Sunday Snippets: Entwined (Intergalactic Loyalties) #scifi #aliens #RomanceBooks

She’s his everything, and he’s nothing without her.

 

Genres: science fiction, erotic romance, alien encounters

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Karen Fox
Length: Novella

“All right. I’ll have someone at the auction house draft the transfer papers. You don’t have to pay me for her since you’re my brother, but I’ll take you up on your offer to cover the hospital bill. I’ll make sure all that’s in there.”

Bane grinned. “I’ll be ready to sign them first thing in the morning. You can bring them here.”

Arko frowned. “Why don’t I bring them by your house?”

“Because I’ll be here.”

Tyre folded his arms over his chest. “Your brother hasn’t left Ariana’s side since I brought him up to this room three days ago. It may injure your pride, but maybe knowing she doesn’t have to go home with you will snap her out of this… well, whatever it is. I don’t have a diagnosis for what’s going on with her other than depression. I think it killed part of her to lose that baby.”

“I’ll go now and get it taken care of,” Arko said. “I’ll return at first light.”

Bane nodded. “Tell Cael that I’ll be back to work once I have Ariana settled.”

“I still can’t believe you’re working with our baby brother.”

Bane shrugged. “I come up with the ideas, he helps put the logistics to it. We make a good team.”

“Until tomorrow, then.”

Tyre checked the IV fluids, walked over to a panel on the wall and punched in a bunch of numbers. When a syringe with orange goo popped out, Bane frowned.

“What’s that for?”

“To wake her. I think you need to tell her the good news. It might be just what she needs right now.”

Bane settled on the edge of the bed and held her hand as Tyre administered the injection. Almost immediately, her eyes began to flutter.

“Ariana? Can you hear me?” he asked softly. “Come back to me, sweetheart. I have something to tell you.”

“I’m not dead?” she croaked.

“No, you aren’t dead, and I hope you won’t be anytime soon. I have good news.”

“This was all a nightmare?”

He ran the backs of his fingers down her cheek. “I wish that were so. I can’t take away what happened, but Arko did agree to sell you to me. You never have to see him again after I sign the papers tomorrow if you don’t want to. I can arrange it so you’re never in the same room. Once you’re able to leave the hospital, you get to go home with me.”

“You’ll need time to procure quarters for me.”

“No, you don’t understand. You’re coming home, to my home. I want you to live with me, Ariana.”

Her eyes widened. “In your house?”

“Your life is going to be very different from this point forward. No more slave apartments, no more slave dresses. When you’re back on your feet, I’m bringing a clothing designer into the house, and you can have new clothes made. I know the Keshpan dresses won’t fit you because our women are stick thin, and you have such a lush delectable figure, but there’s no reason they can’t be tailored to fit your needs. I want you to be comfortable.”

“Why are you doing this, Bane?”

“I told you why,” he said. “It’s time you were able to enjoy the beauty of my world. Let me share it with you.”

She nodded. “I’ll try to get better.”

“Does that mean you’ll eat now?” Tyre asked.

Her gaze flicked to his a moment before returning to Bane. “Yes, I’ll eat something.”

Bane smiled. “Wonderful. Tyre will get you anything you want. Their food simulator can produce meals from your home planet, if you’d like something familiar. I had one installed in my home, as well, so you can enjoy pizza or spaghetti. I’ve tried both meals and found them fascinating. I think, perhaps, my favorite was pancakes and scrambled eggs.”

She smiled. “Eggs and bacon sounds good. Maybe a biscuit on the side?”

“Whatever you want.” He kissed her hand. “I’d give you the moons from the sky if I thought it would make you better.”

She made a face.

“What is it? Are you hurting?”

“No, it’s just… you’re a little hard to get used to after being with Arko for so long. He’s always been considerate, until now, but he’s never been very enthusiastic about my wellbeing. It’s going to take me some time to adjust to the differences between the two of you.”

Bane squeezed her fingers. “You take all the time you need. I’m not going anywhere.”

No, he wouldn’t leave her side. He hadn’t told her the complete truth. The honest to gods truth was that he’d fallen in love with her the moment he’d laid eyes on her. With her fiery hair and pale complexion, those vibrant green eyes, she’d been breathtaking. Then she’d spoken, a soft sweet voice that had made him smile the instant he heard her. And she’d been his brother’s. It was the only time he’d truly hated his brother, had ever wanted anything that Arko had.

But now she was his. Even if it took him the rest of his life, he was going to show her what it meant to be loved and cherished by a Keshpan male…

You can purchase this title at:

Changeling Press / Amazon / B&N / iTunes / Kobo

Praise for Entwined…

“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

“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

Find more Jessica Coulter Smith titles at jessicacoultersmith.com!

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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

AlienBadassCoverFinal

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 – Heidi and the Alien Cop @kitcatjms @changelingpress #aliens #scifi

JCS_IGB12Heidi_XL

Heidi’s life hasn’t been easy since she dropped out of school at sixteen to have a baby. The worst mistake she ever made was moving in with her boyfriend Brent, who turned out to be an abusive bastard, but with no education and no job, there’s nowhere for her to go. Her life for the last five years has disillusioned her that happily-ever-after could possibly exist… Then he comes into her life.

When Raylic rushes to Heidi’s aid, the last thing he expects is to end up with house guests, but she and her small son, Shane, are just what he needs. They bring life to his monstrous home and make him want things better left alone. But the more time he spends with the little family, the more he wants to keep them with him forever. Even knowing Heidi is pregnant with another man’s child doesn’t stop him from wanting to claim her.

Heidi knows Raylic is one of the good guys, but can she dare trust her heart to someone again? He’s everything she’s ever wanted, but she knows wanting and having aren’t the same thing.

Available August 4th at Changeling Press

Pre-order for August 11th at  Amazon / B&N / iTunes / Kobo

Excerpt

Heidi hoped like hell that Shane had gotten out of the house. She hadn’t heard the door open or shut but prayed her little boy had run to safety and not stayed to help her. Despite his young age, he acted like her protector when his dad got mad, which was far too often.

She placed a protective hand over her stomach as she cowered in the corner of the room. Brent towered over her, his face flush from too much alcohol and the rage that was burning in his veins. It wasn’t the first time he’d struck her, and she knew it wouldn’t be the last, unless she finally managed to escape. But where would she go? Without a job, or friends, or family, only the streets waited for her and their small son.

“Everyone was talking tonight about how you’ve been whoring around behind my back,” Brent said, spit flying from his lips.

“Brent, please. You know how rumors are around here.” She swallowed the knot of fear in her throat. She’d learned the hard way that fighting back only made it worse. When she fought back, it pushed him to the point of nearly killing her, and she had to keep living to take care of their son. She couldn’t leave him in Brent’s hands. Either her boyfriend would kill him, or he’d turn her sweet boy into a monster.

“Stupid, lying bitch. Did you think I wouldn’t hear about it? I bet that brat in your belly isn’t even mine. Who’s to say the other little snot is mine either? You just saw a meal ticket and latched on.”

“Of course, it’s yours, Brent. They both are. You know I haven’t been with anyone else.”

He backhanded her across the face again, an explosion of pain ricocheting through her cheek and rattling her brain. Another blow landing in almost the same spot nearly knocked her off her feet. She had just braced herself on the wall when another fist pummeled her stomach. Heidi cried out, her hands clutching her belly, hoping he hadn’t harmed their child. She’d tried damn hard not to get pregnant a second time by him, but the condom had broken two months ago.

She saw his hand wind back for another blow and cowered down, but it never came.

“I know humans play by different rules, but where I come from, we don’t beat females,” a deep voice said with a hint of a growl.

Heidi’s eyes went wide as she looked around Brent at the purple alien with the badge clipped to his belt. Was he a real cop or one of those Terran guards? He knocked Brent’s legs out from under him, then pressed him face first onto the floor, wrenching Brent’s hands behind his back. Her drunken boyfriend was no match for the rather brawny guy manhandling him. The alien slapped cuffs on Brent, then pulled out a cell phone.

“Dispatch, this is Officer Raylic. Can you send a car around to pick up some trash I found beating a female?”

She didn’t hear what else was said as the room spun around her. Heidi sank to her knees and tried to process what was happening. Had someone really come to her rescue? How had he known where to find her? A small hand slipped into hers, and she looked into the terrified eyes of her son.

“Shane?”

“I found a police officer, Mama. He’ll take care of us, won’t he?” Shane asked, looking more troubled than a five-year-old had any right to.

“Are you all right?” the officer asked her.

“I don’t know. He hit me in the stomach and the face.”

Shane’s face scrunched up. “What about the baby?”

“You have a baby?” the officer asked.

“In her tummy,” Shane told him.

The officer cursed. Brent took his moment of distraction to rear up and lunge at Heidi, a murderous glint in his eyes. She jumped to her feet and lashed out at him, kicking him in the shin and hitting him in the eye. The officer made a grab for him and shoved him back down. Brent fell face first onto the floor, getting a mouthful of nasty carpet. Heidi had to admit that it had felt damn good to fight back for once.

Heidi approached her boyfriend. With a well-placed kick between his splayed legs, she had him howling and cursing her all at the same time. She felt a bit of satisfaction, knowing she’d caused him pain, but it wasn’t enough. She looked at the officer who regarded her with a bit of mirth for attacking her abuser.

“Want to have another go at him?” the officer asked.

“What I’d like to do is beat him over the head, with a cast-iron skillet, until he can’t ever hurt anyone again.”

He nodded. “I probably would get into a bit of trouble if I let you do that. But feel free to kick him again. It’s just his word against mine.”

She looked at her bare feet. “It might contaminate my foot if I kick him there again. I’ve always heard if someone accuses you of cheating, they’re probably the one with the guilty conscience. No telling where he’s put that thing.”

The officer chuckled a bit. “As soon as backup arrives to take care of him, I’m going to take you somewhere safe. We’ll stop by the Terran Station first though. I want our healer to look at you. As small as you are, he could have easily broken bones or caused internal damage.”

“Thank you for helping us,” she said. “No one’s ever helped us before.”

He frowned. “Have you called the police before now?”

She nodded. “The officer who answered the call said I was overly emotional and it was just a domestic dispute. He said if he got another call, he would haul both of us to jail. It was the first and last time I asked for help.”

“Asshole,” the officer muttered. “Do you remember who it was? I’ll make sure he’s written up.”

“Officer Clarke.”

He nodded. “I can see him saying something like that. Don’t worry. Your husband is getting locked up this time.”

“We’re not married,” she said.

“Good. Then you can make a clean break when he’s taken out of here today. Do you plan to stay in this apartment?” he asked, looking around.

She knew what he’d see. Cracked walls, stained carpets, and the ugliest furniture imaginable. The place reeked of mildew and piss, and unfortunately for her, the rent was past due. It might not have been much, but it had been home for the last year. As often as they’d been late, no way the landlord would renew the lease. Not that she could pay it anyway.

“Where are we gonna go, Mama?” Shane asked.

“I don’t know, baby.”

The officer tilted his head. “Go pack your things. I was going to take you to a hotel for the night to give you some time to think things through, but it sounds like you need a more permanent solution.”

“The rent is past due here,” she said. “I don’t have a job to pay for a hotel room. Could you take us to a shelter?”

“Don’t worry about the cost,” he said in a soothing tone. “Just pack your things and be ready to go as soon as possible. Don’t leave anything behind that you want to keep.”

Spotlight: Gimme Shelter #LGBT #scifi

gimme shlter JPG_Med

Captive of a violent warrior race, deliberately injured and set adrift to die alone in space, Shanrem De Nebral is rescued by Zen Ahbramez and the crew of the starship Brizo.

For Shanrem, raised to be nothing more than property to be sold to the highest bidder, the freedom, friendship and love he finds aboard the Brizo is more than he ever dreamed of. But even the best of dreams end, and for Shanrem there’s nothing but trouble ahead.

With the near perfection bred into him in ruins, his own people would rather see him dead than returned and the Dukati warrior who owned him wants him back. To keep Shanrem safe and sheltered within his loving embrace, Zen’s strength and resolve will be tested to the limits.

Excerpt:

To wake was akin to a slow crawl on hands and knees through thick, cloying mud. As his mind neared a conscious state, memory presented him with remembered agony, terror and the specter of death that grasped him in its greedy clutches before merciful darkness liberated him.

The soft murmur of voices drew his nerves taut. Soul deep quivers shook him from head to toe. Sweat and chills fought for supremacy at the realization of having been sent back to that vicious, nightmarish reality. Overwhelming dread returned in a rush so fierce, it set his heart thundering at a pace that had him a hairs breadth away from blacking out. A harsh, despairing cry tore from his raw throat.

From the corner of his eye he could see someone approach and he fought to move, to flee, but his struggles were in vain. He was bound, his wrists and ankles secured to the flat, padded table on which he lay. He flinched as a shadowy figure squatted down, bringing them face to face.

“Shh, it’s okay. You don’t have to be afraid. You’re safe here,” the man softly comforted. “I’m sorry about the restraints. We didn’t know how you’d react on waking so we thought it would be better to do things this way rather than have you accidentally reopen your wounds. I’m Zen. Can you tell me your name?”

He stared wordlessly into eyes of warm tawny gold, so different from the wintry disregard of the Dukati. Realization of the absence of pain made his knotted muscles slowly relax. Whoever had taken him in, it seemed their intention was to help rather than hurt. His heartbeat slowed and he took a much needed breath.

Parting his lips, he tried to speak, but the word he managed to utter came out a barely there whisper. “Shanrem.” The effort to say it, carried on a shaky exhalation, drained what little was left of the strength he’d recovered. A blanket composed of pure exhaustion settled over him. Though he tried to keep his eyes open, his lids refused to cooperate.

“Shanrem,” the man repeated. His deep voice was soft, a soothing caress that calmed Shanrem’s frayed psyche. “I know how tired you must be. Go back to sleep. I promise you, no harm will come to you here.”

The last thing of which Shanrem was aware after hearing that solemn pledge, was the touch of gentle fingers sliding lightly over his hair.

* * *

One last time, Zen’s fingers glided through the dark silk of their wounded passenger’s hair. He eased back and sat on the edge of the treatment platform next to the one on which the young man rested.

“Shanrem,” he whispered.

Despite the bruise-like shadows under his eyes and the easing lines of anxiety that creased the space between his brows and pinched the corners of his mouth, their unexpected passenger was beautiful. When Shanrem had opened his eyes, Zen felt himself drawn into their silvery depths. Like many a star he’d seen, they held the barest hint of blue and Zen felt, given the opportunity, he would welcome the chance to stare into them while trying to unravel the secrets they held.

Under the circumstances it was an odd notion, but Zen had been taught never to dismiss his feelings out of hand. Even the strangest of musings could have merit if given enough time to fully reveal themselves.

His gaze moved from Shanrem’s face to the damage done to his back. Even after treatment and smothering in a semi-transparent layer of sluget gel, it was a sight that stirred a plethora of feelings — anguish, fear, helplessness. Zen’s hands fisted. He closed his eyes and leaned forward slightly as thoughts of the past stirred nausea in his belly and a red haze colored his thoughts.

Memories of destruction, of the bodies of friends and family left dead in the wake of a Dukati raid played across Zen’s battered consciousness. The images were debilitating, but he refused to relinquish himself to the weakness they stirred within. Instead, he called on the inner strength and calm that kept him moving forward, breathed deeply and opened his eyes to the sight of Shanrem lying so still, so brutalized, yet still alive and with the potential to put the tragedy of his captivity behind him.

Images of Zen’s missing sister and brother overlaid the young man before him and he could only pray that they had never been subjected to the cruelties Shanrem had suffered. The steps Zen had initiated in an attempt to discover their whereabouts had yet to bear fruit, but he was nowhere near ready to give up. Shanrem’s appearance, no matter how coincidental in the grand scheme of things, seemed to Zen as something of a sign. Perhaps the fragile hope to which he’d held so tightly the last two years would yet prove to be more than just a balm to assuage his own pain.

The urge to touch Shanrem once more pulled at Zen as though Shanrem had become a talisman against Zen’s deepest fears. Before he could give in to the impulse, the med bay door opened behind him, signaling Doc’s return.

“Anything happen while I was gone?” Doc asked.

“He woke for just a few seconds.” Once more Zen let his gaze rest on the young man’s face. The lines of tension had eased and peace had settled over his features. “His name is Shanrem.” So saying, Zen felt a tug, a stirring of something inevitable. He wondered if it might be fate.

Author Bio:

Calm, controlled and dependable, Kate Steele lives a quiet life surrounded by family and pets in a century-old farm house in rural Indiana. It’s a pretty normal existence… then comes the night. Filled with werewolf howls, vampire kisses and gorgeous aliens it’s enough to make even the most stoic of beings take note and Kate is no exception. Her imagination takes wing and her keyboard catches fire as she crafts erotic tales of romance, paranormal magics and everyday people. Visit Kate at http://www.katesteele.com or send a message to Kate at katesteele27@yahoo.com

#NewRelease – Rory and the Alien Groom #scifi #aliens #romance

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AMAZON / B&N / iTUNES / KOBO / CHANGELING PRESS

Humiliation burns through Zwyk as he comes to the realization his bride has left him standing alone at the altar. When something seems too good to be true, it usually is. He should have known someone as vivacious as his bride-to-be would never settle for a paper pushing, XBox playing geek like him. While his heart isn’t exactly broken, his pride is wounded, and his confidence has taken a hit.

Rory hates that she had to tell Zwyk her sister has run away instead of marrying him. Well, she hates the pain her sister caused. She can’t exactly say she’s sorry the wedding is off. Maybe now she can make Zwyk see what’s been right under his nose this entire time — her.

ABOUT THE STORY

We’ve all read jilted groom or jilted bride stories before. Usually the maid of honor, a bridesmaid, best friend, or best friend’s sister ends up making it all better and they ride off into the sunset. So what makes this story different from any of those? Besides the purple aliens…

Zwyk has always wanted one thing. To have his own family. A mate, children. Maybe a family pet. And he thinks he’s well on his way to achieving his dreams when he proposes to Brittany, only to be left stranded at the altar without so much as a goodbye. He decides love is too painful and gives up on his dream, determined to keep his heart from ever breaking. Enter Rory…

She’s spunky, quirky, and just what Zwyk needs. He’s always felt like he had to hide who he is when he’s with a woman. None of them have ever been impressed with his paper-pushing job, nor his love of Xbox. But Rory isn’t like the others. She’s a hardcore gamer with a degree in finance, every bit as geeky as he is, and she may be just the cure that Zwyk needs. And Rory is determined to get what she wants…

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EXCERPT

His poor game system was hidden away in the hall closet, banished there by Brittany along with two boxes of his games. He hauled everything out and started hooking it back up, petting the console and whispering words of contrition to it for his poor treatment the past few months. When it booted right up, he took that to mean he was forgiven for his transgression. Looking in the boxes of games was akin to opening presents on Christmas — a human tradition he’d embraced wholeheartedly — and he had trouble deciding what to play first.

There wasn’t a better way to dive back into things than to play Gears of War 4. His Xbox Live membership had lapsed and his account had been deleted, so he’d have to enjoy one-player mode for now. Hell, he didn’t even know if his gaming buddies were still around, assuming he could find them online after he made a new account. He’d just up and vanished on them three months ago. It was an asshole move, but Brittany had grabbed him by the balls. Well, figuratively, because she’d never gotten close enough to actually touch his balls. They’d kissed, but she’d always shied away when he tried to take things further, saying she wanted to wait for their wedding night. Now he had to wonder how much of that was bullshit. Had she detested him so much that she couldn’t stand to be touched by him?

The game had just finished loading when there was a knock at his front door. Zwyk set his controller aside and went to answer, almost dreading who might be on the other side. If word had already spread about his failed wedding, any number of his friends could be on the other side with an “I told you so” ready on their lips, or worse, a pitying look in their eyes. He almost didn’t answer, but something made him pull open the door.

His eyebrows rose when he saw who stood on the other side.

“Rory?”

She grinned and held up two pizza boxes while she pushed her glasses further up her nose. “I thought you might need sustenance after your trying day. It’s your favorite. Sausage and onion.”

His stomach rumbled and he stepped back to let her in. It wasn’t the first time she’d been to his house, but it was the first time they’d been alone. Was she feeling sorry for him? He’d have thought she’d be with her parents, trying to figure out where Brittany went. But then Rory had always seemed to follow her own rhythm. What was that Earth saying? Marching to the beat of her own drum?

He shut the door and followed her into the living room, where she set the boxes on the coffee table. He grinned a little, thinking about Brittany’s head exploding if she saw such a travesty. It gave him the sudden urge to leave rings and scuff marks on the pristine surface. Juvenile perhaps, but refreshing. It was like he’d been freed from a prison sentence, and if that wasn’t a sobering thought, he didn’t know what was.

“Whatever you just thought, stop thinking it,” Rory said as she opened the first box. “I figure we can just eat out of the box, but we probably should grab some drinks before I kick your ass on the Xbox.”

He blinked at her. Did she just say…

“Drinks?” she prompted then shook her head. “Never mind, I’ll get them.”

He watched, bemused, as she helped herself to his kitchen. She returned a moment later with a disgusted look on her face and two soda cans in her hands.

“Please tell me this is another Brittany travesty and you don’t actually drink diet.”

He coughed to cover his laugh, but he couldn’t deny that she amused him. “I’ll go to the store later and pick up some regular soda.”

“You should get grape too. It’s my favorite.”

He scratched his neck and wondered if that meant she planned to hang out for a while. Zwyk wasn’t quite sure what to make of Rory, but he was just going to go with it for the time being. He couldn’t really think of anything else to do. Retaking his seat on the couch, he grabbed a slice of pizza and took a huge bite before downing half the can she’d placed in front of him. The intro to the game blared from the TV speakers and Rory wiggled her fingers at him, snatching the controller from his hand.

“You eat. I’m going to play.” She grinned at him before turning her focus to the game on the screen.

Zwyk devoured almost an entire pizza by himself as he alternated between watching the comical expressions on Rory’s face and her annihilation of everything in her path on the screen. Her skill was rather impressive and her maniacal laugh as she took out the opposing force was amusing. Who knew such a pint-sized female could be so bloodthirsty?

“All right, killer. It’s my turn,” he said holding out his hand for the controller. “You’re pretty good, but it’s time to show you how the pros do it.”

AUTHOR LINKS

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Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child. Her first stories may have been written in crayon, but now 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 out 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.

#CoverReveal Rory and the Alien Groom

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RORY AND THE ALIEN GROOM
Publisher: Changeling Press
Series: Intergalactic Brides #9
Genres/Themes: Science Fiction Romance/Alien Encounters/Alternate Universe

When something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Humiliation burns through Zwyk as he comes to the realization his bride has left him standing alone at the altar.

He should have known someone as vivacious as his bride-to-be would never settle for a paper pushing, XBox playing geek like him. While his heart isn’t exactly broken, his pride is wounded and his confidence has taken a hit.

Rory hates that she had to tell Zwyk her sister has run away instead of marrying him. Well, she hates the pain she caused. She can’t exactly say she’s sorry the wedding is off. Maybe now she can make Zwyk see what’s been right under his nose this entire time. Her.

 

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Sexy Snippet: Celeste and the Alien Bartender (X-Rated – Ages 18+)

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KOBO     B&N     AMAZON   ITUNES

“If you want something from me, Celeste, you have to ask.”

“You’ve already given me so much. And what I want might be asking too much of you.”

His lips twitched as he fought a smile. “Ask and see what I say.”

“You know my history with the Vaadens, but what you don’t know is that I’ve never had an orgasm before, not one that I didn’t have by my own hand. I want you to make me come, Zanar, but… I don’t know that I’m ready for sex.”

“Let me make you feel good, and then you can decide if you want to go further. The back of a limo wasn’t exactly my idea of the perfect place for our first time together, but if this is what you need, you’ll have it.”

Her hand clutched the hem of her dress.

“I want you to do everything I say, exactly the way I say it. Understood?” he asked.

Celeste nodded, her body warming already.

“I want you to slowly unbutton the top of your dress.”

Her fingers shook a little as she unfastened the buttons, the material gaping wide over her breasts. She was thankful for the delicate bra and panties her mother had picked up for her. It would have been embarrassing for him to see the sports bra she’d worn the day before.

“Beautiful,” he murmured. “The pink lace is very sexy. Do you know what would be sexier?”

“What?” she asked breathlessly.

“It would be even sexier if you popped the front clasp on that bra and bared your breasts to me. Let me see those pretty pink nipples.”

Her cheeks flushed as she followed his command, freeing her breasts. Her nipples puckered under his scrutiny, and her clit throbbed between her legs. Celeste’s panties were soaked as she waited for the next instruction.

“Do you feel the cool air of the car caressing your breasts?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“Cup your breasts and offer them to me.”

She slipped her hands under the mounds and offered them up to Zanar, her heart racing in anticipation. Just imagining his lips tugging on her nipples had her squirming in her seat. She watched as his eyes darkened and couldn’t help but stare at the bulge in his pants.

“Stroke your nipples, then pinch them.”

Her fingers caressed the hardened peaks before grasping them between her thumb and forefinger, giving them a pinch. She moaned as pleasure zinged through her. Celeste played with her nipples under Zanar’s watchful gaze, her pussy aching to be filled. Not once in her life had she ever felt like this.

“Are you wet for me, Celeste?” he asked.

“Yes. So wet.”

“Prove it. Take off your panties and give them to me.”

Her cheeks flushed as she reached under the skirt of her dress and she tugged the panties down her legs. Her dress kept her covered as she handed the lacy garment to Zanar. His hand closed over them, and he sniffed them, his eyes closing and a groan tumbling from him. His gaze snapped open and focused on her once more.

“Show me that pretty pussy, Celeste. I want to see what I’ll get to enjoy soon enough.”

Her heart pounded as she lifted the hem of her skirt, tugging the garment up around her waist. Her thighs were still clenched together, and she watched as his cock seemed to grow even more.

“Spread your legs,” he said with a growl in his voice.

She opened them a little.

“Wider.”

Celeste spread her legs a little more, and he growled at her.

“Don’t make me open them for you. I want you so much I ache, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop if I get my hands on you. I’m trying to respect your wishes.”

She let her legs fall apart as wide as they would go. The hunger in his gaze was nearly her undoing. Just seeing how much he wanted her was almost enough for her to beg him to touch her, to fuck her until she couldn’t stand anymore. Zanar had seemed so laid back and reserved until this moment. She liked this forceful, powerful side of him, and she was curious how far he’d go.

“You’re completely bare.” The words sounded strangled. “Reach down and feel how wet you are.”

She moved her hand down her belly and between her legs. Her fingers slid across the slippery lips of her pussy, the slight contact making her gasp and want more. Zanar shifted across from her and pressed down on his cock. For the first time in her life, she looked forward to seeing a naked male. Even through his clothes, she could tell he was powerfully built, and the bulge tenting his pants was far from small.

“Spread the lips of your pussy and let me see that cute little clit. Is it throbbing? Is it begging for attention?” he asked.

She parted her lips, feeling exposed and turned on at the same time.

“Does it need to be touched, Celeste?”

“Yes. Very much.”

“I want to see everything. Keep holding yourself open and use your other hand. I want you to stroke that little clit and make it stand up more. And I want you to keep stroking until you make yourself come. I want to watch that pussy gush when you find your release.”

She moaned and nearly came from his words alone. The first swipe of her fingers across her clit made her hips buck. It felt so amazing. She’d made herself come plenty of times over the years, but never like this. She teased and stroked her clit until her body was crying out for release. She wanted more.


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