Happy Birthday Contest!

I missed yesterday so I’m running a contest to cover yesterday and today! Sheri is going to announce winners of all the contests on December 1st.

This contest will give the winner a copy of any ebook in my backlist. (If you have them all you can choose a future release)

To enter the contest answer the following question. If you could either be a shifter, a vampire or a wizard which would you be and why?

Birthday Bash Day #4


I’m finding as I get older I’ve spent less time doing things for myself. Today I decided to take a walk to get some exercise and relax. I’d forgotten how spending a little time outside lifts the spirits. There are still flowers blooming in Seattle and I watched a seal swim around. Take some time this week and carve out a few hours for yourself for relaxation. A walk or a bubble bath can make all the difference.

Some of my favorite story ideas have come during walks. One such story was my very first story based in Seattle. The Croc actually lives in an area not that far from my house.

You can buy here! https://books2read.com/u/mYoL2W

Chapter One

Carey Gale finished his guitar riff with a quick flick of his fingers, sending the crowd screaming. He loved feeding off the energy of a live audience.

The acoustics in Club Feathers were better than most of the small bars they’d played in, and the owner gave them free drinks.

“Thank you, everyone, for coming out tonight. We’re Banded Brothers, and we look forward to seeing you again in two weeks.”

Carey bowed to the crowd and waved a hand to indicate his bandmates. In his peripheral vision, his friends were bowing.

Thunderous applause filled the bar and a chant of “Next week, next week” went through the crowd. Carey waved again, then went to the side of the stage to kneel by his guitar case and place his instrument inside.

“I think they liked your new song.” His bandmate Eaton Franks crouched beside him, his bare chest soaked with sweat. Eaton’s golden brown hair gleamed under the lights, the same color as his feathers when he was in his eagle form.

Carey nodded. “Yeah, but I think I was playing different tracks from Denton.”

“That’s because you’re a show-off,” Denton teased.

Carey looked up to see Denton’s eyes shift to reptilian for a second, and he froze, wondering what his friend sensed. “You smell something?” Ducking his head, Carey cast a quick glance around the club, hoping to spot any danger before it found them.

“Mostly cat shifters,” Denton said in a low tone. “I thought I scented a wolf for a bit, but it’s faint.”

Even in his human shape, Denton’s crocodile nature gave him a better sense of smell than either Eaton or Carey possessed.

“I didn’t see any wolves.” Carey always kept an eye out for wolves since they tended to be unstable.

“I don’t want to alarm you guys, but there’s at least three cat shifters here, and a wolf just left,” Harris Bender said. He crouched down beside them, cradling his bass guitar like a baby.

Bear shifters had a sense of smell seven times that of the average bloodhound, and Carey had never known Harris to be wrong. He and Denton had always been the first level of alert for their group.

Carey nodded. “Denton already said.”

His friends were leery of other shifters since none of them was affiliated with an official shifter family. The four of them had formed an unofficial pack with Carey as the leader, despite his human status.

“If no wolves are going to attack, I need a drink!” Carey declared. He snapped his instrument case closed and left it behind for Denton to put in the van. Carey and Eaton set things up; Denton and Harris were in charge of tearing them down.

As he headed for the bar, Carey spotted Eaton flirting with a fan. Eaton was always the personable one with the audience.

Carey had the knack of recognizing shifters even when they were in human form. It came from a childhood of hanging around with nonhuman friends. Shifters always moved a little too smoothly, a little more gracefully than everyone else.

The crowd slowed Carey’s progress toward that desired drink. He pushed through, nodding and smiling to fans as they came to congratulate him on his performance. For Carey, the best part of playing to a live audience was meeting people afterward and getting feedback.

Finally free of the bulk of people, he slid onto the closest barstool.

“I hear they have a great selection of imported beer,” a deep voice said behind him.

Carey turned to see six foot–plus of lush shifter goodness. The man’s dark eyes scanned Carey as if he were a favorite treat and the stranger wanted a bite. His midnight hair, cut short, yet long enough for a good grip, sent several hot scenarios rushing through Carey’s brain.

Work was over—time to play.

Carey let his gaze slide all over the delicious man. Cat shifter would be his guess. “Can I buy you a drink?” He nodded toward the bartender.

“I’d rather just take you home and fuck your brains out.” The man didn’t even blink while he uttered the outrageous pronouncement.

“Hmm, a direct kind of guy,” Carey said. “I like that. But I never go home with anyone if I haven’t tasted the goods first, not to mention I don’t even know your name,” he added pointedly.

The guy’s laughter looked good on him. Big, tall, and intense, he probably didn’t laugh half as much as he should.

“Forgive me, I got sidetracked by your half-naked body. I’m Broden Lyall.”

“Carey Gale. And I object to the half-naked thing. My shirt is still on.” Unbuttoned all the way to expose his body, but still on. Eaton was the exhibitionist in the band.

“Barely.” Broden slid one long finger down Carey’s six-pack abs. “I hope you don’t think I was objecting.” His trail ended at the top of Carey’s jeans, where he hooked a finger through the front belt loop and yanked Carey closer until their groins touched.

An embarrassing whimper left Carey’s throat. Broden smelled like something wild and delicious, and Carey could feel his heat through his thin shirt.

“I’m a bit sweaty,” Carey protested weakly as he locked his knees to keep from tumbling into an inelegant heap at Broden’s feet.

“I like sweaty,” Broden growled. “It makes me want to lick you all over.”

Carey’s cock hardened. He had never been so turned on by someone so quickly before. He didn’t generally pick men up at bars, but Broden was going to be an exception.

Broden’s nose twitched before he pinned Carey with a predatory expression. “I see you like that idea too.”

Carey groaned as Broden pressed his crotch against him.

“Do you know what I am?” Broden whispered in his ear.

“I’m guessing a feline shifter of some kind,” Carey replied, rubbing his cheek against Broden, marking him like a cat. He couldn’t hold back a laugh when Broden jerked back.

“And you’re not scared?” Broden searched Carey’s face as if trying to catch him in a lie.

“Nope. Kiss me,” Carey demanded.

Broden captured Carey’s lips without hesitation—tasting, licking, conquering Carey’s mouth. Heat flashed through him as if a flamethrower had scorched his insides. It took all his resolve not to climb the man like a tree and hump against him in front of the entire bar.

When they broke apart, panting replaced words for a minute.

“How’s that for a sample?” Broden asked.

His wet lips distracted Carey, who yearned for another kiss. “Um… it’ll do,” he managed to say once he realized Broden was waiting for an answer. Carey licked his lips to belie his words. Damn, the man tasted good!

“Go tell your friends you’re leaving.”

Broden turned Carey and shoved him toward his bandmates, who were all watching him with great interest. Carey didn’t live like a monk, but he rarely went home with strangers—his father had taught him better than that. This time, though, he couldn’t resist the urge to follow Broden like a lost puppy looking for a new home.

Carey made eye contact with Harris, who raised his eyebrows at him. A shrug and a bashful grin conveyed all that he needed to. Carey made the motion that he’d call later, and Harris nodded.

Carey turned back around to find Broden watching him with amusement.

“All done?” Broden asked.

Carey nodded. “If I don’t call my friend Harris in a few hours, he’ll get worried.”

Harris wouldn’t really, but it was never a good idea to tell a stranger that no one would notice if you vanished for a few days. It wasn’t that his friend didn’t care; Harris just knew Carey could take care of himself.

Even without weapons, Carey had lethal skills. His father had made sure that Carey could handle any situation with or without a gun to back him up. Or, as his father liked to say, “A pretty boy like you needs to know how to take a big man down, because everyone is going to want into your pants.”

His father might not be the most diplomatic person, but he’d taught his son everything he knew and had saved Carey’s ass more than once.

Broden placed a hand on Carey’s back to guide him through the crowd, but he didn’t try to speak until they left the noisy club behind. “Your band is really good. I especially liked that last song.”

“Thanks!” Carey smiled. “We’re getting better. We’ll never hit it big, but we enjoy playing in the clubs. There’s cheap liquor and a friendly audience.”

“Why don’t you think you’ll ever go big?”

Carey shrugged. “I’m not saying that we’d be topping the charts otherwise, but we’re not really committed to our musical careers. I like computers, Harris is a painter, Eaton is getting his degree in quantum physics or something, and Denton is into landscape design. Music is our passion, but it isn’t our life. In order to make it big, you need it to be both.”

They walked along the quiet street, away from the club. Only a few cars passed, indicating the lateness of the night. The cool air made Carey shiver. He’d left his jacket on the stage when he’d stripped it off during their performance.

“Here.” Broden settled his own large jacket across Carey’s smaller shoulders, engulfing him in the shifter’s residual body heat. “I always forget how cold humans can get.”

A snide comment danced on the tip of Carey’s tongue, but the chance of a hot night with Broden had him keeping the words inside. Maybe Broden didn’t mean to sound prejudiced, so no reason to jump to conclusions.

“It is cold out,” Carey agreed, snuggling into Broden’s jacket.

“What do you do with computers? Programming?”

“Something like that.” More like deprogramming.

That was a world of discussion Carey didn’t want to have with a stranger. His hacking skills weren’t something he told other people about. He used them for the benefit of organizations, to check out firewalls and verify security, but most people heard the word hacking and immediately thought Carey was into espionage or willing to break into bank accounts and funnel money. Neither was a discussion he intended to get into with his fuck of the night, no matter how nice the guy seemed. The less information he shared, the fewer the things that could go wrong. “Let’s not talk about me. Let’s discuss where we’re going so that you can fuck me.”

They’d been walking for a while and had passed most of the vehicles parked on the street.

“I live right over there.”

Broden pointed to a tall modern building across the street. Carey had watched them construct the luxury condos a few years ago. They appeared to be well-built, if a bit soulless.

“Nice.” Looked like he was getting lucky in style.

They crossed the street, and Broden used his access card to open the main door.

Carey approved of the security. He could crack the code himself in a few seconds, but it would keep most people out. As they crossed the lobby, he automatically checked for exits. Carey kept his hands to himself in the elevator as Broden pushed the 10 button. You never knew what people might do with elevator video recordings. Carey never put himself in a questionable position where he’d have to access and erase security footage for something so minor.

Once the elevator stopped, Broden led him down a hallway with doors spaced a good distance apart, so the units must be quite large. Stopping halfway down the corridor, Broden then unlocked the door and pushed it open. He motioned Carey forward. “Here we are!”

Broden’s apartment surprised Carey. The place had an unused feel to it, as if Broden never stayed there. High-grade leather furniture, polished wooden floors, and pieces of art glass filled the condo. Carey wanted to take the gorgeous shifter to his house and show him what a real home looked like. The Victorian mansion his grandmother had left him held all the character and warmth that Broden’s beautiful but empty living space lacked.

“I don’t spend a lot of time at home,” Broden said, as if reading Carey’s mind.

Carey shrugged it off. It wasn’t like they were picking out china patterns. If the man wanted to live in a sterile, personality-free abode, Carey wouldn’t point out the flaw. For their purposes, they only needed a nice bed and some lube. Luckily shifters didn’t spread disease, so a condom was optional.

Deciding actions were better than words, Carey stripped off his shirt.

“Not much of a talker?” Broden asked, his gaze followed Carey’s motions.

“No, I’m more of a doer. What about you? Want to do me?” Carey stepped closer until they were almost chest-to-chest.

“Oh definitely, honey,” Broden purred.

Bingo—he had the big kitty’s attention. “Don’t be shy. Let me see what you’ve got.” It was possibly the worst line Carey had ever used, but when Broden removed his shirt and exposed miles of sexy muscles, he had to admit it worked. Carey’s erection hardened against the fly of his extremely tight jeans until he worried about his circulation.

Broden’s nose twitched and a wide smile crossed his handsome face. “Oh honey, I want you too.”

Carey let out an unmanly yelp as Broden picked him up then slung him over his left shoulder like a sack of flour. “Hey!” he protested.

Broden slapped his ass. “Hush.”

Hush?” Carey wished he’d brought his knife—Broden’s broad back would make an excellent target. He didn’t have long to anticipate the shifter’s death, though, because Broden rushed down the hall and dropped him onto a large bed with a big fluffy mattress.

Broden’s eyes glinted with satisfaction. “Hmm, just as I suspected.”

“What?”

“You look amazing in my bed.”

Before Carey had the chance to share the smartass comment hovering on his lips, Broden had yanked off Carey’s shoes and tossed them over his shoulder.

“Not a neatnik, I see.”

“Not when I’ve got better things to do than lining up your sneakers.”

Broden took off his own shoes before removing the rest of his clothes without fanfare. Carey would’ve commented on the lack of romance if a surge of lust hadn’t choked him.

“I must’ve been a really good boy in another life,” Carey said, his gaze focused on Broden’s erection.

“Come take your reward, then,” Broden coaxed.

“Mm-hmm.” Carey made gimme motions with his hands, his mouth already watering at the thought of tasting the liquid beading on the tip of the large mushroom-shaped cock head. He’d never considered himself a size queen before, but he might have to revisit that notion. After Broden, he might be ruined forever.

Broden stalked toward to the bed. Traces of the animal inside rose to the surface as his eyes glowed with a feline light and his steps became predatory. When he got close enough, Carey went to his knees and crawled to the edge of the bed. Without waiting for permission, he wrapped a hand around Broden’s thick cock. Peeking up through his long lashes, Carey swallowed him down to the root.

“Oh Jesus!” Broden exclaimed. “I’ve never had anyone take all of me before. Yes, suck me!” Despite his rough tone, Broden placed a gentle hand on the back of Carey’s head and slid careful fingers through his hair.

Carey increased his suction until Broden tightened his grip to hold him still. “Stop. I want to come inside you.”

Carey made a noise of protest before he pulled off. “But I want to taste you,” he complained.

Broden groaned. “As much as I’d like to have you swallow me down, I want to fuck you even more.”

With quick, efficient motions, Broden divested Carey of the rest of his clothing. It took a little effort to peel off his pants, but Broden applied himself to the job. When he’d finished, he paused to admire his handiwork. “Nice. You’re pretty all over, aren’t you?”

“I’m glad you think so.” Carey got his fair amount of attention, but since his three best friends were drop-dead gorgeous, he’d never really thought much about his own looks. From the expression on Broden’s face, the man didn’t find any faults.

“There’s lube in my nightstand.” Broden pointed at the small cabinet next to his bed.

“I’m on it.” Carey leaned over to reach the drawer and yanked it open. He gave a shout of success. “Found it!”

Broden snatched the bottle from Carey’s hand.

“Hey!”

“Your ass is mine tonight,” Broden insisted. “Roll over, beauty.”

Carey snorted. “I think I preferred honey.”

“And I think I prefer you on your knees and offering me your ass,” Broden countered.

Carey made a big production of sighing before he rolled over.

Broden slapped Carey’s butt. The sound echoed in the bedroom.

“Hey!” Carey objected.

“Sorry, I can’t resist smacking something that fine.” Broden grinned.

“Less smacking, more fucking.”

“Patience, sweet.” Broden rubbed the red spot he’d caused.

Carey almost said something sarcastic, but the happy sound of the lube top popping open stilled his words. He didn’t want to discourage Broden—he had the uneasy feeling that the man had enough control to withhold sex just to teach him a lesson.

“Easy.” Broden circled Carey’s hole until Carey pushed back against the finger taunting him.

“In me, now!” Carey insisted.

Broden didn’t answer. Instead he slid one finger completely inside and crooked it until Carey bucked beneath the attention.

“More!” A second finger joined the first, then quickly a third, and Carey moaned, “I need your cock.”

“I’ll give you what you need, don’t you worry.”

Carey relaxed as Broden’s erection pressed against his hole. “Now.”

Broden sighed as he slid inside. “You feel so good. Better than anyone, ever.”

“Flatterer.” Carey groaned.

Laughter puffed air against Carey’s skin as Broden rubbed his face against Carey’s bare shoulder. “Are you scenting me?”

“Damn straight. When you leave here, you’re going to reek of me for days.” Broden gave a growl of satisfaction. He pumped in and out of Carey as if his life depended on Carey coming without a touch.

“Keep that up and I’m not going to last,” Carey protested.

“Good. Come!” Broden bit Carey’s shoulder, sending him over the edge.

“Oh crap!” Carey cursed as cum spurted from his cock. Broden groaned, and Carey felt wetness flood his channel.

Finally, with a sigh, Broden pulled out and fell onto the mattress beside Carey. “I knew you’d be a sweet fuck.”

“Glad I could prove you right,” Carey gasped. His heart hammered in his chest as he came down from his orgasm. His shoulder hurt from Broden’s bite, but his body ached deliciously.

“Give me some time and we’ll do it all over again,” Broden said.

Two hours later, Carey felt only a little guilty for sneaking out while Broden still slept the sleep of the well fucked.

Birthday Bash Day 3!

I’m always interested in what hobbies people learn. I’ve signed up for a beginning knitting class and hope to make some beanies for my sons for Christmas but we’ll see how it goes.

In my story ideas I’ve come up with an idea that involves knitting but it is a rather angsty contemporary book. I’m torn as to whether I want to go in that direction. I do love my magic and shifters. What do you think? Should I go forward on it or not?

The book I’m promoting today is one of my few contemporary books.

Buy here



Prologue

Tyler Remington looked at the head chef and took another deep calming breath—the three-hundredth deep breath of the afternoon. So far, his favorite meditation technique had kept him from throwing his ladle at the man’s head, but his nerves were beginning to unravel and his right palm would soon have a permanent imprint from his tight grip on the metal handle.

When he’d been hired on as sous chef to the famous restaurant entrepreneur Hans Berner, Tyler had been thrilled. After graduating top of his class, the tough job market had caught him by surprise. With his school loans weighing him down, any employment had seemed like a dream come true. Only a few days on the job, he had discovered there was a reason Chef Berner couldn’t keep any workers.

The man was a complete and total ass.

“You did not add enough garlic to your soup.” Chef Berner tossed his tasting spoon into the sink, ignoring the messy splatter he left behind. “You have ruined my recipe.”

Tyler didn’t bother to argue that the soup was perfect, even though he’d followed Chef Berner’s recipe to the letter and hadn’t given in to the urge to add fresh rosemary.

It really needed rosemary.

“Yes, Chef.” It wasn’t worth an argument. It was how the head chef said it was. A well-run kitchen was sort of like the military. You did what you were told, and if Chef Berner was in charge, you didn’t ask questions. He hated questions.

After three months, Tyler hated his job. He hated coming to the fancy hotel every day, and he was ready to slit his wrists if it would get him out of making the same damn soup twice a day.

Most of all, he hated Berner.

Luckily, it was break time. Under the sympathetic gaze of his coworkers, who equally despised the chef, he escaped out the back door for the measly fifteen minutes he had between prep times. He grimaced at the lovely reek of rotting food from the dumpster, but even the stench was an improvement over remaining in the kitchen with Berner. He had to get out of there before he turned Berner into soup. He spent a few minutes basking in a fantasy in which his coworkers covered up his crime in happy celebration.

Tyler blinked back frustrated tears. Graduating cooking school should have culminated in reaching his dream, not creating a nightmare.

He jumped about a foot when his pocket vibrated.

He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and frowned at the unfamiliar number on his caller ID. Great, it was probably a salesperson. Of course, at this point, he’d talk to anyone who wasn’t the head chef.

“Hello.”

“Is this Tyler Remington?” a deep baritone asked. The rich, softly accented voice sent sultry shivers down Tyler’s spine.

“Yes, I’m Tyler.”

“My name is Cody Stark. I’m your brother’s partner at the ranch.”

Icy terror made the hand holding the cell phone shake. “What happened to my brother?” That could be the only explanation for a total stranger to call him.

He’d never met Baron’s partner, but he’d heard nothing but good things about the man from his older brother. Baron always came out to see Tyler. Baron met Cody after Tyler started culinary school, but Tyler hadn’t been at the ranch since. A fact he now regretted.

“There’s no reason to be too concerned, but Baron’s horse got spooked and threw him today. He broke his collarbone, a couple of ribs, and the doctor says there’s some brain swelling. Now, he’s a tough cowboy and he’s gonna be fine. The only reason I’m callin’ is because you’re on his emergency contact list and I know your brother would want you to be informed. So far, he hasn’t regained consciousness, but the doctors are optimistic. They will need you to sign some paperwork. We can have it faxed over to you if you can’t make it here.”

Tyler cut off the man’s chatter. “I’ll be right there.”

Now all he had to do was tell Jack he was leaving town. His boyfriend never liked it when he wasn’t the center of attention.

Telling Jack turned out not to be as big of a problem as he’d thought. His boyfriend had news of his own.

“What do you mean you’re getting married?” Tyler stared at his lover. He couldn’t think of any other words.

Jack looked away, his handsome face flushing. “I-I can’t be with you, Ty. I can’t be gay.”

When he showed up at his boyfriend’s apartment, he’d expected him to be upset and maybe sulk, not give him a damn wedding invitation. It was funny how he was no longer the owner of Jack’s heart when Jack decided he wanted kids. Tyler threw the invitation back at him.

“What the fuck was I then, an experiment? Fuck you! Is that why you didn’t want to go out in public? I thought you weren’t out at your job. I didn’t know I was your dirty little secret. I was coming to tell you I had to go out of town because my brother Baron had an accident, but I guess it doesn’t matter now.” Tyler clenched his hands into fists to stop from wrapping them around Jack’s traitorous neck.

“Don’t be like that.” Jack put a hand on Tyler’s shoulder. “I love you, Ty, and I’m sorry about your brother. I know what he means to you.”

It hurt worse that Jack actually sounded sincere. Ty angrily shrugged off his ex-lover’s grip. “Love! You don’t know anything about love. You don’t tell someone you love them, then turn around and marry someone else.” He waved an irritated hand between them. “This was scratching an itch while you waited to get married. I don’t ever want to see you again.”

He was tempted to ask who the girl was, but he wasn’t that much of a glutton for punishment. He didn’t care. Furious, more with himself than with his clueless ex-boyfriend, Tyler stomped out of the apartment. Good thing they hadn’t moved in together. No wonder Jack had avoided that conversation when Tyler tried to bring it up. Jack had had no intention of taking their relationship to another level.

Hell, they didn’t even have a relationship. This was turning out to be a banner day. Brokenhearted, Tyler headed home to pack and go see the only man who still loved him.

His brother, Baron.

Happy Birthday to me! Day 2.

I love celebrating birthdays even if they aren’t mine. LOL

I’ve decided to spotlight Quentin today! If you haven’t read this yet feel free to scamper off and get a copy!

Now the reason I bring Quentin up is because I’m working on the second book. Here is an unedited blurb of the first chapter of book 2. I apologize in advance for the spacing. WP was being evil. Please remember it is unedited and could be prone to change 🙂
I hope to have this out December/Januaryish.



Chapter One

A teasing waft of warm air ghosted across Quentin’s bare shoulder. He blinked away the sleep from his eyes and turned his head to smile at Jakinson. “How do you have such hot breath? Vampires should be cold.”

He received a fang-tipped grin in response. “I’m always hot, lover.” Jaks kissed Quentin’s back. “As you should know by now.”

A groan tore from Quentin’s throat as Jaks grazed a sharp tooth across Quentin’s skin. “Bite me,” he whispered in a lust-filled voice. He rolled over to give easier access.

“You only get more beautiful.” Jaks growled. “I could spend a thousand nights and still crave you in my bed.”

He would never understand what Jaks saw in a skinny geek, but he wouldn’t say anything against it. “I can’t think of a better way to wake up.”

Jaks rubbed his erection against Quentin thigh. The carnal motion pushed everything but desire from his thoughts. He bit Jaks bottom lip and gave it a gentle tug before releasing it. Biting could go both ways. He flashed a feral smile that Jaks returned.

“I love it when you get bitey.” Jaks growled. “Do it again.”

Words were abandoned in favor of kissing, busy fingers and deep moans. The things Jaks could do with his tongue should be patented. Wars would be fought over who got to kiss Jaks next if word of his talent ever leaked out. Consumed by surging hormones and the sultry slide of flesh against flesh it took several minutes before Quentin realized that the ringing noise wasn’t caused by lust induced hallucinations. Was that even a thing? He pulled away from the lip lock.

His phone rang again.

“Ignore it.” Jaks eyes glowed and his voice held a low purring growl. A hungry predator focused on his prey.

“Okay.” Quentin didn’t even pretend to be interested in whomever had bad timing. They weren’t worthy of his attention if they didn’t realize the necessity of early morning sex.

Jaks cupped Quentin’s balls. He squirmed, nerves firing. Now would be a bad time for Jaks’s superhuman strength to kick in. He kissed Jaks, a slow intimate pressing of lips that ended with Jaks panting and Quentin giving a needy whimper he would later deny.

Quentin relaxed against the mattress ceding control to his dominating lover. The tide of desire threatened to drown him but he would happily let it sweep him away for the pleasure he knew awaited. He rubbed his erection against Jaks’s hard length searching for the perfect friction.

When Jaks hissed he grinned, proud of his success.

The insistent ring pulled him from lust-fogged focus.

“Ignore it.” Jaks cupped the back of Quentin’s head and pulled him into another passionate embrace. “They’ll stop calling eventually.”

“Mmhmm.” Quentin allowed another kiss, but a little doubt had winnowed into his mind. It was awfully late for a phone call. Only emergencies required the dead of night.

His phone’s ringer went off again. Quentin ripped himself away from Jaks. “I-I’ve just got to see who it is. If nothing else I can tell them to stop calling.” The mystery caller obviously knew at what point Quentin’s voice mail kicked on.

Jaks groaned but didn’t try to stop him. Quentin flailed his hand out and swept his phone from the side table. Any thought of ignoring the call vanished when he saw the name glowing on top.

“Grevin.”

“Why would he be calling first thing in the morning? I thought he was nocturnal..”

“He is. All necromancers are.” Grevin had never called him during the day before. As he contemplated returning the phone call a text appeared.
Help 666.

“Crap!”

Jaks leaned over Quentin’s shoulder to read the text. “Shouldn’t that be 911.”

“No. We have a series of codes. 666 means something went wrong with a demon summoning.” A chill sank into Quentin’s stomach. He pulled up Grevin’s name and pushed the call button.

It rang.

Then rang some more.

Quentin bit his lip as the phone continued to ring with no one picking up. Damn.

“He called you just a few minutes ago so he must still be alive.” Jaks rubbed Quentin’s shoulders.

The warmth from Jaks soothing hands eased a bit of Quentin’s panic. “Unless he phoned from his watch.” Grevin’s obsession with electronics was a source of much teasing.

“He still could’ve picked up with it.” Quentin pointed out. His gut churned as he thought over all the things that could go wrong with a necromancer ritual. Grevin didn’t have a good track record of being cautious.

“True.”

The call rang for several minutes without anyone answering until Grevin’s message kicked in..Quentin threw the phone onto the bed before he stood to dress. “I’m going over there to check on him. Something is obviously wrong.” His instincts screamed that he wouldn’t like what he found when he got to Grevin’s place.

“I’ll come with.” Jaks slid out of bed before Quentin could protest. Not that he was going to complain. The more help he had to deal with whatever Grevin had gotten himself into the better.
If something weird had happened at Grevin’s place he preferred to have a kickass vampire at his side, especially if there were any demons. Who knows what Grevin could’ve summoned. He hadn’t told Quentin his plans which usually meant it was dangerous and Quentin would disapprove. Asshole.

Quentin winced as his bare feet met the icy floor. Shivering, he dressed in his best demon battling outfit of worn jeans and a cozy long sleeved shirt. His chattering teeth wouldn’t impress a demon any more than his hole riddled sneakers. He really needed to get his shoes replaced. Unfortunately saving a friend took precedence over shopping.

If his current dangerous life patterns continued he might have to look into purchasing a badass outfit and a personal soundtrack to make his hero entrance complete. If nothing else it would make Jaks laugh, and maybe drool a little.

They dressed in a tense silence. Quentin grabbed a handful of spell balls hoping he wouldn’t need them. Better to be over prepared then overwhelmed.

“Are those the improved ones?” Jaks nodded at the balls.

“Yeah, the stronger cage ones and a new one I’ve developed.”

“What does it do?”

Quentin smiled, flattered that Jaks showed true interest in his work. “It sets things on fire once activated.”

“That could be dangerous.” Jaks frowned. “You don’t want to start a wildfire or set any friendly vamps aflame.”

“Don’t worry it’s a magical combustion. It will only burn things I tell it to. It’s linked to my magic once activated.”

“Why did you create those?” Jaks sounded more curious than condemning.

“I’m testing how to bind different elements. These are good for taking down zombies, but I don’t think they’ll do much damage to a demon. I’m only bringing them to see how they work in the field and to take care of anything unexpected we might find.”

“Next time you want to test something give them to me or one of the other vamps. I don’t want you close enough to dangerous creatures to test out your inventions. I’ll make sure whomever tests them writes out your notes.”

Instead of arguing, Quentin shoved the balls into his backpack along with a bottle of water he had pulled from the small fridge they kept in the bedroom. They didn’t have time for their usual fight over Quentin’s temporary employment. He also grabbed a few packs of blood for emergencies. He couldn’t let Jaks take his blood. He needed all of his energy. The drawbacks of dating a vampire. So far he had found very few other issues if he overlooked Jaks bossy personality as the quirk of a vampire leader.

“Good idea to bring provisions. Hopefully we won’t need them. I prefer tapping straight from the source.”

“I prefer you doing that too.” Vampire feeding always led to more pleasurable things.
They shared a quick kiss before Quentin pulled away again. Jaks was his personal magnet. There were probably entire dissertations over the effect vampires had on their bonded, but Quentin still struggled to understand how he had fallen in love with a vampire master, never mind conducting further research into the phenomenon. One day he would look into it. At heart Quentin was a researcher not a fighter. Both of them preferred it that way. Quentin might not back away from a battle but he rarely sought them out. Unfortunately they kept finding him.

Some days he still felt like the naive guy who walked into a vampire coven while reading his notes. It really was a miracle no one had killed him yet. He planned to continue the trend.

“Do you know how to damage a demon?” Jaks kept a good grip on Quentin while he asked his question as if worried Quentin would rush into Grevin’s home unprepared.

“No. I’m hoping I can capture the demon and have Grevin send it back. It isn’t the demon’s fault something went wrong.” What good was having a necromancer friend if he couldn’t banish whatever he had pulled out of hell?

“If Grevin could send him back don’t you think he would’ve by now?”

“We won’t know until we examine the situation.” He refused to give up on his dream of capture and release. If it turned out to be more complicated…well that was why he was bringing his vampire boyfriend.

“What do you know about demons?”
Quentin shrugged. “Not much. I specialize in spell design, not creatures.” Though if the current pattern continued he’d have to do a lot more research into non-human entities. First his fae father, then his vampire lover, and now demons. His contact with other species had been rapidly increasing for the past few months.

“And do you consider me a creature?” Jaks brushed his lips across Quentin’s, a bare whisper of flesh against flesh that sent shivers of pulsing need down his spine.

“Absolutely.” Quentin grinned before stepping back.

“Just remember I’m your creature.” Jaks kissed Quentin’s cheek. “Do you think we should bring backup?”

“Why don’t we talk to Grevin before we haul out the calvary?” He didn’t want dozens of vampires descending on Grevin’s home before he figured out exactly what had happened. Grevin was antisocial on a good day and blatantly violent on any other. “If it’s only one misbehaving demon we should be able to handle it. If not you can always call them and they can rush over with their freaky speed.”

“True.” Jaks didn’t bother hiding his amusement. He held out his hand. “Let’s go.”

Quentin threaded his fingers through Jaks’s then teleported them focusing on the outside of Grevin’s house. His paranoid friend would never allow anyone to appear directly inside.
A short spin of disorientation, then darkness coated the world around them. An unnatural shade of black blocked the bright moon that had been shining through their curtains at home.

Quentin’s smile vanished. He froze like a small mouse sensing a predator, afraid to attract the wrong attention. Frosted coated the ground around Grevin’s house a direct contrast to the warm, stifling air. He coughed at the stench of brimstone and rot.
That night he discovered that evil had a scent.

Happy Birthday Bash – Contest

Happy November 1st, and consequentially, the first day of my birthday bash. I would have had this up earlier today but I just got a new computer and it refused to accept the information from my old computer. Luckily my awesome husband helped me get it all straightened out.

This month we will be hosting an amazing collection of authors. The incredible Julia Talbot will be our guest tomorrow. She’s a lot of fun and has a great collection of books you will enjoy. I know I always do.

I’m not going to be doing a blog story this year. Last time I didn’t get it finished and I know many people were disappointed so I am going to be doing snippets of my current works. Random bits of things that go through my head and basically giving away lots of prizes and craziness.

I hope you enjoy this month. I know I always do.

To get things started out right. I’m going to begin by throwing a contest. Post which book of mine you would recommend to a new reader. If you haven’t read one of my books post your favorite type of book to read. Winner will be announced next Friday to give everyone time to respond and will receive a $25.00 GC to the ebook retailer of their choice and 3 of my backlist ebooks.

Hello All,

I’m sorry for the long hiatus. I am fully committed to getting my writing back on track. I’ll have a few re-releases for the next few weeks then I hope to release Gears in November. We’ll see if I can get it to editing and back by then. I appreciate the support of my fans and will earn back your confidence in my fulfilling your reading needs 🙂

Moon Pack Monday

It’s been a while since I did one of these so I thought I’d post one today. I’m including one of my favorite couples. I will do some of the rarer ones over the next few weeks or maybe you could leave a comment about what couple you’d like to revisit.

*****

Steven sighed and patted the large animal trapping him on the couch.

“Babe, could you get up?”

The tiger tilted his head and snorted.

“But I can’t reach the remote.” He wasn’t whining and he’d call anyone a dirty liar who insisted he did. However, if he watched the same insurance commercial one more time he wouldn’t be held responsible for throwing his beer at the screen.

The tiger snuggled in further, rolling until the patch of sunlight shone on his thick fur.

“Yes, you are a very pretty tiger, but I think my legs fell asleep.” He poked his boyfriend, Dare, on his furry nose only getting a slight growl for his efforts.

“Please.”

Dare huffed but moved enough to allow Steven to stand. He shook his legs hoping to return feeling to them once again. “You know I love snuggling with you but sometimes you forget your a big ass tiger and not a kitten.”

He received a disdainful glare and a flash of fang. “Why are you so cranky today anyway?”

No response.

Dare rolled over, giving Steven a fine view of his back.

“Be that way.” He scooped up the remote that sat innocently on the coffee table, just far enough away to be out of reach from the couch.

Deciding to take advantage of his new freedom, he took a quick trip to the bathroom then grabbed another beer and a bag of popcorn. Now he was ready for binge viewing.

“Scoot over.”

Dare ignored him. Only a flick of an ear revealed he’d been heard.

“I will sit on you,” he warned.

In a blink of an eye Dare changed from a beautiful tiger to a stunning man. “Did you bring me a beer?”

“Here you can have mine. I’ll get another.”

Once a beer had been retrieved and negotiations over the choice of viewing settled Steven leaned against his sulky lover. “Want to tell me what’s wrong?”

“I’m unhappy with what I’m doing.” Dare propped the beer on his knee as he curled up on the end of the couch.

“You don’t want to be a bartender any more?” Steve had always thought Dare enjoyed working at the bar.

Dare shook his head. “While I was blind had a lot of time to think. I really examined what I wanted to do with my life. I want to go back to school.”

“For what?”

Dare found his knees very interesting if his sudden attention to them was any sign.

Steven patted Dare on the leg. “Whatever you want to do I will support you.”

Dare cleared his throat. “I want to be a kindergarten teacher.”

“Really?” Steven took a swig of beer. “Well you are always good with the kids.”

“I love kids.” Dare’s loopy smile sent twinges of worry through Steven.

“You don’t want any of your own do you?” Panic made his voice a little higher than before.

Dare frowned. “Not right now, maybe some day.”

Steven regulated his breathing back to normal levels. He could put off the panic attack to some day. “Okay. Then we can revisit that idea later. I’m sure if we talk to Silver we can get you signed up for college to get your degree.”

“You think so?” Dare’s smile warmed Steven’s heart.

“I’m sure we can.” He ignored his practical voice that told him a big tiger would make better security detail thank kid teacher. If Dare wanted to teach Steven would make it happen. He grabbed Dare’s hand and kissed his palm before closing Dare’s fingers into a fist. “I’m here for you. I would be a horrible mate if I didn’t help you achieve your dreams.”

The possible crushed ribs were worth it for the tight hug he received.

“Thank you,” Dare whispered in Steven’s ear. His warm breath sent shivers down Steven’s spine.

“You don’t need to thank me, Dare. That’s what partners do.”

“Well let me show you my appreciation.” Dare turned off the television and dragged Steven toward the bedroom.

“Well it’s always nice to be appreciation,” Steven agreed.