashamed. Of course, he did it all for her, or that’s what he told himself. Joan had come to him for help in eradicating Dawn’s escorting business. And it worked. At first, he thought it a blessing in disguise, but obviously Joan had other plans. 

He sighed when he thought of Lydia. He never wanted to hurt her. Unfortunately he’d been fully aware of her change of feelings for him. Perhaps he wanted to get back at her, make her look over her shoulder and become a trembling mass of nerves. Maybe someday she’d return, but he didn’t believe that for a second. 

But disappointment filled him. Lydia was a survivor and deep down he knew she’d never return. But she was his. He had found comfort in the doe-eyed beauty. In anger, he tightened his hand around the goblet until it shattered. “Fuck!” 

He needed to keep a close eye on her, just to make sure she wouldn’t forget him. When she tired of her new life, he’d be there waiting for her. 


Available at All Romance Ebooks,   Amazon