Charity Parkerson's Blog
January 23, 2015
He wants to tame her… After losing his wife to her wild ways at a young age, Tristan moved on to follow a higher calling. He finds comfort in helping others and has no intention of inviting drama back into his life. That is, until temptation blows into town. She wants to corrupt him… Riley is a foul-mouthed, bad-tempered, and bitter soul. Down on her luck and on the run from another terrible decision, the last thing she needs is a soul-saving hottie pushing his way into her life. But will they end up destroying each other? Taming Riley becomes an obsession for Tristan. With his reputation on the line and Riley’s heart on the table, can Tristan find a way to keep both? It only takes a dash of desire to ignite a flame when this savior and sinner collide. But this is one inferno that could end up destroying them both.
Copyright © 2014 Charity Parkerson
Excerpt: All Rights Reserved
His cologne hit her first. Heaven and chocolate.“Could you use a hand?”The voice…southern whiskey. Hers refused to work as the full impact of him came into view. Soft blond hair and light blue eyes gave the impression of an angel. Seriously. Riley was certain they sang. On the other hand, the devil chuckled, because his body was made for sin. Six feet of sinewy muscle, reminding her of a runner. Wide shoulders unafraid of hard labor. God. Damn. Obviously mistaking her silence for fear, he stopped a few feet short of her and held the umbrella out for her to take. At this point, it was useless, but Riley still accepted.“I’m Tristan.” Oh, it so wasn’t right that his name was freaking sexy too, and she looked like a drowned rat at the moment.She held her hand out. “Riley Henderson,” she said, finally managing to find her voice. Dropping his gaze, Tristan didn’t accept. His eyes darted away. Taking note of the black gunk covering her palm, Riley swiped it down the front of her shirt almost groaning aloud when the black streak appeared in its wake. The dumbass move reminded her of an important fact. Her shirt was white. It was soaked. The headlights on his truck weren’t the only things shining.
January 21, 2015
Grace took a breath, she whispered against his lips. “Would it be too soon to unzip your jeans, to slip you inside me, to rock on your oh so hard erection? You set me longing for sex, longing for the feel of you thrusting into me.”
Thorn’s eyes snapped open. He could hardly believe his ears. He saw her face through a daze of lust. “I’d love it. I’m desperate for you. You have to know that.”
He hadn’t finished his sentence and she had opened the zipper of his jeans. She knelt so that he could raise his hips and slide the jeans down his thighs.
The white sand felt cool under his ass. His cock ached. His stomach muscles were so tightly clenched with the need to fuck he could hardly breathe. Thorn watched Grace push aside the pale blue fabric of her bikini panties between her legs. His breath left him in a whoosh as she grasped his cock to guide the head to her entrance, and then with exquisite slowness sat down onto it so that he felt every inch of the warm, wet, glide in. She straddled across his lap, her knees in the sand and her inner thighs against the skin of his outer thighs. She held the V of his hips and rode his cock.COPYRIGHT Elodie Parkes and Evernight Publishing 2014 All Rights Reserved ABOUT THE AUTHOR Elodie Parkes is a British author writing romance, erotic, contemporary, and often with a twist of mystery, paranormal or suspense. Her books are always steamy, cool stories and hot love scenes. Elodie lives in Canterbury with her two dogs. She works in an antique shop by day and writes at night, loving the cloak of silent darkness that descends on the rural countryside around her home. Elodie writes for, Hot Ink Press, Moon Rose Publishing, Eternal Press, Secret Cravings, Evernight, Siren and Ra Jones Anthology She has also released titles as an individual indie author. FOLLOW THE AUTHOR BLOG – TUMBLR – FACEBOOK – TWITTER – GOOGLE - PINTEREST – YOUTUBE – AMAZON USA – AMAZON UK – SMASHWORDS – BARNES AND NOBLES – ARe – BOOKSTRAND – MANIC READERS GIVEAWAY Win a $10 or £10 Amazon gift card. a Rafflecopter giveaway Tour has been organized & hosted by:
January 19, 2015
TITLE – Accepting Fate SERIES – Others of Seattle: Book 3 AUTHOR – Brandy L Rivers GENRE – Adult Paranormal Romance PUBLICATION DATE – 2-23-2015 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – around 70ish k PUBLISHER – Brandy L Rivers COVER ARTIST – Brandy L RiversBOOK SYNOPSIS Accept fate, or it destroys you...
Michael Nights hides his true nature. To protect his first love, his magic broke free, terrifying Amanda so badly she left. That day convinced him he was the monster she claimed. Horrified by the damage he could cause, he’s vowed to keep his power locked away.
Gwen Fate meets Mike at a party. One look and she’s captivated. Inherently curious, she wants to discover all of his secrets. What she learns compels her to help, whether or not he wants to embrace what he is.
Amanda deLuna has changed, but was it for the better? She arrives back in Seattle and offers Mike what he always wanted.
After finally learning to control his power, Mike will have to choose.
The life he wished for? Or his fate?PRE-RELEASE BUY & TBR LINKS
Brandy L Rivers is the author of the Others of Edenton and Others of Seattle series. There are more Others of Edenton and Others of Seattle books in the works.
As an avid reader, Brandy has always loved writing. She became serious about it as a stay-at-home-mother. She has a file full of manuscripts she plans to edit and put out there eventually.
She lives in Western Washington with her husband and three kids, where she is already working on future stories in each of the series and several other projects.AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS
January 15, 2015
“Well, well, well…” Sandra’s gaze turned mischievous, and Taylor turned to see who had captured her attention. And promptly lost all ability to breathe. She was barely aware of Sandra’s muttered curses as she wiggled into the pocket of her jeans to extract the money, throwing it at Tess across the table. Alexander had gone home to change as well. Gone was the suit and tie. A pair of jeans and a black button-down shirt graced his long, lean body. The shirt fit well over his broad shoulders, sleeves rolled up to expose tan, corded forearms. “Holy…” She took a sip of her drink, sucking it down to the ice to cool the pooling warmth inside. Her heart was beating fast, slamming against her chest painfully. Taylor watched his gaze travel the crowded club before finding them seated along the edge in the curved booth. His arctic blue eyes flashed from searching to triumphant to predatory in an instant, and the pool of warmth spread through her core. With each step closer, Taylor found less breathable air. “Holy hell. That man can wear a pair of jeans like nobody’s business.” Sandra was in awe, and the thought crossed Taylor’s mind that he was closer to Sandra’s age than hers. She had no business starting something with him, anyway; maybe she should just fork him over. Except his eyes never wavered from hers. As soon as he’d seen them, his gaze had latched onto hers, leaching inhibitions right and left. Her tongue snaked out and swept across her bottom lip, followed by her teeth, and she caught her hand fiddling with the neckline of her top. Subconscious signals flowed from her before she realized what she was doing. She was glad to see him. He flashed a grin at them before sliding into the booth next to Taylor, and she had a sudden understanding of the term panty-melting. His smile certainly did things to her insides that nobody else had managed to do. Ever. His proximity was doing things too. He smelled clean and fresh, his woodsy aftershave wafting to her unencumbered by smells of permanent solution, hair dyes, and shampoo. His thigh brushed against hers, and tingles erupted in her stomach. “Ladies,” he greeted them. Holding his hand out to shake the boy’s hand, he introduced himself, “Alexander.” The guy, whose diatribe about his hair had trailed off with the women’s shift of focus, flashed a confident smile. “Lucas. Nice to meet you, man.” Taylor watched the handshake, both men’s hands white-knuckled with exerted pressure. She hid her smile behind her fingers. Lucas wrapped his arm possessively around Tess, who didn’t seem to mind much, and Alexander visibly relaxed. Okay, so he wasn’t threatened by the attention to Tess. For some reason, that thought comforted Taylor, but not for long. His voice in her ear sent a whole slew of uncomfortable thoughts racing through her body. “Can I crash girls’ night if I buy you ladies drinks?” “Of course! I’ll have another margarita, Taylor needs another cranberry vodka, and Tess is drinking the draft bock.” Sandra had the hearing of a bat. Taylor had always been amazed at how well she could hear clients talking over the noise in the shop, and tonight was no exception. When Alexander looked at her for confirmation, she nearly got lost in the pools of blue piercing her, offering a meek nod of acceptance. As he slid out of their booth with the grace of a cat, she felt a pang of loss at the sudden coolness that replaced his body heat. She fanned herself absently, mentally chiding her body’s physical reaction. “You gonna tap that?” Lucas was watching her, an amused look on his face. “Excuse me?” “That’s a manther if I’ve ever seen one.” He tossed back his beer in one motion and settled back with an excited gleam in his eyes. Tess laughed uproariously, and Taylor couldn’t hide her confusion. Sandra explained, “The male equivalent of a cougar is what he means.” “How do you guys even know he’s here for me? You’re closer to his age. What if he’s here to pick you up?” she asked Sandra. “He’s not, honey. I guarantee you.” “Yeah, he looks like he wants to fuck you senseless,” Lucas added. “Well, I wouldn’t have put it nearly that eloquently…” Alexander slid into the space next to Taylor, replacing the heat which had left with him. She watched him as a slight blush rose to his cheeks. Or was it a flame like the one tickling her insides right now? Or the one that was rippling across her own skin? He held out a hand to her with two drinks in it, one hers, and one a clear amber liquid, presumably his. The way he cradled both glasses in his palms lent an intimacy to the glasses flush against each other. She took both and placed his on the table while he handed the others around. Those hands… Grateful for the drink, she took a rather large sip, not wanting to see Alexander’s reaction to Lucas. Even though Lucas’s attention had been diverted to something Tess was whispering in his ear, Taylor still couldn’t look up enough to gauge anybody’s reaction. Except Sandra’s, who loudly announced someone had to get up because she wanted to dance. Alexander gracefully slid back out, holding out his hand to Taylor to help her. When she took it, his smooth fingers caressed her palm seductively as he lifted her out of the booth. The shudder wracking her body could not be suppressed. What was it about this guy? Nobody had ever made her body do these things, and she barely knew him. An overwhelming desire to explore the attraction consumed her. Her eyes lifted to his, and once again, his crystalline blue gaze pierced her. She sipped on her drink, ignoring Sandra behind her and asked, “Do you want to dance?” A rare uncertainty crossed his features, and Taylor thought it was cute. “I don’t really dance to this type of music,” he said, looking down at her. His gaze was focused on her lips, and she licked them nervously. Setting down her drink, she took a deep breath and grabbed his hand. “It’s not hard, you just bounce with me.” Taylor wasn’t used to taking the lead with guys, certainly not guys like Alexander. He was so put together, so unlike any of the other guys she’d gone out with. In fact, it occurred to her, he wasn’t a guy. He was most definitely a man. Carnal desire replaced the uncertainty on his face, and he tossed back his drink in one swallow. “Sounds heavenly.”AUTHOR BIOAnne has written her entire life and has the boxes of angst-filled journals and poetry to prove it. She’s been writing for public consumption for the last four years. Currently she is writing two romance series. In Stories of Serendipity, she explores real people living real lives in small town Texas in a contemporary romance setting. In The Four Winds, she chronicles God’s four closest archangels, Uriel, Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael, falling in love and becoming human. She lives in rural East Texas with her husband and children in her own private oasis, where she prides herself in her complete lack of social skills, choosing instead to live with the people inside her head. AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKSAMAZON AUTHOR PAGE – WEBSITE / BLOG – FACEBOOK FAN PAGE – FACEBOOK FRIEND PAGE - TWITTER – GOOGLE+ - PINTEREST – GOODREADS – Sign up for Newsletter GIVEAWAY PRIZES3 copies of Best Laid Plans of Boys and Men $5 Amazon Giftcard a Rafflecopter giveaway Blast has been organized and hosted by
January 10, 2015
Here are the authors: Charity Parkerson Terri ReidDakota Cassidy Desiree HoltChrissy Peebles Nancy CorriganCalinda B Kym GrossoShannon Mayer Vicky BurkholderMichele Bardsley W.J. May
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January 9, 2015
Separated at birth...reunited by murder.
Behind the gates of an exclusive Lake City neighborhood, prominent businessman Don Chu’s
housekeeper has been brutally murdered and his teenage daughter taken. The high-profile case has the Mayor himself sending the case across Detective Stan Brookshire’s desk. He barely has time to digest the details of the two sinister crimes before he’s called to yet another disturbing scene.
This time, at the other end of the city, another murder and attempted kidnapping ring out with a similarity too convenient for coincidence. As the clues fall into place and the evidence mounts, Stan starts to see a pattern emerge. A DNA match, and the two cases now become one. With the help of an unexpected young ally, Stan begins his search for a victim that may still be alive. It’s a race against the clock and across the globe that will test his skills to the absolute limit. Two murders. Two kidnappings.
Twice the danger.
About the Author:
Allison Cosgrove was born and raised in a suburb of Toronto, Ontario. A married mother of three daughters, she runs her own business by day and creates her own worlds by night. She enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters hiking in the woods or sitting by the fire reading a good book. She has had the love of reading and writing detective mysteries from the age of twelve but it has only been since the birth of her youngest that she has gotten serious about crafting some of her own works for others to enjoy. She credits her family and friends with being the driving force that has given her the strength to breathe life into her books.
Praise for Dragon Twins:
"In Book 2 of the Stan Brookshire series, Cosgrove doesn’t miss a beat. Continuity is perfect as the recurring characters and places are just as they were in Book 1. Stan & Jane once again take a case to heart as it becomes personal and throughout the action and psychological thrills we are also treated to the strength of family – both that with blood ties and that without. Stan still hasn’t really learned how to follow the rules; will this be the case he loses his job over? I highly recommend this read, as well as its predecessor ‘Sacrifice of Innocence’."
Lacie Redding, Kissimmee, FL
Grab your copy for only $0.99!!! amzn.to/1cTpAKH
January 5, 2015
TITLE – Shattered
SERIES – Perfect Little Pieces (Book #2)
AUTHOR – Ava Conway
GENRE – New Adult Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – 1/5/2015
PUBLISHER – Simon and Schuster
For the first time in her life, Mia Horton isn’t afraid of the future. Equipped with a new major, a new internship, and a new life, she is finally able to put the past behind her—that is, until she meets Flynn McKenna. Flynn’s boyish charm and rugged good looks make her feel things she doesn’t want to feel, and shakes the foundations of her carefully constructed world. With Flynn, Mia craves things she knows she can never have, and wonders if she’ll ever be rid of the silent curse that seems to plague all of the women in her family.
Well on his way to being the youngest mixed martial arts champion in the world, Flynn uses fighting to provide for his impoverished family. Then, one day, an accident forces him to the sidelines. His failure to achieve success devastates his parents and starts a downward spiral of guilt and self-loathing that lands him at Newton Heights Mental Hospital. He has all but given up on life, until a gorgeous young intern makes him see that there is more to him than winning titles, and that love is the most valuable prize of all.
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BUY & TBR LINKS
AMAZON KINDLE US – BOOKS A MILLION – BARNES & NOBLES NOOK
"Can I ask you a question?" Flynn asked as we approached the reception desk.
"Sure." I stopped and turned to face him. Big mistake. While not classically handsome, there was something about his rugged features that was alluring. He was a fighter, if his crooked nose was any indication. His face was thin, his muscles lean. There wasn't an ounce of fat on him, I realized.
While all of this was intriguing, it was his eyes that most attracted me. They were constantly changing, from the clear sky-blue when he first walked into my office, to the stormy gray they were now.
"Why are you here?" he asked.
"For an internship, like Dr. Polanski said. I'm working toward my doctorate in clinical psychology."
"Yeah, that's not what I mean." He scratched his head, shaking loose some auburn strands from his bandanna. My fingers itched to tug that ridiculous piece of fabric away and let his locks tumble into place. I bet the man would be stunning if he just cleaned up a little bit.
"What do you mean?" I asked as I tore my gaze away from his hair and back down to his face.
"I mean, why mental patients?"
I chuckled and shook my head. "You know, you're the second person who asked me that."
"Dr. Polanski wanted to know why I wanted this internship, too."
"So," he asked. "Why us?"
I considered him for a moment before responding. "Why not you?"
He grinned, which softened his hard features. "I'm serious."
"I am, too." I shifted my briefcase from one hand to the other and adjusted the heavy tote on my shoulder. "Why do you think I wouldn't want to be here?"
He shrugged and shoved his hands in his pockets. "We're all lost causes." He averted his gaze, but not before I saw the hurt in his eyes. I wondered who had called him a lost cause, and why. Part of me wanted to find that person and shake some sense into him.
"You're not a lost cause." I touched his arm, drawing his gaze back to me.
He glanced down to where I touched him and eased back. "No, I'm the biggest lost cause of them all."
"Why do you say that?"
He looked up and met my eyes. "Look at you." He waved his hand in front of me.
“I can’t—there’s no mirror.”
He snorted, then his features turned serious. He brushed back a stray hair that had fallen from my bun. “You have the perfect hair." He slid his finger over my temple and cheek. "The perfect pink cheeks."
I started to protest, but then he focused on my lips and the hunger I saw there caused heat to burn in my lower abdomen.
Slowly, he slid his finger over my lips. "The perfect mouth," he murmured.
My breath hitched. Was he going to kiss me? He looked like he wanted to, and heaven help me, I wanted that, too, but I could never become involved with a patient. Not here. Not anywhere, really. There were rules and boundaries. I was here to fix his life, not make mine more complicated.
He must have seen the panic in my eyes because he cleared his throat and backed away. It was a good thing he did. Despite my convictions, it had been a hell of a long time since I had been with anyone romantically. I wasn’t entirely sure I would have had the strength to stop him.
He stuffed his hands back into his pockets and glanced down at my clothes. "You have the perfect outfit—well, except the coffee stains. You might want to try to get those out." I grimaced. "You belong out there, with the other perfect people.” He waved his hand at the elevators. “Not with the misfits and losers like us."
"And which are you, Flynn?" I stepped closer. "Are you a misfit, or a loser?"
"Both." He took a step away. "You should go home, Mia. Go back to your ivory tower and your perfect life. You don’t belong here."
"You don’t belong here, either."
He let out a short, quick exhale. "You’re wrong. I belong here more than anyone."
“You wouldn’t understand.” He shoved his hands deeper into his pockets and shuffled his feet.
“Make me understand, Flynn.” I took a step closer as I thought of the long list of mood-altering medications I had seen in his file. Mood swings, seizures. I wanted to know how he got to this point in his life. What happened to him to make him realize that he needed help and couldn’t continue to do things by himself? “I want to help you.”
"You just can't." He took another couple of steps away from me, but not before I noticed the light dusting of freckles on his skin, faded from the lack of sunlight. It made him more boyish and vulnerable in my eyes, which only strengthened my decision to help.
“Why not?” I closed the distance until only a sliver of air was between us.
Pain flashed through his features. "You are so damn innocent, Mia.” He cupped my face with his large palm and touched his forehead to mine. “You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.”
1) Katy Perry – Roar
2) Collide – Howie Day
3) Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
4) Falling In – Lifehouse
5) Timber – Pitbull
6) Where Are We Going to Go From Here – Matt Kearny
7) One of those Days – Joshua Radin
8) The Riddle – Five for Fighting
9) Come Away with Me – Nora Jones
10) Sara Bareilles – Brave
11) Apologize – One Republic
12) Almost Lover – Jasmine Thompson
13) Feeling Good – Muse
At fourteen, Ava snuck her first romance novel into bed and read it by flashlight. There she met her first "book boyfriend" and has been hooked on reading ever since. She often prefers book-boyfriends to the real thing, and believes that a gooey, fudge brownie is a little piece of heaven on earth. When she's not writing, she's stumbling through her Zumba class (have to work off those brownies somehow), obsessing over the latest PINK song, or feeding her addiction for reality television.
AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE – WEBSITE – FACEBOOK – TWITTER – FACEBOOK GROUP - PINTEREST – TUMBLR – NEWSLETTER – GOODREADS – SIMON & SCHUSTER AUTHOR PAGE
Note: Ava also writes erotic romances for her over-eighteen fans as Suzanne Rock. See her kinkier side by checking out her website http://www.SuzanneRock.com
Release Blitz Organized By
Anyhow, I'm a huge Lori Foster fan, so I'm always over-the-moon when Harelquin allows me to get my hands on one of her books early. Thanks for that. It made me doubly happy when Denver and Cherry hit the sheets within the first few pages. I realize some people don't care for that, but I'd read the sexual tension between the two in the last story, and I tend to lean more toward erotica books, so this worked for me. Denver became sort of a jealous ass at this point.
Okay, maybe not that extreme, and I only feel the need to point it out, because some people don't like the ultra-alpha, but I found it sexy. Not to mention, no matter your preference, Denver was the perfect man for Cherry, because she has a crazy, scary stalker bent on having her. Denver's nature made him the exact right choice to deal with the situation. Seriously...you're going to want to throat-punch Carver.
For me, Denver's possessiveness for Cherry had me staying up all night to finish this book in one sitting. Another 5 star read from Lori Foster.
January 4, 2015
For 2 days only, Sated is #FREE!!! 1/5/15 & 1/6/15 pick up your copy now. (Dark Romance, F/M and M/M scenes, Rock Star Romance, Ménage, Sexy Detective, Alpha Male, Supernatural themes)“Losing her mind wasn’t an experience she enjoyed.”After a steamy night of passion with a dark stranger, Arbor’s life takes on a surreal edge. Disturbing dreams, lapses in memory, and entire buildings going missing are only a few of her problems. Her search for answers leads her to Detective Trey Murphy, the man in charge of investigating satanic and ritualistic crime for the New Orleans area.Where do you turn when your mind is the enemy?Meeting Trey only adds to Arbor’s confusion. By day, he keeps her captivated and gains her trust in a way no one else ever has. At night, Arbor’s every fantasy is brought to life by two sexy men who steal away her inhibitions. Torn between what her heart knows is real and what her eyes show her, Arbor must find the truth before she loses herself completely.But, then again, sometimes reality is more twisted than any dream and love is the cruelest form of insanity.**Author Note**Warning: This isn’t your typical love story. It’s dark with scenes some may find disturbing. Sometimes love is senseless, and the heart is so very stupid.
Excerpt: --Warning: This book is intended for readers over the age of 18.Copyright © 2014 Charity Parkerson
“Can I buy you a drink?” “No, thank you.” Killian was fascinated by the scene playing out across the bar. He’d had one eye glued on the tiny blonde since she walked through the door. If there was one detail he could point to in order to explain his captivation, it was that she didn’t fit in. Thank God. Her innocence was almost tangible when set next to the other occupants of the hardcore gothic club. “How about I just sit with you, then?” “No, thank you.” Killian leaned forward in his seat, even going as far as to set his elbow on the bar and cup his chin—openly staring. Not only was she not giving the guy the time of day, she hadn’t as much as glanced in his direction to see if she might be interested. On the other hand, the dude couldn’t seem to look away from her. That made two of them. Killian was engrossed. “Are you sure? You’re going to need someone to walk you out. This is kind of a rough joint.” It was. Killian would know. “I’m sure. Have a nice night.” He really wanted her to look. The guy was hot, possibly the best of the lot. She had at least three women staring at her with open malice simply because the guy was talking to her. Showing a determination that impressed Killian, the dude braced one hand on the wooden surface beside him and one on the back of her chair, boxing the woman in. The invasion of her personal space forced her to acknowledge his presence. As if it were possible, Killian stared even harder. He was almost afraid to blink in case he missed her reaction to seeing who she’d been ignoring. She turned her head, meeting the man’s gaze. Not a single ounce of emotion marred her features as she eyed the guy’s blond hair, dark eyes, and muscles flexing on her behalf. The dude smiled. It was slow and obviously practiced. A dimple appeared at the corner of his mouth and straight white teeth gleamed even in the darkly lit club. “I’m married.” Killian chuckled. “Liar.” She turned in his direction, meeting his gaze as if she’d heard him. Light-green eyes flashed wickedly. Her mouth turned up in one corner, as if competing with her gaze for top mischief-maker. Goddamn. No wonder the dude wouldn’t leave her be. “So what?” The boy-toy’s response pulled her focus back his way. Killian caught himself lifting up in his chair as if he meant to physically reclaim her attention. “There are two women sitting behind me who’d love what you’re offering. Enough to share,” she tacked on in an obvious attempt to sweeten the deal. Killian glanced behind her. Yep. There were. The dude didn’t look, but he did straighten away. “They’re a sad substitute for you.” A hint of a smile touched her lips. “But a substitute nonetheless. Have fun.” If she’d meant her dismissal to lure the man in further, making him want her more, then she’d succeeded. It was written all over the guy’s face. However, he did give in. “If you change your mind…” “I know where you’ll be.” She didn’t bother softening the blow with another smile. Killian was on his feet, pushing his way through the crowd and intent on reaching her before the dust settled in Mr. Studly’s tracks. He saw her chin tilt in the direction of where he’d been sitting, but he couldn’t see her face. He almost changed his mind. In the end, his greed won out, as always. Killian didn’t give her time to deny him the way she had the other guy. Instead, he braced his hands against the edge of the bar on either side of her, caging her in. With her pinned in place, he nodded at the bartender to bring her another drink. She didn’t tense or turn her head as he crowded her body, inhaling her sweet scent and speaking against her ear. “You should’ve taken his offer. It wasn’t a bad deal.”
December 31, 2014
The breeze picked up and was bursting insistent, frigid puffs that threatened to dislodge his hat. Archie clamped one hand on top, squishing it down around his lean face as he resolutely lengthened his stride and marched on, determined to make it home before the storm set in. He'd almost made it to the corner, to the place where he normally made the left on N. Westburl, and then a right onto 43rd, followed by a various assortment of other long deviations that would get him safely home, when a large crack of thunder shook the air. He decided that just this once he might consider taking the most direct route, albeit dangerous, foreboding, and possibly life-threatening. He stopped right on the bend of the street, uncertain for a split moment, until the next jolting crack of thunder made up his mind for him. He headed straight along Market St that followed the length of the Thames River, hoping that the seedy individuals who lurked around the pier were as mindful of the storm as he and would not cause him trouble on this particular evening, for even though he was quick-witted and could talk himself out of most troubles, sailors tended to be a harder breed of people. They were a sharp and cunning lot, and Archie did not know if he could outsmart anyone else that day and didn't wish to press his luck. He made it past the pier, hesitating just long enough to glance at the small boats tied to the dock. There were obviously people about, and so far he had been lucky enough not to encounter any of them. But one final ground-shaking crack and the tinkling sound of bells changed it all. The clouds overhead clashed and he ran for the shelter of a nearby tavern, barely escaping the torrent of rain. Archie had never been in The Captain's Keg before. He stopped just inside the door and let his eyes adjust to the dark, smoke-filled room. He realized that not only had he run into the very people he wished to avoid, but that he also had a new problem. These men weren't just sailors. He was ready to run back out and take his chances of drowning in the street, when he heard the same tinkling of bells from earlier. This time, it sounded like mocking laughter. Well. He might very well be losing his mind, but a coward he was not. He straightened to his full height—all six feet and four inches of it—and removed his crumpled hat with a flourish, tucking it under his arm. He walked proudly down the three steps that led into the heart of the tavern—to a bar, teeming with pirates. A couple of heads turned at his arrival and those who met his solemn, blue gaze were quick to drop their eyes back to their drinks. His spirits momentarily lifted, Archibald nodded to himself more than to anyone else in particular, a slight smile playing on his lips. He was holding his own. Still erring on the side of caution, he scanned the length of the bar, finding three open seats. Two were between rather burly, shifty-looking blokes with tattoos. The third seat, nearly on the end of the bar, sat betwixt an elderly gentleman with longish white sideburns, a round belly, and spectacles to match that sat precariously upon a rather bulbous nose. The gent on the other side was scrawny, his clothes in tatters, thin face in a scowl as he stared at a leaflet of paper before him. Even though he sat still, there was a nervous energy that pulsed off the small man. He gave Archibald the impression of a jittery, starving squirrel. Archibald decided his best chances lay between the old man and the squirrel and so he took his seat, nodding in a genial fashion to the old man, whose watery blue eyes barely gave him a passing glance. The squirrel didn't acknowledge his presence. "What'll it be, mate?" the barkeep asked. Archibald bit his lip to keep from laughing. Every drink in the tavern was the same yellowish liquid. Why the bald man standing behind the bar bothered to even ask such a mundane question was beyond him. Perhaps he was daydreaming again. He did do that a lot and at times it seemed real. "'Tis all ale, is it not?" "Aye, but will it be single or double ye'll be havin'?" Archibald lifted a single finger and waited for his drink. "Ye'd have much better luck with rum, I should think," the old man said quietly as he stared down into his own glass, "The ale's watered down. Not fit for a fish to drink, it isn't." One dreg out of the glass, and Archibald was quite certain the gentleman was more than right. It tasted like something poured from an old boot. Not that he regularly drank from old boots, mind you. Thank heavens he hadn't ordered twice the amount of the vile stuff. Deciding it better not to even bother asking for the rum, which most definitely hidden beneath the counter and out of sight, he tossed a couple of coins down on the scarred wooden bar, and sat looking down into the remnants of his glass, listening to the patter of rain on the tin roof. A strange thought came suddenly. For a bar filled with pirates, it was most unusual. It was rather quiet, an odd comment here or there, but otherwise there was nothing but silence. Surely they weren't all sitting around listening to the rain. Archie couldn't figure it out. But he knew one thing, these people certainly weren't living up to his expectations of the loud, fearless persons he always thought pirates to be. The squirrel on his left shifted around on his stool, staring even harder at the parchment. Sweat popped out on a face that was now a color that reminded Archie of the paper in the print shop, a colorless, pasty white. Good for paper, not for squirrels. "Well?" a low, deep voice rolled out from a dark corner and broke the silence so suddenly that it startled Archie. "Give us the news then, Harper." Ah, well now. Things may get lively yet, Archie thought, casting a quick look to the corner from where the voice rumbled. It was too dark to see the man who sat against the wall, but Archibald got a good look at the pair of worn, dark leather boots propped up on the table, and the curling wisps of cigar smoke that floated up to the rafters. "It says a r-roy, royy…" the squirrel named Harper stuttered, the paper shaking in his hands. "Ach! The man canna read it anymore than the rest o' us." A complaint hurtled from one of the tattooed blokes at the opposite end of the bar. As if he were getting more anxious, Harper tried again, his voice in a near squeak, "A royy-alll…" Archie spied the lettering, and against his better conscience, whispered just loud enough that Harper would hear, "A royal pardon is offered to those pirates who surrender on or before the fifth of September, this year of 1718." He waited as Harper relayed the message, then continued, "Being limited to crimes committed before the fifth of January. All other crimes committed after such date, will be considered for a death of hanging." Archie sensed the old man on the other side of him shuffle about, as if he were searching for something on the insides of his pockets, but Archie's attention was fixed on the squirrel he saved. Harper turned and gave him a toothless, yet thankful, smile and set to guzzling the contents of his glass as quickly as possible in an effort to calm his shaking nerves. "Well, that counts us out, lads," a dark chuckle came from the corner, "'No pardon for the likes o' us, I fear. We all be hanged." "Aye, but they must catch us first. I won't be finding me neck in a noose," a shout rang out, followed by the murmur of agreement from all the others as they lifted their glasses in salute. Feeling rather in-tune with the pirates, Archibald picked up his glass as well and toasted the luck of the now boisterous lot, draining the last contents of his glass. Some small part of his brain noted that while the ale was certainly vile before, it also became bitter the longer it sat. The bitterness left nearly as soon as he noticed it, having been replaced with a rather calming sensation. Pirates truly weren't a bad lot, he thought sleepily, just people like everyone else. They were only misunderstood. He turned to convince the elderly gentleman on his right of exactly that, when the darkness came and took over. The last thing he heard was the old man chuckle, singing softly, "Yo-ho, me mateys, yo-ho…"
"Careful now, lads, mind the poor lout's head, aye? He'll be having a dreadful headache come morning without any extra bumps ye'd be givin' him along the way." The voice was familiar—rather achingly so—though Archie couldn't quite seem to get his faculties in order to remember who the owner of the voice was. The few times he could open his eyes, nothing at all made sense. It all came and went in blurs with distorted figures he couldn't quite make out. The darkness came and went, so in the end, he figured it better to keep his eyes shut for the time being and try to concentrate on other things, foggy and confusing as they might seem. He thought he was being drug along the rough boards of the pier, and while that familiar voice seemed to care about the condition of his head, his legs and backside seemed to be another matter entirely of which the man cared not a whit as they bumped him along each splintering plank. Luckily, the drug slipped in his drink deadened the pain, and he only registered the faint, odd pricks and scrapes where the wood had its way with his flesh. "He's got hair like black candles, he does," a crackling voice snickered by his head. "Aye, Smee, are we taking this poor soul aboard for his long locks? Did the Cap'n order you fetch him a wifey, then?" another voice chimed in, followed by raucous laughter, and a low retort from the man named Smee that Archibald couldn't make out. "A good bit heavier than he looks," the first voice by his head huffed, "Slow ye down a bit, Murph. I'm losin' my grip. Oh drat, there he goes!" And those were the last words Archibald ever heard on the shores of bonnie England as his head hit the pier and the darkness crept over him once again.AUTHOR BIOK.R. Thompson lives in southwest Virginia with her husband, son, three cats, and an undeterminable amount of chickens. An avid reader and firm believer in magic, she spends her nights either reading an adventure or writing one. She still watches for evidence of Bigfoot in the mud of Wolf Creek. AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKSAMAZON AUTHOR PAGE – WEBSITE / BLOG – FACEBOOK – TWITTER – GOOGLE+ - GOODREADS This Release Blitz Was Organized & Hosted By