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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Under His Command - New Heart Pounding Fiction from Kristine Cayne


Award-winning author Kristine Cayne is fascinated by the mysteries of human psychology—twisted secrets, deep-seated beliefs, out-of-control desires. Add in high-stakes scenarios and real-world villains, and you have a story worth writing, and reading.

Kristine’s heroes and heroines are pitted against each other by their radically opposing life experiences. By overcoming their differences and finding common ground, they triumph over their enemies and find true happiness in each other’s arms.

Today she lives in the Pacific Northwest, thriving on the mix of cultures, languages, religions and ideologies. When she’s not writing, she’s people-watching, imagining entire life stories, and inventing all sorts of danger for the unsuspecting heroes and heroines who cross her path.

To learn more about Kristine and her stories, visit her website: www.kristinecayne.com

A firefighter desperate to save his failing marriage earns the trust—and the sexual submission—of his controlling wife in the most pleasurable of ways.

After an explosive one-night stand results in pregnancy, Jamie Caldwell is thrilled to marry the perfect foil to his Dom side. But when his submissive wife starts cringing every time he gives a command, Jamie shackles his dark desires. A bout of rough, frenzied reunion sex makes him wonder if now he should free the Dom he’s kept in chains and teach Erica the joys of submission and sexual surrender.

Erica Caldwell secretly loved every sinful thing Jamie did to her on their first night together. However, terrified she’ll become a codependent doormat like her mother, she repeatedly rejects Jamie’s dominance, despite craving the kind of release only he can give her—the release that comes from yielding to Jamie’s every demand.
Hoping that the trust required by BDSM will help them rebuild their faith in each other, Jamie and Erica embark on a journey of sexual exploration. But is it too late to repair their crumbling marriage?

 
Here's an excerpt of her latest...

Short Excerpt from Under His Command by Kristine Cayne

Something soft and cool slid over her eyes. “What’s this?” she asked, reaching for it.
“Shh… It’s just a blindfold. To heighten your senses.”
Like she needed her senses heightened? He’d already taken her places she’d never been. “I’m not sure about—”
His hand smacking her butt cheek completely derailed her train of thought. “Did you just slap me?”
“That was a spank. Now turn around.” He tied the scarf over her eyes, plunging her into darkness.
She really should resist, tell him to stop. Something. But she didn’t. “Okay. Why should I let you spank me?” she asked. So far this night had been like nothing she’d expected. Jamie was skilled and unpredictable. And she was genuinely curious.
“Because you love it.” His fingers trailed down the crease between her cheeks and dipped into her. Her body convulsed, pushing against his hand to take more of him. What was it about fingers that felt so darned good?
Another smack, this one a little harder, had her trembling. “See how wet you are? How good it feels?” he said.
He was so right.

Under His Command


Kristine Cayne’s links:


 



Monday, December 3, 2012

Paranormal Romance-Suspense in a Historical Setting - Danita Minnis



Danita Minnis

Falcon’s Angel
Two liars, a stolen Stradivarius and a devil-worshipping cult. True love.

In my debut paranormal romance Falcon’s Angel, suspense is just as palpable as romance. Falcon and Angel love but will the devil-worshipping cult il Dragone take that love away again (and again)? In this story of reincarnation will these two liars finally master the repeating tableau?
Mystery and whodunit are ingrained in me as much as the soul-mate theme in my love stories.
If you like a little horror mixed in with your romance, this one’s for you.


Falcon’s Angel – blurb

Angelina wants to go unrecognized when she leaves her family’s Yorkshire estate to play in a symphony in Italy. When she starts running she has no idea just how much she is running from: a stolen Stradivarius, a birthright of mysterious powers and a past that got her killed over two hundred years ago. 

Falcon wants the Stradivarius in her possession, and goes undercover to track down a thief. But he is not the only killer in search of the violin.

il Dragone, a devil-worshiping cult, wants revenge for a past only they can remember.

Falcon’s Angel is a paranormal romance of love that ended in tragedy in eighteenth century France. That love is tested in a fight of good versus evil some two hundred years later. This time around Falcon and Angel have an opportunity to put a stop to the cycle of murder and mayhem, if only they can remember.



Excerpt

Naples, Italy

Falcon stood in the shadowed courtyard of the Naples Conservatory.
She left the building right on schedule. She had arrived early and stopped by the panetteria to pick up breakfast. She preferred the sweet rolls. When she left the music school, it was near dark.
Her schedule of classes wasn’t that bad. It was the time she spent practicing alone in whatever unoccupied classroom she could find that kept her there all day. She was dedicated, and very beautiful.
She had bumped into him in the hall two days ago on her way to class, “Scusi, Signore.” He did not know which was more shocking; the sound of her rich contralto or those huge liquid gold eyes, a striking contrast to the midnight waterfall rippling down her back.
He had purposely stepped in her path that day to confront her about the Stradivarius she carried. When he got a better look at her, he smiled “Perdonami,” and let her pass. Her lithe form glided down the hall.
If this goddess is a thief, she won’t have to take anything from me. I’ll give her whatever she wants, and more.
Although he allowed her to see him just that once, he had been watching her ever since. He did not know her name yet, but he called her Angel. Her unusual eyes made her seem like a fairy. Her fluid grace only enhanced the impression of an ethereal wood sprite.
The warm breeze lifting her summer print skirt silenced those thoughts.
Damned if he was not holding his breath waiting for the end of those legs before the gentle curve of her hips.
She crossed the darkening piazza and her full breasts danced under the white camisole top, making his mouth water. She was on her way home now.
She was staying at the Casa di Città on Piazza Avellino and now so was he. The apartment, a few avenues away from the Conservatory, was in the cultural Greco-Roman district, where the buildings themselves looked like archaeological finds.
Falcon emerged from the cluster of fig trees in the courtyard. He stopped when a man exited a side door off the Conservatory. The man started walking behind Angel.
Turning toward the fountain in the courtyard, he gave the man a head start. He fell in step behind the man, who carried no books, no instrument. Is he a teacher, or a lover? No, not a lover. The man didn’t even call out to the girl. He did not know her.
Falcon strolled along, looking into shop windows he passed. The man ignored a streetlight, but Falcon stopped, making sure no one followed him. With an idle shift from side to side, he waited for a car to cross the intersection.
Across the street, a teenager sat on the steps of a closed shop. He’d been there for the last few days. The car stopped at the curb in front of the teenager.
Someone should pick him up.
He would not jeopardize his cover for drug trafficking. He would leave that to the local polizia.
The light changed and Falcon crossed the street, satisfied that the man following Angel was alone.
They were walking through the ancient Roman marketplace, which was deserted now. When the girl got closer to the church built on the site of an old temple, the man began to close the distance between them.
Falcon shook his head as she reached the church corner. She never noticed the man who was just a few feet behind her now. When the man pushed her into the gloom around the church corner, they were lost from his sight. The girl screamed.
Sprinting, he rounded the corner. About ten feet away, the man was trying to wrestle the violin case from her against the wall.
Falcon pulled out his gun and aimed. “Let her go.”
The man turned toward him, and the girl pulled at his ear. The man bent, holding his stomach. He made an inarticulate sound before running away along the side of the building into the darkness.
Falcon darted past the girl and followed the man into the shadows.
What the hell?
Something flitted overhead, darker than the darkness in which he now stood alone. He pointed the Glock upward even as a figure walked up the side of the building. It looked like a black cloud but more solid than it should be.
Before he could get off a shot, the darkness disappeared over the side of the roof.
Staring at the dead end in front of him, Falcon put his gun away. No doors or windows on either side.
Where is the guy? Must be a hidden door somewhere, he’d check it out later.
Falcon turned back toward the girl. Beyond her, across the street, the man he had been chasing got into a car.
“No way,” he murmured as the car sped off. No way could the man have gotten past him in the alley.
The girl had both arms wrapped around the violin case in front of her. She was leaning against the church wall, crying.
A street lamp flickered on above them, belatedly bathing the passage in revealing light. She did not seem to realize that he was there.
“Did he hurt you, Signorina?”
She looked up. He lifted his gaze from her heaving chest.
“Grazie,” she whispered, wiping her face with the back of her hand. She shook her head. “I am fine.”
“You should not be walking alone at night.” The harsh reprimand in his voice surprised him. She was very young. Her tears wrought such vulnerability that he softened his tone when he came to stand in front of her. “Do you know that man?”
“No, I have never seen him before. But ... he knew me.”
“What did he say to you?”
She looked down at the violin.
He stared at her until she looked up. Ah, she had just found her story. It was in her eyes, and it was not the truth. The fear in her eyes told him that story would never change.
“He didn’t say anything, but the way he looked at me...”
Her chest heaved again. He almost smiled; she was having a hard time with this lie.
She stared at him. “You are from the Conservatory. I saw you the other day.”
“Antonio Russo, Tony to my friends.” She did not hesitate to shake his hand, and he did smile then. She might be lying to him but at least she did not see him as a threat. She continued to stare at him. She must want more. “I’m taking classes at the Conservatory,” he added. “I play piano.”
“Oh yes, I’ve seen you in Signor Gattano’s class.”
He had signed up for the class because it was right next door to hers. So, she had noticed him, too. He smiled wider.
“Signorina, I could call you Bella, but that would not satisfy my curiosity.”
She lowered her eyelashes over cheeks flushed the color of the terracotta tiles on his mother’s sunlit patio in Tuscany. She tanned well for one so light. He almost lifted his hand to touch her cheek. There would be little satisfaction in knowing her name now that her skin was singing a siren’s song to him.
“My name is Angelina Natale.”
“Ah. You are an angel, after all. I have not seen you around here for very long. Did you just fall from heaven?”
He watched her full lips while the sound of earthy laughter, though shaky, amped up the adrenaline coursing through his veins. A vision of her lying naked beneath him, her golden eyes glazed in passion, teased him.
“I am from England. I’m here for the symphony.” Her Italian was excellent.
“Angelina Natale, I would be honored if you would let me escort you home.”
She put the violin case under one arm. “I would like that.”
There was blood on her closed fist.
“Are you hurt?” He moved closer.
She moved her hand behind the folds of her skirt and backed into the wall.
He waited, leaning his hand against the wall above her head, inhaling her perfume. A beguiling combination of ... amber, apples and musk. The scent suited her, organic, delicious. He wanted to lift her skirt right now and take her against this wall, those long legs wrapped around him.
Angelina examined the buttons on his shirt that were in such close proximity. Stepping away from him would be cowardly, and he would guess she was made of sterner stuff. When she looked up it was with the defiance he expected from a cornered tigress.
He held her gaze, reaching behind to bring her fist out from the folds of her skirt.
The bloody gold in the center of her palm was a heavy medium-sized loop engraved with a stylized dragon. She had pulled it from the man’s ear and he had not made a sound.
“A memento?” He whispered in English close to her lips.
“I don’t want it. You can have it,” she answered in her native tongue. Now, that was the truth. Her British accent was tinged with a weary sadness. He wanted to pick her up against his chest and carry her home.
She had courage. Even while his mind worked to figure out what her role was in the mystery of the Stradivarius, he admired that.
He couldn’t leave her alone now. Not on a street where men escaped him when cornered in an alley and black clouds slid up church walls.
“Are you hungry?” Their lips were inches apart and he wanted to kiss her, but that would have to come later.
“I forgot about lunch. I had caffe at four. I’m starving,” the beautiful tigress admitted.



Bio

If you asked Danita Minnis which is easier, writing songs or writing novels, she would say it was the former. Melodies and rhymes are second nature. What her characters want is another thing entirely. With her debut novel, Falcon’s Angel, she learned to listen to her spunky heroine and sinfully confident hero. They’re funny and in danger, and that’s just the way they want it. Lesson learned: don’t try to save them.
When she’s not writing, Danita exercises her lungs at her son’s soccer matches and their favorite theme park, because everyone knows it’s easier on the stomach to scream your way down a roller coaster.




Falcon’s Angel is available now





Find Danita here:

Friday, November 2, 2012

A psychological thriller - Kindred Killers by Gary Starta

STANFORD CARTER GETS HIS DUE

When I think about my newest release, KINDRED KILLERS, I can’t help but think about its protagonist, Stanford Carter. I feel maybe a back slap or a handshake is due. Carter’s appearance as the lead character in a full-length novel has been long coming.
Borne from a short story called ANIMAL INSTINCTS, Carter and his colleagues have grown more real for me since that time, some seven years ago. Jill Seacrest, his topnotch CSI, was right along with him for that case which just happened to introduce a feline character named Celeste into my writing universe as well.  Every instinct tells Carter and Jill a slew of suicides are really murders. A housing contractor reeks of guilt. Carter goes so far as to suspect an occult influence. It seems the contractor is lulling his victims into a hypnotic state and urging them to take their own lives. Carter’s doggedness pays off when Celeste the cat manages to tape the contractor chanting in satanic verse.
This won’t be the last time Stanford Carter considers extreme possibilities. He will meet Caitlin Diggs, an FBI agent, in the novella, MURDER BY ASSOCIATION. Caitlin’s been affected by an artifact and is developing telepathic abilities. Carter’s open mind cements an instant bond between the two investigators. Carter appears in the Caitlin Diggs’s series: BLOOD WEB, EXTREME LIQUIDATION and DEMON INHIBITIONS. In the latter, Carter’s alternate from a parallel universe is introduced. He also is responsible for introducing Caitlin to her favorite feline, Celeste. I’ve always loved this crossover and Caitlin makes a cameo in KINDRED KILLERS.
Carter is forever the unsung hero. He doesn’t boast about his convictions. He’s placid for the most part, at least until Jill starts making romantic advances toward him. The detective learned a long time ago that ‘the job’ will eat you up unless you find an outlet. Carter’s outlet is Zen meditation.
In KINDRED KILLERS, Carter is tested by not only a frustrating case but by bureaucracy. A departmental policy prohibits colleagues from marrying and Carter has just proposed to Jill. Their union may split them as partners. Each has saved the other’s life. Separation is unimaginable. But allowing killers to run loose is also unacceptable to both the detective and CSI. Carter and Jill fear this may be their last case together.
Before their wedding can become reality, Carter and Jill will risk their lives once again in an attempt to catch what they believe to be a team of serial killers. The murderers may be kindred killers but Carter and Jill are kindred spirits who never allow the perpetrators to walk away from justice.
 Buy links, available in e-book and print!


Please see excerpt!

Frustration mounting, PI Jay Fishburne immersed himself in his case. His search for the teen runaway, Cheryl Thomas had produced no results so far. Yet his frustration had nothing to do with his case and everything to do with Detective Carter’s suspicions—about his involvement in the murder of Dan Collins, the possible affair with the widow, Therese—and of course Lucy’s usually characteristic brash behavior.
Last night he visited several strip clubs in the city. He believed Cheryl was working at one of these bars. His lust, rather than his detective skills confirmed this. She had a dancer’s body. The photo the parents gave to him was still etched in his memory. He didn’t even have to consult it. It was a picture taken at a summer family outing. She had super abs, big breasts and well-toned legs. Her blue eyes, high cheekbones and full lips would have left any man dazed. Long raven hair fell in bangs over her forehead and slinked past her shoulders. On this day, she appeared happy, maybe just fooling the camera to get her parents off her back. Jay could picture Lucy manipulating her parents in this same fashion with a lie or perhaps plastering a phony smile on her face just to bask in a glow of her cynicism. In a way, Cheryl Thomas was a younger version of Lucy who ran away from home several times as a teen to take dancing jobs. Lucy confided this to him as a surreptitious cry for help. Perhaps he could reach out to Cheryl and help her as well. If only he could break the emotional veneer they had built around themselves, the protective shell they hid behind to mask their true feelings and vulnerabilities.

It was just a matter of time before Jay found her. The clubs he visited last night were in too close a proximity from Cheryl’s home. She would want to distance herself. The very notion gnawed at him. He envisioned Lucy seeking shelter at strip clubs. What kind of fucking shelter is that? Men ogling you with their eyes—or worse . . . What the hell was happening at home that made this lifestyle more appealing?
A horn beeped from behind. It was a big SUV. Impatient, its driver tailgated Jay as he slowly accelerated into an intersection a full five seconds after the light had turned green. The private eye rolled down his window, a waft of stale warm air penetrated his vehicle’s cabin. Boston was mired in the middle of a heat wave. He crossed the intersection and moved toward the shoulder, waving for the SUV to pass. The driver beeped his horn again hoping to rattle Jay’s cage. But it didn’t because the PI could no longer see the vehicle or the road for that matter. Jay continued thinking and driving, thinking and driving, still undecided where his search would take him. His air conditioning was running full blast and his driver’s side window was still open.
He had already preset the destination of several strip clubs in his GPS. He went to the main menu and pressed Spread Eagle. He knew nothing more about this establishment other than it was most likely another dirty dive, smelling of beer and cigarettes like all the other shit holes, preying upon the willingness of young women to earn a dishonest week’s salary in the span of a night. But there wouldn’t be a happy ending. Eventually it would suck their life force away from them. The graphic readout on the Garmin navigational unit told Jay the club was located in Methuen. A female voice came on and instructed Jay to begin driving the highlighted route. The automated attendant sounded quite confident Cheryl would be working there . . .

He was not surprised by what he found when stepped into the dive. A girl was on a runway, she was sauntering to the left, to the right. Eventually she would find her destination to the pole located center stage. She collected a ‘tip’ from an admirer. She smiled blankly at him as he stuffed it in her g-string. An INXS song boomed over loud speakers:
The devil inside, the devil inside,
Every single one of us, the devil inside . . .
No shit. This is the devil’s lair. Jay nudged the man in a brown T-shirt and dungarees next to him. “Is this the first girl?” he asked.
The man nodded at Jay. “Yeah. I’d like to make her the first of my night.” He paused to squish his left hand into his overly tight jeans and pulled out a fistful of dollars, keeping his eyes on the blond beauty. “I think I’ll have a little ‘dance’ with her later, if you know what I mean.” The man smiled again at Jay as if he was a long lost comrade.
“Sure,” Jay grinned back at him, sickened. He gleaned from the man that the girls also performed lap dances here. They probably made a good chunk of money every night, even after the owner and bouncers took their share.
Jay kept his eyes on the stage and away from his new companion, fearing he might create a high profile. He ordered a beer and settled in for a long night. He took a long draw from the bottle, theorizing it was best to make like he fit into the crowd. Spook the wrong person and they would probably have the girls ushered out the door faster than you can say Jose Cuervo. Underage girls probably danced here and the owner had probably paid off a few Department of Alcohol Beverage Control investigators to keep their mouths shut. But not every investigator is from the ABC.
Twenty minutes later, the dancer finished her routine to the upbeat pop ballad: Do You Believe in Life after Love?
When the music cut out, a DJ spoke.
“Please welcome something young and sweet. The Spread Eagle’s newest flavor . . . the girl who’ll surely cream any man’s jeans . . . ice and hot from Boston . . . Cherry Sorbet!”
Jay was distracted by the man next to him, stumbling off his seat to work his way to the backroom for a lap dance with the previous dancer, the voluptuous blond girl. When Fishburne returned his attention to the stage, he knew he had found her. The woman strutted out to the beat of a Kid Rock song, dressed in a blue cape, dark sunglasses and a tiara on her head. Although all her accessories screamed: ‘ridiculous’ and ‘clich√©’; every man’s eyes stared at her with dead seriousness.
In a few minutes, she would remove all clothing and trinkets, revealing all her flesh save for her most private areas, still concealed by an aqua blue g-string. There was now little ‘wonder’ left for the imagination as the near naked ‘Wonder Woman’ before them grinded and thrust to a raunchy rock n’ roll beat.
Jay Fishburne fought to swallow, his mouth was parched. He ordered another beer, keeping his eyes riveted on the raven beauty. It was Cheryl Thomas in the flesh. He continued watching, unaware he had been leering at her like all the men around him and becoming quite aroused in the process. The sudden revelation made him feel revulsion. Patrons whistled and shouted at her, hoping to catch her eye. Hoping she’d take their money and put it next to her dirty spot. They had no conscience. He observed some more, then pushed aside his beer and ordered something stronger. “Give me a gin and tonic,” he told the bartender.

Fighting fatigue, Jay sat in his car waiting after all the dancers had danced, both on stage and in the backroom. Most of the patrons had left the parking lot. A rap on his window startled him. “Hey buddy, time to move it along.” It was one of the badass bouncers, a beefy man in a blond crew cut who looked like his T-shirt was about a size too tight.
“Oh, Jay,” answered demurely. “Just waiting for my buzz to subside, don’t want to drink and drive.” The PI feigned drunkenness sure the bouncer wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.
The bouncer asked, “Got a cell?”
“Yeah.” Jay heard his voice in his head answer the bouncer, but it sounded different, somewhat muffled. He recalled the last time he heard this kind of voice in his head. He was drunk at his buddy Sid’s 10th wedding anniversary. Lightheaded, Jay realized he was not acting for the burly interrogator.
“Then call a cab,” the bouncer said. His face was dour.
Jay started his car. “Nah, I’ll be okay. Have a good night.”
Fortunately, Cheryl—or Cherry—has just walked out the bar. She was headed to a maroon Chevy. It appeared quite old. Her parents said nothing about a car. She entered it alone.
Jay watched the bouncer walk away. He put his car into neutral and glided across the lot to follow Cheryl’s vehicle.
The bouncer turned around. “Hey, buddy! Your lights,” he yelled to Jay.
Jay waved his arm out the window in mock appreciation and turned them on. He had purposely chosen to keep them out so as not to spook Cheryl. But it didn’t seem to faze Cheryl. She left the lot driving at an even speed.
He crept behind her Chevy Nova, keeping about five car lengths behind and followed a dark and winding wooded road. Steady as she goes, he told himself, his voice still sounded like a stranger’s. He smiled suddenly. Maybe it was the booze talking now. Maybe he was just happy at his luck. Found Cheryl on my second night. He wanted to gloat, throw it in the face of that pompous Detective Carter. Bet he couldn’t find her that fast.
Jay continued following until Cheryl eventually turned off the main road and entered an unpaved driveway. Her tires grumbled over gravel. He stopped his car and killed the lights. He gambled that the barely lit road was traveled by only a few people at such a late hour and his intuition was correct, no lights behind or ahead of him whatsoever. It’s a good hiding place for a runaway. The fuzz of white noise echoed in his head. Loud music always aggravated his tinnitus, a ringing in his ears that may have started from listening to loud music as a youth. It often overpowered even the chirp of crickets in the dead heat of the summer night. He waited for Cheryl to park. Whoever lived in the house was sure to have heard her car. He resisted the urge to tap his fingers on the steering wheel. His eyes scanned. The setting reminded him of a Grimm fairy tale. A porch light eventually flicked on confirming the PI’s hunch. Jay grabbed a pair of binoculars to home in on a man standing on an open porch. He seemed preoccupied, swatting away some moths that had gathered around his porch light. That’s about all he could glean. Maybe he was a boyfriend, maybe she drove his car and maybe he suggested she work at this club since it was in the area. The parents either didn’t know about this boyfriend or were in denial about it. Jay immersed in his thoughts, headed home. He would contact the parents tomorrow about his find. He laughed that he might need to take up drinking more often. He needed to muster some courage for tomorrow. Jay didn’t want Cheryl Thomas to haunt her parents anymore. He thought maybe—with their permission—he could reason with her. Maybe he could change things if he could just garner a little self-esteem and give her a heart-to-heart talk. The irony. If only girls like Lucy and Cheryl might find their self-esteem so they could tell their skuzzy bosses to go fuck off. But as his buzz subsided and he turned onto 93 South, the highway that would take him home, he conceded there might be only one remedy to end this cycle of pain for everybody.

24 hours later . . .
Cheryl Thomas had left Cherry Sorbet behind. A night of dancing for pay once again came to the end, a carbon copy of the night before and the night before that. Cherry—Cheryl’s sexy, mature, overly confident dancing persona—only existed under the spotlights of the Spread Eagle.
When she exited the door, she had become absorbed in the harsh reality of her life. It was as if the truth—which was sometimes equated with probability, or the way things most likely will end up—lived within the stifled air of the very hot and humid July night she walked into. It stuck to you, never giving you true freedom.
The truth—in fact—would not set people like Cheryl Thomas free. The truth, in this case, was often not a nice companion. It was the voice telling Cheryl that she’d never amount to shit in life. It was the voice that warned her not to tell her mother about how inappropriate a family member had acted. It was the voice that sounded an awful lot like Cheryl’s father—the very reason life as a topless dancer beat living rent free in the comfy confines of a two-story home in suburbia. The truth had a bitter ending. The truth was better kept pushed to the back of one’s mind. The truth—for Cheryl Thomas—sucked lemons and she was not about to make lemonade out of them in reference to the old adage.
She drove home wishing her fucking boyfriend’s car had a working air conditioning system. The bastard. He could have had it fixed for her. He could have let her slide on sharing rent. He could have strongly suggested her not to work at a strip club. To Cheryl, her boyfriend Tim was just another asshole. She hoped her true feelings wouldn’t rise to the surface. She was using him. She needed shelter. But she reasoned Tim deserved a phony girlfriend. He was a phony as well. He promised her (when she got enough cash together) she could quit and attend a community college. She nearly laughed the other night when he suggested it. The puppy dog eyes he made at her. The bastard just wanted to get laid. She had told him how exhausted she was from the dancing. She couldn’t explain why she felt her ass was literally dragging on the floor. She was tired because a bunch of assholes had leered at her all night. Their dumb faces, big eyes and hungry mouths made her think of them as animals. The really stupid ones—the ones with beer courage— had foolishly tried to lay their hands on her, inviting a nasty bounce out of the club. But they had to try. They had to behave like ‘men’ in front of their buddies. The more Cheryl thought about it the more she hated every fucking man who walked the fucking face of this fucking earth. She had given in to Tim’s wishes last night. He fucked her hard and mercilessly. He fucked her like she was his object. She didn’t want to hook up with Tim tonight. She began to fantasize an escape scenario. Maybe she would just keep on driving on, head to New Hampshire or something, right on the friggin’ spot. Spontaneous. Just like she had fled her father. Just like one half of Thelma and Louise.
A rumble of distant thunder caught her attention. High humidity had promised a thunderstorm, according to the Weather Channel. She had watched the forecast on the screen in the backroom while she gave a lap dance. The client didn’t give a shit she was watching it either. His eyes were too busy staring at her boobs.
The dark wooded streets she navigated were barely illuminated. She slowed her car. Up ahead she saw something. Her headlights bounced off it. It was a pair of wooden sawhorses. The kind police used to create barricades. But she couldn’t see any kind of police logo on the sawhorses. Suddenly a clap of thunder boomed directly overhead, surprising her. She could hear her heart beat in tandem with a heavy downpour that beat upon her car. It was raining very hard. The water hit the car with an intensity reminding Cheryl when she was five, a time when she still liked her dad. He would take her along when he visited the automated car wash. She recalled it was always on a Sunday. She remembered her father saying something strange one time, like: “God can’t be expected to get everything clean on His own.” He laughed strangely, scaring her. She stared ahead at the windshield, but couldn’t see anything through the shower of water. Nor could she open the door to escape.
Years later Cheryl would come to understand what that strange phrase had meant—physically. He began hating and hitting her, blaming her for his sick impulses. Blaming her for having blossomed into a woman so soon.
She thought she could swerve around the sawhorses. But she also thought if this were a roadblock a cop might write down her license plate number. If that happened, Tim wouldn’t be very happy with her.
A woman in a raincoat approached her. The hood covered the woman’s head, but Cheryl could identify the person as female because long copper colored bangs hung over her forehead.
“Hi, officer,” Cheryl stammered.
The woman shined a flashlight into Cheryl’s car as it idled noisily. No other ID was visible. Cheryl found this strange since police raingear was usually transparent so civilians could see their badges and uniforms.
But she refrained from asking for ID. The female cop squinted as her bangs were dripping with water.
“Where you headed?” the cop asked.
“Home? Uh . . . about a mile and half off the main road.”
“Lived there long?” the woman in the poncho asked.
Why the fuck should that matter?
When Cheryl didn’t respond, the rain soaked woman in the black poncho mumbled something inaudible.
Cheryl began to fish in a duffel bag for her driver’s license. Maybe if I cooperate she’ll let me go. I don’t need my fucking parents to find me. She hadn’t been drinking, but her clients had. Their stink of gin and vodka must have been all over her. And what if they do a car search? Cheryl was panicked. She didn’t want the officer to find her Spread Eagle outfit. She was so panicked she didn’t reason the officer had no probable cause.
“What’cha doing?” the cop asked.
“Getting my license.” Cheryl heard her voice shake, the way it quivered when she talked to her father.
‘Have you been drinking?”
“No.”
She hoped the cop wouldn’t ask her where she’d been.
“I’ll take your license later, Miss. Right now I need you to slowly step out of your vehicle.”
Cheryl hedged, her foot was on the accelerator. The officer shined the flashlight into the car. “Turn the engine off first.”
Cheryl obeyed. She turned the key, twice, cutting the engine but keeping the car on battery power. She still hoped the cop would show mercy. She hadn’t done anything wrong, driving wise that was. And if she tested for alcohol, she’d find her sober.
“I want your hands where I can see them.” Cheryl held them up as the officer maneuvered herself behind her.
“Are you going to make me walk a line? I can do it. I’m as a sober as a nun, officer.”
“You may be sober, but you’re no nun.”
Cheryl couldn’t believe the officer’s rudeness. Her tone was malicious, hateful.
Cheryl stammered. “Do I know you?”
“No, but I know your family. You fucked them over royally, running away once a couple of years ago. Now you’re at it again. Do you even give a rat’s ass about your parents?” The officer waved a fist at air.
Cheryl realized the officer was capable of venting her hostility, not only verbally, but also physically. She had learned some psychology from working at the strip club. She would change tactics and speak with congeniality. She would try to reason with this lunatic if there was still time. She felt the woman’s breath on her from behind. It had a weight to it. Even through the pouring rain.
Lightning flashed. From the corner of Cheryl’s eye, she saw it had illuminated the sawhorses. Again, she couldn’t see a word or symbol on it. She doubted it was police issue. She also began to wonder where this woman’s car was. She had stalked out of the woods like some animal. But in the darkness of the storm, Cheryl couldn’t be sure a vehicle wasn’t concealed somewhere off the roadway, hidden by some brush or overgrowth. She began to plead with the officer. She kept a soft, even tone when pleading. She hoped a demure approach might garner her release. The officer grunted oddly, but Cheryl interpreted this as a confirmation of power. Just keep empowering this fucking bastard. She repeated this to herself.
“Look, officer. Do you want money? I’ll pay you. I just can’t let my parents find me. My father is abusing me.”
The woman behind her only grunted. This time, the grunt didn’t sound approving.
“Look, I love my family. But things are complicated right now . . . ”
“I don’t believe you’re sincere.” Cheryl heard the woman spit some rainwater out of her mouth.
“It’s time to come clean with me.”
Before Cheryl could think, the officer’s arm was wrapped about her neck as if it was a python, hoping to squeeze the life out of her.
“Uh . . . oh God . . . please . . . ” Cheryl heard the words in her head. She couldn’t be sure she was verbalizing them. She felt as if she was somewhere else watching what was happening to her. She felt her feet lift off the ground. She kicked them but her boots flailed harmlessly against the woman’s shins as she was dangling in the air. The officer had Cheryl in a bear hug. One arm wrapped completely about her stomach, the other tightening its vice like grip about her windpipe.
As Cheryl’s face turned blue, she wondered why she didn’t ask for the officer’s badge number. Did she cut the officer some slack because she was female? Did she think this woman would be any less unkind to her? And as the black of night engulfed Cheryl, she thought of this irony. She always thought she might die at the hands of some huge horny guy who thought the ‘no touch’ rule was for mamma’s boys; or perhaps at the hands of Tim, when she finally mustered the courage to betray him. The killer released her grip and Cheryl fell to the ground, lifeless as a marionette whose strings had been severed. The rain began to lighten and the only sound that could be heard was the slapping of windshield wipers on Tim’s beat up old Chevrolet.









Monday, October 22, 2012

Fables of the Reconstruction - a novel of zombie apocalypse, sex and magick

I am proud to host guest blogger Hunter S. Jones who has just released her first book in a very appropriate month - October. I say this because it's a mix of supernatural, zombie apocalypse and magick. It seems Hunter's Southern upbringing has influenced her greatly. Enjoy her blog and kindly post comments!


Fables of the Reconstruction
By: Hunter S. Jones
Pomba Gira Mysticism. Creole Voodoo. The zombie apocalypse. Sex, drugs, magick. Paranormal erotica.
Meet Pierre von Minzle and Mary Moore. They are the Adam and Lilith, definitely not Adam and Eve, of today's zombie apocalypse. Fables of the Reconstruction is a playful yet graphic sexual adventure consisting of what might have been, combined with what possibly might be happening now. It contains Pomba Gira mysticism, Creole voodoo and the seeds of the zombie apocalypse set in Victorian London's notorious Whitechapel District. Sex, magick , zombies. This ain't your daddy's shotgun zombie story. Mature content warning.
Available only on Amazon via ebook.
ASIN: B009SCXVMK  Please  see link below.
Prologue

Pomba Gira is a wonderful Goddess. Treat her with respect and reverence and she will bestow her blessings upon you. A beguiling spirit, Pomba Gira gives comfort to the broken hearted, vengeance for the wronged, and a fierce path for those that will take her as muse.
Pomba Gira is the Goddess of the Night. She is the Goddess of guitars, cemeteries, tombs, streets, crossroads, the soul, and the oceans. There are various manifestations of the Goddess, such as Maria Padilha, Compass Rose, Queen of the Seven Crossroads, Pombagira of Calunga, Pombagira of Souls, Gypsy Pombagira, Pombagira Maria Mulambo, Red Rose, Miss Rosie Skull.
Pomba Gira has origins in the witchcraft of Portugal, the Basque Country, Spain, Africa and the native influences of Brazil. She influenced African and Afro-derived cults in the New World of the Americas and the Caribbean Islands because of her cult of divine possession among the slave camps of Brazil.
The offerings to Pomba Gira are numerous. Always make an offering accompanied by good quality champagne or fine wines. Give her gin, bourbon, or brandy. Offer Pomba Gira cigarillos, cigarettes with a white filter, red roses-- (always in odd numbers), honey, anise liqueur-- (which is one of her and favorite drinks), mirrors, jewelry, lipsticks, and perfumes.
Pomba Gira gets to the heart of the matter. It is wise to be very sure of what you want. She asks for payment in advance. As with any seductive or beguiling spirit, there are attractions and dangers to be associated with Pomba Gira.
“Move air, transform fire, move air, water becomes earth. Earth heals; it turns. The wheels turn, it turns the wheels, turns it. It will bring my beloved back to me as soon as possible, next to me…I know the groups of Pomba Gira are already blowing my name into the ears of my beloved day and night; he will not eat, sleep or do anything unless he is with me, I trust the power of the Seven Crossroads and I will continue spreading this powerful prayer, like this it is, it will be.”

About the author
What is your favorite horror movie?
The Omen
What is your favorite horror book?
Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, Dracula by Bram Stoker…how can you have just one favorite? Short stories would be The Rise of the House of Usher, The Tell Tale Heart, and The Raven all by Edgar Allan Poe, A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner still makes my skin crawl.
What fantasy/horror character do you wish really existed?
Lestat de Lioncourt and my own creation--who you will meet very soon. His name is Pierre von Minzle.
Do you believe in ghosts?
Oh yes, I believe in ghosts-- I was raised with them. When your family has a family cemetery that is 200 hundred years old, you know that the dead still walk among the living and you understand that the dead never truly die. It’s that whole Southern Gothic thing—the love of the macabre and the mystical.
Explain your writing style. 
I call my writing style supernatural gonzo. The best way to explain that is by saying most of my concepts, characters and scenes are revealed to me in dreams, with lots of rock & roll imagery.

HUNTER S. JONES - BIO
Hunter S. Jones is a lifelong writer. Hunter regularly contributes articles to fashion and rock and roll publications, both in print and online. However, you will often find her writing articles for newspapers and quarterly professional publications. Her interests are varied… travel, wines, history, the occult, and psychology. Her passions are rock and roll and history, especially the history of sex.

She has a reading range which varies from  ’Beowulf’ to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ to all points in between. Her favorite authors are Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Rice and Alison Weir. William S. Burroughs, Erica Jong, Dan Brown. The list is ever changing and ever growing. Ask tomorrow and you will get a different answer.

Hunter has wanted to write a book her entire life. A recent change in fortune has made this dream a reality. Her first book, Fables of the Reconstruction is paranormal erotica, scheduled for publication November 2, 2012, Dia de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead in Mexico, Central and South America, and many Caribbean nations.
You can find her online:
Blog:                       www.thehuntersjones.blogspot.com
Twitter:                   @huntersjones101
Get her book here:


Monday, October 8, 2012

Romance Author Charmaine Pauls: Fire & Ice

Author Charmaine Pauls writes romance and has firsthand experience to draw from in her novel Fire & Ice...

I was born in Bloemfontein, central South Africa. A hopeless romantic and dreamer, I have always lived beyond the geographical boundaries of reality. Growing up with plenty of stories given birth to by my mind, and a love for writing, it was the natural course of my life to ensue a communications degree from the University of Potchefstroom. I followed a diverse career in all the facets of my degree, including advertising, brand marketing and public relations. Besides handling publicity for opera stars and ballet dancers, developing an international brand of pet food, raising funds for the South African National Council for the Deaf and managing internal communications for a large banking group, some of the more colorful duties I performed as part of my professional path included photographing vegetables, running a graphic design one-woman show, and manufacturing my own range of herbal tinctures. Writing has always been on the top of my preference list, and I am happiest dedicating my time exclusively to creating stories.
As much as my body thrives on food, my soul needs words. I live for the way they weave together in that magical moment of symphonic harmony to become stories. I love opposites (spot them in my book titles!), feathers, jasmine, lavender, music, cats, chocolate and coffee. My motto is to live life to the limits of its six senses. My goal is to achieve that perfect place on life's intricate scale – a place I like to call Balance. And adding a pinch of magic to goal and motto, results in romance. This is what pours from my being through my thoughts, finding its way to my keyboard.
Having previously lived in the ancient and romantic south of France, I currently reside in the majestically volatile nature of Chile with my French husband and world-citizen children. Our household of Babel is a fusion of imagination, make-belief, magic, animals and travel adventure, vividly and enthusiastically expressed in the four languages we respectively speak – Afrikaans, French, English and Spanish.
I hope that you will bless me by enjoying some of my work. Happy reading and living!

http://www.charmainepauls.com/about-charmaine-pauls.html

Between Fire and Ice

Ciro Augusto Dominguez (Cy) is heir to a powerful Chilean copper mine empire. The survival of his future inheritance, Dominguez Enterprise, depends on his ability to produce an heir.
The task is not simple. Infertility has crippled the world population, and fertile females are few and far between. But Cy's mother, Francisca, a brilliant, cold-hearted scientist, has left nothing to chance when she headed the medical team who artificially inseminated and surrogated a fertile woman for her son on his tenth birthday. Now, at thirty years of age, Cy is ordered to fulfill his duty.
Elena, the result of Francisca's secret, successful experiment, was hidden in an icy Patagonian cloister. Her cruel education ensured that Elena submit to her destiny – to give Cy a child –, but it also taught her the secrets of an ancient, magical art of healing that the nuns guard. When Elena is brought to Cy's Atacama Desert estate for the wedding, Cy realizes that, despite his unwillingness to give up his freedom, he cannot escape his duty.
Elena and Cy battle through the emotions and desires that shape their new life together. As their unwanted marriage is thrown into a web of secrets, deceit, abductions and strange magic, their prophesized fate becomes impossible to escape.
The onslaught from a world, desperate for fertile females, and Cy's power-hungry family, can only be stopped by the child that Elena and Cy are supposed to conceive. But can Elena bear to take Cy's freedom in order to save herself? And can Cy give the one woman who can save him her freedom, even if it means destroying his empire?
Playing off against the backdrop of the powerfully diverse Chile, between the magical Elqui Valley that oysters the earth's magnetic center like a pearl; mysterious Easter Island framed by its moai; the majestic, snow-capped Andes mountains; haloed volcanoes; the all-consuming heat of the Atacama Desert; and the frozen, eerie glaciers of Patagonia, unfolds a story of unrivalled desire and love.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dramatic Suspense - Margaret Sarah Bechtel

I'd like to welcome Margaret Sarah Bechtel to the Writers' Blog who writes compelling dramatic fiction. I will let her tell you about her latest in her own words...


I currently have two novels out now, In the Land of Winter, which is about two suvivors of a plane crash that are stranded on a Scottish isle. The problem is, only one of them wants to be rescued.  My second novel Learning In The Dark, was a labor of love and it took over a year to complete.  It's about a young woman who was blinded in a childhood accident.  The theme of the story is about forgiveness; and is it okay to forgive someone who hurt you severely?
I'm working on my third novel, Confessions Of Lillian Maverick.  It's about a teenaged girl with her mother's mental illness.  I'm hoping to a draft ready for my editor in a couple of months.  
 
I currently live in VA where I love to write and spend time with my family.
 
 
The following is a synopsis and excerpt of Land of Winter which is being described by readers as full of twists and turns...
 
Kate wants to forget her past. Lex wants to begin his future. The strangers meet on an ill-fated flight to Scotland, their lives and secrets collide when the plane crashes into the North Sea. Only known survivors Kate and Lex are stranded on an island with an old lighthouse they are forced to use for shelter. Lex is desperate to get them both rescued. Kate is desperate to stop him.
 
            The female attendant from earlier rushed over from her seat. "Is everything all right?"
            Kate was dazed and embarrassed, and it took her more than a minute to speak. That nightmare always drained her. "I just had a bad dream. I guess I'm a little freaked about flying." She added a smile to prove she was all right and not insane.
            "Well…all right. If you need anything, let me know," the attendant said, already heading back to her seat.
            Lex was staring at her.
            "Sorry about that."
            He was still staring.
            "I said I was sorry," Kate said hoarsely. She wondered how long she had been asleep and how long she had been yelling.
            "You weren't dreaming about flying." His tone was accusing.

 "And you live inside my head?" Kate asked hotly.
 
            "No, but you were screaming your head off. I caught a few things." Lex leaned in. "Tell me. Are you all right? Are you in some kind of trouble?"
            "I'm sorry I bothered you, but it was just a nightmare, nothing more." Kate felt lightheaded and knew she was pale.
            Lex felt unnerved. He knew something was very wrong, but she was a stranger and he could mind his own business. So Lex turned off his reading light and closed his eyes.
            Kate sighed and looked out into the night sky at the stars.
 
Again, Kate was jolted awake, unaware that she had fallen asleep. Something was very wrong. The emergency lights in the cabin were on, and there was an oxygen mask dangling in front of her. She looked around, confused and finding it difficult to breathe.
            Everyone on the plane was screaming, praying, or frantic. Kate was oddly calm, feeling almost drugged. It was just a different kind of nightmare. It wasn't until Lex shoved her mask over her face that she actually considered this might really be happening. He was yelling something at her, but the words weren't making any sense.
            This was real.
            The plane was going down.
            They were all going to die.
            Those thoughts kept running through her mind. There was a part of her that was happy to see that Lex put his own mask on, and she smiled to herself. This was a good way to go; her last sight would be his green eyes.
            Lex grabbed her hand, and that was the last thing she remembered before hearing the sound of tearing metal.
 
For more...
 
also check out Margaret's second novel here...