Tuesday, December 12, 2017

NAUGHTY BEASTS - Available Now!

NAUGHTY BEASTS: EIGHTEEN FABULOUS FANTASIES
Available Now!


Contains 18 Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Steampunk Stories from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati


Find it here:


Blurbs:

BUY ME A ROSE
Francesca Hawley
Jessica and Nathaniel Whitewolf celebrate their thirtieth anniversary as True Mates, but they’ve lost their bond. Now a hot couples’ retreat will get it back.

HOW TO BLACKMAIL A VAMPIRE (BLOOD MATES 1)
Belle Scarlett
In the spring, a vampire’s fancy turns to the blood lust mating hunt. A pretty, human blackmailer becomes the object of his thirst, but she’s not into vampires. Yet.

HYBRID MATES: MERRY CHRISTMAS, KITTEN
Nicole Austin
Sirena Petra wants one thing for Christmas—an orgasm. And sex toy expert Kenyon Fort has exactly what the lion shifter needs to find more than just her happy place.

VIKING IN TARTAN
Suz deMello
Medieval romance from the Highland Vampires series. A Viking raider brings change to little Clan Kilbirnie, especially to the chieftain’s daughter, Rhona.

HYBRID MATES: MY VALENTINE LOVERS
Nicole Austin
All I want for Valentine’s Day is to get barbed by a feline shifter and act out a few of the naughty twin fantasies getting me hot and bothered.

PERFECTLY PRESENTED
Berengaria Brown
Blake sees Xavier agonizing over unclaimed gift tags for poor children on the holiday tree. Will Blake tell Xavier about his past and his problem?

HYBRID MATES: MY KIND OF LOVER
Nicole Austin
Badass biker girl, accountant, lioness shifter—I’m all that and more. And this hybrid wolf thinks he can take me on? Bring it, you sexy beast! I’ve got this.

SOPHIE’S CHRISTMAS GARGOYLE
Katherine Kingston
When Sophie helps rescue a battered woman, she gets more than one surprise from the woman’s other self-appointed protector.

HYBRID MATES: SEX ME UP
Nicole Austin
One night at a Paris sex club—no strings, complications, or inhibitions—just lots of fantasy sex. But in the morning I forgot the most important rule. Never run from a feline predator—they live for the chase.

IMMORTAL HUNTERS
Suz deMello
Vampire Rama avoids attention by working nights as a private investigator. No one cares if some bad guys disappear on her shift. Then Detective John van Helsing shows up. Bearing the name of the vamps’ greatest foe, he interferes in her case and in her life. Friend, lover, or enemy?

THE BERMUDA LOVE TRIANGLE
(PACK MASTERS 1)
Belle Scarlett
Castaway in the Bermuda Triangle, Trista finds herself torn between two sexy shifters. Neither will share her so she must choose between them. Decision, decisions…

OCEAN DREAMS
Suz deMello
Marine biologist Sandi has never forgotten Blue, the baby dolphin with whom she bonded. Reunited with him years later, she discovers he’s a shapeshifter in the sexiest possible way.

HER GARGOYLE GUARDIAN
Katherine Kingston
Ginny decides to pursue a relationship with Ben despite the risks to her heart. She can cope with his claim that he’s a shape-shifting gargoyle, but his warning that they will have only a short time together gives her pause.

NO GENTLEMAN
Francesca Hawley
Librarian Abby Kelly comes west finding a roguish shapeshifter who desires her. Will Goldwolf is no gentleman, but Abby discovers he’s just what she wants.

WERE THE HELL?
Berengaria Brown
Septimus has to learn why no female weres have been born into his pack. When he walks into the meeting room he smells his mate. A male.

*These titles have been previously published in earlier Naughty Literati boxed-sets.*


Naughty Beasts Contest

To celebrate the release of NAUGHTY BEASTS, the Naughty Literati are giving away a 7" Kindle Fire loaded with books by our fabulous authors including:

The Naughty Literati’s complete boxed-set collection
Abducted by Lynn LaFleur
Alpha vs Alpha by Francesca Hawley
Charming the Masters by Katherine Kingston
Chocolate Coated Reunion by Berengaria Brown
Desire in Tartan by Suz deMello
Double Down: The Complete Duo by Nicole Austin
First Comes Desire by Tina Donahue
Not Too Tall To Love by Berengaria Brown
The Pleasure Device by Regina Kammer
The Woodsman by Belle Scarlett (Audible audiobook)
  
There are many ways to enter, including a daily bonus entry, so come back every day to increase your chances of winning. Good luck and happy reading!

Contest begins December 12th.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Excerpt from Were the Hell? by Berengaria Brown

Part of the Naughty Beasts: Shifters, Vamps & Gargoyles, Oh My! anthology - Pre-order Now!

Contains 15 Shapeshifter, Vampire & Gargoyle Stories from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati

Find it here:


Blurb:
Septimus has to learn why no female weres have been born into his pack. When he walks into the meeting room he smells his mate. A male.

Copyright © Berengaria Brown, 2017

Septimus had sometimes wondered if he’d only ever been sexually attracted to other males because there were so few younger females in his pack, and the few there were didn’t light his fire. But the minute he walked into the meeting room with the weres from the Forest Hill pack, he knew he was genuinely, one hundred percent gay. He could smell his mate.

His cock stood up and fought to get out of his jeans, stretching the fabric so tight that he was going to have blue balls for a week. The tiny hairs on the back of his neck were also standing straight up. His skin tingled, electrified with sexual arousal. And the scent of his mate was overpowering him, dragging him into the room with almost physical force.

His nose led him unerringly to his mate—a tall, lean man of about thirty, with tanned brown skin, dark brown hair, and liquid chocolate eyes. Those eyes were staring at him, and the man’s strong nose was flared, smelling his scent. From the huge bulge in his pale cargo pants, the man was every bit as aware of him as he was of Mr. Tall, Tan, and Delectable.

As Septimus walked across the room, his cock leading the way, the man moved to meet him. Their gazes were locked, and Septimus was totally oblivious to everyone else in the room and the task he’d been sent to do. He was about to put out his hand when the other man reached him and grabbed his shoulders, pulling him in for a hard, body-blending hug.

“I’m Dai. We’re mates.” The words were harsh, bitten off, said almost as a challenge.

“Septimus. I know.”

The Alpha of the Forest Hill pack stood just a few feet away. He coughed, cleared his throat, then said, “Gentlemen, let’s get this meeting underway. Dai, you should sit next to Septimus, not in your usual place.”

So even the Alpha smelled their attraction. That certainly proved he was not being misled by his cock.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Excerpt from No Gentleman by Francesca Hawley

Part of the Naughty Beasts: Shifters, Vamps & Gargoyles, Oh My! anthology - Pre-order Now!

Contains 15 Shapeshifter, Vampire & Gargoyle Stories from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati

Find it here:


Blurb:
Librarian Abby Kelly comes west finding a roguish shapeshifter who desires her. Will Goldwolf is no gentleman, but Abby discovers he’s just what she wants.

Copyright © Francesca Hawley, 2017

Chapter One

Whitewolf, Colorado, December 1905

“All the books have been shelved, Mrs. Kelly.” Lizzy Redwolf pinned on her hat. “With it being Friday night, you’d best be leaving shortly. You know how those men at the saloon can get.”

“Yes, I certainly do, Mrs. Redwolf.”

Abigail Kelly straightened her shoulders as she finished cataloging the newest books for the library. It wouldn’t be long until the noise of her nearest neighbors took over the night and brawls would spill out the doors and into the streets. So far she’d managed to avoid all of it.

All of it but the saloon owner himself. William Goldwolf made his disapproval of the new town library—and by extension, the new librarian—perfectly clear. The kindest thing he’d said was that the library was a waste of taxpayer’s money. Abigail fought her habitual scowl when thinking about that man. Unfortunately, she found herself thinking about him far too often.

“Well, now. I’m off to feed my husband and young’uns.”

“I’ll walk you out and lock up.” Abigail stood and took her keys off the ring at her waist. “Did you lock the back entrance?”

Lizzy stuttered to a halt and put her hand to her mouth. “Oh no. I’m sorry. I forgot.”

Abigail smiled and patted her shoulder. “I’ll get the door after I lock up the front. This is where all the rough types are, after all.”

“Right you are, and it’s early yet,” the other woman laughed, “Now, in an hour…”

“Just so.”

“Night, Ma’am.” Lizzy opened the door and headed out into the late afternoon sunlight.

“Good Evening.”

Abigail carefully adjusted the evergreen wreath hanging there, locked the door and tested it. The last thing she wanted was some hooligan coming in and spilling beer or worse, on her fine marble floors. She went directly to the rear entrance of the library and locked that door as well.

She’d leave by the back when she’d finished her business. The further she was from the saloon, the happier she’d be. Drunken men brought back unpleasant memories of her late husband. Drunk or sober he'd been charming, but when he was drunk he gambled and when he gambled, he lost. She hated having her hard earned wages lost to the turn of a card or the roll of the dice. In spite of it all, she missed him and she missed their loving even more. Just the thought of a man's strong arms around her caused her breath to catch and her body to tremble.

Abigail sighed, then set about tending the fireplaces, putting out fires and laying a new one for the morning. It was growing colder, and it had snowed that morning. She was used to snow, but not quite so much as fell in the mountains of Colorado. Christmas was less than a week away and the countryside looked like a painting. Peaceful. Beautiful. It would be her first all alone. She was pleased she’d accepted this position, but she wished for some friends to share her time.

She returned to the main desk and began to put away her work for the day. The cards she’d created for the card catalog would need to be filed in the morning and the new books shelved. So many things to do.

A battered snow-dusted hat landed on her desk and she jumped with a shriek. Her gaze flew upward. Straight into the ice blue eyes of William Goldwolf. She couldn’t contain her growl of exasperation.

“How did you get in?”

He dangled a key in front of her.

“I see. Well, good evening, Mr. Goldwolf. What brings you into this useless house of worship for slow minds?”

He chuckled as she quoted him verbatim from the last library board meeting. She still couldn’t understand why he’d been asked to be a member of the board. He didn’t support their mission to educate the citizenry. She'd yet to meet a more quarrelsome man and she utterly refused to acknowledge the thrill that went through her whenever they were in the same room.

A smile tilted the corner of his mouth as he sat down on her desk, knowing how she hated it. Abigail bit the inside of her cheek to keep from chasing him off her desk, aflutter like an angry wet hen. An epithet he’d used to describe her on more than one occasion. She clutched the back of her chair, hoping to keep her temper…this time.

“Maybe I want to check out a book, Mrs. Kelly.” She raised her brows but kept her mouth closed. Abigail could do without further provocation this evening. “Isn’t it your job to help me find somethin’, what did you call it? Ah yeah, improving to the mind,” He chuckled as he quoted her, eastern accent and all.

She clutched the chair harder because she refused to get into an argument with this man today. “I can recommend a number of possibilities. Perhaps the Bible might be fitting.”

“Improving to the mind, sure enough, but where’s the fun in that?”

“Fun?” Abigail's mouth fall open.

“Yeah, shouldn’t readin’ be fun?” He leaned over, set a single finger under her chin and pressed. She closed her open mouth and pulled her head away from his touch. Exasperating man! She would absolutely ignore that his touch had set her heart fluttering in a way she’d forgotten she could feel.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Excerpt from Her Gargoyle Guardian by Katherine Kingston


Part of the Naughty Beasts: Shifters, Vamps & Gargoyles, Oh My! anthology - Pre-order Now!

Contains 15 Shapeshifter, Vampire & Gargoyle Stories from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati

Find it here:


Blurb:
Ginny decides to pursue a relationship with Ben despite the risks to her heart. She can cope with his claim that he’s a shape-shifting gargoyle, but his warning that they will have only a short time together, gives her pause.


Copyright © Katherine Kingston, 2017

The part of Washington, D.C. where Ginny lived, in the shadow of the national cathedral, got quieter at night, but never completely silent. Traffic sounds, a constant buzz, mixed with the occasional distant roar of an airplane or clatter of a train to form a white noise backdrop to her quick walk from the bus stop to the apartment she rented in an older house. Getting home late in the evening was one of the downsides of her second-shift job at the hospital. Once she could afford a car, it wouldn’t be a problem, but she still had student loans to pay off.

Moments after she got off the bus, the other sound was there as well. For the past several weeks, she’d been noticing an odd noise as she headed for home. If she didn’t know better, she’d swear it was the sound of wings flapping. Whenever she turned to look, though, she didn’t see anything or anyone there. It added to her uneasiness on the walk.

When trouble did come that night in late fall, though, it hit her from a different direction entirely. As she turned a corner, an older man in a ragged trench coat reached forward from the wall he leaned against and snagged a hand around the strap of her shoulder bag, yanking it toward him. Ginny wrapped her wrist around the strap and wrestled him for it. At the same time she fought her reaction to the miasma of fumes surrounding the purse snatcher, a ghastly mix of alcohol breath and unwashed body. Nothing she hadn’t smelled before at the hospital, but at least there she could don a mask.

The guy was surprisingly strong and she was losing the tug-of-war for her purse when a new party entered the fray. A tall dark figure did a karate-type chop on the purse-snatcher’s arm causing him to howl and let go of the strap. Ginny rocked backward but found her balance.

“Never again,” the newcomer growled in a deep, gravelly voice that didn’t need much enhancement to sound menacing. “Never again attack a woman. Or anyone. No stealing.” Ginny shivered, though the words weren’t directed at her.

“I won’t,” the purse-snatcher stammered. “Promise I won’t. Think my arm’s broken.” He cradled it against his body.

Ginny sighed and approached him, steeling herself against the smell. “Don’t touch my bag again. Let me feel your arm. I’m a nurse.”

Trembling, he held it out to her. She ran her fingers over a very thin arm from wrist to elbow and stopped when he cried out in pain. She pulled her cell phone from the bag and called 9-1-1, explained that she’d found an older man on the sidewalk who seemed to have a broken arm. They promised to send an ambulance.

“I’ll wait here with you,” she told the old man. Her rescuer, a very tall figure wearing a dark, enveloping cloak and a ball cap with a long bill pulled down low over his face to hide his features, hadn’t said another word, but he stayed close by.

To pass the time and distract the man from his pain, she asked, “Why did you try to take my bag?”

He took a long time to answer. “Need money. Hungry. And thirsty. Know it’s wrong, but the urge just took me.”

“And now you have a broken arm as a result. There are easier ways.”

Ginny sighed and fumbled in her bag. She took out a ten dollar bill and handed it to the man as a siren wailed in the distance. “After they treat you get some food.” The screech grew rapidly closer, until the ambulance stopped beside them and the medics jumped out. After some checking of vital signs and condition, they put a splint on the arm and loaded the man into their truck to take to the hospital.

Her rescuer had hung back in the shadows while the medics were there, but once they departed he came to her again.

“You took care of him and gave him money even though he tried to rob you. Why?” he asked bluntly.

“He’s a poor, sick old man. It was wrong to try to steal, but he’s paying a stiff price for it. I feel sorry for him.”

The stranger made no reply to that directly, but moved with her when she turned toward home. “I’ll stay with you until you get to your house.”

“Thank you. I appreciate it.” His cloak flapped in the gentle breeze. “It’s been you. I’ve thought someone has been following me from the bus stop to the house for the last few weeks. Who are you? Why are you doing that?”

“It’s what I do.”

“Guard people? Not just me?”

“Not just you. But you...” He hesitated. “You interest me the most.”

Friday, December 8, 2017

Excerpt From Ocean Dreams by Suz deMello

Part of the Naughty Beasts: Shifters, Vamps & Gargoyles, Oh My! anthology - Pre-order Now!

Contains 15 Shapeshifter, Vampire & Gargoyle Stories from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati

Find it here:


Blurb:
Marine biologist Sandi has never forgotten Blue, the baby dolphin with whom she bonded. Reunited with him years later, she discovers he’s a shapeshifter in the sexiest possible way.

Copyright © Suz deMello, 2017

...the first encounter between a dolphin shifter and his human mate.

*****

She framed his face in her hands, thinking, I’m insane, but kissed him anyway.

He kissed back, a little hesitantly, and she thought, He’s never done this before. At least, not with a human. She was both scared and excited. She didn’t want to rush him, so she opened her lips just a tiny fraction.

He followed, and after their lips had melded and played, she opened a little more and allowed her tongue to gently touch his mouth. When he seemed accepting, she used the tip to tickle the sensitive inner lining of his lips.

He gasped and bucked against her, his substantial erection thrusting against her mound. She slid her hands down his back, finding a small hard lump near the spine. She wondered what it was, but chose to ignore it, instead dropping her hands to his hips. She pressed him against her more firmly while continuing to introduce him to deep kissing.

He moaned into her mouth and tangled one hand in her hair. The other stroked her face, then slipped downward, caressing her throat with respectful fingertips before palming her breast.

 He’s never touched a human breast before me. He took his time, which wasn’t surprising, molding and cupping before he tugged up her pullover and found her bra. He explored it, the lace scratchy against her sensitized skin, then drew it aside to find her nipple.

 Or a nipple.

Human nipples weren’t much like dolphin nips and he seemed quite interested, lingering long, circling the nipple. The flesh hardened, and an “oh” escaped his lips.

Intoxicating, the combined sensations—the kissing, the breast play and his cock against her mound. She was swelling along with him, dampening, ready. Very ready.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Excerpt from The Bermuda Love Triangle by Belle Scarlett

Part of the Naughty Beasts: Shifters, Vamps & Gargoyles, Oh My! anthology - Pre-order Now!

Contains 15 Shapeshifter, Vampire & Gargoyle Stories from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati

Find it here:


Blurb:
Castaway in the Bermuda Triangle, Trista finds herself torn between two sexy shifters. Neither will share her so she must choose between them. Decisions, decisions…

Copyright © Belle Scarlett, 2017

“MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY. Miami Tower this is Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 3, a Cessna 152 with total engine failure attempting emergency water landing. Repeat, we are going to ditch. Last known position nine hundred and thirty-two miles northeast of Miami from Bermuda. Latitude 25.48North, 80.18West. Fifteen hundred feet heading two hundred degrees…no, wait. My magnetic compass just went tits up. It’s spinning like a top. Last stated known position is…incorrect. We are off course and broadcasting in the blind. Do you read, Tower? Repeat, do you read? My altimeter is going haywire. I’ve lost all navigational systems. I’m losing airspeed. Tower, please advise…”

Trista stared in shock at the back of the pilot’s head of thick brown hair. His rugged frame filled the small cockpit directly in front of her. As he barked terse intel into his headset mic, the small aircraft jolted and lurched through the choppy air over the Atlantic. Meanwhile, her heart felt like it was pounding somewhere in the vicinity of her throat.

Her fingers dug into her passenger seat armrests. She automatically looked for reassurance at the dark-haired, broad-shouldered man folded into the spare passenger seat to her right, also sandwiched behind the cockpit. As if feeling her panicked gaze upon his skin, his sharp, dark-green eyes swerved to hers in silent reply.

This was bad. Shitty bad. And they both knew it.

“Well, I suppose they don’t call it ‘The Devil’s Triangle’ for nothing,” she quipped weakly. Neither man in the small plane laughed.

Up front, the pilot’s deep, resonant voice tenaciously repeated the distress call on his headset, apparently still getting no reply from Miami. “MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY. Miami Tower this is Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 3…”

The small plane’s nose dipped sharply. Then came a giant bang. The passenger-side door popped open followed by turbulent air rushing in with the force of a giant’s warm breath.

Trista’s stomach lurched at the turbulence. Had her seatbelt not been clipped snugly across her lap, she no doubt would have been tossed to the low ceiling of the small plane like a piece of hollow straw and sucked right out of that open door to free fall a couple of thousand feet into the sea.

The pilot struggled expertly with the plane’s yoke to control the craft’s wild descent.

“All things considered, I have to say this has been one hell of a vacation I’ll never forget,” she whispered to no one in particular.

Outside the small circle of glass to her left, the vast, dark-blue Atlantic was getting far too big in her window.

“Don’t look. Hold on to me,” the other passenger by her side commanded over the din of rushing air. She loved his voice—strong as oak and calm as a summer night. She clung to it like a beacon in a maelstrom.

“Whatever happens, don’t let go of me. Do you hear?” His firm, confident tone acted like smooth, aged whiskey to dull her jumpy nerves. She nodded dumbly and found her hand engulfed in the warm grip of the large man seated next to her. Her fingers curled trustingly around his. If he said everything would be okay, it would be.

They were falling into the sea with alarming speed now. Yet his touch had the ability to make her feel as safe as if she were in a peaceful meadow.

The plane rattled uncontrollably as it glided just above the waves. She squeezed her eyes shut.

The Cessna skipped off the ocean’s surface. And broke apart.

*****

She sank into the liquid darkness that enveloped her. A sudden reverse current of warm seawater sucked her away from strong, grasping hands that had somehow held her fast during the final moments of the crash. Those capable fingers had managed to unbuckle her seatbelt as the ocean rushed into the open passenger door, filling the small craft’s submerged passenger compartment and cockpit with seawater and a plethora of furious bubbles.

Now she was free of the plane, drifting under the ocean surface. It was like bathwater, really. She was quite content—relaxed even. Except that her head throbbed. And she couldn’t open her eyes. Where was she? What had happened? All of a sudden, answers to those questions were cloudy.

There was a more immediate problem. Her burning lungs were now trying to breathe in saltwater. That wasn’t exactly going well.

She felt a relentless grip on her arm. Someone pulled her upward, toward the surface. The air hit her face. A sharp blow landed between her shoulder blades. She choked and sputtered, the seawater spewing from her lungs and out of her mouth. All at once she could breathe again, but still her eyes did not open.

She was spent, draped limply against a muscled torso, her nose and lips buried in the curve of his neck. The sensation of bobbing buoyantly in the swells assailed her as he treaded water for them both with powerful sweeps of his legs. By now, she’d know his touch in the dark. But who was he? It seemed important that she remember that detail.

“Do you have her?” he shouted from somewhere over the waves.

“Over here,” the same male voice growled a reply somewhere in the vicinity of her right ear.

Her mind slipped into blankness after that. She didn’t know for how long.

Then the two voices that were one and the same echoed again in her ears from opposite directions mingled with the sloshing of waves. The words were fuzzy and made little impression on her, except that the voice in her ear and the one a short distance away sounded like the same man. How strange that he should be talking to himself. Whoever he was.

“I’ve got it inflated…”

“…her into the raft. Hurry.”

“I’m trying, Thane. Damn it…”

“Hold her steady, this is…”

“…damn the sharks.”

“…careful with her, Alec!”

She yearned to open her eyes. She wanted to see the owner of that intoxicating whiskey voice and thank him. But her eyelids felt like lead. If she tried to force them open she just knew the pain in her head would split her skull in two.

She felt a firm but gentle touch all over her body, checking her limbs and the sensitive area at the top of her ribcage, just underneath her breasts. Even in her slumbering state that light, probing touch created a primal sense of warmth and well-being deep within her.

“No broken bones.”

Her mind tried to focus on his soothing, deep tones as an anchor to keep her floating near the surface of consciousness. It was no use. She drifted down again, in and out of partial consciousness, only overhearing occasional snippets of urgently spoken words here and there like a radio station broadcasting with a weak signal.

“...do something about that cut on her head…”

“Over there. Do you see it? It’s…”

“…current’s pulling us away from the shoreline.”

“…keep paddling, Alec.”

Her mind eased back into full, blessed unconsciousness. She knew no more for some time.

*****

She heard a rustling in the foliage behind her and whirled around. The giant wolf emerged from the tree line that ended many yards from the precipice where she stood nude in the moonlight. Her shoulder-length hair stirred against her bare neck in the island breeze sweetly perfumed by the indigenous fauna. The wolf padded silently toward her, head raised proudly to look her in the eye.

“Stay back!” She took an unconscious step backward toward the cliff’s edge.

“…you hear me? Trista? Wake up, cowgirl.” The man’s deep voice sounded from somewhere above her. She was glad he was back.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Excerpt from Immortal Hunters by Suz deMello

Part of the Naughty Beasts: Shifters, Vamps & Gargoyles, Oh My! anthology - Pre-order Now!

Contains 15 Shapeshifter, Vampire & Gargoyle Stories from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati

Find it here:


Blurb:
Vampire Rama avoids attention by working nights as a private investigator. No one cares if some bad guys disappear on her shift. Then Detective John van Helsing shows up. Bearing the name of the vamps’ greatest foe, he interferes in her case and in her life. Friend, lover or enemy?

Copyright © Suz deMello, 2017

 

Chapter One


Being a vampire can suck… Oops, sorry about the bad pun. Well, it’s true, it can bite… Yikes, there I go again. What I mean to say is that it has its ups and downs. I’m virtually immortal, which is pretty cool. My hair and nails don’t grow, but when I awaken, they’ve been restored to the state they were in when I became undead. It’s inconvenient, since I grew up in a shithole with no running water. A mani-pedi was not merely unavailable but unimaginable. I was an unkempt mess when I was changed, so every evening when I awaken, I devote an hour or two to personal grooming. My long black hair is a no-brainer. Up it goes into a French twist or a braid. Nails are more difficult.

So there I was one night on surveillance, tucked into the comfy front seat of my undistinguished Camry in a dark corner of Santa Martina, contemplating the choices I faced—Mango Madness or Ruby Delite? Through my increasingly foggy windshield, I occasionally cast a glance at the crappy apartment half a block away where I’d run my quarry to ground. Soon I’d take him, after the lights were doused and he’d fallen asleep.

I work for a private investigation firm, and my boss understands my rules. First of all, ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies. Second, night jobs only.

And if a bad guy or two—or three or five or seven—disappears during my shifts, nobody really cares. Operating in Santa Martina is especially convenient due to its location, the northern California coast. Offshore lies a marine mammal sanctuary. Because of the plethora of seals and otters, lots of great whites come to call. The occasional surfer gets chomped. Bodies disappear, or they may wash up on shore, drained of blood.

Get the picture?

As I was saying, there I was one night, picking at a chipped edge of the Ruby Delite flaking off my left index fingernail when someone tapped on my window.

I could see a uniform, so I unrolled. “What’s up, officer?” I asked in a pleasant tone. No sense offending local law enforcement, you know.

“We’ll have to ask you to move along, ma’am,” he said, an officer at his most officious.

We? I looked beyond the uniform and there he was—a suit. An undercover dick on my turf.

In gray pinstripes, he would have been as inconspicuous as I if it hadn’t been for his cornpone, white bread, wheat-fed wholesome handsomeness. Blue-eyed and blond, he would have screamed “farm boy” in TV Land, but in California most farm workers are Hispanic or Asian immigrants.

“Well, if it isn’t John-Boy Walton,” I drawled.

He drew closer, no doubt taking in my black hair, black eyes, black leather, red slash of a mouth and white, white skin. ”Well, if it isn’t Ms. Goth Barbie,” he drawled. Back atcha, honey.

I couldn’t stifle my smile. I like a man with a quick tongue—they have more than one use. “It’s Hestia, actually. Hestia White.”

“Hestia? The Greek goddess of hearth and home? That’s incongruous.”

My smile broadened. I knew few men with “incongruous” in their vocabularies, and fewer still who knew the meaning of the name I cynically used. I liked him. Shame I had to run him off.

He leaned against my door panel, ignoring the condensation wetting his elegant gray pinstriped sleeve. “Well, Ms. Hestia White, you do need to move on out. Police business.”

I lounged back in my seat. “But I kinda like it here.”

“Why? This isn’t the nicest part of Santa Martina. Completely lacks the charm of the marina or the nightlife in downtown.”

I looked into his blue, blue eyes. “I prefer down and dirty.”

He met my gaze without faltering. “I could arrest you for loitering.” He leaned closer, partway into my window. “Take you in. Lock you up.”

“Ooh, handcuffs.” I shivered theatrically.

“Actually, Ms. White, we’re on the job.” His voice had gone crisp and businesslike.

“Actually, Detective Whoever, so am I.” I flipped open my wallet to flash my P.I. license.

His eyes widened. “How come I’ve never heard of you?”

I shrugged. “I keep a low profile. Safer that way. Hey, I’ve shown you mine, so why don’t you show me yours?”

I’d teased out a reluctant smile, one that reached deep inside to heat me from my brain to my box. Yes, that box. I was surprised. Mortals don’t usually turn me on.

He reached for his wallet to show me his shield and I.D. John van Helsing. A tremor ran through me, ruffling the tiny hairs on my nape and my arms. Was it chance that this detective bore the name of the most famous enemy of my kind?

“John-Boy,” I said with phony delight.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Excerpt from Sex Me Up by Nicole Austin

Part of the Naughty Beasts: Shifters, Vamps & Gargoyles, Oh My! anthology - Pre-order Now!

Contains 15 Shapeshifter, Vampire & Gargoyle Stories from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati

Find it here:


Blurb:
One night at a Paris sex club—no-strings, complications or inhibitions—just lots of fantasy sex. But in the morning I forgot the most important rule. Never run from a feline predator—they live for the chase.

Copyright © Nicole Austin, 2017

Tessa goes first, having a private discussion with Sheila and I step away to wait my turn feeling rather shell-shocked. I step up to the bar, lean heavily into the padded edge and exhale a hard breath, blowing a wisp of hair away from my eyes. A snifter of dark amber liquid appears in front of me and I look up into the dark, knowing eyes of an ursine male.

“A Primal Delights virgin.” He nudges the glass toward my hand. “Drink this. It will help.”

I chuckle and pick up the glass with a nod of thanks. “That obvious?”

“I’ve worked here long enough to recognize the wide-eyed look of a first-timer.”

Gently swirling the glass and allowing my palm to warm the liquid, I take a deep breath, enjoying the rich scent of the cognac, feeling better before even tasting the first sip. The liquor goes down smooth, spreading fingers of relaxing warmth through me.

“I didn’t realize how involved it would be.” I gaze at his shirt, looking for a name tag.

“Conall,” he says in a thick Irish brogue and extends his hand. The butterflies are fluttering about again. I’m such a sucker for accents.

My small hand is engulfed in the warmth of his larger one and my voice comes out on a breathy rasp. “Lindy.”

“American,” he states. Leaning over the bar, Conall turns my hand in his grasp and places a warm kiss against my wrist. “How long will you be gracing our fine city?”

“Irish devil,” I remark in a bland tone, enjoying the view as his lips spread into a broad smile.

“Devilish enough to earn the pleasure of yer company in a private room?” He pours it on thick and arches his brow in inquiry.

Oh, I like Conall. He’s a welcome reprieve.

“Hmm…,” I murmur and take another sip of cognac while drinking him in. Wavy brown hair, sparkling bronze eyes, dark stubble shadowing a strong jaw, tall and leanly muscled. Handsome and charming but not flipping my lust switch, dammit. Still, I don’t want to turn him down flat. “A possibility…after I explore for a bit.”

He sighs and nods to my now empty snifter. “Favor another?”

“Yes, please.”

Conall refills the glass then glances over my shoulder. “Looks like ‘tis yer turn with the matchmaker.”

I turn to find Sheila headed my way and mutter, “Oh boy.”

As we walk over to her booth, my gaze skates around the ballroom but I don’t see Tessa anywhere. A small tendril of alarm tightens my chest. What if I don’t find her again?

Sensing my unease, Sheila stops at a door with a plaque reading Lounge. “At the end of the evening, you can reconnect with your companion in here.”

“Thank you.” Expelling a relieved breath, I start to relax, thanks to the cognac spreading through my body.

“I was approached by a male who expressed interest in you.”

And there went any sense of relaxation. Sheila’s statement takes me by surprise and has the butterflies acting up again.

“Really? Who?” I lift the glass to my lips and take a surreptitious glance around but see no one nearby.

Picking up a tablet from the counter, she taps the screen and a devastatingly gorgeous male’s face appears. He has warm, honey-blond hair with streaks of color from platinum to chestnut. Vibrant green eyes, crinkled slightly at the corners, pierce right through me. He has a broad Roman nose with a sloping tip above sensual, soft looking lips and a chiseled, square jaw with the perfect amount of dark stubble to keep him from being too beautiful.

“Hello, Lindy.” His voice strokes my name, wrapping around me, warm and enticing. It’s a deep, whiskey-rough tone that I’d love to hear whisper naughty things in my ear.

Clutching the tablet, I pause the video and wander away from the booth to sit on the edge of a plush couch. Sliding my finger over the screen, I restart the video from the beginning.

“Hello, Lindy.” A breathy sigh passes my lips. God, the way his voice caresses my name.

“My name is Sebastian.”

“Sebastian.” I breathe his name, liking the way it rolls over my tongue.

“You walked into the club tonight and took my breath away. I would love to meet you, perhaps share a drink and some conversation. See where it may lead.” His lips move sinuously, forming innocuous words. Remarkably, I feel my body heating, my breasts swelling, growing heavy. It has to be those fathomless, intense eyes. They stir something inside me, inexplicably drawing me in.

“If that interests you, Sheila will escort you to the private booth where I am waiting.” His eyes stare into me as if he sees right into my soul.

“Don’t keep me waiting.” The last comes out firm, a command.

Normally dominant males make my hackles rise, but the seduction of his husky voice has me eager to comply. Still, I take my time to consider his offer. Swiping my finger over the screen, I watch the short video again, squirming on my seat. There’s really no decision to be made. He’s the one. The male I traveled all this way for. I know it.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Excerpt from Sophie’s Christmas Gargoyle by Katherine Kingston

Part of the Naughty Beasts: Shifters, Vamps & Gargoyles, Oh My! anthology - Pre-order Now!

Contains 15 Shapeshifter, Vampire & Gargoyle Stories from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati

Find it here:


Blurb:
When Sophie helps rescue a battered woman, she gets more than one surprise from the woman’s other self-appointed protector.

Copyright © Katherine Kingston, 2017

She ignored Jean’s query and wide-eyed astonishment as she went out into the rain. A freezing blast of wind pushed against her as she struggled to get to the corner. The woman still stood there, though she turned a startled and terrified look her way when Sophie put a hand on her arm. Fortunately the terror faded when she saw Sophie, but the look of resignation, almost despair, that replaced it was heart-breaking.

“You’ll catch your death out here,” Sophie said. “My shop’s right over there. Please come in.”

The woman didn’t answer, but she didn’t resist when Sophie led her to the door. Jean met them there and held it open. As Sophie turned to close it behind her she noticed the man still watched from a doorway opposite. She couldn’t see his eyes, but knew he was staring at her now. To her surprise, he nodded acknowledgment, but made no other move.

She didn’t have time to puzzle over it. Jean had already nudged the woman into the one armchair, retrieved a couple of towels, and was trying to dry her off. Sophie hung up her coat and dropped the umbrella. Jean had put on the kettle to heat water and Sophie made tea, then brought the cup over.

“Drink,” she told the soaked woman, who still seemed in shock. The woman took it from her and sipped carefully. A bit of tension seeped from her and she wrapped her hands around the cup, savoring the warmth.

“I’m Sophie. This is Jean. What’s your name?” she asked.

“Eleanor. Ella, most people call me.” Her teeth chattered a bit on the answer. She looked up at them and pushed hanks of long, sopping brown hair off her face.

Sophie sucked in a harsh breath. “Who did that?” A swollen knot stood out on the woman’s cheek; another disfigured her sharp jaw; and a dark ring circled her left eye.

The woman leaned forward, hanging her head, letting wet hair fall back over her face. She wore a plain, gold band on her left hand.

“Your husband?”

A sharp, quick nod answered the question.

“Do you have children?”

This time she shook her head in a negative.

That was a relief. “I know a place you can go where you’ll be safe,” Sophie told her. “I can call right now and get you in.”

Ella shook her head again. “He’s… You have no idea.”

Sophie sighed. “Oh, yes, I do. I have a very good idea. Been there.”

“You have?” The woman jerked her head back to stare at Sophie.

“It’s not my best memory. But yes. He wasn’t my husband, but that didn’t actually make much difference. We’d talked about getting married. He’d always had a temper, but I didn’t think too much of it until he started pushing me around and then hitting me. Unfortunately, we’d already moved in together. He was always so apologetic, but at the same time, he convinced me it was all my fault. Now I can’t believe I let him get away with that shit.”

“How did…?” She shook her head and looked down again.

“How did I get out of it? With a lot of help. I was fortunate that my aunt was still living then. I went to her one day when I was all beat up and scared that I might die from it, and she took me in. Got me involved with a group that helped me realize I was worth more than just a target for an abuser, and while it wasn’t my fault that he was punching me, it was my fault that I continued to let him. That I kept accepting his bad-mouthing and his apologies and the promises he never kept. It took a while before I believed it, but now I can see how stupid I was to let him convince me I was ignorant and useless and deserved his abuse.”

Ella started shivering violently. Sophie took the nearly empty teacup from her and set it aside. “I can put you in touch with the people who helped me. All I need to do is make a phone call and they’ll help. I promise they can help.”

The front door of the shop suddenly opened and closed rapidly. Sophie jumped and turned that way. The man she’d seen in the doorway across the street stood there, ignoring the rain water dripping off his clothes.

“Her husband is looking for her.” He had a deep, raspy voice. The hood still shadowed his features; along with his size and something about his tense stance, it made him seem sinister and menacing. And, yet, attractive as well. Blast. Surely she’d gotten beyond that now.

“He doesn’t know she’s in here.” The stranger glanced around the shop, stopping for a moment to study Sophie’s face. He shook off the distraction. “Get her out of sight before he walks by and sees her.”
Sophie turned to Ella. “Is that your husband?” she asked.

The woman gaped at the newcomer. “No. I have no idea who he is. I’ve never seen him before.”

“Who are you?” Sophie demanded of the man.

“Later.” The word was sharp with impatience. “Get her out of sight now. Make the place look normal. I’ll answer questions later.” He glanced out the window, up the street. “He’s headed this way. Hurry.”

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Excerpt From My Kind of Lover by Nicole Austin

Part of the Naughty Beasts: Shifters, Vamps & Gargoyles, Oh My! anthology - Pre-order Now!

Contains 15 Shapeshifter, Vampire & Gargoyle Stories from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati

Find it here:


Blurb:
Badass biker girl, accountant, lioness shifter—I’m all that and more. And this hybrid wolf thinks he can take me on? Bring it, you sexy beast! I’ve got this.

Copyright © Nicole Austin, 2017

Chapter One

The brilliant blue sky is clear as far as I can see with the exception of a few fluffy white clouds. It’s a beautiful day with birds happily chirping as they flit among vibrant spring blooms. Everything is peaceful and calm until a red and black streak roars down the street and into the parking lot. Wind buffets my lithe body as I lean into a controlled slide, stopping on a dime amid the sweet sound of squealing tires in a cloud of burned rubber. “Fuck yeah!”

There’s nothing in the world I find more exhilarating than pushing my custom Ducati to the limits, with the exception of great sex. Considering how long I’ve gone without a male between my legs the bike has become my endorphin high substitute. And bonus, my bike lacks the faults common in most males. No commitment issues, completely monogamous and never suffers from performance problems since I keep it in tip-top condition.

After pulling off my sunglasses and securing my helmet, I bend over at the waist, shaking out my long auburn waves to alleviate any sign of helmet hair. Several sets of eyes watch my every move from the open repair bay doors, but I ignore the unwanted attention and flip my hair back as I straighten. Popping the dark glasses back on, I head for the main entrance, catching sight of my rumpled, fresh-fucked appearance in the mirrored glass door.

Looking good, girl!

Strutting in as if I own the place, I move the glasses into my hair, pulling it back from my face. Giving a jaunty salute to the slack-jawed woman sitting behind the reception counter, I make a beeline for the open doorway under a neon sign announcing it to be the showroom.

A few steps inside the huge space, I let my gaze glide over an impressive array of chrome and shiny paint on wheels, giving a low whistle of appreciation. Beautifully restored cars and bikes spanning several decades gleam beneath precisely placed lights and have me popping girl wood. Sure, I’d seen pictures on the website but in person, damn. Just damn!

Spotting my sister staring through the lens of her ever-present Nikon, I head toward the 50’s drive-in set. “Whoo-damn, Lore. No wonder you never came back to San Antonio.”

She’d left three months ago with the owners of Davenport Restorations and didn’t look back. Not that I could blame her, mated to smokin’ hot twins with this place as her playground. Pretty sweet.

After carefully setting down her precious camera, she turns and races into my arms with a squeal of delight. “I’m so glad you’re here, Haidee.” Letting me go she spins around in a circle, arms extended, looking happier than I’ve ever seen her. “Isn’t this place incredible!”

Not a question but I respond anyway. “I could happily get lost in here and never surface.”

Lorelei gives me a thorough once over, taking in everything from my unzipped leather jacket to black riding pants tucked into high heel boots. On the way back up she stops at my grey V-neck and pulls my lapels farther apart to read the text.

“Accountant, because badass isn’t an official job title.” She arches her brow, laughs and pulls me into another full body hug. “So very you.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I spot the most stunning sight. Peeling her off me, I head toward a beautiful orange and black racing bike in the center of the showroom. “So who do I have to blow to get some quality time with this bad boy on the track out back?”

“Haidee!” Lorelei turns my name into a chastisement, a feat she’s mastered over the years as only a sibling can do.

“No, seriously. I’d give my left tit to wrap my legs around this sexy beast and take it for a long, hard ride.” Trailing my fingertips along defined lines from gas tank, across the seat and down the tail, I imagine flying over the asphalt with my body plastered to the sleek bike. I can almost feel the hum of the engine generating fierce vibrations that would blast through my pussy as machine and rider become one. I’m getting turned on just thinking about taking it on. My breasts grow heavy, aching for stimulation as my blood heats, elevating my temperature.

“That’s my girl. I’d be happy to take you for a spin on her.”

The masculine, whiskey-rough tone tugs on something deep in my core but I don’t turn around to look. No way can the man himself be half as hot as that made-for-dirty-talk voice.

“No thanks. I don’t ride bitch,” I growl. “Not for anyone.”

Lorelei mumbles a curse I don’t even try to catch. “Jase, this is my sister, Haidee Portman. Demon spawn—”

Whirling around to blast her with a snarky comeback, I freeze as my gaze catches on a vision pulled right out of my favorite wet dream. The world tilts, causing me to stumble and I choke. Did I just swallow my tongue? Sure feels like it.

“Meet Jase Wesgate,” my sister croons, “our head mechanic.”