Showing posts with label Evernight Publishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Evernight Publishing. Show all posts

May 11, 2017

#MFRWauthor Shari Elder takes part in the Race to Redemption on #Thursday 13

By day, #MFRWauthor Shari Elder saves cities. By night, she builds them—on Saturn’s rings, under a lilac bush, in a coral reef – then packs them full of shifters, vampires, Olympian gods, extra-terrestrials or whatever else comes into her head. In all these wondrous worlds, romance and passion blossom, since she cannot resist writing a happy ending, especially for those who have given up on ever getting one. Now that's satisfaction.
                                       Race to Redemption,
                                                           Green Rising #1
   Genre Erotica Sci-Fi/Futuristic
 Publisher  Evernight publishing
Blurb
A woman who lost everything.

Intergalactic storm racing champion Elaina Carteret had it all—fame, wealth, men—until a horrific accident took it away. To get it back, she agrees to pose as Lainie Carter, medical transport pilot and corporate spy. Her risk-taking attitude infuriates Dr. Erik Johansen, who runs the medical outpost with an iron hand, a permanent scowl and the tightest bod on the planet.

A man desperate for redemption.

Unable to forgive himself for a past tragedy, Erik works himself into an early grave. He has no patience for the insubordinate Lainie Carter, who can’t take an order, disrupts routine, and flames his body to ash.

A planet at risk.

When the outpost is attacked, they're thrown together in a race across the desert to stop a deadly biogenetic weapon. As a fragile trust blossoms between two damaged hearts, their pasts resurface and threaten their growing bond.
Be Warned: anal sex, bondage, menage sex, gender neutral characters.
 




Buy link: Amazon

 Thirteen Favorite Villains

1. Roy Batty, the lead replicant in Blade Runner, who rebels and kills humans on his quest to live longer than the four years of life given to replicants.
2. Borg Queen, because she made being a villainess sexy, but so very powerful.
3. Cersei from Game of Thrones, because she might have been great, if the times and her family gave her the credit she was due, but instead she had to take it for herself.
4. Fairy Godmother in Shrek 2 because I love it when traditionally good characters are used as the villain.
5. Gollum in the Lord of the Rings, who didn’t really choose to be a villain, but fell prey to his own weaknesses when exposed to the ring of power.
6. Hans Gruber, the baddie in Die Hard. That was my first introduction to Alan Rickman, and the actor and this villain remain on the top of my list.
7. Khan, especially Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal, in Star Trek into Darkness, because he rocked a villain who loved his followers, even if they thought everyone else was at the level of a gnat.
8. Master/Mistress on Dr. Who because its Dr. Who’s greatest nemesis, and the longing to redeem the time lord crushes Dr. Who’s soul, creating phenomenal conflict.
9. Q from Star Trek, because his unpredictability is what made him do dangerous, reminding us we can’t always out think villains using logic.
10. Voldemort, because he made Harry Potter the hero he was, and the story reminds us that often, it’s the choices we make that shapes the path to goodness or villainy.
11. Loki, because he’s a trickster and an arrogant sod, whoever now and again shows a hint or two of humanity, or at least we think he does.
And the last two are my own.
12. Tij, in Race to Redemption, who is a hero to some, but has an intergalactic agenda most won’t agree with.
13. Amaris, the insane wildling fae in my soon to be released Unnatural Allies, who does it all to create a better future for a children.


 You can find Shari here:
Website
Blog-2
Twitter

Facebook 
Pinterest
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Aug 21, 2015

#MFRWauthor BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Shakedown @MRoth_author

Shakedown

Diamond and Diamond Private Investigators 1
Michelle Roth
Erotic Suspense, Thriller, Mystery
Evernight Publishing

Private Detective Mike Diamond is the low man on the totem pole. More often than not he finds himself investigating insurance fraud or cheating spouses. When he's assigned a dog-napping case, he is on the brink of refusing until he meets the client. One look at her changes everything.

When the police refuse to investigate her case, Cassidy Werner turns to Diamond and Diamond Private Investigators. Despite the bad first impression he's given her, Cassidy still hires Mike to help her find her prize Tibetan Mastiff. As she gets to know him, she realizes that he's not only dedicated to getting Roddy back for her, but also a pretty great guy.

Right after she receives a ransom demand, things begin to heat up between them. Will Mike be able to crack the case and save her dog? And if he can, does that mean that he gets the girl too?

Diamond and Diamond: Cold as ice undercover, smokin' hot between the sheets... BUY LINK

EXCERPT
He was relieved to find the lobby was empty, so he stopped back at Lara's desk and asked, “Can you believe that shit? A dog napping?”
He didn't think for a minute she hadn't overheard every word. That woman was like the KGB and Secret Service all in one. Anything happened in this office, she had it under immediate surveillance.
Lara cuffed him on the arm and said, “She's in the bathroom, idiot.”
Mike winced, feeling bad he'd probably been overheard. But, seriously, who hired a PI to find a lost dog?
Seconds later, the bathroom door slowly opened. He almost did a double take as the woman stepped out. Aside from red eyes that had clearly been crying, she was a looker.
She was elegantly dressed and somewhere near his age, with a riot of auburn curls trailing down her back, like some sort of mermaid siren. All ripe, lush curves. He'd always liked his women soft.
And, he was ogling this obviously distraught woman like she was a steak. Not that he wouldn't be more than interested in taking a bite, but it was clear that now wasn't the time. So instead of voicing his thoughts, he stuck his hand out and said, “Mike Diamond. And you are?” 
“Cassidy Werner,” she said, not bothering to stick her hand out.
Well, apparently she'd heard him. He'd need to apologize, if the look on her face was any indication. He dropped his hand and said, “My office is this way.”
She gave him a look that screamed 'You're on thin ice, buddy' but moved toward the open office door that Mike had gestured to. He followed her, once again appreciating the hourglass waist and full hips. Damn.
He moved behind his desk and gestured to one of the worn chairs. When she had settled in, he asked, “So I understand your dog has been kidnapped?”
ABOUT Michelle Roth
Michelle Roth is a novelist from the Great White North (Toronto, ON). When she’s not disappearing into foreign lands, or making two perfect strangers that she invented fall in love, she’s probably curled up somewhere with a glass of wine and a good book.
http://www.twitter.com/mroth_author
http://www.michelleroth.net
http://www.google.com/+MichelleRothAuthor
https://www.facebook.com/mrothauthor
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8178847.Michelle_Roth
http://www.amazon.com/Michelle-Roth/e/B00KQNZOAW/

Apr 27, 2015

#MFRWauthor @MichaelaRhua delivers a *MOON DANCE* BOOK SPOTLIGHT

Moon Dance
Moon Maidens, Book 1
Michaela Rhua
Evernight Publishing

A night of sex was just what Raya was looking for. Only meeting Amari set her insides on fire and she has to have more of the Indian beauty. Witches and shifters aren’t meant to bond, but Raya and Amari can’t ignore the chemistry flowing between them.

Trouble strikes the lovers when a past trauma hits Raya, and Amari’s mother could be to blame. When Raya has a chance to get even with the old witch, that revenge reveals secrets that throw everything Raya believes into question.

Can the lovers unite to help Raya find her true self or is it all too late?

ABOUT Michaela Rhua
Michaela Rhua always dreamed of writing but this never happened until she met the lovely group of ladies known as UCW. Their passion for writing and encouragement inspired her to see if she could do it too. Now she is a published and loves writing!

She has teenage children who also keep her busy. However, it is whilst travelling into work that she has time to create her characters and imagine other places in which they exist as her world skims by the window.

Website: http://michaelarhuaauthor.weebly.com/
Blog: http://www.michaelarhuaauthor.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MichaelaRhua
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/michaelarhua/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MichaelaRhua

Sep 28, 2014

Some Quick 'N Quirky Questions for #MFRWauthor @LaceDaltyn

MFRW asked Lace Daltyn some quick questions. Read her quirky answers...
Lace Daltyn lives in the shadow of the majestic Mount Rainier in the Pacific Northwest, where she writes sensual stories about fantasies fulfilled. She settled down with a man whose first words to her were "Save me a dance." That's all it took. Four little words and she was a goner. Twenty years later, she still remembers that first kiss, standing beside his very cool Ford Mustang. That kiss, and the future love it represented, is the reason she enjoys stories filled with romance and emotion. And dancing. Always dancing.

If money were not an object, where would you most like to live? Alaska. Maybe around Fairbanks. There's something about the idea of hibernating, but still having enough civilization around to keep me human, that I love. :)

What song would best describe your life? That's easy, since I just listened to it again the other day. Poems, Prayers, and Promises by the late, great, John Denver. ""I have to say it now, it's been good life all in all, it's really fine to have a chance to hang around.""

If you were on a reality show, what one would it be? Amazing Race. I'm hooked on that show and would love to chase around the world. Of course, I'm also a bit, um, impatient, so I'm not certain how far I'd make it.

If you were stranded on a tropical island, who would it be with? You can choose any living, deceased or mythical figure. Aragorn. Definitely. I like the tall, dark, and quiet types. :)

If you were a tool, what would people use you to do? I'd be paper and pen, and people would use me to organize. I'm a huge list-maker and organizer.

Ebook or paperback? Both. I love traveling with my eReader, but also love turning the tech off sometimes with a paperback. Both work for me.

What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you? Do I have any pets? Yep. One. A 17-pound cat named Dude who rules the house and kicks me out of my office chair for his naps.

Lace Daltyn released Masquerade (Secrets, Book 1), an erotic contemporary romance, with Evernight Publishing in May 2014.

BLURB
Book One: Masquerade
Frigid bitch. The words seep into Beth Ritmour's soul, no matter how hard she tries to deny them. A year after her divorce, they still haunt her. So when a mysterious benefactor offers a solution to her problem, Beth takes a vacation from her job as a dental hygienist and follows a cryptic note to Chicago, where she’s soon ensconced as a waitress at Club Masquerade. Although how she’s going to prove she’s not frigid is hard to figure out when the boss makes it very clear that sex, or any precursors to sex, with patrons or employees is strictly taboo. It’s not an easy rule to follow, especially when one deliciously hot bartender keeps very, very close tabs on her.

The world is full of secrets...
BUY NOW
Evernight  |  ARE  |  Amazon

EXCERPT
Beth rung the piece of paper in her hands like it was a rag she needed to dry, wondering for the umpteenth time what she had gotten herself into.
As the train slowed in equal measures with her heart’s increasing speed, she spread the note out on her lap, trying to iron the wrinkles out with her hands, and read again what she had committed to memory.
Take the 08:30 train to Chicago. Tickets await you at the on-call window. It is important that you take only this train. Missing it will end your journey before it starts. Upon arrival, make your way to the address listed on the front of this card. Arrive promptly at 1600 hours.
Further instructions await you there.
Beth twirled an escaped tendril of auburn hair around her finger as she searched the simple missive for clues, and then turned to look out the window. The city was a far sight different from the small community she had come to love. Her apartment looked across the Mississippi River to plains filled with knee-high corn this time of year. Here, concrete towers looked angry and foreboding, and the heat of summer only made them shimmer with sinister intent. It seemed different from when she’d lived here. Was it the city or her that had changed?
The screech of train brakes, along with the pervasive smell of diesel-fueled engines and heated steel rails reminded Beth the train had almost come to a stop. The urge to stay, to let the train carry her through the turn-around and back to her home, cemented her to the seat more effectively than sweaty summer skin on leather. This wasn’t like her. She didn’t take off for parts unknown without a single idea what would happen at the other end. Beth clutched the paper to her chest. It would be easy. Just sit here and let the train take her home. Home was safe.
Frigid bitch. Her ex-husband Steve’s words flash-froze her intent to flee. She wasn’t frigid. She knew she wasn’t. Still, like she’d written on the application that had kicked off this journey, if you hear the words often enough, you start to believe them. She’d thought him wrong for the longest time. Before Steve, there had been a brief moment filled with passion she couldn’t seem to recapture. The flash of bodies, of dark hair trailing after liquid kisses in a frenzied moment felt branded in her mind, yet her body no longer registered even the slightest reaction, only the lingering pain of loss.
Beth stared out the window, trying not to remember. The only way to prove her ex wrong was to get off the train. They were in the station. She could hear the passengers around her shuffling through the process of gathering their belongings.
She wiped her hands on her new body-hugging jeans and reached for her luggage, walking off the train on unsteady legs into the humid July heat of Chicago.
CONNECT with Lace Dalton
Website:  http://www.lacedaltyn.com/
Blog:  http://lacedaltyn.wordpress.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lace.daltyn
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LaceDaltyn

Apr 2, 2013

Book Spotlight ~ Christmas Eve ~ @FlameArden #mfrworg


Author:  Flame Arden
Book:  Christmas Eve
Release Date:  December 14, 2012
Publisher:  Evernight Publishing
ISBN: TBA
Genre: Erotic Contemporary
Warnings:  Explicit Sex
Heat Level: R
Format: E-Book





In a blinding snowstorm on Christmas Eve, the jaded owner of a posh Las Vegas casino mistakes the stranded real estate agent at his door for the classy call girl he's expecting to heat up his holiday.
Passions ignite. Eve has learned men believe bedding her the most direct route to her wealth. Nick's female companions always want the keys to his Ferrari and to his safe deposit box, never to his heart, so he distrusts the entire lot and expects to simply walk away unscathed when his brief time with Eve ends.
Neither expects to give marriage a try, but hearts have a way of going where cautious souls refuse, and after screwing their heads off for six days and nights Nick and Eve discover without love their former lives were little more than empty shells.
Mar.

Dec 10, 2012

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Capture the Moment @FlameArden

            Has this ever happened to you?
Just as it's your turn to cross the railroad or trolley tracks lights start flashing and the crossing guard begins a slow descent.
            A myriad of questions besiege you.
            Will those heavy cross arms dent the roof of your new car?
            Should you speed up and try to outrun the approaching train?
            No. Never a good idea.
            The car behind you is too close, so you can't back up. Will your bumper clear the tracks?
            A sinking feeling plummets to the pit of your stomach. If you are too close will the fast approaching trolley drag you and your car with it down the tracks?
            What to do, what to do?
            
Authors, after you miraculously escape, capture the moment. Commit those feelings to memory and capitalize on those emotions. Capture your quandary over whether to stay put or take flight. Later try to recall every emotion that washed through you and made you sweat, from your weakened knees and the sudden dampness of your palms right down to the very real possibility you'd wet your pants. Those emotions correctly captured on the pages of your next WIP will make the reader unable to put down your published novel.
            Suppose your toddler wakes you in the middle of the night, burning up with a high fever. Should you call the doctor? Rush your little one to Urgent Care?
            Is it even open at night?
            ER is, thank God, but during the long wait to be seen by a doctor your child might be exposed to something else, something worse.
            What should you do? Wait and see? Treat the symptoms and pray?
            And what if you smell smoke, but are unable to locate the source?
            Or you're driving down a lonely stretch of highway and the motor quits?
            Or you're home alone and hear the sound of breaking glass?
            Should you call 911? Scream? Get out of the house? Or wait and see what happens next? You don't want to look like a fool by calling the police again, but maybe this time, someone really is trying to break in.
            It's the same when you meet a good looking stranger and feel an instant attraction. Or the stark fear of approaching footsteps as you wait at an unlit bus stop. Or when you barely avoid a traffic accident.  Or experience a first kiss. Or hug a loved one goodbye at the airport?
            What if something happens, you wonder, and your loved one never returns?

            Capture the moment, and those doubts. Every parent has faced this dilemma so most of your readers will have experienced it, too. If you do the job right and capture the emotions the onset of high fever caused, then step-by-terrifying-step describe your indecision and panic on the pages of your manuscript, and your readers will relive that nightmare right along with you.

            Capture the moment, the doubts, the painful, deep ache in your chest the run-away beat of your heart causes, the sudden cold sweat, the indecision.  Make notes on those feelings in a notebook labeled Emotions, or in a computer file.
            This is your chance to make your writing come to life. Use your emotions.  Capture those moments and you'll find yourself referring to your notes again and again.

            In Christmas Eve, my contemporary erotic novel Evernight Publishing will release on December 14th, Real Estate Agent Eve Adohr faces emotional indecision, too. She's snowbound in a mountain cabin with the owner, a total stranger. Should she enjoy a pleasant dinner with the first true romantic she's ever met? Or spend the next three days crouched behind a closed door, senselessly fearing for her life?

            Eve decides to wait and see what Nick's intentions are. Soon, and with no regrets, she is sucked right into his fantasy and garners lifelong memories of her unplanned romantic tryst.

            Here's a blurb:
            In a blinding snowstorm on Christmas Eve, the jaded owner of a posh Las Vegas casino mistakes the stranded real estate agent at his door for the classy call girl he's expecting to heat up his holiday.
            Passions ignite. Eve has learned men believe bedding her the most direct route to her wealth. Nick's female companions always want the keys to his Ferrari and to his safe deposit box, never to his heart, so he distrusts the entire lot and expects to simply walk away unscathed when his brief time with Eve ends.
            Neither expects to give marriage a try, but hearts have a way of going where cautious souls refuse, and after screwing their heads off for six days and nights Nick and Eve discover without love their former lives were little more than empty shells.

            And an excerpt:
            Finally. Nick St. Clair took one last look around. Everything seemed in order. Don't let your irritation at your hired date's tardiness show. She might have a reasonable excuse for being late.
            Straightening the lapels of his hip-length robe, he crossed to the door. Beneath the robe, black silk pajama pants provided minimal warmth but kept him decent.
            "I'm sorry to disturb you," the statuesque woman on his porch said with a bright smile, "but I've done something really stupid and wondered if you—"
            "Don't just stand there." Nick opened the door wider, anxious to see what his credit card had purchased this time. "Come in."
            "Thanks." After a slight hesitation, the woman stepped gracefully inside. Ice crystals clung to the fine wool scarf wrapped loosely around her neck, and to her stylish boots. She was all bundled up in a long coat, but Nick's mind's eye had no difficulty sketching what he hoped was hidden underneath.
            The lady wore far too many clothes.
            "I'm afraid my boots are wet." She glanced first at him. His welcoming smile seemed to stun her. She stared at her boots. "Where would you like me to stand?"
            "By the fire." Nick indicated the hearth. "You look frozen." Although in need of a woman, he had no desire to bed an icicle. He wasn't that desperate. Yet.
            She crossed the room at a slow pace, her fluid movements an aphrodisiac to him, although each tentative step left behind a patch of melting ice. Sex-deprived man that he was, his living room suddenly felt too warm. Things were looking up.
            "I've been busy on the computer," he said, surprised by the sudden gruffness of his usually smooth voice. He joined her before the fire. "I hadn't noticed it had begun to snow."
            A soft-looking, hooded leather coat covered her to her ankles. What lay beneath all those layers?
            To his surprise, the unknown whetted his appetite. "Here, let me help you out of that coat."
            "No."
            No? Her response drew Nick up short.
            "That won't be necessary," she said, her sexy eyes wide. "I'll just keep it on, since I'm hoping we'll be going right back out."
            Out? Was this some sort of sex game played to excite him?
            "Problem is..." She paused, smiling up at him, even daring to bat her eyes.
Unusual eyes, those. Emeralds, flecked with gold, and about all Nick could see of his date at the moment. He found the situation so damned erotic he began to sweat.
"... my car slid in the ditch next door," she added, drawing his thoughts from what treasures her long coat might hide. "I wouldn't bother you, but this mountain seems to be out of my cell phone's service area and I wondered if I might use your phone to call for a tow."
            The dimple nestled in the satiny cheek nearest Nick flirted with him as she spoke. Intriguing. Might as well play along. "Sure."


Flame Arden talks like a well-bred Southern lady. Nothing could be further from the truth. She claims to write sex scenes with squirm factor. You be the judge as she opens the boudoir door to one-man, one-woman relationships and gives you a glimpse inside. A happy and lasting marriage has prepared Flame to write sizzling love scenes, and she doesn't disappoint.

Flame hangs out here:
            http://flamearden.wordpress.com/ 
            http://www.flamearden.com/index.html
            http://www.flamearden.com/page4.html
            http://twitter.com/FlameArden

On December 14th you can download Christmas Eve here:

It will be available that same day from your favorite eBook store!

Sep 7, 2012

An Interview with Nicky Penttila


Today we have the lovely Nicky Penttila here telling us about her latest book.

Where can your readers find you?


Where’s your favorite place to hang out online? Twitter

Tell us about your latest book, including its genre.

A Note of Scandal is a romantic historical novel that takes place in London just after Waterloo. To help a struggling soldier-friend, Miss Olivia Delancey sells her musical composition to Will Marsh, a hard-driving newspaper publisher, and then falls for him. Unfortunately, he is the first of a new breed of newspaper man – the kind who report just the facts, not the spin and never lies. Olivia struggles to keep her secrets from this unsuitably alluring publisher, and Will fights to find the truth without losing his hold on this bright-eyed angel who has descended into his life. Who will win?

What can we expect from you in the future?

Next month my first novella comes out, Babysitting the Billionaire. After writing historical for a while, it was fun to switch gears and write the way regular people talk today! I hope readers enjoy Washington, DC, as a setting, too, because I've got plenty more stories to tell about it. I also have in the works two regency historical stories in unusual settings: Manchester, England, and Galicia, Spain.

Do your fans' comments and letters influence you in any way?

Yes! Comments help me keep going, especially when I get stuck in low gear. Comments also help me decide which story to tell next; my sisters-in-law love to read romance but prefer contemporaries, and kept telling me so, and look what happened.

Why did you decide to write romance novels?

I spent almost two decades writing and editing for newspapers, where so many of the stories don’t have happy endings. A relentless diet of sad news can wear you down. So when I started learning to write fiction, happy endings were a requirement.

Who has influenced your writing?

I was glad to discover Carla Kelly’s Signet and Harlequin historical romances. She showed me there really was a market for Regency characters who weren’t strictly Society types and for stories that take on the current issues of the day as well as tell a beautiful love story.

After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?

Sure – I buy each one in one e-version or another, to see how they look “in the wild.” And I must admit I do have to refer to it to recall details like hair and eye color and what makes up each character’s specific voice. I think because of my reporting experience, when I had to become an expert in social policy one day, write an article, then next day fill my brain about space travel and write another, then next day learn about modern art, etc., I have a tendency not to hold onto many details. Apparently, there’s only so much working memory at my disposal!

Which comes first, the story, the characters, or the setting?

It’s been different every time. Olivia in A Note of Scandal was a secondary character who called out for her own story. Babysitting the Billionaire grew out of a visit to the Building Museum in Washington, seeing the workers prepping for a big party and wondering who would be attending.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Solving the puzzles – getting in words something I see or touch or feel. Also, happy endings!

What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?

Life is a wondrous work in progress, and we all get second chances.

Please fill the blanks with your favorites!

Dessert: Key lime pie
City: London
Season: Fall
Type of hero: Honorable, strong, complicated but he knows he is and has a sense of humor about it
Type of heroine: Smart, resilient, adventurous, a little dreamy and schemey

Book:

Genre: Sensual romantic historical
Author: Nicky Penttila
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-77130-026-1
Page Count: 253

Buy links:





Excerpt:

Major Avery pushed Will’s shoulder to the left. “There, toward the window. Lecturing that vision in blue silk.”

Will saw the woman first. Her delicate elbow was trapped in a black-furred mitt of a hand, apparently that of Mr. Jeremy Mellon, M.P. He had angled himself as if pushing her toward the muddied wall. As he leered over her, she stood very still. Though she stood in profile to him, Will could tell even her eyes remained still. The weak light from the smoke-fogged window gained luster, passing through the gold-blond ringlets framing her face. All her attention was on Mellon.

“Can you believe that waistcoat?” Avery snorted. “Is it puce?”
Will pulled his gaze away from the lady to take in her companion.

“Plum. Latest thing.” His gaze flicked back to the lovelier form.

“Drinking in dear Cousin Olivia?” Avery accepted a mug of over-yeasty ale from the passing barkeep.

“Olivia Delancey?”

“The Honorable. And once my intended. Seems I’ve cocked that up, as well.” He sipped the foam off the top of the ale. “Too bad I can’t invite you to sup with us tonight. Should be a right circus.”

“She hangs so on his words.” Will frowned, and then caught himself. She was not the story; that florid piece of political beef beside her was.

“Can’t you see? Look at her chin. The edge, there, under her ear.” It was pale, but even at a distance he could see a slight tremor. A crack in the chiseled beauty.

“She’s ill?”

“White-hot angry, my friend.” Will tore his gaze from the porcelain lady to raise an eyebrow at him.
“Trust me,” Avery said, “she has had that tiny flaw since she was a dandled babe.”

“Taken advantage of it, have you?” Will’s eyes narrowed, oddly protective. Avery put up his hands in mock surrender.

“Only a very small snake.” He grinned. “Down the back of her dress, at a tea party.”

“And all she did was set her chin?” Ladies were cold, he knew, but that sounded downright frigid.

“At first. Then the screaming started.” Avery pushed into the crowd.

“We’d best remove the poor man from danger, don’t you think?”
Though the room was small, they made slow progress through the swells of men reeking of sour beef, stale beer, and sweat. Wishing to avoid even the appearance of aggression, so swift a complaint to launch against newsmen, Will allowed Avery to lead. But he did not take his gaze from the lady. Mellon’s hand had crept up to her shoulder. Was he pulling her closer?

Will’s hand fisted. He might need to punch his quarry before interviewing him.

“Mellon.” Avery stepped between the couple, allowing the society jewel to take a step back, arm intact. Will stopped short beside her.
When her attention was elsewhere, her round, full lips dominated her face, the bottom line of the lower lip parallel with the soft oval of her jaw line. But no one would notice the rest of her face, or the fragile cream of her skin, when she turned her gaze on them. Eyes like sapphires, expensive and rare. And crackling with anger.

“Avery. A major now? Felicitations.” Mellon latched onto his new prey, pumping Avery’s hand up and down as if to draw water. “I know you’ll agree with me.”

“I have no doubt. What was the question?”

The Diana of Westminster turned her gaze to her cousin. Will forced himself to look away, toward Mellon. His reason for being here.
Then she spoke, and ruined his best efforts.

“Mr. Mellon has been … informing me … of yet another weakness of my sex.” Her musical voice dripped honeyed venom. “We cannot create.” She flicked an eyebrow at her cousin, sharing an unspoken joke.




Nicky Penttila lives in the DC metro area, after working for newspapers in Hartford, San Francisco, and Baltimore. She loves honorable (if a little complicated) heroes and adventurous (if a little dreamy) heroines who may not solve all the world’s problems but not for lack of trying. She is a omnivorous reader, any book is fair game, but she always returns to her first loves, historical fiction and science fiction/fantasy.

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