Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Author Spotlight: Dangerous Magic by

Please welcome Jessica Lauryn today to my blog! And guess what, in addition to getting a chance to check out a really cool story, Jessica tells me that Dangerous Magic, as well as the first two books in the Pinnacles of Power Series, Dangerous Secret, and Dangerous Proposal (Dangerous Magic is book 3) are all .99 for a limited time on Amazon! Just go to the link below to get the first three books in this series!


 
Blurb:

Corinne Johnson's world was shattered years ago, when a strange discovery in her husband's briefcase led to her becoming separated from her children. Now, engaged to re-marry the man responsible, Corinne is determined to always be in Ethan and Mattie's lives, even if it means being in a marriage without passion. But when she has a mysterious dream in which she kisses her once coworker Jack Madera, Corinne's plans of securing her future quickly go up in smoke. Jack, the sexy and mysterious Wiccan she knew years ago, is back in North Conway. And in the midst of everything else, Corinne begins to suspect the most erotic dream of her life was never a dream at all.

After recently coming to a fork in the road, Jack Madera decides the only way he can move forward with his life is if he learns the identity of his biological father. But when his search takes him to North Conway, the town in which his old coworker Corinne Johnson lives, Jack realizes his visit may not be as short-lived as he'd hoped. Drawn to the woman he has always shared a deep connection with, Jack puts his non-existent heart on the line. He casts a spell which takes him and Corinne down a path they never saw coming.


Excerpt:

Corinne rubbed her arms as she stood, realizing that the temperature had dropped significantly. The wind had kicked up and it was rustling swiftly through the trees. All of them swayed in the same direction, their long pine branches blowing toward the river, the mountain above it, and valley below. The powerful gust seemed to whisper something over the sound of the rushing water below it.Corinne.
Assuring herself that the wind didn’t talk, Corinne buttoned her jacket and slipped her hands inside of her pockets. Moving along the dirt path, she’d only walked a few steps when she heard the sound again. Someone was chanting. And they were calling her name. Corinne.

Corinne’s heart thumped in her chest. Someone was there watching her, only she couldn’t see them. As she turned in the direction of the trees, she felt a warm sensation spread along her arms and legs. It seemed to urge her in the direction that the sound was coming from—the woods on the other side of the river.

Filled with an overwhelming desire to follow the sound, Corinne turned toward the river. The body of water was shallow, full of large rocks which made it difficult, yet not impossible, to cross to the other side.

Lifting one leg, she placed the sole of her shoe against the wet stone beneath it. Keeping her arms out to the sides to maintain her balance, she stepped from one rock to the other, moving stealthily over the rush of the water, bending to place her hands against the final large rock for support. She stepped onto the ground, finding that she was encased in a maze of thin trees which lined the riverbank. She was on a hill, which began to level off the lower it went. Looking down toward what appeared to be the base of the mountain, Corinne was overpowered by the desire to move deeper into the forest.

Travelling on without hesitation, Corinne allowed her instincts as well as the newly reappeared moon to guide her. Never before had she done anything so reckless. But this strong inner feeling told her that she was safe, that her children were safe, and that she needed to stop hesitating and keep moving.
Corinne wandered through grass, dirt and rocks, unafraid of what sorts of wild animals might be lurking about or how deep into the woods she’d gone. The forest was one gigantic maze of trees and they were difficult to navigate through when all of them looked the same. She wasn’t entirely sure of how to go back the way she’d come. Yet her legs walked on.

Sometime later when her feet were about to give out she noticed a streak of orange light shining through the trees. There was a clearing ahead, and in its center was a fire. A person was standing several feet away from her, facing the fire. Corinne kept her eyes on the back of the person’s head, coming to realize as she moved across the small, open field that he or she was wearing a black cloak, and that a hood covered his or her head. The person appeared to be as tall as the trees surrounding them, and seemed to emanate as much heat as the fire itself. She crept closer until she and the figure were standing only a few feet apart.

Corinne’s hand lifted itself into the air, and, as if by magic, it touched down against the shoulder before her. The figure turned around, his striking green eyes locking with hers as a smile that could only be described as wicked formed on his face. He tossed back his hood, closing the distance between them, snatching her wrist.

“Jack!” Corinne’s heart pounded. She intended to throw a hand over her mouth, but one of her hands was trapped and the other one tingled uncontrollably, remaining at her side.

“Hello, Corinne,” Jack said in a deep, drawl voice. “It’s been a long time.”

Seven years to be exact. But standing beside Jack Madera, her once coworker and friend, Corinne felt as though she’d stepped back in time and into a dream. Come to think of it, all of it felt like a dream, particularly since she didn’t seem to be in control of her movements. But if she was dreaming, why did the fire’s flames feel so hot? And why was her pulse racing like the ticking of a clock?

Jack, whose face was sprinkled with dark facial hair that was only slightly thinner than the hair on his head, bore down on her. He smelled of incense and musk, a sweet and alluring mixture which, combined with the scent of the woods around them, was distinctly male. So lost in a mix of confusion and desire, Corinne didn’t even realize that this large fingers had closed over hers. Jack squeezed her hand and his smile widened as he lifted it, bringing it against his mouth. He kissed her palm, sending a powerful rush of need along her skin.

Corinne swallowed as she attempted to slip her hand free. But she was powerless to remove it, and it remained encased in Jack’s.

“How did I…”

Jack smiled and leaned in close, bringing his mouth against her ear. “Get here?” he whispered. “I might have helped you out a bit. But you simply did as your desires dictated.”

Corinne gasped as Jack shortened the distance between them, trying without success to keep a respectable amount of personal space. She became aware of his body as it pressed against hers, and of his heat, which was hotter than the fire itself. She had always known that Jack was a witch—anyone could have gotten that simply by virtue of the pentagram he wore around his neck. But she’d never realized that he was capable of doing…whatever this was, until now.


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Bio:

An author of Contemporary Romantic Suspense, Jessica Lauryn is most intrigued by dark heroes, who have many demons to conquer...but little trouble enticing female companions into their beds! She feels that the best romances are those where the hero is already seducing the heroine from that first point of contact. 

In Jessica's debut series, The Pinnacles of Power, five troubled bad boys: Ryan, Alec, Colin, Lucas and Jack must let go of the mistakes of their pasts as they battle the dangers surrounding an underground organization called Project Gemstone. Each man crosses paths with a strong, feisty heroine who has the ability to capture his heart and change the course of his life forever. Ryan's story, Dangerous Secret, kicks off the series in the picturesque town of North Conway, New Hampshire. 

Jessica is a proud member of both Romance Writers of America and her local chapter, New Jersey Romance Writers. When she's not writing, she enjoys listening to as much 80's music as possible, keeping current with the story lines on Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless, shopping for the latest fashions and the prettiest of antiques, and taking long walks in nature where she can daydream about anything romantic. Though she resides in New Jersey, her heart belongs to the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Eye Candy Thursday




Here's another sexy man candy! I love it when I actually find photos that I can legally use. And I love this one! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Excerpt Wednesday: The Gatekeepers by David E. Barnett

Normally on Excerpt Wednesday I share an excerpt from one of my books. But this time I've decided to share an excerpt from a very close friend of mine who is a wonderful writer. Now a bit of a warning this is not a romance, but a fantasy. However, I know like myself that most readers read in more than one genre. This author brings this particular universe to life in a way that the characters just leap off the pages. I absolutely love this book and have read it three times now and have found something new to love about the book each time!


Blurb:

In the ancient past a prophecy will reveal an unending evil that seeks to destroy all life. Humanity's only hope lies in the paws of a four-legged outcast with magical powers, a cat who has long sat at the feet of pharaohs, and who is the key to saving all life on Earth. But, will he have the strength to stand against such an evil power?

Excerpt:


Prologue

There is an oath that all feline kind has taken since our humble beginnings as pets to Egyptian pharaohs. That oath was that we would never allow our masters to come to harm from the deep and dark places that are apart from this world. If we did, our punishment would be that we would never be able to walk among humankind again. We would be banished to live in the forgotten sands of time, alone. Thankfully there have not been any that have failed in their duty.
In today’s world while we sit upon the laps of the ones that love us, we are constantly vigilant, waiting for the day when the Sign of The Twelve is finally fulfilled. In that day, our service to our ancestors will finally be done and we will no longer have to worry about the Twelve Gates and whether or not they will open.  We know that then it will be our duty then to seal off those gateways to the Dark Levels forever as our last and final act. That day has not yet come, but we know that one day that it will. When it does, we will be ready.
What humans do not know about our kind, other than we are pets, is that we have a very structured hierarchy that has allowed us to prosper for so many centuries. When the Egyptian goddess of war and love Bastet sent us as a gift to man as a protector to him in ancient times, our way of life became much different than the way that it used to be. Instead of serving at the hand of our god-mother, we were bound by blood and honor to man because she had found them to be ignorant of the things that lay beyond. It was because of this ignorance that humanity is now in its current state. They go to war and destroy life. They cut down everything to build buildings and to further progress themselves in ways that we cats have no need or want of. When we were sent it was in the hopes that we would be able to change the mind and the heart of man, in an attempt to prevent them from destroying themselves. Unfortunately, we have failed. Instead, we sat at the feet of the kings and queens of ancient civilizations and were worshipped and revered as being the emissaries of Bastet, but not as the children of something that only wanted them to understand. The human race had been given their chance to change their ways, and it was now up to us to do what must be done.
When man’s warlike nature began to prosper, a great many evils fell upon him that ended up destroying that which they had built. Plagues, great beasts, natural disasters, and other atrocities visited their doorsteps as we witnessed wondrous and miraculous things that were both ominous and terrifying. Then, we could not forget the Dark Ones; the entities that often corrupted men’s souls and made them do unspeakable acts and barbarous fits of violence. Things such as slavery, murder, greed, and arrogance plagued them at every turn by the sheer will of the Dark Ones. Soon, they began to flourish and dwell within the very hearts and souls of men who had allowed them free passage within their kingdoms. I  know of this because my master almost became one of them.
It has been many years now since I have seen my home and those who love me. I have left behind a mate, my sons and daughters, and my kin because my calling has bade me to do when I first began my mission. You see, we Gatekeepers are not attached to one master but many. Whenever we are called by what we call ‘The Great Heart’, we are bonded to that particular person until their light ceases to be and it is their time to pass through into the next life. Then, once our duty there is performed, we wait yet again for the same calling to our new master and therefore begin the process once again. What we do, we do not only for duty and honor, but also out of  great love.  You see, we have always loved your kind. We see the possibility of greatness within your people to do what is right rather than fall into the darker and more negative emotions. We have seen great leaders come forth from you that fought against the greater evils of your time. We have watched men and women fight for equality in race and gender. We have seen you struggle to find new medicine and cures to heal the sick and wounded on and off the battlefield. We have also seen your capacity for love even in a world where hate and indifference rule supreme. It is because of r these things that we have been allowed to remain among you.
But, as always, when you have a great deal of time on your hands, you find that you sometimes can run out of things to do. It has been very quiet  since the last incident ,thankfully, since the last time had been bad enough to deal with. We lost many numbers in that battle, but they were deaths that were not in vain. They met their end with their heads held high, and their tails swishing back and forth. They knew what had to be done, and it is because of those very deeds that I make time every day to write about them so that our future generations are never allowed to forget their heritage. They will know that one day; they may have to put their lives on the line to save those that they love. We die willingly, and will do so until the end of time.
As I look down at my neck, I see the simple golden key that lay around it, given to me by my own father shortly before he died. He was the Gatekeeper of The Twelfth Gate in that time, which is the most prestigious and also the most dangerous gate of them all. The Twelfth Gate is the dimension where the worst of the Dark Ones are kept, locked away for all eternity in a world of smoke, fire, and heat for which there is no escape. My father was not only the keeper of the key, but also the warden of the dimension itself.  Each gate is a dimension,, a prison where all Dark Ones are forced to enter once they have been sentenced and convicted of their crimes. Some of them are corporeal, while others may be human or animal in fleshly forms that have been converted by a Dark One at some time in their life. In any event once it happens, intentional or not, they become convicted felons in the eyes of the feline race and are therefore caught, tried, and sentenced to life imprisonment in one of the Gates.  If they escape, they are not allowed to return and are then thereby destroyed by the Feline Council, who has the ability to pass the Final Judgment. I have witnessed such a ritual, and it is  better by far to just stay where one is.
It is late this eve, and I am finding that I cannot quiet my mind as memories of days long gone by fill it. I can still remember hot sand and the workers  moving their feet back and forth in lakes of mud and straw as they made massive bricks to build monuments, obelisks and great  structures called ‘pyramids’ for the glory of an empire that oppressed them. Being  only a cat, there was nothing that I could do but sit and watch. But, one thing that I did know was that I could feel in the air that something was coming. I didn’t know what it was, but it was in those times that I knew there were great changes about to happen. 



Author Bio:

David began writing short stories in middle school, and has retained the itch to write ever since. In 1988 and 1989, David was invited to the Oregon Young Writer's Symposium in SalemOR for two stories that he had written. The first, The Days of the Green and the Gray, garnered special attention due its “descriptiveness of the times” as the story revolved around a young soldier's experiences with his unit during the Vietnam War era. The second, a humorous story called The Test, dealt with a young Native American brave out to prove his manhood with very laughable results.

In 2007 David was challenged to finish one of his unfinished books by a relative who even went so far as to give him a deadline. Out of this, the book A Silent Shadow was born.

When David isn’t writing, he can be found reading a good book, playing a video game, or watching movies with his wife into the early morning hours.