Blood Ties Paperback Giveaway

Hey Peeps!!

I’ve just set up another #Amazongiveaway and this time it’s for a paperback. Blood Ties, the first book in the Blood Trilogy can be winging it’s way to you! All you have to do is enter…no purchase necessary.

The paperback is a little bit special. I created custom lettering for the interior and it looks fab!

Here’s a sneaky peek! (warning…sizzling hot)

 

Sweat ran down Keagen’s muscular back as he pressed the female against the wall. His rock-hard body, with perfect proportions and stamina that would outlast a stable of thoroughbred racehorses, was nowhere near to flagging. He’d pounded the woman for the last hour, nonstop. The female on the receiving end of his attention cried herself hoarse more than twenty minutes earlier. She needed to rest, but large hands cupped her ass, supporting her weight, and only when he’d had enough would he let her down.

With the air-con turned up high the smell of fresh sweat and sex hung in the air. Keagen loved to fuck; he had some catching up to do after his sex-starved existence for the first part of his adult life. Puffing out a few quick breaths, he built up his pace. He was ready for a beer and wanted the woman out of his room.

Keagen was tall, muscular, and stronger than most men were, although he wasn’t exactly a man. His genes were human DNA with a hint of animal, courtesy of Solgen Laboratories. It wasn’t common knowledge what the company did, and their labs were all in secret locations. Only their financial backers knew where they were. Who supported them was unclear. Possibly the government, private military organizations, or even wealthy dictators; no one knew. You would not find any documentation about it. It wasn’t legal what they were doing, that’s for sure.

Keagen tracked and hunted escapees and always caught his prey, but just one eluded him, and it pissed him off. Nevertheless, he was closing in, and soon he’d return to base with his prize in tow. Given free reign to come and go as he pleased, Keagen enjoyed the freedom, and as long as he brought in the bounty, all was well. Sometimes out in the field for days or weeks at a time, he upheld contact by phone; a check-in, but he wasn’t worried. Sometimes he needed ‘Keagen’ time. Holed up at his secret hideaway, or a motel, where a steady stream of females frequented his room, he could easily fob off his supervisor. The geneticists made the mistake of giving him just a little too much intelligence. Consequently, his IQ already rivaled some of the top minds in the world, and he was smart enough to hide that fact from his testers.

Grunting and hissing through gritted teeth, Keagen screamed his orgasm as he fucked the flagging woman; those last deep thrusts into her satisfied pussy filling the room with a guttural cry. Throwing his head back, his wet hair slapped against his shoulders. The muscles in his thighs held the female firmly against the wall for a few moments until his hips finally stilled and finished jerking. Catching his breath, he rested his head against the cool plaster before releasing the sighing woman. As she tried to stand her knees buckled, but he quickly scooped her up and laid her on the bed.

While he left her to recover, he went into the bathroom and rested his hands on the vanity unit. Looking at his sweat-ridden face, his drenched hair clung to his skin. He grinned. The cold water refreshed his sweating skin when he splashed it over his face. Keagen took a minute to cool down before turning and leaning against the unit while wiping his face with a towel.

He’d heard that he was close, and tomorrow Keagen intended to introduce himself. In the meantime, he would spend the rest of the evening relaxing with a few beers now he’d satisfied his other needs. Appreciating the female’s attention, but ready for her to leave, he turned on the charm.

Returning to the bedroom where his latest conquest recovered, he smirked.

“Are you ready for another round?” Keagen knew the answer, but this was a tried and tested method. “I can go all-night.” Drawing nearer to the bed, he palmed his cock.

“It’s already gonna take me a week to recover, so I’m gonna have to pass.” The female rolled onto her side and watched his hand moving as her mouth curved into a slow, delighted smile.

Keagen frowned. “Aw, really?”

“I’ve never met anyone like you, but as much as I’d love to stay, I need to sleep.” She laughed and pushed off the bed to gather her clothing from the floor. While stepping into her panties, she looked up at him. “We’ll have to do that again, after I’ve recovered.”

“That would be great,” Keagen lied as he sidestepped to grab his pants from the chair. “You’re gonna think I’m an asshole, but I’ve forgotten your name.”

“Nah, I don’t. I can’t remember yours either.” She snorted.

“Ouch!”

“Welcome to the 21st century. I’m Ellie.”

Keagen beamed. “Beautiful name. It was a pleasure, Ellie.” He pulled a black T over a muscled chest and then smoothed thick hair into a ponytail, tying it with a band. “I’m Keagen. I’ll give you a ride home, seeing as though you’re having trouble walking.”

Ellie finished zipping up her dress and grabbed her purse before heading for the door. Keagen held it open.

“You’re a true gent.” Her heart raced at the thought of meeting for a follow up, but realistically she knew that wasn’t going to happen. Hot men didn’t fall into her lap that often, especially ones like Keagen.

 

AMAZON GIVEAWAY BLOOD TIES

Just follow the link and enter! (applies to USA and Columbia only) You’ll be notified after the giveaway ends which should be 7 days and you have a 1/150 chance of winning!!

 

Urban Fantasy Blood Ties – FREE with kindle unlimited

Blood Ties is available via Amazon in eBook and Paperback. You can read it  FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

Need a sneaky peek from this Urban Fantasy Romance?

Chapter One

Sweat ran down Keagen’s muscular back as he pressed the female against the wall. His rock-hard body, with perfect proportions and stamina that would outlast a stable of thoroughbred racehorses, was nowhere near to flagging. He’d pounded the woman for the last hour, nonstop. The female on the receiving end of his attention cried herself hoarse more than twenty minutes earlier. She needed to rest, but large hands cupped her ass, supporting her weight, and only when he’d had enough would he let her down.

With the air-con turned up high the smell of fresh sweat and sex hung in the air. Keagen loved to fuck; he had some catching up to do after his sex-starved existence for the first part of his adult life. Puffing out a few quick breaths, he built up his pace. He was ready for a beer and wanted the woman out of his room.

Keagen was tall, muscular, and stronger than most men were, although he wasn’t exactly a man. His genes were human DNA with a hint of animal, courtesy of Solgen Laboratories… READ MORE of this urban fantasy

kindle unlimited urban fantasy Blood ties

 

Alpha females and males-Blood Ties

Urban Fantasy Paranormal Romance Blood Ties is the perfect read if you like books with alpha females as well as alpha males.

It’s not just the guys that are kick-ass in Blood Ties. Meet G H 0 5 C T. She’s genetically enhanced, and she’s the newer model.

This fast-action fantasy book is a page turner. It’s the first in a new series, and book two, Blood Brothers is in production.

Blood Ties is available in eBook, Paperback and coming soon within the next two weeks to audio book.

Blood Ties - Urban Fantasy Paranormal Romance
GH05CT is no ordinary woman. Blood Ties Urban Fantasy Paranormal Romance

You can meet ‘Ghost’ in Blood Ties- Urban Fantasy Paranormal Romance

 

BLOOD TIES IS LIVE!!!

Hey Peeps

Due to a cock-up… Blood Ties is now live!!!

Amazon Buy Link

I know, it was my mistake. I uploaded a new document for pre order today but forgot to put the date in!! lmao!!!

Keagen sauntered into the first bar he came across. It was dark and dingy and only two other people took up space at the bar. Scanning thoroughly before pulling out a stool, there was a sudden rush of blood to his cock when the pretty bartender greeted him with a smile.

“Hey, stranger, what can I get you?”

“Now you’re asking.” Keagen grinned. “Coffee, please.” He couldn’t help notice her scent and smiled. She had to be the girlfriend. If he dropped in, that would make for an interesting meeting.

Lyssa poured the tall, dark, and extremely handsome punter a mug of coffee.

“Are you new in town, or just passing through?” Furnishing him with a cheery smile and wide eyes, she couldn’t resist a flirt. Aside from Gabriel, he was the only other good-looking man she’d set eyes on.

“Oh, I’m here to check on family.” He sipped his coffee while glowering over the rim at Lyssa. Noticing pert breasts with peaked nipples, his cock thickened under the restraints of his jeans.

“You have family? Here?” Raising both brows, Lyssa wondered who in Dewburn Falls had relatives this hot. “What’s your name?”

Keagen breathed deeply before pursing his lips. He wasn’t up for sharing right now, although he was sure he could fob her off with a line. “I’m adopted, so my name wouldn’t be familiar to you, but you can call me Keagen.” He leaned against the counter. “What’s your name, princess?”

“Lyssa.” She beamed. She liked the way he smiled. He was utterly delicious in a wicked ‘I’ll rip out your heart’ kind of way.

“That’s a pretty name for a pretty lady.” He flashed another dazzling smile. “Are you spoken for, or may I ask you out to dinner?”

Blushing, and suddenly feeling cornered, Lyssa grimaced. “Yeah, I’m kind of involved with someone, but thanks for asking.”

“Well I guess I’ll have to eat alone, then.” Keagen thought for a moment. She had to be involved with his prey. He snapped his head toward the door and watched another young and attractive female move closer. His brow arched. Dewburn Falls had much to offer. His nostrils flared as the scent drifted his way. Wolf. Another one. There’s no wonder he’d moved here; there’s wall-to-wall pussy. Well, sort of.

Lyssa smiled. “Hi, Sally. How’s it going?”

“Don’t ask.” Sally sidled behind the bar and grabbed a beer from the freezer. “I know it’s your night off, but I have a problem at home, and I wondered if you’d come back and work the last couple of hours for me? I’ll work your full shift tomorrow night. Would you do that, hon?”

Lyssa sighed. She hated working two shifts in one day. However, Sally had swapped with her in the past last minute. “Yeah, sure.”

“Thanks, doll. I’ll square it with the boss.” Sally gALTERNATECOVER with FWP logo FBlanced at the customer and sighed. Noticing his eyes focusing on her larger than average breasts, she smirked. “You need a refill hon?” She sauntered closer and gave him a better view as she leaned across to fill his mug. “Not seen you in town before. You planning on staying long?”

“Depends.” Keagen slowly licked his lips.

“On?”

“Whether there’s anything interesting enough to keep me.” He smoothed the flat of his hand over his hair. He’d tied it up in a man-bun, but a few stragglers had broken free.

Lyssa rolled her eyes as he flirted with Sally. Only two minutes earlier, she was a princess. Shaking her head, she should have known. Hot men like him don’t wait around, and if someone’s unavailable, they move on fast. No harm done. She was only flirting anyway, but it still annoyed her that she’d fallen for his charms.

The unmistakable honk of Gabriel’s horn outside made her squeal. He never let her down and always kept his promises. He restored her faith in hot men; they weren’t all cut from the same cloth.

“Okay, hon. I’m outta here.” She winked at Sally, then bolted for the door and yelled over her shoulder. “Have fun.”

Keagen’s eyes narrowed. Interested to know who the hottie was dating and if his suspicions were correct, he jumped off the stool and made for the door after throwing $10 on the counter.

A beaten-up truck pulled away and headed off down the street before turning right on a road leading out of town. That had to be him. Keagen ran to his car and followed the direction of the truck, keeping a safe distance. He didn’t want him spooked.

 

Mistral Dawn’s Latest Book Release!

 

Hey Peeps,

My lovely friend Mistral Dawn has a release today!!!

 

Hey Everyone!! 🙂Captivated By The Winter King Cover Amazon

It’s finally here!!! 🙂  Captivated By The Winter King is out and available for download!!! 🙂  You can find it at these retailers:

Amazon: 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016NHLDT0/

Smashwords: 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/584845

Barnes & Noble: 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/captivated-by-the-winter-king-mistral-dawn/1122797592

iTunes: 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/mistral-dawn/id917846412?mt=11

Kobo:  

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/captivated-by-the-winter-king

I’m so grateful for all of your encouragement and support, and I really, really, really hope you like this newest installment in my Spellbound Hearts series!!  Please consider leaving a review so I’ll know what you liked and what you thought needed improvment! 🙂  You readers are my favorite people in the whole world, and you make writing a joy.  So, thank you!! 🙂  To help show my appreciation, I’ve posted the first chapter of Captivated By The Winter King below.  Have a safe and happy holiday season, everyone, and happy reading!!! 🙂

 

 

 

 

***Trigger warning:  The following excerpt contains material that may be distubing for some readers.  If depictions of domestic abuse upset you, this may not be the story for you.

 

Captivated By The Winter King: Chapter One:

Rain poured from the sky making a steady drumming sound against the car. Kate listened as the patter of the raindrops harmonized with the swish-swish of the windshield wipers as they fought a valiant battle to keep the glass clear enough to see through. The white noise the combination made was a perfect accompaniment to the static that filled her mind. She wasn’t sure, but she thought she might be in shock and she pondered that possibility in a desultory manner.

 

The air outside was hot and humid, but Kate had turned the air conditioning in the car up all the way, causing everything to feel cool and clammy. She shivered. It wasn’t even the honest chill of winter, but instead a sticky, moist dankness that seemed to settle into her bones yet still left her skin and throat dry. But she was grateful that the junker of a car at least had a functioning air conditioner. Kate hated hot weather.

 

She had never wanted to leave the northeast to spend the winter in Florida. That was Erik’s idea. Predictably, her mother had agreed with him and pressured Kate into making the trip. Agatha Graham was always in favor of anything that might move Kate and Erik closer to matrimony.

 

Tears filled Kate’s pale gray eyes as she thought about her now ex-fiance. He was a beautiful man, who seemed to have been painted in shades of gold. Even at thirty-seven, his hair remained a lovely dark blonde. His hairline started just a few inches above his eyebrows and showed no signs of thinning. He wore his short tresses slicked back in a shiny business-appropriate style that created the illusion that he wore a golden helmet. A large man, with a powerful build, there wasn’t an ounce of fat on his frame. At six foot two, his height topped even her own impressive five feet eleven inches. His eyes were a warm chocolate brown, but it had been quite some time since she had seen him look at her with anything but coldness in them.

 

For years, she had tried to make things work between them. Not because she loved him or thought he loved her, but because her mother was so determined to see them together. She could hear Agatha’s voice in her head even now. “Smile, dear, and think about how comfortable your life will be with him. He’s a good provider, and will give you a position in society. A woman can put up with a lot to gain that.”

 

Fighting back both the moisture in her eyes and the echoes of her mother’s words, Kate tried to figure out where she should go and what she was going to do for money. She would be okay for a while, her Nana had left her an inheritance when she died and Kate had kept that money safe in a bank account that Erik didn’t know about. But it wouldn’t be long before she would need to find a job, and she had no idea how to go about doing that.

 

Her mother had pushed Kate at Erik since just after she graduated from high school. Kate had managed to evade her mother’s matchmaking efforts long enough to start college, but by the time she finished her Junior year the combined pressure from Erik and Agatha had convinced her to drop out of school and focus her attention on pleasing her fiance. Not that she had ever succeeded in making him happy. So, Kate never started her Senior year and had failed to earn a degree.

 

With no degree or work experience, she was at a loss as to how to find a job that would pay enough for her to live on. Going back to school might be an option, but she had no idea how to find out if any of the classes she had already completed could be used in a new program or how long it might take to finish a degree. Kate knew her situation wasn’t unique, lots of women had been abused by their husbands or boyfriends, and most didn’t have a safety net like what her Nana left her. But she had never before realized how dependent she was on Erik and her mother.

 

At thirty-two years old, Kate had never lived on her own. She had never needed to find an apartment, arrange for utility services, find or hold a job, or do any of the other things most adults took for granted. Even during her brief stint in college, she had stayed close to home and lived first with her mother, and then with Erik. One of her ex-fiance’s favorite things to berate her with was her utter uselessness. And, to her shame, she couldn’t argue with him.

 

Oh, she had done charity work, served on various committees for different organizations, and decorated and kept the homes that Erik had provided for them. In short, she had spent her time doing all the things women who belonged to rich, important men did. But, as her ex-fiance was fond of pointing out to her, none of that was worth a whole lot.

 

In all honesty, her biggest accomplishment in life was knowing how to shop. Even her mother, ever ready to aid her only daughter with well-directed criticism, admitted that Kate always had impeccable taste and an infallible eye for aesthetics. In spite of her impossible figure, and the frizzy, orange-red hair that defied hair dye and styling products, Kate always looked well-groomed and elegant. With an uncanny nose for classic style and timeless beauty, Kate could make even flea market finds fashionable. It was that saving grace that had allowed her to decorate a man like Erik’s arm for the last twelve years.

 

But a talent for shopping, dressing, and decorating wouldn’t put money in the bank or food on her table. At least, she couldn’t see how it would, and she didn’t have anyone to turn to for advice. Her mother wasn’t an option. Agatha had made it clear on more than one occasion that if Kate didn’t make things work with Erik, she would wash her hands of her.

 

It had been the older woman’s life-long goal to improve her position within society, and to secure one for her daughter, and she had long ago decided that marrying Kate to Erik was the way to do it. After all, Erik’s family connections were beyond reproach, coming as he did from old money. And the man himself was a successful, respected attorney who was a partner in a large, prestigious law firm. He was exactly what Agatha had been training Kate to attract and marry from the time the girl was a toddler.

 

Her mother meant well, Kate knew that, and she did what she did out of love. But sometimes her words cut deeper than any knife could reach. Kate was never pretty enough, demure enough, or feminine enough to please her mother. She had always been tall and slender for her age, and when she hit puberty things had only gotten worse. Taller than all the girls and most of the boys in her age group, Kate had been gawky and socially awkward as a teenager. Her mother would mock her, calling her beanpole and Olive Oil when she became frustrated with her daughter’s angular frame. Agatha was forever trying to get Kate to pad her clothing and had even tried to convince her daughter to have surgery to enhance her figure. But it was Kate’s height that was the final straw that caused her mother to give up changing her appearance as an impossible task.

 

Agatha considered Kate’s looks mannish and beyond redemption, so instead she channeled her energy into molding her daughter’s behavior. She insisted her only child’s education focus on art, music, and deportment; and refused to allow Kate to study subjects like math or science, except the bare minimum required by law. As a result, Kate’s skill at balancing a checkbook was far below her ability to arrange form and color to produce a final product that was pleasing to the eye.

 

No, her mother would not be at all sympathetic to Kate’s plight, and could not be counted upon to provide assistance. As for friends, Kate had them once, but somehow they all seemed to drift away over the years. She knew why that was, and it was her own fault for allowing it. Erik had always been jealous of Kate’s time. He worked long hours under stressful conditions and expected her to always be available to cater to his needs when he wanted her. That made keeping in touch with friends almost impossible.

 

Of course, that suited him just fine; he’d never liked any of her friends anyway. He preferred that she spend her time at home, taking care of their apartment and making sure everything was kept the way he liked it. It had always been his argument that he was devoted to her, and so he should be enough to satisfy all her needs.

 

To prove his commitment, he had proposed to her in lavish style a few years into their relationship; even though they had been living together for several years. She would never forget their engagement; it had warmed her many times when the realities of their life together left her cold. On her twenty-fifth birthday, he had surprised her with a date of fairytale splendor. The evening began with him picking her up from their apartment in a horse-drawn carriage and taking her to the fanciest restaurant in town. There, he ordered Dom Perignon and beluga caviar, followed by filet mignon, grilled white asparagus, and a delicate potato mousse. He spent the entire time making her feel as if she were the only person in his universe.

 

They had talked for hours, and he had complimented her both on her looks and on her opinions. She had never felt as beautiful, articulate, or special as she did on that night. After dessert, he pulled a black velvet box out of his coat pocket and got down on one knee before her. Every eye in the restaurant was on them as he explained how much he loved and cherished her and that it was his greatest wish that she would allow him the privilege of doing so for the rest of their lives. Then he had opened the box and revealed a flawless, emerald-cut diamond ring. He had slipped the jewelry onto the ring finger of her left hand as she sat before him speechless. The stone had covered her entire digit to the first knuckle.

 

The people in the ritzy establishment had applauded and even whistled as she forced her stunned muscles to work and nodded her head in an affirmative answer to his question. He stood, pulling her up with him, and gave her the most tender and passionate kiss she had ever experienced. They rode home together in the back of a luxurious limousine, necking and carrying on like two teenagers on their way home from the prom. When they had arrived at their apartment building, he actually carried her through the front door and into the elevator.

 

That night he made love to her as if she were the most precious thing on earth. She actually achieved orgasm, something she had never done with him before or since. When she awoke, she was convinced she had found the Prince Charming she would spend the rest of her life with. After he had left for work that morning, she called her mother and told her all about it. Agatha, of course, had been ecstatic and had pushed for a quick wedding date. But after seven years, one had never materialized.

 

After that one magical night, Erik had gone back to treating her as he always had. Except that over time his barbs got a little sharper and his demeanor a little chillier. There always seemed to be some condition she needed to meet before he would agree to set a wedding date. No matter what she did, it was never good enough. She was never good enough.

 

She had bowed to his pressure and followed her mother’s advice for years, and things just kept getting worse and worse. With her friends long-gone, it had been easy for him to convince her to give up her charity endeavors one after another. After all, if she wanted to be his wife, she would need to keep her schedule open so that she would be available to meet his needs. Anytime she left their apartment, she would first need to gain approval from him for the errand and give him a precise timetable for when she would return. This was, of course, so that he would know where to reach her if he needed her.

 

Then there was sex. She grimaced just thinking about it. Sex was always to be available to Erik upon demand. If she even thought about refusing or making an excuse, he would treat her coldly for days afterward and threaten to find someone else to meet his needs. It might have been bearable had she enjoyed sex with him, but after the night of their proposal he had never gone to any trouble to see to her pleasure. As a result, sex became a chore, something she needed to endure long enough for him to slake his lust on her body. Even that might not have been so bad if he had just wanted a convenient hole to pump himself into, but he began insisting on things that she didn’t want to do.

 

It started with him getting rougher and rougher with her. If she cried out in pain, it just excited him and spurred him to hurt her more. She was afraid to find out what would happen if she complained or told him to stop. But when he suggested asking another woman to join them, she had put her foot down and refused. The result had terrified her.

 

That was the first time she had told him “no” in a long time. A look of maniacal fury had filled his eyes, and he flew across the room to grab her. The first blow had surprised her, but she saw it when he drew his fist back to punch her again. She had tried to raise her arms to protect herself but, for all her height, Erik was much stronger than her. He spent several minutes pummeling her, and when he let her go she fell at his feet like a rag doll, sobbing out her fear and horror.

 

He had stood there looking at her for a few minutes, and then stormed from the room and out of the apartment. After a while, she had collected herself and made her painful way home to her mother. Agatha had taken one look at the bruises that covered her daughter’s face and made an immediate trip to the nearest high-end department store. She returned with half the store’s inventory of foundation and cover-up cosmetics and proceeded to instruct Kate on how to conceal the evidence of the beating.  The remaining cosmetics were gifted to Kate in case they should be needed to cover any future beatings her fiance administered. Not once had her mother entertained the suggestion that Kate should leave Erik. Her social ambitions unaffected, Agatha had insisted her daughter return to her abuser immediately.

 

Hurt and not knowing what else to do, Kate had complied and returned to the apartment she shared with Erik. She never asked her mother for help again. Erik had been waiting for her when she arrived home. He met her with a gorgeous bouquet of roses, an expensive diamond tennis bracelet, and a sincere-sounding apology. Begging her forgiveness, he vowed he would never lay a hand on her in anger again.

 

Kate knew that wasn’t true. She had seen the after-school specials and knew that people who abused their partners didn’t stop unless they participated in serious therapy. And even that was no guarantee. Not that she would dare suggest that Erik see a shrink, she could imagine his reaction and it sent chills down her spine. But she had nowhere else to go. Not believing him, but feeling that she had no choice, Kate had forgiven him. Of course, that was only the first of many beatings.

 

For a while afterward, Erik had treated her better. He seemed to make an effort to restrain his temper and had acted as though her happiness mattered to him. Things were good, for a while, and she almost convinced herself that she was wrong. For a while, she thought that maybe, just maybe, he would be the exception. That he truly was sorry and would never hit her again. For a while.

 

But it wasn’t all that long before she said something that again made him angry. Just like all the textbooks said, a cycle of him beating her and then apologizing and promising not to do it again repeated over and over. Each iteration of the cycle had a shorter cooling-off period, the beatings coming with greater frequency. Each time he blamed stress and pressure from work, and each time she forgave him because she didn’t know what else to do.

 

In fact, one of the reasons for their trip to Florida had been so that he would have the opportunity to relax and feel less stressed out. He had told her he needed a vacation, and that the snow and dark skies of the northeast winter made him feel anxious and depressed. Some time off and fun in the sun was all he needed, he insisted, to recharge and get a better handle on his temper.

 

They had been in Florida for a little over a month, and he had beaten her three times. She had achieved an almost academic detachment, and found it interesting that his apologies had changed. In the past, when he apologized he had taken the blame and promised to change. Now, he was blaming her and suggesting ways for her to change. She became pretty sure it wouldn’t be long before he killed her and had found it quite difficult to muster up any concern over the matter. Until the last beating.

 

The two of them were staying in a small cottage on the beach. Erik loved the sand and the surf, and the sun just gave his golden skin a little darker tone. Kate had the delicate, fair complexion that matched her fiery red hair, and her skin turned a shade to rival her tresses when she spent any time in the sun.

 

Kate had stayed behind while Erik went out to give his new boogie board a try. Her refusal to come and cheer him on had annoyed him, and she had thought it might be a good idea to do something to mitigate his anger. It occurred to her that if she made him his favorite dinner of scallops and linguini he might be appeased enough to let her lack of enthusiasm for sun worshiping go.

 

Leaving him a note about where she was going, just in case it took longer than she thought it would, Kate hurried to the market. She figured a quick trip to get the supplies she would need for such a meal, and she might, with luck, be back before he realized she had left. But she hadn’t accounted for southern Florida traffic.

 

By the time she returned, he had been waiting for her for quite some time. As she entered the kitchen to put the groceries away, she noted the stiff, still way he sat in the living room. The television was on and he appeared to be watching some kind of sports game, but his jaw was clenched tight and a tick had started at the corner of his left eye. She knew she was in trouble, but had forged ahead with making the meal. Maybe the smell of the food cooking would help him calm down.

 

With the garlic, scallions, and mushrooms sizzling in a skillet with butter and olive oil, she set a pot of water to boil for the pasta. The scallops themselves would cook in almost no time, and the pasta was fresh and would take only a couple of minutes. If she timed it perfectly, everything would be done at just about the same time, and would be piping hot and delicious when she served it to him.

 

Just as she laid the scallops in the pan, he had come up behind her. She jumped when she turned to find him there, but quickly looked away from the icy rage in his eyes. “I’m making your favorite tonight,” she had mumbled. “Scallops and linguini in a cream and butter sauce. If you go sit down, it should be ready in just a few minutes and I’ll bring it to you.”

 

He had moved closer, caging her against the counter with his body, and she shrank into herself and refused to meet his gaze. He raised one hand and held it, trembling, by her face. As if he intended to cup her cheek. But she knew better.

 

“Where were you, Kate?” he asked, his voice shaking with suppressed fury. “You weren’t here when I got back. I thought you weren’t feeling well enough to go out?”

 

“I-I-I,” she stuttered. Swallowing, she forced herself to form coherent words. “I wanted to surprise you. I thought you would like it if I made your favorite dinner.”

 

“You know how upset it makes me when I don’t know where you are, Kate. You know I worry when I don’t know how to find you.” The volume of his voice increased with each sentence. “You know you’re supposed to ask me before you go anywhere.” He was almost yelling.

 

Gulping, Kate pointed to where the note still sat on the counter. “I left you a note. I just wanted to do something special for you.”

 

In two strides, he went to snatch the note off of the counter and was back, forcing her to huddle against the counter. He crushed the paper in his fist. “You’re so fucking stupid, Kate! I don’t want a fucking note telling me where you are! I want you to have the fucking guts to tell me yourself!” he screamed into her face.

 

She had grimaced at the insult and the crude language. “I know, Erik, I’m sorry,” she said, trying to pacify him. “I’ll try to do better.” A weak smile flashed across her face and she pointed at the pan that was still on the stove. “I need to turn the scallops over now, or they’ll burn. You don’t want your lovely dinner to burn. Why don’t you go sit down and let me bring you something nice to eat?” she pleaded.

 

With a roar, he had flung the hot pan and boiling water across the room. Kate had screamed and tried to duck around him to run, but he had grabbed her and slung her to the floor. He kicked her in the ribs. “You stupid, fucking, cunt!” he screamed as he dragged her up and threw her against a wall.

 

Her head had bounced off of the wall when she hit it, and she had seen stars. She watched as his fist descended, and she had thought that he was finally going to do it. That this was the time when he would finally kill her. She didn’t remember much after that until she woke up.

 

It was unusual for him to knock her out when he beat her. In general, he preferred when she was aware and terrified. As a result, she was a bit disoriented when she came to. She hadn’t moved at first; she had only lain there on the floor and listened. Her whole body throbbed in a symphony of pain. She had breathed through her mouth, trying not to whimper, desperate to remain still and silent.

 

But Erik wasn’t there. As she continued to strain her ears for any hint as to his location and mood, she became aware of a rushing sound. It took her a while, but she finally figured out it was just the sound of her own blood moving through her head. It was so quiet and still, that’s all there was to hear.

 

Kate had realized that she had an opportunity, and she needed to take it. For some reason, this beating had shaken loose the apathy that had possessed her for years. She had believed that she was going to die and had realized that she didn’t want to. For the first time since the horrible nightmare began, she felt the reality of the threat Erik posed to her and she was terrified. She wasn’t ready to die yet! With a new resolve, she forced herself to get up off of the floor. It involved a lot of pain and suppressed cries but, determined, she made it to her feet.

 

She went to the bathroom and washed the blood from her face. Her features were distorted where the contusions Erik had inflicted were already swelling. She decided just to let the wounds show. She felt broken inside, it seemed appropriate for her appearance to match. Moving to the bedroom, she had dug a large suitcase out of the back of the closet.

 

For years, Kate had kept this suitcase packed, and she took it with her whenever she and Erik traveled. She had never opened it before, and he had never asked her about it. A fact for which she was grateful. In the suitcase were all the clothes she still had from before she moved in with Erik. Ever since she and Erik had started living together, he had paid for all her expenses, including her clothing. But the clothes in the suitcase were hers. She supposed, on some level, she must have been planning this for a long time.

 

One of the things that Erik liked to threaten her with anytime he thought she might leave, was that if she took any of the things he bought for her, he would have her arrested on charges of theft. With his connections in the legal community, she had little doubt he could follow through on his threat. But the contents of the suitcase hadn’t been bought by him.

 

She had removed her torn, bloody clothing, and changed into some of the clothes that were in the suitcase. For the first time, she was glad she hadn’t gained any weight since college. Her preference for classic, timeless garments also stood her in good stead. In spite of the fact that the clothing in the suitcase was over a decade old, it fit her perfectly and wouldn’t stand out if she wore it in public.

 

After removing the engagement ring she had worn for seven years, she had left it on the top of the bureau in the bedroom. Then she gathered up a few other personal items that hadn’t been purchased by Erik and called a cab. When the taxi arrived, she had the driver take her to an ATM where she withdrew $500 of the money that her Nana had left for her. It wasn’t much to start a life on, but it was too late for the banks to be open and the ATM had a limit. She figured it would be enough to pay for the cab and rent a car so she could get as far away from Erik as possible.

 

The driver kept throwing furtive looks in the rear view mirror at the bruises that decorated her face, but he didn’t say anything as he drove her to the car rental agency. The only such business in town that was still open at that late hour had a limited selection of available vehicles. In fact, there was only one, and there was little doubt as to why that particular car had yet to be rented out.

 

The gentleman who waited on her apologized for the lack of quality and offered to at least have their service mechanic go over the car when he arrived in the morning. Kate had informed him that she was in a hurry and would take whatever they had. Casting a quick glance at the wounds on her face before letting his eyes slide away, the man hadn’t argued.

 

Which was how, she reflected, she had come to be driving in the pouring rain, on a deserted country road, at night, by herself. She had been afraid to take any of the main interstate highways. Not knowing where Erik had gone or when he might return, she didn’t know how much time she had before he realized she was gone. Once he did, it seemed likely he would use his connections in law enforcement to have her detained. She didn’t want to risk being found.

 

Before leaving town, she had stopped at an all-night convenience store to fill up the car’s gas tank and buy some portable food and beverages. She had also purchased a map and found the road she was currently on. In theory, it would take her all the way to Georgia. It seemed like a serviceable enough road. Her only real problem with it was that the storm and the lack of streetlights resulted in a stygian effect that created the surreal illusion that she was the only person in the world.

 

It was funny because she had felt that way for quite some time, but it took a drive through the dark to make her realize it. Oh, Kate had read all the books. She knew the psychological theories behind domestic abuse. She knew that being able to isolate their victims was one of the key elements that abusers depended on. The texts always made it seem so cut and dried, with clean lines and clear edges, something easily defined, identified, and avoided. But the reality wasn’t that simple.

 

The advice was always the same: leave. But it wasn’t that easy to just pick up and leave one’s whole life behind; to have nowhere to go and no idea how to get started with a plan. Even now, Kate didn’t have a clue where she was heading. The only thought in her head when she had left was to get away. But get away to where? At the moment, all she knew was that she was heading north. She wanted to see the snow; she was tired of hot, sticky weather.

 

But she knew she couldn’t go home to the apartment she had shared with Erik. She couldn’t even risk going back to the same town. She didn’t want him to find her. Seeking help from her mother was also out of the question. So she had followed the advice that all the experts gave to domestic abuse victims, she had left. But she had nowhere to go.

 

There were supposed to be agencies that would help women who were fleeing from abusers, but where were they? How did one go about making contact with such an agency? Who would she even ask? She couldn’t go to the police. If she did, Erik would use that to track her down.

 

There had been many times when Kate had listened to other women sneer that they would never allow a man to hit them. That if any man ever tried, they would leave. That any woman who put up with such behavior was a fool. She might be a fool, she had certainly been told she was often enough, but Kate also knew it wasn’t that simple. Being beaten for so many years had been terrible; it had been awful to always be afraid and have to tiptoe around Erik’s moods. But at least it was the devil she knew. Now she was faced with the fear of the unknown.

 

Even with all that, Kate knew she was lucky. She had the money Nana had left her and she didn’t have any children. She couldn’t even imagine trying to make this trip with kids in tow. Women who managed to escape domestic abuse with their children were amazing, and true heroes. She had no idea how they did it. That kind of strength was beyond her.

 

The thoughts running around and around her head were driving her crazy. It was like having a rat in her brain that was gnawing to get out, and she couldn’t bear to be alone with them anymore. She reached a trembling hand out to turn on the radio, hoping for something soft and soothing. Feeling lost in the darkness, she needed a message of hope.

 

Instead, the station the radio was tuned to was playing something loud and jarring. Dangerous sounding. She couldn’t take it, and looked away from the road to change the channel. As she fiddled with the radio trying to find music that would help calm her, she kept flicking her eyes up to keep track of where she was going.

 

Suddenly, a cat appeared in the cone of illumination thrown out by the headlights. Kate had barely a second to register the half-drowned animal’s presence before slamming on the brakes and praying that the car would stop in time. As she skidded across the wet road, one of the car’s rear tires blew and she lost control. The vehicle careened off the edge of the pavement, and down an embankment into a patch of forest along the side of the road. Kate fought for control and tried to steer enough to avoid the trees, but the momentum of the car and gravity carried her deeper and deeper into the woods.

 

An enormous tree loomed large right in front of her, and Kate knew she would never avoid it. She threw her arms up over her face to protect her head and braced herself for the impact and the sound of shattering glass and shearing metal. It never came. Instead, the light from the headlights seemed to be swallowed up into a well of darkness, and the car started spinning. As the vehicle spiraled faster and faster, it made Kate dizzy and disoriented her even more. Pressure built in her head, and just when she thought her eyes were going to explode out of their sockets, her world seemed to shatter and everything went dark.

 

SNEAKY PEAK – ANGEL WITHIN

Morning Peeps!!

Angel Within Audiobook should be with us next week… in case you haven’t read the book yet, thought you might like a teaser.

Available currently on Amazon only, but that will change shortly.

I will be giving away lots of freebies when it’s release… so stay tuned and make sure you’re signed up to my email list for extra discounts!

 

After Eloise and Kai left for Brightstone the previous autumn, Nissa was lost without her duties. With no mistress to occupy her time, she pleaded with Kiera to teach her how to use a sword and bow and reluctantly, Kiera agreed. With daily tuition and ample encouragement, Nissa flourished, leaving Kiera surprised at how quickly she mastered the sword.

Sabe questioned Nissa’s actions, bangel within smaller for fbut after she appeared in her new clothes, tight leather trousers, which clung to every curve, and a fitted lace-up bodice, begging to be untied, he enjoyed sparring with his intended; although he found himself distracted to the point it caused him harm.

“Ouch!”

“Sorry!” Throwing down her sword, Nissa raced towards Sabe as he examined the tear in his shirtsleeve. “Did I cut you?”

“Thankfully, no, only a graze.” he grinned, “You do realize you’ll have to pay for this and it’s going to cost you dearly.”

Nissa giggled. “Is it?” Retreating, her eyes raked down Sabe’s lean body. The soft, black leather pants bulged and brought a widening smile.

Nodding as he mirrored her steps, he kept a steady distance as they both edged towards the door. “I’m afraid so.”

There was a moment of silence as tension lingered in the space between them until Nissa squealed and ran inside, with Sabe in hot pursuit. Racing down the hall and up the stairs, she barely made it to the bedroom door before he caught her.

Pressing her between the cold stone and his heated body, Sabe fastened her hands above her head.

“Hmm, what am I going to do with you?” Sensual lips grazed across her chin and jaw until finally resting against her ear, hot breathy words sent a shiver coursing through her. “Don’t answer, I already know.” His tongue flicked across the soft skin of her neck, tasting her before his teeth nipped the tender flesh.

Nissa sighed and made no protest. Her body ached for his touch. They were to marry in a few weeks and she wanted to make their wedding night special, and despite Sabe’s enticing words and attention, she resisted his advances, although for how much longer, she wasn’t sure as caressing lips and exploring hands drove her insane.

MAKING AUDIOBOOKS WITH AMAZON’S ACX

Hey peeps!

I’m making this post at the request of a fellow author, who like me when I first discovered ACX, walked away after reading the requirements and form filling on the site.

ACX is owned by Amazon, in case you didn’t kn12002805_876173979098508_7767250745983165917_now…and I can tell you that as far as I’m concerned, rocks. Why? Because it’s a great opportunity to put your books up there with the best, and I will hopefully changed your mind, if you’ve already been to the site at ACX and ran a mile after reading what’s involved. Here’s a screen shot I took of my own book, which reached number 29 at it’s highest position.

To begin…you first need a good story, and I know you all have one! You have three choices to make: 1.You pay a producer to narrate and produce your book. 2. You find a producer who will accept a 50-50 share of the royalties instead of a payment per finished hour. 3. You record and produce it yourself.

I know the majority of people would prefer to record their own book, for a couple of reasons. Obviously sharing the 40% royalty isn’t high on your list, and given a 12.5 hour book warrants $25.99, after everyone takes their percentage, you’re left with about $5.40 if you record yourself. Of course this is halved, if you opt for a royalty share with the narrator/producer. However, there are a few problems which you will discover, once you’ve decided you’re doing your own production.

You MUST be confident in your ability to read aloud, act where necessary, and produce a consistent, quality recording. No problem you say? You will need an editor program. I used Audacity for my own testing purposes, and found it useful, and it’s free. However you will need to record your work before you can edit, and this is where the trixie part comes in. The requirements for frequency settings are stated on the site at ACX, and those of us familiar to record, will understand what the figures mean, but not everyone does.

Each uploaded audio file must:

  • contain only one chapter/section that’s shorter than 120 minutes and the section header must be read aloud
  • have room tone at the head and at the tail and be free of extraneous sounds
  • measure between -23dB and -18dB RMS and have -3dB peak values and a maximum -60dB noise floor
  • be a 192kbps or higher MP3, Constant Bit Rate (CBR) at 44.1 kHz

These settings are imperitive if your finished audiobook is to come over professional. You need total exclusion from outside sounds, and this is only achieved with a soundproof recording booth. You can make this yourself, and I’ve seen a photo of my own producers little box, which is kitted out with cone shaped foam.

So you have your room for recording, and your recording equipment and editing software. Now you begin. Are you confident? When you replay your recorded voice, do you cringe? I did. LMAO! I personally detest my own voice, and my accent. Coming from Hull, in East Yorkshire, England, I have gradually removed the extreme accent associated with my home town, but… there’s always a word that suddenly drops in making me cringe. Example…Sean Bean…we all know him…Lord of the Rings… he puts on a ‘posh’ voice for his character but…you can still here that Yorkshire accent and I personally find it annoying. But that’s just me and my little foibles. Do you have an accent?

It takes roughtly 3-4 hours of editing to produce an hours finished work. Astounding huh? I had NO idea there was so much work involved and only after I started narrating one of my short stories, did I appreciate how challenging it is to read aloud and not make a mistake, or slur, or stutter, or breath to much! Needless to say, I gave up.

You have to decide if you are willing to put an extraordinary amount of time into this project, if you’re recording yourself. Not to mention finance, which is why I opted for the 50-50 royalty share on ACX.

I confess, I fell on my feet with Scott Richard Ehredt, who does not offer his services for a 50-50 share. Commanding $100-$200 per finished hour, I learned why. He is awesome. I love this man with all my heart because he is amazing. An actor, narrator and public speaker, Scott is English though has lived in the USA since the mid 80’s where he moved to follow his acting career. His voice is fabulous and his professionalism is unquestionable. As I staded earlier, I was very lucky he auditioned for my project, and he said he doesn’t usually work for a royalty share but the section of my book that I posted, caught his attention. A friendship was formed! He is almost finished with the 2nd book in my series, Angel Within, and that will be available on Audible within 2 weeks, and I can tell you, I NEVER grow tired listening to this mans voice. You can find him on ACX here

Conclusion.

This is my own personal view of the site at ACX and the service they offer. I have nothing but praise apart from one or two niggling items, which is more to do with Amazon rather than the actual excercise of recording, reviewing work uploaded etc. I feel we should earn a higher percentage. 40% isn’t that good, but I do have to say if it wasn’t for this serivce, I wouldn’t be grinning at my bank balance.

If you’ve decided you’re going to put your book up for audition, you will recieve offers from narrators/producers who will read the selection of your book you post.  You will be able to request specific accents, voice types, female or male, that kind of thing. After filling out the form, word count etc…genre…any additional notes that you want the prospective producers to know, should be entered in the appropriate field. Press the button and sit back and wait.

I received a few offers for Demon Within, but they weren’t what I wanted, and so, bravely I rejected them, and shortly after, I met Scott.

You make the agreement via ACX, and the producer will then be required to record a 15 minute sample, which again, you review and accept or decline. Once this is done, your producer will start uploading the recorded chapters. You will download/listen and any issues must be addressed back to the producer, so they can make the necessary adjustments. Once they’ve completed the chapters, title, end credits etc, you upload your cover and wait for ACX to release your finished Audiobook.

ACX will you both you and your produce 25 free codes which you may give to help promote your audiobook to receive positive reviews.

Demon Withicoverasmallern has sold 251 copies since it’s release on Sept 4th. It still sells copies daily,and I can tell you, I expected 10! I’m not joking,  I was totally floored on the success of this, and would recommend ACX to all indie authors.

If you found this post helpful, and have futher comments, please let me know! I would happily engaged in additional conversation if anyone needs a little help, or more information which I failed to cover.

LINK TO ACX

DEMON WITHIN WHISPERSYNC

Hey Peeps!

If you’ve already purchased the ebook of Demon Within, you can now get the AudioBook for just $3.47!

What are the advantages of having both ebook and Audiobook? You can switch between reading and listening whenever you want, Pick up where you
left off, You’ll never have to put a g
ood book down!!!

 

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wscoverasmaller

‘AWESOME’ SAYS ANOTHER REVIEWER FOR DEMON WITHIN

I do love getting 5* reviews, and Rainne has just made my day with an ‘Awesome’ one!

on October 17, 2015
Julie Nicholls is an awesome story-teller.
Demon Within is a well-written book, that trips along at a good pace….

Check out her blog, and see what she says about Demon Within, Fallen Angels Book One!

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http://rainnes.blogspot.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/RainnesBookReviews

https://rainne15.wordpress.com/

Rainne loves to read and loves to review… subscribe to her blogs to see all of her past and upcoming reviews!!!