Pssst! The grab bag contest winner is named at the bottom of this post!
First off, have I told you all how incredibly awesome you all are? I need help with titles—you deliver dozens of ideas! I need help with menage ideas—you little perverts come up with some completely rockin’ ideas!
Anyway, I thought I’d give you a heads up. Tomorrow, Bitten in the Big Easy, a two author anthology with two hawt as hell stories releases from Ellora’s Cave! It will be the first book in the Femme Noir series, which will include vampires, witches, ghosts and demons. Read on for a glimpse inside…
Bitten in the Big Easy
“Butterfly” by Paisley Smith
Vampire Narcissa Csintalan is in a New Orleans bar, waiting on her tardy sister Elena, when she develops a raging fang-on for the bar’s sinfully sexy, butch bass player. The bite marks on the songbird’s neck put her at the top of Cissy’s must-feed list.
Butterfly Baudelaire has sworn off strays, but the blonde coming on to her has a killer pair of fangs and looks like she knows how to use ’em. Butterfly’s not banking on the bite Cissy takes out of her heart—or the fact more than her well-spanked bottom is in danger from her vampire lover.
“Gilded Cage” by Delilah Devlin
Since her turning, Elena Csintalan has wrestled her inner demon on a nightly basis. She never expects her limits to be tested—until she finds herself drawn to a tawny woman whose lush curves make her eyeteeth spike. Before she knows it, she’s dangling inside an iron cage, one that’s frighteningly familiar. And the punishment she endures is oh so divine…
Despite a surprising empathy she feels for the vampire she’s captured, Cassia proceeds with her coven’s plan—drain Elena of her blood at the height of orgasm to complete a potion that will protect them from Elena’s maker. Cassia scried the darkness coming their way, and the monster has a name…the Countess Elizabeth Bathory.
Elena approached Jean Lafitte’s Old Absinthe House from Bienville Street, skirting the sidewalk, striding in long steps, enjoying the cloying heat, the mingled scents of life and decay, sniffing delicately when she passed a sewer grate but not minding the odors all that much. Tonight, little would spoil her mood.
The tavern looked good for its age—although not as good as Elena. Not a single wrinkle marred her face. Not that she was mindful of her beauty. She only recognized it as fact, having come slowly to acceptance, acknowledging her beauty not as a gift or a curse.
She dressed simply. Straight-legged blue jeans, a black tank and black military boots. A black-banded watch sat on her left wrist. Her hair was pulled tightly into a ponytail at the back of her head. Her only concessions to her femininity were the large white-gold hoops she wore in her ears, and only because she liked the way they bumped against her cheeks.
Still, as severe as she’d dressed, Elena drew attention. She had a model’s long, lithe frame and moved as fluidly as a cat. Again, facts she was aware of but not duly self-impressed.
She’d reached the point in her long life where little mattered. Not friendships, because they were fleeting. Not money, because it could be gone in a single day, as she’d known now twice in her lifetime. Little interested her. She’d seen most of the world. Done everything. Her primary constant was the hunger that drove her even now, when she was wishing she could ignore it just a while longer.
The other constant was her sister. And she was meeting her tonight for the first time in ten years.
Her stomach growled loudly and Elena growled right back, alarming a musician carrying a guitar case so much so that he stepped onto the street to make a wide arc around her.
Something in his keen eyes said he knew what she was. What she must do. And soon. She toyed with the idea of stalking him, making him her supper. That might amuse her, but she’d have annoying regrets later because she no longer wished to prey on the innocent.
Besides, he’d looked to be in the flush of good health, smelled of broccoli and legumes. His sweat was fresh, pure. She wrinkled her nose because she preferred blood flavored with sin, even when she wasn’t being noble. Or at least trying very hard to be.
Elena’s secret wish, the one she’d shared only with a priest before she’d ripped out his throat, was that she would ascend to heaven after a very long stay in purgatory. Something the priest had said was impossible due to the horrendous list of sins she’d confessed.
No matter that she’d been forced into this undead life. The moment she’d opened her mouth and accepted Narcissa’s blood, she’d forever outlawed her soul.
At least she’d have good company.
She slipped her phone from her back pocket, sliding down the split screen to check for messages. Nothing since the last text from Narcissa. Am here. Where r u?
Elena grinned and snapped her phone together. The message was from an hour ago. She wrinkled her nose. So she was late. Again. What was an hour to a vampire?
She approached the doors to the Absinthe House, smelled the citrusy, medicinal scent of the liquor for which the house had been named, hints of the burnt sugar lit atop the drink. The odors of sweat and perfume, fresh alcohol from opened bottles and stale liquor oozing from the pores of patrons kicked up her heartbeat.
She dragged in the smells, discovered one intriguing aroma among the snarled pack and zeroed in on it—lush, sweet musk. Feminine. Dark.
The senses she’d honed over time found the sinner. Her gaze tracked over the tables and the people seated at the bar, landing at last on a woman whose unblinking eyes stared right back.
Cissy could wait. This one was too delicious to pass up. The woman’s hair was a mass of shiny corkscrew curls, which tumbled past her shoulders in shades of dark brown, blonde and red. Her skin tone was a milky latté. Her eyes were golden and tilted upward at the outside corners; long, thick lashes sweeping downward to cast shadows against glowing cheeks, before rising again so that their glances locked.
The vixen’s mouth sent a thrill through Elena’s body, cinching her nipples, hardening her clit. Her hips swayed a little deeper as she approached. Draga, esti mina. You’re mine.
The woman’s head canted slightly, as though she had heard her, which surprised Elena. Most humans couldn’t hear the suggestions although they acted upon them, thinking they’d formed the thoughts themselves. Perhaps she was a sensitive, one with psychic gifts. There were many in this city.
Elena stopped beside the table. “Are you expecting anyone?”
A glance flitted over Elena’s slim frame. “I think I’ve been waiting for you.” Her voice oozed like caramelized sugar onto Elena’s skin.
Satisfaction shivered through Elena as she sat in the empty chair opposite the woman and let her own gaze trail lower. Her heart fluttered at the sight of the temptress’s breasts—nipples like dark moons shadowed her gold tank, the tips protruding, lengthening as Elena stared.
Elena’s mouth watered; her tongue scraped the edge of an eyetooth, drawing blood. Her belly growled again, but the music and sounds of conversations flowing around them masked the insistent sound.
The dark-skinned woman lifted a hand from her lap, one long, slender finger beckoning a waitress. “Would you like a drink?”
“Perhaps later.” Elena smiled, dipping her eyelids as she gave the sultry beauty a look that said without words what she hungered for.
A slight, feline smile curved the corners of her generous mouth. “Then we’ll leave. My apartment’s not far.”
The fact the woman took charge without hesitation, without the usual prodding to assure they were both seeking a liaison, amused Elena. It wasn’t often she surrendered the lead to another woman, but this night she would let her prey stretch the leash a bit. The switch would make the meal all the more succulent.
As simply as that, they gave each other names. No further introduction required. This would be a lovely interlude, but one from which the tawny-haired beauty would not return. This one was trolling for a hookup. The open lust mirrored in her smoky eyes and the scent of a raspberry douche marked her as a sinner.
They stood at the same time. Elena liked the long, colorful skirt hugging Cassia’s generous hips, so unlike her own slender curves. The woman’s full-blown body would make a feast. Cassia’s scent heated, wafting in the air, a tickling tease that caught and captured Elena’s hunger, which grew more intense by the moment.
She followed in her wake, noting the swag of Cassia’s round ass. Her gums tingled, the urge to go full-fang and take a nip nearly overwhelming. However, Elena was experienced. She’d learned caution. Learned to bait the trap. Practiced patience, because the longer she extended the foreplay before taking her fill, the greater her pleasure, the more sinful the taste.
She didn’t really note their direction. They trailed down a cobblestone street and into an alley.
“It’s a shortcut,” Cassia said, glancing back.
“I’m not worried,” Elena murmured.
They came to a one-lane street where the backs of tall, narrow houses with their small one-car garages extended to the road. The woman lifted a latch on one gate, glanced over her shoulder and smiled. “We’re here. I hope you won’t be disappointed.”
Elena didn’t reply, simply moved closer and placed her hand on the notch of Cassia’s hip and let it glide lower. She bent her head and licked at the sweat gleaming on the top of her shoulder. Sin and secrets, a hint of something dark lurking in her soul—her favorite flavors. “Hurry.”
The winner random number generator of the grab bag of signed books and assorted author “stuff” is…#59 Zina! Zina, congrats, and be sure to send me your snail mail address so I can get your package to you!