Monday, September 30, 2013

Vampire's Fury by Rachel Carrington Review

Title: Vampire's Fury
Series: Vampires Destined, Book 4
Author: Rachel Carrington
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 141
Price: $1.99
Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Book Synopsis:

He returns home to find a killer. Instead, he connects with a vampire whose heart is as lonely as his own.

Devlin never expected to find love after 150 years, but Detective Joely Grayson slowly strips away the barriers around his heart. In the midst of a potential vampire rebellion, he discovers a woman whose been desperately trying to fit into the human world to which she no longer belongs.

Joely's been struggling to live the life she used to have, but all that changes when someone tampers with the local blood bank supply. Her hunger overwhelms her, and the creature overtakes the human she's pretending to be.

Saving Joely will help prevent a massacre of a small town, but it will also reveal the truth Devlin isn't ready to face. And it could rip away his only chance at the happiness that has been eluding him since he was changed.

Review:

Vampire's Fury is an excellent example of vampire fiction. I loved the plot and the chemistry that quickly builds between the two main characters. The idea of a man learning to love a woman that may have possibly killed his last surviving relative is unique and complex. If you love paranormal romance, I highly suggest this book.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Possum Hollow Hullabaloo by Judy Nickles Review

Title: The Possum Hollow Hullabaloo
Series: The Penelope Pembroke Mystery Series, Book 4
Author: Judy Nickles
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 167
Price: $1.99 or FREE for Prime Members
Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Book Synopsis:

Possum Hollow has existed outside Amaryllis for as long as anyone can remember. It’s a dark place with dark secrets, and outsiders aren’t welcome. The elementary school which has sprung up inside the impenetrable wall separating the people of the Hollow from the town, struggles to show the children there’s a better life outside. Soon after Penelope and Mary Lynn volunteer to fill in for an absent faculty member, one of the students and her little sister accidentally lead police to a fresh grave deep in the woods. And Miss Maude Pendleton, who scared generations of high school seniors into reading Shakespeare and Chaucer, faces the necessity of learning a whole new curriculum if she wants to stay alive. Penelope keeps the B&B slick as a whistle, but now she’s in the middle of a mess she’s not sure anyone can clean up.

Review:

The Possum Hollow Hullabaloo is another great installment in the Penelope Pembroke Series. The bond between Penelope and Sam continues to grow and the Hargroves may get the chance they've always dreamed of. However, the town has another bought of strange occurrences and this time things could end in a bang. I truly love this series and recommend it to anyone that enjoys cozy mysteries. Judy Nickles creates characters that you can't help but love and situations that seem crazy enough to happen in any small town.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sucking Bites (San Francisco Vampires, Book 3) by Jessica McBrayer Review

Title: Sucking Bites
Series: San Francisco Vampires Series, Book 3
Author: Jessica McBrayer
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 242
Price: $3.99
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Book Synopsis:

Lily Goodwill, the vamp with a heart of gold, gets a disturbing call on the Suicide Prevention Hotline. A hysterical caller is convinced a werewolf is breaking into his house. Lily dispatches the appropriate services, convinced that “someone is off their meds.” Oh, that it were true.

Soon enough, Lily is fighting for her life against a hairy beastie. She is supported by her almost-fiancé, the brooding French vampire, Sebastian, who adores the ground she walks on, and Aidan, the 5,000 year-old vampire-hunting jinni, who scarfs energy for breakfast and believes he’s waited his entire existence—for Lily.

Her best friends and housemates - vampires, a demon and a hell hound - rally to her side as the odds stack up against her. A conniving vampire Queen, a witch bent on seduction and a determined assassin with a contract on Lily’s undead life round out a season in the City by the Bay.

Review:

As the third book in the series, Sucking Bites was an excellent read. I was completely blown away by the twist that comes in the middle of the book. Team Aidan will certainly be smiling from ear to ear after reading this one. While I still think Hell Hounds Are for Suckers is my favorite, this was definitely a close second. If you haven't read the series, start with Sucking in San Francisco. You won't be disappointed in this series and will be begging for more.

Gods of The Nowhere: A Novel of Halloween by James Tipper

Gods of The Nowhere: A Novel of Halloween by James Tipper
$9.99

The ancient Celts believed that the veil separating the worlds of the living and the dead was at its thinnest on Halloween; it was then that the dead could get through. But could it work the other way? Could we go to them? High school senior Sam McGrath is convinced it can be done. For as long as he can remember, The Nowhere has been beckoning him, reaching out with cold and ancient fingers.

Crippled from a childhood injury, Sam has always been different, but he knows now that his differences go far beyond the physical. Only his best friend since childhood – a brash and beautiful Latina named Lucia – knows of his strange gifts, and she has vowed to help Sam. Together they intend to find the world where their nightmares are born.

GODS OF THE NOWHERE: A NOVEL OF HALLOWEEN blends modern characters with legend and folklore to create a new myth. It’s a spine-chilling adventure and the ultimate Halloween read.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Halloween Hijinks (A Zoe Donovan Mystery Book 1) by Kathi Daley

Halloween Hijinks (A Zoe Donovan Mystery Book 1) by Kathi Daley
$2.99

Amid a backdrop of zombies on the run and Halloween festivities, animal control officer Zoe Donovan is faced with losing something she loves in order to save someone she loves when she finds a dead body in the basement of a haunted house just two days before Halloween. With the help of her best friends, Levi and Ellie, and her dog Charlie, she delves into a mystery as complex and multilayered as the feelings she develops for her ex-nemesis Zak Zimmerman. Halloween Hijinks is the perfect recipe, combining holiday fun with a touch of humor, a pinch of romance, and a dollop of murder.


"As cozy mysteries go, Kathi Daley's latest has it all: great characters living in a nice small town, all consumed in a delightfully spooky Halloween plot. Zoe Donovan is an amateur PI to watch. Can't wait for the next in the series."
Paul Dinas,editor, www.pauldinasbookeditor.com



Excerpt:

It was the week before Halloween and the alpine town of Ashton Falls was decorated festively for the annual Haunted Hamlet: a four-day event comprised of a haunted barn, spooky maze, zombie run, kiddie carnival, and pumpkin patch. Known as the event capital of the Timberland Mountains, Ashton Falls is a quaint village, nestled on the shore of a large deepwater lake, surrounded by hundreds of miles of thick evergreen forest.
Like many small towns across the country, Ashton Falls is a village with a big heart but a tiny local budget. While our forefathers tended toward rugged isolation, the younger generation has discovered that the answer to funding luxuries such as a free public library, volunteer fire department, afterschool sports and activities and, my personal favorite, wild and domestic animal control and rehabilitation, is a steady inflow of tourist dollars from the larger cities in the valley below. After much consideration, the town council decided that the best way to accomplish the aforementioned transfer of funds was the frequent hosting of an array of celebrations and events. As a result of this constant state of preparation and implementation, the Ashton Falls Events Committee, of which I am a member, was formed.
My name is Zoe Donovan. I’m a third-generation Ashtonite (our unofficial name for the citizens of our little community). The by-product of my wealthy mother’s single act of teenage rebellion, and my locally beloved but financially lacking, blue-collar father’s tender act of love, I’ve overcome my scandalous entry into the world and carved out a satisfying and peaceful existence. While some of the crustier old geezers in town would say I have a tendency toward the absurd, I like to think that I’m actually a normal and well-rounded twenty-four-year-old with a few adorable quirks that make me, me.
According to my Facebook page, which I share with Charlie, my half terrier/ half mystery dog, we’re in a relationship with our two cats, a huge orange tabby named Marlow (after detective Phillip Marlow) and a petite black beauty named Spade (named for Sam Spade and not the playing card suit.) We are avid joggers and mystery buffs who work for the Ashton Falls branch of the Timberland County Animal Shelter. When we aren’t rescuing animals and placing them in homes around the community, I volunteer at the senior center, where I horn in on their book club, and Charlie volunteers at the hospital, where he’s a therapy dog. I like to wakeboard in the summer and snowboard in the winter, while Charlie prefers chasing a Frisbee on the beach or hiking the miles of unmarred forest around the lake. We both like to relax by curling up in front of the fire with a good book in the converted boathouse we call home.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Love and Decay Episode One by Rachel Higginson Review

Title: Love and Decay, Episode One
Author: Rachel Higginson
Genre: New Adult
Pages: 83
Price: FREE
Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Soon to be 30 years old, my first encounter with zombies was the movie Evil Dead 2. Later, I watched the movie Night of the Living Dead. Though the movie is a classic, Night of the Living Dead was quite a bit dated for my teenage years. Since then I've watched many zombie movies and read even more zombie stories and novels.

When I read the description of Love and Decay, I had to read the book. Written as a novella series, each episode is like tuning in for a weekly episode of your favorite zombie TV show. The series starts with two young friends who have lost everyone they knew to the zombie plague. One that has quite a unique start. The girls quickly meet another group of survivors and must decide if this group of men can be trusted.

Love and Decay is such a unique piece of zombie fiction. Having read so many zombie stories, I was pleased to find something that hadn't been done to death. The story is humorous, addictive, suspenseful, and a damn good read. I can't wait to read more of the novellas from this series. This is one author that deserves to see her work be turned into a TV series. Really. It's that good!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

20 SUMthing Landlord by Joe Donlon Review

Title: 20 SUMthing Landlord, Because Work is Overrated
Author: Joe Donlon
Genre: Business
Pages: 84
Price: $9.99 or FREE for Prime Members
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I left shift work behind in December 2004 and have been self-employed since 2006. My career is really hard to pinpoint. In fact, you could say I have my finger in several different pies. I work as a freelance writer, blogger, book promoter, and even an author. In other words, I like to have options when it comes to my workday and am always looking for more ways to make money.

Real estate has been something I've been interested in for many years. The ability to purchase a property and make money years and years after the property is paid for is appealing. In fact, my current goal is to purchase a home to live in that can be paid off quickly and then rented out. I want to continue this process until I have at least 4 or 5 rental properties and can feel comfortable when I retire.

After reading 20 SUMthing Landlord by Joe Donlon, I realized that I don't have to wait until a property is paid off. There are different ways to make money in real estate. Best of all, I wouldn't have to invest any money upfront. I'll admit, it sounds too good to be true, but this book describes how to do it. Joe walks you through the entire process with his laugh out loud commentary.

I highly recommend 20 SUMthing Landlord to anyone that wants different options than working the dreaded 9 to 5 job. However, do be warned that there is a lot of cursing in this book. If you're easily offended, grow a pair and read this book! Seriously, it's great information.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tough Love by Marcie A. Bridges Cover Reveal

 

Tough Love

Janessa knows she should run in the other direction when Brendan enters her life. Her squeaky-clean upbringing is in direct opposition to his piercings, a myriad of tattoos and the rumors that surround him. But she doesn’t run. Love, betrayal and lies become the foundation of their lives, but one heartbreaking confession makes Janessa question everything. After a devastating diagnosis, Janessa’s world crumbles around her. When she can no longer ignore the reality of who Brendan really is, she must choose between those who love her and the only one she has ever loved.

 

 

 

Coming October 1

 
Marcie Bridges has always wanted to be a writer, from the time she started keeping a diary in seventh grade. Since then, she has earned a master’s degree in education from Cumberland University while teaching some wonderful children with special needs in Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky.

While she will always bleed scarlet and gray (GO BUCKS!), she now lives south of Cincinnati with her husband and daughter. When Marcie isn’t writing, she can be found reading, watching her favorite TV shows, listening to music, or browsing her favorite websites.

Follow Marcie Bridges 

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MarcieABridges Twitter: @marcie_ann Blog: http://marcieshrinks.blogspot.com/ Pinterest Personal: http://pinterest.com/mabridges2/ Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/109921896394674548677/posts/p/pub

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

20 SUMthing Landlord, Because Work is Overrated by Joe Donlon

20 SUMthing Landlord, Because Work is Overrated by Joe Donlon
$9.99 or FREE for Prime Members

The 20 SUMthing Landlord is a no holds barred assault on the traditional idea of what a full time real estate investor really does. The author speaks freely and unapologetically about his experiences in the real estate world. He describes his day to day activities and how he accomplishes what many people would only dream of - Retirement and Financial Security before age 30! Getting out of the corporate machine before it has had a chance to chew you up and spit you out is not impossible. This book is a refreshing break from professionalism to realism with a Do Now and Apologize Later attitude that will help you bulldoze through obstacles. He shares his first-hand experience to illustrate the good, the bad and the ridiculous. Joe Donlon takes you from soup to nuts in this outrageous, true chronicle of the life of a full time 20 SUMthing landlord.

Excerpt:

Welcome to 20 Sumthing Landlord

. If you’re reading this, then I assume you’ve come to a harsh reality.

They fuckin lied to us! Growing up I was always told

that if you work hard and go to college, you’ll get a good job and

you’ll be successful. You play by the rules and everything will

work out in the end.

What a load of crap!

The truth is, if right now you are in your twenties, then you

graduated at the worst time in history when it comes to getting a

job. Save maybe the great depression.

I graduated from college in 2008/2009 and the best job that I

could get right out of college was making 15 dollars an hour as a

customer service representative for a major electronics company,

which came with the benefit of getting screamed at by customers

who were pissed that their TV stopped working. I had a 30-minute

break for lunch and was able to take 3 minutes in between calls to

summarize them and get back on the phone. Ironically I went to

college for medicine. My official degree is a bachelors of science

in health studies.

After paying my rent and student loan debt, I was broke.

I had more money when I was a student in college. At least in

and there are always student prices or special prices for kids in

school. After you graduate, you’re fucked.

I was basically living in hell. In fact, I imagine that hell has

better hours, or at least better pay, not to mention free heat and

hot water.

So what was the big thing no one mentioned about college

when we were in high school? The spirit crushing and debilitating

loan payments!

You were probably told just like I was that if you get good

grades in high school, you will get into a good college. If you get

good grades in college, you will get a good job. If you get a good

job, you will make lots of money and live happily ever after. This

simple “follow the rules” principle that we grew up on betrayed

us. The motto that we grew to know as “the way of life” was

merely the way to a life of debt and poverty.

My loan payments were literally 60% of my monthly income.

How the fuck are you supposed to live off of 40% of just above

minimum wage? It doesn’t happen.

Old people think our generation is lazy, with a sense of

entitlement. Well, who the fuck gave us the entitlement? They

did! We’re not lazy; we’re unmotivated, discouraged and fucking

pissed off. We’ve been preparing our whole lives to get out in the

world and make something of it. But what we’ve found is that

there are no jobs and if there are, the pay sucks, the hours are

worse, and one month of health insurance costs about a week’s

worth of pay. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. It’s gone

because someone didn’t pay the fuckin bill.

Fortunately, I’ve discovered what I feel is a way out. I’m not

this was the way. We are meant to be fucking awesome; we’ve

been bred for it, so let’s stop eating shit and move on up.

The purpose of this book is to show people what this life is like.

This life is fuckin awesome and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

You meet the craziest bunch of assholes this side of the padded

wall. There are no rules. I can literally spend an entire day in a

flowered robe with pink bunny slippers and no one can tell me

different. I can swear like a fucking truck driver and anyone who

doesn’t like it can go fuck themselves. I can dye my hair purple

and tattoo my hands. I can take days or weeks off at a clip to

go snowboarding, surfing, spend a couple of weeks down in the

tropics, or play video games till my thumbs fall off. I go out six

nights a week because not only can I afford to so do, but I can also

sleep until 11 am every day.

This is the life we were meant for, the one we envisioned. Not

slaves to industry, 9 to 5, for 40 years. Fuck that! You realize that

life in prison is only 25 years? Killing someone actually gets you

less of a sentence (and better healthcare) then going to college

now. Fuck social security! Fuck getting old! Fuck your boss! He’s

an asshole, your benefits are shit!

You have the choice. You can do what they say for the rest of

your life or you can retire within a few years. Re-fuckin-tire! I’m

not talking 65, I’m talking 35. I’m talking young enough to still

kick ass and take names.

Personally, I retired at the age of 23. I hung up the suit, hating

my boss, the 30 minute lunch break, the alarm clock, the six cups

of coffee, the unnecessary weight gain, the misery, the shitty

healthcare, the shittier 401K plan, and bounced. So break free,

fuck off, have fun. You are closer to death now then you have

ever been. It’s time you started acting like it.

Check out the Website: http://20sumthinglandlord.homestead.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TwentySUMthing

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Love and Decay Episode One by Rachel Higginson - FREEBIE

Love and Decay Episode One by Rachel Higginson
Amazon - Barnes and Noble
FREE - 9/17/2013

Zombies- as if that wasn’t enough to ruin any girl’s dream of a happily ever after.

Reagan said goodbye to love when she was forced to run her high school boyfriend over with her mom’s car just to keep him from eating her for dinner. Now, two years later, and in need of a serious shower, she’s just over the entire concept of a soul mate- or really, any kind of mate.

Well, mostly anyway. When she runs- literally- into a group of boys holed up in a relative utopia of peanut butter and bottled water, maybe all hope in the love department is not lost.

But at the end of the world, nothing can be simple. And with a horde of Zombies after her, Reagan is going to have to schedule falling in love between hunting and surviving. Hopefully she can last long enough to find out if true love can still exist when everything else has started to fall apart.

Love and Decay, Episode One, the first in a novella series in a Dystopian Romance about Zombies, the end of the world and finding someone to share it with.
This story takes place over multiple episodes, with a release date every two weeks. Approximately 20,000 words.

Adella's Enemy by Jacqui Nelson Excerpt

Adella's Enemy by Jacqui Nelson
$1.99 or FREE for Prime Members

The War Between the States ended five years ago, but she still pursues her enemy…

Rebel spy turned government rabble rouser Adella Willows receives her mission straight from a Washington senator—play havoc with the Katy Railroad and derail its bid to win the race. The senator craves wealth. Adella craves revenge against the man responsible for her brother’s death. But her plans crumble into chaos when she enters a battle of wits with the railroad's foreman.

An ocean separates him from his failures in Ireland, but he’s still haunted by those who died…

Seasoned railroad foreman Cormac McGrady’s sole desire is keeping his workmen safe and employed, which means keeping the Katy ahead of its rivals. But the beautiful spy bedeviling his railroad needs protecting as well. Cormac must choose between winning the race and winning Adella's heart, while Adella must choose whether she lives for revenge or dies for love.

Originally published in the Passion's Prize Anthology.

Excerpt:

Adella's fingers brushed the telegram hidden in her cleavage and she went as still as Cormac. Blast! She'd forgotten about the telegram! She needed Cormac to stay in her hotel room, but she couldn't let him see the telegram.

"How do you know what I want?" she whispered, stalling for time.

"I don't. But this is what I want." In two strides, he devoured the gap between them. Then his mouth claimed hers in a hot, heady possession.

Pressed against the door, all she could do was kiss him back. She did so with abandon. Her skin tingled, and her blood raced as if her body had woken from years of sleepwalking. She didn't want the feeling to stop. She wrapped her arms around Cormac's neck and pulled him closer.

He suddenly lifted his head. "I want more than one kiss," he murmured against her lips. "And I don't mean merely claiming everything that's under this dress." His hand slid up her ribcage to cup her breast.

The telegram! With a gasp, she covered her cleavage with both hands. The corner of the telegram brushed her palm. Thank Dixie. It was still there. But had he seen it? She pressed back against the door.

Cormac retreated as well, lifting his hand to rake it through hair that was already disheveled. Had she done that? He reached for the doorknob and she jumped aside.

"Stay away from the worksite, Adella." He opened the door without his customary restraint. It banged against the wall. "And, for God's sake, stay out of trouble. Don't provoke a man beyond his patience."


 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sam's Last Stand (The Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series) by Judy Nickles Excerpt

Sam's Last Stand (The Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series) by Judy Nickles
$1.99

Sam has promised Penelope he’ll be back to stay, but when he comes back and gets in the middle of a kidnap investigation, she realizes she doesn’t really know him after all. He blurts out the truth about his tortured past, but he can’t let it go, and Penelope can’t live with it, no matter how much she loves him. Events spiral out of control, and Penelope finds herself face to face with Sam in a moment of decision for them both. Each must take a stand. Can they find common ground? Or, like Custer, will they both go down fighting?

Excerpt:

Food, music, conversation, and beer flowed freely until just before ten o’clock when Brad and Rosabel had to go on duty. “We’re still working short-handed without Parnell,” he said glancing at Ivana.
“I thought you hired another officer,” Mike said.
“We did, but he’s young and hasn’t learned how to take things a step farther based on his own judgment.”
“Yeah, we all miss Parnell,” Jake said.
“Anybody here who needs a designated driver?” Rosabel joked as Brad held her jacket.
“I’ve got two,” Jake said.
Hal Green indicated his cola. “Not me.”
“I’ve got Harry’s back,” Mary Lynn said.
“How many times have you called to check on the girls, Aunt Mary Lynn?” Brad asked.
“None of your business,” she snapped. “We wouldn’t even be here if anyone but Prissy had them.”
“I’ll put on a roast before Mass tomorrow,” Penelope said to her son and daughter-in-law “If you’re up, come on over.”
“We went to Mass tonight,” Rosabel said. “I’m glad Fr. Kris is doing that now.”
“Fr. Loeffler never saw the need, God bless him,” Harry said. “But when he started out, two Masses on Sunday was all anybody’s schedule needed.”
Rosabel kissed Jake and then Penelope. “Thanks, Dancers,” she said. “It was fun.”
Mike walked the couple to the door. “Stay out of trouble now,” he said. He hadn’t even made it back to the table when the familiar keening floated from the fireplace on the waves of flashing blue lights.
Mike Dancer let out an oath Penelope had heard once in her life—and not for years. Sam almost up-ended the table getting to the door where he disappeared outside. When he came back a few minutes later, everyone—even Mike—still sat in stunned silence.
“Brad’s on his way back as soon as he drops Rosabel at the station,” he said.
“Did you see anything?” Jake asked, then drained his second bottle of beer like it held the answer to his question.
“Not a damned thing.”
“Because there’s nothing to see,” Mary Lynn said. “You can’t see a ghost.”
“Now, peach pie,” Harry began, mopping his face with a paper napkin.
“We’re going home,” Mary Lynn said. “Thanks for the evening, Mike and Millie—I think.”
“Me, too,” Ivana said. “It’s late anyway.”
Hal Green got up and moved in his usual slow, deliberate way toward the fireplace and began to inspect it. Then, sifting through his thin, gingery hair, he came back to the table. “Beats hell out of me.”
Georgia tapped his arm. “Language.”
He lifted his eyebrows. “Sorry.”
“Maybe we should leave, too,” Penelope said.
“I think we should wait for Brad,” Jake replied.
On cue, Detective Sgt. Bradley Pembroke walked in. “I don’t think I want to hear this.”
Sam grimaced. “Everybody here saw and heard it.”
“I’m going to take that fireplace apart brick by brick,” Mike muttered.
“And not put it back together,” Millie added. She reached for her glass of tea with a trembling hand.
“Maybe it’s not that desperate,” Brad said, addressing his remarks more to Sam than anyone else.
“I don’t believe in ghosts,” Sam said flatly. “Or spirits or whatever you want to call them.”
“Then who or what is in my fireplace?” Mike demanded.
“That I can’t tell you, but it’s not a ghost,” Sam declared. He jerked his head toward the door. “Let’s go take a look,” he said to Brad.
Penelope helped Millie clear away the remains of the food. “Everyone had a good time tonight, Millie. Honestly.”
“Until that…that…whatever it was. I swear, Penelope, I didn’t believe in ghosts any more than Sam until we bought this place and uncovered that fireplace. Which we wouldn’t have done, by the way, if there hadn’t been water damage behind the wall.”
“Oh, well, it adds a certain charm to the place.”
“It may be the charming end of our business if it doesn’t stop.”
“I doubt it. There’re always the bikers.”
Millie snorted. “The bikers! I wouldn’t care if they never came back. Most times they don’t cause any trouble, but I’m always on edge until they leave. You just never know.”
Hal and Georgia Green appeared at the kitchen door. “We’re saying goodnight, Millie. Thanks for the evening.”
“I’m sorry about all this.”
“Don’t be,” Georgia said. “At least your resident ghouls had the good manners to wait until we’d finished eating.” She winked.
“I hope you’ll come back.”
“Of course, we will,” Hal said. “Don’t worry about it.”
Jake was nowhere in sight when Penelope and Millie came back to the main room. “Now where did Daddy get to?”
“He’s probably out with Mike and the others.”
“Ghost-hunting?”
“Why not?”
“Millie…” The return of the four men interrupted Penelope’s train of thought. “Find anybody?” she asked.
“If you mean Vincent Ives, no.” Jake cackled and looked at the empty table. “Where’s my beer?”
“Gone,” Penelope said. “And we’re going, too.”
“There’s nothing out there,” Bradley said. “Not even a footprint.”

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Vampire's Fury (Vampires Destined) by Rachel Carrington Excerpt

Vampire's Fury (Vampires Destined) by Rachel Carrington
$1.99

He returns home to find a killer. Instead, he connects with a vampire whose heart is as lonely as his own.

Devlin never expected to find love after 150 years, but Detective Joely Grayson slowly strips away the barriers around his heart. In the midst of a potential vampire rebellion, he discovers a woman whose been desperately trying to fit into the human world to which she no longer belongs.

Joely's been struggling to live the life she used to have, but all that changes when someone tampers with the local blood bank supply. Her hunger overwhelms her, and the creature overtakes the human she's pretending to be.

Saving Joely will help prevent a massacre of a small town, but it will also reveal the truth Devlin isn't ready to face. And it could rip away his only chance at the happiness that has been eluding him since he was changed.

Excerpt:

Devlin watched her, following her every move as she finished up with the crime scene. There was no denying she’d been the vampire he’d seen the night before. He recognized the long brown hair, and even if he’d seen nothing else, those eyes would be forever etched in his mind.
She finally walked away from the dwindling crowd a little less than an hour before sunrise. Devlin frowned. Did she always cut it this close? Even he was starting to feel the effects of the early morning hour, and he had many years on her.
As she sped away, he kept an even distance behind her, not too far to lose sight of her, but not close enough that she’d see him. He thought she’d be heading home now. She’d need to be indoors before the sun hit the sky, and he’d prefer not to get his ass singed, either.
Instead, the female vamp took a detour into a small building just off the corner ofSouth Main Street. Devlin didn’t need to look to know what was there, what had always been there. The blood bank. Donations accepted Monday through Friday, and obviously, extractions were allowed as well, for a man with a wool cap and dark sunglasses handed her three bags of blood.
Watching her glide into the last remaining edges of darkness, Devlin stood by the front entrance to the blood bank. Following her would have to wait.  After last night’s feeding, she should have been satiated for days. So the three bags of blood didn’t make sense.
Once the woman was completely out of sight, Devlin pushed open the door of the bank, surprising the young man with the shades.
“Hey, man. We don’t open for another three hours.”
“Really? Then why are you handing out bags of blood like candy at Halloween?”
Face paling, the attendant held up both hands. “Look. I gotta make a living, and this place don’t pay diddly squat. Some people have a blood fetish. I don’t ask questions, and the money is good.”
“That woman that just came in, she come here often?”
“Every other day or so. She’s one of my regulars.”
“When does she…?” Devlin stopped talking and inhaled deeply. The faint coppery scent mingled with another less than enticing aroma. He walked around behind the counter and opened the freezer door. The stench nearly toppled him, and he recognized it instantly. THC. Almost impossible to be injected, but someone had obviously figured out how. The bags of blood reeked of the drug.
He slammed the door shut and looked over his shoulder. How could the vampire not have smelled it? To an ordinary mortal, the drug was nothing more than an easy way to get high, but it could reroute a vampire’s chemical structure, driving them mad with hunger, if taken in high doses or on a regular schedule.
“Damn it.” Devlin whipped around and snagged hold of the man’s collar. “You have to stop selling this stuff,” his gaze dropped to the name tag affixed to the white shirt, “Leon.”
“Hey, like I said, I gotta make a living. So as long as there’re weirdos willing to pay top dollar for it, I’m going to be right here selling it.”
“How much do they pay you?” Devlin didn’t have time to argue.
Leon’s eyes began to gleam. “Fifty dollars a bag.”
“On a full day, what’s the most you sell?”
“About seventy-five bags, maybe eighty if old Teddy comes in. He likes to lick the stuff off his wrists and pretend he’s Dracula. Whatever freaky shit turns you on, right?”
Devlin took out his money clip, counted out several one hundred dollar bills in rapid-fire succession, and extended them. “Here’s ten thousand dollars. That should hold you for a few days. Anyone stops by, you tell them the bank’s closed. Got it?” He edged in closer toLeon’s pockmarked face. “If I find out you’ve sold more bags, you and I are going to have a problem,Leon.”
The man’s hand closed around the stack of bills while he licked his lips. “No, man. I ain’t gonna sell anything, but this only buys you two days. After that, it’s another ten thousand or my business starts back.”
Greed could be an ugly master, but Devlin could best it. It would be too easy to snapLeon’s neck and end the sales chain here, but he hadn’t killed a human. Ever. And he wouldn’t start with this scrawny bastard.
“Leon, those people who come in here looking for blood, do they ever talk about being real vampires?”
“Oh, shit. Don’t tell me you believe in them, too?”Leoncackled. “How stupid are you people?”
Devlin leaned in close to the man’s face and slowly edged out his fangs, givingLeona good, long glimpse of the deadly incisors. “And did they ever show you these?”
All the color drained from the attendant’s face, and his mouth began to work like he’d just stared death in the face.
“You see,Leon, there’s fantasy and then there’s reality. If you sell one more bag of blood, you’ll get up close and personal with reality. Are we clear?”
Nodding frantically, Leon clasped his neck. “C-c-c-clear.”
“Enjoy the ten grand.”

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Murder of Crows (Stained Series, Book 2) by Jessica McBrayer

A Murder of Crows (Stained Series Book Two) by Jessica McBrayer
$3.99

After Sé and Thorn’s nearly deadly encounter with Thorn’s brother, Caleb, the couple heads to Ireland to recuperate at Thorn’s ancestral home. As a witch, Thorn walks into a less-than-warm reception in the staunch Protestant town. And when children go missing, Thorn and Se are the first suspects. But those who remember Thorn and the old ways come to her for protection—and to find the children.

While Thorn summons other witches for help, Sé’s dreams are haunted by visions of his grandmother’s death. Raven, Thorn’s familiar, amasses a network of crows to spy and find the truth about the unfamiliar dark magick leaking out of the Mourne Mountains near Thorn’s home. Soon Sé discovers new powers within himself while Thorn delves further into her wild magick. With the help of new friends and old, Sé and Thorn prepare to battle a force greater than any they’ve ever faced, one that will either destroy or transform them.

Siren's Lullaby, Books 1-4 by Jody Morse and Jayme Morse

Siren's Lullaby, Books 1-4 by Jody Morse and Jayme Morse
$3.99

What would you do if you knew that you might kill the person you were falling in love with?

When Felicia Parks sees a girl who looks just like her sister, Scarlett, who she long believed to be dead, she doesn’t know what to think. Felicia soon comes to find the captivating song she heard on the night of her sister’s drowning may explain everything.

As she enters a world she never knew existed--a world of lies, secrets, and mysterious strangers--she must prove to Phorcys that she can make someone fall in love with her without killing him, or she’s going to die.

This box set is a collection of all 4 books in the Siren's Lullaby series:
1). Surface
2). Captivate
3). Enchant
4). Serenade

Sucking Bites (San Francisco Vampires 3) by Jessica McBrayer Excerpt

Sucking Bites (San Francisco Vampires Series #3) by Jessica McBrayer
$3.99

Lily Goodwill, the vamp with a heart of gold, gets a disturbing call on the Suicide Prevention Hotline. A hysterical caller is convinced a werewolf is breaking into his house. Lily dispatches the appropriate services, convinced that “someone is off their meds.” Oh, that it were true.

Soon enough, Lily is fighting for her life against a hairy beastie. She is supported by her almost-fiancé, the brooding French vampire, Sebastian, who adores the ground she walks on, and Aidan, the 5,000 year-old vampire-hunting jinni, who scarfs energy for breakfast and believes he’s waited his entire existence—for Lily.

Her best friends and housemates - vampires, a demon and a hell hound - rally to her side as the odds stack up against her. A conniving vampire Queen, a witch bent on seduction and a determined assassin with a contract on Lily’s undead life round out a season in the City by the Bay.

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1
LILITH
            “Suicide Prevention, this is Lilith. How may I help you?”
            “I just saw a freaking werewolf! It’s outside my window and I need you to call the police!”
            “Sir, you saw what?”
            “I saw a werewolf! I called the police and they hung up on me so I started going down the emergency numbers in the phone book and you were next. Please it’s trying to get into the house.” The man is frantic. His high-pitched tone makes my ears ring.
            “Are you sure there’s something out there?”
            “Yes!”
            “What’s your address, sir?”
            “1246 James Street.”
            I hear screaming, growling and glass breaking. I speed-dial 911 and report a break in. The other line goes dead. I send good thoughts out to the man who called in and wonder what he truly saw. Werewolves – yeah right. Still, I can't forget the noises I heard and shiver.
            Rack up another call fielded by Lily Goodwill, member in good standing on the side of right and light, for the San Francisco Suicide Prevention Hotline. Me in my mission control headphones at my government-issue desk that’s stocked with my favorite hand sanitizer, the kind that smells like raspberries and chocolate, which I use at this moment. It’s best not to pass on germs. You never know what you can pick up from a phone call. Yes, I have a problem.
            Most nights the phones are busy from the beginning of my shift until the end, often more busy as the night gets darker, but tonight my delusional caller, clearly in need of counseling and perhaps some heavy drugs, was one of my few calls. I stare at the big black and white wall clock willing it to turn to two a.m. so I can leave my job, so I can be with the love of my life. Normally I cherish the time I am at work. I’m only here three nights a week. I found the job on Craigslist. It was The Job - a total boon, great coffee, graveyard shift and I get to help save mankind. The only downside is that I don’t know what happens to the people who call and lately I have distractions that make quitting time hard to wait for.
            When the minute second hand creeps to twelve I grab my jacket and speed walk to the door. My boyfriend is picking me up as usual and he is always on time. Sebastian St. John is also three hundred and sixty years old, French, delicious and a vampire. His chestnut, slightly curled hair and smoldering brown eyes have tempted and teased hundreds of women through the centuries. But now the package is all mine. Did I mention I’m a vamp too? Only ninety-eight, a baby, as Sebastian, mon amour, is quick to point out. When we stand next to each other we are as different as night and day, me with my curly strawberry-blonde hair and short frame of five feet-four inches, to Sebastian’s six feet, dark hair and melted chocolate eyes, but somehow we fit. It took me a while to realize Sebastian was the love of my life, but when I did, it hit me like a brick wall. We have been living in bliss ever since. There are a few little bumps. One, my being opposed to getting married. Sebastian is ready now and I’m not. The other, my unnatural attachment to the close runner-up in the “Lily is totally adored” pageant in the form of my friend who is a djinn. If truth be told, Aidan holds a very special piece of my heart. I dream of jinnies as I push open the door.
            I walk out into the balmy night air where Bast waits with the car door open for me. San Francisco in the spring is a wonderful place to be - cherry blossoms in bloom, couples up late taking walks and the air full of good will.
Sebastian is talking on his blue tooth, which recently, has become a permanent attachment. He’s beginning to look like a cyborg. Stifling my annoyance, I give him a peck on the cheek when he bends down. I feel like a performing monkey. Raise my cheek for the nice man to kiss, now be good and get in the car without saying anything to disturb his conversation. I rebel.
Good evening, Sebastian.” I know his good manners will win out and he will have to answer me.
Just a moment, Paul.” He looks at me slightly embarrassed that he hadn’t said good evening when we first greeted each other.
Good evening, ma petite.” He gives me a chaste but apologetic kiss on the lips. I smile at my small victory. After I get in his sleek black Mercedes, he closes the door without missing a word in the discussion. The buttery leather seat molds around me, as he continues to talk. Finally he finishes his call.
            “Bast, I got an interesting call. Someone said a werewolf was trying to break into their home.”
            “Cherie, that is…” His phone rings again. He looks annoyed. “Un moment, ma petite.”
            I blow out a big breath, not easy when you don’t need to breathe. I look out at the sky and see the clouds part around a violent blue full moon. It makes me wonder. That caller could have been attacked by anything, even a rabid mother-in-law. I feel a bit guilty about not taking him seriously at first.
We arrive at the home we share with our two best friends - family really - Julian and Helena. Sebastian is still talking to the manager of his night club, who monopolizes more of Sebastian's time than any of us. Just saying, our marathon love-making sessions are a thing of the past and we're not even married yet. Guess this is bump number two.
His manager is truly incompetent. Though for some reason, Sebastian seems to be the only one who doesn't see it. Paul, the manager, roughly resembles a weasel. I tell Sebastian that having a manager is supposed to free up some of the boss’s time. The manager should be able to problem solve and hence the root of the word manager – manage - but Bast wants to keep his Zagat review so he puts up with the phone calls. Bottom line – he can’t trust Paul not to screw it up. In Bast’s defense the guy was good for the first couple of months. It’s gone downhill from there.
            Bast ends his conversation and puts his arm around me as we walk into the mansion through the beautiful carved cherry wood doors. They’ve recently been replaced after being blown apart by an insane warlock a few months ago. It took a flick of a finger – Aidan’s jinni finger - and it was good as new, another thing that Sebastian resents. The fruit trees lining the drive are in full bloom and the air is full of the scent of cherry blossoms. But the inside of the house is a demolition zone. After the attack, the mansion was a shamble so; Helena decided it was time to renovate. Half the house is torn apart with plastic drapes over the entry furniture and scaffolding up for the painters. She is also creating a deluxe suite for Sebastian and me. We share his room for now. People are getting grumpy. Particularly Andrew, our butler, because of the mess, and Julian, because he was having a difficult time concentrating.
            Sebastian pulls me tight into him as we maneuver around the scaffolding and head down the hall towards the library, our usual gathering place.
We have a no cell phone policy in there, so Sebastian’s attention should be focused. Everyone has to meet in the library if we want Julian to be present. It is his sanctuary and also takes up a third of the first floor. It is no hardship spending time there. Large windows encompass one long wall where computers lined up. Half-read books litter the tables scattered through the room or are under lights on pedestals. A beautiful mural of Greek goddesses illuminates the softly lit ceiling. I’ve always thought that the mural has something to do with Helena’s heritage but no one will confirm it. Helena is nine hundred and eighty-six and Julian is seven hundred and ninety.
A fireplace, with a roaring fire and floor to ceiling bookcases, fill the rest of the space. Wing back chairs, softly muted lamps, a chaise lounge and a long, claret-red leather couch finish the room. Sebastian’s phone rings, again. I leave him standing in the hall and go in without him.
            “Welcome home, Lily,” Helena says looking up.
            “Hello, Helena. Sebastian is on the phone.”
            “We heard,” Julian says, making a face.
            “He had just hung up. I don’t know what could be so important that it couldn’t have waited until tomorrow.”
            “It wasn’t, Cherie,” Sebastian says as he enters the room. “Some trivial things Paul should have taken care of.”
            “I had an interesting call tonight.” I give Sebastian a pointed look, daring his phone to interrupt me again. “A man claimed a werewolf was trying to break into his house. Someone was trying to break in, so I did call 911 for him. But werewolves, come on.”
            “Werewolves do exist, Lily,” Julian says.
            “Really,” I squeak.
            “Yes, though they are rare and mostly in Europe. I haven’t heard of one in the States in a hundred years or so. It would be fascinating if there was one here now. Dangerous though,” Julian says.
            I reevaluate my call. I wish I had taken it more seriously from the beginning.
            Andrew, our butler, comes in with coffee and tea.
            “Miss Helena, those workmen are making the biggest mess. When are they going to be done?” our butler-cum-friend, cum-vamp candidate asks primly.
            “Soon, Andrew, about another two weeks.”
            “I can’t wait to see our room, Helena,” I hint.
            “I think you should have to wait until we are married,” Sebastian says.
            Have I mentioned that the M-word is a sore spot with Sebastian and me? I’m still getting used to the idea of being in a relationship with someone, let alone getting engaged. If Bast had his way we would be at the judge’s office tomorrow. I postponed the race to the nuptials by agreeing to a trip to France a couple of months ago but now he’s getting itchy again. I get my hand sanitizer out and use it liberally.
            “Don’t go germ warrior on me, Lily Goodwill. This should not make you anxious,” Sebastian says raising his voice slightly.
            “Well it does make me anxious, so deal with it. I don’t see why we need to hurry. We have forever, Sebastian, what are a few more months?”
            “You should be eager to start your new life as my bride. I don’t understand your hesitation.”
            “I am eager. I’m eager for every part of it and right now that part is being your girlfriend. I just don’t want to rush into this.”
You’re still worried I’ll change my mind. I know you. But you’re wrong. You have never been more wrong. Don’t I prove that by wanting to marry you right away?” How does rushing equal long term commitment? His logic isn’t convincing.
            I sigh and get up to make my cup of coffee, extra creamer, tons of sugar. He is not going to understand my reasons. I stir my coffee vigorously, spilling some only to have Andrew whisk in and wipe it up before I can even grab a napkin. He gives me a quick smile.
Bast’s got it half right. I am afraid he’s going to change his mind. Up until Sebastian fell in love with me, he was the ultimate player. He had a different woman every night. It took me a while to trust he was serious. But it’s more than just that. It’s also about giving up my independence and freedom. Something I have fought to maintain for years and years. My father had a mistress and my mother stoically put up with it. It’s not something I’ve told my friends. It’s something I vowed would never happen to me. I would never be trapped in a loveless marriage, unable to take care of myself without a man. It’s a major thing to sell my condo and move in together, although I can’t imagine not being with him every second of the day. But more than that, I’m afraid I’ll become half a person, at least half of me will belong to Sebastian. That’s a lot to ask of a girl, an obsessive-compulsive girl. I come with a few idiosyncrasies. Thank God, Bast loves them right along with the rest of me. Someone has to pass out my handi-wipes.
            I sit back down on the overstuffed leather couch with him and sip my coffee. He toys with my hair. He lets it run through his fingers as he gently traces his hand down my neck. I love when he does this and he knows it. Before long we’ll end up going to our room.
            “Before you two go upstairs,” Helena says giving us that knowing look, “what colors do you like better, white or navy?”
            “White,” Sebastian says.
            “Navy,” I say.
            “White and navy it is. That’s all I need to know for now.”
            We take that as our cue and leave the library for the stairs. Andrew is just entering the hall.
            “Good night, Miss Lily,” he calls.
            “Good night, Andrew.”
            Sebastian carries me up the stairs to his room and puts me onto his bed. He gently lowers himself on top of me.
            “I hate it when we fight, Cherie,” he whispers in my ear.
            “Me too, let’s not fight anymore.”
            He gives me a crooked grin.
            “At least, not tonight. If we don’t fight, we can’t make up and making up is so much fun,” he says as he slips my shirt off.
            He kisses my throat and down between my breasts. I sigh as he unclasps my bra. His fangs come out. Just when I am beginning to reach a higher plane, his phone goes off.
            “If you go for that phone, I’m not talking to you for the rest of the night, Sebastian.”
            “It might be something important, Lily. It will only take a minute.”
            He gets up and answers his phone. True to my word, I get up and cross to the bathroom, finish undressing, and get into the shower. The hot water calms my nerves and temper, some. I take an extra-long time, half hoping that Sebastian will finish his call and join me, but that doesn’t happen. I finish and towel off. Even though I’ve just taken a shower, I use some hand sanitizer. I’m not that calm. I walk to our closet naked and find a silk pajama set - top and pants -to put on, no gowns with easy access for Bast tonight.
           When I climb into the high four poster bed, Sebastian is still on the phone. I have another half an hour before dawn when my body shuts down and I fall asleep no matter where I am or what I am doing. I have enough time to rant in my journal about Sebastian and his blasted phone.
Dear Diary,
Vampires in committed relationships with vampires should love and adore their significant others. They should read Bride magazine and be looking for wedding dresses. They shouldn’t be dreaming of how to ram cell phones up undignified places.
He finally hangs up and finds me scribbling away.
            “How angry are you?” he asks tentatively. I don’t answer him.
            “Lily, do not ignore me. That’s childish.”
            “Answering your phone while we’re making love is rude and inconsiderate, Sebastian. I feel like a minor detail you have to tie up.”
            “Like it or not, ma petite, I have a business to run,” he says defensively.
            “That business invades every moment of our lives.” That comes out more sharply than I intended. I take a deep breath, old habits undead, and re-evaluate what I want to say. It's time to get it all out. “If the business interrupts our most intimate moments then it’s taking up too much of your time.”
            “What am I supposed to do, Lily, let it fail?”
            “You could hire a competent manager for starters. There has to be someone out there who doesn’t have to call the owner every five minutes.”
            “I like to know what’s going on.”
            “More than you like making love to me?”
            “That’s not fair.”
            “I think it’s bang-on accurate. I also think I don’t want to sleep in here tonight. I’ll be in the guest room.”
            I pick up my pillow and leave him standing there looking pissed off. We are down to one guest room at the moment because of the renovation and I find it blessedly free of cell phones. I only have a few minutes now before dawn so I quickly climb into bed and fume about our most recent fight.
            I wake up as angry as when I went to bed, but Sebastian has had six hours to cool down. Next to my bed are two dozen pink and red roses. A bottle of Cristal chills in a silver container of ice. Sebastian sits in a winged backed chair waiting for me.
            “Good morning, Cherie.” He smiles.
            “Good morning,” I say coldly.
            “You aren’t still angry, are you?”
            “I went to bed upset and woke up in the same mood. I can’t help that you had time to process things, I didn’t.”
            “I’ve been thinking about what you said. First, you will see that I am cell phone free,” he says while holding up his hands. “Our conversation is too important for interruptions. I also should not have picked up the phone last night while we were already occupied. That was rude and inconsiderate and I apologize for that. I need boundaries between my work and home life and I will try to maintain them.”
            “You are so stealing my thunder.” He is trying. Having no cell phone is a big deal. I know it must be killing him, so he is serious about this. He’s seriously thought about what I said.
            “Say you forgive me.”
            “I forgive you.”
            “Now let me finish what I started last night,” he says with dark eyes.
            Two hours later, we lay in each other’s arms drinking the champagne, having totally destroyed the bed. Over three centuries of determined and creative lovemaking has produced one toe-tingling vampire with tricks that sweep this little vamp away. I spill some champagne on Sebastian’s chest and lick it off.
            “Hmmm, I like that,” he murmurs, dipping his head to my neck and raking the tender skin with just the slightest hint of fang.
            “That’s the idea.”
            “It’s my turn next.”
            I giggle as he pours champagne all over me and takes his time lapping it off.
            “You should be illegal,” I pant.
            He laughs richly then tops up our flutes with more champagne.
            “We’re disgusting,” I say. “We lay around in bed all day. Helena and Julian must think we’re unsavory characters.”
            Sebastian says, “Helena is the one who insisted on the champagne.”
            “You're slipping, Bast, if Helena had to remind you.” His brows rise and he shrugs in his gallant way of acknowledging his momentary lapse in the art of romantic seduction. “Andrew will talk.”
Andrew will talk.”
            “Let’s take a shower and get dressed,” I say.
            We streak down the hall to our room and get in the shower where we make love in the steam and hot water. Afterwards, Bast puts on a pair of jeans and a dress shirt he leaves open at the neck. He grabs a jacket for later. I put on a Barneys New York Print Dress in black and white, with a pair of Manolo Blahniks. Brush the fangs, some eyeliner, mascara and lipstick and I’m ready.
            We walk downstairs together and I’m surprised to see my good friend and past almost-boyfriend, Aidan. Aidan, being a jinni, is especially keen to promote mischief. All the more if that mischief is pointed at Sebastian. I get twitchy when I drive with Aidan because he likes to make car doors pop open as I drive by and traffic lights change midway through intersections. He likes to feed off my energy when I get all stirred up. He says I’m delicious.
            He’s as tall as Sebastian, at least six feet, sandy-blond, tousled hair and ocean colored eyes. His body is amazing, taut and tanned, his rich voice carries an English accent that ties the package up neatly.
            “Welcome back from Greece, Aidan,” I say as I give him a kiss and hug.
            Sebastian never lets me out of his sight when Aidan is in the room.
            “Thanks, love. It was great being in the sun and surrounded by clear blue waters. I wish Sebastian would have let me take you. You look like you could use a vacation, maybe Istanbul? I’m up for another trip.”
            “Not on your life, fire boy,” Sebastian grumbles.
            He hasn’t forgotten the way Aidan fought for me.
            “Just for a day, Bast? It would be great to get out of town,” I half tease, half beg, finding I seriously want to go.
            It would be great but I know there is no way Sebastian will go for it.
            “Not unless I come with you. If you really want to go somewhere, I will take you. It will have to be when things quiet down at the club, though.”
            Right on cue, his cell phone goes off and he leaves the room to answer it. I curse under my breath.
            “All’s not paradise on the home front?” Aidan raises an eyebrow, sounding entirely too hopeful.
            “If I could, I would stick that phone right up….” I suggest. Aidan laughs loudly.
            “I personally hate the damn things. Of course if I want to talk to someone, I pop in and talk to them directly so I only gave my number to you and Hannah. But if you wish I can be of assistance with your desire as per the phone…”
            “No, no! I’m just venting,” I say quickly - I know he is all too ready and able to carry out that particular wish. “Where are Julian and Helena?”
            “They went upstairs to talk to the workmen and should be down any minute. We heard you in the shower, uh hmm, and knew you would be down soon.”
            “Sorry about that. It’s Sebastian’s fault. Really,” I say, totally embarrassed.
            “Lilith, if I had you naked in the shower, by the gods I hope you would be screaming my name as well.”
            “Aidan, if I could blush, I’d be beet red now. What’s got into you?”
            “It must be all the fresh Greek air.”
            “You better not let Sebastian hear you talking like that,” I say.
            “Better not let me hear him talking like what?” Sebastian asks as he walks through the door, a scowl on his face.
            “That she is lovelier than the goddess Aphrodite, more intriguing than Cleopatra, spicier than…”
            “Enough! You’ve made your point! I think that’s about all I can take. Isn’t it time you pop yourself into a bottle somewhere?” Sebastian suggests.
            “Au contraire, my French friend. I come bearing news. Have you read the papers this morning? Another mysterious animal attack in the city.”
            “No, I’ve been a little busy.”
            “Yes, I heard.” Aidan’s tone is frosty. “In fact we all heard. The whole house heard, including the workmen. You’re getting quite a name for yourself.”
            “Merde!”
            “Shit!” I say.
            “Say it in any language, you two are still the talk of the manse. Did you know Helena is adding sound-proofing material to your room?”
            “Oh God,” I say rubbing the bridge of my nose.
            “Well it serves you right,” Andrew says as he walks in with coffee. “Can’t have a respectable conversation without hearing ‘Oh Sebastian, Oh Bast, Yes, Yes, Right There, Yes, Yes, Lily, Cherie….’”
            Helena and Julian come in during Andrew’s impersonation of us and Julian shakes his head.
            “Andrew, that is eerily accurate,” he says.
            “Well of course it is. It’s all we hear around here.”
            “Andrew, dear, they are in love. Be gentle with them. Vampires have insatiable appetites. We can’t help ourselves,” Helena chides, coming to our rescue.
            “I don’t hear you and Mr. Julian going on and on.”
            “That’s because our room is sound-proofed and we’ve had time to get to know each other a bit more. Five hundred years will do that to a relationship.”
            “When I become a vampire, it’s payback time. That’s all I’m saying.” As he swings out of the room.
            “Helena, we better get that sound-proofed room finished soon, or we may have to look for a new butler,” Sebastian says.
            “You may have to look for a new girlfriend too. I can’t believe it. How embarrassing,” I say.
            “Have you got cold feet completely now?” Sebastian asks icily.
            “I was just joking, Bast. No big deal,” I say with a shrug, irritated. He’s always had a sense of humor but it seems to have taken a vacation, unlike him.
            “It is a very big deal and it should be wife, not girlfriend, but for some reason you think that’s no big deal either.” He leaves. We hear the front door slam and then the car pull out.
            “Damn Frenchman, so fired up about a tiny slip of the tongue. I swear he can be an ass at times,” I seethe.
            “Well, things aren’t so perfect in paradise, after all. My essence soars. I was just teasing before,” Aidan says.
            “He’ll be fine,” I say still fuming from Sebastian’s little temper tantrum. “Now about Istanbul…” 


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