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Demon Interrupted Holiday Marathon

Demon Interrupted CoverThe Holiday Season is the season for TV and film marathons. Who doesn’t like to sit in front of the telly with a bowl of popcorn, their fave drink and totally veg out over blissful hours of  telly favourites? The holidays are also the time when we love to curl up with a good read. With that in mind, I thought it was an excellent time for a marathon reading of my paranormal erotic novella, Demon Interrupted, which I wrote and ran as a serial on my blog over six months earlier this year. BUT at that time, I could only manage an episode every three weeks, so I thought it would be fun to make it more easily accessible.

For those of you who don’t know, Demon Interrupted is a Lakeland Witches spin-off story set in the fabulous landscape of the Lake District with the witches of the Elemental Coven. With the completion of Elemental Fire, I left my witches with so many stories untold, and they left me with so many mysteries I wanted to know the answer to that I felt compelled to return.

Starting today, for the next nine days I’ll be running a sizzling, chilling instalment of Demon Interrupted for your reading pleasure.  Today I’d like to share with you chapter 1 and 2 of Demon Interrupted.  I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it. Thanks for joining for this Work in Progress.  And if you want to know more about the Elemental Coven’s sexy adventures, check out the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy: Body Temperature and RisingRiding the Ether and Elemental Fire. Enjoy!


  Perchance to Dream

Chapter 1

In a room full of people Ferris could remain totally unnoticed. It was almost as though he were invisible. He heard things that way, saw things that others missed. Fiori suspected that was part of his magic. However, at the moment, he was completely and totally the centre of her attention as his warm, wet tongue teased its way down and around the pucker peaks and the rapid rise and fall of her breasts. One splayed hand cupped and fondled her tight pubic curls while the other worried open his fly. What he was doing to her body was also a part of his magic and way more of a surprise, considering the man’s unassuming nature, than his ability to blend in.

She writhed beneath him totally naked, just as she had been when he entered her room, gently easing her out of a bad dream, back into the Waking World, and into his arms. She didn’t know where he’d been before he came to her. The man seldom slept — and him not even a ghost. He might have adjourned to the library after the rest of the house had entered the Dream World, or perhaps he had been in Skye’s bed sharing pleasure with her and Alice. He was generous with his affections. But then he’d hardly fit in at Elemental Cottage if he were otherwise.

How he had known she was having the dream again? How had he known about the dream at all? And yet he did, and she was glad that he came to her. ‘Sh! sh. It’s only a dream, Fiori,’ he whispered. ‘Only a dream.’ He’d brought her a glass of water from the bathroom and had returned with a soft white towel. While she drank as though she had just traversed the desert, he gently wiped the perspiration from her face and her shoulders. Then he took the glass away and moved the soft terrycloth knap in slow lazy circles down her back and her ribs as she slid into his arms, laying her head against his shoulder.

‘Do you want me to stay with you?’ he asked.

She only nodded, tightening her arms around his neck.

His black shirt was open and untucked and his nipples hardened as she slid her arms inside and up his back.

Lakeland Witches 1 BTR‘Do you want me to make love to you?’ He asked it as simply as a parent would ask a child if she would like a bedtime story. He asked it because he knew in a house where sex magic was practiced, healing came in the form of passion, and she nodded again because she knew that too.  His cock was already hard, but then she had noticed that it often was. In those times when he allowed attention to be drawn to himself, in those times when he made his presence known he neither attempted to hide his erection nor did he attempt to flaunt it. It was the ease and the comfort of which he wore his own masculinity that made him seem like a much larger man than he really was. In spite of his chameleon nature, he was not shy by any means, and his stamina and his finesse made him a welcome edition to the beds of all of the Elemental witches and their consorts.

Impatient for the feel of him freed, she shoved at his trousers, the scrape of the zipper seeming unusually loud in the quiet room. He ran his hand down to aid her as she worried his cock free. He was neither large nor small. Even his cock was nothing unusual to draw attention to itself, and yet there was no one at Elemental Cottage who didn’t relish the thought of Ferris between their legs, of Ferris shifting and grinding as though his unassuming penis had a secret magic all its own once properly sheathed in an appreciative pussy or mouth or arsehole.

His breath caught with a grunt as she fisted the length of him and she could almost feel the ripples of lust rising up the vertebrae of his spine. For a second he wrapped his hand around hers and shifted his hips. Then he pulled her fingers free, kissing each one of them, running his tongue in ticklish strokes over the tips, making her hips rock against the mattress. ‘I’m going to taste you now. I can already smell how good you’ll be.’ With a wriggle of his arse and a shove with his feet he shed his trousers as he crawled down between her thighs, nudging her open with the smoothly shaven wedge of his jaw, clearing the way with nose and lips, teeth and tongue. The humidity of his breath blew across her clit, which rose up in anticipation.

‘There,’ he said, his fingers parting her as agiley and exactingly as if he were a pianist and she were his instrument. For an age he studied her, fingered her, arranged her as though there were only one way, the best way to approach her dark, heavy folds, and he would not partake until he knew exactly what would bring all of her focus, all of her energy, all of her arousal to the very centre of his attention. ‘And now –’ his words were little more than a rush of breath ‘–I’ll give you what you need.’ He took her with his whole mouth, hunched over her like a lion at his prey, the muscles of his shoulders flexed tight, dusted and gilded in moonlight. And she felt the bloom of her arousal like a bud swelling, bursting, opening. Then the bloom became an explosion rising up from someplace suspended above the base of her spine. He held her hips, held her steady with strength his body belied as she bucked against his mouth, as she convulsed, as the moon moved in and out amid the undulation of slate clouds.

In the hazy vision of heat he seemed larger than himself, much larger than himself as though his arousal, their arousal together had released something broader of shoulder, deeper of chest, darker of memory and, as the moon disappeared, the power of him rose like a shadow thick and all-consuming and, somehow, other than himself. The hair on the back of her neck rose. Gooseflesh prickled over her breasts, even as she rocked out her orgasm against his mouth.

But before the tingle of uncertainty and the edge of fear could take hold, the moon reappeared and unassuming Ferris gave her clit on last hard tug with his lips and then rose over her, positioning himself, easing her open with his knees and his hips.

‘I need you in me,’ she said, her voice nearly lost in her struggle for oxygen.

Lakeland Witches 2 RTE‘A need which I share,’ came his urgent reply. It took no more than the tucking of his hips and a single thrust and he was in deep. She was slick and ready for him, gripping him as though she hadn’t just come, as though she were desperate for him to take her. With arms much stronger than they looked, he lifted her legs around his hips and positioned himself so that with each thrust he raked her clit, and she could almost swear that in the stark relief of moonlight and shadow his eyes were onyx black and yet bright, so bright. Even in the glow of a nearly full moon, he road her in the light of an after image that made no sense, and she was reminded that not even Ferris understood his own magic. The closer they both came to orgasm the larger and heavier the after image grew. And the larger the after image, the harder they strained for release. When orgasm broke over them, so did the shadow, consuming them for the briefest of moments and then receding behind their own efforts to recover themselves taking with it Fiori’s urge to speak of it, to question it.

‘Shall I stay with you?’ Ferris asked when they had both calmed enough to speak.

‘If you don’t mind, I’d like that.’

‘There’ll be no more dreams tonight.’ He eased his penis free and sought out the towel again as he slid down under the duvet next to her. ‘But it will perhaps ease your journey back into sleep if you’re not alone.’

‘I don’t need to sleep, you know?’ she said as he settled her into the crook of his arm, her head resting against his chest.

‘And yet even with the nightmare, you still choose to visit the Dream World regularly.’

‘I can’t help it.’ She said. ‘I guess I haven’t been dead long enough to not feel the need. Skye says she no longer misses it, but I still do. I still find the long hours until morning … lonely.’

‘The dreams’ll pass, Fiori, and you’ll heal.’ He shifted to kiss the top of her head. ‘Everyone understands what you did, what you did for Tara, for the whole coven. There was no other choice. You know this.’

‘My head knows it. My heart still has trouble with it. What about you, Ferris? You said you don’t dream.’ She spoke as much to change the subject as because she was truly curious about the man in her bed. ‘Are you incapable of dreaming, or do you simply choose not to?’

‘When I made my pact with Lucia, my ability to visit the Dream World was taken from me.’

‘And now that she’s released you?’

‘After so long in her service, I suppose it’s habit no longer to seek out my dreamscape.’

Fiori felt an involuntary shudder as he spoke, and she pulled him closer. ‘But you’re free now. You’re free to remember all that you were before, and yet you haven’t.’

‘No. I have not.’

For a long moment the silence was filled by only their breathing. Then she raised on her elbow and looked down at him. ‘Don’t you want to know?’

He met her gaze in the darkness and, for an instant, the obsidian shine of his eyes made her feel as though she were falling into them. ‘I made a pact with a demon, Fiori. That our agreement left me to care for and watch over one such as our Cassandra, I shall never regret. But that in our agreement, the demon felt it necessary for me to live in the moment with no memories of my past other than the magic I needed to protect the succubus, I would prefer not to know.’ He shrugged as though anticipating her next question. ‘Lucia has made it clear.  All I have to do is want to know my past and it shall come back to me. But it’s my experience that some things are better left where they’re buried. Now sleep, my darling. I know you don’t need it, but it is your habit. I shall be with you when you wake.’ He pulled her back into his arms and stroked her hair.

Lakeland Witches 3 EFFor a long moment she lay listening to the slow even beat of his heart, suddenly reminded that though he had not the muscle nor the height of Anderson or Tim or Kennet, from the moment he entered her room, from the moment he rescued her from the Dream World, he seemed to dwarf them all. Her heart skipped a beat as she remembered the strange after image that formed around him just before their release. Surely it was just a play of light and shadow in the waxing moon. Surely she was just a little raw around the edges from dreaming about once again being forced to take the life of her beloved high priestess. Everyone was still struggling to recover from Deacon’s final assault. It would take some time to find their feet as a coven family again. But one thing was certain; though Ferris had only been with them for a short time, he had become an asset she could no longer imagine the coven being without.

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Chat with a Demon

Chapter Two 

For a long time Ferris held Fiori settled against his chest. She had fallen almost immediately back into a relaxed sleep. There was no rapid eye movement, so she wasn’t dreaming, but then she wouldn’t be. He knew a little bit of magic that made certain of that. He’d used it occasionally on Cassandra when she was younger and her dreams were particularly bad. He didn’t know how he knew it. He didn’t know how he knew anything really. Not for the first time since Deacon had been defeated he found himself wondering why he didn’t want to know, why it didn’t bother him to live in the present and remain oblivious to a past that gave him gooseflesh whenever he considered unlocking the guarded doors and letting the memories flood back into his mind. He had always assumed that the magic he knew was a gift from Lucia, sent only to help him protect Cassandra. But now he wasn’t so sure. Lucia, like most demons, wasn’t so big on giving gifts as she was exploiting the gifts people already had.

BTR FINAL IMAGEThe moon shown brightly through Fiori’s window and, as though she somehow knew it in her sleep, she pulled away from him and turned so that her lovely face was bathed in it. He contemplated staying there with her in the moonlight, in the delicious scent of their lovemaking. He even contemplated settling into sleep with her, but so many things could happen when one allowed oneself the vulnerable pleasure of sleep. For most of Cassandra’s young life Lucia, a lust demon, and one who knew well the most disturbing journeys of the human soul, had kept him in the safe silence of the dreamless dark. For the longest time he’d thought it was her way of making sure he did as he was told, but Lucia knew too much not to know that he would have never done anything to put Cassandra at risk. She was too precious to him. Perhaps, in the beginning, even that sense of Cassandra’s value had been forced upon him by Lucia, but he hadn’t known the young succubus long before he could have done none other but love her and protect her.

He was not Cassandra’s father, nor was she ever his charge, though he had fervently begged Lucia to allow him to care for her rather than for her to be taken to the orphanage where her grandmother discovered her some time later. He was the caretaker of Cassandra’s estate and nothing more. Lucia often reminded him of that fact, and yet they had both known that his role was something more.

He didn’t know how long he had existed before Cassandra came into his life. He sometimes had the sense that he was very old, and at other times he felt as though he was born the first day he held the infant Cassandra in his arms. He now had the key to discover his truth, so why did he still choose to keep the door firmly locked?

Carefully, he slid out from under the duvet and made sure Fiori was well tucked in, even knowing as he did that no harm from the cold would come to her, not really. She hadn’t drawn breath in almost two years now. Strange, he thought, as he pushed into his clothes, his eyes still locked on the sleeping ghost, who still maintained her physicality so that she could endure, even relish, the torture of the Dream World. Strange that one who was dead should seem so much more alive than he. In truth it was as though he were the ghost that haunted the halls of Elemental Cottage when everyone else rested. And in all honesty, his flesh had only begun to matter to him as more than a vessel to serve Cassandra since his arrival at Elemental Cottage. Flesh, at Elemental Cottage, was a grounding in which powerful magic took place. He rested his hand against his cock through his trousers and felt it stretch to his touch. Imagine his surprise when he found, upon his arrival, that his own flesh once again had desires, that food and drink and sex and flesh against flesh burst, ne fairly exploded, into his perpetual present, and his life became three dimensional for the fist time in his memory.

And flesh, it was an anchor to a family that he thought he’d never have. Even when Cassandra had been his soul purpose, he had exerted no control over her and she had sought no closeness in castlerigg_Stone_Circle1their relationship. He thanked the goddess that at least Lucia hadn’t deemed it necessary for him to live with the open-wound that Cassandra’s constant peregrinations could so easily have left him. No, he had gone about his days in a grey haze of duty that bound him deeply and yet he felt with a distance that eased his empathy at the young succubus’s suffering, yet never lessened his loyalty to her, nor his desire to protect her. For that at least he had been grateful.

He slipped out the door and moved down the hall toward his own suite. Here at Elemental Cottage, he was welcomed for no other reason that the fact that he was here. Periodically he made trips into Surry to check on Cassandra’s estate there until a decision could be made as to the best use of the property. But it was always with a sense of anticipation and pleasure that he returned to the Lake District and to the warmth and camaraderie of Elemental Cottage.

When he reached his suite, he stood for a long moment in front of the closed door, then he turned and headed back down the long hallway past the rooms replete with sleepers traversing the Dream World, sleepers who had only a short while ago made love in honour of the waxing of the moon. The power of sex settled over the house like the moonlight did as he made his way to the staircase and down to the library. The fire was laid in the hearth, as it always was, and once it was lit, he perused the massive shelves for something, anything, that might ease his restlessness. He was looking through a section of old texts on alchemy when he became aware that he was no longer alone. The sudden warmth on his back made him feel as though he stood too close to the fire. In spite of the warmth his arms goose-fleshed and his stomach somersaulted.

‘I can assure you, Ferris, there is nothing upon these shelves that can compare to the paths of knowledge you refuse to traverse.’ In spite of the inviting contralto timbre of the voice, Ferris felt a tremor climb his spine.

Riding the Ether cover image Final - Copy - Copy‘And I can assure you, Lucia –’ he said without looking behind him ‘– the most hideous volumes on these shelves I would fear less to peruse, than those places of which you speak.’

The demon moved in so close to him that if the fire of her had been a physical flame, his back would have been a cinder. As she crowded him against the book-lined shelves, for a moment, he resisted, ignoring the futility of such an effort. For a moment. Then he relaxed and let her invade his inner space. It was only as she exploded into those inner realms that he realized in all the years of her presence, in all the years of her on the edges of his consciousness, she had never come fully into him before. The weight of her, though not physical, was terrible, and he stumbled backward feeling his way to the sofa, gasping for breath as though all of the oxygen had gone from the world, feeling his flesh burn beyond cinder even as everything remained as it was, and yet would never again be the same.

‘You gave me a choice,’ he gasped in a voice that would have been a scream if he could have managed more than a whisper. ‘And I made that choice.’

She pushed in even closer, as if that were possible, and behind his tightly clenched eyelids he saw both the beauty and the horror of her poised closer than his own breath. ‘I gave you a gift.’ Her voice roared like the winds on the high fells. ‘I gave you a gift and I expected you to open it, to look at it, to use it.’

‘I didn’t want it! I still don’t want it! I was happy as I was.’

‘You cannot lie to me, Ferris. You were not happy. You were nothing more than a tool for my use.’ It felt as though she leaned into him and whispered in his ear. ‘And you didn’t fight me when I made you the offer.’ He felt the weight of female curves against him, on top of him, pushing him down onto the sofa, and to his horror, he was aroused, even as he was terrified.

‘I’m fighting you now,’ he said, realising to his horror that the more he struggled the more aroused he became.

‘You may fight if you choose, but it will do you no good. Did you not think that I would reward you for a job well done?’ He felt an invisible hand move against the erection he could scarce believe was there. ‘Did you think that I would leave you with no comfort when your job was done?’

He cried out and arched against stroking and caressing. ‘Cassandra was her own reward. I asked nothing else of you.’

Her laughter climbed his spine like ticklish fingers. Hands ripped at his trousers, buttons popped from his shirt. ‘You don’t know what you asked of me, Ferris, and you don’t know what I demanded of you, or what I denied you. Do you not at least want the option to hate me for all that I took from you? Is that not properly yours to claim?’

He was shocked to discover that his trousers were around his knees and that it was his own hand stroking his cock while the other cupped the heavy weight of his balls. He was embarrassed to find her watching him from the winged back chair next to the hearth, clothed in the robe of fire in which he had always seen her.

‘Everyone here has fought demons, Ferris. Everyone here has suffered great loss. But for you it has all been vicarious, has it not? For you the battle for the Elemental Coven was no more personal than the loyalty you pledged to Cassandra. I have kept you safe, I have kept you distant from yourself for all these years for your own protection and for the protection of that which I hold dear. And now you choose to remain in the empty space I created for you because you think it is there that you will remain safe. I tell you now, Ferris, and I tell you honestly, there is no safety in this place you choose to remain, and if you do not move forward and claim the time that was taken from you, you will suffer for it, ne, not only will you suffer for it, but all those who care for you will suffer as well. And they do care for you, Ferris.’ She spoke with a broad sweep of her arm. ‘They all do.’

There was a loud thud and a woman’s startled gasp, and then there was bruising pain.

‘Ferris! Ferris are you alright?’ From his position face down on the floor, Ferris recognized Fiori’s voice. Opening his eyes, he became aware of her kneeling next to him, naked.

‘I’m fine! I’m fine.’ He pushed himself to a sitting position, then took the hand she offered as she pulled him to her feet. ‘I … fell out of bed?’

Fiori’s laugh was sleepy and warm as she tugged him back under the duvet. ‘You sure you weren’t Elemental Fire cover image finaldreaming, because you seemed to have been carrying on a conversation with someone.’ As he settled back into bed next to her, she straddled him, and with a shift of her hips mounted him, her grip on his erection a tight caress. ‘Something tells me it was a sexy dream.’

That he could be aroused after what had happened would have stunned him if his visitation had been from anyone other than Lucia. But she was a lust demon, and there was no denying her mark on his flesh. ‘No dreams,’ he lied, grinding his butt into the mattress and then arching up to bury his cock deeper in her body, cupping the weight of her full breasts in his hands. ‘Just being in bed with you, that’s all.’ Fortunately, as he moved a hand down to rest against her pubis and thumb her hard clit, she seemed to lose her train of thought, and her tight shifting against his penis eased his own mental processing and brought him back to the calm centre of the present in which he existed, though there was now no denying that he might not be allowed to stay there much longer.

Read the third instalment of Demon Interrupted, Enter the Shadow tomorrow!

 

Fall Leaves, Pumpkin Patches and Scary Movies Perfect for Snuggling? by Nancy Corrigan (@Nancy_Corrigan)

thingsthatgohump300x200The month of October is by all means my favorite month. Where I live in Northeastern United States, the trees are dotted with splashes of color from burnt gold to fiery reds. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and I make sure my family and I do everything possible to get outside and enjoy the foliage. We take trips to the pumpkin patch, go on hayrides, visit the corn maze and the haunted house. But one aspect of fall that signifies the change from warmth to those chilly winter days is the cooler, brisker days. I call these “the first movie days” of the season. They’re the days when it’s absolutely heavenly to snuggle on the couch with a blanket, a loved one or pet, and get lost in another world. I rarely indulge in these days because when I’m not with my family or working, I’m writing, but when I do, they’re extra special. And what does this romance writer like to watch the most? Scary movies, especially ones I’ve seen before. Then they’re not so scary 😉 And if I yank the blanket up to my neck or I bury my face against my husband’s chest, that’s okay too. It’s part of the thrill.

So what are my top movies?

  1. The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock
  2. The Exorcist
  3. Halloween (Slasher movies are one of my favorite types!)
  4. Alien
  5. The Silence of the Lambs
  6. The Omen
  7. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  8. Jaws
  9. Nightmare on Elm Street
  10. The Shining

What about you? Any personal favorites?

 

Mist UnveiledHunter Betrayed

Nancy Corrigan

Wild Hunt, Book 1

Tainted from birth, Harley lives a life cloaked in darkness and temptation. She resists the lure of her evil legacy by holding the memory of her ghostly savior close. Every night without him is agony. She fantasizes about him and yearns for his body, but he’s not the protector or lover she’s envisioned. He’s a Hunter bred to eliminate her kind. He’s also her only hope of salvation.

Calan, the leader of the Wild Hunt, was created to protect mankind from the Unseelie Court. For a millennium, he’s sacrificed to ensure the horrid creatures remain in the Underworld, but his strength wanes. He must rely on his enemy’s daughter to save him, but he doesn’t expect the intensity of their lust or love. Her touch calms his wild nature and ignites his carnal desires. He’ll risk all to save her, but doing so forces him to make the ultimate sacrifice, one that’ll damn him to suffer forever in his own living hell.

Genre: paranormal

Heat: erotic, explicit sex

Length: 65K

Series: Wild Hunt

Excerpt

“You’re alive.”

The low, gravelly voice of her ghost man caressed her as tangibly as it had all those years ago. She dropped her hands and popped her eyelids open. Hovering inches away were the eyes she’d seen in her dreams every night since.

“Oh, god.” She scrambled back and tripped over her bag, landing on her ass.

“Be calm. You’re safe.”

Peace settled over her as if he’d taken her anxiety away with those words. Still, she inched away from those disembodied eyes. Caution had kept her alive in the face of a lifetime of evil. It didn’t matter if she’d felt as if she’d known him for ages. She’d learned early on nothing was as it seemed. Those with the ability to use glamour could create illusions out of thin air.

She settled on bent legs and studied the apparition for a clue as to whether he was a figment of her imagination or not. The oval surrounding the spectral display showed tan skin, ridiculously long lashes and dark eyebrows. Her pulse kicked up but not in fear. Desire fueled it. It was the same reaction she always had when she conjured his eyes—peace and arousal. She ignored the moisture pooling low and focused on the man she’d never thought she’d see again, not outside of her dreams at least.

“You.” She swallowed hard. “It’s you.”

“Yes. It is.” A long moment passed where they held each other’s gazes. Finally, he released a shaky breath she felt skim over her cheek. She pressed her palm to the sensitive skin to hold the warmth close. “You never returned to me.”

She’d tried. Raul had stopped her. She’d escaped a near rape at his hands by stabbing him but afterwards she hadn’t been quite…right. It was as if his touch had dirtied her.

She wrapped her arms tight around her chest and pushed the memory away. “I ran just like you told me to.”

“I also told you to come back. You promised you would.”

Guilt choked her for breaking her vow too. She looked away.  “Yes, I did.”

The feather light stroke of his fingertips along her cheek quickened her breaths. Her body reacted to the simple caress as if he’d touched her intimately. Her breasts pebbled and warmth pooled low.

“No matter. I’m glad you finally did. I need your help.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You remember all the knowledge I shared with you, correct?”

She remembered. He’d forced information into her brain she hadn’t known what to do with. Within one heartbeat and the next, she’d learned everything she’d needed to know about how to avoid falling victim to the redcaps and sluaghs. He’d also implanted a compulsion to have an obsidian blade made that had become her constant accessory. She never left the house without it. It was the only thing that could kill the fairies’ creatures.

She forced herself to nod. “Yeah, you saved my life.”

“I thank the gods for that, little female. I was right about you. You are the key.”

“The key to what?”

“You will be the one who will unlock me from my prison and allow the Wild Hunt to ride again.”

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Add to your Goodreads TBR list! Hunter Betrayed

 

NancyCorriganLogoSmallforWebAuthor Bio

Nancy Corrigan believes in unending love and epic tales with a paranormal flare. She enjoys transcending the boundaries of reality to take her readers on a passionate, emotional and romantic journey.

She’s also a mother of three and a wife to a very patient husband who doesn’t mind reminding her to eat and sleep. Her other interests include tattoos, animals, classic cars and all things spooky and sexy.

 

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*****

GIVEAWAY!

Please note, there are two separate giveaways on this post – one is Nancy’s own giveaway, and one is an event-wide giveaway.

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The 6th Instalment of Demon Interrupted: A Lakeland Witches Story

Demon Interrupted Image by KevI’m very happy to offer the sixth instalment of  Demon Interrupted, a new story from the Elemental Coven that will be unfolding in its entirety right here on A Hopeful Romantic over the next few months.

The Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy left so many stories untold and so many fun places in the lives of the Elemental Coven yet to be explored, that a serial seemed like the ideal way to share more of the coven’s adventure. With a coven that specialises in sex magic, it’s not only exciting to revisit my witches at Elemental Cottage, but it’s sizzling hot. Here are the links to the previous episodes in case you missed them:

 

Chapter 1 Demon Interrupted: Perchance to Dream.

Chapter 2 Demon Interrupted: A Chat with a Demon

Chapter 3 Demon Interrupted: Enter the Shadows

Chapter 4 Demon Interrupted: Dark Chrysalis

Chapter 5 Demon Interrupted: The Empty Spaces in Between

Enjoy Chapter Six, and thanks for joining the fun with this Work in Progress.  If you want to know more about the Elemental Coven’s sexy adventures, check out the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy: Body Temperature and RisingRiding the Ether and Elemental Fire. Enjoy!

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Chapter 6 Demon Interrupted

Beneath the Weight of Shadow

‘I will go after the shadow and the ghost.’ Anderson helped Cassandra to her feet and moved to cut a door in the circle.

‘Not by yourself,’ Tara ordered. ‘We don’t know what this thing is. And Cassandra, you stay here,’ she called as the succubus joined him. ‘We need someone non-corporeal. Take Fiori.’

Anderson nodded his agreement, paused only long enough to brush a quick kiss across Cassandra’s lips then he and Fiori vanished from the circle.

‘Lucia? What’s going on,’ Tara called out as she scrambled to where Cassandra already knelt next to Ferris with his head in her lap.

‘He’s freezing, Cassandra said, pulling his robe over him and then reaching for a blanket at the foot of the sleeping pallet. She looked up at the coven leader as the others gathered around. ‘He’s not responding at all.’

‘Is he in the Ether,’ Tim asked. ‘Is that possible?’

The succubus shook her head. ‘He has no skills in the Ether, and no ability to go there unconsciously that I know of.’

Skye, who was trained in healing arts and had some skills in first aid, moved to his side and laid her fingers against his throat. ‘His pulse is faint, thready. Whatever that was –’ she nodded toward the cave entrance ‘– it came from inside him. Almost like it belonged there.’

‘Or like it didn’t,’ Tim said.

‘Goddamn it, Lucia, I need you,’ Tara yelled into the empty air, ‘Where’s the damned demon when you want her?’

‘She’s not known for being cooperative,’ Kennet said. He took a bottle of water from one of the rucksacks and handed it to Alice, who hunched trembling in the corner. ‘What happened?’ He sat next to her and pulled a Mackenzie tartan around her shoulders.

‘At first, I thought it was just a shadow,’ Alice said. She took a sip of water and wiped her eyes with a hand that was still none too steady. ‘It was like all of a sudden Ferris got … bigger … all over, and I don’t know why I didn’t think about it. I don’t know why it didn’t seem strange. It was so intense, so solid, nothing at all like shadow. And then when I … when I came, I knew. I could tell that whatever it was, it had taken with it Ferris’s essence.’ She shivered. ‘I’m sorry I panicked.’

‘You have nothing to be sorry for,’ Kennet said. ‘You had good cause.’

‘Cassandra, do you know anything about this? Has anything like this ever happened before,’ Tara asked. ‘You’ve known Ferris most of your life.’

She shook her head. ‘I knew Ferris possessed some magic, but honestly, until we came here, I’d never seen him use any of it. He was always there, but until we came here, I never really noticed him. Until we came here, he was … I don’t know. He was always there when I needed him, but it was almost like he didn’t exist the rest of the time.’

‘Lucia!’ Tara shouted again. ‘Where the hell are you?’ She turned her attention to her man. ‘What is it, Kennet? What’s wrong? I can see it on your face.’

‘Well –’ he moved away from Alice and laid a hand against Ferris’s chest ‘—the way that shadow left him, it reminds me of when Lucia possessed me, the way she left my body, at least when I was aware of her leaving.’

‘But you never lost consciousness when she left you, did you?’ Tara asked. ‘ I never have. Sometimes I don’t even feel it when she leaves, though I usually feel it when she comes back home.’

‘And speaking of the devil,’ Tim said. ‘It’s not like Lucia to stay away when she’s called. She never likes to miss a good party. How long can she be away from you, Tara, before … you know?’

‘Before I die again? I don’t think there’s a sell-by date, Tim. There’s some kind of connection inside whether she’s with me or not. I feel her absence, but not in quite the same way Kennet did, and certainly she never rendered me unconscious when she left, though I reckon she could if she were inclined.’

‘Wait a minute –’ Marie said, ‘– If you’re saying that Ferris is possessed by some kind of demon, we could have just sent Anderson and Fiori into danger.’

Just then Ferris’s body jerked hard, his back arched, and he began to convulse.

*****

It was good that the moon was full. It made following the shadow and the ghost much easier. Anderson felt no threat from either of them. He did not know what the shadow was, though it certainly seemed to him that the thing might have been in possession of Ferris’s body. Because there was much they did not understand of the situation, he preferred as many of the odds in his favour as possible.

‘The shadow –’ Fiori’s disembodied voice filled Anderson’s ear, or what would have been his ear had he had form other than that of thought and will ‘– he was with Ferris the last time he made love to me.’

Anderson glanced at her and continued following the disturbance in the air through which the strange couple had passed. ‘Did you speak to Ferris of this?’

‘At the time I thought I only imagined it. I was groggy from a bad dream and he comforted me. I didn’t feel threatened. It felt only as though Ferris were suddenly a much larger man, different, but still Ferris. I felt full of him, full of his presence. The space around me felt full of his presence. I don’t know, we all have secrets, and none of us really knows Ferris that well.’

‘My dear Fiori, even Cassandra does not know Ferris well, and though it seems that Lucia has released him of his responsibilities to her, he does not wish to know his past. I think that rather odd. It seems to me …’ Anderson’s words died in the throat he did not at this moment have, and he halted their progress with nothing more than an act of will. At the edge of the tarn that glowed silver-black in the moonlight, the strange ghost with the noose around her neck threw herself into the arms of the shadow.

‘I found you. Thank goddess I found you. Oh Ferris, I was so worried. I thought I’d done something wrong. I thought that when you learned what … what I’d done, you were angry and you left.’

‘I didn’t leave you. I swear I didn’t.’ The shadow spoke in a voice that was quite recognisable as Ferris’s. With careful hands, he removed the noose from around her neck and gave it an angry toss. Anderson could see the angry ligature marks on the woman’s delicate throat, and the curse that Fiori uttered told him so did she. ‘I don’t know what happened,’ the shadow said, ‘but I promise I didn’t leave you intentionally.’

‘Ferris?’ Anderson spoke softly, not wanting to startle the couple, and eased himself into a form that was fully visible, but had no substance. He was not yet certain if, indeed, the dark entity was Ferris. But the shadow turned to face him, and he could see the likeness of a man broad of shoulder and clearly several inches taller that Anderson, who was, by no means, a small man.

The shadow, who still held the woman in his arms looked up at Anderson and nodded. ‘I’m sorry.’ His voice was soft, unobtrusive, as Ferris’s voice always was. ‘I don’t know what happened.’

Anderson took a cautious step forward and Fiori followed, her eyes locked on the woman. ‘You are aware that you have left your flesh unattended in the dream cave?’ Anderson asked.

‘So it would appear.’ Ferris looked down at the large hand that was not resting on the woman’s shoulder and released a long breath of which Anderson was fairly certain he had no need in his present form. ‘I … don’t know what happened,’ he repeated. Then he glanced from Anderson to Fiori and back again. ‘Lucia? Is she in the cave?’

‘She was not present when we left,’ Anderson said, ‘But it must be said that we did not linger to take attendance.’

‘Perhaps you might introduce us to your friend.’ Fiori took another step forward, her eyes on the ghost.

‘This is Elaine.’ Ferris did not loosen his hold on her. ‘Elaine these are my friends from the Elemental Coven, Fiori and Anderson.’

‘They’re both … dead,’ the woman said, catching her breath as though the realisation shocked her.

‘As are you, my dear woman,’ Anderson replied. ‘However, Ferris is not, and I cannot think it is healthy for his flesh to have him too long absent from it, so I would humbly request that we all return to the cave as quickly as we may.’ Almost before he finished speaking, the two vanished, and he and Fiori followed suit.

*****

Another image from KevAlice let out a little squeal and crab-walked backward as the shadow-man, who had left Ferris’s body in such a hurry, materialised in the cave with the ghost of a young woman in his arms. Instantly Ferris’s physical body calmed on the floor of the cave.

‘What the fuck?’ Tim said, glancing from the couple to Ferris on the floor and back again. Then Anderson and Fiori materialised next to them.

‘This is Elaine. I am told she is a friend of Ferris’s.’ Anderson spoke as calmly as if he were making introductions at a dinner party. For an instant no one in the cave moved. All eyes were on the couple. Skye still knelt next to Ferris’s body with her hand resting against his throat and Tara and Cassandra knelt next to her. Tim and Marie and Kennet sat near Alice.

With a sharp catch of his breath, the shadow-man, who seemed much more man than shadow now, eased forward and stared down at the flesh that had only recently housed him. He did nothing but stare. The ghost, Elaine, did the same. But hers was a more fearful countenance, and Anderson thought it strange that she held no such fear for the shadow-man as she did for the unpretentious fleshly man now unconscious on the floor of the cave.

‘There’s still no sign of Lucia.’ Marie spoke to Anderson and Fiori.

Kennet growled. ‘Not much nightlife in Keswick on a Wednesday night. I suppose she could have gone to Penrith … or Birmingham.’ He shrugged. ‘Hell she could have gone to Bangkok for all I know.’

‘I’ve never heard of a demon clubbing,’ Marie said. ‘I can’t think it would be much fun without a body.’

‘I don’t know what she gets up to when she’s not at home,’ Tara said. ‘She doesn’t tell me and I don’t ask, but damn it, I hate it when she ignores me, and I know that’s what she’s doing.’

‘I fear it’s me she’s ignoring,’ the shadow-man said. ‘And I can’t say that I long much for her company either, but under the circumstances, I suppose it would be good to know what’s going on.’ He didn’t sound very convinced of it.

‘Are you some kind of demon?’ Tim asked. A ripple of tension passed through the room. Tim had a reputation for being blunt and saying what was on his mind, but the shadow-man did not seem offended. Instead he stood contemplating the idea. And the shape of him was beautiful, Anderson thought, much more like a god than a man, fit to grace the temple of Apollo, fit to kindle the lust of any libido. And yet in the shadow there was no flesh.

‘I can’t truthfully say,’ he replied to Tim, ‘As far as I know, I’m Ferris Ryder, and that –’ he nodded to the body on the ground ‘—is also Ferris Ryder, though I have no idea how that can be. I think that perhaps Elaine –’

Tara raised a hand to silence him. Carefully she came to her feet and moved toward Elaine, who stood just barely inside the entrance of the cave now and seemed to be inching slowly in that direction as the conversation unfolded. ‘Elaine –’ Tara’s voice was only slightly more than a whisper ‘—how is it that you suddenly wear the flesh?’

Instantly all eyes were on the woman, and there was a collective intake of breath, for she was, indeed, in the flesh. A fact that surprised even her.

‘Is it because of you?’ Tara looked up at the Shadow-man, who shook his head.

‘Apparently I can choose to be … corporeal if I want,’ Elaine replied. ‘Though in all honesty, I have no memory of even being a ghost until I met Ferris, who was wearing the flesh of Patrick last night.

‘Who the hell is Patrick,’ Tim asked.

‘He is Patrick,’ she nodded to Ferris’s body. ‘And how he now lives but is not Patrick, I do not know. I killed him myself. Of that I’m certain.’

A harsh choking sound drown out the coven’s murmured response to Elaine’s confession, and all eyes were once again on Ferris’ body, which went rigid, then gasped a desperate breath, and it was as though by doing so, he rendered the shadow-man little more than a wisp of dark smoke, which swirled in the air, then vanished into Ferris’s corporeal chest.

Elaine let out a little cry and her knees gave just as Anderson caught her against his chest.

On the cave floor, Ferris spasmed twice then sat up and looked around the chamber. Cassandra knelt next to him and handed him a bottle of water. He drank deeply and coughed.

For a long moment the only sound in the cave was his effort to catch his breath.

‘Ferris?’ Skye said, at last. ‘Are you back with us?’

He nodded, then his gaze settled on Elaine and held, but he did not speak. He only stared at the ghost in the flesh.

When the silence had stretched beyond the point of uncomfortable, Tara laid a hand on Ferris’s forearm and spoke, ‘How much of what just happened do you remember?’

castlerigg_Stone_Circle1He started to speak, then cleared his throat as though his voice had rusted from disuse. ‘Everything. I remember everything.’ With ease that belied what he had just endured, he stood, holding the blanket to him to fight off the residual chill from his unconscious state, and moved slowly toward Elaine, reaching out his hand.

When she cautiously moved to his side, he spoke, still not taking his eyes off her. ‘At least I remember everything since my arrival in Cumbria a few hours ago.’ He looked back at Tara. ‘Before that …’

‘Before that what,’ Tara prompted.

He released a slow breath that echoed in the chamber like a wind. ‘Before that there are … blank spots.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Basics of Martian Seduction with @eva_lefoy #scifi #romance

WMS_blogtourThe Martians are coming. But there’s a catch. They’re not coming in flying saucers. They’re invading your pants.

Yes, your pants!

It’s kind of hard to concentrate with Martians coming in your pants!

The problem isn’t an easy one to fix, either. See, with Martians in flying saucers, you at least get to shoot them. Or try. Think of all the great alien vs. mankind movies where they’ve done just this. How about Independence Day with Will Smith? Remember that one? The aliens are big and mean and scary and there are plenty of spaceships to shoot at. In the end, mankind prevails.

But when the Martians aren’t massing an exterior attack but an inside one, who’s to help you? No, you can’t shoot yourself to get rid of the alien attacker. For one, that’s bad manners and two, you won’t like the ending. This kind of inside-your-head sneak attack is quiet, painless and can have a whole host of other endings.

  1. You can be made to attack the Mars Base. That’s what happens to Captain California Sykes, who falls under the influence.
  2. You can be turned into a Martian. Cal’s girlfriend – ex girlfriend at the start of the story – has a bit of a rough time with this. Every girl knows red hair and green skin don’t go together unless it’s Christmastime!
  3. You can be turned into a Martian mating machine! Yep! I said it. A Martian DNA magic wand of lovin’. That’s Fennik’s fate at the end of this book, and his story is coming – pun intended! – in book II.

And if you don’t think that’s bad enough, consider that Martians are dead. Long dead. We know NASA is checking over the planet quite thoroughly looking for any evidence there was once a civilization there. But why? What will they do with the evidence once they find it? If I were them, I’d stock up on condoms!

I think Martians just make everybody a little paranoid and really, who’s to blame them? They’ve got a super-powered viral DNA and a libido with more oomph than Dallas City Light. Yeah. A million watt libido really gets a guy – or girl – noticed. Sometimes, not in a good way.

 

TheTroubleWithMemoriesHere’s the blurb for The Trouble with Memories, Cal and Lucy’s story:

Helium toads!

Lieutenant Lucy Borasco has her phase pistol ready and her ex-boyfriend in her sights. She has every intention of making him pay for choosing his career over her. But she hadn’t factored in a Martian sneak invasion, Cal’s incessant need to save the universe, or the risk of permanent damage to her complexion. Getting Cal back will cost her more than she thinks, leaving her changed forever.

Captain California Sykes’ memories are gone, his career is in ruins, and his ex-girlfriend nearly kills him with a kiss. Can he overcome the Martian invasion, save the rest of the team and win Lucy back again in the process? Or will his seat-of-the-pants plans and the canned fish rations cost him everything he holds dear, including his sanity?

 

And here’s a super-smexy secret excerpt. Shhh! Don’t tell the big green dudes!

imageShe laughed and leaned back. Little by little she undid the zipper on her suit and watched Cal’s eyes for a reaction. To be honest, she hadn’t had time to explore the changes in her own body yet. She’d have to rely on Cal’s assessment to form her initial opinion.

His eyes went wide, his nostrils flaring. He arched his hips up, pressing his manhood harder against her damp sheath. Fragg, she wanted him in there, to be a part of her once more. “Holy shit, you’re beautiful.”

She looked down at her breasts. She hadn’t bothered to wear a bra. The greenish firm globes now boasted Naobi melon-pink nipples. The contrast made them especially stand out, like succulent Ozon Prime berries. Excited, she bounced them, then pinched them between her fingers. “You like them?”

Cal groaned and sat up, capturing one with his mouth as he rolled her onto her back.

She squealed in delight, but as he sucked harder her desire fanned hotter. About to burn up, she ripped off the rest of her suit. He sat up, and she tore his off, too. “Get back here.” Hands behind his head, she pulled him down.

With his full length on top of her, their warm skin at last meeting, she still wasn’t satisfied. She bucked her hips up. “Inside me, now.”

He took himself in hand, preparing to enter her. She couldn’t wait. She took the initiative, wrapping her legs around his tailbone and pressing her hips up, snugging her entrance around his tip. With a loud cry she grasped his shoulders and lifted her pelvis, impaling herself so he slipped inside her. Her body tingled. Every sensation was new, different.

He grasped her ass and braced them both with his other arm. “Lucy,” he murmured into her neck, “you’re on fire.”

 

I hope you look forward to more Martians in your day. They’re quite charming, and they are rather fond of tea. But don’t take them home to your mother….

Eva

 

Buy Links:

Decadent  l  Amazon  l  Amazon.UK  l  AReCafe  l

 

Bio:

Eva Lefoy writes and reads all kinds of romance, and is a certified Trekkie. She’s also terribly addicted to chocolate, tea, and hiking. One of these days, she’ll figure out the meaning of life, quit her job, and go travel the galaxy. Until then, she’s writing down all her dirty thoughts for the sake of future explorers.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eva-Lefoy/344907072265234

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Eva_Lefoy

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/elefoy/

Blog: http://writery.wordpress.com/

 

Sommer Marsden: Long Lost and Then Some

I’d like to welcome one of my favourite authors, Sommer Marsden, back again. This time Sommer is answering questions about Long Lost,  her yummy paranormal sequal to Big Bad. Welcome, Sommer!

KD: After finishing Long Lost, without giving anything away, it seems pretty clear we’ll be seeing more of Ruby and Ellis and Tyler and their friends. Without giving anything away, can you give us a teaser?

SM: Nope! In order to give you a teaser, I would have had to have written some of the book. As of yet, there is no book. The door has been open for there to be a book. But no book is in the works. Eek!

KD: *Folds arms across chest and pouts* Guess we’ll just have to wait then.

I was intrigued by the idea of ‘The Town,’ the place where the werewolves lived. How did you come up with the idea of a town as werewolf central?

SM: I would love to say something clever, but I have no clue. To me wolves/weres are pack animals. So pack animals tend to stay in their own pack and out of the lives of others. Town just made sense on some level to me, without me really thinking about it. And the name was just sort of my own little joke.

KD: When you wrote Big Bad did you already have a series in mind, or did that come later?

SM: I had no intention of there being a second book until about ¾ of the way through. Then I realized if the story played out the way it seemed to be going, there had to be a second book. No question.

KD: What inspired the series?

SM: I have to admit, I have no idea! I just got the idea one day while walking the dog. It came out of nowhere and once the characters started talking to me—Ellis, Ruby and Tyler all at once—I had no choice but to go home and start.

KD: What did you find the most fun about writing Big Bad and Long Lost? What was hardest?

SM: The humor was the most fun. The characters, even ‘side characters’ like Peabody, had a true back and forth with one another that was fun to sit and transcribe. When they bickered or gave each other a hard time, I’d often get the giggles. The hardest part for me, especially for book two, was to make sure I had a good balance of drama and humor and all that jazz. But my characters usually tend to themselves pretty well, I only have to monitor so much.

KD: Other forays into the paranormal on the horizon?

SM: Always! I have a book that’s been done for a while but I tucked it away for various reasons. But now I think I’m ready to dust it off, clean it up, put it out and work on the sequel. I also have plans for another paranormal in the near future that hopefully will be really fun but also kind of touching.

KD: Who was your favourite character to write?

SM: Ellis! EllisEllisEllis. He is one of my favourite characters ever. He’s based on a very real person who’s on TV pretty regularly. When this guy came on TV the other night, the man happened to have his hand on my foot and he said, “I just felt your pulse go up…through your toe.”

Ellis has a wicked but subtle sense of humor. I think that’s why I adore him so much. And he handles Ruby’s lunacy pretty well. And God, does he love her.

KD: Who did you find most difficult?

SM: The bad guys. The bad guys are always hard for me because I’d always rather write the fun and the humor and the sex. But I knew I did okay from my beta reader. He got goosebumps in the first book when I introduced my bad guy and he didn’t sniff out the villain in this one until the appropriate time. So I was pleased with myself.

KD: What was the highlight of 2011 for Sommer Marsden.

SM: Most unfair question ever! LOL. There were so many, to be honest, and for that I am grateful. I would have to say Big Bad and Long Lost coming out. I have such a love for those two books, I was very excited (and terrified) for them to come out. But so very glad when they did. So of a year full of good stuff, I guess I’d have to choose the release of those two novels as the cherry on top.

KD: What are you most looking forward to in 2012?

SM: My novel Restless Spirit comes out with Xcite in April, and I am so vibratey over that release! Also, an unnamed (secret!) novel that comes out soonish from Excessica is very anticipation-worthy too. Plus there are some super-secret upcoming projects that I am equally psyched and scared of 🙂

KD: *Rubs hands together conspiratorially* Ooooh, I love secrets! And one last Long Lost question: In your head, have you pictured what the movie version of LL would look like? If so, who would play whom and do you have a specific setting in mind?

SM: That is always a hard question for me because I don’t think that way about my books. Willsin Rowe was my beta reader for these books. I think that would be a super good question for him. I might have to ask him since he would leave me comments in the sidebar like ‘when the movie version of this comes out…’ 🙂 For me Ellis Bach is the celebrity chef Scott Conant. Ruby is faceless because, as sad as this might sound, all my heroines are sort of written from some small part of the core of me, so I don’t give them faces. Tyler is also faceless in my head as is Peabody. Wow. I am very unexciting. I tend to write more with a feel of a characters personality in my head than their actual appearance.

I would love to hear what people who have read the books think. Who they’d cast as Ellis, Ruby, Tyler and Peabody.

As for setting, most of my settings are local. I pick a piece of my city that I’ve lived in and write with that in my head as a setting. It tends to make it more realistic. Plus, I don’t mess up as much!

KD: What’s on the horizon for Sommer Marsden?

SM: Lots of freaking out, two books coming soon, more books being written, shorts in various anthologies, some novellas in an exciting project and hopefully some kind of Zen epiphany where I calm down and get organized. And then a pig will fly by my window. On a unicorn’s back. Carrying a leprechaun.

Blurb:

What’s a girl to do once she’s gotten her wolf? Spend Christmas in the belly of the beasts…or at least their Town. Ruby’s loving her new life until a single phone call makes her knees go weak, bringing the near past back into her cozy present. Seems an old evil has returned in a brand new nasty package to take another swipe at Ruby. Ellis isn’t about to let that happen, and neither are her friends, but Ruby discovers she will be the only one who can really do what needs to be done. And it turns out there are things at stake she never imagined. Things she’s willing to die for.

Buy Links:

Sold through Excessica: http://www.excessica.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=22&products_id=492 and numerous other online vendors.
Print Version:  https://www.createspace.com/3687776

 
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