Whoa, this was supposed to post yesterday, but something happened as I tried to include the cover. Or rather, nothing happened. No internet connection. Which, when you live rurally and have the same company providing your TV, telephone, and Internet, means you have no connection with the outside world. So, I thought I just needed to reboot the system—something I have to do every other day. I sought out the box unplugged, replugged, then waited half an hour… Nothing. Huh. Just to check whether anyone else was in the same boat (and not at all because I wanted a cup of joe with my dd after all my frustrations), I headed to her place across the street. She had no connection either and had been WTFing for an hour, too.
When her cop hubby came home, we found out that every business and residence in the area using that same service was out as well. A construction crew had severed their fiber optic cable. And that’s technology for you. You’re dead without a backup solution. I did however get to bed super early because I was bored out of my mind.
And I’m rambling again. It’s 6AM, and I just checked connection. It’s back! So, I had to vent before I hit PUBLISH! 🙂
This book’s coming next Tuesday! I wrote it when I was sick as a dog, which somehow translates to “I wrote nothing but sex.” If you love a paranormal where a satyr (horse-man) and a jinn take a witch for a mate, you know this one is full of kink and a naughty ménage.
In Jefferson Parish, deep in the bayou, is a place called Bonne Nuit. Off the beaten path, isolated by swamp and connected to the sea, there the Beaux Rêve Coven thrives.
Five witches…Too many demons to count…
Radha’s sister witches become concerned when her health begins to fail. Her sleep is never restful, but they are unable to pinpoint what is wrong.
Khan, a jinn who’s been tasked to serve as her guardian, has watched her restless sleep and believes he knows the answer. Her dreams may be haunted by a demon set on draining her of power. As much as Khan loathes the idea, he seeks an old enemy, a vanir, whose magic should allow him to enter Radha’s nightmares to slay the Mare, an enemy bent on taking advantage of Radha’s vulnerability to make her his own.
Until the vanir arrives, Khan and the satyr who is her other guardian must keep her safe—even from their own lustful natures.
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The door opened behind her, and she turned with a smile. Only it wasn’t Ali.
Nikon gave her a wink. “Don’t look so disappointed.”
“I’m not dis—”
He cut her off with a quick rise of his brows.
Radha rolled her eyes. “I’m feeling a little restless.”
“If you like, we can walk into the village. We need to restock the refrigerator. We need more meat.”
“I thought horses were herbivores,” she teased, knowing his love of beef.
“Only half horse, here.”
Radha gave a glance in the mirror, decided the long work apron she wore over her wrap-around sari skirt would have to do, and grabbed a large tote as she headed toward the door.
Nikon held it open but stared down at her feet.
“What?” she said, staring at her toes. “I’m earthing.”
“As much as you witches like to be barefoot, it’s a wonder you don’t all have calluses as thick as hooves. Or how you don’t find every pebble in your path. And it’s October.”
She slipped past him and skipped down the porch stairs to the grass, chuckling softly. “October in the bayou isn’t that cold. Besides, the Goddess protects us. Without shoes, our feet connect more directly with her. It gives us a recharge.”
His long legs brought him quickly to her side. “Have you ever actually talked to her? Or seen her?”
“I’ve heard her. Not as clearly as I hear your voice, but like an echo inside my head. And I feel her when I stand in the moonlight.”
She gave him a curious sideways glance. Nikon really was a handsome man. Bright glints of red and gold shone in his brown hair. His hazel eyes were more green than brown. With a rugged body and square chin, he looked the part of a guardian. Her guardian. Why hadn’t she experienced more of an attraction for him? Her life would be a lot less complicated with someone like him rather than her tricky jinn. “Do you plan to stay here in Bonne Nuit, long-term?” she asked.
He shrugged. “I like working for Vindlér Construction. Ethan’s a fair boss, and he encourages his employees to move up. I hope to run my own crew someday.”
So, he had ambition. “Where are you from, originally?”
He grinned. “Kentucky,” he said. “I was raised on a farm. Not some little operation. Our horse clan owned a huge tract of land, a grant from some governor when Kentucky was being settled, so we were free to be ourselves, hidden away.”
“Why did you leave?”
He grimaced and glanced up at the sunlight peeking through the tree branches. Many trees were already losing their leaves. “Wasn’t by choice. The council demanded more tribute. More than we could sustain. So, we disbanded quickly, before they had a chance to claim a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the land. Every family took its cut and fled. My father moved us to Oklahoma. When Katrina hit, I was looking for work and saw that Vindlér was hiring more people to expand their operations during the cleanup. That’s how I got here,” he said, flashing her a toothy smile.
“Did you know Ethan was Other?”
He shook his head and smiled. “Not until he shook my hand and gave me a quick flash of his troll eyes.”
She nodded. “A human would have thought it was a trick of the light.”
“Ethan had a knack for finding those of us who were living outside of council control, even when we were doing our best to blend in.”
A sudden cool wind sifted through the trees, and Radha was glad of the three-quarter sleeved shirt she wore beneath the apron. The wind blew again, a little harder this time, and she felt something drift across her arm, like a fingertip, only she was standing away from Nikon.
Nikon frowned and lifted his nose, scenting the air. “Something’s wrong.”
“I feel it, too,” she said, her teeth beginning to chatter.
“Hope you can ride,” he muttered then tore off his shirt, kicked away his boots, and dragged down his jeans. Before she had a chance to think about the fact he wore no underwear, he shook his body and transformed.
She’d forgotten how large he was in his satyr’s skin. He reached out a hand, and she let him swing her up onto his long horse’s back. Then she scooted toward his torso and slipped her arms around him, holding tight.
Nikon made a sound like a loud whinny and charged down the darkening path toward Bonne Nuit.
They skirted the village, keeping to the trees so the humans wouldn’t see them. Unfortunately, they didn’t count on passing Gus Hearn, the local ferryman, who sat high in his deer stand in the woods.
When they were hidden again by brush, they heard cussing and a crash behind them, and then more cussing as he shouted to himself, or into a phone.
“They’ll think he drank a little too much of Ole Winnie’s hooch,” Nikon muttered, sounding not a bit out of breath although he galloped like a racehorse.
They passed the trail leading to the bed & breakfast, and Radha didn’t say a word, knowing he was likely heading straight for Vindlér, where there would be less chance a human might see them. She held on, her knees gripping his sides, her arms tucked under his, and her palms clutching his chest.
“I don’t feel it anymore,” she shouted. When the fear dissipated, another emotion rose, bringing with it some very confusing sensations—like the way her breasts tingled as they rocked against his back, and how the coarse hair on his horse’s body abraded her inner thighs.
“I don’t feel it anymore, either,” he said. “But I’m not taking the risk. I promised I’d protect you.”
His pace didn’t slow until they entered the clearing. To the left was the large oak, the witches’ sacred tree. To the right stood the building that was still partially under construction because they kept expanding.
Before they came to a halt in front of the steps leading into the building, men flowed from the sides of the building and through the front door.
Ali and Ethan raced toward them, Ali extending his arms to catch her when she unwound her arms from the satyr’s torso and dropped.
“Was there trouble?” Ethan barked out.
“We were walking to town,” Nikon said, his chest billowing. “The air grew suddenly cold, and both of us felt a presence.”
Ali hugged Radha against his chest. “You did right bringing her here.”
“Were you seen?” Ethan asked.
Nikon grimaced. “By Gus Hearn at his deer stand.”
“Then I think we’re safe,” Ethan drawled, aware of the ferryman’s penchant for booze. “Hit the locker room and get changed.”
Radha glanced to the side to see Nikon shake. A millisecond later, he stood nude in his human flesh and walked up the steps—after giving her a wink, because he’d caught her staring at him.
Ali tucked a finger under her chin, raising her face. “Did you enjoy your ride?” he asked, his dark eyes narrowing.