Simeon: Dragon’s Savior Release Day & Giveaway

 

The dragon king, Anthony, entrusted Brynhilde with a quest. He had foreseen his demise and needed a reason for Bryn to find his and Jacob’s sons. A glimpse in the future had shown him that Bryn would be mated to his son Akassa, and Jacob’s son, Simeon, so he entrusted her with an ancient book. Her mission was to seek out the new dragon king when the old castle was nearly complete.

Bryn was a protector of dragons and a fierce faerie warrior. She had one weakness. If she was claimed, she had to follow the orders of whoever claimed her—even if it went against what she knew to be right and just. Over the centuries, she had been owned by many warriors and kings. But as time passed, few knew of these ancient laws and Bryn had managed to reman unclaimed—until now. Bryn had been ordered to kill the dragons.

The Dragon Slayers had all but given up on their quest to slay the dragons and the new dragon king, but when Hudson sought them out, he breathed new life into the ancient organization. Their thirst to spill blood was great.

Asher knew what Bryn had been ordered to do, and that she was mated to his brother Simeon and Akassa. The question was if Bryn could follow her heart and ignore her sworn duty. Would they all perish by the sword of this powerful faerie? Find out in the final episode of The Dragon Savior Series—Simeon.

 

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For Simeon Dragon Savior

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Two Men Joined By Fate…

Asher and Kiaran were joined at birth by the dying decree of the Dragon King―literally. Asher had his own bit of magic as a 3,000 year old immortal, and Kiaran was his dragon shifter. Out in society Kiaran was a part of Asher―absorbed into Asher’s body―only being able to separate in dragon form. At their birth home, the two men could exist apart from each other as men. They protected each other, and would until their dying breath if it ever came to that. They shared everything…that is until Essie came along….

Essie was doing her best to hide from a mother that didn’t even recognize her own daughter. The witch had poisoned her with a scratch and if Essie wasn’t healed soon she’d die…. Sick or not she didn’t want anything to do with that handsome, overbearing barbarian, Asher, nor that rude dragon that protected him. She was doing just fine on her own.

But Asher had other things on his mind and after a while brings Essie around to his way of thinking and makes her his wife, but Kiaran brought up a valid point―Essie was his mate too….

Could Essie find it in her heart to love both men equally? To share the bed of both―together?

Asher’s five brothers and their dragons watched the scenario unfold with bated breaths. The subject had never been broached, and all their futures hung on the outcome…

 

 

Lindsey Decker is hiding in the woods when the dragon shifter, Casdon, finds her on their property. She’s tired, hungry, in a lot of pain, and absolutely determined not to ask for any help. She just needs to stay hidden before that idiot Cox finds her and probably kills her this time. The cave she found will provide some protection if she doesn’t freeze to death first.

Jedidiah Benson and his dragon shifter Zak are at odds. When Casdon tells the family of the injured woman hiding in the caves, Zak knows immediately upon finding her that the girl is his and Jedidiah’s mate, but Jedidiah refuses to even look at the girl proclaiming he wouldn’t know what to do with a mate. Zak has no reservations and knows if they don’t do something fast she’ll die.

Lindsey wakes between two gorgeous men and isn’t sure if she’s dreaming or still in a fevered state. The things she wants to do with these men, both of them, should feel wrong, but instead feels it’s her destiny.

Lindsey is destined for more than two mates. Lindsey is a beacon for the lost dragons. It’s time for their return, but it’s still dangerous for them to do so. They’re being hunted, and no one is safe…

 

 

Ariannona has but one simple task to complete and the long journey she began 3000 years ago will be ended. Her reward? She was promised that she would see the king and queen again.

Elam’s not sure what to think about the beautiful woman coming back to the house with his counterpart Casdon. She has a message for Casdon alone, and the message itself makes no sense to Casdon. One thing is clear though, she is Elam and Casdon’s mate.

Ariannona expects to die once her message is delivered, and isn’t happy to learn that the former king and queen tricked her to get her there.

A dragon hunter is still loose on nearby lands and none of the dragons are safe, especially Casdon. He’s taking shots at anything he sees moving.

 

Lelani Wayne trusted no one but her familiar, Roger. And even he, at times, got on her last nerve. She didn’t like being around people. People made her nervous, and when a witch as powerful as she was got nervous, it could be disastrous for anyone in the vicinity.

A powerful witch, Erin Wayne, knew she was going to die, and reached out to the closest being she could find to take her powers and memories. She connected with Kiaran, Asher’s dragon counterpart. The jolt of the transfer took all the Benson’s to their knees.

The Benson’s were on a mission to finish the reconstruction of the castle. Shane, and his dragon counterpart, Keion, were doing their share to make it happen. But when Shane saw his very pregnant sister-in-law, Essie, bringing lunch, and a stranger approaching her fast, he couldn’t get to Essie fast enough. The baby was coming—now.

Lelani was looking for Kiaran to get her sister’s memories and warn him that the Herald, a group of witch hunting zealots, might have traced the memories and be after Kiaran as well. What she didn’t expect to find was Shane and Keion, two very big, handsome, virile men, invading her personal space claiming to be her mate. That made her nervous….

 

 

Gracie couldn’t believe it, she’d been attacked by a griffin. The pain was so horrible that she’d have to get better to die. Maybe it was better this way. Maybe death would end the tremendous grief in her heart. At least in death she wouldn’t have to listen to her sister Cora’s constant harping.

Gideon and his dragon counterpart Ominia weren’t sure how to handle Gracie. She was their mate and they were happy to have found her, but her intense grief over the loss of her family had them stumped on how to proceed.

The encounter with the griffin had more effect on Gracie than she knew. His magic now flowed within her. Gracie could now see and speak with the dead, and the former king, Anthony had a message for the new King of Dragons, Asher.

Now thrust in a world of dragons and magic, Gracie’s head was spinning. And how was she to handle two very handsome and amorous mates? Things like that just didn’t happen to her.

 

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Prologue

Anthony rubbed his head. If this kept up, he was going to need a powder for his pain. He looked at Eve when she sighed heavily. They were getting nowhere fast in this conversation, and he wasn’t sure what to do about it. Looking at the woman before him, he tried once more to get her to stand up and come closer. Sometimes being king made things unbearably difficult. “Brynhilde, I would wish to talk to you secretly. If you stay there, plastered to the floor for the entire time, I’m not going to be able to speak to you properly. Come. Let us speak.” She didn’t move, not even to look up at him. “Damn it, woman. I’m needing something from you.” “You wish to claim me.” He didn’t want to. It hadn’t been in their plans to do anything like that. To claim her, to make her his servant, would be wrong on so many levels.

“My lord, you know what I am and what I do. I cannot, without going against my laws, the ones that you put into place, speak to you where my head is higher than your own. I am but a warrior, not an equal to you or anyone.” “Show yourself.” Anthony looked at Eve when she spoke. It was unlike her to be so hard, her voice full of command. “Stand and show yourself, all of yourself, to us. Now, Brynhilde. That way we can judge your worth to us.

” The woman stood, and Anthony realized how young she looked. He knew her to be old and powerful, but the appearance of her youth startled him speechless. Not so his lovely mate. She was rarely speechless, not when it mattered the most. And this did, more than anything they’d done thus far. “You will show us your warrior. Then we’ll talk about claiming. If need be we will, but for now, I wish to see what you have to offer.” The woman raised her brow but said nothing. Brynhilde wasn’t one to fuck with, he knew this. She was as powerful as she was hateful. He was glad that he’d not have to be mated to her.

“Where is this supposed warrior that we have heard so much about?” Her arms stretched above her head. He knew it was for show…or perhaps she had been taught to bring her magic that way and it had stuck with her. But he could see the magic gather around her and stepped back. This was going to be epic, and he was excited for it, but also, if he was honest with himself, a little frightened. Light danced along her body…sparkled, he supposed. Her hair, dark before, turned a bright red, fiery he thought. And as it lengthened, tangling with her body, wrapping her up, her armor began to show itself. Anthony knew now this was for them, a show of power and force. As her armor strengthened and wrapped around her, wings appeared behind her, as brilliant a green as her eyes, of which nothing of her body showed but that. She would and could fight an army now, and come out on the other side as the victor. The woman oozed strength, confidence, and magic. He would only want to be on her side. To be on the other would mean that all was lost. Brynhilde was epic.

When her show of force was complete, she flittered above the floor before raising her sword and sticking it deep into the stone floor as she came down in her stance. He would never go by that spot without thinking of her, however little time he had left. Her chest plate was silver, a hue so bright that it was nearly blinding. There was no crest upon it, and there wouldn’t be until she was claimed by another force. As she stood there, her wings spread wide and high, her hair, the massive amount that hadn’t become her armor, ever flowing behind her head, Anthony was struck by her beauty. And the scar that went from her left eye to her chin did nothing to take away from that. He stepped forward enough to touch her, but stopped when she raised her sword.

“Do ye claim me as your own?” Anthony had a moment where he was slightly afraid, not of her personally, but of what she’d do to his son once she went to him. His son, and that of Jacob, would know a real kind of devotion should she fall in love with the boys. Or she would slaughter them. “Brynhilde, where is your family?” He saw the pain there, the flicker of it as it passed over her face. He wanted to tell his Eve to stop, but before he could, she spoke again. “You have no one claiming you…you could have a family. Where are your parents? Sisters and brothers?” “Dead, my lady.

” Anthony felt compelled to hold her, to wrap her up in his arms so that the pain would be his as well. To lessen it for her. “They were killed when I was at war. My master then…my master did not care for me and my rules, so he had them all murdered. I have found all but one of them, the ones that killed my family, and when I find him, he’ll suffer like no other for his orders to murder them. He committed a cowardly act by not being there himself, and now he will pay as well.” “I am sorry.” Brynhilde looked at him when he spoke softly. “I am truly sorry for all that you have lost.

It would hurt me beyond words to have lost all that I love.” He would, and soon, if things were to go as they were foretold to them. As he moved to his seat beside Eve, he took her hand into his. It was well past time they asked of her the favor that would put her with their son and Jacob’s. “There is a book that needs to go to the future king.” The wings flittered again, not enough to lift her up this time, but they moved all the same. Anthony continued just as Tinsel, Brynhilde’s brownie and companion, came into the room. “There will be a great war, one where you will be hidden away so that you will not have to pledge allegiance against this kingdom. I do this for you so that you can avenge your family when all is done. And it will be over someday, just not in our lifetime.” “You are an immortal, same as me.” She dropped her head, asking for forgiveness for pointing out what he already knew. Anthony walked to her then and lifted her face up to his. She was tall, and he could see the fear there in her eyes. “You cannot die, my lord king. I will fight with you.”

“‘Tis too late for that, I fear.” She watched his face, seeing what no other, save his mate, could see there…the future, and what would happen to them. “I need for you to take him this book. His name is Asher, called that from the ash of this castle when it has fallen. Someday the castle will be repaired…the magic that we leave behind will help
him rebuild, to make things right again for all who would dwell here. The book and all that it represents will be in your hands.” “And this son…what will he demand from me in return for this favor?” Anthony told her nothing, but that he was going to be as good a king, if not better than him. “I do not believe that, my lord. You are a good and kind man. Your wife too. How can this be?” “He is part of me. Of us. And his mate is as strong as he will be.” Anthony had her attention now, and thought he had to do it now or it would be all for nothing.

“This thing I ask of you, it is the final key, the last stone that will be placed in the castle. If you do not wish to help me without me claiming you, then I will understand. I will be disappointed, child, but I will understand.” Eve moved to stand behind the warrior. Her armor was as strong as his own scales, her blood as cold as his. But she could use more, would need more in the coming years, and he did not want her harmed in any way. While he touched her, Eve did the same from behind. The sharing of their magic only took a second or two, but the transformation to the warrior was profound. She stood there before him, and he knew that she was in a great deal of pain. But as he watched her, nothing moved on her; her eyes did not blink to show that she hurt.

“You have given me too much.” He shook his head. Her voice was rough, like even that was in pain. “You have. I can feel it through my body, like blood rushing from an open wound. Why would you do such a thing to me?” “You will need it, this I promise you. Once you have given the book to Asher, when the castle he rebuilds is nearly complete, you will never have to be claimed again by a man that wishes only for your sword.” She nodded and then staggered slightly. “Careful now. You are going to need to hibernate for a while at least.” Touching her armor now, the chest plate that protected her heart, he put his mark upon it. Not that she’d see it, not yet, but it would be there for Simeon and his own child, her mates, to see.

To know that she came to them with his blessings. The other women, some of them already on their path, others not yet born, would come to the men that would be family to him. They’d make them stronger still, love them beyond words, and give them a part of their magic and love that would sustain them forever. But this one, this warrior of the fairies, had been the hardest one to convince. Her heart would be hardened by the time they came together, his children and her, and sadly, she would hurt more than the others when she came to them. Not with her sword, but it would cut just as deeply and painfully. Stepping back when she seemed to be able to stand on her own two feet, he watched her stretch again, this time trying out her newfound power. After she left them, the book in her hand—to rest, she told him— he sat in his chair and thought of this woman. “She will be furious in her fighting.

And so loving when that is called for too. Of all the women that will come to our yet born children, I think she will be the best of them all.” Anthony nodded but said nothing yet to his queen. “You worry overly much.
What’s done is done for them. There is nothing else we can do but to ready things here for them. We have done more than we should have, love, but they’ll be safe now.” “I so wish I could see them.” Eve said that she did as well. “There will be children of them. Grandchildren of ours that we will not spoil or touch. It is the saddest thing next to losing you, I think. Not being able to see them grow and become men. Having their own young and playing with them.” “Someday, we’ll look down on them and smile. Our children will live. That is all we’ve ever wanted for them.

” He agreed; it was all they had thought of since seeing visions of their own deaths. “Anthony, what will become of her? You know, do you not?” “I do. I am saddened by the things she must do and will do to survive. But she will. And while she’ll be stronger for it, it will harden her heart too.” He looked at his one true love. “Let us talk of more pleasant things. Take a lunch to the lake and make love there. The babes will be safe for an hour or two.” “Yes, I’d like that very much.” He nodded, standing up. “You have talked to Tinsel? He will know what is going on and help her?” “I will when we return. He will do this, I know, but it will hurt them both that we need him to do this one more thing for us.” Eve nodded as they made their way to the kitchen to get some food. “We have gained so much from this, but are losing so much more.” “Yes, but the safety of our children and those of Sally and Jacob will be more than we could have hoped for during this time, don’t you think?” He did and told her that. “I love you, my love. More than I could ever be able to tell you. You are my heart, my soul.”

~~~ Tinsel came back just as she was burrowing into the ground. Bryn watched him fly around making things right for her before she told him to sit down and be quiet. He did so, but he pouted about it. She asked him where he’d gone. “I will be here until you have awakened. I wished to gather me some things up. They’re in my pocket.” He had a magical pocket. He could carry a man in it should it be necessary. Or her, which he had once before. “Do you wish for me to sing to you?” “No.” Clearing her throat, fearful that he would sing anyway, she tried again. “I’m ready to rest now. And your singing might keep me awake. I think the king gave me a bit of something to pull me under faster.” He nodded and looked around them. She wanted him to rest as well, but he would not. And he’d more than likely sing too, once she was asleep. Bryn felt sorry for the creatures around them, ones that could not get away from his noise. Tinsel could not sing.

Words he didn’t know he made up, sometimes making the song he sang seem more silly than heartfelt. And he had no tone. Nor could he carry a tune. The man was as deaf to the music he sang as she wished she was when he did it. Closing her eyes, she smiled.
“My lady, when you wake, what is our plan then? Did you have an idea to stay here?” Yawning, she told him that she thought she’d be better off here than anywhere else. “Mayhap. But should you like to travel a bit, that would be good too. We could keep ahead of the men who would want you to fight for them.” “You could be right. I’ll speak of it with you when I rise.” Yawning again, she adjusted the rocks that covered her, disturbing the small creatures that had bedded down before her. “Tinsel, you are my one and only friend…you know that, do you not? I have no need for others in my life, save you.”

“I thank you for that, my lady. But you have no one else in your life because you have a sword at the ready when anyone gets close. Think of the friends we might have should you not be in competition all the time.” She laughed, as did he. “We are good for each other, neither of us needing much. We have all that we can carry because I was gifted a pocket, and when we are fighting, we are stronger than the others and can live for another day.” Living another day did not have as much appeal to her as it did him. When she’d had her family around, a place she could go and be loved, it had been her greatest joy. Now…well, now there wasn’t much for her to be happy about. She did her job, and did it well, then rested until someone else found her. There would never be death for her.

Bryn could weaken to the point where she would need to hibernate, but not die. It was what made her so sought after. Wounds that she received in the line of duty—for one king or another—had been so horrendous that she would be down for several months…once a whole year. But death, as had claimed her family, her sisters, and brother, hadn’t been her right. “Is the king aware of what you did to your last master?” Bryn told Tinsel that he more than likely knew. “Yes, you could be right on that. Your…. My lady, if you don’t mind me saying so, you were very violent toward him and his men. Not that I blame you…I loved your family as well. But if he had seen only a bit of what I did in the end, he might not have you coming around to…. He might not have wanted your help.”

“Nay. Like everyone, he only wants me for my sword, so I will do this. He thinks that I will not; it was there, in his head, that I’d not do this for him. So, I will, just because of that. But a book? How does he think it will be needed to rebuild a castle? I think he only jests me.” Sleep was getting harder to fight, so she stopped. “Tinsel, when I wake, we’ll go on a grand adventure, you and me. We’ll go and see the world.” “Yes, I should like that.” His voice sounded so sad that she wanted to ask him what the matter was. But sleep took her, as profoundly as the magic had from the king and queen. When she woke, Bryn lay very still. She didn’t know where she was, what time of the day it was, or what she’d find when she moved out of her hiding place. There were voices…she could hear them, but didn’t understand what they were saying. It wasn’t until Tinsel spoke that she calmed a little. “You have been asleep, my lady, for more than a few days.” She asked him how long in the same whispered voice that he had used. “A decade. No more than that, I think.”

“A decade? You are sure?” He said that he was, very much so. “I don’t understand. How was I to rest for that long of time? I was not wounded.” “I know not, my lady warrior, but I was beginning to worry some.” He appeared in front of her, his voice still very low. “There are others above us. They fight even now. Should you rise up, there is a chance that one of them will claim you. I think you should not join them. Both of them will want you, and nothing will be solved as they fight for your sword.” “I shall stay here then.” He thought that was a good idea. “Tinsel, I have been here for a decade. Yet I feel as if I have only rested but a moment. What did the king do to me?” “As I have said, I know not. But I have some sad news, my lady. He is dead. As is his lady wife.” Her heart broke for the couple. While she didn’t understand them, she had liked them a little. “The castle is in ruin. The townspeople still fight over the lands left unattended. There is much fighting between neighbors, and even families. It is not a time that we should be in. After all this time, there is no one to rule, and I fear for all.”

“The child of the king, has someone saved it?” He said that he hadn’t heard of anyone that claimed the child, or any word if it had lived through the fire. “This might be all for naught, Tinsel. Their child might not have lived for me to give this book to. Whatever will happen to him should he be out there?” “He will come, this I know. The king said that he could see into the future, and he would have seen that his child lived.” She nodded and asked about the ability to move out of her place. “Let me check for you. I am glad to have you awake now. I have seen so much. I have even worked on my singing for you. I know a great many tunes now to lull you to rest.” When she was finally free from her sleeping place, she knew that she’d been not just hibernating, but she had been becoming more. She was stronger than ever. Her armor was thicker on her body, and she could hide it with just a thought. Changing her appearance had been easy for her before, but now she only had to think of something and it was changed. There wasn’t even a drain on her magic to hold herself in another form.

Looking at Tinsel, she asked him what she needed to know. Anything that would keep them from being claimed right away. “Everything, my lady. The castle is indeed fallen. There was much fighting and deaths. I have seen so much while you lay in your slumber.” She told him she was sorry. “No need for that. You have become more than before, haven’t you? And I think that good, for not just you, but for all mankind, should they survive this. It is terrible. But you are well?” “Yes. The magic of the king and queen together has made me able to rest less, I think. Even my sword is stronger. I can feel my blood rushing over me, making me stronger still. But they are dead. I thought…well, I assumed that when they were killed my magic would go with them.” He flew up to her shoulder and sat down. “We should leave this place, Tinsel. I do not want to be caught up in a battle that I know nothing about.”

As they made their way through the woods and beyond, all she could think about was the child that had not lived. Just as she was moving toward a home of some worth, she saw the children in the yard and watched them for a bit. They were big boys, all three of them, and she wondered who they belonged to. Turning away to make her way to the next town over, she was seen by another of the boys, this one smaller than the others. He didn’t speak to her, just stared. Realizing that he could only see what she wanted him to—a woman, not the warrior that she was—Bryn moved away from him and the house to find a safer place. But his face, the one that looked up at her with such innocence, made her heart twist up in pain. Her brother had such a look when he’d been alive. Paul had been her friend and her brother. She’d loved her sisters as well, but they were such little girls, all of them worried for their hair or some such thing. But Paul had been someone that she could talk to, come to when she needed a hug. One that didn’t care if she mussed him up with mud or more. Bryn thought that she’d miss him the most. He was the best little boy she’d ever known. It took them four days to travel to the next village over. There was great strife all over, people wanting to come to the lands and take them over. No one could…there was magic all around the place. But she knew that someday, someone would come and break it down, and she wanted nothing to do with it but handing him the book. If he still lived. “My lady, how about here?”

They were far away from the ruined castle, yet could still see smoke curling from the smaller fires that had been homes of the villagers. Even after all this time, the fires that burnt there had not stopped burning. “I can get us some dinner and we can see about a home for us. Temporary, of course, but it will be nice to rest for a bit. And to have a roof over our heads. It will be better than the stone you laid upon, don’t you think?” Bryn had forgotten that he’d been awake when she wasn’t, watching over her so that no one would bother her. He could have awoken her, she knew this, but he hadn’t so that she could be ready. Ready for what, she didn’t know, but Bryn knew that something or someone would come soon. “This is fine.” He nodded and set to work finding dinner. While he was gone she thought of a little house, just big enough for the two of them, and was surprised when it started to build for them. The ground moved, the trees felled themselves for the walls. Furniture was built for them, as well as a bed and a table. And when Tinsel returned, she told him what she’d done.

“The magic of the king and queen. It was said that they could work the elements when they needed. They must have passed some along to you. This is good. We’ll be safe here for a while.” He took the berries into the home and came out smiling. “You might have thought of your empty belly too. There is much in the way of foodstuffs. You have done well, my lady. And I, for one, will enjoy the fresh flowers that are set upon the table for me.”
Bryn helped him with the house, moving things around to the way they wanted. She put magic around the place too, to keep others from finding them. She thought she could live here forever when they settled in the bed that night, but knew that she’d not be able to. Bryn needed to keep moving or else she would be captured. And as much as she wanted to use her new powers, her new sword too, she wasn’t ready to shed any more blood just yet. There had been enough of it for years to come, she thought. The next morning, she was in the kitchen having some tea when her little friend came by to see her. He was commenting on the lovely home when she remembered something. Turning to him, she asked. “Tinsel, you have the book still.

He patted his pocket. “Good. We’ll set up a plan, a pack to grab when we need to move, and we’ll keep atop it too, so that we never lose it. Should we do that, I don’t know what will happen to the world ahead. I think we should load your pocket too. With foodstuff that cannot spoil. A few wraps for bandages as well. Not too heavy for you, but enough to get us started if we have to go quickly.” “I will hold it all, my lady. And keep it safe. This is a good plan. I shall work on some meat to dry, as well as some herbs for our sup should we run.” He sounded so sure that she wanted to ask him why he was. Tinsel wasn’t ever sure about anything. Even if rain was falling upon his head while he stood there, he would doubt his own mind. “Shall I make us a meal?” As before, she let it go. Bryn might well talk to him later about it, but for now her belly was growling at its emptiness, and she wanted to look around. With so much going on, there was a quiet that made her nervous. She did wonder, too, when the castle would be rebuilt. She wanted to get this over with for the king. They talked for a long while, him telling her what he’d seen, how he’d kept her safe. She was sure that some of it was less than what he said, but she didn’t mind. Bryn doubted greatly that he’d slayed an army of men in her absence, as well as caught large fish with his bare hands. But she loved this little man, and he had kept her safe. She just hoped that she could keep him equally as safe in the coming years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tholan Mystic Protectors Release Day & Giveaway

Tholan had made a grave mistake. He had thought his charge dead and had taken her before it was her time, causing a rift in her family’s timeline. He knew he deserved to die for his mistake but was given instead a thousand years of solitude to reflect on his mistake.

Parker Brooks loved her da, and when he was arrested for robbery and murder, a crime he wasn’t even physically able to commit, she confessed to it to keep him out of jail. Parker spent ten years in prison for a crime neither of them had committed. Her da died while she was behind bars.

Fresh out of prison, Parker was introduced to the Mystics. They were a loud and boisterous bunch, and a bit much for her to take. Seeking solitude, Parker met Tholan, a Mystic she could relate to and let her guard down. When she fell asleep, Tholan could see the demon of her nightmares and knew that she was in major trouble.

Her stepmother had sold Parker’s soul to a demon, and he was there to collect. But Parker wasn’t going to take this laying down. With Tholan at her side, Parker would conquer Hell to fix this.

 

 

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His love for her was forbidden…

Riss has been around since the beginning of time and watching his charges be born, grow up, and die has taken a toll on him. Until lately, being a Protector has always been enough… The Archangel Michael, Riss’s mentor and superior, decides with the help of their “Boss” to change things up a bit―like the rest, he doesn’t want to lose one of his best Protectors. Riss is assigned to guide and protect Kala. Riss is not happy about the changes and hopes this is his last assignment as a Protector before he can quit and live his last year on Earth and die.

She has nothing left to lose―except her life…

Kala has lost everything: her family as a child, her job, and now her apartment. She is also having weird dreams that she can’t quite remember…dreams revolving around a single white feather. Kala’s sexual fascination with the feather brings forth the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen―Riss. He came for his feather―he can feel everything she does with it throughout his body.

Sex with a human is forbidden and Riss has never even considered it―until now.

A madman, suffering from a delusional fantasy, has set his sights on Kala. He has already killed and will kill again. She will be his or suffer the consequences…

And Riss has been forbidden to interfere…

Agon
“She is not going to be my wife. In any way, Riss.” Riss nodded as Agon started pacing again. “I want to touch her. Feel her body close to mine and kiss her. I have a need to taste her mouth to see if it tastes as good as I think it might. Then there is my body. I cannot control it around her. I run so hot and hard that I feel as if the world knows that I need her in ways that are not right.”
“She will taste better than you can ever dream of, and her body will give you pleasure in ways you cannot imagine.” Agon stared at him for several seconds. “But you cannot touch her. She is your charge. If you do not wish to have her as your wife, then you must not touch her in any way. If you do…if you do, my friend, then there will be no turning back. For the touch of the woman you are to spend your days with will haunt you in ways that will make you want to end your life in order to be with her. Trust me on this. I am well aware of how your body will crave her, and you will stop at nothing to have her again and again.”
“I do not want her.” Riss nodded and could see that Agon was lying to him as much as he was himself. “She is beautiful and stubborn, but I do not want her. But I fear that it might be too late for me.”

 

Galin knows it’s his turn and he isn’t having any part of it. He makes no bones about making it clear to Boss either that he both knows what he is up to and isn’t going to cooperate. He doesn’t now or ever want a wife.
“This boy you are going to protect is somewhat of a problem child. He has had a great deal thrown at him, but—”
“Boy?” Boss nodded and frowned. “No, I’m sorry, but it should be a woman, not a boy. I’m not…you’re going to assign me my wife to care for. I don’t want one, but I know it should be female. What is this about?” He pushed the file back at Michael.
“You want a wife? It was my understanding that you have no wish to be wed. Am I correct on that?” Galin nodded and looked at the file with the picture of a young boy on it. He appeared to be in his early teens maybe, but he wasn’t much older than that. “Galin? Do you wish for me to reassign you? Do you have no desire to help this young man?”
“I thought I was going into the rotation to find me a wife. The way that you did for Riss and Agon.” He looked up at Boss and Michael, who had summoned him today. “I had thought that the Mystic’s were a way for you to get rid of us all, and marrying us off was better than having us die. I’m…I’m not sure what’s going on now.”
Dusty McGee has just lost her sister to horrific accident and finds herself saddled with a very angry young nephew to raise. Now, some self-proclaimed protector, Galin, tells her that although he doesn’t want to marry her he would very much like to take her to his bed. She’s had about all that she can stand.
Markum has set his sights on taking the boy to his realm, convinced this is the alleged boy the demons have been searching for, and Dusty is an added bonus…

 

Reyna Sharp, Renie to her friends, just wanted to work out the time she had left alone, with no one bothering her. When she was a baby her mother had given her away in a Faustian deal with a demon. She had until her twenty-fifth birthday then she was supposed to spend eternity in Hell.

Arryn was next on the list of Mystics to take a mate. He had just lost another charge, and wasn’t up for anymore heartache. He didn’t think his heart could take being attached to a mate only to lose her in a few short months…

The war between good and evil had gone on since the beginning of time. But even the underworld has rules…rules that aren’t meant to be broken…

Once he’s kissed her, there’s no turning back… No matter how hard he tries, Arryn can’t stay away, and the more Renie pushes him away, the more he fights to keep her. Can love really conquer all?

 

Jennifer Hale had been in the hospital handcuffed to the bed for five days. The winged man standing guard had not left her side since she’d been brought in, and the fact that no one else could see him gave her the willies.

The man robbing the diner where Jenny worked had shot her in the leg, and then she had killed him with his own gun. It was kill or be killed, but the local authorities hadn’t seen it that way—until now. They were releasing her and as of now she had no job, and no home to return to.

Valyn the Slayer was just tired. He had just one desire, to be put to sleep for an eternity. Ever since he’d lost his small charge, the simple act of living seemed too much for him. He had only looked away for a moment, now she was gone, and he blamed himself. And now “Boss” was telling him his mate was here….

“She’s a lovely girl. Broken too, if you want to know the truth of it. Perhaps you’ve heard her mentioned. She’s the woman that saved that diner full of patrons about a week ago.” He’d heard of it but didn’t know her name. “The bill collectors are hounding her hourly. However, they are not putting the calls through to her room at the hospital for fear of upsetting her. She’s made some very good friends while staying there.”

“What happened to her?” Boss told him what she’d done and how she’d been shot. “And the bill collectors? Why are they hounding her? I’m assuming that she has debt, but it’s more than that, isn’t it?”

“Yes, she’s now homeless and jobless. Also, with this other business of the credit card, there is no way that she can make anything work out right for her. Not without a great deal of help.” Valyn sat down on the wire wheel that had been left behind when the house had been rewired. “Valyn, you told me that you were broken and why you thought so. But this woman, she can help you in ways that I cannot.”

“You could if you would just put me to sleep.” Boss shook his head. “What if I don’t go and see her? Don’t take her as my mate? Because I don’t think my life could be any better to have her with me. I’m not good around people anymore. I don’t want to have someone depending on me for their wellbeing. It’s too much.”

 

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Prologue

 

Tholan watched his charge as she acted and danced on the stage. He knew better than to try and keep up with her—she was beautifully fast skimming over the stage. But she was stunning, and she knew the steps to the music like she did her own name. When the play she was acting in came to an end, he knew that she’d have to go to the back room and change quickly so that no one, not one of the other actors, knew that she was a female, not a male just as they were. Women did not act on the stage, nor did they sing and dance as if they were born to do so.

The men of this time thought it to be dangerous to have a woman act—which to Tholan was just silly. Some of them could and did play better and act better than their male counterparts. But Elizabeth was determined to be out there, showing her skills and having fun. And her father loved that she enjoyed acting as much as he did watching her perform. When they had taken their final bow, he watched the others around her, making sure that none of them harmed her, and did not guess what secret she was hiding from them. As they walked home, he encouraged her more, telling her that she was brilliant.

Her face showed so much happiness for what she had done. The streets were dirty. Even though there were piles of refuse and spoiled food along her way, she never turned up her nose at those that were digging through it. Some of the patrons of the stage had given her and the other actors hunks of bread and cheese. Even though her father and she could have used a bit of it too, she always shared her wealth with those that she knew needed it more than her. Her way of thinking was, she had someone to love her and a roof over her head.

Tholan wouldn’t rest his protection of her until they were at her home. Her father was a good man, even though he would get into his cups a little too much. But he loved his daughter and the coin that she would bring to him nightly. They were a good pair, the two of them. While he’d never say a word to anyone, Tholan did think that he was in love with the beautiful Bethy, as her father called her. Supper was the hard, crusty bread that she’d saved a hunk of from today, with tomatoes sliced thick and salted heavily. There was broth too, with just a little of the potato that they’d had last evening, and a bit of fish, left over from the supper the night before that. It smelled good, he supposed, but it wasn’t something that he’d eat. Poor didn’t describe the way these two lived.

They did have food once or maybe twice a day. There was always tea, though there were times when she’d use the leaves over too many times. And wine for her father. It helped, her father told her, with the pains in his legs. Tholan knew from her father’s protector that he wasn’t long for this world. His legs, both of them in sad condition, were rotting off at the knee. And as there was no coin for the doctor, they lived their life as well as they could. Taking her father out on the stoop, a chore for one as small as herself, Bethy sat with her father, telling him of all the things that had been in the play. They were the
same stories, her changing them up a little for freshness, and she told him that no one, not a single person, knew who she was. “I’d hate to think what they’d do to someone as delicate as my little flower.” Her father touched his old and callused hand to her cheek. “I’ve heard tell that they stone a woman who would dare breach their rules. You be careful, my Bethy. I should just die without you by my side.” “I am as safe as you are locked away all day whilst I am gone. And if they find out, I think—nay, I know—that they’d do nothing more to me than to push me aside and have a man take over my role.

” She laughed—it sounded like tinkling bells to Tholan. “Though I doubt anyone could do a good job of it. They all sing like men, and the voice that I have is much lighter on the ears.” At bedtime she tucked her father into his cot. Then she did what she did every night to keep them safe—Bethy put a large stone in front of the door and stoked up the fires. Sleep would come easily for her, Tholan knew.

It was exhausting to her to keep up with acting, as well as helping her father around. The next morning, Tholan was there when she rose up. He whispered to her that it was going to be a grand day. That she would be happy though it was raining hard. Going with her to her father’s bed, Tholan saw her shake him hard, and when he didn’t move, Tholan looked at Michael, who appeared in the room with them. “He has passed. I’ve come to take him home, as his protector has been assigned to someone else.” Michael came to get all those ready to pass. It was a difficult job—he was forever busy in his role—but Tholan was more concerned with his own charge. She was taking the death of her father very hard. When the undertaker came to take her father’s body away, Bethy cried harder as he was put in a wagon with the other dead. Tholan’s heart hurt for her. He knew that her own had to be broken badly—her father was all that she’d had in the world. It was a hard time for so many now, food being in such short supply.

The diseases ran through the people quickly and without care to age, or how the ones left behind were to deal with it. There wasn’t any money for a proper burial for most, and Bethy’s father was no different. As she walked behind the wagon, she kept telling her father how much he had meant to her, how she was going to miss him so much. Tholan was beside her with each step, telling her that she’d be all right, that time would heal this wound for her. He could not touch her, could not do what he wanted to do more than anything. And that was to take her into his arms, under his wings, and hold her until the world, her world, was a much better place.

That evening he tried to tell her not to go to the theater—a grand name for such a hovel—and that they would not miss her for one night. But he also feared that if she did not go, she would sit in the house and not eat or drink. The things that she did there, on the small stage, made her happy, and for that, he supposed, it would be a good thing for her to do. Her face was swollen, and Tholan told her to say that she’d had a cold. No one would question her about her father—they all thought her to live alone. That like them, she had no one. When she dressed herself in her garb, Tholan told her how lovely she
looked, whispered that there were none prettier than her, and their voices were not nearly as nice. The play went on.

Mistakes were made—they happened every night. But when it was over, instead of going to the pub with them, to celebrate another night of merriment, Bethy gathered her things, all of them, and made her way home. The roads were slightly cleaner than they had been on the way in. The rain, hard and driving at times, had washed the worst of the dirt and trash away. But it was slippery, the stones and mud making her step very cautiously as she walked along. The wagon for the dead was making its way along the streets again. She moved to walk to the other side of the road to avoid it. But as she was making her way across the wet stones, she lost her footing and tumbled down. Tholan was reaching for her—to do what, he had no idea—when she sat up. “I have fallen.” The people roaming the streets just stared at her while she laughed, and when Bethy stood up, still holding onto the wagon that was near her, she started crying. “I wish it to be me in this cart this night.” Her hand came from the cart to her head. That was when Tholan noticed that her hand was covered in blood.

Standing close to her, trying to see if she’d been hurt badly enough to need help, she looked at him. Tholan stood very still when he thought her eyes were staring directly at him. “Hello.” He nodded. “I’ve fallen down. I think that I’ve rattled my head. Do you suppose you could help me along? I don’t wish to be alone tonight. I might join my father, and I do not wish to die alone.” Before he could tell her that he had her, someone moved through him. A man, tall and big, grabbed her hand and tossed her to the road. The blood that poured from her head this time was pooling beneath it. Scooping her up so that her soul could be taken now, Tholan made his way to the other realm. He didn’t want her to hurt, but it was much too late for that. As soon as he summoned Michael, he knew that something more had happened. “What have you done, Tholan?” He explained to Michael that he’d brought her himself.

“But she wasn’t to die. Not yet, at least. She has many years to go. Children to birth. Generations to bring to the world. You have taken her too soon.” Boss came to see him as he stood there, her lifeless soul in his arms. He took her from him, his anger so strong that Tholan flinched back from him. The woman had not died, that was all that his mind could center on. “You have taken her too soon. Do you know the repercussions that you have caused this day? The things that have to be changed, children that will not be born? What will happen now, Tholan? What of the generations and generations of children that were to come from this woman and her husband?” He asked if she could be taken back. “Nay, it is much too late for that.

The man that you took her from, she was meeting him today. He would care for her in her need, and they would love like none other. You have done her and the world a misdeed that will be felt forever. You must explain to her what you have done.”
“I cannot.” Boss woke the soul in his arms. The woman looked at them all but didn’t say anything. “You must be able to take her back. You are all powerful.” “In this, I cannot. You have— Words fail me on this. You must tell her what you have done to her.” Tholan backed away. His own heart was broken too. “Michael, take care of him. I shall have to see what I can do to rectify this for her. But the timeline for her, it is forever broken.” When he disappeared with Bethy, Tholan lay on the ground, his wings spread out over him. It was his death that awaited him. Michael would surely kill him now. And when nothing happened, he looked up and saw that not only had Michael drawn his sword, but he looked ready to use it on him. “You must die as well.” Tholan nodded, his heart, his mind no longer able to function. “You have killed a human. One that was set to be the mother to a great many special people.

Do you have any idea what must be done to fix this? If there is even a fix?” “No, my lord, I do not. I thought her dead. There was so much blood under her. The man, he threw her to the road and he—” “His fingers slipped. He was helping her to rise. Her mate—that was her mate for all time, and you have done them all a misjustice, Tholan. All generations, not just theirs, will feel this forever. You deserve to die.” “I do.” He waited for the blow, the one that would remove his head. It was no less than he deserved. Tholan thought of the woman. Bethy was no longer. He had no idea how Boss was going to make it so that she could go back, but it would never be the same for her, or for the man who had only wanted to help her. Michael ordered him to stand and Tholan, confused, did so. “You will go to your cell and stay there. No contact with anyone, not on Earth or in this realm, for a period of one thousand years.

And when you return, if I allow it, you will not be a protector as you have been until such time that our Lord feels you have paid the price for what you have done. Go. Get yourself out of my sight. You have nothing to say that I wish to hear.” Michael, his friend, turned his back on him. It hurt him more, Tholan thought, than if Michael had removed his head. Willing himself to his cell, he laid upon his cot. His life, his life as a protector, was finished. ~*~ Thousands of years later PJ and her da loved watching old movies—the older the better. And when there was a marathon with their favorite actors, they would binge on them until they were cross-eyed exhausted. But they had each other, and they were happy. And PJ loved her da more than she did anyone in the world. “Angela said that she was going to go and get her hair done. That was two days ago. I wonder what sort of fluff and cut they do on dogs such as herself.” They both laughed. Da had married Angela six years ago, when PJ had been a teenager.

Now they
just tolerated her, both of them. “I will have to do something about her soon, I think. She has made things difficult for me at the board.” “Like what?” PJ knew that she was to take over the company when her da retired— if he ever retired. “I was in there yesterday and got caught up on the paperwork, by the way. And you should know that I’ve also invested in the school that we talked about.” He nodded. Da, Parker Daniel Brooks, was a hell of a businessman. And in turn, she had learned from the best. The business that he’d purchased for a song before she’d been born had turned into a multibillion-dollar industry, leaving them both room to make more investments and even more money for them—not that they needed it. But they were very generous with it, and that was why they continued to make more. “I guess she told Milton, and you know how he can be, that when I passed away, she’d be taking over and he’d be gone. He told me that he didn’t think she’d do a good job, not as good as you would.” PJ was already shaking her head. “You have to take it, PJ. You want her to spend all our hard-earned money on getting her nails done and other men?” “No, but I also have enough on my plate for now. And besides, Da, you’re going to be around for a very long time.” They both laughed. When the doorbell rang, neither of them moved.

“You and I, we have plenty of time for us to make any kind of decisions on what is going to happen. You won’t leave me anytime soon, will you?” “I hope not.” PJ stood up when someone cleared their throat. It was the police, and they looked like they meant business. “Can we help you, officers?” “Mr. Brooks, we’re here to arrest you for armed robbery and murder.” PJ looked at her father, a man confined to a wheelchair since she’d been born. “You have the right to remain—” “Hang on there, young man. I don’t know what’s happening here, but as you can tell, I’ve no way of robbing anyone, much less holding a gun. I don’t own one, and wouldn’t know how to use it if I did.” But they took him in, with her following the cruiser closely. Angela had come in just as they were leaving, and was pissed as well. Booking him for a crime that he’d not done, nor could possibly have committed, took nearly three hours. By then they’d shuffled her da from one end of the station to the next. Each place they’d gone, someone had asked him about the chair, and every time they told them that he’d been in it for years. The next morning, they told her that he was going to go to trial. It seemed to her that things were being rushed through, and Da’s attorney was trying his best to get them to understand that her da didn’t do this. All the while, PJ stayed by his side until they took him to his cell.

“They’re ramming this through, PJ, and I haven’t any idea what I’m supposed to do. And if they’re doing this to him now, I can’t imagine what they’re going to do to him during the trial. I cannot get anyone to tell me where this thing occurred or how it happened. I’m worried for his safety.” Joseph March, her father’s attorney, looked as if
he’d aged several years over the last twenty-four hours. “It’s as if they’re trying to blame this on him for some reason that I can’t fathom.” “Will he go to prison?” Joseph told her that it was looking more and more like that all the time.

“You mean before the trial. They’ll get him to prison and what? Forget about him? This is all Angela, isn’t it? She’s doing this so that she’ll somehow end up with Da’s money.” “I didn’t want to say that before, honey. But to me this has the markings of someone desperate.” He looked around and then leaned into her. “I don’t know what is going on with her, but your father told me that he thinks she’s put out a hit on him. If this is her way of getting him alone, then she couldn’t have worked it out better for herself. And if he’s convicted, she can perhaps get out of the pre-nup that she had to sign. She’ll be able to say that he lied to her or some such nonsense, and that will be the end of Brooks.” Her father had worked hard on making his way in the world. She knew as well as anyone how much he’d given up, how much he’d scrimped and saved to make this work for the family. And now this. Looking around the jail, she asked Joseph how many years he thought her father would get—if he were to make it to the trial. “The max he could get for murder and armed robbery is twenty years, I think. I don’t know how they think to make this stick, but then, this entire thing has me baffled. The least amount? I don’t know. Four to ten?” She nodded and thought of what she had done already and what she’d have to give up. “What are you thinking? You thinking that he’ll make it?” “I did it.

” Joseph asked her what she’d done. “This thing. The thing that they have on Da. If I confess, then he can’t be charged. If I confess, then he’s free to find out what happened and see if Angela is a part of it.” “No. You can’t do that, PJ. If your father got wind of what you’re thinking, he’d bust your bottom. No. That’s a terrible idea. Don’t even think that again.” PJ nodded and told Joseph to listen to her. “I’m younger than him and able to get away should someone come after me in this place. And Da has a good attorney in you. The two of you can work together and set things right.” Joseph told her again that this was a bad idea. “Then if you have a better one, I’m all for it. This will have to work, Mr. March. If not, then I’m going to lose more than just my da’s business; more importantly, I’ll lose him. And I just can’t do that.” “Let me talk to him first. See what he thinks.” PJ told him no, that if he did, he’d talk him out of it. “PJ, this is not a good idea. You’re only twenty-three years old. You have a good head on your shoulders and have become a good attorney in this short amount of time. If you go to prison, you’ll lose that as well.” “I’m going to save my dad. The details in this, they won’t matter because Da doesn’t have what it takes to live the life of a prisoner. I’ll just confess and let the chips fall where they might. You and my dad, you can get me out. If not, then he’ll be all right and I’ll come home to him when it’s all said and done. That’s what has to be done, Mr. March. We both know that there isn’t any way that he can survive this. He’s too frail.

And being in a wheelchair, they’ll hurt him with that as well. Please. You have to help me with this.” It took less time than she had thought it would for her to be jailed. Her father was released and barred from seeing her until the trial. Everyone, including her stepmother, was pissed that she’d confessed. And confessing in front of a news camera had spoiled a great many plans, she thought. The trial was just as she’d been told it would be—quick, no evidence. The witnesses that the police presented kept saying that they had seen a large man running away from the scene after the place was robbed. No one had a name for the man that she’d allegedly killed, and there wasn’t a body. Things like this, whatever they were doing, were going to be something for the books one day. Four days after she confessed, not only had she been found guilty of the crimes, but she’d been shipped to prison. Her da cried during the entire trial. PJ knew as soon as the trial began that there wasn’t going to be any saving her. She was going to go away for a long time.

Ten years. Ten years for a murder there wasn’t a body for.

Ten years for a robbery that she didn’t do, as well as ten years of life without her da. PJ had been fucked.

And there wasn’t anyone who could help her.

 

 

 

Hawkins McCullough’s Jamboree Release Day & Giveaway & Winner Announced

Hawkins McCullough didn’t like his life. Army was his life, he lived and breathed it, but he wasn’t “regular” army. His life was filled with one covert mission after another and he was tired of it. He had done so many awful things in the name of “justice” that he felt he didn’t deserve to be happy. He felt broken and unredeemable.

Jamie had always loved children, and this small infant crying out to her broke her heart. These children were on their way to a baby farm and she was determined to stop this from happening. There was no way she would allow these babies to grow up the way she did, as a lab rat, not as long as she had breath left in her.

“I have to go. No, I’m going to go now. I only stuck around here to find the babies.” Lauren stepped in front of her. “Do you have a death wish? I would have thought someone with your obvious training would know not to stand in front of a dangerous bullet.”

“Is that what you are? Dangerous? I’m not so afraid of you. More that I’m afraid of what they did to you.” Jamie put up her hand and morphed it into a gun. Then a sword. And again, she turned her hand into a monster, long claws and all. “Nope, not going to work. You’re his mate, and that means something to this family.”

“Well, it means shit to me.”

Hawk never thought in a million years that he’d be happy to find his mate, nor would he have believed that she’d be more powerful than he was. Jamie was just more….

 

 

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Colin McCullough gets the phone call that all military families dread―his brother Hawkins has been shot. Colin only wants to thank Hawkins’s commanding officer for saving his brother’s life, but he can never seem to get past the guards in the hospital’s hallway to personally thank the man.

Major Lauren Burcher is all Army and head of a special task team usually sent in to clean things up. This time, her team is ambushed by friendlies, and Lauren and her best man Hawkins McCullough barely make it out alive―they were set up. Someone wants them both dead.

Another attempt on Lauren’s life in the hospital fails miserably, and when Colin scoops her up in his arms to place her back in the hospital bed, he finds a gun pointed at his forehead at point blank range. In that moment he realizes this bad-assed scary woman is his mate.

Lauren wants no part of this mate business. Relationships get messy and this jerk is bossy as hell. And Lauren doesn’t take orders…she gives them. But it will take all of them, his family and hers, to keep her and Hawkins alive…

 

 

Who rescued who was still a little vague, but they escaped just the same. The lab called him SA-8, and they had made him into a very powerful weapon. But to Reese he was just Josh, a boy that could do amazing things, but a boy none the less—not a lab rat. That was two years ago—the lab had been relentless and lethal in their pursuit. With her big rig running on fumes, and their last dime spent, they wound up on a small town in Ohio….

Parker McCullough found an abandoned big rig parked on his land. It had been there a few days, and he wasn’t quite sure what to do about it. Calling the authorities seemed like the logical thing to do, but when he tried to do so, his cell phone went flying from his hand and a teenage boy appeared from nowhere. Parker thought the boy was an Elite Shifter, and after hearing a little of the boy’s story he wanted to help.

Reese didn’t know who all these people were, but if she and Josh didn’t get away from them, the “others” would find them and they’d all be dead, just like all the other people who had tried to help them along the way…. And now the gorgeous shifter, Parker, had her trapped in the kitchen claiming to be her mate…. She didn’t have time for herself, and she didn’t want to see them all die because they’d helped her and Josh—Reese was out of options

 

Mackenzie’s shift at the hospital had just begun when they told her that a patient friend of hers was back in the ER and asking for her. When she entered the curtained room, the last thing she expected was for a McCullough to be sitting next to her patient. It wasn’t Hawk, thank god, but the man looked enough like him he could have been his twin. Hawkins McCullough was on her shit list, and if this man was related to him, she didn’t want anything to do with him.

It didn’t take long for Dustin McCullough to figure out that this feisty doctor was his mate. And when he found out that his brother had hurt her, it took a great deal of strength to keep his cat from killing him.

Mackenzie was at her wits end. Random attacks to her person and bullets flying had the entire McCullough family in an uproar. And just when they thought they had everything about under control, Hawkins drops a bombshell that had them all stunned.

Can Mackenzie find it in her heart to forgive Hawk before it’s too late?

 

 

Virginia is a bestselling paranormal romance author. She does much better with her stories than with people. When she’s in her “writing zone,” she won’t even eat unless her mother hands her a plate and reminds her to do so. She wouldn’t be making the trip to the McCullough’s if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. Go, see the child, make sure he has a good home. That is the plan. Simple…not.

Larson is having his own issues. Being blamed for the murder of one of his clients, which he didn’t do, has him closing up shop and laying low for a few days. His mom insists that he show up for dinner to meet their visiting guests. Larson would rather stay home, but she’d have his hide if he did.

Larson sees the beauty from across the room and makes his way to her. Before he even reaches her, he catches her scent. She is his mate. Now what is he supposed to do? He has his life just the way he wants it and a mate wasn’t figured into that equation. On the other hand, the way she flushes when she returns his stare has him thinking anything but pure thoughts. Maybe having a mate wouldn’t be so bad after all.

 

 

Boyd lost his mate before he’d really found her. He found her in college, but his studies were important too. He figured he’d have plenty of time to meet her, after his exams. But a tragic car accident robbed him of his future before it had begun…. At least that is what he had always believed.

Reilly was just trying to make ends meet. She wanted to get through the day with her slimy boss keeping his hands to himself. But when she got the call from the hospital that her dad had been in an accident, she had to go. Her boss had other ideas.

The pileup on the freeway had Boyd working overtime. All the injured had been coming into the hospital in droves. He had treated so many patients that he was just exhausted. When he stepped out for a breather, he saw her. She was the sexiest woman he’d ever seen, and when he approached her, her scent had his senses in a whirl and his cat reacted. The word mate flashed through is mind. But that couldn’t be right, it had to be lack of sleep making him think that.

 

 

McCULLOUGH’S JAMBOREE

 

 

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Jamie figured that she’d give someone ten more minutes, then she was leaving. She’d been at the hospital longer than she thought was necessary for fainting. Well, she’d really just passed out from shock, but she’d never done that before. Tossing off the cover that had been on her when she woke, she heard the baby crying so close that she ventured out of the room she’d been in and followed the sound. Her heart broke for how pitiful the tiny person’s voice sounded. There were ten babies in varying ages in the bassinets, all of them under six months old, she’d bet, and all of them asleep but the child that had her finding them. Lifting the little girl from the bassinet, she sat in the nearby rocking chair and started rocking her. “I have been looking for you for so long, I thought that I’d been mistaken about it.” Rocking a little more, the baby quieted down and stared up at her with the most beautiful green eyes that she’d ever seen.

“There is this guy here—you’ll know him as soon as you see him—who is a bully. And he’s a big hulking sort of person. Not like he’s stupid or anything—at least he didn’t sound that way. But he’s big, like that green guy that used to be on television. I know you wouldn’t know who that is, but I’m just making a reference.” The baby’s tiny hand wrapped around her finger and she smiled. Jamie loved babies—all kids really, but babies had a special place in her heart reserved just for them. When the baby’s eyes started to close a little at a time, Jamie decided to talk to her more. “When I was a little girl, I was dropped off at one of those safe places. I’m not sure why anyone would think that it was safe. I spent the next five years there, and let me tell you, it was not a place I’d go back to even on a threat of death. Then I ended up where no one should ever be allowed to stay. It was horrific, and the things they did to me were twice that bad.” Jamie heard the door near where she was sitting open and then close. “Anyway, the place. It wasn’t a baby mill like you were in, at least I don’t think so.

But a real place that unwanted children went. I say unwanted because we were told that every day—that we were there because no one wanted us for one reason or another. But the lab did. They needed me for a lot of things that I didn’t want to do. So that’s where I grew up. I think the place has shut down now. The house was a showstopper, really beautiful if a little out of date, and I loved it. Just not the people there.” She looked up when the curtain was thrown back. There stood her nemesis with a gun pointed at her again. Jamie started to stand and give him a big part of her mind when he slipped the gun back in wherever he’d gotten it from and sat down on the floor in front of her. “I thought I’d just sit here in the event you wanted to hit me again. This way I’m closer to the floor already.” She wanted to stick her tongue out at him, but knew that he’d laugh at her. “You said that your name is James. Why would anyone mistake you for a male? I’m Hawk, or Hawkins if you prefer.”
“I was a great deal younger back then, you idiot. Don’t you have someone else you can harass?

I mean, I was having a nice conversation with this little girl, and you—” “Her name is Lily, Lily Anderson. Her parents are on their way to see her. All the children have names now.” She just looked down at Lily, and her heart hurt to know that someone loved her. “Why do you think that no one loves you?” “You’re reading my mind. Why the hell would you think that isn’t rude?” He just shrugged and leaned back on his elbow, smiling at her. “What are you in here for, besides pulling yet another gun on me?” “I only pulled one out on you. The first time, it wasn’t meant for you but the guy holding you.” She rolled her eyes at him and started rocking again, anything to get the man to leave her alone. “You aren’t afraid of me; that’s a first. Usually people who see me for the first time never hit me in the face. Then you hit me in my balls too.” “Perhaps it’s because you’re nicer to others than you have been me.” Kicking his foot away from the front of the rocker, she glared at him. “I swear to Christ, you have to go away. I don’t like you one bit, and you’re taking up all my air while you’re here.”

“You’re not human.” Jamie felt every part of her body tense up. Then she looked for a way to escape. “I’m not sure what you are, but you’re not going anywhere now.” “Why is that? And let me remind you that I’ve hurt you twice now. If I want to leave, then I will. You won’t be able to stop me.” He looked at the exit door and she did as well. There were men standing in front of it, and she could tell they were armed. “You’re holding me prisoner? What the fuck for?” “They’re here for the children. And for me.” She asked him if he was going to be arrested. “You’re very defensive; anyone ever tell you that before? No, they’re not here to arrest me. They work for me. I’m considered a big deal by some people.” “Whatever.” She stood up, and he was suddenly standing too. Like he’d just willed it or something. “You’re a cat. Jaguar, I’m guessing. I could have told you that before you were shooting at me, but I was distracted. By you telling Ben to shoot me.” “That was before I knew you.” She pointed out that he didn’t know her now. “True. But I’m hoping that we can remedy that soon.” She was missing something in what he was saying, but she was too stressed to figure it out. Putting Lily back in her crib, she moved to leave the same way that she’d come in, by the back door. When she opened it up, there were three men standing there with the woman from the house. Miss Laughs a Lot. The two in uniform aimed their guns at her and she backed up a couple of steps. And right into the arms of Hawk. She struggled to get away from him, thinking that she’d be safer with the guns pointed at her, when Miss Laughs a Lot told them to stand down. No one moved. “Did you hear me, soldiers? I said to stand down.” Neither man moved, but they were looking at the man behind her. “Hawk, you’re going to lose these two idiots if you don’t make them behave around me. My word is my bond.” “Stand down.”

Both put their guns to their sides when Hawk said for them to do it with a great deal of authority in his voice. The other man laughed. Miss Laughs a Lot
didn’t seem to find it funny. Getting out of Hawk’s embrace was a good deal easier now. “They work for me and only me. This was a good test for them. Thanks, Burcher.” “It wasn’t a trial for anything, you fucking bastard. I don’t care for being ignored. Perhaps they don’t know me.” She turned to both men and they were nodding like their heads had somehow come loose from their necks. “So, you do know me. That doesn’t explain to me why when I give you an order, you don’t obey.” “They’re not dogs. Christ, you got your panties in a twist because they didn’t listen to the great Burcher, or whatever the fuck your name is? You on some power trip, or are you always a fucking cunt?” Every one of the men backed up from her and Burcher.

“You might get a lot more done if you ask politely when you want something to go your way. Like, and this is just an example, ‘Would you mind putting your guns down? I don’t want any more bloodshed—’” Jamie was lifted from the floor by Burcher. She was holding her there like she didn’t weigh a thing. Hawkins reached out to touch Lauren when the third man got right up and in his face. Jamie did the only thing she could think of before she passed out from lack of air. She shifted. Her beast roared when she told her to calm the fuck down. The people were afraid of her, that she could see, but she really didn’t care. Right now, she needed to get out of there before they spoke to someone about her. The presence of another being felt calming. Even the beast inside of her seemed to know that someone less than but like her was coming. Before the door opened, she as her beast, a great black bear—bigger than any normal—moved away from it. Whatever was coming, it wasn’t angry, but it was concerned. As soon as he walked through the door, she knew him for what he was. Not a name, but she and him had been created at the lab. When he came toward her, talking softly the whole time, Jamie whimpered. He wasn’t close to as powerful as she was, but she knew he had a great deal more than she did in knowledge of what he could do. She’d love to learn from him, but that would be dangerous. Nor could she hurt him. “Hello. I thought that all the others were found. I had no idea that you were there.” She let the bear go and stood before him. He was taller than her by a few inches, but nothing near what Hawkins was. “May I take your hand in mine?” “No. Don’t touch me.” He nodded and put his hands behind his back.

“I saw you there. In the room when I’d look around at night.” “Jon?” He looked at Hawk when he said his name. Then Jon looked at the others with a smile. The service men were guarding the door again, and didn’t look as if they gave a shit about what was going on around them. “Is she like you? Someone from the lab?” “No. She’s very different than I am. Just as dangerous, but no less hurt by the men there.” She watched Hawk when he moved to come closer to her. “I wouldn’t, Hawk. Not yet at any rate.” “She’s my mate, Jon.” No one said a word, but seemed to focus all their eyes on her. She lifted her chin and decided it was well past time for her to get the fuck out of there. “What do you mean, she’s very different than—?”

“And she’s standing right the fuck here. You are the rudest man I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet. I’m leaving here.” Jon asked her to wait. “For what? For them to call someone and tell them where I am? Thanks, but no thanks. I’ve been down that road more times than I’d like to think about. “Tell them what you are.” She looked at Jon then at Hawk. Jamie knew what a mate was, but there was no way that anyone would want her after what she’d been through. “You’d be very surprised at what these people can do for you.” “I was dropped off at the home for wayward kids when I was an infant. During my first five years, I was a troubled child.” Hawk snorted. “Fuck you. What would you have done if you became a monster that didn’t have any idea where she was? I was a bear shifter and didn’t have any idea how to control her.” She looked at the floor, anywhere but at Hawk.

“I wasn’t one of the lab rats like you were. I wasn’t a human when I was taken there at the age of five—I was a shifter, so I guess that qualified for me to be discarded when they were done with me. Taken from the home I had been in since birth. After a while they got tired of me not doing what they wanted, and I was put away to be destroyed. When I slipped out of the cage they had me in, I wandered around the building to keep up with what they were doing.” “They messed with you with drugs too, then.” She nodded at the man near Lauren. “I’m Colin McCullough. Lauren is my wife. And Hawkins is my brother. He’s Army.” “Yeah, I got that part.” Jamie ignored Hawk. She looked at Jon and spoke only to him. “They did the first experiments on me, before you were given anything. The trouble was, no one took into consideration that I hadn’t been human, so they would affect me differently than you. Second, I was a way for them to figure out if whatever they were set to give you would maybe kill you. And if it didn’t me, then they’d give it to you.” “You were five when they did this to you?” She told Jon how they’d find her every month or so then use her again. “They knew where you were at all times, I’m thinking. The men there only gave you the illusion that you were free to roam.” ~*~ Hawkins watched her. He knew as surely as he was standing there she was going to bolt. And he’d bet any kind of money that he’d not be able to find her unless she allowed it. Marking her wouldn’t do him much good either. She was just as strong, if not stronger than Jon, Hawkins would bet. “I have to go. No, I’m going to go now. I only stuck around here to find the babies.” Lauren stepped in front of her. “Do you have a death wish? I would have thought someone with your obvious training would know not to stand in front of a dangerous bullet.” “Is that what you are? Dangerous? I’m not so afraid of you. More that I’m afraid of what they did to you.” Jamie put up her hand and morphed it into a gun. Then a sword. And again she turned her hand into a monster, long claws and all. “Nope, not going to work. You’re his mate, and that means something to this family.”

“Well, it means shit to me.” Jamie looked at him before speaking again. “I’m nothing you want to fuck with or fuck. I am dangerous, and I’m not as stupid as some people may think I am. I will hurt you if you try again to detain me.” “I’m asking you to please not leave me.” She shook her head and looked at the doors again. He knew her plan to leave was rapidly coming to fruition. “I’m asking you to take a chance here. No one will be able to touch you again. I will swear this on my life.” “And you? Will you claim me? I’m guessing that’s what you think is going to happen. And you might be immortal, but removing your head will be easy enough for me.” He nodded and told her that he knew that she was stronger than him. “Hell, I’m stronger than even Jon is. Don’t you get it? I’m nothing more than a taste tester from long ago. If I lived, then they would inject the shit into him. Sometimes more than once.” “I don’t care about any of that. I was bemoaning the fact that someday my mate would come to me. Basically because of what I do. I’m not such a cup of tea either.”

He moved closer all the time, hoping that if he could touch her once, his cat would feel much better. “You know what I am. A jaguar first and foremost. My cat is pissy with me, because he too knows who you are to us.” “Again, I don’t care.” She looked at the exit then back at him just before he was able to touch her. Hawk felt himself being tossed back. Hitting the wall behind him, he braced himself for whatever came next. He was sure, too, that there would be more put upon him. Hawkins watched her while she calmed herself. She’d not lost total control, he knew that, but had punched him with magic just enough to keep him away from her. Sitting up, he sat there while the rest of them left. Even his men walked out the door. “You did that? Made them leave us?” She nodded. “And can you make me leave too? Or is it the mate thing that prevents you from making me do anything I don’t want? By the way, you’re not supposed to be able to hurt me. I guess we can chalk that up to being a falsehood.” “I can’t make you leave. Had I been able to, then you’d be gone. And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with you thinking I’m your mate.” She looked down at her arm where he’d touched her, and he could see the marks on her arm. Standing up and going to her, he asked her if she was all right. Then he pulled her arm over to have a better look at what had happened. She was burned. Like his fingers brushing over her, and that had been all it was, had caused her to be blistered and in pain. “Why did you touch me? I told you, several times, not to touch.” He let her arm go but didn’t back away this time. “I don’t want to be here.” “No, I got that.” He laughed a little, and saw a tease of a smile on her mouth. Then she became hard again. “Why did you burn when I touched you? And why not the second time that I held up your arm?” “You were intending to detain me. For lack of a better word, my programming knew that and lashed out at you. The second time you weren’t as aggressive.

I didn’t
need to harm you again.”

Hawkins nodded and touched his fingers to her cheek. “That doesn’t mean that I won’t fucking hurt you. Go away. And then I will. You’ll be much happier without me around, trust me. I know this for a fact.” “There have been others that you hurt?” Instead of answering him, she walked to the window and looked out. “I can help you. You can tell, I’m assuming, that I’m a bit more than a cat. I’m in no way as powerful as the two of you, you and Jon, but I can hold my own.” “They won’t care what you are. If you have loved ones or even if you’re an immortal. They’ll take you apart right there along with me once they figure it out.” He shivered, thinking of all the shit she’d had done to her. “I’m trying my best to save you, and you’re too dense to understand that forgetting about me will be the best thing that happens to you.” “Doubtful. I mean, I was afraid of when I found my mate. Not afraid, but concerned that I’d been too long in the military and might not be good for a woman. Hell, I’m barely good to my family on a daily basis. I can see you have no trouble putting me in my place and making sure that I understand when you’re pissed off.” She didn’t laugh like he had hoped she would. “I’m not a gentle man. I don’t know how to be romantic. I haven’t the first clue how dating works anymore. When I was seventeen I signed on to become something more. What I hadn’t counted on was Burcher finding me and recruiting me for her team.” “I’m assuming that was her last name before becoming McCullough. I’d toss her into a deep hole or cage and lock the door, but that’s just me.” He told her what her name was before. “Colonel Lauren Burcher? I knew that she was something more than just a woman. She’s a bitch.”

“Yeah, she might say the same about you. But she’d be happy with it instead of pissed off like you are.” She looked like she didn’t understand, and he’d bet she didn’t want to. “I was called Mac in the service. My family is the only people that call me Hawkins. Or sometimes Hawk when I’m not in too much trouble with them.” She didn’t say the obvious next line of “that must happen a lot then.” Hawkins realized that she was going to forever do the unexpected and not care a bit if it offended or even pissed someone off. She was a great deal like Lauren, but Jamie would be meaner when pressed, he guessed. “Why don’t you come home with me?” She turned and looked at him then. “I have a nice house. My brother helped me buy it when I was in the service.” “You still are. In the service, I mean.” He nodded, not saying anything. “I’m not going home with you. I have one that I like well enough. But you’re to stay away from me. I don’t want to get involved with you at all.” “I’m afraid it’s too late for that.” He pulled her body to him, and was surprised that he didn’t hurt her again. Pressing his mouth to hers, hoping that she’d allow him a taste of her, he moaned when she finally did. Her body fit his. When he pulled her closer, letting her feel what she was doing to him, he thought he would happily die right now the way she’d wrapped her arms
around him.

Before he could pull her up from the floor, find a hard place to lay her while he feasted on her body, she pulled her mouth away from his. “I’m sorry.” He started to tell her that she had nothing to be sorry about when she disappeared. Hawk was left holding air, and was no closer to finding anything out than he had been before. And Hawk wanted to know everything. Reaching to Burcher, he asked her if she’d do him a favor. If you’re going to ask me if I can find out something about your girl, I’m already on it. Your mate is a piece of work, by the way. She isn’t the least bit impressed with me, nor does she care that I could snap her like a twig. Hawk wisely said nothing. He was reasonably sure that Jamie could not just snap Lauren, but get rid of the body without any trouble.

There isn’t much when I do a regular search, but I’m digging. Where is she, by the way? Gone. She was here, then gone. I need to talk to Jon too. Maybe he can shed some light on things. Lauren said she doubted it. Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking too. I might have to return to Washington, but I’ll be in contact with you while I’m gone. I’m assuming that Mom and Dad know that I’ve found my mate? Yes, but it wasn’t me. I was really pissed about that too. Colin told them before I was able to. She paused for too long, but he knew better than to hurry her along. Hawk, your mate is really in the shit. She’s not just wanted by some very unsavory people, but there is a warrant out for her arrest as well. Murder and robbery. But they know her as an entirely different name. Holly Tree. Even I can tell that’s a fake, and I’m not looking very hard. I’ll need what you can find. I don’t have a clue where she is, or even if she needs a place to stay. But she’s my mate, and for what it’s worth, I’m sorry I ever doubted that I wanted one. She said that she’d have it couriered to him. Thanks. I owe you one. Never, Mac. Never that. I owe you so much, I don’t think being immortal is ever going to be long enough to pay you back for most of it. He said nothing. I’m printing it up now and making arrangements to have it brought to you. Should be there by this evening. Hawk could disappear too. He didn’t care for doing it, because when he reappeared, he had to be careful where he was landing, so to speak. But this time he had no choice. He should have been in Washington yesterday. He only had a few more missions to go before he was done with everything military. For the first time in his life, he wasn’t dreading it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tanner Release Day & Giveaway

 

 

Giyanna had fled to Ireland when she was seventeen to get away from her abusive brother, Rogan, leaving her twin, Tyrrell, behind to make his own way in the States. Even though she missed Tyrrell fiercely, she vowed to never return. But with Rogan now in jail and facing serious time, she’s back to defend the man she hates most. Giyanna and Tyrrell are both good attorneys, but her goal was to make sure Rogan never gets out.

From the moment Chris Bentley called Tanner for a favor, he suspected it was a ploy for him to meet his other half. His brothers were all married now, but he wasn’t in any hurry to follow in their footsteps. He liked his life the way it was—uncomplicated.

She and Tyrrell were invited to the Calhoun home for dinner, they even sent a limo to pick them up. Giyanna wasn’t good with people, especially big men, and when they arrived, the door was opened, and she was staring into the eyes of the most incredible looking man she’d ever seen. But when the entire family rushed to welcome her into the family, Giyanna was not only confused, she was petrified.

Trust didn’t come easy for Giyanna, so Tanner had a long way to go to earn her heart. But when bodies started coming out of the woodwork, Giyanna was riddled with guilt for not acting on her instincts years ago. Now it’s up to Tanner to see her through it.

 

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Johanna, better known as Joe, had been a day walker for her only friend, Noah, for centuries. An immortal with eight hundred years under her belt, she had become proficient in several languages and occupations. When her friend Noah talked about meeting the sun, she had every intention of following in his path.

Joe had only gone to the Calhoun’s office to catch a ride to the estate. When she entered, it took her breath away to see the younger man on the floor and no one doing a damn thing to help him.

Trent Calhoun had forgotten how to have fun. Diving into his work was what kept him happy. At 33 he had no life, so when he had a heart attack, his doctor said to change his ways or else.

When the gorgeous woman stumbled into his hospital room, Trent thought his dad was up to his old tricks again―that was until he caught her scent…. Now, because of his wolf, he’s face to face with an angry vampire….

 

Noelle was in somewhat of a pickle. She had researched the Calhoun firm―Elijah Calhoun in particular―before she made the appointment, but she was having second and third thoughts about hiring the firm after she got there. All her research indicated she could trust them, but big men scared the hell out of her, and the place was full of them.

Elijah had been running a tad late for work, so his brother Trent took his first appointment. Elijah never dreamed that the woman he had an appointment with was his future mate…and she needed his protection.

Noelle’s stepfather wasn’t their only problem. Elijah’s brother Sterling’s nightmares had gotten worse and somehow the creature that had marked him was controlling his actions as well…no one was safe….

Chloe Davis was giving up. She thought for sure the owners of the computer shop she worked for were responsible for her father’s death, but in all the time she’d worked there she’d not been able to find enough evidence to prove it, so as far as she was concerned she was out of there. Her boss, George, on the other hand had other ideas. As far as he was concerned she wasn’t going anywhere…by force if necessary.

Scott Calhoun was just trying to help his grandfather get the young woman to safety, the last thing he expected was for her to be his mate. And he wasn’t happy about it either. Scott was a Dom, and he liked his sex hard and rough and his women submissive…this woman was a spitfire, and he was pretty sure he’d scare her off with his demands…. As far as he was concerned he was a deviant, not mate material.

But when Chloe and Scott come together, they both find more than they expected…Scott has finally met his match. Now, if everyone would stop trying to kill them, they might live long enough to enjoy each other.

Marty liked her life just fine. She was alone in the world, and waiting on tables would get her by until she finished college, but the girl she was training wasn’t working out. And the girl got her fired—now what was she supposed to do? She needed that job to survive.

Sterling Calhoun’s encounter with the she-devil was over, but the nightmares still lingered. The only thing that helped him deal with the nightmarish pain were his paintings. And through is Grandda he met Marty, his mate, but Sterling hadn’t been himself for a very long time….

Marty knew a few shifters, so she knew what it meant when Sterling told her she was his mate. Oh, hell no, this guy had to be nuts, the “mates” she knew were a strange lot, and she didn’t want any part of it….

Randal loved teaching at the elementary school, but there were a lot of underprivileged children attending and it tore at his heart for them to do without, especially at Christmas. Donating food to all the families was his way of helping make their Christmas brighter.

Randal hadn’t expected a parent to take exception to his Christmas present and wield a gun in his direction much less use it. What was this world coming to?

Laney Price had only planned to pick up her sister, Heather, from the Calhoun’s care and head back to Las Vegas. Everything was so messed up and nothing was going as planned. Her stepmother and her father were coming to take the child and there wasn’t much she could do about it. No child deserved to be put into their care.

Randal knew Laney was his mate, and he couldn’t stop her from leaving, but he was going with her if she left. He wouldn’t force her to claim him, but he had a solution to her problem if she’d agree to it.

 

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Stoking the Flames II: Tales of Legend, Lore, and Everlasting Love

Find everlasting love in the clouds. Go back in time. Spring into the future. Soar on the wings of magic.

Discover Legends of Fate, Destiny, True Mates, and Forever Love that’s written in the Stars.
Take flight with fifteen amazingly talented bestselling authors as they bring these special Dragons to life. In each life-changing journey you will see that the heart gets what the heart wants, happily ever after is so much more than simple words at the end of a Fairy Tale, and Dragons prevail no matter the time, place, or obstacle.
This is Stoking the Flames II – spread your wings and soar with our Dragons. Once you’ve touched the clouds, felt the wind in your hair, and held the power in your hands, you will forever fly high.

MY BOOK IS SIMEON  THE DRAGON SAVIORS IT IS THE LAST BOOK IN SERIES  GRAB THE BOXSET FOR A SPECIAL PRICE OF 99 CENTS

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Tyrrell watched the little plane land. He’d been in Ohio for a whole day now, and he’d decided that it was a cute place. The town that he was staying in, a quaint little burg, had all the amenities that one might need—a grocery store, library, schools, as well as a doctor or two. The only thing that he could find fault with, and that wasn’t such a big deal, was that it lacked places to eat. Not that the few that were there didn’t cater to your every whim, but all he could get delivered to him was subs and pizza. Laughing, he wondered what his sister would think after living in a part of Ireland that was mostly farmland and sheep. She’d think she was living in a metropolitan area around here. He was at the end of the gate when she came into the building. Tyrrell felt his eyes fill with tears at the sight of her. She’d changed so much that he was surprised. It had been just over ten years since he’d laid eyes on her, but he had talked to her often. Giynna had her red hair pulled back in a long braid that had pulled loose in several places, but she had the face of a porcelain goddess, freckles and all. He had missed her so much, and it occurred to him then that it had been far too long since they’d even spoken. They hugged for a full five minutes, both saying how much they’d missed each other, their words tumbling over one another like they used to as children. He had missed her so very much. And she him, she told him. “The flight was long. And I’m exhausted. Hungry too. The food on the plane was good, but far too little to sustain someone for hours, I think.” He helped her with her luggage, just one bag and a carry on. “I didn’t know how long I’d be here, so I took two months off. It was difficult to find someone to watch my house, so you owe me half of that as well, Tyrrell.” She told him that she was joking, that she had it covered. “No, no, I told you that I’d go half. Just tell me what you want. Anything you need, I’ll do it. I’m just so very glad to see you. But two months and you have one bag? Are you planning to spend some time while here to shop?” She glared at him. “Ah, so you’re a better packer than I. I don’t doubt that either. I just haphazardly throw things toward the suitcase, and if it lands in it, it goes with me. God, it’s so good to see you after all this time. We should have done this years ago, Giynna.” “Yes, we should have, but I’m telling you right now, I won’t be drawn into Rogan’s mess other than to try and get him a reduced sentence. What is it he’s been taken in for?” Tyrrell handed her a thick file as he carried her bag out to the car. “Restraining order violation? That’s it? Damn it. I thought for sure I could just let him float his arse to prison. How is Bridgett? Have you spoken to her yet?” “No, I’ve not, and your Irish is showing. But yes, there is more. Breaking and entering. Parole violation. Also, he has a list of other charges about a mile long that he’s been avoiding. And by avoiding, I mean that he’s been not seeing his parole officer when he was supposed to. Intoxication. Robbery. Selling stolen goods. They decided that since they know where he is right now they’ll hit him up for them all at once. So
you might get your wish after all with him. But he’s been beating Bridget, and that has gotten him into the worst of it.” She was still reading over the file when she asked him where he was now. “Jail. Apparently, he was asked to leave the house that Bridgett was living in with him and he didn’t cooperate. He beat one of the men nearly to death, and the other man has a broken arm. They’re also charging him with the destruction of a government building. He tore up the house pretty good. His defense on that was that when Bridgett returned, she’d fix it up. And she is going to return, he’s told everyone that will listen.” “He’s a moron and a bully. It saddens me on so many levels that she had to do this. Running away is seldom the answer, but in her case and ours it was the only way to survive him. And she had to take his children so far away to hide from him.” Tyrrell told her that he’d sent her some money. “I did as well. At least she’ll be able to feed them until she can get a job. I’m to understand that her brother is there with her, and he’s already lined up a job for himself. These people that are helping her…do you know anything about them?” “I’ve been doing some research, and they’re about the best thing this town has ever seen. They’re wolves that are wealthy beyond anything I’ve ever heard of.” She nodded as they drove to the local bed and breakfast. “One of them is an attorney that has been asked to take on the case, but he declined. Something to so with him being in private practice. I don’t know. But it’s probably just as well. He’s really the best they have around here. And as much as I’d hate to say it, I do not want Rogan free to run around any more than Bridgett does.” “I’m better as an attorney, I bet.” She laughed with him. “But I have to tell you, Tyrrell, I don’t want to do this. You have to know that.” He said that he’d do it if she would second chair with him. “I don’t even want to do that. I really dislike him. Rogan has been nothing but a bully since we were children. I’d just as soon he went to prison and never got out.” “When he called me, all I could think about was finding the state’s prosecutor, whoever that might be, and giving him even more shit to pile onto whatever they have on him. And as you can tell, there is a great deal of it.” She closed the file and leaned back. “Honey, you’re tired. Why don’t we hit the place we’re staying, and you take a long nap? That way when you wake, you’ll be fresh enough to go see him with me.” “I think I’ll sleep for a week.” He just grinned at her when she looked at him. “I want to spend time with you, and before I have to go back, I want us to go out and see the kids. Hopefully they’ll be all right out there. I have to admit, though, I’m so glad that she was able to do this. Even if she had to take them all the way across the States to do so.” “Bridgett is terrified that she’ll lose the kids if he’s able to get out. I don’t foresee him getting even visitation rights, but I don’t practice in this state, so things could be different. With him having a criminal record it might go in her favor. But they’re not hers, remember.” She said that she did. “The fact that they’re his might not go so well for her since she’s unemployed and took them out of state. However, she has called the
police on him several times, and I’m to understand there is a restraining order that he broke too. I’m thinking she’ll be all right, but I don’t want to promise her anything.” “She took them for safety reasons, and that alone will keep her from getting into trouble. That’s what I would do if I were on her side. Where, I might add, I wish I was.” He said that he did as well. “Oh well, so we’re here. When do we go and see the dumbass?” “When you’re rested. I think right now you’re not in the mood to talk to him, am I right?” Giynna yawned and nodded. “You get some rest. I’ll go tell Rogan that we’re both here and see what he has to say for himself. I’ve been sort of avoiding him since I got here. For good reason, I think, but I still have no desire to even be in the same room with him.” Their brother had been cruel to them when they were children. It was the reason that they’d left home so young and never returned. Not even to talk to their parents, who Tyrrell had lost contact with years ago. He wondered if Giynna had spoken to them, but she was exhausted, and he didn’t want her more upset. “All right then, seeing him has to come first, I guess. But wait for me. I’ll go with you, and that way we can try and hold onto our tempers as a tag team.” She was nearly asleep when he laughed. “I’m really exhausted. I would have slept on the plane, but there was this kid behind me that I swear to you had daggers at the end of his shoes, and he was using them to hit me in the back. The entire trip.” Tyrrell glanced at her every so often to see that she was sleeping again. He didn’t envy her the trip back, nor seeing Rogan. As he’d said, he had no desire to see him either. And when he thought of that, it sometimes hurt his heart. They had never been close as a family, except for Giynna and himself. But they were twins, so that helped a little, he supposed. She woke once the car stopped. He helped her into her room and then went back for her luggage. Giynna was asleep on the bed when he got back. Taking off her shoes, he covered her up with the blanket at the end of the bed and left her. He’d talk to her when she was up and around. To deal with their brother, they’d need all the strength they could get. He decided to go and see his brother, just to test the waters. The jail where Rogan was being held was a nice one. It sort of reminded him of the jail on a black and white show that he’d watched in reruns as a kid. There was even a rocking chair down the long hall where the cells were. Rogan was in the last cell. It looked like he’d never broken his habit of being a slob since they’d left home. “Hello, Rogan. I’ve come to help you out as you asked.” Rogan just glared at him. “I could just go back home and tell Giynna that you don’t need either of us.” “She came? Well la-de-da. The bitch wouldn’t even take my calls when I tried to call her and ask her to come here. She still a bitch like she always was?” Tyrrell told him she was never a bitch to him. “Yeah, because she has you all pussy whipped. Either of you bring me any money? I want you to bail me out. That’s the least you can do for making me sit around here and wait on one of you to come around.” “There is no bailing you out of this, Rogan. I’m sure you were told that. The judge didn’t set you one because he thought you’d be a flight risk. Not to mention there are
too many things in your jacket for them to think that you’d not just hide out until they forgot about you.” He said that they’ve told him a lot of shit. “Perhaps it would do you better to listen next time. Giynna and I are going to try to get you a reduced sentence, and after that—” “Reduced? That’s bullshit. I want out of here for good. I don’t belong in here anyway. You tell her to get me out of here, and all them charges they’re supposed to have on me dropped. Some of that shit is really old, and there should be some kind of expiration date on them. Hell, even my milk has one of those.” Tyrrell just stood there. “Did you hear me, moron? I said for you to get me out of here. Right now.” When his brother stood up, Tyrrell backed from the cell. It was then that he realized that his brother was a mess worse than his cell was. And not just because he was in jail, but about three hundred fifty to four hundred pounds of fat was hanging out of his too small jumpsuit they’d given him, and his chins were touching his chest. His dirty hair, usually pulled back in a ponytail when he was younger, now hung down his back in a stringy mess, and he was bald on top. “When was the last time you had a bath?” Rogan just grunted at him. “You’ll need to clean up before we take you to court. And I’m warning you right now, Rogan, you piss either of us off too much and we’ll go back home. You’re not going to fuck this up by being yourself. You asked for us, and we dropped everything to come here and help you out. The very least you can do is behave.” “Don’t be a shit, Ty. It’s your big brother you’re talking to. Bridgett has to pay, and pay big. She took my damned kids.” Tyrrell told him they were better off without him. “What a thing to say to me. They’re my damned kids, and she had no right to do that to me. And I’m betting she took that fucking card with her too.” “Really? Tell me, Rogan, how old are they? Just one of them. Tell me how old the oldest is.” Rogan stared at him with that blank stare he always had when he didn’t want to answer. “You don’t know, do you? Then tell me. What are their names? I’m betting that you don’t even know that, do you? You’re a terrible person, and a worse father. And as far as I can see, nothing about you has changed in ten years. Your kids and Bridgett are better off where they are. They deserve more than they ever had in you. Instead of beating her to shit every time you could, you should have been telling her thank you daily for raising your children to be better people than you are or ever will be.” “I’m a good person. She asks me for it when I have to knock her around.” Tyrrell asked him how she ever did that. “By not doing what I told her to do. All I wanted was peace and quiet when I came home, and she couldn’t even do that. Always harping on this or that. Making me get out and find a job. What do I need a job for? The government, they take from you if you work, and that ain’t right. Also, when I have a job, I can’t go hang out with my buds. You know how much I like doing that—don’t you remember, Tyrrell? We have shit to do, my friends and me. And that brings me to her card again. She spends it on shit that I don’t want her to. Going to the grocery and spending almost every dime of it so I can’t go and trade it off for other shit. Shit that I want.”
“Yes, I’m sure that you having your shit is much more important than your children you want back having food in their bellies when they need it. What must she have been thinking, to take the card and use it for what it was intended for.” Tyrrell just looked around his cell and shook his head. “Is this the kind of mess you left her when you got into her house? If so, it’s small wonder that she didn’t leave you long before this.” “Not for lack of trying, I’ll tell you. Once a week she’d leave and take the kids. I’d have to beat her hard after that. And one of the kids. That’d be all it took to bring her in line. Of course, all they did was whine when I hit them, but that’s what she needed— and it’s always her fault too.” He laughed like it was a huge joke to hurt one of his own children. “And she was starting to hide the card on me. Or spending it all before I could get me a handle on it. I think she has another mail box or something. But I’ll find it. And that card, it should be mine. I’m the reason that she gets it anyway. That card was as high as it was because of my kids. Damn it, I should have had it when I wanted it.” “You don’t want her to spend it on food for the children?” Rogan told him how they got government handouts all the time. “I see. And how much of that do you eat? Of this government food? You look like you eat more than your fair share of it.” “I think you’re not being nice to me, Tyrrell. You know I don’t like that. Come over here and let me plunk you like I used to do when you was a kid.” Rogan laughed at him when he took another step back. “You’re a pussy. It’s a wonder that you ever made it alive out on the streets when you left me. And don’t think I’m not mad about that either. The two of you left me without any kind of help around the house. You should see that place now. It’s going to shit. I go there sometimes when I need some breathing room. It’s mine, you know.” Tyrrell knew just who owned the house and why. He hated it, but when the bank had called him and not Rogan, he did the only thing he could think of and paid the back taxes. And in return, he was given the deed to the house so long as he kept up on the taxes. “Whatever. You clean up and Giynna and I will be back tomorrow. And you’d better be nice to her, Rogan. If she leaves, then I do as well.” Rogan told him they’d better do right by him or when he was out, he’d take care of them too. “It’s tempting to not do right by you. As far as I’m concerned, everyone is better off with you right where you are.” “That ain’t right, Tyrrell. We used to have fun as kids.” Tyrrell asked him when that was, and Rogan looked like he was thinking about it. “All right. I used to have fun. But you and Giynna, you begged me to hurt you. Just like Bridgett did all them times. Then she goes to the police, so they’d tell me to stop. Not going to happen, I told her. She belongs to me. And both of you always stashing away cash and not letting me have it. That ain’t the least bit fair. I’m the oldest, and you should be proud to have me as your brother. And giving me all that you had, that’s only fitting because you should want me to have it.” “By letting you have all we had? You think that’s the way it should be?” Rogan said that was right. “No, it’s not right. Giynna had to go to another country to get away from
you. And I had to change my number over and over to get away from you too. You’re not a nice person, and I don’t care that you are my brother, I don’t like you at all. And it’s doubtful that you care, but you should know that as soon as this trial is over, I’m going to wash my hands of you completely, Rogan. I’m no longer going to answer the phone when you call.” Tyrrell left him after that. All Rogan could focus on was how much he’d been wronged. It had been that way their entire lives. He wanted, he took. When he was hurt, everyone was hurt. And he had been a bully, a bastard all his life. Tyrrell went back to the bed and breakfast thinking that it was a mistake to have come to this town for him. He just hoped that they lived, first of all, and didn’t live to regret this. Rogan was going to cause them trouble, even from behind bars. ~~~ Tanner looked over the calendar to figure out what was going to happen today. Mostly it was just over the phone meetings that he had to take care of for Noah. Then he had a luncheon with his mother on her projects. Life wasn’t as boring as he’d thought it would be taking on a single client. “You have a call on line one. Its Chris Bentley.” Excited to have his day interrupted by the witch, he took the call. He’d drop everything just to talk to the wonderful woman. “Hello, and how the heck are you? You should see my house. Myra did a fantastic job of it.” She laughed with him. “I’m sure that she told you. But anyway, what can I do for you today, my dear?” “I have a favor to ask of you. There is this fellow that you’ve been dealing with. Rogan McGowan. I’m to understand that you and your family have taken his wife and children under your wing, so to speak. You’ve sent them away to keep them safe, right?” He told her what they’d done. “Sending her away is the best thing for her, I think. She’ll be safe, and the children will as well. But it’s her that this is about. She needs to never return. No matter what happens, do not let them make her return. She’s safe, and that’s what she needs to be from now on.” “I think that you’re right. Being here, that’s not terribly safe for anyone, but especially her and those children. I mean, you just said how she’s going to be fine out there.” Chris said that Bridgett needed closure on this, but she could get that from a distance. “I’m afraid that she has to deal with her husband at some point. But I will try my best to make them see the big picture when it comes to her returning.” “Yes. Otherwise, those poor children will become a ward of the state and never have anyone to love them as she does. She’s terrified of men, and with good reason, I think.” He could understand that and told her so. “Also, I know that you can’t help with the attorneys representing Rogan. But they’re in town, and not from around there. They’ll need someone to show them around. I was wondering if you could get one of your brothers to help them out.” “Is this a ploy for me to meet my other half?” She asked why he’d think that. “I don’t know. I’m the last of the Calhoun men that is unattached. I have my house in order. I’ve a good job, money in the bank. I’m surprised every time I see someone new in town that she’s not falling all over me saying that she’s the one.”
They both laughed, and he was embarrassed that he’d voiced that out loud. He really had been worried about that. Not worried, but concerned enough to start avoiding the grocery store, as well as any place that had a crowd of people. “Yes, you are, but I’m reasonably sure that you can find yourself a mate all on your own. Besides, they’re sister and brother to Rogan.” He wondered if they were like him, but said nothing. “The woman, I think her name is Giynna, is from Ireland. Been living there since she was about seventeen. The brother, Tyrrell, he’s been living in Texas for the most part, moving around where the job he has takes him. They’re both single—yes, I’m aware of that—but I don’t think that she’d be suited to you. Not with you being so close to your family.” “Which, I’m saying this because you’ve always been there for us, she’s going to take me back with her because of her being my mate. And I’ll be singing ‘Wild Irish Rose’ and eating haggis with every meal.” They both laughed. “Is she? My mate? I’ve never come right out and asked you before, and you did promise me that you’d never lie to me.” There was a pause there, and he was sure that he had his answer. So, when she finally did speak, he wasn’t the least bit surprised when she told him she was. “I wanted it to be something that you took care of. I did.” He said that he understood. “I don’t think you do. But that’s all right as well. She’s been hurt, and badly so, by her brother, Rogan, and hasn’t had a moment’s peace since leaving home. Giynna lived with an elderly aunt until she passed away, and in all that time, she never dated. Not once since she moved there, and that’s just sad. She’s a wonderful woman, and you couldn’t do better than if I had picked her for you myself.” “Is she afraid of men as well? I mean, is she going to hurt me if I touch her in the wrong way? I don’t want to make her upset with me right away. I’ll save her being pissed off at me till when we’re together for a little while.” Chris said that she was more than afraid of them. “Because of Rogan. And this guy, they’re here to get him off? To let him out with people that he can and will harm? Or are they only going through the motions with him?” “It’s not like that, and it is. Her and her brother are here to make sure that he gets a fair trial, but they’d just as soon he ended up in jail for the rest of his life too.” He asked why they were helping him then. “Family, I think. And maybe a little bit of closure. You know more than most what you’d do for your family. And I think that the only reason that they agreed was so that they could have time to see each other. Tyrrell and Giynna are twins, and used to be very close.” “I understand that. I don’t like it, but I understand. And since she’s going to be my mate, no matter how much I’m not ready for her, I can’t take the case against him. Not now.” Chris thanked him. “Don’t thank me yet. I still must convince her that I’m her mate. And knowing how well that went over for my brothers, she’s not going to go easy on me.” “No, she won’t.” He wondered what she’d say to him if he decided to leave town and not return until Giynna was gone. “It wouldn’t work, and you know that. When the
fates have your life planned out, it matters little when you get together, but you know that you will.” He did, but said nothing else. His mind was going over the things that he still had to finish up. Not just his home, but there were a few things that he wanted to take care of here as well. Tanner had his life planned out too, right down to what he was going to have for dinner tonight and tomorrow. But this, having a mate, he knew as well as Chris did that it would consume him when they came together. “You have such a shitty outlook in all this. Why is that?” He told her that he didn’t know, but he wasn’t keen on having a mate. And asked her to stop reading his mind. “I don’t have to tell you what she’ll bring to you. Or how you’re going to feel when she comes into your life, do I?” “You know me and what I’ve had going on since I was a kid, so you know what sort of things I’m dealing with.” She said that she didn’t. “Chris, I might be the youngest, but I think that I’m more set in my ways than even Joe is. I don’t care for change. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, quitting my job and working for Noah. I can’t give a woman, any woman, what she will want. I’m not built like that.” “And what is it, Tanner, that you think a woman might want from you other than your undying love?” When he didn’t have an answer for her, she didn’t continue her train of thought. “If you could please tell Bridgett not to come home. No matter if she wants to face her demons or not, that would be disastrous.” “Are you mad at me?” She said that she wasn’t. Disappointed, but not mad. “I don’t want you disappointed either. But I know what I am.” “Yes, and so do I. All right then. We’re planning a large picnic for the summer. You all will be invited as well. And we hope to be notified when Noelle has her babies. It’s soon, correct?” He told her in two weeks. “Good. Let me know, and I’ll come out to see her. Thanks again, Tanner.” Then she hung up. He felt all twisted up inside when he couldn’t give her what she wanted. A mate would want children, and he just couldn’t give that to her. Not like the others could. As he worked through the rest of the morning, he tried hard not to think about what was going on. His mate was here. And she was an attorney. He decided to do a little digging on his own about Rogan McGowan, and see what he could find out to either hurt or help their case. It was funny really—he’d never thought of himself as not being able to take a side on something like this. He knew just what he wanted as soon as he’d been approached with a case. But this one, he knew that it was going to change a lot of lives, his included. “Sir, there is a Mr. McGowan to see you.” He looked at his cook and friend, Mabel, his heart doing a little jump. He asked her where her husband was. “He’s gone to the market, and the young man said to tell you that he’s Tyrrell, not Rogan.” “Send him in, please.” She said that she would, and would bring refreshments as well since he’d worked through lunch again. “I’m sorry. Did you go have some?” “I did. And I’ve made you a bowl of soup. Beef and vegetable. You can have it later. If you don’t piss this young man off. He looks like he’s had a rough time of it. I’m sure he has too.” Tanner asked her why she’d think that. “He’s related to that dreadful man,
isn’t he? Poor man. I’d hate to have him on my coattails. You need to know something about him, just gossip mind, but I can tell you.” Tanner thanked her and shut off the monitor on his computer when she went to get Tyrrell. Tyrrell looked just like he thought he would except for the hair. While Rogan’s was silvery white as the clouds and nasty stringy, Tyrrell’s was as red as the roses that were blooming in his mother’s garden. He had a moment to wonder what his own mate’s would look like, and squashed that thought down. Not now, he told himself. “Hello, Mr. Calhoun. My name, as you know, is Tyrrell—Rogan McGowan is my brother. And I assure you, we’re nothing alike.” They both laughed as they shook hands. “I’m new to this area and state, but I do have a federal license that takes me pretty much where I need to go. I work for the government. Mostly to do with paperwork, but I wanted to let you know that I won’t be representing him without a license.” “He’s got a lot on his plate right now. And, I would imagine, you as well if you’re taking this on.” He said that he knew that. “I’m not going to be involved in this. First, he had an issue with a public defender—I think you know who that is.” He said that it was his sort of brother-in-law. “Yes, that’s him. Phillip Chester is now safe, as is Bridgett. The second thing, along with a list of other items that they’ve put on his docket, is that he destroyed a public housing home and made a public nuisance of himself.” “Yes, I called and got Bridgett’s address from your sister-in-law before coming here. My sister, Giynna, came to the States to second chair with me. I’m going to be honest with you, sir, I have no desire to be here any more than Bridgett did.” He asked why then he was here. “My sister and I haven’t seen each other for a very long time. Just once since we turned seventeen. She went off to Ireland to be with a relative, and I stuck around to get my law degree here. This is a way for us to—sort of, I guess—write off a way to see each other and have a little time together. We don’t want him out of jail any more than anyone else might. Rogan is and always will be a bully.” “I’ve been reading up on him. He’s a bit more than that, I’d say. But as for you and your your sister, that’s a very long time to not see someone you’re related to, I think. My entire family lives near here. It can be both a blessing and a pain in the butt most of the time. But I do love them.” He said he knew about pains in the butt. “What can I do for you?” “I was hoping that you could help Giynna and I out with the judges. As I have said, neither of us wants to help Rogan out, but we’re stuck with him as a brother. But I do have to go through the motions so that he can’t say he didn’t get a fair trial. That would just piss him off, and he’d take it out on a lot of people.” He said he understood. “Also, we don’t know the area, and we were kind of hoping you could steer us in the right directions of a nice place to have a meal. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but Giynna will want cloth napkins. It’s been a sort of requirement of hers since we were kids when nice dinner was suggested.” “She sounds like a stickler.” He said that she was usually laid back. But he’d not seen her in ages. “I take it she’s here?”
“Yes, today as a matter of fact. She’s resting now at the local B&B. It was a long flight.” Tanner told him that was good that they were staying so close. “Why don’t you come to the house tonight? The two of you can meet my family—they’re a little on the large size—and then we can figure out a plan for the two of you to find a nice place. There are several in Columbus, but around here, about all we have is burgers and pizza. The one restaurant that we do have, they’re not open on Mondays. But the food is good and filling.” “We don’t want to impose. We can just have dinner at the pizza place.” Tanner told him he insisted. “Well, if you’re sure no one will mind, then yes, we’d love to have dinner with you. Is there anything I can bring? I don’t know what it would be, but I’m sure I can bring something.” “No, that’s all right. Just come casual. We are a big family, as I said, and they’re very casual about things. My sister-in-law is due in two weeks, so we’re sort of on pins and needles too.” He nodded. “I’ll send a car for you, and that way you won’t get lost. It’ll be at my parents’ house. They’ll be happy to see you.” After he left, Tanner wondered what the hell was wrong with him. He’d just invited his mate to meet his family. A mate that he’d not met yet. Laying his head on the desk, he was still there when his cook cleared her throat. He took the soup and thanked her. He was so fucked right now. Tanner had no idea where to begin. But changing his attitude might be a good place to start, he thought as he ate his soup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

News and Updates 4/23/18

Coming April 30th 2018

 

 

18+ Erotic Shapeshifter Romance, fantasy romance, paranormal fantasy

Calhoun Men
Trent
Elijah
Scott
Sterling
Randal
Tanner

Giyanna had fled to Ireland when she was seventeen to get away from her abusive brother, Rogan, leaving her twin brother, Tyrrell, behind to make his own way in the States. Even though she missed Tyrrell fiercely, she vowed to never come back. Now Rogan was in jail and facing serious time. Now, she was back in the States to defend the man she hated most, Rogan. Giyanna and Tyrrell both were good attorneys, but her goal was to make sure Rogan never got out.

From the moment Chris Bentley called Tanner to ask him for a favor, he suspected it was a ploy for him to meet his other half. All his brothers were married now, but he wasn’t in any hurry to follow in their footsteps. He liked his life the way it was—uncomplicated.

She and Tyrrell were invited to the Calhoun home for dinner, they even sent a limo to pick her and her brother up. Giyanna wasn’t good with people, especially big men, and when the limo door opened, she was staring into the eyes of the most incredibly good-looking man she’d ever seen. But when the entire family rushed over to her welcoming her into the family, Giyanna was not only confused, she was petrified.

Trust didn’t come easy for Giyanna, so Tanner had a long way to go to earn her heart. But when bodies started coming out of the woodwork, Giyanna was riddled with guilt for not acting on her instincts years ago. Now it’s up to Tanner to see her through it.

 

 

 


Vance: The McCade Dragon Release Day & Giveaway

 

Vance had always felt like an outsider to the family, disconnected, a part of them, but not. He had been content to see his brothers mated and happy but knew in his heart that happiness wasn’t meant for him. He was cut out to be a soldier and made the Army his life. He was good at it, a little too good. Until recently the government had been good to him, now the powers that be were targeting him.

Micky, a fae warrior, was a secret weapon of sorts for the government, that was until recently. Now, those in the White House were corrupt and wanted to see her dead.

They found each other out of necessity, but together Vance and Micky were a force to be reckoned with—unstoppable and lethal.

Now that Vance had found his mate and the final piece of jewelry was in place, the prophecy and the final battle with Butler was at hand. When Vance placed the final piece of jewelry, the necklace, around Micky’s neck as a wedding gift, the entire family felt the magic, but Vance’s dragon was nowhere to be found. For the first time in his life, Vance was worried that he wouldn’t be good enough to defeat his opponent. Were they all domed to die and start the McCade life cycle over again? Find out in the final installment of The McCade Dragon—Vance

 

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KOBO  Coming Soon

 

 

Emma Gentry felt like she was losing her mind. From the time she had picked up the pretty ring to examine it, she’d been hearing a voice in her head. When she ran from the demolished building, she’d slipped the ring on her finger so that she wouldn’t drop it, now she couldn’t get it off. She was in dire need of medical attention, but the voice wouldn’t let her stop to get help. There were others looking for the ring and would kill her for it. Emma was on the run.

Kenton McCade was the doctor in the family. When found Emma in his office treating a badly infected wound on her leg, he had to help her. The infection had spread and she was near death.

Kenton and his brothers were dragon shifters born without the ability to shift into their other half. The magic, it seemed, lay dormant in a sleeping dragon that was tied to six pieces of jewelry. When the ring found its way to Emma, her touch had woken the sleeping beast. When Emma touched Kenton’s sigil on his chest, he shifted to his beast for the first time. But the beast from the ring would not be complete until all the jewelry found its way to their rightful dragons….

Emma was still on the run…they need her to survive…but Emma trusted no one…

 

Jasmine Tyler was wishing she had never found those earrings in that box of junk she bought at auction. They were so pretty, and the dragons had so much detail, that she simply had to try them on. That was the biggest mistake she’d ever made. Once they were on they weren’t coming off. And those men in the black SUVs meant business. She’d hand the earrings over or they’d kill her. They’d more than likely kill her anyway even if she could get the damn things off. Now she was on the run with her young son, Gavin, and her ailing granny. A voice in her head that started when she put the earrings on was directing her to find the McCades.

The dragon had told Kenton and Jorden McCade that another piece of jewelry had been activated, and the boy that had just come into Jorden’s studio was her son. The dragon didn’t know which brother she was mated to, but she had sent the boy and her granny ahead to keep them safe. Now, another attempt had been made on her life and she was in a hospital an hour away.

The cop at the scene had been in on it, and Jasmine found herself in a pickle. She’d been drugged and there wasn’t a thing she could do about it. Her body hit the floor by her hospital bed and she was looking into the lifeless eyes of her nurse.

As soon as Jorden scooped Jasmine up off the floor and her earring touched his skin, he knew that this woman was his. The earring left a brand, marking them both. He couldn’t be happier about finding her, now to convince her to stay was going to be the problem….

 

 

Harper Bailey was in way over her head, and the trouble just seemed to keep coming. Her brother-in-law had frozen her personal accounts, and now she was on the run because she wouldn’t do as she was “told.” She had been told to abort the baby. Harper hadn’t wanted the baby she had been forced to carry in the first place, but now that she’d felt life, she would protect the child with hers.

Grady McCade knew that his mate had been found when she touched the piece of jewelry. The dragon had told him that if he didn’t hurry to her side, she would be found by the dragon slayers and her life could be ended as well as the life of the babe that she carried.

With Grady and Harper together, the dragon grows stronger, and the slayers pick up the pace in their quest for all the pieces of jewelry. Can the McCades stop them before they strike again? Are any of them safe? Find out in The McCade Dragon—Grady

 

Dr. Gabriela Nola, Gabe to everyone, hadn’t been in town long. Kenton McCade was looking for a partner in his practice, and she was hoping to fill the spot. A nice small town beat the last hospital job she’d just recently quit—90 hours a week with a shorthanded staff. She just wanted normal, and the voice in her head to stop already about opening the box and wearing the item inside.

Dalton McCade knew when he heard the dragon’s voice that he was next on the list, and ready or not his mate was coming. According to the dragon, she was already here and had refused to put the combs in her hair.

But as always, danger followed the jewelry, and Gabe was no exception. The mysterious stranger would have all the pieces for his own collection, and didn’t care who he had to kill to get them….

 

Raven Wood, an ancient and powerful witch, had been forced to help King Butler gain immortality. Butler had killed Raven’s mother anyway and for her part, even though it was unwilling, she paid the price for the deed with her sight. For centuries she has lived in darkness with only the earth and her pet raven to help guide her way.

Lewis McCade would be opening his restaurant, The Dragon’s Lair, soon. Between the pressure of the opening and a wedding he was catering for his brother, his nerves are shot. And the news that his new mate is probably nearby and blind to boot couldn’t come at a worse time.

Butler may have forced Raven to extend his life, but she cheated him and put a time limit on his magic and immortality. Now his time and magic are running out. He has to bring all the pieces of jewelry together and call forth the dragon before it’s too late. He will do whatever is necessary to see all the McCades dead….

 

 

 

 

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Dalton http://amzn.to/2rTQx4n

Lewis http://amzn.to/2mZzvx7

 

 

 


  

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“Where is he?” Morton Elliot, his vice president and right-hand man, said he didn’t know, but he’d been at home until an hour ago. “And you saw him? I mean, this isn’t a case of him just getting the things out of his body, is it?” “No. I don’t even think he’s aware of them, to be honest with you. Yeah, we saw him. I have pictures of him with his brothers. And the markers that are on him were with him every step of the way. I made sure of that myself.” Abe was handed a sheet of paper that meant as much to him as anything else that was scattered on his desk. It was window dressing. Every note, every file, even the fucking pens that had his name on them, were things that people expected him to have on this desk. But it was the desk that he had in his upstairs office, the one that he had the only key to, that was his alone. The desk that had all his businesses, information on them, as well as everything in the world that he owned and that people owed him. The room that no one, not even his wife, could enter. There were files and charts in there that would get him put before a firing squad. Things that no president, not even a citizen, should be going over. The country was going to be in for a huge surprise, and he could not wait until they figured it out. President Abe Melton, “Honest Abe,” was anything but honest or working to help them. When Morton’s watch made a noise, Abe waited for the news. He knew that sound as well as he did the ring tones on his own phone. It was indicating that there was movement. And when Morton sat down hard in the chair, Abe stood up. “What is it? He showed up, right? Where is he, Morton?” Morton said something, but he didn’t understand him. It wasn’t mumbled, as it usually was, but a whisper. “What are you saying, you moron? Tell me.” “I said that he’s here. In the building.” Abe sat down and stared at the door in front of him, expecting it to be slammed back. Him being shot was all he could think about. “I’m going down to check on it. You stay put.” “Fuck that shit. I’m going with you.” They made their way to the lowest levels in the White House. Few knew about this area, and those that did had more than likely forgotten about it. “When we get there, I want you to show me how to use that machine. I’m sick of not having any idea where he is when I want to.” “Sure, sure. But if he is indeed in the building, then it’ll matter little. We’re both dead if we can’t get to him first.” There was that. “Christ, of all people to be still hanging around.” That was true. Vance McCade had been a pain in their asses since Abe had taken office. Before that, really. He was good, too damned good at his job, and it had cost them a lot of sleepless nights as well as a great deal of money. He was just danger. And he was a killer. The idea to track him with small devices had been Morton’s. But he had suggested that they put them on him in all kinds of places. In the event that he lost a leg or an arm,
they still wanted to know where he was. Abe didn’t think that the loss of a limb would slow him down, so he didn’t want to take any chances. There were only two men that worked this computer. They each worked a fourhour shift, never left the area, and were pretty much chained to the desk at all times. Food was brought to them. Their laundry was cleaned. And twice a week, someone would take away anything that was considered trash. Even that was gone over so they’d not be sending out any messages. Three times since he’d been in office they’d had to deal with one or both the men that had worked in there. Abe thought that with the example they’d made of the previous ones, these would work out the best. At least for their sake, he hoped that they did. “He’s all over the fucking place.” The blinking lights did seem to be all over the map—in the building they were in, outside the grounds, as well as back in his home state of Ohio. Fucking asshole knew. “McCade is aware of us.” Morton said no shit. “Well, Mr. Know-It-All, what the fuck are we going to do about it? It’s not like any of your ideas to kill him have worked. He’s like a fucking ghost.” “I still have people out looking for that woman. The one that was working for us a long time ago. Seems she’s made herself known again.” He asked him how. “She killed four of our men in a restaurant a couple of days ago. Actually, two different restaurants. She’s as bad as he is when it comes to getting information that we have out there.” “We have to get rid of him. Now.” Morton said he was working on it. “Well, work harder. Have you any idea what it’s costing us to have him out there?” They left the little room and made their way up to his offices. Morton was still talking about how they were going to get this woman, but Abe didn’t see that working. If she was as good as McCade, then there wasn’t going to be any getting her to do anything. She’d more than likely turn against them too. “What makes her so special?” Wording, he knew, had to be worked around. While he knew there were recording devices everywhere, there wasn’t any kind of audio in this room. But that didn’t mean that they didn’t have them on themselves. “I mean, is she all that special that you want to bring her onboard to work for us?” “She’s said to have a bit of a magical touch that we like to use.” So, she was magical, so what? So were most of the men who protected him. “And she has no qualms about using her magic however she sees fit. As I said, she took out four of our men in seconds.” Morton got up and handed him a thumb drive. Putting it in his personal laptop, Abe watched a video of an old woman having a meal. When she stood up two of his men were down, then she and one of them disappeared. He asked where they’d been found, and he got his answer when there were pictures of his man dead. “Christ. How long was this? I mean, between point A and point B?” Morton told him a matter of less than an hour. “He was tracked too?” “Yes. And she took out another one in a restaurant about six hours before. A nice little place that served sandwiches and had free wi-fi. We think that’s why he approached her, the idiot. To tell her he knew what she was about. She shot him three
times in the gut and just walked out. It’s a fucking mess there we had to work hard to contain.” Every day something else was put in his way. All he wanted to do was make a shit load of money, keep his head on his shoulders, and not end up in prison. Abe didn’t think that was a lot to ask for. He was president of the free world. Yet every time he turned around, someone was trying their best to take his freedom away from him. Well, it was time for that shit to end. And it was going to start by ending that fucking McCade once and for all. “I want you to find me someone that can bring him to heel. I don’t care if you have to go to his mother’s house and hog tie her to make him see reason. Also, see if you can get anything on that family. There has to be something somewhere that will make them see reason. Mother fuck, this is the dumbest damned thing that I’ve run across.” Morton reminded him of the cameras in here. “I’d not have to worry about them had you done your job at the house that day. Did we ever figure out what happened to that video? Or even if the pictures we got from them can be cleaned up at all?” “No. All we know for sure is that one of the women took the drive from our man, but she handed it right back to him. There wouldn’t have been any time for her to make any kind of adjustments on it. But all it has on it is fuzz, as well as some audio. Nothing that we can use.” Of course not. Why should that be anything different? “Also, the pictures. We did manage to figure out some of that. The camera that was being used by the department there, it was just some old camera. But ours, as you know, are all messed up as well. It’s like they— Mother fuck, Abe. Do you think she is magical too?” “You think?” Christ, he was beginning to hate the world today. “Get her here. I want to talk to the bitch that had a hand in this. In fact, invite the entire clan here. We’ll have a nice little get together, and I’ll see what I can find out from them. And if I can’t find out what I want to know, then we’ll have a case of food poisoning that will kill them off and make me deathly ill. Perhaps we can say they brought it, and place the blame squarely in the McCade’s laps.” When Morton left him, Abe sat at his desk and thought about all the plans he’d had and how many of them were now shit because of one man. McCade. The things that he’d done and people he’d killed should have had him in jail, but they’d all be counted as justified, and he’d saved the American people with each one. There just wasn’t any stopping the guy. Not legally, anyway. Twice he’d had him in his sights. Well, not his own personal sights, but close enough. And both times he’d gotten away without a scratch. Abe had been told numerous times that McCade had been shot or killed, and come to find out, the fucker was going home and being repaired there. Repaired was a strange word, he knew, but they should have been making funeral arrangements instead of patching him up. Abe couldn’t even get him for being AWOL, absent without leave. Because every time he brought it up to someone, they told him that he was an American treasure and that for as much time as he spent working for the government, a little R&R, rest and relaxation, would go a long way in making him a better man.
“Better man, my ass. He’s more of a pain in the ass then even my own kids are most of the time.” Abe looked at the picture on his desk, the one of his family taken out in front of this very building. There wasn’t any denying that they were a good looking bunch, but Abe hated every single one of them. Working on his game of solitaire, he thought of all the things he had on his plate at the moment. There was an arms deal that was just a few days away that would net him and Morton about ten million apiece. He had a shipment of drugs coming into the country next week that would get them even more cash. Money that he had planned to retire on. As it stood right now, he’d be lucky if he’d be able to run with it. He and Morton both stood to lose a lot if they couldn’t get this one man to die. When his day started, his secretary getting him going to some meetings and shit, he closed up his computer and made sure that the password was in place. There were few that came in here when he was out, but he didn’t want anyone to see the shit that he had on it. He’d never make it to the upstairs if they did that. Laughing, Abe went about his morning, but never lost sight of what was really bothering him. ~~~ Vance watched Micky as she worked through the computer. He didn’t speak much, but then she didn’t either. Just watching her work was a pleasure that he thought he’d not enjoy. Nor had he ever dreamed that they’d be in a house within walking distance of the beach. Looking at the view again, he thought that he could get used to this. “They’re sending out two men to your family home. Your mom’s in particular.” He asked her why they were doing that. “I’d guess to take them as hostage or some shit. But they’re supposedly there to escort them to the White House for a dinner. I’ve already contacted your brother, Kenton, and he said thanks. He thinks you’re the one that warned him, just a heads up.” That was another thing that she did that made him like being around her. She didn’t ask him for permission when she did things, not that he thought she would. But she got the job done and did it as well as—a couple of times better than—he might have. Like today. They’d split up with the trackers. She was much better at getting places quickly. So, while she was flittering around the country with hers, he was moving around the grounds of the White House. They really needed better security there, he thought with a laugh. But he did feel better now that Raven had destroyed the trackers that she’d had. They had shown up on the computer too, the ones that he’d only just found out about. But Micky not only found it, but had hacked into the system, and now they knew as much as the men there did. “Hey, I was wondering if you had figured it out yet.” Vance leaned back on the couch again and asked her what. “That we’re mates, or whatever you guys call them. I was a little slow about it, to be honest. It never occurred to me until I was in the shower this morning. When did you figure it out?” “When I saw you the first time.” She nodded as if she’d figured he had. “Do you have a problem with it?”
“No. I mean, you bathe regularly. You don’t seem to have any kind of nasty habits that would infuriate me enough to have to kill you, and you’re semi smart.” He laughed; he’d been doing that a lot since she’d come around. “You don’t do that much, do you? Have a good time, I mean?” “Are you making an offer?” Her face turned red and he laughed again. “No, I don’t usually have any fun. I’m not a fun-loving sort of person.” She nodded. “I didn’t think so. And so you know, when you changed your shirt yesterday after coming in from the ocean, I saw the scars. You’ve had a rough life for someone that is as young as you are.” He nodded. Vance had had some close calls since he’d been in the service. “You also have the sword of Caelin. It’s meant, I think, to kill his father. You’ve been chosen to do that. But with all of this, I was wondering what we do now. I mean, a lot is hinging on us being at your family home, isn’t it?” “I don’t know how any of this works, to be honest with you. But until this other shit is taken care of, I’d rather not bring it down on them. They—the men that I’m after, with your help—are getting desperate, I think.” She said that they were. “I would like to see this through. Not just the thing with Melton, but all his crew too. Then bringing forth the dragon will be a piece of cake, I think.” “Nothing is ever a piece of cake.” He just smiled at her. “You want to have sex? I mean, sometime?” “Yes. All the time.” She nodded and leaned back in her own chair. “I’m not forcing you into anything. You want to have sex with me, then I’d suggest you let me know. But I’ve wanted you since I first saw you, more so when I realized what you are to me. And me to you.” “I’m not sure what I want to do right now. You’re kind of scary, aren’t you?” He told her that he’d never hurt her. “No, because if you ever tried, you’d be in a world of hurt. Not that I could kill you, but you’d surely wish it.” “I don’t want to hurt or kill you. You’re kind of scary too.” When she grinned at him, Vance felt years of his bad feelings about life in general roll off his shoulders. “I’ve not told my family that you’re here or that you’re my mate. I’m worried that if I did they’d want to come here and meet you. Then they’d be in the line of fire too. But soon, we’ll have to make an appearance before them. And I want you to know, you think I’m scary? Wait until you meet my sisters-in-law.” “I know Raven. Well, I know of her. I’ve talked to her before, on a couple of things that I had going on, but nothing face to face. And through working with Jeff, I heard about Emma. She’s had it rough too. I knew her brother, Bart. There was a monster if there ever was one.” Vance agreed with her. “The others I don’t know but have heard about. Your mom, she’s a nice person, from the things you’ve told me about her. Nice, but stern.” “My mom raised us when our dad wasn’t around. Pretty much all the time. Then once, when he was pissed off at my mom, he held Lewis down with his boot to his neck and was going to cut his head off. Dad was pissed off because when he’d shown up, again unannounced, there wasn’t enough food for him to have a steak. I’d never even had a steak, and he wanted one.” Vance thought of that day. “Mom pulled a gun out of
her pocket and shot him right between the eyes, like she’d been practicing every day. For all we knew, she might have been. But he was dead, and she had enough proof in the form of hospital visits, as well as police calls, that she got off. I don’t think I’ve ever respected anyone as much as I do my mom because of that.” “I would imagine that she was terrified out of her mind. I mean, killing him, even to save Lewis, she had to wonder what would happen to her sons had she died or ended up in prison for it.” Vance told her that she called them her boys. “Boys? I wonder if your mom has had a look at you guys lately. None of you are just boys.” “No. And I’m the only one not married, at least not yet.” She didn’t say anything, but he felt like he needed to explain. “I’m not trying to make you feel bad. We’ll come together, or we won’t. But right now we’re working together, getting comfortable with each other, and I think that’s as good a start as any. Don’t you?” “Yes. But I’m not a pushover. Nor do I want to wait on the man of the house. I don’t cook unless I want to. I don’t do windows, not even on threat of death, and there isn’t any way that I’m going to be the cute little housewife that waits for you with your slippers every night when you come home.” He laughed. “I’m not trying to be funny.” “Oh, I know that. I was just trying to picture you with a little white apron on, standing there with my slippers—which I don’t own, by the way—waiting for me to tell you to get me a beer. Which I don’t drink.” He stood up and stretched, and she did as well. “What I would like to see you doing, and this might just be me, I’d love to see you standing in the hallway of our home, naked and ready for me. Where I would take you against the wall, hard and fast, and have you keeping up with me. That’s the way I picture you. But for now, I’m going to go take a swim. If you’d like to join me, I’m going to be naked. I don’t have a swimsuit either.” He moved out the open doors to the sandy beach beyond. Vance knew that she wouldn’t join him. The few times that he’d been in the water since they’d gotten here, she’d stayed on the deck. And when she was in the water, if he joined her, she’d leave the water. Vance wasn’t sure why, but he thought perhaps she was as shy about her body as he was his. The water was warm and calm today. Swimming out as far as he could and still see the house, he decided to float around for a little while, just to try and not think of the woman in the house. She was a conundrum. Beautiful and deadly didn’t bother him. It was her shyness that he was puzzled about. Also, she seemed to have other things about her, magical things, like the porcupine move that he’d not seen as yet. Vance wanted to find out all he could about her, but little of it had to do with her magic, and more to do with the woman beneath it all. When something touched his skin he thought it was a fish, but turning toward it, he nearly fell back on his ass when Micky was standing not a foot from him, with her breasts bared for him. “I have a lot of scars. A lot of them are old, but they still are there.” He nodded, trying his best to look at her face and not her nakedness. “When I was in the war between the trolls and faeries, I was nearly cut in half. You can still see that scar where I
was put back together badly. The magic that was to be mine for helping never came. Not because we lost—we won—but because the troll decided not to share it.” “I’ve never seen a troll.” She nodded. “Are you telling me this because you think I’ll think less of you because of them? Or do you want me to know so I can believe how bad assed you are?” “Both. Neither. I want you to know that I don’t show people, men mostly, my body, because I’m not pretty and smooth like most they’d know.” He looked at her then, what he could see of her above the water. “Some of the wounds on my body are like yours. Knife wounds. Bullet holes. I have a few that are also from chains around me. Iron has been wrapped around my legs, too, to keep me from being able to run.” “This person who trapped you like that, is he dead?” She said not yet, but she hoped that he’d help her take care of him. “Butler.” “Yes. Because of what I am, what I can do, he thought I was a witch. A person who could help him with his magic. That’s one of the reasons that I’ve been shunned by my kind. My parents, he told them that I did help him and that I had his child. A boy child.” Vance told her that Butler could have no male children. “Yes, I found that out as well. But the damage had been done. I had no child by him. Nor did he have sex with me to even create one. Once I was freed of him, I was…. It took me a great many years to train myself so that no man would ever touch me again. Not unless I allowed it.” “Are you now? Allowing me to touch you?” Micky didn’t so much as blink at him. “I’d never hurt you. Not even it we weren’t mates, I’m not a man who harms someone that is smaller or weaker than me unless it’s necessary for what I do. You’re not either of those, but I have just as much respect for you as a woman as I do my own family.” “I want you, Vance. I do. But don’t you feel that we’ve been manipulated into this?” He started to tell her that he was all right with that when she spoke first. “I like you. I enjoy your company, and you’re smart and good to work with. I guess relationships are based on a lot less. So, in answer to your question, yes, I want you to touch me. Make love to me.”

 

Hugh Justice Series Release Day & Give Away End Of Series

At 23 Hugh McGuire had his life figured out. He was on top of the world and nothing could stop him. In the blink of an eye, it all changed, when a disgruntled employee, Burton Dunn, shot and killed Hugh’s parents, and attempted to take Hugh’s life as well. Hugh’s life would never be the same, and twelve years later, Hugh was a depressed and somewhat bitter man that could now see and speak with the dead.
Kimber Dunn had been a sickly child, and on her deathbed, her nurse, a leopard shifter took pity on her and converted Kimber to save her life. Now Kimber couldn’t run far enough to outrun her brother’s murderous deed. Spending most of her days as a leopard kept her hidden well. But when fate threw her in front on the one man she’d been hiding from all these years, Hugh McGuire, her cat knew him for who he was…her mate…the only thing she knew to do was run…run as fast and as far as she could….
KOBO  Coming Soon
Steele Bennett was born with a gift, but he sees it more as a curse―he can see and speak with spirits. And when he loses his twin sister at seventeen, he wants to turn his back on life―block his heart so that he never has to feel the sharp pain of loss again…

The small bar Kari Briggs runs is failing fast. She hasn’t seen the owner in three months, past due notices are piling high, and her last paycheck bounced twice. And if she doesn’t pay the delivery guy soon, there’ll be no more supplies.

She has trouble enough controlling her cat, so the last thing she needs tonight is trouble. But those guys at the bar won’t listen and take it outside. Deciding to take matters into her own hands, she is shocked when a tall stranger grips her arms from behind and her cat wants to roll over and purr.

From the moment Steele touches her, she knows he’s her mate. And Steele thinks he can just get her out of his system with sex and a lot of it―he won’t mark her and she can’t mark him―no permanent attachments. But that’s not how it works with a shifter, she will die if her cat can’t get what she needs from him. She will love him because she has no choice―he is her mate―but that is a secret she is willing to take to her grave…
Nick Stark had known Addison West for quite some time. Although they’d never met in person they shared the same nightmare―both were unwilling participants. However, through these dreams they had formed a bond between them. And a telepathic connection. So when out of the blue, Addie contacted Nick and told him she had seen some things that she shouldn’t have and she was next on the killer’s list, Nick didn’t hesitate to come to her rescue.

Nick had known for some time that Addie was to be his―why else would they share the same dream? But he was in no hurry to form emotional attachments. Never having much in the way of a decent family life, he didn’t know much about love. And with the deep emotional scars he bore from an abusive childhood, he didn’t want to bring that burden onto another soul―especially Addie.

Addie had her own baggage. Her father had been forcing her to marry an abusive man―he told her it was her duty as his daughter to obey him. Addie wasn’t having any part of it, so she ran…. She had been hiding for the last five years.

Nick may not have wanted any attachments but he couldn’t ignore the beauty he’d rescued. But there were things he had to tell her…about all of them…about Steele Bennett’s group. He wasn’t sure how she fit into all this….
Mitch Riley was a haunted man, and being a necromancer didn’t have much to do with what haunted him. A troubled childhood left him withdrawn and short tempered, so when he received a summons that he was being sued by the foster parents who had abused him, he didn’t take it well at all. And their attorney? None other than a vamp. There was nothing much worse than a vamp in Mitch’s opinion.

Victoria Graham, or Vinnie her mother had nicknamed her, wasn’t expecting the man her clients were suing to be her mate, and a necromancer. She would have refused the case had she known she’d be walking into a den of necromancers. She had grown up on horror stories that necromancers were the one thing that could kill her kind, and it was clear the man hated her very existence…. But when he touched her, she’d lost control of her magic…and her mind too apparently. 
Landon Logan is a man haunted by a tragedy that he blames himself for but didn’t do. No one can convince him otherwise—especially his well-meaning Grandda who happens to be dead. Landon is a necromancer.

Dillon Malone has a few abilities of her own. She can “find” things by touching the owner or touching something the owner has touched. This makes her a wanted woman.

Landon is so angry at his good-for-nothing parents that he storms out of their house with their maid in tow. Dillon is happy to leave with this brooding young man and soon discovers that the handsome hunk is her other half.

Dillon’s happiness is short lived when her past reaches out to bite her, and she and Landon become pawns in her father’s evil scheme. When Dillon’s father has Steele’s new baby kidnapped, all bets are off.
Ryder Mackenzie didn’t remember much about what happened to her. All she knew was she hurt in more places than she could remember. Mac barely remembered going over the falls and hitting the rocks below to save the little girl. But now that she’d been to the other side, the ghosts wouldn’t leave her alone.

Drew Mullins was a haunted man, quite literally. His mother tortured him as a child and seemed bound and determined to continue doing so seventeen years after her death. Drew, being a necromancer, was having a hard time avoiding her because she didn’t know she was dead.

Between Mac having the little girl’s father haunting her and Drew dealing with his mother’s ghost, they both were a mess. But in each other they found what had been missing in their lives—love.

But when the thirst for revenge heats up, can Steele and his group find a solution? At least one where no one else ends up dead?
JUSTICE SERIES
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Christian: The Stanton Pack—Erotic Paranormal Cougar Shifter Romance


Being a country lawyer was something Christian Stanton had always wanted to do. Taking a client he really didn’t want to represent was not what he had in mind.

Allie had been hired to teach the Stanton men hand to hand self-defense. She loved her job and was quite good at it. She knew about shifters, but had never really worked with them before. And when the big cat shifted into a very naked man proclaiming to be her mate, Allie wanted nothing to do with him.

When it came to Allie, Christian was in big trouble. She was no pushover and the sooner he figured that out the better off he’d be….


Chapter 1
“Master McGuire, your father would like a word with you. He said that he will meet you in his study when he has completed his business this morning.”  Hugh wanted to ask him what his father wanted, but knew this household well enough to know that they’d not answer him. Most of them would just stare at him as if he had something in his teeth, but none of the staff would go against anything that the master and mistress of the house wanted. Ever. Not that his parents were task masters, but the people who worked for them were very old world, and wouldn’t have gone against them even if they asked them to kill him. Which would never happen either. His parents loved him very much. Nodding once, Hugh pulled his jacket from the closet in the main hall and slipped it on. He knew for a fact that his father wasn’t even in the residence, and that his “little while” could be hours. Hugh had been down this road with his father before. He was as forgetful as he was organized. And Hugh didn’t want to wait. He was easily distracted, his dad. Not his mother, but his dad certainly was. He took being lord very seriously, and did a good job of keeping things in perfect order and done in a timely matter. Hugh thought his father was the best. A little on the annoying side, but he loved him as much as he did his mom. They were both his world, and would be forever. It was a show of just how powerful his father was, Hugh thought. He had no idea— and he had asked—of what made a man know how to be like his dad was. Just simply a man who others knew, instinctively, was in charge. Hugh had known that his parents, the Lord and Lady of Whimmpington, the ninth earl to the estate, were going to be the only ones who took care of the burg they lived in, because he knew he’d never be as good as they were. Everyone in the house did, as well as all of Whimmpington. Hell, he was pretty sure that all of the world knew it. His parents were perfectly suited to being in charge, while he, on the other hand, liked to just have fun. He supposed someday he’d have to straighten up, but not any time soon.  As he made his way to his car, he thought of what his father might want with him now. He’d graduated from college, as his father had wanted. Gotten the grades that were required of a man of his stature, and he’d made sure that he kept his nose out of trouble and his dick properly sheathed when he did have to have sex.  Smiling, he thought about the sheathed sex he’d had last night. Mary had always been more than willing to let him toss her skirts up over her head and fuck her. In fact, it was a well-known fact that anyone could have Mary for a price. He thought perhaps his dad was the only man alive who had not had a go at her. The woman could suck a nail through a board, too, when she gave head. Crude? Yes. He was no more interested in anything long term than he thought she was. But good Christ, the woman could fuck well.
He’d met her in her father’s orchard just after supper last night, and she’d been as naked as the day she was born. He’d nearly come in his pants when he found her leaning against the apple tree fingering her pretty, bare pussy. As soon as she saw him, she spread her legs and told him to eat her. Not one to turn down a splendid offer like that, he’d stripped down and gotten down on his knees before her. She came twice before she begged him to fuck her. Standing up, Hugh had looked at her, a prime woman who loved sex as much as he did, and wondered if all the rumors about her were true. He’d bet they were, just as the ones about her fucking her way through high school and beyond were. When she’d told him to meet her there, she said she’d give him a fuck to remember, and he was pretty sure she was going to do just that. That was going to be the last time they’d be meeting out here, as he was moving away next week.  Mary had large breasts and dark, thick nipples. Lifting up her left breast with both hands, he suckled it while she fisted his cock. When she begged him again to fuck her and Hugh pulled a condom from his pocket, she told him she was too needy to wait, but he knew that there was never going to be unprotected sex between them. Mary had been around, and if she didn’t have protected sex, there was no way he was going to stick his dick in her without a condom. Hugh did not want to chance getting anything she might have picked up elsewhere, much less a child with her. Between long pulls on his cock with her mouth and hands, Hugh knew that he wasn’t going to last as long as she liked to go if she kept this up.  “Mary, love, unless you want me to come before I’m in you, you’d better stand up and let me inside of you.” Her mouth let go of him with a small pop, and he wanted to beg her to take him again. “You have a mouth that begs to be fucked. But I need to be in your pussy. Later we can play if you want.” As soon as he pulled the condom over himself, he lifted her up by her ass and slammed his cock as deeply as he could into her hot wet sheath. “Oh yes, Hugh. Fuck me.” He did, pounding her as hard as he could as she wrapped around him. “Harder. Harder.” When she came, screaming out his name as he emptied himself in the condom, he fucked her again just to give her everything he could before he needed a break. When she pulled his head up from her shoulder, Hugh smiled down at her when she nipped at his lower lip. “I needed that.” He laughed. “Christ, I’m going to miss you. You have no idea. That guy I’m supposed to be marrying next summer is going to be boring after this. I think you ruined me. Are you sure you have to go away? I could come with you. We could have so much fun together.” He knew there was no other man. And he also knew that she would more than likely never marry anyone from around here. She’d been with too many men for any parents to even let her marry one of their sons. People did talk. “You’ll be fine. And maybe he won’t be so bad.” He pulled from her and tore the condom off and wrapped it in the foil it had come out of. He was always careful to take all means of DNA with him when he had sex. Another rule of his dear father. “He might have a dick as long as mine and know how to use it.”
He’d been joking really, but she only shrugged. Hugh wasn’t stupid enough to think that Mary wasn’t plotting and planning something. She’d been getting her way since they’d been hanging around together, and she always seemed to have something up her sleeve. Just before he’d been sent away to boarding school, there had been a rumor that she’d had a baby out of wedlock. Not a big deal to him, but the community had been in an uproar about it.  But he didn’t ask her about it, nor about a great many things he’d heard about her and her family. He and Mary were fuck buddies and sometimes friends, but not close enough that he’d ask her something so personal. So last night had been a farewell fuck between two people that more than likely would never meet again. Or at least he hoped not. He’d keep an eye out for her, but he knew that he’d never contact her again. When his phone rang he realized that he’d made his way to town and parked at some point in his musings. Pulling out his phone to answer it, he nearly put it away again. His father would not be a happy man to find out that he’d skipped out on talking with him. “When I ask you to come talk to me that is what I mean for you to do, Hugh. I know that I sometimes forget the time, but there is no reason for you to as well. Where are you anyway?” He told him. “Come to the office, please? I have a few things for you to sign before you leave. I meant to do it several days ago, but I got…well, I got distracted. When did you grow up? Never mind. But your mother and I would enjoy your company for dinner this evening. If you can tear yourself away from the Manchester orchard.” He sat there for several minutes with his phone still in his hand after his father had stated what he wanted him to do then hung up. Hugh was twenty-three years old now, not some kid that needed to be ordered around. Not that anyone had ordered him to do much of anything for a long time, but…well, he supposed he was embarrassed that his father knew. Not just about Mary, but the orchard as well. Hugh put his phone on the seat next to him and stared out the window. He could see his father’s empire right in front of him. The building stood high above any other in the town. A monument to a great man and a better father. The McGuires made money. Hugh was pretty sure that they didn’t really print it, even though there were times when he wasn’t so sure. But they did make it. It seemed that everything his father touched turned to gold. And if his mother thought it was a good investment, then it was. People from around the world came to his parents for advice on making more money and how to turn nothing into something. They were that good. Hugh could turn a nickel into a buck as well. He’d taken the money that he’d gotten from his grandmother and turned it into his own little empire. The seven million that she’d left him when he turned eighteen was now worth a billion and a half, and growing daily. Hugh, it seemed, had the touch as well. Hugh wondered again what it was his father wanted. Starting the car, he made his way to the parking lot. His father had no special parking for himself, and he didn’t have any for his son either. Hugh the ninth prided
himself on being like one of the people that worked for him, and Hugh was pretty sure he believed that he was. There was no doubt that aside from being their boss or lord, everyone loved his parents. Including him. It was not that his parents were easy people, as in being saps. In fact, they were very stern, if not a little…okay, a lot stiff. And very much in love with each other. They had money, but they never stopped working, either of them. And they did not indulge on things that they didn’t need. There were no private jets…they all flew commercial, and no boats floated in the harbors. Nor did his parents have a lot of status things in the house. A few paintings and a vase or two, but things they liked, not things they felt they needed so no one else would own them. Hugh loved his parents very much. He thought them odd at times, but he loved them all the same. “Good morning, Master Hugh. Your father is on the phone. He asked me to have you go to his conference room and wait.” Smythen, his father’s right hand man, led him down the hall to the long room and asked him if he wanted anything. It was on the tip of Hugh’s tongue to ask him if he could tell his dad that he’d not shown up, but only shook his head. Hugh wanted to get going, and getting this over with was the only thing holding him back from making arrangements to go to the States again. Fifty minutes after he was shown to the room, with Smythen coming in several times to tell him that his dad was having problems and would come in soon, Hugh was ready to leave. His mother had made a list for him last week of things he had to take care of, and another list of people he had to say goodbye to. Hugh looked at his watch when he decided it was well past time to go. The noise down the hall had him standing. Hugh moved closer to the door and put his ear to the wood to see if he could make it out. Hearing the screams had him pausing at the door but not going out. Whatever was going on, he didn’t want any part of it. The gunshots startled him. They were loud, close even, and the screams were being cut off one at a time. Moving from the door now, Hugh reached for his cell phone to call his father. As it rang and rang in his ear, Hugh looked around for a place to hide. Finding nothing helpful—the room only held a large table and some chairs—he hung up the phone when no one answered and tried his mother. She answered almost immediately. He could hear the screaming coming through the phone as someone, he thought it was his mom, told everyone to be quiet. Then the gunshots started again, louder than they’d been down the hall. When she spoke, he had to ask her what she said, her whispers too low with all the noise going on around them both. “Get out if you can.” He asked her what was going on. “Hugh, get out of the building. Hurry. Someone is shooting everyone they—” This shot was almost right in his ear. And when he heard someone screaming again, he wasn’t sure if it was right outside the room he was in or coming from the phone. Closing his phone, he moved to the door and put his ear to it again. If he was honest, he’d say that he was terrified. And not just a little.
The silence was both scary and a relief. He wasn’t sure if the person or persons shooting everyone was gone or if they were waiting for him to come out. Picking up the phone again, he dialed the police. They answered right away. “I’m in the McGuire building. My name is Hugh McGuire. There are shots being fired. I think someone is killing the people who work here. I’m on the eleventh floor.” She asked him if he could see the shooter. “No. I’m in a conference room just down the hall from the elevators. I think…my mother, I think she’s been hurt, and my father isn’t answering his phone. I need for you to come here right away, please. I think someone is killing everyone.” “We have cars on the way. Are you hurt, Mr. McGuire?” He told her that he was not. Then the shooting started again, with screaming. “Mr. McGuire, I need for you to find a place to hide, can you do that? Somewhere safe, as far from the shooting as you can get.” “I’m not sure what’s going on out there. If I leave here to go somewhere else, I have no idea where this person is, and I could…I don’t know where the shooter is.” She told him to stay put, but to barricade the doors. He had no idea how that was going to work either, but said he’d try.  The shooting began again almost as soon as the words left his mouth, this time right in front of where he was standing. He could hear the dispatcher on the phone screaming at him, but Hugh had no idea what she might have been saying. Backing away from the door just as it exploded open, he left the phone on, but slipped it behind him as a man came in the room. He knew him, though he couldn’t place his name. Someone…he backed up when the man entered the room with a gun pointed right at him. “There you are. I knew you were in here somewhere. Hiding out like all the rest of the cowards.” The man standing in front of him looked like any other person that worked for his parents. Suit and tie, and he even had a name badge on with the magnetic strip that got him into the building. “I’m going to kill the last of the McGuires. Payback is a bitch, and you are going to pay like she did. I’d ask you why you did it, but I know. I found out. You bastard. You fucking bastard.” “Payback? I don’t understand what you mean. You killed my parents too? Please, tell me what it is you think we did to you.” The man laughed at him. Hugh read his name badge and knew that he was going to die. He wanted the police to know who it was that murdered them too. “Your name is Burton Dunn, and you say you killed my parents. Why? Tell me what it is you think we did to her. You said her…what is it we did to her that would make you do this?” “You fucking killed her. And now I’m going to kill you too.” The first bullet hit him in the leg. Hugh went down, the pain taking his breath away. “This is for my sister. When I’m finished with you, I plan to go to your house and kill all the people working there as well. I’m going to wipe the McGuire name from the planet. There was just no reason for you to do that to her.”
“Why?” The next bullet hit him in the belly. Hugh fell all the way to the floor, rolling to his back as the man stepped in front of him, his gun pointed at his head. “Why are you doing this?” “Because, you let her die. You killed my baby sister because you and your family are selfish bastards and took everything away when she needed it the most.” Hugh thought he could see the bullet leave the gun, feel it as it pierced his head. Then…then nothing. ~~~ “Hugh?”  Sander Phillips looked at his client and waited for him to focus. Wherever he’d been, Hugh was not happy about the memories. And he’d bet anything it had to do with his parents again and the day that they’d been murdered. When Hugh straightened up and looked ready to get back to work, Sander handed him the paperwork that he’d brought for him to sign. Instead of reading it over, which Hugh was meticulous about, he laid it on the table between them and went to the window. “It was twelve years ago today.” Sander knew that, and had taken care that everyone that was going to come into direct contact with Hugh did as well. “I guess you kind of realized that was what I was thinking about just now. It was as if I were there all over again. The entire day rolls through my mind like a loop every day.” “Yes, sir. I can understand that.” He just looked at him, and Sander didn’t even bother to apologize for calling him sir. “We can do this some other time, if you wish. Tomorrow is just as good. There is nothing really that important here that we can’t just do tomorrow.” “No. I need to get this done today.” He came back to the table and picked up the discarded file. “Everything is in their names now, right? James and Becky Mullins will get everything if something should happen to me?”  “Yes.” He started to say sir, but one look from Hugh told him he’d not get away with it a second time. “Yes, they’re named as sole heirs to your estate, and Mr. Mullins, their father, is to care for it for them until they reach the age of eighteen. Mrs. Mullins will also receive a payout to do with as she chooses. The rest, the castle and the other properties attached to the estate there, is to be diverted to the burg, and they can do with it as they please.” As the man he had worked for since that terrible day twelve years ago read over the will he’d had him draw up, Sander looked around the room. It was the most un-office like area that he’d ever been in. Not to mention that no one looked like they worked there, but instead seemed as if they were just the cleaning crew or held some other job that didn’t require them to dress up. That was, in fact, frowned upon. No ties or briefcases where allowed. If they had to take things to and from work, they carried a backpack or some other form of carry all. Jackets were the kind that you wore in the winter, not the ones that gave you the appearance that you were someone important. To Hugh McGuire, everyone was the same. And he treated his staff that way as well. He was quirky, as he’d heard others call him, but that came with what he’d suffered, he was sure.
Hugh McGuire was nothing like his father, yet he was just like him. While his father had an air that said he was one of them, nobody ever believed it. Not really. With the younger Hugh, he was just like them, if you forgot about how rich he was. There had seldom been an occasion when he didn’t go out with them when invited. Birthdays were never forgotten, and he seldom forgot a person’s name or those of their family. Hugh was a man of men, a hardworking man who had never gotten over the tragedy of his parents being killed. Then there was his feeling about suits. Everyone just assumed that it had to do with the day that had changed his life, but it was more than that. And mostly due to the men who had stood guard at his bedside when he’d been in the hospital. There had been five men in suits, all of them armed and none of them friendly. Hugh had tried to engage them in conversation, talk to them about what he was feeling. None of them had acknowledged the wounded young man in the bed. When Sander had asked their boss why they couldn’t simply talk to him, help him when he needed it, the man had glared at him. It was their job, he’d been told, not to get friendly with the client. So for nearly six months they stood there, their hands on their weapons and staring at the door as if someone would come in and try to harm him. Men in suits, Hugh told Sander, were the worst kind of people. But there were other things that made him stand out with his peers. Not just his ability to read a person without much information and know everything about them, including what type of home life the person had, but also their worth. As in what kind of worker they were at a glance. How hard they would work, and the best possible job for them. It mattered little what their education level was; he would know what they were better suited for. And he was never wrong. So at almost thirty-five he was the richest man in the world, and also the loneliest. Not to say he didn’t have friends, but Sander doubted any of them knew the real man. Nor the ability he had inherited from his mother that had given him the boost up when it came to money. The young man could see the changes in the climate of a business better than anyone Sander knew, and had made them both very rich. Sander listened to his boss better than he did his own wife. However, he’d never say that to her. “This is good. Send it out to the right people.”  As he stood up, so did Sander. There were a couple of other things he needed from his boss, but was hesitant to ask right now. Not today, at any rate. Hugh turned to him and Sander just nodded. Not asking him would not get him the answer he needed. When Hugh smiled at him, Sander decided that now was as good a time as any. “There is that thing tonight. I’ve already said that you are unable to attend, but Mrs. Bennett has asked that you escort her and Mr. Bennett.” Hugh was shaking his head even before he finished. “She said that if…she told me to tell you that if you didn’t go, she’d hunt you down and eat your arm off. I’m pretty sure that she wasn’t kidding, either.” Mrs. Bennett, like Sander, was a panther. She was by far meaner than he was when she needed to be, and she scared him to death each time she called to speak to him. He
was just glad that no one, not even Mr. Mullins, Hugh’s best friend, knew where the offices were. He feared the lovely Mrs. Bennett more than he cared to admit. “I’ll talk to her.” Sander’s relief was profound. “In the meantime, make sure there’s enough staff on hand to answer questions, as well as food for them all. I don’t want anyone complaining that this thing was a bust. And you did make sure that there were donations from the estate? As well as bids on the things we talked about?” “Yes. There is the trip, as well as the paintings that were donated. And there are several other pieces that you expressed a desire to put there as well. The bids that we discussed are with the proper people to use as necessary. No one’s donation will not get bought.” Hugh nodded. “Security has been hired as well, and there are several appraisers on hand to make sure that there are no problems with things that are bought. Just as last year.” Sander knew that no matter what they did, there would be at least one or two things crop up that had been forgotten, but for the most part, things went smoothly. The function was a Christmas fundraiser that had been held annually by Hugh’s mother before she’d been killed. The McGuire name had never been attached to it, nor was it now. But they did raise a great deal of money for the children of the world, and would continue to do so long after the people attending tonight were gone. “Hugh, there is one more thing.” Hugh turned and looked at him. Sander didn’t want to talk to him about this, but there really wasn’t anyone else. “It’s about my retirement, sir. You do know that next week is my last week. And we’ve yet to settle on who is taking my place. I hate to bring this up now, today of all days, but we must settle things.” “I don’t want you to leave me.” He sounded so wounded that Sander almost told him that he’d stay. But he had to go. It was time…he and his wife wanted to have some time, now that their children were all gone, to see a little of the world. “What will I do without you?” “You will survive, sir, as you have done before.” He looked at the scar on his forehead, the one that the monster had given him all those years ago. “My wife said that if I allow you to talk me into staying she will harm us both. I’d believe her if I were you, sir; she is quite set on seeing France and all those other countries I’ve been to on business for you. She and I want to see the world, one city at a time, before we leave this world.” Nodding, Hugh made his way to the door out of his office, but paused there. Sander would do anything for this man, as he had his father before him. But the son, unlike his father, was the genuine article, as his wife said about Hugh…a true man and gentleman. Sander knew that Hugh was a man that was also fighting the worse kind of demons, his own self. “Set me up some interviews for early in the week. Only the ones that you think will work out. I don’t want anyone coming here that…that might want more from me than I have to give.” He told him he would. “And Sander, make sure that they have no priors before they get in the building, please. I don’t want anyone hurt.”
“I’ll make sure that they’re investigated completely.” As Hugh left the area and made his way to the bank of elevators that only went to this floor, he asked him about the last thing. “What of the other, sir? I haven’t…there is the matter of the buildings that needs to be taken care of, as well as the endowment to the burg. What shall I tell them should they ring here again?” “My parents loved that place. And all that went with it.” He turned and looked at him then. The anguish was there, as it was whenever he talked of his parents. “I’ll go there this weekend and see what I can figure out. See if Drew and his family can come with me. I know that they’re working on getting their house in order, so maybe they can use a break from all that. Don’t tell them where we’re going, but that…perhaps your wife would like to go as well? It would be a nice start to your vacationing. Then you can settle up there and get going on that trip.” “I’ll see what she would like to do.” He smiled, knowing that his wife would leap at the chance to go to England. “I’ll take care of the arrangements, as well as any paperwork that the others will need. Anything else?” “No. Not that I can think of right now.” Pressing the button to go down, Hugh smiled at him. It wasn’t the best smile he’d ever seen, but there it was. “I remembered about you leaving, Sander, just so you know.” The doors closed and Sander wasn’t able to reply, even if he had known what to say. Whatever he’d meant by that, Sander would have to wait to ask him when he saw him next. Going to his office, he went to his desk to call his wife and mention the trip to England. She was going to be so happy. But the phone was ringing before he could pick it up. “Oh Sander, you should see it. Oh my goodness, Hugh must have spent a fortune on just the wrapping alone. And it’s so pretty that I don’t want to…I wish you were home with me now. I can hardly contain myself from opening it.” He was ready to ask her what she meant when his doorway was suddenly filled with a large box. And it was topped with a large red ribbon. The men who had brought it in just dropped it off and left, not saying a word or having him sign for it. Sander realized his wife was still talking.  “Honey, I have a box here. From Hugh as well.” She squealed, and he had to take the phone from his ear or risk having it explode. Laughing, he continued. “I’m to assume that you’re excited about it, correct? Is your name on it, love?” “Yes. Is that one addressed to you? Oh, I do so hope it is.” He told her it was. “Then I’m opening mine. I’ll call you back when…oh, just open it and I’ll open mine. Then call me when you have it opened.” The phone went dead and he approached the large box. No, that wasn’t right, it was huge. At least six foot tall and that deep as well. And the width of it had to be four or five feet. Sander pulled off the card and read it. “‘Happy retirement, my friend. My parents would have wanted you to have this. I know that I do as well. Take your lovely wife out right, and when you return, I expect to see hundreds of pictures. Send me a postcard too.’” He stared at the card then at the box, almost afraid, like his wife had said, to mess it up…it was that beautiful.
The large red ribbon on the top hung about halfway down the sides. The sides, just thick cardboard covered in paper, he could see now, were held together by string. The heavy kind, but string all the same. The wrapping paper was decorated in large balloons of every color one could imagine, and on each was his name. He was almost afraid to open it. Not for fear, but whatever was inside would be epic, he knew. Pulling on the strings that were tied in a smaller bow than the one on top, he watched as the sides fell open and the top floated down quietly. As they filled the floor, all he could do was stare at the contents. This was more than he could have ever dreamed of receiving, and he knew that for as long as he lived, he’d never be able to thank Hugh enough. Picking up the phone when it rang again, he stared at his gift while his wife spoke. “It’s not real, is it, Sander? He couldn’t have done this for us. It’s too much.” Sander told her he believed that it was and he had. “Sander, he gave us a trip of a lifetime. Several lifetimes. However will we be able to thank him?” The large globe was decorated with envelopes. Each of them stated a country, state, as well as a city. Each one, like the one he’d pulled off when his wife called, would be filled with a plane ticket, an address where they were going to be, as well as a credit card to be spent on food and dining. A second card had been marked for entertainment, as well as any incidentals that they might need. Below the globe was brand new luggage that was spilling out clothing, as well as both casual and dress shoes. There were other boxes too, none of them opened, and Sander could only guess at their contents right now. This really was too much. “We enjoy ourselves is how we repay him. Take this gift and have the best time we can.” She was crying now, and his own eyes filled with tears. “I do believe that he’s the best man I’ve ever known. His parents would have been so proud of him.”

Zachery: The Pride of the Double Deuce Release Blitz

 

 

Tisha Porter didn’t think she was going to make it. Convinced she would die from her injuries, she left a blow by blow account of what happened to her and who was responsible. The why of it was still a mystery.

Thanks to Detective Harlan James, Tisha was on the mend, but she was ready to get out of her father’s house and back into a house of her own. She was anxious to see that recently renovated old Victorian home and buy if she liked it. She wasn’t counting on the stress being too much for her still too weak body.

Zachery Douglas was hosting the open house in the old Victorian. They’d had more than two hundred people tour the house so far which was far more than he expected. And when Tisha walked through the door, he knew what she was to him, and he’d do anything he had to do to make her his.

 

 

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Spencer Graham had been trying to get a hold of Jason Crosby for weeks, but he didn’t seem to answer emails, mail or the telephone. She had an idea that would make them a great deal of money, but she needed him to invest in her project before it was too late. So, barging into his home at 4 a. m. was the only solution as far as she was concerned. She didn’t, however, expect him to answer the door naked and proposition her as soon as she walked in the door. Spencer did the only thing that came natural to her, she knocked him on his ass….

Jason Crosby was nearly two thousand years old, and in all his days as a vampire, he’d never seen anyone quite like her, not that he thought that was a good thing. He didn’t. She was his mate, and he was only going the tolerate her because he had to….

 

 

 

 

The building and surrounding area looked like a crater. The swing set, which may have held eight on it, was a twisted mess that hung from one of the blackened trees about a mile away. The slide was still sitting in its original place, yet barely resembled its former self. The only reason Harlan knew what it was is because he’d seen his own kids on it. He looked over when someone said his name. “Four dead. We think. It’s going to be a little while before we can sort this mess out. If there were cars in the lot, I’m not sure how long it will take before we can figure out not just the owners, but if they might have been here last night. Christ, this is a mess.” Harlan asked him if they’d been able to get a list of teachers yet. “We’re still working on that. I have been able to canvas the damage surrounding this land. There has been one death that is apparently related to this explosion, but we won’t know for sure until all reports are in. Had this been in the city, Harlan, you know this would have been a hell of a lot worse.” “Yes. There are reports of windows blasted out eight miles from here. And I heard that one of the deaths was a man who had been on the street in front at the impact time and was killed by the blast. Is that the one that you’re talking about?” Richard nodded. “As you know, had this happened only about ten hours later, there would have been children here, and a lot more bodies.” “We have narrowed down the center, we’re pretty sure. The city planner brought by the blueprints like you asked for, and he’s looking things over and thinks he knows where the epicenter is. Second grade room, as near we can tell.” Harlan wasn’t able to go to the area just yet; the fire department was going over some of the wreckage to make sure that the fires were out. The bomb squad had left about half an hour ago. “The three bodies that we’ve recovered here so far are two men from the janitorial service and a woman. No ID yet on the latter. We think it might have been the principal, but we’re not sure where the person was at when the bomb went off, in or out of the building. But again, we’re working on that too.” “Next of kin been notified on the others?” Richard told him not as yet, they were waiting on the cleaning service to get back to them on how many people were here. “Let me know.” When Richard excused himself just as his phone rang, Harlan moved as close to the site as he could get. Whoever had done this, and he had little doubt that a single sick individual was responsible, they’d wanted a high kill rate. And this wasn’t a gas explosion like the police were hoping either. A bomb, a huge one, had gone off here. Eight hours after he had arrived, they found what they thought was the kill switch, and that other bombs had been set up around the building. According to the experts, there was one central location that once detonated, would fire off the other twelve smaller but no less powerful bombs around the large structure. Harlan was also informed that the person who had set this up was good, maybe even an expert. Or they had an understanding of internet jargon better than most.

“Whoever this person was, they wanted this building gone, and didn’t care who was inside of it. It had a switch on location, meaning that it was set off by a simple movement or a lid being removed, so it mattered little to them when this thing went off. I would say that it more than likely was triggered by opening whatever it came here in, which I’m thinking cardboard at this point. The others all depended on the main larger bomb, causing enough power to set them off as well. They were on a tumbler-like set off. Once they were moved, hard, they would blow.” Harlan asked him how long something like this would take to set up. “Hours. Maybe a few days. The person would have had to have access to the building, and no one to question what they were doing here. A good sense of the size, layout, as well as how much explosive material to use to get this sort of devastation.” “So whoever it was, they were known to those that work here, you’re thinking. I mean, the staff here, they didn’t have any issues with this person being in and out of here, so they could have pretty much done this without anyone having any clue.” Richard nodded. “This is some sick shit, you know that, right? In another few hours, there would have been over four hundred people in this building, mostly kids. And then nearly seventy teachers and other staff.” “Don’t forget buses of kids that were being held to drop off at the higher grades, parents here dropping off little Jimmy for his first day, and any of the other hundreds of people that might have been passing by when this went off.” Harlan moved through the debris and other mangled things while they talked. “I heard that you’re having trouble locating two of the teachers. You think they might have been here too?” “I hope to Christ not. Also, we did hear from the cleaning service. There were not three here, but six, to get the building ready for the first day. So far we’ve had no luck at all trying to figure out if they showed up for work or not. The teachers have all been accounted for, except the two you know about. One of them is the one that had that classroom. Tisha Porter.” Richard asked him if it was old man Randall’s daughter. “I have no idea. Randall Porter a name I should know?” “Yes. Well, sort of. He’s been putting his name around town for a few years now. Probably because his little girl teaches here. If this is her, I can have someone check on it. If it’s her that’s missing, he’ll have a better chance of finding her than you will.” Harlan asked him why. “Because he has a supposed endless supply of money, and she’s his only child.” At about nine that night, nearly twenty-four hours after the explosion happened, Harlan found himself in Tisha’s neighborhood, which made him feel like he was underdressed. Tisha hadn’t contacted her father since last evening, nor was she answering her phone. Harlan just knew that he was going to find out that she’d done this and skipped town. According to friends, she was a nice girl and didn’t bother others, and that was what gave him the feeling that she was in this deeper than anyone. Harlan hated to have to tell her daddy if he was right. That man was very forceful and concerned at the same time. There was no car in the drive but he could see one in the garage. The lower level of the building was as big as his entire house. Going to the door, he drew his gun when he

saw that the glass nearest the handle had been broken inward. Calling in backup, he was told to wait. It was then that he saw the blood. “I can’t wait. I can see that someone is hurt. Going in.” Instead of letting the dispatcher tell him to wait again, he muted his phone. He could be fired for it if this turned out to be nothing, but right now, he just didn’t care. As he made his way into the house, he noted in an abstract sort of way that it was neat. Not in a cleaned up sort of way— though it was that too—but more like this person did not care for clutter or fluff. Straight lines and hard surfaces were on everything, including the cushions on the chairs in the kitchen. It was also expensive, like this person spent all their money on their things, as they had no children or pets to muss it. Making his way to the living room, he could see the difference immediately. This was a room that was used; comfort nearly screamed at him. The noise to his left gave him pause. He wasn’t in a good place in the house…the hallway he was in was not only open at both ends with rooms coming out from each side, but there were two doors that were opened in front of him, one on the right, the other on the left. But when he heard it again, he moved forward. “This is the Nevada Police. I’m armed and have backup.” He heard the sirens getting closer and peeked quickly into the room to his right. Nothing. “Ms. Porter? Can you hear me?” “Yes.” He thought he heard her answer him but wasn’t sure. “I’m dying. I’m alone.” Relief was short lived when she cried out. “She hurt me.” Entering the room at the end, the doorway that spilled into the hall, he nearly backed away. The woman lying in a pool of blood looked as if she was indeed dying. Her body was not only covered in a great many of what looked like knife wounds, but she was beaten up as well. Moving closer, keeping his gun out, Harlan called for an ambulance. “I’m Harlan James. Are you Tisha Porter?” She nodded, then passed out. He could see that she’d been making notes, and it sickened him that she’d been forced to do this. The papers to her left were covered in bloodied letters that not only spelled out who had hurt her, but also who to call when they found her. Taking her pulse, Harlan thought she was dead for a few seconds until he felt her very faint heartbeat. Then she looked at him again. “Ms. Porter? Can you tell me when this happened?” “Late. I thought it was the neighbor’s cat at the door.” He nodded, taking out his phone and setting it to record. “Before I could…. The door, it exploded inward. I was hurt then. Knife. My knife. She used it. Hammer too.” “Can you tell me who?” Before she could say anything, she was out again. And as much as he wanted to shake her awake to answer him, he knew that any movement might well kill her. Harlan looked at the papers. The name of the other missing teacher was what she had written down as who harmed her. There was a timeline too. At eleven forty-five, the sound at the door. Eleven forty-nine, Alexandra Grace rushed her. Eleven fifty, Alex hit her first with a hammer, then knives. It also said that she’d beaten her. The times were messed up then, the spelling off, but he read this woman’s account like she’d been writing up a police report. At six

thirty this morning, Alex had left. The facts in-between those times, he knew, would haunt him for years to come. By the time the ambulance arrived, he’d called in a report on what he’d found. Then he told his boss what she’d written down about the other teacher, as well as having someone sent to her house to find the woman. Alexandra Grace was going to have a lot of explaining to do. ~~~ Randall moved through the hospital trying to figure out where he was to go. The nurse at the front desk had told him twice how to get to the operating area, but he was hurting in his heart so badly he only half remembered. When he saw two police officers, he made his way to them. “I’m looking for my daughter, Tisha Porter.” The officer nodded at him and then took him to a man dressed in a dark suit. “My daughter, someone said that she was hurt. Tisha Porter is her name. She’s a teacher. Second grade. They all just love her.” “I’m Harlan James, Mr. Porter. I came in with her.” Randall felt his knees simply give out on him. If Harlan hadn’t been there to catch him, he was sure he would have fallen. “Come on over here, Mr. Porter. We’ll talk while we wait.” “She loves teaching those children. I saw in the news that the entire building was blown up. I never got much from the man who called me.” Harlan said it had been him. “Was she in the building?” “No. We found her at her home. That’s where we’re thinking she was hurt. Someone broke in.” Randall tried to think of why someone would harm his little girl. “She was beaten, and cut up pretty badly. The doctors here are doing all that they can to save her. You have a very smart and brave daughter, Mr. Porter. She’s helped us a great deal in this.” “That’s my baby. Always knew she was the best. I spoke to her just last night…I think it was the night before. It’s hard to think so much time has…. I had just called her to tell her to have fun with her first day. I teased her about her room being….” He paused, trying to remember something about a box. “She had this mysterious box, she said. Even asked me if I’d sent it to her. I didn’t of course, but I told her it was more than likely from one of the other teachers. Perhaps they’d left it there.” He asked him the same thing as he had his daughter. “No, no name she told me. Only hers on a Post-It note on the top. I never thought to ask her about the handwriting. I mean, it was just a box, right?” “The blast came from the general area of where her room would have been. We only know things as they get found. But it is speculated that it was a cardboard box, and like I said, in the area where her room might have been.” Randall wanted to ask if they thought his baby had done it. Or if she had been the target of this monstrosity. The officer seemed to understand. “She had left notes on what she knew and what had happened to her. They were with her when I found her in her home. Tisha, she made sure we had enough information to get started on trying to find this…. We’re currently looking for someone that might have a connection to what has happened to your daughter. But as of now, we don’t believe Tisha had a thing to do with this. We’ll know more as our investigation continues.”

“She’s all I have in the world. Since her mother died, Tisha has become my whole world. I just saw her last weekend, and she was telling me how she’d gotten all these nice learning tools from a shop online. And now this.” Harlan told him they were doing their best. “If you need anything, a kick in the ass to the mayor, you let me know. I’ll pull some strings and get you more manpower if you need it. You just let me know. I’ll get it for you.” “I think we have it for now, but I’ll keep that in mind. We’re working round the clock now, so I hope to have answers in a few days, if not sooner.” Randall nodded and Harlan stood up. “I’m going to have someone at her room until we find this other person. And if you’d be so kind, I’d like for you to have a guard as well. Right now we don’t know the reason that any of this happened. So to be on the safe side, I’d like to protect you as well.” “I have my own bodyguards.” Randall nodded to the hall where they were and the three men standing there. “Nothing will get past these men unless I tell them or they’re dead. If it will free up some of your men, I can assign them to her room as well. To be honest, sir, they’ll be there anyway. If you’ll agree to it, then nobody will get their underwear all tightened up by them being there too.” “I’ll let you know.” Randall nodded then was left alone. Making his way down the hall, he told Burt, his right hand man, what was going on as he sat in one of the most uncomfortable chairs he’d ever been in. He also told Burt to set up some people on the inside for her safety. “You have it, sir. And may I suggest that we bring in that buddy of yours? The retired agent? He could be a little more help even from the sidelines.” Randall nodded. “Very good, sir. Have they told you how she’s doing? I mean, more than you were told on the phone?” “No. I’d very much like it if you can run a check on any doctors and nurses she has contact with. And there is a person of interest that the police are looking for. Another teacher. Find out who this person is and anything you can find about them.” Burt said he would put his best on it. “One more thing, I want you to find out about her home. That cop said someone broke into it. Maybe they don’t know about the cameras in the house.” “More than likely not. I’ll take one of them there with me to check.” Randall told him to take Harlan James and to give anything they found to him. He’d know what to do with it. “Very good. Anything else?” “I don’t think so right now, but I might. He wants a guard put on her room and me. You’ll see that things are taken care of here for her. We won’t take over, but there isn’t any way that I’m leaving this to chance. Someone hurt my little girl.” Burt looked pained, and said that he would. Tisha was loved by all that knew her. “We’ll help them when we can, Burt, but I won’t sit idly by.” “No, sir. That’s not your style. Nor that of your daughter. We’ll help them, or if nothing is moving we’ll get them going.” Randall leaned back in the chair, trying to find a position that didn’t hurt. At least too much. “Sir, I’m going to find you a hotel, someone to bring you something to eat, as well as a doctor here that knows your condition.” After telling Burt to do what he needed, Randall closed his eyes. He was exhausted, and that didn’t play well with his heart. Breathing in and out slowly, like he’d been taught

to help himself, he tried to calm his nerves and heart. All he could think about was his daughter. Tisha had been born later in his life, he’d been nearing forty and his wife just shy of that. Had anyone asked, he would have said they were happy being childless. They had money, a great deal of it, and traveled, and pretty much did anything that they wanted. Then Rachel had gotten pregnant and Tisha had come along. Randall was pretty sure until that moment he’d not lived at all. Hadn’t taken a good breath of air, nor had his heart beat so well until he looked into the most beautiful pair of blue eyes he’d ever seen. His baby girl, Tisha Randall Porter. She’d been the best baby, and an even better child. No temper tantrums were ever thrown, nor did she give them a hard time about things. Of course, he’d made sure that she had everything that she wanted…even if she only gave something a passing glance, he’d get it for her. Until the day she turned seven. “I want to get a job.” He only nodded at her, indulging her even though he knew she’d never have to work a day in her life, if he could help it. “My friend, Emma, has a job. And her grandma pays her for doing the dishes too. Not the pots and pans, but her pretty dishes she serves tea on.” “Tisha, I can give you money if that’s what you want. I have no problem with it.” She told him no, she wanted to earn her keep. “Honey, you don’t have to earn anything. We’re very wealthy.” “So are Emma’s mommy and daddy. And she has her own pocket money that she can do whatever she wants with and not have to ask. Why last month, she took me to get an ice cream soda, and no one knew about it but just the two of us.” Randall wondered just how much this other little girl was teaching his daughter. “I want to do this, Dad. You want me to be smart like you? And know the value of money?” “I do. And I’m pretty sure that you have a good handle on the value of money.” Then she gave him that look. It wasn’t a pouty one, like most little girls did, but the kind that told him he was being too much of a dad. He also knew that he’d give her the world should she want it. “All right, child, whatever you want. But I’d like you to keep an accounting of your money and your spending. If you’re going to earn your own money, then you’re going to be accountable for it as well. Then at the end of one month, we’ll see how you did.” He’d thought that after a few weeks she’d tire of what he’d viewed as games. But at the end of a month, she’d come to him with not only her books, as she called them, but receipts on everything she’d spent too. Which wasn’t much. “I’ve been taking out the trash in the kitchen, and Molly pays me one dollar for doing it. She said that her husband could do it, but he’s too busy in the house so I could.” Randall had made a mental note to pay back his cook and thank her for what she’d done. “And the gardener gave me five dollars for helping him pick up the twigs in the yard after the storm last week. He said that my back was younger and I was closer to the ground, and that I saved him some pain. I think he needs to have more help, Dad. The man’s list is never finished.”

Another note to his list of things she’d found out for him. As they went over her books, he was astonished not only at much she had learned by talking to the staff, but how much she’d managed to save up as well. One hundred dollars just by doing odd jobs for those that worked for them. “All right, let’s see how you spent your cash, shall we?” Randall had already had it in his head to get her a real ledger, as well as some colored pencils. It was the way that he’d been keeping track of his earnings for years. Not only did he love seeing the numbers all lined up in neat rows, but when he had gotten a computer and it did the adding for him, he still found himself using his old tried and true method. “I’ve put a computer on layaway. I had to have Molly help me with that. They’d not sell me one at my age. I think it’s ridiculous that there has to be an age limit on learning, but now that it’s there, I pay on it every week and she takes it to the store for me.” Randall told her he’d purchase it for her. “No, Dad. I’m doing this on my own.” After an hour of going over everything, he’d needed to find a quiet place to think. She had not just opened his eyes to his staff, but to the fact that she was not a baby any more. Randall would only admit this to himself, but he’d had a good cry over that fact, and still got teary when he thought of it. “Mr. Porter?” Dragging himself from his thoughts, he stared at the man in front of him for several seconds before he could think where he was. “Mr. Porter? I’m Doctor Fitzpatrick. I’ve spoken to the police just now, and they told me that I could bring you up to date on your daughter’s surgery.” Randall sat up straighter in the chair and waited for the news. “She’s in grave condition, I’m afraid, but I have hope that she’ll pull out of this. Tisha is young and in very good health. While she’s lost a great amount of blood and has had some pretty extensive wounds to her body, I think she stands a good chance of coming out of this with only a few adjustments on her part. Had she not been brought in when she had…? Well, I think that given what happened to her, she’s very lucky that someone went to check on her.” “What happened to her?” Burt had come to stand beside him, and the doctor looked up at him. “I’m going to tell him whatever you tell me, so it will save me time if you just pretend that he’s her father too. Burt is…well, he’s her friend as well as honorary uncle. And doctor, we’d like it straight up like I like my bourbon, if you don’t mind.” “All right then. She had been stabbed forty-three times in the chest and arms. Her legs have been cut as well, but I’m not sure with what just yet. The police have pictures of each wound and are looking for the weapons now. She’s been shot twice, once in the back and once in her upper left thigh that broke bones, but luckily didn’t hit any major arteries. I don’t know the timeline of these wounds as I was working to save her life, but I can tell you that she was tortured over a few hours’ time.” Randal nodded, his heart needing just a moment to catch up until Burt put his hand on his shoulder. It was both reassuring and comforting to have this man so close to him. “There was blunt force trauma to her head, arms, and the bottom of her feet. I would say that whoever did this to her took their time, wanting her to suffer for some reason. Her left hand is broken pretty badly, and we may have to wire it back together later. Right now, I’m solely focused on getting her past the point of being critical. I’m not sure if we’ll need to go back

in later and replace bone with metal in her hand, but for now, we have her in a hard cast to prevent her from doing more damage.” “Any internal injuries?” The doctor nodded, then looked at him when Burt asked. “Was there brain damage? What?” “There is no way to soften the way I tell you this. Her abdomen was crushed, pelvis broken, and the fallopian tube on the right side was destroyed. Her womb was injured as well, to the point where it had to be removed or risk infection. As for her brain, we don’t yet know what sort of damage is there. After she wakes, if she does, we’ll be able to better determine where to go after that.” Randall felt his body just go limp. The words ‘if she does’ were too much. His mind simply said this is too much, and he embraced the darkness where his little girl was safe in his dreams.

 

Nathaniel Blood BrotherHood Series ( Final Book ) Release Day 12/26/16

Beth Snow had been given a death sentence. The doctors had only given her six months to live. She didn’t want her parents to have to watch her die, so she packed up everything she had in the new motorhome and hit the road.


Nate knew she was coming. He’d been dreaming of her for months now, and all the dreams where they were battling Benton had turned out the same— with Beth’s death. How could he take a mate to just watch her die?

The battle to save the earth was reaching its peak for Rembrandt’s Blood Brotherhood. Everyone’s dreams had become prophetic, and either Benton would die, or they all would. Would they find the missing piece to their strategy to defeat the monster once and for all? Live or die, they were all in it until the bitter end. What happens next? Find out in the final installment of the Blood Brotherhood—Nathaniel.

Kobo   Coming Soon 
Note: 18+. Does not have to be read in order. Can stand alone. Full length novel.

Fantasy, Demons & Devils

1800 years ago…

It was time for him to die. Rembrandt was ready. He had put up a good fight and nearly died twice that day, but now he was done and he was ready to die on the battlefield with the rest of his brethren. Death would be merciful, he would finally be with his wife and children. 

A being clad in black had other ideas. Rembrandt was meant to help him fight his cause and to help right a wrong that his kind had brought to this world. He gifted the reluctant Rembrandt with a taste for blood and immortality…and more…so much more.

Back to the present…

Rembrandt had had enough. He was over this life 1800 years ago and now he was just sick of it. The creatures he fought, the malefactors, kept growing in numbers and he couldn’t kill them fast enough to keep up. He had fought the battle alone all these years and he wasn’t sure he even wanted to anymore. 

Skylar Manning was just trying to be nice. The mysterious man dressed in black was hanging around after closing…again. It was the third time this week. Only this time he grabbed her arm. Her world changed forever.

Suddenly she found herself hunted by shadowy figures with razor sharp teeth, and into the arms of a warrior who craved her as much as she did him… 

Vicki Carver had seen all the carnage from what appeared to be some kind of battle and just stopped long enough to see if the big man was alive or dead like the rest of them. That large broadsword in his hand had her keep her distance. Pitching a pebble or two at his face should arouse him if he was indeed still alive.

Davis Brown was thoroughly exhausted, but he couldn’t ignore the small stones pelting his face. If it was more malefactors to fight he’d just have to let them do him in. He was too tired to fight again so soon. To his surprise it was a woman―not just any woman―but a feisty vixen who was not only beautiful but could see the malefactors. That meant that she was either magical or one of them―a warrior―his mate….
Vicki had her own demons to battle and to be thrown into a mystical battle with Rembrandt’s warriors to save their world from being overrun by malefactors wasn’t anything she had planned for, much less this mate business. Who did he think he was anyway? But she couldn’t seem to resist the hot, sexy man that brought her to the compound….

Leonard Earl wants no part of Rembrandt’s rag tag team of saviors. Before the cancer he’d been happy teaching children. But when the mysterious man in black shows up in his hospital room and heals him, he has no choice but to join the group. No one says he has to like it.


Jamey has been on her own awhile. It doesn’t take her long to figure out she is different, and that the malefactors can’t change her into one of them. Since the malefactors have taken over her town, she spends her days picking them off with her bow and arrows, or delivering food and water to the remaining survivors. 

Jamey’s body is also a “host” to a dragon that has been with her for as long as she can remember. He protects her and keeps her safe…. The dragon is leading Jamey to the man he is destined to transfer to. He tells her together they will balance. Jamey is willing to take the dragon wherever he needs to go, but the man she wants no part of…. She will miss her friend.

Leo is none too happy to find out that Jamey is bringing the dragon to him and the discovery that she is his mate. He’s already had a woman break his heart and wants no part of this mate business. He takes the dragon to save her life, but that’s where it ends…or does it?

The malefactors are increasing in number and they need to stand together to defeat them. Jamey sees her chance and takes it to defeat their enemy. Will Leo make the ultimate sacrifice to save her? Find out in the next installment of Blood Brotherhood―Leonard.

Christopher hadn’t been with Rembrandt’s group long. With their combined efforts there were fewer and fewer monsters to fight. His mate had died a long time ago, so he volunteered to go with Skylar to look for some “newbies”. When they arrived at the warehouse the new ones were acting very strange.


Kate had been scouting out the building when a large crate just suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Curiosity had her standing in the shadows when she saw two warriors come up the stairs and approach the crate. When they became aware of her presence, the man shifted into the largest cat she’d ever seen and pinned her to the floor with his large paws.

Kate was more than any of them had bargained for, and Chris soon discovered that Kate was his true mate, that the other woman never was. And when they fought together they were downright scary.

With their enemies Ward and Nolan dead, there was no one left to keep Benton, the huge monster they’d created, in line. Benton had lost his mind a long time ago, but one thought remained constant…he wanted Rembrandt dead….

Richard James is a very old vampire and was already an immortal when he joined Rembrandt’s team. Old grievances and heartaches, committed decades ago, still haunt him today. The murders of his mate and brother can be placed on a single culprit—Lucia Alverez.


Ryiah isn’t happy. It’s do as her sister says or suffer the consequences. She can handle the beatings, but being locked up in a cell again with no sunshine or earth is more than she can bear. Ryiah is fae and needs these things to survive. So when her sister says to bring her her mate, Richard James, the second lord of the Highlands castle of Ireland, that’s what Ryiah sets out to do.

Vampires and fae are mortal enemies. The blood of the fae is like an intoxicating drug to a vampire, turning the vampire feral. Rick knows immediately that the beautiful woman is fae, but that’s not the problem, there are other fae at Rembrandt’s compound and Rick has no problems being around them. But this one…there is something different about her….

From the moment he touches her, he knows that she’s his mate…the mate he didn’t want…and to make matters worse, she is the sister to his mortal enemy—Lucia Alverez….

BLOOD BROTHERHOOD SERIES – 
1. Rembrandt – http://smarturl.it/rembrandt 
2. Davis – http://smarturl.it/davis 
3. Leonard – http://smarturl.it/leonard 
4. Christopher – http://smarturl.it/christopher
                                                                  Happy Reading , 

ATTENTION AUTHORS & READERS
Join us for ARC NOLA 2017
Jan 27th & 28th, 2017
Holiday Inn Superdome (Just 3 blocks to the French Quarter!)
Ticket Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/arc-nola-2017-tickets-22804931163

Reader tickets only $15.00 for both days
Book Signing is FREE and open to the public

Author spots still available
Each 1/2 table includes 1 free reader ticket the author can give away.

Where Authors and Readers come together for fun in the French Quarter.

Friday is registration and small group outings into the French Quarter.
Plan what you would like to offer as an outing for the readers.

Saturday
Speed-date the authors in the morning.
Lunch break
Afternoon FREE to the public book signing
Another evening in the French Quarter

Sunday
Travel home

The ticket does not include meals.
 There are so many incredible restaurants in the French Quarter;
I have left meal options up to the attendees.
Authors may want to organize small groups for lunch or dinner outings.

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The motor home coughed a couple of times but continued down the road. Looking in the rear-view mirror, she wondered what she’d been thinking picking something so fucking big to use to get away. The thing was top of the line, sure, but for just her, it was too much. Simply too much of everything. Pulling into the gas station, she had to smile. She was filling this sucker up every ten minutes, it felt like. “I’m certainly doing my part in stimulating the economy by using this.” The lines were short, so she pulled into the bay closest to the road. Stretching her neck before getting out, she felt a stab of pain in her heart and sat very still to see where it went next. When she felt nothing more, she stood up and made her way to the pumps.  Beth knew that should her heart shut down while she was driving, she might hurt someone else when she crashed. It was why she was very careful and took precautions that were well beyond what older people did when they were told they had a bad ticker. And she had about as bad of one as there was. She’d been dealt a bad hand, as her grandma used to say. Beth Snow was going to die because of her heart. Not because it was broken, which in a way it was, but because it was enlarged…too big to function properly. It would happen much sooner than anyone could have guessed, especially her and her family, but it was going to happen and she wanted it to happen on her terms. It was the reason for this trip. The lie behind going to see some sites before she settled down.  Beth wanted to be as far from her parents as she could when the time came. She knew her mom would be…her mom and her dad would be devastated. She knew he still would be, but she didn’t want him there when it was done. That wasn’t right either. She wanted them both there, but was trying to spare them the pain of it. It’s not that they were mean to her. No, never that. But they did have a way about them that would bring out the worst in each other. Her mother was controlling, manipulative, as well as whiney, and she had been since Beth was little. She didn’t like when things were not going her way, and she did something about it, even to the point of being rude and nasty.  Her mom, Ruth, would get something in her head, or she’d want someone to do things her way. Then when they disagreed or didn’t meet her expectations, she’d do it herself. That never went over well in their neighborhood, and it had caused some horrible fights, with the police being called in and her dad having to pay some fine, bail her mom out, then apologize to whoever it was she had upset.  Even her dad wasn’t immune to her mom’s manipulative behavior, and when he didn’t do something or say the right thing to her, she would want Beth to call him and make him do whatever it was that week. Like that was ever going to happen. Beth was the daughter, not her babysitter, and certainly not her dad’s task master. Her dad, Lyle, was a quiet man. He had worked hard for the money that Mom spent to keep up with the neighbors. And even though he had retired some years ago, they didn’t want for anything and had made sure that as their only child didn’t ether. But as

soon as she’d turned eighteen, she’d gotten out in the world on her own and had made herself as independent as she could. She had made a good living at it as well by following in her dad’s footsteps and becoming an engineer like he’d been. But leaving them like she had, that was the smartest thing she’d ever done, she thought. For a lot of reasons. The last face to face conversation with her mom had sealed that deal. “I don’t understand how you think this is going to make you get any better. Just let us go with you and keep you on the right track to getting well. It’s not like we have anything to do. Your father hasn’t worked in several years.” Beth could have pointed out that he’d retired from his job but still had a very good income. And when they wanted something, he’d go find something fun to do to pay for it and not touch their savings. She looked at her dad and could see while he was hurt too, he sort of understood because this was, after all, her mom. “Tell her, Lyle. Tell her that she needs to let us go with her so she can get better. We can’t make sure that she’s doing what it takes for her to get well if we’re not there.” “Ruth, I think that she’s right.” Her mom turned her back to him, and Beth knew that later her mom would tell her dad how he was wrong to have said those things and that he should have agreed with her. “This will be good for her. Kinda wish I’d taken a trip like this when I was younger. See a little of this big world before things get all hinky. But she needs this and I think she’s doing what she needs to. Not just for her, either.” Hinky. What a wonderful word to say his little girl was going to die. “I’ll send you post cards and when I can, I’ll call you once a week. I really do need this.” “Well, I hope you know that you’re both wrong in this. I can’t make sure that you’re eating properly or that you’re taking care of yourself if you won’t allow me this. Bethany, you know as well as I do that you’re going to need me to make sure that you’re doing all the right things to get well.” Her mother put her hand on her arm and hugged her. “You need me now as much as you did when you were a little girl and had the flu. Just tell us where you’re going and we’ll travel along with you. There’s a good girl.” “Mom, I’m not going to get well. I’m going to die. And soon. You know this. The doctor told us that there is nothing he can do for me. Not even a transplant is going to help me now. It’s too late for me.”  Beth wanted to take the words back but her mom slapped her, something that she’d never done in all her life. Without another word, her mom turned her back on her too and went into the house. Beth was sure that, even though she was upset with her, her mom had gone in and started packing her things to go anyway. “Go, baby. Go now before she comes out here and loads her things up in that home of yours while we stand here, and is aghast that she’s ready before you are.” Beth hugged her father, knowing deep inside of her heart that it would be the last for them both. “I love you, baby girl. I have loved you since the moment you took your first breath, and will well after you take your last. Be careful and have fun.” When he let her go, he left her too. She’d seen the tears then, streaming down his face, and had gotten into her moving home and left. That had been six months ago. According to her doctor, Beth had only one or two of the six to eight months he’d given her to live left.

The gas pump popping, signaling that it was finished giving her fuel, startled her from her thoughts. Putting the handle back in the little slot, she looked around while the receipt printed. She would have to find a place to rest soon, a campground that would take her big rig, and settle in for a few days. She might even go and see some of the sights while she was here, she thought, and got into the camper with her small paper. Starting the engine, she let her broken heart mend a little as she made her way back into the traffic. The campground was quiet this time of year. She supposed that most vacationers had had their fill of camping by now. Late winter was not really a go to a place in a motor home kind of time. Smiling to herself, she watched as snow started to fall as she fixed herself some soup and then settled down to enjoy it. Beth didn’t bother with the television, and if asked, she did not even know if she could turn it on. It was the quiet that she wanted. The books that she’d picked up here and there were on the shelves that didn’t have some souvenirs on them. A pretty stone that she’d gotten in a national park. A pinecone she’d picked up at a roadside picnic area that she just couldn’t resist. All of these things and the rest were all labeled and dated. When someone came to get her home someday, she knew that her dad would enjoy these bits of her trip. And the pictures on her computer were all in files as well. She’d been sending him emails with them attached when she had service. Beth was pragmatic about things, she thought. She was going to die, that was a done deal. But she wasn’t going to wallow in self-pity, nor was she going to roll over and let it take her. She was going out doing the things that she wanted. Just the way her dad had taught her to be. Happy to the end. It was nearly nine when she decided to call home. If her mom answered she’d never get to speak to her dad, and Beth was disappointed when she picked up the phone. After telling her several times that yes, she was taking her medicine, and sure she was resting and eating well, her mom started in on where she was and how they could meet her there. “We bought a camper like yours the other day. It’s very beautiful. The same color and everything. It’ll be hard to tell us apart when we’re in the campgrounds together.” Beth felt her belly churn up. “You father thought it was a bad idea, but I told him that if you needed us, we should be ready. So we’re ready for you to tell us where you are so we can join you. Of course, you’ll have to wait there for us. It would be silly for you to go on and us not be with you, after all the trouble we’ve gone to.”  “Mom, why did you make Dad buy a motor home when I told you that I wanted to do this on my own?” Her mom said she’d done no such thing. “You said he didn’t want to but you told him to. Sounds to me like you made him.” “Well, if you’re going to be nasty about it, Bethany, perhaps you should just come on home and we can settle this here and not shouting at each other on the phone.” She told her that she wasn’t coming home. “I think that’s a wonderful idea, now that you mention it. I nearly forgot that it was Christmas in a few weeks. Either come home, so we can be together as a family, or we go there. It’s up to you, dear. It’s not that difficult for you to give me directions, is it? I’ll have your father map them out too, just to make sure we can get there in a reasonable time. You know how he is. But I’m thinking that if you come

back here, that would be wonderful too. You’ve been gone for so long. Also, I tried to get your things out of storage but the man in charge said no. He even called the police on me, if you can believe that. You’ll have to tell him that it’s all right for me to get in there. That way, when you get back here, everything will be just how you want it.” “No. I don’t want you bothering my things. I’m not coming back there, and for sure you are not going to come here. I know how you are, as does Dad. Mom, I’m not going to let you know where I am, nor am I going to do whatever else you have on that list in your head that no one messes with. I’m going to do this on my own, in my own way.” Her mother laughed then, that twittering sort of laughter that made her think her mom was humoring her. “Mom, can I speak to Dad? Please?” “He’s busy tinkering with the motor home. I told him that he should just let someone who knows what they’re doing mess with things, but he gets something in his head and he won’t stop until I have to make him.” Beth heard some paper moving around. “Now, I have a map and paper right here. Tell me what state you’re in and I can figure out from there how we can—” “Mom, Dad is an engineer. I’m pretty sure that he could do a better tinkering job than most of the people who actually built that thing could.” Her mom huffed. “I’d very much like to speak to Dad. I want to find out what you did to him to make him do this for you.” “What a thing to say to your own mother. You make it sound as if I stand over him with a whip and order him about.” Beth said she did. “I don’t know what you’re on right now, but you’ll not talk to me that way, Bethany. I am your mother. And don’t think I’ve not noticed that I don’t have that address yet.” “I know that you’re my mom. And he’s my dad. Now put him on the phone or I’ll hang up and you’ll not know what the doctor said to me.” There wasn’t any doctor, and she had no different news than she’d had six months ago. But her mother lived on having as much information as possible on her illness, as she called it, so she could tell all her friends. Beth was sure that every person in any place her mother went knew as much about her heart condition as her own doctor did. “Mom?” “I don’t think you’re being very civil to me, Bethany. And as soon as we get there, I’m going to make sure you realize how badly you hurt me. If you want to talk to your father, then fine. There is no reason for you to get snippy with me.” She heard the phone slam down on something hard and smiled. Beth was sure that, even though they had a cordless phone in every part of the house, her mom never went beyond the five or so feet from the base that she had done when there had been corded phones in the house. And Beth would bet all her money on the fact that it would never have occurred to her to take the cordless out to her father so that she could speak to him. Then when they were finished using the phone, no matter where they were when that occurred, she would put it right back in the cradle like she had always done before. “Hello, baby girl. How is life treating you?” And just like that, the weight of the world was lifted off her shoulders. When she started crying, she heard him speaking again. “Oh honey, don’t cry. I’m here for you. And if you give me just a minute, I’ll talk to you in my office.”

She heard her mom telling him not to be stupid, that she would like to hear the lies he was telling their daughter and to stay right where she could hear him. Mom even told him that if he did go into his office, he’d better not shut the door. Beth smiled when she heard it shut and the lock turn. “Dad, she’s going to be really pissed at you when you get back out there.” He only laughed and asked her what was going on. “Nothing. I just heard that Mom made you buy a camper. I’m so sorry.” “Don’t be. If things keep going like this, I might just start living out there in it. It’s a nice sucker. Have you worked out how the extensions come out yet? I swear to you, things get more and more complicated than they need to be.” She’d forgotten to extend the sides again. Not that it mattered…she had more than enough room. “I got the propane tanks filled today. Then I got me a few groceries to stash in it. I didn’t tell your mother, but I got them. I got the fridge all hooked up and cold. I even installed some solar panels on the top of it so that the batteries can be charged when we’re not using them. I’m betting you haven’t even turned on the telly, nor have you used that impressive stove that it has either, have you, darling?” “No. To all of it. But I did notice that I have one, if that makes a difference. And the microwave has been wonderful for my many flavors of soup, too. But if I were you, Dad, I’d do that. You should just get up one morning while she’s in bed and take a trip. Maybe not return.” He told her that he’d think on that. “I miss you, Daddy.” “And I you too. Are you feeling all right? Taking care, aren’t you?” She told him she was, just tired a lot more. “Yes, that’s what they told us would happen. You just take it easy. Oh, before I forget, I got me a cell phone today. I’ll give you the number and you can call me. I put it on vibrate so she doesn’t know about it, but I wanted to be able to talk to you when you wanted.” After she wrote down the number, they talked for another twenty minutes. By the time she closed off the connection, Beth was exhausted. As she was getting into bed, she realized that not once did he say that he wasn’t going to take off, nor did he ask her where she was. Beth loved her parents, but her dad was her world. ~~~ Remy looked at the sky and saw nothing out of the ordinary. Every day he expected Benton to come to them, show himself off, but nothing as yet. It had been nearly two weeks since the earth had let them know that he’d risen, and in that two weeks, none of them had dropped their guard. He looked over when he heard the clash of swords, and saw that it was a near war between Nate and Skylar. Both of them had come a long way in working out their differences. Mostly he thought it was due to Rick making the man come out of his shell, but Nate now joined them in more activities, and he had just started to have meals with them. He ate a great deal all the time because of what was done to him on the other realm, but he was getting that under control as well.  Whey, his own little faerie, he’d told Remy, landed on his shoulder, and Remy asked him if things were going well.

“Yes, my lord. And thank you ever so much for the greenhouse. It has cooled tempers a great deal to have something to keep busy with.” He told him that it had been Ryiah’s idea and Whey nodded. “I have a request, my lord. We should like to plan a party when the spring comes. We have not had one for a very long time, and I think it would be a good thing.” “Spring is several months away. You think you need that much time for me to approve it now?” He told him that he did. That flowers had to be ready for such an event. “I see. Well, yes, a party would be great. I was wondering about the tree. Have you found us some decorations for the big one that’s going up?” “We have. Oh, so many that will grace the tree. Some of the fireflies, they’ve said that they’d be our lights on it, and that will be a wonderful sight as well.” Remy tensed up when he saw Skylar hit the ground. “She is well, my lord. The earth, it takes good care of her should she fall again. See, even now it helps her to rise up. She will never be harmed in this play.” “I think she falls just to get me to run to her aid. What do you think?” Of course Whey disagreed with him, saying that Skylar wasn’t that mean. But when she turned and winked at them both, Remy laughed. “I think we’ve been had, Whey. My lovely mate is playing with our emotions.” “Women do that well, I think. My own bride, she is making me silly with her ways. Did I mention that the queen has picked us to work with the newborns when it is time for them to be born?” Remy nodded. He’d been told that at least twenty times an hour for the last several days. “She finally put up the list. Margo and I will be working with the roses. Such an honor, roses.” Remy had learned a great deal about flowers and faeries. First of all, not every bloom was filled with one of the tiny babes. The flower had to be kissed by a faerie that the queen had chosen. And while many worked for her, only a select few could give the flowers the babes that would eventually work for her too. Also, and this one was a shock to him as well, brownies were the babies that were forgotten or missed. Some of them would fall into the earth when the flower opened, but a great many of them would take wing as soon as the sun opened the blooms and find themselves a place to work with and for children. This was where imaginary friends came from. The brownies would live with them until the children no longer needed them. Remy wondered still if a child born of this current world would ever not need them.  “I meant to ask you. When the brownies are no longer needed by the children, what do they do? I mean, they’re still around, correct?” Whey assured him that they were. “But where do they go?” “To live with the elders of your kind. There are a great many of them—the elders, I mean—that have no one but the brownies that come to visit them. Some stay until they pass on, others visit and talk with a few at a time. The brownies serve a great function in your world that humans at a certain age never know about.” Remy thought that was the nicest thing he’d heard in a long while, and told his friend that. “Thank you, my lord. Should you see one, an elder, watch how they smile for no reason. It is the brownie telling them a story so that they will not be sad.”

Remy decided that he’d make sure to thank the queen for such a service to the humans, both young and old. As they made their way to the couple that were still at play, Remy decided that he’d very much like to have a few of the little people come and live with he and Skylar. When they were finished with the war, he wanted to settle down and have a houseful of them around. Mostly to talk to—they were extremely intelligent—but also because they made him feel good. Not just physically, but also mentally. “I’ve something to show you when you have a moment.” Remy told Nate that now was a good time. “It’s my tat. The one that I was telling you about. We’re to have company. And I’m not sure what to do about it.” “What do you mean? Benton? He’s coming?” Nate shook his head and pulled his shirt over his head and turned. The tat was moving, and Remy was nearly sick with it. When it settled, he didn’t see much until Skylar pointed out that there were twelve now, not eleven on his back. “Your mate is coming? Is that what you’re telling me? Good job, Nate. You’ll be happy as—” “No, a woman is coming. Just because every other female that has come here has turned out to be someone’s mate, doesn’t mean that she’s for me. I don’t know what I’d do with a mate.” When he started to ask him again what he meant, Skylar put her hand on his arm. She told him to wait. “I’ve things to do, so I thank you, Skylar, for the lesson.” When he was gone, Remy looked at Skylar for an explanation. “He is so large, have you noticed that? And with his size comes certain things that frighten him.” It took him a moment to understand. His size would frighten most men, he thought. Then he thought of all the things that might make a mate be fearful of you. “He thinks to harm her during sex.” Even though it wasn’t a question, she told him that was it. “I don’t see him hurting her. Whatever has happened to him, he won’t harm her. He must know that it’s not possible should he even think he would.” “He’s aware of that. He won’t want to harm her, but he’s terrified that he will. He’s fearful of crushing her.” It took Remy a minute to get what she meant and his face heated. “Even after all the ways you have taken me, against any hard surface you can put me on, you still get embarrassed when I talk about sex with you? Remy, you’re a child at heart, I think.” “I’m a man that isn’t used to such talk from someone. While you and I have a healthy relationship, I try my best not to think of the rest of them having it. Aye, I know that they do, like rabbits, but I don’t think about the physical aspect of it.” When she giggled he smiled at her. “You’re such an old man. I think that’s what I love about you. How you can be so prudish one minute and like a sexed crazed animal the next?” She wrapped her arms around him and he held her to his body. She looked at his shoulder and he only just remembered they had company. “Whey, ‘tis time you found your own mate.”  The little faerie laughed and said he would do just that. When he was gone, Remy lifted his mate into his arms and took them to their room. It was time to show his little woman just how sexed crazed he really was. “I love you, Rembrandt. With all that I am.” He kissed her then and felt his heart fill with her words. “When you touch me like this, even when you need it as much as I do, I

can’t think of a single reason for us to be apart. I need you as much as I do air in my lungs.” Remy thought him the luckiest man in the world. And when she kissed him, he felt his heart fill once again with her love and nearly wept with his need for her. Before he took her to the bed, he pulled her back from him just far enough to get her attention. He needed her to understand something that he’d been thinking about for days now. “I should like to have many children with you. Not to replace the ones that I lost, but to have our love bonded in a way that I never had with my first mate. She was everything to me, don’t get me wrong, but you are so much more. Watching you grow fat with a child of ours? You cannot know what that thought does for me.” He kissed her again and watched her face. “Remy, I swear to you that sometimes the words that come from your mouth are enough to melt even the coldest of hearts.” He grinned at her. “Yes, having children with you, watching you play with them and hold them, is all I think about when I’m alone. When I see you with the other children in the compound, I want to have you fill me with one of our own. To have a son or daughter would fulfill me in ways that I never thought possible, so long as you are there beside me to help me nurture and love them.” “And I shall be, my love. For the rest of all our lives.” He lifted her chin up to see her beautiful face. “We have avoided the conversation that has been haunting us for days now. Would you like to discuss it now?” “No. Not yet. I know what I want to do in my head, but not in my heart just yet.” He understood that. It was the same for him. “After. I want to talk about it after.” “All right.”  Taking her to their bed, he stripped her down to her bare skin. Each part of her, every inch of her skin, was marked by some unknown magic. Kissing her now, he knew that someday they’d know what they were here for, why something had chosen them for this task. But for now, at this moment, he wanted to make love to his mate. Remy knew they had plenty of time to talk about the other.  Sliding his cock deep into her, he grinned when she screamed out her first of what he knew was going to many releases. He too would enjoy her. For now, they were just a normal couple having an afternoon of fun.

Graham Emerson Wolves Release Day ( Final Book In Series ) 12/13/16

Ramsey had given up on family and love a long time ago, and the sooner she cut all ties with them, the better off she’d be. She was good with a camera, and as long as no one knew who she was, the daughter of the powerful Ram Stockholm, she could keep her cover intact.
Graham had just finished the construction of his house and was looking for any excuse he could find to stay away from people—that included his large family. But everyone had to eat so a trip to the grocery store was necessary. He didn’t, however, have a mate on his shopping list, but there she stood—injured and panicking.
Graham was about as happy as he could be, until three cops came to his property to arrest him and charged him with murder—now the whole family was in an uproar. Graham’s world was crashing around him, he wanted to marry Ramsey, but not like this…. Can they ban together to prove his innocence before it’s too late? Find out in the final chapter of the Emerson Wolves—Graham.
Do you know what you are to me? She shook her head as he whispered to her. His mouth was doing incredible things to her and she wanted more. Mate? Youre my mate. Do you know what that means?

Her body seemed to come alive at his words. She struggled to pull from him and he let her go, but he didn’t back off. She moved back from him as far as the wall and tried to get her mind to function again. She was not going to be his mate, not any man’s.

You have to go. I won’t bother you anymore if you do the same for me. He moved to within a foot of her and she put up her hands. I don’t want you here. Please, you can’t want me as a mate. I don’tI’m not even sure that this isn’t some ploy to get what you want. Or money. Is that it?’ She looked up at him as he started cursing.

Hunter Emerson and his brothers answered the request of a pack looking for a new Alpha and moved to Sommersville. Since they were all Alphas, Hunter didn
t have a clue that he was the new Alpha until he arrived. It didn’t sit well with him at all that a woman on pack land held herself in recluse and wouldn’t answer and pledge herself to the new Alpha. What she could be doing there on that big estate with no one around to witness, His mind reeled with the possibilities?none of them good. 

Slone Morris had an understanding with the local pack?leave her alone and she’d let the pack stay on her land free of charge. It was as simple as that. She didn’t deal well with people. But the new Alpha in town wouldn’t take Fuck off for an answer.

Slone’s past threatened to rear its ugly head at every turn. There was one?someone she thought she trusted?who didn’t want the past dredged back up. He was determined to stop her at all cost?

Luke Emerson has big shoes to fill. He doesn’t know how to be a Mayor of their small town, but with the help of his assistant, Allen, he is damn sure going to give it a good try. From what little he’s seen of the town government it’s corrupt and he’s bound and determined to do something about it.

When they receive a call that Allen’s sister Jack has been critically injured in a fire, Allen falls apart. His sister is all he has left. 

Luke goes with him to the hospital and as soon as Luke catches her scent, he knows she’s his mate, but the doctor is giving her less than a three percent chance to survive . 



Can you save her?  Luke looked over at Allen, who was staring at his sister. I know what you are. I mean, I think I know what you are. You can’t live in our town and not hear things. Are you?


Am I what? Allen looked at him, and Luke felt as if he were staring at his very soul. Neither of them blinked, and when Allen finally looked away, Luke felt as if he’d been released from a tight hug. You want to know an answer to something, then ask me. I’m not going to assume anything right now.

Luke has two choices: convert her to a wolf, or watch her die. He doesn’t even know her, but he can’t lose his mate he’s just found her. But to convert her without her permission, there could be consequences.
Addison Parker is on the run. No matter how fast she runs, or how far she travels she can’t hide from herself, or the gift she’s been cursed with. She can read people’s minds and with a touch can see into their future. That is a secret that she has learned to keep well?everyone always wanted something from her when they learned what she could do. It’s easier to avoid people all together.

Jarrett Emerson is just helping his dad and brother protect an innocent from a perverted wretch. But when a falling brick knocks Addie unconscious, she falls right into Jarrett’s arms. To his surprise he realizes that she is his mate and human…

Addie felt stupid standing there like she was and moved to the sink. Jarrett watched her before he reached for a second glass. Addie had no idea why, but she thought he was nervous. “I’m not going to pounce on you.”

As soon as the words left her mouth, she knew that she’d made a major mistake. He turned so quickly that she backed up and hit her ass on the counter behind her. He didn’t stop there but took the two more steps to have her leaning back to look up at him.

“I’d like nothing more than to have you pounce on me.” His voice was a soft growl that had her thinking all sorts of things that had nothing to do with food. “You’re very beautiful.”

“No, I’m not.” He nodded and halved the distance between them. “You’re too close. I can’t think when you’re this close.”

Jarrett doesn’t want her to leave. If she goes, he goes with her. That’s the way it is with mates. But when a corrupt attorney has other ideas, the Emersons have to regroup to protect what they now consider their own….
Dawn Whitfield is on the run, and if her uncle catches her this time she knows he won’t just beat her…he’ll kill her. Her best bet is to keep moving, and at all cost keep hidden.

Addie Parker finds the shackled young woman and sets her up in an old house hidden from everything. And that’s where Dawn stays for eight lonely years.

Ellis Emerson is in a rut. He can’t seem to do anything right. He thinks he’s found his mate, but can’t get close enough to her to be sure… And that’s a huge distraction that’s turned their construction job from a week ahead of schedule with a huge bonus, to barely three days ahead. And when Addie asks him to assemble a small crew to fix one of her houses, his foreman, Dan, is all for Ellis getting away for a while.

Ellis finds his skittish mate hiding away in Addie’s home, but will she let her guard down long enough for him to convince her that their destiny is each other? Or will her Uncle Basil step in and finally take her prisoner again? Find out in the next installment of Emerson Wolves?Ellis.
No matter how hard she tried, Kimber Gray always seemed to manage to get knocked back down a peg or two. She was a top rate chef and graduated at the top of her class, but no matter how hard she tried no one would acknowledge it. Now, blackballed in the only profession she knew, she was a failure to the one that mattered most–her daughter, Hannah. With no recourse left to her, she’d have to grovel and beg her aunt for help.

Lee Emerson was glad to be back home for a while. He loved what he did, being a food critic and helping failing restaurants was a dream job come true. But he was tired of the traveling and just wanted to take care of things around the house and relax for a change. 

Slone, Hunter’s mate, wanted to open a fancy restaurant and have Lee run it. He wasn’t so sure about that, but he’d love nothing better than to hire that chef that had prepared the last meal he’d had in France before he left. It was the best meal he’d ever eaten, and he had been disappointed when he found out the man had left before he could tell him so. The slush claiming to cook the meal, wasn’t the cook and he’d bet his last dollar on it.

Kimber had had it. Her aunt had gone too far this time, and there was no way she’d expose her little girl to such meanness again. They’d live on the street first, and she was trying to tell Slone that she wasn’t a charity case. That she could provide for her daughter somehow, when the most gorgeous man she’d ever seen cornered her, snarling that he’d protect her with his life.

Ah, hell no. Who in the hell did he think he was?

EMERSON WOLF SERIES –
 2016
Mystery Signed PaperBacks
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Happy Reading ,
Hello! My name is Kathi Barton and I’m a award winning, best selling author of dark fantasy erotic paranormal romance . I have been married to my very best friend Paul, a potter, for at times seems several lifetimes – in a good way, honey. And together we have three wonderful children and then the ones we brought into the world – Paul and Dale Barton, Jason and Wendy Barton and Danielle and Ben Conklin. They have given us eight of the greatest treasures on Earth. They don’t live at home seven days a week! No, seriously, eight grandchildren – Gavin, Spring, Ben, Trinity, Sarah, Kelly, Kian and Bailee


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Prologue
“I tell you, Ram, that daughter of yours is a hoot. I just asked her what she thought of all this, and she said that the money from what was going to be tossed out when this was over could have fed an entire village for a week.”  Ram Stockholm looked around the room for his daughter. “When did you speak to her? I thought her and Chad had left for their honeymoon already.” There was no way his daughter would say that about her own wedding. At least he hoped not. But she was a little stressed out right now. Christ, they’d spent a fortune on this thing, and to have her upset wasn’t going to happen. Not that his baby girl didn’t deserve it, but to say something like this to William Frank was terrible.  “No, no. I meant Ramsey. To tell you the truth, Ram, I had no idea you had another child, much less one as beautiful as she is. But she’s the spitting image of you now that I think on it.” Ram wondered about Ramsey, his youngest child, as William continued. “Like I said, a beautiful little thing, but a mite outspoken. I’d wondered why you didn’t have her up there with her sister, but I’m assuming that the two of them don’t get along.” “They don’t. Where did you see her go? I’d like to speak to her.” William laughed and pointed to the large open doors at the back of the large room. “Excuse me.” If William answered him, he didn’t hear him. Ramsey wasn’t going to ruin her sisters’ day by complaining about something that was none of her business. But as soon as he stepped out on the deck to talk to her, he stilled. When the hell had she grown up? The dark blue dress she had on made the paleness of her porcelain skin almost glow. With her hair done up in one of those complicated twists, it gave her neck a gracefulness that would make most men he knew drool. She was tall too, Ram just realized, and rail thin. He cleared his throat before going out all the way. When Ramsey turned his way, Ram thought that he’d made a mistake…this could not be his child. “Hello, Dad.”  Ram moved out to stand beside her. He was speechless. Not only was this his child, but she’d grown up before…well, she had. “I just talked to William. He said you were a hoot.” Ramsey looked at him, confused. “William Frank. His son is going to Yale right now. I guess you told him we spent too much on this wedding. Why would you say something like that?” “I didn’t. Well, I did, but not like that. He asked me if I was going to have an extravagant wedding like this in a few years, and I told him no. If I ever get married, I want it simple, and the money spent on all this could go to some charity to feed the hungry. There are quite a few of them right here in our own town.” She looked at him as she continued. “Deidra is pissed at me again.” “Don’t talk like that. You’re not old enough to use that kind of language.” She laughed, a harsh sound that seemed to him like she too was upset. “What did you do to her this time, Ramsey?”
As soon as the words left his mouth, he knew that he’d made a mistake. But the two of them, along with Gregory, their brother, had been fighting since the day that Ramsey was brought home from the hospital, or so it seemed. He just wanted peace and quiet. He never got it when they were all together. And now that he thought about it, he’d not seen them all together in a good long time. Ramsey had been…well, he had no idea where she’d been of late. “First of all, I’m nineteen. Secondly, I didn’t do anything other than to show up here. She seems to think that I’m going to embarrass her because I’m not in the wedding party. And people—her kind, she called them—would ask questions.” Ram started to ask her why she wasn’t in the party, but Ramsey spoke again. “She didn’t ask me to be in it, if you were going to ask me. And when I asked her about it, she told me that I would never fit in. Deidra said that she wanted people in her party that were nice and beautiful, something that I’m certainly not.” “I’ll talk to her.” He would too. He thought this feuding had gone on long enough. “To be honest with you, Ramsey, I almost didn’t know who you were when I came out here. And where have you been hiding yourself? You look lovely.” “Thanks.”  He nodded, then followed her when she moved to sit in one of the chairs that had been brought for people to use. The country club where Deidra’s wedding reception was being held was very accommodating. But he supposed that had to do with his money rather than who he might be. They sat there for several moments before Ramsey spoke again. “I’m leaving, Dad.” He offered to get her a car to take her home. He asked her to tell the butler that they’d be along shortly. When she looked at him with the oddest look on her face, he wondered what he’d said wrong now. He was still trying to get over the fact that she was really nineteen. “I don’t live at home, and I wasn’t planning on going there anyway. I haven’t lived there for some time now. Dad, do you know anything about me? What I do for a living? Where I live?” He was embarrassed that he didn’t know the answer to any of those things. And the worst part of it was, William wasn’t the first person to ask him about Ramsey, saying that they had no idea he had a third child. What have I done? he asked himself. And where the hell had all the time gone? Gregory was the oldest, and had gotten into college on a sports scholarship. He’d been struggling in high school, so it had come as a surprise to know that a college was willing to take him. Gregory had always been more of a player than a scholar. Now he was living at home again, with nothing to show for his six years at a very expensive and prestigious university. Deidra had been, like her mother before her, the prom queen every year since she’d gotten to junior high. Before that she’d been in countless pageants, and had won most of those as well. She was pretty, and vain enough to make them work for her. Now at twenty five she was newly married to a man that Ram didn’t like, and hated to have around for any reason. But his baby had wanted him, and he’d done everything in his power to make sure she had what she wanted…or, he supposed, what his wife had wanted for her. He’d
been involved in their lives. From the time they were old enough to enter things, sometimes even before that, he and his wife Krista had been there for them. But not Ramsey. He couldn’t remember a single moment, sports event, or even a play that he’d gone to for his youngest child. “I’ve never…I’m sorry to say, I don’t know any of those things.” He looked away from her knowing face and continued. “I can’t remember one single play that we attended that you were in. Not a game of any sort that you might have been in. Nor do I remember having any sort of graduation party when you got out of school last year.” He looked at her then. “I’m drawing a blank as to what I got you for your sixteenth birthday. What I got you for your eighteenth or any in-between, and I haven’t the slightest idea what you’ve been up to since you got out of school.” “I graduated from high school six years ago. So no, you didn’t have a party for me. I think that Deidra said it would mess up her summer plans with her friends or something like that. I just finished up my last year of college last month, and I’m nearly done with my master’s degree as well. I moved out when Mom told me to because I was bothering Deidra too much and it was getting on her nerves. That would have been right after I turned seventeen and was nearly finished with college. I work for….” She stood up and he did as well. “It doesn’t matter now. But I’m going away. And…I have a job opportunity and I’m going to take it.” “Going away to where? And what are you going to do for this company?” Her laugh hurt him. “Ramsey, I’m so sorry. I wish I could tell you that I do remember all of this, but I don’t want to lie to you. I feel like this is all my fault. Don’t leave. Please. I’d like for you to move back home and for us to get to know one another. It’s not too late, is it?” “You mean because Deidra is gone now, you wouldn’t mind me being there?” Ram felt as if she’d stabbed him in the heart. But if she thought that she’d hurt him, he couldn’t see it on her face. And it was nothing less than he deserved. “No thanks. I think…I think that after all this time, it would just be an embarrassment for all of us.” “Ramsey, let me make this up to you. Please don’t go like this. I’ve messed up badly, but this is…we’re family, after all.” She only stood there with her back to him. Ram wanted to take her into his arms and hold her, but he didn’t know how. In all honesty, he didn’t remember a single time when he’d hugged his baby. “Will you at least call me sometimes? Weekly?” “I don’t know. I’ll try.” She turned then and looked at him. “My plane leaves at six in the morning. I’ve taken care of my house and all my bills, so there is no reason for you to be bothered by that. And I’ve sold off all the things that I no longer need. So…well, I guess this is goodbye for a while.” As she walked away and out of his life, all Ram could think about was that he’d wasted a lot of his life and hers not getting to know her. It both saddened him and made him hate himself that he’d done this to her. Not just him, but all of them had. Sitting down on the chair again, he thought of all the times he and his wife would talk about Deidra and Gregory. What they were doing. How they were doing in school. Conversations about Ramsey were few and far between. And worse yet, when they did speak of her, mostly his wife, it was about how she was nothing like them and how she’d never fit in
properly with them. That if she were more like her brother and sister, perhaps they’d take her to more places. Ram would never forgive himself.  ~~~ Ramsey drove home wondering if she’d done the right thing. Her original plan had been to simply leave without telling them, but then her dad had come out to talk to her and she’d told him. It wouldn’t be like them to miss her or anything. In fact, she was pretty sure that not one of them would have given her a second thought. But her dad had hurt her, and she thought that she wanted to hurt him back for a change. Well, she was sure she had, and herself as well. Going into her little house, she thought of the cases that she’d packed over the last week. She had no idea if she’d be back here again, but really couldn’t see any reason to return. So what she didn’t put into storage—and she’d stored very little—had been given away, sold, or just donated to whoever had wanted it. Which again, wasn’t all that much. She’d sold her house the week before, and had thirty days to leave before the new owners would be taking it. Ramsey had already sold most of her furniture, and all she had left was the bed that she’d been sleeping in and a single dresser. There were no mementos in the house that she was taking. No pictures of her family because she didn’t have any, and there were no pets in her life. Ramsey had made such a tiny footprint in her life so far, and she was looking forward to making more.  Putting all her cameras away except the one that she’d taken to Deidra’s wedding, she made her way to the darkroom. Her plane didn’t leave until late tomorrow night, but she’d told her dad differently because she didn’t want him to think they could get together beforehand. Ramsey had meant nothing to them before this, and she saw no reason to try and cram a lifetime of conversations and hugs into her last day. Neither of them would be very comfortable with that, and she was pretty sure it would piss off her mother. The woman had never really liked her, not even as a child. Ramsey had long since given up on trying to do something that would get her noticed, and had gone on with her life as if they’d never been a part of it. The pictures that she’d taken at her sister’s wedding were all on a clip, and she ran them through the computer to see which ones she wanted to print. While it downloaded them onto the hard-drive, she went to change into more comfy clothes. Ramsey had no idea if her sister would ever see the pictures that she’d taken, or even if she’d want them. Sending them to her father, she decided suddenly, was the best way to get them to her, and she hoped that he’d at least look. The camera, or what she could do with it, was her passion. Just as she was hanging the last of the prints up to dry, Ramsey heard her phone ringing. Turning on the lights overhead, she made her way to it as she dried her hands. She knew who it was before she picked it up, and decided that as soon as possible she was going to change her number. This guy was a pain in the ass. And if he’d known who she was and who he worked for, he’d back the fuck off. “I just heard that you’re leaving. When did this take place? I’d very much like to have you come in before you leave, Miss Holms. The job that I have for you is still open.” Ramsey looked through the mail as he continued talking, wondering if the change of her
name when she worked was enough to distance her from her family. “I have a noon opening, and also one at two. Which one can I put you down for?” “Neither.” He laughed a little on the other end. Ramsey put the mail, mostly credit card applications, in the trash and pulled a paper bowl from the sleeve to have some cereal. “I really have to go, Mr. Carter. I have things to do.” “Wait. This is the job of a lifetime, Miss…can I call you Ramsey? This is the job of a lifetime. This is a large paper and very prestigious. Think of what doors it could open for you in the long-term.” She didn’t answer him but yawned. “Ramsey, tell me what I need to do to have you come here and work for us.” “There is nothing you can do. I do not want to work for you. I have a job, one that I wanted and worked hard for. I’m sorry, but you’ll have to find someone else.” She hung up as he was speaking. Then when she was sure that he wasn’t going to be on the other end, she put a block on his number and sent it directly to her voicemail. He’d more than likely still call and fill up the message box, but for now she was happy.  The stupid man worked for her father, as he owned the paper that Mr. Carter thought she should come to work for. And not only that, but the job that he wanted her to take? She’d been doing it all the way through college to make ends meet. It had always surprised her that not once in all that time had she ever run across her family. After making sure that everything was turned off in the darkroom, she made her way to her room after eating the last of her cereal. The bed wasn’t made, of course, but she didn’t care. Taking the last of her suitcases off it, Ramsey stripped down and laid out on the messy bed. She was asleep almost immediately.  Two hours later she was awake and refreshed. Taking a long hot shower, Ramsey thought of where she might be going. And when she got there, what she was going to do first. Ramsey didn’t have a job to go to like everyone thought. She’d said that to her dad to make sure he didn’t worry. Moot point, she supposed, since he’d not cared before. But she was going somewhere. Ramsey didn’t even have a destination in mind, not really, but she was going to South Africa. And she was going to take pictures of everything. And a lot of them. By six that night she had everything printed and the pictures—which she’d made extras of for her dad—in a box. Affixing a label to the box, she put it near her luggage so she’d remember to mail it. Sitting down on the floor in the kitchen, she tried to remember if she had everything she was going to need. At seven she picked up the last of her things and was headed out the door and locking it up when someone came up behind her. Lucky for him, or maybe herself, she was able to stop herself from knocking her dad on his ass. Ramsey asked him what he was doing there. “I’m a very resourceful man when I need to be, Ramsey. And I realized that if you left today, without me even talking to you once more, I wouldn’t get to see you again. I think…well, you have no reason to want me in your life, but I would very much like for you to try and have me in it.” He took the biggest suitcase from her and put it in his car. “I paid the driver that was here. I’ll make sure you get to the airport on time.”
“Why are you doing this? I thought we cleared things up last night.” She was still standing on her stoop when he came back for the other piece of luggage. “Dad? What are you really doing here?” “How about if we have dinner before you go? I know you have time. We can even eat in the airport if you want. I just…I’d like to have dinner with you before you go. I don’t deserve this chance, and Lord knows that you have every reason to tell me to go to hell, but I need this, Ramsey.” She asked him why again. “Because I need to connect with you, and will take whatever…. No, that’s not quite right. I do want to be with you tonight, but I also wanted to make sure you knew how serious I was about you calling me. I thought…I hoped that I could convince you that I love you.” “I love you too, but this is unnecessary. Besides, I was just going to grab a burger at the airport, then wait for my flight. Dad, what does Mom think about you being here?” When he looked away, she knew. “She told you not to come here, didn’t she? It’s all right, Dad. Whatever she said, I’m sure she was right.” “She said you were trying for attention. You weren’t going anywhere, but acting out because you weren’t the center of attention at the wedding. I told her she couldn’t have been more wrong. You’ve never wanted to be there before. That’s more Deidra’s style, not yours.” He took the box from her and noticed that it had his name on it. “What’s this?” “I took some pictures at the wedding and thought she’d want them. Or you might. I don’t care. I don’t even know why I took them other than I wanted to do it. It was just…I don’t understand any of this.” He laughed, and it sounded so sad that she had to brace herself when the pain tore at her heart. “You should go back home before Mom gets upset.” “She already is. And it’s doubtful that she’s going to be in any better mood from now on.” He shut the trunk of his car and turned to her. “Where are you going, Ramsey? Please let me know that much. Not that I deserve it, but I’d like to know.” “My first stop is in South Africa. The next…I don’t know. I don’t have a plan or a job. I just know that I can’t be here and not be in your lives anymore.” He nodded as if he already knew that. “Dad, it’s all right. I’ve told myself that you had the other two, and Mom has often told me that I wasn’t planned. It’s fine.” “But it’s not. It’s not fine at all. Not for me. I screwed up. Now I want to…I don’t know what I want, but I know that I want to get to know you. Start over, I guess.”  Ramsey looked at the big moving van coming down the street. Going to her dad’s car, she wasn’t surprised that he opened the door for her. He was old world all the way to his little bow tie he always wore. When he got in on the driver’s side, she told him she was ready and they drove off. Ramsey tried her best not to see the van pulling up in front of her little house so they could strip out the rest of her things. The darkroom would be picked up later that day by someone from the high school as a donation to their art department. And that would be it. Everything that she’d been would be gone in a matter of hours. It would be as if Ramsey Stockholm had never been. The trip to the airport didn’t take long. Her dad asked her questions and she answered them. Not anything too personal, she realized, but he was trying. When he
parked, he took most of her luggage and she her carry-on things. He had the box of pictures under his arm, and when she asked him about that, he laughed. “I want to see them while you’re here so that I can tell you what a great job you did.” He laughed again when she told him they might be crap. “Nah, I don’t think so. I found out you’re pretty famous with your camera. I mean, you are R. S. Holms, aren’t you? I had no idea.” “No one does. And I’d like to keep it that way.” He nodded as they made their way through the line to have her luggage checked. “Those pictures aren’t your normal wedding kind of thing. Most of them are candid shots that I had fun taking. You really might think they’re crap when you see them.” “I highly doubt that. You’re quite famous as a photographer, aren’t you? The article I read about you, they don’t know who you are, do they? No one even knows that you’re a female.” She shook her head. “I’m glad I looked. I almost skipped over the article because it said you weren’t who I was looking for. Why did you change it?” “My personal life is just that. Personal. And if I put out there that I was who I am, I think any doors that would have opened for me when I started taking pictures would have been because of your last name. This is all mine, not the family’s.” She wondered if she might have hurt him again, but he smiled at her. “I wanted to do this on my own, and I did it.” “You certainly did, and I understand that.” She wasn’t sure he did but said nothing. “While our name means a great deal around the world, you just wanted to make it without my help. I’m proud of you for that.” “Thank you.”  After her luggage was tagged and taken away, they decided to have dinner at one of the nicer restaurants in the place. Ramsey had about three hours before her plane took off, and she wasn’t sure she wanted to sit with her dad while waiting. He seemed to genuinely want to be with her, but she was sure that he’d get bored after a while and want to cut it short. When he ordered his dinner then she hers, he pulled out the box and opened it. The very first picture was of Deidra standing in her room with her sweat pants and tee shirt on, with her wedding gown hanging from the hook on the wall. He pulled it from the box and studied it. “That dress alone could have fed an entire village.” She laughed when he did. “I guess I’m odd when I think that the money could have been better spent. Like on a house or something. But I guess they have their own ideas of what is going to work in their own lives. What that is, I have no idea, but that’s what she said to me. I don’t care for Chad all that much anyway.” “To be honest with you, neither do I. And we did buy them a house, but…well, Chad, I found out, has a bit of a gambling problem, and I made him a deal. I’ll use what I paid for the house to pay the debt off, and he’ll be on his own.” He shook his head. “I have a feeling that this is never going to be the end of it for them. And Gregory is…well, I don’t want to talk about them right now.”
He had made his way through about half the pictures when their dinner came. Ramsey had the grilled salmon with grilled scallops on the side, plus a huge baked potato. Her dad, a steak and potatoes man, had ordered a beautiful porterhouse with the same potato with butter and sour cream. No salads for either of them. When he looked at the last picture in the box, she felt herself getting uncomfortable. He stared at the last one for so long that she wanted to ask him what was wrong with it. Her dad looked at her with tears in his eyes and she felt her heart twist. “The only family picture in the world that is half assed. You should have been in this with us. Obviously you were there. Why didn’t you join us?” She just shook her head and he nodded as if he might know. “Was it your mom or Deidra that told you to step out of the picture? I have no doubt, after this, that it could have been both of them.” “I understand why she didn’t want me there. It was Deidra’s day, not mine.” That wasn’t really what was said to her, but it was less painfully said her way. “But the picture turned out nicely, didn’t it?” “It did. I believe that these pictures are going to be much nicer than the ones we paid that man too much money to take. But I want to know. What did your mother say to you, Ramsey? I need to know.” She didn’t want to tell him. But then she thought what the hell, I’m leaving and more than likely won’t be back. “Ramsey?” “She told me it was for the family and not for upstarts like me. I started to point out that I was her daughter too when she…she slapped me. Told me that she wished I’d not been born. I unbalanced her life. Unbalanced? How did I…? I had no say in being born. Why does she say things like that to me?” She turned away from him to finish. “To be honest with you, it was the deciding factor in my leaving without saying a word to any of you. I don’t know why I even told…yes I do. I wanted to hurt you like you all have hurt me my entire life. That’s the only reason that I even told you I was going.” “I don’t know why she’d say those things to you. I really don’t. But I am glad that you told me. It afforded me this, this opportunity to see if I could patch things up—even if it is nearly too late—between us.” He pushed his plate away too. Her appetite was gone, as it appeared his was. “She said that I was a fool to try and mend the fences with you, even if that was what I was going to do. She blamed you for this and so many things that I don’t even know how she thought you were a part of. I never realized the extent of her hatred for you. Saying that all you wanted was for…well, you know what she said. All the attention. Then when I told her I was going to talk to you, she had a fit and ended up in bed with one of her headaches. I didn’t stay to listen to her anymore. Gregory said he’d keep an eye on her for me.” “She hates me, Dad.” He didn’t say anything, and for that she was grateful.  The rest of the meal was spent not mentioning the family. Ramsey thought that was about as depressing as it could get. When her flight was called, he walked her to the barriers and pulled her into his arms. “I’m sorry. So very sorry, honey.” She told him not to worry about it. “I will, and I still am. But I want you to take this. It’s a credit card with just your name on it. You can…if you want to come home sometime or anything, just use it. And I have a number there
that I want you to use. It’s…well, it’s mine and mine alone. If you can’t get me that way, then use the house phone. But I want you to call me. Weekly if you can.” “I don’t need this, Dad.” He pushed it back at her when she tried to give it back. “Dad, you don’t have to do this for me to call you. I will.” “It’s not why I’m doing it. I want you to have a backup plan. A way to come home to me if you need me.” She wanted to tell him she needed him years ago, but said nothing. “I wasn’t there for you for nineteen years, Ramsey, but I want to be now.” Nodding, she was moving to the gates when he called her back. This hug she returned, and felt better when they parted ways. Ramsey cried all the way to her first stop, and got off the plane with a heavy and saddened heart.