Bestselling Author Delilah Devlin
HomeMeet Delilah
BookshelfBlogExtrasEditorial ServicesContactDelilah's Collections

Archive for 'witch'



Love naughty witches? Sexy bounty hunters? Check out these pre-orders–plus OPEN CONTESTS!
Friday, August 23rd, 2019

Thought I’d pop in. I’ve been religiously “listing” the past few days, meaning not going to bed at night before I have the next day’s to do list sitting in the middle of my desk. I’m trying to get the work done, plus clear some space in my cluttered office. So, lots to do! I was sooooo efficient yesterday, I even wove a potholder for my dd! 🙂

Anyways, I wanted to let you know about the two stories I currently have up for pre-order so you have them in your crosshairs, or better yet, so you can pre-order the books! Below the books, take a look at 4 OPEN CONTESTS you still have time to enter, and at the very bottom, I’m sharing a spooky excerpt! Let’s get started…

Mambo’s Door

Mambo's Door
Coming August 30th! This one’s f/f erotica, but if you can get past that fact, it’s a very cool story about a fledgling witch who faces Baron Samedi in limbo—it’s part witchy tale, part voodoo lore, part horror (not too much, swear), and part romance, and it’s set in New Orleans! You have to read it to figure out how those things work together. LOL! Oh, and if you’re curious, read an excerpt below!

A f/f paranormal novelette…

Ingrid Kassel is a fledgling witch, uncertain and not in complete control of her powers, especially after drinking a double-shot of vampire blood. Charged with retrieving an object buried with a daughter of the Voodoo Queen—she angers the spirit guarding the tomb and finds herself entering a shadowy limbo, where she meets beautiful Marie, living in fear of a demon who also desires the black magic candle infused with the powerful mambo’s blood.

In desperation, Marie tricks Ingrid, capturing her and seducing her to charge the candle for her own bid for freedom.

Pre-order your copy here!

Montana Bounty Hunters: Quincy

Quincy
And of course, there’s a bounty hunter coming on September 24th! One I had a ton of fun writing about in my short story, “Quincy Down Under“, which you can read at the back of Big Sky Wedding, inside Stranded: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, or as a standalone shorty! You don’t want to miss how Quincy and his beautician-in-the-bunker first met!

MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS: Authentic Men… Real Adventures…

Quincy James and Tamara Adams met under less than idyllic circumstances—trapped inside her doomsday-bunker-turned-beauty-shop while he was hunting a skip. Now that he’s settled into his new job with the Montana Bounty Hunters, he knows he’s dawdled too long asking her out on a legitimate date. But then, he gets a new case right in the pretty beautician’s neck of the woods. A dangerous new assignment he doesn’t want her anywhere near. However, NOT bumping into her proves tricky, and when they do cross paths, he blows it.

Tamara’s already feeling foolish over the fact she got way too friendly with Quincy when they were trapped together, but then, he never contacts her again. When she sees him on the street in her little town, she’s ready to give him a piece of her mind, but he acts like he doesn’t know her. What they hell?

When the pair find themselves trapped together again, there’s time for a reckoning…

Pre-order your copy here!

Open Contests

These contests are still open, so be sure to enter now before they’re gone! The oldest contest is at the top!

  1. Caroline Clemmons: An Agent for Magdala (Contest, FREE Read, & Excerpt) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  2. A Puzzle & a Contest! — Win a download of a recent release!
  3. Melanie Jayne: Decision Time (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  4. Flashback: Cochise (Contest & Excerpt) — Win a download of an MBH story!

Excerpt from Mambo’s Door

A drunk on the sidewalk bumped past Ingrid Kassel.

Instinctively, she turned her head and issued a hiss, baring teeth. Not that she had fangs to back up the warning, but her temper simmered at a slow, angry boil, and her reactions weren’t entirely her own. A single taste of blood had ignited a hunger for more, it seemed, and the loss of control pissed her off.

If this was what it felt like to be a vampire, it was a damn good thing she was a witch.

Ever since Magda, the coven’s priestess, had given her Elena Csintalan’s blood to drink to lend her strength for her quest, Ingrid had fought to retain a sense of self. Read the rest of this entry »

Angelique Armae: Witches, Gargoyles, Talking Pigs, Oh My!
Friday, July 19th, 2019

Thank you for having me today! I’m a huge fan of Delilah’s books, so I’m a bit giddy being here.

Today, I bring you a character interview with Henry, the immortal, talking pet pig in WITCHWOOD (Witch & Stone), a paranormal tale I co-wrote with the wonderful Candace Sams. Henry is a secondary character who plays a major role in DIRE AND DREAD, the WITCHWOOD prequel. But he makes an appearance in WITCHWOOD. This is his take on the main characters of that book.

Angelique Armae: How long have you known Sienna Stone?

Henry: Sienna is the twenty-nine-year-old American-born great-niece of English/American witch—Davinia Stone—who rescued me in 1963. Sienna is a hoot. She’s one of the most powerful witches in both England and the US. But she’s having a bit of a problem with her magick at the moment, much like her Aunt Davinia suffered more than fifty years ago. I’ve been sleeping at the foot of Sienna’s bed since she arrived on Davinia’s doorstep when she was five years old, after her father was murdered.

Angelique Armae: Sienna’s romantic interest is Matthew Witchwood. What can you tell us about the man?

Henry: For starters, I don’t like anyone who poses the threat of taking away my Sienna. But for Sienna’s sake, I have made peace with the fact she might one day end up married to Matthew. I do have to admit, though, it would be a good match as Matthew comes from one of the most prestigious witch families in England. He’s an ex-military guy who underneath his tough surface is a softie with a kind heart. I also like his Gran, Henrietta Witchwood, matriarch of the Witchwood clan of witches.

Angelique Armae: I hear a bout of turmoil struck the Witchwood estate recently.

Henry: Terrible thing, to be honest. Bertram Witchwood, Henrietta’s brother-in-law, gambled away the Witchwood gargoyles that guarded the castle’s front entrance. He lost them in a card game to a powerful two-bit dirty witch, named Ozmodius Fennel. The gargoyles—Dire and Dread—contain remnants of Davinia’s untamed magick. If they fall into the wrong hands, disaster can strike. And that is precisely where we are currently heading.

Angelique Armae: Having been around magick your entire, immortal life, what advice would you tell a witch with wayward powers?

Henry: Always believe in yourself. Your magick is an extension of yourself, and therefore it can be tamed when need be.

Angelique Armae: Do you have any magickal powers, yourself?

Henry: Well, I’m not a hex breather like Davinia. And since I have hooves instead of hands, I can’t shoot streams of stars and magick through my fingers like can my precious Sienna. I also don’t mess up magickal potions and teas like Matthew does. Nor can I magickally run a slew of charities—that’s Henrietta’s strength. But I am an immortal, talking, pet pig. I think that says it all.

 

WITCHWOOD (Witch & Stone)
(exclusively available in SOULS AND SHADOWS Boxset)

Buy link: https://books2read.com/u/4AJgrJ

About the Author

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Angelique Armae is a native New Yorker who loves all things royal, can trace her Irish roots back to the Scottish Highlands, is half Italian, and is owned by a long-haired Tuxedo feline. She spends most days writing, unless her cat deems otherwise.

Website: https://angeliquearmae.com/
Newsletter: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/c6u8g7

Flashback: Wolf Moon Rising, Beaux Rêve Coven, Book 3 (Excerpt & Contest!)
Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

UPDATE: The winners is…Booklady!
*~*~*

 

Once in a Blue Moon Under a Blood Moon Wolf Moon Rising
Click on the covers to learn more about these stories!

Have you read the books in my Beaux Rêve Coven series? The covers are gorgeous, aren’t they? (Thanks, sis!) If you love witches and trolls and werewolves and vampires, and…well, all those lovely beings who inhabit paranormal worlds, you won’t want to miss these stories. I have two more books planned in the series, and hope to get them both out before the end of the year. In the meantime, enjoy an excerpt from Wolf Moon Rising, and comment below for a chance to win a copy of one of the BRC books!

Wolf Moon Rising

Wolf Moon Rising

In Jefferson Parish, deep in the bayou, is a place called Bonne Nuit. Off the beaten path, isolated by swamp and connected to the sea, there the Beaux Rêve Coven thrives.

Five witches…Too many demons to count…

Aoife is the flightiest of the sister witches, and she has a secret, one her mother warned her to keep close to her heart. Her father was a fairy—which explains her quirkiness and her affinity for flowers. She lives in a cabin on stilts that juts into the bayou, and one of her demon guardians is a werewolf. She’s attracted, but how would he feel if he married her, fathered a child, and that child disappeared into the land of the fae? Desperate to find a solution to her dilemma, she flees her guardian’s protection. Her last hope is to enlist her father’s help. Plead her case. Her happiness, and that of her one true love, Sigurd, depends on whether she can escape this fairy curse.

Excerpt

For Sigurd, acting as guardian to the witch, Aoife, was both a blessing and curse. A blessing, because he’d never known anyone as innocent and pure, and a woman who truly didn’t know her own allure. A curse, because he had to guard her against his own lustful nature.

And again, he was thankful two other demons were assigned the protection detail, because more than anything, he wanted her kept safe. However, he was equally annoyed at having two competitors for her affection.

Of course, many more among the demons living around Bonne Nuit aspired to hear the “echo” of their bonding with a witch. Such a bonding brought power to the lucky demon—and demons were greedy about that sort of thing. They frequented Aoife’s small cabin poised on long stilts above the bayou on the flimsiest of excuses. One needed a fragrant oil to help him sleep. Another needed a healing balm to soothe a bruise. And they were constantly underfoot in her garden and her workshop, interfering more than helping—at least, to his mind.

However, Aoife appeared blissfully unaware of the males’ attempts at garnering her exclusive attention. Her radiant smile flashed indiscriminately upon her pursuers, never mind their unsuitability as possible mates. And despite the fact they’d done nothing to earn the right to call her wife.

Unlike Sigurd, who suffered her proximity and who stood ready to serve her in any way she pleased. Who quietly stood guard over her while she slept, losing his sleep and his pride because she slumbered so soundly, completely unaware of his constant state of arousal.

Sigurd wasn’t naturally a patient man, but he had withstood the torture of being close day in and out for seven months. He was nearing his breaking point. If something didn’t happen soon, he would press their leader, Ethan, to ask his pretty wife for help. Bryn liked him well enough, always turning to give him a wink when “family” dinners took place, and one of Aoife’s admirers fought for the privilege of sitting at her side. Sigurd preferred to sit across from her at the table anyway—the better to glower at his competition. And perhaps raise a lip in a menacing snarl.

Bryn seemed to be in his corner. Perhaps she would be eager to see her sister witch settled. If something didn’t change soon, he’d speak with her.

On this evening, Sigurd wore his wolfskin and lay curled on the wooden floor beside Aoife’s bed. Just before she’d begun softly snoring, she’d reached down and scratched behind his ears. Probably not an act she was even aware of doing. She was kind to all creatures and seemed especially fond of his wolf form, sometimes taking a brush to his fur or giving him a bath in the large metal tub on the porch. He lived for those moments.

He shook his head in disgust. What a sorry excuse for a wolf he was. Wolves weren’t pets. They were pack animals who needed to belong to a family and a mate. A male needed to dominate his bitch, but he didn’t think Aoife would ever agree to be his bitch.

However, the thought did stretch his wolf’s mouth into a feral grin. He laid his head atop his paws and settled with a disgruntled whine.

Minutes passed, and he was nearly drifting off to sleep when the bed creaked and feet softly lowered to the floor. He perked his ears and pushed up to peer over the mattress, just in time to see Aoife slip through her bedroom door.

He followed, freezing when her steps paused, ducking behind corners when she glanced around. Something was afoot, and his hackles rose when she reached for her cloak and a small bag from the hook beside the front door.

Was she meeting a lover? Or were the witches gathering in secret? Somehow, he doubted the latter because Bryn was very pregnant and couldn’t slide gracefully from Ethan’s bed. And Miren would have to escape three mates, and that could never happen. Which reminded him, where the hell were the other two guards?

When Aoife opened the door and crept outside, closing it behind her, he drew up short. He hadn’t considered how he would exit the house, so he quickly shook free of his wolfskin and strode onto the porch. His glance went to the steps at the side of the porch, but then a sound, a soft splash, pulled his gaze to the canal flowing past her porch. She’d taken a boat. The fact she was already on the water meant she’d been in a hurry.

What the fuck?

Footsteps sounded from inside the house. A door creaked open then slammed shut. So much for stealth. Hamdir, also a wolf, walked to his side, scratching his chest. “Where’s the witch? I was sleeping on the couch. Thought you were watching her.”

“I was.” I watched her escape. “Go back to bed. I have this handled.”

“Sure about that?” Hamdir yawned. “Don’t know how you aren’t dead on your feet. You really ought to let us have turns inside her bedroom.” His large hand patted Sigurd’s shoulder. “Driving to New Orleans in the mornin’, or I’d join you on this hunt,” he said with a waggle of his eyebrows.

His gaze followed Hamdir as he stepped back inside. Their group had grown complacent since Ethan defeated the council’s champion in battle and no retribution had been settled upon their unbanded group. Most presumed the mere presence of so many demons, concentrated in their small town, was deterrent enough to rogue demons seeking to steal a witch for a mate.

Sigurd was reminded he’d have to enlist another guard from among the bachelor demons during Hamdir’s absence.

A cool wind wafted against his skin, raising chill bumps. Early Winter in the bayou was mild, but he couldn’t easily follow Aoife on foot. Instead, Sigurd shifted again and fell to his paws. With a single quick yelp, he leapt past the stairs to the bank. Lifting his nose to the breeze, he followed Aoife’s delicious witch’s scent through the murky, shadowed bayou. If he startled a gator, the bastard better move out of his way.

 

Aoife drew her paddle into the pirogue and stepped out onto the bank. She hadn’t rowed far, but she worried that her guardians would notice she’d eluded their watch. And that couldn’t happen. Tonight, she needed privacy to commune with the moon, and perhaps, coax a stubborn door to open.

As she stepped into the thick forest, she drew deep, calming breaths. She crushed the carnation she’d secreted into the bag inside the pocket of her cloak and whispered a quick, ineloquent spell.

“Goddess, though I walk alone,
your moon’s rays light my way.
Let nature’s bounty, your gift to us but still your own,
do no harm or deter me along my way.”

Despite her prayer, she glanced around the deepening darkness and hoped she’d recognize the tree when she saw it. The canopy above her allowed only dapples of moonlight through to the forest floor. She’d found the oak only days ago when she’d been searching for moss for a fairy house she was constructing to sell online. No one else would have noted it. The tree was old. Its bark thick and rugged. Although shorter and squatter than the lovely old oak in the open field the witches used for their rituals, this one appeared ancient—much more suited to her task. When she’d rapped on its bark to awaken its spirit, she’d felt the old oak shiver its branches and sensed its anger at her intrusion. Only a grouchy old oak would serve her purpose.

With the picture of the squat oak in her mind, she reached into her right pocket and crushed the dried honeysuckle there, letting its sweet aroma rise around her, and sought the oak with her other sight.

When she again opened her eyes, moonlight gleamed brighter straight ahead. She plunged forward but didn’t note the vine on the forest floor. Her foot snagged and sent her toppling to the ground. As she pushed upright, she thought she heard something rustling in the bushes. Not a small animal. Suspicious, she narrowed her gaze and stared in the direction of the sound, sure a certain wolf with better night vision than she had stared right back.

She waited, listening, but when no other sounds intruded, other than the rustling of dried leaves above, she continued her way. If Sigurd were trailing her, he would already have made his presence known. He was forever standing in her path, forcing her to raise her gaze to his. In those moments, she felt as though her lungs constricted, and her voice got very small. She wasn’t exactly intimidated, because she knew he’d never harm her, but his size and steady, all-seeing gaze looked right through her. Like he could read her mind. Which was impossible. Still, she found deceiving him very hard, which was why she’d decided to sneak away in the dead of night. As soon as he’d fallen asleep, she’d crept from the house. Yes, she’d heard the slam of a door in the distance, but she’d been well around the bend in the canal. No, he couldn’t have tracked her so quickly to this part of the woods. If she was successful, he wouldn’t arrive at her destination until it was already too late.

It was well past time she should have had this conversation, and secrecy was of the utmost importance. This situation wasn’t something she could talk to her sisters about. They’d be hurt, because she’d never divulged the truth in all their long acquaintance, despite their shared travails. This secret burned a hole in her belly and made her lose sleep. Worse, it kept her from Sigurd. She could never agree to be his mate—and she knew he wanted that—not until her problem was resolved. Inside her pocket, she crossed her fingers and hoped she’d found the right tree.

The golden light beckoned, growing stronger the deeper into the woods she went, until she entered a clearing. Light from a golden gibbous moon gleamed through the branches of the canopy above. Fireflies, out of season, hovered around the trunk, blinking out and on. Something about the air had changed. It smelled sweeter, and felt…thinner…warmer.

This was the place. It had to be. She’d felt this same trembling excitement the one time her mother led her into the woods to greet an ancient oak and attempted what Aoife had to accomplish tonight.

Closing her eyes, she reached out and laid a hand against the rugged trunk.

“Come fae and fair,
No need beware,
A daughter comes to greet you.
One knock you hear,
Two draws you near,
The third opens the door to meet you.”

Taking a deep breath, she rapped three times. Then she waited.

The wind picked up, dragging back her hood. Light gleamed between the edges of the bark, up and down the tree.

She stepped backward. Her breaths came faster, and then the glowing edges formed a rectangle, wider than an arm span. The dark bark at its center melted away.

Revealed inside the doorway was a tunnel formed by intertwining gold and green vines. She swept up the edges of her cloak and bent to step inside the door. As soon as her feet touched soft moss on the other side, she heard a crackling sound from behind and a long, lonely howl.

Read an excerpt from Gilded Cage…
Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

Gilded CageHere’s a snippet from my latest release. Be warned. The story is very erotic, contains scenes with BDSM, and features two female lovers—a witch and a vampire. Enjoy their “first meet”. Elena has no clue that her “target” is about to get the upper hand. I stayed twice in a hotel right next to the Old Absinthe House and knew I had to feature it in a story. I love, love, love it! Remember, you can get a FREE copy here: Amazon

Excerpt from GILDED CAGE

Elena approached Jean Lafitte’s Old Absinthe House from Bienville Street. She skirted the sidewalk, striding in long steps, enjoying the cloying heat, the mingled scents of life and decay, sniffing delicately when she passed a sewer grate, but not minding the odors all that much. Tonight, little would spoil her mood.

The tavern looked good for its age—although not as good as Elena. Not a single wrinkle marred her face. Not that she was mindful of her beauty. She only accepted it as a fact, having come slowly to acceptance, acknowledging her beauty not as a gift or a curse.

She dressed simply. Straight-legged blue jeans, a black tank, and black military boots. A man’s black-banded watch sat on her left wrist. Her hair was pulled tightly into a ponytail at the back of her head. Her only concession to her femininity were the large white-gold hoops she wore in her ears, and only because she liked the way they bumped against her cheeks.

Still, as severe as she knew she’d dressed, Elena drew attention. She had a model’s long, lithe frame and moved as fluidly as a cat. Again, facts about which she was aware of but not overly self-impressed.

She’d reached the point in her long life where little mattered. Not friendships, because they were fleeting. Not money, because it could be gone in a single day—something she’d faced twice now in her lifetime. Little interested her. She’d seen most of the world. Done everything. Her only constant was the hunger that drove her even now when she was wishing she could ignore it just a while longer.

The other constant was Angela. And she was meeting her tonight for the first time in ten years.

Her stomach growled loudly, and Elena growled right back, alarming a musician carrying a guitar case so much so that he stepped onto the street to make a wide arc around her.

Something in his keen eyes said he knew what she was. What she must do. And soon. She toyed with the idea of stalking him, making him her supper. That might amuse her, but she’d have annoying regrets later because she no longer wished to prey on the innocent.

Besides, he’d looked to be in the flush of good health, smelled of broccoli and legumes. His sweat was fresh, pure. She wrinkled her nose because she preferred blood flavored with sin even when she wasn’t being noble. Or at least, trying very hard to be.

Her secret wish, the one she’d shared only with a priest before she’d ripped out his throat, was that she would ascend to heaven after a very long stay in purgatory. Something the priest had said was impossible due to the horrendous list of sins she’d confessed.

No matter that she’d been forced into this undead life. The moment she’d opened her mouth and accepted Angela’s blood, she’d forever outlawed her soul.

At least, she’d have good company.

Her phone chirped, and she slipped it from her back pocket and swiped across the screen.

Am here. Where r u?

Elena grinned and tapped the button on the side to close the phone. She was so close she didn’t bother responding.

She approached the doors to the Absinthe House, smelled the citrusy, medicinal scent of the absinthe they served and the burnt sugar they lit atop the drink the house was named for. The odors of sweat and perfume, fresh alcohol from opened bottles, and stale liquor oozing from the pores of patrons, kicked up her heart beats. She dragged in the smells, discovered one intriguing aroma among the snarled pack, and homed in on it—lush, sweet musk. Feminine. Dark.

The sense she’d honed over time found the sinner. Her gaze tracked over the tables and the people seated at the bar, landing at last on a woman whose unblinking eyes stared right back.

Angela could wait. This one was too delicious to pass up. The woman’s hair was a mass of shiny corkscrew curls, which tumbled past her shoulders in shades of dark brown, blond and red. Her skin tone was a milky latte. Her eyes were golden and tilted upward at the outside corners, long, thick lashes sweeping downward to cast shadows against glowing cheeks, before rising again so that their glances locked.

The vixen’s mouth sent a thrill through Elena’s body, cinching her nipples, hardening her clit. Her hips swayed a little deeper as she approached. Draga, esti mina. You’re mine.

The woman’s head canted slightly, as though she had heard her, which surprised Elena. Most humans couldn’t hear the suggestions although they acted upon them, thinking they’d formed the thought themselves. Perhaps she was a sensitive, one with psychic gifts. There were many in this city.

Elena stopped beside the table. “Are you expecting anyone?”

A glance flitted over Elena’s slim frame. “I think I’ve been waiting for you.” Her voice oozed like caramelized sugar onto Elena’s skin.

Satisfaction shivered through Elena as she sat in the empty chair opposite the woman and let her own gaze trail lower. Her heart fluttered at the sight of the temptress’s breasts—nipples like dark moons, shadowing her gold tank, the tips protruding, lengthening as Elena stared.

Elena’s mouth watered; her tongue scraped the edge of an eyetooth, drawing blood. Her belly growled again, but the music and sounds of conversations flowing around them masked the insistent sound.

The dark-skinned woman lifted a hand from her lap, one long, slender finger beckoning a waitress. “Would you like a drink?”

“Perhaps, later.” Elena smiled, dipping her eyelids as she gave the sultry beauty a look that said without words what she hungered for.

A slight, feline smile curved the corners of her generous mouth. “Then we’ll leave. My apartment’s not far.”

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!

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.”

Kathy Kulig: 5 Things I Love About Shapeshifters
Monday, August 6th, 2018

One of the most compelling and sought-after romance books are shapeshifter romances. Do you love shifter stories? I do! Shapeshifter books have been a hot topic in romance for quite some time. What makes creatures that can change from human to animal and back to human again, so appealing?

I have a few thoughts but would love to hear what you think. How many types of shifters have you read? What’s your favorite? Dragons, wolves, bears, lions, leopards, tigers, deer, eagle or more. I even read one about a shapeshifting seal.

So, what makes a shapeshifter story element so HOT!

  1. Readers, including me, love Alpha male characters. Brooding and troubled heroes and courageous heroines who can tame them. The rugged kick butt kind of guy who can battle evil, protect love ones, love intensely and save the world. He’s a primal, fierce being when his animalistic side emerges. Imagine the power and strength of predatory animals, then consider what a human male/female would be like possessing some of these traits. That makes for a powerful character.
  2. Many shifters possess super powers, like heightened senses, Superhuman strength or other mystical powers. Birds and other mythical creatures can fly. Who wouldn’t want the power to fly? Some may travel through dimensions, move objects or read minds. They demonstrate keen eyesight, hearing or the ability to run fast. These animal traits occasionally transfer to their human form.
  3. Conflicts and drama in these books are cranked up on high. A character’s human side may not always agree with his animal side, adding more dynamic struggles. Fights between two shifters or shifter vs human kick up the tension a notch.
  4. Paranormal and Fantasy world. The paranormal or mystical quality of these stories are interesting and compelling. Fans of paranormal and fantasy worlds are fascinated with strange, unusual or bizarre settings. Add in non-human creatures, an adventure and steamy love story—what’s not to love?
  5. Mythology, folklore and ancient history all report various shifters. I love the mythology and folklore that authors create. Some of these stories are based on actual mythology, other make up new realms. I used the Norwegian folklore of the Eigi Einhamr in a shapeshifting series, yet to be re-released soon. In this folklore, humans can wear the skin of any animal and change into that animal. Many people believed in shifters or believed that they were one. (more on that below).

THE OTHERKIN

Put fiction aside and look inside our real world. Within some subcultures, there are people who seriously believe that they are not human. These ‘otherkin’ are considered non-human and come in all shapes and sizes.

Some people claim that they’re truly vampires, not cosplay, pretenders or wannabes. Others call themselves theriomorphs (shapeshifters), some say they come from another world or other dimensions. There are those who claim they’re animal but can change into human form. Not sure I see the difference. It’s a wonderful, strange world we live in.

What are your favorite shapeshifter creature and/or books?

Share below in comments. I have a few shifter books and a backlist series that I’ll be releasing soon. My current shifter titles:

Dragon Witch and The Shifter’s Spell are two of my current shapeshifter stories. I have more coming. Visit my website www.kathykulig.com to learn more.

Dragon Witch is book one in the Dark Realms series.

A sexy space pilot on a desperate mission. A headstrong biologist he loves. And a dragon shifter caught in the middle as their worlds collide. Passion, love, greed and betrayal threaten their survival. When worlds collide, can love survive?

Buy at:
Amazon http://amzn.to/2x1aFAi
iBooks: https://apple.co/2JT6Q6y
BN: http://bit.ly/2HzW72R
KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dragon-witch-1

About the Author

Kathy is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of steamy paranormal, contemporary, and suspense romance. She’s a science geek by day and escapes into her writer’s world at night. Kathy’s books are passionate, emotionally-charged and always have a happy ending. Some of her fav things: walks on the beach, traveling, curling up with her eBooks, binge watching Netflix series and having dinners out with her darling husband. She lives in Pennsylvania in a 100-year-old Victorian house with a garage built out of reject tombstones.

Readers can find her:
Web site: http://www.kathykulig.com
Blog: http://www.kathykuligblog.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kathykuligauthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kathykulig
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kathykulig
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1221829.Kathy_Kulig
Hot News Mailing List: http://smarturl.it/KathysHotNews