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The Lady with the Hair & the Sunglasses. What the Hell does She Want from Me?

As you know by now, encounters with Magda Gardener, though never invited and quite often disturbing, have been a part of my life for the past five years now. I work for her. Whether I like to admit it or not, I’m as much a part of her collection as Alonso Darlington and Jack Graves. The role I play, however, is not nearly so dangerous, but it’s every bit as demanding. The thing is with Magda Gardener, I never know when she’s going to show up and check in on me. But whenever she does, she always leaves me a little wrong-footed and with a story to tell.

 

With the release of Buried Pleasures, the third Medusa’s Consortium novel, and the first set in Vegas, I’m reminded again of an encounter I had with her awhile ago while on holiday in the Lake District with my husband.

 

 

Somehow I suspect that the situation isn’t normal. I suspect that I’m either dreaming or having some sort of weird out of body experience, but for the life of me, I don’t know how, or when I decided to take this brief holiday from the flesh, or even if that’s what it really is.

 

But I go on about my business like everything is normal, nothing out of the ordinary. And in truth, I’ve often gone to the Twa Dogs Pub in Keswick and ordered a pint. But this time I’ve come alone, which is something I’ve never done before, and I know when I see her sitting at a table in the back of the snooker room that she’s waiting for me. It’s late afternoon, an overcast day, typical Lakeland weather, and yet she’s still wearing sunglasses. But then she was wearing sunglasses that night in Vegas, even in the tunnels.

 

I sit down across from her and she looks me up and down. Though I can’t see her eyes, I can certainly feel her gaze, like she’s looking right through me, like I’m sitting there naked. I resist the urge to fold my arms across my chest, and she gives a little smirk as though she knows exactly what’s going on in my mind.

 

My throat’s desert-dry, and I take a good solid sip of my Sneck Lifter and wonder at the wisdom of alcohol on an empty stomach. ‘What do you want from me?’ I ask.

 

I can see a golden eyebrow raise above the edge of the glasses. ‘I should have thought that would be obvious. You’re a writer, aren’t you?’

 

‘So? I reply.

 

 

But before I can say anything else, I catch a flash of bright eyes over the edge of the glasses and feel as though I’m suddenly glued to the chair unable to move. ‘You’re a storyteller, that’s what you do. You get into peoples’ heads and tell their secrets.’

 

‘It’s fiction. I make it up,’ I manage. My throat is no longer just dry, but it feels as though it’s constricting, closing, strangling me as I speak.

 

‘I’m sure that’s what you tell yourself,’ she says. My pulse ratchets up in panic, and I feel like my body is closing in on me, turning into a solid prison from which there is no escape. And just when I think I’ll hyperventilate, she offers me a quirk of a smile, and lowers her eyes to her own drink – whiskey, I observe. ‘Where do you think those stories come from?’ she asks.

 

‘I make them up, they come from my imagination, like they do with all writers.’

 

This time she throws back her head and laughs out loud, and I’m stunned by the bell-like sound of it. I’m even more stunned that no one notices. The pub’s not crowded, but it’s not empty either. How could anyone not notice her sitting there. She’s exquisite in a scary sort of way, and yet no one seems to be aware that we’re even there. I remind myself that it’s still quite likely I’m only dreaming.

 

Then she leans across the table and takes my hand in hers, and as frightened as I was only a moment ago, I suddenly find myself wanting to kiss her. Another indication that none of this is real, I tell myself.

 

‘Who do you think gives you those stories, Ms. Grace?’ Her breath is sweet against my face, like an open field with just a hint of the single malt whiskey she’s been sipping. ‘Oh, I have so many stories I want you to tell, and you’re perfect for the job, darling, because you are so open to going where I want you to go.’ And then she stands, leans over the table and kisses me.

 

For a split second I have sense enough to worry about what the rest of the people in the pub will think of the girl-girl lip-lock in which I find myself. A split second more and I realize no one even notices. ‘You,’ she whispers against my mouth, ‘have been writing stories for me for a long time.’ She pulls away just enough to look at me over the top of her glasses, and I suddenly feel as though my very heart is freezing solid in my chest. ‘‘I figure it’s time you know what I expect of you. Things are about to get complicated Ms. Grace, and you are about to become a very, very busy woman.’

 

 

 

 

She kisses me again, and I feel like the floor to the pub has just caved in beneath me. Behind my closed eyes, I see familiar flashes of a ritual in a mirrored room, couples having sex all around me, candles on an altar, a mirror that contains a monster, a ghost who has been hung for a murder she didn’t commit, a succubus devouring thought and ego and giving it back in exchange for the blood of a vampire. Death walking in Vegas, enthralled by a siren, whose voice can calm or kill. I see, in strobe-like flashes of light, an exquisite woman in a ruined garden walking among statues, statues that look so lifelike and so disturbing in their poses that I feel goose flesh climb my spine. That same woman walking the endless halls of a library filled from ceiling to floor with books bound in the flesh of the stories they contain, shelf after shelf of books, stories I’ve written, written at this woman’s command. And as she touches each of those books in turn, I realize the stories I’ve written give her power over the people in those pages, and she, in turn, gives me power to write the next story, and the next and the next.

 

Then suddenly I’m back in the Twa Dogs with her voice a soft vibration low in my chest. ‘You work for me, K D. You always have. You just didn’t know it,’ she whispers against my ear. Then she inspects me with another brief glance over the top of her dark glasses and brushes my icy cheek with her warm palm. ‘I thought it was time you knew the truth. That knowledge could serve you well in the near future.’

 

And when she removes her hand, when I can no longer glimpse the bright glint of her eyes behind her glasses, I fall with a jerk back into my chair, like I’ve had one of those falling dreams. I open my eyes to find my husband staring at me across the table. ‘You alright?’ He asks.

 

I nod, for a moment unable to place where I am.

 

‘You want another pint of Sneck Lifter?’ He nods at my empty glass. ‘You sucked that one back in nothing flat.’

 

A crack of a cue against a ball on the snooker table and a half-laughed curse in a soft Cumbrian lilt and the world comes back into focus. I am indeed in the Twa Dogs, and my husband and I have come to the Lake District on a holiday. As he heads to the bar for another pint, I rub my eyes and breathe deeply while the world around me comes back into focus.

 

‘I think you dozed off there for a minute, Sweetie,’ he says when he settles back across from me, raising his pint in salute. ‘Were you dreaming?’

 

I nod and gulp back a hefty drink from my pint. ‘Must have been.’

 

‘You look a little pale. Her again?’ he asks.

 

I only nod my response, my eyes locked on the half empty shot glass sitting on the table next to ours, rimmed in icy pink lipstick. ‘She says I work for her.’

 

‘Yeah? Did she give her name,’ he asks.

 

‘No.’ It surprises me to find how relieved I am that she didn’t, and yet, as I sip my beer and stare over at the whiskey glass, I’m sure I already know her name. I’ve known it for a long time. I just never expected to meet her in person. And I certainly never expected to work for her.

 

 

 

 

Don’t Forget In The Flesh, book 1 of Medusa’s Consortium

is on sale through January for 99c/p

 

Buried Pleasures: Meeting the Villain

 

 

In my last post, I introduced you to Samantha Black and Jon, the heroine and hero of Buried Pleasures. The recurring theme of Medusa’s Consortium is that sometimes the monsters are the good guys. Sometimes it’s not so obvious who the bad guys really are, and sometimes … it’s very obvious. Adrian Fox is a villain who is both terrifying and sexy, and there’s little chance of surviving that fatal attraction to him. Here is a little excerpt. Enjoy.

 

Buried Pleasures Blurb:

When Samantha Black shares her sandwich with a dog, his owner, Jon—a homeless man living in the Las Vegas storm tunnels—gives her a poker chip worth a fortune from the exclusive casino, Buried Pleasures. All Sam has to do is cash it in. Sam is in Vegas for one reason only—to get her friend, Evie Holt, away from sinister magician, Darian Fox, who holds her prisoner in an effort to force Sam to perform at his club, Illusions. A neon circus tent of strange and mystical acts, Illusions is one of the biggest draws in Vegas, and he’s hell-bent on including Sam in his disturbing plans.

The shadowy Magda Gardener will do anything to keep Sam from cashing in that chip. She knows that Buried Pleasures is the gate to Hades and cashing in the chip is a one-way ticket across the River Styx, which runs beneath the storm tunnels of Vegas. Jon is really Jack Graves, owner of Buried Pleasures, and Graves is really the god of death, himself, and if things aren’t already confusing enough, he and Magda know what Sam doesn’t. Sam is the last siren. That her song can kill is only the beginning of her story. Jon wants her safe on his side of the River, protected from Fox’s hideous magic. But even Death fears Magda Gardener, who is none other than Medusa, and the gorgon has her own agenda. If Sam is to understand her heritage and win the battle against Darian Fox, not only will she have to trust her heart to Death, but they’ll both have to work for the gorgon, whose connection with Sam runs deeper than any of them could imagine.

 

Buried Pleasures Excerpt in which We Meet Darian Fox

 

 

With a soft clink, he dropped the key in a small ceramic bowl on the dresser, not bothering to lock the door behind him. There was no need now.

He heard the rustle of bedding and a soft female moan before his eyes fully adjusted to the gloom. Then he saw the shape of her, duvet thrown back in spite of the chill, the pale silk of the negligee rising and falling with her anxious breathing. He always asked that they be clothed in white silk. Occasionally there was blood, and the red of blood against white silk made the experience more formal somehow, and it always felt like such an occasion should be formal.

As he became used to the gloom, he could see that she had been well-groomed for the occasion, fully made-up and hair freshly coifed, just as he had requested. It was a condition that wasn’t strictly necessary, but made the whole experience seem a little more ceremonial, a little more festive. After all, presentation was a key ingredient in every good restaurant, wasn’t it? Why should his situation be any different?

“Gabriella, you look exquisite tonight, my darling. I can’t tell you how much I’ve anticipated being with you, having you here in my bed.” He removed his jacket and hung it carefully over a cedar hanger on the back of the door. “Did I not promise you that the time would come when I would invite you into my own home, into my own bed?”

Of course it wasn’t his own bed. He never took them to his bed. He had several other rooms in several other places where he took from them what he needed, though this one was special. This one was for feasting. He carefully undressed by the side of the bed where she would be able to admire his every move. She moaned softly and writhed, not taking her eyes off him, needing him almost as much as he needed her. Almost.

At his leisure, he took in the curves that were still luscious enough to be tempting—the rise of nipples, the dilation of pupils, the rhythmic shifting of hips, all of which he could now make out. Ripe fruit, he thought. She was ripe fruit. The experience was always most ecstatic, always most satisfying, when his chosen had not yet passed her peak, when he had not used her so much that her looks had suffered, nor her hunger for him weakened. He needed her hunger as much as he needed her beauty. The two always went hand-in-hand. He needed her hunger to be her driving force, driving her to him over and over again, until all strength was gone. Most often he controlled his hunger, careful not to allow himself more than what was necessary to survive and thrive.

Tonight, however, he was drained and starving from effort and exhaustion, but from excitement as well, from the knowing that Samantha Black was capable of so much more than even he had anticipated. Tonight he would take deeply from the ripest fruit, take as though it were the first and the last fullness of summer, and Gabriella was just at that point of fullness.

“I’m going to make love to you, darling.” He didn’t even try to disguise his hunger. Anxious anticipation was as much a part of the ritual as savoring the moment, and he wanted her to know how much he hungered for her, how much he needed her. “I’m going to make you come as you have never come before, my sweetheart.” He slid onto the bed next to her, his left hand stroking her soft, dark hair, his right cupping himself, making himself ready. “Would you like that, Gabriella? I know you would, I know how impatient you’ve been.”

There was a soft whimper, and the woman shifted her hips and threw back her head with a little gasp as he slid a thumb across her heavy bottom lip. He was hard, always hard when he hungered. It was a part of the ritual, a part of the consuming, a part of fulfilling his need.

Carefully he slipped down the straps of the negligee so that he could admire the fullness of her breasts. Yes, presentation was so important—ripe cherry nipples against silken white fabric, so succulent, so ready. Her skin was the color of expensive mocha, and for a moment, he took in the feast for the eyes waiting for him. Then he cupped her sex, and she arched up, her eyelids fluttering beneath lush, dark lashes so perfectly made up, so perfectly prepared to meet her lover.

La petite mort,” he said. “It’s what we all long for, isn’t it, my sweetheart? Over and over and over again, we long for it. It’s what we dream about in the darkest hours of the night. It’s what we wake up longing for, goosefleshed, slick and heavy with need from those elusive dreams of perfect love, perfect union, perfect dissolving of the self into the other. Oh, my beauty,” he slid a hand between her thighs, and her tongue flicked over her lip in concentration, in anticipation, “I’ve kept you waiting too long. I do apologize. La petite mort is a small gift for a long wait. So tonight, my dearest girl, I shall give you something far grander than the little death. And our joining, our perfect dissolving into one another, will be beyond anything you could ever imagine.”

He positioned himself above her and she opened to him, rising up to meet him in gasps and groans and whimpers that neared desperation. Oh yes, he would give her so much more than la petite mort, and then, in the instant when her body dissolved in pleasure, he would take it all back, all of it and so much more.

There was breath and then there was blood, and there was the life force coursing through the beautiful Gabriella. That life force entered his body through sex, through making love. And truly he did make love, for the gift that the beautiful creature writhing beneath him, no longer strong enough to keep her legs grasped around his waist, was giving him was worthy of lovemaking. The taking of the life force in such a way was sex raised above and beyond ecstasy. He seldom partook to the end. He usually made it last for months, sometimes even years, depending on how powerful the life force was.

But Gabriella had no particular power, nothing but her exquisite beauty to linger on. He saw such as her as fast food, really, a needed energy boost in desperate times, and this was one of those times. Her sacrifice would ensure that he was focused and ready for whatever obstacles Graves could throw in his way where Samantha Black was concerned, because he would have her. He had to have her.

The woman beneath him shuddered with release, and he took her mouth more fully, swallowing back the harshness of her breath to blend with his own, teasing him to join in her ecstasy. She would climax over and over, and that would be her final memory. She would come to her death in rapturous pleasure, and she would not even feel that moment when all of her breath, all of her life force, all of her power, passed to him, and the darkness took her.

Her eyelids fluttered again and again, for now she truly had not the energy left for more than the flutter of eyelids above huge, dark eyes. Even the quiver low in her loins had transferred itself to him, and he felt her orgasms as though they were his own, as though through the breath, through the coupling, he had become her and she him. He had taken her into himself as she had him into her, so open, so inviting, so willing.

“You see,” he whispered against the seashell hollow of her unhearing ear, “I have given you so much more than la petite mort, just as I promised, darling. So much more for both of us.”

The sharp burning in his side came before he could fully disengage, and his focus had been such that he would hardly have noticed if the penthouse had collapsed around his ears. At this vulnerable time he depended upon the well-trained guards who watched outside his door. He was unable to defend himself, for at least those last powerful moments, and he never took risks where his person was concerned. It had to be such for his needs to be accomplished.

In this position of vulnerability, of ecstatic consumption of the last of Gabriella’s beautiful life force, he had not noticed the door quietly open, nor had he noticed Evie’s silent entrance. He would have noticed nothing until the burning in his side, and the warm flow of blood that was his own brought him back to himself, as Evie raised the knife a second time and plunged it with a wild, animal growl. “Get off her, you bastard! Get off!”

And he did as she asked, cupping his hand against his wounded side, the pain still far off, kept at bay by the ecstatic remains of his feasting. As the knife came down a second time, instinctually he grabbed her wrist, surprised at her strength considering how he had taken from her earlier, but then, it really didn’t matter, did it? No strength would be enough, not now.

He pulled her to him, the knife dropping silently onto the white carpet, his blood falling like rose petals at his feet. “Oh, Evie,” he whispered against her ear, his head still buzzing from the golden life force he’d taken, his cock still hard with the lust for the power enveloped in flesh, his limbs still tingling with the flow of it through his veins, even as it drained away through the vicious wound, “my dearest girl, I very much wish you hadn’t done that. It’s such a waste of a very delicious life.”

 

 

Buried Pleasures Available for Pre-Order

 

 

 With Blindsided just hot off the presses, I can’t tell you how excited I am to inform you that Buried Pleasures, book three of Medusa’s Consortium, is now available for pre-order.

 

 

Guarantee you’ll get the first read when Buried Pleasure continues the story of Magda and her gang in Vegas. And wow, the woman has one helluva gang in Sin City. It’s a good thing, because she’s going to need all the help she can get, and so is Samantha ‘Sam’ Black, the last siren.

 

 

Buried Pleasures Blurb:

When Samantha Black shares her sandwich with a dog, his owner, Jon—a homeless man living in the Las Vegas storm tunnels, gives her a poker chip worth a fortune from the exclusive casino, Buried Pleasures. All Sam has to do is cash it in. Sam is in Vegas for one reason only, to get her friend, Evie Holt, away from sinister magician, Darian Fox, who holds her prisoner in an effort to force Sam to perform at his club, Illusions. A neon circus tent of strange and mystical acts, Illusions is one of the biggest draws in Vegas, and he’s hell-bent on including Sam on his more than slightly sinister program.

The shadowy Magda Gardener will do anything to keep Sam from cashing in that chip. She knows that Buried Pleasures is the gate to Hades and cashing in the chip is a one-way ticket across the River Styx, which runs beneath the storm tunnels of Vegas.

 

 

Coming 9th January 2018 – available for pre-order now!

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A Different Kind of Magic — Buried Pleasures Excerpt:

She opened the piano and ran her fingers carefully over the cool ivory. The buzz of the long familiar, and yet ever mysterious, magic climbed her spine with the effervescing tingle that was always there in the presence of potential music. Jon, who had returned to her side, pulled the padded bench out for her, and she slipped onto it letting both hands arch delicately against the keys, barely making contact. The cloak she’d nearly forgotten she wore, slid down her arms to cover the backs of her hands, but before she could shrug it back, Jon moved behind her and undid the clasp at her throat, easing it off her shoulders to pool on the bench around her.

His touch was a different kind of magic. It sent a cascade of goose flesh over her clavicle down the tops of her breasts, and the tight gasp that escaped her lips was almost, but not quite a sob. Above the keys she flexed her fingers. Behind her, heat radiated off Jon’s body. His breath was warm against her nape. Then he leaned down and spoke close to her ear. “Sing for me, Samantha. I need you to sing for me.”

She withdrew her hands as though the keys were suddenly on fire and clenched them tightly in her lap. “I can’t. You saw what I did to those men, and when I sing I see things, things I shouldn’t know, things I don’t want to know. I … I invade peoples’
private space. I don’t mean to,” she added quickly, “but it happens, and I can’t help it, and the music takes over and I can’t stop until it’s finished no matter how badly I want to, and … I don’t want to do that to you.”

He stepped closer until the tense muscles of his thighs warmed her back, until the shape of him pressed against her almost as it had in his bed. But she was so much more conscious of it now, so much more conscious of the depth of what he desired from her, of her own desire to give it to him, to give him what she’d never been able to give anyone.

He slid strong fingers down across her neck, over her pulse point, which hammered and jerked beneath his touch. Then he cupped her cheek with a rough palm and pressed her back against his belly.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” she managed around a struggle to breathe. “I never wanted to hurt anyone. When it’s good, it’s the most amazing thing ever. Believe me, I would gladly share that with you, but when it all goes wrong …” Her eyes misted at the thought of all that she’d had to keep hidden to protect the people around her.

He leaned over her and took her clenched hands into his. “You won’t hurt me, and it will be good, I promise.” Then he brought her fists to his lips and kissed her knuckles, easing her fingers open one by one as he did so. “You’re a siren, Samantha. That’s why you can do what you can do. Your music is your power and you can control it.”

 

 

If you haven’t yet read In The Flesh, Book One of Medusa’s Consortium, nows your chance to get it FREE!

 

 

The lovely Victoria DeLuis has invited an amazing bunch of Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy authors in for this wonderful giveaway. She was kind enough to include yours truly. She has invited us to take iveaway for the whole month of October. I’ve included In The Flesh, book one of my Mesdusa’s Consortium series.

Follow the link below and you’ll find over SEVENTY fabulous FREE reads, featuring novels, novellas, and previews. So if you love UF and PNR as much as I do, browse through the covers, and then click to download the book from Amazon, InstaFreebie or BookFunnel

 

It’s like trick-or-treat candy for lovers of UF/PNR. So go ahead, indulge! Better than chocolate and calorie free!

 

Here is the page link: http://victoriadeluis.com/promo/


 

 

 

Another Visit to Vegas & a New WIP

S6302679I’m taking you back to Vegas today. Not that you weren’t expecting it, right? I take you there every chance I get. I thought I’d take you there on a warm summer evening, and not to one of the better parts of town, but to someplace a lot more dangerous. My new Work In Progress, Buried Pleasures, follows the adventures of Samantha Black, a woman with a talent everyone is after. Samantha is not in Vegas for the glitz and the glam. Sam has come to get her friend, Evie Holt, out of a very bad situation, a task that could very well get her killed or worse. Enjoy the beginning of this paranormal romance!

Buried Pleasures

He was the biggest damn dog Sam had ever seen, and she’d nearly jumped out of her skin when he slipped out of the growing evening gloom and rubbed up against her hip nudging the remains of her peanut butter sandwich with a cold nose. ‘Hey you! That’s my lunch.’ And her breakfast too, she thought. In fact it would be her last meal until she made enough in tips tonight to buy something else. The dog plopped down on his enormous haunches in front of her, effectively blocking further progress unless she wanted to wrestle him out of the way, which she figured was a losing proposition. He offered a small whine, and what she could have sworn was a smile. Then he licked his chops with an enormous pink tongue, the large golden eyes locked on her sandwich. If this hadn’t been Las Vegas, if she’d been in the wilds of Wyoming of Montana, she would have sworn the beast was a wolf instead of a dog, and that he was about to call out the rest of his pack to help him bring down dinner that involved a whole lot more than a partially eaten peanut butter sandwich. Though she figured said dinner would be a bit on the under-fed side at the moment. But the dog made no threatening moves. She’d seen him before, seen him dozing in the sun next to a homeless man who often settled in the shade near the storm tunnel.

Come to think of it though, it was the man who’d always drawn her attention rather than the dog. He was big enough and looked dangerous, big enough to be a woodsman with a wolf dog. But though it was more than his size that always drew her eye when she walked past the entrances to the tunnel, it wasn’t anything she could really put her finger on. She never looked directly at him, because for some really stupid reason, to do so felt dangerous. Besides, she always felt like he was watching her. Though he never was. If anything he seemed to be watching everything, like he was taking it all in. And she was a part of what he took in. Somehow just being in the man’s vicinity made her feel, well exposed – not like he was a stalking her, but like he knew her, like he could see her secrets. Like he could see everybody’s secrets. She shivered. This whole nasty situation with Darian Fox and Evie had left her suspicious and feeling as though there were threats around every corner. But then there were, weren’t there? Why couldn’t she make Evie see that?

Her stomach growled. The dog whined and licked his chops, and she was brought back to the present moment. Frankly she found the dog’s company the most pleasant she’d experienced since her reluctant arrival in Vegas. Christ! Had it really been two months ago? ‘Time flies when you’re having fun,’ she growled under her breath. She reached out and scratched the animal’s ruff feeling strangely comforted by the feel of thick fir. She wondered how he handled the heat in July and August. It hadn’t entered her mind that he could practically bite her whole arm of in lieu of the peanut butter sandwich if he chose too, though he seemed fairly well mannered at the moment. He’d never shown any inclination to be friendly to her, or any interest in her at all when she’d walked by here before, but then again, she’d not been eating a peanut butter sandwich before. Golden eyes shifted from the sandwich to her face and back. He whined again and offered her an open-mouthed yawn sporting teeth like daggers, then his tongue lolled out the side of his mouth in a relaxed, but attentive pant, and he inched closer, eyes still locked on the sandwich.

She sighed and her stomach growled again. ‘God I’m so gullible! But only with animals,’ she added as he inched his way closer. ‘People, I know better than to trust. Especially in Vegas.’ The dog cocked his head, as though he understood every word, and he very well might, she thought. ‘Well, I suppose I could stand to lose another few pounds.’ She tore a corner off the sandwich, and stuffed it in her mouth savoring the last of her very scant meal. Then, as the dog inched forward again, she handed him the rest of the sandwich. He took it from her almost daintily before it disappeared down his gullet in a single gulp. He offered another whine and a little woof of a bark. ‘Sorry Bud. There isn’t anymore,’ she said, stroking an enormous soft ear. ‘But if tips are good tonight, I’ll bring you a Big Mac tomorrow. How would that be?’

‘Leave off the special sauce if you do. It makes him fart, and I have to sleep with the mutt.’

With a little yelp of her own, she turned to find the dog’s master towering over her. She stepped back, in danger of falling on the dog, who gave an indignant woof, which she wasn’t sure was from her nearly landing on him or from his owner’s lack of discretion in discussing his digestion. Either way if the man hadn’t caught her by the arm with a large hand she would have flattened the poor pooch.

The man was big and rugged like the dog, she thought, as he slid an arm around her waist and pulled her away from the beast, swiftly enough that she realized with a start that he didn’t trust the dog with her. For a second she tensed and her skin prickled. But it wasn’t the dog she feared at all. She trusted him almost instantly and she knew the feeling was mutual, peanut butter or not. She wasn’t keen on being touched by people she knew well, let alone strangers, and this man made her knees weak from a distance, let alone up close and personal. Before she could panic, she was engulfed in the scent of juniper and wood smoke and dry desert heat. Perhaps it was the desire to sniff again that relaxed her, that made her forget that she could be in real danger, but before she had time to really consider her safety, he settled her onto her feet and stepped back. ‘Excuse me. I didn’t mean to startle you. It’s just that Gus isn’t usually great with people.’ The dog scooted forward and sniffed her fingers with a cool nose, then looked up at the man as though he wondered what the hell the problem was.

‘It’s fine. I’m all right,’ she managed without sounding too disconcerted. ‘I just wasn’t expecting company for lunch.’P1010641

The man offered her a smile that made her stomach bottom and, for a tiny moment, made her feel like there was nothing solid beneath her feet. Then everything righted itself and settled around her again. ‘And Gus wasn’t expecting to be invited to lunch with such charming company,’ he said. ‘The mutt’s a bit of a mooch.’

The man wore faded fatigues –patched and threadbare in a couple of places – along with heavy-duty biker boots that were scuffed and well worn. But the clothes didn’t hang on him like clothes often did on the homeless people who sheltered here. He filled them out. In fact he filled them out way too nicely for a man with whom regular meals were not guaranteed.

‘I’m just glad he was happy with peanut butter and didn’t find it necessary to have a bit more protein with his meal.’ She wriggled her fingers, and the man chuckled, and held her gaze with startling eyes that were winter storm grey and not clouded by drugs – not that she would know much about that sort of thing. His hair was dark and mussed and the stubble on his face made him look tragic and romantic, if more than a little bit dangerous. She forced herself not to look away. ‘I’m sorry. I don’t have anything else.’ She flushed in a wave of embarrassment. ‘Believe me, I really don’t.’ She suddenly found herself fighting back tears and lowered her gaze. He had no idea, she thought. There wasn’t even any change left in the bottom of her bag. She’d rounded up all of that and the few pennies she found down behind the cushions of the couch to buy a loaf of bread and the peanut butter. Even if he decided to steal her bag, fat lot of good it would do him. Even the phone was a worthless pay as you go job with barely enough time on it to call 911 in an emergency. Truth was he could easily take from her whatever he wanted. He could even take her if he wanted, and there would be nothing she could do, certainly no one would miss her. She should have been scared, she supposed, after all she knew very well that the storm tunnels could be dangerous places, but she was just too damn tired to care. She could feel his gaze move over her. It made her feel giddy and flushed and … strangely naked, but not like he was leering, more like he could … well just like he could see things.

‘I know,’ he said softly. ‘I know what you have.’ He curled a finger beneath her chin and lifted her head so their eyes met again, and the prickle of her skin returned, but this time she felt as though she were suddenly bathed in champagne bubbles, suddenly falling into the storm blizzard depths of his eyes, suddenly unable to catch enough breath. ‘I have something for you, though.’ He stepped back, sliding his hand down her arm to curl his fingers around her wrist. Then just before the strength of his grip, the power it transmitted could panic her, he took her hand and folded something into her palm. Then he whispered against her ear, ‘Gus’ll be looking forward to his Big Mac.’

She blinked and caught her breath. Did he say that, or did she just imagine it. But he had already turned, given a soft whistle, and the dog followed him into the maw of the tunnel. She watched them for as long as her eyes could see shape and movement before the blackness swallowed them up. Then she looked down in her clenched fist and opened her fingers. There was just enough light left in the evening sky that she could make out the words Buried Pleasures engraved on both sides of a poker chip. How the hell did a homeless man get a poker chip from a place like that, she wondered. She turned it over in her hand a couple of times squinting in the low light, but it seemed genuine enough. Then she shrugged, dropped it in her bag and headed for the casino, picking up her pace so she wouldn’t be late for her shift. It was a helluva walk from her apartment to the 6 Spot, and she always tried to make it before it got too dark. Not only was it a long walk, but it took her through areas that were not the safest places for a stroll. On top of that, she was in danger of being late, thanks to her encounter with Gus and his owner. She’d made enough money busking yesterday to pay the rent, but not enough to put gas in the car.

She didn’t feel good about the busking. Vegas was way too small. It would be too easy for her to draw attention, and she especially didn’t want to draw Darian Fox’s attention again. On the other hand, she didn’t feel good about joining the homeless man and his dog in the tunnels if she got kicked out of her apartment either. If the city were bigger, another day, maybe two of busking and she’d have made enough money to give her at least a bit of a cushion, but she couldn’t risk it. Word got round, even when she downplayed her abilities, which she always did. Not for the first time she resented the hell out of Evie’s little rich girl naiveté, and not for the first time she wondered why she didn’t just call Evie’s father and let him come and sort her out. How the hell did she get mixed up in this mess to begin with? But she was expendable, right? She was a nobody, not an heiress wanting to thumb her nose at daddy by trying out life on the wild side.

S6304352She heaved a sigh and picked up her pace again. She was just feeling sorry for herself. She was just tired. Evie was her friend, and she knew damn well that if the shoe were on the other foot and she were the one acting like an idiot with Darian Fox, Evie would move heaven and hell to get her out of a bad situation.

She picked up her pace yet again, telling herself dryly that she would be able to take up competitive race walking if she went a few more days with no gas money. That would beat the hell out of her job as a cocktail waitress. True, it was a shit job, but right now beggars couldn’t be choosers. While she could make good money busking, even maybe find a job at a piano bar someplace, she knew that wasn’t safe, but she had to have some money if she were going to survive until she could get Evie away from that bastard, Fox. And that meant stuffing herself into the tiny spandex excuse for a uniform and letting the half-drunk partiers at the Black Jack tables ogle her while she delivered their watered-down drinks because, what were friends for, right?

 

February News :The Mount Box Set Now Available, Body Temperature & Rising FREE, & A New Blog Serial Coming Up Soon

Lakeland Witches 1 BTR

Happy Valentine’s Day, Lovelies! Wishing you hearts and flowers, chocolate and fizz and lots and lots of great sexy reads!

February is the month for hearts and flowers and sexy stuff – lots of sexy stuff. And a good bit of the yummiest sexy stuff is FREE! So get ready to take down links and put dates in your calendar because free sexy reads is my Valentine’s gift to you.

FREE NOVEL!

Throughout the month of February my sizzling and chilling paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, is FREE to download. Body Temperature and Rising is Book One of The Lakeland Witches Trilogy, and a part of the Lakeland Witches World of stories, which includes my serial novella, Demon Interrupted, available as a free read on my blog. Happy, sexy, paranormal Valentine’s Day, Lovelies. Let the Lakeland Witches of the Elemental Coven instruct you in a little sex magic.

NEW SERIAL: Buried Pleasures

When you’ve downloaded Body Temperature and Rising and enjoyed a sexy paranormal fix in the Lake District, when you’ve spent some quality time on my blog reading Demon Interrupted, you’ll be primed and ready for a brand new serial.

Next Saturday I’ll be posting the beginning of a brand new series called Buried Pleasures. Buried Pleasures is set in Las Vegas. Beneath the glam and glitz of Sin City, something dark and sexy is happening, and it all begins when down on her luck cocktail waitress, Tilly Evans takes a job working for the mysterious Mr Graves at the exclusive casino, Buried Pleasures, where she quickly learns that nothing is as it
seems, least of all Mr Graves.

 

The Mount Series is now a Box Set!

Mount 3 book bundle

Not free, but a real bargain, All three novels of The Mount Series, The Initiation of Ms Holly, Fulfilling the Contract, and To Rome with Lust, all wrapped up for Valentine’s Day in one sizzling hot bundle!

Rita Holly’s sexy initiation; the strange contract Nick Chase fulfills for Elsa Crane; Liza Calendar and Paulo Delacour’s formulation of an exclusive perfume derive from the scent of sex – the cult of The Mount is behind them all. Shrouded in mystery and grounded in sexual exploration, The Mount is world-wide and ancient, its existence known only to its members who keep its secrets from generation to generation. Together for the first time in one volume, the accounts of The Mount in London, Las Vegas and Rome — three novels, three wild romps of lust, sexual largesse and love.

Buy your Box Set Here:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 

Reviews:

The Romance Review“Skillfully written to provide a provocative blend of kinky sex with subtle mystery. Simply put, this book is a page-turner for the erotic reader.” The Romance Reviews

See the full review here

*****

Coffee Time Romance“The Initiation of Ms. Holly is so hot I am still tingling a day after I finished reading this novel. This spicy number will heat you up and keep you fully charged for days to come.” – Coffee Time Romance

See the full review here

*****

“This story had an exciting plot with some twists and turns, a cast of very colorful characters, some angst, a plethora of amazing and erotic sex and lastly a beautiful love story. Rita and Edward went through all kinds of kinky hell to get where they wanted to be….and I loved being on this journey with them! A great first read for me by K.D. Grace. Can not wait to get my hands on the next book in The Mount series, Fulfilling the Contract.” Violet Blue

 

AND DON’T FORGET!

Cariad Christmas 2014 CollectionLOVE UNDER THE MISTLETOE, the Cariad holiday collection that contains my steamy novella, A VALENTINE FOR CHRISTMAS is still FREE through the weekend. If you haven’t downloaded your copy yet, be sure to do so and enjoy Christmas and Valentines Day together.

Love Under the Mistletoe contains four festive treats from some of Accent Press’s best-selling authors, that are guaranteed to warm you up at Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

Christmas For One – Elizabeth Coldwell

A jilted bride discovers just how exciting the single life can be when she goes on her honeymoon alone, and finds herself the object of affection in Hawaii.

Snowed In – Alice Raine

Housecleaner Allie unexpectedly finds herself snowed in with a mysterious man with a secret he refuses to share, and with only each other as company, attraction sparks between them…

The Sharpness of Holly – Demelza Hart

A family Christmas reunites Holly with her estranged sister and her new boyfriend Daniel – but when sparks fly between Holly and the taken older man, can she resist temptation or will it prove a Christmas to be remembered?

A Valentine For Christmas – KD Grace

An anonymous gift-giver brings businessman Gerard Jasper the Christmas he’ll never forget when his present comes dressed in nothing but a red ribbon…

 

So now that you know what’s on the menu for February, I’m going to tempt and titillate you with a little paranormal teaser from Body Temperature and Rising. Enjoy!

*****

Blurb for Body Temperature and Rising: Book one of the Lakeland Witches trilogy (Click here for: Book Two | Book Three)

American transplant to the Lake District, MARIE WARREN, didn’t know she could unleash demons and enflesh ghosts until a voyeuristic encounter on the fells ends in sex with the charming ghost, ANDERSON, and night visits from a demon. To help her cope with her embarrassing and dangerous new abilities, Anderson brings her to the ELEMENTALS, a coven of witches who practice rare sex magic that temporarily allows needy ghosts access to the pleasures of the flesh.

DEACON, the demon Marie has unleashed, holds an ancient grudge against TARA STONE, coven high priestess, and will stop at nothing to destroy all she holds dear. Marie and her landlord, the reluctant young farmer, TIM MERIWETHER, are at the top of his list. Marie and Tim must learn to wield coven magic and the numinous power of their lust to stop Deacon’s bloody rampage before the coven is torn apart and more innocent people die.

 

Body Temperature and Rising Excerpt:

‘Tim, I’m sorry for my terrible behaviour, and the falling asleep.’ Marie found it hard to meet his gaze. ‘That wasn’t me. I would have never been able to sleep under such circumstances.’ She lifted her eyes. ‘I was afraid for you, and to be honest, I was afraid for the Ravenmoor woman too. One minute I was watching with my heart pounding in my chest while she cast the circle and the next you were waking me up.’

She could see the tension along his shoulders that hadn’t been there before, and the hard line of his mouth reminded Valentine 2her of the Cumbrian stone walls always marking the boundaries not to be trespassed upon.

‘I thought of that afterwards,’ he said, seeming to find it equally difficult to meet her gaze. ‘After I’d added my own dose of bad behaviour to the evening.’ He forced a grunt. ‘Mind you, it was just as well you weren’t watching.’

‘Tim,’ she reached over and took his hand. For a second, she thought he would pull away, but instead, he wrapped his fingers around hers. ‘Tim, what happened?’

The blush that rose from the open collar of his shirt up over his cheeks was dark crimson. The muscles of his jaw twitched, and his shoulders got even stiffer. ‘Nothing happened, Marie.’

‘Look Tim I really am sorry that I wasn’t awake to be there for you and that I was so rude to Serina but really…’ Then she got it. ‘Oh. Nothing?’

He shook his head and glared into his coffee cup. ‘I mean she was doing sex magic, for fuck sake, and I’m not shy, but I couldn’t… I tried.’ His hand twitched beneath hers. ‘That’s when she started trying to sell me all her stupid crystals and potions to help my fucking libido. Marie, I swear, nothing like that has ever happened to me before.’

‘Tim, look at me.’ When his eyes met hers, she continued. ‘You’ve felt sex magic before just like I have, and how hard was it to get turned on?’

He huffed out a breath, and raked a hand through his hair. ‘It wasn’t getting turned on that was the problem, it was trying to keep from ripping off my jeans and fucking everything in sight. That was the problem.’ His other hand suddenly went low to his belly. Marie couldn’t help noticing that even the thought of what the ghosts made him feel, what the Elementals made him feel caused an instant bulge against his fly. She forced her attention back to his face, but not before she remembered the silky hard feel of his cock in her hand there in the manger, and her pussy was most definitely sympathetic.

He continued. ‘And that burn, you know what I mean, that burn. At first it hurts like hell until you get used to it. Then is twists and turns and rearranges itself until, I swear, Marie, it feels so damn good, and…’ His voice drifted off. ‘I didn’t feel that. I didn’t feel that at all.’ For a second the two sat in silence as Tim contemplated his observation, then he spoke softly. ‘Okay, so there was no magic. You did warn me that she was a quack, but still, the woman wasn’t exactly unattractive, was she? If I’d met her at a pub and we’d spent an evening together over a few drinks…’

Marie’s hand mirrored Tim’s resting low on her belly, remembering. ‘There was magic, Tim. I remember now. I remember feeling it just before I fell asleep, the burn, and I remember thinking maybe Anderson had come. But then I knew it wasn’t him.’ This time it was her turn to blush. ‘Then I don’t remember anything else until you woke me up.’ She shuddered at the memory of how desolate she felt when she realized it wasn’t Anderson.’

Holding her breath, she leaned forward and laid her hand on the bulge at his crotch, and he sucked air. ‘Tim, if there is magic that makes us horny, don’t you think maybe there could also be magic that makes us, you know, not able to.’

He placed his hand on hers, and rocked his hips forward into her touch, and his eyelids fluttered. ‘I think it’s a theory worth investigating, and we do have unfinished business, don’t we?’

She lowered herself to the floor onto her knees in front of him and the room was awash in heavy breathing as she undidDemon Interrupted Cover his fly, a bit more awkwardly than she intended, and before the zipper was down, the heavy weight of his erection shove forward into her hand. She offered a throaty chuckle. ‘Tim Meriwether, a commando boy, who’da thought.’

‘Missed laundry day,’ he breathed. ‘You know with everything going on.’

‘Makes it easier for me,’ she sighed, leaning forward to take him into her mouth.’

‘Oh god,’ he gasped and curled his fingers in her hair. ‘Oh god, Marie.’

For a deliciously endless moment, the only sound other than her wet ministrings to his cock was their heavy breathing and the slight protests of the wooden chair as Tim braced and ground against it. The tightly controlled shifting of Tim’s hips made deep-throating him a pleasure, so much so, in fact, that she fumbled with her own fly and slid her fingers down inside the cut-offs, bucking against her hand with the first shiver of delight as she parted her wet folds.

‘You can’t keep that to yourself,’ Tim managed between laboured breaths. ‘I want to see. I want to taste.’

She ploughed two fingers deep into her slick vulva, then eased them free, glistening and creamy with her juices. Shifting only enough that she could see his face well, she lifted her fingers to his mouth.

His cock surged as he pulled them between his lips with a hungry slurp. He made almost the same kind of sound he’d made over the breakfast she’d cooked, only deeper, so deep she could feel the vibration of his moans down his body clear into his cock. And his tongue, my god what the man could do with his tongue even just on her fingers made her gasp, made her pussy let down a fresh flood.

‘You can’t keep such sweetness from me, woman,’ he pulled away from her. ‘Now that I’ve tasted you, I want all of you.’ With the same animal power he had used to heft the bags of grain into the barn, he lifted her until her ass rested firmly on the oak table, then he pushed her back with one hand, kissing his way over her still clothed breasts and down her belly to where the humid heat of his lips and tongue conspired with his nimble fingers, pushing and pressing and rootling until her shorts and knickers were down over her hips. As she lifted her bottom so he could shimmy them off, his mouth kept on target right down over her mons to linger for a tonguing and suckling of her clit, which caused her to make sounds not unlike the contented grunts of Tim’s mare.

Then he went deep, as though he were searching for buried treasure and he knew exactly where to look. Cupping her buttocks to him, he tongued and slurped and suckled her swollen lips, returning to the nib of her clit to stoke the flames that had become a full-fledged inferno. Then the middle finger of one hand sought out her anus, already wet from the delicious mix of her juices and his saliva dripping down over her perineum. He plunged it deep, judging perfectly the results, which with just the right nip on her clit, sent her writhing into orgasm.

Then he pulled away, face dewed with her heat. With one shove of his hand, his jeans were around his knees, and he pushed into her grudging pussy with a growl so feral that she gushed again and responded with her own growls and grunts. She wrapped her legs around him, locking her ankles until he was bear-hugged between her thighs. She met him thrust for frenzied thrust, until the whole world and every conscious thought that existed in it centred around his cock in her cunt. Nothing else existed, nothing else mattered.

She screamed her next orgasm until her throat was raw, and he grunted next to her ear. ‘Jesus, Marie, I have to come. Now!’ And he did. She felt him, felt the core of him as he emptied himself into her over and over again there on the kitchen table.

They managed to make it to the bed for round two.

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Reviews

“I am a huge fan of K.D. Grace’s explicit, well-crafted writing (I’ve selected and published her work in multi-author “Best” collections), and this novel did not disappoint me. It’s the first of a hardcore paranormal trilogy, and many readers think it is her best work to date.” Violet Blue

*****

“Body Temperature and Rising is my favourite of K D Grace’s books so far… So if you’re looking for a well-written, pacy and smokin’ hot paranormal romp, I’d point you towards this book. One warning, though. As soon as you’ve read it, you’ll want to read the next book immediately. I know I do!” 5 out of 5, Erotica For All

*****

“This is powerful, sexy writing from the extremely competent K D Grace. The story contains a compelling narrative. And all of it is set in the most beautiful scenery in the natural world. You really will love this book.” Erotica Readers & Writers Association

*****

“The plot definitely engaged me. It’s a series of one intriguing revelation after another, and one steamy interlude leading into another. Ms. Grace gives the reader a complex story of ghosts, witches and sex magic that I enjoyed and I think you will too.” 4.5 out of 5, Dark Haven Book Reviews

*****

“This well-written, full-length erotic novel comes from the pen of well-established writer K. D. Grace… easily one of the best books I’ve read!” Jade Magazine

*****

“For the love of all things steamy, this is one HOT read. Steamy, sexy and some other words that start with S and mean hot things, Body Temperature and Rising is definitely a wild ride. If you don’t like the sexy, stay out of the sex coven.” Reading the Paranormal

 

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