Monday, 18 February 2019

A Queen’s Trust by Alexa Ryder Book Blitz and Giveaway!


A Queen’s Trust
Alexa Ryder
Publication date: February 10th 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance


Andi’s been a fighter for as long as she can remember. Her greater size, speed, and stamina make her irreplaceable on the field and a key player in her father’s war against the rival Lion clan. When her father fell in battle, it became her duty to lead and protect her people. After a decade of bloodshed, both sides are ready for peace. But the patriarchal Lions won’t treat with a female, even if she is queen. Finding a mate and bearing heirs wasn’t an option when the survival of her clan was at stake. Now Andi needs a mate, and she’s waited so long there are no eligible males left.
Troy, a former slave taken from his clan at a young age, needs answers, answers only his own kind can provide. Without them, he risks losing the most precious thing he has. He treks south, dodging Human patrols for unchipped shifters. With time growing short, his desperation rises. In a Human bar, he finally finds what he’s looking for. A chance meeting with another Panther leads to a night of passion, but in the morning, he’s left with nothing but an empty bed and a name.
Andi.
They should be the answer to each other’s woes, but it’s hard to trust when hidden truths threaten the survival of an entire race.




EXCERPT:

Troy frowned at her as she stood with her weight on her good leg. “Is there anything the doctor can do for it?” This was one of things Andi would clam up about, but he didn’t like seeing her in pain.
Her eyes darted to her nightstand. “He gave me this cream that’s supposed to help, but I forgot to apply it this morning.”
Troy followed her gaze and found the tube in question, along with the ‘every twelve hours’ instructions. He hadn’t seen her put it on since before dinner last night, and as he unscrewed the cap of the tube, he knew he hadn’t smelled it on her this morning.
“Not very good at following dosing instructions, are you?”
She gave him a flat stare. “I was busy.”
“Mm,” Troy agreed, “and after you’ve run yourself into the ground trying to help your people, who is going to help them when you’re gone? Who knows enough to take over for you?”
She opened her mouth, then closed it, brow furrowing.
Troy squeezed a bit of the paste onto his finger and gestured at her with his other hand. “Bottoms off.”
She gave him a long look, then tucked her thumbs in the waistband and pulled down, kicking her pants off her ankles.
“Bed might be more comfortable than the bench, don’t you think?” He kept his tone light, wary of scaring her off. She could be so temperamental about accepting help.
She stood and walked part-way to the bed, stopping when she was in front of him. “You know I can do this on my own, don’t you?”
He cupped her chin with his ointment-free hand and gazed deep into those verdant depths. “If I have to see you in pain, at least let me be part of the solution.”
Energy leapt between them; the air was heavy with it. She was measuring him, trying to decide if she could trust him. He felt like he couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe, or he’d break the spell. And he also knew, on some level, that if he passed, he’d have no reason not to extend the same trust she was giving him… to her.
She didn’t break eye contact. “I don’t need you,” she whispered, but her eyes told a different tale, full of longing.
He stepped in closer. “I know.” He dipped his head, slowly tilting her chin up until their lips brushed against each other, a taste, a test, a connection that immediately had him needing more. His panther prowled, waiting for its chance to claim her, to mark her forever as his.



Author Bio:
Alexa has been a fan of all things steamy since... probably too young of an age, in all honesty. Letting her babysit for a Harlequin romance writer wasn't one of the best decisions her mother ever made, but it's too late to turn back now! While Alexa is a voracious romance reader, she likes stories with plot and oomph. If you ever want a wander on the wild side, you've come to the right place.
Alexa is a mom to several fur-babies; two cats and soon-to-be three dogs. She enjoys dog training, reading, writing, nerding out over movies with friends, and is also a table-top gaming enthusiast. She's even been known to DM some 5E Dungeons and Dragons from time to time.

GIVEAWAY!
Blitz-wide giveaway
  • 2x winners will get a signed copy of A Queen’s Trust + candles (US only)
  • 10x ebook copies of A Queen's Trust (INT)

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Sunday, 17 February 2019

Bud Hutchins Supernatural Thrillers by JB Michaels Book Tour and Giveaway!

The Order of St. Michael
Bud Hutchins Supernatural Thrillers Book 1
by JB Michaels
Genre: Supernatural Suspense, Urban Fantasy 


What do you get when you pair a smart-mouthed geek with a fake English accent and a disciplined, headstrong woman with incredible powers?
Meet Bud Hutchins, a socially awkward super genius who talks too much and can’t get out of his own way. Will he heed the call to join the Order and save humanity?
Eh, maybe.
Meet Maeve, a beautiful young woman who happens to be a monk of an ancient Order tasked with keeping evil spirits at bay and saving Bud Hutchins from himself.
She rolls her eyes. Alot.
In this globe-trotting, action-packed supernatural thriller, our heroes fight to contain an ancient evil that calls from beyond.
It’s time for you to join the Order. Battle monsters. Avenge the dead and save the natural world from supernatural destruction.





The Elixir
Bud Hutchins Supernatural Thrillers Book 2


How far would you go to save a friend?
From award-winning author JB Michaels, author of The Order of St. Michael and the award-winning Tannenbaum Tailors series
Join Bud Hutchins in an action-packed urban fantasy set in Chicago, home to the world's most notorious urban legends. A murder rocks Chicago Metro University. Maeve, a monk of the Order of St. Michael, faces possible annihilation. A poltergeist wreaks havoc across the city. With the help of the brilliant Ivy, a doctoral candidate, Bud will need to employ science and the supernatural in his most harrowing adventure yet, The Elixir: A Bud Hutchins Thriller.
The Ghost of Capone
Mt. Olivet Cemetery, the original resting place of gangster Al Capone, is disturbed by an ungodly menace.
Resurrection Mary strikes
The forested roads of Archer Avenue are once again stalked by the deathly and cunning Resurrection Mary.
Murder, Mayhem, and the Elixir
A beautiful, young teacher's assistant is murdered over a mysterious elixir: an ancient concoction that could change history!
From Wrigleyville to the Willis Tower, the Museum of Science and Industry to Beverly...
...join Bud Hutchins on an epic adventure through Chicago!
The Elixir is ready. Scroll up and grab a copy today.




The Castle
Bud Hutchins Supernatural Thrillers Book 3


No rest for the wicked they say.
Barely catching their breath, Bud, Ivy, and Maeve find themselves pitted against the Chicago police, the FBI, and the world’s most powerful vampire. Will they escape injury-free or will the fangs of doom pierce their jugular veins?
The answers can only be found in The Castle: A Bud Hutchins Thriller.
The three slayers of the supernatural will face their most formidable threats, seek solutions to their most important problems, and be forever changed.
The threats are plenty. The stakes are higher. The tasks nigh impossible.
Time to grab your favorite monster-slaying weapon, raise your torch, and storm the Castle walls.



EXCERPT

The Order of St. Michael:

"Check the desk for more shells."
Bud walked to the mahogany desk. On the floor behind the desk was a dead man with a box of shotgun shells spilled next to him. The man looked emaciated not from decay but from starvation. Bud collected the shotgun shells, placed them in the box, and stood ready to provide ammo.
"Don't just stand there. Let's move the desk to the door so we can slow them some more!" Maeve grabbed an end of the desk. Bud shut the door and grabbed the other side of the desk.
"How long do you think this desk will hold them off?"
"Not very long at all. That is why I have the shotgun."
Bud handed her two shells when the first thump on the door rattled the bookshelves of the old library. Bud's heartbeat quickened.
THUMP. The second pound knocked some books off the shelves. The dust billowed as the books hit the hardwood floor.
"Is the gun even operational?"
Maeve loaded two shells into the double barrel and waited.
THUMP. The third impact showed a crack in the door.
"How, might I inquire, did you learn how to load, handle, and presumably shoot a gun that size?" Bud asked.
"My uncle took me hunting." Maeve lifted the shotgun to shoulder height.
A crack in the door grew larger with each successive pounding. The undead soldiers were relentless. Bud and Maeve couldn't tell if the audible cracking was wood or frail bones. The space in the door spread into a fissure. A deathly arm burst through. Another arm pulled at the opening and the fissure grew into a chasm.
Maeve readied the shotgun.
"You are planning to use the shotgun?" Bud asked.
BOOM. Maeve squeezed off the first shot. Three undead soldier's heads blew off their shoulders. Bone splinters and rotted flesh sprayed the doorway.
The second line moved forward with many more intact heads and shoulders. One soldier's eye dangled from his skull. Another's jaw detached and fell to the ground.
BOOM.

Another shot rattled Bud's ears. Maeve stood three feet behind the blockade desk calm as can be. She put her hand toward Bud for more shells which he happily provided. The second shell had blown back three more soldiers.


Greetings! For the official site of JB Michaels head on over to http://mistermichaels.com/for two free books!J. B. Michaels, multi-award winning author and member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, has written stories since he was in fourth grade. He is a history teacher who loves his job.
Married and with a son, Michaels has a great love of family. He has two series: the Gold and Bronze medal-winning Tannenbaum Tailors and Bud Hutchins Thrillers.






Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!
$50 Amazon, Signed Copy of The Viking Throne by JB Michaels, ebook of Best Paranormal Thrillers Collection – 1 winner each








Saturday, 16 February 2019

Ain't No Messiah by Mark Tullius Book Tour and Giveaway!

Ain't No Messiah
Tales of the Blessed and Broken Book 1
by Mark Tullius
Genre: Psychological Suspense

God has chosen Joshua to bring forth his new kingdom on Earth.”
From the day he was born, Joshua has found himself the recipient of death-defying miracles. His earliest memories include his own father proclaiming him the second coming of Christ. However, Joshua has wrestled with serious doubts about the validity of this claim all his life. How could he not, having survived a childhood filled with physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his earthly father.
Now, one way or another, Joshua is going to show the world who he really is.


"A compelling, if sometimes-lurid, picture of a faith gone wrong." - Kirkus Reviews

"Ain’t No Messiah is a beautifully-written book about one man's effort to find himself - and maybe even a bit of happiness - in a world bitter enough to greet even a supposed Messiah with abuse and scapegoating." ~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader


Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo

Author Interview:

How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
The working title for Brightside was Average Joe. It wasn’t until I named the beautiful town that the telepaths are imprisoned in that I knew I found the title.

Who designed your book covers?
I generally draw my covers and then find a professional that can do them justice. The majority of my covers are done by June Ares, or at least the graphic design part of the covers. Jeff Campbell is my talented friend who did the illustrated cover for Ain’t No Messiah, the new Try Not to Die: At Grandma’s House, along with the rest of the series. He is also the man behind the animated trailer.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I realize I took a lot of chances with Ain’t No Messiah and it will definitely be a hit or miss type book, but I wouldn’t change it. Perhaps when I’m working on the rest of the series I’ll wish I changed a few things, but as for the story, I believe I told it the way I wanted.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Persistence. I began the book nine years ago, but put it down many times due to other projects. After Anthony, my old editor, made me realize I needed to completely redo what I thought was a finished version, I was tempted to leave it in my drawer. But all along I knew this was an important book for me to write, for myself, if no one else.

How did you come up with name of this book?
My 5-year-old son hates the double negative in the title, but I knew this had to be the title early on when the main character kept repeating it. I believe it will capture the interest of potential readers and the voice of the main character.

What is your favorite part of this book and why?
My favorite part of the book is the finale. It took such a long time to write the book, it was a relief to write the final scene. Plus it’s full of violence and that’s always fun.

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Since I’m happily married I’m going to lie and say I’d want to hang out with Joshua. It’d be fun to train with him and see what kind of jiu jitsu skills he really has.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Most characters are created by combining elements of myself and various others. There were a couple places where I may have borrowed heavily from certain individuals, but I try to keep them as imaginary as possible so I don’t lose friends.
Mark Tullius is the author of Unlocking the Cage: Exploring the Motivations of MMA Fighters and dark fiction which includes Ain't No Messiah, Twisted Reunion, 25 Perfect Days: Plus 5 More, Brightside, and the Try Not to Die series. An Ivy League graduate, Mark lists Chuck Palahniuk and Stephen King as the authors who most influence his own writing. He attests that attending Tom Spanbauer's Dangerous Writing workshop marked the turning point in his career. In addition to his writing, Mark is the host of the podcast Vicious Whispers.Mark resides in Southern California with his wife and two children.





Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!



Friday, 15 February 2019

Curse of the Fae Queen by Delia Castel Release Day Blitz and Giveaway!


Welcome to the CURSE OF THE FAE QUEEN by Delia Castel release day blitz! 
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Delia Castel, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International, courtesy of Delia and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
Title: CURSE OF THE FAE QUEEN
Author: Delia Castel
Pub. Date: February 14, 2019
Publisher: Delia Castel
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 231
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon


A Huntress of Faeries. Five cursed Fae Princes. An evil that will destroy the world. 
When Eighteen-year-old Neara saves a villager from the clutches of a deadly faerie, the Fae Queen sends warriors to abduct her dying father in revenge. To gain his freedom, Neara must venture into the Shadowlands and obtain three enchanted objects under the supervision of the bestial Prince Drayce.
As Neara and Prince Drayce grow closer, she discovers the Queen’s scheme to release an ancient evil and enslave the mortal world. To thwart these plans, she must break the curses of five Fae Princes, but the cost of doing so is her Father’s life.
Torn between saving the human realm and saving her father, Neara must navigate this treacherous world and choose between love, liberty and power.
Curse of the Fae Queen is a reverse harem fantasy adventure for fans of A Court of Thrones and Roses and A Song of Ice and Fire! 

Excerpt:
Ch1

Wherever there was commotion, there was a faerie.

Wherever there was a faerie, someone was about to die.

I rushed after the crowd of merrymakers toward the tavern’s exit and the source of the commotion. The fresh scent of wildflowers wafted in through the open doors, a welcome respite from sweat and sawdust and sour ale. Someone’s booted foot stepped on the hem of my skirts. I snarled and yanked it free.

A leprechaun darted through the throng, slashing purses and swiping gold pieces. He stuffed his pickings into the openings of his blood-red tunic, eyes gleaming, handsome features twisted. I clutched my basket of burn salves and stared ahead, avoiding eye contact with the leprechaun, avoiding his clever fingers, and most importantly, avoiding his notice.

The folk in the Isle of Bresail say a maiden who can see the fae is twice-blessed. Blessed to behold beings of beauty and blessed again for the chance to bargain for health, riches, and immortality. Whoever said that had obviously never met a faerie.

The fae, creatures of hideous power and beauty, revel in human misery, beget bad luck, and feast upon mortal lives. Every encounter with the monsters carries the risk of being killed. Or worse, a repeat of that horrific Samhain night seven years ago, when the fae slaughtered an entire village trying to find me. Terror still grips my heart like the jaws of the hound of Culainn.

I see the fae. I fear the fae. I’m powerless to stop the fae. And I can say I am thrice cursed.

As I neared the exit, the baker’s apprentice bumped me on the shoulder, and I stumbled across the gritty floor. “Sorry, Neara!”

My gaze dropped to the salves. They lay in the basket, nestled in muslin cloth I’d wrapped around them for safekeeping. “I’m looking for Eirnin. Is he here?”

“Have you tried the forge?”

“They told me he’d be having an early dinner here.”

“Can’t say I’ve seen him.” He raised his massive shoulders. “Maybe he’s watching the spectacle Shona is making of herself in the square.” He rushed ahead, shoving through a group of sailors stumbling toward the doors.

Dread rolled through my belly like a summer thunderstorm. Shona, the haughty eldest daughter of the mayor of Calafort, would never even sip a tankard of ale in public. If she was doing something to attract the attention of drunken louts, there could be only one cause: the fae.

I stepped out into the warm evening, inhaling a lungful of fresh air. The sun hung behind a dip in the Fomori mountains, a burst of daffodil amidst clouds tinged the color of blood-red poppies. Its   yellow haze reflected off the whitewashed timber framed buildings lining the cobbled thoroughfare. My gaze traveled down to the crowd gathered at the end around the village square.

Shona, the center of the attraction, wasn’t exactly a friend. Since Father and I moved to the port town of Calafort, she had sullied my name with allegations about my associations with the blacksmith, the retired soldier of fortune, and the local priest—people vital in my private crusade against the fae.

Two young men sprinted past. The smaller of the pair yelled, “Hoist me up on your shoulders, Colman!”

“As if!” The taller gave his companion a playful shove.

A warm wind swirled around my hair, blowing vibrant, copper strands into my eyes. As usual, its color brought back memories of the night I had been willing to bargain to look… less peculiar. The night I had doomed an entire village. Guilt clawed at my gullet, and I gulped. Even if Shona had soured my existence with her gossip, I couldn’t leave anyone, not even her, to become a faerie’s prey.

I strode after the rush of drunk men, only for the familiar pull of dread to weight my steps. For reasons I couldn’t fathom, faeries had become more commonplace in Calafort and more malevolent. Benign household spirits and mischief makers were replaced by malicious beings of unusual and tremendous power.

The innkeeper’s wife stormed out of the crowd, skirts swishing, shooting sharp glares at the men rushing through the cobbled thoroughfare. 

“Don’t think I won’t tell your wives and mothers about your disgraceful conduct!” she screeched at their backs. “There should be a law against giving an audience to a public harlot!”

An iron fist clenched my heart. “Mrs. Martin?”

“What?” She whirled around, auburn locks falling from her bonnet.

“Are you talking about Shona Mulloy?”

Her thin lips twisted. “She’ll never be able to put on airs and graces, that one. Not after revealing the wanton hussy beneath that false piety!”

My pulse throbbed in my throat. Not waiting to ask any further questions, I broke into a run. The only cause for Shona to make a public spectacle was magic, and no one could stop it but me.

Hoots and cheers and roars exploded from the podium, louder than a clap of thunder, making me trip on a loose cobblestone. Splaying out my hands for balance, I slowed my steps. What in the name of all that was holy did I think I was doing? Father’s words echoed in my skull. Every encounter with a faerie increased the chance of being captured. The creature behind Shona’s shameless display could be one of the horsemen from that terrible Samhain night. What if he recognized me?

I brought my feet to an abrupt stop. After six years of moving from place to place, we had a mere week before the dense mist covering the coast of Bresail would clear. No merrow could lurk in the waters, calling people to their deaths with their enchanted music, and no kelpies would board the ship and attack. Father and I planned to gain passage on a ship to Hibernia, the land where holy men slew monsters to protect the innocent. Guilt crawled up my back and clung to my shoulders like the talons of a night hag. If I did anything to ruin our chance, Father’s sickness might not grant him another seven years

“Get ’em off!” cried one drunken reveler.

“What kind of lass can’t even undo her own corset?” shouted another.

Guffaws filled the air, and someone bellowed, “The pampered sort!”

My eyes widened. Before good sense could prevail, my feet pounded the cobblestones, and I reached the edge of the crowd. Pushing my way through the eager men, I caught a glimpse of the spectacle. The bodice of Shona’s dress hung around her waist like a shed skin, her breasts jutting out of her under-bust corset. She had hitched her skirts, revealing her thighs and glimpses of a thicket of mahogany, pubic hair.

“Higher!” screamed a drunkard.

Blood surged through my ears, dulling the men’s lascivious shouts. My jaw clenched so hard, it throbbed in time with my raging pulse. I turned my head away, understanding why Mrs Martin had been so incensed. No-one, not even Shona the gossip, deserved to be humiliated in such a fashion!

Using the bodies of the leering men as cover, I receded into the crowd and studied the men in the direction of her glazed stare. The usual village louts and ne’er do wells jostled each other about in the front, but one male stood out from the rabble. Not because his silk jacket was too fine for the village of Calafort, not because he was the only man remaining calm amidst the scandalous display, but because his face was devoid of features and did not even have a nose.

His eyes, fathomless tunnels of black, stared at her with a cold amusement. Around his unlit pipe, one corner of his lips curved into a whisper of a smile.

Gancanagh.

The word popped into the forefront of my mind. It came from the leather-bound book Father insisted that I study for hours every evening. The gancanagh was a silver-tongued, shapeshifter faerie who could morph into a woman’s heart’s desire and drive her into a frenzy of wantonness. While a gancanagh enjoyed sexual contact with women, what really nourished them was the ensuing despair he caused from withdrawing his affections and ruining her reputation.

Ostracized, isolated, and full of despair, his victim would commit suicide, providing him with a condemned soul upon which to feast.

“If you can’t manage the corset, open your legs and give us a good show!” bellowed the inn-keeper to a roar of drunken cheers.

Shona’s head lolled to the side, and she moaned. “Please… I need you!”

The gancanagh nodded, indicating for her to do as they said.

Disgust curdled my stomach, making me want to spit. That was as much as I could stand. Delving shaking fingers into my pocket, I gathered a heavy pinch of salt. It soaked up magic, rendering the attacks of many faeries useless.

Then, I put it under my tongue, suppressed a grimace, and pushed through the crowd, making sure not to look at the gancanagh.

“Shona Mulloy,” I shouted, making my voice as shrill as Mrs. Martin’s. “Your father would be ashamed of you!”

She ignored me, as I had expected. Those in the thrall of a gancanagh became powerless to do anything but his bidding. Her tongue darted out to wet her lips, and she hiked her skirts to her waist, eliciting ear-ringing catcalls.

“That’s a bushy tail if ever I saw one!” yelled a voice from within the crowd.

Affecting a shriek of outrage, I slapped her hard across the face, ensuring that my iron ring made contact with her lip. The salt remaining on my fingers must have either gotten into her mouth or into the tiny cut my ring made, because her eyes focused.

“Get yourself home,” I screeched. “You’re giving all the womenfolk of Calafort a bad name!” I yanked on her arm, hoping to convince the gancanagh that I hadn’t noticed it.

“Neara, show us your ginger muff!” shouted a heckler.

I ignored the drunken dolt and headed to a gap in the crowd. A few of the men, now shamefaced, stepped aside. Rage seared my veins. Any one of them could have intervened, but they had chosen to let a neighbor debauch herself. According to the information in my book, the gancanagh’s allure only affected women and only if they touched him of their own accord. There was no reason, apart from malicious lechery, that they couldn’t have stopped Shona from falling to ruin.

A hand wrapped around my wrist, its chill seeping through my skin, permeating my bones to the marrow. I suppressed a shudder. The fae, immortal creatures that were neither alive nor dead, were nothing like humans. My leather-bound book said they were the offshoot of a supernatural race called the Fomorians, but from what I had seen over the years, and I had seen a lot, they were hungry spirits made flesh. The only thing that differed from one type of faerie to another was what satisfied their appetites.

Gritting my teeth, I turned my head and glared at the hand restraining me. It was an effort to keep my voice from trembling, but I focussed on my anger and said, “Let go of my person, sir.”

“Permit me to introduce myself.” He released my wrist, gave me a gentlemanly bow, and held out an elegant, smooth-skinned hand that could have belonged to an artist or a Prince. “I am Gerald Canice, and I wish to commend you on your valiant rescue of that young lady’s virtue.”

“I would be doing a better job if you didn’t keep me here talking,” I snapped. “Excuse me.”

Most would have lowered their hand and stepped away at my rudeness. This creature did not. He glided closer, still with his hand outstretched, now turned as though he wanted to take mine and press a kiss on my knuckles. “Please… I must know your name.”

“It’s Neara,” shouted a drunk. “And she’s interested in nothing but stinking herbs and withered old men!”

My face heated, indicating a blush as red a hawthorn berries, one of the many disadvantages of having skin the pallor of diluted milk. The drunks snickered, and I pressed my lips together, trying to exhale my anger through flared nostrils.

“Ignore those louts.” His voice soft and cultured, just as I would imagine a storybook Prince. “Won’t you at least look at me?”

As though of its own volition, my gaze lifted to his face. It was no longer the characterless visage from earlier. He now resembled the raven-haired faerie whose presence had cursed me with the sight. A bolt of shock shot through my heart as fast as lighting, jolting it into action. I drew in a sharp breath between my teeth.

Everything vanished from my attention. The crowd of drunken men, the sobbing girl at my side, the fear of being discovered by the fae. It all faded now that Gerald had caught me in his mesmerizing, viridian-green gaze.

His full lips split into a breath-stealing smile of even, white teeth, rising up to high cheekbones, and leading to eyes so longing they wrung my heart.

“Neara…” My name sounded like supplication on lips that begged to be kissed. “I am delighted to make your acquaintance.”

One of my hands twitched toward his still outstretched hand. My mouth dried, not because of the salt, but due to the warmth pooling between my legs, creating a fire that only he could quench.

My throat dried, partially because of the salt under my tongue, but mostly because of the male’s beauty. If he had chosen any other face, I would have ignored the gancanagh, but I couldn’t resist this dark-haired, green eyed apparition. 

A tiny voice, as quiet and persistent as a midge, whispered that it was a trap. The monster wanted to infect me with the venom coating his skin and see me debased before my village.

“I…” A gulp interrupted words that had already withered in my throat. I had come prepared, wearing a bracelet of iron with a matching torque and ring, but I hadn’t anticipated being faced with the being who haunted my dreams… my deepest, most oft-denied desire.

“Neara,” said a voice hoarse with tears.

I turned to lock gazes with Shona, her eyes bloodshot and brimming with tears.

“Will you take me home?”

Her voice was the splash of saltwater I needed to break gancanagh’s spell. Without a backward glance, I pulled her away from the lecherous gazes of the crowd, trying not to succumb to the pit of dread wrenching open my stomach. Once again, I had attracted the attention of the fae. The gancanagh likely wouldn’t work out that I had seen through him, but my awakening of Shona from her stupor would have at least aroused his curiosity.

Shona and I walked unmolested through the crowd of degenerates, many were now slinking back to the tavern. Without his audience, the gancanagh would not pursue us. He fed on the humiliation of his victims, delighted in their ruin and not their lust.
His gaze, heavy on my back, turned my steps to lead. The gancanagh was likely evaluating me, wondering why I could resist his magic. My throat thickened, and I gulped down my rising panic. This was exactly the kind of thing Father had warned me against. We could not flee Bresail if we attracted the attention of the fae, and I had done exactly that!  If the wicked creature stayed to satisfy his curiosity, we were doomed.

A curious faerie always attracted others, and I of all people would know that arousing the interest of the creatures was deadly.

*****

The folk in the Isle of Bresail say a maiden who can see the fae is twice-blessed. Blessed to behold beings of beauty and blessed again for the chance to bargain for health, riches, and immortality. Whoever said that had obviously never met a faerie.

The fae, creatures of hideous power and beauty, revel in human misery, beget bad luck, and feast upon mortal lives. Every encounter with the monsters carries the risk of being killed. Or worse, a repeat of that horrific Samhain night seven years ago, when the fae slaughtered an entire village trying to find me. Terror still grips my heart like the jaws of the hound of Culainn.

I see the fae. I fear the fae. I’m powerless to stop the fae. And I can say I am thrice cursed.


About Delia:
Delia Castel has loved fairytales for as long as she can remember. The books she writes under this pen name are steamy, reverse harem retellings of classic stories.
To download a free copy of The Big Bad She-Wolf as well as the exclusive chapters that follow the tale, visit:

www.DeliaCastel.com



Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon GC, International.


 
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