*Release Blitz* How the Earl Entices- Anna Harrington Giveaway

Join us in the celebration for the release of Anna Harrington’s HOW THE EARL ENTICES! We are thrilled to have you with us for the Release Blitz celebration!

HOW THE EARL ENTICES is the fourth installment in her wildly popular, Capturing the Carlisles series! Don’t wait and jump into this spicy yet humorous Regency romance! Plus, enter to win the first three books from the Carlisle series!

Title: How the Earl Entices

Author: Anna Harrington

Release Date: September 11, 2018

Publisher: Self-published

Series: Capturing the Carlisles #4

Genres: Regency Romance

Word Count: 95K

Format: print and digital

Synopsis:

WHEN OLD DECEPTIONS …

Ross Carlisle, Earl of Spalding, has dedicated his life to serving his country. When he discovers secrets that could endanger England, he’s forced into an impossible situation—commit treason and race to London to clear his name before the crown turns against him. He’s prepared to abandon everything he possesses in order to protect England, including his life…until he crosses paths with a woman who’s keeping her own secrets.

LEAD TO NEW DESIRES

Ten years ago, Grace Alden fled London in order to protect her son, only to come face-to-face with that past when Ross collapses on her doorstep. They strike a deal—she’ll help him travel to London if he helps her reclaim her son’s inheritance. But as old deceptions turn into new desires, will they be willing to sacrifice everything they hold dear in order to protect the people they love?

BUY NOW: Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | GooglePlay

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2JNFT3S

iBooks → https://apple.co/2lkf24I

B&N https://bit.ly/2JVyZwI

Kobo → https://bit.ly/2yliJke

GooglePlay → https://bit.ly/2tl48iN

HOW THE EARL ENTICES Excerpt

Copyright © 2018 Anna Harrington

“Where are the documents?”

Ross Carlisle, Earl of Spalding, spat out a mouthful of blood onto the midnight-black deck of the pitching ship as the storm intensified around it. “Go to hell!”

A fist slammed into his stomach. He doubled over in gasping pain, coughing and struggling for breath, yet thankful for the pouring rain that cooled the bruises the men had already put on his ribs and face.

The two Frenchmen holding his arms jerked him up straight.

Their leader grabbed him by the hair and yanked back his head. “You are a murderer and a traitor. No one will care what happens to you.”

Ross gritted his teeth against the pain.

“So I will ask you one more time before I cut off your kneecaps,” the thug threatened in street French, having to yell even at such close range to be heard over the wind and driving rain. In his free hand he brandished a knife. “Where are the documents?”

Ross glared at him, refusing to answer.

So it all came to this…a decade serving the crown as a soldier and diplomat, an unblemished reputation without a hint of scandal, more recently a dangerous pursuit in which recognition would never have been possible—only to end ingloriously on a fishing boat being tossed about on the Channel.

He’d been running for the past week, fleeing for his life from Paris to the coast with hired henchmen on his heels. First on horseback, then on foot, changing identities as easily as other men change clothes. But he’d been unable to throw them off his trail, and always they’d been less than a day behind. Then a handful of hours. By the time he’d reached Calais and found a captain brave enough to take him across the Channel in this storm, they’d caught him. In a matter of minutes he’d be dead.

And damn the world that the last person he thought about was Christopher! Not one of his French mistresses, not one of his first loves as a boy, not even his mother—but his brother. How the last thing Ross did in life was prove Kit right, that eventually he’d be discovered and that even his post at the Court of St James’s wouldn’t be able to save him.

The Frenchman released his hair and stepped back, struggling to keep his footing on the wet, rolling deck. With a menacing gleam in his eyes, he lowered the knife toward Ross’s legs. “Where are the papers?”

The knife tip sliced across his left thigh and through the rough work trousers he’d donned in his last attempt to hide, biting into the flesh beneath. Ross sucked in a pain-filled gasp through clenched teeth and bit back an ironic laugh—his left thigh.

The boat rose on the swell of a wave, then dropped with enough force that the men holding his arms wobbled to keep their balance. His interrogator stumbled backward—

Now.

Ross lunged toward the closest railing, tearing his arm free of the man on his right and catching the one on his left off-balance. He lowered his shoulder and rammed it into the man’s chest to push past. All went dark as he tumbled over the railing and into the black sea below.

Enter to win!!

A signed copy of the first three books in the Capturing the Carlisles series – IF THE DUKE DEMANDS, WHEN THE SCOUNDREL SINS, and AS THE DEVIL DARES.

(eBooks if the winner is international)

About Anna Harrington:

I fell in love with historical romances—and all those dashing Regency heroes!—while living in London, where I studied literature and theatre. I love to travel, fly airplanes, and hike, and when I’m not busy writing, I can usually be found in my garden, tending to my roses. I love to hear from readers and can be reached at anna@annaharringtonbooks.com or follow me on all my social media. And be sure to sign up for my newsletter to be the first to receive exciting news, enter contests, access exclusive content, and more!

Follow:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter | Amazon | BookBub

*Release Blitz* Forever Theirs- Katee Robert Giveaway

Have you discovered THE THALANIAN DYNASTY series by NYT Bestselling Author Katee Robert?

FOREVER THEIRS IS LIVE!

In FOREVER THEIRS an exiled prince, his bodyguard and the woman they can’t seem to leave alone, must return home to clear his mother’s name and reclaim his crown. Fans of Laura Kaye’s THEIR’S TO TAKE or Sierra Simone’s AMERICAN QUEEN will devour this cinderella-esque ménage.

Start reading the series for FREE! Download THEIRS FOR THE NIGHT, the novella that introduces you to Theo, Galen, and Meg for FREE at:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2M3w3A9

B&N: http://bit.ly/2Jl0k7Q

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2JxT2Bg

iTunes: https://apple.co/2LtEK1L

Add THEIRS FOR THE NIGHT and FOREVER THEIRS to your TBR pile on Goodreads then keep reading to get a sneak peek excerpt and your chance enter the giveaway to win one of TEN (10) eBook copies of FOREVER THEIRS!

Title: Forever Theirs

Author: Katee Robert

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Thriller/Menage

Release Date: September 10, 2018

Publisher: Indie

Series: The Thalanian Dynasty

Page Count: 73K

Format: Digital

ASIN: B07DP7HT14

Synopsis:

Meg Sanders enjoyed her wild night with a prince and his bodyguard—but now she’s moving on. She has enough problems without borrowing the kind of trouble Theo brings just by being who he is. But no matter how determined she is to leave that night a fond memory, she hasn’t seen the last of Theo and Galen…

Galen Mikos’s life boils down to one goal. Keep Theo alive. But as long as Theo draws breath, he’s a threat to the powers that have taken over Thalania—and anyone they associate with runs the risk of becoming a target, too. Galen will never forgive himself if they let their selfish desire for Meg puts her in danger. But it might already be too late…

Theo Fitzcharles might be an exiled prince, but he doesn’t intend to stay that way. He’s only concerned with one thing—clearing his mother’s name and reinstating himself as Crown Prince of Thalania. There’s no room in that plan for distraction, especially when it makes him forget himself the way Meg does. But after spending one perfect night with her and his best friend, Theo has no intention of leaving her alone.

Even if it damns all three of them in the process.

Available at:  

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2t3usho

B&N: http://bit.ly/2yiyKr9

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2JQap0k

iTunes: https://apple.co/2JBPRtb

Forever Theirs Excerpt

Copyright © 2018 Katee Robert

This…

She wanted this. All of it. The reservations that clung to her like cobwebs from the moment she decided on this path went up in flames. Who the fuck cared what the future brought? They had right now, and right now Meg needed these two men. She needed to be with them together and separate and to be able to watch at her leisure just like she was now.

Except the feeling pounding through her blood wasn’t leisure.

It was desperation.

“Theo.” Her voice came out hoarse and broke in the middle of his name so she swallowed and tried again. “Theo, please.”

He rolled onto his side and ran a hand down Galen’s chest. Galen stretched into the touch, a giant wolf of a man. “She said please.”

“It was such a nice please, too.” Theo grinned, his blue eyes hot on her. “Apparently she liked the show.”

“Mmmm.” A word that meant everything and nothing.

Theo gave a stretch of his own and rolled off the bed. He offered Galen a hand and hauled him to his feet. “You’ve held on this long, princess. Hold on a bit longer.” And then the bastard walked into the bathroom. Seconds later, the shower turned on.

“Are you ready for your reward, princess?”

Enter to win one of TEN (10) eBook copies of FOREVER THEIRS!

About Katee Robert

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it ‘a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.”  When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Connect with Katee at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Instagram | BookBub

*Blog Tour* It Began With a Lie- Michele Pariza Wacek

   Title: It Began With A LieIBWAL

Author: Michele Pariza Wacek

Release Date: September 10, 2018

Publisher: Love-Based Publishing

Series: Secrets of Redemption #1

Genre: Psychological thriller, romantic suspense, paranormal

                                                    Page Count: 282

Synopsis:

A fresh start. That was what Becca hoped the move from New York to Redemption, Wisconsin, would be for her troubled family—a way to get her crumbling marriage back on track, and to bond with her difficult 16-year-old stepdaughter.

But instead of a new beginning, Becca is thrust into a mysterious past she barely remembers … a past that includes complications from interacting with her teenage crush, Daniel, as well as living in her aunt’s old house (aka “The Witch House,” according to locals).

But is the house really haunted? Or is there something far more sinister out to destroy them?

Add to Goodreads http://bit.ly/2zzkGtN

Buy Now: Amazon

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2zAHIAC

IT BEGAN WITH A LIE Excerpt

Copyright © 2018 Michele PW

 

Chrissy gave me a withering look as she furiously pounded on her iPhone. I opened my mouth to say something—I had no idea what … something to bridge the gap that yawned between us—but Mia’s voice interrupted me. “Daniel! Look who’s here! It’s Becca!”

I closed my mouth and turned to look. A police officer was standing at the counter watching Mia fill up a to-go container with coffee. Could that be Daniel? I searched the room, but only saw only a handful of people finishing up their breakfast. It had to be him.

I looked back at the cop. Broad shoulders and dark blonde hair—Daniel. Mia glanced at me and winked. I made a face back at her.

He turned. He was older of course, but yes, it was most definitely Daniel. He wouldn’t be considered traditionally handsome—not like Stefan with his almost pretty-boy looks. Daniel’s face was too rugged, with sharp cheekbones and a crooked nose. But his lips were still full and soft, and his eyes were still the same dark blue. I found myself suddenly conscious of my appearance. I hadn’t taken a shower in two days, and I was wearing an old, faded New York Giants tee shirt. I had scraped my unruly mass of reddish, blondish, brownish hair back into a messy ponytail in preparation for a full day of cleaning and organizing. But I quickly reminded myself that I was being silly. I was a married woman, sitting with my stepdaughter, and he was engaged.

Besides, he had made it more than clear years ago he wasn’t the slightest bit interested in me.

“Becca,” he said coming over, his face friendly, but not exactly smiling. “Welcome back to Redemption.” It didn’t sound much like a welcome.

“Thanks,” I said, mostly because I couldn’t think of anything better to say. Instinctively, I reached up to smooth out my hair, since as usual, a few curly tendrils had escaped and hung in my face. “Not much has changed.”

He studied me, making me really wish I had taken an extra five minutes to jump in the shower and dig out a clean shirt. “Oh, plenty has changed.”

“Like you being a cop?”

He shrugged slightly. “Pays the bills.”

I half-smiled. “There’s lots of ways to pay the bills. If I remember right, you always seemed more interested in breaking the law than upholding it.”

“Like I said, things change.” He lifted his to-go coffee cup and took a swallow, dark blue eyes never leaving mine. “I take it you’re still painting then.”

I dropped my gaze to his chest, feeling a dull ache overwhelm me—the same pain I felt when I heard the name Becca. “As you said, things change.”

“Ah.” I waited for him to ask more questions, but instead, he changed the subject. “So, how long are you staying?”

I shrugged. “Not sure. We’ve actually moved here.”

His eyebrows raised slightly. “To Charlie’s house? You aren’t selling it?”

“Well, yes. Eventually. That’s the plan. But, at least for the foreseeable future, we’ll be living in it.” I sounded like an idiot. With some effort, I forced myself to stop talking. Why on earth did I share so much detail? How was this any of his business?

He looked like he was going to say something more but was interrupted by a loud snort. The two pant-suited women both scraped their chairs back as they stood up, glaring disgustedly at all of us before heading to the cash register.

“What’s with them?” Chrissy asked. I had forgotten she was there.

I shrugged, before remembering my manners and introducing Chrissy to Daniel. I made a point of gesturing with my left hand to flash my wedding ring.

His head tipped in a slight nod before looking back at me. “Will you be around later today? I’d like to stop by and talk to you.”

There was something in his expression that made me uneasy, but I purposefully kept my voice light. “What on earth for? I haven’t even unpacked yet. Am I already in trouble?”

The ends of his lips turned up in a slight smile, but no hint of warmth touched the intense look in his eyes. “Should you be in trouble?”

I let out a loud, exaggerated sigh. “Why do cops always answer a question with a question?”

“Occupational hazard. I’ll see you later.” He dipped his chin in a slight nod before walking away. I noticed he didn’t give me the slightest hint as to what he wanted to talk to me about. That sense of unease started to grow into a sense of foreboding.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card + a signed copy of IT BEGAN WITH A LIE and (9) will win an IT BEGAN WITH A LIE eBook!

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authorMPW      About Michele PW:

Michele Pariza Wacek (also known as Michele PW) taught herself to read at three years old because she so badly wanted to write fiction. As an adult, she became a professional copywriter (copywriters write promotional materials for businesses, nothing to do with protecting intellectual property or putting a copyright on something) and eventually founded a copywriting and marketing company. She grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and currently lives with her husband and dogs in the mountains of Arizona. You can reach her at MicheleParizaWacek.com. She’s published two novels, “The Stolen Twin” and “Mirror Image,” both psychological thrillers/mystery/suspense books.

Follow:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon | BookBub | Pinterest | Instagram

 

Christmas with the Band- Michelle Hazen Tour & Giveaway

Michelle Hazen’s CHRISTMAS WITH THE BAND Review & Excerpt Tour

 Music legend Ava has more houses than most people have shoes, but what present is good enough for your rock star boyfriend who gives you orgasms on demand all year long? Find out in CHRISTMAS WITH THE BAND by Michelle Hazen, the final entry in her beloved Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll series. Fans of holiday romances will love this funny but heart-tugging story about friendship, family, forgiveness, and fitting in.

“Dark, delicious, and dripping with voice.” —Katie Golding, Author of Order Up

“Hazen’s use of the frantic energy of a rock band’s tour contrasts perfectly with the slow and seductive dance this couple engages in. Readers are sure to enjoy following The Red Letters on their drama-fueled climb to fame.” —RT Book Review

“Wowwwwww! This was a beautifully written, compelling, captivating read.” —Books according to Abby Blog

6 Xmas v2_ebook Title:  Christmas With The Band

Author: Michelle Hazen

Release Date: September 3, 2018

Publisher: Self-published

Series: Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll #3.5

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Page Count: 46

 Synopsis:

 All Jax wants for Christmas is for his favorite people to get along. So when he takes Ava home for the holidays, she vows to finally make peace with his drummer. What she gets instead is a house fire, house arrest, and the kind of dinner none of them will ever forget.

This comic romp of a holiday story wraps up the world of the Sex, Love and Rock and Roll series in a red lacy bow. Click now to have Christmas with the Band!

 

Goodreads → http://bit.ly/2Mcvxip

 

Buy Now: Amazon | iTunes | B&N | Kobo

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2M31aaS

Barnes & Noble → https://goo.gl/HXSsPV

Kobo → https://goo.gl/LPtxYs

ITunes → https://goo.gl/eUkUBd

Christmas With The Band Excerpt

Copyright © 2018 Michelle Hazen

 

Jax pulls to the curb, and my heart beats so fast my vision goes swimmy at the edges. Oh, shit, we’re already at his bandmates’ holiday party and I’m not ready yet.

I turn wide eyes to look at the over-decorated house. Somehow I never pictured Jera’s family as inflatable Santa people.

“This isn’t their place.” Jax tips my chin toward him, the callouses from his frets soothing against my skin. “Ava, I’d rather turn around right now than take you someplace where you won’t be comfortable. Especially not on Christmas Eve. Just say the word and we’ll go back to my condo.” He smiles, the tilt of it all wicked promise though his sky-colored eyes are whisper gentle: my soft place to land, always. “I’ll even Photoshop Justin Bieber’s head onto some pictures of chipmunks, the way you like.”

I laugh in spite of myself. “Okay, as awesome as that sounds, I’m not taking you away from your band family at Christmas.”

“Oh, great! Let’s get going, then.” Jax reaches for the gearshift and my stomach drops out through the floorboards of the car. I stop his hand and my eyes guiltily collide with his knowing ones. I just walked right into that bluff, damn it.

“Okay, you’re right. This was a terrible idea. Why don’t I just drop you off, I’ll go hide in your beautiful condo, and we can meet up after?” My heartbeat is like a rabid butterfly trying to escape my ribcage. Christ, I’m being such a coward right now.

It’s not like I haven’t been living knuckle to knuckle with these people for most of the year. It’s just…that was our concert tour. This is their town.

It’s Jax’s real life, and I haven’t claimed my place in it.

He starts to speak just as I say, “No, screw it. We’re going. We’re going together and it will be fun and festive, so help me God, or I will cut a bitch.”

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Three-Runner Ups will win eBook copies of A CRUEL KIND OF BEAUTIFUL, PLAYING THE PAUSES, & INSTATIABLE!

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 MichelleAuthorPhotoRetouch_Full-Resolution copy   About Michelle Hazen:

Michelle Hazen is a nomad with a writing problem. Years ago, she and her husband ducked out of the 9 to 5 world and moved into their truck. As a result, she wrote most of her books with solar power in odd places, including a bus in Thailand, a golf cart in a sandstorm, and a beach in Honduras. Currently, she’s addicted to The Walking Dead, hiking, and Tillamook cheese.

Follow Michelle:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Pinterest | Instagram

Claiming His Lioness- Kerry Adrienne Tour & Giveaway

Claiming His Lioness by Kerry Adrienne

USA Today bestselling author Kerry Adrienne’s Shifter Wars series comes to its epic conclusion when former enemies align, but is it too late to protect everyone they’ve come to love?

Order your copy of CLAIMING HIS LIONESS today and add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek at CLAIMING HIS LIONESS!

Title: Claiming His Lioness

Author: Kerry Adrienne

Release Date: September 3, 2018

Publisher: Carina Press

Series: Shifter Wars

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Format: Digital

Synopsis:

Lara has always relished being a thorn in Mason’s paw. When she was chosen as pride Enforcer, it was easier than ever to get under the passionate shifter’s skin. But with the scent of humans in the air comes a threat she’s powerless to battle alone.

It’s time Lara unites with the one man she needs, the one man she’s secretly drawn to…as if by fate.

If there’s one thing Mason hates more than relinquishing control to a female, it’s the attraction he feels for the fiery lioness. Joining forces with Lara against an insidious enemy only makes their primal bond hotter—and the two of them stronger.

Now it’s up to them, side by side, to bring together three warring shifter clans, win the final fight and save Deep Creek.

Available at:  

Carina → http://bit.ly/2M0Rm10

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2mTUEbs

B&N → http://bit.ly/2v3uaJc

iBooks → https://apple.co/2M3ZNsy

Google Play → http://bit.ly/2mZlU8E

One Grand Prize winner will receive a $15 Gift Card + the entire Shifter Wars Series from Kerry Adrienne in ebook or *print book (winner’s choice – *print book US only)  10 runners-up will receive 1 ebook or *print book from Kerry Adrienne (winner’s choice – *print book US only)

*Arc Review* Hard Trigger- S.L. Hannah Tour & Giveaway!!

In HARD TRIGGER by S.L. Hannah, Victoria finds herself entwined with a lover on the opposite side of a bloody feud. Seeking revenge to stop the flow of opiates that are killing her mother—she must spill the blood of her lover’s family to do it. Fans of RUIN by CD Reiss and SIN WITH ME by JA Huss & Johnathan McClain will devour this dark and sexy enemy to lovers tale where loyalty is in the eye of the beholder.

 hardtrigger20180514-digital

“An eerie silence engulfs the area. Like the silence I imagine engulfs you when you know that you’re at death’s door.”

I’ve read a few reviews and they all describe this in the same way. This is a more intense and sexualized version of James Bond with a badass female lead character. And I agree with that fully.

Victoria is the female lead that we hope for in books. She takes care of business and doesn’t need a man to help her along the way. She can handle any situation that comes her way.

When Victoria and Diego get together, it’s like a bomb detonates. Things are always so aggressive and heated. And be prepared for when he speaks Spanish to her. Wooo!!

This is a super fast paced read and it jumps from one shocking scene to the next. Your mind will be working overtime trying to keep up. The scenes with Victoria and Diego are explosive.

I would grab a glass of wine as you enjoy this heated story. It doesn’t disappoint.

   

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card + HARD TRIGGER eBook! Plus, NINE runners-up will win a HARD TRIGGER eBook!

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   DSC07457bw2   About S.L. Hannah:

S.L. Hannah was born in Poland, grew up in Canada, and moved to Southern California to pursue her love of single-engine airplanes. Her latest rogue romance, Hard Trigger, will be published on August 28th, 2018. Visit her online at http://www.slhannah.com to learn about her other books, to get updates about her new release, and to connect through social media. S.L. Hannah lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and garden of succulents. When she’s not writing fiction, she continues to solve the aviation problems of the world.

Follow:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon | Pinterest | Instagram

 

Siren’s Curse- Katee Robert Tour & Giveaway

SIREN’S CURSE, a dark and haunting standalone novel in the multi-author series, The Sea King’s Daughters is LIVE!

 In SIREN’S CURSE by NYT Bestselling Author, Katee Robert, a cursed mermaid has lost her powers and her ability to shapeshift and the only creature that can help her reclaim herself is one who may mean her the most harm…

Add SIREN’S CURSE to your TBR pile on Goodreads then keep reading to get a sneak peek excerpt and your chance enter the giveaway to win one of TEN (10) eBook copies of SIREN’S CURSE!

Kateerobert Title: Siren’s Curse

Author: Katee Robert

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: August 13, 2018

Publisher: Indie

Series: The Sea King’s Daughters

Page Count: 76 pages

                                                    Format: Digital

                                                    ASIN: B07DJK2HQR

Synopsis:

Lorelei Fischer is cursed. A mermaid who can’t shapeshift, can’t create portals and is no longer fully who she was meant to be. Too ashamed to admit how badly she failed to her sisters, she takes refuge in a small town in northern California and opens a used bookstore. With no way to regain what she’s lost, she resigns herself to a life half-lived.

After nearly drowning under the dark of the new moon, there’s no escaping the truth. She’s being hunted, and this enemy will stop at nothing to take her.

Lorelei must find a way to reclaim her birthright and her abilities before it’s too late. Because the sea holds more monsters than she could have dreamed—and one of them wants her dead.

Look for other stories in this exciting Urban Fantasy series from Philippa Ballantine, Stacia D. Kelly, Lauren Harris, and Asa Maria Bradley.

Available at: 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2syiT2e

 

Siren’s Curse Excerpt

Copyright © 2018 Katee Robert

I start for home, the wind and water turning my hair into blond snakes that whip around my head. Less than a quarter mile to my house and it might as well be on the moon. I pull my jacket tighter around my body and pick up my pace. Each harsh breath makes my chest ache, reminding me about the way this morning started.
I shouldn’t be alive.
There’s no other way to say it. When I closed my eyes, parted my lips, and inhaled… I made my choice. That I hadn’t died. That I woke up on the beach… Someone put me there, though I can’t begin to guess their purpose.
Lorelei.
I jump and spin in a circle, searching for the source of the voice. There’s no one in sight. There isn’t even a single pair of headlights on the road. Just the trees whipping back and forth in front of me and the beach at my back. I turn slowly to face the beach—the water—and squint into the driving rain. No part of me is dry at this point, so I might as well investigate.
Lorelei.
There it is again, barely more than a whisper on the wind. Calling me back to the water.
I take a step before what’s left of my self-preservation kicks in. “No.” I don’t mean to say the word aloud, but it settles something inside me. I am not some weak-willed creature to be drawn in by curiosity. Whatever has the power to reach me here on dry land is something I want no part of. “Get the fuck out of my head.” That’s where I must be hearing him. There’s no way he’s actually speaking to me on the wind.
Whoever he is.
I have something you want.
I freeze. The faintest tugging in my stomach dials it up a notch. It never really goes away, even when I’m sequestered in the bookstore and surrounded by earth instead of sea. That tug tells me the exact direction my necklace—my powers—lay. I never get more than a hint of water that’s such a dark blue, it might as well be black, or an intense pressure that conveys exactly how far from the surface my necklace is kept. Too deep for humans and their machines.
Too deep for me.
I start for the beach before I can think better of it. For over two years, I’ve been missing a vital piece of myself, walking around as only half of a whole. I might not be completely helpless in my current state, but I’m easy pickings for any supernatural creature who decides to gun for me. Last night more than proved that the sea will take me, one way or another
 It might as well be on my terms.
Lightning flashes, bright enough that spots dance over my vision for the several seconds of silence before thunder rattles my bones. The storm isn’t directly overhead yet, but it will be soon. I’m a damn fool if I’m still out by that point.
I yank off my boots and socks and toss them onto the beach just out of reach of the waves coming faster and faster. One step, maybe two, and I’ll be submerged up to my ankles. My finding power will spiral out of me, instinctively seeking the one item I want more than anything in this goddamn world.
Not my sisters.
Not even the portal home.
No, what I want more than anything is to be whole again.
I should just turn around and go home. Whoever this voice belongs to, they mean nothing good for me. There’s a proper way to reach out, and it’s not by drawing a finless one of the merfolk into the ocean and nearly drowning her human body. Stepping into the ocean will boost what little magic I have left, and it will create a clear channel for him to speak to me.
I take that first step, and then the second. My power streaks out into the deep and then rebounds, slamming me with a vision of my necklace. It’s different than it’s been in the past. Barely any pressure to speak of. Blue-gray water that stretches for miles and miles and miles around without encountering land. A vaguely fishy taste on my tongue.
Tentacles.
And then his voice is in my head, curling through me in a way that’s just shy of being invasive. Hello, pretty.
Telepathy isn’t one of my skills, but apparently, his is so strong that it allows me to fire off a reply. Tell me what you want and get out of my head.
His chuckle is pure predator. More like I have something you want.
Surely not. The Deep Dwellers, sworn enemy to my people, wouldn’t be so foolish as to lose a coup like my necklace. In the endless history of wars between our kind, I can’t think of a single instance when they’ve managed to steal the very essence of what one of the merfolk is—to sever one of us from our power. It’s priceless. They wouldn’t have traded it—would have, in fact, guarded it with their lives. So why does this monster in my head have access to it?
I cross my arms over my chest and tell myself that the shiver racking my body is from the cold. I’m listening.
Come to me.
That surprises a laugh out of me. Pass.
You’d turn down a chance to regain yourself?
I’d turn down a chance to walk into a trap like an idiot. I shake my head. This is a waste of time. I turn for the shore when power slams into me, sending me to my knees. The water rushes in—or maybe I rush out—and the next thing I know, I’m up to my chest.
Don’t be a fool.
This deep, I finally have a sense of him. He must have held himself back up to this point because he’s positively ancient. Older than anything I’ve ever felt—even my father—and so powerful that pain lances through my head. It would be so easy to give him what he wants, to stop fighting, to…
“Get the fuck out of my head!” I sprint for dry land. This deep, it’s more of a fast wade, but I curse and spit and fight the pull of the magic current trying to yank me off my feet. “No, no, no, no, get your stupid magic off me!
He releases me all at once and I fly the last few feet and land in a heap just past the now-normal waves. I sit up and scrub sand from my face. Even without the water connection, his dark amusement slithers through me. Another time, pretty. His presence recedes faster than any tide, leaving the storm just a normal storm.
It’s official—I’m in even worse trouble than I could have imagined.

 

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   KateeRob3ert       About Katee Robert

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it ‘a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.”  When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

 

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