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Just Imagine

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Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Light Paranormal. Damned If He Does by Marcella Burnard.



Today I’m thrilled to welcome over Marcella Burnard, author of Damned If He Does.

Genre: Light Paranormal

Date of Publication: 7/19/2016

ISBN: 978-0-9977244-0-0
ASIN: B01HR5R2DI

Number of pages: 333
Word Count: 98k

Cover Artist: Danielle Fine

Book Description


Rejected by heaven, twisted by hell, what’s a damned dead man to do when he stumbles upon a life and love worth fighting for?

Though damned for his earthly sins, Darsorin Incarri likes being an incubus. Prowling women’s dreams to siphon off their sexual energy for Satan's consumption has its perks: an array of infernal power and a modicum of freedom. Sure, Ole Scratch holds Dar’s soul in thrall, and Dar has to spend a few hours recharging in Hell every day, but it could be much worse. All he has to do is hold up his end of his damnation contract – five women seduced, satisfied and siphoned per night for eternity. So when he encounters gorgeous, bright, and funny Fiona Renee, it’s business as usual. Deploy the infernal charm and rack up another score. Except it doesn’t work. She’s immune. He has to find out what’s gone wrong or face Lucifer's wrath.

Fiona Renee has the life she’d always wanted: a career, a home, a cat with a bad attitude, and peace. Fiona’s dated. Had boyfriends. And hated every minute of it. She’s reconciled to being lonely. So when a man shows up in her bedroom in the middle of the night demanding to know why her dreams turn to nightmares every time he tries to seduce her from within them, Fiona winds up negotiating a contract with a demon that allows him access to her life. She never anticipated that it would also give him access to her heart. If she's going to fall in love at all, something she never thought would happen, shouldn’t it be with someone who’s alive? If Fiona wants to hang on to Darsorin, she has to find his true name—the one he’d been given at his birth over a thousand years ago. But Satan, himself, stands in her way. Even if Fiona can dodge Lucifer, she and Darsorin have to face the question neither of them can answer: What happens to a dead man if you manage to wrest his soul from the Devil?

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Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of three copies of Damned If He Does.

Let's Interview!


If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?

Oh, that's easy. It's Darsorin's line to the heroine, Fiona: “In all my short life and in the eternity of my cursed unlife, I have never before been a woman's nightmare. Why am I yours?"

Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.

Is that cover not super pretty? The amazing Danielle Fine did the cover art and worked REALLY hard to capture exactly the right feel for Darsorin and Fiona. We went through several cover mockups and had settled on one I thought was good, but she wasn't happy, went back to the drawing board and came back with awesome. The gal on the cover really does look like Fiona - I was very specific about her. I could see her clearly. Darsorin was harder - I mean, sure. Tall, dark, handsome and undead. But that leaves a lot of wiggle room. I feel like this cover really captured him well. The city in the background is Seattle, where the book is set. The flames - ah, the flames. This is where I had a moment's hesitation, because I feared that they would suggest this is a hot read. And it isn't. Fiona is asexual, so it can't be a hot book. But. Darsorin IS a demon. In order to heal, in order to restore his powers and his energy, he has to recharge in Hell every day. When the Devil gets mad at him, Darsorin ends up being lit on fire. So the whole flame motif is really important to the story. It really is a question of whether or not the flames of Hell can reach up and swallow Fiona the way they have Darsorin.

Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

Always working on another story. The current WIP is an odd sort of historical fantasy. I think. It's set right at the beginning of the Civil War. Ariana Bissett is a Union spy tasked with acquiring a certain set of cursed gold artifacts. Legend has it that these relics are powerful and whoever possesses them can tip the balance of the war in their preferred direction. So she'll have to steal a few of them. Not a problem, until the Confederates send a dispossessed British lord after the same artifacts. If I'm doing my job correctly, there's a hint of creepy in this story to go along with the supernatural bleeding through into Victorian and Civil War Era New Orleans.

Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.

My favorite place to write is at a local tea shop called Miro. It's in Old Ballard where the sidewalks are cracked and heaved by tree roots and part of the streets are paved, part are cobble stone. They have a nook tucked into a corner that looks out onto the street. The staff bring me tea and the occasional goody and don't at all mind that I camp out for three or four hours. (That's two pots of tea for those keeping track.)

How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?

The writing bug bit when I was a kid and the tiny library in the town I lived in ran out of stories I wanted to read. I got bored and it finally occurred to me to make up a story I wanted to read. Then a movie when I was 12 ended so badly and made me so mad, I spent my entire summer rewriting the ending for myself on my mother's typewriter. No correction ribbon. There are a lot of xxxxxxx'd out lines on those pages. (Yes, I do still have them. In storage. If the mice haven't made them into nesting material by now. The story was terrible. I hope mice can't read.) Anyway, that was the summer I think I offically became lost to writing. I got caught up in it and just never quit. Even if I was making up stories when I should have been taking notes in math class. I didn't actually attempt to get anything published, however, until the mid to late 90s. That was when I quickly found out how much I didn't know. I joined RWA and began learning. I tried romantic suspense, contemporary and fantasy. It wasn't until I went to my first love - science fiction - that I had any success. Enemy Within was picked up by an agent in early 2009 and sold to Berkley in September of that same year. Easy The Call day - it was 9/9/09.

Do you prefer to write short stories, novellas or novels? Why?

If we go by what I have out in the world, novels clearly win. I'm terrible about 'and then'. Complication (in fiction) delights me. Drama and complication in the real world expose me for the introverted geek I am and I just pull the bed covers up over my head. But on paper, it's kind of fun. For that reason, though, I do force myself to write shorter forms once in awhile. It's a really useful exercise to make myself strip a story down to its most basic, most compact bits. That way, when I go back to novels, there's some hope that they're cleaner. Tighter, maybe. That's the illusion I carry around with me, anyway.

Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.

I do write in series, though, I will say that was not my natural state when I began. I wanted to write stand alone novels. But when my first book was sold in 2009, the very first question the publisher asked was 'can you make this a series?' I scrambled. Did. And now, everything is a series. The first series is SFR - Enemy Within and Enemy Games - the publisher shut the series down unfinished. I'm working on that part. There are three more books coming to finish that series out. The second is The Living Ink series, Nightmare Ink and Bound By Ink. Those are Urban Fantasy. I'm in the middle of drafting book one of a vaguely steampunky historical fantasy called The Artifacts of the Aegean. The genereal premise is that a set of mysterious, and some say cursed, gold tiles could tip the balance of the US Civil War should one side manage too accummulate them. Something Union spy Ariana Bissett is tasked with achieving. She hadn't counted on the Confederates sending a British lord to fight her for them.

If you could make changes to a story you’ve already written, which would it be and why?

I would change the ending of ENEMY GAMES. Right now, that book ends on a cliffhanger. You do not know if a major character is alive or dead. That was supposed to have been a hook into book three. Which might have worked had the publisher not folded the series at the end of book two. Readers were left disappointed. I was left disappointed and the heroine of book three in that series was left disappointed. She's a demolitions expert. This is not someone you want hanging out in your head expressing her discontent over the situation. Yeah. I'd change that ending.


Excerpt


The problem with being damned was that no one would meet your eye.

Darsorin Incarri squared his shoulders and glanced into the faces of the people passing him on the sidewalk. They'd look one another in the eye. Smile. Say, 'good morning.' But for someone whose soul had been claimed by the Devil? Nothing.

People would try. There’d be a split second of eye contact, then, as if the varied torments of Hell were somehow reflected in his eyes, their gazes would run away. Every time.

Shivering in the May sunshine, he shoved his clenched fists into the pockets of his black leather jacket. A single crumb of human warmth that wasn't infernally compelled, surely that shouldn’t be too much to ask. Even for a damned soul.

He pushed through the door of a tiny drug store around the corner from his office and trudged to the pharmacy in the back.

“May I help you?” The pharmacist wore her strawberry blonde hair pulled into a swinging ponytail. Her name tag said ‘Fiona.’ Glasses, thick jade frames and barely-there lenses, heightened the olive of her eyes and magnified the smoky eyeliner and shadow she wore. Lush, full lips, painted clear pink smiled at him.

She met his gaze firmly.

No flinching.

No hint of nervous energy.

He pulled in a slow breath. The woman of his dreams–dreams he didn’t know he had, because Hell has a way of grinding those right out of a damned soul–and here he was picking up itch cream for his boss.
“Prescription for Louis Sieffer.”

She turned away to leaf through the white prescription bags before turning back armed with one of them. “Here we go. Have you used this medication before?”

Her white coat washed out her pale complexion, but the lavender silk collar of her blouse, peeking from beneath the coat, caught his imagination. The silk must be worshipping the curves her abomination of a coat all but eradicated.

He sucked a breath in between clenched teeth as his body hardened. Game on. Another soul to seduce for Ole Scratch.

Without conscious thought, he hit her with sex magic. Marking her. Warning off rivals, and maybe, tipping her off, too, so they could both revel in the anticipation. Lust spiked all around him in the cramped, back corner of the drug store where three other women and one man, thin enough to blow away in a breeze, perched on hard plastic chairs, waiting for their prescriptions. He breathed it in, tasting, confused. None of it seemed to emanate from the young woman he held in his predatory crosshairs. She radiated friendly warmth, not insatiable desire like the rest of the females within ten feet of him–like she should.

He latched onto the desire surging around him. Three women. Three separate threads of want. All for the taking. Their want fed him, spilling into the empty space where his forfeited soul should have been. While he wanted the pharmacist, he’d been presented with a buffet of feminine sexual drive, he sampled the offerings. Longing was heady, addicting stuff. The unfulfilled yearning plunked into the dark well of him, tantalizing him with the sensation that he could be filled up, that he could feel almost human again.

Briefly.

He smiled and sucked harder on the women’s dissatisfaction and burgeoning appetite.

“Mr. Sieffer? Sir, have you used this medication before?” the pharmacist repeated, her voice clear and alluring as a shot of the smoothest whiskey.

“For eternity,” he said. Why wasn’t she inarticulate with need?

Her smile fell and she leaned closer, lowering her voice. Captivated, he mirrored her until he could have pretended to lose his balance and have their lips meet over the middle of the counter. He caught the faintest hint of perfume. Rose and jasmine. Hunger he hadn’t experienced in centuries spiked his blood–different from his soul-bound compulsion to service as many women as possible in the name of Hell. This delectable morsel kindled the lecherous nature that had damned him in the first place. He could consume her. His mouth watered. He would.

Drunk with wanting her, he downed another shot of the unrequited desire he’d tapped from the other women.

“Certain STDs can be difficult to control, but this ointment should give you some relief from the pain and itch . . .”

Sympathy, cool, blessed sympathy, smacked him in the face like a dead fish. What she’d said–what she thought–registered. He jerked upright.

“It’s not for me!” he said. “I’m picking this up for a–friend.”

Her pink lips twitched.

Adorable. Kissable. Bitable.

“Believe me,” he said, vitally aware that his voice had dropped just like every ounce of blood in his body had. “This is better than the snake oil and wormwood he’s been using for the past thousand years.”

Oh, that didn’t sound weird. Or like he had a gay lover. He closed his eyes. Smooth, Incubus. Real smooth. What the hell had happened to his ironclad contract that assured he’d always be supernaturally sexy? Every woman’s dream? 

About the Author 




Marcella Burnard graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a degree in acting. She writes science fiction romance for Berkley Sensation. Her first book, Enemy Within won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Futuristic of 2010. The second book in the series, Enemy Games, released on May 3, 2011. An erotica novella, Enemy Mine, set in the same world as the novels was released as an e-special edition by Berkley in April 2012. Emissary, a sword and sorcery short story released in the two volume Thunder on the Battlefield Anthology in the second half of 2013. Nightmare Ink, an Urban Fantasy novel from Intermix came out in April of 2014 and the second in that Living Ink series, Bound by Ink, came out in November 2014. Damned If He Does, a light paranormal romance came out in July 2016.

She lives aboard a sailboat in Seattle where she and her husband are outnumbered by cats.




Twitter: @marcellaburnard

Instagram: @marcellaburnard






Thursday, September 15, 2016

Some Cravings Can't Be Denied. Vice by Genevieve Jack. Fireborn Wolves.



Today it’s my pleasure to welcome over Genevieve Jack, author of Vice, Book One in Fireborn Wolves.

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Carpe Luna Publishing

Date of Publication: 9/13/2016

ISBN: 978-1-940675-25-1

Word Count:  65000

Cover Artist: Steven Novak

Book Description


Some cravings can’t be denied.

Werewolf Laina Flynn longs to break from the patriarchal expectations of Fireborn pack. A successful entrepreneur, she doesn’t have time to be bossed around by her alpha brother, Silas, let alone to act as a proper werewolf princess.

But when a wolf is found murdered on Fireborn shifting grounds, Laina will do anything to protect her pack, even if it means posing as a waitress at a club that flies in the face of her feminist ideals. Unfortunately, her inner wolf marks the club’s owner, Kyle “The King” Kingsley, as her vice—her metaphysical addiction. He becomes a hunger she can’t ignore…one that could threaten her life, her family, and her pack.

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Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one complete autographed print set of the Knight Games Series, Books 1-4 plus assorted swag.

Let’s Interview…


What inspired you to write this book?

I was thinking about where we are as a society in terms of the role of women. We have, in some ways, the most opportunities in the history of my gender. But yet there are still businesses that profit on the simple physical allure of women to men, who exploit that allure. So, love is complicated by shifting gender roles, shifting priorities for the people involved, and this fascinated me.

Vice is all about the dichotomy between being a strong, independent woman and the deep, almost animal need we have to enter into relationship with the opposite sex, a relationship that often leaves us vulnerable. As an author, I like to explore the human condition, our idealistic worldviews and how they clash with reality, and the attitudes that make us who we are. That’s what inspired Vice.

How did you come up with the title?

In my supernatural world, when a werewolf’s inner beast attaches to something in the human realm, becomes addicted to it, it’s called a vice.  This book deals with Laina’s vice.

If you could spend an hour in real life with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

I feel like I do spend time with my characters. We talk. We have tea. But if one could materialize next to me, I think I’d enjoy some time with Laina. She’s intelligent, talented and a loyal friend.

Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.

Vice is about a strong, independent woman, Laina Flynn, who also happens to be a werewolf princess. Werewolf society is a patriarchy, so Laina’s brother, Silas, has power over her as the alpha of the Fireborn pack. Although she is a DVM and owns her own veterinary hospital, her veins fill with acid every time she attempts to disobey her brother. Her deepest desire is to be her own alpha, free to make her own decisions.

But when an enemy of the Fireborn pack murders a wolf on Fireborn shifting grounds, Laina chooses to go into hiding to help protect her pack. Unfortunately, Kyle Kingsley, a former client, recognizes her and requires her to work for him in exchange for keeping her secret. Kyle owns Hunt Club, a place that flies in the face of Laina’s feminist ideals. But her self-righteousness doesn’t stand a chance when her inner wolf responds to Kyle as if he carries the moon in his pants. Turns out he’s her vice, her metaphysical addiction. Giving into her desires means vulnerability for herself, her family, and her pack. But she just can’t help herself.

Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

I’m currently writing Virtue, Fireborn Wolves Book 2. Virtue tells the story of Jason Flynn, Laina’s brother, who is struggling to break his vice in an effort to protect his pack. His addiction to sex is strong, however, and it’s going to take the help of the goddess in the form of a pack acolyte named Selena to help him find the virtue within.

Did you enjoy writing one scene above all the rest? If so, share.

There’s a scene near the beginning of the book when Laina arrives at her animal hospital and finds that the murderer has already been there. Her bare feet stick to the blood on the floor, her assistant is incapacitated, the front desk has been wrecked, and there is a dark surprise waiting for her on her operating table. While I loved all of the romantic parts of this book, for some reason I particularly loved writing that scene. Maybe because I’m a total wuss and would never have been brave enough to do what Laina does.

How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?

I’ve been writing and publishing full-length novels full time since 2012 under two aliases.  Before that, I was first an accountant and then a nurse who wrote and published the occasional short story and read like the library was on fire. After five books, I recently took some time off to spend with a family member suffering from a long-term illness. I’m happy to report a full recovery means I’m back in full-time author mode with several titles in the works for Genevieve Jack fans.


Excerpt


By the time she’d finished her first round and returned to the kitchen to replenish her tray, she’d forgotten there wasn’t a thing between her and the night besides a thin stretch of latex. With so many beautiful women serving Hunt Club, maybe she blended in with the scenery, no different than a beautiful blooming plant or a piece of artwork. She picked up another tray and melded back into the crowd, thinking the evening might be easier than she expected. In a few short hours, she’d discreetly drop the fairy box in the kitchen on her way out and put the entire experience behind her.

As the night wore on, she forayed deeper into the crowd, taking an interest in the variety of males drawn to such a place. There was a bachelor party, a job interview, and a politician and his protégé. The bits and pieces of conversation that flitted past her ears kept the work from becoming boring.

She was on her fourth tray when she found herself at the farthest corner of the room, slightly cut off from the crowd, in an area thick with flowers and trees.

“Over here.” A burly man in a brown suit called to her from deep within the burrow of vegetation. The bear mask he wore was designed to look grumpy but the man’s tone made her believe it was a reasonable reflection of his human countenance.

“Canapé?” She lowered her tray from her shoulder so he could take a better look.

“How long have you been working here?” he asked, as he perused the selection.

“Not long.” A meaty hand cupped her ass, making her jump. She tried to step away from him but he gripped her butt cheek harder and grabbed her tray with his other hand.

“Five hundred. Come upstairs with me.”

“No. I’m not for sale.” She squirmed against his grip. Although she was capable of tearing his arm off, she tempered her reaction, afraid she might drop the tray or fall off her stilettos. The damn shoes were the problem. As strong as she was, they set her off-balance.

Playing tug-of-war with her tray, the bear didn’t take no for an answer. “You could be making ten times what you’re making now. I’m good, honey. You’ll enjoy me as much as the cash.” While she was concentrating on extracting her tray from his grip without the canapés ending up on the floor, his hand moved from her ass, over her hip, and, to her great surprise, directly between her legs.

The wolf inside boiled to the surface. Dropping the tray on the table, she grabbed the wrist of the hand between her thighs and squeezed. “Keep your hands to yourself.” She felt his bones compress within her grip. A little harder and he’d need a cast. A lot harder and she’d crush the carpal bones, an injury requiring surgery. She hoped she could restrain herself.

“Fuck. Let me go, bitch.”

She squeezed harder.

“Aah!” His free hand balled into a fist and connected with the side of her face, all his body weight behind it. A blast of pain radiated through her jaw and into her skull. The blow knocked her off her feet and she fell hard, her hip slapping the floor. She recovered quickly, intending to return the blow. But before she could wrestle the damn stilettos back under her, Nate and a man in a lion mask appeared above her.

“That’s enough, Bradley,” the lion said. “You’re out of here.”

Nate grabbed the man by the elbow and steered him toward an exit.

“I have a right to be here,” the bear shouted. “I paid my dues. Are you going to lose a premium member over a fucking waitress?”

“No, over you being a fucking asshole,” the lion said under his breath. Nate had the bear through the door before the man could call any more attention to the situation. The few people who had noticed the skirmish returned to their conversations.

“Are you all right?” the lion asked, holding out a hand to help Laina up.

She rubbed her jaw. “I think so. Thank you. Usually, I can handle guys like that, but he caught me off guard.”

“Even if you can, you shouldn’t have to. You’re serving, not being served.”

“Right. Not on the menu.”

“Do you mind if I…” Still holding her hand from when he helped her up, he reached out with his opposite knuckle to brush her cheek, warm and gentle, a touch that at any other time she might appreciate. But the punch had hurt more than she’d expected; she jerked away in pain.

“I’m sorry.” The lion winced. “He tore your makeup. I thought I could fix it.”

“I’ll find Wesley,” she said.

“He left for the night. Do you need to see a doctor?” The band began another number, and he stepped in closer as he spoke.

“No. I’m fine.” She met his eyes and her inner wolf stirred from her slumber. Through the eyeholes of the mask, she made out hazel eyes, the color of ripe wheat. She traced the heavy bones of the jaw that protruded from beneath the mask and the tightly controlled lips that seemed to war between wanting to smile at her and his obvious concern for her well-being.

“Do you work here?” she asked bringing her lips to his ear. She inhaled deeply. Human, a spicy cologne, and the slightest hint of deep forest. Her eyes widened. It couldn’t be.

He stroked his thumb along hers. “Something like that.” Focused on her lips, he licked his own. His gaze flicked to her breasts. The latex around her nipples had puckered from her body’s response to him. Embarrassed, she turned toward the table to gather her tray.

What was different about this man than any other? She’d served over a hundred men that night, of all different heights, weights, and colors, but none had warranted the slightest bit of interest from her or her wolf. He was slightly taller than she was and big, with hard muscles that seemed intractable beneath his shirt and suit jacket, but nothing about his size or physique was alarmingly different. Only her response was exceptional. Her inner wolf was bent over with her tail in the air, begging to be mounted. And although Laina still had control of her body and mind despite the coming moon, the wetness between her legs was instinctual, primal, and completely beyond her control.

“I should get back to work,” she said, her back to him. “Maybe I can find someone to touch up my face.”

“You’re absolutely stunning,” he said. “What’s your name?” He stepped toward her again, so that the front of his suit just barely grazed her back, his face inches from her shoulder. Her wolf begged her to turn, to plant her lips on his and hitch her leg over his hip. An image of herself arched over the cocktail table with his mouth between her legs filled her mind.

Biting her lip hard, she snapped herself out of it. “I have to go.” 


About the Author



Genevieve Jack is a registered nurse turned author of weird, witty, and wicked-hot paranormal romance. Coffee and wine are her biofuel: the love lives of vampires, shifters, and witches her favorite topic of conversation. She harbors a passion for old cemeteries and ghost tours thanks to her years at a high school rumored to be haunted. Although she calls the Midwest home, her heart belongs to the beaches of the southeast, where she spends her days with her laptop and one lazy dog.