An interview with author, Annie Harland Creek, about her HOT new, Paranormal Romance Novel, The Art of Seduction

Welcome, Annie! Your new romance novel includes Vampires and Witches, and a detective wannabe under the cloak of an art class. The title, The Art of Seduction, and the excerpt that follows are smoldering!

The Art of Secuction

What would you like readers to know about your book?

The art of seduction is David’s story, for those who read Kiss of death.

What was it like to write the story? Did you face any difficulties/challenges?

This story practically wrote itself. The protagonist, David, is the older brother of the main character in Kiss of death. While writing Derrick’s story, David insisted on pushing his way into the story with his cheeky smile and naughty innuendos. I had The art of seduction almost finished by the time Kiss of death was published.

What do you love about your story, and why?

Interesting question Kory. I guess I love the supernatural elements to the story but I also hope that the readers see a softer, sweeter side to cheeky David.

What have you learned from the main characters in your story?

Trust your instincts.

Do you write in other genres and if so, what are they? What genres would you like to try that you haven’t already?

I have written a couple of Intrigue novels, a YA and, I am working on two fantasies and one that may come under the genre of horror. None of these are published but I may self-publish later.

What or who influences your writing?

My mother read anything and everything and encouraged me to write at a very early age, around four. I have always loved the supernatural and had a few family members who were water diviners, tea leaf readers or were clairvoyant in one way or another. My daughters, grand daughters and I love ghost stories and have had a few interesting experiences with the supernatural.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Oddly enough, dreams. I have a note book beside my bed and often wake up in the middle of the night with an idea.

If you had to choose your three favorite books by other authors, what would they be and why?

Wow, that’s a toughie. I love lots of books. Christine Feehan’s book Dark Symphony got me interested in romance. There was a part in it where Byron stands the blind Antoinetta in front of a mirror and she is surprised (not only to see herself) but, her reflection appears younger and more beautiful than she believes she is. He explains that it is how he sees her. I thought that was so beautiful.

I love Kresley Cole and her supernatural take on Survivor. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein introduced me to a world of ‘what ifs’ and posed the question ‘who was the real monster in this story?’

What is your next literary project?

If book four will stop interrupting me, I’m hoping to finish book three of my Blood brothers’ series in the next couple of months. Fingers crossed, Evernight will like and publish it.


Meaghan Lamb has a mission. She plans to use her undercover assignment in the local University to prove, once and for all, that she has what it takes to make a great detective. But when her class is assigned a very hot nude model/artist, her plans turn pear-shaped. As her suspicions about him grow, so does her attraction but how can she allow herself to fall for a man who could be a cold-blooded killer?

David Corel has seen his paintings come to life in the form of a beautiful, blonde art student who seems unable to look at him without blushing. But, is she really as pure and innocent as she seems? Or could she be the campus killer?


“No, no, no.” David protested as he came up behind her and took the brush from her hand. “For a start, this is the wrong brush.” He exchanged the bristle for a sable brush and delicately dabbed it onto the palette. “Think of your brush as a tool.” He said as he put the brush in her hand and held her hand to the canvas. She could feel the hard muscles of his chest on her shoulders as he leaned over her, moving her hand like a marionette. Together they stroked the canvas.

“When you hold the tool, I want you to make slow, seductive movements like this…” he demonstrated downward movements, “the oil makes the paint slide easily, making your brush strokes more fluid.”

It took Meaghan only a few seconds to realize his double entendre. “Control the tool. Move your hand slowly up and down, adding linseed oil when your movements begin to catch. Ah, that’s good.” He pressed against her, his erection rubbing against the small of her back as he continued his play on words. “The tip is very sensitive. Use a featherlike touch for optimum effect. Pay careful attention to the reactions of the canvas. You will sense when to add oil and when you should apply more pressure. That’s very nice. You’re doing well … keep up the pressure … yes, yes … that’s it.” She heard his low, quiet groan and she gasped in response. “As the pressure builds, move faster, faster Meaghan … oh, that feels good doesn’t it.” His voice breathless, ragged as he moved her hand furiously over the canvas.

“Faster … until you can sense that the canvas is at the point where it can take no more, then … add a bit more for good measure.” David stopped abruptly. The painting finished. Meaghan could hardly believe what they had created in such a short amount of time. She stood admiring the work. Her body exhausted as though she had been put through a wringer. Damp heat soaked her dress. She shuddered when David asked her.

“Was that as good for you as it was for me?”

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An interview with the fabulous author, Kristine Cayne, about her HOT, NEW M/M Romance Novel, Lover on Top

Welcome, Kristine! I’m so excited to host another M/M Romance author! Lover on Top looks HOT, HOT, HOT!

Lover on Top

What would you like readers to know about your book?

The main theme in all my books is acceptance. The characters, just like all of us, have to first accept themselves for who and what they are. Once they’ve done that, then it’s possible for them to find love. At the same time, I hope, through my books, to bring to my readers elements of the world that they may not be as familiar with or as comfortable with, whether that be sexual orientation, gender, religion, nationality, or race.

In Lover on Top, Hollywood is faced with the revelation that he may not be as straight as he always thought he was. And as the story unfolds, we find out why this is so.

What was it like to write the story? Did you face any difficulties/challenges?

Lover on Top was my first m/m romance, so there were definitely some challenges that I had not faced in my other books. Also, while this is not a May/December story, there is a significant age gap between the two heroes. That was also a first for me. Lastly, Chad is a paramedic. While I’d written several other stories about firefighters, this was my first paramedic story. I had a great time learning about that profession, interviewing a paramedic with the Seattle Fire Department, and delving into the specifics of Harborview Medical Center and its Burn Unit.

I loved writing this story and digging deeper into Chad’s and Hollywood’s psyches, their struggles, and their pasts. Seeing the love develop between them was the stuff of dreams. Literally. ☺

What do you love about your story, and why?

I really loved Chad and Hollywood’s story. I laughed and shed tears along with these two extraordinary men as their story unfolded and they both came to terms with Hollywood’s bisexuality, their budding relationship, and what it would mean to them and to their families and friends. It isn’t a smooth road for either of them, but it’s one well-worth travelling.

What have you learned from the main characters in your story?

Chad and Hollywood taught me a lot about bi-erasure, about learning to deal with a new reality, about loving the family you chose when the one you were born into doesn’t. These struggles are experienced by many, both inside and outside of the LGBTQ community. Knowing that this commonality exists, can hopefully lead to greater understanding.

Do you write in other genres and if so, what are they? What genres would you like to try that you haven’t already?

Lover on Top is actually a part (albeit standalone) of an m/f erotic romance series. Each book features a sibling in the Caldwell family. From the first line of this series, I knew that Chad was gay as did my readers. What we didn’t know was who would finally catch him. Writing this story as part of the series has allowed many of my readers who’d never read and m/m romance to crossover into this genre and realize that love is love. Truly.

So, to summarize, I write both m/m and m/f romance in the romantic suspense, erotic romance, and contemporary romance sub-genres. I’ve also written a paranormal romantic suspense novella. It can be viewed as the prequel to a series that I’ll write if I ever find the time. So many stories, so few days.

If you had to choose your three favorite books by other authors, what would they be and why?

Oh boy. I love so many books in so many different genres. To simplify this gargantuan task, I’ll limit my list to LGBTQ fiction.

  1. Special Forces by Vashtan and Marquesate
  2. Enemy Within: The Executive Office #3 by Tal Bauer
  3. Divide & Conquer (Cut & Run Series Book 4) by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux

As you can see, there is a theme here. I LOVE books with some action and suspense in them. They also must have some HOT HOT sex. These books, or rather these series, all have great relationship drama, steamy sex, and incredible action. Even though Lover on Top is technically an erotic romance, it does have its share of relationship drama and tense firefighter/paramedic related action, and of course HOT HOT sex.

What is your next literary project?

I’m currently working on Wrangling the Cowboy, which is the second book in my Men of Boyzville series (a spin-off series from Lover on Top). It features Austin Moore (Chad’s best friend), cowboy and software engineer, and Mateo Walker, a home care assistant who is taking care of Austin’s estranged father.

After that, I’ll be returning to the Six-Alarm Sexy series and writing Stripped Down, Drew and Shay’s story.


A straight firefighter discovers an irresistible attraction for his best friend’s younger brother—one that could lead to complete disaster.

A perpetual bachelor, firefighter lieutenant Hollywood Wright hops from one woman’s bed to another, searching for something he never finds. Has his father’s emotional and physical abuse somehow damaged him? Or is something else going on, something that involves the intense and uncomfortable feelings aroused by his best friend’s little brother?

Sexy-as-sin paramedic Chad Caldwell has always been out and proud. Sure, some gay-bashers are harassing him, but he’s determined to be true to himself. There’s just one problem: he’s hung up on Hollywood, his older brother’s straight best friend. When Hollywood’s apartment is damaged by fire, Chad reluctantly takes him in. Will Chad’s heart survive such close proximity to a man who’s both unattainable and everything Chad wants?

To their mutual surprise, Hollywood finds Chad and his world fascinating—and much hotter than anything he’s ever experienced. But with a rabidly homophobic father, is Hollywood doomed to die in the closet? Chad won’t accept anything less than a public relationship, no matter how amazing the sex is. Can Hollywood ever accept the man he has always kept buried deep inside?


Hollywood’s focus rose to Chad’s eyes, and held. “I know what I want now.”

Unable to believe, hell, unable to think, under the force of that seductive green assault, Chad’s blood roared southward. He licked his lips. “And what’s that?”

The fire in Hollywood’s eyes flared, turning Chad’s blood into lava as he waited, feet on the edge of a cliff, for Hollywood’s response.


Chad swayed. “Oh boy.”

Stepping back, Hollywood chuckled, clearly aware of his effect on Chad. “Get that look off your face. I’m keeping my hands to myself tonight.”

“All night?” The words barely out of his mouth, Chad winced at the disappointment in his voice. But, Jesus, he was disappointed. For months now—no, if he were being honest, it had been years—he’d been dreaming of what it would be like to hold Hollywood, to kiss and touch him, to sink his cock between those muscled ass cheeks. Not that he expected to do all that tonight, or anytime soon, but something. Christ, he needed something.

Hollywood gently tapped his cheek and snorted. “At least until after dessert, Loverboy.”

Loverboy. Chad felt as though he’d entered some kind of twilight zone or an alternate universe where a determined, confident Hollywood said all the things Chad desperately wanted to hear. “Is that what I am to you?”

Hollywood brushed two fingers along the edge of Chad’s hairline and wiped away the beads of sweat popping out as Chad’s heart hammered faster and faster. “It’s what I’d like you to be.” He moved closer and, slipping his hands under Chad’s topcoat, pushed it off his shoulders.

Chad shuddered as the coat slid down his arms and dropped onto the carpeted floor with a muted thud. Taking a deep, calming breath, Chad leaned in so his chest was almost touching Hollywood’s. “Where is all this self-assurance coming from?”

He hoped like hell this new version of Hollywood stuck around, because this man was hot-as-fuck. Not only did Hollywood not take the expected step back, he took one forward, pressing their chests fully against each other. “I’ve done a lot of thinking in the past couple of days.”

“Oh, yeah? And?”

Hollywood grabbed Chad’s ass and ground against him. “And I’ve missed you.”

Feeling Hollywood’s hard-on against his own, Chad’s head reeled. He’d missed Hollywood too. So fucking much. And here they were, hard cocks rubbing together.

Dreams did come true.

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An interview with author, Tanya Jean Russell, about her novel, Broken Trust

Welcome, Tanya! I love suspense! I can’t wait to hear about your novel!

Broken Trust


What would you like readers to know about your book?

Broken Trust is a romantic suspense set in the glamorous world of a private airline. I like to think of it as escapist entertainment. I love the building romantic tension between two characters and hope I have captured this effectively for Beth and Chase!

What was it like to write the story? Did you face any difficulties/challenges?

This is my first novel and I thoroughly enjoyed writing it. The feeling as the characters came to life was amazing. Them shouting at me to get on with it when I had real life stuff wasn’t as much fun!

What do you love about your story, and why?

I love how, despite the extraordinary circumstances, the characters face the same challenge as we all do, fining the courage to make ourselves vulnerable enough to fall in love.

What have you learned from the main characters in your story?

That love is absolutely worth it (whatever it is!).

Do you write in other genres and if so, what are they? What genres would you like to try that you haven’t already?

This is my first novel but I am already working on the next romantic suspense. I am also working on a romantic urban fantasy. They are my two favorite genres to read so I don’t feel even slightly tempted to try anything else.

What or who influences your writing?

Just about everyone who has helped me along the way which is a huge number of people – the writing community is incredibly helpful and friendly.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I have always had a bit of a tendency to daydream, something my family find hugely entertaining when they are trying to get my attention. Thankfully all those wandering thoughts now have a purpose so I get away with it!

Who are your author idols and if you met them what would you say to them?

As someone who reads huge amounts there are far too many to name. I have been really lucky to meet a few of them at Romantic Novelist Association meetings and fortunately they were really lovely, even though I pretty much accosted them and just blurted how brilliant they were before running out of things to say!

If you had to choose your three favorite books by other authors, what would they be and why?

It’s pretty hard to limit it to three but one of my all time favourites is the classic North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Because it was written at a time when the world was much bigger and people didn’t really have experiences of the world outside their own community it is incredibly rich in detail, and the slow burn of the relationship between Margaret Hale and John Thorton is one that inspires me every time I read it.

Do you have any interests outside of writing, and if so, what are they?

When I’m not writing or at the day job I spend my time with my family. I have two boys which means I spend a lot of time pretending to enjoy sport! Thankfully it’s the cricket season which means enjoying a glass of wine in the sunshine (hopefully) while they play.

What is your next literary project?

I’m currently working on a romantic suspense with a really strong female lead who is determined to do her job, despite coming face to face with her first love who has no idea about the part she played in his troubled past.

Blurb for Broken Trust:

An attack at her sister’s society wedding leaves Elizabeth Worthington on the run. Desperate to find a way to save both her family and their airline she isn’t about to let anything get in her way. Whether it’s a little thing like her own safety or something bigger, like her growing attraction to the compelling stranger she has woken up with.

Chase Maddox is having a really bad day. He has better things to do than hang around babysitting a spoiled heiress who is determined to put herself in harm’s way. The fact that she turns out to be anything but the pampered princess he expected is irrelevant. He has his own personal mission to complete. The price if he succeeds? The destruction of everything Elizabeth holds dear.


As the sun began to sneak around the edges of the shutters Beth stirred, mortified to find that her t-shirt had risen up around her ribs and her pants were on display. Unfortunately that wasn’t the worst of it. Somehow in the night the pillows down the middle had disappeared and she was firmly on Chase’s side of the bed. Her back to him, she was spooning into him with his palm flat against her stomach, the heat of it radiating through her.

When was the last time she’d had a man hold her? Sure her dad and her best friend Bree’s husband, Jake, both hugged her regularly, as did her friends Tom and Oliver, but it wasn’t the same. Even with Oliver. They might have been promised to one another as infants by their parents, but they had never felt any real attraction to each other. He was more like a brother to her, so Oliver’s hugs were pleasant, but bland. Nothing like this primal feeling of a man she was attracted to holding her close. The feel of him touching her skin was making forgotten parts of her tingle. Making her forget why getting involved with anyone was a bad idea. Just for once she wanted to do something just because she wanted to. Not because it was the right thing, the safe thing to do. She simply wanted to react.

Lying there, her conscience half-heartedly attempting to get her to move, she felt Chase shift behind her. She was suddenly very aware of exactly how male he was. She wasn’t stupid. She had heard this was a morning thing, but even her conscience gave in, finally allowing her to enjoy the embrace. Besides, Chase was asleep, so there was no harm in staying still until he woke up. After all it would be rude to deprive him of a much-needed rest. After the last couple of nights on the floor he would be worn out. She snorted to herself. Who was she kidding? She just wanted to stay in his arms, and any excuse would do.

Enjoying the peace of the moment she felt his movement increase. The moment he woke up and realized where he was obvious as his body jerked back from hers. Embarrassed to be caught enjoying the feel of his arms around her, she lay still, frozen in place as she silently pleaded for him not to realize she was awake. Only when he’d carefully edged off of the bed and crept from the room did she allow herself a sigh of relief.

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An interview with author, Sarah Marsh, about her novel, Viktor

Welcome, Sarah! You have a new novel out, Viktor, the first book in a new series. Starting a new series is always exciting. I can’t wait to hear about it!

Viktor, by Sarah Marsh

What would you like readers to know about your book?

Viktor is book one in a brand new series called Happy Evil After. It’s a paranormal romance series with a twist. This one is a little different than how I usually write my series books, this series will still feature a different couple for each book, but Dori remains the common denominator throughout.

What was it like to write the story? Did you face any difficulties/challenges?

This first book has been in the works for over a year, I wasn’t quite sure how to blend the three POV’s at the beginning…and I was hesitant about letting Dori ‘loose’ with the full force of her personality, lol but in the end I figured I might as well just go for it!

What do you love about your story, and why?

I love a romance that makes me laugh, and this series is by far the funniest that I’ve written. Pandora is a little crazy…and a whole bunch of sassy, combined with the other couples it hopefully makes for a laugh out loud read.

What have you learned from the main characters in your story?

If there’s one thing Pandora taught me, it’s that you should never be afraid to be yourself.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Inspiration comes in many different forms, I’m a very creative person by nature, almost compulsively. I also paint and am a former pastry chef so all sorts of things can send me into a creative flurry, but one thing that I find does it time and time again is music. The perfect song can change everything.

Who are your author idols and if you met them what would you say to them?

If I had to choose one, it would be Anne Rice. Her Vampire Chronicles were one of the first paranormal series I ever read as a teen, and she really fostered a fascination for the unknown which I hope never goes away.

If you had to choose your three favorite books by other authors, what would they be and why?

I absolutely loved American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I’ve always been interested in ancient cultures and religions, so the whole idea that they could be wandering around amongst us was pretty awesome.

The next one I’d have to pick a series instead of a book, and it would be the Sleeping Beauty series by Anne Rice. Lol, now for those who have read this series it is quite…intense, but I’m not certain I can say I’ve ever read anything else that was able to pull me into the characters shoes quite like this series does.

For my next pick, it would be another series, because there’s no way I can choose one book from it. The League Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, because no one does world building like she does…and I’m a huge sci fi geek at heart. 😉

What is your next literary project?

I’m currently working on book 2 for a sci fi romance with Evernight, as well as an anthology project that is another paranormal romance. After that, lol I have a list going for WIP’s that is up to about 10. So much to write, so little time!

Blurb for your book:

Viktor, Happy Evil After Book 1

Pandora is a Fairy Godmother who’s never fit in with her own people. Only she has the power…and the attitude, to step in and help those who others have decided aren’t worthy of a happy ending. How hard could it be to manipulate some of the most feared beings in their world?

Viktor has spent his entire un-dead life being the bogey man to the paranormal community and that’s the way he wants to keep it…with everyone else far away from him. When the opportunity arises to take his revenge on his nemesis, he can’t resist—even if it means risking his reputation and rescuing the damsel in distress.

Halle never expected to find herself in need of a savior, especially one with a reputation like Viktor’s. But she’s used to listening to her instincts and her cat trusts the strange woman who pops up and claims to have some solutions.

If a girl can’t trust her own Fairy Godmother, then what is this world coming to?

Excerpt from Viktor:

“I mean you no harm, lady. You can go. I’m only here for what’s in the car,” he said slowly walking towards her. She was a cute little thing, all soft curves with golden skin and hair.

“Ummm, yeah, about that … I’m what’s in the car, Mr. Krescech. You have to take me with you out of here,” she said almost nervously, those big green eyes pleading with him.

Clearly, she was also insane. What was with the women he was running into this week? Viktor had had more than his fair share of groupies throwing themselves at him in the bars, wanting to take a walk on the wild side for a few hours, but this wholesome little beauty certainly didn’t look like the type, so he had no idea exactly what she was asking him for.

“I don’t think so,” he said, moving past her towards the open back door to search the car.

“Seriously, there’s nothing else in the car. They were taking me from my family and my pard to be married to Conrad. I have to go with you to get away from him,” she continued, putting her tiny little hands on her very curvy hips in a way that distracted him far more than it should have.

Interesting, so this little number was a leopard shifter? Viktor hadn’t really had any interaction with the pard in this country, but by reputation, they were a good lot. Why on Earth would she agree to marry Conrad?

“I don’t rescue damsels in distress. I eat them,” he said with a flash of fang. “So run along, little kitten.”

The tiny spitfire threw her hands dramatically up in the air and sighed loudly.

“You just saved me from a life of baby-making slavery. Aren’t you supposed to whisk me away to your super-secret villain lair and ravish me? Sheesh, where’s your follow-through?”

Viktor just stood there and stared at her for a moment. He didn’t know whether to laugh at her ridiculous statement or take her up on her offer and bend her over right here on the trunk of Conrad’s car. He was extremely turned on by the fact that she didn’t seem the least bit afraid of him. He’d always tried to pretend that his reputation in the paranormal community pleased him, that it helped him by keeping the rabble away. But deep down it bothered him that everyone always thought the worst of him. His honor was just yet another thing that Melisandre and Conrad had stolen from him when they took his mortality.

“Don’t you know who I am, woman?” he finally said as she just stood there looking at him expectantly.

“Yes, I know who you are. Who else is capable of keeping me out of Conrad’s douchy hands?” she said sounding a little impatient.

“Don’t you have a family you can go to?” he asked, still wondering why he was even standing here talking to her.

Well, that wasn’t entirely true. Once she’d said the word “slavery” he knew he couldn’t leave her to Conrad’s tender mercies. Viktor knew more about slavery than he ever wanted to, and no being should ever be held against their will. That and he had seen firsthand what Conrad enjoyed doing to women. It still sickened him to think back to the horrors he’d had to witness as Melisandre’s pet.

“If I go back to my family they’d just have to hand me right back over to him again. My pard owes him a blood debt, and I am the payment. I need this to look like Conrad’s men lost me in the confrontation with you. This needs to be his fault, as otherwise, it will start a war between my family and his coven,” she said, stepping ever closer.

She stood so close now that Viktor could smell the strawberry and coconut scent of her shampoo. Good Gods, she smells good enough to eat.

“Why would you think that I should care whether or not this starts a war for your people? I will not be fighting in it,” he answered, trying to sound like he didn’t care one way or another.

“Because I think that you hate Conrad just as much, if not more than I do, and there’s nothing he wants more than to possess me,” she answered quietly, her huge green eyes staring right into his grey ones.

She was right of course. There was no one on this Earth that he hated as much as he hated Conrad. That’s what he told himself anyway when he ultimately decided he would take the girl with him—whether it was the whole truth about his motivations or not.

“First, tell me how your pard was thoughtless enough to enter into a blood debt with a killer like Conrad?”

“It’s not like we had any choice. My father was jumped one night by a bunch of rogues, and Conrad just happened to be there to offer his assistance … for a price.”

The venom in her voice clearly stated that she suspected they’d been set up. The rogues were most likely paid to attack by Conrad himself. It was a trick the coward had used over and over again.

“Fine,” he said with a sigh. “You can come with me, but just until we find somewhere to stash you that Conrad cannot reach you.”

“Thank you!” she said with a squeal just before she reached up and hugged him before he could stop her. “I’m Halle, by the way.”

Clearly, his reputation was never going to recover from this if anyone saw him being hugged in the alley, but with her luscious frame leaning against his, smelling so sweet, he had a difficult time finding a reason to care.

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Lost Faith by April Zyon

Lost Faith by April Zyon

Gabriella Moreno was just a job, in and out to gain the objective, the death of her father. She turned out to be far more than that to Tobias Casey, however, from the moment he laid his hands on her too hot for words body.

Gabriella had just come home from a two-year stint abroad. The first night home she snuck out, never dreaming for even a moment anyone would be stupid enough to take her. Boy, was she wrong.

Faced with brutal truths, Gabbie followed her gut, and her heart, which, it seemed, all led to one place, Tobias. The heat of her homeland was nothing compared to the touch of this man. In his arms, she found something she had craved all her life, the other half of her soul.

Yet, how can she ignore the fact that the man who owns her heart is also the man who wants to take the last of her family?

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Another day, another dollar. Only these days, Tobias and his team were getting paid a hell of a lot more than they had been in the military. Now they could set their own fees for doing the jobs that no one else wanted to do, or maybe couldn’t do, since they did on rare occasion work for their government’s shadier sectors. But there was no oversight, no backseat driving, and they paid big to get shit done.

Their current operation was one they’d been working on for nearly three weeks now with no success. The first week had been recon, getting oriented, and making sure they had their exits memorized for when they achieved their strike.

The only thing was, as they’d discovered during week two, the target they were after didn’t ever leave his super secure compound. Not that Tobias could blame the guy. Their target was a dictator, an arms dealer, a drug dealer, and a mass murderer. There were people worldwide hoping that Tobias’ team finally managed to do what no one else had to date.

Now it was week three and they were still watching the compound to figure out their way in. Or as Tobias was beginning to believe would be easier, how to get the asshole to come out. They’d tried forty different ways to infiltrate the compound. None had worked. Which actually made sense, given the target, Juan Moreno, or Senor X as they referred to him over com, had hired himself an ex-Special Forces soldier to be the head of his security. Tran Quan was American born but had ties to the Yakuza. Extra weight to be brought to bear should it be requested.

Taking a small drink from his canteen, Tobias ignored the sweat trickling down his spine. His attention was locked on a small group of vehicles approaching the compound. Binoculars up, he brought the lead car into focus and easily recognized one of Moreno’s drivers.  His attention moving to the second car, he was surprised to see Quan in the front passenger seat. The man was normally glued to Moreno’s side so to see him out without Moreno… this was big.

“Ripper, we have four cars approaching the compound. I need to know who exits the second car once they stop inside. Get pictures.”

“Roger that, Rogue.”

Ripper and Cherry were up on the mountain using some seriously high-powered tools to stare down into the compound. Their position was treacherous since they were, literally, dangling off the face of that mountain. One wrong move and they’d be headed straight down toward death.

“They’re turning toward the gate now. Not stopping either, they’ve been waved right through,” Tobias reported. The gates slid shut but not before he spotted a slender leg wearing a dainty shoe at the end slipping out of the door being opened by a guard. Instantly, he felt his gut clench in need to see the body went with that limb.

A soft whistle came through the com. “Damn, she’s fucking hot. Think she’s banging senor X?” Herc asked.

“Too young for him, you oaf,” Cherry said.

“Like that would stop the old fucker. We all know he doesn’t care about age. One of the reasons why we’re here to see him shot,” Herc told her. “Personally, it’s my only reason to see his head explode under the impact of my bullet.”

“Cut the chatter. Tell me you have photos for everyone that came in those vehicles.”

“Confirmed,” Ripper said.

“Good, get your asses down from there. Scout will be here to relieve me soon, then we need to get back and review everything.” Tobias was hopeful that somewhere in those photos he might find a way to pull Moreno away from his security blanket.

* * * *

“It’s his daughter, Gabriella Moreno.” Rainer said. His words had everyone’s attention. Tobias couldn’t figure out who was more shocked. Turning in his seat Rainer shook his head. “I had to dig, and dig deep. The old man has her buried.”

“Makes sense,” Winston muttered. “She’s his Achilles.”

He was right. “We need to keep eyes on her. If we get the opportunity, she’ll be the one we grab. I have a feeling that even with all his enemies gunning for him, he’ll do anything to protect her.” All they had to do was get their hands on her and use her to bait Senor X.

Picking up the picture Rainer had printed out Tobias stared at it. It wasn’t a shot from the compound but one he’d pulled from social media. Gabriella had her head tipped back, laughing at something or someone. She looked carefree and totally at ease. Young, too.

The young woman was just over five foot three inches but those come fuck me heels made her closer to five feet seven, she was thin but not waiflike like so many of the women today. Her hair however, was a riot of auburn red curls that seemed to have a mind of their own, and she didn’t bother trying to tame them. Which said something about the woman herself. She might not have the largest breasts that he had seen in his life but hers seemed to work her body perfectly, like a perfect handful, that distracted him completely.

“We need everything on her from birth until the moment she went through those gates, Rainer. Leave no stone unturned. I think we’ve just found our hot button for daddy Moreno. We grab her and he’ll deliver himself right to us.”

“You sure you want to do that, boss?” Cherilyn asked. At his sharp look, she held up her hands. “I’m down with it, but even if she does leave the compound, you know she’ll have a taskforce worth of guards with her. No way is Moreno letting her out in this country without protection up the ass.”

“And we’ll be ready for that. Our best shot will be if she goes into the city. It’ll allow us to blend in and when the time’s right, grab her up.” At Cherilyn’s snort, Tobias turned a glare on her. “What?”

“Dude, no offense or nothing, but you do not blend.”

Rainer was shaking his head. “I have to agree with her, boss. You tend to stick out.”

“I can blend just fine, I’ll have you know.”

“You keep thinking that. In the meantime, I think I’ll update the other boys and we can add their hilarity to the vote count against you.” Cherilyn patted his chest, walked past, and promptly burst out in laughter.

“I can and will fire your ass,” Tobias called after her.

“No, you won’t,” she bellowed back.

No, he wouldn’t, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t think about it, in great detail.


An interview with author, M.A. Jewell, on her novel, Jungle Rapture

Hello, M.A., your new novel, Jungle Rapture, sounds intriguing. Jaguars and shifting, that’s so cool!

This is the first book in your series, The Jaguar Queens. How exciting!

What would you like readers to know about your book?

As I researched poaching and the plight of those endangered species, I developed a passion for my subject. The injuries incurred by Cinnamon (a natural jaguar in Jungle Rapture), were taken directly from a shameful account of a jaguar snared in the United States. Truthfully, I scaled back from real life. That jaguar ultimately died due to his injuries.

What was it like to write the story? Did you face any difficulties/challenges?

Thrilling!  Once I visualized the opening scene and outlined the plot, I couldn’t stop. I hand wrote most of the first draft during an over-night flight to Bangkok.  During my stay at a Thailand hotel, I transcribed the story into Word.

While there, my computer was attacked by who-knows-what and froze solid.  In my frenzy to write, I hadn’t once backed up the manuscript. After a nail-biting trip to the mall, I mimed my problem to a scary-looking computer person who didn’t speak English. I left with my laptop running, manuscript intact…but all the text read in Thai.


What do you love about your story, and why?

I truly adore my characters. Kelsi is real, she is strong, and she is flawed. Jaime is a sensitive, protective male with too much pride. Together, they meet in the middle and save each other.

What have you learned from the main characters in your story?

Courage. I came to writing later in life, mostly due to cowardice. Fear of what others may think or say about my work intimidated me. When I wrote Jungle Rapture, I held nothing back. I leapt out the window of my own choosing.

Do you write in other genres and if so, what are they? What genres would you like to try that you haven’t already?

Critique partners have talked me into trying contemporary, which is amazing since I don’t usually read this subgenre. One day I may try a historical. I love to read them.

What or who influences your writing?

I think every book I’ve ever read has influenced me to a degree. I credit voracious reading with my interest in writing.

Where do you find your inspiration?

From childhood, events have always triggered daydreams. For me, a spoken phrase or an emotional exchange between people triggers a “what if?”.  A well-done photo or painting makes me think of a scene to accompany the image. Last, but most effective, is writing. Drafting Jungle Rapture triggered plots and characters for Book II & III. Any emotion-evoking stimulus prompts a scene in my head.

Who are your author idols and if you met them what would you say to them?

Nalini Singh, Diana Gabaldon, Jeaniene Frost are a few.  I would thank them for the hours of entertainment!

If you had to choose your three favorite books by other authors, what would they be and why? 

Outlander (Gabaldon) would be my overall favorite. I love epic reads that combine history with characters who come alive in my head. I still remember skipping an activity to race home to see how Claire would save Jaime. Admittedly, I even worried about them during my work shift. The level of skill required to involve a reader to that degree – pretty impressive.

Do you have any interests outside of writing, and if so, what are they?

The biggest draw in my life is my first grandson. Perfect of course. So if babysitting is an outside interest, I’m all over it.

What is your next literary project?

Falling: Small Town Love Anthology will be self-published by my critique group, Omaha Romance Writers and Critique Group -led by Jules Dixon. My contribution will be a contemporary novella titled Autumn Renewal.

Somewhere between that and Christmas, I hope to submit a full length novel,  Jungle Salvation, The Jaguar Queens Book II to Evernight.

Blurb for your book:

Jungle Rapture

An advocate for endangered species, journalist Kelsi Gorman travels to the Brazilian Amazon to locate a mysterious black jaguar the size of a saber-toothed tiger. Instead, the enormous cat finds her knee deep in mud, blood, and smugglers.

Jaime Salazar, one of a few surviving all-male jaguar shifters, encounters a scent he never thought to find –female jag shifter. Jag queens exist only in the elders’ stories, but someone staked out a she-cat like poacher bait.

In a fit of primal instinct, Jaime marks Kelsi as his mate. Now, no other female will arouse him. To avoid a long celibate life, he is forced to woo his reluctant mate-to-be. But first, he must keep her alive.

Excerpt from your book:

Chapter One

Tears blurred Kelsi Gorman’s view of David’s body, face down in the mud, only feet from her in the tight Amazon clearing. His camera pack rested against his side with a strap still looped over one shoulder. She was too terrified to mourn, as her grief-numbing dread consumed her.

A few yards to the south, a limp, muddied jaguar appeared just as dead. Wire cable stretched taut from a rust-colored front paw to a tree-embedded anchor about knee high. Jungle-floor sludge painted over her rosettes.

Kelsi almost wished the poachers had tranquilized her, too. Twine scored her wrists secured behind a tree trunk. Her hidden hands trembled with mounting panic as she picked at the knotted hemp.

A twenty-something Brazilian with coffee-toned skin stepped toward her, his pungent body odor preceding him. He stood nose to nose to her five-foot-seven height. Dark eyes scanned her body. Kelsi turned from his scrutiny and swallowed against the stench.

His steel rifle barrel lifted her chin. He turned a questioning look to his partner. Kelsi stilled. This was it. She strained to catch meaning in their Portuguese. “Carlos? Green eyes … sell … Manaus. Good money.”

Sexual enslavement terrified her, but also ignited hope. Stay alive. Traffickers dealt in drugs, exotic animals, and human cargo—and Brazil was a hotbed for all three. These poachers would be connected to the slave trade. An escape into Manaus, the capital of Amazonas, seemed possible, unlike here, surrounded by savage rainforest.

Stocky, with close-cropped, graying hair, and equally fragrant, Carlos appeared in charge. His hands stilled on a portable cage he assembled. “Too old, Julio! White … United States!”

Bile rose to Kelsi’s throat. She tilted her head and widened her eyes, willing the older man to find her marketable, a challenge, since her shoulder-length, chestnut hair stuck to her face in damp clumps. Nor did her sweat-ringed shirt and baggy pants show her figure to any advantage.

Disgust plain on his face, Carlos berated his partner, gesturing to David’s body. They spoke too fast for Kelsi’s elementary Portuguese. But apparently, Julio had erred when he killed her photographer.

If they didn’t sell her… Kelsi’s blood ran cold

Finally, Carlos leveled a black-eyed glare at Julio. “Police … kill her.”

Julio sent Kelsi a startled look. For an instant, she thought he’d refuse. A defeated expression lined his face before he pulled his gaze away.

Heart pounding a staccato beat, she pushed back at the eruption that clawed inside her chest. Not now! Panic-filled eyes would give her away. If the poachers realized she understood them, she’d lose her only advantage. She jerked her gaze to the tangled foliage behind them.

Deafening bird racket burst from the canopy high above. As the pandemonium died down, a cough came from the undergrowth. The poachers froze. Both men leapt to the center of the space and stood back to back. Carlos lifted a tranquilizer rifle against his shoulder, loaded a dart, and slammed the bolt into firing position. Julio mirrored him with his own lethal weapon.

They turned in sync, scanning the green morass. Kelsi shuddered when the business end of Julio’s loaded rifle passed over her. Behind the two men, giant spade-shaped leaves pulsed as a shadow moved between them. Her heart jumped under her sternum. Maybe the cowardly guide she’d hired had returned. She dared to hope for a rescue.

“I’m an American! U.S. Army Rangers will come for me!” She shouted nonsense to distract the two men. Unless the no-good jungle expert returned, she and the poachers were the only humans within fifty miles.

Carlos gave her a dismissive glance, but appeared satisfied nothing lurked outside the clearing. Julio ignored her and paced to the immobile cat.

“I’m so sorry,” she whispered to David. Tears streamed her face.

She’d lured him to his death with promises of publication in the National Geographic. An article on a black jaguar, rumored to be the size of a saber-toothed tiger, had meant so much to her. Now, she’d join David.

Carlos strode to the man’s body and pulled it to its side. No longer flaccid, the corpse turned board-like. Various sized ants traveled his skin, already doing Mother Nature’s work. Nausea churned her stomach. If rigor mortis had set in, she’d been tied up for at least two hours.

After taking their wallets from their backpacks, Carlos grabbed the camera and used his machete to cut the strap from David’s neck. He fumbled the memory card from its slot then dropped the high-end Canon into the mud.

Images of the two poachers charging the thrashing jaguar had earned David a bullet to the chest.

Idiota.” Carlos spat at the ground. With a booted foot, he shoved David back into the muck. The wet slurp broke something inside her.

“You disgusting pig! Don’t touch him!” Angry sobs punctuated her outburst. Without sparing her a glance, Carlos joined Julio near the unconscious jaguar.

Kelsi scanned her surroundings with new determination. Trees, a couple feet apart, reached skyward in a palisade-style cage while congested vines and ferns defended the ground beneath. All home to myriad toxic plants and venomous creatures. Beyond the jungle gauntlet—a three-day hike to the north—lay the only route to civilization, a caiman-infested river. Escape would be short-lived, but she had to try.

A few feet away, Carlos propped his machete against a stump. “Cage … jaguar.”

Kelsi plotted her moves to escape her bonds. She’d grab the blade, decapitate Julio, and run Carlos through mid-body. The men struggled to load the cat into the kennel. Both laid their guns down to use their hands. Her best shot at freedom had materialized.

With all her might, she jerked her left arm once, then twice to no avail.

Carlos and Julio turned toward her as one. Julio retrieved his rifle as he rose. Time to pay for her long-odds wager. Black seeped into her vision. Tears obscured her executioner’s face. “Please, Julio. Don’t.”

He didn’t meet her eyes. The squish of his mired steps halted at her side. Metal grated as the rifle’s bolt slid back. A round clicked into the chamber. Cool steel pressed to her temple.

“Our Father, who…” Her shaky words trailed away.

Buy links:

Evernight Publishing


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