Against the Wall (Adult Excerpt 18+)

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Madelyn curled against me, with her head on my chest and her leg thrown across my thigh. I tucked the blanket around her again so she wouldn’t catch a chill, and I closed my eyes. Sleeping was impossible with such a delectable woman tucked against me. She made the cutest sounds in her sleep. I couldn’t remember the last time I fell asleep holding a woman, couldn’t remember having more than a one-night stand in my entire life.

My cock was so damn hard I worried it would break through my boxer briefs. It had been a few weeks since I’d been with a woman, and Madelyn was just too damn tempting. After what she’d been through, the last thing she needed was me lusting after her like some teen who couldn’t control himself.

Her soft hand drifted down my abdomen to the waistband of my briefs. My cock jerked in response. Her breath ghosted across my skin as she sighed. Madelyn shifted again, and her knee rose, sliding up my leg to rest just under my balls. If she was intent on killing me, she was doing a damn good job of it.

“I need a shower,” she mumbled against me.

The thought of her soaking wet with soap sliding down her long legs didn’t help my situation any. I shifted in an effort to get her a little further away from the danger zone. All she did was snuggle closer.

“I’ll keep watch out here if you want to get cleaned up,” I offered.

Her hand slid a little further down until her palm slid across my very erect cock. “Or you could join me.”

My brain short-circuited. That was the only explanation. Surely, she hadn’t just suggested that we shower together?

She looked up at me. “I’d feel so much safer with you in there with me.”

The mischievous look in her eyes told me that it had nothing to do with safety. Maybe the princess wanted me as much as I wanted her, but I still wondered if it wasn’t in response to what had happened to her. There wasn’t a textbook way to react to being attacked. Maybe she needed to feel closer to someone?

She tried to shove me off the bed and I stood up, not wanting her to hurt herself. Madelyn slid off the bed and grasped my hand, leading me into the bathroom. The room was about as big as my bedroom at home, with a shower that was definitely big enough for two. She started the water and turned to face me as she shimmied out of her shorts and tossed her tee on the floor. Her swimsuit was just as appealing as it had been out by the pool. When she reached for the strings holding it in place around her neck, my heart gave a kick.

“Are you sure about this, Madelyn?” I asked. “Maybe you should call one of your friends if you need to feel close to someone.”

She stopped and stared. “Is that what you think? That I want you to shower with me just because I need to feel close to someone?”

I shrugged.

“Grady, I want you to shower with me because you’re hot as fuck and all I’ve thought about since I opened my door to you that first day was getting into your pants. I want you, Grady. I need you. But it has nothing to do with what happened today.”

My gaze traced the curves of her body. “In that case, princess, strip.”

She gave me a saucy smile as she pulled the strings on her top until it fell to the floor at her feet. She shimmied out of the bottoms, and my mouth went dry at the absolute perfection of her. Madelyn came a little closer, reaching for me. Her fingers skimmed along my abdomen and my muscles tensed under her light touch.

I arched a brow as I stared down at her. “Well, what are you waiting for, princess? You going to unwrap that monster cock, or have you changed your mind?”

She peeled my boxer briefs down my legs, and I kicked them away, my cock springing free. I didn’t brag — often — but I had been more than a little blessed in that department. A good ten inches and too big around for her to hold me with one hand. Her eyes widened. “You want it?” I asked her.

She nodded.

“How much do you want it? You want it bad enough to wrap those pretty lips around it?”

Madelyn whimpered a little as she fell to her knees.

I touched her cheek. “If it’s too much at any time, stop. I only want this if it’s good for both of us.”

“I’ll make it so good for you, Grady.”

I had no doubt that she would. I bet my little angel could take me straight to heaven. Her tongue lapped at the head of my cock before she fitted those luscious lips around it. Her mouth was hot, wet, and so fucking good I never wanted to leave. She sucked and licked my dick like a damn pro. When she pulled back, her tongue flicked the underside of my cock before she swallowed me down again.

“Baby, I’m gonna blow. If you can’t take it, pull away now and wrap those dainty little hands around me.”

She sucked harder, and my balls drew up. There was a tingling at the base of my spine, and then I was coming. I watched her through heavy lidded eyes as she swallowed every drop. It seemed my angel was as talented as a porn star, and I couldn’t wait to find out what else she could do.

Madelyn climbed to her feet and gave me a hesitant look. “Was that okay?”

“Okay? You blew my mind, princess. What do you say we take that shower before the water gets cold?”

She stepped under the spray, and I followed her, then shut the glass door. The water soaked her honey gold hair and droplets fell from her hard nipples. I reached for her shower gel and lathered my hands before reaching for her. I pulled her out from under the water and massaged the soap into her skin, starting at her throat and working my way down to her cute little toes. Her bare pussy beckoned to me, and I wanted a taste more than anything, but I wasn’t going to rush. Who knew when I’d get my hands on a woman like Madelyn ever again?

Want to read more? You can purchase AGAINST THE WALL here!

 

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#NewRelease – Against the Wall by @HarleyW_Writer @changelingpress #NewAdultRomance #Romancebooks

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Grady

Handyman and heartbreaker. I’m damn good at my job. While my hands have been occupied building a deck for the delectable Madlyn Sparks, what I’ve really wanted to do was trace every one of her curves with my tongue. I bet with just one touch she’d go up in flames. My dick’s been harder than a damn post since I took this job, but I learned the hard way not to fuck myself out of a paycheck. But once this job is done, all bets are off.

Madelyn

Grady has done a fantastic job on the deck, but I didn’t really hire him for his carpentry skills. The man is fine as hell and I’ve wanted to take him for a ride ever since I saw him on my doorstep. Never in my wildest dreams did I think getting attacked would bring us closer together. He went from hunky handyman to overprotective bodyguard in an instant, and now that we’re living under the same roof, I just can’t keep my hands off him. Just one problem… now that I’ve had him, I never want to let him go.

Available July 7th from Changeling Press

Pre-Order for July 14th from:

Amazon / iTunesB&N / Kobo

Keep reading for a sneak peek….

The sound of my drill was loud in the otherwise quiet backyard. I’d been working on this massive deck for two days for a pampered princess, but there were perks aside from a paycheck. I glanced toward the lounger by the pool and couldn’t help but admire the tanned perfection of Madelyn Sparks. She might be petite, but she was all legs and curves. Definitely a mouthwatering package.

The sun beat down on me and sweat rolled down my temples to drip off my chin onto the wooden deck below. I’d literally put my blood and sweat into the thing, but tears weren’t going to happen. Not unless the goddess decided to kick me in the nuts for staring too much. She did a pretty good job of ignoring me, even when I drooled. Couldn’t really blame her. A guy like me was too far beneath someone like her. The house she lived in had to cost at least half a million, if not more. My bungalow was a little too damn close to the questionable part of town and probably could have fit in her garage.

I put in one last screw and wiped my brow before standing. My back cracked as I stretched and put the tools away. As much as I would have loved to stare at perfection a little while longer, it was time to call it a day. I had an ice cold shower waiting for me at home, along with a beer and a bag of pretzels. The dinner of champions. Or rather, the dinner of a broke handyman. This job was going to pay really damn well, but I didn’t get the check until I finished the deck.

The scent of suntan oil reached my nose, and I turned to see Little Miss Perfect. She pushed her sunglasses on top of her honey blonde tresses and smiled at me.

“Finished for the day?” she asked.

“Yeah, I thought I’d pack it up and come back first thing tomorrow. Eight o’clock okay?”

Her nose wrinkled a little. “As long as you don’t mind me being crabby. I don’t finish my morning coffee until nine.”

I couldn’t help but smile at her. Something told me that even at her crabbiest she was damn cute. She couldn’t have been more than twenty-one or twenty-two. I felt ancient at close to thirty, even though there were only a handful of years between us. I put my tools by the back gate and waited to see if she would say or do anything else.

“Would you like some water or soda to take with you?” she asked. “I even have some of that flavored stuff you can add to a bottle of water.”

I must have made a face because she laughed and crooked a finger at me. Like a little lost puppy, I trailed after her and into the pristine house, my boots clunking along the hardwood floors. Her kitchen was huge, with spotless granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

“Nice place,” I commented as I took in my surroundings. I’d never own a place like this. Not because I didn’t want one, but because I wasn’t going to earn enough ever to climb this high up the social ladder.

“It was my parents’ home. They died last year and left everything to me.”

Well, that explained why she was so rich at such a young age, but it had to suck to lose her family like that. My mom was still very much alive and living it up in Vegas as a retired showgirl. I’d never known my dad, and I wasn’t sure Mom had ever known who he was. Just some nameless man who had crossed paths with her at some point. Along with countless others. Mom hadn’t exactly been known for being a one-man woman back in the day. Or now, for that matter.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” I told her.

She gave me a small smile and opened the fridge. “Water or soda? I have a beer, but I doubt it’s one you’d like to drink. I’ve been told it’s a girly beer.”

I laughed and told her water was fine. It was the best way to stay hydrated in this horrible heat. I guzzled half the bottle before I even took a breath. Madelyn had her hip propped against the counter, and her gaze traveled over me. I couldn’t help but grow hard under her perusal. If she noticed, she was good at pretending otherwise. There was heat in her eyes as she looked up at me. Part of me hoped for the green light to kiss her the way I’d wanted to since the moment she opened her front door several days ago. The other part worried I’d screw myself out of a paycheck again and told me to keep it in my pants.

I finished my water and tossed the bottle into the trashcan. As much as I wanted to linger, I couldn’t think of a reason not to leave. My work for the day was done, and she wasn’t exactly saying much to keep me in her house. Then again, I was sweating all over her pristine floors. She probably couldn’t wait for me to leave.

“Thanks for the water,” I told her. “I’ll see you tomorrow at eight.”

“Let me walk you out.”

“That’s okay. I’ll just go out the back way. I left my tools by the back gate.”

She nodded, and if I wasn’t mistaken, there was a hint of sadness in her eyes as I turned to walk away. I wondered if maybe she was a little lonely, living in such a big place all by herself. For all I knew, she had a string of men waiting at her beck and call, but I hadn’t seen a single person any of the days I’d been here.

Her gaze drilled into my back as I made my way through her house to the back door. The humid air smacked me in the face as I stepped outside and made my way over to the gate. I picked up my tools and let myself out of the backyard. My truck was parked at the curb. I hadn’t wanted to take a chance on the damn thing leaking oil on her driveway. I shoved my stuff into the backseat and climbed in. As I was about to pull away, a flashy car pulled into her driveway, and a guy in a pink polo and khakis got out. Figured she’d go for a sissy boy like that one. His build was slight, and the softer angles of his face made him almost appear feminine. If he had any muscle on him, it definitely came from a gym. Guys like that didn’t get their hands dirty.

With a shake of my head, I pulled away and drove home to the other side of town. Living in a small town meant it didn’t take long to reach the house. My driveway was cracked and uneven and my porch drooped, but it was home sweet home. I killed the engine and got out, taking my tools with me. No way I would leave them in the truck in this neighborhood. Not unless I wanted them stolen. After I unlocked the door and pushed it open, I stepped inside and immediately frowned. It felt like it was a million degrees in the house.

The air conditioner in the front window still hummed, but when I stepped closer and held out my hand, only hot air came out of it. I’d just cleaned the thing the week before, so I knew that wasn’t it. It looked like the four-year-old unit had finally called it quits. As I walked through the house, I noticed the other even older units were not on or were sending out blasts of hot air as well. Just what I needed, the cost of four window units. Hell, even the cost of one was too much. There was only twenty bucks in my account until I got paid for my current job either tomorrow or day after, depending on how long it took me to wrap things up.

I went into the bedroom and turned on the ceiling fan before stripping out of my clothes. In the bathroom, I turned on the shower and didn’t even bother with the hot water. An icy stream hit me straight in the face as I stepped under the spray and it helped cool my heated skin. I stayed in the shower as long as I could, knowing I would just be miserable once I got out. After I dried off and pulled on a pair of boxer briefs, I contemplated what the hell I was going to do the rest of the night. In this neighborhood leaving a window open was just asking for trouble, so that was out.

As I tried to figure out what to do, my phone started ringing. I frowned when I saw the number on the display. What the hell was the princess calling me about? Had I left something at her place? I accepted the call and put the phone up to my ear. Before I could even say hello, I heard her sobbing on the other end.

“Madelyn? What’s wrong?”

She cried even harder. “I… need… you.”

“You need me? What happened?”

“Please come.”

I didn’t get a chance to say another word before she disconnected the call. A bad feeling came over me as I threw on a fresh pair of jeans and a tee. I doubted she was crying over her deck, so I passed up my work boots for a pair of tennis shoes. It only took me a moment to dig my wallet and keys out of my discarded clothes, and I ran for the door, stopping only long enough to lock the place up. Breaking every speed limit in town, I screeched to a halt at her curb about ten minutes later.

SPOTLIGHT: Serena’s Prince @AylaRuse @changelingpress #fairytales #romance

Hello Jessica! Thank you for having me on your blog. I’d like to share with you and your readers what went behind my decision to retell the classic fairy tale of The Frog Prince. My version is titled Serena’s Prince from Changeling Press’s 2nd edition of the Forever Wicked Series.

Changeling Press put out an in-house call for erotically re-told fairy tales. As soon as I read about the theme, I was excited. I’ve always loved fairy tales. My desire to retell one, however, came many, many years ago when I first read Anne Rice’s retelling of Sleeping Beauty in The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. Then (as now with most retellings) I liked a more adult take on the story and that there simply was more than the typical happily ever after ending. The publishers call came like a beacon for me to try my hand at retelling.

Out of the most popular fairy tales that are told and retold, The Frog Prince story bothered me. I always felt something was missing. I mean, the girl is mean to the frog, breaks her promise to him and even kills him! Yet when he turns into a prince, they immediately embrace and declare their undying love to one another. In my mind, the price would be ticked off. Not only that, I never liked that the girl was so mean. There had to be a reason behind her attitude and I wanted the prince to have some kind of revenge against her. Of course, being a fairy tale and a love story, the pair had to find love everlasting. In my version, I make them work for this love and develop it while figuring each other out and finding the real key behind the curse.

In planning my version, I asked myself many questions about the original tale, such as:

  • Why is the heroine so mean to the frog? I have never thought it right that this heroine seemed so snotty. It could be because she was young—and some versions allude to this—but then why would she and the prince marry if she were a little girl?
  • Why/How was the cursed frog at the pond to begin with?
  • On one hand, I can understand the prince being happy that he was released (supposedly) from his curse, but why would he be so in love with her when she was so cruel to him?
  • Who cursed the prince? And why? And what exactly did the curse entail?
  • How/Why could the pair fall in love?

Fairy tales are immortal in that they are told and retold through the ages. Every version brings a new idea or casts a new light onto the original. My hope is that my version brings a wicked and satisfied smile to those who love the first telling.

Thank you again, Jessica, for letting me spend time with you and your readers. Below is a snippet from Serena’s Prince.

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 Serena’s Prince (Forever Wicked) 2nd Edition

By Ayla Ruse

Publisher: Changeling Press

Genre/Theme: Erotic Romance, BDSM, Paranormal, magic

BookAddict at The Romance Reviews Wrote:  “This is a twisted fairy tale and it’s a kinky delight.”

A frog, a curse and a broken promise. Sometimes punishment can be its own reward.

 

Serena never thought asking for help from a frog would result in her being naked and tied to her bed. She should be afraid. She should call for the guards. She definitely should not be… begging for more.

Prince Rennick needs to get his hands on Serena’s necklace — the one item sure to break the curse that turned him into a frog. When an accident makes him temporarily human, he cannot help but use his Dominant nature to bend Serena to his will.

What should have broken the curse turns into a desperate attempt to save Rennick’s life. As they try to find the key, Rennick demands much from Serena, but is she willing to surrender everything to this frog-turned-prince?

 

Excerpt:

“Why do you cry so hard?” the frog asked.

Serena froze. Had that frog just talked to her? “Excuse me?” she asked, her brow raised high and her nose tipped up. She barely looked at the thing hopping toward her.

“I was in the pond. I heard a noise and wondered who disturbed my peace. Now I want to know why.”

“This is my garden, frog. Go find another if you want peace. Stop stealing my own.”

She wanted to push at the creature with her foot, but thought better of it. Her slippers were brand new, and she didn’t want frog slime to ruin them.

“You must be an enchanted frog,” she commented when the frog simply stared at her. “I didn’t know frogs could be enchanted.” When the animal remained quiet as though it waited on her, she deflated. “Fine. It’s not like you’re the next man trying to break me,” she huffed.

“Break you?”

“Never mind. You want to know what’s wrong? My stepfather’s trying to marry me off to over-blown barbarians. I’ve been manhandled more than any woman should be. And if that weren’t bad enough, tonight’s idiot broke my necklace. Now it’s at the bottom of this pond.”

“Hmm. Sounds rough.”

She wiped at her eyes, refusing to cry anymore. “Well, you asked. It’s not like you have any stress in your life.”

“You have no idea.”

She rolled her eyes. “Like you could have a hard life. You sit all day in my garden, eating bugs, swimming at your leisure… Wait. You’re a frog.”

“Do I even need to respond?”

“No. I mean, you can swim to the bottom and get my necklace, can’t you?”

“I could, but why?”

She laughed, happy that she might get her necklace back. “Because you can. Because that necklace means the world to me, and because I’ll… I’ll let you stay in my garden.”

“You’ll let me?”

“Yes. Otherwise I’ll have Henri, the gardener, chase you out.”

The frog appeared to shake its head. “Not possible,” he seemed to mumble. He hopped over to the pond, stared down for a long time, then turned back to her. “If I retrieve your necklace, you must make me a promise. Otherwise, it’ll remain at the bottom of the pond.”

Serena didn’t even blink. What could a frog want? An endless supply of flies? Whatever it came up with, the price would be negligible. She shrugged. “Sure.”

Buy Links

Changeling Presshttps://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1892

Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/Serenas-Prince-Forever-Wicked-Multi-Author-ebook/dp/B071X9GNVZ

Barnes and Noblehttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/2nd-edition-serenas-prince-ayla-ruse/1126570921?ean=2940157229245

Kobohttps://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/2nd-edition-serena-s-prince

iTuneshttps://itunes.apple.com/us/book/serenas-prince/id1247878271?mt=11

Author Info

Handed a historical romance at young age, Ayla Ruse fell in love with love and with happy endings.  Having grown up living life tasting a little of this and a little of that has not changed this attitude, but it’s expanded her views.  Love isn’t always happy and it isn’t always the way a person “thinks it should be.”  Sometimes it’s outside the box, and it’s always a challenge.

 

Ayla is a stay-at-home mother who also home schools three young men-in-training. In her free time, she loves the outdoors, reading, and exploring. She also loves to hear from her readers and can be reached through any of the following:

 

Website:    http://www.aylaruse.com

Blog:    http://aylaruse.blogspot.com

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/ayla.ruse

Twitter:    https://twitter.com/aylaruse

Amazon Author Page:    https://www.amazon.com/Ayla-Ruse/e/B006Z1JMXY

 

 

 

 

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

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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.”

Spotlight: A Wolf’s Hunt #PNR #shifters

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Stephen Skollsgaard is worn down from the duties of Pack Alpha. Now, the Huntress demands he hunt magical prey in a ceremonial hunt — one more burden for an overwhelmed Alpha. And worse, she sends an arrogant, narcissistic dragon to accompany him.

The Dragon Zhang doesn’t care much for things outside the Celestial Realm-but one good look at the sexy Pack Alpha Stephen and he’s willing to spend a little time in the real world. Plus, that Alpha looks like he needs a bit of taming, which Zhang is always eager to do.

It’s time for Stephen to prove his worth and hunt his prey, but will he find he’s the prey of the dragon, instead?

Excerpt

Zhang had nothing against London. It was a respectably large city, though a bit on the cold and rainy side. He had to get used to it. The cities in this part of the world weren’t like those in the East and certainly not like those in the celestial realm where he did most of his business.

Still, Zhang had a job to do. He was here, by special request, from the Goddess of the Hunt herself. She ruled beasts and fighters and those with the wild nature. Creatures whose lives were ruled around the chase and the hunt. Shapeshifting creatures like himself.

He strolled through the pouring rain, past the shops and the streets and the taverns. Women in uncomfortably long dresses skittered past; orphans with not enough clothes shivered in the dark spaces between alleys.

There were so many more people in the world since the last time Zhang had visited. It was louder, busier, and the air was dirtier. The wild spaces were being encroached upon with frightening speed.

No wonder the Huntress was keen to have someone look after her earth-dwelling patrons. It was far too easily for them to become despondent and lose their way.

Zhang finally found the place he was looking for. It was a stone building, firmly built, but with broken windows and detritus surrounding the outside. If the excessive noise didn’t indicate it as a place for a Pack meeting, then the smell of Wolfkin in rut certainly would.

Wolfkin. It had been some time since he’d dealt with any of them.

Zhang pushed open the door and stepped inside.

It was a Pack meeting all right: one part eating; one part fighting; one part rutting. Wolfkin conversed between bites of food and the occasional punch.

The hall was clearly too small for all of them. Rows of tables from one end of the hall to the other with chairs left barely enough room to walk between them. The Wolfkin didn’t seem to mind.

The Wolfkin ignored Zhang. His scent gave off no threat, so few paid him any mind. Zhang was just one more figure lurking in the corners. He was dressed down for this event, having traveled for three days in human form. Dragon form was quicker but Zhang wanted to be low key. Besides, people might notice. Wolfkin sightings were easily explained away but Dragons took quite of bit of magical spellwork to conceal. Zhang wasn’t in the mood to have to pay some greedy sorcerer just to cover up a sighting.

Purchase Link:

Changeling Press

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Author Bio

Echo Ishii loves to write stories of the fantastic-from high fantasy to high tech and everything in between. She is a long time science fiction fan, as well as a fan of all things fantasy and paranormal-classic sci fi movies, shows, and even radio dramas.

 

Author Links:

Twitter: @mrsbookmark

Pinterest: @mrsbookmark

Website: http://www.echoishii.com/

Blog:http://echoishiizone.wordpress.com

#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.

Spotlight: All The Remains by Ana Raine

30523452

Buy at Changeling Press

Clock Strikes (Book 1)

Blurb:

Collin is a Neko, a human cat hybrid, who has never had the chance to leave Aloria Island. The only way a Neko is ever allowed to go to the human world is if they become a pet to a demon. Collin has been in love with Adrian, the Prince of the Demons, for years, but Adrian doesn’t even seem to notice he exists, so when Porter, Prince Adrian’s cousin, asks Collin if he would like to be his pet for the Annual Reaping of Souls Ball, Collin jumps at the chance.

Prince Adrian has secretly lusted after Collin for years, but a demon and a Neko becoming lovers is not only unheard of, such a relationship is banned. With a rebel army threatening to overthrow Prince Adrian and the royal council, Collin has to choose sides. But neither choice guarantees him a place next to Prince Adrian’s side.

Answer is Near (Book 2)

Blurb:

For a lonely Neko, Chicago is as strange and unbelievable as the fantasy realms of his childhood.

Despite the alien environment, Collin is as much in love with his demon master, Prince Adrian as ever. But the growing threat from the rebel demons who want to overthrow the aristocracy and destroy the human world still hangs over their heads, and Collin fears the rebels hold the key to the disappearance of his missing brother, Rolland.

When Izumi, a new Neko pet, comes to Chicago, he and Collin become fast friends. Can Collin trust Izumi to help him find Rolland, or does Izumi have his own agenda?

Crossing Fate (Book 3)

Blurb:

Rolland and Porter have been lovers for years, even though relationships between Nekos and demons are forbidden. But despite Porter’s numerous attempts to take Rolland away from the Neko Island and make him into a pet, Rolland refuses on the grounds their secret would be discovered.

When Lance, a demon rebelling against the Royal Council, comes to Neko island in search of pets, Rolland volunteers. But Lance is not as ignorant as he pretends. He knows Rolland is actually a hybrid demon/Neko. Lance offers Rolland the chance to join him as an equal, but Rolland would have to divulge the identities of the other hybrids. Is his freedom worth betraying Porter and the secret he vowed to keep?

All That Remains (Book 4)

Blurb:

Collin has loved Adrian, the Demon Prince, for more than a decade. In the past he has been forced to conceal his love to protect the monarchy, knowing how much their affair endangers Adrian’s standing with the Demon Council.

Collin and his friend Izumi have served their demon masters faithfully and without question. But when it becomes clear the army rebelling against the monarchy threatens to destroy not only demon society but the lives of their masters, the two Nekos become determined to find the enemy’s weakness.

Collin gains more than he bargained for when he discovers the real reason Nekos are enslaved is the power they have over their demon masters. Now more than Adrian’s reign as Prince of the Demons is threatened. If Collin cannot find a way to change the course of their history, Adrian’s very life may be forfeit.

Excerpt from Clock Strike

His blue-black hair would feel like silk against my skin. He would sit in front of me, his back perfectly straight, because princes don’t slouch. His hands, cool and big, would touch the sides of my face, pulling me closer so I could give him pleasure. And heaven knows I wanted to give him all the pleasure my Neko body could handle.

His hands would travel down his flat, tight abdomen to his pants. He would loosen his clothing and reveal his large, erect cock. I would lean forward and swallow him down my throat, hoping to hear his gasp of erotic pleasure.

My own body would be ready for him when he’d had enough of my mouth. I would look at him through my long dark lashes and the curtain of my blonde hair and give him my sweetest smile. The one I’d been practicing just for him. And I would finally say…

“Collin.”

I blinked, the sunlight glaring down into my eyes. I felt the soft grass mixed with flowers underneath my bare arms. I could feel my face flush, and I wanted to hide, but instead I looked up at the person who had called my name.

Rolland, my older brother by four years, was staring down at me. He was frowning, but I could see he wanted to laugh. His hair, blonde like mine, fell just above his chin and he reached up to tug on a strand sticking to his brown, fur-covered cat’s ear. “You were dreaming again.”

“I’m a Neko. I sleep fourteen hours a day,” I said simply, sitting up so I could better hide my erection.

Rolland plopped down next to me and wrapped his arms around his knees. “Who do you dream about?”

Although Rolland was only twenty-nine, he was one of the oldest Nekos still living on Aloria. Unable to take the confinements of our beautiful prison, most Nekos had already settled for a demon master and left for the human world.

“No one,” I murmured. At least… no one I would ever have.

“Hmm. Doesn’t look like no one.” He pointed at the tent in my pants.

I blushed and punched him in the arm. “Hey, shut up.”

He held his hands up in defense and lowered his voice. “No one stays here forever, Collin. Eventually, all of us will choose to go to the Neko kingdom forever, or become a pet to a demon. You should tell that special girl you love her while there is still time.”

“I don’t like girls, Rolland.”

He looked embarrassed. “Oh, yeah, right.”

I was silent. There was no way I could tell him who I wanted. He would think I’d gone crazy and then he would probably feel bad for me. “What do pets do, anyway?”

Rolland looked at me. “Why do you want to know?”

I had to be careful. “Just curious.”

“Whatever their master wants.”

“Is that why you’re still here?”

“Me?” Rolland ruffled my hair, and then pinched my cat ear before standing up. “I’m not going anywhere until you do.”

He was going to be waiting a while. I took his waiting hand and then followed him down the dirt path back home. We lived on an island surrounded by a sort of energy field that prevented humans from detecting us. I’d heard the kinder demons who came to Aloria frequently say that it was in our best interest humans not find us.

Sure, I knew it was a strange concept for humans to imagine half cat, half human hybrids, but I was living proof we existed.

The real reason for our invisible wall of protection, the one whispered amongst the bolder Nekos, was that the demons would never let us go. They had conquered us some four hundred years ago, and clearly we weren’t fighting anymore.

The futility of it all just made me want to chuck myself into the ocean. I wondered how long I could swim before making it to the force field. And then what would happen?

Maybe the energy field was all just a lie.

Our cottages were tailored to each family so after our parents and our sister left, Rolland and I had lived alone. Neither one of us had children or a Neko mate, so our house would probably be given to another, larger family if we chose to go to the Neko kingdom, which was really just another island without any hope of escape.

I pushed open our door and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. Sometimes, I wanted to go to join the rest of our family on the Neko homeland, but I couldn’t leave the dark-haired prince from my dreams…

About the Author

Ana Raine writes because she loves to believe in magic, dragons, and that there is more to life than what human eyes can see. Ana lives in Michigan where when it’s not snowy and wet, there are beautiful state parks and lakes to visit. When she was eighteen, she married her best friend and they live with their two cats, Mason and Misaki. Ana has celiac disease, but that hasn’t stopped her from learning how to cook and bake so she can eat tasty treats. Fudge, enchiladas, and anything involving yucca/cassava are her absolute favorite.

Ana has studied in Osaka, Japan where she learned about theater and drama. She would love to go back after she is sure her Japanese is efficient enough. Ana loves anything to do with foxes, especially Arctic foxes. One day, Ana will find a way to incorporate her love of foxes into a novel, but until then, she’ll stay focused on fairies, shape shifters, and mythology.

Feel free to stop by her blog for tasty recipes, freebies, and more.

 

Blog: anarainebooks.blogspot.com

Twitter: @AuthorAnaRaine

E-mail: anaraine@rocketmail.com

Publishers: Dreamspinner Press, Changeling Press, MLR Press

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