Wednesday, July 25, 2012

An Angelic, Hobby Birthday

It's barely ten-thirty in the morning, and already I have more birthday wishes than I could possibly hope to respond to and still keep my fingers attached (though some days I wonder if it's worth it. Then I pick up my coffee mug and think, "Oh yeah...")

Have I mentioned lately that you guys rock?

So to celebrate my birthday, I'm going to share excerpts from my upcoming releases, Shadow of the Wolf, All For You, Hecate's Own and The Hob. It's going to be a long blog post, but... it's my birthday!

(And no, I will NOT write A Hobby Jolly Christmas. Please. I know you were going to go there. Just... no. He wouldn't be caught dead in a title like that. I can barely get him to wear jeans.)

Shadow of the Wolf

Heart's Desire Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel

Strike a match, light the candle…and fall into the spell.

Christopher Beckett is from an ancient line of wizards, but with one aspect that sets him apart. His wolf. Right now that wolf is howling for a mate. Knowing it’s only a matter of time before the wolf’s needs override everything else in his life, Chris casts the spell all the Becketts have used to call their mates to them.

His wish list is short: She must be of a lineage at least as old as his own. And she must accept his wolf. When his mate appears, he realizes his list should have been one item longer.

Alannah Evans, a powerful witch of the Evans Coven, has no problem with Chris’s wolf. It's the wizard part that sticks in her magical craw. Witches and wizards have always been at odds, so by rights, she and Chris shouldn’t be striking sparks of attraction this bright. But Chris will not be denied, and gradually she finds herself trusting him—then falling into the fire of desire.

When it becomes clear an old enemy has targeted them both for death, Chris charges into a duel that could cost him his life. Or worse: Lana.

Warning: This novel contains explicit sex, graphic language, magic, mayhem, and a wet, naked wolf shifter bearing hot chocolate. Mmm… chocolate.

Christopher woke to the feel of a rough tongue on his cheek. He opened one bleary eye to find Alasdair staring at him and purring.

He lifted his head and peered around. His workshop. He’d fallen asleep in his workshop. It wasn’t the first time he’d done that, and he doubted it would be the last. He looked down at the book spread out below him, The Registry of Wizards, Witches and Warlocks, and groaned.

Alannah Evans. A witch, not a wizard.

Well. That will teach me to be careful about how I phrase my summoning spells.

He’d rechecked the runes, the copy of the paper he’d burned that night a month ago, and slowly realized his error. He hadn’t specified a wizard mate, just one of an older lineage, someone who was born from power, with magic to complement his own.

Apparently the Lord and Lady had seen fit to send him a witch.

Joy. He was never going to hear the end of this. His family would have a field day.

And it was beyond too late now to change it, even if he wanted to. His wolf was completely delighted with the woman upstairs currently curled up in their den, leaving her scent on his sheets and pillows. He wanted to go up there and wallow in her scent, have it wash over him until he couldn’t tell where he ended and she began.

And that was only the beginning. He wanted to lick every inch of her body until all he could taste, would ever taste, was her. He longed to thrust inside her, pulling climax after climax out of her until they were both limp and sated, then do all of it all over again.

He buried his head in his hands and groaned. Now what do I do? Witches and wizards tended to avoid each other, and with good reason. The precise way wizards performed magic was the antithesis of the breezy way witches performed the same tasks. The hours a wizard spent carefully crafting spells would drive any self-respecting witch insane. The way witches tended to pick up seemingly random objects and blithely cast a spell that garnered the same results drove wizards nuts. Add in the resentment witches felt about how wizards could do things they couldn’t do, and the contempt some wizards openly showed toward witches, and you had one hell of a mess destined to give one tired, grumpy wizard a serious migraine.

And the sad part was, just speaking to her last night had shown him he had no choice. Even if he could reverse the summoning, demand a redo from the Gods, he wouldn’t. She was just so…beautiful to him. It wasn’t her shoulder length, dark brown hair. It wasn’t those wide, chocolate brown eyes, her strong jaw, her full lips, or the way she barely came to his chin, causing every protective instinct he had to go on high alert.

No, it was the glimpses of her he’d seen last night that sealed his fate. Funny, smart, warily cautious but following him anyway, she’d been brave, strong, resilient.


He’d have to woo his reluctant little witch. He smiled, remembering her reaction to him last night. If he had any doubts about whether or not he could succeed, remembering the quickly banked hunger in her face removed them.

He’d have to deal once and for all with Cole. If Cole tried to lay a hand on Alannah again Christopher wouldn’t be able to keep from killing the son of a bitch.

Standing with a sigh, he headed to the kitchen, hoping a nice warm breakfast and some hot coffee would earn him a nice warm reception from the woman in his bedroom.

Heart's Desire Book 2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel

When a witch is hot for teacher, the sparks are sure to fly.

Zachary Beckett has been a screw-up most of his life, but he's finally done something right. He saved his brother's life at great personal cost, and now he's on his way to Cleveland to train as a witch. There he meets Johra Yashodar, a teacher with the belief that Zach is still a screw-up. It isn't long before Zach realizes he's hot for teacher.

Jo has never met someone like Zachary Beckett. His blue eyes haunt her, his body is made for sin, and his magic... well. The less said about that the better. He's the worst witch she's ever met, bar none. But Jo is determined to help him, and to do that she'll fight the attraction she feels towards him tooth and nail.

But things aren't always what they seem, and when Zach realizes he's under a hex he comes into his own. He discovers he is one of Hecate's Own, chosen by the Goddess Herself to fight evil. When an old enemy resurfaces, it's up to Zach and his brothers to save Jo from a fate worse than death.

Warning:  This novel contains explicit sex, graphic language, a sexy, awkward, blue-eyed wolf-witch and a woman who can make his dreams come true.

“Dear Goddess, Beckett. What have you done now?”

It wasn’t right, and it certainly wasn’t fair. There was no way Fate would be so cruel to him, but there it was. He was in more trouble than he ever remembered being. The Prince looked ready to have him stripped of his powers. The Princess looked ready to adopt him, which would only serve to piss off the Prince and Zach’s mother, a situation he strove to avoid at all costs.

He was about to topple over from sheer unrequited lust.

He turned to look at the object of his obsession. Her dark hair brushed her shoulders. Jo’s deep brown eyes seemed to bore right to the core of him. Full lips curled in a half-smile, the disdain he knew, knew she felt for him hidden for the benefit of the Prince and Princess. Johra Yashodhar had faced better men than him and left them weeping and broken in her high-heeled dust. She was an exotic orchid to his mangy wolf.

God, he wanted her. How could he not?

But she used the fact that she was two years older than him as a barrier to any intimacy, even friendship. She claimed him as her student and treated him like one of the kids. He’d been watching her the entire time he’d been at court, lusted after her more and more since she started teaching him. 

She viewed him as an issue that needed to be dealt with.

Zach was about to lose his god damn mind. Unless he managed to figure out a way to become a sterling example of witchhood he was going to wind up forever watching her walk away from him.

“Get out of here before you do any more damage, Beckett.” Jo dismissed him with a wave of her hand. “Why don’t you go get lunch or something?” 

“Lunch. Sure.” Zach stalked out of the room, desperately trying to close his ears to the snickering witches that cleared a broad path around him.

“And Beckett? Don’t bother coming back.”

Zach froze for all of two seconds, his hand clenching around the twisted amulet, before striding out of the lodge and right to his car. 

Fuck it. If people were going to treat him like shit they were damn well going to be family, not a bunch of asshole strangers who didn’t even know who Zachary Beckett was. He stewed the entire way to his shitty rented townhouse, slammed into his room and grabbed his suitcase. He was determined to leave the dust of the court behind him.

Lana insisted being a witch was “instinctive”. Well, he’d see how he lived on those instincts of his from now on.

He was so fucking tired of never having anyone who believed in him. The only person who came close was Lana. It still amazed him that it had taken Lana such a short amount of time to figure out the truth. The flow of magic that called to him was so different from the orderly, precise way his brothers practiced the craft. He wasn’t even certain he could explain the joy that ran through his veins whenever he cast a spell, the need to use his abilities to help those around him. 

He knew he wasn’t completely useless. Hadn’t he saved Lana from that hex Cole Godwin had cast on her? She’d be dead now if he hadn’t known what to do and acted on it. He’d also saved his brother’s life, using a spell Annabelle had told him privately she’d thought impossible to perform. 

So why couldn’t he do a simple spell? Why, when he reached for the magic, was it a raging torrent rather than the steady trickle most other witches talked about?

Why was he considered a failure here, too, when he knew, deep in his bones, he was not?

Zach zipped his case closed and headed down the stairs. He had no idea why things had gone so wrong but damn if he wasn’t going to find out. And he knew just the woman to ask: Annabelle Evans, Lana’s grandmother. Right now she was the only one he trusted to give it to him straight, good or bad. Zach got into his car and headed for the airport. It was time to head back to Philadelphia. 

No time like the present to solve the mystery of one Zachary Beckett.

All For You
The Nephilim Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Lenght: Novel

Seth van Licht is a Nephilim, a group of men born of the angels themselves and tasked with bringing down the of mortals. He's been asked to guard the sister of one of his closest human friends, and he's finding it to be no hardship. Abby is everything he's ever wanted in a woman, and the attraction he feels for her is overwhelming. Seth would like to guard her much, much closer... if only she'd let him.

Abby has been burnt by men before. Literally. Scarred inside and out by her former lover, she's finally ready to open up and allow her heart to trust again. When the man she had a crush on in high school makes his interest known, Abby decides to take a chance on Seth, unaware of what he truly is. Seth does his best to get her to open up her heart to him, barely missing it when she steals his own.

When evil stalks her in the night, it's up to Seth to keep Abby safe, even if it means losing her in the process.

Warning: This book contains explicit sex and graphic language.

“So, what’s for dessert?” Bill asked.

Abby smiled over the hot oil, adding another triangle of dough. “Home-made sopapillas. Hope you guys like honey or strawberries, because I forgot to pick up chocolate.”

“Heathen.” Trish got out the honey and the strawberry puree, more than familiar with Abby’s kitchen. “How could you forget chocolate of all things?”

“After the attack of the Shar Pei Barbie you’re lucky I remembered you were coming over.” Abby shuddered. “I’m going to have nightmares for a week.”


Abby maneuvered the hot sopapillas onto a plate. She took them to the table, sprinkled them lightly with confectioner’s sugar, and everyone dug in. The only sound to break the silence was mm’s, warming Abby’s heart.

After dinner, Abby brought out the cards and the popcorn. They always had popcorn on hand when they played cards—mostly because Abby had banned Nerf guns. “Anyone want to play Canasta?”

Trish cleared the kitchen table as Bill grabbed a pad and pencil.

Seth raised a brow. “Canasta? What’s that?”

Trish was standing behind Seth, waving her hands madly.

Subtle, Trish. Very subtle. Abby took the hint. If she was going to try and get closer to him, she had to make a move. She grinned at Seth, knowing it was a pale imitation of her earlier easy smiles. I hope I don’t look like I have gas.

“It’s kind of like rummy, but to win you need make something called melds out of sets of seven cards. Jokers are wild, but you make more points if the meld is pure and doesn’t contain them. And you can make a meld off your partner’s cards.” She had to admit, Trish’s idea of having him come to dinner with them had worked out brilliantly. She’d been able to relax in a way she wouldn’t have been able to on a date.

The confusion on his face was absolutely adorable. How could such a masculine guy appear so…cuddle-worthy?

As Bill began to shuffle the cards she shifted so that she was seated across from Seth. “It’s okay. I’ll teach you how to play.” Which was probably Trish’s plan all along.

Bill snickered. “Wait until we break out the Cribbage board. Then it’s every man for himself.”

“Yup.” Trish took the seat across from Bill, smirking at her husband. “He’s gonna be so happy to have someone else join him in his lonely loserhood.”

“I don’t lose that badly.”

Her fingers on her forehead in the shape of an L, Trish began to sing. “L is for loser, that’s good enough for me.”

Bill threw popcorn at her head.

Seth chuckled as Trish returned fire. “I’m not very good at card games. I’m a lot better at trivia games. I really kick ass at Clue.”

 “That’s okay.” She patted his hand, startling herself. It was the first time she’d voluntarily touched a male who wasn’t family, and she felt fine. No fear, no anxiety. It was nice. She resisted the urge to caress his fingers. Okay, better than nice. His hand was lean, but strong. “We’ll take pity on you.”

 “I’m not that bad. Really.” He patted her shoulder, and she had no desire to shrug off his touch. Maybe a relationship with someone like Seth was possible after all. “It’s just a card game. How hard can it be?”

She shook her head and proceeded to teach him the rules of the game. They were going to get creamed, and she couldn’t care less.

An hour and a half later, they conceded defeat to Trish and Bill. The other couple had wiped the floor with them. They had made more inroads into the wine, and Abby decided to blame the wine rather than admit that it was the sight of her partner that kept distracting her. He leaned back in his chair and smiled ruefully. “Next time we’re going to kick your asses.”

“Hell, yeah.” Seth toasted the other couple. “Because next time we’re playing Clue.”

Abby was still giggling as she walked him to the door, Trish and Bill not far behind them. “Seth?”

“Hmm?” He was shaking his head at something Bill or Trish was doing behind her.

Abby ignored them. She was used to the antics of her brother and sister-in-law. “You’re welcome to come again, if you’d like.”

His gaze snapped to her face, the blue-gray of his eyes darkening, turning pure blue, yet they were far from cold.  “I’d like that.”

She could feel her cheeks flushing. “Me too.”

She wasn’t certain how long they stood there before Trish and Bill elbowed their way out the door, taking Seth with them. He turned back toward her as he headed to his townhouse. “Good night, Abby.”

She gulped. She could hear the desire in his voice, feel the warmth of his gaze. Trish was right. Seth wanted her.

Now all she had to do was decide if she had the courage to let him have her...

The Gray Court Book 4
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel

Robin Goodfellow has met his match.

Robin Goodfellow has been sent to Philadelphia to watch over a delegation of Black and White Court fae. The Black Queen has kidnapped one of the White Queen's nephews, and Robin is to ensure that the young Prince safely returns to the bosom of his family. Robin is ready for anything... except meeting his truebond, the very delicious, very human, Michaela.

Michaela Exton has been dreaming about a flame-haired rogue named Robin Goodfellow since she was a little girl, but everyone knows that Puck doesn't really exist. So when she meets a dark-eyed man named Ringo who makes her heart beat faster, she's ready to open herself to him even if he isn't her dream man. But she's closer to Robin than she thinks, for Ringo is Robin in disguise, and he's determined to win her heart no matter what form he wears.

But there's competition for Michaela's love from an unexpected source. Raven MacSweeney, the Raven Lord, also desires Michaela, and he has a secret that will rock Robin's world to its foundation. Just when he thinks he's got everything back under control, one of the Black Court delegates does the unthinkable, and only Michaela will be able to bring the Hob back from the killing edge...if she's alive to do so.

Warning: This book contains explicit sex, graphic language, Robin Goodfellow and... Really. Do I need to say any more?

Kael stretched and groaned. “Gods, I’m glad I’m back.”

Robin chuckled quietly. “Don’t like flying, my friend?”

Kael snorted, amused. “Hardly. The seats are too tight, I always wind up near a screaming child, and the bathrooms are laughable. And that’s before I get on the plane.”

Oh, Robin was growing more and more fond of this one. “After you.” Robin bowed with a grin, aware of the sound of another car pulling into the parking lot. He turned and saw the most mind–searingly orange Jeep Wrangler he’d ever been privileged to lay eyes on pull into the parking spot next to his. The grin faded from his face as the engine revved twice before cutting off.
Behind the wheel was a dainty female in hospital scrubs. She smiled over at them before reaching down to grab something off of the passenger side floor. He tilted his head, trying to get a better glimpse of the woman. 


He tilted his head the other way, staring at the tiny figure in the driver’s seat. There was something about her, something that called to him. What was it? Robin sniffed, but all he could scent of was exhaust, rubber, human, and pooka.

“Robin, we need to go.”

Robin turned and nearly snarled at Kael, but the concern on the pooka’s face stopped him. What had he been doing, staring at a human female?

A car door slammed shut. “Excuse me, is everything all right?” She practically bounced in place. “Hi, Kael.”

Kael’s tense posture visibly relaxed. “Michaela. Just getting home from work?” Kael smiled sweetly at the dainty, brown–haired sprite of a female. The girl barely reached Kael’s shoulder. Robin guessed she’d be roughly chin height on him, were he in his normal form. As it was, she barely reached his shoulder as well. Her face was passably pretty, with a bottom lip fuller than the top and a square, soft jaw. Her deep brown eyes gleamed with good humor over a larger than average nose. Her figure was obscured by scrubs that were covered in the scent of illness and some hideous yellow bug–eyed things in brown pants and ties that grinned and capered about her person. Sensible white shoes graced her feet, and her dark brown hair was bundled up in a tight ponytail. Her pale cheeks were flushed with wind and happiness.

Dear gods above. Robin felt faint for the first time in his life.

It was her.

It was the woman from his dreams, and she stood before him, tiny and vulnerable and tempting as sin. 

That sweet smile turned on Robin. “Are you Kael’s friend? I’m Michaela. Pleased to meet you.” Michaela held out her hand. “I saw you standing there, looking like you were lost. Let me guess, you can’t find the elevator, right? And I bet Kael here is too much of a pain in the ass to show you.” 

She laughed as Kael took her hand and placed it on his arm. Robin wanted to rip Kael’s arm off and beat the pooka to death with it. “Of course I was going to show him, once he was no longer blinded by your Jeep.”

“Hey, no mocking the Punkinator.” She wagged her finger at Kael before turning back to Robin with a sweet smile. “It took me a week to remember where it was when I first moved in.” She shifted the heavy bag on her shoulder and pointed to a concrete column. “Follow me, I can show you where it is.” She hmph’d. “Blind, my ass.”

Kael stared at her with something akin to awe. “Ringo is staying with me for a few days, and haven’t we had this discussion before? Are you sure you should be speaking to a stranger so easily?”

The laid-back way Kael spoke to her made it clear they’d been friends for some time. His concern for the female was admirable, but still...

Robin fought off the urge as his eyes tried to shift to the green light that spelled death for any who crossed him. Kael had done nothing but be polite to the tiny woman, a friend of his to boot. Robin should have no quarrel with Kael’s actions, but the way Robin was reacting to them was startling.

However, Kael had a point. Robin blinked down at the strange little brown wren of a female. There was no way she could fend off two full grown men, if they were so inclined to harm her. If Ruby had done such a thing he would have paddled her ass, mate or no. “Indeed.”

Michaela smiled up at him serenely. “You won’t hurt me.”

Robin blinked again. His brows rose. Apparently the woman was certifiable. On the basis of Kael’s introduction, she trusted him? “Is that so?” Tempting though it was to accept her challenge, Robin was not a complete bastard. His little human was all right for the moment, but her insane belief that the world was a safe place was going to get her killed.

“Mm–hmm.” She laughed. Laughed, as if the implied threat were nothing. “C’mon, let me show you where the elevator is.” She headed past the ugly concrete column, still chattering away like the perky little bird she resembled, but this time she looked up at Kael with a frown. “Oh, Kael? FYI, some new tenants moved in while you were gone. They gave me the heebee–jeebies.” She shuddered delicately.

“Oh?” Robin exchanged a look with Kael. Perhaps they were sharing space with some Dark Court Sidhe after all. If so, it might be prudent to move their lodgings.

Her lodgings. Robin’s instincts were telling him to get her the hell out of here, get her somewhere safe, but he couldn’t. Not now. If he was right, if she truly was his bondmate, the last thing he wanted to do was draw attention to her while at a convention full of Dark Court fae. To do so would be to court disaster on an epic scale.

Kael’s stance became protective, hovering over Michaela. “Did they bother you?”

“Nah.” She wrinkled her nose, that pretty smile back on her face. She was absolutely adorable, and Robin wanted her on his arm, damn it. “I let them find their own way to the elevator.”

She looked like a stiff breeze could pick her up easier than it did a sylph, but she bounced along beside them without a care in the world. 

“You’re awfully confident for someone the size of a flea bite.”

Robin almost laughed at the insult Kael muttered.

Michaela did laugh. “I know, but I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve if someone decides to get frisky.” She made some idiotic motions with her hands and feet that Robin assumed were supposed to be some form of martial arts and looked more like a squirrel having seizures. “Take that, bad guys!”

Robin couldn’t stop himself from patting her on the head. “You’re cute.”

She wagged her finger in the air. “And lethal. Don’t forget lethal.” She waved toward the elevator. “And here we are.”

The amusement in her gaze let him know how seriously she was taking her own pronouncement. 

Interesting. He hadn’t been this hungry for a female since Ruby. He kept the predatory anticipation that filled him off his face, for fear he would frighten her away.

This one was available for consumption, and he would feast for many years to come.


molli said...

NEVER say Never....Remember, we got you to write about a BUNNY

Dana Marie Bell said...

Good point, LOL!

Maria said...

Happy Birthday and I vote for "A Hobby Jolly Christmas" or maybe "The Hobs Christmas Carol" just brought it up!

Charity said...

Happy Birthday! Thank you for the gift to us. Enjoy your day.

Louise said...

Happy birthday! And thank you for sharing the snippets.

lindseye said...

Loved the snippets, so thank you for sharing your birthday presents. I believe Micheala could get Robin to be in any book she was in and I really do not think she minds that he does not want to wear jeans.

Favorite Quotes

"I had the right to remain silent, but I didn't have the ability." Ron White

"So let me get this straight. You want me to kill the little guys, kill the big guys, crowd control those I can't, buff the team, debuff the boss, keep myself alive, AND keep you alive, all while waving a stick and dressed in a towel?" - Anonymous Role Playing Gamer

"I think that statue over there is a statement on modern life. The statement is, "Well, shit." - Varric, Dragon Age II

"Why is it all claws and guns? Can't we piss off a fuzzy planet? Still dangerous, but hey. Bunnies." - Joker, Mass Effect

"Last night, I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and thought to myself, "Where the heck is the ceiling?" - Dilbert

"Aim at the high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you'll hit the bull's-eye of success." - Annie Oakley

"It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly." - Flemeth, aka The Witch of the Wilds, Dragon Age 2

"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.'” - George Carlin

"I hear there's a wild bridge tournament down the street. And you know Bridge. It's a lot like sex. If you don't have a great partner, you'd better have a good hand." Barry Weiss, Storage Wars

"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." - Marcus Cole, Babylon 5, "A Late Delivery From Avalon"

"I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Malcolm Reynolds

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

“If you think you can or think you cannot, you are correct.” - Henry Ford