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Archive for 'paranormal'



Just released! GILDED CAGE! Get your FREE copy!
Monday, May 13th, 2019

I have something dark and sexy for you—if you’re not persnickety about a f/f romance. However, if you love something dark (it involves the Blood Countess, Elizabeth Bathory!), which depicts a witch and a vampire in a life and death battle for dominance, and takes place in New Orleans, you’ll love this. It’s intensely erotic with BDSM elements. So, be warned!

This is a story that was previously released through Ellora’s Cave but has been significantly revised. And there’s more in the series to come. It’s only 12,000 words, so not terribly long. I hope you’ll give it a try. And best yet? If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for FREE!

Gilded Cage

A f/f paranormal novelette…

Since her turning, Elena Csintalan has wrestled her inner demon on a nightly basis. She never expects her limits to be tested—until she finds herself drawn to a tawny woman whose lush curves make her eyeteeth spike. Before she knows it, she’s dangling inside an iron cage, one that’s frighteningly familiar. And the punishment she endures is oh so divine…

Despite a surprising empathy she feels for the vampire she’s captured, Cassia proceeds with her coven’s plan—drain Elena of her blood at the height of orgasm to complete a potion that will protect them from Elena’s maker. Cassia scried the darkness coming their way, and the monster has a name…the Countess Elizabeth Bathory.

Get your copy here!

Michal Scott: “Put It in a Book” from STRANDED (Contest)
Friday, May 3rd, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Debra!
*~*~*

Note from DD: My scheduled guest was a no-show today, so I’m recycling a post from the Collections website that appeared there yesterday. I’m sharing excerpts from all the stories in Stranded to help you make the choice to purchase a copy of your own! There’s an amazing variety of themes, genres, settings, but all are very, very sexy. Enjoy the excerpt, enter the contest, then head on over to the Collections site to read more about this anthology and meet the authors! ~DD

*~*~*~*

My writing journey resembles a spiral that took me from writing for newspapers through seminary and ministry to writing romance in retirement. I have a journalism background and worked as a stringer for awhile. Writing fiction during that time had always been a way to make the world come round right after a day of covering stories when everything in the world was all wrong. When I became involved in the church, writing remained a hobby, but I did it less and less.

Then I became an X-Files fan, and I entered the heady fun-filled world of fan fiction under the name Rev. Anna. I really enjoyed myself making up stories again. A challenge from my mother-in-law to put my energy into writing my own characters came at the same time the radio program “This American Life” did a segment on Romance Writers of America national meeting in NYC. Jeanette’s challenge and that segment lit a “Why not?” fire in my writing soul. I joined RWA in 2003, joined chapters, entered contests, won a few, and finally got published in 2008. By then, I’d attended a retirement seminar that encouraged us to start thinking now about what we wanted to do in retirement. Another “Why not?” flame ignited, and now here I am an erotic romance writing retired minister.

Michal

Excerpt from “Put It in a Book”

Stranded

Trapped in a book by a sorcerer for rejecting his sexual advances,
an ex-slave’s daughter discovers one hope of rescue – a nosy thief

Aziza, if you want to hide something from Black folk, put it in a book.

If her father had said this once, he’d said it a hundred times. As the daughter of a freed slave, Aziza Williams had resolved with every book she’d read, with every bit of content she’d memorized, no one would hide anything in a book from her.

How ironic the adage was being used against her now that she lived in the Free and Independent Republic of Liberia. Only someone as evil as Dulee Morlu could leave her stranded in a book.

Each time he removed The Story of Aziza from its shelf in his library, he’d badger, cajole, even plead with anyone present to read it.

“This book will change your life,” he’d say in a tone, always enticing, sometimes seductive, but never serious enough for anyone to take him up on the offer.

When they’d gone, he’d pressed his mouth to her image on the flyleaf. “No one will ever read your story,” he whispered with snake-like malice. His laugh bruised her heart each time he congratulated himself on his ingenuity. “You will remain hidden in these pages until you give yourself to me.”

Never had been her answer when he’d propositioned her a week after she’d arrived in Liberia. Never was her answer when he’d caught her pleasuring herself by the river’s edge after her morning swim. Never remained her answer from the day she’d awakened entombed within the pages of her own story to this.

How often had hope flared at the possibility of someone opening these pages and setting her free?

Too often.

How many times had Morlu’s possessive grip caressed her prison’s spine, his wet thumb sliding down the edges of its pages?

Too many.

“Everyone I’ve imprisoned yielded within a day. You’ve resisted for thirty,” he exclaimed. “I must dedicate a chapter to your resilience.”

He splayed his fingers across her prison’s pages, too accurately mimicking the spreading of her thighs. Her captive limbs shuddered. His calloused finger slid along the book’s gutter. Her inert hands tensed, unable to shield herself from the erotic—albeit vicarious—chafing his touch provoked.

“Your opposition makes your eventual capitulation that much sweeter.” He slid his finger faster, deeper between the pages. “And make no mistake…you will surrender.”

Each time he placed her back on the shelf, he planted a cold kiss on the book’s spine. Aziza quivered against the chill, unable to staunch the revulsion roiling in her throat—or at least, where she imagined her throat might still be.

“Until then,” he whispered.

Her spirit cringed at those words. She’d escaped from plantation owners eager to punish her for secretly teaching slaves to read. Her spirit had remained unbowed after fourteen harrowing weeks crossing the Atlantic. Even the hardships that had killed more than three-quarters of all who had emigrated to Liberia hadn’t vanquished her. If neither threats to her life nor dangers at sea nor the high mortality rate could defeat her, she’d be damned if this self-serving sorcerer would.

Still…

Her imprisonment seemed an unending stream of consciousness, punctuated only by Morlu’s uninvited intrusions. Thirty days. This sudden awareness of time weighed on her spirit and threatened to undo her.

How much longer could she hold out?

Get your copy of Stranded: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology here!

Contest

Comment for a chance to win a copy of Michal Scott’s eBook,
Better to Marry Than to Burn.

Katherine Eddinger Smits: Cover Reveal for A DARKER SIDE OF EVIL — A DEMON AND DEVIL ANTHOLOGY
Saturday, April 27th, 2019

First, I’d like to congratulate Delilah and the authors contributing to her anthology Stranded, which releases on April 30. It looks like another great collection. I can’t wait to read it.

It is my pleasure to reveal the cover for our upcoming anthology!!!

A Darker Shade of Evil is a compilation of urban fantasy and paranormal romances which include demons or the devil. The heat level is steamy to erotic. Ten USA Today, International Best Sellers and award-winning authors offer you wild and wicked tales to fire your imagination. These stories will lure you into danger and darkness, where sometimes the hunter may become the hunted, but Happily Ever After can also be found.

Thank you so much for including this short post today. I hope to return soon with more information about A Darker Shade of Evil and my story, Siren Descending.

Katherine
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Beth Caudill: Real Life Inspiration
Monday, April 22nd, 2019

I wanted my fantasy world of Arilase to be similar to Earth but also someplace its supernatural inhabitants would be comfortable. A place of wonderful landscapes and magic. For the first two books in the series, we traveled to the lakes and woods of the wolves and the small towns and forests of the elves.

For this final book in the series, I wanted to explore the seas. To see the glorious frilled shark and the iridescent squid. To have a walrus and killer whales attack. To see the beautiful life on the sea floor. But along the way, I used some Earthly inspiration to develop my world.

Deception Island – a volcanic horseshoe shaped island near Antarctica. It looks really cool and I love the idea of the inner bay. In Cursed Seas, Desolate Isle is remote and icy where mirror-like ice caverns grow beneath the bay.

Little Blue Penguins – I love seeing animals pics from zoos and aquariums. I caught a video that the Boston Aquarium posted about their Little Blue Penguins exhibit. They are so cute. Thus, my Sapphire Penguins were born. They live on Desolate Isle and my hero Alexander acts as their guardian.

The Shell Grotto Margate – A video of these shell walls came across my facebook feed while I was writing my first draft. I instantly knew the walls leading to my Ocean Seer’s lair needed to be like this. Marvelous designs of shells glitter as my heroine walks down the steps to meet a sea witch who may or may not help her.

Our planet plays host to all kinds of interesting creatures, some very old and others may just now be identified. Make sure to take the time to explore the world around you. You never know what you might find.

Cursed Seas — Releases tomorrow!
Just $0.99!


She’s destined to be Queen. He’s trapped far from home. Together, they must navigate treacherous waters to safeguard the merkin and sea creatures of Arilase.

Chosen to become queen of the merclans, Kaycee dreads her first year participating in the Seven Seas Ceremonies. Swept away by cursed magic, she encounters a lone merman trapped on an isle of penguins. Although responsibilities drag her back home, she can’t forget the bleakness that surrounds him.

Alexander was the cherished heir of the Pelagius merclan. Then his arrogance cost him his freedom. Hexed to only assume his mer-form on the three nights of the triple full moons, his life has changed irrevocably. When a mermaid breaks his solitude, he clings to his affliction afraid to seize the hope she harbors.

Will the ghosts of the past keep them apart? Or will they learn to trust in each other to survive the treacherous waters, defeat an evil sorcerer, and permit love to rule their hearts?

Buy Links:
Amazon US – http://www.amzn.com/B07QL2JLLG
iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/cursed-seas/id1459521100?mt=11
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/cursed-seas
Google – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Beth_Caudill_Cursed_Seas?id=-9yRDwAAQBAJ

About the Author

Although Beth grew up in West Virginia, she currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, two sons and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who makes an excellent lap warmer. Blending the analytical and creative sides of her brain, she delights in creating fantasy worlds for others. Catch her online most days except when NCIS and Once Upon a Time air.

Author Website: http://BethCaudill.net/
Author Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cEp6b1
Author Email: beth@bethcaudill.net
Author Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorBethCaudill
Author Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/bethcaudill13/
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Author Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/beth_caudill/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00538IWEU
Bookbub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/beth-caudill
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/bethcaudill

Flashback: Lost Souls (Contest)
Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Maybe you only know me as a writer of action-adventure/military heroes/cowboys — Uncharted SEALs, Montana Bounty Hunters, Texas Cowboys, etc. — but I also write paranormal romances. They are, in fact, what I love writing most. I began with my Night Fall vamps and weres, moved on the write more vamps, weres, and ancient demigods in the Dark Realm series, and have written witches coupled with various forms of shapeshifters for my Beaux Rêve Coven series, but the two stories I feel are my best in the genre are my Caitlyn O’Connell stories, Shattered Souls and Lost Souls.

Today, I’m introducing you to Lost Souls. Here’s what it’s about…

Private Investigator Caitlyn O’Connell is tapped by Memphis PD to discover who has been using a Memphis hotel as his killing ground. Women are going missing, and their bodies are found inside the walls of the hotel. But the bodies themselves? They appear to have been murdered in the distant past. With ghosthunters and cops crawling all over the crime scene, Cait and her detective ex-husband Sam Pierce race to find the demon responsible before he kills again.

Now, that doesn’t even begin to describe a book that delivers one of the biggest shocks I’ve ever written. Enjoy the excerpt below!

Comment for a chance to win a download of one of my
Caitlyn O’Connell stories!

Lost Souls
Excerpt…

Darkness sank as murky as the sultry summer air, as heavy as a blanket pulled over a child’s head to hide the monsters lurking in a shadowy closet. Street lamps popped and sizzled, darkening then lightening, but failing to flare bright enough or long enough to chase away deep pockets of inky black. Cait was creeped out, since all she had were glimpses of silvery light from a full moon rimming buildings and casting deeper shadows to cloak alleyways and doorway stoops.

Another full moon. An event she was acutely aware encouraged monsters, both human and supernatural, to come out and play. Edgy and beyond bored, she almost wished for something out of the ordinary to happen, but then quickly changed her mind. The last time her job had given her a real challenge she’d battled a demon in an attic while a wraith latched its freezing fingertips around the man sitting beside her, slapping him around like a rag doll.

For just a second, she relished that last memory. At least Jason had been awake.

For the umpteen thousandth time that night, Caitlyn O’Connell sighed. This time exaggerating the sound. Loudly. Actually, more of a groan than a sigh. A sound that invited Jason Crawford, lying back in the seat beside hers, to wake up and keep her company. She was bored as freaking shit. Surveillance was the one part of her job she truly hated. In fact, she thought she might like having her ingrown toenails cut better than sitting in a dark alley waiting for something to happen.

The weather irritated her even more. Although she’d stripped down to a tank top and jeans, the insides of her boots were damp from the oppressive summer heat. Not a trace of a breeze stirred, and they’d shut off the sedan’s engine to be able to hear vehicles approaching, so the AC sat silent.

What good was having magic if she couldn’t even muster up a spell to start a breeze? She’d tried waving, punching, wiggling her nose, but nada. Worse, she’d tried to come up with a poem to appease The Powers That Be, but hadn’t found a line that sounded even remotely elegant with “wheeze” tacked on the end.

She supposed she’d used up her last favor asking for intervention with Worthen’s monstrosity, the Civil War–era demon resurrected in his tomb, for which she’d had to beg The Powers and a certain sorcerer for help defeating. Or perhaps they didn’t like how she’d ignored Morin since she’d fought the demon and won. Whatever. She was a PI, not a witch. And right now, she had a job to do.

So why couldn’t she and Jason be watching the Peabody Hotel? Or any of the nicer hotels in the downtown area? The Deluxe Hotel was anything but deluxe. The marquee above the entrance was missing a few letters and read, DELUXE HO, which on second thought appeared apropos for the sleazy dive.

The whole area had an aura of neglect. Trash overfilled bins and cluttered the gutters. Worse, a small tattered sign was taped to the hotel’s glass door: AA MEETING, 9 PM SATURDAY.

Mocking her. The very thing her ex-husband, and now sometimes boyfriend, had been nagging her to locate.

And worse yet, the car she sat in reeked of stale onion-and-anchovy pizza. If she didn’t know him better, she might have thought her partner had ordered it on purpose. But he’d munched away happily, while she’d chosen to drag in the scents from the overfilled bin they’d parked beside. Better unknown trash than fishy-smelling onion breath.

Her cheeks billowed around another harsh exhalation. How the hell could Jason sleep through all the noise she’d been making? She aimed a scowl his way, caught the quick lowering of his eyelids and a twitch at the side of his lips.

She gave a grunt and turned back to watch the entrance of the seedy old hotel where Mrs. Oscar Reyes was scheduled to meet up with her boy-toy. Or so Mr. Reyes had informed them this morning after hacking into his wife’s Facebook account.

“Get me pictures of the bitch,” he’d said, clearing his throat when Cait had given him a narrow-eyed glare. “I won’ believe it ’til I see.”

She’d eyed his oily hair, brushy mustache, and stocky frame and wondered why he was so surprised his wife had sought the attention of a lover who called her his “mariposa rubia.”

“Blonde butterfly,” Jason had translated under his breath since Cait’s Spanish was limited to curses.

Oscar Reyes was the typical slimy client they attracted—spouses seeking ammunition for divorce court, employers wanting an employee followed for proof they hadn’t been injured badly enough to warrant workmen’s comp.

Since Oscar had already done the legwork and found cyberproof of his wife’s infidelity, Cait wondered why the hell he’d hired them to snap the shots. A $500 retainer plus their hourly fee would rack up quite a bill in no time. But she’d refrained from asking him.

The nice fat check they’d gotten from the Memphis PD for helping find her first partner’s killer and three young women who’d been kidnapped by a demon hadn’t lasted long. So she and Jason were back hustling for smaller fish.

Which reminded her again of the half-eaten pizza in the backseat.

Ready to pitch the box into the trash bin, she paused when headlights flared as a car turned onto South Front Street. A low-slung sedan stopped in front of the hotel.

Cait waited for the beams to extinguish, and then raised her camera with its night-vision lens and took a look. Just as Oscar had predicted, Sylvia Reyes stepped out of the car, her bleached-blonde hair neon bright in the viewfinder. She wore an ass-hugging mini-skirt, four-inch heels, and a top that rode the curves of her full breasts.

Cait clicked off a couple of shots of the woman entering the hotel, then reached out and backhanded Jason’s belly. “Time to move.”

“Mmm, wha’?” he said, pretending to waken from a deep sleep.

She rolled her eyes. “Like you’ve been sleeping? It’s Reyes’s wife. Let’s follow and see if we can catch her with her boyfriend.”

“Sound grumpy.” Jason flashed her a smile. “The anchovies gettin’ to you?”

She shrugged, pretending the stench hadn’t made her slightly nauseous. “It’s your car. The smell’ll be here for a week.”

With quiet moves, they opened their doors. Cait quickly replaced the special lens and hung the camera on her shoulder before jogging to the entrance. She pushed through the grimy glass, lifted her head in a vague nod to the clerk at the reception desk, and walked to the elevators, eying the red digital numbers above the doors. There were two elevators. Only one was moving, and it stopped and held at floor three.

She elbowed past two men and a woman laden with cameras and equipment bags. One held out a device Cait thought might be a light meter, but she changed her mind when a red light beeped on the top and it clicked like a Geiger counter.

“Do you see that?” the chubby man with a Fu Manchu said, elbowing the skinny dude beside him. “We’ve got something here.”

“Told you there’s lots of activity in this old place.”

Activity? She eyed them again, read the logo on their bags, and rolled her eyes. REEL PIS: PARANORMAL INVESTIGATORS. As if. She stuck her finger in the elevator button, doing her best to ignore the morons. She hadn’t heard so much as a whisper or a wail since she’d entered the hotel.

“Faster goin’ up the stairs,” Jason said, pulling her arm with one hand and pointing toward the stairway door. He flipped the door handle and pushed through. “After you,” he said with a flourish of his hand. His grin said he knew how much she disliked racing up three flights.

She gave him the stink-eye and started the climb. When she reached the third-floor landing, she glanced through the door’s rectangular window, saw no one in the hallway, and opened the door.

The corridor smelled as bad as it looked—urine to complement the yellowed beige walls, mildew to enhance the brown-and-green plaid carpet.

Gasping to catch her breath, she looked left, then right, and caught a flash of impossibly blonde hair a moment before Sylvia Reyes turned the corner farther down the hallway. Cait hurried after her, on the scent of a woman about to cheat on her husband. She turned the corner, entering a hallway marked by a door frame for a double door that no longer existed. The corridor was empty. No room doors along the short hall closed to indicate where their target had gone.

Jason drew up beside her, his eyebrows rising. “What now? Listen for moaning?”

Giving him a shove, she took a step past the hallway door frame, and then halted, some instinct keeping her from pushing forward. Or maybe what stopped her was the yellow police tape covering one of the doors. Not something she had time to ponder right that moment because a strange hum sounded. A bulb popped, plunging the hallway into darkness. The hairs on her arms lifted a second before electricity arced from a light switch, sending out a bolt like lightning that shot toward the ceiling, then turned, traveling toward her, hitting doorways as though searching for ground. The jagged dagger of electricity darted, then blinked out, but not before she saw a figure, one in four-inch hot pink heels, her eyes rounding in terror—a figure she could see straight through to the piss-yellow wall behind her.

Darkness took the figure. Then another hissing arc flared from the light switch, brightening the hallway again. Sylvia Reyes was gone.

Jason grabbed her arm, pulled her back around the corner, and flattened her against the wall with an elbow digging into her belly.

The white bolt flickered past the corner, then dove to the floor, sparking out with a fizzle.

“Bad wiring?” he whispered.

She shook her head, shoved away his elbow, and stepped into the hall again. The faint smell of something burning lingered in the air. The hall was once again empty. And dark.

Cait held still, listening, and then she heard the sound. A soft wail. Like a distant echo. “Hear that?” she whispered.

“No. What do you hear?”

She swallowed. “Not anyone living.”

Then the faint sound of whispers rose, maybe half a dozen voices joining in chorus. Her hand dropped to the camera at her side. She flipped off the lens cap, raised the camera, and looked through the viewfinder. Nothing out of the ordinary, other than a really sleazy flophouse. Still, she clicked off a couple of shots. “Let’s go.”

“Don’t want to wait around until she leaves? A shot of the lady kissing her boyfriend good-bye would close this case.”

Cait shook her head, not wanting to voice what she suspected. Not before she was sure of exactly what she’d seen. “No. Let’s get back to the office. I have to look at something.”

Jason knew her well enough not to ask any more questions. The fact she was cutting the surveillance short told him they had a problem.

This time they took the elevator. The sooner she got out of here the better. Well, she’d gotten what she’d wished for. Something out of the ordinary had definitely happened.

Back at the Delta Detective Agency, Cait slipped the memory card from her camera into the slot in her computer. With a couple of clicks, she found the file of pictures and opened it.

There was Sylvia Reyes outside the Deluxe, her small cat-like features coated in too much makeup, her coarse blonde hair flattened to rest limply on her shoulders. Her expression was furtive, but excitement sparkled in her dark eyes. Another shot caught her too-tight skirt hugging her J-Lo butt. Then Cait clicked on the last two shots, unsure what she might see inside the third-floor hallway. Maybe nothing. Maybe something she didn’t want to see.

The shot showed an empty hallway. The photo was blurred, but the differences between the hall’s actual appearance and what was on the computer screen was startling. Gone were the yellowed walls and crappy brown and green carpet. In its place was wallpaper—a foiled gold-and-wine-colored paisley. The carpet was a solid blood red. The fixtures—lights, switches, brass plates on the door—were shiny and new.

“Where’d you take that?” Jason asked, hovering at her shoulder.

“At the Deluxe,” she said, closing out the file. She suppressed a shiver of dread.

“No kiddin’? How come I didn’t see that?”

She didn’t dare look his way. He’d see her shock and ask more questions. Questions she didn’t have any quick answers for.

“Tacky as hell, but—”

She gave a sharp shake of her head. “That’s not the way it is.” At last, she shot an upward glance.

Jason pushed out his lips. His gaze settled on her, waiting.

She knew he wouldn’t let her up from the chair until she gave him at least a clue of what was going on in her head. “It’s the way the hotel was.”

His gaze narrowed. “What do you mean?”

She rubbed a hand over her face. “I don’t know what I mean.”

A frown dug a line between his blond-brown brows. “I don’t think Reyes is going to pay us for those shots or our time since we didn’t get what he wanted.”

“Reyes is the least of our problems,” she muttered.

Jason groaned. “It was the anchovies, right? This is your revenge?”

Her mouth tipped up into a smirk. “You think this is all about you? Poor little rich boy.”

He shook his head, grinning, but the fine lines beside his hazel eyes deepened with worry. “Since this case looks like major woo-woo is involved, you have the lead. Where to first?”

Cait grimaced. Once again, she had no doubt they were headed straight down the rabbit’s hole. “I need to talk to Sam about that taped-off room.”

Katherine Eddinger Smits: The Chambered Nautilus (Contest)
Friday, March 29th, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Debra Guyette!
*~*~*

My new release, Water Desires, Love’s Siren Song book two features a chambered nautilus on the cover. It’s an important symbol to the story and one that has fascinated me for many years.

The chambered nautilus is a sea creature mostly found in the Pacific and Indian oceans at depths of between about 300 and 1500 feet. They have a spiral shell similar in appearance on the outside to a snail. The inside is made up of rooms that the animal uses until it grows too large for the space, walls it off, and creates a new room. They can grow up to two pounds in weight and their shells can have as many as 30 chambers. Their natural life span can be 15 to 20 years. Unfortunately, they are endangered due to people harvesting them for their beautiful shells and loss of habitat as the coral reefs die.

The chambered nautilus is often called a living fossil because it has not changed its shape in millions of years, yet it constantly grows throughout its lifetime. It is a symbol of strength because it can withstand the pressure of deep water. It is also a symbol of balance. Its shape is an almost perfect logarithmic spiral and an example of a golden spiral. This leads to way too much geometry for me. However, if you are interested, a lot can be found on the internet about the spiral shape.

To me, the chambered nautilus represents the complexity of the labyrinth within the eternity of the circle. Since it is a sea creature, it is a perfect icon for the Nerei, or mermaids and mermen who are the main characters of my books.

Did you know that the poem, “The Chambered Nautilus” by Oliver Wendell Holmes references mermaids? Here’s the first stanza:

This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sails the unshadowed main,—
The venturous bark that flings
On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings
In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings,
And coral reefs lie bare,
Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.

In the poem, the nautilus shell is broken and lying open with the chambers exposed. The creature that lived within is gone. This should be an image of sadness and death but though poignant is actually hopeful. Maybe the animal has found another home, one that is even more wonderful than the shell he left behind.

That’s what the chambered nautilus means to the characters in Water Desires. It gives them hope for the future and something to hold on to when storms of all kinds rock their world.

The sea and its denizens are of vital concern to me. Too many are endangered (manatees, sea turtles, and whales, for example) and pollution is a major threat, especially plastic melded into virtual islands in the oceans. I’m supporting removing plastic in order to help save our water and our planet.

4Ocean is an organization that makes super cute bracelets out of recycled plastic. With the sale of each bracelet, they use part of the proceeds to remove one pound of plastic from the ocean. Here’s a link to their site: https://4ocean.com/?gclid=CjwKCAiA4t_iBRApEiwAn-vt-5bfdPJp-XGrCzIP5ZuC73fjs5IFJCov8b3mqvmnMl6YsmPhTj5WpBoC1I8QAvD_BwE

I will gift one reader a 4Ocean bracelet.

Do you think mermaids would hate plastic except as a recycled bracelet? Tell me your thoughts about how we should work to save the oceans. Or tell me which sea creature is your favorite. You don’t have to say why, although I would love to know. I’ll pick one comment at random and send that person a 4Ocean bracelet. You can choose the color.

Thank you for hosting me here, Delilah. I’m so appreciative of the opportunity to talk about the chambered nautilus, my new release, and my passion for cleaning up the ocean!

Water Desires

When a strange Nerei (merman) carries an unconscious and badly injured Bas in from the Aegean Sea, Nik (a human woman) knows she must get him to an island in the Atlantic where a hidden spring of healing water will restore her secret Nerei lover.

At the same time, her adoptive father is dying from a boating accident in her home town of Tarpon Springs, and he’s asking for her. While battling a strange illness which antibiotics won’t cure, Nik must figure out a way to save Bas and get home to help her father. When Bas follows Nik to Florida, he is forced to keep his distance from her.

He has already escaped one death sentence for having a relationship with a human and he can’t risk another one. Still, he’s furious when Nik turns to her old friend, a mage Bas dislikes, to help her unravel the hidden truth behind her father’s accident.

Water Desires is Book II in the Love’s Siren Song Series. The thrilling sequel to the award-winning Water Dreams will drag you under and not let you up for air until the end. If you like mermaids, mages, and magical romance, you’ll love this book. Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/mermaidromance

About the Author

Katherine Eddinger Smits started writing stories in grade school. While she raised her family and worked as a Clinical Social Worker at four different Veterans Affairs Medical Centers around the country, she honed her ideas for novels. Since she retired to pursue her passion for writing, she has published three paranormal romances. She has also written numerous blogs and book reviews. Katherine lives with her husband in Homosassa, Florida and Falling Waters, West Virginia. They have a daughter who resides in Alexandria, Virginia and a son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters in Chesapeake, Virginia. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Sunshine State Romance Authors, Florida Writers Association and Outreach International Romance Writers. Information about her books, blogs, reviews, and other activities is available at her website: www.katherineeddingersmits.weebly.com

Flashback: Bad to the Bone (Contest — 3 Winners!)
Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

I’ve been writing for a while. I have numerous series, standalone titles, and short stories. If you’ve never read or barely read me, I can keep you busy for a while! 🙂

One of my first series, that’s still ongoing, is my Night Fall series. It’s near and dear to my heart. And there are 14 stories in the series, so far. One of my favorites centers around a badass vampire readers met when he wasn’t acting villain-y early in the series. Of course, he had reasons to be grumpy and dark. You’ll meet his reason in the excerpt below. And there will be more stories. So, dive in. None of them are terribly long. You can consume them like candy. I dare you to give them a try…

Comment for a chance to win your choice of download from among the stories shown below! I’ll pick three winners!

Click on the covers to learn more about the stories!

Sm(b)itten Truly, Madly ... Deadly Knight in Transition Wolf in Plain Sight
Night Fall On Dark Mountain Frannie and the Private Dick Sweet Succubus Truly, Madly...Werely (Night Fall Book 9) Bad to the Bone
Long Howl Good Night Big Bad Wolf Silent is the Knight

Bad to the Bone

Bad to the Bone

 

One night of pleasure…

His name is Viper—a dark mysterious enigma who rules the seedy, dangerous vampiric underworld. For one night, he will escape his murky prison and tempt an innocent.

…can last a lifetime…

Beautiful Mariah haunts him. Lures him from his den with a glimpse of his past. One she doesn’t remember. This night, he’ll be her dream lover. He’ll seduce her, make her fall in love with him—then leave her. Again.

One night of pleasure is all they must know.

But Viper leaves her a clue. One he hopes deep down will lead her back to him although he dreads the consequences, because he’s not the same man he was. He’s not a man at all…

Excerpt

One week ago…

Slim hips swished beneath a short, flirty skirt, drawing his gaze like iron filings to a magnet. The splash of large pink flowers on white stood out like a beacon in the darkness. Beneath the hem stretched a pair of nude legs, toned, and nicely curved at the ankles. Perfectly made to lightly clasp a man’s waist as he slid into moist heat…

He suppressed a low, rumbling growl from the beast rising inside. Something he rarely bothered to do in the squalid dens he roamed most nights. The creature lurking deep within was a sexual animal, a lustful, ravenous host who found partners only too willing to let him feast. But this woman was different. Her soul was pure. Her mind unawakened to the darkness.

He followed her as she left her apartment, sticking to the shadows, ducking into stairwells when she looked behind her as though checking whether someone followed. A frown marred her smooth brow, and her lips tightened. The clip of her heels on the pavement quickened.

Shoulder-length, flyaway brown hair bobbed across the tops of slender shoulders. The creamy skin of her exposed arms and legs swung in a rhythm that his heart picked up and matched, beat for stride.

Feeling more than ever like the true predator he was, he tamped down the shame that burned like battery acid in his stomach and continued stalking the woman who walked more briskly now along the darkened sidewalk.

When she turned onto a crowded walkway, her shoulders sank and her footsteps slowed as she relaxed.

Now, as she mingled with others strolling along the promenade, she believed herself safe. Little did she know, but her “spontaneous” decision to leave her apartment had been at his suggestion—a message telegraphed with tantalizing snippets of the smell of fresh salt air, the caress of a soft breeze, and a glimpse of sensual pleasure.

She hadn’t heeded her own natural inhibition. Hadn’t paused to check the clock and note the waning evening hours. Instead, she’d made her decision, wriggled into a sexy little skirt and snug pink tee, slid her feet into strapless sandals and bounded down the stairs, ready to kick off winter’s gloom in an unseasonably warm spring night.

He’d made sure she didn’t glance even once at the calendar resting on the bureau in her foyer. Nothing would trigger a fleeting memory. And while he’d provided himself the opportunity to see her, he’d decided days ago he wouldn’t use his persuasive gifts to bring her straight into his arms.

Tonight, he wanted to savor a natural seduction.

She paused along the gangway that followed the curving street through a long, outdoor strip mall. At the bottom of one set of stairs leading into a seafood restaurant, she lifted one foot, planting it on the first paved step.

As he drew back the suggestion that had led her here, her brow furrowed, and she shook her head. Her foot slipped off the step and slowly settled beside the other.

In a blur of movement no human would detect, he slid in behind her. “Did you forget something?” he murmured, careful to keep his tone innocently inquiring.

A gasp escaped, and her head jerked to the side then tilted up to meet his gaze. Her eyes widened, and then slid over his shoulders before rising again. “You frightened me.”

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