For readers who are familiar with my work, you know I don’t shy away from harder topics. If you’re looking for a sweet, fluffy romance, you aren’t going to find it here. What you’ll get are alpha men who go after what they want, women who are stronger than they give themselves credit for, and some darker topics like child abuse, assault, human trafficking, and murder. Not necessarily all in the same book.
What types of heroes do I write most often? Bikers who might have a hard exterior, but when it comes to those they love, or women and children in need, they’re complete softies on the inside. In the case of Samurai, you’ll find out why he’s got such a hard exterior, and it’s a rather difficult topic to cover. This book does come with a reader advisory, and for good reason. Samurai suffered trauma in his past that has shaped who he is today. In the previous books, you’ve not received so much as a hint as to what’s driving Samurai, so be prepared for a curveball with this one!
Readers first met Samurai in the earlier Devil’s Boneyard MC books, when he was a prospect known as Jin. Now he’s all grown up and battling demons who seem to be getting the best of him. Until sweet Grey comes along and is far more understanding than he could have ever hoped for.
Grey — Desperate times call for desperate measures, otherwise, I’d have never signed a contract with Knox’s Pleasure Emporium. Selling myself for a few hours once is far better than my other option — letting my mother’s loan shark use me however he sees fit in order to recoup his money. I can’t even be angry with my mom since she’s no longer with us. She did what she’d thought was best at the time, but now I’m paying the price.
I didn’t count on a biker changing my life forever. Not only did we have a slight miscommunication that ended up leaving me with an eighteen-year commitment, but he’s my only hope of escaping my son’s father. Why do I keep getting tangled up with bad boys? It never ends well for me.
Samurai — I can admit my past has left me screwed up. I’d never thought I’d pay to be with a woman, but not just anyone can handle my needs. The little goddess I purchased isn’t anything like I expected. The way she gives into me so sweetly, and comes apart in my arms, makes it damn hard to forget her when our time is over. I didn’t realize I’d be seeing her again, under less than favorable circumstances.
She needs my protection. What do I do? Act like a bastard and call her names. Not my finest moment. Now I need to fix things before my cousin, Phantom, decides to step in and claim her for himself. I might have some issues to work through, but Grey is mine, and no one is taking her from me. Not Phantom, and not the man threatening Grey and Ryo. Because once I’m in, I’m all in.
WARNING: There are scenes with bad language, adult situations, violence, and talk of abuse that may bother some readers. No cheating. No cliffhanger. And a guaranteed happily-ever-after. Samurai is part of the Devil’s Boneyard MC series. While the series may best be enjoyed in order, each book can be read as a stand-alone.
“Wow….I’m not sure I will be able to find the words to give this one justice… I can’t even express how much I love this story!” – Shelby, Goodreads
“This story will take you on a journey that will break you apart and then put you back together in a way that you don’t expect. Samurai and Grey embarked on a raw and emotional ride that started some healing that both of them deserved. This is a powerful, strong, meaningful and heartfelt story. I enjoyed every single second of this book.” – Drea, BookBub
“Another brilliant read from Harley Wylde. Samurai and Grey’s book is on point. I highly recommend this. You have to binge and read all her books. I have not come across a bad one.” – Alice, Goodreads
“Samurai took me completely by surprise, I couldn’t be happier that he did! These two are just perfect for each other, I fell in love with them both. All the stars for Grey and Samurai” – Leslee, Goodreads
“I absolutely loved Samurai and Grey. Their story was so emotional.” – Tanya, BookBub
I didn’t want to be here. I had a feeling this would end badly, but I didn’t know what else to do. Ryo clutched my hand and I shifted from one foot to the other while the guy behind the gate looked me over. His gaze landed on Ryo and his eyes slightly widened as he took a step back.
“You said Samurai?” he asked. “Not Phantom?”
I didn’t know who Phantom was, or why this man would think I didn’t know who to ask for. Clearly I’d come here for a reason. Did women show up and get the men confused on a regular basis? I wasn’t sure how to take that.
“Samurai.” I took a step closer. “Please. It’s important.”
His gaze dropped to Ryo again. “I bet it is.”
I breathed a sigh of relief when he opened the gates and let us through. At least we’d made it this far. Samurai might very well tell me get to lost and never show my face here again. At least I’d get the chance to find out.
He pointed to a building not too far off. “He’s probably at the clubhouse. But um… you may not want to take the kid inside there. It’s not too wild at this time of day. Doesn’t mean people aren’t smoking, or that he wouldn’t see something he shouldn’t.”
Right. Because I was at a biker compound. Who knew what went on behind the gate, much less in the building he’d called a clubhouse. I doubted they were in there playing video games or watching movies.
“I can’t leave Ryo outside on his own,” I said.
The guy looked around and let out a shrill whistle. “Hey, Sam! Lady needs her kid watched for a minute.”
The other man jogged over. I noticed both wore the leather vest like Samurai had, but neither had a name on theirs. It only said Prospect. I had no idea what that meant, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.
“Sam, this is…” The guy rubbed the stubble on his jaw. “Sorry. Didn’t catch your name.”
“I’m Grey and this is Ryo,” I said.
He nodded. “Right. Grey and Ryo. She’s here to see Samurai.”
Sam’s eyebrows rose as he stared at Ryo a moment. “All right. I can sit outside with him, or I can go in and get Samurai. Might be better to have him come outside.”
“Going inside doesn’t bother me,” I said. “But he said it wouldn’t be a good place for Ryo.”
Sam shook his head. “No, I have a feeling Samurai would kick my aa… uh, rear, if I let either of you into that building. You can sit in the shade. There’s a few chairs up on the porch.”
I led Ryo over to the building and claimed a chair while Sam went inside. I could hear laughter and music spill from the open doorway, as well as the sounds of women. My stomach soured when I pictured Samurai with them. It was stupid to come here. He wouldn’t want this baby, or me. Wouldn’t care about my problems or that my son was in danger.
I stood and lifted Ryo into my arms. “Come on, sweetheart. We shouldn’t have come here. We’ll go home and figure something else out.”
I walked down the steps and toward the gate, but the guy who’d let me in was shaking his head and pointing back at the clubhouse. “Nope. Sorry. I’m not letting you leave until you see Samurai.”
“Are you serious right now? It’s obvious I made a mistake coming here. Let me go before he comes out and…”
I heard heavy steps behind me and stopped mid-sentence. My nape prickled and I had a feeling the man in question was right behind me. Ryo’s head remained tucked against my chest, and I tightened my hold on him. If I’d had anyone to watch him, or felt safe leaving him behind, I wouldn’t have brought him with me.
“Before I come out and what?” Samurai asked. I’d recognize his voice anywhere.
Slowly, I turned to face him. He rocked back on his heels, his gaze going to Ryo. “Sorry to disappoint, but no fucking way that kid is mine. Your math is off by a few years.”
“I never said he was yours.” I backed up a step. “I needed help, but I shouldn’t have come here. He won’t open the gate and let me leave.”
Samurai’s gaze went over my shoulder and I saw him scanning the road. I knew what he’d see. Nothing. I didn’t have a car or any other transportation. I had to walk everywhere and coming way out here hadn’t been easy on either me or Ryo. Thankfully the weather had cooled a little, so I at least didn’t have my clothes and hair plastered to me from sweat. Could have been worse.
“You walked here carrying him?” he asked.
“Yes, and if you’ll tell him to let me go, then I’ll walk right back home. I shouldn’t have come.”
“Why did you?” he asked, folding his arms over his chest.
I shifted Ryo in my arms and felt my dress pull tight over my stomach. I tried to hide the small bump before he noticed and seemed to have managed since he didn’t say anything. Or maybe he didn’t care. This version of Samurai was very different from the one at the Pleasure Emporium. The man who’d made me cry out his name, who’d melted my bones with multiple orgasms, wasn’t the one eying me now.
“Some people in town have talked about the good things your club does. Toy drives and helping homeless women. I’d hoped you might know of a way to solve my problem, but it was wrong to even ask.”
“You sure the kid isn’t Phantom’s?” the guy at the gate asked.
Samurai’s eyes narrowed as he studied Ryo. The look he slid my way held a hint of hostility. I didn’t know why they kept bringing up Phantom.
“I’ve never met anyone named Phantom,” I said. “Why does everyone keep asking me that?”
“He’s my older cousin, and your son resembles him,” Samurai said.
I didn’t want to do this out in the open, or where Ryo could hear, so I chose my words carefully. “Do you remember my first reaction to you, and why I said it happened?”
His chin went up and he cursed softly. “The guy who hurt you. The one you said was Japanese, like me.”
I ran my hand over Ryo’s hair. “He saw me last week, with Ryo. He knows, and he… he said he’s coming for us. I survived him once. Even if I could live through it again, I won’t let him get his hands on Ryo. My baby is a good boy. He’s sweet and innocent. If Itachi gets his hands on him…”
“Itachi Suzuki?” Sam asked. “That’s who you’re running from?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Harley Wylde is the International Bestselling Author of the Dixie Reapers MC, Devil’s Boneyard MC, and Hades Abyss MC series.
When Harley’s writing, her motto is the hotter the better — off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place. She doesn’t shy away from the dangers and nastiness in the world, bringing those realities to the pages of her books, but always gives her characters a happily-ever-after and makes sure the bad guys get what they deserve.
The times Harley isn’t writing, she’s thinking up naughty things to do to her husband, drinking copious amounts of Starbucks, and reading. She loves to read and devours a book a day, sometimes more. She’s also fond of TV shows and movies from the 1980’s, as well as paranormal shows from the 1990’s to today, even though she’d much rather be reading or writing.
You can find out more about Harley or enter her monthly giveaway on her website. Be sure to join her newsletter while you’re there to learn more about discounts, signing events, and other goodies!
Romance stories usually focus on fairly young characters. A younger woman can be somewhat inexperienced in sex, so it’s believable that the man she meets has a few things to teach her. He, on the other hand, is vulnerable in hidden ways to her joie de vivre and innocence, and so the standard trope unfolds.
But what if the characters aren’t young?
I admit that when I first considered that idea for this book, I immediately dismissed it. Yet the idea kept coming back, and I ended up compromising between a twenty-something female and a woman so deep into her fifties that readers (sadly) might find her romantic possibilities somewhat unbelievable.
It’s not that many readers aren’t over fifty. It’s just that romance novels are supposed to take us to a fantasy world where men are so powerful their shoulders fill a doorway and women are so lovely they utterly captivate the man at first glance. There must be room for magic.
In this story set thirty years into the future, the magic has been left hanging too long, a love affair put on hold while the hero turns his attention to a family emergency. Taken for granted a little too long, the heroine tries to cut her losses and forget him.
Martin Bernard has spent his life becoming one of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful men. But that’s not helping him now that his criminal son-in-law Ned Argenta has gone rogue, putting Martin’s empire on the block in order for Martin to ensure his daughter Marie’s safety. Weeks, months fly by as Martin tries to control this nightmare, leaving his lover Mohana in the sidelines. He just wants to get control of things and then he’ll make it up to her.
Mohana James isn’t waiting any longer. At her friend Giselle’s urging, she visits the Paris House of Rae to find some pleasure. The pleasure partner there doesn’t disappoint, but the entire experience stirs up her grief about Martin. Is he ever going to call? Should she forget him? If she does hear from him, is she going to slap him and walk away? She’s pretty sure that’s all he deserves. But her heart is breaking and she’s not sure she can forget him.
“It’s what I have to do,” Mohana said, stabbing her omelet. “I have to.”
“Yes,” Giselle said. “I totally agree. I’m excited for you.” She dumped another spoonful of sugar into her tea and stirred. “But you don’t have to do it all at once, do you?”
Blinking against the bright hazy sky, Mo leaned back to watch people strolling past their table. Parsley sat patiently by her chair, his attention riveted on the regular appearance of other dogs. This sidewalk café had been a favorite since, well… She wasn’t going to think about the passage of time. It hurt too much. A slight breeze ruffled the tablecloth and sent tiny ripples across the surface of her tea. Traffic was light for a Saturday morning.
She’d worn a new dress today, one she’d bought only recently in one of Giselle’s on-demand shopping trips. It had almost been a dare to herself, selecting something in a soft cotton print with a low V-neck in a fitted bodice over a flowing calf-length skirt. The wind teased her cleavage, an insanely erotic sensation that left her uneasy. But whereas before she would have been reminded of Martin with such a sensation, now she also thought of Henri and the possibility that she might again darken the door at the House of Rae to see what other scrumptious men might be on order.
“I’m not doing it all at once,” she said, savoring the flavor of the mild cheese, garlic-sautéed chard, and green onions inside their comfortable warm envelope of tender egg. “I made a list. Disentangling myself from Martin means I have to stop accepting his money. I don’t think he even knows he’s still sending it.”
“Why stop?” Giselle said. “Take it, save it if you don’t want to spend it. He owes you.”
“Yes, well, I need to stand on my own two feet. And that means earning a living.” She ripped a chunk off the flakey croissant and popped it in her mouth, relishing its delicate texture. “If I can get this position at the national library, it will make me very happy to go to work every day. Can you imagine?”
Giselle brandished her butter knife. “I can’t think of a job better suited for you, but…”
Parsley whined, his tail whipping side to side. A shadow loomed over the table, and the two women looked up. Mo’s breath caught in her chest. She literally could not breathe.
“Martin!” she gasped.
“I thought that was you,” he said, his gaze roaming down her cleavage before returning to her face. “And Parsley, too. What a good boy!” He leaned down to pat the dog’s head before standing to devote his full attention to Mo. Deep laugh wrinkles creased in his cheeks as he smiled. “It’s wonderful to see you. How have you been?”
Of all the… Mo bit back outraged profanities and tried to calm her racing pulse. He looked so damn fine. Despite the months, years of tears and torment, she instantly wanted him.
“Lovely, and you?” she managed.
He laughed, that same warm baritone that had rumbled in his chest so many times before. “I’m in the middle of a crisis, but what else is new, right? Look, I really don’t have time to talk right now, but I saw you and couldn’t stop myself from saying hello. I promise to be in touch soon. We’ll get caught up.”
Giselle looked at her and lifted an eyebrow. Damn it, he was tan and healthy looking, as well built as she remembered, broad shoulders straining the seams of his tailored light blue sports shirt, sculpted biceps emerging from the short sleeves. The sinews of his forearms rippled underneath the soft furring of hair, reminding her of the times he lifted her to sit astride him.
So much for the idea that he hadn’t been in touch because he was sick or injured in some way. She bit back the litany of cutting remarks hovering on the tip of her tongue. Most men his age had developed a paunch, but Martin’s belly remained flat inside the waistband of his slacks. She ripped her gaze away before her eyes dropped further. But she knew.
She could always feel the force of his virility from across a crowded room.
A bit more gray than she remembered peppered his hair and beard, but the same chiseled features – strong jawline and square chin under that neatly trimmed beard, sensuous mouth and those eyes – made her pulse race madly in her neck. She could taste him, smell him, feel the heat of his skin under her palms as if no time had passed, as if she wasn’t three years older, still hopelessly in love.
“No rush,” she said, straightening in the chair and smoothing her napkin against her lap. “I know how busy you must be.”
He seemed startled by her remark, opened his mouth then closed it. She lifted her teacup, proud that her hand didn’t shake, and sipped calmly as if he were a mere acquaintance.
“Well, I – uh, soon, I promise.”
“Yes, of course,” she said. She broke eye contact and waited for him to move. Moments clicked past, each instant a torment of unsaid words and mounting fury. Then his shadow moved away. Parsley stretched and lay down, head resting disconsolately on his front paws.
“Christ,” Giselle said. “That was intense.”
“I thought you handled it perfectly.”
“Good. I was dying inside.”
“And screaming, too, right?”
Mo nodded, waiting for her heart to stop pounding against her ribs. “Why does he have to look so damn good? It’s not fair.”
“Well, you’re looking pretty great yourself this morning,” Giselle said with a huge smile. “I thought he was going to eat you up.”
“Couldn’t you see it? Hell, I shouldn’t tell you.”
Giselle leaned forward and lowered her voice. “All the signs – his face flushed, his nostrils flared. His er, um, was pressing his pants, like full on. Dear me, what a specimen. Didn’t you see? Honestly, I think he fought not to touch you, and that’s just a sign of how desirable you are. It’s no wonder Henri outdid himself. There are plenty of men out there who will want you, Mo. You don’t have to waste your life on Martin Bernard.”
Belatedly, Mohana wished Giselle had kept that bit about Martin’s arousal to herself.
Still later, Mo studied herself in her bathroom mirror. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes seemed overly bright. Her pulse still hadn’t calmed and she felt alternatively hot and cold. How could she still react this way after all he’d done? Or, actually, not done. She couldn’t get him out of her mind, how his body had inclined toward her, how tiny lines crinkled at the corners of his intense green eyes. So charming, so damn handsome.
She’d never been able to define it, what he had, what seemed to be at the heart of Martin Bernard more than any man she’d ever met. Maleness. Potency. Energy radiated from him like a kind of gravity, pulling her in, wrapping her in his strength. For years, she had fallen deeper and deeper into that force, enchanted in the joy of their love.
Yet, somehow, she had failed. She’d agonized over it, night after night, month after month after he’d disappeared from her life. He had said she was beautiful, but what if he wanted someone younger, prettier? He had said he loved her, but that must have been a lie. He had said he wanted to marry her, spend the rest of his life with her. She’d even indulged in fantasies of their future together, maybe a child…
She gripped the sink. In the long days and nights of waiting, she had deluded herself, thinking he might be ill or disabled somehow, too proud to let her know. Alternately, she imagined he’d been trapped in some foreign country in one of his far-flung business deals. But here he was, walking the streets of Paris looking like a million dollars, full of himself.
And dismissive. He’d call soon. Ha!
BONUS: Nab another book in the House of Rae series also FREE at the same time!
Reprieve, Book II, is the first part of Martin’s story about his daughter Marie.
House of Rae franchisee Marie Argenta is on the run after her estranged husband Ned inflicts unimaginable tortures. Leaving her Paris House to hide out in the U.S., she ends up at the San Francisco House to serve as temporary manager. The very first day, her gaze lands on the most arrogant man she has ever seen, Adrian Velasquez. He’s also the most compelling devastatingly attractive, over-the-top pleasure partner the universe could ever conjure, which makes her think twice about the rules forbidding employee relationships.
Adrian knows what he likes and this new House manager Marie ranks above and beyond anything he’s ever imagined. Too bad his life is already crammed too full of family troubles, work overload, and finishing his law degree to even consider stretching the rules with this irritating woman. But a touch here, a kiss there, might be too delicious to refuse and she’s, well, she wants him. He knows it.
What Marie and Adrian are soon to discover is that Ned knows where Marie has fled and plans to take her back no matter what.
Mediums are the main attraction in one of my favorite places, Cassadaga, Florida. If you want to communicate with a loved one who has passed away, this is the go-to town.
As you walk along the quiet streets, many of the homes are Victorian with wide porches and colorful gingerbread trim. Others are more like cottages or bungalows. The atmosphere is peaceful and serene, and you see signs outside the homes advertising psychic readings
A fascinating bookstore offers the schedule for the month including tours, healing and massage services, orb photo opportunities, educational sessions, and so much more. This is the perfect place to begin learning about Spiritualism and the history of the town.
A historic hotel dominates the smaller businesses and residences. Its 1920’s style luxury immediately brings about a sense of a slower, simpler pace of life. It’s supposed to be haunted, but the ghosts are friendly!
Even if you don’t see a ghost during your stay, you can get a tarot card reading, experience a reiki healing session while reclining in a crystal bed, or have your aura photographed.
I could go on and on about this charming location, which is only about 20 miles from Daytona Beach, but truly in a different world.
My recently released novel, Witch Trial Legacy is set in Cassadaga and surrounding areas and is the first in a collection where romance collides with supernatural suspense.
The Cassadaga Collection: Witch Trial Legacy
If you are a fan of Tricia O’Malley or Kay Hooper, you’ll love The Cassadaga Collection: Witch Trial Legacy.
Sybilla Sanborn must break a centuries-old curse before everything she cares about goes up in smoke.
Sybilla is a nurse gifted with the ability to heal with her touch but cursed with visions of future tragedies she cannot prevent because no one heeds her warnings. With help from the mediums of the spiritualist town of Cassadaga, Florida, she learns she is descended from both the first person executed for witchcraft in this country and the man who accused her.
Conn Ahern is an Iraq war vet dealing with pain and PTSD while working as a paramedic and struggling to save the ranch his grandmother founded. He’s an atheist who wants nothing to do with the people of the town.
When Conn and Sybilla meet, sparks fly, but not always in a good way, and their relationship fans the flames of jealousy and revenge in someone who doesn’t want them to work things out.
During a séance, her ancestor’s spirit reveals how Sybilla can rid herself of the curse and save Conn, but the price may be too high.
Here’s an excerpt that shows Sybilla meeting with a medium and experiencing a past life regression where she views what happened to her ancestor:
This time she didn’t even make it up the sidewalk before the door opened. “Did you glimpse me from the window again?”
“Nah, this time it was my psychic power.” Mr. Bennett said it deadpan.
Not sure if he was joking, she nodded and followed him inside.
Today he sported a blue and yellow Hawaiian shirt over tan pants and sandals. He carried a tray with a pitcher of ice water and two glasses into the living room and set it on the coffee table. “Okay, you’re familiar with the drill by now.” He gestured toward the recliner.
She sat there, and he settled in the other one. “The initial routine will be the same as the previous sessions. First, a short prayer, then I’ll put you in a state of deep relaxation. When you’re completely open, I’ll guide you to younger times in your life. Eventually, we’ll return to previous lives or those of your ancestors. The process is a little like hypnosis, except I won’t be giving you suggestions or commands. Instead, I’ll guide you to remember past incarnations. Time is not a concept of the other side, so during a session, we could move backward or forward from the present. Who you were, and who you are, and who you will be are all the same. Only our mortal minds need to sort events into before and after. So, whatever happens to you, go with it. All right?”
She touched her butterfly necklace. “What if I get scared or find out something terrible? What do I do?”
“Trust me. If you tense up or I think you’re becoming frightened, I’ll bring you to the here and now. Remember, none of what you see or hear is happening in this lifetime, but the past and can’t harm you. Are you ready?”
“Let’s do it.” She leaned back, closed her eyes, and listened as Mr. Bennett said the invocation and guided her through relaxing by contracting and releasing the muscle groups in sequence from her feet up to her neck and face. An odd floating sensation went through her as if she hovered a few inches above the chair.
His calm, soft voice surrounded her. “Now, I want you to remember a time when you were young and happy. Tell me about it.”
“My birthday when I was five. I had on my princess gown with a tiara in my hair. Mommy looked so beautiful in her white slacks and lacy top, like a queen. The cake was white with white icing and gold candles. Everything at the party was white and gold. So lovely.” Sybilla sighed. The day had been one of her best, before the visions and the fear.
“All right. Imagine yourself as a toddler.” He paused. “Now as a baby.” For a moment he remained silent again. “Now, go further, all the way to the womb.”
Imagining myself in utero is silly. No one can remember before they were born. Black nothingness, although warm and safe.
“Let your mind drift to before this existence, to when you manifested as someone else, someone with a different name and a different body, a man or a woman, adult or child. Do you remember?”
She viewed the world from a different perspective as if she were shorter. Her chubby body was that of a child. Young, maybe six or eight. She stood in a cell beside a woman who wore an ankle-length, black skirt with a white apron, and a dark, long-sleeved blouse. The woman wept and sobbed into a handkerchief.
Mother. She clung to the woman. “Don’t cry. I love you. What’s wrong?”
Rough hands gripped her shoulders from behind and plucked her from the woman’s arms. “Mistress, say goodbye to your daughter.” A male voice, cold and harsh.
The woman clutched her and hugged her hard.
The man with the cruel grip dragged her away.
She wailed. “No, let me go. I want my mother.”
The man lugged her out as she kicked and screamed, and her mother shouted, “Damn you, Matthias North. You bear false witness against me. Though I am no witch, I condemn you and your line forever. No one will ever again believe you or anyone descended from you for the rest of time.”
“A witch you are, proved by the curse that falls from your foul mouth, evil one.” The man spat on the floor.
When he reached the outer door of the jail, he handed the struggling child to a woman. “Take her and find a family to care for her until she is grown. The witch hangs tomorrow.”
About the Author
Katherine Eddinger Smits is a direct descendant of Susannah Martin, one of the victims tried and executed for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. With a master’s degree and over 20 years of clinical social work experience, Katherine addresses real-life issues of self-acceptance, body image, relationship dynamics, fears, and phobias through stories of fantasy and romance which include mages, mermaids, and magical creatures. Mystery, suspense, and a little sex add spice to her books.
When I was growing up Westerns were a staple on television. I probably watched every one produced, either in real-time or syndicated reruns. Gunsmoke, Rawhide, The Rifleman, Have Gun Will Travel, Bat Masterson, Death Valley Days, Branded, Bonanza, Wanted Dead or Alive, High Chaparral, The Guns of Will Sonnett, Maverick. There was even a Northwestern, Here Come the Brides, that I enjoyed. I also remember Alias Smith and Jones, a comedic western. I was so steeped in westerns that in junior high school I got a grade of A++ on a pioneer journal assignment. However, while I can name all the shows I watched, one particular episode sticks with me: an episode of High Chaparral that featured Buffalo Soldiers.
To be honest. if a show — no matter what kind — had a black actor or actress on it I watched it. So no surprise I watched High Chaparral regularly on which Frank Silvera, a Jamaican-American, played the Mexican paterfamilias, Don Sebastian Montoya. It’s no wonder then that even after all these years I can still see the half-page ad description in the old TV Guide on their Buffalo Soldiers episode. I must have stared at the drawing of Black cowboys on horseback forever because the picture is still embedded in my memory. I never learned about Buffalo Soldiers in school. I always had the Schomburg Library to go to find information that was verifiable and books on the history of Blacks and the West by authors like Tom Willard and William Lorenz Katz. Today I’m thankful to the Internet that I can learn directly from the websites of Black history museums like the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center in Denver Colorado.
It’s because of an episode of Bonanza I learned the Chinese used thumbprints as means of identification. The episode on Bonanza that dealt with Little Jo’s birth opened my eyes to racism against Native Americans. I wonder if the children in school today are learning about the role the 9th and 10th Cavalry played in the history of the West. Do they know the Chinese invented gunpowder, the compass, and pulp papermaking? Are they learning about the Trail of Tears? I would hope so. I would hope they are being taught by enlightened school systems that uplift the contributions of all cultures to the history of this country.
I don’t watch much TV these days, so I hope what little seeds planted by the stories told on it now grow into trees of truth and not misinformation. In my own small way, I hope the romances I write might do a little planting of their own. So how about you? For a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, share in the comments any pieces of history you learned from unexpected sources.
Coming Tomorrow! “The Patience of Unanswered Prayer” from Cowboys
A feisty businesswoman about to become the next victim of Post-Civil War revenge receives rescue from an unexpected source
Excerpt from “The Patience of Unanswered Prayer”…
Something sinister wafted in the still night air from the edge of Franklin Adams’s property. The low growl from the wolf by his side signaled the animal had detected it, too.
“Too quiet, eh, Zeb?”
The wolf tensed as if in agreement.
Franklin sucked in a lungful of warm Oklahoma summer air and scanned the sky. Too quiet like that night a week ago when eight sheet-shrouded night riders thought they’d scare him off his land. No jigaboo had money for a spread like this they’d shouted. None should be allowed to have one outside of the Black townships anyway. Calls to tar and feather and ride his nappy-headed ass out on a rail followed.
Steel from Franklin’s Winchester and the attack of Zeb’s wolf pack had put the fear of God into those shivering cowards. All fled screaming into the night, bruised, bloodied, and bullet-ridden. Surely, they hadn’t come back for a second try? Although many a drunk might grow brave and stupid and forgetful, if they let enough time pass and consumed enough whiskey.
A breeze troubled the leaves of the oak in the front yard. Birdwings fluttered anxious sounds into the air.
I have new books coming soon. One, in particular, I’m pretty excited about. Defending Evangeline exists inside my sister Elle James’s Brotherhood Protectors world. It’s one of five books in the Team Trojan stories inside the series. I have an excerpt to share. The minute Zeke and Evangeline meet sparks fly (Pssst. It’s a very sexy read!). I’m sharing a hint of it below! Enjoy! Poor Zeke’s in a bad way. 🙂
A sharp-edged, disgruntled former Green Beret who needs to find redemption finds himself attracted to a woman hiding dangerous secrets.
Zeke Turner still can’t get his head wrapped around the fact he’s been all but booted from the job he loved. Angry over the fact Trojan Team took the fall for their leadership’s failure, he’s relieved that he and his buddies appear to have landed on their feet, still together, having been hired by the Brotherhood Protectors, but he doesn’t trust this move will end well. Once burned, twice shy is his motto—and he was never very trusting in the first place.
His first protection job doesn’t leave him feeling any surer he made the right decision, but he’s keeping his dissatisfaction to himself, keeping his head down…until then he bumps into a dark-haired angel in Fool’s Gold, who manages to both attract and intrigue him. He knows something’s not right, that Evangeline Carré is scared and hiding secrets. With his protective instincts going into overdrive, he’s determined to unravel the mystery surrounding her while keeping her safe, even when she swears she doesn’t need or want his help.
For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, let me know if this story is one you look forward to reading! Let me know how you like the excerpt! Do you love ex-military men who put everything on the line to save the women they love?
An excerpt from Defending Evangeline…
By early evening, they’d heard from Cage and Sawyer. They’d finished up installing all the tech at the cabin and were heading back. Jake had outfitted Zeke with weaponry, and a satellite phone, as well as one of the tracking pendants. They’d use the cover of darkness to spirit Evangeline away from the lodge, with decoy vehicles to distract anyone who might try to tail them.
Right now, he was climbing the stairs two at a time to bring Evangeline down for dinner. The team was using a room reserved for parties for their meal rather than their usual staff-only table in the dining room to keep Evangeline out of the public eye. Clint was watching the entryway and stairs to ensure that he got her downstairs without being seen.
It was a lot of cloak and dagger shit, but after Evangeline had spent the afternoon confined in her room, Jake and RJ were sure she would appreciate some company and a taste of normalcy.
Zeke had showered and changed half an hour ago, and RJ had stopped by Evangeline’s room to let her know what the plans were for the evening meal. He paused and rubbed a hand over his hair, making sure nothing was sticking up, then knocked on her door.
Evangeline opened it a few moments later.
Every thought in his head flew at the sight of her, replaced by an instant surge of lust. Although dressed casually, her jeans were dark and tailored to hug the length of her surprisingly long and slender legs. Her feet were encased in short black leather boots with three-inch heels. On top, she wore a teal-colored sweater that looked as soft as a cloud and molded over the curves of her perfectly sized breasts. The collar of the sweater draped downward, and there was a deep narrow slit in front that showed just a hint of her cleavage. She’d left her dark hair down and wore only the lightest application of makeup. She didn’t need any of it. The woman was gorgeous. Way out of his league. And suddenly, he felt awkward, like an oafish Shrek, as he stood before her.
“You look nice,” he said, wincing inside because she looked much more than nice, but he would likely have garbled a stronger compliment.
She blushed as her gaze roamed his body from his chest to his toes and back up to his face. “You look nice, too.”
Her lips parted, and he had the urge to duck down and kiss her. Fuck, I’m in trouble. Instead, he held out his arm. “Ready to head down?”
She stepped out, closed the door behind her, then took his arm and walked beside him as they headed to the stairs.
“Were you bored as fu—bored,” he quickly corrected, “staying in your room all afternoon?”
“Yes, I was bored as fuck,” she said, her words sounding almost comical coming from her mouth. She glanced sideways, revealing a teasing smile.
He cleared his throat to keep from laughing. “I spend all my time with other guys. I don’t have to think so much about what comes out of my mouth.”
“I’m not a fragile princess or a prude. I won’t judge you, Zeke.”
He stayed silent as they descended the steps, determined not to trip over his own feet and bring her down with him. At the bottom of the stairs, Clint gave him a wink and signaled the “all clear” as he took her past the dining room to the smaller party room.
“I’ve put you all to a lot of bother,” she said softly.
They’d reached the door. Zeke turned toward her. “Stop. This is what we do.”
“For money,” she said, her eyes filling. “And you should be paid. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to reimburse you for everything—”
“Stop.” He pulled her against his chest. “We’ll get paid. Just not by you. The Brotherhood Protectors make bank for their paying jobs, but they also have benefactors who fund jobs where people can’t afford to pay for the protection they need. We don’t turn down someone who’s needful for lack of money.”
She leaned back her head. “I hate this. I put myself in this position. No one should feel sorry for me.”
“No one does. We feel concern—for your safety. And you do not deserve what’s happening to you.”
She dropped her gaze but didn’t step out of his embrace. He liked how she felt pressed against him, soft and warm. Her fragrance, a hint of a light exotic floral, filled his nose, and it was all he could do not to tighten his arms around her.
“I think they’ll probably wonder what’s keeping us,” she said, peeking up at him again.
He didn’t move his arms. “You ready?”
Her eyebrows drew closer. “Not yet,” she said, then rose on her tiptoes and kissed the side of his mouth. When she lowered again, she cleared her throat. “I am now.”
Shocked, Zeke slowly let his arms fall away. Evangeline turned and opened the door. He followed her and quickly schooled his expression into an impassive mask.
Why had she kissed him? Okay, so it had been on the corner of his mouth, not directly on his lips. Maybe it was how she kissed friends. Maybe it was some French-Canadian thing to kiss your bodyguards.
His mind was blown—and not just from her quick, over-in-a-second gesture—but from the memory of the slide of her body up his, her breasts rubbing his chest, her belly lightly grazing his cock as she’d risen.
Now, he was breathing through his nose to calm his heart and keep his unruly dick from showing how much he’d liked the feel of her rubbing up and down his body.
And maybe he hadn’t hidden his lust very well, because while they were calling out greetings and standing to offer her a chair, there were sly glances from his teammates as he followed her, a hand on the small of her back, which he hadn’t realized he’d placed there, until now.
That she allowed it and didn’t draw away only made things worse for his poor dick.
Relief filled him when she sat and he was able to quickly take a seat beside her. He was perspiring. Likely his cheeks were darkening. He reached for the glass of water at his place setting and downed half the glass before he swept his gaze around the room at his team and gave them a fierce glower.
Soft chuckles followed, but Zeke was saved from further ribbing by the swinging door opening and Gunny, followed by RJ and her friend JoJo, bringing in the food.
The smell of sizzling steaks filled the room, and Zeke’s stomach growled. Happy for the distraction, he glanced sideways at Evangeline, who was looking back at him.
Their gazes locked. A pale flush of pink crept across Evangeline’s cheeks, but her lips curved into a small smile.
His irritation with his friends died down as he smiled back. “Looks like it’s steak,” he said, cursing his stupid tongue. Duh.
“After all I ate for lunch, I’m surprised I’m suddenly ravenous.”
Jesus. The way she said that last word had him thinking about all the things he was truly ravenous to consume—her sweet curves, her cries.
Maybe his expression gave him away, because her blush intensified…
My name is Teresa Reasor and I want to thank Delilah for having me on her blog today and giving me the opportunity to visit. Delilah and I have known each other for a while now. Not personally, but as writers. We both write for the same series. SEALs In PARADISE. It’s been a delight to work with so many talented authors. They’re a great bunch.
My newest release Hot SEAL, Midnight Magic just released yesterday! September 28th.
Navy SEAL Gage Fontenot is home for the first time in two years because his grandmother, who raised him, is in the hospital after a brutal assault. He has four weeks to get the lay of the land, find who’s responsible, and guarantee the attacker gets the punishment he deserves. When he’s met at the airport by Mia, the woman he jilted six years ago, his visit becomes much more complicated. Because his reasons for leaving New Orleans all lead back to her.
Psychic Mia Blanchard knows there’s always a price to pay for the best things in life, but she’s shocked by the dramatic change in Gage. Gone is the lighthearted Cajun who played guitar in the New Orleans clubs. What has happened to make him cut himself off from his home and family? She needs to find out, because she can’t move on until she puts their past behind her.
But there is more than their personal history in play. She sees danger ahead for them both. But Gage never believed in her gift in the past. How can she convince him to trust it now?
Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite:
He wasn’t the same man she fell in love with, but the strength of his arms around her was comforting. Her head found a spot over his heart. He ran a hand down her back. She looked up at him. His eyes were so dark, the pupils almost blending into the iris, and his lips touched hers, tempting and tender. A heated lethargy suffused her, and she allowed herself to melt against him.
The sweet sweep of his tongue parted her lips and swept in to tangle with her own. It had been so long since she felt such a consuming need to open herself to a man, it was as if her entire being was an empty ache waiting to be filled.
Gage broke the kiss, his cheeks as flushed as hers felt. She looked away feeling vulnerable.
“Tell me when Mason plans to put the drugs in Mama’s house, Mia.”
Was his reason for kissing her just to get more information? She pulled away, folded her arms, and stepped around him. “I truly don’t know, Gage. It might not be Mason who puts the drugs there. All I saw was the police lead you out of the house in handcuffs, then Mama’s clock striking ten and starting to play.”
His expression tightened, and he turned away.
He didn’t believe her. He didn’t know who she was and never had.
“While you were in Africa, there was a man named Abeo you tried to help. His entire family was killed. His sons.”
Gage swung around to face her and in two strides was there gripping her arms. “Did Mama tell you something? Did she somehow figure out where I was? You’re not supposed to know… It’s…You could get in trouble if you repeat any of that. I could too, because they’d think I told you. Everything about that mission was need-to-know.” His eyes, expresso dark, searched her face.
“Mama’s never talked about where you were or what you do for a living. She never even told me you’re in the Navy. I’m only telling you what I saw that first day, when I dropped you off at the hospital. I haven’t told anyone else.”
“Jesus!” He raked his fingers through his thick, curly hair.
“Mama would smack you for taking the Lord’s name in vain.”
“I’m not kidding, Mia.”
“Neither am I.” She was almost amused by his reaction, though she realized the danger to his career if they thought he was sharing military secrets.
He stared at her for a long tense moment. “Dammit!”
“Would you like a stiff drink? I have some bourbon in the cabinet over there.” She pointed to the left cabinet with the decorative shelves holding artwork.
“No thanks. And you’re being a smart-ass.”
“You can’t really blame me for a little payback.” Her attention lingered on him for moment, taking in the sculpted scruff of beard that darkened his jaw…the sexy, heavy-lidded, coffee brown eyes so guarded yet expressive…and his heavily muscled body. God, he sure cleaned up good.
I have three other books in the Series.
If you’re interested in seeing some of the other books I write, Check out my Author Page on Amazon. I write Paranormal and Historical Romance as well. And come visit my Author page on Facebook. I’d love to hear from you. https://www.facebook.com/SEAL.Crazy
A corn maze on one of the spookiest nights of the year sounds like fun, right?
But once you get inside those tall stalks there’s no breeze. The air gets thick and heavy, despite the fall weather. And be sure to watch your footing. Those big fat rain drops might turn that path your on into a slick mud slide. But that’s all okay, too, right? One hour to get out of this maze, and the last one out buys the beer for the rest of the night. All you have to do is NOT be the last one out.
But what if you don’t come out at all?
Hidden deep within this corn maze is a magical portal, and on the other side…? A realm full of creatures of myth and legend and campfire stories. If you’re lucky, you’ll make it through the forest and into the city.
Let me be the first to welcome you to Clayridge, with this informative, albeit, unnerving guide.
A mortal’s guide to surviving in Clayridge:
Clayridge: Generally a safe place, protected by a large stone wall, enchantments, and the Guard. Wander outside of this city and you could find yourself in peril quite quickly.
Witches: Generally helpful, good for purchasing spells and enchantments to keep you safe. They can also read your fortune via cards, runes, tea leaves or a palm reading, though they tend to think that sort of thing is for the tourists.
Werewolves: Don’t be in the forest after nightfall or these beasts will surly find you. They walk on two legs, transform at will (so long as the moon is in the sky), and enjoy hunting.
Vampires: Beware of these seductive creatures, they can lure you in with a Blood Lust spell and spend days, months, or even years keeping you as their pet and pleasure snack. Dangerous creatures. Be wary.
Sirens: Okay, so you may want to keep a safe distance from the fountain in the center of town. Those half-fish, half-woman creatures that live inside it will lull you in with their song. They’ve been known to break up marriages, ruin relationships, and cause all kinds of trouble. If you value your relationships heed the warning signs and avoid these hormone driven creatures. You’ll likely just become addicted.
Dwarfs: Small in stature, great skill at building weapons, toys, and pretty much anything. They make great drinking buddies too.
Harpies: If you see one of these half-bird, half-woman creatures, well, you’re likely already dead.
Demons: Their appearance depends on their sub-species. Winged, horned, black mist. Does it look dark, dangerous and deadly? Then it probably is. Also, they generally work for vamps, and are often up to no good.
Gargoyles: These guys are cool AF. Stone through the day, flesh and blood after dusk. Generally work as nighttime labourers around the town, particularly at the theater, but don’t be fooled, they possess wicked warrior skills.
Fairies: Cute. Helpful. Playful. Strong work ethic.
Pixies: About as fun as a nest full of hornets. You don’t want these pests in your home. They’re difficult to get rid of without the aid of Pixie Repellant. You can pick up a bottle at The Broomstick.
The Divide: A nasty town full of undesirable creatures. Vamps, demons and werewolves are commonly found here. For a steep price you can purchase your very own mortal, for whatever wicked purposes you might devise.
The Guard: Hellhounds make up the guard, serving as peacekeepers and law enforcers. They’ll protect the people of Clayridge with any means necessary. Huge hounds with matted black fur, ghostly tails and glowing eyes, they look scary AF, but that’s only because they are. Dangerous? Only if you’ve don’t something wrong.
Love Spells, Full Moons, and Silver Bullets
Love Spells, Full Moons, and Silver Bullets is available for pre-order. I hope you enjoy the following excerpt. I’ve also included a link to my newsletter. Subscribe now and you’ll be gifted a FREE short story, Arrested Valentine, which has an exclusive sneak peek for Love Spells, Full Moons, and Silver Bullets, that’s currently only available at the end of Arrested Valentine.
What the story is about…
What do you do when your ex’s werewolf boss wants to feast on the mortal you’ve sworn to protect?
Quinn was unaware of the love potion her meddling cat dumped into her tea, so when Ian Hannigan ends up injured on her property, she thinks she’s dealing with another mortal, not the man who can help mend her heart. Her life becomes a balancing act as she attempts to keep him safe, while hiding secrets better left buried with the dead.
In a realm filled with things that go bump in the night, Ian didn’t expect to find security and happiness in the arms of a green skinned witch, yet for the first time since his parents tragic car crash, he’s found some measure of peace. The rumors he hears in Clayridge aren’t pleasant, but Ian knows there’s more to Quinn than what people would have him believe. If he’s placed his trust in the wrong hands he’ll be paying with more than just his heart. He’ll pay with his life.
Contest: comment on this post for your chance to win a super cute tea cup bookmark!
Read an excerpt…
“You didn’t have to send your….” Alec paused, a grin in place as he seem to search for the right word, “…pet away. Is that what the mortal is, Quinn? A pet?” Before Quinn could jump to Ian’s defense, Alec kept going, every word stoking a fire in her. “You’ve never kept a mortal before. That’s not like you. Getting a little bored and lonely way out here by yourself?” He used his hands to brace himself on one of her Adirondack chairs, leaned closer, and whispered suggestively, “I could have helped you with that.”
Quinn blinked, then narrowed her eyes. He was baiting her. “Cut the bullshit. What do you want Alec?”
His shoulders slumped and he released an exaggerated sigh. “You Quinn. I’m here for you.”
“Aww,” she said with as much mockery as she could muster. “Let me just kick Ian out and you can come on in.”
“Your sarcasm is noted. Give me a chance Quinn. We could be great.”
“Could have been great. Past tense, Alec.” Turning to her fire, she dismissed his offer. “You’re the one who walked away.”
He was stealthy when he moved. His hands came to rest on her shoulders as his lips caressed her ear. “I still remember the way you feel, the look on your face when you come.”
The creaking of her front door told her that Alec’s overfamiliarity hadn’t gone unnoticed by their audience. Quinn spun away from him. “Well, you should forget it. What happened between us is over and there’s no going back.”
He was silent for a long moment. Behind him the door to the cabin closed again. Inside the curtain fluttered. She hoped they couldn’t hear the conversation. Maybe Lucifer had directed Ian to a different activity to keep him occupied.
Finally, Alec met her gaze. “I never stopped loving you.”
Seventy-five years ago a confession like that would have made her weak in the knees. Even in the height of their passion he’d never told her he loved her. She’d been the only one to utter those words, and then he’d crushed her silly infatuation. Grandma had warned her. The pack always came first.
With her grandmother’s voice in her ear, she straightened her spine and took a deep breath. “What do you want, Alec?”
She saw his jaw clench, in that same way it had whenever he had to do something he didn’t want to. But like a good little beta he followed orders. “Draven wants the mortal.”
Hands on her hips, she stood immobile. “No.”
“He’s willing to trade.”
Quinn huffed. “Oh, this ought to be good.”
“You give up your pet and I promise you’ll never be alone again.”
“Because you’ll stay with me?” She laughed. “Is that it? That’s Draven’s big trade? You for the mortal?”
That jaw, the one she’d once kissed and fawned over, clenched even harder. “Come on, Quinn! Think this through. You get what? One year with your mortal. Then he’s going back through that portal. Okay, maybe he stays. Best case scenario you get what? Sixty years before he’s worm food.”
Quinn swallowed. She didn’t want to think about that. Of course she’d out live him, but what about all the time they’d have together. They could both enjoy that.
“How long afterwards would you renege on your bargain? How long before Draven calls you back to the fold?” She crossed her arms over her chest, and stepped closer to the fire. “I’d rather die alone in this cabin than spend eternity with you.”
His jaw tightened so much that Quinn worried he’d break his teeth. Baring those pearly whites, he snarled, “Careful, Quinn, or you’ll end up a bitter old hag just like your grandma.”
“Get off my property!” She waved her hands, shooing him off the platform. “Get lost or the next time you transform you might just find yourself turning into a toad. A great big fat one with warts.”
Alec snickered, and stopped his backward momentum. “You always were a spitfire, Quinn.”
She was unprepared for his next move. With wolf-like reflexes he grabbed her arms and pulled her to him. Her chest hit his with such force her breath flew from her. His lips crashed against hers. In an instant she pushed him, shoving him with all her strength.
If not for his animal agility, he would have fallen on his ass, but instead he landed stealthy on his feet. “Think it over, Quinn. We were amazing once. We could be again.”
“I’m not turning him over to be slaughtered like some lamb.”
All traces of humor and anger fled his features. With severe sobriety, Alec’s gaze drilled into hers. “Seriously, Quinn, watch out. Draven is relentless in this. He will get your mortal. I don’t want to see you get hurt in the process.”
His concern was worrying, and as Quinn watched his retreating back she had to wonder just how far Draven would go in his attempts to get Ian. Her land was protected, and when he was with her she’d keep him safe. The town was secure enough, but still Alec’s visit was alarming.
Quinn doused the fire with a few shovelfuls of snow, before marching to her cabin.
Once inside she ripped off her boots and tossed her cloak on a peg. She stalked across the floor, tossed the rug aside and using a chant, unlocked the safe hidden in a compartment beneath the floorboards. She lifted out an old six shot, double barrel revolver, two pistols with double-stack magazines, and a sack filled with gold coins, setting it all on the floor before closing and securing the safe. Next she went to the cabinet near the door that housed her rifles. Unlocking it she pulled out a long barreled rifle. She set each one down on the counter top next to the mug of coffee that Ian had been sipping from when she’d walked in the door.
“You know how to shoot?”
Ian frowned. “You’re scaring me, Quinn.”
Lucifer leapt onto the counter. “Me too. What’s going on? I didn’t think that kiss was shotgun worthy.”
Straightening, Ian glared. “He kissed you?”
Quinn checked the chamber of the revolver, stalling as she thought through her answer. “He’s my ex, and he’s not the one I’m worried about. The kiss was not welcomed.” Her gaze was hard when she repeated. “Do you know how to shoot?”
“No.” He looked down at the guns. “Who are you worried about?”
She snorted. “Draven.”
Ian’s face paled. “The one who slashed me?”
Nodding, Quinn looked away. “He’s going to come after you, and we need to be ready.” She glanced at Luce. “Can you apologize to any customers that might come by today? Ian and I need to make a shopping trip.”
“We went to town last week,” Ian objected, with visible confusion.
“We’re not going to town.” She pocketed the sack of gold. “We’re going to see a dwarf about some silver bullets.”
Pre-order Love Spells, Full Moons, and Silver Bullets by clicking here
Romance author Cameron Allie grew up in a small town north of Toronto. As a child she loved stories, and after reading her first romance novel at age fifteen, her dreams of writing became singularly focused on the love story. She is currently living in Ontario with her husband, their young daughters and with their cat, who is constantly trying to interrupt the writing process.