Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 in bullet points

New Books:

  • "Witch Hunts on the Internet" published by Echelon Press
  • "A slave of my own desire" published by Red Rose Publishing (writing as Eve Summers)

Upcoming books:

  • "Murder @ Play", a prequel to "Murder @ Work", to be published by Echelon Press in January 2009
  • "Twice and 1/2 upon a time", to be published by Pipers Ash
  • "The seventh taboo", to be published by the Wild Rose Press in January 2009
  • "Danger, Word Games!", to be published by Red Rose Publishing in February 2009 (writing as Eve Summers)
  • "Fiji on Fire, Fiji on Ice", to be published by Red Rose Publishing in 2009 (writing as Eve Summers)

Witchful / wishful thinking:

  • "Substitute wives" - Berkley :-)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jingle Bells


Okay, so it's only a few day to go. Seven in fact. Are you counting down, or panicking, relieved that the silly season only comes once a year.

But what a great time of the year.

For us here in New Zealand, it's summer time. It's also the end of the school year, the time when most families have their annual holiday, so come Christmas day onwards the country kind of shuts down - well it does after the major sales on Boxing day - Dec 26. Then it's kick back, relax in the sunshine, heat up the barbie and as kiwi's say... she'll be right.

Then hey presto a few days later it's New Year and time for those resolutions. Do you make them? Keep them?

What do I want 2009 to bring?

Now I could be like one of those contestants in Miss Universe (or in my case Mrs) and say I want world peace and no more land mines. And that's true. But what about me? What do I want for ME?

You see, this year, I have discovered that sometimes life just has to be about ME. And just ME.
It's kind of food for the soul, making sure I take care of me, listen to what I want.

And what's that? World peace - of course.

Plus how about 36 hours in the day, so I have 18 hours to write, 4 hours to sleep - and 4 hours for the gym, the family, food in, food out.

But really when you look at the way i've written my priorities, it's really wrong. It should be about ME, but also about the ones closest to us, our families. Because that's what it's all about. We can love writing, love our characters, love that they live happily ever after, after we've thrown everything including the kitchen sink at them, but we have to have balance.

And so... blance for 2009 is.... (drum roll here!!!)

1. Family
2. Me (writing, resting, reading and oh, okay, going to the gym if i have to)
3. Sleep - preferably more than four would be nice - pretty please.
4. And did i mention reading? Now, you can come back and haunt me at the end of 2009 but I will say here and now, in 2009 I will read, read, read more books. I mean i'm a writer, so goodness me I need to read too. And that is the one thing I, Jane Beckenham, wife, mother, writer, can do for ME... sit down, relax, and read a heck of a lot more.

Christmas is coming up fast. I've done the shopping, everything is wrapped and under the tree, except for the chocolates in case the dog gets those! Imagine a packet of chocoate for $1.99 costing $150 at the vet to make the dog sick it up - yes i know disgusting, but true and very expensive! So, I'm all ready for the BIG DAY, except for a couple of stuffing stuffers... books...of course!

So if you're looking for a stocking stuffer....why not a Christmas story, about love and hope and finding that sexy Santa under your Christmas tree!


NEED A STOCKING STUFFER?
DESPERATELY SEEKING SANTA
Jane Beckenham

Santa leaned against a railing of silky teddies and thongs, all pink fluff and feathers along with black lace and faux fur. Mandy blinked several times. The guy didn’t move. The look on his face, humor and downright daring indicated he knew exactly what he leaned against. But still he stayed there. His arms crossed his chest, pulling the red suit across his broad shoulders. The fabric stretched and Mandy’s eyes widened. This was no weasely old man Santa and she wondered for the first time, what lay beneath all that fake Santa stuff?

Red Rose Publishing
Mainstream
Holiday/ Contemporary
ISBN: 978-1-60435-249-8

Happy reading and best wishes for the festive season

Go and be silly!
Jane Beckenham








The Geography of Christmas


Where I come from, Santa has a red warm winter coat and a white beard and pink skin. Oh, and he arrives on foot. So imagine my surprise some 30 - ahem - years ago, when I learnt that in some countries Santa's skin is dark, he wears swimming gear and arrives on a surf board... or in a rowing boat... or in a sleigh pulled by reindeer for that matter.


To see the geography of my Christmas (on 3 continents), please have a look at my guest blog here: http://www.thesecretlifeofromancewriters.blogspot.com/.


Incidentally, if you're looking for a present, why not buy a book? Check out this link: http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/eBook77234.htm.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

And the winner is....

I've picked a winner for the free copy of Seducing the Darkness and the winner is...

DIANE F.

Email me at shielas@shaw.ca for your book.

CONGRATS!!!

Embracing/Charming the Darkness excerpts/ADULT

It's a rather cheery day today. The sun is out and remarkably it's not freezing cold outside which believe me, where I come from, is rare in the winter. The fresh snow is glistening, everything looks so clean and white and pure. It truly is a good day. And because I'm feeling so cheery, I've decided to give you all not just one excerpt today but two. You are in for a treat because the excerpt from Charming the Darkness has not been seen anywhere yet. It's release date is January 1st.

And....at the end of the day I will pick one lucky winner who will receive a free copy of Seducing the Darkness.
I also want to say thank you to Yvonne for allowing me to spent the past three days introducing myself and my books with all of you.

EMBRACING THE DARKNESS

Blurb.

Once upon a time Jonah Moore had it all. Then his wife and unborn child were taken from him, leaving his life darker than when Chaos and his evil vamps stole the sun. Now, Jonah's lost the will to face another day, which could be a problem, considering he’s just been turned into a vampire and is now destined to live for eternity.

As a nurse, Raven Moony was used to tending to the needs of others. Until an accident changes everything… When she is abducted and forced to tend to Chaos’ needs, she is more than ready to give in and willingly accepts her role as his slave. Then Jonah enters the picture and she finds herself fighting for his safety and freedom as well as her own.

Can she convince Jonah he should go on despite her own doubts? Can they open their hearts to love and learn that there is indeed life after death?

Shiela Stewart’s third novel in The Darkness series continues the heart stopping, action packed battle of light against dark. Enter a world where light shines from within and love always triumphs…even in the face of pure evil.

EXCERPT:

“I thought we would try this again.”
Startled out of his sleep, Jonah glanced towards the door as Raven entered. He’d been peaceful in his sleep, lying in the arms of his wife and stroking her swelling belly.
And now that he was awake, he was reminded that it had just been a dream and the cruelty of reality was that he would only have her in his dreams from now on.
“Since my threat of shoving a feeding tube down your throat didn’t come to fruition, I thought I would try to persuade you to eat and drink something. Again.” She set a tray with a sandwich and a cup on the table beside his bed.
He glanced at it half heartedly then turned away. “I’m not hungry.”
“We could go with that feeding tube then. Here, I brought you more ice.” She held up the bag as she walked around his bed and lifted the covers. “Can you roll onto your side, or do I need to help you?”
“I can manage.” He hoped. Grabbing the side rails,
Jonah pulled himself over, shifting until he lay on his right side. He held onto the rail while she slipped the previous pack away and replaced it with a fresh one.
“There you go.”
He flinched when her hand touched his arm as he rolled himself back. “I can do it.” Jonah insisted and pulled the covers up to his chin.
“You’re a contradiction, Jonah. You don’t want me to help you, insisting you can do it on your own, yet you refuse to eat or drink in hopes of…what? Starving yourself to death? Seems like a cruel way to die.”
“Why would I deserve an easy death?” he muttered, folding his arms across his chest. The head of the bed rose, startling him. He needed to calm his nerves and be less jittery.
She held the button until he was sitting upright, then released it to grab the tray. “I don’t know why you want death in the first place. Here, drink.”
He glanced into the cup and saw the blood. Though his mouth watered and his body alerted him to the need for it, he rejected it with a turn of his head. “What do I have to live for?”
“You’re like a child, turning your head away from the food like it’ll deter me from forcing it into you mouth. I will, you know, because even though you think you have nothing to live for, I believe differently. Now drink.” She shoved the cup to his lips.
He slapped it away, knocking the cup onto his lap, spilling blood all over his bedding and himself.
“Now look what you’ve done. You’re worse than a child. I swear.” Shaking her head, she marched from the room.
He could literally feel his body begging for the blood that was soaking into his bedding and his clothes. It wasn't a hungry sensation, but a need so great that it called to his blood, to his body to take. Slowly, he slid his finger along the blood soaking into the fabric, pooling some onto his finger. Lifting it, his heart speed up and his pulse quickened and before he registered what he was doing, his finger was in his mouth.
“Thank God there are plenty of fresh linens. I’d hate having to go down into the basement alone to wash some.”
Pulling his finger from his mouth quickly, he tried to look nonchalant as she walked towards him.
She dragged the wheelchair to the bed after setting the fresh linens on his bed tray then began gathering the soiled bedding. “I saw you pull your finger from your mouth. Did you enjoy the taste?”
He refused to acknowledge her comment and decided instead to stare blankly at the ceiling.
“Have it your way.”
His eyes jerked down when he felt her hands on the front of his nightshirt. “What are you doing?”
“Removing the soiled shirt. I have a fresh pair of pajamas here for you.”
He slapped her hands away again and unbuttoned it himself. “I can manage it.”
“Suit yourself.” She stepped back and folded her arms across her chest, waiting. “What was your wife’s name?”
That caused him to pause, then he swallowed the misery he felt and continued. “Ariel.”
“That’s a pretty name. How long were the two of you married?”
He had the buttons open and began pulling his arms free. “Four years.”
“Still fresh. I’ll take that.” She took the shirt before he could drop it on the floor. “You’ll need to remove the bottoms as well.”
“Excuse me?”
“They’re soiled.” She pointed to his crotch and the huge blood spot soaking into the material. “You’ll probably need help removing them.”
“I can do it myself,” he insisted, refusing to allow her to undress him. He wasn’t a complete invalid. “Just give me a fresh shirt.”
Shrugging, she handed one to him in a pasty green.
He slipped his arms, one at a time, into the sleeves then quickly buttoned them. “I’m not taking the bottoms off with you watching me.”
“Do I need to remind you that I have seen you naked already?”
He clenched his jaw. So she had. He’d been stripped naked when he’d been chained to Chaos’ wall. Still… “Just turn around.”
“Whatever you say.” She turned her back to him, her arms once again folded across her chest.
He lowered the waistband, but sliding them down his hips was a little more difficult. He had some mobility in his waist and hips, enough that he could swivel back and forth to wiggle the waistband down, but when he tried to slide them down his legs, he came up against an obstacle. His legs wouldn’t bend on his command, which made it harder to slide the pants all the way down. And when he tried kicking them to shake the pants down, that too failed.
“Damn it!”
“Need a hand?”
He didn’t like the smugness in her voice. “No.” Yet here he sat, pants tangled at his knees, naked, exposed, and not able to get them all the way off. “Yes,” he finally said, deflated. “But close your eyes.”
“I can’t help you with my eyes closed, Jonah.”
He cupped himself as she turned around. She shook her head and rolled her eyes then grabbed a fresh pair of bottoms. Setting them on the foot of the bed, she grabbed the soiled ones and slid them free of his legs. “I should have thought to bring in a bowl of warm water. I’ll be right back.”
And there he was, sitting in a hospital bed, naked from the waist down and unable to do anything about it. He hated what his life had become.
“Here we go.” She set the bowl on the tray, then took the cloth from the water and squeezed out the excess before laying it on his thigh. “Since the blood stain was mostly over your crotch, I’m going to have to wash that as well.”
“I don’t think so. I’ll do it.” He took the cloth from her then waved his hand indicating he wanted her to turn around.
“You’re being ridiculous.”
“It’s called dignity.” He waited until she’d turned to wash himself off. Holding his limp member, not being able to feel his palm against the flesh was an ugly revelation he was having a hard time dealing with He was even discouraged when he washed it off and couldn’t feel the warm water. “Done.” He set the cloth in the water while cupping himself with his other hand.
She turned around and pulling the cloth out of the water, proceeded to wash his legs and waist. “You have nice muscles in your legs. Do you work out?”
“No.”
“Hm, what do you do for a living?” She washed down his leg, bending it at the knee and moving it up and down.
“I work with computers. What are you doing?” He shifted one hand to cover his now exposed balls.
“Flexing your muscles, keeping them limber. I’ll need to do this several times a day so they don’t stiffen up. What sort of computer work do you do?”
“Everything from computer repair to debugging or reconstruction.” He wished he felt at least something when she moved his legs up and down.
“Sounds fascinating. My guess is that it’s mostly desk work. Sitting for long periods?” She moved to the next leg.
“More or less.” Couldn’t she do this when he had the pants on?
“Yet you stay fit. And without exercise. Interesting.”
“I walk. Well…I did at least.” That was another thing he’d never do again. He’d loved walking once. Long walks with Ariel on warm summer evenings. He’d never have that with her again.
“Well, if you eat and drink it’ll help strengthen your body, which will enable it to heal faster.”
“Nice try.”
She looked up at him as she flexed his other leg. “If you’re comfortable being a lump for the rest of your very long life, so be it. Do you know what happens to a vampire if they don’t feed regularly?”
“Yes.” He knew it all, well most of it, given the fact his best friend was a vampire. He missed Trinity and he hoped she had listened to him and stopped looking for him. He didn't want anyone else harmed because of him.
“How do you know?” she inquired.
“My best friend and colleague is a vampire.” That had her pausing. “You might have heard of her. Trinity Ford?”
Her eyes went so wide that the whites nearly took over the rest. “Get out. The queen of all vampires is your friend?
The one Chaos is after?”
“Yeah. Do you think we could get me into some pants now?” He felt more than a little awkward having a conversation with her while he was partially nude.
“If you know her, why the hell aren’t you calling her to come get you?” She lifted his left leg and slipped his foot through the pant leg.
“Because I don’t want her to come for me.”
“Why not?” She slipped the other foot through then slid them up his legs.
“Because I don’t. I can manage it from here.” He pushed her hands away, then waited until she turned around before he pulled his pants all the way up.
“That’s a stupid reason. Because. What is it with men when they’re sick or injured that they revert back to being children?”
“I’m done,” he grumbled and that was the only response he was giving her.


CHARMING THE DARKNESS:

BLURB:

Danny Vega had never been comfortable as a human, unlike his twin brother. When he was offered a new life, Danny took it. As a vampire. Turning his back on his family, he welcomed the darkness. But when Chaos, the one man he has always looked up to most goes missing, and Danny is shunned by his kind, he decides to leave Jacobs Cove.
That is, until he’s run off the road.

As a witch, Starla Raine is fascinated by the ritual used to cast Jacobs Cove in darkness and decides to check it out. Entering the city she’s mesmerized by the blanket covering the city, and accidently runs someone off the road. When she discovers the man behind the wheel is connected to the spell that cast a shadow on the city, she decides to hold him captive until he agrees to help her find the spell book. And she’ll use any means possible to convince him, including seducing him.

Annoyed at being held against his will, Danny caves to Starla and agrees to help her find the ritual as long as she helps him find Chaos. He doesn’t mind using her magical abilities, or her body, for his own gain. Sex is just sex, until his heart gets in the way. But when she pushes him to make amends with his brother, or lose her, he finds letting her go isn’t that easy.

Can he open his heart to the light, or give in to the darkness once more?

EXCERPT:

“You’re a vampire?” She backed away from him, her brown eyes wide as she glared at him.
“Well…yeah. What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I move?” It was like his brain lost communication with the rest of his body. Yet he could feel everything.
Weird.
“I froze you. You were going to bite me.”
“Once again, yeah. Vampire here and what do you mean you froze me?” He was straining so hard to move that if he wasn't careful he was going to drop a load in his pants.
“I’m a witch.”
“A what?”
“A witch.”
At least he could use his face and, frowning at her, said, “You’re a witch?”
She folded her arms over her chest and cocked her hip to the side. He corrected his earlier thought. She wasn't just hot. She was damn hot! “Yeah, what’s wrong with being a witch?”
“Nothing wrong with it. You just don’t look like a witch.”
“Why, because I don’t have a green face and a pointy nose?” She rolled her eyes.
“No, because…well, you’re hot!” There was no denying it, the woman had curves in all the right places and that tight black v-neck t-shirt she wore teased of ample breasts. Never mind the blue jeans that looked painted on. “Only children think witches look like that. I’m not that stupid.”
She planted her fists on her hips and gave him an indignant look. “I don’t like your attitude.”
“No problem. Unfreeze me or whatever you need to do to give me back the power of my body and I can be on my merry way. Killer, hurry your ass in there already!” Where was that cat anyway?
“Killer? There are more of you in here?” She spun around, facing towards the entryway to the kitchen.
Oh, this was too perfect. “Oh yeah, there’s a whole bunch of us here and we are all going to take turns sucking the life right out of you.”
She narrowed her eyes as she turned to face him. Maybe he should have used less sarcasm. “I don’t believe you.”
“Suit yourself. Come on out, guys!” This was too much fun.
Then Killer walked in, meowed, and wound his body around Danny’s legs. How was he supposed to pretend to be mean when the cat was cuddling up to him?
“There’s no one else here, is there?”
“Sure there are.” He was losing her rapidly.
“I don’t think so.” Daringly, she inched towards the doorway, peering around the corner.
Danny just couldn’t resist. “Get her!”
She jumped, spun around in some sort of karate kick, her fists raised and ready.
It was the hottest thing he’d ever seen.
“I knew it! There is no one else here.” She spun back towards Danny. “You lied.”
“Can’t blame a guy for trying. All right already, Killer, go lay down on the sofa or something.” The cat was annoying him only because he was tickling Danny’s shins and there was nothing he could do to stop it, being frozen and all.
“Killer? That’s Killer?” she chuckled as she made her way to the cat, scooping him up. “You don’t look so fierce.
Come here pretty girl.”
“He’s a guy.” The nerve of her assuming Killer was a girl.
“Aren’t you a sweetie pie?” She nuzzled her face into the cat’s fur. “Yes, you are.”
Killer was loving every minute of it. “You wanna unfreeze me now?”
“Right, because I look stupid.”
“Well—”
“Don’t.”
“You walked into it, toots.”
She narrowed those big, brown eyes at him. “Don’t call me that. If I let you go the first thing you’ll do is jump me and bite my neck.”
“Doesn’t have to be the neck and I’d probably do more than just jump you.”
Her eyes narrowed a little more. “What does that mean?”
“Just forget it. If I promise I won’t bite you, will you let me go?”
“Sure. NOT!!” She laughed at him then took a seat on the sofa with the cat. “What’s a pretty kitty like you doing with a big bad vampire?” Her head jerked up and her eyes went wide making them look even bigger than they already were. “Oh my Goddess! You don't drink from him, do you?”
That was just the most appalling thing he’d ever heard. “What? No way. Killer and I are tight. We’re pals.”
“You’re pals?”
“Yeah, I saved him from a bunch of hungry dogs a few weeks ago and we’ve been roomies ever since.”
“You’re roomies?” Her lips twitch with a grin.
He wasn't impressed. “What’s wrong with that?”
“That’s sweet. You have a kitty as a pet.” Snuggling the cat to her face, she flashed a huge smile at him.
“Wanna release me now?” He didn’t like the way she was looking at him or being called sweet. He was anything but.
She leaned back and Killer made himself right at home on her lap. “Not yet. So why were you leaving—I don’t even know your name.”
“Danny.”
“Cool. I’m Starla Raine. So why were you leaving?”
“Starla Raine? What kind of name is that?”
“It’s a perfectly fine name. Starla was my grandmother’s name.”
“So Raine is your last name?”
“Yes. Why were you leaving?” she repeated, gently stroking the cat’s head.
Maybe if he played nice and gave her what she wanted she’d release him and then he and Killer could go on their merry way. “I’m tired of this town.”
“I would think someone like you would love living here where there’s no sun to burn you up.”
“The sun doesn’t kill us. That’s just a myth. But it does give us a nasty third degree burn. I’ve spent twenty years learning to live with the sun, doing so now won’t be any different.”
“Twenty years?” She frowned. “How old are you?”
“Thirty-three.”
“Get out? Wow, how old were you when you were taken?”
“Thirteen. I answered your questions, so you wanna let me go now.” His body was starting to cramp up and it was not a good feeling, especially since he couldn’t rub the tightening muscles.
“The response you gave to my question was lame. Now tell me the real reason you and Killer,” she smiled down at the cat on her lap, “were leaving.”
“Why does it matter to you?” She was pissing him off now.
“Just curious. What’s the real reason?”
She just wasn't giving up. “If I tell you the truth, will you please release me?”
“You bet.” She kicked her legs up onto the couch and
Killer stretched out, placing his paws and his face on her knees.
“You are just loving this,” he growled at Killer. “Okay,
I’m kind of an outcast here. I used to be part of the group of vamps that started this whole darkness crap, but I disobeyed the leader and so he kicked me out. Now no one wants to hang out with me even though Chaos has been taken hostage and is hidden somewhere. So why stay where I’m not wanted?”
“Chaos was the leader?”
“Yeah. Now you know the truth you can let me go.”
She stood up holding the cat in her arms. “I don’t think so.”
“What? You said you would?” This was bullshit!
“Yes I did, but that was before I knew you were connected to the darkness.” She walked right up to him, her face a breath away. “I came to Jacob’s Cove to find out everything I can about the ritual that cast the city in darkness. I’m thinking you might come in handy.”
She walked off towards the kitchen, cat in her arms.
“What? No fucking way! Get back here. Did you hear me, Starla? Get your ass back here now!” If he had the ability to chase after her she would so be on her face right now. “Damn it, Starla. Let me go!”

Friday, December 12, 2008

Desiring the Darkness excerpt

Morning everyone. Hope it's been good to you so far. I'm feeling rather sluggish this morning after a rough nights sleep. I suppose the steady snow falling outside probably doesn't help much either. But it is pretty.

Today I bring you the second book in my Darkness series, Desiring the Darkness. This story takes place right after Seducing the Darkness. The city is cast in darkness and all hell is breaking loose.

Blurb:

With the cloak of Darkness surrounding Jacob’s Cove, Dante Vega must work together with his friends to protect the humans from the blood thirsty vampires wanting to take over the human race.

When a half naked young woman races into his arms, begging him to protect her, he is compelled to do so, despite the fact that she is a vampire.

Before all hell broke loose and the sun vanished, Gypsy Dawn was an ordinary woman carrying on with her ordinary life. Until she’s turned into a vampire. With no family and no where to go, she clings to Dante. Aside from his dark mysterious good looks, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him. And when his life is threatened, she discovers just how protective of him she is.

Trying to bring back the sun isn’t easy, especially when Chaos, the one creature responsible, has gone into hiding. And when Dante finds out his long lost brother is working with the man responsible, he tries desperately to convince him to switch sides. But his attention is drawn to more important things when one friend is killed and another is taken hostage.

Will Dante be able to save him before it’s too late?


Excerpt:

It had been three days since the sun had been blotted out from the ritual that raised the king of all vampires. Three days and nights of total darkness. Three days and nights of absolute mayhem. Humans were looting anything and everything they could get their hands on, and vampires were scooping the humans up like free candy. But despite the dangers lurking outside, people were still stupid enough to venture out of doors. No businesses were open due to the looting so no one had to go into work. Well, except for the cops and the National Guard that had been called in to help.

Neither was being overly successful. Why? Because the vampires were smarter than the humans.

And that was just damn scary.

But not everyone was as uneducated in the ways of the vampire. Dante was one of them, along with his friends, Jonah Moore, his wife Ariel, the queen of all vamps Trinity, and her mate Basil.
It still blew his mind to think Trinity was an all powerful and mighty vampire queen. Four days ago she’d been your typical blood sucking, fang bearing, night dwelling vampire. Now, a simple stare could put a person in temporary immobilization status.

Damn freaky.

Since the rest of the city was unequipped to handle the vampires scavenging the city, he and his band of vamp hunters were left to do the job. Well, that and bringing down the last person responsible for blotting out the sun. Chaos. Dante was particularly interested in finding Chaos because he knew Chaos would lead him to his brother.

Twenty years ago, Dante had witnessed his twin brother being attacked by a vampire and dragged away. He hadn’t seen his brother since.

Until three days ago.

Now, aside from protecting a defenseless city and trying to take out the one vamp responsible, Dante was also in search of his long lost brother.

“Remind me again why I have to be the bait?”

Dante heard Jonah’s voice in his ear as he hid behind the dumpster. Lowering his voice, he replied, “Because I was bait last time.”

“Right. You’ll tell Ariel I love her if I don’t make it?”

“You’ll be just fine, Jonah. I’ve got you covered and Basil is lurking about, ready to jump in and snatch the bastards. Just stay calm.”
“Yeah, easy for you to say. Oh shit! Bloodsucker, eight o’clock.”

Dante swiveled in his spot behind the garbage bin, looking in the direction Jonah instructed. He saw the chubby guy heading Jonah’s way and prepared himself for the attack. The vampire’s ugly yellow eyes caught sight of Jonah and Dante could imagine what was going through his mind.

Fresh meat.

Not this time.

“Get ready.”

“I’m ready.” Pulling the tranquilizer gun from his belt,

Dante aimed it at the vampire and waited. Because Jonah had the microphone pinned beneath his jacket, Dante could hear everything, including the vampire’s comments.

“Well, looky here. What have we got? Oh, and I smell lots of fear. Gonna be a nice snack for me.”

“You don’t want to drink me. I’m anemic. I won’t satisfy you much,” Jonah added with a great deal of quiver in his voice.

“Oh, I’m betting you’ll be just what I need.”

He heard the growl, heard Jonah scream, and took his shot. The dart hit the vamp right in his backside and as Dante stood up, he saw the vamp pull back in shock. He didn’t waste any time and took another shot. This time he hit the vampire in the arm. The vamp looked up, searching for where the shot had come from as Dante raced towards him.

“Took your time. He was about to bite me.” Jonah took a couple steps away from the vamp.

“I had to make sure I got a good shot.” The vampire hissed as he approached, then his knees gave out and he went down. “Damn, I was hoping to knock him around a bit first.”

“You’ll get your chance later.”

“Jesus Christ, Basil! I hate when you do that.” His heart pounding, Dante aimed a steely glare at Basil. The guy loved to make an entrance, but did he have to appear out of nowhere without warning and scare the living shit out of him?

“Good shot,” Basil stated as he lowered down to the vampires body. “But next time, aim higher. If you can get the neck or near the heart, he’ll go down with one shot.”

“Yeah, thanks for the advice.” He’d only known Basil a few short days and was still on the fence about him. The guy was the last of the true vampires and had several advantages over the rest of the vamps. For one, he could materialize at the blink of an eye and transport himself anywhere. Two, he could transform into any creature and blend in everywhere. And anyone that didn’t know him personally would think he was your typical average human being. Until he bore his fangs and his icy blue eyes began to glow. Only the truest vampires had the icy blue eyes, all the others were yellow.

A sign of their impurity.

“He one of Chaos’ men?” Dante asked, looking down at the unconscious vampire.

“Won’t know until he wakes up and talks. Let’s call it a night for now and get some rest.” Basil hoisted the vamp over his shoulder. “You can ride with me, Jonah, and make sure this guy doesn’t wake up before we get to the castle.”

“Gee, thanks, boss.”

“You can follow us in your car, Dante.”

While the sun was nonexistent they had all agreed to stay at Basil’s castle. It was a smart idea, keeping them all under one roof, but Dante was feeling the crunch of hanging around the same people day and night. He needed a bit of a break now and then, and though Basil’s place was huge, he still managed to run into someone often enough. He was used to living on his own, having no one around but himself.

He missed his privacy.

But he climbed into his car, ready to follow them anyway. Glancing in his rear view mirror, he watched them pull away and saw what looked like a woman, running towards him. He turned around to get a better look, then hustled out of the car. It had been a woman running towards him, clad in only a bra and panties.

And two burly men were right behind her.

“You’ve got to help me. Please, help me,” she screamed as she ran.

Running towards her he pulled out his revolver. “Get behind me,” he ordered to her and took aim. It utterly shocked him when the two men halted then spun around and took off in the opposite direction. “Fuck!” He turned to the woman who was shivering in the cold air. “Get in the car and lock the doors. I’m going after them.”

“No, no, please, don’t leave me.”

She grabbed hold of his arm and pressed her body so tightly to his he could feel the curve of her breasts through the thickness of the suede jacket he wore. “I have to go after
them.”

“No, please, just let them go. I don’t want to be alone.” She clung to him even tighter.

What was he going to do, shake her off of him and drag her to his car? Not likely. So the only chance he had was to stick by her. “Okay. I won’t go after them. You can give a description of them to the cops—”

“NO! No police. Please, don’t take me to the cops.”

He didn’t know what her deal was but she sure was adamant about not involving the cops. And that worried him some. “You have to tell them you were attacked.”

“I don’t want to follow up on this. Please, don’t make me. I don’t trust the cops,” she sighed, still clinging to him.

He could feel her body tremble and he wasn't sure if it was entirely from the chill in the air, or from fear. “Okay, I won’t take you to the cops. You’re cold. Let me give you my jacket.” When she didn’t release him, he patted her arms. “I need you to let me go so I can take off my jacket.”

“Oh, okay.” She released him and wrapped her arms around her chest.

He striped from his jacket then held it out to her. “Here, put this on before you catch a cold.”

She took the jacket and hurriedly slipped into it. “Thanks.”

“No problem. So why don’t you tell me where you live and I’ll give you a ride home.”

“I don’t have a home.” Dante’s brow lifted and she continued. “I was evicted a few days ago.”

He heard glass breaking in the distance and assumed someone was breaking into yet another building. “This isn’t the safest place to be right now. Why don’t I take you to my place and we can figure out what we’re going to do next.”

He held his hand out to his car then walked with her to it, holding the passenger side door for her. After she’d settled in, he hurried to his side and climbed behind the wheel. He got them rolling and was damn glad they were only three blocks from his office/apartment.
“My name is Dante, Dante Vega.”

“Gypsy Dawn.”

Thursday, December 11, 2008

For the vampire lovers/Seducing the Darkness

Good day one and all. My name is Shiela Stewart and Yvonne has so graciously allowed me to come onto her blog and share my latests releases with all of you for the next few days. And since the holidays are fast approaching, I decided to play Santa and give away a copy of Seducing the Darkness to one lucky commentor. So keep watching, and comment and on Friday I'll announce the winner.

For those that don't know me, I am a paranormal romance author with eight books under my belt and the ninth to be released on January first. I love anything spooky, suspenseful or with a bite. Which brings me to my latest endevour. The Darkness series.

Seducing the Darkness is the first book in the series and starts off with a kick-ass heroine trying to stop her evil nemesis, Chaos from turing Jacob's Cove into a haven for vampires by blotting out the sun. I give you now, Seducing the Darkness.

Blurb:
An outcast by her kind, Trinity Ford has learned how to live on her own. And it isn't easy doing so, considering she is a Vampire.

Once a fragile girl, taken by a powerful vampire prince, Trinity had relied on Basil for support. But finding him in the arms of another woman was more than she could take. On her own, she has decided to protect her city from the predators of her kind that prey on the innocent. Another tough thing to do when you're heart is broken. She's had to learn fast, how to be tough, how to survive, how to stay alive. And she's doing a pretty damn good job of it. Until Basil walks back into her life.

Basil Hawthorn has been the reigning prince of vampires since banishing his father to the Realm of Darkness decades earlier. When his father comes to him in a dream, threatening Trinity’s life, he knows the only way to save her is to push her away. Doing so is not easy, especially when she is the only woman he will ever love.

Rumors in the underworld talk of raising the vampire King and blotting out the sun. Basil knows that if his father rises, he will be put to death for his betrayal. Trinity knows that if the King returns, no human would ever be safe again. Despite the betrayal and the threat, neither can stay away from the other. But can the two work together to stop the Ritual before the King is resurrected?

Or will the darkness capture them both?

Excerpt:

That damn itch she’d been having lately was back, and it was driving her nuts. Rolling her shoulders, she watched two redheads staggering from the bar’s exit and towards a dimly lit street.

Here we go again.

She kept to the shadows as she followed after them. Uneventfully, they made it to their car and drove off. She hoped the cops were out tonight and those two were hauled in to sleep off their drunk.

Turning back to the club, she waited and watched for the next two hours and was glad nothing had happened. So far. But the night was still young.

“Can you smell it?”

She didn’t jump, but slowly looked over at Basil who appeared next to her. She hated when he just appeared out of thin air, but she knew he loved that entrance the best. “Your stink? Always.”

He didn’t sneer at her but slowly lifted his hand and lit the cigarette between his fingers. “The blood of a human. Does it still draw you in, make you hunger, make you want?”

“I’ve got a strong will.” Deliberately, she shifted away from him. It wasn’t only the smoke that bothered her—and always had—but his scent. It pissed her off that he could still make her ache.

She waved the smoke away annoyingly and shifted just a bit farther away. “Why are you skulking, Basil? Because if you’re following me, I am going to so kick your ass.”

“I was in the neighborhood.”

She glared at him and growled her response. “If you’re here to drink, let me warn you now that I won’t allow it.”

“Who am I supposed to drink from now that I no longer am nourished by your blood?”

She chose not to answer that. “Why does it seem that you’re always around, lurking in the dark, around places that aren’t your usual hangouts? Unless….there’s a reason?” The thought stabbed into her, and though she didn’t want to believe it, she had to ask. “Are you trying to take more females of your own? Are you the one abducting young girls?”

With one quick and easy flick, he tossed the cigarette into the darkness. The red tip glowed as it flew through the air before landing on the gravel to bounce and spit out a cloud of red sparkling fireworks. “I will not even dignify that with an answer.”

“It’s so obvious, now that I think about it. I was young when you took me, made me yours. Is that what you’re doing, Basil, making another mate?”

His icy blue eyes narrowed dangerously as he stepped closer. “I have a mate and to think you would even have such a thought sickens me.”

“You don’t have me, Basil.” Her voice grew dangerous. “If I’m so wrong, then do explain to me why you’re always out in the darkness, skulking near all these young girls?”

“The very same reason you are, my dear.” He ran a finger along her face, making her scowl.

She snorted, stepping away from him before he decided to do something stupid, like kiss her. “Please, I hardly think you’re out here looking to find the person or persons responsible for taking four innocent girls.”

Leaning against the building behind them, Basil looked off into the direction of the bar and the people waiting in line to be allowed inside. “You think so little of me and that’s a shame. But I suppose I’ve done it to myself. Yes, Trinity, I am looking to find out who took those young girls, as you are. And why you might ask?” He shifted towards her, sliding in nice and close and making her pulse speed up. He laid his fingers on her cheek, then slowly slid them along her face. “Because I have a feeling I am connected to the reason they’ve been taken.”

She had all but a moment to open her mouth to respond when he closed it with a mind numbing kiss, then pulling away, turned into a dog and scampered away.

Now what the hell did he mean by that?

A teenage chat room + 40-year old man posing as a 16-year old + a porn ring

How far would you go to protect your teen?

Read "Witch Hunts on the Internet" - now available from http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/eBook77234.htm.


EXCERPT:

Week 1
This is a transcript of a chat I found on my daughter's computer. Well, not the whole transcript, which was full of stuff like 'random' and 'weird' and 'whatever'. What follows is only the salient bit.

-
Tom16: Need to tell u something important. A secret.
Alicia15: Ok ... :-)
Tom16: Not sure if I can trust u.
Alicia15: Why not?
Tom16: Lots of people online aren't who they say they r. If I hear ur voice, I'll know u r not a middle-aged perv posing as one of us.
Alicia15: Makes sense.
Tom16: So. Do u have a mobile?
Alicia15: Yeah. But no.
Tom16: A webcam?
Alicia15: Forget it!
Tom16: Just kidding. How about photos then?
Alicia15: Plural? That's greedy!!! LOL
Tom16: Anybody can have 1 pic of a 15yo girl. If u have 5, u may be for real.
Alicia15: Dunno. I'm not cool with sending my photos.
Tom16: Come on. It's not like giving ur home address or the gold, u know?


BUY: http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/eBook77234.htm.

Friday, December 05, 2008

HOLLY AND THE MILLIONAIRE - speed blogging


Drinking her virtual glass of champagne with us today is Margaret Tanner, the author of HOLLY AND THE MILLIONAIRE (The Wild Rose Press). Because my own book is under contract with the same publisher, and because the title aroused my curiosity, I asked Margaret to speed-blog with us today.


(You've never heard of speed-blogging? It's like speed-dating, only you make your appearance as a guest on somebody's blog, and your post is as brief as a speed-date.)

1. Welcome, Margaret. Quick! Sell us your book in less than 10 words:
Will Holly take a chance to find love again?

2. How did you come up with title?
I wanted the title to tell the story.

3. What made you write this particular book?
I was on a plane flying home from England when I read an article in the paper about young widows losing their soldier husbands in Iraq, and how they coped with their loss.

4. 3 reasons your book would make a great Christmas present.
It looks pretty. Is easy to post. Not too expensive

5. Your book Hollywood. Which actors would you like to play your hero/heroine? has made it to Which director would you just love or hate to get?
Hugh Jackman – Cate Blanchett. An Australian director would be great.

6. 5 short facts about yourself as a writer and person.
- I am married with 3 grown up sons and one wee grand daughter.
- I live in Australia.
- I love writing and meeting up with my writer friends.
- My favourite genre is historical romance.
- I have two publishers Whiskey Creek Press and The Wild Rose Press.

Thank you, Margaret. How was that for you, LOL.

Now, the blurb and the excerpt.


BLURB: HOLLY AND THE MILLIONAIRE
Fleeing from her ruthless English in-laws who are intent on stealing her child, Holly Kirwan boards a flight home to Australia and meets Justin Devereux. They are instantly attracted to each other.

Justin doesn’t want a permanent woman in his life, particularly one with a baby in tow. Holly, still grieving for her soldier husband who was killed in Iraq, doesn’t want to be disloyal to his memory.

Can the young widow and the commitment shy tycoon ever find happiness together?


EXCERPT:
Heads would roll over this debacle Justin Devereux fumed as he strode on board the aircraft. If he hadn’t needed to get out of England so urgently he would have waited for another flight and to hell with being caught up in blizzard.

He showed his ticket to the flight attendant. He could well understand why some people referred to economy as cattle class. He hadn’t flown this way in years and wouldn’t be doing it today either, if he had any say in the matter.

“I’m so sorry about this mix up, Mr. Devereux. The airline did everything it could to get you a last minute business-class seat, but like first class, it was completely booked out.”

Well you didn’t try hard enough, he nearly said but bit back the angry words. It wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault that his booking was still floating around in cyberspace because of someone else’s incompetence.

“We were able to get you an aisle seat near the front.”

“Thank goodness for that at least.”

On being shown to his seat, he took off his cashmere coat, folded it neatly and stowed it in the overhead locker. If he had even an ounce of luck the seat beside him would remain empty, but he wouldn’t take bets on it. Setting his briefcase on the floor, he rested his laptop on the vacant seat. What a shocking few hours it had been.

At least it was a little more spacious here. He couldn’t understand why there was extra leg space and only one other seat, when there would be normally at least three, sometimes four seats jammed together.

Closing his eyes he thought back on the last twenty-four hours. Deanna and Simon had betrayed him. He didn’t care so much about Deanna dumping him for Simon as their relationship had just about run its course.

Running off with millions of dollars of his employees’ pension funds? Now that was something else. Despicable, criminal, and they did it in such a way that the blame literally fell on him. He was ruthless. He had to be to attain the position he held today as one of Australia’s richest men, but he had always acted with integrity. There were only two choices in the short term. Risk tarnishing his good business reputation or discreetly pay the money back. He chose the latter.

I’ll hound them to the ends of the earth, he vowed furiously. I don’t care how long it takes. No one cheats Justine Devereux and gets away with it.

“Hell,” he yelped as something hard and sharp rammed into his groin. His eyes flew open. God, someone was trying to castrate him.

“S-sorry,” the wavering female voice said.

Justin looked up into a pair of blue eyes that were swimming in tears.

“Here, let me help,” he growled, pushing the weapon away from his crotch and handing it back to her. It’s a wonder they even let her bring the thing on board. She took the folded-up baby stroller but dropped a large pink bag on his foot. Where were the attendants when you needed them? This was definitely going to be the flight from hell.



****

HOLLY AND THE MILLIONAIRE - Margaret Tanner

Price: $4.50 E-book from The Wild Rose Press

$10.99 Print book from Amazon

Genre: romance

Length: 50,000 words (215 pages).

***
Look out for "The Seventh Taboo" by Yvonne Walus (The Wild Rose Press) coming out soon.
"A brilliant story! I want more!" - Nalini Singh, New York Times Bestselling Author of Hostage to Pleasure

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

UNDER MY SKIN, by Jenny Gilliam - Available Now!


UNDER MY SKIN, by Jenny Gilliam

BUY UNDER MY SKIN:
http://www.amirapress.com/


Blurb:

When coffee shop owner Rachel Crowe overhears her neighbor being murdered, she doesn't
think her life can get any more complicated. But when the detective on the case
turns out to be the very man she kicked out of her store the night before, she realizes
she's wrong.

From the moment Detective Alex Williams laid eyes on the raven-haired owner of his
favorite coffee shop, he's been drawn to her. When she becomes the key witness
in his homicide investigation, he takes it upon himself to protect her at all costs.

As the killer closes in on Rachel, the couple are thrown into very intimate and
dangerous situations. Can Alex convince her to trust him before the killer catches
up with them?



EXCERPT:

Inside the old elevator, the silence was charged, edgy. Rachel Crowe was the first
woman he’d been attracted to with such intensity in a long time. He’d cared for
Francie, but not enough. And he was tempted to pursue this amazing feeling. With
a witness.
He closed in on her, satisfied when he saw desire flare in her eyes. She looked
up at him when he was half a foot from her. He placed both his hands above her head,
caging her in.
“Tell me, Detective Williams,” she said breathlessly. “Do you make it a habit of
kissing all of your witnesses?”
“You’re the first.”
“You might get in trouble, right? We shouldn’t be doing this.”
His mouth hovered an inch above hers. “You’re right.”
“I don’t want it to stop.”
“Me, either.”
She grabbed a fistful of his shirt and dragged his mouth to hers, immediately seeking
entrance. She thrust her hot, slippery tongue into his mouth, swirling inside, then
retreating. He groaned and dropped his hands to her sides, fascinated by the taste
of her. Coffee, cinnamon, and passion.
Rachel ran her hands along his torso and up his shoulders, looping her arms around
his neck and drawing him closer. With their bodies so close, she couldn’t mistake
his reaction to her. To his surprise, she rubbed herself sinuously against him,
threading her fingers through his hair, her breathy little moans driving him fairly
insane. His hand closed over her heavy breast, her nipple distended into a little
pebble. As he rubbed the turgid peak, she took a sharp intake of breath.
“Excuse me.”
They separated so quickly, it would have been humorous had it not been a uniform
standing at the open elevator door.
“Damn,” Alex muttered.
“Sir,” the uniform said.
“Uh-oh,” Rachel said. “It’s not his fault. I kissed him. He was totally like, ‘hands
off, lady.’ But I just couldn’t control myself,” she babbled. “I mean, look at him.
Well, I guess you really wouldn’t since you’re a guy.” The elevator door began to
shut, and she shoved an arm out to stop it. “Unless you’re gay, which is fine, great.
I mean, I’m totally down with the rainbow.”
“Shut up, Rachel.”
“Yeeaah. Night, Detective.”
The uniform gave him a high-five-nice-goin’-buddy smile as the doors slid shut.
What a cluster.





BIO:


Jenny began writing at the age of twelve, when she realized the voices talking in
her head were characters, not a result of pre-teen induced psychosis. She’s been
writing on and off for almost twenty years, but actively pursuing publication for
the last three. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two children. She is the
author of four novels.

Jenny loves to hear from her readers. You can visit her at
http://www.jennygilliam.com/