Cover Reveal

The Collectors


Suspense, Thriller 

Date Published: December 15, 2020

Publisher: BHC Press


Pierce Danser is on the hunt for his soon-to-be ex-wife, the actress Pauline Place, who’s disappeared from the Black Island film set in the heat swarmed waters off the Mexican coast. A wealthy “collector” with a black heart and dangerous, evil mind has kidnapped her, planning a forced marriage to complete his manage of twisted museum pieces. 

As Pierce starts down the winding, dark, and deadly path in pursuit, his journey is a roller coaster through a horror show. No matter the grisly and dangerous obstacles, he is determined to rescue Pauline, even if it means the loss of his own life. The clock is ticking, his resources are slim and he’s up against a man of great means as well as a twisted, cruel vision.



About the Author


Greg Jolley earned a Master of Arts in Writing from the University of San Francisco and lives in the very small town of Ormond Beach, Florida. When not writing, he researches historical crime, primarily those of the 1800s. Or goes surfing.

 

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Book Blitz

The Lost Prince

 

 

The Gifted Ones, Book 3

YA Sci-fi, YA Fantasy

 Release Date: October 1, 2020

 Publisher: Gean Penny Books


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A call to unite. A search for truth. Two superhuman teens running from the law…

Paradise, Texas. Fourteen-year-old Carmen isn’t sure what happened to her mother; one day she’s helping cook dinner, but the next day, her mother’s missing and Carmen’s fleeing for her life. Burdened with anger that interferes with her unusual power, she takes to the streets with the only clue her mother left behind. But when she encounters a stranger picking through her belongings, she finds herself in a life or death situation. 

Seventeen-year-old Simon survived a tragedy he doesn’t remember; he doesn’t know how or why he’s on the streets. So when his physical needs overtake him, he’ll do anything to satisfy them, including scavenging a homeless den. And when he discovers a drawing on the cardboard ceiling, it sparks a memory that compels him to help the owner.

But with danger lurking in every alleyway and one clue to lead the way, they may not succeed… 

Can Carmen and Simon discover how their mutual clue connects them before her mother’s life is taken?

 

The Gifted Ones The Lost Prince is the exciting final book in The Gifted Ones superhero fantasy trilogy. If you like young heroes, realistic settings, and stories of adventure, then you’ll love PG Shriver’s third book The Lost Prince.

 

Buy The Gifted Ones The Lost Prince to unlock the superpowered ending today!

 

Other Books in the The Gifted Ones Trilogy:

 


Paradise Rising

The Gifted Ones, Book 1

Publisher: Gean Penny Books

Published: June 1, 2020

 

San Antonio, Texas. Thirteen-year-old Cheater isn’t sure how she ended up wanted for murder. Burdened with a power she doesn’t understand, that’s triggered by a creeping darkness she can’t remember, she’s both saved and taken lives. But when she makes a vigilante move to stop a mugging, she encounters a boy who might be the key to cracking the mystery of her strange gift.

Fifteen-year-old Jaz has survived too many tragedies to stay on the right side of the law. So when his small gang’s robbery gets interrupted by a teenaged fugitive, he’s perplexed by her act of heroism. And when he discovers they’re both connected to the same mysterious fairytale, he feels drawn to her quest for answers.

But with danger lurking around every corner and the police hot on their trail, they may not even make it past the city limits…

Can Cheater and Jaz discover why Fate linked them together before they land behind bars?

 

The Gifted Ones Paradise Rising is the captivating first book in The Gifted Ones pre-superhero fantasy series. If you like smart heroines, gritty settings, and stories of hope, then you’ll love PG Shriver’s emotional tale.

 

Amazon 

 


Time of Dreams

The Gifted Ones, Book 2

Publisher: Gean Penny Books

Published: August 1, 2020

 

An unusual ally. A destined dream. Two superhuman teens hiding from the law…

Godley, Texas. Fourteen-year-old Nathan isn’t sure how the girl in his dream knew to warn him. Burdened with righteous anger, and past events that put him in the wrong place at the wrong time, he’s ready to avenge the tragedies he’s left behind. But when a lost girl in the woods demands his help, he finds himself in another sticky situation— a dead body, a familiar face, and a secret that might be key to deciphering the dream.

Seventeen-year-old Rebecca survived a tragedy that’s kept her locked away in fear. So when she flees for her life and crosses paths with a guy in the woods, she uses her power to push through his anger for help. And when she discovers their connection to the same mysterious girl, she is drawn into his heroic quest for revenge.

But with a sheriff hot on their trail and two strangers breaking into their safe haven, they may not even make it out of the city…

Can Nathan and Rebecca discover why Fate drew them together before the sheriff locks them up?

 

Amazon


 

 

About the Author 

P.G. Shriver holds a Masters in Education, a Bachelors in English and is currently retired from teaching. Shriver writes from her country home in Texas. She lives with her family among three Great Pyrenees, an eighty-five pound Chihuahua, four horses, six cats and many of my favorite books from various genres, seventeen of which are her own published works, seven picture books for children, five first reader chapter books, and five middle grade-young adult novels. Somewhere in the menagerie is my retired husband who enjoys his role as sounding board.


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Teasers

The Lost King



YA High Fantasy

Date Published: November 10, 2020

Publisher: FyreSyde Publishing


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King Athan vanishes at sea. His children, prince Thalos and princess Thara, drift apart with age, their kingdom falling into ruin. Thalos stubbornly clings to the past; Thara, resentful of her father, looks to the future. In the wake of this decline, a beautiful enchantress usurps the throne from the estranged siblings. She exiles Thalos to the edge of the world and slowly enslaves Thara’s mind.

In his exile, Thalos finds another castaway—an old comrade of his father. Together they begin a voyage in search of the lost king. Thara, meanwhile, resists the new queen’s coercive spells and finds a resistance of creatures still loyal to her father.

With a vast world of enchanted islands and beings between them, Thalos and Thara struggle to restore their family and rekindle the hope of the true king’s return.

 

Excerpt

Then an even stranger sight drew Thalos’ eyes away from the wintry beauty of this new land. It was a thing made of hewn stones. When these stones were cut and by whom was beyond the Prince’s guess, for they were old and mossy. Brown grasses and weeds splintered the once-seamless joints of the blocks.

For miles around, there was neither sight nor sound of any living thing, which lent a mysterious air to the stone structure and the strange land. A hundred questions sprang up in Thalos’ mind, but only one thing was certain—powerful magic hung around this place, a magic older than the stones themselves. At the same time, it felt novel and gave Thalos the excitement of discovering something that no man had ever seen.

He nervously stretched a hand toward the stones. As his fingertips made contact, they twitched and withdrew—the stones were frigid!

The structure was large and cylindrical and taller than a man. Ancient hands had smoothed it, so that now it looked like the bottom portion of a column, except that around this drum of stone wound a little stairway which expired near the rim. Thalos ascended the steps running his hands along the column of stone as he neared the top. It wasn’t perfectly smooth, for veins of uneven ridges rippled on its surface.

With soft, padding footfalls, he climbed the steps until they ended abruptly in a small landing just high enough from the ground that Thalos could lean over and look at the top of this edifice. Thalos was shocked when he reached the top; it was more than a mere column of stone—it was a well.

What was more, it was a well of what seemed to be the purest, crystalline water that he had ever set eyes upon—purer than mountain snowmelt running through a bed of stones at the beginning of spring. It glimmered with a light of its own, for the morning sun had not yet risen so high as to shine its light over the brim of the ancient fountain.

It beckoned to Thalos, not in the lustful way that strong liquor calls to a drunk, but the way a warm bed promises health and rest to one who has traveled all day through bitter weather.

So, with little hesitation, Thalos dipped his hand into the water.

An electric jolt shot up his hand and arm. It was cold, but not too painful. He cupped enough for a little sip, brought it to his lips, and immediately was refreshed.

Here was true water—not the poison of Sundra. All other waters he had ever tasted were like bitter, brackish sludge compared to this!

When he had swallowed this drink (and it took only one sip to make him feel full and refreshed), he looked out to his right over the vista that it seemed no Antaranisian eye had ever seen. He felt a strange sensation course through his veins, penetrating—it seemed—to his very soul. Before this, his body had ached with the dull pains of hunger, soreness, and worse yet—despair; despair so deep and heavy that it felt as if it had been with him from birth. A new sensation replaced this despair at once. Was it hope? Or something like it? Hope so deep and true it made even the rising sun seem new! Now darkness must flee before the triumphant sun, an immortal light conquering the shadows of night. It was rapturous.

 About the Author

Frazier Alexander lives in Denton, Texas with his wife Nicole.

He began writing around the age of nine, inspired by movies such as The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and “sword-and-sandal” epics like Jason and the Argonauts. As a reader, his interests gravitate towards older works and the classics, such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, Beowulf, and Le Morte D’Arthur. Along with creating his own mythological backdrop for his stories, Frazier is an amateur calligrapher, map-maker, and artist.

 

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Countdown to Release

Alley Ciz Game Changer

🏈𝙂𝙖𝙢𝙚 𝘾𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙧 #𝕌𝕠𝕗𝕁𝟚🏈

✔︎An alpha Casanova looking for redemption

✔︎A sassy heroine with secrets 

✔︎All the angst

✔︎Banter for days

✔︎@UofJ411 𝘥𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘢

✔︎Two words—𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗹𝗿𝘆 𝗴𝗮𝗺𝗲

🏈 Preorder: https://books2read.com/u/47XGB7

👉Add to your TBR: http://bit.ly/2M8nSSH

Countdown to Release

Fallen Heirs

𝐎𝐍𝐄 𝐌𝐎𝐑𝐄 𝐃𝐀𝐘 𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐅𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧 𝐇𝐞𝐢𝐫𝐬 𝐛𝐲 𝐋𝐚𝐮𝐫𝐚 𝐋𝐞𝐞… 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐏𝐈𝐂 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞!!!

⭐ Preorder: http://mybook.to/FallenHeirs

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Blog Tour

The Prince and the Pencil Pusher

Prince & Pencil Pusher Banner

Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway:

The Prince and The Pencil Pusher by Kenzie Blades

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A M/M Superhero Romance (Royal Powers, Book 7)

Bad things happen when supos go unchecked. That’s why Abarra needs The Ministry: to keep tabs on royals with powers run amok. Queen Maialen has entrusted the safety of her subjects to her nephew, Prince Xabier, placing the agency in his capable hands.

Only, the Prince would rather spend his days putting his own power to good use in the vineyards than to wither away on the bureaucratic vine. Tired of policing perpetrators and babysitting bean-counters, he schemes to groom his first lieutenant (and second cousin) the Duke of Shrubs. After months spent moving chess pieces, he is poised to convince the Queen to assign his cousin to his post.

But an unlikely pawn still stands in his way: the sexy Zain Otxoa is the pushiest pencil-pusher in all of The Ministry and head of internal affairs. Prince Xabier has plotted to have him fired at least thrice. Zain’s influence over the Queen—his only saving grace—is baffling.

When a master maneuver to have Zain reassigned exposes a shocking imbroglio, Prince Xabier learns The Ministry isn’t what it seems. And Zain isn’t a pawn at all.

Universal Link

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2 5

Special Tour Excerpt:

“No good will come from prolonging the lie, Xabier. You said it yourself last season. This year will be the year that you tell the Queen.” My eyes darted around my office, as if I were the one speaking and the walls were the ears of royal spies. They swept over my leftmost monitor, which displayed the security feed. I was relieved to see Eusebio, my assistant, engrossed in a book. The monitor showed two frames—the other was the approach from the grand hallway—empty, via the frame on the right. “I did say that, didn’t I?” My reply was absent in its paranoia. For the moment, praise for our wine was showered solely upon Fesik. It bothered him to take all the glory. My only mark was Ichor, the name I had bestowed upon our prizewinning blend. In Greek mythology, it meant an ethereal fluid thought to be the blood of the gods. In the irony of all ironies, the labor of love which took my attentions away from my very-important-slash-boring day job was adored by my aunt, the Queen, Maialen. “Before midnight,” I repeated then hung up the phone, figuring I’d better go from talking to doing. Fesik’s call had come in on my personal phone. In the Ministry of Powers, one had to be discreet about matters that one wanted to keep to oneself. So also did one have to do when one was a royal. For the most part, I had whittled away servants and guards—become self-sufficient and kept supervision at a minimum. Yet there was one who stood a chance at thwarting my plans to travel to Palamos. And he wouldn’t be so easy to shake off. “Abide your duties,” he would say, coated in his own brand of sugar that abode the rules of subordination. Zain Otxoa possessed the rare ability to deliver bizarrely respectful scoldings. He was quite tricky in that respect. He was quite tricky in other respects, as well. He was why I was loath to leave my post without covering my tracks. I switched to my old-style intercom and watched on the monitor as Eusebio startled at my buzz. The man was grossly underutilized—fit to assist someone with a full schedule and dozens of difficult tasks. The once or twice a day that I ever actually summoned him, he nearly jumped out of his skin, too eager to oblige. “Eusebio. I need a car for the evening, please.” “Immediately, Your Grace?” He straightened in his seat, tossing the thick tome he had been reading onto the desk. I might have liked him better had he read something serious like Dostoyevsky, or something trashy, like gossip rags. But he only ever read the most boring book on earth: the Policies and Procedures Manual of the Ministry of Powers. “I’ll take a pickup in fifteen minutes. Around the back, please.” “Yes, Your Grace.” I watched Eusebio write down the simple instruction. “Shall I specify a destination?” “I’ll give it to the driver when he arrives.” My voice was calm. If I gave a nothing out-of-the-ordinary vibe, there would be nothing for Eusebio to suspect. “And your proxy, Your Grace?” I was not permitted to go off duty without one, though the Day and Night Deputy Ministers were my second and third in command. Among the three of us, we worked a twenty-four-hour shift. As the Minister, I had the “honor” of taking the shifts when the most critical incidents occurred. Though I resented it, it was a great honor—a high office befitting a high royal, assuming responsibility for the most extraordinary aspect of our world: in Abarra, royals had superpowers. “Super” may have been too strong a word for some of the abilities the gods had bestowed upon the ruling class. Nonetheless, those who possessed such powers were called “supos”. There was nothing to joke about when it came to superpowers run amok. Royals were required to register their powers. The Ministry was intended to provide guidance, education and—frankly—intimidation to discourage their misuse. “Please ask Duke Oleander to be on call.” “Certainly, my lord.” It was my duty to know about incidents and to help bring said incidents to resolution. Since only royals could possess these powers, it was thought (quite erroneously) that abuses were rare. That the royal family, as custodians of the public trust, acted responsibly. Little did Abarra know how far the Ministry had to go to diffuse dangerous situations. Seeing what came in on most Friday and Saturday nights was like watching an episode of Royals Gone Wild. “And Eusebio? I see no need to trouble Mr. Otxoa with information about my whereabouts. Should he drop by, simply let him know that I placed matters in Duke Oleander’s capable hands.” Apart from my Deputy Ministers, he was my highest lieutenant—the man hellbent on insisting that I have absolutely no fun. “You can let him know yourself, Your Grace. Mr. Otxoa just entered the hall.” My eyes flew to the right half of the monitor display. As surely as Eusebio had indicated, Zain Otxoa was beating a path to my door. His timing was so uncanny, it was as if he knew.
3

Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of The Prince and the Pencil Pusher, Kenzie is giving away:

  • 2 signed Paperbacks of their previously published contemporary gay romance (US Winners)
  • 5 e-copies of The Prince and the Pencil Pusher (International+ Winners)

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Direct Link: http://bit.ly/KenziesPrinceGW

4
Kilby Blades Square Headshot Profile Pic

About the Author:

Kenzie Blades is a queer author of romantic LGBTQIA+ fiction and is the alter ego of a multi-award winning author who writes other fiction under a different name.

Kenzie lives in San Francisco and enjoys lots of things that start with the letter B, like bacon, bourbon and books. Boys, too. Because—come on—they’re beautiful.

Connect with Kenzie: Website: https://www.kenzieblades.com/ Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kenzie-Blades/e/B08GYPQ3DF?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kenzie_blades/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/kenzieblades Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KenzieBladesAuthor Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20687272.Kenzie_Blades BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kenzie-blades


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Release Boost

Hearts Don’t Lie by Sutton Bishop

Title: Hearts Don’t Lie
Series: Piñon Ridge
Author: Sutton Bishop
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: September 17, 2020


Can a person find their true love at sixteen?
Hardin Ambrose knew he had found his soulmate 
when he was a high school soccer phenom. 
McKenna (Mac) Vesley was sunshine to his soul. 
The girl he never dreamed existed. 
The person he didn’t know he needed.
Mac has never forgotten the boy she gave her heart to. 
The boy who changed her life forever.
Hardin was all her dreams come true.
Twelve years ago, under the steamy Illinois night sky, 
they planned their forever together.
But forever never came.
Twelve years later, Hardin still searches for his Mac—
the girl who slipped away. 
Twelve years later he has the chance to grasp forever,
for hearts don’t lie.
But after all this time, does Mac want the same?






“This is a beautiful, second-chance romance with so many feels! You will cheer and swoon for Mac and Hardin as they fight to find their way back to each other. Filled with heart, sizzling chemistry, and compelling characters who walk off the pages, Hearts Don’t Lie is a true romantic gem that proves love really does conquer all.” ~ Nina Lane
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
“There is so much story to read ladies… the heartbreak is real, the love is all consuming. The deceit, the betrayal and the lies… How does one overcome it?” ~ Goodreads
“If you are looking for a sweet romance, this is your book. If you are looking for characters who engage you from the opening paragraphs, you’ll find them in Hearts Don’t Lie. If you like a bit of rockiness to the road traveled as you move toward the HEA, look no further. The author has created a beautiful setting populated with people you will like with a few exceptions.” ~ Literati Literature Lovers
“Hearts Don’t Lie is an emotionally deep story about young love, stolen love and thankfully found love.” ~ Goodreads







Sutton Bishop enjoys having a foot in both worlds—real and make-believe. She’s been writing stories since she was a little girl, her imagination inspired by the rural meadows and woods of her childhood and her travels and life experiences. She has degrees in forensics and anthropology and a minor in world history. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, their four kids, and a passel of pets.



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Release Boost

Internet Famous Collection

Title: Internet Famous Collection 
Authors: Sonya Jesus, Nancy Chastain, Maree Moon, Cam Johns, MK Moore, Tasha Lewis, Jade Royal, and Mel Walker 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 30, 2020


Subscribe to the Hotness.

Whether they accidentally rose to fame or staked the claim, these modern-day princes are social media royalty. Follow the Internet famous celebs as they deal with fame, power, and the consequences of falling in love. Each story is a STANDALONE fairytale retelling with an HEA and swoon-worthy alphas. There’s a little something for every book craving.

Sonya Jesus’s twisted retelling of Cinderella brings to life a fairytale killer obsessed with a True Crime Blogger and her Internet famous crush in SHOOK. 

Mel Walker livens up the stage with his Princess and the Pea retelling, which combines music and dance into the beat of love. STAGEFIGHT.

Nancy Chastain’s friends-to-lovers, sports romance, BEAST, follows the MMA fighter and his first love in a page-turning Beauty and the Beast retelling .

Tasha Lewis’s Little Mermaid retelling follows the prince of the ocean on his shipwrecked voyage in DESERTED, a contemporary romance that gives love a voice. 

Maree Moon’s Arabian Night retelling combines sweet romance and accidental fame, turning the Internet into the genie of love and romance into a chanced encounter. CHANCED.

Cam Johns’s dark retelling of Rapunzel is a second chance romance that will leave you craving more from this hot celebrity chef and salivating for SECONDS.

Jade Royal’s lesbian romance changes up The Legend of Hua Mulan, defying the rules of gender identity, war, and the Internet by a girl more DEVOTED to win than her contenders. 

MK Moore’s Snow White retelling is a steamy contemporary romance about the gamer celebrity and the girl who TROLLED him.

 

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Cover Reveal

Blood and Wine by Margot Scott




Title: Blood and Wine
Author: Margot Scott
Genre: Dark Vampire Romance
Release Date: October 29, 2020


BLURB

A slow-burning descent into darkness and desire… 

Betrayed. Imprisoned. Alone. 

For decades I have suffered as a reluctant blood donor. Caged like an animal and drained of my strength to enrich the Radcliffs and their winery. I’d forsaken all hope of escape—until the winemaker’s daughter returns to the family’s estate. 

A drop of my immortal blood is all it takes to activate her psychic talents. Now we’re connected, and all that remains is convincing her to seek me in the darkness. 

Bribe. Seduce. Deceive. 

To claim she’s too young is an understatement. But a starving man doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for fruit to ripen. I’ve awakened her gifts, and now it’s her turn to replenish me. 

I will have my fill of the winemaker’s daughter. Then I will take revenge on her family. 


Author’s note: Please be aware that this book contains scenes of violence, gore, and rough sexual contact, as well as an age-gap pairing spanning literal centuries. If you find drastically inappropriate older man/younger woman romances squicky, do yourself a favor and skip this book.







PRE-ORDER LINKS

99c for a limited time!

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU





EXCERPT

“Will, do you watch me during the day?” 
If I had a pulse, it would jump three stories. 
“Only when you’re doing something private or embarrassing.” I say, half joking. In truth, I watch her all the time. 
Hell, just a few hours ago, I stood by her bed and watched her pleasure herself. A better man might’ve walked away as soon as her clothes came off, but I’m not a man. Not anymore. And considering the decades of pain I’ve endured at her father’s hand, I reserve the right to steal a few stray moments of pleasure where I can get them. 
She eyes me shrewdly. “Is something wrong? You seem quiet.” 
“My apologies. I’ll try to be more entertaining.” 
“That’s not what I meant,” she said. “I don’t need you to entertain me. I’m only asking in case you want to talk about it.” 
“We are talking.” I scrub my face and sigh. This little girl’s too astute for her own good. 
I’ve been walking a knife’s edge since I learned Chastity was dosing her with extra blood in the mornings. Mariah’s powers are developing faster than she can detect them. It’s only a matter of time before the family takes notice, and once they do, it’ll be too late. She won’t be trusted to move about the house unobserved. 
However, more concerning than Mariah’s budding abilities is my own hesitation. Since I’ve begun drawing her closer, I’ve been haunted by the specters of some highly inconvenient emotions. 
At first, they took the form of admiration. I’d be in the middle of teasing her, like a cat with a mouse, and realize I was genuinely smiling. A smile brought on by something she’d said, or the way she threw her arms up while we danced. 
During the day, when I’d normally park myself in the field, I would instead seek out her physical presence. If Chastity snapped at her, I’d allow myself the imagined satisfaction of biting out the other woman’s tongue. If I noticed Edward eyeing her a second too long, I’d position myself in front of her—not that either of them could see me. I just couldn’t abide the thought of him looking at her. 
This desire to shelter Mariah from those who would harm her is bothersome at least and counterproductive at worst. 
But what came next, I can’t even account for. 
Guilt. Like a cord tied around my ribcage, jerking me back when I should be inching closer. 
I’ve killed innocents. It’s all but guaranteed that I’ll kill many more, especially if I remain at the vineyard. Mariah is just a human, alluring as she may be. Once she’s freed me, I know the bloodlust will run its course, but this guilt I feel for deceiving her is a weakness I can’t afford. 
Mariah rises to stand at the window. I trace her shapely silhouette with my gaze before getting up to join her. 
“I am sorry,” I say. “It’s been a long day.” 
“Whenever I find myself back here, it feels like I’m returning to the same long day.” She looks at me. “I just want to help you.” 
“What if I told you there was a way you could help me?” I ask, stroking her chin. 
“I’d say, tell me what it is, and I’ll do it.” 
I could tell her to go to her father’s study and steal the keys right now. I could say there’s a poor, defenseless creature in the basement that needs to be rescued. It would all be done in a matter of minutes. The theft, my release, and her inevitable death. 
But once again, that bastard guilt yanks at the cord around my chest like a rider pulling on reins. 
She tilts her face upward. She wants me to kiss her, and I’m running out of excuses not to give her what she wants. What we both want…if I’m being honest. 
Memories of another man stealing kisses from a young girl in the shadows of this estate flash in my mind like strobe lights. I take a step back from Mariah and rub my eyes, wiping the images away like rain from a windshield. 
“What is your deal, Will?” Mariah asks, exasperated. “Do you want me or not? Because you’re giving me some seriously mixed messages.” She touches my arm. “Is it my age? My birthday’s only two weeks away—” 
My laughter slices between us like a knife cutting through cake. “You think a few days would make a difference in the face of half a millennium?” 
She clasps her hands in front of her. “I guess not.” 
To hell with guilt, I tell myself. I’m tired of resisting temptation that insists on staring me in the face. I move in close, backing her up against the window. 
“Mariah, if I wanted you on your back with your legs spread before me, your age would be the last thing standing in my way. If I wanted to sit on your bed and watch you play your pussy like a fiddle in the dark, completely oblivious to my presence, I could do that, too.” 
Her chest rises and falls, rises and falls. “But you haven’t.” 
“Haven’t I? How would you know?” 
She swallows, and the contraction of her throat muscles is enough to make my gums tingle. 
“Are you making fun of me?” she asks. 
“I’m toying with you,” I say. “There’s a difference.” 
“It doesn’t feel different.” Her face glows with embarrassment. She thinks I’m going to all this trouble to prove that I don’t want her. Because if I did, I’d have had her already, and the fact that I haven’t is proof of my indifference. 
If she knew how badly I wanted her, she’d be petrified. Like a puppy dashing after a tiger, she’d catch me and immediately regret giving chase. 
“If you don’t want me, you can just say so,” she says. “You don’t have to be an asshole about it.” 
I cradle the back of her neck and press my lips to hers. 
Mariah tenses up, startled, then launches herself fully into the kiss. Her palms glide up my chest. I rest my hand on her waist and draw her close to feel her heat. As my tongue breaches her lips, she lets out a whimper that has my astral body humming like a plucked cello string. 
I pull back to give her a chance to breathe. 
“I didn’t know ghosts could kiss like that,” she whispers, her fingers closing around my shirt like she’s afraid I’m going to slip away. 
“I told you, I’m not a ghost.” 
“What are you, then?” 
The closest thing I can think of without telling her the truth is, “A demon.” 
“You’re not a demon.” She smiles. “You’re my imaginary friend.” 
“Some demons pretend to be your friend just to get close to you.” 
I take her hand and guide her back toward the dining table. 
“What if I’m simply lying to get closer to you?” I lift her onto the table, pushing plates and silverware aside. “What if my true intention is to pick you like a flower, rip out all your petals, and crush you beneath my heel?” 
She gasps as I skim my fingers up her thighs, sliding her tee shirt higher. 
“I think I might like to be crushed by you,” she says. 
Her arms go around my neck as I kiss her again. Standing between her legs, I let her feel my erection against her thigh. Fortunately, I can get hard and even jack off here in the twilight realm. In the early years, it wasn’t a bad way to pass the time. But after a while, the futility of fucking myself became just another source of depression. 
Watching Mariah in bed these past few nights brought those desires back with a vengeance. There was no tearing my eyes from her dancing fingers as they circled her sensitive clit. I couldn’t help imagining how it would feel to slide inside her wetness. I haven’t been able to think about much else since. 
“You’ve done this before?” I ask her. 
She shakes her head. “But I really want to.” 
The fact that she’s a virgin doesn’t deter me. If anything, the thought of her dying before she’s had a chance to be thoroughly ravished would be the real tragedy.






AUTHOR BIO


Margot Scott likes long nails and short, sexy reads, rainbow sprinkles on vanilla ice cream, and rainy days spent in bed with her furbabies. When she’s not writing forbidden-love stories about bearded older men, you can find her browsing Pinterest for pictures of pink things.


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