Book One in the Vampire Island Series Over 60,000 words By Jo Grafford www.JoGrafford.com
** It will premiere in the Mystic Realms Box Set on April 10, 2018 **
** Available for pre-order sale of 99 cents at Amazon: http://a.co/dNku1oA **
A few months before her eighteenth birthday, Grace Livingston’s tragic world collides with vampire Stellan Romolov’s dark one.
Until then, she’s suffered more than any teenager deserves to suffer. Shouldering the loss of a parent, practically raising herself, keeping honor roll grades, and applying for a coveted dance scholarship has left precious little time for a social life. After one earth-shaking dance with Stellan, though, she realizes every step in her broken journey has led her to this moment — and him.
It’s an instant and explosive attraction.
She soon discovers the super hot and super sexy Stellan is far more than he seems. He sails ships and flies airplanes. He’s also the billionaire owner and chief surgeon of an all-new medical resort on a private island: On a mission to save humanity by healing one broken or badly burned body at a time.
Neither of them realizes their encounter has awakened a curse set in motion more than a century before, and every moment they spend together puts everyone they love in danger.
“You kept your word, Mr. Livingston. My pilot will return you to the mainland.” Stellan’s baritone voice washed over me, as crisp as the creases ironed into his black trousers. Up close, I deemed them a fine quality of silk, and the white gold watch that flashed at his wrist was no department store bargain. The Stellan I had known before was not so richly dressed. Nor so polished and sure of himself. Nor so bleak. Or so cold.
But those eyes! The deep blue was startlingly reminiscent of the other Stellan I knew so many years ago. His gaze had held secrets then, mystery and longing. They were aged now, darker, more jaded. I shivered. It was like staring into the eyes of an older, angrier ghost. The tenor and cadence of his voice was familiar, too. Every word he spoke revived the exhilarating happiness and excruciating pain of timeworn memories. Completely unnerved by the encounter, I fought to regain the power of speech.
“Is it…really…you?” My hand slid from my throat to cup my mouth. Frantic hope warred with the impossibility of what my eyes beheld. I couldn’t bear the misery of waking from such a desperately real dream. God, help me! I wanted it to be real. I wanted it so bad I could feel old scabs tearing off. Stitches long since hemmed together ripping open anew, fresh blood gushing from what remained of my heart. I was breaking on the inside, shattering… “I thought you were dead.” The last word came out as a hoarse whisper. “How—”
“Grace!” He leaped toward me as my legs gave out.
My father’s arms tightened around me, but another set of arms wrested me away from him. They lifted me against an impressively ripped chest. Arms that at once felt breathtakingly familiar, ones I never thought to feel around me again.
My forehead dropped against a massive shoulder. I felt feverish and strange.
“I warned you,” Bax’s voice was fierce. “It’s too much too soon. I swore to you she didn’t know.”
What didn’t I know? My first husband is still alive? How long had Bax known? I wanted to scream and weep at the unfairness of it all, but I was too weak to lift my head.
“I will ask my own questions now.”
“Where are you taking her?” my father demanded.
“None of your damn business.”
“The hell it isn’t. She’s my daughter.”
“She’s my wife.”
“You have no right to haul her off like some—”
“I have every right. She is mine.”
Mine. Amazing how a single word could pack so much meaning, so much finality. Stellan, rising from the dead to claim me. It was preposterous. It was wildly amazing. It was a kaleidoscope of light and color completely consuming me. The voices faded, and my world skidded across memory lane.
ABOUT JO GRAFFORD
Jo Grafford is a lover of all things historical, romance, mystery, paranormal, fantasy, and action. She adores alpha males, strong-minded women, humorous sidekicks, diversity, vampires, Vikings, dashing lords, zombies, cyborgs…you get the idea.
A Limited Edition Collection of Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Romances
What goes bump in the night? What causes you a fright? While the answers for each may vary, I promise that these stories will not leave you wary.
From vampires and demons to shifters and creatures that you’d never suspect, this set will leave you breathless in the best possible ways.
So, don’t be afraid. Come, step inside our realm. Allow the mysticism of romance in many shapes and forms fall over you like a veil of sweet, soothing, spine tingling comfort.
FEATURED STORIES: Secrets of the Hollows (Book 2) by Nicole Morgan
What’s a girl to do once she falls in love with a demon? Fallen by Tamsin Baker
Gabriel thought he’d do anything to earn his way back into Heaven. He was wrong. Cursed by Tracy Goodwin
Forbidden love. Dangerous prophecies. Limitless power. Fate is a witch. Avenging Aingeal (Protectors of the Earth 1) by Lynn Crain
Bound by vengeance, she is humanity’s one hope… Her Fate, His Mate (Wolves of Windsor Woods) by Krista Ames Author
Can she accept all he is and all he stands for? Sleeping in the Dragon’s Den by Lexi Thorne
His Hungry Dragon
My Curious Desire
His Tattoo Curse
My Wet Dreams Dark Side of the Moon by Laura Baumbach
Vampire rentboy vs. the world. Angel Vindicated by Viola Estrella
Some sins are hard to avoid… A Wolf’s Touch by Christine Duncan Donovan
Can she love him–wolf and all? Dr. Magic (Vampire Island, Book 1) by Jo Grafford
One more dance with the devil… Dark Heat by Jan Springer
Betrayed by her two forced mates, she hides within Vampira. Torkel by Mardi Maxwell
Love unites them in the mists of time. Silent Storm by Sadie Carter
Sometimes the monster is the good guy… Tangled Sin by Georgia Lyn Hunter
She was the light in his eternal darkness… Seduction’s Scent by C.I. Black
Giving in to temptation threatens everything. Ghost Mate by D. Anne Paris
She was going to kill him even though he was already dead. Living on the Edge (Clan Book 1) by Laverne Thompson
Mate wanted. Dead or alive. The Warrior’s Curse by M. Elliott & T. Eden
What comes next may be the end of it all. Three Days From Hellby Dariel Raye
Can a permanent resident of Third Hell be trusted? Just Tell Me What You Want by Tina Donahue
Her wishes will leave him breathless…
This morning, I did something I rarely do. I slept in. All the way to 7:00! I felt lazy. Hell, I was lazy last night. I had washed my bedding, but didn’t have the energy to make my bed, so I rolled myself up inside a fuzzy blanket and slept on top of the unmade mattress. How many of you have done that? Does it bother you? I was too tired to care. 🙂
First thing I did this morning was make my bed. Then I headed to my office. I still haven’t had a cup of coffee. Who is this person? smh
Anyway, you know I have a new story out. REAPER’S RIDE is a glimpse inside Reaper and Carly’s lives AFTER their story, REAPER. I have to do that sometimes. Revisit characters I love. The trick is to find some conflict that will arise that they can push through. It helps to have plenty of external conflicts occurring around them, in their case—bad guys to hunt down. In this story, Reaper injures himself in the first exciting scene. And he handles it the way a lot of men do. Uh-huh. He ignores the pain, doesn’t want to talk about it, and goes right back out to hunt another douche, so Carly can’t make a fuss. It’s a fun story. Lots of action—hunting those bad guys and between the sheets. Thought you might like one of those sexy-time excerpts to get your Saturday going. Enjoy!
Sexy excerpt! You have to be old enough to read this!
When the door closed him and Carly inside, he didn’t spare a glance for the room. His gaze was on Carly, who walked nonchalantly forward and dropped their bag on the low bench at the foot of the bed.
With a glance over her shoulder, she said, “How’s that shoulder?”
“Throbs.” But someplace else throbbed harder.
“Oh.” She sucked her bottom lip between her teeth. “Need help getting out of those clothes?”
“I’ll manage,” he said, keeping his tone low and even.
Her gaze slowly locked with his, and her pupils expanded. Her nostrils flared. But she turned away, keeping her face in profile. “We should probably rest. This day was really long.”
She watched him. He knew it from the prickle that crawled along his skin. And she was aroused. Reaper might be bruised and aching, but in no way would he rest before he fucked her all the way to heaven. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m Blaxton de Ferrers, medieval knight, vampire, twenty-first century property developer, and philanthropist. Back when I strutted around in armor, the ladies called me Blaxton the Bold. I fought for things I believed in, like justice and honor. I don’t believe in much anymore. It’s not that I’m jaded, more that I’m empty inside.
What is your character’s hair color? Eye color?
Once, my eyes were clear blue. That’s different now I’m undead. My eyes have a ring of golden flame around the pupil. People think I’m a poser when I wear dark glasses to hide them. Mostly I just ignore people’s comments when they see them. My hair’s a sort of dirty blonde with permanent sun streaks from when I fought in the Holy Land before I died. My Cousin Rolfe stuck a knife in my back when the Saracens attacked. Only, since I don’t have a soul, I didn’t stay dead.
Where were you born?
Whitborough, on the Yorkshire coast in the North of England. My father built a castle there. It’s full of secret passages and hidden rooms. Or it was. Most of it is in ruins now. I thought coming back here would be sad, but I don’t feel anything.
Do you have a secret?
Do you mean apart from the fact I drink people’s blood to survive? Nobody believes in vampires anymore. That makes feeding easy. I try to feed little and often. I would never drain anyone dry. I used to hate that I preyed on the people I swore to protect, but it doesn’t bother me now I don’t feel.
What makes you laugh out loud?
I haven’t laughed for centuries. Nothing amuses me, and I don’t feel anything anymore. I haven’t since the night I rose as a vampire. Even the color’s fading from my vision now. I feel like I have nothing left to lose. Or I did until this morning. I saw this woman, you see. She put the fire back in my belly and strength back in my soul. Things could have gone better when I spoke to her, but I will find a way to put that right.
Have you ever been in love?
When I joined the Knights Defender, I took vows of poverty and chastity. I took them seriously. My vows were only until I died. After my cousin murdered me, I wasn’t bound by them, but I’ve tried to live a good life. After eight hundred years of feeling nothing, it’s hard sometimes. I fear I’ll lose control and rampage though Britain in a feeding frenzy.
You joined a religious order of Knight – the Knights Defender. What do you think of God now?
I think he’s deserted me. Then again, I don’t have a soul. Why would any God speak to a mongrel creature like me?
What’s your best childhood memory?
My memories are like faded black and white photographs. I wrote them down, then I even if I lose them completely I’ll know where I came from. The one I reread most is about sunny afternoon’s sparring with my brothers. My mother embroidered as she watched. My father shouted out tips. My older brother could never beat me, but he didn’t bare a grudge because of it. I beat my younger brother every time we fought. He was a better tracker than me though. I left the tracking to my dogs. I always had four or five, but since I turned vampire, even dogs avoid me.
Do you have any plans for the future?
Same old. After eight hundred years as a vampire, there’s nothing new under the sun. And yes, I can go out in the sun. That woman though? She made me want to smile for the first time since the Knights Defender stole my soul. Did I say she works at the castle? I think she’s the new archivist, but the last two people who filled that role vanished. I’ll need to look out for her. And that’s her heading for the castle tearooms. Sorry to dash off, but I need to speak to her.
Crusader knight, Blaxton de Ferrers rises as a vampire after the Knights Defender steal his soul. Murdered by his cousin, he preys on the people he once swore to protect. His emotions leach out of him. Gradually, he forgets how to feel.
Eight hundred years later, he meets Harriet.
Harriet Mortlake’s a strong, sassy woman who battles her weight and her temper. She’s the modern-day archivist in the castle which was Blaxton’s childhood home. She’s supposed to ferret out the castle’s secrets. Instead, she finds the love of her life.
When danger threatens Harriet, Blaxton steps in. Harriet and Blaxton are a match made in heaven. Except… he’s a vampire and he’s destined for hell.
Previously sold as Knight’s vampire
“How dare you embarrass me like that?” Harriet Mortlake planted her hands on her hips and glowered at the man she’d cornered outside the cafe. Her normal iceberg cool deserted her, and she wanted to slap the condescending smile off his face. Around this stranger, she felt as though lightning bolts flashed from her eyes.
“It’s a temple, not a chapel,” he insisted.
Stubborn. Damn. Male. She’d been showing the big guns from the Castles’ Management Trust around the building. They’d already made it clear they thought her too young for the archivist’s role. This know-it-all had infuriated her when he sounded off in the chapel. Now he antagonized her all over again.
“As if!” Harriet snorted. “No way would medieval Christians build a pagan temple on their grounds. Superstitious locals would have accused them of devil worship. They burned heretics at the stake, remember?”
Despite Mr. Condescending’s interference, she’d impressed the big bosses—she thought. Now the sexiest male, ever, clung to his ridiculous belief the chapel had been a pagan temple.
He flashed her a smile which would have lit up the underground chapel where he’d embarrassed her earlier. He should keep his mouth shut and let her admire his looks. Everything about him radiated sex appeal. Looking at him almost made her anger evaporate, but he gave her the know-it-all look that made her bristle.
“You need to get your facts right,” he told her, determined to have the last word.
Stupid, arrogant male. She couldn’t decide whether to show him her diplomas and degrees or kick his shins. She’d reined in her temper while the higher-ups carried out their inspection. Now they’d left, she felt free to vent her rage. Hands still on her hips, she tapped her foot at him.
“Lost for words without an audience? Or don’t you have any facts to back up your cock-and-bull story? Put up or shut up, Mister. Tell me why you think it’s a temple.”
Mr. Condescending sat outside the castle’s tearoom as if he hadn’t a care in the world. His interference when she’d shown the bigwigs into the chapel could have cost her the job she loved. Whitborough Castle’s extensive records needed cataloging, and Harriet couldn’t wait to get her hands on them.
More about Kryssie Fortune
Kryssie Fortune writes the sort of hot sexy books she loves to read. If she can sneak a dragon into her paranormal books she will. Her paranormal heroes are muscular werewolves, arrogant Fae or BDSM loving dragons.
Kryssie likes her contemporary hero’s ex-military and dominant. Her heroines are kick ass females who can hold their own against whatever life – or Kryssie – throws at them.
Kryssie’s pet hates are unhappy endings, and a series that end on a cliff hanger.
Her books are all stand alone even when part of series. Plot always comes before sex, but when her heroines and heroes get together, the sex is explosive and explicit. One review called it downright sensual.
Please join us to celebrate the launch of the next series of fabulous books in the Brotherhood Protector’s Kindleworld, hosted by my sister, Elle James. It’s a great chance to meet your favorite authors and some new authors. I’ll be there to talk about my book REAPER’S RIDE!
The third story in my new Montana Bounty Hunters series is here! They’re coming fast and furious now. This month, I’ll be writing the fourth story in this series, Cochise! Be sure to check out the cover below—it’s beyond smokin’!
Reaper’s Ride is a crossover story with my sister’s Kindle World, Brotherhood Protectors, and features Carly and Reaper from the first story in the series, but you’ll get plenty of Dagger and Lacey, too. It’s hot and the takedowns are fun! I hope you love it!
If you have time, tell a friend about this story and, maybe, write a review. Readers trust other readers to let them know whether they should take a chance on a their next book boyfriend. If you love the stories, let someone know. And thanks!
Reaper’s Rider Montana Bounty Hunters, #3
Badass Montana bounty hunter, Reaper Stenberg, is a take-ALL-prisoners kind of guy and goes balls-to-the-wall for every capture. Until he’s injured. The last thing he wants to admit is any vulnerability. And he doesn’t want to hear about it from his wife and partner, Carly. So, with a bum shoulder, he jumps headlong into the next job, working with teammates, Dagger and Lacey, to take down a dangerous arsonist. Soon, he wonders if he’s taken on more than he can chew, but it might be too late to admit he needs a little help…
Former Marine, Reaper Stenberg is a bounty hunter, running his own satellite agency of Montana Bounty Hunters, along with his partner, Jamie Burke. As a general rule, Reaper doesn’t like working with a partner, especially female partners. When chasing a bail-jumper, he prefers to keep his head down and follow the leads. He doesn’t like the “chatter” that usually accompanies working with a woman.
However, partnering with Jamie has taught him a few things. There are women who can focus on the job at hand without letting silly distractions get in the way of his concentration. Jamie is one of those rare creatures who doesn’t gossip, doesn’t get into his business, and can actually be useful when shit goes sideways and they have to get physical. Over the months since their boss, Fetch Winter, put them together, Reaper has come to admire the woman’s grit and ingenuity.
And then Jamie up and gets busy planning her wedding…
See what happens when Reaper has to deal with a ride-along author, Carly Wyatt, who–when shit goes sideways–proves his first female partner’s grit and ingenuity aren’t just lucky happenstance, and who challenges Reaper’s strict relationship rules.
Former Army Ranger, Daniel “Dagger” Renfrew, has been a lot of things—an Army Ranger, a Seattle beat cop, a PI, and now, a bounty hunter, which, so far, suits him just fine. In his job, he doesn’t look for easy takedowns. He likes lying in mud or snow with his binoculars trained on a window, hoping for a glimpse of the dirtbag whose mugshot he carries in his hip pocket. If they’re badasses—all the better. Dagger prefers when assholes try to run, because then he has an excuse to mix it up, get physical, and blow off steam in an all-out brawl—when the situation warrants, of course. One morning when he’s working his side gig, repossessing cars, he discovers the car he’s taking belongs to his old high school sweetheart, and there’s nothing like sweet revenge…
Lacey Jones is furious when she finds a very large, scary dude trying to steal her car. It’s the last straw. She’s lost her job and is about to lose her apartment, so there’s no way in hell she’s letting him take her damn car! When she discovers its Dagger, her old beau, she jumps into the car with him. When she learns how he makes a living, she’s curious…and then determined to become a bounty hunter herself. How hard can it be?
Cochise Montana Bounty Hunters, Book #4
Coming in May
Former Army sniper, Cochise Mercier, left Denver SWAT under a cloud of controversy, which was why he ended up back home in Montana, and where he heard about the Montana Bounty Hunters. The “cloud” didn’t seem to bother his new boss, so he’s “all in” and finding he enjoys hunting down fugitives for bounties, encumbered by fewer rules.
Sammy McCallister is a by-the-book sheriff’s deputy, who has a beef with bounty hunters. Forced to stand by with her gun in her holster, while hunters take down scumbags, she’s particularly irked by the new guy in town. Cochise, with his long black hair and thousand-yard-stare makes her uncomfortable, itchy in ways she’s never felt before. When she finds herself needing his help late one night, the reason for her irritation becomes all too clear. She wants him. But first, they have to make it out of the mountains alive…
It was 1995 or so, and I had made my home on the west coast of Florida with my husband and three kids. We’d been living there for about ten years, and the cost of living along with the cost of raising three kids was pinching a bit . . . plus, property values were up. Some very good friends of ours had recently sold their Florida farm for fat cash and moved up into Alabama, near Birmingham. They bragged about the low cost of living, property, et al. We drove up to visit and toyed with the idea of relocating there as well.
Yes, property was cheap. We went around with a real estate agent who showed us vacant land for hundreds of dollars an acre instead of thousands. He also said he had a very nice, antebellum home that was in some need of repair . . . it had been empty a long time. It was within our price range. We visited the home.
Wow. The tour of that day, apparently, branded my memory. I’d never been inside a plantation-style home, and this was laid out like a mini-Tara. Much smaller, but complete with soaring ceiling heights, a curved stairway, and upper and lower front porch galleries. It was, yes, in need of some TLC. Some updating. Maybe more than a little.
As I walked through that house I had the feeling I was being watched. Like we weren’t alone. The hair at the base of my neck prickled and gooseflesh puckered my skin, even though it was a very hot, summer day. I kept getting the unsettling feeling that there was something—or someone—just beyond my line of vision. But when I turned, there was no one there.
We didn’t move to Alabama. Jobs were hard to come by, and no matter how cheap the land was, anything we could afford—including the antebellum home—was in the middle of nowhere. We remained in Florida for nearly another decade.
Fast forward to 2017. I had long ago forgotten the tour of the antebellum home in Alabama. We had eventually moved—three times, from Florida to Texas to North Carolina, and ultimately landed in Massachusetts. But from somewhere in the depths of my memory, the Alabama memory resurfaced one night in a dream. Complete with the ghost of a Confederate soldier pounding on the front door.
Civil Hearts was born.
He’s a sexy Southern gentleman—with epilepsy. She’s a widow scarred from her late husband’s brain cancer. Her new home, an abandoned antebellum mansion, is haunted by a Confederate soldier—and she’s a Yankee.
A widow with no family, web designer Liv Larson yearns for big change. After all, she can work from anywhere, right? Why not throw a dart at the map? She heads out of the big city for the rural South and falls in love as soon as she arrives—with the Belle Bride, an abandoned antebellum mansion.
Heath Barrow loves his country life, managing his antiques store in sleepy Camellia. But he’s lonely, and his condition—epilepsy—makes life uncertain. It’s already cost him a marriage. A new medication and the new girl in town have his heart hopeful again.
Sparks fly between Heath and Liv. But his first seizure sends Liv into a tailspin. Its mimics those her husband suffered before he died . . .
To make matters worse, Liv discovers she’s not living alone. Her challenge? Dealing with a Confederate soldier, one who clearly resents his Yankee roommate—even though he’s been dead for over a hundred and fifty years.
Claire is a multi-published, award winning author of five titles in the genres of contemporary romance, supernatural suspense, and women’s fiction. She also writes Author Resource guide books, and presents seminars on writing craft and marketing.
Her supernatural suspense, Hearts Unloched, won the 2016 New York Book Festival, and was a finalist in the 2017 RONE Awards. Also in 2017, her women’s fiction, The Phoenix Syndrome, was a finalist in the National Reader’s Choice Awards, and her contemporary romance, A Taming Season, was a Literary Award of Merit finalist in the HOLT Medallion Awards. Her latest release, Spirits of the Heart, was a finalist in the 2017 “I Heart Indie Awards.”
Creating cross-genre fiction she calls “supernatural suspense,” Claire loves exploring the paranormal and the unexplained, and holds a certificate in Parapsychology from the Rhine Research Center of Duke University.
A New York native, Claire has lived in five of the United States and held a variety of jobs, from waitress to bridal designer to research technician—but loves being an author best. She and her happily-ever-after hero, her husband of 39 years, now live in central Massachusetts.
The last book in the Triplehorn Brand trilogy is here! All three brothers are reunited with the women they could never forget. A Long, Hot Summer, to me, is the sweetest and sexiest of the bunch, and you get a very satisfying glance at the other brothers’ happy-ever-afters….
As for what’s happening in my neck of the woods… I’ve been writing! And I’m preparing for a trip to Hawaii! I’ll be heading there with a group of author friends for a creative recharge! Hawaii’s somewhere I’ve never been, but have always had it on my bucket list, so I’m super-excited. We’ll be staying on the island of Oahu, so any of you who have been, do you have suggestions for where I should go?
Hope you love Tommy Triplehorn’s story! Enjoy! ~DD
A Long, Hot Summer
A Long Hot Summer The Triplehorn Brand, Book #3
When two lonely hearts collide, age becomes just a number…
Sarah Colby’s marriage was over long ago, but she’s never shed the scars her abusive husband left behind. One shameful indiscretion, an affair with a younger man one long-ago summer, haunts her.
Tommy Triplehorn is happy his brothers have settled down and started families of their own, but he’s feeling a little smothered by all that domesticity. Carousing and drinking no longer provide him any thrills, and he thinks he knows the reason why. He’s waited long enough for Sarah Colby to get over being ashamed of their past. He’s old enough to know what he wants, and he wants her.