New Release: Merakai by Dzintra Sullivan

Title – Merakai

Series – Halfway House Series (Book 6 of 7)

Author – Dzintra Sullivan

Genre – Paranormal, Romantic Comedy

Release Date – September 24th, 2017

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BLURB

I’m Merakai. I was born on the Island of Shadows and thought I’d die here, kind of wish I had. The daughter of a naiad and a shadow walker has left me with a unique ability to use any water surface as a portal of escape. I don’t trust anyone. How can I? When I know there’s a price on my head, and a rider ready to collect?

Barren, a handsome blood mage I met on the Island, well, I like him, a lot. He looks at me like I’m something special. My father stole his blood and has it hidden away, it’s his ‘ace card’ to save him from a death sentence. Where do the lines of family loyalty and destined love lie?

Ivan Grey, the single most despised person in recent history, is my father. I hate him. I want him dead. I want him to pay the price he’s inflicted on others.

But…  he is my father.

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EXCERPT

“So…” She buckled up and relaxed back into the white faux leather seats. “What, where and why?”

“Pardon?” Barren spoke, his head slightly tilted to his shoulder, eyes remaining firmly planted on the road ahead.

“Where is the parlor? What are you getting? And Why?” she repeated.

Barren nodded. “Ohh… well, Ashja recommended a shop on the other side of town, ‘Ink Balz,’ he said a few of the wolves run it.” Barren flipped a look back at Merakai, the word wolf made her wince slightly. “Wolves here aren’t like on the Island, the last few weeks we’ve been going to ‘Hair Balz’ a local bar run by the pack.”

Torsten jumped in, “Dolph is the pack leader. Between you and me I think he has a massive crush on Eloise.” Wiggling his eyebrows. “He’s like a big puppy begging to have his tummy rubbed whenever he’s near her.” He laughed.

“You both sound like you’ve settled in fast,” Merakai said, a slight ping of jealousy to her voice. Her focus had been on her father and everyone judging her because of that fact. Yet, sitting here in the back of a car, traveling to a tattoo parlor was the most fun she’d had in months. She could feel the stress leaching from her muscles. This was exactly what she needed and the two guys she needed it to be with.

“What’s not to like?” Torsten chuckled, sitting back into the front seat, his hands linked behind his head. “This is heaven. We have a warm bed, we have food that we don’t have to hunt down first. There are people who care about us, not to mention the freedom to come and go. Pubs, clubs, beaches and even a tattoo shop…” Torsten’s smile was sincere. “How could anyone not be happy here… I love Havenlea and never want to leave.”

“I guess…” Merakai said, her sight drifting to the trees passing at a speed that created a constant green blur at the window.

“Raki?” Can I call you that?” Torsten asked tentatively. She nodded and he continued, “Cool, okay, Rakes babe, what’s up?” Twisting his body to sit sideways on the chair, his arm bent and rested on the top of the seat. “The three of us shared the Island, nothing can change that, but we can help each other.” He looked at Barren then back to Merakai in the back seat. “Even Whitey here can be a warm and fuzzy guy.”

“We shared the Island but in very different ways. You were sent there, I was born there. Not to mention… my father,” Merakai’s voice was quiet and distant.

Barren nodded. “Yeah, your dad is a dick.” Torsten hit his arm. “Oomph… What?” Barren followed Torsten’s flicking eyes to look at Merakai in the rearview mirror, she had sunken even further into the back seat. “Oh, fuck, sorry,” Barren apologized. “Hey, at least you know he’s a dick. I don’t even know who my dad is, and believe me he could be an even bigger dick than yours for all I know.” Barren laughed. “Besides, we aren’t defined by the dicks that are our parents… the ones we know or the ones we don’t know.”

“You’re a fucking dick.” Torsten rolled his eyes as laughter escaped Merakai’s mouth.

“That he is,” Merakai said softly.

“Hey,” Barren faked his shock at being called a dick. “There’s the shop. Let’s go get this dick inked.” He pulled the hand brake up as the engine shut down. “Wait, not my dick, but my… oh fuck.” Barren laughed and growled at Torsten for making him look like a bigger dick in front of the hot chick.

“Don’t growl at me, fido, you’re holding your own dick on this one.” Torsten held his hands up as he got out of the car, opening the back door for Merakai to exit. Merakai trying her best, but unsuccessfully not to laugh, as she followed the two guys into the shop.

AUTHOR BIO & LINKS


My name is Dzintra Sullivan and I am an author based on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.
I am happily married to an amazing Canadian man and a mother of four delightful children. I fell in love with books as a young girl, reading Judy Blume and Enid Blyton. I progressed onto loving the supernatural genre as a teenager and never left. I write romantic comedies with a paranormal twist, my motto being “Love Is Love, no matter species you are”.
I write to escape the normal, my books are heavy in humor, heavy in sarcasm, and heavy in love. Even readers who aren’t a fan of paranormal, love my books. They are not the normal paranormal books, nor am I the normal kind of author.
Take a chance, pick up one of my books, and escape with me.

Website

Newsletter

Facebook

Amazon

Goodreads

Twitter @DzintraSullivan

Instagram #DZINTRA_SULLIVAN_AUTHOR

 

Promotion proudly supported by Love, Lust & Erotic Pleasures

 

Merakai #Excerpt by Dzintra Sullivan

Title – Merakai

Series – Halfway House Series (Book 6 of 7)

Author – Dzintra Sullivan

Genre – Paranormal, Romantic Comedy

Release Date – September 24th, 2017

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BLURB

I’m Merakai. I was born on the Island of Shadows and thought I’d die here, kind of wish I had. The daughter of a naiad and a shadow walker has left me with a unique ability to use any water surface as a portal of escape. I don’t trust anyone. How can I? When I know there’s a price on my head, and a rider ready to collect?

Barren, a handsome blood mage I met on the Island, well, I like him, a lot. He looks at me like I’m something special. My father stole his blood and has it hidden away, it’s his ‘ace card’ to save him from a death sentence. Where do the lines of family loyalty and destined love lie?

Ivan Grey, the single most despised person in recent history, is my father. I hate him. I want him dead. I want him to pay the price he’s inflicted on others.

But…  he is my father.

EXCERPT

“So…” She buckled up and relaxed back into the white faux leather seats. “What, where and why?”

“Pardon?” Barren spoke, his head slightly tilted to his shoulder, eyes remaining firmly planted on the road ahead.

“Where is the parlor? What are you getting? And Why?” she repeated.

Barren nodded. “Ohh… well, Ashja recommended a shop on the other side of town, ‘Ink Balz,’ he said a few of the wolves run it.” Barren flipped a look back at Merakai, the word wolf made her wince slightly. “Wolves here aren’t like on the Island, the last few weeks we’ve been going to ‘Hair Balz’ a local bar run by the pack.”

Torsten jumped in, “Dolph is the pack leader. Between you and me I think he has a massive crush on Eloise.” Wiggling his eyebrows. “He’s like a big puppy begging to have his tummy rubbed whenever he’s near her.” He laughed.

“You both sound like you’ve settled in fast,” Merakai said, a slight ping of jealousy to her voice. Her focus had been on her father and everyone judging her because of that fact. Yet, sitting here in the back of a car, traveling to a tattoo parlor was the most fun she’d had in months. She could feel the stress leaching from her muscles. This was exactly what she needed and the two guys she needed it to be with.

“What’s not to like?” Torsten chuckled, sitting back into the front seat, his hands linked behind his head. “This is heaven. We have a warm bed, we have food that we don’t have to hunt down first. There are people who care about us, not to mention the freedom to come and go. Pubs, clubs, beaches and even a tattoo shop…” Torsten’s smile was sincere. “How could anyone not be happy here… I love Havenlea and never want to leave.”

“I guess…” Merakai said, her sight drifting to the trees passing at a speed that created a constant green blur at the window.

“Raki?” Can I call you that?” Torsten asked tentatively. She nodded and he continued, “Cool, okay, Rakes babe, what’s up?” Twisting his body to sit sideways on the chair, his arm bent and rested on the top of the seat. “The three of us shared the Island, nothing can change that, but we can help each other.” He looked at Barren then back to Merakai in the back seat. “Even Whitey here can be a warm and fuzzy guy.”

“We shared the Island but in very different ways. You were sent there, I was born there. Not to mention… my father,” Merakai’s voice was quiet and distant.

Barren nodded. “Yeah, your dad is a dick.” Torsten hit his arm. “Oomph… What?” Barren followed Torsten’s flicking eyes to look at Merakai in the rearview mirror, she had sunken even further into the back seat. “Oh, fuck, sorry,” Barren apologized. “Hey, at least you know he’s a dick. I don’t even know who my dad is, and believe me he could be an even bigger dick than yours for all I know.” Barren laughed. “Besides, we aren’t defined by the dicks that are our parents… the ones we know or the ones we don’t know.”

“You’re a fucking dick.” Torsten rolled his eyes as laughter escaped Merakai’s mouth.

“That he is,” Merakai said softly.

“Hey,” Barren faked his shock at being called a dick. “There’s the shop. Let’s go get this dick inked.” He pulled the hand brake up as the engine shut down. “Wait, not my dick, but my… oh fuck.” Barren laughed and growled at Torsten for making him look like a bigger dick in front of the hot chick.

“Don’t growl at me, fido, you’re holding your own dick on this one.” Torsten held his hands up as he got out of the car, opening the back door for Merakai to exit. Merakai trying her best, but unsuccessfully not to laugh, as she followed the two guys into the shop.

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AUTHOR BIO


My name is Dzintra Sullivan and I am an author based on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.
I am happily married to an amazing Canadian man and a mother of four delightful children. I fell in love with books as a young girl, reading Judy Blume and Enid Blyton. I progressed onto loving the supernatural genre as a teenager and never left. I write romantic comedies with a paranormal twist, my motto being “Love Is Love, no matter species you are”.
I write to escape the normal, my books are heavy in humor, heavy in sarcasm, and heavy in love. Even readers who aren’t a fan of paranormal, love my books. They are not the normal paranormal books, nor am I the normal kind of author.
Take a chance, pick up one of my books, and escape with me.

Website

Newsletter

Facebook

Amazon

Goodreads

Twitter @DzintraSullivan

Instagram #DZINTRA_SULLIVAN_AUTHOR

 

Excerpt Reveal: MACK DADDY by Penelope Ward

mack daddy release date

 

pwmackdaddybookcover5x8_bw_high-fixedFrom New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Ward, comes a sexy, STANDALONE second-chance romance.

They called him Mack Daddy. No, seriously, his name was Mack. Short for Mackenzie. Thus, the nickname. Perfect, right?

So was he: perfect. The perfect physical male specimen.

At the private school where I taught, Mack Morrison was the only man around in a sea of women.

Everyone wanted a piece of the hot single father of the sweet little boy.

I was riddled with jealousy, because they didn’t know that—to me—he was much more.

They didn’t know about our past.

He’d chosen my school for his son on purpose, because Mack and I, we had unfinished business.

As my friend Lorelai so eloquently put it: “Unfinished business between two people who are clearly attracted to each other is like an eternal case of blue balls.” And I was suffering in pain from my case.

I was still intensely attracted to Mack. I tried to resist him, immersing myself further into a relationship with another man just to protect my heart.

Not to mention, getting involved with a parent was strictly against school rules. But seeing Mack day in and day out was breaking me down.

And soon I might be breaking all the rules.

Author’s note – Told in alternating points of view, Mack Daddy is a full-length standalone novel.

 

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MACK DADDY EXCERPT

Copyright © 2016 by

Penelope Ward

 

 

It was the evening of our monthly PTO meeting. On the agenda was to designate the volunteers for several fundraisers that would take place in the spring.

Setting up the refreshments and a coffee urn in the hallway outside of the classroom, I couldn’t wait to get this over with so that I could go home, get into my pajamas, and relax. It was always exhausting to have evening commitments when the workday ran so late to begin with.

A deep voice from behind startled me. “A keg would be much more fun, wouldn’t it?”

I turned around to find Mack standing there, holding a box of chocolate chip cookies from the supermarket.

“What are you doing here?”

He placed the cookies on the table. “This is the parent and teachers meeting, isn’t it?”

“Yes, but…” I hesitated, not even knowing what to say.

He finished my sentence. “But I’m not supposed to be included in that group?” Mack snapped his finger. “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought PTO stood for ‘pissing teacher off.’ My bad.”

“Well, if that were the case, you might be in the right place.”

“This is the right place for me tonight.”

“This meeting is for serious participants.”

“I’m serious about the teacher. Does that count?”

“No.”

“Actually, in all seriousness, I’d also like to help. It’s the least I can do after crashing your school year. I really would like to be as involved as I can in Jonah’s education. That’s the truth, okay? Getting to spend time with you is an added benefit.”

What could I say? He had just as much right to be here as anyone else.

“Just be aware that this isn’t the right place to be joking around or distracting the other attendees, for that matter.”

“I don’t plan on distracting anyone but you.”

“Yeah, well you have quite the fan base here. We have a very strict agenda to adhere to.”

He moved in closer and just stared me down for a bit. The contact caused my skin to prickle and my nipples to harden. “Don’t worry,” he said as he looked down, seeming to notice that my nipples were piercing through the fabric of my shirt. “Your points are well noted, Miss O’Hara.” He wriggled his brows. “I’ll see you inside.”

I hated that he knew he was having an effect on me. If my body had this kind of response now, what would have happened if he’d actually done more? Spontaneous impregnation? Some things just never change, and my reaction to this man was an example of that.

A long table sat in the middle of the spare classroom where we held the meeting. There wasn’t a single man in the room besides Mack. He was like the centerpiece.

I took my seat at the end of the table. “So, shall we get started?” Looking down at my list, I said, “First on the agenda is the book fair. We need to elect someone to be in charge of it and coordinate the volunteers.”

Mack raised his hand.

“Yes?” I asked.

“That sounds like it’s right down my alley. I’d like to volunteer to run the book fair.”

“What makes you want that task? It’s a lot of responsibility.”

He thought about it for a moment then said, “I write children’s books. I think I’d be a perfect fit.”

“That’s a good point,” one of the women said. “He might be the perfect fit.”

I’m sure you’re thinking he’d be the perfect fit, alright…in your vagina.

“Okay…but I hope you know that there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into organizing that particular event. It takes place over the course of an entire weekend. You have to place orders with the bookseller, do inventory, delegate tasks, and arrange for an onsite food vendor because many people just come for the food. Ultimately, the food is the bait.”

“I can bait people. I’m a master baiter.” He paused. “I mean…I can handle it. I’ll get a shitload of people to sign up.”

An attending nun gave him a dirty look for his use of foul language.

He cleared his throat, seeming to regret his choice of terminology. “I’ll get people to attend. Don’t worry.”

“I’ll put your name down as a possibility. We’ll take a vote at the end.”

“Thank you.”

Looking around the room, I asked, “Is there anyone else here who is interested in taking the reigns on the book fair?”

Not a single person budged.

One woman said, “No, but I’ll be happy to help Mack with whatever he needs.”

I’m sure you will.

Mack nodded then offered a smug smile. “Thank you.” He then took a bite of his cookie and winked at me.

 

 

 

Jeans Teaser

 

 

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a fifteen-time New York Times bestseller of twelve novels.

Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

 

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Excerpt Reveal: One Step Closer by Kahlen Aymes

ONE_STEP_EXCERPT.jpg

Excerpt

He was going to kill his best friend.  He was literally going to fucking kill him.

The party was buzzing and so was Caleb’s brain.  He didn’t know the time, but it had to be somewhere around 3 AM, and anger was simmering just below the surface.

He was thankful it was winding down and most of the guests had already left because he was agitated and pensive.  The few who lingered were all part of his best friend, Dex’s, crowd.  He knew Jake and Bret because they were part of the same group he used to hang with when he was younger, but there were several new faces.

Caleb had been hell-bent on making his father’s life a living hell. Dex and his friends were rough, tough, and tattooed.  They walked a fine line between right and wrong; more unruly and wild than the preppy crowd that went to the private high school his father demanded he attend. However, that was sort of the point.  The three other guys and two women that remained he’d never met prior to this evening when they’d shown up with his old friend.  

Hard to believe how much could change in four years.  Look at Wren.  

His eyes had been unwillingly glued to her all night, stalking her every move.  

The beer in his hand was probably the sixth he’d had in less than two hours, but he wasn’t drunk. The time at home had been a combination of heaven and hell.  He’d been dying to see Wren and they’d had some great times together in the week he’d been back in Denver, but the familiar aches in his heart and groin hadn’t magically abated during their time apart.  He silently chastised himself for being foolish enough to think that it would ease as she grew into a woman.  His breath left his chest in a loud sigh.

Sure, the alcohol was giving him a buzz, but it wasn’t enough to kill the burn in his gut or the pressure in his chest as he watched Dex put the moves on Wren.  Caleb had asked him to watch out for her in his absence; but Dex was supposed to protect her, not want her.  No one fucking wanted her as much as Caleb had wanted her, or for as long. He’d been tortured with wanting her.  He’d been tormented for years with it, but everyone thought of them as siblings.  The very thought made Caleb’s stomach turn.

Someone was speaking to him, but he barely registered the sound of the female voice.  His eyes were trained on Dex’s arms snaking around Wren’s back and waist, under the luxurious curtain of loose blonde curls that rained to just above her hips.

Caleb lifted the beer to his mouth and took a long pull.  “Hmm?” he asked of the woman standing close to him as he sat, half-assed, on the back of a sofa.  The music was blaring over the state-of-the-art stereo system, and he strained to hear her, but his eyes never left Wren.

“So this is your last year at MIT?  Dex said you two were gonna start some sort of motorcycle company together.  That’s so cool.  My dad is part of an MC.”

Dex’s dad, Darren, had a shop and he had learned a shit load from the two of them; and more importantly, they’d become like family in the years after Caleb lost his mother. Darren was a stand-up guy who’d never abandon his kid, and Caleb envied the close relationship Dex shared with his father. Sure, he was a laborer and Edison Luxon had a successful corporation, but in Caleb’s eyes, Darren was the better man.  He had ten times the respect for him.

Caleb met Dex at a high school wrestling meet when Caleb was thirteen and Dex was fifteen, and the two of them had become friends.  Caleb spent as much time as possible at Darren’s shop and with Dex’s family, as he could.  Dex was sort of a wild child, and his parents were less strict than Edison was, but there was a strong sense of mutual respect in their family.  

Caleb and Dex hadn’t been angels growing up, but at least, Dex could count on his parents to have his back.  It was completely unlike the abandonment that Caleb felt from Edison.  Most of the time, Caleb acted out just to get his father’s attention.  It hardly ever worked.  Edison would deliver a cold lecture, calmly deal with the situation by paying someone off, and then forget about his son until the next time he got into trouble.  Caleb had come to the conclusion that the only thing he could do was get the hell away from his father as soon as he was eighteen.  Somehow even that got fucked up.

“Yeah.  We’ve talked about it for a long time, that’s why I’m studying mechanical engineering.  It’s not that easy; we’re both dead broke, and his Dad’s shop can’t spare him right now.  A lot has to happen first,” Caleb answered.

“But…” the young woman began, waving her hand around at the expensive surroundings.  “It looks like your family is rich—”

Caleb cut her off.  “Don’t get excited, honey.  These are my old man’s digs, not mine.”  He huffed. The only reason he even came home, ever, was because of Wren. The music changed to a slow, deep rhythm.

“But this place…”

“Yeah. My dad is swimming in it, but hell will freeze over before I’d ask him for a damn thing.  He’d just hold it over my head for the rest of my life, or at least, the rest of his.”  He could elaborate that his father was a control freak, or explain the reason he hated Edison so much, but he’d most likely never see her again.  So, what was the point?  Besides, he was preoccupied with what was happening across the room.

Caleb glanced down at the woman for the first time since their conversation began.  She had hair so dark it looked black in the dim light.  Her make-up was overdone making her skin tone a deep tan, and her clothing was tight and cheap.  She was a sharp contrast to Wren’s natural, blonde beauty.   Caleb tried to remember the name Dex had mentioned when he’d introduced her earlier.   

Was it Marie?  He wracked his brain. Maryann? Michelle? He knew it was an “M” name, but not sure exactly what.  Fuck!

Movement in his peripheral vision made his eyes return to Dex and Wren.  Aside from the girl at his side, everyone else was playing pool on the other half of the big room, except for the one couple dancing.  Caleb’s chest was tight as he tried to breathe; it physically fucking hurt to watch.

Dex was pulling Wren close, pressing her against him and they were swaying softly to the song.  Wren seemed to be enjoying herself.  Her head was tilted up to look at Dex; she was smiling alluringly.  She was so beautiful when she was happy.  How could she keep getting more fucking beautiful every time he saw her?  

Wren laid her head on Dex’s shoulder, her hands slipping up around his neck, clearly losing herself.  She had just turned eighteen a month earlier, but Caleb was sure she’d had a drink or two; which was enough to make her less inhibited.  

Caleb swallowed.  He was mesmerized, unable to look away from the two of them. It was nothing short of torture knowing it was impossible for him to touch her the same way Dex was able to. Not only was she the daughter of his father’s second wife, she was younger by close to three years.  Sure, he could protect her from that abusive bitch.  He could spend time with her. He could even fantasize about her, but that’s where it stopped.  Even though Wren had developed a kind of crush on him at first, he’d never considered they could be more.  He loved her.  He’d always loved her, but he’d always considered her off limits.  

He tried to keep making small talk with the girl whose name he couldn’t remember. He nursed what was left of his beer, until he caught sight of Dex’s hand sliding down over Wren’s ass to the hem of her dress and then creep up slightly; underneath.

Caleb’s eyes narrowed and adrenaline started to flood his veins abruptly clearing the alcohol haze. Suddenly the music was deafening.  The beat was pounding in his head like a hammer; the dim light flickering with the beat. It was getting brighter with each hit of the base drum.   

“It looks like Dex likes your little sister.”

Caleb’s nostrils flared, and the skin of his face felt as if it was lit on fire.  He ran a quick hand over the scruff on his jaw trying to alleviate it.  The girl reached out to touch his muscled bicep.  

Caleb clenched his teeth.  “Wren isn’t my sister.”

The girl rolled her eyes. “Whatever.  Stepsister then.  Same diff.”

No.  It wasn’t the same thing, not even close.  If the “M” girl sensed Caleb’s irritation, she didn’t show it.

His instincts made his muscles coil, and it was all he could do not to fly across the room and pummel his best friend down to the floor.  He still fought in the occasional underground fight club, but he was in even better shape now.  The boxing club at MIT was official, and kept him lean and honed.  He could still beat the shit out of anyone who challenged him. He could probably do it even easier than before, and right now; he wanted to pound Dex into the fucking ground.

Didn’t he know how Caleb felt about Wren?

When Dex’s hand rose higher under Wren’s dress, his intent to grab her ass full on, Caleb couldn’t stand still any longer.  He dropped his beer and the glass bottle broke with a loud crash on the hardwood floor; making the girl beside him jump.

“Party’s over,” Caleb growled deeply.

The girl looked dumbstruck as Caleb left her standing there and moved quickly across the room to shut down the music.

“Party’s over!” he said, louder this time; shouting so he would be heard over the music.

Dex and Wren split apart when the music stopped abruptly and everyone in the room was staring in Caleb’s direction with blank looks on their faces.  However, they sat down their drinks, and began putting on their coats.

Dex’s hand slid down Wren’s arm and his fingers closed around her hand, as he took a couple of steps toward his friend.  “What’s up, man?  Why?  The house is empty.”

Caleb met his eyes unflinchingly.  “I’m tired.  Everyone out.”  Caleb’s tone was low but the only sound in the silent room.  “Now.”

Dex looked incredulous, and shook his head.  “Why Caleb?”

Caleb continued to stare him down, his eyes menacing.  “I said; I’m tired.”  He was livid and he didn’t even understand why he was so fucking pissed off.  Shit, if he’d been dancing with a beautiful girl he was into, he’d probably have copped a feel too.  

Wren pulled her hand from Dex’s grip and walked to Caleb, looking up into his face.  She looked so damn innocent, her brilliant blue eyes wide.  “Cale, what’s going on?  We were only dancing.”

Caleb looked down into her face, his eyes softening at the confused look in her blue eyes, and his thumb lifting her chin briefly.  “Stay here.”

The others, sensing the palpable tension between Dex and Caleb had already started to file up the stairs to the outside door.  Caleb nodded in the direction of Bret, who was waiting for the two girls to precede him up the stairs, then followed.

“I don’t get it, Caleb. I mean, what the hell?” He took two steps in Wren’s direction.

“You don’t have to get it,” Caleb commanded, nodding at the stairwell.  “You just have to get the fuck out of here.”

Dex looked pissed, then glanced down at Wren.  “You wanna come with?” he asked Wren.

Caleb shook his head once and in one second had moved in front of Wren, to separate her from Dex. “She stays.” His tone insisted compliance.

“Caleb, this makes no sense, man. We were having a good time dancing.”

“Yeah, I saw,” Caleb hissed.  The fingers on his right hand began curling into a fist at his side, and he had to mentally insist it didn’t fly and punch Dex right there.  “I want to talk to you. Outside.”

Dex’s eyes widened.  Suddenly he understood.  Definitely, he made a move in Wren’s direction, intending to kiss her full on the mouth just to piss Caleb off, but Wren, sensing it wouldn’t help the situation between the two men, backed up even further behind Caleb.  

She’d danced with Dex and purposefully let him get a little too familiar with her because she felt hurt that Caleb was letting Michelle monopolize him on his last night in town.  However, she didn’t intend for the two of them to out and out brawl, and she didn’t see it coming.  She would have preferred spending the evening alone with Caleb; talking, driving around, or watching a movie together; but it hadn’t been her choice.  

“Unless you want to die, I suggest you get the fuck out! Now!” Caleb seethed.

Anger flooded through Dex, as well. His friend was overstepping.  He didn’t do anything wrong, and he’d be damned if he’d cower to Caleb’s jealousy.  

“Just go, Dex.  Go on,” Wren implored, peering at him from behind Caleb’s solid form. Caleb was poised to strike, and Wren could feel his anger vibrate in the air around them like electricity.  

Dex was built; lean and strong, but Caleb was a competitive boxer and formidable; he easily had thirty pounds of muscle on Dex. Wren didn’t want Dex getting pummeled or Caleb regretting his actions afterward, which she was certain he would.  They’d been friends for as long as she’d known them both and the last thing she wanted was to see their friendship ruined.

She mentally kicked herself for leading Dex on.  She was confused by Caleb’s sudden anger, but it made her heart trip around in her chest at the same time. She felt excitement at the prospect he might be jealous making her own adrenalin flow.

Wren liked Dex and he’d taken great pains to fill Caleb’s shoes after he left, but no one could ever take Caleb’s place.  Wren had been in love with Caleb for years, but he was older and not once had she imagined he’d reciprocate her feelings.  Even now, habit made her push down that daydream.

He was just acting like the protective older brother, as he had since the day he found out about her mother’s treatment of her.  He’d changed her life, and that was the beginning of her hero worship.  Before she knew it, her schoolgirl crush had eventually matured and grown into full-blown love.

Dex turned and pulled on his leather jacket.  He started to climb the stairs with Caleb following closely behind, leaving Wren standing in the middle of the big room, alone.   “I’ll be back in a minute,” Caleb said over his shoulder as he left.

Dex’s motorcycle was the only one left in the wide driveway at the back of the house in front of the five-stall garage, signaling that everyone else had already gone.

Before Dex could say a word, Caleb used both of his hands to give Dex’s shoulders a forceful shove that sent him stumbling and falling backward into his bike.  The machine fell over with the loud clang of metal bashing against the pavement, and leaving Dex sprawled face-up over it.

“What the fuck were you doing touching her like that?  Wren is off-limits! You were supposed to protect her, not try to get in her pants!  Have you touched her before this?”

“Son of a bitch!” Dex shouted.  “You just wrecked my bike!  You’re gonna pay for that!”

“Answer me!”  Caleb’s chest was heaving. “What’s going on between you two?”

Dex scrambled to sit up, pushed his weight up off the fallen motorcycle with his hands, and lunged at Caleb without answering; hitting him hard in the middle with his shoulder.  Caleb grunted as the breath was forced from his lungs.  He stumbled backward but didn’t fall.  He pushed Dex back and soon the two were going at each other with fists swinging.  Caleb took a hit on the jaw, pain exploding in his face, before he managed to land a hard right hook to Dex’s temple.  He followed it with a solid left upper cut to his jaw.

Dex fell backward, hard onto the pavement, and landed with a guttural grunt.

“What the hell is your problem?  For Christ’s sake, Caleb, we’re friends!”

Caleb looked down at Dex, his breathing heavy from the exertion of the fight, the fight with his emotions getting the better of him. “Yeah, but friend or not, touch her again and I swear I’ll mother fucking kill you!”

“Wren isn’t fifteen anymore, Caleb!” Dex returned, out of breath and moving to get to his feet.  “She’s an adult and she doesn’t need big brother’s permission to dance with me.”

If anyone was painfully aware of Wren’s age and how she’d blossomed into a gorgeous and graceful young woman, it was Caleb.

“I saw what you were doing, and dancing was the last thing on your goddamned mind!  I could deal with a random guy; but not you.  Anyone but you, Dex!”  

Their eyes met and Dex could see the pain on his friend’s face.  He’d watched Caleb come to Wren’s defense at school, with her mother, or anyone who made fun of her or hurt her for years. He should have seen that Wren was more to Caleb than he’d ever admitted.  It was clear that brotherly was not how his friend felt about Wren.  It was clear that it wouldn’t matter who was trying to get with her; Caleb wouldn’t take it well.

Dex nodded and put up his hand to keep Caleb from hitting him again, while he was down.  “Okay, man. You should’ve said something.”

“You should’ve known.”  Caleb’s brow was furrowed with a scowl firmly planted on his face.  He turned his back and reentered the house, running his hand through his over-long hair, anger still pumping through his veins as he went down the backstairs to the lower level.  He probably didn’t need another drink, but he wanted one.  His body was still on fire, and his mind was raging at him.  He took a deep breath, not sure what the confrontation with Wren was going to be like.  She was sitting on one of the big recliners that were lined up in front of the big projection TV on one end of the room.

Caleb walked past her, between the theater set-up and the pool table to the wet bar along one side.  Foregoing the beer in the full-sized refrigerator, he reached for a glass and the crystal decanter of amber liquid.  It was his father’s expensive single malt scotch.  He’d never liked that shit. He was feeling in need of something stronger, so he poured half the glass full and downed it in one big swallow. It burned all the way down; Caleb could feel it run down his esophagus and into his stomach, the heat leaving a trail that didn’t lessen the tightness in his chest.

He refilled the glass and turned, his gaze intense as it settled on Wren.  The music was still off and Wren hadn’t said anything.  Caleb had fought his desire for Wren for years.   Ever since he’d seen her as she really was without that hideous disguise she always wore when she and her mother first moved in with the Luxon men.  The scotch, along with the beer, might be impairing his judgment just a little, but damn, if she wanted to grow up; he’d help her.

His eyes seared over her body, taking in the short dress that left her legs bare and gave Dex easy access to her ass.  Anger flared inside him again.

“I don’t understand you, Caleb—” Wren began, but he held up his hand to stop her.  He took another swallow of the scotch then sat the glass down on the mahogany bar and walked purposely toward her.

She was amazingly beautiful, and he’d had enough fantasies about her to last a lifetime.  He couldn’t resist the blonde curls that tumbled down her back to her waist.   Her dancer’s body was slight and firm, her skin flawless and smooth.  Caleb’s cock was already hard, but blood surged again, making it throb even more painfully inside his jeans.  

Their eyes met and locked.  Wren could sense a danger behind his eyes, a look that had never been directed at her.  Her body quickened and heat pooled inside her at the intensity in his eyes as he slowly unbuttoned his white shirt.  When he got to her he reached out and took both of her upper arms in his hands, forcefully pulling her up to stand in front of him, close enough to feel the heat radiating between them.  She smelled amazing.  Like spring flowers with a hint of vanilla.  He leaned down and ran the tip of his nose from her shoulder, up the cord of her neck until his mouth was next to her ear.  

He spoke in a guttural whisper. “You wanna play with the big boys?  Then, play with me.”

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The only had each other…

Until one forbidden night ruined everything.

This new sexy stand-alone STEPBROTHER

romance releases on October 25th.

Pre-order on iBooks here: http://apple.co/2dvHJce

Nook: http://bit.ly/OSCBarnesNoble

**Additional retailers to follow**

Receive an Amazon Alert as soon as One Step Closer is LIVE:  http://bit.ly/2dVSFBI

Add to your TBR at: http://bit.ly/2dgdEKY

one-step-closer-cover-2Blurb

STEPSISTER. He hated that f*cking word.

When their parents got married, the only thing Caleb Luxan had in common with Wren Brashill was that they both hated their parents. When he was sixteen, Caleb discovered Wren’s closely guarded secret and vowed to protect her: from that day forward she became the reason for every decision he made.

Jealousy and long-suppressed desire overpowered Caleb’s fierce protectiveness and they spent one forbidden and unforgettable night in each other arms, but the aftermath left Caleb panicked, Wren heartbroken, and their relationship in shambles. In the time since that fateful night, he’d only seen her once and had only managed to make the situation even worse.

The sudden death of his estranged father calls Caleb home and face-to-face with Wren for first time in years. He is presented with a choice that forces him to confront the painful memories of his youth and his many regrets with Wren.

Like it or not, his father’s last, hard lesson, will demand Caleb deal with his long denied emotions for Wren, or let go of her forever.

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About the Author:

kahlen-aymes-bio

I’m a single mother of one daughter, Olivia. She’s amazing in every way.

I was born in the Midwestern United States and educated at a private university where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Business Administration.

I’ve always been creative with art, music, theater and writing. I decided to write a story as a way to build a network for a business venture. The reader support of my stories and my overwhelming desire to find out where my characters would take me, soon had the writing morphing the business. No one was more shocked than I. When readers began nominating my work for online awards, it took my breath away and only made me love it more. It soon became clear that writing was, and should be, my focus.

Stalk Her: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Excerpt Reveal: Declan by Caitlyn O’Leary

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EXCERPT

I dropped to one knee and stared at the little boy who looked like he might be sleeping amongst the dust and debris.  Brushing off the bits of rock and rubble from his face, I picked him up and hugged him close.  Despite all my prayers, I knew deep in my heart he was dead, like all the others in this God forsaken mess that surrounded me.

“Declan.  We’ve got to go.”  Brannon’s voice seemed distant.

Something red and blue caught my eye.  It was a little stuffed horse. Had it been the boy’s?  Goddammit, be careful, you’ll drop him.  Regaining my balance on the cement fragments, I bent down and picked up the toy and put it on the child’s chest, cuddling both of them closer to my heart.

The little boy had lived in this house, one of three destroyed in one fell swoop, killing innocent women and children.  The damn headdress obscured my vision for a moment, or was something else in my eyes?  I saw something move towards me.  Men with shovels, running and shouting.  After a moment, I understood them.  They were right.  Maybe there were survivors.  I could help look, or at least help dig out the remaining bodies.

A warm hand  touched my shoulder.  I turned, it was Brannon Dodge.  “We’ve got to go.”

“I did this.”

“No.  No, you didn’t.  Dec, we’ve got to go.”  The body of the little boy was cooling in my arms despite the heat surrounding us.  He would never grow up.  Never go to school.  Never become a man.

“We’ve got to leave the country,” Brannon insisted.

“I’m not leaving.”  There was no way I was going back to the US.  I’d help these men bury their loved ones.  If they realized I was an American, so be it.  I deserved whatever happened.  The intelligence provided by one of my men had done this.  Death would be welcome.

Brannon called out loudly in their native tongue, “Whose son is this?”  A crowd of men swarmed and one sobbed.

“My boy.  My boy.”  The man trembled as I carefully placed the precious bundle into his arms, making sure the stuffed horse stayed with him.  He wailed loudly in his grief, as people huddled around him, trying to offer sympathy.  Brannon grabbed at my arm.  I was just too tired to pull away.

Step after step he dragged me.  I couldn’t help myself, I kept looking backwards at the devastation I’d wrought.  Homes that an hour ago had held happiness, joy, and dreams of a future.

“Let me go, Brannon.  I need to stay.”  I jerked away.

“Not going to happen, major.”

So fucking tired.  How many days had we been there?  We’d been weeding through leads and chasing our tails for what seemed like forever.  The team had been shot at, stabbed, and now this.  Laird was barely hanging on and had been sent to Germany..  My thoughts sent the bile rushing into my mouth and I doubled over losing the little bit of food I’d eaten that morning.  Brannon stood there, then I made a run for it

“Declan, they’ll figure out you’re an American.  You’ll be killed, or worse.”

I turned to tell him to shut up, and met his fist.  It all went dark.

declan_coming_soon

You want to know about me? I believe in three things: loyalty to my friends, helping those in need and

the end justifies the means.

Declan (Shadow Alliance Book One) by Caitlyn O’Leary releases October 26th!

Pre-order your copy at the following retailers:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2eec2CC

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2dXy1i9

iBooks:  http://apple.co/2dWFbU5

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2dQpiSh

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Blurb

Some serious shit went down when I was in the Army. I mean brutal. After my last tour, I created the Shadow Alliance. Me and my team know how to get things done, and will take on all those jobs that others won’t. My name is Declan McAllister and when it comes to keeping people safe, I’m your man. Mess with me and I will rain hell-fire on you like you’ve never experienced before.

Few things get my motor running like beauty and brains. Okay, a nice ass doesn’t hurt either. Getting a chance to work with FBI Agent Allison Davies, who is the whole package, normally would be great, except when she followed my butt down to the flood ravaged country of Paraguay to track down a traitor, and ends up putting her career on the line.

Now here we are attempting to keep things professional, but the more I watch Allison pour her heart and soul into this case, the more I want to see what that same passion would be like between the sheets.
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About the Author:

caitlyn-oleary

Caitlyn O’Leary is an avid reader, and considers herself a fan first and an author second. She reads a wide variety of genres, but finds herself going back to happily-ever-afters. Getting a chance to write, after years in corporate America is a dream come true. She hopes that her stories provide the kind of entertainment and escape that she has found from some of her favorite authors.

 

Her Series Include:

THE FOUND:

It’s a bit Paranormal, a bit Sci-Fi and 100% Action/Adventure. The characters have special abilities, that make them targets.

 

MIDNIGHT DELTA

This is focused on a group of Navy Seals. What makes them special is their bond to one another, and the women they come to love.

 

FATE HARBOR

This is the series that started her career, it is a Menage Series that takes place in Fate Harbor Washington. It focuses on a tight knit community who live and love and care for one another.

 

Stalk Her: Website, Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.