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

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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.”

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Spotlight: Gimme Shelter #LGBT #scifi

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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.


Hump Day Humps

New Release: Celeste and the Alien Bartender

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Title: Celeste and the Alien Bartender
Series: Intergalactic Brides #8

Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre/Themes: Sci-fi Erotic Romance/First Contact
Length: 100 pages

A desperate mother. A determined alien. And a romance neither expected.

Zanar has made himself a home on Earth, where he owns Stardust Bar, popular with both aliens and humans. There’s only one thing missing from Zanar’s life. Despite his best efforts to impress the human females he meets, he’s still without a mate. At the age of twenty-six, it isn’t imperative for him to pair off and start a family just yet, but he’s lonely and ready to settle down. The last thing he expects is for Celeste to come into his life and turn it upside down.

After having been abducted by an alien race five years ago, Celeste is back on Earth. She’s spent those years as a slave on the planet Vaaden, where she had a precious daughter with her owner, Pynder. But when Pynder dies suddenly, his parents swoop in and snatch Sophie from Celeste’s arms before banishing her from their world. Celeste will do anything to get her daughter back, but falling in love with a bartender — or anyone else — was never part of the plan.

Pre-Order for January 27th release at:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

 

EXCERPT

Celeste paced the small confines of her quarters with her nearly six-month-old daughter, Sophie, clutched in her arms. The cool blue tones of the walls did nothing to ease her anxiety. Pynder, the Vaaden warrior who owned her, had claimed he would return soon with food and some new clothes for the baby. That had been hours ago, and still there was no sign of him. It wasn’t like Pynder to break his word.

Sophie grew restless, and Celeste knew the only way to calm her would be to put her in the sink and let her splash and play for a few minutes.

Undressing the little girl, she turned on the sink in the kitchen and allowed Sophie to splash to her heart’s content. Both Celeste and the counters were completely soaked by the time she dried Sophie off and put a fresh diaper and outfit on her. She was still adjusting to the diapers they had on Vaaden, but thankfully she didn’t have to wash them. All of her laundry was done elsewhere, and then Pynder brought it back to her. She assumed it went to the cleaners, or whatever the alien equivalent was to that.

She heard the door whoosh open and hurried to greet Pynder, a smile on her face. Except it wasn’t Pynder. Unease skittered down her spine. No one had ever come to her quarters except Pynder. He’d once told her that only he had access to the suite, but the couple standing in the doorway proved otherwise, even if the male did look like an older version of her owner. Were these Pynder’s parents? And if so, why were they in the slave quarters with such pinched expressions?

She’d been with Pynder for three years, and not once had his family come to visit. Something was very wrong, and the unease in her gut intensified until nausea welled up inside of her.

The woman came closer and snatched Sophie out of Celeste’s arms. “I’ll take the child. You take care of this… female.”

Celeste’s mouth dropped open, and she reached for her baby, but the male intercepted her. His hands closed on her arms like a vise and he squeezed as he hustled her through the door and down the corridor.

“Let me go!” Celeste yelled, struggling to break free and return to her child, her feet kicking out at anything she could reach. “I want my baby!”

“The child is Pynder’s, which makes her our granddaughter. She’ll be taken care of and raised properly.”

Her heart thudded in her chest. What did he mean she would be raised properly? Wasn’t Celeste going to raise her? What were they doing with her baby, and where was Pynder’s father taking her?

“Where’s Pynder? I want to see Pynder.” Fear clawed at her as they exited the slave quarters and the triple suns beat down. Celeste closed her eyes as the ground burned her bare feet.

“Pynder is gone.”

“Gone?” She struggled some more. She didn’t understand why Pynder would have left her behind. He might not love her, but he doted on Sophie and he would never abandon his daughter.

“Pynder was killed this afternoon in a fight. A warrior who has been at odds with Pynder since childhood challenged him for you and Pynder refused to give you up. They fought, and Pynder lost his life.” The man sneered. “If he hadn’t tried to hold onto you, he would still be alive.”

Her knees went out, and she would have collapsed onto the walkway if the male hadn’t been holding her up. She still didn’t know why Pynder’s mother had left with Sophie, or where his father was taking her now. Why were they being separated? Just because Pynder was gone didn’t mean she gave up her rights to Sophie, did it? There was still a lot she didn’t know about Vaaden.

“My wife wants to hold onto Pynder in any way that she can, and that means raising Sophie as her own. Unfortunately, you’re in the way, Celeste. I know Pynder cared for you, which is why I’m not subjecting you to the harems.”

Oh God. “A new owner?” she asked, barely recognizing her voice. She’d been with Pynder for three years and couldn’t stomach the thought of another warrior owning the right to use her body whenever he wished.

“No. I think it’s best if you leave Vaaden for good. We’re sending you back to Earth. There happens to be a shuttle leaving within the hour, and you will be on it. The Zelthranites have set up stations around Earth, and I’ve made arrangements for you to be transported to some place called Kentucky. You’ll have to speak to someone there about a room and clothes. I’m sure they’ll be only too happy to help, especially if you offer to use the tricks my son taught you to pay for any services.”

The blood in her veins froze at his words. Once, she would have loved returning to Earth, but without Sophie? She had no doubt that her precious baby’s grandparents were going to take good care of her, but Celeste wanted to hold her at night, watch her grow up, and help raise her. It wasn’t fair that her baby had been ripped from her arms and now she was being sent to another world, unable to even see Sophie from a distance. Yes, as a slave she had no rights, but what about her baby’s rights? Didn’t Sophie have the right to stay with her mother?

They neared the transport station, a place Celeste had only seen once when she’d arrived on Vaaden. At the time, she’d been terrified and wondered what would happen to her on the new world. It hadn’t taken long for someone to explain that she was going to be a sex slave, and it had turned her stomach. Then Pynder had entered the holding cell where she’d been kept until she could be claimed. He’d been distant and a little cold, at first, but his cerulean eyes had captured her, and it hadn’t taken long for her to admit that maybe she could come to care for him. His hard layers had softened over the years, and he’d become a friend at the very least.

And she had to admit that the sex between them had been explosive.

She’d had two miscarriages during their time together, but finally a pregnancy had taken. Pynder had explained that it was common practice for a warrior to have his slave get an abortion, but for some reason, he’d wanted a child with her. They’d tried often, and when Sophie was born, it was the happiest she’d ever seen Pynder. Her own heart had filled with love for the small bundle, and they’d begun acting more like a family than a slave and owner, despite the fact she remained in the slave quarters.

The shuttle gleamed in the sunlight, and she still struggled to break free. When Pynder’s father climbed the steps, dragging her along, she renewed her fight, wanting to stay on Vaaden and be near her child, whatever the cost. He wrestled her into a seat and then she felt a sharp prick in her neck. Celeste cried out and grabbed at the area as an iciness spread through her veins and her body became sluggish.

“You’ve been sedated,” Pynder’s father said. “It will wear off, but by then, you’ll be in a sleep stasis until you reach Earth’s atmosphere. Pynder spoke of you often, and I’m sorry things had to happen this way. His daughter meant everything to him, and we will treat her accordingly. Be assured, she’ll want for nothing, and will be given every opportunity a Vaaden female has, despite the fact she’s half-human.”

His words eased her worry for Sophie, but only marginally. It didn’t change the fact she was never going to see her daughter again, something that was completely unacceptable. Celeste vowed that no matter what it took, however long she had to fight, she would get Sophie back.

Her body refused to respond, and only her eyes would move. She watched as Pynder’s father left the shuttle and the doors slid shut. The shuttle rumbled around her, the seat vibrating, as they prepared for take-off. As the shuttle rose into the air, the hiss of the sleep aid filled the compartment, and within moments, everything went black.

When next she woke, she could see Earth outside her window and knew that her daughter was out of her reach, perhaps forever. Her heart was heavy and sobs racked her body as she wept for the child she loved more than anything. She didn’t know what was to become of her, and she worried that Sophie would forget her if she hadn’t already. At only six months old, how likely was it that she would remember the woman who had given her birth?

Celeste tried to wipe away her tears as they entered Earth’s atmosphere and the shuttle rocked around her. As much as her heart ached, and as much as she wanted nothing more than to sob until all her tears dried up, she knew that it wouldn’t get her anywhere. She had to be brave now, and resourceful. Earth had once been her home, but it had been years since she’d been there. For all she knew, her family was gone or wouldn’t want her anymore. Especially after they heard what had happened to her.

First, she needed to speak with the Zelthranites at the station on Earth, and see if anyone could help her. She didn’t know if they would want to confront the Vaadens or not, and she still had no idea where she would sleep for the night, or what she would wear. The slave garment barely covered her slight form and was diaphanous. Definitely not something she would have chosen to wear, around strangers or otherwise.

The shuttle had a bone-jarring landing, and Celeste’s heart began to race. She didn’t know what to expect when the shuttle doors opened, and she had no idea how much Earth might have changed. If there were alien stations around the world, then that told her things were definitely not as she’d left them. Aliens had been whispered about when she’d last been on Earth nearly five years ago, but there hadn’t been any definite sightings, no confirmation that life existed outside of her world. But after being taken first by pirates, then sold to the Vaadens, she knew that most of the missing women on Earth had been abducted, which explained why their bodies were never found.

The doors opened, and her jaw dropped when a lavender-skinned alien stepped on board. His midnight colored hair hung halfway down his back, and his eyes were the striking color of pansies. He gave her an easy smile as he approached. Whoever he was, his height and build were rather impressive. The leather of his vest and pants creaked as he knelt in front of her.

“My name is Thrace,” he said. “Welcome back to Earth.”

Cover Reveal: Celeste and the Alien Bartender

celestecoverfinal

Series: Intergalactic Brides #8
Genre: Sci-fi Romance
Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 20th
Publisher: Changeling Press

Zanar has made himself a home on Earth, where he owns Stardust Bar, popular with both aliens and humans. There’s only one thing missing from Zanar ‘s life. Despite his best efforts to impress the human females he meets, he’s still without a mate. At the age of twenty-six, it isn’t dire for him to pair off and start a family just yet, but he’s lonely and ready to settle down. The last thing he expects is for Celeste to come into his life and turn it upside down.

Celeste is back on Earth, after having been abducted by an alien race five years ago. She’s spent those years as a slave on the planet Vaaden, where she had a precious daughter with her owner, Pynder. But when Pynder dies suddenly, his parents swoop in and snatch Sophie from Celeste’s arms before banishing her from their world. Celeste will do anything to get her daughter back, but falling in love with a bartender — or anyone else — was never part of the plan.

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