Monday, May 25, 2015

Medieval Monday with Barbara Bettis

What is Medieval Monday? Fall in love with new stories and find new authors. Each Monday for the next 12 weeks another author will share the cover and excerpt from their story. Today it’s Barbara Bettis’ turn.
The Heart Of The Phoenix by Barbara Bettis
Some call him a ruthless mercenary; she calls him the knight of her heart. 
Lady Evelynn’s childhood hero is home—bitter, hard, tempting as sin. And haunted by secrets. A now-grown Evie offers friendship, but Sir Stephen's cruel rejection crushes her, and she resolves to forget him. Yet when an unexpected war throws them together, she finds love isn’t so easy to dismiss. If only the king hadn’t betrothed her to another.
Can be cruel
Sir Stephen lives a double life while he seeks the treacherous outlaws who murdered his friends. Driven by revenge, he thinks his heart is closed to love. His childhood shadow, Lady Evie, unexpectedly challenges that belief. He rebuffs her, but he can’t forget her, although he knows she’s to wed the king’s favorite. 
And deadly 
When his drive for vengeance leads to Evie’s kidnapping, Stephen must choose between retribution and the love he’s denied too long. Surely King John will see reason. Convict the murderers; convince the king. Simple. Until a startling revelation threatens everything. 
To find out more about Barbara Bettis and her books check out her blog.
Buy Links: Amazon  The Wild Rose Press
Excerpt: The Heart of the Phoenix
At first, Evie thought it was the thud of her headache. Then the pounding came again, louder. She groaned and turned over. Opening her eyes told nothing; the blackness in the cabin was impenetrable. 
“Marie?” Her voice rasped in a dry throat. Blasted tears.
No one answered. The girl must still be on deck. Evie might as well have left Marie behind, for all the assistance the maid provided. With a groan, she swung her feet over the side of the bunk and felt her way along the wall toward the sound of another insistent knock.
“A moment,” she called. “I’m coming.” Who had the nerve to wake her in what must be
the middle of the night? Hah. Need she even wonder? Her toe collided with something, and she yelped as she landed on her knees on the wood plank floor. Just what she needed. A broken foot.
The door burst open, bringing with it a dim light. “What’s wrong?” Stephen’s deep voice filled the room. “Where’s the damned lantern?”
“If I knew, I would have lighted it.” Blasted man. Did he think she enjoyed stumbling around in the dark? He acted as if she did so just to plague him.
Holding a shielded ship’s lantern high, he stepped toward the desk. “Here it is. Where’s that lightskirt who’s supposed to be your companion?”
“Leave Marie alone. I wanted privacy and gave her permission go above.” Never mind that Evie had just complained about the same thing. He had no right to do so.
“What do you want?” she asked. “Is something wrong?”
“A little late to ask that, isn’t it?” He bent to coax the cabin lantern to flame.
“Oh, for the love of heaven. Stop plaguing me. Why are you here?”
“I thought you’d like to know the identity of our fellow passenger.”
“At this hour? Could you not have waited until morning?” Sweet Mary, preserve her patience. He was the most maddening man alive.
Light flared in the cabin’s shuttered lantern, throwing a shadow across his face, reminding Evie of another reason he should not be here. Her body instantly throbbed to life.
She pressed her palms against her stomach and inhaled. Calm. She needed calm. He was not the most beautiful man she’d ever beheld. He did not possess the power to heat her blood to boiling.
He did not care that she thought of him night and day.
That much was true, for certain.
“I have news that will make the rest of your trip joyful.”
His words centered her whirling mind, and Evie eyed him warily. What news could possible make her happy right now?
She ventured a guess. “You are leaving? Your second in command, the delightful Sir Macsen, will accompany me the rest of the way home?”
“Much better.”
Evie could tell Stephen was angry now by the way he glowered and roared in that whispery sort of way no one else could hear, but left her with no doubt of his displeasure.
“Your betrothed.” He bent and scooped her off the floor.
“What? What about him?”
“That’s the identity of the illustrious lord who’s sharing passage with us.”
“You’re drunk. And put me down. I’m perfectly capable of getting up on my own.”
“Be quiet. You have blood on your leg.”
“Of course I do. I tripped and fell trying to answer your pounding when you could easily have opened—” His words finally penetrated her throbbing head. “I’m bleeding?”
Oh, blast. The contents of her—empty—stomach churned. She attended the villagers’ hurts, bound the cuts and scrapes of servants and their children. The sight of their blood bothered her not a whit. But her own? Black spots danced at the corners of her vision, becoming larger and larger until she heard Stephen’s voice.
“Evie, Evie. What the hell?”
His voice echoed so far away. If she didn’t know better, she’d vow he sounded alarmed. Perhaps she’d close her eyes for a moment. As the ringing in her ears crescendoed, she recalled
his words. Betrothed.
Her betrothed was on board?
Dear Lord, just let me die.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hot for Friday

Book Boyfriends Cafe 

Hot for Fridays Weekly Blog Hop 

Find fifteen more authors on the blog hop!
Mel Curtis,
Dayl Devore,
Jennifer Wilck, 
Zrinka Jelic,
Alice Orr,
Victoria Adams,
DC Stone
J.J. DiBenedetto,
Ari Thatcher,
Suz deMello,
Lyssa Layne,
Susan Ann Wall,
Cathy Carson,
Kelly Collins and
Mona Risk

Here's my hot kiss. From my recent release, Knight of Rapture

Knight of Rapture Information
  “Hold me. Don’t let me go,” she said as she nuzzled his neck and sank into his strong embrace. “Love me,” she whispered in his ear and felt him shiver. She wanted to feel his arms around her, his lips touching hers—she wanted him to bury himself deep inside her and shout her passion to her world and to his.
They sank to the ground and held each other close. She was afraid to let him go, afraid the emptiness would find her, afraid of losing him, again. With an unending thirst, she focused on his mouth, the shape of his lips, the kisses that they promised.
His hand stroked the side of her body from her breast to her thigh, claiming it for himself. She stretched and molded her body to the contours of his, the way he liked. One stroke of her breast and she tugged on his shirt. He didn’t hesitate. He obliged her and pulled it off. Her hand played down the familiar hard planes of his chest. Her eyes widened when she saw the marks. His back and chest were covered with intricate symbols. How hadn’t she seen them before? “These weren’t here.” She traced them with her finger.
He stopped her hand and brought it to his lips. “For six months I tried to find you. He tilted her face to his. She closed her eyes and felt the tingling traces of Dark Magick that thrummed around him.
She moved away, a concerned expression on her face. “What have you done?”
He pulled her back into his arms. “I did whatever was necessary. Now be still and let me hold you.” She settled against him.
“I’ve tried to remember holding you, feeling you before I love you, reliving every moment with you.”
She put her head on his shoulder. He opened her nightshirt and stroked the top of her chest then, with trembling hands, touched her breasts. A low moan escaped her lips. She tipped her face to see his eyes.
“Why are your eyes closed?” she asked.
“I’m seeing if you are as I remember.” He laughed softly.
“Better,” he said as he bent and kissed each breast.
She pulled his head away and kissed him. He ignited a flame inside her that set her on fire. A delicious shudder pulsed through her.
The muscles on his chest danced as her fingers lightly traced the runes. “This rune is for the Great Mother.” Her finger poised over the sign. “Thank you, Great Mother,” she said as her lips brushed against his skin. She watched it deckle in gooseflesh. Her finger moved on. “This is our sign.” Encouraged by the hooded passion she saw in his eyes, she kissed the rune and moved on. The tips of her fingers traced down his chest. “Here it is again.” The rune was below his navel. Another kiss. Her fingers trailed down further.
He pulled her up and rolled on top of her. Her body instinctively arched against his. “You are mine.” His warm breath brushed against her face. Two heartbeats passed. “Do you hear me? You’re mine,” he said more urgently.
“Yes.” Her voice was an intimate whisper. His lips tugged into a sideways grin.
It was the smile that made her bones go limp. It was his magick.
“Forever,” was all he said as he settled between her legs. Every inch of him was hard and ready. She focused on his lips while her hands ran over his body. The insistent need to touch him consumed her.
“Love me, Arik. Now.” She wanted to taste him, smell him, feel him.
He bent down and let his lips brush gently across hers. Arik soothed and calmed her with his touches and kisses only to build her heat and her passion. Tiny licks of pleasure shot through her while his erection pressed against her.
He slipped inside her and she let out a sigh of relief. “I please you,” he said his voice rough with passion.
She answered him by wrapping her legs around his hips and pulling him closer. Heat rippled through her body as combustible desire ran through her with every stroke. As the last wave peaked, they both found their release.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Medieval Monday with Bambi Lynn

What is Medieval Monday? Fall in love with new stories and find new authors. Each Monday for the next 12 weeks another author will share the cover and excerpt from their story. Today it’s Bambi Lynn’s turn.
Camulus by Bambi Lynn
Camulus Vass wants a simple life, absent the power and responsibility that can consume a man. But being laird of a clan as large as the Munro does not offer such luxury. Always under the domineering heel of his uncle, Cam has allowed himself to become a pawn. But the arrival of a mysterious newcomer awakens a beast within him that will not be tamed.
Màili has been given the task of rooting out the spawn of an ancient god. It’s the only way to take her revenge against the man who betrayed her. But getting what she wants means taking the life of the man she loves. Will her hunger for a mortal man wreak further havoc on her already bleak future?
            Cam pulled the linen from his shaggy, ebony mane and locked his rich brown eyes, glistening with excitement, on hers. He stepped out of the tub, dropping the linen to the floor. "Come to me, woman." Cam wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her against him. He claimed her mouth with his, prying her lips open and invading her with the sweetest tasting tongue she had ever known.
            Màili lost herself in that kiss. The power of it sent jolts of pleasure to every pore in her body. She tingled all over, her senses melding until she could no longer remember anything other than the man before her. She kissed him back with all the self–pity of a woman who had been betrayed by love and yearned to get even a piece of herself back.
            The power of her desire for Cam surprised her. Màili was certainly no stranger to the ways of men and women. She had learned a lot over the centuries. This was the first time she had found anyone she thought could teach her anything. A nagging possibility tickled the edge of her thoughts, but she pushed it aside.
            Màili dragged her mouth from his, nibbling along his jaw and across the pulse at his throat. With her hands on his chest, she urged him back toward the bed all the while trailing her lips, her tongue down his body. He tasted like nectar and all Màili could think of was more, more, more.
Buy Links:

Monday, May 11, 2015

Medieval Monday with Mary Morgan

What is Medieval Monday? Fall in love with new stories and find new authors. Each Monday for the next 12 weeks another author will share the cover and excerpt from their story. Today it’s Mary Morgan’s turn.
Dragon Knight’s Medallion by Mary Morgan
To right a wrong, two souls are brought together only to shatter when they are torn apart by the deeds of an evil druid.
Dragon Knight, Stephen MacKay’s powers are altered after the death of his sister. Now he is plagued with visions that threaten to destroy his soul. When Aileen Kerrigan falls through a time tunnel, he vows to keep her safe, despite the fact the beautiful but head-strong half-blooded fae could be the death of him.
When Aileen finds out her dad is a Fenian Warrior, she flees to a nearby ruin. Armed with the medallion her mother gave her, and a matching one belonging to a long dead knight, she is flung into the past and finds a handsome but surly warrior who is on a quest. Now it seems her future could be entwined with his, if she doesn’t kill him first.
Stephen was gathering some food, which Betha had prepared for him understanding he would be away all night. She and Donal had pleaded with him to join in the feasting, but he waved them off rather rudely. He wanted no part of the festivities.
Almost colliding with a couple, he swore softly. Placing the food across Grian, he shifted hesitantly. It was then he spotted...her.
His hand froze on the leather sack. Sweet Mother! What was she doing? And dressed like that? She was a Goddess of the flame. He watched as she was swung up into the air by none other than Brian. Then he dared to slide her down against him.
Dark fury burst somewhere deep inside Stephen. “I’m going to kill him,” he rasped out.
The blood roared in his head, as he stormed across the open field, never hearing those who greeted him in passing—one hand held firm against his sword.
Stephen waited as any warrior would. Let the enemy show himself, he thought.
When their dancing brought them nearer to him, he darted in front blocking their path.
They never saw him coming.
Aileen’s back slammed into his chest, and his arms grasped her instantly in a firm grip. “Hey, ouch!” She tried to move, but he held her solid against his body.
Brian skidded to a halt. “Greetings, Sir Stephen.”
He went to grab for Aileen’s hand, when Stephen let out a growl of warning.
“What is your problem? Did you just growl?” demanded Aileen. She tried to pry herself loose, but he continued to hold her firm.
“Mine,” he snarled.
Instantly, Brian’s face went white.
“Thank ye for the dance, Lady Aileen,” Brian clipped out. Giving Stephen a curt nod, he stormed away.
“Bloody. God. Damn. Hell,” Aileen snapped.
Stephen released her, only spinning her around to face him. Something primal within him tore loose. He tried to reason with himself that this was insanity, though his mind and body would not yield. His gaze dropped to those lips—lips he had fantasized about for weeks.
Aileen,” he choked out before his mouth took hers in a plundering kiss. His lips moved over hers devouring their softness. The kiss became urgent, pleading in its need. His tongue sought hers, and the dance of desire seared their bodies. Raw passion took over his anger, and she opened fully, drawing him against her body. She took her hands and wrapped them around his head, threading her fingers in his locks and pulling him in deeper. Never in all of his life had he felt so right in someone’s arms.
When he broke from the kiss, his breathing was labored. Her eyes were dark with desire for him, and he shook with such need, it frightened him.
“By the hounds,” he uttered hoarsely. In one swift move, he picked her up. Carrying her to his horse, he ignored the hoots, and remarks coming from the crowd. Placing her on Grian, he swung around in back, taking off through a large group of oak trees with only one clear thought in mind.
Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble:

Monday, May 4, 2015

Medieval Monday with Carmen Stefanescu

What is Medieval Monday? Fall in love with new stories and find new authors. Each Monday for the next 12 weeks another author will share the cover and excerpt from their story. Today it's Carmen Stefanescu’s turn.
Shadows of the Past by Carmen Stefanescu
Anne's relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.
The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world--one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil's vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve's soul from its torment.
Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?
A touching, compelling story of tragedy, loss and the power of endless love and good magic.
The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.
Andrew pulled her to his chest. "Do you regret you've come with me?"
Passion smothered Genevieve's doubt and guilt. "Never," she answered, aware of her body's response to his touch, and she succumbed to his embrace.
The moonlight bathed his face in silver light. Andrew lowered her wimple, and his fingers threaded into her curls. She swayed, enveloped by the dizzy sensation of drowning in the tumultuous ocean of his gaze. The tenderness of his touch raised in her the wish they had lived in another time and been simple, ordinary people. She longed to feel the warmth of his lips on hers. How much she'd have liked to live the rest of her life beside him and bear his children. A dream not likely to ever come true for her. Why not let the feeling lurking in the pit of her stomach take over and consume her whole being?
Aware of the track of her thoughts, she shifted uneasily, a hot flush warmed her cheeks. Drawing in a deep breath in spite of herself, calming the gnawing unease in her mind and the thought of Sister Dominica guessing she was the dough of a sinner, Genevieve repeated, "Never."
With her eyes closed and their bodies touching she became, for the very first time, simply a woman. She melted in his embrace in spite of the invisible vicious threat breathing around them. Aware they might never be alone again, she fought hard to silence the voice of conscience berating her.
"Oh, God. Please forgive me," Andrew muttered under his breath when he bowed his head to kiss her. Their lips met in a passionate first kiss.
                                                         . . . . . . . . .
Far in the forest, the sprightly stream’s clear waters sang their ancient song down the moss-covered banks. Reaching an old, crooked oak tree, bearing the seal of recent lightning damage, the waters trembled, turned muddy and the pale, distorted face of a woman emerged. Her raven black hair floated around her head, the long black tresses writhing and coiling on the waves, like snakes trying to pry free and attack. Her eyes flew open and a hideous grin stretched her lips. She blinked several times and gurgled a hoarse threat to someone known only to her, “You imagine you thwarted my plans even from beyond the grave, but you’re wrong. You shall hear from me. You shall all hear from me! Soon.”
Little by little, the waters of the river became an ugly shade of green, covered the ghastly face, and continued down to the green pastures in the valley while an ominous silence, harbinger of the woman’s spiteful threat, settled over the rugged mountain and its mysterious forest.

Buy Links:
Wild Child Publishing: