Posts Categorized: Excerpt

Release Day – Surrender the Dark – Tibby Armstrong – Contest & Excerpt

May 23, 2017 Contest, Excerpt 1

As a provocative series of paranormal temptation begins, a vampire king seduces the supernaturally gifted man hunting him. But when the stakes are literally life or death, their struggle for control is no game.

Benjamin Fuller is a hunter, born and bred. Blinded as a child by the vampire who slaughtered his family, he’s blessed with a second sight that allows him to catch and kill his quarry. What his gift can’t help him see coming is his fierce, almost carnal attraction to the mystery man who claims to be a fellow hunter and whose touch triggers both lust and revulsion. When he gains the upper hand, Benjamin vows to bring his enemy to his knees.

After many years spent in exile, the only one who can help restore Tzadkiel Dragoumanos to his rightful place as War King is a blind hunter with golden curls, a lithe dancer’s physique, and distinctive facial scars—scars Tzadkiel gave him two decades ago. The mere scent of Benjamin Fuller provokes an unwelcome rush of insatiable desire. Yet to win an all-out supernatural war, Tzadkiel must resist the ravenous hunger to possess his prey—for now.

Purchase:

Kindle – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D7CJ3Z0/

Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/surrender-the-dark-tibby-armstrong/1123563499?ean=9780399593352

iBooks – https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/surrender-the-dark/id1139530733?mt=11&at=1001lmSp

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/surrender-the-dark-1

GooglePlay – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Tibby_Armstrong_Surrender_the_Dark?id=1ajFCwAAQBAJ

 

Excerpt:

Benjamin jerked back at the contact with Tzadkiel’s mouth and attempted to shove the vampire away. Tzadkiel, however, was quicker. Hand gripping Benjamin’s nape in a way that spoke of centuries—perhaps millennia—of practice, Tzadkiel held him immobile. The royal purple aura flashed and brightened with something Benjamin’s hunter-senses recognized as desire. Flesh, warm and supple, not marble hard and cold, met Benjamin’s lips.

The vampire kisses like a human.

Benjamin’s first thought struck him as absurd, and then he couldn’t think at all. Lips that had begged him for water, for silence, for life, now demanded passion. Sparks of white and deep mauve obscured the subterranean world around him, focusing his attention on the flash-bang of his arousal. As before, contact with the vampire blew him apart from the inside. Adrenaline, fear, animal instinct, all combined to light his nerves with an awareness he’d only experienced when fighting the heinous creatures. In short, he felt alive.

Lungs burning, Benjamin gasped when Tzadkiel let him up for air, then pulled his nemesis in for more. Drunk with lust, he barely registered voices in the tunnel, or the polite cough and tap on his shoulder. Taste. He needed to taste. Plunging his tongue into a rough and tumble battle with Tzadkiel’s, he tasted his own blood on the vampire’s tongue. Tzadkiel growled and clamped his hand more insistently on Benjamin’s nape, forcing him to open his mouth until every spare inch of his world was filled with a different kind of mayhem. Tinged with smoke and salt and a warm earthy essence, Tzadkiel tasted of nightmares laced with forbidden desire. A one-hit addict, Benjamin couldn’t get enough of the resulting rush.

The cough and tap came again, more insistent this time. Benjamin shrugged it off, refusing to rouse from this wonderful dream, and attempted to fall back to sleep—to fall back into to Tzadkiel’s embrace.

About the author:

Tibby Armstrong has been a romance reader since the age of eleven, when she snuck a very bad historical from her aunt’s shelves. In her late twenties, she fell in love with paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Now she writes LGBT contemporary and paranormal stories with strong relationship threads and a healthy helping of steam.
Website: http://www.tibbyarmstrong.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tibby-Armstrong-1609473992626766/?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tibbyarmstrong

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tibbyarmstrong/

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/bJv_lD

 

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Kelli Ireland Double Release Week! Contest!

April 5, 2017 Excerpt, Harlequin 1

Saturday was the release day of TWO Kelli Ireland books: Conquering the Cowboy and The Immortal’s Unrequited Bride.

Conquering the Bride Kelli’s fourth cowboy romance set in New Mexico and features a rugged cowboy who handles climbing recertification, and Taylor, a search and rescue team lead who is struggling with a traumatic climbing mission gone wrong.

The Immortal’s Unrequited Bride is the third book in the Assassin’s Arcanum Series featuring sexy Irish Druid Assassins and the ladies that love them.

 

Trusting him is dangerous…

When a mission goes disastrously wrong, search-and-rescue team lead Taylor Williams is left with indescribable terror at the prospect of climbing. But she knows she has to face her fear to overcome it. Now she’s at a ranch in New Mexico, where her climbing recertification is in the hands of cowboy climber Quinn Monroe. Only this devilishly handsome rancher is about as friendly as a spur in the backside…

As they prepare for the climb, Taylor can’t ignore Quinn’s rugged physicality. The scorching heat between them helps distract Taylor from her fear, but her growing feelings make spending time with him dangerous. In the end, conquering her past may be a small feat compared to conquering this cowboy…

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Excerpt:

Quinn rarely delved into the emotional side of his life. Hell, rarely was actually more like never. It was foreign territory, somewhere he didn’t go. So wandering around there with Taylor, a virtual stranger, left him out of sorts.

Struggling to find his balance, both in the situation and with the woman, he asked the first question that came to mind. “When did you start climbing?”

She blinked up at him, obviously caught off guard. “I, uh…” She shook her head and laughed, the sound slightly self-deprecating. “Last thing I thought you’d ask.”

“What would’ve been the first?”

A shadow passed over her face, piquing his curiosity, but the pallor that followed and settled over her cheeks told him he’d hit on something significant. “Maybe later.”

He shrugged with feigned nonchalance. “Tell me about your first climb, then.”

“I summited on my first climb, though it was admit- tedly an easy attempt. I was fifteen.” She picked at a loose thread on her shirt and didn’t look up when she elaborated on her answer. “It was a stupid thing, really. Our family vacation was to the West Coast, and I was hell-bent on doing something different. I used my allowance to hire a beginner’s guide.”

“Hefty allowance.”

She shrugged, dismissing the observation. “I saved.” Then she looked up and smiled, the move changing the entire disposition of her face. “One of the best investments I’ve ever made.”

Quinn had to clear his throat for his voice to come out as more than an approving grunt. I’ve gone Neanderthal. Great. “So, I take it you liked it?”

Taylor shook her head. “No. I didn’t like it. I loved it. For the first time in my life, I was free. My well-being, my very survival was in my hands and the hands of my belay partner. I was free from the confines of…” Her voice faded even as her gaze darted away again. “Sounds pretty pathetic, I’m sure.”

Quite the opposite, actually. He could relate, having found himself in the same spot, but at eleven years old, not fifteen. “The first time I set foot on a mountain with the sole intent to climb, I was lost to it. When I summited?” He grinned. “I swore I’d never come down. I was eleven. Turned out supper was a bigger impetus to a preteen boy than making a statement about his newfound love, and I ended up back home before dark.”

She snorted. “I feel like a bit of a voyeur, getting such a personal glimpse into your life.”

Quinn chuckled. “It’s not too personal. The entire town watched me grow up and more than half were compelled to provide running commentary. There’s never much pri- vacy in a town this small. Someone’s always got something to say about what you’re doing or how you’re doing it.”

“What’s it like, always having people around who know you or know what you’ve been up to?”

She appeared fascinated at the intimacies of living out here, so he went on to tell her more about his childhood and what ranch life was like, leaving out most of the hard- ships and sharing the high points.

Several anecdotes in, she held up her hand to stop him so she could catch the breath laughter had stolen. “Uncle. I’m calling uncle already. I can’t take any more.” Wiping her face, she shook her head. “It sounds wonderful.”

“It had its moments,” he admitted, surprising himself a little with the truth. Memories he’d dragged up and let roll around for fun caught him somewhere just behind his heart, and they shocked him. He’d never looked at his childhood like this, never recognized how much he’d been part of a home, not just on the ranch but in the county.

“Sounds like it was a great way to grow up.”

He nodded, unable to put into words everything that rolled around inside his head…and heart. Instead, he slapped on his hat and nodded at her, touching the brim as a matter of courtesy. “I’ve got to finish up chores. The horses and our mammoth donkey, Cob, will be up at the gate ready for their dinner.”

“Your donkey’s name is Cob?” She looked up at Quinn, brow furrowed. “Is it because he eats corn cobs?”

The laugh surprised even Quinn, rolling up from deep inside him, a sound he hadn’t issued since long before the funeral—an authentic, heartfelt, genuine laugh. Ignoring the way Taylor stared at him, he shook his head and rubbed his upper lip. “Cob got his name when he was born. C-o-b stands for cranky old bastard.”

“And he got the name when he was a baby?”

“Sometimes animals, and people, are born as old souls. He was one of them.” Quinn glanced at the door, the per- sonal nature of the conversation making him antsy. “I’ll need to get the stock fed and put up for the night before I can call it a day. My intent is to get started on your ground- work tomorrow after breakfast.”

Her eyes widened. “Okay.”

His internal barometer shifted, dropping into the Trou- ble’s Brewing range. Shifting so he was square in front of her, though several feet away, he asked, “You okay with that plan or is there a problem?”

“It’s fine,” she blurted out, the words all but tumbling over each other.

“Okay,” Quinn said. He needed to get out of here and gain some personal space and, with any luck, perspective. “I’ll see you in the morning, then. G’night.”

Flustered, Quinn pushed through the screen door, crossed the porch and took the cottage steps two at a time. His booted feet hit the pathway with a whump. He didn’t pause and definitely didn’t look back. Rounding the cor- ner of the house, he started across the field toward the barn and the last of his nightly chores. Not that bringing Taylor dinner had been a chore. He’d…enjoyed himself, had enjoyed chatting and talking about things he hadn’t thought of in years.

Ahead, in the near dark, a horse nickered and the don- key’s bray punctuated the greeting with a demand for food. After seeing to those animals he could hang up his hat and crawl into bed…where his mind would likely defy him and drag up Taylor’s image.

Like it did now.

As Quinn walked between the cottage and the barn, twi- light ceded to nightfall and shadows stretched and deep- ened, seemingly in time with each step that carried him farther away from the cottage.

From the surprising comfort he’d found.

From her.

 

A love that endures beyond death itself…

Ethan Kemp is a healer, not an assassin. But he’s found an unexpected home in the Irish stronghold that houses the Assassin’s Arcanum—men who will kill to protect their Druid brethren. Too bad there’s a ghost that won’t give him peace…

Centuries in the grave, Isibéal Cannavan has longed to be reunited with her beloved. Finally, he’s returned to her. She’d recognize Lachlan anywhere, even as an American warlock called Ethan. But her path to reuniting with him in the land of the living runs through hell itself, and she’ll have to take Ethan with her…

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Excerpt:

Ethan pressed the heels of his hands to his temples and slowly shook his head. “So much. All of it? At least most of it.” He slid down the wall at his back until he sat, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. “I need to talk to her to be sure, though.”

Rowan’s eyes narrowed. “Explain.”
“I’m not sure how.”
“Try.”
Cool air brushed over his forehead, and Ethan knew she hovered at his side. Listening.
Letting his head fall back, he gently thumped his skull on the stone wall. “I remember her, us, growing up together. I remember days playing by the loch, nights by the campfire telling scary stories. I remember Iz curling up next to me for protection. Gods, I ate that up.” He smiled. “She knew it, too. She always seemed to know. “There was my first magick and then hers, our skills growing in tandem. There was our first kiss,” he mur- mured, closing his eyes, “and the night I proposed to her, thinking to be romantic. Our wedding day…and night. “Four years we were married, Rowan. Before that? I called her my own for every day I knew her as Lachlan. Marriage only added another level of knowing. Of… intimacy.” Ethan couldn’t stop the pained, animalistic sound that escaped him.
“And then?” Rowan asked.
Grief and rage and loss warred within him, none more dominant than the other, until revenge settled into the mix. “She was taken from me,” Ethan said with cold quiet. “Her life was cut short by Sean, a man who thought it his right to give and take as he saw fit. My brother,” Ethan spat even as he clutched his shirt over his heart and pulled. “He… Gods, save me, I saw…”

“Enough,” Rowan said gently, not looking at him but, seemingly, at nothing.

Ethan knew better. He looked in the same direction, resented that he couldn’t see her, hear her, touch her. Pressing his hand flat over his chest, he bowed his head. “I can’t even kill him, seeing as he’s probably already dead.” He sighed. “I can’t remember.”

A heavy, male hand landed on his shoulder. “Sean Cannavan was cast out of the Arcanum and shunned by all Druids when I was a wee lad. It was never known why by any of the elders. There’s a chance your brother lives, but if he does? He’s lost everything, Ethan. Sean was infamously banished. The decree set down by the Elder’s Council said he was never to be acknowledged by a Druid again. He was sent into a life of absolute exile, Ethan. Not much you can do that’s worse than that.”

Ethan smiled, slow and sure. “You’ve never seen me lose my temper.”

“No one’s heard from him in centuries. As far as I know, he’s presumed dead. How do you intend to avenge someone who’s already dead?”

He glanced at Rowan. “Helps to have a friend who sees dead people.”

“I won’t be responsible for helping you strike out blindly. Only heartache comes from foolishness.”

Ethan shot to his feet and gripped Rowan by the bi- ceps, ignoring the man’s pointed look. “If she was yours? If you could set to rights your own loss? And if not that, at least deliver some semblance of justice that might, might, let you sleep at night?”

Rowan went rigid as he closed his eyes. “Aye, man. I’d do whatever was necessary.” Then he looked at Ethan. “Whatever was necessary.”

“Then you’ll understand that I need to borrow your power. I need to talk to her.”

The giant Druid’s eyebrows shot to his hairline at the same time a cold gust of air blew over Ethan.

He spun toward the disturbance. “Isibéal?”

The window to his right exploded outward and rained glass down the side of the keep, the merry, tinkling sound in direct opposition to the violent war of emotions that raged within him.

Isibéal was gone.

Ethan stared out into the night sky and rested one hand over his heart.

He would find a way to touch her, hold her, save her from an eternity of nothingness and avenge the wrong done her—them—if those were the last things he did.

And they very well might be.

About Kelli

Kelli Ireland spent more than a decade as a name on a door in corporate America. Unexpectedly liberated by Fate’s sense of humor, she chose to carpe the diem and pursue her passion for writing. Ever a fan of happily-ever-afters, she discovered she loved being the Puppet Master for the most unlikely couples. Seeing them through the best and worst of each other while helping them survive the joys and disasters of falling in love? Best. Thing. Ever.

You can find out more about Kelli by visiting her website at www.kelliireland.com.

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Release Day Excerpt – The Angels’ Share – J.R. Ward

July 26, 2016 Excerpt 0

Angel

Blurb:

#1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward delivers the second novel in her Bourbon Kings series—a sweeping saga of a Southern dynasty struggling to maintain a façade of privilege and prosperity, while secrets and indiscretions threaten its very foundation…

In Charlemont, Kentucky, the Bradford family is the crème de la crème of high society—just like their exclusive brand of bourbon. And their complicated lives and vast estate are run by a discrete staff who inevitably become embroiled in their affairs. This is especially true now, when the apparent suicide of the family patriarch is starting to look more and more like murder…

No one is above suspicion—especially the eldest Bradford son, Edward. The bad blood between him and his father is known far and wide, and he is aware that he could be named a suspect. As the investigation into the death intensifies, he keeps himself busy at the bottom of a bottle—as well as with his former horse trainer’s daughter. Meanwhile, the family’s financial future lies in the perfectly manicured hands of a business rival, a woman who wants Edward all to herself.

Everything has consequences; everybody has secrets. And few can be trusted. Then, at the very brink of the family’s demise, someone thought lost to them forever returns to the fold. Maxwell Bradford has come home. But is he a savior…or the worst of all the sinners?

Now for some fun…  In honor of the release today (my review tomorrow) here is a little excerpt to get you wanting to read this:

Toyota trucks were not supposed to go seventy-five miles an hour. Especially when they were ten years old.

At least the driver was wide awake, even though it was four a.m.

Lizzie King had a death grip on the steering wheel, and her foot on the accelerator was actually catching floor as she headed for a rise in the highway.

She had woken up in her bed at her farmhouse alone. Ordinarily, that would have been the status quo, but not anymore, not now that Lane was back in her life. The wealthy playboy and the estate’s gardener had finally gotten their act together, love bonding two unlikelies closer and stronger than the molecules of a diamond.

And she was going to stand by him, no matter what the future held.

After all, it was so much easier to give up extraordinary wealth when you had never known it, never aspired to it—and especially when you had seen behind its glittering curtain to the sad, desolate desert on the far side of the glamour and prestige.

God, the stress Lane was under.

And so out of bed she had gotten. Down the creaking stairs she had gone. And all around her little house’s first floor she had wandered.

When Lizzie had looked outside, she’d discovered his car was missing, the Porsche he drove and parked beside the maple by her front porch nowhere to be seen. And as she had wondered why he had left without telling her, she had begun to worry.

Just a matter of nights since his father had killed himself, only a matter of days since William Baldwine’s body had been found on the far side of the Falls of the Ohio. And ever since then Lane’s face had had a faraway look, his mind churning always with the missing money, the divorce papers he had served on the rapacious Chantal, the status of the household bills, the precarious situation at the Bradford Bourbon Company, his brother Edward’s terrible physical condition, Miss Aurora’s illness.

But he hadn’t said a thing about any of it. His insomnia had been the only sign of the pressure, and that was what scared her. Lane always made an effort to be composed around her, asking her about her work in Easterly’s gardens, rubbing her bad shoulder, making her dinner, usually badly, but who cared. Ever since they had gotten the air cleared between them and had fully recommitted to their relationship, he had all but moved into her farmhouse—and as much as she loved having him with her, she had been waiting for the implosion to occur.

It would almost have been easier if he had been ranting and raving.

And now she feared that time had come—and some sixth sense made her terrified about where he had gone. Easterly, the Bradford Family Estate, was the first place she thought of. Or maybe the Old Site, where his family’s bourbon was still made and stored. Or perhaps Miss Aurora’s Baptist church?

Yes, Lizzie had tried him on his phone. And when the thing had rung on the table on his side of the bed, she hadn’t waited any longer after that. Clothes on. Keys in hand. Out to the truck.

No one else was on I-64 as she headed for the bridge to get across the river, and she kept the gas on even as she crested the hill and hit the decline to the river’s edge on the Indiana side. In response, her old truck picked up even more speed along with a death rattle that shook the wheel and the seat, but the damn Toyota was going to hold it together because she needed it to.

“Lane . . . where are you?”

God, all the times she had asked him how he was and he’d said, “Fine.” All those opportunities to talk that he hadn’t taken her up on. All the glances she’d shot him when he hadn’t been looking her way, all the time her monitoring for signs of cracking or strain. And yet there had been little to no emotion after that one moment they’d had together in the garden, that private, sacred moment when she had sought him out under the blooms of the fruit trees and told him that she’d gotten it wrong about him, that she had misjudged him, that she was prepared to make a pledge to him with the only thing she had: the deed to her farmhouse—which was exactly the kind of asset that could be sold to help pay for the lawyers’ fees as he fought to save his family.

Lane had held her, and told her he loved her—and refused her gift, explaining he was going to fix everything himself, that he was going to somehow find the stolen money, pay back the enormous debt, right the company, resurrect his family’s fortunes.

And she had believed him.

She still did.

But ever since then? He had been both as warm and closed off as a space heater, physically present and completely disengaged at the same time.

Lizzie did not blame him in the slightest.

It was strangely terrifying, however.

Off in the distance, across the river, Charlemont’s business district glowed and twinkled, a false, earthbound galaxy that was a lovely lie, and the bridge that connected the two shores was still lit up in spring green and bright pink for Derby, a preppy rainbow to that promised land. The good news was that there was no traffic, so as soon as Lizzie was on the other side, she could take the River Road exit off the highway, shoot north to Easterly’s hill, and see if his car was parked in front of the mansion.

Then she didn’t know what she was going to do.

The newly constructed bridge had three lanes going in both directions, the concrete median separating east from west tall and broad for safety purposes. There were rows of white lights down the middle, and everything was shiny, not just from the illumination, but a lack of exposure to the elements. Construction had only finished in March, and the first lines of traffic had made the crossing in early April, cutting rush-hour delays down—

Up ahead, parked in what was actually the “slow” lane, was a vehicle that her brain recognized before her eyes properly focused on it.

Lane’s Porsche. It was Lane’s—

Lizzie nailed the brake pedal harder than she’d been pounding the accelerator, and the truck made the transition from full-force forward to full-on stop with the grace of a sofa falling out a second-story window: Everything shuddered and shook, on the verge of structural disintegration, and worse, there was barely any change in velocity, as if her Toyota had worked too hard to gain the speed and wasn’t going to let the momentum go without a fight—

There was a figure on the edge of the bridge. On the very farthest edge of the bridge. On the lip of the bridge over the deadly drop.

“Lane,” she screamed. “Lane!”

Her truck went into a spin, pirouetting such that she had to wrench her head around to keep him in her sights. And she jumped out before the Toyota came to a full stop, leaving the gearshift in neutral, the engine running, the door open in her wake.

“Lane! No! Lane!”

Lizzie pounded across the pavement and surmounted barriers that seemed flimsy, too flimsy, given the distance down to the river.

Lane jerked his head around—

And lost one hold of the rail behind him.

As his grip slipped, shock registered on his face, a flash of surprise . . . that was immediately replaced by horror.

When he fell off into nothing but air.

Lizzie’s mouth could not open wide enough to release her scream.

 

 

Posted by arrangement with New American Library, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © J.R. Ward, 2016.

 

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J.R. Ward is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with more than 15 million novels in print published in 25 different countries around the world.  The books in her popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series have held the #1 spot on the New York Times hardcover, mass market, eBook, and combined print/eBook fiction bestseller lists and have debuted in the top 5 on the USA Today bestseller list.  Prior to her writing career, Ward worked as a lawyer in Boston and spent many years as the Chief of Staff of one of Harvard’s world-renowned academic medical centers.  Ward currently lives with her family in Kentucky where she has learned to enjoy and appreciate all things Southern.  Connect with her online at www.jrward.com, Facebook.com/JRWardBooks, and Twitter.com/JRWard1

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