Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Phoenix and a Dash of Sass (Milly Taiden's Sassy Ever After Kindle World) Excerpt

Check out my newest release, Phoenix and a Dash of Sass written in Milly Taiden's Sassy Ever After Kindle Worlds. I'm super excited to share Tessa and Jackson's romance and adventure with you. Here is a little excerpt.

Another drink down. “He is kind of hot,” Tessa admitted as she started to enjoy the burn of the hard liquor as it settled into her empty tummy.
“Kind of?” Josie started laughing. “He’s super hot!” She leaned in. “And I hear shifter sex is amazing.” Josie’s eyes got larger than normal, expressing her excitement on the subject.
Tessa looked at Josie. She was surprising her this trip. They’d never talked like this before. It wasn’t the nature of their relationship. “Then I guess I’m out. I’m still recovering from this injury.”
“It’s your choice, but I think you’re insane to pass up the opportunity.” Two more drinks were poured and downed by the women. Josie poured some scotch into a tumbler. “Why don’t you bring this to him? I’m sure he’s thirsty.” She pushed the glass into Tessa’s hand.
Tessa laughed. “You’re terribly obvious when you’re trying to be a matchmaker.” She took the glass anyway and made her way back to the kitchen.
Jackson was whipping up a meal like a professional. He chopped ingredients, sprinkled spices, and mixed with precision. As he moved, the muscles under his tan skin rippled in his arms. His shoulders were broad, and his waist tapered off to a pair of enticing buns that she wanted to squeeze. She bet she could bounce a quarter off those gluteus maximus muscles. He was oblivious to her ogling, or chose to ignore her as she stood watching from the kitchen doorway.
She gasped when the flame from the stove exploded over the pan’s edge and set the meal on fire. She ran in to help, pouring the only thing in her hand onto the flames, which made the fire intensify. Jackson grabbed Tessa around the waist and pulled her away from the stove.
“What were you thinking? You never pour alcohol on a burning flame.”
“I… wasn’t thinking, just reacting.” She knew better, but the combination of an empty stomach and hard liquor made her mind fuzzy. And their closeness in the moment made her knees weak. His lips were inches from hers, and both of them were breathing heavy from the shock. Their eyes locked and they froze in that instant. The world around her seemed to fade. The sprinklers overhead burst on and pulled them both out of their magical connection.
“Are you hurt?” He inspected her from head to toe.
She shook her head. “No, just a little shaken. I’m sorry if I ruined your meal.”
He chuckled. “I could care less about the meal. I can cook more. I’m more concerned about you.” His hand cupped her face. “I’m sorry for snapping.”
She bit her lower lip. He still had one arm snaked around her waist and she was crushed against his body. The closeness sent a shiver of desire down her spine and pooled in her core. In that moment, she wanted nothing more than to taste his lips on hers. As if reading her thoughts, he slid his lips over hers, and she opened to his kiss.
The water that fell from the sprinklers overhead massaged their shoulders as the moment intensified. His tongue entered her mouth hesitantly and plunged deeper when she didn’t resist. The contact made her heart race and her knees wobbly. He slipped his thigh in between her legs to keep her steady as his hands roamed her body.
The kiss ended, and she tried to catch her breath, but his lips moved to the spot behind her ear sliding down to the apex between her neck and shoulder. “Jackson, we shouldn’t.”
“Shouldn’t what?” His voice was raspy with desire.
She didn’t want to stop, but they were putting on a show for Josie in the kitchen. “The sprinklers.”
He growled with need, but stopped nibbling on her neck. “You’re right.”
“Um, it’s the fire department. Is everything alright?” Josie stood in the doorway with a cordless phone in her hand.
Jackson pushed Tessa’s back against a metal counter and kept her trapped with his arms on either side of her. “No, we need someone to come shut off the sprinkler system.” His breathing was labored. “I’m sorry, Tessa. It’s going to be a while.”



Tessa Grant is on the hunt for a stone that holds the power to scare victims to death. Her job is to find mystical items and store the dangerous ones away in a vault created specifically to shield the magic from harming innocents. While a noble crusade, it is a job that leaves little time for romance. The last thing she needs is to fall in love, but when she meets Jackson, her world is shaken to the core and her future becomes uncertain. 


Phoenix shifter Jackson Brand is struggling to launch his restaurant and finds himself in dire straits when Tessa walks into his life. The loan for the restaurant is in jeopardy of being recalled, and his investor isn’t the kind of man you avoid paying unless you want to lose a finger or a leg. The last thing he needs is a mate that he has to protect from his past, but sometimes fate likes to add a dash of sass to the mix.

The hunt for mystical treasure forces the couple together, and the magic they make may not be enough to keep them from falling apart. Partnerships will be tested, people will get hurt, lives may even be lost as they are thrown into a mystery that promises to have an explosive ending.

Happy Release Day: Excerpt from Phoenix and a Dash of Sass

Phoenix and a Dash of Sass written in Milly Taiden's Sassy Ever After Kindle Worlds has released today! I'm super excited to share Jackson and Tessa's adventure and their romance with you.

Tessa is a strong independent woman who isn't in the market for romance, but she has a hard time pulling away from the deliciously hot chef / restaurant owner, Jackson.

Phoenix shifter Jackson isn't searching for a mate, but can't deny the attraction to Tessa when she walks into his establishment.

Both characters are drawn to each other and have a difficult time denying their desires. For those of you that have read my stories, it is common to find a lot of page turning action along with the romance and suspense.

Check out the excerpt below and grab a copy today.


Excerpt:

JACKSON SAW TESSA FALL BACWARDS, heard the cry from the wolf that fell on top of her, and instantly saw red. His skin grew hot, and his body flushed with fire as an inhuman roar escaped his lips. It took everything he had to keep the beast that shared his body at bay. He managed to remain in mid-shift as a human fireball. He knocked all three of the men beating on him out of the way, and ran to Tessa’s limp form. The only other man still standing stepped into his path.
“This could’ve been a simple reminder that payment was late, but your bitch wounded my brother. I want my pound of flesh,” he snarled.
As if on cue, the sky opened up and rain began to fall. His fiery half sizzled under the downpour and fueled his primal instinct to protect.
“What the hell is going on here?” Jackson’s brother, Lincoln, approached, gun drawn. Both men froze mid charge.
Jackson pushed the fire down and became a man once again. “Nothing. They were just leaving.”
“Like hell! Someone needs to answer to the injured woman and the wolf.” Lincoln aimed the gun at the delivery men.
Jackson looked at the four men standing, hands at the ready to arm themselves. He didn’t want his brother involved in this mess. Besides, turning the collectors over to the authorities was not an intelligent idea. It would bring down more wrath upon his head. “I’ll answer to the situation.” He took a step toward his brother and held his hands up in surrender. “Tessa was hurt defending herself.”
“Mike was hurt defending himself,” Baron snapped as two other henchmen gathered the wounded wolf.
“It was all just a misunderstanding.” Jax went to Tessa and picked her up in his arms. “But we are going to need an ambulance. She’s bleeding pretty badly.” He forced the fire of the phoenix’s rebirth into his hand and used that to encourage healing on her wound. Her skin sizzled and sealed up. He looked to the sky. The rain was coming down hard. “Please, Lincoln, we need some help.”
“Fine.” The collectors left as Lincoln dialed 911. “Yes, thank you.” He finished the call and turned back to Jackson. “I can’t keep covering for you, Jax. What do you suppose we’re going to tell the doctors?”
“The truth. She was defending herself. She jumped in to help me fend off my attackers.” He picked her up and carried her unconscious body to Lincoln’s car.
Lincoln opened the back seat and gave Jackson room to put Tessa inside, out of the cold. “And your attackers?”
“Collectors.”
“Shit, Jax, I told you not to get involved with Brady.”
“I needed the money for the restaurant. I’ll have their payment by week’s end. Don’t worry.” He brushed Tessa’s wet hair off her forehead. Realization hit him suddenly as he stared down into her peaceful face.
“How many lives are you going to lose to pay for this dream of yours?”
“None, I’ve got this handled, Link.” He couldn’t tear his eyes away from her. Could it be? Could she really be his?
Lincoln kicked the tire in frustration. “You’re lucky your car broke down and you called me for a lift.”
“I suppose I am.” He monitored Tessa’s pulse. Steady. Good.
Sirens echoed through the night air. The ambulance was on its way.
“And why did she step in to help?”
“Because…I think she is my mate.”
“Shit.”

“Yeah, that would sum it up.”


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sneak Peek # 2 of Cursed: Piper's Story from the Blood Courtesans Series

Cursed: Piper and Sebastian's story from the Blood Courtesans Series is now on pre-order discount on Amazon for only $0.99. Grab it before release week when the price will go up to its regular sale price of $2.99. Check out chapter two, the beginning of Sebastian's story below. 

I am lost, broken, desperate. I awakened a centuries-old curse and the hunter has now become the hunted. The monster has chased me across the globe, leaving bodies and devastation in its wake. My only refuge is to become a blood courtesan and seek sanctuary from the vampires, still the beast haunts me.

Sebastian becomes my beacon in the darkness. He is my protector and while he can keep me safe, I'll never be free so long as the monster lives. His plan to use me as bait is terrifying. Am I willing to trust him with my life - or should I let another stranger tame the beast that threatens to tear apart my soul?

Will the curse be lifted or am I doomed to remain in the darkness... alone with my demon?

***** This book contains adult content of sexual nature and violence and was written for audiences 18 and older.

Chapter Two


Sebastian

THE COPPERY SMELL OF BLOOD assaulted my senses long before I entered the dingy bar. Any vampire walking by this location would’ve been lured into the establishment by scent alone, not to mention, the place was a well-known supernatural roadhouse bar, which was why I was called in to help with the investigation. There were a lot of pieces to this jigsaw puzzle, and my gift would help put some of those parts in the correct place. Forensics would reveal the missing bodies were vampires, there was no question of that. The others would require DNA testing to determine what supernatural or human species they were.
One thing science or my power wouldn’t answer was if the woman who called in the massacre at a payphone down the street was a vampire or a human. If she was a vampire, I’d assume she’d call the council, but there wasn’t any notification from them. The only call I got was from the human police. My contact on the council responded back fifteen minutes ago and told me they had no notification of the crime. The unidentified woman could’ve thought the vampires’ bodies would take care of themselves, and may be one of the few of our kind that had a soft spot for the humans, which would’ve encouraged her to call the police, but why not the council? Was she in hiding? Was she the one who did this? Not calling the council left more questions than answers.
The evidence of multiple vampire deaths was the scent of their blood mixed with the remaining human bodies. There was also a distinct smell on the air, one I hadn’t encountered in a long time, so long that I couldn’t place my finger on its identity. Could it be the woman? Perhaps.
I’d seen death, destruction, devastation, and plenty of crime scenes over the years. No amount of preparation could get me comfortable with viewing these scenes. You’d think after a couple of centuries I’d be desensitized to gruesome deaths, but one thing I have learned from years of existing as a vampire, life is priceless.
It wasn’t just the blood dripping from the corners, the bar, jukebox, and ceilings. It wasn’t even the dismembered body parts that were strewn across the musty, alcohol-laden location. It was the terror frozen on their faces that gripped my empty soul. Whoever, or whatever did this, was a monster. One that horrified its victims before it killed them.
“Is the crime scene ready to be cleaned?” I asked detective Marshall, my good friend and police contact. There wasn’t much for the vampire side of things to sparkle up, but I needed to take notes and see what psychic energy I could discern from the items found at the sight. I preferred to do that when the humans were out of the way.
“It is. The CSI have already examined the scene. I’m afraid they didn’t find much.” The grim look on my old friend’s face told me he didn’t expect to find the killer. I knew he feared it was a supernatural creature, and from the looks of the devastation, I was starting to think the same thing. No human could rip bodies to shreds like this without some sort of inhuman power behind them.
“That is because their science trained minds are having a hard time grasping the supernatural. This was obviously an attack by some sort of creature.”
“Any thoughts on what it was?”
I shook my head, and frowned as I looked around the room. “No. I haven’t seen anything like this since the crusades.” Those were bloody, lawless times. Death was feared, but human life was of no consequence to criminals. At least in today’s age, people and paranormal beings put more value on life, most of the time.
“Do you think you can find out more by doing your thing?” Marshall waved his pen in the air.
I frowned as I looked around. My fingers itched to wrap around some of the remaining items at the crime scene. “I’ve been looking for any kind of personal object to help me with that, but there isn’t much left.”
Marshall grinned, a sparkle lighting his hazel eyes. “I believe I can help with that.” He handed me a crime scene evidence bag with a woman’s bracelet inside. “I also have a dagger that might be of some use.”
I took the bag and pulled out the bracelet. “Pretty,” I remarked to no one. The thin silver trinket had a couple of charms attached to it, and it was coated in human blood, mixed with that distinct, familiar scent. It was going to drive me mad until I remembered what that scent was.
“Anything?” Marshall’s tone was impatient.
I shook my head, wrapped my fingers around the soft metal jewelry, and closed my eyes, allowing myself to focus on the energy imprinted on the item. A fight broke out in front of me. Eight men, some human, some vampires, were attacking a gorgeous brunette. She fought with spirit, grace, and the fluidity of a trained fighter. Despite her obvious martial arts training, she was overpowered. As the gang piled on top of her, I felt something seize my heart. I knew it was an imprint on time. There was no way I could help her, but something inside me wanted to, something needed to step in and protect her. Was this the woman that called the police? I shook my head. There was little I could do but watch as the men beat the life out of her.
I turned away from the battle for a moment. Maybe there was some sort of clue as to who ripped the men and vampires to shreds around the room. They were obviously distracted. The killer could have been watching the scene. Maybe he was as disgusted with the whole thing as I was.
By the time I turned back to the slaughter, a gargoyle was taking out the entire gang of men. The woman was nowhere to be found. The gruesome scene played out to the bitter end.
“Anything?” Marshall asked, his hand extended to take the bracelet back.
I frowned as I handed it over. “I think the woman that made the call escaped an attack by the men who were killed.”
“And the killer?”
“Supernatural creature. We’ll take the case from here.”
“Another vampire?”
“Do you really want to know?”
Marshall shook his head. “Not really. Curiosity killed the cat. I prefer to be in the dark with these paranormal matters as much as possible.”
“Will you handle the cover up?” I asked him as I looked around the room again, committing the scene to memory. He’d send photographs, and when it was possible, more items that I could use to rewind the psychic energy of the scene.
“Yes. I’ll take care of it.” He bagged the evidence. “Can I report back to my boss that we won’t have any more of these massacres?”
“We’ll do our best to take care of the killer as quickly as possible and minimize the damage in the process.” I knew it was a promise we’d have a hard time fulfilling. Gargoyles were nasty creatures, and a rogue gargoyle on the loose in town was going to be difficult to contain.


Sneak Peek of Cursed: Piper's Story from the Blood Courtesans Series

Cursed: Piper and Sebastian's love story from the Blood Courtesans Series is now available for pre-order at a discounted price. The price will go up after its release on 1/17/17, so grab a copy today on Amazon.



Check out the first chapter of Cursed below and get to know Piper's character and her turmoil. See why she is backed into a corner and chooses to become a Blood Courtesan as she searches for protection from an ancient curse. 

I am lost, broken, desperate. I awakened a centuries-old curse and the hunter has now become the hunted. The monster has chased me across the globe, leaving bodies and devastation in its wake. My only refuge is to become a blood courtesan and seek sanctuary from the vampires, still the beast haunts me.

Sebastian becomes my beacon in the darkness. He is my protector and while he can keep me safe, I'll never be free so long as the monster lives. His plan to use me as bait is terrifying. Am I willing to trust him with my life - or should I let another stranger tame the beast that threatens to tear apart my soul?

Will the curse be lifted or am I doomed to remain in the darkness... alone with my demon?

***** This book contains adult content of sexual nature and violence and was written for audiences 18 and older.

Chapter One


Piper

“GREGORY JAMES MASTERS.”
The heavily tattooed and overly pierced, muscle man turned toward my voice when I called out his name. I swear there was an evil glint in those brown eyes before he bolted, knocking me down in the process.
Bastard! I hated it when deadbeat dads and cheaters ran. I jumped up, slapping away random hands from good Samaritans that offered help, and took off after him. It wasn’t like the man had many friends in Chinatown, the problem was the crowded streets gave him a sea of faces to hide in, and his maneuver of knocking me off balance, gave him a head start. Instinct told me to go left. I weaved in and out of the people as I made my way over the beat up concrete sidewalks. A good private investigator rarely wore heels. Tennis shoes, jeans, and a t-shirt were the only way to go when you were in pursuit of a criminal.
Instinct was right. I saw a blur of a red tank top and tattoo-sleeved arm turn down an alley only a few meters ahead of me. Picking up my pace, I found my stride and followed. The man knew I was coming. His soon to be ex-wife told me as much. So why was he running? This was supposed to be a simple job. Hand him the papers, take the picture, and turn in the paperwork for a nice little paycheck. Simple, my rear end!
He ducked into the back door of a building just as I turned the corner. I followed, and instantly regretted my decision the moment I walked into the moldy and booze-coated bar. The sickly-sweet scent of fermented alcohol assaulted my senses and made my stomach flip. The place looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in ages. I made a mental note to put a call into the health department. The dive was in dire need of an inspection.
I slowed my movements because I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The hair standing at attention on my arms and neck told me whatever it was couldn’t be good. This place reeked of cigarette smoke, lost souls, and bad juju. Resisting the urge to turn around and run out the door, I plowed forward. Ever since that night in Egypt, at the Tomb a couple of months ago, I had been making bad choices, and this one was another example of not listening to my gut. When would I learn, and why was I so hell-bent on hurting myself? These questions echoed through my mind as I walked into a trap set up by my target. The answer, obviously not anytime soon.
He was surrounded by five other guys, each one looked nastier than the next. They were holding weapons that could do some major damage to me, like pool sticks and baseball bats. One even held a butcher’s knife. The glint from the dangerous looking blade only urged on the need to protect and defeat. When this was over, I would need to get a shrink to find out why I was insistent on chasing death. Part of me yelled ‘Run’, but the two men that came up behind me from the bar made escape an impossible task. I was trapped. The only way out was to fight. My hand went to my side, expecting to feel the cool steel of the handgun. When I came up with empty air in the hip holster I knew what had happened before I even looked at Gregory James Masters. He held my gun in his hand, an evil grin spreading across his rugged face.
“Okay, Gregory James Masters, I am so going to serve up your papers on a platter when this is all over,” I told him as I readied for the attack. I planted my feet into the sticky red carpet and pulled out the dagger sheathed at my side. The handgun would bring about unnecessary blood and possible death anyway, which wasn’t on my agenda today. By the looks of the men in front of me, their sheer size told me the stun gun I wore on my other hip would do little to no damage, so I opted for the hand to hand combat weapon. A dagger would require closer proximity, and would leave behind some blood, but fatalities were unlikely. Thankfully, Gregory agreed with the logic behind no gun use because he dropped the weapon on the floor and kicked it out of the way.
The dark-skinned man to Gregory’s left came at me wielding a baseball bat. He swung and missed as I dodged, sinking down to the floor, and kicking his feet out from underneath him. On his way down, I sliced into one of his Achilles’ heels to make sure he stayed down. It would mean a miserable recovery time for the man, but his life would be spared. This was about delivering divorce papers, not taking on dangerous criminals in a death match.
Two men attacked simultaneously after watching me take down the first guy. I managed to dodge the butcher knife, but was hit in my mid-section by the pool stick. The impact knocked the air out of me and sent be flying backward. The man had strength, but I’d bested better. Being a female detective, I had to learn to fight harder than my male counterparts. I was taught to use their strength against them. The bigger they are, the harder they fall is a very true statement in most cases. I rebounded quickly and went on the defense as both men grinned in delight, thinking they had the upper hand. I almost felt sorry for them. I steadied myself, and readied for their attack. So focused on the two in front of me, I didn’t see the ones that circled behind me until it was too late. A weapon of some sort slammed into my back, rammed into my kidney, and knocked the air out of my lungs. As I crumpled to the ground in pain, I pulled out the stun gun holstered at my side, but was unable to defend myself as multiple men wailed on me. My vision blurred as more jabs, kicks, and punches hit the surface of my body on all sides. I don’t know if I took any of them out with the weapons in my hands because a familiar scream erupted from my lips, and I lost consciousness.

*****

A moan escaped my mouth as I opened my eyes. Every part of my body ached. The smell of copper and sulfur assaulted my senses first. It felt as though my eyes were glued shut. My first thought was I died, but death wouldn’t be so cruel as to leave me in excruciating pain, would it?
I slowly stood up, aches and pains screaming from every inch of my body. Echoes of violent waves of agony made the edges of my vision go dark. With each movement, I feared I’d pass out, but instinct warned me to get out. Caked in blood, bodies contorted in death surrounded me. What the hell happened? How the hell did I survive the attack?
My breathing was labored from pain and fear as I tried to focus on my surroundings. My body was covered in sweat and red, sticky liquid, some of which had hardened into a disgusting mask on the surface of my skin. I pushed my black hair back off my face and glanced up at the ceiling fan that offered a slight cooling breeze, which carried the scent of death along with it. You must leave, there is nothing you can do for these souls. The warning seized my heart like a vice grip. What if whatever did this returned to finish the job? It wasn’t the first time I’d been attacked and spared. Why me?

How was I the only one to survive an attack of eight men? I was trained in martial arts, but these bodies were far from bruised and beaten. They were dead. Ripped to shreds. The eyes of the men were frozen open in fear, staring at me. A shiver passed through me when I found Gregory’s body. His abdomen had been ripped open, entrails pulled out, his neck severed from his body, his head laid inches from his shoulders. It was worse than any scene I’d witnessed in a horror film, perhaps because I was a part of it, and I had no memory of what happened. Part of me felt like I should call the cops, the paramedics, but there was no saving these men. I limped my way out of the bar, taking solace in the darkness of night. When I got some distance between me and the nightmare I left behind, I would call the authorities. 


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Writing Prompt Wednesday # 3 ~ The Trouble with Clowns

This week's writing prompt was inspired by the "Creepy Clown" problem that has hit the media in the U.S. As a hypnotherapist and life coach, I've worked with many people over different fears. Fears often make for great stories. In my Ghost Connection series, I published a mystery which touched on the fear of dentists in "Dentist's Burial Ground". I created a series called Paranormal Hypnotherapy Files so I could touch on other fears through the world of fiction. Cherished Gift, the first in this series focused more on night terrors and past lives, but the second book which should come out in 2017 will touch on another fear and coulrophobia or fear of clowns might be the one I work on in that story.

So with all this in mind, I thought it would be fun to create this week's writing prompt around the "Creepy Clown" challenge hitting the streets. So get your timer set for one hour, stretch out your fingers, and engage your imagination. Remember, the writing prompt exercise isn't about creating a masterpiece, it is about getting into the habit of writing on a daily basis. It doesn't have to be perfect as you'll see in the sample I'll be sharing below. Editing takes care of that after the story is written.

Week three's writing prompt.... 

Clowns, clowns, clowns, begin a story, or write a scene about clowns...

I rubbed my face and eyes to bring the blood back into circulation and re-focus on the words that were becoming a jumbled mess that resembled alphabet soup in front of me. There comes a time when a person must walk away from file reviews, and I was in that moment. I needed a break. My fear was that if I took the much needed time away from the case details that another child would wind up dead. It didn't sit well with me, so I foraged on. There had to be something I missed. Some clue that would break open the case and set us on the right path.

Tyler Jacobs, chronologically he was the first victim. Witnesses saw nothing, well nothing but a creepy clown lurking around the playground. The words creepy and clown didn't go well together, but it is what they saw. It gave us a lead that went no where. The image of his broken body dumped in the woods behind the park was something I wouldn't forget for years to come. Not many murders stuck with me, it was part of the job as a homicide detective, but the ones in this case stayed in my mind like stone statues, never leaving, always haunting me awake or asleep.

I sipped some more of my coffee as I pulled out the case file for Aimee Johnson. She was found dead, her fingers wrapped around a Chatty Catherine doll. The only clue to her death was the face of a clown painted on the popular doll's face and her screams that played out on the mini recorder inside the toy.

Kris Johansson was next in the string of deaths. No witnesses. No leads. Nothing until the Medical Examiner found a plastic clown toy stuffed down his esophagus. The way he died made us think we had a copy cat killer or a new murderer on the loose because the cause of death was suffocation instead of blunt force trauma, but it was Lindie Jackson's death that connected them all.

Lindie had the face of a clown drawn on the back of her neck. Something we found on all the children's bodies. We also noticed that every child that was killed by the "Crazed Clown", a name given by the media to the killer, had a last name that started with J. Our profiler had decided that the other signatures were tests, the killer was finding his groove and getting progressively more intent and aggressive in his process. It was becoming painfully obvious that he wouldn't stop until we stopped him.

My fingers landed on the note we received last month. It was addressed to me. He had singled me out as his nemesis, pulling me deeper into the rabbit hole that was his insane mind.

Copyright 2016 Jami Brumfield. All rights reserved.

The story will continue in 2017. I've decided this will be part of a new series I am working on. Now it is your turn. See what you can create with the writing prompt. Have an enjoyable week.










Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Writing Prompt Wednesday # 2

One of the most difficult parts of being an author is sitting down and writing. Creating a habit around writing can really help with this challenge. I've found that forcing yourself to write daily, even if it isn't writing in your current work-in-progress, is a great way to build that habit. There are many ways to do this, one very popular way is to use daily writing prompts.

I thought it would be fun to have a weekly writing prompt challenge. So on Wednesdays I plan to post a writing prompt challenge, with a paranormal theme (of course) to help inspire the writer in you. The challenge is simple. Set an alarm on your phone for thirty minutes to one hour. Get inspired by the prompt and create a scene or two. I'll share mine in the post. Don't worry about editing your work, the key is to simply build a habit around writing, editing comes after you get the story out. You don't need to share your work, you can keep it in your own personal journal and maybe use it for a future story, but I'd love to hear if this challenge is beneficial to you. Let me know in the comment section below.

As a life coach and hypnotherapist I've helped many people with relationship and dating issues, and as an author of paranormal romance, dating and romance runs the gauntlet in my stories. I have two series that focus specifically on dating (Dating a Werewolf and Aphrodite's Love Connection). It's a great topic with so many possibilities. With part four of Rhyme's Reason (Dating a Werewolf) and Bear-i-licious Cowboy (Aphrodite's Love Connection) upcoming releases, I thought it would be fun to focus on dating for this week's writing prompt.

Writing Prompt # 2

You work for a dating service and have been tasked with creating a perfect blind date for a potential high profile match (try a vampire prince and a medium or maybe a werewolf and a witch... or create your own supernatural couple).

Ready, set, go!

"No, the date has to be after nightfall, preferably two hours after the sun goes down." I huffed into the phone. Aimee's assistant was being extremely difficult on hashing out the details for this date and if I didn't make something happen soon, my boss was going to make my life a living hell.

"As you can imagine, Miss. Jackson's busiest time is after the sun goes down. I'm sure she doesn't want to be interrupted by a ghost or two during her first date." The man's nasally voice repeated the same answer he'd given five times in the last twenty minute conversation.

"She is going on a date with a vampire, I'm sure a little ghost interruption is par for the course." I argued.

"My sources tell me the Prince is a day walker. Can't he make an adjustment to his schedule? Miss. Jackson is, after all, a famous television medium."

"We're all aware of her fame, Mr. Blake." I took a deep breath and refused to finish my thought out loud, but I think being a prince trumps out being a television reality show star. This match was far from being made in heaven, but my boss was positive it would be a love match, if we could just get the two of them together in a room.

"I'm sorry, Miss. Jackson is not going to budge on this point. If you want to make this arrangement happen, he will need to be open to a daytime date." The assistant hung up the phone.

"Fudge cakes!" I slammed the phone back on the receiver and leaned back in my chair. I squeezed the bridge of my nose to help fight off the migraine that was beginning to form in my head. Mario made it clear this needed to happen this week. We were down on our quotas and after three months of poor matchmaking results, we didn't have much wiggle room.

I flipped on the computer screen and examined Prince Donovan and Aimee Jackson's profiles side by side. They were definitely an good looking couple. She had dark exotic looks with long wavy hair surrounding a heart shaped, tan face and he brought forth an air of royalty with his dark hair, chiseled jaw, and demanding eyes. There was something about his grey eyes that seemed to capture my attention every time I looked at him. He made my insides turn to jelly over a picture, it would be interesting to see the affect he would have on me when we finally met in person. None of it mattered, he was out of my league and ear marked for another client. If I could just find a way to get them together.

My eyes roamed the profiles and an idea started forming. It was going to take some maneuvering, but I had the beginning of a plan. I grabbed my purse and keys and headed for the door.

End of Sample...

Once you get started the stories will start flowing. I've already decided this rough draft writing sample will be used in the second book of the Aphrodite's Love Connection series. Now that I've started the idea, it's time to create an outline and schedule the writing time for the next book. Sometimes this happens with writing prompts and sometimes you create something that can be saved for later use when you least expect it. The idea isn't about creating something you can use all the time, it is more about creating a habit around writing. Now it's your turn. Set your timers and see what you can come up with from the writing prompt provided above. Don't forget to let me know what you think of these Wednesday challenge posts in the comment section below. Happy writing.

I mentioned a couple series in the blog post above.

Aphrodite's Love Connection and Dating a Werewolf. Check them out at the links below.

Bear-i-licious Cowboy is the first book in the Aphrodite's Love Connection series. It is available for a limited time in the Once Upon a Midnight Anthology for only $0.99 on most major retailers.

Once Upon a Midnight

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble Nook
iBooks
Kobo



Bear-i-licious Cowboy for individual sale at $2.99. Grab it in the Once Upon a Midnight Anthology set for only $0.99 (links above) by November 2nd for a great deal on this book and 19 other great reads by some very talented authors.

Amazon US
Amazon UK




Dating a Werewolf Series contains Rayne's Thunder, Rhyme's Reason, and coming soon, River's Fire. Rayne's Thunder is available as the complete serial or you can get each individual part here. Rhyme's Reason will be complete by the end of 2016. Check out each part here. The complete serial set will be available by mid December. River's Fire will be released as a complete story in the first half of 2017.





Monday, September 26, 2016

Sneak Peek of Bear-i-licious Cowboy: Meet Tucker

Bear-i-licious Cowboy is one of the 20 stories in the Once Upon a Midnight Anthology which is currently available for $0.99 on pre-order. This set will be released October 11th 2016 and is only available through November 2nd.



Bear-i-licious Cowboy won't be available for individual sale until November 11th, 2016 and the price for this story is $2.99. It is available for pre-order but the real deal for a limited time is to grab it in the Anthology. Best part of the Anthology? All proceeds will go to The Epilepsy Foundation.

I'm excited about this new story, it is the first story in the Aphrodite's Love Connection series. A paranormal romance series with mythological gods and goddesses. Each story is a complete romance with HEA or HFN. The overall arc to the series is about love conquering all and overcoming hate. Aphrodite's Love Connection is a dating service run by the Greek goddess Aphrodite and her son Eros. Their mission is to bring supernatural couples together to balance the scales of love and hate and hopefully, if they create enough love matches, they will stop the oncoming apocalypse.



In Bear-i-licious Cowboy, Tucker (a bear shifter cowboy and clan alpha) is forced to pick a mate within a month or Artemis will remove him from his leadership role. She believes a mate will soften his rough edges and make him a better leader. Tucker doesn't agree, but the ultimatum leaves him little choice. When he rescues Ashlee from a vampire assassin, he realizes that fate has brought him his mate.

Ashlee is a very human woman who has been targeted because she knows too much of the supernatural world. Her best friend is a witch. The reality is she knows nothing about the supernatural world and she is a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When she does discover the creatures that go bump in the night, she doesn't want anything to do with them. That is until she discovers her connection to Tucker. Ashlee is a super fun character and you can get a sneak peek of her here.


Check out a sneak peek of Tucker's character below. I hope you enjoy. Be sure to one click Once Upon a Midnight or grab the individual copy of Bear-i-licious Cowboy at the links below if you miss the limited run. Thank you for reading.

Sneak Peek of Tucker's character in Bear-i-licious Cowboy

Tucker watched from the corner of the room as humans and supernatural creatures weaved in and out of the elegant ballroom. Laughter and chatter filtered through the crowd. As far as he could tell, the party was going well. People were mingling, pairing up, Aphrodite and her son, Eros, seemed pleased with the mixer.
He couldn’t remember a time when he felt more out of place. It didn’t help that he wasn’t happy about being here. He knew his responsibility to Artemis and her expectations. She expected him to find a mate. He’d do just that, but he was looking for one that didn’t strike his fancy. He didn’t need a distraction, and he knew all too well that a woman, a mate, was a terrible distraction. If she was a true mate, she’d tear his energy in two or worse, if she was weaker than him, she’d become a problem. He didn’t have time to protect someone while he tried to rebuild his flailing pack.
He’d met suitable potential mates at the party. Josette seemed like a good option at first. Her red hair and lightly freckled skin made her pretty enough. She was a little too skinny for his tastes, but that could always be rectified. The problem was her day job, she was a dominatrix and enjoyed her power over men. She was the last thing he needed in his den. A little whipping wasn’t the issue; it was that she’d be far more interesting than dealing with the fight he had over property with the neighboring wolf pack. Not to mention, he wasn’t the kind of man that could share his woman. She’d have to quit her job.
Mariah also sparked his interest, a witch with dark, exotic looks. Not only could she protect herself, but she’d offer more strength to their dwindling numbers rather than becoming a hindrance. The problem was that she had no intention of living in the forest. To be fair, even if she wanted to, she couldn’t. She came from a powerful witch family, and had responsibilities on the council.
He was beginning to think that was the case with most of these women. For him, nature was his sanctuary, but they seemed to run from it like it was the plague. It was a deal breaker for him. His mate would need to live in his den with him while he rebuilt his pack and strengthened his borders. He knew these objections wouldn’t appease Artemis. She wanted him to find a mate and would not accept excuses.
A pretty blonde woman, who had been eyeing him across the crowd, caught his interest for a moment, until a scent drew his attention to the door. Two women entered; one tall and skinny, and the other, shorter and far curvier. They were both very attractive. The taller woman had brown curls and sun-kissed skin, and the lovelier woman was blonde and beautiful. It wasn’t their looks that caught his attention initially. He thought it was the witch, or maybe it was the human friend. Whichever scent drew his attention, it was something strong, distinctive, and completely intoxicating.
He watched them enter the room. The tall one seemed confident and exuded a strong aura. If he ventured a guess, she was the witch, but he needed to get closer to be sure. The blonde girl with sexy curves that went for miles seemed like she felt out of place. She was uncomfortable even though she was hot as hell. The way she fiddled with the hem of her black dress and adjusted her low cut neck line made him smile. The other women here were refined and polished, but this pretty, petite blonde was obviously a fish out of water, and as refreshing as a cool breeze.
Before he knew what he was doing, his feet were heading across the room toward the two girlfriends. Just as he was about to intercept their steps to the open bar, a male vampire stepped in front of him and steered them in the opposite direction.
His interest was obviously in the curvy blonde human, since vampires and witches rarely got along thanks to a century’s-old feud between the two supernatural races. No one really knew what sparked this quarrel, except maybe elders of the two groups. If they did know, they weren’t sharing, and they weren’t doing anything to alleviate the tension between both species either.
Tucker’s only real question was if his interest was in food or romance. Either option didn’t sit well with him. Something about the blonde intrigued him. He hadn’t intended to follow, but something told him to go. His bear was driven to protect, despite his desire to walk away. He didn’t need to involve himself in other people’s affairs. He had enough on his plate.
If the human and witch were dense enough to accompany the vampire outside, away from the safety of this event, then so be it. His actions didn’t follow his thoughts which irritated him further, and he pursued them toward the exit.
The curvy blonde allowed the vampire to lead her outside. Her friend tagged along, which he found himself grateful for. At least the human had some form of protection, but he had no idea how strong the witch was, a thought that was unsettling. The nagging voice in his head said to stay out of it, but the bear wouldn’t hear it. Reluctantly, he followed.
“And where are you off to in such a hurry?” Josette stepped in his path and seductively pressed a toothpick into his nipple. The slight prick was meant to be stimulating, but her interruption was nothing more than a gnat circling his head. His lip curled, but he managed to hold in the snarl that was erupting in his chest. He needed to find the girls.
A satisfied smile spread across her pretty face. “I was right, you do like it rough.” She pressed the toothpick in deeper.
He twisted her wrist back as he pulled her hand away and crushed her body against his. His voice was harsher than intended when he whispered, “I’m not interested in playing games, Josette.” He rushed out the door and sniffed the air, seeking a whiff of cinnamon and pine which he recognized as the human’s scent.

Grab Bear-i-licious Cowboy for $0.99 in the Once Upon a Midnight Anthology from now through November 2nd, 2016 at most major retailers below


You can also get this story individually here on Amazon for $2.99 at the links below.