Morrie Richfield lives in Pennsylvania with his two sons, his dogs and his cat. He is working on his next novel, and he still dreams that someday the world will be a better place for all of us to live.
His latest book is the inspirational novel, Mr. Breeze.
Readers, please be sure to visit Mr. Richfield’s website to stay up to date on all off his projects!
MR. BREEZE (the title is inspired by a song by the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd) follows the increasingly amazing experiences of freelance photojournalist Michael Ryan as he hears of stories about a man named Zack, who can seemingly perform inhuman feats that could be called miraculous. Ryan eventually meets Zack and becomes, at Zack’s insistence, Zack’s messenger. Along the way, a dog named Rover, who also possesses otherworldly powers, joins Zack and Ryan in their adventures, which include a remarkable visit to the Centers for Disease Control, in Atlanta, in search of a cure for AIDS.
The secret of who Zack is and why he has chosen Ryan to tell his story to the world forms the surprising and moving climax to the book.
And there is a MR. BREEZE sequel in the works, Richfield notes. The working title is REVELATION: THE RETURN OF MR. BREEZE. “The second book is about how we take that message (from the first book) and what we do with it.”
In the meantime, Richfield hopes that readers of MR. BREEZE find the storytelling compelling. I also would like them to be entertained and to want to tell others about it. If they come away wanting to be a better human being, that would be a huge plus.”
The decision to become parents is one of the biggest decisions we make in life. For many people, the decision does not come without its uncertainties. Here’s a story of a woman, Nina Jacinto, who struggling with her uncertainly about becoming a mother. From her article, “Loving So Much It Hurts: Why I’m Not Sure I Can Be a Mom:”
It’s the “‘loving so much it hurts’ that makes me want to scream and run away from the land of mamas. Caring for someone with all your heart that way requires a tremendous amount of trust in oneself, and even more vulnerability. Opening up our heart to love, and letting in everything that comes with it — happiness, sadness, fear, intimacy, risk, compassion sounds… terrifying. I struggle with this already as a daughter, as a person in a committed romantic relationship. I feel this way as a best friend. How can I take this on as a mother? The insecure and scared person inside me who has experienced and remains afraid of loss says, What if I can’t handle it?”
If she decides she can’t handle it, that Should Be OK. She seems to be beating herself up for fearing she is not “ready” or does not have what it takes to be a mom.
Pronatalism, what the book The Baby Matrix explores in depth, includes the idea that a) there comes a time when we should all be ready to become parents, and b) there’s a strong connection between the ability to give birth and the ability to parent. Not only is a) not true, b) is a myth.
If she comes to the conclusion that motherhood is not something she has the ability to take on, she need not feel badly about this. If we lived in a society that did not unquestionably believe that parenthood should be the central focus of our adult lives, she would not have to be hard on herself for this choice.
But she does say that she thinks she wants to be a mom one day. So what could help her get beyond her anxieties and feel she has the abilities she needs to raise kids well? Living in a society that treats parenthood as a “privileged” right, where everyone is required to get solid education about parenthood before they become parents, including having to think through why they want to become parents (because it is not everyone’s biological destiny, as the The Baby Matrix also dissects), learning the skill sets that parenting requires, assessing whether they have those skill sets and what skills they need to acquire before becoming parents.
Like any other “job” parenting requires certain aptitudes, certain “components of capability.” What if our society required adult parenthood programs to help people really examine whether parenthood is right for them, and if it is, help them prepare for it? If we did, people like Ms. Jacinto would have a place to go to explore her feelings, and get what she needs in order for her to be able to confidently say, “I can handle it,” or decide that parenthood is not right for her, and make this decision without self-judgment, or judgment from society.
Laura Carroll is the author of The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World. She is also the author of Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice and Finding Fulfillment From the Inside Out. In addition to writing nonfiction books, Laura has worked as a business and litigation psychology consultant, and used her expertise in behavioral sciences, psychology, and communications to advise business, legal, and nonprofit professionals on their communications strategies and goals. She has appeared on a variety of television shows, including Good Morning America and The Early Show, and been a guest on many radio talk shows to discuss social science topics. She reviews nonfiction books and more at LiveTrue Books. She lives in San Francisco.
About The Baby Matrix:
In the movie The Matrix, the character Morpheus offers two pills to Neo—if he takes the blue pill, he will go on with life as he has before, believing what he has always believed. If he takes the red pill, he will find out what the “matrix” really is, and many of his earlier beliefs will be shattered. When it comes to taking a hard look at a specific set of beliefs about parenthood and reproduction that has driven our society for generations, The Baby Matrix is the red pill.
We commonly think our desire to have children boils down to our biological wiring, but author Laura Carroll says it’s much more than that. Unlike other books on parenthood, The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World takes a serious look at powerful social and cultural influences that drive the desire for the parenthood experience, and lays out why we need to be very aware of these influences to make the most informed decisions about parenthood.
The Baby Matrix looks at long-held beliefs about parenthood and reproduction, and unravels why we believe what we believe. It lays out:
-the historical origins of beliefs about parenthood and reproduction
-why many of these beliefs no longer work for society or were never true in the first place
-why we continue to believe them anyway
-the prices society pays as a result
The Baby Matrix shows us how we got here, brings to light what is true, which includes knowing about the powerful influence of “pronatalism,” and explains why society can no longer afford to leave pronatalism unquestioned.
“This is not a book about convincing people not to have children,” says Carroll. “I want people to be very aware of the long-held social and cultural pressures, and be able to free themselves from those pressures when making parenthood choices.
This will result in more people making the best decisions for themselves, will foster a society in which those who are best suited to become parents are the ones who have children and one that knows what it means to bring a child into the world today.”
This book will make you examine your own intentions and beliefs, will rile you, and might just change your mind. Whether you are already a parent, want to become a parent, are still making up your mind, or know you don’t want children, you’ll never think about parenthood in the same way.
The Baby Matrix is a must-read for anyone interested in psychology, sociology, anthropology, parenting issues, environmentalism, and social justice. But most of all, it’s for anyone, parent or not, who reveres the truth and wants the best for themselves, their families, and our world.
Pump Up Your Book and Laura Carroll are teaming up to give you a chance to win a Kindle Fire!
Here’s how it works:
Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form. Click here to follow along with the tour and enter.
This Kindle Fire promotion will run from July 2 – September 27. Winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on September 28, 2012.
One lucky person who comments the most on Laura Carroll’s blog stops will receive a $50 gift certificate. The blog host who receives the most comments through the tour will also receive a $50 gift certificate! Woot!
Before you get all defensive, remember that you’re here because we care about you. We’re concerned about the changes in your behavior. Frankly, your addiction has gotten out of hand, and it’s time you were made aware of how it’s affecting you and those around you.
Oh, sure, we understand that it started innocently enough with a quick pick-me-up in the morning and a nightcap before bed. It made you feel so grown up. After all, your parents did it, and so did your friends’ parents. You didn’t really need it, and most of the time, to be honest, it was rather unpleasant, but you figured you’d grow into it. And grow into it you did.
Yes, you can make a case for how much it has helped you. It made you more effective and productive. That morning fix gave you the extra edge and helped you get to work on time. So what if it made your pulse race a little, or occasionally made it difficult for you to focus on the task at hand. Other people admired you for it. You were the go-to-person when people needed answers. In social settings, it broke the ice and helped you to appear cultured and urbane. But you can’t ignore the down side. It made you argumentative, and when you overindulged, it contributed to very bad behavior. More than once, you woke up in the morning with no recollection of the things you had said the night before, and no idea why people were so upset with you.
One day, you stopped being just a casual consumer. This was no longer a recreational activity or a hobby for you: it was running your life. It’s not entirely your fault. After all, it’s readily available 24 hours a day, almost everywhere you go. And it’s almost impossible to avoid second-hand exposure. But it has to stop, and it has to stop now.
Step away from the television, and turn off the news.
You’re not yourself when you’ve been watching the news. You become tense and edgy, and short-tempered. And don’t get me started on what you’re like after you’ve been mainlining the hard stuff—the pundits and the talk radio propagandists. The last time you listened to Rush Limbaugh, you were wired for days.
Sure, you insist that it’s not a problem for you. You can handle it. And what’s more, you could give it up anytime you want, right?
Well, prove it. For the next seven days, go on a complete media fast: no newspapers, no talk radio, no television news, no blogs, no magazines, and no conversations with anyone about current events.
Notice how you’re feeling right now, with just the suggestion that you give up your daily does of the media. How would you describe it? Fear? Panic? Anxiety? Anger? You’re so addicted to the news that you can’t even imagine how you would survive without it.
This is the first step: admitting that you have a problem.
The next step is doing something about it. Unlike many other addictions, you don’t have to give up the news forever. You can learn how to consume media responsibly. Before you can do that, however, you first have to break the cycle of your addition. You need to completely unplug from all news media for the next seven days.
Going cold turkey won’t be easy, but you will have help. Go to www.GetAngryGetHappy.com and download the free MP3s of the Present Moment Awareness Safety Meditation (it’s in the Phase 2 Tools section). You can use this powerful tool to help you through the worst of the withdrawal symptoms, as you purge the toxins from your consciousness.
Where Ignorance is Bliss, ’tis Folly to Watch The News
The news media is toxic, negative, and generally detrimental to your health. The main reason for this is that the news is none of your business.
That’s a pretty bold claim, so give me the chance to back it up.
Remember, in order for something to be “My Business,” it must meet three criteria. Let’s see how the news stacks up.
First, does the news affect you, right now? No. If something affects you, right now, you already know about it, and don’t have to learn about it from Wolf Blitzer.
Second, is the news your responsibility? Again, the answer is no. If the news were your responsibility, you would already know about it; ergo, it wouldn’t be news to you.
Third and finally, can you do anything to affect or change the situation? Of course you can’t. It’s not your responsibility, and you didn’t know about it in the first place, so how on earth could you have the ability to influence or change it?
The news is not even remotely part of “My Business.” This means the news comes entirely from Victim Consciousness. The more you watch the news, the less happy you will be.
Think about it: how do you feel when you watch the news? You’re either anxious or pissed off. The news is almost exclusively about two levels of consciousness: Fear and Anger, both of which live in First Kingdom/Victim Consciousness. The odds of your being truly happy when you watch the news are the same odds of you winning the lottery, which isn’t surprising, because hearing your winning lottery numbers on the news is about the only good news you’re likely to encounter.
Consume Media Responsibly
The media is no different than any other mind-altering substance: it’s safe to use in moderation. With practice, and support, you can learn how to consume media responsibly. If you only suffer from a mild addition to the news, you may find it relatively easy to modify your consumption to adopt these guidelines. Otherwise, you will need to begin with at least a seven day media fast to flush the accumulated negativity from your consciousness.
Here are some guidelines that will help you:
Limit your consumption to no more than 30 minutes a day.
Balance your consumption with a variety of sources.
Avoid the hard stuff and just say “no” to the pundits, the commentators, the agitators, and all talk radio shows. Anyone that tries to create controversy or to push your buttons is only hoping to get you addicted so they can steal the energy of your anger.
Kevin B. Burk has been helping people around the world to improve their lives and relationships since 1996 through his astrological counseling and relationship coaching practice. His humor, wisdom and compassion are always present, in his books (ten so far, including Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart, The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life, and his newest book, Anger Mastery: Get Angry, Get Happy, his classes and workshops, and his interactions with his clients and students. Kevin’s focus is always on the practical, exploring how we can actually use astrology and spiritual practice on a daily basis to transform our lives.
In the astrology world, he is best known for making Classical Astrology accessible to everyone, taking complex and abstract concepts and showing how they can be used to create concrete, specific and practical interpretations. Kevin’s website, The Real Astrology with Kevin B. Burk is one of the premiere astrology resources on the Internet. His book, Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart is a textbook used at Kepler University in their Undergraduate Astrology Degree program, and has been translated into Russian, and is currently being translated into Bulgarian. Kevin’s articles have appeared in The Mountain Astrologer, the Australian publication,Well Being Astrology, and in Llewellyn’s Moon Sign books.
In the non-astrology world, Kevin is best known for his unique approach to understanding and improving all human relationships through The Relationship Handbook and The Relationship Workshops.
Kevin has released a series of DVDs of his Law of Attraction workshops: the self-contained Prosperity & The Law of Attraction, and Astrology & The Law of Attraction, a series of 7 DVDs recorded live in Houston, TX at a weekend workshop for the Gulf Coast Chapter of NCGR.
Kevin has developed a revolutionary program for spiritual growth called Archetypal Astrology: The Hero’s Journey. This intensive program guides participants through the process of meeting and moving into Right Relationship with each of the seven Astrological Archetypes (you may know them as the seven personal planets).
Kevin is currently synthesizing astrology and spirituality into his next series of books: Astrology & The Law of Attraction, Prosperity & The Law of Attraction andRelationships & The Law of Attraction.
Author Kevin B. Burk wants to make you angry. Burk believes that getting angry is the first step to happiness, and his newest book, Anger Mastery: Get Angry, Get Happy shows you how.
“Anger is like fire,” says Burk. “When you master it, it’s a powerful source of energy. If you don’t master it, however, it can be dangerous and destructive.” More importantly, Burk asserts, until you master your anger, other people will steal your energy, your power, and your ability to be happy.
The Anger Mastery Process has three phases. In Phase 1, you learn how to use more of your own energy, which makes it harder for other people to steal it from you. (This involves going to the gym at least five times a week.) You also learn how to leave Victim Consciousness and move into integrity by answering the question, “Whose business is it?”
Phase 2 of the Anger Mastery process helps you to stay out of Victim Consciousness by learning how to feel Safe. You meet your Safety Needs with a tool called the Present Moment Awareness Safety Meditation, available for free at www.GetAngryGetHappy.com.
By the time you complete Phase 2, you will already notice significant changes in your life. In particular, you will have considerably more energy. Phase 3 shows you how to use that energy to become truly, completely happy.
Anger Mastery is not your typical book on anger. Not only is Burk’s approach unique, but also the book itself is laugh-out-loud funny. “Humor is a powerful tool to shift consciousness,” said Burk. “Laughter instantly transforms anger. Plus, funny sells more books.”
~ ~ ~ NOOK 8GB TABLET GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~
Pump Up Your Book and Kevin Burk are teaming up to give you a chance to win a Nook 8GB Tablet!
Here’s how it works:
Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form throughout the tour.
The Nook 8GB Tablet promotion will run from July 2 – August 24. Winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on August 25, 2012.
Visit each blog stop (click here for the list) below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour.
What better way to heat up your summer than with scorching hot, sexy books? I’m talking about nine books I’ve read and loved so far this summer, and giving you a sneak peak at my debut summer release, Giving It Up. Let’s get started!
Fun and sexy enough to be a beach read, but real and emotional enough to find a spot on your keeper shelf. After I had already read, loved and highly recommended About Last Night, Ms. Knox wrote a post about my book, Giving It Up, where she said, “Giving It Up is a gritty, real romance that deals in an honest way with what happens to sexuality in the aftermath of rape…. Read it. You won’t be sorry.”
A very surprising number of people who like my books also enjoy Jill Shalvis’ books. Why is this surprising? Well, putting aside the fact that she is awesome, she also tends to write lighter-style humorous romances whereas mine is dark and gritty. However, maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised, considering we both write pretty sexy, we both weave in suspense elements into a contemporary AND we both have brooding heroes.
I pretty much like everything by Charlotte Stein. My favorite by her Control but if you’re on the romance-sphere, you probably see the huge, awesome waves one of her other recent releases, Sheltered, has made. Restraint is a short, sexy story that will steam you up quickly and make you want to talk dirty, which is pretty much always a good thing. Charlotte also had something to say about Giving It Up: “There’s a wonderful love story running through this book. Sharp, intense writing, sexy as hell, and such a cool idea!”
This book has completely blown up, crossing over between the 50 Shades newcomers and the old guard of romance novels… the latter would include me Don’t be fooled by the similarities to 50 Shades, Sylvia Day has been writing in the romance genre for a long time. She’s a fantastic writer for many many more books than Bared, although it alone is worth reading to see what the fuss is about!
This one came as a surprise to me. I’m not a huge fan of the whole small town/cowboy trope. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but this one was recommended to me by someone I knew on goodreads, so I read it. Though in a lot of ways this book follows the formula, it feels completely fresh. The characters are so well drawn, so flawed and real, that it was like no other small town/cowboy book I have read.
This is an M/M romance between a man who has been abused in his past and a man who has always dreamed of having a domestic discipline relationship. I’m sure you can see how that causes a lot of conflict… but ultimately it’s why they are perfect for each other. That’s one thing I love to see in romances, when the characters are exactly what the other needs… even if they don’t know it yet. By His Rules is highly emotional, very sexy and so sweet.
It’s pretty important that you follow the series on this one. It starts with Wicked Intentions and Thief of Shadows is the fourth book in the series. I can assure you it will be VERY worth your while! I have loved almost every book of Hoyt’s and this series is no different. It starts off very strong, as I loved Wicked Intentions. The second was just okay, but the third and fourth have been stellar examples of historical romance, very sexy and compelling and rich with details. But I’ll stress again you’ve got to follow the series.
This is another author where I’ve read almost all of her books. I recently read this one, Fortune, and was as usual blown away by the complexity of the heroine, the sexy Domliness of the hero and her great writing style. Though I must admit there was a certain strange feeling to reading it because of the way the heroine hit the nightclub for anonymous hook ups, because the heroine of Giving It Up does the same thing! Their motivations are a little bit different, and the story branches out differently as well, but it was still pretty trippy for me to read. Ms. Joseph also had kind things to say about Giving It Up, including “Giving It Up is original, affecting, emotionally draining, but well worth reading if you are brave enough to go along for the ride.”
This book is an enthralling story of a modern day prisoner of war and the man who might save or condemn him. I really just felt like I couldn’t catch my breath, couldn’t stop reading until it was over, and it was not a short book either! This one’s M/M and very, very dark, but definitely worth the read!
1. And now for a look at my debut novel, erotic romance Giving It Up!
Allie prowls the club for a man who will use her hard and then ditch her. Hey, it’s not rape if she wants it. Instead she finds Colin, who looks tough but treats her tenderly, despite her protests.
He tempts her, but kindness and a few mindblowing orgasms aren’t enough to put her back together again. Allie has no hope for a real relationship. Two years ago her best friend betrayed her in the worst possible way – she’d be stupid to trust a man again. Besides, she has her daughter to think of, the only good thing to have come from that dark night.
But when her rapist returns, threatening her sanity and custody of her daughter, Allie turns to Colin. Under his protection and patient touch, Allie begins to heal and learns to hope. Colin’s no saint, though, and his criminal past draws danger of its own. Allie must fight to protect her child and the man she loves, hoping her newfound power will be enough to save them all.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: dubious consent.
“A ballsy departure from romantic conventions. At once gritty and tender, stark and hopeful.”
—Cara McKenna, author of Willing Victim
” Amber Lin shows us that romance isn’t just for the rich and shiny. Love can find its way even into the dark corners of the most damaged hearts.”
—Tiffany Reisz, author of The Siren
“This is a book you MUST read if you like gritty, edgier romance that makes you think as well as turns you on.”
—Cari Quinn, USA Today Bestselling Author
“Dark and edgy…but don’t be fooled. There’s a wonderful love story running through this book. Sharp, intense writing, sexy as hell, and such a cool idea!”
—Charlotte Stein, author of Sheltered
“Every page is chock full of sexy, angsty must-read-moreness.”
—Karla Doyle, author of Game Plan
“Giving It Up is a gritty, real romance that deals in an honest way with what happens to sexuality in the aftermath of rape…. Read it. You won’t be sorry.”
—Ruthie Knox, author of About Last Night
We stripped at the same time, both eager. I wanted to see his body, to witness what he offered me, but it was dark in the room. Then he kissed me back onto the bed, and there was no more time to wonder. The cheap bedspread was rough and cool against my skin. His hands stroked over my breasts and then played gently with my nipples.
My body responded, turning liquid, but something was wrong.
I’d had this problem before. Not everyone wanted to play rough, but I was surprised that I’d misread him. His muscles were hard, the pads of his fingers were calloused. I didn’t know how he could touch me so softly. Everything about him screamed that he could hurt me, so why didn’t he?
I wanted him to have his nasty way with me, but every sweet caress destroyed the illusion. My fantasy was to let him do whatever he wanted with me, but not this.
“Harder,” I said. “I need it harder.”
Instead his hands gentled. The one that had been holding my breast traced the curve around and under.
I groaned in frustration. “What’s wrong?”
He reached down, still breathing heavily, and pressed a finger lightly to my cunt, then stroked upward through the moisture. I gasped, rocking my hips to follow his finger.
“You like this,” he said.
Yes, I liked it. I was undeniably aroused but too aware. I needed the emptiness of being taken. “I like it better rough.”
Colin frowned. My eyes widened at the ferocity of his expression.
In one smooth motion he flipped me onto my stomach. I lost my breath from the surprise and impact. His left hand slid under my body between my legs and cupped me. His right hand fisted in my hair, pulling my head back. His erection throbbed beside my ass in promise. I wanted to beg him to fuck me, but all I could do was gasp. He didn’t need to be told, though, and ground against me, using my hair as a handle.
That small pain on my scalp was perfection, sharp and sweet. Numbness spread through me, as did relief.
The pain dimmed. My arousal did too, but that was okay. I was only vaguely aware of him continuing to work my body from behind.
I went somewhere else in my mind. I’d stay that way all night.
At least that’s what usually happened.
· One randomly drawn winner from each blog will receive a Giving It Up Swag Pack, which includes romance trading cards, a signed cover flat, a signature soap bar for showers together handcrafted by AnaBanana Creations and a $10 Amazon gift card.
· One randomly drawn commenter on the tour will win an erotic romance prize pack, including paperback copies of Bared to You by Sylvia Day, Simply Carnal by Kate Pearce, Lessons in Letting Go by Cara McKenna (print combo of Willing Victim and Curio), Comfort Object by Annabel Joseph, a collection of signed Giving It Up swag AND a $50 Amazon Gift Card (BN.com or All Romance may be substituted)
· The blog host with the most comments will also receive the erotic romance prize pack detailed above.
Click here to follow along with this awesome tour!
About Amber Lin:
Amber Lin is repped by Jewelann Cone by Cascade Literary Agency. Her debut novel, Giving It Up, releases from Loose Id on June 19th. She also has a historical manuscript in the works as well as the sequel to Giving It Up.
Amber married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good. Come say hi back on twitter, through goodreads, or by email!
If Demons Ran Our World by Leia Shaw, author of Destiny Bewitched
Samantha, a witch and heroine of Destiny Bewitched, is going to give you a little run-down of what demons are in my world.
According to the legends, demons were a botched experiment by Merlin, an infamous sorcerer from Wales back in the tenth century. He tried to create the ultimate weapon – an indestructible creature that could control people’s minds. Most sorcerers didn’t like to admit it, but Merlin had been bat-shit crazy. The daimonas were obsessed with chaos and destruction. They didn’t take orders. They lacked organization and self-discipline. Hard to make an army with vicious little boogars that could decimate a city but acted like five-year-olds on crack. Merlin ended up with a big problem that ran the risk of giving sorcerers a bad name, something they’d never allow – the self-righteous pricks. Gethin, the Red Dragon of Wales and guardian of the Underworld helped sweep it under the rug. He owed Merlin a favor after he freed him from a trap and gave dragons the ability to take human form. So into the Underworld went the screwy little miscreants.
If those screwy little miscreants ran our world, we wouldn’t have a world for very long. But Geo, the hero in the story, is a temporary demon. He was banished from his home (no, I won’t tell where or why, you’ll just have to read it) and sentenced to live in the Underworld for a spell. He was given the same abilities as a demon, but he kept his conscience and freakin’ smoking hot…um, well, I’ll let Samantha tell you about Geo in her own words.
The man stepped into the light of the fire and she finally got a good look at who held her captive. She blanched.
His powerful legs were wrapped in brown leather. Small pouches and odd looking things dangled from a thick belt at his waist. Was that an animal foot? Olive skin with a strong jaw and prominent, slightly crooked nose gave him a flawed yet handsome appearance. Not at all what she expected.
He withdrew the cowboy hat from his head. She gasped. A pair of impressive rust-colored horns rose up from his skull and extended backward like a ram. His hair fell around them, almost masking them.
Her captor was a, “Demon,” she whispered breathlessly. Not for the first time in her short mortal life, Samantha was in deep shit.
This type of demon could lure you in with sex appeal alone. But besides that, he has another unique gift.
“What do you have to offer me for protection?” Samantha asked. “Can you do any cool tricks?”
He smirked once then sobered. With a compelling voice, he ordered, “Step out of the circle.”
And damn her body for wanting to obey. Quickly, she locked down on her muscles to keep from moving. But it didn’t matter. She groaned with the effort to remain still. Only a moment later, both feet were out of the circle – her only protection, gone.
“Come,” he commanded from across the room.
She couldn’t resist gliding toward his silky voice no matter how hard she tried. Standing before him, she kept her gaze on the ground, silently wishing for the strength to pull away.
She dropped to the ground, wincing at the hardness under her knees. Damn him. She was vulnerable – at his mercy in every way.
“Look at me.” His voice was a tender whisper.
She raised her head. Warm copper eyes stared down at her. There was no pride or arrogance there. Intelligence. Compassion. Could she truly have found a…good demon?
He lifted his hand toward her face and she flinched. But to her surprise, he stroked her cheek with the back of his hand. She almost purred.
“Such a pretty girl.” His husky rasp slid through her like a shiver. “Do I meet your approval?”
I think if demons like Geo ran the world, we’d all be in big trouble. But that’s the kind of trouble I don’t mind being in.
About Destiny Bewitched:
Deemed “trailer trash” by humans and the daughter of the most disgraceful family of witches and warlocks since the Puritan age, Samantha is used to fighting her own battles. When her younger sister is taken to the Underworld, Sam doesn’t hesitate to rescue her. To survive the harsh land, she makes a deal with a demon — the most dangerous of creatures in the realm. Even with those lustrous horns, Geo is as hot as the hell she’s stuck in. Fighting nasty beasts in a supernatural version of the gladiator games is easy compared to falling in love with a man who has no future to offer.
She struggled beneath him, her cheeks flushed and chest heaving. Several necklaces – silver chains with various charms and a piece of leather tied around a feather – drew his gaze to her pale, slender neck. A neck he could sink his teeth into. He liked the look of her underneath him far too much. Two hundred years without a woman…why couldn’t Ares just have had him flogged?
“Let me up,” she yelled. “You’re squishing me.”
Reluctantly, he did. “You’d be more than squished had I been someone else. Your stance is too narrow. That’s why you fell over so easily.”
She scowled at him and straightened her clothing. “Don’t tell me how to fight.”
“Then stay behind me and I’ll do it for you.”
Gods, she was a saucy thing. Repressing a smile, he picked her sword up off the ground. “Spitfire and ambition will only get you so far, Samantha.” He held out her sword. “Knowledge and patience are the foundation for success.”
“My sister doesn’t have time for me to be patient.” She started to put the sword back into its sheath.
“No.” He grabbed her wrist and, under her icy glare, he positioned her sword arm out in front of her. “Widen your stance.”
She tossed him a dirty look but did as he said.
He walked a circle around her. “Good. Now scan.”
She looked left then right. “Clear.” She took a step forward but he grabbed the back of her shirt and tugged her against his chest.
“Never forget the sky,” he rasped against her ear.
Her breath quickened and he could hear her heart pound wildly. She looked up then whispered, “Clear.”
“Good. I can’t use a dead witch so try to keep yourself alive, yes?”
“I suppose I can try,” she answered drily.
About Leia Shaw:
I began my writing journey while I was stranded at the airport waiting for my delayed flight. I browsed the Border’s kiosk and grew frustrated that I couldn’t find the “it factor” — the perfect combination of alpha male-ness, ass-kickery, strong females, magic, and sex.
So I spent the next four hours on an airplane writing my first book on scraps of paper and an airsick bag (which thankfully I didn’t need to use).
Now I spend too much time in my head, plotting evil villains and the hot men (and women) who ruthlessly kill them. I think far too much about fae politics, dragon power games, and how fast werewolves can change forms. But writing my paranormal romance series has given me a productive place to express those dark places in my mind.
I live in New England with my husband and two kids. Though I will go to my grave denying it, my husband insists I would be thrilled if he suddenly sprouted fangs.