Bestselling Author Delilah Devlin
HomeMeet Delilah
BookshelfBlogExtrasEditorial ServicesContactDelilah's Collections

Archive for 'shifter'



Cornelia Amiri: The History of the Winter Solstice
Thursday, December 19th, 2019

It’s that time of the year, December 21st to 22nd, when the shortest day and the longest night of the year fall in the Northern Hemisphere. We call that the Winter Solstice. In Welsh they say Alban Arthan (Light of Winter).

To the ancient Celts this day signified the battle and defeat of the Holly King (ruling from Midsummer to Midwinter) by the Oak King (ruling from Midwinter to Midsummer). The Holly King, also seen as a wren bird, symbolized the old year and the shortened sun, while the Oak King, also seen as a robin, stood for the new year and growing sun. The Celts would act out the battle of the Oak King defeating the Holly King during the Winter Solstice celebration.

They also had wren hunts, signifying the death of the Holly King. In Ireland, Wales, and the Isle of Man, Lá an Dreoilín, (Wren Day) was celebrated December 26. Wrenboys dressed in masks or straw suits, usually had a hobby horse covered in a sheet, and it had strings which could close their mouths and make their legs kick. Wren boys were led by a captain and a boy who dressed as a female captain. These boys hunted and killed a wren as tribute to the light for overcoming the dark. They’d set the dead wren in a box decorated with evergreens on a pole and go from house to house asking for food and good cheer. The wren was buried at the end of the rounds. Nowadays, they use a fake wren instead. Both the Holly King and wrens are associated with the Welsh god Bran.

For the Winter Solstice, ancient Celts decorated Yule logs with holly and ivy, which are linked to the God Bran. Usually, they sprinkled ale or mead over the log before they lit it. They kept it slowly, yet steadily burning for 12 days in the fireplace before extinguishing it. To pass the light on from one year to the next, they kept part of the unburned log safely to one side and used it to light next year’s Yule log. Also, they stashed the log’s ashes away until spring, at which time they mixed them with seeds and scattered them on the fields, spreading the blessing contained in the Yule log over the land.

Mistletoe and oak were sacred to the ancient Celts. As an evergreen plant, Mistletoe symbolized continued life over the cold dark winter which is why druids picked it from oak trees five days after the new moon following the Winter Solstice. One druid climbed the tree and cut the mistletoe with a sickle, while others held an open a sheet beneath him to catch the sacred plant since it was taboo to let it touch the ground. The druids handed out sprigs of mistletoe to tribesmen who hung them over entranceways for protection. Mistletoe is also believed to be an aphrodisiac, so this might be where the holiday tradition of ‘kissing under the mistletoe’ originated.

The Celts livelihood depended on what they could raise, grow, or hunt. So, the long, cold days of winter were hard one them. Since they didn’t have enough grain to feed all the cattle during winter, many were slaughtered at this time. This meant fresh meat for the winter solstice feast. Also, ale and mead brewed during the year fermented by this time and were and ready for drinking.

The Bear and the Druidess

My Celtic Winter Solstice novella, The Bear and the Druidess is the third book in my Druidry and the Beast series. It’s available where ebooks are sold. Here’s the blurb:

Sometimes a secret must be revealed to move from the winter of love into its spring.

Romans stole all the winter grain from Druidess Bronwen’s tribe. Now, pursued by Romans, she ducks into a cave to hide. There she finds a handsome warrior who offers to help. He ignites a fiery spark of attraction within her but she can tell he’s keeping something from her.
The prayers of a beautiful druidess he can’t resist lead the Bear God Artaois into the cave where Bronwen is hiding. He pretends to be asleep until she finds him.

Artaois (Art) is determined to spend the longest night of the year with her. But Bronwen doesn’t realize he’s a god. He keeps his secret from her and even though he can transform into a bear, he only reveals himself in human form.

With the Winter Solstice upon them, can Artaois (Art) find a way to save her tribe from starvation? And, when Bronwen finally discovers his secret, will she leave the romance building between them out in the cold.

Get your copy here!

What’s coming next week! (Puzzle)
Sunday, October 27th, 2019

Busy Bee, here! You know, when I was in first grade, the summer reading program at the air base’s library was called the Busy Bees… Don’t know why that popped into my head. I was very competitive and read a ton of books. Think my favorite was about a Siamese cat named Ping…

Anyways, here’s a puzzle. It’s a huge hint about what’s coming your way next week! Love shapeshifters, witches, and things that go bump in the night? Yeah, this is a sexy one, y’all!

Anne Kane: Introducing the Northern Rockies Pack!
Thursday, October 24th, 2019

I love to read about werewolves. I could name all my favorite authors who have created rich worlds full of werewolves, but that would take too much time. They all write fantastic sagas about pack rules and the relationships between the fierce and furry. Consequently, whenever I considered writing about werewolves, I’d lose my nerve. I wrote cat shifters and science fiction, demons and elves, but I always lost my nerve when I considered penning the tale of a werewolf.

Then I finally decided to take the plunge. It wasn’t easy. (It never is!) First, I had to figure out the mechanics of a werewolf universe. How did the characters shift from human to wolf form? Would it be a bone-splitting painful wrench or just a beautiful shimmer of magic? Were new werewolves made or born as shifters, or both. If they were made, how did that happen? The always popular bite? Or something else? And of course, why would my world be different from those of the afore-mentioned great authors?

One big difference came to mind right at the start. The Northern Rocky pack in situated where I currently live, making it easy for me to describe background features. I have never read of another author creating a werewolf pack with its headquarters up here in the Rockies, so I wasn’t infringing on an existing series. You know how territorial a wolf pack can be!

Since I lived a good part of my life in Northern Ontario, I am well acquainted with how wolves look and sound. Packs of wolves carve out their territory there and hold it against invading newcomers. The sight of a dark shadow loping across a snowy field, or the sound of an eerie howl echoing in the chill of a fall morning is commonplace. A rock cave in the bush across from our home hosted a new litter of wolf cubs each year, and if we were very quiet and very lucky, we could perch on a hill above them and watch the young ones through binoculars as they tumbled and played in the spring sunshine. So describing wolf behavior wasn’t a problem for me.

There are distinctive differences between wolves and dogs. The way they walk, how they hold their heads, even their reactions to people and other animals differ greatly from our domestic friends. I hope I’ve been able to convey some of those in the descriptive passages of the two stories in this duet.

This first book consists of two stories which is a great way to meet the wolves of the Northern Rockies Pack. I hope you enjoy Seducing Destiny and Dark Kisses. The next book in the series will be released in January of 2020, and I will provide some tidbits between now and then. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek!

Seducing Destiny

Jack, the alpha of the North Rockies pack, knows Destiny needs some time to come to grips with her werewolf heritage before he springs the whole mated for life thing on her.

Destiny has no intention of buying into the whole pack mentality, howl at the full moon thing. Sure, she practically drools at the sight of red meat, but that’s no reason to give up her comfortable life. Besides, she already has a boyfriend, a slick up-and-coming lawyer.

But when a band of rogue werewolves move into the area, Jack can’t afford to have his attention divided. He needs to convince Destiny that she belongs both in his pack and in his bed so he can concentrate on the new threat.

EXCERPT

Destiny stared in dismay at the box in the middle of her kitchen table. Her stomach lurched, a ball of anxiety settling in the very middle of it. Small by most standards, gold gilt covered the entire box, giving it an exotic look. An artfully tied crimson bow surrounded by curls of white lace sat cheerfully atop it, adding to the air of decadent luxury.

She knew who’d put it there, and she knew why. Jack. The Alpha of the Northern Rockies werewolf pack. The man who made her knees feel weak whenever she glimpsed him walking down the main street, or lounging at a local coffee shop. The man who’d made it plain that he intended to be her mate.

The absolute last man on the face of the planet that she intended to get serious about.

She had a boyfriend, one carefully picked with the future in mind. A trial attorney she’d met when she attended a convention in Calgary, Quentin Karnes had everything she wanted in a mate. On the fast track to a partnership in his prestigious law firm, he was cultured, rich, and moved in the highest social circles. Their children would grow up attending private schools, vacationing at the most prestigious resorts, dressing in the latest fashions. They’d want for nothing.

She’d worked hard to carve out a niche for herself in Riverton. Her accounting office catered to farmers and small businessmen, and she’d slowly managed to gain a reputation of being the person you wanted on your side when the government called to audit your tax returns.

She steeled herself and reached for the box. It wasn’t much bigger than a deck of cards, and she held it in her hand, somehow hoping that wishing would make it go away. When she’d moved here two years ago, she’d made it clear to Jack and every other member of the pack that she didn’t intend to join their little social group. She preferred to run alone. She hadn’t grown up in a pack, and if she could, she’d ignore her inner wolf entirely. So what if the sight of a full moon awakened an overpowering urge for a steak with the blood oozing out the sides? A girl needed to curb her baser instincts and make plans for the future.

No point in putting this off. Her sensitive nose could smell Jack all over the damn thing. She caught the trailing lace between a thumb and forefinger and gently undid the bow, dropping the cheerful piece of ribbon on the table. Taking a deep breath, she plucked the lid off.

Her breath caught in her throat. An exquisitely detailed chocolate wolf nestled in a cushion of crushed white velvet. Every detail from the tip of its muzzle to the dominant curve of its tail was perfect. Jack had reproduced himself exactly. She knew if she turned the little wolf over, she’d find a jagged scar running along its left flank.

“I suppose I could always bite your head off.” Destiny felt a wry smile tug the sides of her mouth. Although she didn’t like the idea, being the Alpha meant Jack had complete authority over all the werewolves in the Northern Rockies. Even those that didn’t want to accept him. The fact he’d chosen not to force her to take him for her mate didn’t mean he’d agreed to let her leave the pack. He’d said he’d give her some time to settle in. She’d hoped he’d forgotten about her and settled down with some other female. One who liked her inner beast.

She sighed and looked at the dark chocolate confection. The full moon was less than a week away. She’d been ignoring her darker side for a long time now, and she knew she wouldn’t be able to avoid going into heat this month. What were the chances Jack’s timing was coincidental?

She jumped, startled by the sound of a loud knock on her front door. Quentin must have gotten out of court early. She hadn’t expected him to show up for at least another four hours. She quickly put the lid back on the box. Sweeping the ribbon up off the table, she stuffed the box and ribbon into a drawer and slammed it shut.

“Come on in, the door’s open.” She hoped Quentin couldn’t hear the guilt in her voice. Not that she had anything to feel guilty about. Damn Jack and his fancy little chocolate creatures! She smoothed her hands down her skirt and tried to look calm.

“I know, I was just being polite.” Jack strode into the room, a crooked smile on his rugged face. “You’re not usually this happy to see me.”

Destiny’s heart did a little flip-flop. Taller than her five-foot eleven, Jack’s dark hair was tied at the nape of his neck with a strip of leather, and his sapphire blue eyes sparkled with mischief. Thickly roped muscles stretched the tight shirt and rippled with every step he took. He looked every bit as yummy as the chocolate creations he sold in his trendy boutique.

“I thought you were my boyfriend.” She looked pointedly behind him as if she expected Quentin to materialize any second. “I’m expecting him to drop in after court today.”

Jack ignored her reference to Quentin and gave her a toothy grin. “I intend to be a lot more than a friend, and it’s been a long time since anyone referred to me as a boy.” He advanced, his eyes sparkling. “Glad to hear you finally think of me that way, though, because unless my nose is deceiving me, you’re going to be begging for my attention shortly.”

Destiny felt a surge of color flood her cheeks and she turned away so he couldn’t see her face. It mortified her to know he could smell her eagerness. “You wish.” Now that was lame!

He took her by the shoulders and turned her around to face him, his touch surprisingly gentle for such a large man. “No, I know. The full moon is on Saturday. You haven’t slept with that wimpy boyfriend of yours, and you’re not going to if you want him to live to see Monday. A human male can’t begin to satisfy your needs. I wouldn’t have to lift a paw; you’d tear him apart yourself. Your frustration level is about to escalate to hellish proportions.” A devilishly wicked smile curved the corner of his mouth. “Fortunately, I can help you deal with that.”

Buy Links:
Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Z4W4Z67/
Amazon.ca https://www.amazon.ca/Seducing-Destiny-Kisses-Northern-Rockies-ebook/dp/B07Z4W4Z67/
Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seducing-destiny-dark-kisses-duet-anne-kane/1134087712
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/seducing-destiny-dark-kisses-duet
iTunes https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1483531619

McKenna Dean: Writing a Paranormal Romance (Excerpt)
Sunday, October 6th, 2019

Disclaimer: There are some great guides out there as to how to write paranormal romances. This is by no means meant to replace the advice or experience of authors in the genre. This is just how I write a paranormal romance.

*coughs*

1: First, decide on your shifters. Honestly, that’s the best part of the process as far as I’m concerned. I’m a biologist, so I love putting my knowledge of different animals to use when selecting shifters for my characters. To a certain extent, the choice I make becomes incorporated into the character’s personality and physique as well. A bear shifter might be a big burly guy, or a cheetah shifter may also be a runner in human form.

Because opposites attract is so much fun, I enjoy making my pairings different shifter species as well. A panther and a dragon, or a hawk and a raccoon. The dichotomy between the animal shifters and the human personalities is meat and drink to me.

2: Decide if your shifters are comfortable with their inner beast. There’s SO much scope for storytelling if one of your characters is on the outs with his or her shifter. I love stories about self-acceptance and empowerment, so this is a big one for me.

3: Pick your setting. Location can be almost as much as a character as anyone else, particularly when it comes to shifters. Are your characters able to shift whenever they want or are they constrained by society to stay in hiding and only shift when they are alone in the woods? In the Redclaw Universe, shifters keep their identities secret because of public hostility and fear toward shifters, which means many long for a private, safe place they can truly be themselves. There’s a lot of built-in tension and potential plot material right there!

4: Figure out what the heck you’re going to do about clothing. Because while having to strip down before shifting can lead to some fun, sexy times, it can also be a big pain in the storytelling patootie. Where did they leave their clothes? Can they get back to them? Are they just going to walk around naked now? *sigh* That’s why I invented the very rare, much-prized shifter clothing—made by special tailors out of cloth only dragons can produce, it has the ability to shift with the shifter. Ergo, no more inconveniently naked people when you’ve had your Redclaw agent shift into a tiger to chase down a bad guy. *buffs nails against shirt in fake humility*

5: Liberally add tropes to the mix. Fated mates? That’s always a good one. Snowed-in at a remote location? Love it! Duking it out for a joint inheritance? Sign me up! Pretend relationship while undercover? Yes, please! You don’t have to stick with just one, either. Mix and match!

6: Turn those tropes on their heads. Say what? You heard me. Have one character scoff at the idea of fated mates. Make the heroine the more powerful shifter. Have a real boyfriend/husband waiting in the background. Make one of your characters ignorant of their shifter background. Offer the formula but change it up just enough that your reader is breathless trying to race to the end to find out what happens.

7: Give them a common/enemy to face together. Someone trying to kill them is always good. Someone trying to stop a witness from testifying, or an heiress from coming forward. Create a dangerous situation and throw them in the middle of it. I like putting my characters in hot water to see how strong they are. Like tea bags, only sexier.

8: Speaking of which—sexy times! That fated mate thing can come in handy here. So can surviving something terrible together. MAKE THEM KISS. And whatever else they feel like doing.

9: Make them fall in love. Passionately, fiercely. Willing-to-die-for-each-other love. This is above and beyond the sexy times. This is TRUE LOVE. It can come before the sexy times, during the sexy times, or after—it can come after much trials, tribulations, and misunderstandings but it must come!

10: Figure out how you can turn the whole thing into a series and start all over again with the next installment. Because by this point, you’re invested in this universe, and you want to see more of it yourself.

Bishop Takes Knight

Destitute after her father gambles away the family fortune and commits suicide, former socialite Henrietta (“Rhett”) Bishop takes a job at Redclaw Security in NYC in the spring of 1955. It’s not long before she realizes there is something very odd about the place: Redclaw is an agency that investigates matters concerning an emerging world of shifters and some strange alien artifacts that have appeared since the advent of global nuclear technology.

Peter Knight is a nuclear scientist shattered by the murder of his wife. Blacklisted by the government and scientific organizations, he drowns his sorrows while searching for the people behind his wife’s death.

When Rhett is assigned to recruit Knight to work for Redclaw, their meeting is more than they bargained for. Someone out there doesn’t want Knight to work for anyone—and a missing cache of alien technology has all parties scrambling to be the first to secure it. Investigating a hunch throws Rhett back into her former life, with Knight as a pretend boyfriend. But when someone from the past turns up to start a bidding war on the artifacts, Bishop and Knight wind up in a fight for their lives.

Get your copy here!

Excerpt

I couldn’t decide if he’d insulted or flattered me, so I said nothing, but took two bowls down from the cabinet. Regardless of my earlier snack, the soup smelled good as he ladled it into the bowls.

He just shook his head when I added crumbled saltine crackers to my portion as we sat at the table. “Why don’t you just open the shaker and pour salt directly into your mouth?”

“I like crackers with my soup.”

He stabbed at my bowl with his spoon. “That’s more like you enjoy a little soup with your crackers. It looks revolting. Like chicken-flavored porridge.”

Put that way, it did sound disgusting. As I eyed the sodden mess, I changed the subject. “You never said how it is you’re able to leave Redclaw with no one being the wiser.”

Especially in view of the added security.

He must not have been all that hungry, for he pushed the bowl of soup aside and fished something out of one of his pockets. After placing it on the table in front of him, he gave it a gentle push in my direction.

I didn’t reach for it. Much like the previous devices I’d seen, this one had that same dull metallic casing, with odd markings carved on the sides. Unlike anything else I’d seen before, however, it had a raised ring in the center that cast a warm yellow glow. “What’s that?”

An infectious grin lit up his face. “I call it an image-projector. I think about what I want to look like in great detail, and it projects that image over me. I’m still wearing the same clothes and everything, but if I can imagine it, I can look like it.” He swept the device back toward him when I would have picked it up. “Few people question the boss when he’s leaving the building.”

“What if you run into the boss? That could be awkward.”

He didn’t seem concerned. “The odds are low. Besides, I can just as easily be an anonymous lab tech. Have you been downstairs? There’s a lot going on, and as I said the other day, they’re more worried about unauthorized people getting in than paying attention to who’s getting out.”

“But to what purpose?” His attitude made little sense. “You’re safer inside Redclaw. Why leave?”

“Boredom.” He shrugged when I raised a disbelieving eyebrow. “Okay, then. The desire for decent food.”

My eyebrow went even higher as I stared pointedly at the cooling soup in front of him.

“Fine. I don’t like being caged. Is that answer enough for you?”

I could see his point. And since I had him here, I asked about something that had been on my mind since the day of the mechanical spider. “What do you think is the purpose behind these artifacts?”

He leaned back in his chair to the point he risked toppling it over backward. The front legs lifted until he settled the chair back in place with a thump. “That’s the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question, isn’t it?” His raised eyebrow implied both curiosity and concern. The combination was frankly compelling. “Where do they come from? Who or what is behind the technology? It’s beyond anything I’ve ever seen, and I’ve worked on some top-secret projects. My guess? It’s not from this planet.”

My mouth dropped open. “You mean… alien?” I sputtered.

He nodded in all seriousness.

“You seriously believe Martians or Moon Men or something like that is seeding our plant with their gizmos?” The shock of his statement having worn off, scorn now laced my voice.

His shrug was eloquent. “Maybe. I think it more likely an advanced race implanted these devices millennia ago, knowing at some point we’d develop nuclear technology, hence the activation of said devices now.”

“But why?”

He shook his head. “A test? A trap? Who knows? Maybe the awakening tech triggered some kind of signal to the developers and even now, they’re on their way to greet us.”

I wondered if we would disappoint them. It was a distinctly disturbing thought. “Is this a working theory or are you just blowing smoke?”

His devilish smile made an appearance. The way it peeped out of hiding, combined with the fall of that rebellious lock of hair over his intense eyes when he leaned forward, would have charmed the pants off most women I know.

I don’t charm that easily.

“My dear, I just tinker with the gizmos.” He leaned back in his seat once more, his clever fingers toying with his spoon as he spoke. “I’ll leave winkling out the motives of the artifact-builders to the scary people, like you and Ryker.”

I straightened. “Me? Scary? What on earth have I done to give you that impression?” Ryker, I could understand. We knew so little about the shifters, how they lived, and what they could do. The way Ryker had tossed Billy around that day in the office was a fair indication he was stronger than most men, and of course, there was the rapid healing thing as well. More than that, I didn’t know.

“Scarily competent.”

I wrinkled my nose. “Am I supposed to thank you? That makes me sound like every other woman in the workplace. Standing behind the boss and making him look good.”

His laugh caught me off guard. “No, you have it all wrong. The smart man stands behind the girl with the ray gun.”

Okay. Perhaps I could be charmed a little.

About the Author

McKenna Dean has been an actress, a vet tech, a singer, a teacher, a biologist, and a dog trainer. She’s worked in a genetics lab, at the stockyard, behind the scenes as a props manager, and at a pizza parlor slinging dough. Finally she realized all these jobs were just a preparation for what she really wanted to be: a writer.

She lives on a small farm in North Carolina with her family, as well as the assorted dogs, cats, and various livestock.
She likes putting her characters in hot water to see how strong they are. Like tea bags, only sexier.

Links:
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/c8GDYX
Website: http://mckennadeanromance.com/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B075CRHQ7B/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/McKenna-Dean-Author-262328784224302/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/McKennaDeanFic
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mckennadeanromance/?hl=en
Tumblr: https://mckennadeanromance.tumblr.com/
Email: mckennadeanromance@gmail.com

Kryssie Fortune: Five Vampire Myths Busted
Saturday, June 29th, 2019

Five Vampire Myths Busted:

  1. Vampires can’t enter unless invited.
    Lock your doors and windows, quick.
  2. Vampires don’t have reflections.
    I get that mirrors supposedly reflect the soul. But shouldn’t their clothes show?
  3. Vampires can be killed by a stake through the heart.
    Can’t everybody?
  4. Vampires can’t stand sunlight.
    This is a modern myth that started in the film Nosferatu. Before then, they could walk in daylight. Ha! And you thought you were safe when you were sunbathing.
  5. Vampires can be repelled by garlic.
    There’s nothing worse than garlic breath before you bite your dinner. Besides, it alerts the victim to the vampire’s presence. They’d run and the vampire would still be hungry.

Since my latest release, Taken as Theirs, features twin werewolves, why am I blathering on about vampires?

Well…guess who the bad guys are…? There’s kudos in being bad. Think about Jessie James or Butch Cassidy. They are the true anti-heroes. I can’t name any of Cowboy heroes, but do know the villains.

Taken as Theirs

As a fertile woman in an infertile world,
no wonder she was TAKEN AS THEIRS.

Buy links:
Amazon USA: https://amzn.to/2AB4Z3l
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2s95Q6O
Amazon Canada: https://amzn.to/2GZLI1f
Amazon Australia: https://amzn.to/2RvViwV

 Or READ FOR FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

As a breeder–one of the few fertile women left in a ruined, plague-ravaged world–Cassie would fetch a handsome price at auction, and selling her to the highest bidder was exactly what her captors had in mind… until two fearsome beasts decided to take her for themselves.

Eli and Dane have chosen Cassie for their mate, and when she makes a foolish attempt at escape she quickly ends up tearfully promising obedience as her bare bottom is soundly and shamefully punished. Her body’s response to their stern dominance cannot be denied, however, and it isn’t long before she is screaming out her intense, helpless pleasure as she is roughly and thoroughly claimed. But will Eli and Dane’s pack accept a human girl or will Cassie be an outsider forever?

Publisher’s Note: Taken as Theirs includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

Excerpt

Goosebumps covered Cassie’s flesh. Tingles raced between her legs, tiny electric sparks that warmed her blood. One kind word and her good intentions would crumble—just like her sisters’ chance of freedom if she told this drop-dead gorgeous pair about them.

What with the vampire auction and that nightmare descent of the cliff, she couldn’t take much more. Cassie had been a fool to think she could escape. Completely drained, she was at the werewolves’ mercy

Her imagination worked overtime. Wolves were pack animals. Suppose they decided to share her around the crew? The vampires certainly would have, and she didn’t expect werewolves to behave any better.

She cowered when Eli pulled a knife, but he sawed through the wet rope binding her to his brother. Her legs folded, and only Dane’s strong grip kept her upright. Sheaving his knife, Eli swept her into his arms.

He gave her his best Pepsodent-white smile. “Foolish little princess, so eager to return to the vampires who will abuse you. You’re safe here, despite the unconventional start to our friendship.”

Like a half-drowned kitten, she dripped water onto his trousers. He smelled of summer breezes and crops ripening in the fields. So cold her teeth had stopped chattering, she let go of her fears and let Eli take charge. Heat flowed from his chest to hers, but it wasn’t enough. She felt like an ice cube lost at the back of a freezer.

He carried her through a narrow galley, and into the captain’s cabin. She’d expected twin bunks and a tiny space. Instead, this room reminded her of Nelson’s cabin on the HMS Victory. The back wall consisted of window panes, giving her a view of the distant cliffs. The view fascinated and delighted her but the cabin’s four-poster bed terrified her. It covered more than half the room and had enough room for three if not four.

Dane pulled towels from a trunk then tossed her one of his brother’s jumpers. “Get dry, princess then get into bed and warm up. We’re going to lock you in while we get underway in earnest, but we’ll be back with hot stew and a hot coffee soon.”

After living on half rations for a week, her mouth watered at the thought of a decent meal. That these dominant werewolves cared for her welfare stunned her. Then they offered her a coffee. Utter luxury.

Emotions set in, and tears filled her eyes. She broke into a cold sweat that turned her forehead clammy. She’d never felt so weary in her life—not even when she’d swum marathons.

Dane lifted her chin and gazed into her eyes. “Don’t cry, little human. You’re safe now.”

The intensity in his gaze felt like a shot of energy for her soul. It made her feel hot and tingly inside. She craved his touch, and maybe his kiss. A fresh set of shivers beset her. This time, they were more about her forbidden attraction for the werewolves than the cold.

About Kryssie Fortune

Kryssie lives by the beach and loses track of time when she writes. Her days are full of dashing regency rakes, former soldiers so handsome they make her drool, and the sexiest werewolves ever. The odd vampire makes it in there too, but when he does, he’s drop dead gorgeous.

Her pet hates are unhappy endings and cliff hangers. She guarantees you won’t find either in her books. Her books sizzle with sensual heat, but story always comes before sex. Even when part of a series, her books can be read as stand-alone romance.

Kryssie Fortune Social Media:
Website: http://kryssiefortune.wixsite.com/kryssie
Blog: http://kryssiefortune.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KryssieFortune
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KryssieFortune
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1OGFnjc
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2kxqabJ
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2hA0ZVO

Flashback: Bad Moon Rising (Contest)
Saturday, June 8th, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Tamara!
*~*~*

Love panther-shifters? Love a sexy Cajun drawl? Enjoy the excerpt and enter to win it!

Comment for a chance to win a free download of Bad Moon Rising!

Bad Moon Rising

Bad Moon Rising

 

On a whim, romance author DiDi Devereaux decides to travel to remote Louisiana bayou country to take possession of a house she inherited from a reclusive relative. But before she reaches her destination, she drives her car into a ditch to avoid a large animal that leaps into her path. Rescue comes in the form of a sexy sheriff, whose gruff demeanor seems to hide a feral attraction. As DiDi settles into her new home she finds herself torn between her attraction to the sheriff and the raw, handsome bad boy whose offer to help her renovate her home is a little too convenient and tempting.

Nothing in Bayou Noir is what it seems. When strange things begin to happen, her natural curiosity leads her into danger…

Get your copy here!

Read an excerpt…

DiDi hit SAVE and shut down her computer. Her newest story was beginning to pull together—or at least, the characters were coming alive. The external plot of her novel hadn’t yet gelled, because she hadn’t discovered what secrets the sheriff and the bad boy hid.

But the characters were now fully fleshed—the two men appealing to her heroine in ways DiDi understood all too well. The question she still struggled with was which man her heroine would ultimately choose. The thought made her smile.

DiDi closed the computer lid. Of course, Sheriff Breaux and Bobby Sonnier were the models for her two heroes. All the while she’d described her heroine’s first meeting with the men, she’d described her own feelings, and how her curiosity and body had both been aroused. Which man did she, DiDi, prefer? Funny, she couldn’t remember the last time she’d thought a man so disturbingly attractive. But in this remote location, within a single hour, she’d met two.

She stretched her arms above her head and glanced at her watch—two o’clock AM. Since she was a night owl by habit, she didn’t worry. However, the room was warm. The AC chugged along, but didn’t seem to cool very well. Upon returning to the room, she’d changed to cutoffs and a tank top, but the fabric stuck to her skin. Maybe drinking something ice-cold would cool her enough to rest comfortably. She slipped the pass key into her back pocket, tucked a couple of dollar bills into the front one, and let herself out of her room.

Outside, she breathed in the thick, humid air. The night was quiet except for the distant, blended hum of insects and frogs. Maybe it was the cloying heat, but she felt restless and aroused. Her thoughts swirled with the erotic fantasies she’d been spinning into a story.

A woman caught between two men.

On the outside, one wore a white hat, the other dressed like he’d just dragged himself out of bed. But inside, both souls were painted with the same darkness.

The soda machine stood next to the office, so she walked barefoot along the sidewalk, slid her money into the slot, and hit the button for a Coke. The machine shuddered, but nothing dropped into the well at the bottom.

“Damn.” She hit the button again. Nothing. Cursing, she bent and stuck her arm up into the opening, found the bottom of her can lodged at an odd angle, and rattled it until it dropped into her hand.

When she straightened, she held the can away and opened the tab, letting it spray outward.

The can was icy cold, and she drank down several gulps before turning back to her room.

DiDi drew up short. A car had parked in front of her room. A sleek Caprice with the township’s emblem and blue lights on the top. Sheriff Breaux stood with his arms crossed over his chest, watching her.

Had he seen her wrestle with the coke, her butt in the air? Would she ever catch a break with the guy?

DiDi made herself straighten her shoulders and sauntered toward the large man. Did he always wear that expression—so dark and intense, so watchful? She caught the way his narrowed glance scanned her bare legs and feet, and she shivered.

She’d take his frown over a smile from another man any day—the gesture did things to her. Challenged her. Made her tingle in all the right places. “Evenin’, Sheriff,” she drawled, walking closer.

“Miz Devereaux,” he said, nodding.

“DiDi,” she replied, curving her lips. “I thought we were getting friendly.”

His expression didn’t soften. “It’s late. Doesn’t a city girl like you know it’s not safe to be alone outside after dark?”

“Tell me,” she said softly, teasingly as she leaned against her room’s door. “This is a small town. What should I fear? And is the danger sporting four legs or two?”

His features stilled. He stepped closer and looked down his nose.

A move like he was trying to intimidate. She didn’t know why, but his stance aroused her.

“Bayou Noir is a quiet town,” he said, his voice dead even, “but you’re a beautiful woman. More temptation than man or beast might be able to resist.”

DiDi blinked, all bluster gone. Heat soaked the crotch of her panties. He thinks I’m hard to resist? “Looks like I don’t have a thing to fear with you here, Sheriff.”

His lips crimped in irritation, and he shook his head. “Told you before, Mason,” he bit out. “Seein’ as how we’re friendly now.”

Two could play this game of chicken. She stepped close enough she could smell him. “What if I like sheriff? I like a man being in charge.”

His nostrils flared. His eyelids fell. “Careful, chère…

“Am I really that hard to resist?” DiDi lifted her chin.

He didn’t answer, but his gaze fell to her mouth.

DiDi knew she’d roll her eyes if a character in her book licked her lips at a time like this, but she couldn’t resist the tease. She stroked her bottom lip, wetting it and watching Mason’s eyes narrow further, homing in on the simple little motion.

“You like playin’ with fire?” he muttered, his voice guttural.

“I’m not playin’.”

His eyes were shadowed, a touch sinister and frightening.

She couldn’t have said why, but she wanted to rattle him. Answer his challenge with one of her own. DiDi leaned into Mason, pressing the hand not holding the soda against his chest and rising on her toes. When her mouth approached, she saw his lips part.

But he held still, watching her with that dark, steady gaze.

She placed her lips against his and rubbed, and then did it again when he still didn’t move. Pulling back, she gave him a slight glare. His expression hadn’t changed, but that didn’t defeat her. No way could she be this hot if he wasn’t returning some of the heat.

Plus, he hadn’t warned her away with a word or a gesture, hadn’t moved back either. Not exactly a no.

Angling a hand backwards, she set the soda on the windowsill and reached up to clutch his shoulders, pushed her chest against his, snuggling closer, and kissed him again.

His hands curled gently around her waist.

Her heart sped up, her body melted. She pressed her lips harder.

However, Mason pushed her away…but his fingers didn’t let her go.

Rather than reach for him again, DiDi curved her fingers into her palms. She’d never thrown herself at a man like that, without an ounce of encouragement. Feeling like a fool, she pushed at his hands. “Don’t worry,” she said, unable to hold his steady stare now that she’d humiliated herself. “I promise I won’t attack you again.”

“DiDi.”

“What?” she snapped, lifting her face, hoping to salvage her pride.

“Dammit.” His lips slammed on top of hers. His hands let go of her waist and glided around her back, pulling her against him. And then he was walking her backward, pushing her against her door while he devoured her mouth.

DiDi thought she’d been ready for his kiss. Ready for whatever he’d bring, but under the onslaught, her head swam, her knees weakened. She locked her fingers behind his neck.

Scents intensified—the smell of thick, green forest, the exhaust of his car, his aftershave, the unique smell of his masculine musk.

Sounds—an indistinct hum before—returned, becoming louder. Crickets chirped, frogs croaked. The wind sifted through the trees, rustling leaves and creaking branches. And his heartbeat grew loud enough, insistent enough, her own matched its beat.

And God, the lush, wet thrill of that kiss! His mouth was hard, his tongue sinfully fluid, sliding along hers then tangling and twisting until she had to suck on it to keep him still and savor the sensual connection.

DiDi felt as though she drowned in a perfect moment, falling deeply into lust, her body shivering and bending toward him.

Mason broke the kiss. His gaze raked her face; his jaw tightened. “Better get inside an’ lock that door, chère.”

“And if I don’t want to?” she asked breathlessly, looking deep into his dark eyes.

“Gimme your key.”

Relief made her knees shake. He’s coming inside. She dug into her pocket for the key card and handed it over. He swiped the key and pulled down the latch next to her hip. Then he tossed the key toward the bed behind her and grasped her waist.

DiDi began to reach up to enfold him in her arms—

Scowling, Mason pushed her backward and closed the door in her face.

“Fuck,” she whispered. That had never happened before.

N.J. Walters: Spring is Here!
Thursday, March 21st, 2019

Today is the spring equinox, which means spring is in the air. The snow is melting, the days are getting longer, and the temperatures are climbing. We may still get a freak snowstorm or two—a very likely possibility where I live—but the promise of warmer days is there.

What do you look forward to in spring?

One of the biggest things I love is shedding the heavy winter layers. I live in Canada, so that means I have to put on winter boots, a sweater, scarf, long coat, headband, and gloves before I even consider venturing through the door. I long for sneakers and a hoodie. I’m also looking forward to not having to navigate mounds of snow and sheets of ice on the way to the bus stop.

I love the sunshine, so the dreary winter days can be difficult. The longer days and more frequent sunshine really boost my mood.

Mother nature comes alive. Trees began to bud and the first flowers poke their heads out of the ground. We may get daffodils and tulips in late April or they might not show until May. Things move a little slower up here, but I know that summer is on its way.

And if spring hasn’t quite arrived and you’re looking to curl up on a cool evening with a book, you might try Wolf of her Own.

They don’t come much hotter or sexier than Mikhail Matheson from Wolf of Her Own

Wolf of her Own
Salvation Pack, Book 9

Mikhail Matheson may be an outsider in Salvation, but he stays with the pack to be close to his sister. It has nothing to with the fact that Elise—the most fascinating woman he’s ever laid eyes on—is part of the pack. Mikhail has wanted Elise for years, but being with her could cost him his life. Soon he’ll have to decide if he’s going to leave the pack or risk it all to pursue a place at her side.

After escaping her abusive mate, Elise LaForge has made a home in Salvation with her sons. She never expected to have her emotions stirred up by the always serious and seriously handsome Mikhail. But can she finally put her past behind her and dare to move on?

When danger creeps into the pack, both she and Mikhail have to be willing to sacrifice everything to have a chance at love.

Buy Links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CWQ4PK1/
Entangled Publishing: https://entangledpublishing.com/wolf-of-her-own.html
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wolf-of-her-own-n-j-walters/1128615958
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wolf-of-her-own/id1381437118
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wolf-of-her-own

TEASER:

He turned and got his first real view of her bedroom. This was Elise’s private domain. Sheer white curtains hung at the windows, allowing in light and giving the illusion of privacy. The bed was queen-sized and covered with a white comforter edged in lace. The quilt that she’d had wrapped around her this morning was folded and sitting on the edge of the bed.

Drawn to it, he walked over and ran his fingers over it. The colors were pale and feminine—pink, cream, green, blue, and peach. He noticed the other little touches—a pale pink bench at the end of the bed, a chest of drawers painted white with glass knobs, and a wicker chair in the corner with throw pillows in colors that matched the quilt.

It was totally and utterly feminine. There wasn’t a hint of masculine anywhere.

And wasn’t that the point? Her mate had probably had everything his way in the years they’d been married, so it was only natural she’d swing totally the other way when she was designing a space for herself.

It suited her—intensely feminine without being too fussy. There were only a few extra pillows piled on the bed and the only lace was a thin band around the edge of her comforter. He really felt like the big bad wolf standing here in her room.

A smile tilted up the corners of his mouth. Damned if he didn’t like it.

She really needed something masculine to ground the space—see, watching all those decorating shows with his sister years ago had taught him something—and he was just the something masculine that was needed.

About the Author

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Visit me at:
Website: http://www.njwalters.com
Blog: http://www.njwalters.blogspot.com
Newsletter Group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/awakeningdesires/info
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/N.J.WaltersAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/njwaltersauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/NJWalters
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/njwalters
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-j-walters