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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dawn’s End by Bonnie Ferrante

Betrayed by her fiancé, Nicole Newman has put her love life on hold. She loses herself in fantasy, becoming isolated and despondent. When a voice from the woods identifies himself as the man of her dreams and asks for her help, Nicole is unsure whether she is being stalked or about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Who, or what, is this mysterious being?
Dawn’s End, a place of simplicity and goodness, is being overcome by a gruesome darkness. Possessing bits of information, Nicole and the dark man are told they must complete the quest before Nightfall becomes permanent. How far can she trust this not-quite-human? Can they save a world, possibly two, when Nicole isn’t sure she can save herself?
View the short promo video: Book Trailer

Bonnie Ferrante writes fiction and non-fiction for young people. Gordon Korman selected her story The Amida Tree as a winner in a 2010 NOWW writing contest. Also, her story on bullying was chosen by Anne Coleman. She has been published in the YA anthologies Many Cultures, Many Voices: Collection Two, Takes, and Close Ups: Best Stories for Teens. Her work has appeared in various children’s and adult magazines and anthologies. She wrote for a regional newspaper for three years and her work is posted on

Bonnie loves living in Northern Ontario, Canada even though she spends most of the long winter indoors writing. She chants, bikes, gardens, reads, stitches, volunteers, studies the Dharma, paints, plays/works on the computer, attends live theatre, enjoys being trounced in scrabble by her husband, Fred, and is often found ripping up pieces of her yard or stripping furniture. She hates cooking and cleaning and loves her robot vacuum, (too bad it can’t move the furniture). Her son, stepsons, and extended family keep her young. Once upon a time, she was a grade school teacher. She has entirely too much imagination and not enough opportunity to indulge it.

Random Musings

You needn't fear the dark, nor the hollow footsteps behind you on a desolate street, nor the creak of the floor in the night.
When I come for you, it will be face-to-face, eye-to-eye. Because I want the last vision you carry in to hell to be my rage, my hatred, my revenge.
So, you gonna put that damn cell phone away and quit holding up the line?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Khyber Run - Amber Green

Zarak shed that Warrior Code crap long ago. Oscar personifies it. Hunting a murderer in a land scarred by endless warfare, two men fight for justice, honor, and who gets top.

In Afghanistan, all the easy answers are wrong and the best-laid plans don’t stand a chance. A tight-knit band of USMC scout-snipers, enraged when one of their number murders another, is hell-bent on seeing justice. They kidnap Zarak Momand, a burnt-out Navy hospital corpsman, and blackmail him to be their guide into Momand land and to find a loophole in nanawatai, the Afghan code of hospitality. They don't tell him their target -- a deserter -- murdered Zarak's estranged baby brother.

Zarak has lost touch with his brothers, his heritage, his religion, anything that might inspire true passion. Code-named Zulu and coerced to hunt down a deserter, he must navigate the ambiguities of fourth generation warfare, where there are no front lines and where the moral high ground shifts from situation to situation.

In the end, it's just Zulu and Oscar, a sexually compelling cipher who embodies so much of the Pakhtun Way. But is Oscar’s rough passion a betrayal between brothers?

Visit Amber Green: Web Site
Buy Kyber Run: Loose Id
Read my interview with Amber here: Amber Green


Chapter 1

I woke muddled, thinking the ship's engines sounded wrong. Red light glared on my eyelids. Breathing meant gagging on the seagull-shit taste of a hangover. And that sound was not my ship's engines. More like a sardine can's engines or…a plane?

Opening my eyes took effort. A plane. From the rear of the fuselage, I faced up an aisle between rows of knees hugging sea bags. Not sea bags: MOLLE-packs. Red lights in strips overhead barely illuminated a couple hundred hunched forms in desert camo, a row of males in body armor along each bulkhead, facing inward, and two rows of females jammed into back-to-back seats in the center. Male or female, each of them clutched one of those carbines the sponges called an assault rifle.

Why am I in a plane packed with camo-assed bullet-sponges?

The plane's deck angled down sharply. Screams rang in my ears, going dull. My ears cleared, painfully, and the shrieks sharpened.

Crashing. That's what we're doing.

The deck roller-coastered up, then yawed faster than physics should allow. Whiplash. I saw stars. The stench of vomit wrung my empty guts.

A dive and another yaw brought more screams ringing off the bulkhead, prayer in Spanish close by, retching farther away.

How did I stay in my seat, with gravity halving and doubling and snatching me starboard to port? When the plane steadied long enough to let me look down, I saw bands of dull silver duct tape strapping my thighs to my seat, and another red-streaked silver band over my belt.

Something hung on my lower face. I had some kind of mask. No. Somebody had duct-taped a puke bag to my face. It sagged obscenely against my chin, like a giant used condom.

Pulling it off hurt. The stench blasted from it.

Where do I put this? I looked around, blinking, trying to make sense. The screamers in the middle seats were mostly army. The hundred or so men squatting in the seats lining the bulkhead were marines. Some laughed at the women. Others hunkered down, as if waiting for shrapnel to find them. A few threw curious glances at me, the only squid in sight.

A cluster of pops rapped at the bulkhead, like popcorn in my mother's big pot. One of the sponges grinned at me. "Small arms fire. Welcome to Bagram."

Bagram? A map of the giant air base flashed in my eyes, then a dim memory of riding my father's shoulder, hiding my face in his turban while a trio of Shuravi -- Soviets -- stomped an ominously silent laborer. Couldn't be…

"He means hold on," added another sponge.

I dropped the puke bag to grab my seat. The plane tilted, again nose-diving but this time braking hard. Instead of falling to the deck, the bag shot forward, splatting against a female's ear.

"I'm hit! Aaah!"

"God! Brains! Oh, God!"


The plane swerved and jinked, each jerk redoubling the shrieks. The smell of fear, sharp and sour, fought with the smell of vomit.

One of the marines chuckled, despite the sweat beading on his face, and pitched his voice low enough to hear under the shrieks. "You know you're going to have to police that up, Squidward."

"No-go, sir. The doc's our volunteer."

Volunteer? WTF? I twisted to see who'd called me a volunteer, but his rifle caught my attention first. A bolt-action rifle. A sniper's weapon.

Behind the rifle, teeth flashed in a grin. He didn't seem to exist, except as a rifle, a hint of helmet, and a grin. Then the grin vanished.

The deck flipped overhead. The unsecured marines bounced, sending bellows among the screams. I hung from my seat, still taped in place.

The deck flipped again, then slammed up at us. A marine fell across my lap. I caught his weapon before it could bean him. The cool metal slapped into my hand, rousing memories like an old lover's name.

I looked at the sniper, still crouched behind his rifle, immobile and near-invisible. Who the fuck are you?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Logan's Redemption - Cara Marsi

He'd broken her heart once. Can he save her life now?
Doriana Callahan's life is unraveling. Someone is stalking her and sabotaging her father's company; her teenage son is rebelling; and Logan Tanner is back in town. For sixteen years she's kept an explosive secret from Logan, a secret he soon discovers.

Logan never belonged in Doriana's world, but a long time ago he allowed himself to dream of a future with her, until the awful night he was forced to run. Now he's back and he needs her forgiveness, but first he must forgive himself.

Despite the fact that Doriana kept the existence of his son from him, Logan vows to protect her. He races against time to stop the culprit threatening Doriana and works to forge a bond with his son.

Can the love and passion that still burn between Doriana and Logan overcome old lies and new dangers? The clock is ticking on a second chance at love.

Buy Link: Only 99cents!!!


            “You’ve never changed your opinion of me, have you?” he asked in a hard voice. “I’m still the boy from the bad neighborhood, not fit to be a father to your son.” With a contemptuous glance, he turned away and strode to the fireplace. He leaned on the mantle, his profile to her. His chest rose and fell with his shallow breathing.

Doriana studied him. His jaw set in a tight line. His entire body looked coiled and ready to fight. Or maybe flee. Tears sprang to her eyes. They’d come so far in the last weeks. How had it all gone so terribly wrong?

“What do you want, Logan?” She tangled her fingers through the long strand of pearls she wore, trying to rein in the anxiety that churned her stomach.

Logan’s hazel gaze impaled her. “I want to be in Josh’s life.”

“What?” She yanked on the pearl necklace. The strand came apart in her hands. She watched helplessly as beads rolled all over the floor. My life is coming apart the same way. She raised her gaze to find a stony-faced Logan staring at her with unyielding eyes.

“What’s your answer?” He spit the words out.

“How long will you be in his life, Logan? You’ll leave again and what will happen to Josh? I will not see him hurt.”

Logan was at her side in an instant. He grasped her shoulders. She winced at the anger in his eyes. The twinkling lights of the tree reflected on the golden stubble of his beard, mocking the tension that arced between them like an electrical current.

“I’m Josh’s father,” he rasped. “I’m not some stranger, here one day and gone the next.”

“Aren’t you?” She bit down on her lip. Hurt shattered the chiseled planes of Logan’s face. She glimpsed the vulnerable young boy he’d once been, the boy she’d fallen in love with. He released her as if he couldn’t bear to touch her. Her throat thickened with tears.

“So that’s it.” The quiet calmness of his voice damned her more than shouts. “I’ve never been more than a temporary diversion to you.”

“That’s not true,” she whispered. “I loved you. I ....” She stopped herself before she blurted that she loved him now.

“Do you really know what love is?” His gaze raked her. “You have no problem giving your body to me, but I’m not worth bothering with on any other level.”

Fury and pain pierced her like a carpenter’s awl. “How dare you talk to me like that?”

He released a breath. “I’m sorry. I was out of line.” Sadness creased his features. “I just want to be in my son’s life.”

“How do I know you’ll be around for him?”

“Trust me. Damn it, just trust me.”

Could she trust him? Maybe she should ask him to stay. What if he said no? Could she take that chance? Her insides shook. “I can’t.”

“You can’t trust me?” Steel hardened his voice.

She shook her head. “No, that’s not it.”

“Then what is it, Dorie?”

Words dried in her throat. He had to want her enough to never leave again. She wouldn’t beg.

“Damn you,” he said in a thick whisper.

He pulled her to him and took her lips in a bruising kiss. She held herself tight, resisting his pull. His relentless lips demanded her surrender. She could no more fight him than she could stop breathing. And she loved him. She twisted her arms around his neck and urged his lips apart with her tongue.

He let out a low groan. His lips softened against hers and he opened his mouth for her. He tasted like cinnamon coffee and mint. She pressed closer. He might leave and break her heart. But he belonged to her now.

They slid to the floor together. He leaned over her, his eyes dark and mysterious in the soft Christmas lights. His unique scent of male and citrus mingled with the pine of the tree. Those scents would forever remind her of Logan.

She wrapped her arms around him and pulled him down. Molding her body to his, she kissed him with all the love and hope she couldn’t voice. His taut frame covered her. The urgency of his mouth and tongue excited her to a new wildness. She would love him tonight with all she had to give.

His mouth plundered hers while his hands wandered down her body, massaging, stroking, driving her crazy with want. Her soft cries filled the quiet room.

He leaned on his elbows and looked down at her. Desire darkened his eyes, but something else stirred deep in the gold-flecked depths, something that reached out to the longings in her soul. “Love me tonight, Logan,” she whispered.

“God help me, but I need you.” He undressed her and flung her clothes aside. His own quickly followed.

She lay down again and held her arms out to him. He lowered himself on top of her. His flesh burned her heated skin. The wool of the Oriental rug pressed into her bare back. The slight pain intensified her passion for him.

“Now,” she whispered. She wrapped her hand around his hard penis and guided him to her. He entered her, taking her with a possessiveness that inflamed her. Arching her hips against his, she molded her body to his. She belonged to Logan. Only this moment mattered. She met his every hard thrust, urging him with her body to make her his forever. She barely recognized the sound of her voice crying out his name.

He cupped her bottom, lifting her to meet him, driving deeper and deeper into her.

Her climax erupted, fast and furious, like a shower of dazzling stars, shooting her into the sky. The lights from the tree overhead blurred and danced before her eyes.

Logan shuddered with his own climax. She clung to him, running her hands over his muscled back, reveling in his heat and masculinity.

He collapsed on top of her. The fragrance of pine joined with the musk of their lovemaking.

She wound her arms around Logan’s neck and closed her eyes. She would sear this moment onto her brain.

Murder, Mi Amore' - Cara Marsi

Some vacations are murder

Lexie Cortese is in Rome to forget. The last thing she expects is to meet a sexy Interpol agent who suspects her of being part of a terrorist plot involving a stolen diamond. Suddenly thrust into a world of murders, muggings, and kidnappings, Lexie doesn’t know what to think—or who to believe.

Dominic Brioni’s assignment is simple. Befriend the American and bring her to justice. Only Lexie seems the most unlikely terrorist Dominic has ever met. Sweet, determined, and direct, she faces life with courage and fire, a fire that sparks his protective instincts and a longing for something more—something he allowed himself to hope for only once before.

But that woman betrayed him, and his boss isn’t about to let him forget it. With his career on the line and Lexie in danger, will Dominic learn to trust his heart before they both get killed?

Buy Link: Wild Rose Press

Cursed Mates - Cara Marsi

"What if you were honor bound to kill the man you love?"

Nick Radford is a reluctant werewolf who’s been fighting the Beast within for nearly 500 years. He’s never killed a human, but the Beast is gaining strength and Nick may not be able to ward off his inner demon much longer.

Kyla Yaeger is an elite were-hunter with a scarred past. Her life’s mission is to slay the werewolves who slaughtered her parents. Her quest has brought her to Maine where she's been summoned to destroy the werewolf terrorizing the quaint little village of Heavensent. The last thing she needs is to get distracted by her mysterious--not to mention hunky--new neighbor Nick Radford.

By the time Kyla learns Nick is her target, she's already fallen for him, making her task of killing him that much harder. She is torn between her love for him and her duty to kill her sworn enemy. Nick fights his forbidden love for Kyla, knowing she is duty-bound to kill him. Kyla and Nick must join together to fight an even bigger threat--one that will destroy all humanity. Only by their combined powers can they destroy the evil and bring an end to a centuries old curse.

Cara Marsi Web Site
Buy Link: Noble Romance

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Passing Time - Ash Penn

When world-weary Louis Duncan returns to the English town where he grew up, the last thing on his mind is finding love. He's come home to be at his estranged mother's side as she lies comatose in a hospital bed.

The always-sunny barman Jake Harvey yearns to offer Louis much more than a willing ear. After an evening of too much wine, too much Indian take-out, and too much of Jake's soft lips, Louis succumbs to the young man's charms. Jake proves to be a passionate lover as well as a loyal friend.

When his mother’s condition deteriorates, Louis leans on Jake to help him through the difficulty of another loss. The love of his life died two years before, but to Louis he remains every bit alive as Jake. He and Carter continue to chat, smoke together, even argue over whether Louis is living or merely existing. They do everything as they always did, except have sex. Now, despite Carter urging him to take the risk, can Louis give up his first real love and take his chances with the living?

Visit Ash: Ash Penn's Web Site
Passing Time Buy Link


Toward the end of yet another tedious day, Louis Duncan found himself wandering streets he’d not trekked in twenty years. Since his unexpected return to his hometown, he’d tried a variety of the pubs and bars that had sprung up along the High Street in his absence, but only one managed to draw his attention night after night.

The Prince of Wales public house had undergone a total transformation since the dark and dingy days of his youth. It was now a classy-looking modern bar called Harvey’s. Wood paneling and floor-to-ceiling windows had taken the place of the traditional beer-and-nicotine-stained walls Louis recalled as being off-limits to a teenager looking younger than his years.

The usual hum of voices permeated the low-level music as he entered the bar and approached the array of bottles. He took a moment to scan the various spirits, although he never ordered anything other than a large bourbon.

“Hey, Lou.” The barman, Jake, greeted him as though Louis had been a regular for years. “How’s your mum?”

Louis had spent most of the day at her side, the rhythmic chug and beep of the complicated machinery keeping him company. Occasionally a nurse would rustle up a coffee, and a doctor might pop in to update him on her progress, but apart from that the only conversation he’d shared these past couple of weeks was with a fresh-faced, eternally cheerful barman.

“No change,” he said, catching the faint nasal vowels of his own adopted New York accent.

Already the longed-for bourbon, a drink he had yet to order, sat before him. For all his youth, this guy knew how to keep his customers happy. Louis lifted the glass and swallowed the contents, savoring the thin heat flaming down into his belly.

“Another?” Jake asked, already reaching for the drained glass.

Louis smiled. For reasons unknown to himself, he always tried to arrange his features into an expression that might pass for pleasant with this particular guy. “Thanks, Jake.”

Jake returned the smile and then turned away to fetch the bourbon, affording Louis a prime view of plump ass. He wasn’t totally desensitized to the allure of a well-presented body.

“Cute,” Carter said softly, taking a perch on the stool next to Louis’s.

“I’m a little long in the tooth for cute.” Louis glanced at his lover, a handsome, smartly dressed man with a shock of sandy hair. Carter grinned, his gray eyes bright and mischievous, exactly like the man he was before the illness had yellowed his skin and ravaged his body to a wispy husk.

“You’re a little long in the tooth for spending yet another evening alone in a bar, but that doesn’t seem to bother you so much.”

Louis hunched forward on his stool. “Every day I get to sit by and watch the mother I haven’t spoken to in twenty years slip closer to death. I think I’ve earned myself a few lousy drinks, don’t you?”

“You don’t think you might have earned yourself more? A shot of that, perhaps?” Carter gestured to the barman on his return.

“Only you, my love,” Louis muttered as Jake set a fresh bourbon in front of him.


Louis glanced up to meet Jake’s curious gaze. “Nothing. Just talking to myself.”

“Is that something you do a lot?”

“More than I should.” Louis was long past caring whether he looked like a fool or a loon.

“Do you answer yourself too?”

Louis shook his head. “Now that would make me insane.” He tried another of his smiles, but his lips refused to tilt.

“Well, I’m here,” Jake leaned his arms on the bar, all traces of humor gone. “If you feel like talking to someone.”

Louis laughed. “Haven’t I bent your ear enough these past couple of weeks?”

“With that accent you can bend my ear any time you like.” Jake gazed at him, although to Louis it felt more like a stare. Did he expect an answer? A few more bourbons, and perhaps Louis might have one for him, but not tonight.

He downed his drink and reached for the wallet in his jacket pocket. “How much do I owe?” he asked in his best business voice.

Jake waved a hand. “On the house.”

“You think that’s a good idea?” Louis took out a note anyway. “I wouldn’t want you getting yourself fired because of me.”

“That’s not likely to happen. I have a very understanding boss.”

Louis set the note on the bar. “No boss is that understanding.”

“Mine is.” Jake slid the note right back. “Did I never tell you my last name?” He grinned. “It’s Harvey. My dad owns the place.”

He’d not mentioned it, but then Louis had no cause to ask. “Still, I’d rather pay what I owe.”

“I’ve got a better idea.” Jake took the ten pounds, folded it neatly, and leaned over to slot it into Louis’s shirt pocket. “Why don’t you repay my hospitality by taking me out sometime?”

He stroked a thumb across Louis’s nipple through the cotton. Louis pulled back as a jolt of pleasure tingled down his body.

What was this? Flirting? No. No, it was part of the job to amuse the sad fucks who visited bars alone in order to drink themselves senseless before bedtime.

“I don’t think that’s… Uh, actually, I’ve been thinking about heading back to New York in a week or so.” It was the best—the only—excuse he could come up with on such short notice. “That’s if nothing improves with my mom.”

“A week’s a long time.” Jake leaned closer, a flirty sparkle lighting the depths of his eyes. “Besides, I’ll be heading back to uni myself soon.”

What was he after? A quick fumble with an older man? Something to joke about in the lecture halls to entertain the crowds on a wet Wednesday afternoon?

“If you’re not busy later tonight,” Jake said, casting a lazy gaze down Louis’s chest, “I know of an incredible Indian takeaway up the road.”

“To take away where?” As soon as the words were out, Louis winced. He’d lumbered straight into that one.

A faint blush rose to Jake’s cheeks. “Well, I’m staying with my parents for the summer, but, I mean, you’ve got your apartment and…” He obviously hoped Louis would fill in the blanks.

Louis forced a laugh. “And with that, I think I’ll be going.” He gripped the bar top as he made to slip off the stool. A hand closed over his own. It surprised him, the only body contact he’d had lately, not counting his holding mother’s withered hand, or Carter’s feathery yet imagined caresses. Jake’s hand sat on his, warm and weighty.
Louis studied the fine blond hairs, the short, trimmed nails. He raised his head to find Jake staring back with something like lust smoldering behind those blue eyes.

“Red or white?” Jake flicked out the tip of his tongue to wet his bottom lip.

“Huh?” What would that silky scrap of tongue feel like lapping at his balls?

“Wine. Which do you prefer?”

“Neither.” Louis pulled his hand away and took a step back. “I don’t touch the stuff.”

“You only drink bourbon?”

“Pretty much.”

“Your liver must love you,” Jake said, collecting up the empty glass.

“My liver and I get along great. Catch you later.”

“Here’s hoping.” Jake grinned.

Louis hurried for the exit.

Dani's Duo - Lauren Fraser

Attorney Danika James is ready to celebrate her greatest win to date, but not with a bunch of stodgy lawyers and martinis. Beneath Danika’s buttoned-up exterior lives a woman with wild-side desires she has yet to fully discover.

Tattoo artist Paddy O’Shea walks on society’s razor edge. When he learns his best friend, Cooper Hanes, has more than a casual interest in Danika, Paddy suggests a weekend celebration of exploration none of them will ever forget.

For the next forty-eight hours the men satisfy fantasies Dani didn’t even know she had. But every party has to end. Doesn’t it? Or can the courtroom diva turn Dani’s Duo into something as permanent as one of Paddy’s tattoos?


“So how long have you known Coop?”

“About two years I guess. I wouldn’t say we really know each other. We see each other around at work, but I don’t think he’s ever said more than about ten words to me at one time.”

Paddy laughed. “Yeah, Coop’s kind of the strong, silent type.”

“That’s putting it mildly,” Dani snorted.

“So you interested in something happening between you two?”

His question brought her up short. She would have sworn he was interested in her and yet here he was asking her about dating his friend. Man, she really sucked at reading guys.

“What?” he asked.

Dani looked back at him, puzzled. What did he mean, what?

“How come you stopped dancing?”

“Oh sorry, no reason.” She forced her feet to shuffle to the music. Paddy’s arms wrapped around her waist.

“You not interested in Coop?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think he’s all that interested in me. I mean, come on. He’s had two years to make a move. I think strong, silent type or not, he’d have acted by now.”

“Maybe not. I mean, he’d have to be crazy not to be interested in you.”

She straightened with the compliment. Raising her eyes to meet his, she smiled. “I wouldn’t go that far. I mean, you aren’t interested.”

His body tightened against her and his nostrils flared. “What makes you say that?”

“Oh I don’t know, call it intuition. If you were interested, I don’t think we’d be talking about Cooper.”

“Like I said, a guy would have to be an idiot not to be interested.”

Dani ran her hand up the front of his chest, enjoying the feel of his muscled pecs beneath her fingers. “And you aren’t an idiot?”

“Smart as they come,” he said with a grin.

She wrapped her arms around his neck. “Good to know. So then how come if you’re interested you keep asking me about Cooper?”

“Just trying to figure out who all the players are.”

“What’s that mean?”

“I’m just curious if you are interested in both of us or just me.”

“And if I said I was interested in both of you?” she asked, allowing her body to brush against his as they swayed to the music.

“That works too.”

“So have you two both dated the same woman before?”

“Dated? No. But we’ve uh, well, both enjoyed the company of the same woman.”

“You mean like sex?”

Paddy laughed. “Yeah, I mean like sex.”

Her mouth dropped open. “Wow. I don’t even know what to say about that.”

“What do you mean? The idea doesn’t appeal to you just a little bit?” He leaned in closer. His hot breath caressed her ear. “You don’t think the idea of two guys completely focused on you, touching you, caressing you, pleasuring you is appealing?”

An arrow of raw lust shot straight through her, drenching her panties in its wake. “Uh well…um…” she stammered.

He pulled her tighter against him and she could feel his erection against her stomach. Fuck yeah, it was appealing.

“Come on, where’s that girl who I pierced tonight? The one who’s a little bit wild and daring. The one who gets turned-on by the excitement of doing something that goes against convention.”

She shivered beneath his breath. How the hell could someone she just met see inside her head so clearly? “She’s thinking about her day job.”

“What the hell does that have to do with anything?”

“Come on, Paddy. I’ll see Coop at work, it’ll be weird.”

Paddy snorted. “Right, ’cause you guys are so tight right now. Besides, Coop’s a big boy, he’s not some locker room jock who’s going to blab all over the place about what you did. He’s certainly man enough not to need to kiss and tell.”

She glanced around. Cooper and Tina were no longer dancing. Cooper sat at the table alone, drinking his beer. His hungry gaze followed them across the dance floor. Oh my. “Are you sure he’d even be into something like this?”

“He’s alive, right?”

Dani laughed. “Yes, he’s alive.”

“Then yeah, I’m sure he’ll want to, but hell, don’t take my word for it. Ask him yourself.”

She eyed Cooper again. Would he be into it? And if he was, could she do this? Her mind told her she was an idiot to even consider it but her body was screaming at her to be wild and daring. Paddy was right. Her lawyer persona hid a woman who craved excitement and adrenaline rushes. She’d never managed to find a man who could handle what she wanted sexually. But she had no doubts Paddy was up for the challenge and Cooper, he called to her on a completely different level.

“Let us help you celebrate your victory in a way you’ll never forget.”

She gulped. Shit, was she really considering this? One look at Paddy’s face and she was done. Yep, she was definitely considering this. She nodded. “Okay, let’s see if Coop wants to celebrate.”

The slow, carnal smile that spread across Paddy’s face promised her a night she’d never forget. “Oh, darlin’, he’ll want to blow the roof off this celebration.”

Taking a deep breath, she turned toward the table, Paddy’s hand pressed against the small of her back. His fingers teasingly rubbed her skin. Damn, she was already a pile of mush and they hadn’t even gotten started.

“So, Coop, Dani and I were thinking it would be fun to head back to our place to celebrate her victory today.”

Cooper glanced between the two of them, his nostrils flared and his eyes roamed over Dani’s body, eliciting a loud laugh from Paddy. “See, what’d I tell you?” he asked her.

Cooper narrowed his eyes at them. “What did you tell her?”

“I promised her we’d give her a night to remember,” Paddy chimed in.

With a look at Paddy, a smile spread across Cooper’s face. He stood from the table and stepped toward them. “Is that what you want, Danika? You want us both to help you celebrate?”

Unable to speak, she just nodded.

“All right then, let’s get out of here.”

Doms of Dark Haven 2: Western Night - Sierra Cartwright, Cherise Sinclair & Belinda McBride

A Good sub Would... by Sierra Cartwright
Genre: BDSM Erotic Contemporary

Shelby, a wanna-be sub, hasn’t found a Dom strong enough to push past her need to be in control. Her experiences as a sub have been yawn-inducing. She’s fantasized plenty, though, about Trevor Lawton, one of Dark Haven’s legendary, mouthwateringly firm Doms.

As the stakes get higher at the charity poker match, Dom Trevor Lawton is fascinated by the woman kneeling across the table from him. Problem is, she’s not a good sub. Oh, she tries, and she’s lovely. But she’s not very good at following orders. The woman needs a firm, unyielding hand...his.

Hunting Holly by Belinda McBride
Genre: BDSM Shape-shifter Paranormal Menage
Related Titles: Educating Evangeline, part of the Doms of Dark Haven anthology

When Holly left the Truckee pack, she left her family, her safety, and the two men she loved. Now she's in San Francisco training as a Domme at Dark Haven. She thinks she's found herself, but tonight, Tex and Hunter have found her. And they are not happy with their little wolf. She's been keeping secrets from them. Tonight, someone's gonna beg.

Additional Publisher's Warning: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: anal play/intercourse, caning, sensory deprivation.

Welcome to the Dark Side by Cherise Sinclair
Genre: BDSM Erotic Contemporary
Related Titles: Master of the Mountain; Master of the Abyss; Simon Says: Mine, part of the Doms of Dark Haven anthology

Real Doms terrify her, so Summer plays with lightweights only. And only in the safety of her club, Dark Haven. But on Western Night, the tough cop who wins her in a sub-roping game is as powerful as they come.

Virgil's first taste of BDSM was disturbingly enticing. Hoping to burn out his interest, he visits an infamous San Francisco club, where he wins himself the prettiest little sub he’s ever seen. He’s in a quandary. A man shouldn’t render a woman helpless, let alone spank her ass. But the nervous little submissive clearly loves being in his ropes. Her need to be controlled is as powerful as his need to control. So he indulges himself, and her.

That one night could be the beginning, but instead it's the end. She won't play outside the club and he lives too far to come play. He'll just have to find a way to forget her...or get her in his ropes to stay.

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Random Musings

If something isn't worth our best effort, then we insult not only the task, but ourselves as well.

Monday, May 16, 2011

SLAVE MARKET by Evanne Lorraine

Rescued from sexual slavery by a dragon king, Cassandra owes the royal a debt she can never repay.  Dormant dragon gifts earn her a place of trust as companion, but when she loses her headstrong charge, she faces disgrace and death. 

Handpicked to recapture the kidnapped princess, Xyn and Belz are ordered to work with Cassandra.  That she’s forced to accept a role as their slave is bad enough, but the males bluntly tell her that she can’t come with them unless she can handle all of their sexual needs.  Desperate to atone for losing the princess, and innately trusting the males, she reluctantly agrees.

The dominant dragons are hard males to satisfy.  Cassandra exhausts herself bringing them pleasure.  More troubling than her fatigue from so many orgasms is that their erotic demands prove addictive, binding her heart and soul to the dangerous males more surely than she was ever bound by a slave collar.

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Chapter One

In the standard galactic year 4416
Aboard a Maldorean Slaver, nearing Krinegi space

Strong fingers tightened cruelly on Cassandra’s chin.  She kept her eyes closed and fought the urge to jerk away, knowing anything other than total submission would earn her a jolt of excruciating pain.  Pain she could not escape. 

“Look at me, slave.”

The captain’s voice raised the fine hairs on her arms.  The Maldorean officer enjoyed both screams and blood. He excelled at prolonging a session of torture. Slowly she raised her eyes to his bland grin.  Despite his command, meeting his eyes was a punishable offense.

“Still some fight in you, good. You’ll bring me a pretty price.”  He paused and stroked her collar with a single finger.  “Besides with your collar’s connection embedded, I can track you anywhere in the known universe.”

He handed her collar’s controller to the man behind him, yanked her upright, and shoved her roughly toward the waiting man, who also wore the syn-metal collar.

 “Clean her and see to her wounds.”

She stumbled bumping into the male slave and instantly went rigid from her collar’s zap of pain. The loathsome slave collar around her neck had been soldered in place with its transmitter embedded into her spinal column. This allowed whoever held the controller to fire pulses of excruciating pain directly into her central nervous system.

He waited impassively for her to stop twitching before he spoke.  “Follow me.”

Still shaky from the light zap, weak, and naked, she tottered after her new handler.
Three years of slavery had left her thin and wary, but not completely broken.  She tried to shake off the lingering effects of last jolt from her collar to make sense of what was happening. “Where are we going?”

Without turning his head, he whispered, “Keep silent or I’ll have to zap you again, and then we’ll both suffer.”

She followed his advice as a bewildering series of handlers passed her, and her controller, from one station to the next.  A fast blessedly warm sanitizer cycle, medi-scan eval, and then a lavish handful of expensive nanobots were applied to her skin.

 While the invisible robots worked to repair her injuries and groomed her from head to toe, a replicator whirred to life.  Soon a tall warm drink waited.  An aroma of sweet hot chocolate wafted from the steaming container.

Her nose inhaled the tempting smell and her mouth watered.  Seconds passed and no one claimed the tempting beverage. From the edge of her vision she watched the handlers drift by, escorting other slaves and paying her no mind.  The bots continued grooming.  Gradually her pasty neglected skin took on a healthy glow.  The only scars she still bore were invisible.

Temptation overcame caution and she snatched the drink.  The first small sips of hot chocolate, the real thing--not a syn version, were sheer heaven.  A savory nutrition bar appeared and she barely hesitated before munching down the entire treat in greedy mouthfuls.  Another hot chocolate appeared.  No obvious side effects appeared from the first drink.  Hunger and thirst took over.  She gulped down the steaming chocolate and ate the delicious bars until her shrunken stomach bulged and she was sated and sleepy.

Unknown hours later, she woke on a different spacecraft.  One slave among a hundred or more, all of them naked except for their collars, all of them seemed content, and all of them had been polished to high gloss.

By the time they docked at a space station and Cassandra was hustled into a shuttlecraft she felt tentatively optimistic.  There had to be a way to remove the collar, because the captain was right that was the only way she’d ever be truly free.  The other slaves both male and female wore reflections of her own nervous smile.  Something big was happening, there were fewer handlers than she’d ever seen.  After three years in captivity, if they landed, then for the first time escape was a real possibility.  The trip to the planet’s surface passed in a blur of flickering hope.

She joined the line leaving the craft.  The exit parted to allow only one of them to leave before it then resealed.  When her turn came, she stepped through the hatchway into a syn-metal corridor just as a Krinegi rounded the corner.  The frightening female’s dark chitin surface was as effective as the finest armor.  She closed the distance between them and used her sharp pincers to cuff Cassandra’s upper arm.  A controller dangled from a lanyard around the Krinegi’s shiny black neck.

Cassandra couldn’t read the etching, but her stomach tightened with the certainty the device accessed her collar.  Although the Krinegi couldn’t work the delicate controls without a droid, unless things had changed drastically during her time on the Maldorean slaver, bots were easily acquired for a meager few space credits, so that wasn’t enough of barrier to offer any comfort.

Faced with the hard black shelled reality of her new keeper, the faint chance of escape she’d dared to dream of crashed and died.

The razor edge of the female’s pincers drew blood.  Cassandra clamped her teeth and remained quiet.  She’d heard the female Krinegi were almost as touchy as their notoriously bad-tempered males and she knew an angry guard could cause a terrifying amount of pain.

A series of angry buzzes and harsh clicks erupted from the female’s open mandible.  A heartbeat later, the device implanted in her thorax translated the noises to, “Disgusting thin- skinned humanoid.”

Although Cassandra had been scoured and groomed thoroughly, memories of the last three years of depravity and constant torture flooded her with self-loathing.  Disgusting summed up her own feelings much too accurately.

Her escort stopped at a replicator and applied a dressing to Cassandra’s oozing wound, topping the bandage with a syn-metal clamp-on armlet.  She inspected the temporary repair, nodded to herself, and gripped the armlet firmly with her pincer.

Before long the corridor let them out in a busy hive of Krinegi industry.  Other slaves from the Maldorean ship already waited on a platform.  A glance backward revealed more slaves being escorted toward the same platform.  She was hurried up the steps and took her indicated place.  A force field snapped closed around her.

An expectant crowd, of many species--some she’d never seen, jostled for position around the stage.  Scanning the potential buyers, she shuddered with both dread and cold, and gave thanks for the force field that protected her from the spectators and bidders at least temporarily.

A towering Krinegi male descended in a personal hovercraft, stopping just above the front of the platform.  His amplified translator broadcast across the arena.  “Welcome to the Slave Market.”

He continued and the crowd quieted as he opened the bidding with the offer of a tall Hakanese male.  The humanoid did not wear a collar, but he stood passively, staring straight ahead as the Krinegi described him.  From her position near the back of the stage, she saw only the back of head, neck, and upper shoulders.  At the base of his neck the universal sign for a water demon’s servant was tattooed.

A surge of empathy for his plight washed over her and she wondered what had happened to his master.  Perhaps the demon’s servant had been stolen from his home world as she had been.  Maldoreans weren’t the only species to traffic in slaves.  They weren’t even the worst.

Sounds of a scuffle pulled her attention to the area behind the platform.  A pair of powerful males shimmered with aggression despite the heavy manacles binding their hands and feet.  For a second she could have sworn they were covered in scales.  But she blinked and the illusion vanished.

The one closest to her met her gaze and flashed her smile of dazzling brightness. His eyes flashed amber with an earth-dragon’s elliptical pupils.  Drawn so strongly, she couldn’t have resisted, she stared at the other male.  The glow of a fire-dragon’s ruby irises met her stunned gaze.  An insane urge to protect them roared through her veins.
Cassandra forced her eyes away from those dangerously compelling males and the wild yearning to erase the damage that kept her inner dragon permanently latent--for things that could never be. From under her lashes she sought another peek at the gorgeous pair, but they were being dragged away by a squad of humanoid guards, wearing silver body armor with an air- dragon’s royal crest.

If dragon males were held captive, then she truly had no hope.  She tried to find comfort that they weren’t being auctioned off, but the strange feeling she’d failed the magnificent males persisted.

With no distraction from her failure to save the males or to escape her miserable slavery, her arm throbbed and although her skin burned with fever, she shivered.

 Cassandra focused on her bare feet until her containment field moved, jerking her to the front of the platform.  A fast scan of the bidders tightened her belly.

Shiny black Krinegi males clicked and buzzed excitedly.  Reputedly, they liked to nibble on their slaves.  Some of their snacks lasted for months before something vital ended their wretched lives.  She shuddered, fighting the rise of mindless panic.  Where there was life there was hope, she would endure.

To the right of the Krinegi, several spiny Andulvian panted and dripped, each damp tentacle contained a mouth and a probe.  The agony of each spiny penetration made the jolts from her collar feel like a lover’s nip.  She closed her eyes and prayed fervently the Lady Kiandra, goddess of water, for the mercy of a humanoid master. 

Her eyes opened, seeking a miracle.  A silver helmet bearing the royal mark of a dragon moved toward the front of the crowd.  Now, Cassandra shook with new terror that after years of ignoring her requests the incomprehensible goddess had chosen to answer this last foolish prayer.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Random Musings

It was the kind of day when the flight arrives on schedule, the passenger you’re waiting for disembarks in a body bag, your car's a two-door, and your secretary just called to let you know there's a news crew filming the police officers searching your office.

Three Days of Dominance - Cari Silverwood

When the man in Danii’s dreams, with a kink for floral bondage, emerges from a lake and kisses her, Danii finds Heketoro impossible to resist. But now she’s found her lover, can she save him from a curse that’s waited one hundred years to kill?

When a man with mint-green eyes steps from a lake and offers to rescue Danii’s dog in exchange for three days of total obedience, it’s obvious he must be either joking or crazy. Being a police officer, she knows how to handle the crazies, but when it comes to Heketoro, she’s the one being handled. Each day their lovemaking becomes wilder and Danii discovers exactly how far this man can take her. Though the tattoos drawing themselves on his body make it clear he’s not quite human, to Danii what’s more important is their burgeoning love for each other.

An ancient curse prevents Heketoro from returning to his world. With one last ritual of love needed to break this curse, Heketoro’s enemies return and threaten to destroy him by using his only weakness -- Danii. Will love, or their enemies, triumph?

Ready to buy? Sorry... not until June 7th.
Until then, here's Cari's web site where you can look at her other novels:


Chapter One

Her wrists were drawn taut above her head, secured to the headboard by ropes of thorned red rose and bougainvillea. The pricks of their thorns threatened to puncture her dream. She resisted that, wanting more. Raising her head, she stared down the length of her body, past her protruding red nipples and along her stomach where sweat lined the floral rope fastening her thighs up against her body. With her bottom tilted and her legs spread, her pussy was open, available.

The man, his black hair floating like the rays of a sun, lifted his head from between her thighs. She gasped, rolling her hips upward. The wet tip of his tongue slid across as he licked her juices off his lower lip. Her clit, so recently probed by that clever tongue, pulsed. If he didn’t put it back there, soon…

She panted as his thumbs glided in the slickness down below, felt them sink deep into her, then deeper inside, and gasped again, lost in the molten sensation. She tried to move her arms, her legs and couldn’t. Trapped and pinioned for him to do what he wished. Excitement screwed her insides a notch tighter. Her vagina squeezed around his thumbs. He pulled them out, and she mewed at the loss.

Slowly, his eyes never leaving hers, he rose to his feet, shifting position until his hands wrapped around her thighs and the head of his cock pressed against her entrance.

Anticipation made everything feverish bright, sent lust snaking, thick as syrup, to her groin. Her thigh muscles juddered as she pushed up in vain against the rope. The rope tightened. The thorns bit down.

The man smiled with satisfaction as her struggling subsided, becoming a trembling acceptance of what was to come. He drove the head of his cock into her, sliding inside, and halted. She groaned, anticipating the thrust as he penetrated farther.

Watching her intently, he skated his finger in tantalizing circles about her clit, sometimes touching the aching nub and sometimes not. He gripped it between finger and thumb and squeezed, then thrust with his cock, then squeezed, then thrust -- the rhythm driving her closer and closer to the edge, her clit so swollen she was sure she’d explode if her release was held off a second longer. Withdrawing until the head barely parted her lips, he poised there, making her ache, making her want.

Aaah. She arched, threw back her head, opened her mouth…and something soft and furry landed on her. A long tongue swept across her face. The dream dissolved.

Danii opened one eye. Two doggy eyes looked back.

“Killer,” she rasped. Her cocker spaniel barked twice and squirmed closer. She plonked a hand on his head to still his tongue and squinted at the alarm clock.

“Six o’clock. Gah! Couldn’t you have waited one more minute? We nearly did it this time!” Not that it would have mattered. Her dreams always ended before she came, though this time had been close, much closer than usual.

Danii squeezed her thighs together and groaned. She really needed a lover. Only, good men didn’t grow on trees, especially not men who did special tricks with bougainvillea. Whoa, that had been something, way too kinky. She’d never let a man do that to her for real, but in dreams, in dreams it was…nice.

Killer barked again, more urgently.

“You want to go for your walk, don’t you?”

He ruffed and sat up, tail swishing across the sheets.

“Okay. Okay. I’m getting up.”

* * * * *

Getting her mind in gear in the early morning was something she’d had practice at for years. Within half an hour, Danii was at the lake, having pulled on jeans and a top and collected the
neighbors’ dog like she’d promised. The lake was blue-green, cool, and still. The sun’s rays struggled over the horizon in little sparks and glints that hurt her eyes when she looked up.

Preoccupied by thoughts of what might await her at work later that morning, Danii barely noticed the concrete path under her feet, the ducks cruising on the water, or the myriad other life in and around the lake. She’d been here a million times, and the dogs more than made up for her inattention as they sniffed weeds, tree trunks, a patch or two of sodden grass, and
eyed everything that moved.

Most likely there’d be a long list of thefts and assaults to investigate today -- no court appearances, thank heavens, as far as she knew. With a wrench she brought her mind back to the here and now. Time for all the stresses of work later, when she had to think about it.

Killer and Jugsy, the neighbor’s black-spotted dalmatian, easily kept up with her on the lazy walk around the lake, though the dalmatian had a habit of doing pretzel maneuvers around Killer every so often.

A distinctive child’s hat with butterfly appliqué rested abandoned on the grass ahead. She knew Marie, the mother of the child, and went to pick it up. Jugsy’s lead tangled with Killer’s at the same time she bent over, and she absentmindedly fiddled with the lead and dropped it.

In that one millisecond of sloppiness, a dragonfly darted across Jugsy’s nose, and he took off like a spotted rocket. She lunged, then dived for the loop of the lead and missed. With a gigantic splash, Jugsy plunged into the lake and was yards out before she’d scrambled up off the grass.

Holy hells. Who was to know the animal could win an Olympic medal in dog paddle?

For a Friday morning, the park was inexplicably deserted.
No one in front of me and -- Danii looked back along the snaking path of gray concrete -- no one behind. Just a carpet of grass up to the lake edge, low shrubs spotted here and there either side of the path, and a few timber seats randomly decorated with pigeon droppings. And one very wet dalmatian, trailing his lead through the weeds and scaring up ducks and cormorants while galumphing around on the island in the middle of the lake.

“Damn.” She wrapped the end of Killer’s leash around her hand an extra turn and gave him a quick pat. “At least you’re not stupid enough to go swimming.” Tongue hanging out the side of his mouth, spaniel ears drooping in sympathy, Killer panted happily up at her, then turned to bark at Jugsy.

“Jugsy!” Damn, damn, and damn. It seemed a good time to curse everything. As well as exercising the dogs, she came here to wind down, to forget things like the maniac burglar the sergeant wanted caught ASAP, the avalanche of paperwork on her desk, and the niggling headache that came with it. No way was she getting in that weed-infested water, tangling her legs and drowning because her neighbors’ dog had decided to go nuts.

But…she couldn’t leave him. He might be so dumb a lobotomized weevil could beat him in an IQ test, but he was adorable. She looked down at her jeans and low-cut red T-shirt. Jeans weren’t swimming gear -- get them wet, and she’d find it hard to
stay afloat. The alternative was to strip them off. No. No way am I stripping off in public.

She shucked her flip-flops and inched her toes closer to the murky green water. In the depths, something flash-wriggled past. Give her a recalcitrant criminal and she’d leap in with handcuffs flying, but this -- no way. Water, deep water, that went down into green depths…it was enough to give her a serious case of the heebie-jeebies. She stared, feeling a prickle of anxiety that she knew was only an eyeblink away from becoming full-blown, mind-churning panic.

Liar. Any water made her want to cut and run.

“Need a hand?” From behind her came a deep voice with enough gravel in it to finish her driveway.

She jumped, stepping back at the same time as she swung to see who’d spoken. Her heart pounded ten times faster than it should.
As she peered out through the swathe of hair across her eyes, the sun made gold and red haloes on the strands of auburn. Calm down, girl, it’s just a man.

She snagged back her hair. “Hi. My friend’s dog is stuck on the island.”

Reality shifted abruptly, and her stomach twisted. She knew him -- he was the man from her dream fantasies for the last year. The resemblance was unnerving. Keeping her face from showing shock was a struggle.

If she talked fast, the man might not notice her blush. In her last dream, she’d been naked and tied to the headboard.

As if he could read her thoughts. Dreams were just…dreams.

He stood there, dripping wet, as sleek as a well-dressed seal, in skin-hugging black pants and a long-sleeved shirt that looked to be made of something like thin neoprene. He’d been swimming? His jet-black hair was tied in a ponytail. He was a little on the thin side for her tastes, and his irises were an odd color that was almost as green as the grass under her feet. Contacts, surely.

It was hard not to stare. Where had he come from?

He smiled. “Would you like me to get the dog back?”

Ooh. His voice went deep enough to turn her bones to jelly.

Killer gave a halfhearted woof, then wagged his tail. A guard dog, he was not.

“Uh. Um. You’d do that? I mean…” She tore her gaze away. “Look at it. There’s weeds in there that could pull you under.” She tucked her thumbs in her belt loops -- only to realize it made her breasts push out. Casual-like, she unhooked her thumbs, then threw out some words to cover her embarrassment. “Are you trying out a scuba tank or something?”

He took a step closer. “My name is Heketoro. I will do this in return for one gift.”

A gift? Surely he joked? But the man said it straight-faced, looking down at her with those green eyes, and she noticed for the first time a tiny, undulating tattoo on his temple. Her throat tightened, her heart shifting gear into full speed ahead.
Not from fear, though; she knew that feeling. Desire. Her body was telling her something she didn’t want to know, and it was all the fault of those stupid dreams.

He hadn’t moved at all. He was serious? Okay, she could hear others talking now, farther along the path where houses crowded in toward the lake; besides, how crazy could this Heketoro be?

“A gift? Sure, what sort? Ten dollars?”

“No. You will do as I bid you for three days.”