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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Just Because I'm Thankful!

Here it is!  A swag giveaway....ok, and a couple books that I got for free from Harlequin.  And some pens and magnets and stickers....and.... temporary tattoos!  and bookmarks!  and and and and... Ok, I feel like a used car salesman.

Wanna win something?  We will keep it short and sweet!  Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Just do the easy entry on the Rafflecopter!  I'll run this through August 4, midnight EST.

Thank you everyone!  I appreciate every reader I've got and you guys are the bestestest!!!!!!!

Inside we have swag from Carrie Ann Ryan, Tina Folsom, Ashlyn Chase, Felicity Heaton, Shayla Black, Imogen Rose, I Smell Sheep, Riverina Romantics, Fictional Candy and more!

Books included are:
                                         


a Rafflecopter giveaway


ALSO!!!  My BLOGOVERSARY is coming up in SEPTEMBER!  I need IDEAS!!! Leave me a comment and let me know some ideas!

Just Because I'm Thankful!

Here it is!  A swag giveaway....ok, and a couple books that I got for free from Harlequin.  And some pens and magnets and stickers....and.... temporary tattoos!  and bookmarks!  and and and and... Ok, I feel like a used car salesman.

Wanna win something?  We will keep it short and sweet!  Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Just do the easy entry on the Rafflecopter!  I'll run this through August 4, midnight EST.

Thank you everyone!  I appreciate every reader I've got and you guys are the bestestest!!!!!!!

Inside we have swag from Carrie Ann Ryan, Tina Folsom, Ashlyn Chase, Felicity Heaton, Shayla Black, Imogen Rose, I Smell Sheep, Riverina Romantics, Fictional Candy and more!

Books included are:
                                         


a Rafflecopter giveaway


ALSO!!!  My BLOGOVERSARY is coming up in SEPTEMBER!  I need IDEAS!!! Leave me a comment and let me know some ideas!

Promo/Giveaway: Chasing Fools by Aida Brassington




Chasing Fools
Aida Brassington

Relationships are complicated even under the best of circumstances. For Varda Dorfman and Tommy Campi, these are the worst of times. Varda, an illegal foods smuggler, has pissed off Anthony Carluccio, the kingpin of the local underground dinner club, and put her plans for the future in serious jeopardy. Her boyfriend Gino won't quit bugging her to get married, even though his mother hates her. Tommy, Gino's brother and the ladies man of the family, can't even introduce the love of his life to anyone: he's secretly gay and dating the son of Carluccio's biggest competition. And now Tommy's getting pressure to go public. 


When Carluccio's hit man turns up dead in Varda's closet after snacking on poisonous mushrooms, all hell breaks loose. Varda's running for her life, and since his mother is dating Carluccio, Gino's convinced the only way to save her life is to finally drag her to the altar. And when people start discovering Tommy's hush-hush relationship, things really start to get interesting.

Chasing Fools is not a normal genre for Fictional Candy.  However, I have read another book of Aida's, Between Seasons, and I fell in love with it.  Aida Brassington is a terrific writer, and after reading more about this book, there was no doubt I wanted to feature it on Fictional Candy.  So sit back a spell, check out the excerpt and enter the giveaway!  And also check out my review of Between Seasons!

******************
Excerpt
******************

Let’s pretend I’m hosting a potluck dinner party at Fictional Candy. You’re invited, of course. What do you bring? My guess is it won’t be something odd . . . like lightly poached platypus egg on brioche round along with aerated artichoke and Mangalitsa ham. Right? This is exactly one of the courses served at an underground dinner club in my new novel CHASING FOOLS. Weird, sure. But that’s what you get when the main character is Varda Dorfman, an illegal foods smuggler looking to get out of the business to become an artisan cheesemaker and settle down with her long-term boyfriend, Gino Campi.

Thanks to Liz, you get an excerpt from CHASING FOOLS and a chance to win a copy of this genre mashup (dark comedy, family drama, romance, and suspense). In this scene Varda and Gino have just returned from dinner at Gino’s mother’s house, and Gino is begging Varda to marry him for the millionth time while her mind is on a mushroom foraging trip the next day:

“It’s just a piece of paper that’ll change nothing between us. I love you with everything I am, but getting married won’t somehow turn me into one of those schmoopy girls who meets you at the door with a roast or gets your name tattooed on her ass.”
“If you did either of those things, I’d worry for your sanity . . . and mine, because if I wanted a chick like that, I’d have married someone from the neighborhood. You really want to make Ma nuts, by the way, say yes and then demand I convert to Judaism. We’ll have the wedding in a synagogue. We can stomp on the glass. I’ll even wear the beanie.” His chuckle floated up to her from a lower step, his fingers clutching at her hips.
Varda fought a grin. “Nope. Not gonna happen. Although you would look hot in a yarmulke.”
She clicked on the light in their bedroom, a broad space dotted with photographs of the two of them and painted the color of herbs. A new crack in the wall plaster wandered to the wide window next to her side of the bed.
Varda turned and hurled herself into Gino’s arms. He was warm, her nose buried in the hollow of his neck. They called a silent end to the argument, his cheek resting against the top of her head. His lips touched down on her hair before releasing her.
“I have to hit Fairmount Park tomorrow.” She removed Gino’s silver band from the index finger of her right hand—the closest he’d get to putting any kind of ring on her—and set it in the brown ceramic bowl she used for storage. It nestled next to her parents’ wedding jewelry. She’d planted their rings there after the funeral, comforting talismans to ward off the loneliness of having no family . . . again.
She’d been a baby at the time of adoption, so she had no recollections of being given up, but it still bugged her now and then, like she’d forgotten what she had to buy at the grocery store while stalking down the produce aisle. It felt a little like heartburn, truth be told. Sometimes she pretended it was.
Gino was her family now—legally obligated or not—and Tommy was like the little brother she’d never wanted.
“Who you taking with you, mami?” His shoes came off first, each heel thudding on the bare wood floor, followed by socks.
Varda flung her shirt onto the black chair in the corner of the room and fumbled with the button on her pants. “I’m not sure yet, but call me mami again and I might not come back. I’ll run off with the nice Jewish boy your mother’s conjuring for me.”
“Well, don’t go out there alone,” he said. Not like she’d ever leave him, and he knew it. Gino shed his own shirt, hanging it carefully in the shallow closet. “Place is full of freaks, and that’s putting it nicely.”
Just last week the police found three guys wearing gimp masks and body latex cavorting around the grounds of Chamounix Mansion. Far be it from her to poo-poo the sexual peccadilloes of anyone, but that was more than a little odd. Definitely not something she wanted to witness with her own eyes—she’d had enough of seeing terrible things. And, of course, she’d had to endure Tommy’s vivid imagination about the kinds of things Anthony and Flora might get up to, which was nightmare-inducing. She’d probably wake up screaming in a few hours.
                                       ******************

CHASING FOOLS is available in paperback and Kindle format on Amazon

Aida Brassington lives in northeast Pennsylvania. She loves to eat and cook, and was inspired to write CHASING FOOLSby her experiences smuggling illegal cheese into the country from France (small amounts, of course—she has never held a job as an illegal foods smuggler). Her best-selling debut novel, BETWEEN SEASONS, has consistently garnered 4 and 5 star reviews and been called “intriguing,” “compelling,” and “surprising.” You can find her online at her website, Twitter, and Goodreads.

BETWEEN SEASONS, available in paperback and ebook
Buy now: Amazon  

Tell me the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten in the comments and enter the Rafflecopter raffle for a chance to win a digital copy of CHASING FOOLS! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Promo/Giveaway: Chasing Fools by Aida Brassington




Chasing Fools
Aida Brassington

Relationships are complicated even under the best of circumstances. For Varda Dorfman and Tommy Campi, these are the worst of times. Varda, an illegal foods smuggler, has pissed off Anthony Carluccio, the kingpin of the local underground dinner club, and put her plans for the future in serious jeopardy. Her boyfriend Gino won't quit bugging her to get married, even though his mother hates her. Tommy, Gino's brother and the ladies man of the family, can't even introduce the love of his life to anyone: he's secretly gay and dating the son of Carluccio's biggest competition. And now Tommy's getting pressure to go public. 


When Carluccio's hit man turns up dead in Varda's closet after snacking on poisonous mushrooms, all hell breaks loose. Varda's running for her life, and since his mother is dating Carluccio, Gino's convinced the only way to save her life is to finally drag her to the altar. And when people start discovering Tommy's hush-hush relationship, things really start to get interesting.

Chasing Fools is not a normal genre for Fictional Candy.  However, I have read another book of Aida's, Between Seasons, and I fell in love with it.  Aida Brassington is a terrific writer, and after reading more about this book, there was no doubt I wanted to feature it on Fictional Candy.  So sit back a spell, check out the excerpt and enter the giveaway!  And also check out my review of Between Seasons!

******************
Excerpt
******************

Let’s pretend I’m hosting a potluck dinner party at Fictional Candy. You’re invited, of course. What do you bring? My guess is it won’t be something odd . . . like lightly poached platypus egg on brioche round along with aerated artichoke and Mangalitsa ham. Right? This is exactly one of the courses served at an underground dinner club in my new novel CHASING FOOLS. Weird, sure. But that’s what you get when the main character is Varda Dorfman, an illegal foods smuggler looking to get out of the business to become an artisan cheesemaker and settle down with her long-term boyfriend, Gino Campi.

Thanks to Liz, you get an excerpt from CHASING FOOLS and a chance to win a copy of this genre mashup (dark comedy, family drama, romance, and suspense). In this scene Varda and Gino have just returned from dinner at Gino’s mother’s house, and Gino is begging Varda to marry him for the millionth time while her mind is on a mushroom foraging trip the next day:

“It’s just a piece of paper that’ll change nothing between us. I love you with everything I am, but getting married won’t somehow turn me into one of those schmoopy girls who meets you at the door with a roast or gets your name tattooed on her ass.”
“If you did either of those things, I’d worry for your sanity . . . and mine, because if I wanted a chick like that, I’d have married someone from the neighborhood. You really want to make Ma nuts, by the way, say yes and then demand I convert to Judaism. We’ll have the wedding in a synagogue. We can stomp on the glass. I’ll even wear the beanie.” His chuckle floated up to her from a lower step, his fingers clutching at her hips.
Varda fought a grin. “Nope. Not gonna happen. Although you would look hot in a yarmulke.”
She clicked on the light in their bedroom, a broad space dotted with photographs of the two of them and painted the color of herbs. A new crack in the wall plaster wandered to the wide window next to her side of the bed.
Varda turned and hurled herself into Gino’s arms. He was warm, her nose buried in the hollow of his neck. They called a silent end to the argument, his cheek resting against the top of her head. His lips touched down on her hair before releasing her.
“I have to hit Fairmount Park tomorrow.” She removed Gino’s silver band from the index finger of her right hand—the closest he’d get to putting any kind of ring on her—and set it in the brown ceramic bowl she used for storage. It nestled next to her parents’ wedding jewelry. She’d planted their rings there after the funeral, comforting talismans to ward off the loneliness of having no family . . . again.
She’d been a baby at the time of adoption, so she had no recollections of being given up, but it still bugged her now and then, like she’d forgotten what she had to buy at the grocery store while stalking down the produce aisle. It felt a little like heartburn, truth be told. Sometimes she pretended it was.
Gino was her family now—legally obligated or not—and Tommy was like the little brother she’d never wanted.
“Who you taking with you, mami?” His shoes came off first, each heel thudding on the bare wood floor, followed by socks.
Varda flung her shirt onto the black chair in the corner of the room and fumbled with the button on her pants. “I’m not sure yet, but call me mami again and I might not come back. I’ll run off with the nice Jewish boy your mother’s conjuring for me.”
“Well, don’t go out there alone,” he said. Not like she’d ever leave him, and he knew it. Gino shed his own shirt, hanging it carefully in the shallow closet. “Place is full of freaks, and that’s putting it nicely.”
Just last week the police found three guys wearing gimp masks and body latex cavorting around the grounds of Chamounix Mansion. Far be it from her to poo-poo the sexual peccadilloes of anyone, but that was more than a little odd. Definitely not something she wanted to witness with her own eyes—she’d had enough of seeing terrible things. And, of course, she’d had to endure Tommy’s vivid imagination about the kinds of things Anthony and Flora might get up to, which was nightmare-inducing. She’d probably wake up screaming in a few hours.
                                       ******************

CHASING FOOLS is available in paperback and Kindle format on Amazon

Aida Brassington lives in northeast Pennsylvania. She loves to eat and cook, and was inspired to write CHASING FOOLS by her experiences smuggling illegal cheese into the country from France (small amounts, of course—she has never held a job as an illegal foods smuggler). Her best-selling debut novel, BETWEEN SEASONS, has consistently garnered 4 and 5 star reviews and been called “intriguing,” “compelling,” and “surprising.” You can find her online at her website, Twitter, and Goodreads.

BETWEEN SEASONS, available in paperback and ebook
Buy now: Amazon  

Tell me the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten in the comments and enter the Rafflecopter raffle for a chance to win a digital copy of CHASING FOOLS! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 30, 2012

Excerpt/Giveaway: Blood Life by Gianna Perada


Not your typical vampire story: this book is an unforgettable paranormal adventure just waiting to reveal itself without restraint! Starting off at a slower, fairytale pace, the story shifts, killing the sweetness without looking back, and jettisons the reader into a world of chaos and calm, loyalty and adversity, redemption and long lost love. 



Blood Life is a vampire/witch thriller full of blood, magic, love, violence, and sex. It is no Twilight or Vampire Diaries! It's much darker and sexier, but equally as engrossing and unique. The witches and vampires of the fictional world of the Spectrum have united and created a race of half-breeds called the Combined. These are very powerful entities, but their race has been threatened by a rogue vampire with very old, powerful blood named Lokee, the son of the Great Witch, Devendra. This story is about letting Fate play out, but in all its turmoil, trying to save one woman who will be the key to saving the witches, the vampires, AND the Combined. Of course, the villain is very much against all that, and tortures her time and again to try to destroy her. 



Can the Combined's strongest vampire adversary form an army to defeat them, or will the power of three keep the race on top? Centered around the lives of four integral characters, Blood Life is an adventure series unlike any in the genre. Meet Devendra, a powerful witch descended from one of the first lineages; Lokee, her son and worst enemy; Roman, her friend and companion; and Alethea, the key to it all...

Blood Life
Gianna Perada 
************************

Ok, first, let's all take a moment and look at that cover.  Whoa!  It is beautiful and frightening.  Truly a piece of art!  And on top of that all, this book sounds fabulous!  So today I have an excerpt for you, and a giveaway!!  Good luck!

************************
EXCERPT
************************

“Sleeping Lyca lay

While the beasts of prey

Come from caverns deep

View’d the maid asleep.”

 –William Blake


Twelve

The channel seemed deeper, the troughs and rivets in the road more treacherous. Every rushed step seemed more dangerous and awkward. The city, with its dark gray ceiling, closed in around him and shoved him through the atmosphere. Mud clumped against his boots and his shirt had reached the frail point of hanging off his shoulders as he fell through his doorway.

The odor of the room reached him as he was rising from his knees. A solid, coarse smell that relentlessly tortures the senses; the rancor of fresh blood overwhelmed him.

“Alexandria,” her name rang out, yet he did not realize he shouted it.

The exhaustion of the clamor brought him to rest against the wall in the hallway. Her name rang out from his throat again, still uncontrollable. His vision was stolen to a mass on the floor in the sitting room. 

What used to be a wonderful, skilled woman, of witch’s blood, lay unmercifully dead.

Roman covered his mouth, sweat beading along his forehead, and walked in to get a closer look. Elizabeth was stripped; scratches and bruises covered her body. It was the position of her body that told him a rape had taken place before her death, or maybe after.

He lifted her blood-drenched hand to find her forefinger absent. A broach of Amethyst that her mother had given to her before she died, sat quietly in a puddle of bile and saliva in front of Elizabeth’s open mouth. Roman backed up the way he came, sick with fear and denial. He could not bring himself to look away from her petrified eyes, open and locked on his.

Sliding down against the wall, Roman fell into view of the bathroom. Laughing, taunting voices filled his head. He frantically looked around to find nobody there. The pure ivory basin and polished marble floor were now a reservoir. The wooden shutters with broken glass allowed lines of light to seep through, revealing small portions of the red coating on the floor and walls. Overflowing, trickling droplets down the side of the basin were streams of liquid life; but through Roman’s eyes, they were signs of Alexandria’s death.

His first step came out from under him, as his body was crushed across the room and against the basin. Already weeping and shaking his head to try to shut out the voices, he lifted his eyes over the rim to find Alexandria’s lifeless body.

Complete, haunting, silence.

Streaks of her blood marked the wallpaper: four lines, two intertwined and braided down the middle with one straight on either side of the formation.

Marked, he thought as he ran his fingers along the gashes, smearing the blood. He dropped to his knees beside the tub, reaching into the water to collect Alexandria into his arms. He pulled her to him, sobbing, suffocating himself in the tender flesh of her neck.

“NOOOOOO!” he screamed to the ceiling. “WAKE UP!!” He pinched himself, finding no satisfaction; he beat his own head against the tub, trying to beat himself out of the nightmare, the trick.

He found himself outside the house aimlessly searching the surroundings with blind eyes. He held fast to Alexandria, carrying her with him. The weight pushed him back down to his knees. He looked up and saw the sky revolve and twist. He witnessed no Gods above him.

“Have the ethereal angels been lost,” he cried at the top of his lungs. “Can you strike me down, or have you lost your lightning arms? Now I am truly here to stand against this term of mortal torment alone. I have lost my will to live!” Gravity brought him face down. He protected Alexandria’s limp head from the dirt.

“There is no one left to heal this hideous wretch, nobody to choose my mortality. Oh, if I could free my soul from this pressing time of mourning, if I could drop my aegis and expose my heart, there would still be no God to take its rhythm. Who would allow this withered corpse to fall into the covenant of the earth and join my Alexandria?”

He laid her body down softly in front of him. Smoothing her hair back, he kissed her eyelids, closing them to give her peace.

A strong, masculine hold pulled his head from her chest.

“Stand, Roman!”

Reluctantly pulling his grasp from his love, Roman stood up. Swaying on his feet, he tilted his head down, unable to look away from Alexandria’s unmoving form.

Slowly, he convinced himself to lift his eyes and study the force that had demanded his attention. He found himself staring into the face of the woman from the pub. Her velvet garments were whirling and enraged.

“She is just resting . . . isn’t she?” His words tore at the woman, her face grew darker and she reached out to take his hand.

He snapped his arms away as she did. “You filthy witch—” his voice couldn’t unleash the rage in his heart, “—I’ll burn you!”

He lunged with all his might, only to land at her feet. He turned and scrambled back over to Alexandria, protecting her from the woman.

She stood, frowning down at him. “You would be mad to try.”

“Her blood—” he gathered her body into his arms again, holding her out for the woman to view, “—you drained her blood . . . you took her from me.”

He found himself choking on tears again as he lay on the ground and pulled Alexandria on top of him, cradling her to his chest.

“No, not me,” the woman answered solemnly. “Lokee took her life; I am your protector, but I could not save her. If I left you, you would have ended up as Alexandria is now. Don’t you dare blame me! I, Devendra, have been with you.”

Roman looked up at her, surprised by her name and familiarity. Devendra leaned down and took Alexandria into her own arms, carrying her away.

Roman jumped up, following her to a grove of redwood trees not far from town. The walk seemed to take hours, as he fell countless times, weeping and unable go any further. Devendra urged him on, promising a light at the end of his tunnel.

Moments later, they reached a bed of roses, fresh and at full bloom. Devendra laid Alexandria down on them, murmuring a soft, sweet prayer, then with a thrust of her hand, ripped open the Earth and lowered Alexandria’s body down into it—safe to rest in peace.

                                                   ************************


Follow Gianna Online...





Excerpt/Giveaway: Blood Life by Gianna Perada


Not your typical vampire story: this book is an unforgettable paranormal adventure just waiting to reveal itself without restraint! Starting off at a slower, fairytale pace, the story shifts, killing the sweetness without looking back, and jettisons the reader into a world of chaos and calm, loyalty and adversity, redemption and long lost love. 



Blood Life is a vampire/witch thriller full of blood, magic, love, violence, and sex. It is no Twilight or Vampire Diaries! It's much darker and sexier, but equally as engrossing and unique. The witches and vampires of the fictional world of the Spectrum have united and created a race of half-breeds called the Combined. These are very powerful entities, but their race has been threatened by a rogue vampire with very old, powerful blood named Lokee, the son of the Great Witch, Devendra. This story is about letting Fate play out, but in all its turmoil, trying to save one woman who will be the key to saving the witches, the vampires, AND the Combined. Of course, the villain is very much against all that, and tortures her time and again to try to destroy her. 



Can the Combined's strongest vampire adversary form an army to defeat them, or will the power of three keep the race on top? Centered around the lives of four integral characters, Blood Life is an adventure series unlike any in the genre. Meet Devendra, a powerful witch descended from one of the first lineages; Lokee, her son and worst enemy; Roman, her friend and companion; and Alethea, the key to it all...

Blood Life
Gianna Perada 
************************

Ok, first, let's all take a moment and look at that cover.  Whoa!  It is beautiful and frightening.  Truly a piece of art!  And on top of that all, this book sounds fabulous!  So today I have an excerpt for you, and a giveaway!!  Good luck!

************************
EXCERPT
************************

“Sleeping Lyca lay

While the beasts of prey

Come from caverns deep

View’d the maid asleep.”

 –William Blake


Twelve

The channel seemed deeper, the troughs and rivets in the road more treacherous. Every rushed step seemed more dangerous and awkward. The city, with its dark gray ceiling, closed in around him and shoved him through the atmosphere. Mud clumped against his boots and his shirt had reached the frail point of hanging off his shoulders as he fell through his doorway.

The odor of the room reached him as he was rising from his knees. A solid, coarse smell that relentlessly tortures the senses; the rancor of fresh blood overwhelmed him.

“Alexandria,” her name rang out, yet he did not realize he shouted it.

The exhaustion of the clamor brought him to rest against the wall in the hallway. Her name rang out from his throat again, still uncontrollable. His vision was stolen to a mass on the floor in the sitting room. 

What used to be a wonderful, skilled woman, of witch’s blood, lay unmercifully dead.

Roman covered his mouth, sweat beading along his forehead, and walked in to get a closer look. Elizabeth was stripped; scratches and bruises covered her body. It was the position of her body that told him a rape had taken place before her death, or maybe after.

He lifted her blood-drenched hand to find her forefinger absent. A broach of Amethyst that her mother had given to her before she died, sat quietly in a puddle of bile and saliva in front of Elizabeth’s open mouth. Roman backed up the way he came, sick with fear and denial. He could not bring himself to look away from her petrified eyes, open and locked on his.

Sliding down against the wall, Roman fell into view of the bathroom. Laughing, taunting voices filled his head. He frantically looked around to find nobody there. The pure ivory basin and polished marble floor were now a reservoir. The wooden shutters with broken glass allowed lines of light to seep through, revealing small portions of the red coating on the floor and walls. Overflowing, trickling droplets down the side of the basin were streams of liquid life; but through Roman’s eyes, they were signs of Alexandria’s death.

His first step came out from under him, as his body was crushed across the room and against the basin. Already weeping and shaking his head to try to shut out the voices, he lifted his eyes over the rim to find Alexandria’s lifeless body.

Complete, haunting, silence.

Streaks of her blood marked the wallpaper: four lines, two intertwined and braided down the middle with one straight on either side of the formation.

Marked, he thought as he ran his fingers along the gashes, smearing the blood. He dropped to his knees beside the tub, reaching into the water to collect Alexandria into his arms. He pulled her to him, sobbing, suffocating himself in the tender flesh of her neck.

“NOOOOOO!” he screamed to the ceiling. “WAKE UP!!” He pinched himself, finding no satisfaction; he beat his own head against the tub, trying to beat himself out of the nightmare, the trick.

He found himself outside the house aimlessly searching the surroundings with blind eyes. He held fast to Alexandria, carrying her with him. The weight pushed him back down to his knees. He looked up and saw the sky revolve and twist. He witnessed no Gods above him.

“Have the ethereal angels been lost,” he cried at the top of his lungs. “Can you strike me down, or have you lost your lightning arms? Now I am truly here to stand against this term of mortal torment alone. I have lost my will to live!” Gravity brought him face down. He protected Alexandria’s limp head from the dirt.

“There is no one left to heal this hideous wretch, nobody to choose my mortality. Oh, if I could free my soul from this pressing time of mourning, if I could drop my aegis and expose my heart, there would still be no God to take its rhythm. Who would allow this withered corpse to fall into the covenant of the earth and join my Alexandria?”

He laid her body down softly in front of him. Smoothing her hair back, he kissed her eyelids, closing them to give her peace.

A strong, masculine hold pulled his head from her chest.

“Stand, Roman!”

Reluctantly pulling his grasp from his love, Roman stood up. Swaying on his feet, he tilted his head down, unable to look away from Alexandria’s unmoving form.

Slowly, he convinced himself to lift his eyes and study the force that had demanded his attention. He found himself staring into the face of the woman from the pub. Her velvet garments were whirling and enraged.

“She is just resting . . . isn’t she?” His words tore at the woman, her face grew darker and she reached out to take his hand.

He snapped his arms away as she did. “You filthy witch—” his voice couldn’t unleash the rage in his heart, “—I’ll burn you!”

He lunged with all his might, only to land at her feet. He turned and scrambled back over to Alexandria, protecting her from the woman.

She stood, frowning down at him. “You would be mad to try.”

“Her blood—” he gathered her body into his arms again, holding her out for the woman to view, “—you drained her blood . . . you took her from me.”

He found himself choking on tears again as he lay on the ground and pulled Alexandria on top of him, cradling her to his chest.

“No, not me,” the woman answered solemnly. “Lokee took her life; I am your protector, but I could not save her. If I left you, you would have ended up as Alexandria is now. Don’t you dare blame me! I, Devendra, have been with you.”

Roman looked up at her, surprised by her name and familiarity. Devendra leaned down and took Alexandria into her own arms, carrying her away.

Roman jumped up, following her to a grove of redwood trees not far from town. The walk seemed to take hours, as he fell countless times, weeping and unable go any further. Devendra urged him on, promising a light at the end of his tunnel.

Moments later, they reached a bed of roses, fresh and at full bloom. Devendra laid Alexandria down on them, murmuring a soft, sweet prayer, then with a thrust of her hand, ripped open the Earth and lowered Alexandria’s body down into it—safe to rest in peace.

                                                   ************************


Follow Gianna Online...





Sunday, July 29, 2012

Review: Slave by Sherri Hayes


Title: Slave
Series: Finding Anna, Book 1
Author: Sherri Hayes
Format: Ebook provided by author for review, also received from NetGalley
Published: July 28th 2011 by The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House


Stephan has lived the lifestyle of a Dominant for five years. After several rebellious teenage years, it gave him the stability and control he had been seeking after his parent’s death.


As president of a not-for-profit foundation, he knows what his future holds and what he wants out of life. All that changes when a simple lunch with his college friend and Mentor, Darren, leads him to buying a slave.


Thrust into a situation he never thought he’d be in, Stephan can’t walk away. He is compelled to help this girl in the only way he knows how.


Brianna knows only one thing, she is a slave. She has nothing. She is nothing.


Can Stephan help Brianna realize that she is much more than just a Slave?

Stephan is a Dom.  He’s been in the lifestyle for a few years, but currently he is alone.  That’s when his friend, Darren, tells him about a girl who he saw that looked very uncomfortable in the presence of her master.  She wasn’t just a sub, she was a slave.  And seemingly not a willing slave.  This shook Stephan, and he decided he would help.  But how?  How do you rescue a slave from a man who is rumored to be pretty ruthless?  Well, you buy her from him, obviously.

The slave, Brianna, is brought before Stephan for inspection.  Playing the part up well he even goes so far as to check her teeth.  The deal is finalized and he brings her home, where she promptly throws up her first meal with him. 

Brianna is broken.  And not in a good way.  She is the very essence of a slave.  Do not speak.  Do not look anyone in the eyes.  And kneel, for Pete’s sake.  The list of rules is long, and she obeys them like it is her first nature.  But Stephan doesn’t want a slave.  But Brianna is in no shape to be released out into the general public.  And so he takes great care to be gentle with her.  The only thing I didn’t understand in their initial communication and interactions, is why didn’t he explain the situation to her?  He sees she is basically a robot, incapable of the smallest decisions without permission.

I can’t say how much I loved this book.  You get the view from both Brianna and Stephan, and it is really eye opening, how they each perceive each situation. If you are looking for an erotic story, this isn’t the book for you.  In fact, other than one sort of encounter, there is any sex in this book at all.  I really had a hard time putting this book down it was so good.  In fact, I went right to NetGalley and got the next book in the series, Need.

Sherri Hayes does a superb job painting the scenes in this book.  The characters are multidimensional and intricate.  The emotions are raw and right there.  You love both of these two people, and you want to see things set straight and good.  But good isn’t always easy.  Stephan is a real man.  Strong and in control, no doubt, but he is also extremely caring and gentle.  And thoughtful.  In my opinion, he is perfect.   And then you have Brianna, who is pretty much a kid.  She has such horror in her past, your heart will break for her.  And you will feel her fears.

I definitely recommend this book who has interest in the BDSM scene, even though its not a BDSM book per se.  This book will open your eyes and your heart.

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