2016 BOOK SIGNINGS!

I'll be attending the following signings this year, covering east coast and west coast: GOLDEN GATE AUTHOR EVENT - (San Francisco, CA) - June 11 SASS STAR STUDDED EVENT - (Norfolk, VA) - July 9

Because I'm in the giving mood (it's my birthday), and I'd love to see you there, I've got tickets up for grabs!  Scroll down to find out how to enter!

Paperback copies of Ricochet AND Backfire will be available at both events as well!

That's not all ... Sexy Backfire cover model, Johnny Kane, will be at the Norfolk author event signing copies of the book!

(Photography by Mike Ruiz)

Lots of amazing authors will be attending and tickets are going fast.  Click on the links below to for more information!

I'll have limited copies of each book at the signings, so if you'd like to reserve a copy prior to the event, please fill out this preorder form:   KERI LAKE PREORDER FORM

Be sure to select the correct event on the preorder form or your books may be sent to the wrong location!

WANT TO WIN TICKETS TO EITHER EVENT?

Send me a message at keri (at) kerilake.com and be sure to tell me which event you'd like to attend.  I'll pick two winners from the messages!

CLICK BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION & JOIN THE FB GROUPS!

Cover Reveal: BACKFIRE

It's finally here! I've been dying to show off this gorgeous cover, designed by the insanely talented, Hang Le.  Paired beside Chris Williamson's handsome face on Ricochet's cover, these books are going to look so damn pretty on my bookshelf.

Before I get to the goods, I want to thank Eric Battershell for working with me and traveling to Florida to photograph the sexy model that I had to have for this cover.  In fact, I'd gone through a number of images before I stumbled upon his, and I refused to consider anyone else for Backfire.  He matched the face of Jase Hawkins so perfectly.  Thank you to model, Johnny Kane, for being so awesome (and possessing some damn good genes).  Follow him on Instagram for some ridiculously hot pics.

Many many thanks to Hang Le for being so patient and so wonderful - absolutely love working with her!

I also want to thank Book Slut Goddess from The Literary Gossip for recommending Eric!

Finally, I just want to mention that I wouldn't have considered a spin off to Ricochet, if not for the amazing support of the contemporary bloggers and my wonderful readers who encouraged me to write more of this genre. ❤

Okay, okay, I know what you came for, so without further delay, here is the cover and blurb for BACKFIRE.

Add it to your Goodreads shelf and be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win an ARC before it releases!

 Backfire-3D-book

Backfire-3D-book

BACKFIRE

By Keri Lake

Adult Contemporary Romance - Standalone

Expected Release Date:  June 2016

Cover Design:  Hang Le

Image Credit:  Eric Battershell

BLURB:

No matter how unbreakable he may seem, every man has a weakness.

A year ago, my home became a bloodstained crime scene. That night marked the beginning of my hell—the same night I was tortured by my enemies and tossed into an underground prison to die.

They failed. I survived.

Now that I’m free, only one motive burns in my soul:  revenge.

Lucky for me, they think Jase Hawkins is dead.  Maybe I am. I’ve got nothing but a cold, merciless rage, and Black Betty, the sharp steel blade that never leaves my side.

Then she drifts into my life.

Lucia wants answers—so much so, she’s willing to fall into the darkness where my enemies lie in wait, to kill her for what she knows.

Or to take her for the depraved fantasies her body alone can rouse in a man’s mind.

Me?  I want herfor the fire in her touch that feeds my addiction, forces me to feel what has become numb, but my appetite for bloodshed runs deeper than flesh.

For my own sanity, I’ve vowed to stay away from her. Because she’s myonly weakness, an obsession that leaves me craving more—one that could make even the most steadfast plan backfire.

 Add To Goodreads

Add To Goodreads

Backfire Teasers

 BACKFIRE TEASER - Storm Quote

BACKFIRE TEASER - Storm Quote

 Backfire Prologue Teaser

Backfire Prologue Teaser

 Backfire Playlist

 Giveaway Time!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal Sign-Up for BACKFIRE

Phew!  It’s been a while since I posted on the blog, but there’s a reason for that—I’ve been so freakin’ busy plotting and writing books, I feel like I’m crawling back into reality for the first time. So today I thought I’d tackle two things:

  1. I have the sign up for the cover reveal for Backfire
  2. I’ll address the questions I’ve received about Ricochet and Backfire

In TWO WEEKS—March 3rd—I’ll be sharing the gorgeous cover for Backfire, the second book in the Vigilantes series!!  Any bloggers who’d like to sign up for the reveal, simply click this link:

 button

button

Thank you so so much for your incredible support!

Okay, now on to some of the questions about this new book and how it relates to Ricochet (I’m not going to say TOO much as I don’t want to spoil any of the story):

Is Backfire a continuation of Nick and Aubree?

Nope.  This is a totally new couple.  I wanted to keep Ricochet a complete standalone, as promised, but I didn’t want to leave that world behind yet, so Backfire is a spin-off of Ricochet.  There will be a second book to this spin-off titled Ballistic, but each book can be read as a standalone with its own HEA.

Will we see more of Nick and Aubree’s story?

I’ve tossed around the idea of a short novella, but nothing has been plotted out yet, at this point.

Will characters from Ricochet appear in Backfire?

Yes.  There will be some characters from Ricochet and a whole lot of new ones.

Is this going to be the same storyline as Ricochet?

This is a Vigilantes novel, set in the same world as Ricochet, so the theme of revenge and corruption will carry through.  It’s also a look at how another home was affected by Devil’s Night.  The circumstances are different from Nick’s though.

Be sure to pop in on March 3rd when I’ll reveal the cover for Backfire!  In the meantime, add it to your Goodreads shelf!

Paranormal Obsessions Is Live!!

Paranormal Obsessions

Official genre of box set

: paranormal romance

From mythical to erotic to spooky to just plain fun…

PARANORMAL OBSESSIONS

will blow your mind. With sexy ghosts in haunted brothels, werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters and mythical beings

PARANORMAL OBSESSIONS

will light up your e-reader. These 3 novellas and 6 full-length novels are only

99c

for a limited time so one-click today and start reading this fabulous boxed set from bestselling and multi-published authors.

Power Shift: Hunting the Bounty Hunter beneath Haunted Alaska Skies

 -

Calinda B

A mystery hovers around the Haunted Bear Glacier near the remote town of Charming, Alaska--one Town manager Chia Petit’s determined to solve. There's nothing she loves better than a good Alaska adventure--when she's not obsessed by her sexual needs or her obedience to rules.Will Chia lose her town to those with dollar signs clouding their judgment, or will her undeniable, wanton attraction to Hung Durand distract her?

Mating Urge

-

Michelle Howard

Desperate to escape her stepfather and false criminal charges, Elliana Cage needed a way out. It made perfect sense to sneak onboard the first ship departing her home. When her path crosses with a handsome stranger, she’s in for the surprise of her life.

Aran T'Kar didn't expect to discover a beautiful woman hiding out on the Zanian. Protocol dictates detainment, but Aran can't resist the urge to take one taste.

My Blood Runs Blue

-

Stacy Eaton

Officer Kristin Greene has always felt something was missing from her life. Kristin finds herself investigating a homicide where a woman has had her throat ripped brutally out. As she begins to dig for the answers, she is thrown into a world she never knew existed. When Julian and Alexander crash into her life, she is pulled into a love triangle that has been going on longer than she has been alive.

Darkness & Light

-

J.A. Belfield

When Jem Stonehouse, dreamer of werewolves, meets werewolf Sean Holloway, worlds collide and fantasy becomes reality. Apart, the two are safe but live unfulfilled lives. Together, they'll become prey to rival packs, as they have been for hundreds of years. To keep history from repeating itself, he must win her love.

Can Jem accept her destiny,or is her inner wolf buried too deep to save her future with Sean?

Calm Assurance (Orlosian Warriors Novella) -

Dariel Raye

A straight-laced Nephilim-descendant and a human trouble-magnet?

Asriel - Orlosian Warrior, descendant of Nephilim, law enforcer - glimpses Malina, a human with a penchant for drawing trouble like a tornado, and she becomes his obsession.

With no hope of finding love in his dimension, he breaks the cardinal rule, leaving his home to protect her, but she has also drawn the attention of his enemies.

Laurel Heights

-

Denise Moncrief

Laurel hopes Laurel Heights will be a safe haven to escape her abusive past. Are the bumps, thumps, and bangs in the night caused by the murderer of her cousin James, her ex-boyfriend seeking revenge, or a disturbed soul trying to communicate with the living? Drawn together by the mystery, Chase and Laurel become entangled in a relationship that seems hopeless. Can their love survive the haunting of Laurel Heights?

Eternal Night

by

Jade Kerrion

Alone for a millennium, since a human murdered her beloved consort, Ashra, the immortal icrathari queen, rules over Aeternae Noctis, the domed city of eternal night. Her loneliness appears to be at an end when her consort's soul is reborn in a human, Jaden Hunter, but will their reunion be thwarted by enemies without, treachery within, and the greatest mystery of all—what is the city of eternal night?

Rock Solid

-

Bonnie Edwards

A sexy ghost story linking 2 series: The Brantons and Perdition House

.

Jake MacKay gets a ghostly call demanding he come to Perdition to give an estimate on renovations.

Lexa Creighton is a descendent of people who worked in the haunted bordello.

Just because her ancestors are dead doesn't mean they won't mess with her sex life!

With the spirits of Perdition interfering, Jake's pursuit of Lexa gets … complicated.

Soul Avenged

-

Keri Lake

After her home is invaded by lycans, the brutal attack is the only memory Ayden carries of her former life.

Newly bitten lycan, Kane Walker, has something Ayden wants—clues that may finally lay her past to rest. To reach them, she must be willing to submit to the sensual pleasures awakened by his touch.

But time is running out.

In seven days, Kane will become what Ayden despises most.

It's time to meet and interact with the authors and celebrate the release of this incredible box set. Come join them for an evening of fun. There will be prizes and games. September 25th.

A PLATINUM EVENT! OFFICIAL RELEASE PARTY FOR THE PARANORMAL OBSESSIONS ANTHOLOGY!

Calinda B

is a bestselling author who crafts erotic short stories and paranormal, sci-fi and contemporary romance novels. An avid adventurer and outdoor enthusiast with a quirky sense of humor, she's always finding ways to torture her characters, and to entertain her long time love, her two cats or her kids and friends. She lives in the breathtaking Pacific Northwest, a place that soothes her soul and gives her plenty of time to write, scuba dive, work, write, bike ride, write, kayak, write and write some more.

With seventeen books roaming the universe and more in her head, you can find her on her 

BLOG

or

FACEBOOK PAGE

. You can sign up for her

newsletter

, get free books, access to giveaways and more.

Michelle Howard

enjoys a crazy life that involves wild kids, a loud dog, and a husband who tolerates the madness. Like many authors, she’s dreamed of writing since reading her first romance novel many years ago. She loves paranormal and contemporary romances and is a fan of the classic romances by Judith McNaught and Julie Garwood.

I love to hear from fans so please reach out to me through

FACEBOOK

or 

TWITTER

. If the mood hits you, leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads.

Stacy Eaton

has been a full-time police officer since 2000. Her current assignment is as Detective of her small town department. She enjoys crime scene investigation; taking a passion in putting the pieces together to figure out the crime. She is also a business owner where she helps people get the awareness out for the causes they care most about. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for her local Domestic Violence Center. She is a mother of two, a son proudly serving in the United States Navy and a tween daughter who is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and loves cheerleading. Her husband is also in law enforcement. She loves music and photography. Stacy has published 12 novels to date, with several more coming out in the next year. Visit her on

FACEBOOK

or

TWITTER

.

J.A. Belfield

lives in Solihull, England, with the best husband in the world, aka Mr B, a couple of back-chatting but pretty cool kids, a pooch she treats likes the baby of the house, and a couple of scrawny cats that like to vomit in unnecessary places.

Although best known for her Holloway Pack series: DARKNESS & LIGHT (July 2011, J. Taylor Publishing), INSTINCT (February2012, J. Taylor Publishing), ETERNAL (July 2012, J. Taylor Publishing), BLUE MOON (December 2012, J. Taylor Publishing), RESONANCE (April 2013, J. Taylor Publishing), CAGED (August 2013, J. Taylor Publishing), and UNNATURAL (April 2014, J. Taylor Publishing), amongst other titles, she is currently trawling her way through a New Adult Post Apocalyptic and would LOVE to try her hand at YA. Maybe she will.

J.A. Belfield also writes children's picture books under the pen name Jenna Lyn Field. Visit her on 

FACEBOOK

 or 

TWITTER

.

Dariel Raye

is a multi-published author, musician (sings and plays 9 musical instruments including piano, organ, brass, and percussion), counseling psychologist and educational consultant who tutors algebra and statistics. An animal lover, she actively supports several animal rescue and cruelty prevention groups. She writes IR/MC (interracial/multi-cultural) paranormal and fantasy romance and is presently writing a shifter series, “Dark Sentinels,” a reluctant hell-dweller series, “Kushiel’s Keep,” two Nephilim series with vampire-like heroes, “Orlosian Warriors” and “Cain’s Progeny,” “Lifegivers,” a paranormal romance series with a variety of beings, and an erotic fantasy newsletter serial. To learn more about Dariel and her books, Visit her 

BLOG

and join her 

NEWSLETTER

for news about releases and events.

Denise Moncrief

is a Southern girl who has lived in Louisiana all her life, and yes, she has a drawl. She has a wonderful husband and two incredible children, who not only endure her writing moods, but also encourage her to indulge her writing passion. Besides writing romantic suspense, she enjoys traveling, reading, and scrapbooking.

Accounting is a skill she has learned to earn a little money to support her writing habit. She wrote her first story when she was a teen, seventeen handwritten pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel she had read. She's been writing off and on ever since, and with more than a few full-length manuscripts already completed, she has no desire to slow down.Visit her on 

FACEBOOK

 or 

TWITTER

.

Jade Kerrion

defied (or leveraged, depending on your point of view) her undergraduate degrees in Biology and Philosophy, as well as her MBA, to launch her second (and concurrent) career as an award-winning science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance author. Her debut novel,

Perfection Unleashed

, won six literary awards and launched the

Double Helix

series, which should be read in order for maximum enjoyment. (Hang in there for the happy ending…)

Life Shocks Romances

features her sweet and sexy contemporary romance series.

Eternal Night

won the Gold Medal in Fantasy at the 2014 Royal Palm Literary Awards. She writes at 3:00 am when her husband and three sons are asleep, and aspires to make her readers as sleep-deprived as she is. Visit her on 

FACEBOOK

 or 

TWITTER

.

Multi-published author

Bonnie Edwards

lives with her husband and pets on the rainy coast of British Columbia. She believes life should be lived with joy. That joy shows up in her earthy, irreverent love stories. Bonnie uses long hikes to bounce ideas off her husband and her standard poodle, who almost always agrees with her.

She has written novels, novellas and short stories for Carina Press, Harlequin, Kensington Books and Robinson (UK) although now she publishes her work herself.

Sometimes her stories have a paranormal twist, likes curses and ghosts, other times not. But they’re always entertaining and guarantee a happy ending. Visit her on 

FACEBOOK

 or 

TWITTER

.

Keri Lake

is a married mother of two living in Michigan. By day, she tries to make use of the degrees she’s earned in science. By night, she writes dark contemporary and paranormal romance. Though novels tend to be her focus, she also writes short stories and flash fiction on the many occasions when distraction sucks her in to the Land of Shiny Things.

She loves hearing from readers …

FACEBOOK

 or 

TWITTER

.

MoB

magicofbookspromo@gmail.com

PARANORMAL OBSESSIONS ANNOUNCEMENT

I've got some exciting news to share! Fans of paranormal romance, check this out.  Back in January, writer bud, J.A. Belfield, told me about a group of authors looking to form a paranormal boxset and asked if I'd like to join.  For the last few months, I've been secretly working behind the scenes with eight super talented writers and bestselling authors to bring you PARANORMAL OBSESSIONS.  Take a look! 

Paranormal Obsessions Video Trailer

COMING SOON!!

PARANORMAL OBSESSIONS will take you places you’ve never been: haunted mansions, small towns, even mythical places created with romance readers in mind. These STEAMY ROMANCES will light up your life or darken your door.

We have sexy ghosts, shapeshifters, vampires and Nephilim from NINE bestselling and multi-published authors in one fabulous box set: PARANORMAL OBSESSIONS will get your blood pumping and raise your temperature!

To get a daily update on each book and the authors involved, and find out great ways on how you can get a chance to win some swag, like the Paranormal Obsessions FB page!

If you'd like to review Paranormal Obsessions, shoot me an email:  keri (at) kerilake (dot) com.

WINNERS OF TEN SIGNED PAPERBACKS!

For the release of Ricochet, I offered up 10 signed paperbacks to the first 10 people who left HONEST review of Ricochet AND submitted the link to their review in a separate form (for verification purposes only). I have the first ten lovely reviewers who took the time to post their thoughts about the book! 

Congratulations to:

Amanda L.

Rebecca H.S.

Eliza I.

Dora B.L.

Timitra C.B.

Aleksandra A.

Sunshine L.

Loyda H.

Lana K.

Michelle C.

Each of you will receive an email this evening, notifying you of the prize!

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been shipping out prizes and have many more to send, so please be patient as I get to each person!

Additionally, the first 50 who submit a review will be receiving a signed postcard from me as well AND be automatically entered in the drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card.  You’ll receive notification of the winner once 50 submissions have been received (almost there!) or deadline has been reached – whichever comes first (deadline was extended to August 14, 2015).

Additionally, I’ve drawn a winner of the $25 gift card for the bloggers who helped me out prior to release day!

Congratulations to Melissa E.!!

I’ll be getting in touch with you this evening as well to notify you of your prize!

Still a couple spots open!  Submit the link to your review HERE and you’ll be automatically entered into the contest!

HUGE thanks to everyone who helped with the tour, left a review and recommended the book to others.  I cannot tell you how much that means to me.  ❤❤❤  You’ve truly made this an exciting venture into a new genre and I can’t wait to write you the next contemporary.

What’s next?

I’ve got a secret project that I will reveal soon.  At the moment I’m collaborating with an amazing cover designer for that.  In the meantime, I put it up on GOODREADS  ;)

AND

Soul Redeemed is up next for my PNR series, which means I get to go back to the very awesome David Wagner to put together something sexy for Calix’s cover!  More details to come!!  Add it to your GOODREADS shelf!

Have you grabbed your copy of Ricochet yet??

 

 

Ricochet Tour - Winner Announced!!

The Ricochet blog tour has sadly come to an end and now it’s time for me to crawl back into my lab and work on my next wicked little concoction! What am I working on next??? 

I’ll explain in a minute, but first, I want to announce the winner of the TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY!!

I also want to thank the lovely ladies at Enticing Journey Promotions for organizing the tour – they did a fabulous job.  And to the amazing bloggers who not only helped me with the tour, but left reviews, hosted giveaways and takeovers and created some of the most stunning graphics I’ve ever seen—you've gotta check them out on my Instagram—THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Without further delay, the winner of the $50 Amazon gift card AND signed paperback copy of Ricochet is …

Drumroll ….

LAUREN S.!!!

Congratulations!!  I’ll be emailing you this evening for shipping details!

Another $50 Amazon gift card is STILL up for grabs!!

I’ve not yet reached the first 50 submissions on this form, so leave an honest review, submit your link here and you’ll be notified of a SECOND $50 Amazon gift card plus you’ll receive signed Ricochet swag!

Click HERE for the submission form!

Once I’ve received 50 submissions, an email will be sent with more details on how to win the second gift card.

In the meantime, I’m working on TWO books, if you can believe that!  A secret project for my contemporary readers that I’ll announce soon and SOUL REDEEMED (Book 4 in my Sons of Wrath series).  More news to come so stay tuned!

If you’re around at 2:30 PM EST, stop in at The Literary Gossip’s one year anniversary where I’ll be celebrating with an amazing line up of authors!  Lots of prizes up for grabs, and I’ll have a signed copy of Ricochet to give away so stop by!

 

RICOCHET BLOG TOUR!

What an amazing week this has been!  Ricochet released on July 9th and I've been absolutely humbled by the response to Nick's story.  Thank you so much for the kind messages, the posts to my FB wall and the mentions ❤  That rocks the hell out of my day!

Today begins the blog tour and your chance to win a SIGNED PAPERBACK COPY of Ricochet plus a $50 Amazon gift card (see the Rafflecopter form below)!!!  I'm also giving away bonus prizes for leaving an honest review for the book on Amazon or B&N! 

Many many thanks to the wonderful bloggers who've signed up for the tour and helped spread the word! ❤ Also, to the readers who've read the book and recommended it to others - I cannot thank you enough ❤

 

 

 

"This book is what would result if The Punisher and V for Vendetta ever had a baby. A super fucked up but incredibly awesome baby." ~ Dirty Girl Romance

"Holy. Fucking. Hell. Mind is blown and I'm left reeling. I've pulled myself together and can now write the review this book deserves." ~ Sam's Ramblings

"Ricochet was my first foray into the world of Keri Lake and if I could describe her writing style based on this alone, the words Evil Genius come to mind. " ~ Smokin' Hot Book Blog

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Leave an honest review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble and enter the form below for a chance to win:

***SIGNED PAPERBACK COPY OF RICOCHET to the first 10 readers who submit a review ***SIGNED POST CARD to the first 50 people who submit a review

The first 50 submissions will receive an email containing a password for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

NOTE: You MUST submit the link to your review in this form to be eligible. Winners will NOT be drawn from the various sites (they will be chosen based on this form): REVIEW SUBMISSION FORM

HOSTED BY:

#RICOCHET Is LIVE!!!!

IT’S LIVE!!! Oh man, feels like I’ve waited an eternity to release this sucker!  After the exciting cover reveal back in September, it’s been absolute torture!

And now the day has FINALLY arrived!!

RICOCHET is my first contemporary romance, and though I was a bit nervous jumping into a whole new genre, I have to say, I enjoyed every minute of writing this book.  Definitely a dark and gritty read, so be sure to check out the warning at the front.

I cannot wait for you to meet Nick.  Of all the heroes I’ve written so far, he holds a very special place in my heart.  He's tortured and fierce, but smart and sexy at the same time.  I love writing complex MC's that walk the line of good and evil, and Nick definitely had me questioning what makes a character villainous.

I just want to say thank you to all of the bloggers and my kickass street team for helping me spread the word over the next couple of weeks.  Special thank you to the Goodreads community for giving me a very warm welcome into the contemporary genre ❤  Early reviews are up on Goodreads and some of the teasers that readers have created are gorgeous!  Stop by and check them out!

I’ve got a couple giveaways going on below, including a chance to win one of TEN SIGNED PAPERBACKS I'm giving away!

You’ll also find an excerpt from the book and my playlist, so as tempting as it is to stay on the cover, be sure to keep scrolling down!!

RICOCHET

By Keri Lake

Adult Contemporary Romance – Standalone

Image credit: SPECULAR

Cover Model:  CHRIS WILLIAMSON

WARNING:  **Not recommended for readers under the age of 18 due to graphic violence, sex and strong language.  Trigger warning for self harm.

BLURB:

The only sure way to destroy a man is to take what he cannot live without.

Three years ago, I had everything.

A beautiful wife.

A son.

A reason for living.

Until a ruthless task force, assembled under Mayor Michael Culling, with a brutal strategy to make the streets of Detroit ‘safe’, ripped away everything I loved in a deadly hunt called The Culling.

They tried to kill me, too. I wish they had. Now I’m cursed by the memories of that night, and the words I whispered to my dying wife.

A promise—to avenge the wrong and set it right.

I’m no longer Nick Ryder. I’m a masked vigilante. Faceless. Loveless. Fearless. A man with nothing left to lose—one who’s seen the dark and violent truth behind the city’s flawless veneer.

Michael Culling doesn’t know who I am. Or what I want. All he knows is that I’ve kidnapped his beautiful wife.

An eye for an eye—isn’t that how the saying goes? And Aubree Culling is the perfect pawn to destroy him.

If she doesn’t destroy me first.

Grab Your Copy!

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

 Excerpt

With my right hand, I pinned her flailing fist, then released her throat and seized the other. She stilled, flat against the wall, with my body pressed into hers.

“You had everything to do with it.” I pushed harder, my muscles steeled. “He didn’t just wrong me, he annihilated me. And there you were, stroking his cock, smiling beside him all the while.”

“All you saw was a smile, then. You should’ve looked deeper. So what? I’m your revenge? Your ticket to hurting him?” She sneered. “Guess what? He doesn’t give a shit about me. He never did. So, go ahead, Nick. Kill me.” She lifted her head away from the wall, only inches from my face. “Snap my fucking throat, if that’s what you plan to do. You’d be doing him and me a favor.”

Her body pulsed with tension, the tremble beating against me, through me, inside of me. Anger. Hate.

So much hate.

With one quick twist of my hands, I could’ve snapped her neck, been done with the whole plan and exited my miserable fucking existence on the wings of a bullet to my skull.

Instead, I slammed my lips against hers. Loving the struggle of her body trying to push me away. Hating the fact that her lips tasted like sweet salvation, beckoning me to whatever web of deception she’d been weaving since I’d taken her. Her delicious smell pervaded my senses—water on the flames burning inside of me, steaming up my mind.

Three years.

The last time I’d devoured a woman’s lips was three years ago, and that had been out of love. Kissing Aubree was something else entirely. Not gentle or tender. I kissed her violently, with all the fury locked inside of me, our frantic breaths clashing with one another.

Her moan vibrated inside my skull, as her hands clenched to fists, trying to break free from my grasp.

She opened her mouth wider, dragged my lip between her teeth, and bit me.

Aggression surged through my body and rattled the cage of something dark inside of me.

I wanted more. More pain. More rage. I wanted to tear into her while cursing her name. Purge myself of the hate until it was spent.

I broke the kiss, breaths heaving, as I glared down at her. “What do you know about Brightmoor?” I rasped.

“I don’t know anything about Brightmoor,” she gritted out.

Lies. “Yeah? Then, why did you have the fucking blueprints tucked in your purse? Devil’s Night plans safe and sound, beside your goddamn lipstick and compact.”

Her chest rose and fell as I kept her captive against the wall, her stare deadpan. “I didn’t—”

“Don’t lie to me.” I pressed harder, lips to her ear. “I fucking hate liars,” I whispered, inciting a shudder in her that brought a smile to my face. “Why did you have the chip?”

“I stole it.”

“You stole it.” I wanted to laugh at the stupidity of such a thought, but my voice lacked any ounce of humor or inflection. “I don’t think you did, Pistol Lips. I think he gave it to you. His little pet.”

“I fucking hate you.” Venom laced her words as she stared back at me, those golden eyes blazing with vehemence.

I licked my lips and glanced down at her pert breasts, and smiled. Squeezing her captured wrists with one hand, I reached up under her dress, only grazing the patch of lace that kept my finger from being inside of her, knowing everything she was too stubborn to admit.

Her lids turned heavy, as drunken eyes riveted on my lips.

“Tell me how much you hate me.”

“Don’t,” she warned, and I caught the scrape of her tongue across her teeth.

Grabbing a handful of hair, I tugged her head back until her neck stretched taut, and like a creature of night, I wanted to bite down into that supple flesh and rip her throat out. Dragging my tongue along her shoulder, I made my way to the base of her neck and bit her collarbone. She let out a gasp and I released her wrists. Lust blazed through my veins, when her fingers tangled in my hair and her leg curled around my hip, drawing me against her.

“You know what, Aubree? I fucking hate you, too, but goddamn … you taste so good.”

Hell was having her skin against mine and craving her so badly I wanted to crawl out of my own body.

 

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

 Playlist

 

Ricochet

 

 

Giveaway!!!

Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card AND a signed paperback copy of Ricochet!

IN ADDITION!

Long or brief, reviews are SO important to authors.  Leave an honest review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble and enter the form below (SEE LINK) for a chance to win:

***SIGNED PAPERBACK COPY OF RICOCHET to the first 10 readers who submit a review ***SIGNED POST CARD to the first 50 people who submit a review

The first 50 submissions will receive an email containing a password for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

NOTE: You MUST submit the link to your review in this form to be eligible. Winners will NOT be drawn from the various sites (they will be chosen based on this form):  REVIEW SUBMISSION FORM

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal: Pink Hair, Blue Hair by Jenna Lyn Field

I know this isn't my usual post, but as a mom, I'm always on the lookout for new authors for my kiddos, and that's not often easy, trying to weed through the many books out there these days.  I can tell you, these books are wonderful - perfect for little ones with a lesson cleverly embedded in each.  Plus, Jenna Lyn Field is a writer bud and I'm so proud of her for diving into children's books and sharing her artistic talent as both writer and illustrator.  If you've got little ones, I highly recommend these books! ❤ Here's the cover for her next release, Pink Hair, Blue Hair.  Love the message in this one! ❤❤❤  I often opt for books instead of cards at birthdays and holidays, and these are perfect.  Check them out!

Pink Hair, Blue Hair is the third picture book to be releasing from children’s author Jenna Lyn Field.

PHBH Front Cover 300

We are all unique!

Pink Hair, Blue Hair is a wonderful celebration of being ourselves, whoever we are - a must read for children everywhere.

Release Date: July 16th, 2015

What's more, Pink Hair, Blue Hair will be available FREE on Kindle to those who buy the paperback, so mark your calendars and treat the kids just in time for the summer holidays.

Or if you simply can't wait, you can pre-order the Kindle edition at a special pre-order price TODAY!

Amazon UK | Amazon US

In the meantime, why not add Pink Hair, Blue Hair to your Goodreads.

Other titles by Jenna Lyn Field:

The Rabbit With Terrible Habits

 

Noah's New Room

NNRFrontCover500

 

Colour Me Funky - Alphabet: Graffiti

CMF - AlphabetGraffitiCover

About the author:

Author of children's picture books, Jenna Lyn Field is the pen name of adult author J.A. Belfield. She lives in Solihull, England, with the best husband in the world, aka Mr B, a couple of back-chatting but pretty cool kids, a pooch she treats likes the baby of the house, and a scrawny cat that drives her insane.

Jenna also writes adult fiction under the name J.A. Belfield.

Find her here:

Amazon | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Release Date Announced!

I know I’ve been kind of vague about the exact release for Ricochet, but I don’t like to commit to a date until I know I can deliver.  It's been a rough start to the year for me, dealing with loss, illness, and the demands of other priorities.  And since there are so many details to consider—editing, formatting, booking the tour, distributing ARCs, arranging preorders, I had to know there’d be enough time to get everything together.  Additionally, I had some ideas for improving the story come up during the first beta read that required a bit of restructuring. Thank you so much for your patience while I work to get this book prepped and polished.

Mark your calendars!

Here are the dates:

Ricochet will release on  JULY 9TH, 2015. 

The book tour will run JULY 13th-24th

ARCs will be available on NetGalley sometime the week of June 22nd  (bloggers will be notified via email)

If you were a winner of an ARC during the cover reveal last September, you’ll also be contacted by email and asked to provide an e-reader address where the ARC will be sent directly to your device.

ARCs will be limited!

BLOGGERS …

If you’d like to sign up and participate in the blog tour, please fill out this form:

 TOUR SIGN UP

And finally, newsletter subscribers check your inbox!  There's a giveaway going on just for you!! ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RICOCHET - New Update!

*Crawls out of writing cave and covers eyes to block the blinding sunlight* Holy hell.

About two weeks ago, my very first beta reader—the ONLY woman in the world brave enough to read my first drafts—sent back some changes for Ricochet.  A few of them were total rewrites for me.  But instead wallowing in misery and drowning myself in alcohol, I tightened the cuffs chaining me to the computer and prepared to buckle down for what would ultimately be one hell of a rough ride.  Call me a masochist, but I love brutally honest feedback.  Love a challenge.  Whatever it takes to make this sucker shine.  I had one week to get this bastard cleaned up, and that was in the thick of the day job and a few family-related events. 

My muse likes to toy with me when there’s a deadline looming overhead.  He likes to hold back and taunt me, feeding me bits and pieces of the story at a time.  Unfortunately for him, I didn't have the time to f**k around.

Within a week, I finished the edits and sent the manuscript to both my editor and a few betas.

I’m floored at the speed my betas have gotten back to me.  This book is longer than I’d originally planned – I know, stupid for me to ‘plan’ a short book, right?  So I kind of expected a couple of weeks before I’d hear back from them.

Definitely not THE VERY NEXT DAY.

One of my betas read the book in two sittings!!

Another beta has already posted a very early review based on her read-through and created some fantastic little teasers to go along with it!  Check out her spoiler-free review here, and be sure to add Ricochet to your TBR list:

“This book is what would result if The Punisher and V for Vendetta ever had a baby.”  READ MORE

So what’s next?

Well I have a few minor tweaks to make and it’ll be with the editor for the next few weeks.

Once she’s finished, it’ll go on to formatting and be available on NetGalley.  I have a list of bloggers who’ll be approved for the ARC.

I cannot wait to share Nick’s story with all of you!  So exciting!  Stay tuned for more updates!

 

Blog Tour: ENTICED by J.A. Belfield

Welcome to my stop on the Enticed Blog tour!  If you've been following me a while, then you know how much I adore a certain character from Ms. Belfield's Holloway Pack series, and I'm excited to be a part of his birthday celebration!  After all, I *was* the object of his affection for a short time.

It's true, I'm totally telling the truth on this.

And then Ms. Belfield decided to change my name back to Shelley in the final draft and ... well.  Our affair ended.  But it was beautiful.  Beautiful and perfect and didn't need editing.  So when you read your copy of Enticed, simply replace 'Shelley' with 'Keri' and all will be right again.  Hehe

Okay, now that we've cleared that up, let's get this party started!

Check out the Rafflecopter below for a sweet prize Ms. Belfield is giving away in honor of Ethan's birthday.  You can grab a copy of Enticed for FREE.  That's right.  Smexy time with Ethan for the same amount of money it will cost you to suck in a deep breath when you begin to pant while reading this little gem.

Why wouldn't you grab some of that??

Book info:

Title: Enticed: A Holloway Pack Mini

Author: J.A. Belfield

Release Date: April 16th, 2015

ENTICED is a FREE short story that will enrapture both Holloway Pack fans and virgins alike.

Purchase Links: Enticed on Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Enticed in print

Other LinksGoodreads

Blurb:

Happy Birthday to Ethan.

Or is it?

Gifts aside, Ethan’s morning hasn’t been anything to write home about. Sure, life is good, the pack is staying out of trouble, he finally has a mate who boils his blood … in a good way.

Except Shelley hasn’t called. Hasn’t come by. Didn’t even bother to join her son and his girlfriend for Ethan’s annual I’m-a-year-older breakfast.

What Ethan doesn’t know is that Shelley has plans. Plans that have been in progress for weeks. Ones that Ethan will never see coming, and that she’s banked on him not knowing a thing about.

She can only hope her secrecy doesn’t force his inner wolf to the surface—at least, not too early.

*Can be read as a standalone.

Excerpt

Catching sugary wafts of sweetness, I crossed the room to the kitchen doorframe, leaning against it as I peered in. Oak doors shuttered the cabinets, and on the countertop sat a large white box with its lid not quite connected, from where I suspected the scents drifted out. Stretching onto my tiptoes, I peeked over the rim of the box through the sliver of space, and spotted the edges of white fondant icing.

I smiled like a moron. “You made me a cake, Shel?”

“Technically, I bought you a cake, but we can pretend otherwise,” she said from the bedroom. “But that’s not your gift.”

I turned, and I could’ve sworn my mouth opened in slow motion as I drew my hands from my pockets. My eyebrows probably would’ve creaked, if they had sound effects to accompany their upward rise.

Leaning into her bedroom doorframe and glancing up at me through lowered lashes, Shelley had donned some lacy getup—a Basque, all laced up along the front with a satiny thread, which her naturally plump breasts pretty much danced atop of. Beneath that, tiny, tiny knickers barely covered her groin V. Everything in a warm raspberry—including the suspender straps, hanging downward and clipped to stockings of chocolate brown that shimmered with the slightest move of her legs.

The entire getup, from her hair to toes, matched, making her look fucking edible.

“Damn, Shelley,” I muttered—about all I could manage. The room seemed too hot all of a sudden.

 

Giveaway Time!

Prize: 1 Signed Print Copy of ENTICED for your reading pleasure (and it will bring pleasure)

1 ENTICED 6×4 Coverart Print for your viewing pleasure (because Ethan is work viewing)

1 Thornton’s Viennese Truffle Bar to enjoy whilst you devour Ethan (as you will want to devour him)

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Ricochet Release Update!

I’m going to make this a quick update because the next few days are really about how many minutes I can stretch.  I have no idea what I was smokin’ when I scheduled these last two weeks in March, but I think I need another hit just to cope with the crazy. In case you missed it, I reached a major milestone for Ricochet over the weekend.  Finished the first draft!!

(click on image to enlarge)

I have the next 7 days to get a polished copy to my editor for it’s very first read-thru, and with all I’ve got going on this week (I’ll spare you the list), that means I’ll be locked away in my writing cave editing, but mostly looking for a portal that I can climb through, where time moves much slower.

This ain’t gonna be pretty.

Having spoken with my editor, I've decided that Ricochet’s release date will have to be pushed to June—and that’s assuming she likes what she’s about to read.  Should she call it absolute shit, I may need to push the date back a lil’ bit more (and stock up on some hard liquor).  I’d planned for a May release, but unfortunately, that’s just not possible.

In the meantime, I'll post some teasers, maybe an excerpt from the book, and you can always swing by the cover model's IG account for some eye candy to hold you over until you can stroke your very own copy.  Be careful - it's easy to get lost in all those muscly shirtless images.  You've been warned.

I'm gonna bust my ass to get this out as fast as I can.  I cannot wait for the paperback.  Not that I plan on stroking it.  Much.

Also ...

I’m gathering up some troops, looking for new recruits to sell their soul join my street team.

Members receive ARCs of all new titles, sneak peeks, and the chance to win some swag.

If you’d like to join, send me an email:   keri (at) kerilake (dot) com

Please add ‘street team’ in the subject.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!  Happy Frigarita!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Choices by J.L. McFadden

Happy Friday the 13th!!  I thought this would be a great day to showcase some PNR, and it just so happens I've got a new vampire series to pass along! Congratulations to JL McFadden on his new release, Choices. I've not yet read this series, but the images on the covers are GORGEOUS!  Looking forward to reading these, as the male MC is from Detroit, and you know how much I love the D. ❤ 

Check out the books, the characters, then enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below.  Follow his blog tour, going on throughout the month of March, and be sure to grab a copy of Choices (scroll down for links)!

The Guardian: Book 1 in the Guardian seriesFrom the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

In The Guardian, John, a young man from Detroit, realizes he has a special bond with a vampire, Gala. This gives him special abilities and makes both of them a target, as the ancients will stop at nothing to destroy him and his relationship with this unbridled female vampire.

Choices: Book 2 in the Guardian series

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksIn Choices, Adela, head of Gala’s coven, and John both have their fair share of choices to make. Adela must think of her coven, but at the same time she feels a burning desire for Gala’s Guardian.

John is torn between the woman he is fated to and Adela. He feels a desire to protect Gala, but also a yearning for Adela. At the same time, Adela must search for the secret journal known as the Guardian journal and protect those she loves from the dangers that lurk in the shadows.

Adela: the prequel to the Guardian series

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksAlso available is Adela, the prequel to the series. The book follows the adventures of Adela, a beautiful young woman of a very wealthy family in Eastern Europe, who is fending off advances from an older aristocratic German businessman with an evil presence about him.

When she falls madly in love with another man, her suitor attempts to use the enslavement of her father’s land and people to force her to be his own.

Character List: Adela

Adela is the leader of a vampire coven in Lithuania and of the strongest vampires in the world. Gala is her great-great niece and a member of her coven. In Choices, Adela struggles with her attraction to John, her grandniece’s Guardian.

  • Height: 5’9
  • Hair Color: Black
  • Eye Color: Brown
  • Born: 1194 AD
  • Turned: 1215 AD
  • Gifts: Has ancestral abilities –strength and gifts vampires gains at a certain age.
  • Family: Deceased – except her grandniece of many generations whom she turned to save from a terminal illness.

Character List: Gala

Gala is Adela’s right hand and C.O.O of the research company that is owned by the coven. Though her Guardian bond is so strong with John that she saved him from a car crash before his Guardian powers took hold, she finds herself wanting to push him away; she has never been able to handle any sort of relationship with anyone.

  • Height: 5’6
  • Hair Color: Dirty Blonde
  • Eye Color: Ice Blue
  • Born: 1972
  • Turned: 1989
  • Gifts: Has a Guardian
  • Family: Deceased

Character List: John

John is Gala’s Guardian. He is torn between Adela and Gala: he feels his bond with Gala, but her constant rejections and fits is making it even harder to deal with his attraction to Adela. He wonders if his attraction is due to the one ability Adela has gained through her ancestral powers – to be irresistible to anyone.

  • Height: 6’2
  • Hair Color: Black
  • Eye Color: Blue
  • Age: 23
  • Job Description: Guardian
  • Gifts: Guardians gain their supernatural powers from their bond with a vampire; their spirit is so connected to the vampire that if the vampire parishes the Guardian will soon follow.
  • Family: Deceased

About J.L. McFadden

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksJ.L McFadden was born in Pennsylvania and spent his life bouncing around the States until beginning to travel the world. Starting out, he was a well-known musician in upstate New York that had a heavy playing schedule. Later, he went back to his home state to work in the Lumber mills of the mountains. In California, he worked in sales, management and even directed a small moving company until deciding to see the world.

His travels around the world have allotted him to not only join an International Aikikai Aikido Federation, but to have trained with Sanseis from Belgium, Ukraine, Russia and other European countries. He accounts his journeys and meeting of new people to his broad character types in his books.

Connect with McFadden

You can connect with McFadden on:

One-click the books:

Enter the Giveaways!

This tour was sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Progress

It occurred to me that I haven’t posted any sort of progress here in some time.  Let me assure you—silence is a good thing.  When you don’t hear from me for a long stretch of time, it’s because every free second that I’m not at the day job or hanging out with the family, is spent writing.  Some of the bigger challenges I’m facing with this book are: keeping it under 400 pages, and trying not to slip into too much darkness.  Though, to be honest, I fully subscribe to one of Ricochet's quotes, when my hero, Nick, says (unedited):

I totally accept that I’m probably borderline psychotic when it comes to protecting those I love, so in my mind, the violence and gore that my head wants to write for this story is justified.  Anything less just doesn’t seem like enough punishment for what happened to my MC and his family.

But I’ll do my best to keep it lighter than what my muse insists would make a better story.

So that’s where I’m at right now—busting my butt to try to get this book out as quickly as I can.  You know me though, if I’m not happy with the end result, I won’t release it until I am.

I’ll try to update as much as I can along the way, but I’ve become VERY greedy about my writing time.  As much as I really want to tell you how things are going, I also want to deliver all these stories bouncing around inside my head.

Hope you’re all having a great week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal: Enticed by J.A. Belfield

Okay, I'm NOT going to take credit for the birth of this story, but I will tell you that about a year ago, I BEGGED J.A. Belfield to write a short about Ethan, "and make it really steamy ..." happened to be part of the request.  Then, a few months ago, a story popped up in my inbox, and J.A. asked me to check it out and holy shizzzz, it was my sexy Ethan short!!  I say 'my' because she'd gone so far, in the first draft, to change that other leading lady's name to mine!  Do you have any idea what it feels like to have your smexy book boyfriend telling you (directly) to lie back and spread your ... nevermind--that's between Ethan and me.

Moving along, this story is short and sweet and all kinds of sexy.  It has Ethan in all his broody hotness (and who doesn't love Ethan's broody hotness?), in a way you've not seen him in previous books.  Fans of paranormal should definitely add the Holloway Pack boys to the TBR--loaded with action and romance, it's sure to please!

Speaking of pleasing, let's take a look at that cover for Enticed!

Title: Enticed: A Holloway Pack Mini

Author: J.A. Belfield

Release Date: April 16th, 2015

Add it to Goodreads

Happy Birthday to Ethan.

Or is it?

Gifts aside, Ethan’s morning hasn’t been anything to write home about. Sure, life is good, the pack is staying out of trouble, he finally has a mate who boils his blood … in a good way.

Except Shelley hasn’t called. Hasn’t come by. Didn’t even bother to join her son and his girlfriend for Ethan’s annual I’m-a-year-older breakfast.

What Ethan doesn’t know is that Shelley has plans. Plans that have been in progress for weeks. Ones that Ethan will never see coming, and that she’s banked on him not knowing a thing about.

She can only hope her secrecy doesn’t force his inner wolf to the surface—at least, not too early.

*Can be read as a standalone.

 

 

Re-Release: Instinct by J.A. Belfield

Mucho congrats to my friend, J.A. Belfield, on the re-release of her prequel novella, INSTINCT!!  For a limited time (Friday January 23rd to Sunday, February 1st), you can grab a copy of this incredibly romantic story for FREE!

 

Blurb:

Werewolf Sean Holloway treats the village marketplace like a sexual buffet, though his charm does little to win over his latest entrée of choice. Whether because of Jem Stonehouse’s unique scent, her headstrong nonchalance, or the fact he is forbidden to see her by his pack’s rules, Sean wants her.

When Jem is nothing but flippant toward his advances, he pursues her with vigour, stealing moments alone with her without a libido-driven agenda.

The new and heady experience for him drives their relationship beyond romantic interest, and straight toward love.

That is, until Jem learns the truth about Sean’s heritage. Knowledge of the existence of werewolves leads to only one outcome: death.

In this prequel to Darkness & Light*, we are taken back in time, to the very beginning of Jem and Sean’s love-across-the-centuries relationship.

Did it end there? Or did Sean defy his own pack to save the woman he loves?

*Can be read as a standalone.

Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win $10 Amazon gift card and an ebook copy of ETERNAL, the sequel novella to INSTINCT.

CLICK BELOW TO ENTER THE RAFFLECOPTER!

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Excerpt from INSTINCT:

The marketplace had to be the best venue to pick up females. At the age of twenty, I would have been happy to visit every day, but James would not permit me. As Alpha, his commands were followed without question, so my visits were limited to once a week. I had to admit, it worked out better that way.

From fruit to art, to lace, to the blacksmith’s stall, I walked. Paintings of marketplaces often depicted them as cheery, colourful, and bustling with activity. The latter conception may have been correct; although, they leaned more toward grey and dreary than bright, and the air often filled with yells of anger and bitterness, as opposed to joyful greetings.

At least there were the scents: hams and boars’ heads, fruits, wines, the steam of cooking soups, and, my most favourite of all, the freshness of ripe women. Lorna Rushford, Helena Longbarrow, Matilda Thornberry named only a few, each of those alone bringing with her a memory.

The females noticed me as much as I did them, even though my past catches never approached, never asked why I had not called to visit, or if I would tend them again. Of course, my refusal to conform to the current trends in attire ensured I stood out from the other males who bothered to arrive. Whereas the women’s glances would be appraising, perhaps even hopeful, the men’s glares offered nothing but scorn for my dark trousers tucked into knee-high leather boots, and for the shirts I never bothered to secure with their woven laces. Men had been hung for far less than inconsiderate fashion sense, yet I did not care. I was not like them and never pretended to be.

A whisper drifted across, as I meandered through the crowd: “’Tis Mr Holloway, Eleanor.”

With a tilt of my head, I spotted the speaker leaning into her sister, who fluttered her lashes in a clear attempt to catch my attention.

Eleanor had turned out to be a worthy virgin. The scent of her blood had driven me wild as I had plunged into her.

I smiled to myself as I turned away.

Farther along, pausing to sample the crisp apples, I caught Mrs Lawson’s scent. The older ladies may not have been as pure, but they could not be denied their eagerness to please. For that reason alone, they made for an entertaining afternoon.

My nose lifted to track her, and I found the woman beyond a table stacked high with fresh loaves, hidden behind her fan, which she waved with vigour. I recalled that her petticoat had held many layers, and the removal of them turned out to be almost as much fun as the act itself. I wondered how she had explained the damage to her pompous husband.

At a new aroma begging for notice, my step faltered as my nostrils flared.

Strong, yet understated, alluring and seductive, the unsullied flavour carried the exceptional deliciousness of womanly musk. Possessed by a need to find the source, I tilted my head and allowed my nose to lead.

It should have been difficult, impossible even, to locate such subtlety amongst the overpowering wafts of food and body odours, yet the strong pull beckoned to me, drawing me on.

Whispers continued, as I passed one stall after another, but they no longer held my interest. My mind seemed only able to focus on the unfamiliar scent. Although it intensified with each step, I half wished for a stronger breeze to invade the clear morning, to bring me a more wholesome dose and appease my sudden and unbidden greed.

My eyes shifted, as I moved, searching. I skimmed over those who held no appeal, the ones whose flavour had already been tasted, until, at the end of the row ahead, I spotted two young women.

From the angle of their positions, I doubted they could see me. The purchasing of herbs distracted the darker haired of the two. Animated, she possessed a flamboyance which showed in her movements, and in her pleasant tones, as she bartered with the stall owner.

I imagined she would get her own way with the price.

To her side stood a fairer female, with a quiet calm that showed in the relaxed set of her shoulders. Taking a step closer, I studied her.

Appearing younger, almost lacking in confidence, she was also somewhat taller and certainly far more beautiful. I did not recognise her, yet could not mistake her scent. I had been tracking it for the past five minutes.

Leaning across the jewellery on the stall beside me, I caught the proprietor’s attention. “Who is the girl?” I asked, pointing toward the one who held me so rapt.

“Regular of mine.” He nodded and smiled. “The Stonehouse sisters often purchase my quartz and amethyst.”

As he spoke their name in a conspicuous overtone, the females turned.

Blue eyes, as dark as sapphires, appraised me from beneath wisps of blonde, and a smile widened the girl’s lips, as my own mouth curved at the corners.

Beside her, the darker girl leaned into the fair tresses of her sister. “Sean Holloway is a ladies’ man and not to be trusted,” she hissed, her words carrying to me with ease, before she walked off. When her sister remained, gaze locked with mine, the seemingly older girl called out, “Come along, Jem. Mother is waiting.”

My eyebrow twitched upward. Jem?

With her attention tugged back toward her departing sibling, she dipped her head and followed behind.

Still, the essence her body had left in its wake lured me, and, unable to do otherwise, I trailed after her.