Teaser Tuesday – Kira Shayde

Desires at War: Primal Shifters Book Two

 

When the humans became animals, the animals became humans. Shape-shifting humans. And the African lion, the pinnacle of hunters in the wild, replaced man as top dog in the Serengeti. The disparaged spotted hyena, often the more tenacious and successful predator on the savannas, was the lion’s natural enemy. Becoming human didn’t change that. It only made it worse.

 

Months as a POW leaves lion shifter Fix Ainran struggling to recover, but he can’t get the curvaceous Caryn Plumar out of his mind. Yet the beautiful daughter of the hyena Chairman only torments the disabled former soldier with heated trysts before pulling away.

 

No matter how much she desires Fix’s touch, Caryn’s obligations involve more than fighting for an independent hyena state in a land ruled by lions and fraught with war. She must sacrifice any chance of happiness and freedom by marrying within the clan to ensure her safety.

 

Unable to stay apart, Fix and Caryn defy societal rules and risk their lives as they battle enemies, search for the truth about his captivity…and fall in love.

KS_DesiresatWar_coverin

 

EXCERPT

 

As if she wasn’t miserable enough, the clouds cracked opened and rain poured down in sheets. She groaned. Rainy season in the savannas meant weeks of uncertain weather, and she’d stupidly left the palace without an umbrella or poncho. Before long, the rain slicked her clothes to her skin and plastered her hair to her neck. Halfway to her car, she stopped and simply stared up at the gray skies. Was this a sign?

 

Nothing but a toy. Tears slipped from the corners of her eyes, immediately washed away by the rain. A clap of thunder muffled her sob.

 

A voice called out her name, and she glanced over her shoulder. Soaked from the rain, Fix pushed hard on his wheelchair, head down. Strands of wet sandy-red hair fell over his eyes.

 

“Screw you!” she yelled into the strong wind, not even sure he could hear her.

 

His chin lifted, and his gaze burned fierce. She could’ve sworn she saw anguish in those piercing lion eyes, and her resolve wavered. No, just her imagination. After whirling around, she sprinted across the parking lot, her waterlogged sandals sending rain splatters up her bare legs. Approaching her car, she fumbled in her purse, digging for the remote.

 

A hand clutched her wrist, and she gasped, jerking back. Like a second skin, Fix’s wet T-shirt outlined his wide shoulders, broad chest, and wiry biceps.

 

“No,” he growled. “Don’t leave.”

 

“Let go of me!” She clawed at his fingers.

 

“Stop it, Caryn.” With lightning speed, he grabbed her other wrist. “I can explain.”

 

She twisted, her wet locks of hair slapping against her face, but his grip merely tightened. She yanked against his hold. “Fix, stop. You’re hurting me.”

 

He released her at once.

 

Staggering into her car, she glared at him. “I’m not interested in being a member of your pride. Not my style.”

 

Strain etched his chiseled features. “Please don’t leave. I’m not involved with Zuri.” He wiped rainwater from his eyes. “Zuri has a boyfriend. She was just trying to help me.”

 

“Help?” Caryn barked out a sharp laugh.

 

He dragged a hand through his drenched hair, slicking it back. “She thought by making you jealous, you’d realize…”

 

His pained stare fell to his legs, and Caryn’s heart stopped cold. She pressed a fist to her mouth. How could she have been so clueless? She should never have let him leave her garden angry. She hadn’t meant to give him the impression he was any less of a man.

 

Bracing his fists on his legs, he exhaled deeply. “It was stupid of me to play along with Zuri. But I wanted you to see that I’m still a desirable guy, even with—”

 

Caryn swooped down and cupped his face in her hands. “You are a desirable guy,” she said. “Too damn desirable. That’s the problem.”

 

His gaze met hers, and his lips parted slightly. A blinding bolt of lightning split the sky, and a clap of thunder reverberated around them.

 

“Maybe we should take cover from the storm,” he said, reaching to open the back door of her car. He cocked his head, eyeing her from head to toe. “You’re soaked, Ms. Plumar, did you know that?”

 

She looked down, her thighs visible through her now sheer dress. “I take it you can see everything?”

 

“Oh, yeah.” His slow grin left her breathless. “And lacy bras are a total turn-on for me.”

 

Her knees weakened, and she clutched the door handle, struggling to control her conflicted feelings. Didn’t he understand where this could lead?

 

“Come on, baby,” he urged. “Let me warm you up.”

 

His deep, sexy voice lit a fuse inside her. More than desirable, this man was downright dangerous. Damn straight he knew exactly where this could lead.

 

But would she follow?

 

 

BUY LINKS

 

Loose Id | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance Ebooks | Kobo

 

 

ABOUT KIRA

 

Kira enjoys studying love, sex, and relationships, and has a thing for shapeshifters, demons, mythological gods, the fae, and chocolate cake. As a romance writer, she explores somewhat atypical pairings and settings and can’t help adding a twinge of societal awareness to her works, but the focus is always on the developing romance, passion, and happy endings. Some of her books are erotic romances, but you won’t find any hard-core BDSM. Kira prefers her hero and heroine to share the power and share the love.

 

You can find Kira at www.kirashayde.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Monday Mayhem – carpel tunnel edition

I’m writing at a full-on sprint these days. The deal isn’t signed, sealed, and delivered yet, but there’s been  offer, acceptance, and a panic-inspiring deadline set. So, I’ve spent the last twelve days cranking out words. I need to have the first  draft done before I leave for the Romance Writers of America conference in late July.

I’m about halfway there.

As usual, the first run at it will be far too wordy. I can already see the threads I’m going to have to cut, and some I need to sew up. But I’m having a great time with these characters. They’re fun and snarky, and thankfully, they seem to like talking to me. Plus, you know I love a deadline. I love smashing them to pieces. Boo-yah!

So, if I’m a little quiet for the next few weeks, you’ll know why. When things are official, I’ll sing it from the rooftops. In the meantime, picture me doing a lot of these moves:

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Teaser Tuesday – Diana Cosby

An Oath Broken – book #2 in The Oath Trilogy

Giric Armstrong, Earl of Terrick, takes no pleasure in escorting a feisty English lass to her betrothed. But he needs the coin to rebuild his castle, and his tenants need to eat. Yet the trip will not be the simple matter he imagined. For Lady Sarra isn’t the only one determined to see her engagement fail. Men with darker motives want to stop the wedding—even if they must kill the bride in the process.

An Oath Broken

Enjoy an excerpt of An Oath Broken! http://www.dianacosby.com/anoathbroken.html#excerpt

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Monday Mayhem – Daddy Issues

I married my father.

daddyandmoogie

Not for real, because that would be illegal and more than a little icky, but I married a man just like him. One of those fellas who was just born to be a dad. A guy who wants nothing more than his kids around where he can keep watch over them. He shares a few other charming and not-so-charming quirks with my father (he goes from zero to over-reaction in 1.2 seconds, loves ice cream and anything chocolate, and whatever happens, it’s always because the other driver wasn’t paying attention), but I figure on the whole, I came out ahead in this game.

I hope and pray that one day our kids truly to realize how very lucky they were to have him. He has been the one steadfast and constant (if sometimes overbearing and annoying) force in their lives. It’s nice to see them starting to appreciate him now that they are adults.

Mostly, it’s fun to watch him morph from Daddy to Granddad. I was only eleven when my parents became grandparents for the first time. I swear they were body snatched, because they were not at all the same people with my nephews and nieces as they were with me. They were more like…my grandparents.

The circle of life has come our way. Now we’re the ones who do nothing but indulge. Discipline? Not our problem. Rules? At Granddad’s house? Not hardly. We’ve divvied the grandparenting duties between us. So far, I am in charge of cookies, hugs, and comfort, and Granddad handles playing and exploration. It works for us.

I married a guy just like my dad, and I have to say, it’s been a good thing. The pure pleasure he gets from even a few minutes with our grandson is a joy to behold.

So…behold:

shoulders

I think I chose pretty darn well!

 

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Teaser Tuesday – Gail Chianese

BACHELORETTE FOR SALE – Available 6/23/15
Bachelorette for Sale-highres

 

Excerpt:
The rush and gurgle of the nearby waterfall filled the air. The breeze blew a light mist that cooled her sun-kissed skin as his hand trailed up her bare thigh. Cherry arched her back, lifting her breasts to meet his hungry mouth. She grabbed two handfuls of his shirt and tugged it up and over his head, tossing the offending article of clothing aside. She wanted skin-to-skin contact. To feel the shift of his muscles under her palms, to play with the light sprinkle of dark hair on his chest. She wanted to do a whole lot more, but the infuriating man insisted on taking his sweet, sweet time.
            He lifted his head, gazing at her with intense blue-green eyes, his mouth tugged up on one side. A small growl escaped from her lips.
            “Hungry?” he asked.
            “Starved,” she replied.
            Instead of giving her what she wanted—him—he broke off a piece of dark chocolate and fed it to her.
“Yum. Not what I meant, though.”
            “Patience, my love.”
            “You drove my patience over the edge at least ten minutes ago.”
            He had the nerve to chuckle before swooping in and slipping his tongue into her open mouth to caress hers. He tasted of chocolate and wine from their picnic. His breathing fell hard and fast, matching hers. She knew he had to be testing his own tolerance level. Proof of his arousal pushed against her hip, and she used it against him as she twisted around until they were lined up.
            He gave her his trademark arrogant look, one brow cocked, lips slightly turned up as if daring her to go on. She returned the look and rotated her hips until his head fell backward and a groan escaped his lips.
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Monday Mayhem – The things we do for love

This weekend, I saw Rush in concert. Not one of my favorite bands. Wait. I take that back. They used to be one of my favorite bands to mock, but now I’m not allowed to do that. You see, Geddy and the guys are Fodder’s all-time favorite band, so singing ‘Take Off (To the Great White North)” is kind of verboten around here. I say kind of, because I sing it anyway. In my Geddy voice. Always earns me a ferocious scowl.

Anyhow. My man wanted to see Rush. It’s their 40th anniversary, and he’s afraid we wouldn’t have a chance to see them together if we didn’t catch them on this tour. We checked all the venues closest to our home (but not Closer to the Heart) but found they didn’t fit with our schedules. So I came up with a brilliant idea – why not see them in Chicago?

rush4

We hadn’t had a chance to visit the city in years–even worse, we hadn’t seen some of my closest friends in longer than I care to admit. A few text messages later, we had a plan (and more than a few snarky comments from the women-folk). Though the Rush doesn’t exactly evoke the same reaction from me as say…Duran Duran, it was the best weekend ever.

We ate. We drank. And we laughed with old friends as if not a day had gone by.

rush3

You want to know the best part? [Aside from the fact that there were NO LINES FOR THE WOMEN’S RESTROOMS!] I got to spend time with this happy, happy man.

rush2

Nearly sixteen years together and married fourteen at the end of this month, and I don’t think I have ever seen him so carefree and excited about anything. He was over the top, and it was a joy to watch.

Thanks to my ever-generous friend, Kathy, I was also able to spend some time in with my sister, her daughter, son, and daughter-in-law, and my littlest great-niece, Lottie, who is perfect in every way.

How about you? What are some of the things you’ve done just to make someone you love happy?

 

 

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Teaser Tuesday – Ruth Cassie

Knight of Rapture Final Cover RACasie

He crossed the centuries to find her…

For months Lord Arik has been trying to find the right combination of runes to create the precise spell to rescue his wife, Rebeka, but the druid knight will soon discover that reaching her four hundred years in the future is only the beginning of his quest. He arrives in the 21st century to find her memory of him erased, his legacy on the brink of destruction, and traces of dark magick at every turn.

A threat has followed…

Bran, the dark druid, is more determined than ever to get his revenge. His evil has spread across the centuries. Arik will lose all. Time is his weapon, and he’s made sure his plan leaves no one dear to Arik, in past or present, safe from the destruction.

But their enemy has overlooked the strongest magick of all…

Professor Rebeka Tyler is dealing with more than just a faulty memory. Ownership of Fayne Manor, her home, has been called into question. Convenient accidents begin happening putting those she cares for in the line of fire. And then there’s the unexpected arrival of a strange man dressed like he belonged in a medieval fair—a man who somehow is always around when needed, and always on her mind. She doesn’t know who to trust. But one thing is certain. Her family line and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall, not on her watch… in any century.

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Monday Mayhem – Danced all night!

As many of you know, I’m a Broadway musical junkie. My parents raised us that way. My father was convinced that musicals were American opera. My mother called him a fool. Either way, I’ve been blessed to see so many wonderful stars in incomparable productions – Yul Brynner in The King & I, Topol in Fiddler On the Roof, Richard Burton in Camelot, the 25th anniversary cast of Jesus Christ Superstar… so many wonderful performances.

One of my biggest sads is that I didn’t get to see Rex Harrison perform My Fair Lady on stage. My parents did, but it was one of the few trips to the theater they made without some of us kids in tow. How dare they!

My Fair Lady is one of my all-time favorites. It’s just so deliciously sexist and blatantly unapologetic about it. Makes me laugh out loud every time. And my weakness for all things Rex Harrison is well documented – hello, Captain Gregg from The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

Then, just yesterday, my good friend and editor extraordinaire, Gilly Wright, posted this headline on my FB page.

Firth

My heart soars! I feel like Freddie Eynsford-Hill!

Fodder has been informed that there will be a trip to NYC in our future. Over many years of marriage, he has grown as accustomed to my enduring love of all things Professor Higgins, My Fair Lady, and of course, Colin Firth, as Henry was of Eliza’s face.

He’s a good man. A fine man. Probably a little more Pickering than Higgins, but that’s okay. I have a soft spot for the Colonel as well.

What about you? Is there a star, show, or event you wouldn’t miss?

 

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Teaser Tuesday – Cheryl Norman

revDrakesprings-MD

Return to Drake Springs (Drake Springs Book 1)

Boutique Collection—Next Door Series from Turquoise Morning Press

©2014 Cheryl Norman

eBook ASIN: B00NUR38Z4

Sweet

Heat level: mild

EXCERPT:

Lance George cruised into town in a fog of black insects and misgivings. He’d had good reason to leave home years ago. Was returning a mistake? He’d debated during the entire threehour drive from Tallahassee and still questioned his decision. But he was here now. The moving company had his packed belongings ready to deliver. Inhaling a breath for courage, he slowed at the Welcome to Drake Springs sign.

Searching familiar landmarks, he recognized the Hurricane Lantern, a rustic restaurant located on Highway 471. To his left stood the stately Wilson home, vacant and for sale. Five blocks past the city limits sign, Highway 471 became Main Street. He passed the First Foster Bank and Boyd’s Diner, both still in business. A left turn here would take him to the high school, but he’d skip that detour down badmemory lane.

The stoplight at Main Street turned red and he applied his brakes. A flash of purple grabbed his attention. Was that—? No, it couldn’t be. What were the odds he’d return to Drake Springs and immediately see the girl of his adolescent dreams? In the flesh—and what beautiful flesh—Iris Porter stepped into the crosswalk walking a bicycle to the opposite side of Main Street. It may have been nine years since he’d seen her, but with her blond curls sticking out the edges of a bicycle helmet, she looked as adorable as ever.

She turned her head and met his gaze but kept walking. She wouldn’t recognize him, and even if she did, why would she acknowledge him? She had deemed herself too good for him. He’d been a bookworm. A nerd. His limited circle of friends didn’t include babes and jocks. No reason to hope her opinion had changed.

She continued toward the courthouse. She hadn’t lost that subtle but alluring sway of hip that drew the attention of every male student standing in the halls at Foster County High—especially him. Instead of mounting her bicycle and riding, she chainlocked it to an oak tree.

“What’s your story, dear Iris?” He eased forward with the morning traffic while keeping her purple shorts and Tshirt in his peripheral vision. She still had her cheerleader’s legs and slender shape. If anything, she was thinner now. She disappeared inside the Foster County Courthouse. “Doing a title search? Paying your taxes? Filing for divorce?”

Iris’s rejection in high school had driven him to succeed and improve himself, so maybe he should thank her for stomping all over his heart. He continued his drive through town, leaving behind Iris Porter and all conjecture about her.

When he reached Ortega Street, he turned left and pulled into the parking lot of his destination. A business property that once housed Hodges Animal Clinic faced Main. Behind sat a modular home included with the business property. The lot looked weedy, abandoned, and neglected. No wonder it had such an attractive price tag. The realtor must have taken the online photos in winter, before the spring foliage filled in the blackjack oaks. Now shade cast most of the lot in darkness, forming a thick barrier against the hot Florida sun.

A middleaged, heavyset woman stood in the gravel parking lot. He parked his Transit Connect beside her late model Buick. He’d recently purchased the economical business van in preparation for his new practice. It was small enough to serve as his personal vehicle, too. Unlike his mother, Lance did his research and made practical choices. Impulse buying got people in trouble.

“Doctor George?” The woman approached him with outstretched hand even before he’d fully exited his van. “I’m Barbara Sinclair.”

“Thank you for meeting me.” He shook her delicate manicured hand.

Everything about the woman looked professional, from her perfectly groomed, chestnut hair to her business attire. A few years and a few pounds ago, she was probably a real babe.

“I feel as if we’ve already met, from your emails. I believe this property will suit your needs.”

“It looks less cheerful than in the online photos.”

She winced. “Weeds grow quickly in Florida. The reduced price should more than make up for the little TLC the place needs.”

“Right.” He’d reserve judgment until he inspected the buildings. He locked his van, an action that earned him a bemused smile from Ms. Sinclair. She probably thought it overkill for a small town like Drake Springs, but she refrained from commenting. “Could you show me the office first? If it doesn’t suit, there’s no need to tour the house.”

“Exactly my thought. Follow me.”

He fell in step beside her. “What happened to Otis Gibbons? I thought he was the listing agent.”

“You know Otis?”

“I’m originally from Drake Springs, hence my interest in opening a practice here.”

She opened the door, stepped aside, and motioned him in. The faint odor of antiseptic mingled with the woman’s cologne as she moved past him. She’d been a bit generous with her atomizer. “Otis sold me the business when he was elected county commissioner. He didn’t want any question of conflict of interest.”

“Right.” He shut the door against a swarm of love bugs. Those inescapable black insects that frustrated Floridians every May and September seemed especially thick this spring.

“It may be a bit warm. I turned up the air conditioning about thirty minutes ago when I opened the building.”

“Feels comfortable.”

“The air conditioner is fairly new. Four years old, I’d say.”

The office was a converted Florida Cracker style house, with porches and a breezeway. The reception area was in the former living room. A passthrough with added counter separated the public area from the office. A few animal carriers sat along one wall of the former dining room. “How many exam rooms?”

“Three. The hall gives access both from the reception area and the operating room. There’s also a bathroom.”

“Hmm.” The equipment was gone, probably sold by Doctor Hodges’s estate after her death. Stainless steel tables, gleaming as if recently polished, dominated each examination room. “How long did you say this had been vacant?”

“About three years, but Otis has kept the power connected. He also hired a cleaning service to make regular visits.”

Too bad Otis hadn’t arranged for lawn service as well. “That’s been costly for Otis.”

“Frankly, he expected the property to sell quickly. It’s an attractive location, and Drake Springs is growing. But even Florida wasn’t immune to an economic recession.”

She led him around to the operating room, at one time the house’s kitchen. A door led back to the dining room/office, where the receptionist’s desk and file cabinets now stood. The rear of the house had a utility room, still equipped with a clothes washer and dryer. One wall held stacked cages. A breezeway led to fenced pens outside. He would have preferred more kennel room, but this could work.

“Well, Doctor George, what do you think?” She closed the back door and walked down the steps. “Want to see the residence?”

“Yes, I do.” He followed her past the fenced pens to the back door of the doublewide mobile home. “Where do people take their animals for medical care since this clinic closed?”

“Right now they’re driving twentyfive or thirty miles, to Lake City or up to Georgia. Trust me, this town will welcome you with open arms.”

He was counting on it. He’d saved a tidy sum of money and had qualified for a loan, but he needed equipment, supplies, and utility deposits. He wanted to make this property work, because it’s all he could afford.

The blue painted metal roofing on the home matched the roofing on the clinic. He’d guess the modular home to be less than ten years old, although the roof made it look newer.

“Is the roof new?”

“About four years old.” She unlocked the back door of the residence and led him inside. “Doc Hodges made several improvements before opening her practice.”

Not a fan of modular housing, he examined each room with skepticism. The floor plan was surprisingly open and pleasant, with vaulted ceilings and plenty of windows. A large great room separated two bedrooms and a bath from the owner’s suite and kitchen. The walls were painted or paneled, rather than the patterned wallboard he’d seen on older mobile homes. “Doctor Hodges lived here?”

“Yes. It was convenient, especially for emergencies with animals staying overnight.” She opened the blinds, revealing two windows overlooking the front porch and the front yard’s large crepe myrtle tree, just beginning to bloom. “Her mother sold all the furniture but not the appliances. Of course, if you prefer to live elsewhere, you could rent it out.”

He gave a noncommittal murmur, but he’d be nuts to live anywhere else. Living near the clinic made economic sense. He wouldn’t spend more than he needed to. The bedrooms were roomy enough, especially the owner’s suite with its own bathroom and walkin closet.

“Cable and highspeed internet are available here, too.”

“Good.” He didn’t need television, but internet was vital to his business. “Immediate possession?” The sooner, the better, because he had no home. His mother had lost their house years ago, and Pops had no room to spare.

“Yes. Considering the amount of your down payment, you’ll have no trouble qualifying for the loan assumption. As soon as we can schedule the closing, you can hang out your openforbusiness sign.”

“Well.” He chuckled. “It’s not that simple. I need equipment, for starters. And staff. You know any experienced veterinarian assistants?”

She led him into the kitchen. The appliances looked new. Doctor Hodges hadn’t been one to cook as far as he could tell. But Doc George enjoyed cooking. And he could make the most of this spacious, wellappointed kitchen.

“I know of one. She worked for Doc Hodges but lost her job, of course, when her boss died. She might welcome the opportunity to interview with you.”

“Thanks. First, let’s write the contract.” He followed her outside to the long front porch, additional construction to the original modular home, probably one of Doc Hodges’s improvements. It faced Ortega, a residential street with tidy, modest homes and mature shade trees. Empty except for a wooden swing, the porch could be a cozy retreat at the end of the day, assuming he wasn’t too busy to stop and relax.

Ms. Sinclair removed a ballpoint pen and business card from her purse. She wrote on the blank side of the card. “Here’s the name of the vet assistant when you get ready to hire your staff. You can probably find her at Miller’s IGA Market on Desoto, where she’s been working part time.”

He stuffed the card in his shirt pocket. “Thanks.”

They walked around to the front of the business via the sidewalk, which returned them to the gravel parking lot. “Let me get my brief case and I’ll meet you inside.”

Jittery with nerves, he went inside the building and paced the reception area. This was it. He was about to gamble—no, not gamble—invest his savings into his own practice. He’d have to start out conservatively, at least until he knew how many patients he’d have. One experienced assistant would be a good idea. He could hire more staff as his practice grew. He fished the business card from his pocket and flipped it over to read the name. His hand trembled. The card flew from his fingers.

He stooped to pick it up and read the name again. And smiled.

Iris Porter.

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