Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Norseman's Deception is a Finalist!

Some very exciting news came in tonight and what a way to kick off November! Norseman's Deception, Book 2 in The Norsemen Sagas, is a finalist in the historical category of the RWA NYC's Kathryn Hayes When Sparks Fly Contest! Needless to say, I am very thrilled by this news – doubly so because I almost missed the deadline! Literally got it in at the very last second.

Finaling on its own is a very sweet reward, regardless of whether I win or not. To me, it's a sort of validation that my books ARE good, for all the doubts I have when sales are slow, or if I get a bad review that literally takes the breath out of me.  Reading is, of course, subjective, and I fully understand that my books are not everyone's cup of tea, but sometimes the folks leaving a bad review can be positively cruel. That does sting, because as most writers will agree, our books are like our babies. We bring them to life, nurture them and help them grow to their fullest potential, just like I do with my real children – though truthfully, seeing my kids happy and successful is obviously tons better than having a book received well by readers. I'm a mom first, after all.

I'm still very excited, though! :D Who wouldn't be? This is praise from my peers and colleagues, and I thank all who read and judged Norseman's Deception to be worthy of finaling. Check out the shiny finalist badge I received:

Isn't it pretty? :D I will find a nice permanent home for it here on the blog and on my website.

Here's more about Norseman's Deception, along with an excerpt and links where you can find it:

* He Saved Her from Outlaws – Who Will Save Her from Him? *

Fearing an arranged marriage, Thora Korisdotter flees her village, vowing never to return. With her two pet wolves beside her, she is confident in her safety, protected by the loyal animals. But outlaws attack, wounding one of her beloved pets. Only a mysterious stranger saves her from certain death. Now in his debt, she must repay him as he asks – with her body.

After being cast out of his clan as an outlaw, Ari Hugisson has wandered for years. The time of his banishment is nearing its end, and Ari has the proof he needs to clear his name and unmask the real murderer – his brother. His journey is delayed when he comes across a beautiful woman under attack. Compelled to save her, he also knows exactly how to claim the debt she owes, using the passion lurking under the surface of her fiery nature.

Betrayal cuts deep with the revelation Ari has lied and knows well the man Thora was to wed. But the passion he stirs is unlike anything she has ever known, even if he insists on treating her as little more than a slave.

When Ari confronts those who would see him killed, will Thora stand beside him, even at the risk of losing her family – and her heart?

** Contains explicit love scenes featuring A Kinky Twist on History! bondage, spanking and more!

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Here's that excerpt, when Thora tells Ari the reason for her flight. Enjoy!

"So you are to wed him, then?"

She nodded. "My father has made the agreement. After The Thing, he was to bring Hersir back to Grindafell for the wedding."

"You fled before they could return."

She nodded. "I won't go back. And I can't go to Tingwalla."

"An impossible dilemma." Ari leaned back against the log once more, his thoughts racing with ideas. "But I must be compensated. Don't you agree?"

Again, she nodded. "I've given your demand some thought. If I were to… offer myself to you, then afterward you can continue to Tingwalla, and I will go my way. But I will no longer be valuable as a bride. I would ask that you take a message to my father and perhaps he will stop searching for me."

Ari sucked in a breath. The wench was cunning and his admiration for her grew even more, as did his yearning. He shifted, his cock now hard and uncomfortable. He cleared his throat.

"Aren't you worried your father's honor will be ruined? You place him in a difficult position by refusing a marriage he's agreed to."

Thora shrugged. "I know. But I have no choice. My father married my mother for love, and when she died, he found another, and their love is strong. I only want the same for myself."

Ari nodded in understanding. Thora was like most other women, wanting a love match, rather than an alliance to ensure the strengthening of both families and clans. He also knew full well that she would never have that while wed to Hersir. But Ari had no intention of letting Thora leave his side. She'd likely be furious when she realized his lies, and again the idea of binding her so she couldn't flee poked at him. Hel, once she learned the truth, he'd have no choice. He held back the eager grin and thought carefully on his next words.

"Very well, Thora. I will accept your offer of payment, however, there are conditions on this agreement."

Her lips pressed together, her eyes flashing with suspicion. "What are your conditions?"

"I decide when it is time for us to part ways."

She nodded. "What else?"

"You will obey my every order. Please me and you shall be rewarded."

"And if I don't?"

He shrugged. "You'll be punished."

Only the crackling of the flames broke the abrupt silence. Even the creatures of the forest had quieted, as if all waited to hear her reply. He held her stare, daring her to refuse.

She didn't. In fact, he wasn't sure he managed to completely contain his surprise when she nodded again.

"Very well. I accept your terms." She looked away for a moment, then leveled her dark stare on him once more. "When… I assume you want…"

He chuckled. "Yes, Thora, I want you. And I will have you. Tonight."

Saturday, September 30, 2017

In the Pureblood's Arms Release Day!

It's Release Day for In the Pureblood's Arms! Available everywhere now in e-book and print!

While technically Book 4 in The Magiste Chronicles, In the Pureblood's Arms is an origination story of the Magiste, a magical race of people who have inhabited the Earth with mere Mortals since the beginning of man. Think Harry Potter, though these nooks are much more ... adult. ;-)

Check out the smoking hot cover by Winter Bayne, featuring Micahel Foster as Henri Marchand:

This is the first book where I've combined my two favorite genres, historical and paranormal/fantasy. It was fun playing in reality with a fantasy twist – I love losing myself in the medieval era, and mixing it up with my love of the idea of wizards, witches and general magical people allowed me to twist not only history, but reality. Technically, writing fiction is already messing around with reality, but infusing paranormal and fantasy elements into historical settings seems to blend perfectly, at least from my point of view.

Here's the thing, I usually have at least two WIPs going at any given time, sometimes even three, just because I'll throw down a scene that's really poking at me. It's just the way I operate – and I am currently operating with two projects that are brand new for my other series. But with In the Pureblood's Arms, I wrote it exclusively from beginning to end. I had no other projects at all while I was caught up in this tale. The entire story came together from the start, clearly and concisely, pretty much with the very first words I wrote. I can't say why, but I do wish every other book I write would do the same!

Like the other books in The Magiste Chronicles, this story has been revised and cleaned up, and some of the more subtle elements grew stronger. One of the things I like best about reworking a story I already love is that I can adjust the story where my brain raced faster than my fingers could keep up. I think every writer has something in each of their books they would like to change, and going through this book again sparked a lot, including the start of the next book in this series, which dives deeper into the creation of the new Magiste nation.

And don't miss your change to get Book 2 in the series, In the Mage's Arms, for only .99! Hurry, this sale is only for a limited time. Here are the links for both books:

In the Pureblood's Arms:

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In the Mage's Arms:

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Here's an excerpt of In the Pureblood's Arms:

Henri sat before the hearth, staring absently into the flames. Between his fingers, he swirled a glass filled with Bordeaux flambé. Even after his third glass, the bite of the spices felt good, reminding him he lived.

Again, his thoughts drifted to the woman in the next room. In his bed. The manacles on the bedposts alarmed and confused her. Yet, he'd also seen a hint of curiosity. Or had he convinced himself because he wanted to believe her amenable to his…preferences?

He had no right to think of such things, but the inborn darkness of his magic forced its way through. The image of her secured in his cuffs by her wrists and ankles seared his brain and he closed his eyes in an effort to shut out the vision. He failed, his cock stirring insistently, protesting the last months of celibacy. Idly, the debate of whether Chantal would fight or submit arose. A half smile tugged his mouth. She would fight. No one with hair that shade of fire would be meek and subservient.

But he couldn't touch her, not yet. Once word spread her family had been killed, the Tribunal would demand she be turned over to them. They'd use her lands to make political alliances, use her bloodline to enhance their magical might. They had no intentions to truly protect Chantal, only themselves, and gain whatever they could at her expense. The very idea turned his stomach.

She'd mentioned cousins, but did they still live? He needed answers before he decided how best to protect her. And he needed those answers now.

He stood and paced, developing arguments that prevented her being sold off to the highest bidder. With the knowledge of cousins, Henri could hold the Tribunal at bay for a time. Should the cousins fail to be found, another choice could save her. For the first time since he'd learned of the ritual, he understood the reason for the spell's creation. That it addressed several of his own newly-recognized selfish reasons as well was simply a happy addition.

Henri did not want to see Chantal's future decided by the Magiste nobility's court games. He could claim her for his own. Use the Possede Puissant. Besides the advantages the spell gave him over Chantal, infuriating his parents might prove an entertaining aside. Claiming her was his best chance to stop the nonsense he should marry the Fontenot daughter. He wanted no part of that shrew.

Now, unexpectedly, he found all he wanted was big green eyes that shone in the lamplight. Fiery hair that slid like silk through his fingers and lips that melted under his. He squeezed the glass of spiced wine so hard, it shattered.

"Merde!" More annoyed at his carelessness than the sting of a shard slicing into his finger, he waved his other hand over the mess. It vanished from sight, then he turned to his cut finger.

"Helavoir." His stone warmed when he cast the healing spell, and the cut opening his skin slowly melded back together until the wound completely disappeared. He clenched his fingers and summoned another glass, which instantly appeared on the table beside him. Eying the decanter, his ring heated again. The bottle rose in the air, pouring a steady stream of liquor into the glass, stopping at his chosen portion. Lifting the glass between his fingers, Henri leaned back in the chair.

A knock came from the sleeping room. He'd wondered when she would find herself incapable of sleeping, despite her exhaustion. Most likely, her power ran wild through her body, making slumber elusive. With a twitch of his fingers, the door unlocked.

Now dressed in the clean nightdress, the soot and forest dirt washed away, she was truly lovely. The earlier attraction returned with a force that nearly stole his breath. She moved hesitantly toward him. He motioned to the chair beside his.

"Would you like some Bordeaux flambé?"

She shook her head and settled herself into the chair. "Merci, Non."

"It might help you sleep."

Another quick shake of her head. "I find I don't want to sleep after all."

He leaned over, any excuse to touch her, and caught her chin in his fingers, forcing her to look at him.

"What is it?'

She blinked, tears welling. "Every time I close my eyes, I see…."

He let her go, noting the way the stone in her pendant glowed. Did she realize she channeled her magic, or were her emotions so chaotic she was unaware of her gathering power? Powerless to stop himself, he reached for her hand, pressing his thumb against her inner wrist. The craft pulsing with her blood was fairly strong, though nowhere near his strength. Despite its potency, something about her power seemed immature. Untrained. The need to remedy that situation surprised him with its sudden manifestation.

Suddenly, her eyes sparked, the scent of anger rising around her. She jerked her hand away, jolting out of the chair to take several strides across the room. A moment later, she faced him again.

"You said you came to save us."

Her quiet statement unnerved him momentarily, though he couldn't say why. Perhaps because he expected more outrage. Or maybe because the contempt in her simple statement cut deeper than any hysterical screaming. He hesitated, searching for the answer that might prevent the hellfire he sensed lurking underneath her calm demeanor.

"I did. As soon as I knew —"

"You weren't in time."

Her fury was leashed only by the remorse he read in her eyes. He knew part of her anger was directed at herself, as much as was directed at him. Understanding took root. He shook his head, his own remorse at arriving too late leaving him unwilling to respond with words.


The sharper note in her simple question added to the welling uneasiness. He couldn't blame her growing anger; after what she'd endured tonight, her emotions remained raw, searching for a target to lash into.

"I honestly cannot say. I received the message …" He paused, searching for the right words he knew didn't exist. "I departed for your home the very moment I received word … but it came too late."


The hurt and anger in her voice drew a sliver of remorse. Yet, it also roused a hint of annoyance. He'd done the best he could with the information he had at the time. While he comprehended her need to place blame for the attack, he was not at fault. His compassion didn't extend to allowing her to condemn him.

"I am sorry, Chantal. The attack was not of my doing."

Her green gaze pierced him. The desperate anger faded. She nodded. "I know. I... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to..."

The moment her words drifted off, she slumped back into the chair, another sob breaking free, despite her obvious attempt to contain it.

"I know it's not your fault. I just… who would do this?"

Again, he resisted the urge to reach out to touch her. "Evil men, more evil than any of the darkest Magiste has ever known."

She didn't respond, and the silence was broken only by the crackling flames of the hearth.

"I wish…" her words trailed off.

"Maybe it will help if you can tell me who raided your home. Was there anyone you knew, or recognized?"

She remained silent for several moments, holding his gaze with her tear-filled stare. Her lower lip trembled and he fought the urge to lean over and steal another kiss. What was he thinking? He'd been sent to save her, yet once he had her in his home, all he could think about was getting her into his bed. Would she resist if he attempted seduction? He could subdue her easily enough, he supposed, but he'd rather she wanted him. She'd not refused his kiss, in fact, had responded to him, eagerly, but he recognized her fragile sentiments. While he'd never hesitated to use anyone else's weakness to his advantage in the past, the idea of compelling this woman to his desires somehow seemed inappropriate, at least for now.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Pre-Order and Sale Now Live for The Magiste Chronicles!

The pre-order for In the Pureblood's Arms, Book 4 in The Magiste Chronicles, is live now at select e-book retailers! This smoking hot tale set in 13th century France tells the story of Chantal and Henri, two members of the Magiste, a magical race of people who live alongside ordinary humans. Of course, due to the superstitions and fears of the people of the time, exacerbated by the words and actions of the Catholic Church, they have much to fear from their neighbors and fellow countrymen.

This book has been revised in many ways, and sports a super sexy new cover by my favorite cover artist, Winter Bayne, and features Michael Foster as Henri. Check it out – isn't it beautiful?

In the Pureblood's Arms will be available everywhere, in e-book and print, on September 30, but pre-order it now so you'll have it the very instant it goes live. 

In the meantime, you can get Book 1 in the series, In the Devil's Arms, for only .99! But hurry – this special price is only for a limited time.

Here's an excerpt from In the Pureblood's Arms – links for both books are below. Henri has just saved Chantal from the forest behind her home, where an attack by The Inquisition's henchmen have left her family dead. Henri has brought her to his home:

"Chantal, for now, you must rest. You've been through a terrible ordeal."

She nodded and wiped her puffy eyes, her vision still watery. She took several shuddering breaths until finally, she calmed further, and the threat of fresh tears abated. With hands on her arms, Henri helped her to her feet once more and guided her toward a closed door.

He flicked his fingers toward the door and it opened. The moment he stepped inside, more oil lamps lit, and she realized this was his sleeping room. She couldn't stay here!

"Non, Monsieur—"

"Call me Henri. And don't fear. I won't attempt to seduce you."

For a moment, she thought she heard him whisper, "Tonight," but surely that was only her chaotic imagining. Still, intensity glowed in his eyes and she swallowed, hoping to soothe the lingering burn of her tears. Caught by the shimmer in his gaze, her own eyes widened, and her heart beat a little faster.

"Did you…?"

No matter how she tried, words refused to form. Another chuckle from Henri sent heat racing up her cheeks. He probably thought he'd saved a simpering fool. Determined not to appear weak any longer, she straightened her spine and lifted her chin. If he intended to take advantage of her, she would make the task as difficult as she could. As if in acknowledgement of her silent vow, the amulet stone in the pendant at her neck warmed.

Henri moved closer, so close the warmth of his breath against her hair grew into a tangible caress.
She held his gaze, trying to understand the strange heat in his eyes. A long finger stroked her cheek, sending an odd tingling through her and rousing a shiver.

"You will be safe alone in here tonight. Tomorrow, we will discuss what choices you must make."

He gave her cheek another caress, the heat of his hand soothing the riot of emotions swirling in her thoughts. Why should his touch calm her? Logic warned of the grave danger he presented, not to mention other members of his family, once her presence was known. She needed to be wary, though she doubted her half-trained magic would be capable of fending off his, should he try to use it against her. The knot in her gut tightened.

He pointed toward a table near a large window. "There is a wash basin there. I will arrange for some clean clothes for you. Are you hungry at all?"

She shook her head. The thought of food roiled her stomach. The terror, chaos and agony of the night left every bone in her body nearly ready to shatter. She had to admit the thought of curling up in the luxurious bed appealed.

Her gaze darted several times toward the iron poster bed, with its wide crossbars and… were those hooks fastened along the rails? Why on earth would he have…? Her eyes widened when her gaze reached the top of one of the posts. No! Surely, what she saw was an illusion, brought on by her tattered nerves. But when she looked again, there was no mistaking the iron cuffs hanging from each post, making the bed frame look eerily like one of the torturers' devices she had heard described.

She spun about, sucking in a breath to find him so close. The heat of his body seared through her ragged nightdress. Warm hands rested upon her shoulders. She tried to jerk free, but his grip tightened.

"Is this a sleeping room or a prison?" One more twist and she managed to put some space between them, even if he still refused to release her.

"I assure you, you will be quite comfortable here. I will be right outside the door should you need anything."

"But…why are there chains on your bed?"

The chilling grin he gave intrigued her. Nonsense thoughts poking into her frayed emotions and his possessive grip oddly enough lessened the chill lingering on her skin.

"You need not worry about them."

She wasn't so sure. "Why are you doing this?" Doubts about his intentions weighed heavily. If only her wits were sharp, focused, instead of completely illogical. Fatigue sapped her logic.

"Consider it a favor. However, don't think I will neglect collecting that debt."

The devilish smile adorning his face sent another tremor of uneasiness through her. Yes, he'd saved her from certain and likely gruesome death, but he posed a serious danger himself, in ways she wasn't sure she understood. Her fingers closed around her pendant, the blue stone warming beneath her touch.

His thumb under her chin tilted her head back, and before she could question him, his mouth lowered to hers. Surprise stiffened her, even as the brief acknowledgement she'd expected this pinched into her awareness. Yet, she found the feel of his lips sliding along hers pleasantly soothing. Warmth seeped through her veins, his mouth moving slowly over hers, tentatively, as if seeking some sort of affirmation. Powerless to resist, she kissed him back, seeking the comfort he offered.

At the moment of her response, he gave a muffled groan and crushed her against him, his tongue thrusting between her lips. The unfamiliar sensation drew a gasp, yet warmth continued to grow, slowly thawing the ice encasing her heart. Each velvet slide of his tongue along hers sparked a thrill that left her breathless.

Her knees buckled; if he hadn't been holding her, she'd have fallen. Instead, she gripped his arms, holding on tight for fear she might slip away into the darkness. Her head spun, and when his fingers slid through her hair, holding her still while he devoured her, an odd sense of protection infused the pleasure he stirred.

A moment later, she found herself abruptly released and he turned away. She pressed her fingers against her lips, noting how they felt swollen and tender, but in a way that left her wanting more. Realization sharpened her clarity. For a few moments, she'd forgotten the horrors of this night. Was that why he'd done it, to distract her, even if only for a little while? So far, he'd been nothing but courteous, well, until the kiss, but she could truly trust no one. Caution must guide her, and stealth. Most of all, she needed to strengthen her magic. She was still months away from her twenty-first summer, so her full powers had yet to blossom, as her father had told her. Certainly, they would soon. The notion soothed her worries, at least for the moment. She waited until Henri faced her once more.

"I will bring you some clothing. Tend to your ablutions and I will return shortly." He strode from the room, waving his hand. The door closed then locked. If he meant her no harm, why did he imprison her? She walked to the door and pulled the handle, but it didn't budge. He'd used a spell to secure her. Why? She closed her eyes, her amulet heating.

"Ouvrisse." The unlocking spell failed. Well, at least now she had proof his magic was stronger than hers. Not for long, though. Her bloodline was as just pure, even if it was not as ancient as his. And when she matured in a few months, she would be a force to reckon with.

But not now. Now, she was bone-weary, broken-hearted and the sense of being lost loomed heavier than ever. With a sigh, unable to completely forget the reasons that now she lived on the whim of a Marchand, instead of sleeping safely in her own bed, she walked toward the washbasin. Better to focus on what she could control, she reminded herself. Lifting the cloth beside the bowl, she dipped it in the water and wiped the soot from     her face and neck. She gazed at her reflection in the water and grimaced.

Leaves and twigs littered her hair, the natural soft waves transformed into a wild mass of unruly and snarled curls. She muttered a spell to remove the remnants of forest and ran her fingers through the tresses, smoothing the chaotic style. There, much more herself.

A knock on the door drew her attention. She turned just as Henri stepped into the room. His gaze settled on her and his eyes widened, a spark of delight glowing in the silvery depths. He held out a small bundle.


She accepted the clothing, thanking him.

"It is my pleasure," he assured her. He stepped closer once more and the odd hope he would kiss her again grew louder. As if he'd heard her thoughts, his hand slid to the back of her head, drawing her near.

"I find I'm unable to control myself."

He muttered the words absently, almost as if he spoke to himself, before taking her mouth once again in a searing kiss. Chantal leaned into him, wondering what power this man possessed to make her forget everything but the delight he stirred with his lips.

Then he was gone, the door once again closing and locking behind him, leaving her gaping after him in stunned silence. With a shake of her head, she removed her tattered nightdress and unfolded the one he gave to replace it, a dark green silk that slid over her skin. The luxurious feeling diverted a small measure of her distress. At this moment, she wanted nothing more than to sleep, to forget the night ever happened. She turned to the bed and froze, her gaze once more drawn to the manacles dangling from the posts.

After a slight hesitation, she inched toward the bed and pulled two pillows and a blanket from it, stepping quickly away. She set them on the floor, facing the bed. Just in case. After wrapping herself in the blanket, she lay down, fluffing the pillows beneath her head and praying to find a small measure of peace.

Here's where you can pre-order In the Pureblood's Arms:

*He saved her from certain death, but is he more dangerous – to her heart?*

In 13th century France, attacked by those carrying out the Papal Inquisition, Magiste Enchantress Chantal Belliveau is thankful for rescue from certain torture and death. But she never expected her savior to be Henri Marchand, one of a powerful pureblooded line of ancient Magiste, the Zyndevines, known for their practice of dark magic. Henri holds the key to her survival, but the danger he poses to her heart and soul could be even more perilous.

Despite his dark lineage, Henri is part of Il Resistasse, a handful of powerful Magiste fighting the atrocities the Catholic Church inflicts on their race. Saving Chantal becomes more than a simple rescue - the innocent young woman with half-trained powers enchants him more than he has ever been before. That she enjoys the dark side of pleasure he inflicts makes him question his determination to never give another his heart.

Chantal is horrified when Henri invokes an ancient spell, the Possede Puissant. The incantation leaves her little more than his possession. While she finds herself enjoying his dark and wicked sensual delights, she determines to free herself. Yet, the security she finds with Henri encourages her to stay by his side, claiming spell or not.

Resentment from Henri's family convinces Chantal she must ultimately break free of Henri's possession. When the Inquisitors attack, Henri convinces Chantal to embark on a journey to a new land, a journey that may well mean the survival of the entire Magiste race but the loss of her freedom forever.


And don't forget, you can get In the Devil's Arms for only .99 – for a limited time:

Can They Overcome the Past to Have a Future?

Helene Gaudet finds the perfect Dom in an internet chat room. When they agree to meet, Helene realizes why he knows her so well – he's Devlin Marchand, the man who, years ago, handed her over to a dark sorcerer – to be killed.

She wants to forget the past, including badly impaired magical powers and an ex-husband who cursed her, leaving her infertile. At first fearful of Devlin's intentions, she finds her passion for him is so intense after each encounter, she can't bring herself to leave.

Devlin's guilt over past betrayals grows when they learn the curse dogging Helene was created by the trove of magic created by his very own family. Devlin fears for their tentative relationship.

Will he be able to keep his vow to heal her, in every way possible, or will their enemies succeed in tearing them apart?

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Both books feature Magically Kinky! love scenes of the paranormal kind, including magical sex toys, potions, bondage and spanking and more!