Hi everyone! Last week I kicked off a four-week series of blog posts called, The First in Series Series. Since I adore series and I find that they are mostly what I read, and write anymore, I’ve decided to celebrate the four series I’ve written by giving you an exciting, juicy and substantial excerpt from the first book of each. Today I’m sharing the second post in that series with my first ever attempt at writing paranormal romance. One book, in this case, turned into four! The Lakeland Witches Seriesis set in the English Lake District and follows the battle of a coven of witches fighting a very nasty demon. Enjoy this excerpt from the first novel in the series, Body Temperature and Rising.
A warning ahead of time, these will not be for the delicate flowers, though I’m pretty sure most of my readers are up for anything
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.
Descent Without a Compass
It was the chill that woke Marie from a dream of delirious wet sex with the couple on the path. The wet she was feeling, however, was not the slippery warmth of sex, but the chilling, heavy damp of the fog that curled around her like a smothering blanket. She jerked her hand from where it nestled in her panties, still sticky from her orgasm. Quickly she straightened up and cleaned herself as best she could then she fumbled with the compass to get her bearings. A glance down at her watch reassured her that she had only slept for a few minutes.
There was no sign of the amorous couple. She listened intently, thinking they surely couldn’t have gone far, yet she heard nothing but thick cottony silence. Now she was not so anxious to hide herself from them. Now she would have welcomed their companionship.
Her stomach growled. She popped a handful of trail mix into her mouth, took a sip of water, and headed on. The picnic she’d planned for her lunch when the day had been heavy and warm wasn’t likely to happen with the mist hanging over her. All she wanted now was to make it safely back home. She took another bearing on the compass just to make sure, secured the plastic map holder around her neck and trudged forward.
The next half hour she walked in the maddening fog. The pace was slow, with frequent stops to check map and compass. A light, but relentless rain slowed progress further. Though the map assured her she should be nearing the monstrous cairn at the top High Spy, she couldn’t fight back the fear that somehow she had missed it, that somehow in spite of nearby civilization, she was lost. In the barren featureless fog, for all she could tell, she might have been transported to another planet while she slept.
She had planned to walk the whole Newlands Horseshoe today, which would have returned her within easy walking distance of her cottage at Lace Wing Farm, but she wasn’t even half way there, and going back the way she’d come was beginning to make a lot more sense. Whichever direction she chose, she would be navigating completely by compass. The way back looked no different from the way forward. It was only when she reached into her anorak that she realized she was in trouble. The compass was nowhere to be found.
Fighting back panic, she searched her rucksack, all of her pockets, even down the front of her shirt, in case the cord had broken and it had fallen inside. But there was no sign of her compass. For the first time since the day had begun, she felt truly alone in the mist.
It would be alright, she told herself. Keswick was just down in the valley below. These fells were usually crawling with tourists. She really wasn’t alone. Her anorak wasn’t the most waterproof. She hadn’t expected bad weather. But it would do. She had at least a little food and water. She could hold out until the weather cleared a bit then she would just continue on.
But what if the weather didn’t clear? No one knew where she was.
The knot that was already a fist in her stomach tightened still further. Her landlord, Tim Meriwether, for the most part, pretended she didn’t exist, and she hadn’t been here long enough to make any other friends. No one would miss her, not even the couple she had watched.
She knew where she had been from her last compass bearing, so she simply sat down in the middle of what might or might not have been the path and hunched around herself. She’d be alright. She was cold and wet and miserable and the rocks were not exactly gentle on her back side, but she would be alright. She would!
It had to have been a dream, although how she could have dozed under the circumstances, she couldn’t imagine. The dark figure approached silently through the fog, little more than a shadow, and yet her pulse quickened, her nipples ached, and her pussy felt heavy and receptive. Still barely visible in the mist, he walked a tight circle around her, looking down at her, inspecting her, caressing her cheek with a large hand. ‘It was you.’ His voice vibrated up through the pit of her stomach, as though he had taken up residence just below her navel. ‘It was you. Exactly as I suspected.’
He moved to stand close behind her, so close that his heat radiated against her back. As she leaned into his warmth, he reached down to caress her breasts. She arched up into his irresistible touch as his hand moved up over her shoulder, her neck, her throat. Almost before she knew what was happening, the pressure of his touch became more insistent, more demanding, almost bruising and the heat was replaced by an icy chill.
Arousal congealed to cold fear. But just as she gathered herself to run, it was a gentle touch on her arm that woke her, and she looked up into the dark eyes of Anderson. For a sharp second the strange heat between her hip bones flashed hot, then settled to a warm thrum. ‘Come with me, out of the rain.’ He offered her his hand and helped her to her feet. She was amazed to find that he was still in the black suit, no anorak, no water proofs, no proper walking boots.
‘I lost my compass,’ she said.
‘I’m very sorry to hear that,’ he replied.
Almost before she knew it they were descending. ‘Not to worry,’ he spoke close to Marie’s ear. ‘I am as familiar with these fells as I am with my own face. Once we are safely down to Grange, Tara will be waiting for us.’
He made no attempt to explain who Tara was, nor did he introduce himself. That was her first clue that he might have been aware of her voyeuristic escapade.
‘We shall be down very quickly,’ he added, turning his face into the storm.
But they weren’t.
The weather worsened to a downpour. Bent double in the wind, Marie was soaked to the skin and shivering by the time Anderson pulled her into a cave that she hadn’t even seen until they were safe inside. He took her just deep enough to be out of the weather, but not beyond the reach of daylight. There he settled her onto a rocky ledge and sat down next to her.
‘We shall wait out the storm here.’ He offered her a smile and gestured around the cave, which she could now see was a disused quarry. ‘There are many such caves and quarries around the Lake District,’ he said. ‘Some are fenced off for the protection of curious tourists, and others, such as this one are unknown to but a few.’
‘And your girl friend, won’t she be worried?’
The tolerant smile he offered made her aware of her mistake. ‘Tara knows what I would do in such weather.’ Then he added, ‘Though she is very dear to me, Tara is not, as you put it, my girlfriend.’
Before she could say anything he chuckled softly. ‘I know that you saw us together, and there is no need to apologize. Neither of us was upset that you enjoyed our love making. In fact we rather hoped it would please you. Besides one must certainly expect such encounters when one chooses the middle of a well-travelled path for a rendezvous. Now remove your shirt for me, please.’
When she balked, he added. ‘You’re cold and wet. I only wish to make you more comfortable and prevent you catching your death.’ He had already shed his jacket and handed it to her. She was astonished to find it completely dry. ‘You may wear this.’
When she made no effort to put it on, he sighed and scooted closer to her. ‘Please, we must get you dry and warm.’ He unzipped her anorak and pushed it off her shoulders, then tugged the hem of her shirt out of her trousers. His hands were unbelievably warm grazing her bare skin. She lifted her arms, and he slid the wet shirt off over her head, then he reached behind her to unhook her bra while his other hand deftly dispatched with the buttons of his black shirt. ‘Now please, put this on.’ He slid the jacket around her shoulders like a blanket, shoved his shirt open and turned so he could pull her against him.
She wasn’t sure why, but it seemed such a natural thing to slide her arms around him, beneath his shirt, which was as dry as the jacket. As she settled in close, his chest expanded against her bare breasts, and his breath hitched.
‘You are freezing. I think you very much need my body heat.’
‘And you seem to have lots of it to offer,’ she spoke between chattering teeth, suddenly very aware of the gouge of her tightly puckered nipples against his warm chest.
He laughed softly, and she felt the deep low rumble of it clear through her centre. ‘My dear, you are welcome to as much heat as I am able to generate.’
The urge was overpowering. She rose on her haunches and kissed him. Out of the clear blue, she just lifted her mouth to his as though it were hers to take, as though she owned it. And he responded in complete acceptance of her possession, warm lips yielding, encouraging, inviting, making room for the flick of her tongue, welcoming her with the flick of his own.
‘You taste of her,’ she whispered when she came up for breath.
He cupped her face in a large hand and ran a callused thumb over her bottom lip. ‘But her taste pleases you, does it not?’
She nodded. ‘I can see why it pleased you so much.’ She was suddenly, painfully aware of her brazenness. What the hell was the matter with her behaving this way with a man who was, for all practical purposes, a total stranger?
She was about to apologize when he pulled her hand to his lips and suckled her fingers, the ones that had been in her panties not all that long ago. He held her in a gaze deeper than the quarry that now protected them. ‘Your taste also pleases me. Even more so than I imagined.’
The thought made her pussy tense with delight. ‘You imagined my taste?’
‘Of course I did, but experiencing the aftertaste of someone’s pleasure, though nice, is never as enjoyable as tasting for oneself.’
She had no time to do more than squirm at the heat of his comment before he pulled away to remove her boots and wet socks, lingering to chafe her cold feet between his hands, then he opened her trousers with amazing ease. She lifted her ass as he slid them off, along with her panties, then he settled her onto his lap. ‘Your bottom will not appreciate alighting upon a cold slab of slate,’ he said. He guided her to wrap her legs around his waist and arranged the tale of his shirt to cover them. Then he shifted to better balance himself and offered a soft sigh as his hands slid to her hips.
Sex is magic for the Elemental Coven — powerful magic. But will it be enough to defeat the hate-driven demon determined to destroy them with the very magic of their own lust?