Throwback Thursday – Entwined (Intergalactic Loyalties) #scifi #aliens #romancebooks #TBT

Entwined (Intergalactic Loyalties 1) by Jessica Coulter  Smith

Series: Intergalactic Loyalties
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genres: Science fiction/Futuristic
Themes: Alternate Universe/Alien Encounters
Cover Artist: Karen Fox

Bane has wanted Ariana since the first moment he met her, except she belongs to his brother Arko. When a tragedy happens, Bane steps forward to claim Ariana as his own, but Keshpan law states a slave can never be a bonded mate. That isn’t going to stop Bane from loving her every day for the rest of his life, though.

When Ariana is kidnapped by space pirates, Bane is determined to rescue her, no matter the cost. But things are getting bad back home on Keshpa, a political storm is brewing that just may rip Ariana from his arms the moment he returns with her. Bane will stop at nothing to have her by his side, even if it means turning his back on his people and his culture. He’ll walk away from it all to have the woman he loves by his side.

Get your copy from:

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Praise for Entwined (Intergalactic Loyalties 1)“On the whole, I liked the stories… There are space ship flights, fights, kidnappings, twists & turns, & rescues before lovers can be together forever. Buy the three together & you’ll have an afternoon of fun at the beach.”

— 4 Stars from Alberta, Manic Readers Reviews

 

“I loved Ari’s character. She was relatable and endearing. Bane was a very likable hero and was passionate. This was a sweet yet sensual short story that was enjoyable to read.”

— Nikki, Sensuous Reviews
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#NewRelease – Jennifer and the Alien Badass #scifi #aliens #romancebooks

Jennifer and the Alien Badass (Intergalactic Brides #15)
By Jessica Coulter Smith
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Karen Fox

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Jennifer Montgomery has never needed anyone in her life except her daughter. A single mom of a now eighteen year old, her entire life has revolved around Lila. But when Lila goes missing, Jennifer is devastated and determines to do whatever it takes to find her. She just never expected her search to lead her to the Terran Station and their bride program. Or to learn that her daughter isn’t who Jennifer thought she was.

Siril, Captain of the Herack, is revered on his world for his tireless pursuit of the space pirates infesting the galaxy. The best of the best, as they say. If killing people were an art, he’d be da Vinci. But all the blood is starting to wear on him. There are only so many heads you can lop off before it grows old. At fifty, he’s ready for a break, but when he agreed to a vacation on Earth, he never expected to meet his perfect match, someone he’d decided didn’t exist. Who would ever want a battered and broken old warrior like him? But Jennifer is fierce, sexy as hell, and he wants to make her his.

As the two come together, and sparks become a blazing inferno, Jennifer realizes that maybe it’s okay to live her life and do something completely selfish — like fall in love.

Available January 12th at:

Amazon / B&N / iTunes / Kobo

Purchase January 5th at Changeling Press

Excerpt

“Should we set a course for home?” Haptir asked.

“Yes. Once you’ve finished disposing of the pirates. I don’t want their remains anywhere near Zelthrane-3.” Siril left them to their work and went to his quarters. The door had barely closed before he started removing his boots and pants. He turned on the cleansing unit and stepped under the spray. Scrubbing his body and hair twice, he leaned his head against the wall and wondered what life would be like without constant bloodshed. Not that a good battle wasn’t fun — preferably on someone else’s ship so they had to deal with the cleanup.

Such things didn’t used to bother him, but the older he got, the less he liked the messy side of his work. Why couldn’t they die neatly? Was it really necessary for a decapitation to douse everything in blood? But what else was he to do? If he wasn’t beheading people, was he supposed to sit at home and die of boredom? He’d been asked to train their warriors full time, and it was an honorable position, but Siril wasn’t certain he was ready to hang up his blades just yet. There were many good fights left in him.

He shut off the unit and dried himself. He looked at his bed longingly, but there would be plenty of time to sleep once they reached home. They’d been after the pirates for days and he’d slept little. In his youth, he could have stayed awake for days on end without feeling the least bit tired. But now, as the oldest active warrior for their world, he was feeling every one of his fifty years. Donning clean clothes, he checked his boots before putting them back on, and went to the galley. He grabbed a Melranian star fruit and leaned against the counter. His crew could handle the cleanup and navigation necessary to get them back home. There was little for him to do.

Except think.

The council had often offered Siril time off over the last few years, encouraging him to take a trip to Earth and get off world without having to engage in battle. He’d always waved them off and gone right back to work, but maybe it was time to take a break. Even a week off might be nice. While Zelthrane-3 was more advanced than the humans’ Earth in many ways, the blue planet had a lot of marvels that interested him. Like music and movies. And while he’d heard there would be a place to dance opening soon in Terran Prime, it might be entertaining to see all of those things on Earth and explore the human world a bit. Providing he didn’t scare the puny humans.

When the bride program had first opened, they’d welcomed all humans to their world, including males who took temporary jobs on their planet to make the human females feel more at ease. But over time, only brides were allowed on Zelthrane-3, and the screening process had gotten stricter. The first few months of the program, there had been too many fights, as well as human females falling for the human males. Things were streamlined now, and from what he could tell the program was a huge success. He’d often thought of checking out the brides to find a mate of his own, but they all seemed so young. He wondered if the council only approved the young ones to guarantee children for the mated pairs. He didn’t know much about humans and wondered if the older females either couldn’t have children or if it would be too hard on their bodies. More than likely, he would spend his years alone.

“Captain,” Velic said over the system. “We’re about to enter warp drive and will be home shortly. It might get a little bumpy.”

Siril braced his feet and continued to eat his fruit as the ship vibrated around him. He wondered what sort of female would ever settle for someone like him. He’d been handsome once, but wars had ravaged his face and body. There were females out there who thrilled over being with a warrior such as he, but they were few and far between. And once the thrill was over, they left and he was alone once more. No one wanted to wake up next to him every day for the rest of their lives.

If he ever did claim a mate, he had a wonderful home for her. The council had provided him one of the best houses on his world. It was large, easily big enough for many children, and had a lush garden out back. He seldom saw it, spending most of his time on this ship trying to keep the galaxy safe. If he did take a mate, he supposed he’d have to spend more time at home. Was he ready to give up this way of life if it meant having a warm female to bed every night?

He wanted to say yes, but he wondered if he’d miss wreaking havoc and striking fear into the hearts of those around him. Just his name was enough to send most running in fear. He’d earned his reputation and was proud of it. Human females seemed fragile, though, and he doubted they would thrill over his many kills. He wanted a female every bit as fierce as he was, but he had yet to meet one. Someone who could take care of themselves if he had to leave on a mission. Worrying about a helpless, fragile mate would only get him killed. No, he needed a warrior. But in all his travels, he’d never met a female warrior. There were stories of some on far off worlds, but it was doubtful he’d ever meet one.

Who was he kidding? No one would ever want a mate like him. He was too damaged for someone to ever love him. But if he did have a mate, if a female ever took a chance on him, he’d shower her with love and affection and make sure she never wanted to leave.

When he was home, he watched the mated couples. Their females smiled at them with such affection, and grew round with their children. Not that he had the slightest idea of what to do with a child. He’d never held one for fear he might hurt them. They seemed so small and breakable. Part of him wanted children to experience the pleasure of having a family, but the thought of bringing a tiny baby into the world was frightening. And at his age, by the time he had grandchildren he might be too old to enjoy them. Gods! Grandchildren?

He shook his head at his folly. He wasn’t getting a mate and wasn’t having children, so it was a moot point. He’d do better to hone his battle strategies and mold the young warriors who needed a guiding hand. Leave populating the planet to the younger males. The greatest gift he could give his people was keeping them safe, either by his own hand or those he trained. With some luck, he’d die in battle and never have to live a lonely life once the council retired him.

The ship shuddered under his feet and groaned, telling him they’d touched down. Siril tossed the core of the star fruit and made his way through the ship to the docking port. His crew was already exiting as he made his way down to the ground below. There was no one to greet them, but there never was. All of his crew were single, and while some of them still had parents, they were very much on their own.

The suns shone brightly overhead, their warmth caressing his face. It was good to be home, another crisis averted. His people were safe and were none the wiser to the threat that had been hanging over their heads. If the pirates had managed to land, many lives would have been lost. He walked the streets, smiling at the children playing he passed along the way. This was why he spent so much time in space. So families could stay together, could live in peace, and those precious children would have a chance to grow up and maybe become warriors themselves one day.

The clinic loomed ahead and he hoped no one was waiting. He didn’t mind the wait, but the fewer people he had contact with the better, until he knew he hadn’t been contaminated. He stepped into the cool interior and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw the waiting room was empty. Easing down onto a chair, he extended his bad leg to give his knee a break. Sometimes the metal of his prosthetic made the joints in his knee ache. Getting old was a bitch.

He looked around the interior of the clinic, noting the changes since he’d last been in. Some blocks were stacked in a corner for the children who had to visit. A few books with human females on the cover graced a few tables. What were those called? Magazines? He picked one up, curious as to the contents. As part of his extensive training, he’d learned to speak and read all of the languages of Earth and all of the surrounding planets in his galaxy. The magazine in his hand was in Earth English and had articles on losing weight, the best summer diets, and “the top ten reasons he doesn’t love you”.

Siril smiled and shook his head, amused by the things human females found entertaining. He’d much rather read a book on the latest weaponry. He flipped through a few more of the books, wondering why all of the females in them were so skinny. The females in the bride program came in all shapes and sizes. Why didn’t their magazines have fuller-figured women in them as well?

He tossed the book aside and stood, moving across to the door that led to the offices and exam rooms. He cracked it open and peered down the long hall. Light shone under one of the office doors and Siril decided to make his presence known. His boots were loud against the polished floor and must have alerted the doctor someone was in the building.

The office door opened and Vyrex stepped out.

“Siril, it’s good to see you. Another successful mission?” Vyrex asked.

“The mission went well, but my ship was covered in the blood of pirates. Some got on me as well. I wanted to make sure I hadn’t contracted anything.”

Vyrex motioned for him to follow and led Siril to an exam room. He scanned Siril head to toe, ran some blood tests, and gave him a few injections. As the doctor studied the results of the tests, Siril waited to find out if it was bad news or if he’d managed to come out unscathed once more. He figured that eventually his luck would run out. Yes, he’d lost some body parts along the way in his missions, but otherwise he was still very healthy.

“Everything looks fine,” Vyrex said. “The injections I gave you will help boost your immune system and should fight off any viruses if any present over the next few days. I wouldn’t worry unless you start feeling ill, then come back and see me. We’ll run more tests then.”

“I think I may go off world for a bit.”

“Earth?” Vyrex asked.

Siril nodded. “The council has offered to send me many times for a vacation. I think it’s time I took them up on their offer.”

#NewRelease – Abbie and the Alien Official #Aliens #scifi @changelingpress

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Abbie and the Alien Official
Intergalactic Brides #14
Cover Artist: Karen Fox
Publisher: Changeling Press
Length: 120 pages

Abbie prides herself on being a strong, independent woman. Having been on her own since she was seventeen, she’s taken care of herself, doing whatever was necessary to keep a roof over her head and food on the table. But when she loses her job, her car, and her apartment, she begins to think maybe it’s time to admit defeat and ask for a little help. Even if it means becoming the bride of an alien and living on another world.

Councilman Larimar has only wanted one thing since he reached adulthood. A mate. But his duties have kept him from seeking a wife, no matter how many tempting humans enter the bride program. They’re all attractive, and certainly any of them would do. Then he meets Abbie. The moment he sees her, touches her soft skin, he knows he wants her more than his next breath.

Despite Larimar’s reservations when it comes to Abbie, he finds he can’t keep his hands to himself, and the only place he wants her is under his roof and in his bed. When she accidentally ends up pregnant, he knows he has to do whatever is necessary to make her his, and not just because she’s carrying his child. Even if it means studying human mating customs, or inviting her crazy mother to live with them.

One way or another, Abbie will be his.

 

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Available today at Changeling Press!

Pre-Order for Nov. 10th at: Amazon     B&N     iTunes     Kobo

Excerpt

A warm hand at her lower back made her jolt. She gave an apologetic glance at Sentir.

“I’m going to take the women to their apartments, but I think someone wishes to speak with you,” Sentir said.

“Who?” she asked, scanning the crowd.

A Terran who easily stood over six feet began making his way toward them. His long hair flowed down his back, and the black leather hugging his body showcased an impressive set of muscles. There was a flutter in her stomach and this time it wasn’t from nerves. He was handsome, by far the best-looking Terran she’d seen so far, and none of them were ugly.

The alien stopped in front of her. “Miss Abbie Carson?”

She nodded.

“I’m Councilman Larimar. I wanted to meet with you in person to apologize for what happened. Zlyer is looking into the matter. So far, it seems your letter was the only one that didn’t go out. Whoever is responsible will be punished.”

“Oh, I… I don’t think it’s necessary to punish anyone. I mean, I made it here, right?” she said.

He smiled at her kindly. “You’re not furious?”

“No. I’m just grateful I was able to come now.”

Sentir moved away. “I’ll have your belongings sent to your apartment. Councilman, will you escort her? I need to get the other ladies settled.”

“Of course,” Larimar said.

Abbie looked up at him, feeling dainty and delicate in his presence. “I’m staying in an apartment?”

“A small one, but yes. It’s our hope you won’t be there long. The sooner each bride finds a mate, the sooner we can bring more to our world. We try not to have more than six here at a time. In the early days, we brought more here, and even had some humans working here. But it didn’t work out as planned.”

He reached for her, placing his hand gently at her lower back and guiding her along. She fell into step beside him and tried not to gawk at everyone and everything along the way. There was a large pool area that looked promising, except she didn’t have a swimsuit. She’d always loved to swim but hadn’t had much opportunity for it.

When they approached a large building, easily fifteen stories high, she paused. “I’m staying there?”

“Yes. Is there a problem?”

“No, I just didn’t know what to expect. The building is quite large.”

“The top two floors are suites that are occupied by Terrans. Some of the apartments on the lower floors are also occupied by Terrans, but none will bother you. If anyone approaches you, it will be to ask you to join them for an outing or a meal. There’s no cheating on this world so if anyone asks you out, they’re single and looking for a mate.”

She bit her lip. “How exactly does everything work? The program wasn’t explained to me in detail, except for how to apply and the general idea of what happens afterward.”

“I can see we may have to make some more adjustments to the program. Not only was your letter lost, but no one explained anything to you. It was brave of you to come all this way without knowing what to expect.”

Abbie shrugged.

“The implant in your wrist will let you in and out of your apartment and the building. We encourage you to share meals with prospective mates, but should you dine alone, your implant will cover the cost of your meal. If there’s any shopping you’d like to do or need to do, please do not hesitate to use the implant to pay for them. Your mate would want you to be taken care of.”

“What happens if I don’t find one?” she asked softly. “What if no one wants me?”

He stopped and reached out to tip her chin up so that she looked him in the eye. “Someone is going to want you, Abbie. I have a feeling you won’t be single for long…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#NewRelease – Moonlight Surrender #PNR #Fairies #werewolves

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Amazon / Bookstrand
coming soon to iTunes, Kobo, and B&N

Imprisoned by the dark fae for crimes against her people, Tulip was left to rot in the palace dungeon. When she finally escapes, she wills her magick to take her to Ashton Grove, in hopes the wolf pack will help her. She never counted on coming face to face with the most intriguing male she’d ever met, or that he’d be growling and intent on making her pay for a crime she never committed.

Vaughn doesn’t trust the dark fae, especially ones who pop up out of nowhere, but it doesn’t take him long to realize that Tulip is different. His beast rumbles in pleasure when she’s near, and the wolf has never shown the slightest bit of interest in a female before. Claiming her for his mate was never part of the plan, but now that she’s his, he’ll do everything he can to protect her. Even if it means welcoming more fae into his home.

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Tulip tentatively pushed on the door of her cell. It opened with a loud creak that made her wince and she checked the dungeon entrance for approaching soldiers. There had been a shift in the air, and for a moment, it felt like the magick of the dungeon had dissipated. Since Onyx had died at the hands of a wolf pack, she’d been confined to this cage, left to rot. The palace dungeons were spelled to keep even the most powerful fae under lock and key, but for whatever reason, the spells had failed. Tulip crept from her cell and to the large arched doorway that led to freedom.

Her body was weak, and her legs barely held her. Her hands shook as she felt along the dark, damp walls in her search for freedom, the slick stones scraping against her palms. The hair hanging in her face was matted and dirty, and grime covered the rest of her body. It had been months since she’d been put in the dungeon, maybe longer. Time had passed slowly, even for a fae. Taking away her freedom, and locking her in the dark, was cruel for someone who would live for thousands of years. She had little doubt they’d have left her down here for a few hundred years or longer, before remembering she was a prisoner.

As she pressed her back against the wall, Tulip opened her senses and tried to feel for any vibrations in the air that would signal someone’s approach. The dungeons remained cold and silent. Creeping around the corner, she stepped into the corridor and looked around for any signs of nearby soldiers. The place was empty. A shiver raked her spine as she took in the changes to the dark palace. The tapestries hung on the wall like specters and dust covered every surface. Had it been abandoned? Had she been abandoned?

Tulip didn’t dare breathe a sigh of relief just yet, and made her way through the palace and out to freedom. Darkness clung to the palace walls, shadows reaching for her. The air was damp and suffocating; the must from unused rooms surrounded her. She eased through the door and into the courtyard, a place once filled with life and now covered in death and decay. There wasn’t a living soul around, so Tulip closed her eyes and willed herself to the mortal realm, her thoughts on the Ashton Grove pack and safety––and ended up straight in the middle of a bar fight.

The force of a male body slammed her to the sticky floor, the floor hard and unforgiving beneath her slight frame. She cried out as pain rattled her from head to toe. She’d been without magick for so long that she didn’t know if she’d be able to heal herself or not, already feeling bruises form along her hips and back. She shoved at the brute on top of her when he was suddenly lifted and tossed aside. Tulip looked up into the gaze of the most attractive male she’d ever seen. Dark blonde hair fell across his forehead and stormy blue eyes peered down at her. Tattoos peeked out of his shirt and she felt the urge to trace them with her fingers.

Then his eyes flashed yellow, and his fangs lengthened. Tulip let out a small squeak as she scurried away from him, putting a table between them, and nearly falling in her haste. Her legs trembled from the effort of holding herself upright. What she needed was a bath, food, and rest. Lots of rest. She’d been too scared to sleep in the dungeon, for fear things would creep into her cell and nibble at her fingers and toes.

“Fae,” he snarled.

“I’m not here to cause trouble.” She put her up hands. “I need your help.”

He growled and two more wolves joined him, their eyes flashing with anger. She could understand why they wouldn’t trust her kind, after what was done to the alpha’s mate, but it hadn’t been her fault. She’d heard of the plot against Autumn and had done everything in her power to stop Onyx, landing her in the dark fae palace dungeon.

“Why would we help you?” one of them snarled.

“Please, if I could just speak with your alpha.” Her lower lip trembled and she fought back tears. The emotional and mental stress from the last few months was starting to take its toll. The last thing she wanted to do was fall apart in front of the wolves. She needed to be strong. She was strong! But there was only so much a fae could take without feeling a little bit broken. Tulip straightened her shoulders. She hadn’t come this far to fail now.

“You think tears are going to spare you?” the hunky wolf asked.

“I–”

He snarled at her and leapt across the table, grasping her in a tight grip. Pain ricocheted through her body from his rough treatment and she couldn’t stop the whimper that escaped her lips. Tears pricked her eyes as she stared up at the handsome wolf. It hardly seemed fair that someone so attractive was so vicious. Or maybe it was only because she was fae. She’d hoped the wolves would be understanding, that they would hear her out. Now she wondered if she’d made a mistake. Perhaps she should have run to the light fae and begged for mercy. A swift death would have been preferable to whatever torture the dark fae had planned for her.

“I’ll call the alphas,” one of the other wolves said. “They’ll want to speak with her.”

The third wolf growled low. “I say we tear her apart. Her kind would have done worse to Autumn.”

Tulip’s heart raced as fear coursed through her veins. They wouldn’t really harm her, would they? She’d thought the wolves in Ashton Grove were civilized. Had she been wrong to come here? She’d willed her magick to bring her to the wolves and safety, and it had chosen this bar and the unfriendly wolves in front of her.

She stared up at the wolf holding her and willed him to see her for who she truly was, and not just an evil dark fae. Tulip had never done anything wrong a day in her very long life. It wasn’t her fault she’d been born amongst the dark fae. Her mother had protected her as much as she could, but Tulip had always felt like an outsider amongst her people.

“I’m not like the others,” she told the wolf softly. “You have no reason to trust me, but I honestly mean no harm to anyone in your pack. I have nowhere else to go and need your help.”

“Why would we help you?” he asked harshly.

She wiggled in his grasp. “Please. I’ll show you, but you have to release me.”

His grip loosened and she turned, lifting her hair. She heard his gasp a moment before a callused finger traced the ridges where her wings had once been. She hadn’t seen them, could only feel the pain, but she knew the puckered, angry skin had to look ghastly.

“This is what happens to a fae when she betrays her people,” Tulip said softly. “I did everything in my power to free the light fae, and tried to stop Onyx from coming after your alpha female. This was my reward, along with a trip to the dungeon, where I would have been left to rot until they got around to torturing and killing me.”

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So, what did it take for this book to come into being? TONS of caffeine, some really good music, and a lot of patience from my family. I may or may not have burned dinner a time or two while working on this book. I think “in a minute” became my go-to phrase for a few weeks.

I’m often asked if there were particular songs or movies I listened to or watched while working on certain books. For me, a playlist doesn’t so much have to do with the lyrics as it does the beat. Looking at the song titles for my playlist of this particular book won’t give you much insight into what was going through my mind, but I’m going to share it with you anyway. As you can see, I have rather eclectic taste LOL

  • Love Shack – B52’s
  • Hello, Goodbye – Beatles
  • Kokomo – Beach Boys
  • Roam – B52’s
  • Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
  • Burning House – Cam
  • Goodbye Earl – Dixie Chicks
  • Along Comes a Woman – Chicago
  • Ready to Run – Dixie Chicks
  • Hot Blooded – Foreigner
  • Love the Way You Lie – Eminem
  • Here It Is – Flo Rida
  • Stand – REM
  • Lips of an Angel – Hinder
  • Wild Thing – ToneLoc
  • Red Red Wine – UB40
  • When Will I Be Loved – Linda Ronstadt
  • Hold On – Kansas
  • Work From Home – Fifth Harmony
  • I Am Invincible – Cassadee Pope

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#NewRelease – Summer and the Alien Guard #scifi #aliens

AlienGuard Cover

Amazon / iTunes /  B&N / Kobo

Summer would sacrifice everything to save her family,

but the alien Vordro is too sexy to ignore.

When her family is evicted from their home, Summer knows things can’t get much worse. She blames herself. She should have done something sooner, but now it’s time for drastic measures. There’s only one thing left to do, even if it means tying her life to that of an alien. She drives straight to the Terran Station.

From the moment he first sees the young Human step out of her car, Vordro is mesmerized. He’s never seen anyone so vibrant, so beautiful… or so troubled. He wants to be the answer to her prayers, even if he knows he’s too old for her. The thought of her mating with anyone other than him leaves a sour taste in his mouth. But moving Summer into his home proves to be far more temptation than he’s able to withstand.

When things get off the charts hot between them and Summer ends up pregnant, Vordro knows he’ll do anything to protect her and their unborn child — even if it means defending her from her own family.

Excerpt

Summer watched as the last of her family’s possessions were carted out of their home and loaded onto a truck. If she’d known things were this bad, she might have been able to act sooner, but her parents had never said a word about the bank foreclosing on their property or that they would literally lose everything but their clothes. She didn’t know where they were going, or how they would survive. They’d even lost all but her beat-up Toyota, an ancient car even the bank didn’t want. At twenty, she should be worrying about college. Not whether or not she’d be eating tonight.

There was only one thing she knew to do, and her parents weren’t going to be happy about it. She’d mentioned the bride program once before, and her father had shot down her idea. She’d known that money was tight, but she hadn’t realized how tight until now. If she’d known, she wouldn’t have listened to her dad and would have joined the program anyway. She’d heard they paid well if you signed up.

“We’ll stay with Aunt Martha tonight,” her dad said. “And then we’ll figure something out tomorrow.”

“I need to run some errands after we go to Aunt Martha’s,” Summer said. “I probably won’t return until dinner or later.”

Her father nodded absently as he loaded their meager belongings into the trunk. The drive to her aunt’s house was quiet and gave Summer time to think. She dropped off her parents, then drove straight to the Terran Station. When she pulled into the parking lot, she smoothed her hair and wished she’d stopped to put on makeup and maybe change her clothes. She smoothed on a little gloss, then took a breath before stepping out of her car.

As she approached the station, a tall Terran opened the door for her. She smiled her thanks and stopped at the reception desk. The woman there was on the phone, so Summer waited patiently. There was warmth at her back, and she looked over her shoulder, and up. The same Terran who had opened the door for her was now standing extremely close. She wondered if maybe she looked like someone who was about to go postal on the place.

“I promise I’m not here to cause trouble,” she said.

“I’d be happy to escort you to your destination. Are you here to meet with someone?” he asked.

“I need to sign up for the bride program.”

He studied her. “Interesting choice of words.”

“Excuse me?” She didn’t think she’d said anything wrong. Maybe he hadn’t understood her?

“You said need. Not want.”

She licked her lips. “I meant want.”

“We only take serious inquiries for the bride program. If you aren’t entering it for the right reasons, you might as well turn around and go home.”

Tears misted her eyes. “I can’t.”

His gaze softened, and he placed a hand on her waist, guiding her away from the desk. He motioned for her to take a seat and he hunkered down in front of her, the leather of his pants creaking from the movement.

“Why don’t you start by telling me what’s wrong,” he said. “And then we’ll go from there.”

“I said I need to sign up for the bride program because it’s my only hope. My family was evicted from our home today, and all our possessions were taken as well to pay off creditors. All we have are some clothes and a few pairs of shoes. My father works hard, but it’s not enough. I don’t know how else to help them.” A tear slipped down her cheek as she looked down at her lap. “Please don’t send me away.”

He reached out and gently took her hand. “I’m not going to make you leave, but I don’t think the bride program is the right choice for you.”

“I don’t know what else to do. I can’t keep a job no matter how hard I try. No one will hire me. I even saw one manager tear up my application as I exited the store.”

“Are you hungry? Or maybe you’d like some coffee?” he asked.

“I don’t think I could eat if I tried. I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I like hot chocolate.”

The Terran rose to his full height and pulled her up. “Come on. We’ll see if the café has hot chocolate.”

She let him lead her through the station to a food court area. He settled her at a table before walking off. Summer looked around and noticed several of the Terrans were watching her with interest. Would it be like that on their world, if she were to sign up for the program?

When the Terran returned, he had two cups in his hands. He gave her one with a smile and then claimed the chair next to her. She was amazed he could fit his long legs under the table, but he managed somehow.

“I’m Summer,” she said as she took a sip of her drink.

“It’s nice to meet you, Summer. My name is Vordro. Now, why don’t we talk a little about your problem and see if we can come up with a solution other than the bride program.”

#NewRelease – Moonlight Rescuer #PNR #werewolves

MoonlightRescuerCover

Amazon / iTunes / Kobo / Bookstrand

Winnie loves her son and would do anything for him, even apply for demeaning jobs, if it means putting a roof over his head. Spending their days in her car, and their nights at a shelter, hasn’t been easy, but she does whatever she must to keep him safe, even if it means sleeping with one eye open. She’s never asked for a handout, and she’s never expected one. Hard work is all she’s ever known, but sometimes that isn’t enough. It’s been so long since she has believed in fairy tales that the last thing she expected was for Prince Charming to come along and save the day.

Braxton has no idea what it is about Winnie that draws him like a moth to a flame, but his wolf is intrigued by her, and that’s more reaction than he’s ever gotten from the beast where women are concerned. When he overhears her conversation with her son, he knows he can’t let them spend the night somewhere as unsafe as their car or a shelter. But getting Winnie to let him help is another matter. A woman like her isn’t going to trust easily.

Despite her hesitancy, Winnie allows the wolf to help for the sake of her son, even though she knows getting close would never be wise. But the more she gets to know the stubborn man, the more she realizes the kindness showing in his eyes isn’t a mask. Sawyer doesn’t want anything from her that she isn’t willing to give, which makes him all the more intriguing. Can Winnie put her past behind her and trust a man again? Sawyer makes her want to believe that fairy tales really do come true.

Excerpt

Sawyer Braxton sipped his beer as he looked out over the crowd at Lagoona’s. He’d been watching the woman at the bar, for the last fifteen minutes, as she filled out an application. There was something about her that drew his attention. Her clothes were worn in places, her hair unkempt, but her tiny stature and dainty features made his protective urges rise to the surface. Even from the span of the four tables that separated them, he could see a dirt smudge on her cheek, and he wondered where it had come from.

She handed the application over to the bartender and then turned to leave. She hadn’t taken three steps before the asshole behind the bar ripped her application in half and tossed it. Sawyer bit back a growl as he rose to his feet, intent on going after her. Something didn’t seem right, even if he couldn’t figure out what. She cleared the door before he could catch her and he raced into the parking lot. Scanning the bumper to bumper cars, he saw her slip into an older hatchback with more than its fair share of dings and scrapes. A small figure moved in the backseat.

Not wanting to scare her, he walked slowly toward her car, his keen sense of hearing picking up the conversation she had with what he assumed to be her child. He’d never been one to chase after a single mom before, assuming she was single, but for some reason, he wanted to get to know this woman better.

“I’m sorry, honey,” she told the child. “We missed curfew at the shelter. We’re going to have to sleep in the car again tonight.”

What the hell? Was she living out of her car, with a small child in tow? He didn’t know how she’d fallen so far, but Sawyer knew that he couldn’t leave them in this parking lot with their future so uncertain. If anything happened to them, he’d never forgive himself.

Sawyer approached the vehicle and hunkered down next to the door, in hopes he wouldn’t frighten them. The woman was turned toward the back, still talking to her child.

“Benjamin, I’m doing the best I can.” She sounded tearful. “We’ll get to the shelter on time tomorrow, okay?”

“I don’t like the shelter,” a small voice said. “Why can’t we have a house again?”

“Soon, baby. Mama just needs to get a job first.”

Sawyer tapped on the window, making the woman jump. It was cracked enough that he could talk to her, without her fearing for her safety.

“I didn’t mean to eavesdrop,” he said, “but it seems you’re in a bit of a bind.”

Her lips thinned, and her eyes flashed. “And let me guess, in return for certain favors you’ll get us a motel room for the night.”

He sat back on his heels. “Um, not exactly.”

“Then what do you want in exchange for a place to stay?” she asked, distrust etched on her lovely features.

“Nothing. I just want peace of mind from knowing that your son and you are safe for the night. I heard you say something about sleeping in your car, and despite how small Ashton Grove is, that still isn’t the safest thing you could do.”

“You really just want to help us?” she asked, seeming uncertain.

“That’s all I want. I’m in the blue truck over there,” he said pointing to his new ride. “Why don’t you follow me? I’ll get you a room at the motel for the night, and then I’ll pick you up for breakfast in the morning, and we can figure out something more permanent for you.”

“Permanent?” The distrust was back in her voice.

“I work construction for the local wolf pack. My boss and alpha might know of a place where you could stay while you get back on your feet.”

Her eyes widened. “You’re a-a-a wolf?”

He nodded. He scented the air and didn’t smell fear. Curiosity and a hint of…arousal? Interesting. Maybe she was just as intrigued with him as he was with her. The boy in the backseat gazed at him with a bit of wonder in his eyes.

“I’ll wait to make sure your car starts, and then I’ll get my truck,” he said.

#NewRelease – Ella and the Alien Gamer #scifi #Aliens

Ella Cover Small

Available Now from Changeling Press

Pre-Order for May 12th at:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo

This Prince Charming is going after what he wants, even if Cinderella is playing hard to get.

Ella has had a hard life as a single mom who barely makes ends meet. But she’s never once asked for help, and she never would. When Valero barrels into her life asking for things she’s not ready to give, she holds herself back. Mostly. The thought of taking the sexy alien to bed is more than a little tempting… except he’s playing hard to get.

Valero has wanted a mate ever since he was old enough to think of having a family of his own. He’s never thought of claiming a female with a child in tow, but Connor’s amazing gaming skills intrigue the video game designer. Asking the small family to move in with him seems reasonable enough since he plans to claim them as his, but Ella’s commitment issues prove to be a problem.

What’s a geeky gamer to do when the Cinderella of his dreams wants sex, but nothing else?

Dedication

For Jason. Thank you for pushing me to keep writing, even when the going gets tough. Without your love and support, none of these stories would be possible.

Excerpt

Valero growled as he jabbed at the buttons on the controller. Rory and her damned dragons! When she’d said she couldn’t beat this level, he’d thought it would be a piece of cake. How hard could a game be that centered around an adolescent purple dragon? Harder than fuck, that’s how hard.

“Bust the gem, turn the wheel,” he muttered as he went through the steps. Little green things attacked him. “Argh. Die, you little bastards!”

“My mama will wash your mouth out with soap,” said a small voice.

He glanced to his right and nearly dropped the controller when he saw a small human child. Where the hell had he come from?

“You’re doing that wrong,” the boy said.

No shit. That was why he’d been trying to put out the fires for the last half hour without success. What the hell did the small child know about it though? He held out the controller.

“Since you seem to know what you’re doing, want to show me how it’s done?” Valero asked.

The boy grinned from ear to ear, snatched the controller, and started playing with the finesse of an advanced gamer.

“How the hell did you know where the buckets were?” Valero asked.

“Soap,” the boy replied in response to his bad word. Apparently hell wasn’t allowed either. “And I have this game at home. I beat it on the second day. I probably would have done it sooner, but Mama wouldn’t let me stay up playing all night.”

The boy beat the level and handed the controller back.

“What other games can you play?” Valero asked. He’d never met such a young gamer before and he had to admit he was a little fascinated. He hadn’t even known such a small human could play video games.

“I have Minecraft, Sonic, Lego Harry Potter, Lego Star Wars, and a few others.”

“What about Halo or Gears of War?” Valero asked.

“Mama says they’re too violent for me. But I wish I could play them. The kid games are too easy. I don’t see why the adults are the only ones being challenged.”

Valero’s eyebrows went up. A challenging children’s game? Was there a market for such a thing? Unless this child was a gaming prodigy, then there were probably others out there feeling his same frustration. Definitely something worth looking into.

“What types of challenges would you like to see in a game?” Valero asked.

“Well, I like the time challenges where you have to complete so many tasks in a certain amount of time. I like the fighting levels in Lego Star Wars. But collecting stuff like the rings in Sonic or the gems in Spyro can be fun. I just wish you could do more with it.”

The kid was rather insightful for someone so young. And he was giving Valero an idea. His game company was still in the fledgling stages and he needed something new and edgy to put him on the map. Or so he’d thought. Maybe he was looking at the wrong demographic. He’d been thinking of a game adults would like where you blew up stuff, but if gamers were starting out as young as this kid, children who weren’t allowed to play the more violent games, then maybe he needed to tap into that audience. The only problem was that his game testers were Rory and Zwyk, and neither would be able to give him the information he needed.

“He’s not bothering you, is he?” a soft voice asked.

Valero stood and faced the woman, and damn near swallowed his tongue.

“I, um… No! He’s not bothering me. He actually helped me figure out the level on the game I was playing.”

She smiled a little. “He loves video games.”

“Can I play some more, Mama?” the little boy asked.

“Connor, this man was already playing. Mind your manners.”

Valero handed the controller back to Connor. “I think you’re doing a better job than I was. Why don’t you finish playing? Or if you prefer something else, Zwyk and Rory have a ton of games. I’m sure there’s at least a few your mother would approve of.”

“Can I, Mama?” he begged.

“All right. But if someone else wants a turn, you give them the controller.”

The little boy gave a whoop and leapt onto the couch to settle in and play the game. Valero smiled at his enthusiasm before facing the mother once more. He moved a little closer and held out his hand. “I’m Valero.”

“Ella.”

His hand closed over hers and a little jolt went up his arm. Since moving to Earth, he’d never felt such an instant attraction to someone before. He’d gone on dates, but they were lacking. There was humor glinting in her eyes as she smiled a little wider and he realized he was staring at her like an idiot and hadn’t released her hand. “Do you play?” he asked.

“Me? Um, no. I’ve never understood the draw of video games. I’m more of a reader.”

He leaned against the sofa and folded his arms over his chest, feeling a bit of a thrill when her gaze was drawn to his muscles and she licked her lips. Good. The attraction wasn’t one sided. The question was, what did he want to do about it? He’d never dated a mother before. He knew others of his kind had adopted human children as their own, like Reyvor and his houseful of girls.

“What do you like to read?” he asked.

“Romances.” Her cheeks flushed. “I like the hope in them. No matter how dire the heroine’s circumstances in the beginning, she always finds her happily-ever-after. Whether it’s a knight rescuing her from a tower, a billionaire who falls for the poor waitress, or a shapeshifter who finds his mate, everyone falls in love at the end and all their dreams come true.”

He smiled. “And what’s your dream?”

Her expression sobered. “To provide a happy and stable home life for my son. I hate telling him he can’t have things, or wondering if he’ll have a good Christmas or birthday. And I’m tired of struggling to pay the rent.”

She blinked at him in surprise, as if she hadn’t meant to admit so much to a complete stranger. He’d been told he was a good listener and people divulged secrets to him even if they didn’t want to. His family had tried to get him to become a warrior, a spy to be exact. Valero hadn’t had the slightest bit of interest in it. He’d gone through the warrior training, but in the end, he’d been miserable. When others of his kind started making their homes on Earth, he’d jumped at the chance for a new start. A chance to be anything he wanted. It hadn’t taken him long to discover video games, and shortly after that, he’d figured out how to create them and had discovered his true passion.

“I’m sorry,” Ella said. “I don’t know why I said all that.”

“Not to pry, but are things hard at home? Since you’re here alone, I’m assuming Connor’s father isn’t in the picture?” At least, he was hoping the bastard was long gone.

“No, we split up in high school and I haven’t seen him since. Not in person anyway.”

His brow furrowed. “How do you see him if not in person?”

“He’s a football star now. I would sometimes see his college games on TV and now he plays for an NFL team. He’s done well for himself, but he’s not part of our lives. He didn’t even want to know if I was having a boy or girl, so I had him sign away his rights to Connor.”

“Your job doesn’t provide everything you need?” he asked.

“I can only work part time while Connor is in school, and all I know how to do is waitress. I took some computer classes in high school, but all of the office jobs around here are full time. Whatever extra money would be in my check would just go straight to daycare, and I don’t like the idea of strangers raising my son.”

What the woman needed was a husband, but he wasn’t about to say any such thing to her. No, he wasn’t about to offer his services no matter how tempting. With that fiery red hair of hers, she’d probably slap the hell out of him for even suggesting it. He’d discovered early on, and the hard way, that redheads were feisty and quick to temper. That didn’t mean he couldn’t help her though.

About the Author

Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child writing her first stories in crayon. Today she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and spills over from her professional life into her personal one. When she went on that first date with her husband, she never expected to hear the words “marry me” pop out of his mouth — and judging by the shocked look on his face, he hadn’t meant to say them either. But, being the hopeless romantic that she is, Jessica said yes and they’ve been married since 2000.

Jessica firmly believes that love will find you at the right time, even if Mr. Right is literally out of this world. She’s often gazed at the stars and wondered what, or who, else might be out there. Who’s to say that hunky model on the hottest romance bestseller isn’t really from some far off galaxy? Maybe that blue Martian you saw at Halloween wasn’t really in costume. After all, there’s an awful lot of space out there for us to be the only ones living in it.

Jessica loves to hear from her readers! You can follow her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jessicacoultersmithauthor and Twitter https://twitter.com/kitcatjms. Visit her website: http://www.jessicacoultersmith.com. Want to be noticed of new releases or special discounts? Sign up for her newsletter! http://eepurl.com/bwPvbT.

Find more Changeling Press books by Jessica Coulter Smith at http://www.changelingpress.com/author.php?uid=144.

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