Sunday, February 23, 2014

Soul Mate Blog Hop

Mystery! Fun! Excitement! Prizes! Exclamation points! All this and more await you in this blog post, which links to several other amazing blog posts in the Soul Mate Super-Duper Fun Blog Hop, which stretches from Monday, February 24 to Friday, February 28.

Okay, this post may not contain tons of mystery and romance, but it leads to several authors whose books do. And it does feature opportunities to win some cool prizes, such as a copy of my latest published book, Hunted Dreams, and a Kindle PaperWhite. Details are below. First, though, please allow me to introduce myself.

So, hi. I’m Elle Hill. I’m a Sociology Instructor by day and a writer and social activist the rest of the time. I pen paranormal romance that delves pretty heavily into psychology and sociology. But hey, I don’t just pay attention to those human elements. I’m a big fan of animalkind and love featuring them in my works. Only The Tithe, my latest and as yet unpublished book, does not include animal sidekicks.
I also love writing and performing poetry and rather unmodestly admit to winning a few poetry awards. If you’re interested, some of my poetry is featured in Fat Poets Speak: Voices of the Fat Poets’ Society. In case you can’t tell, I’m also pretty politicized around body issues, from body image to rights for people of all sizes (vertically, horizontally, diagonally -- whatever).
But enough about me; let’s meet my works. My first three books take place in an alternate Los Angeles in which the Clan, a group of superhuman beings, protects humankind from the Leeches, a collection of psychic vampires that feed on humans’ pain and fear. The Clan subdivides into Hunters, superstrong women warriors, and Psychics, men whose superpowers tend toward the mental and emotional. As a result, this series is called The Hunted Series. My Hunted books are, in order, Hunted, Hunted Past, and Hunted Dreams. I also have a short story entitled “Hunted Holidays” in Soul Mate’s holiday anthology, All I Want for Christmas is a Soul Mate.
So, in short, if you like kick-ass women main characters, strong elements of psychological drama, psychic vampires, and, best yet, super cool animal sidekicks, you and I were destined to meet.

Nice to meetcha. Now that we’ve been properly introduced, here’s the info you’ve been waiting for. First of all, if you comment on this blog post and leave your contact info, I’ll randomly choose a commenter to receive my latest book, Hunted Dreams. I’m super fond of it and think you’ll dig it, too. To win the Kindle PaperWhite, VISIT HERE and follow the Rafflecopter directions. Please visit all the other authors’ sites, too, since each task you mark on Rafflecopter increases your chances of winning the Kindle.

Good luck, my new friend, and I hope you have fun getting to know some of us Soul Mate authors. I think you’ll agree I’m in pretty darn good company. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thursday Threads: Casey's Courage by Neva Brown



CASEY’S COURAGE
By Neva Brown

Genre: Contemporary  
Heat Level: Sensual

Excerpt:

When they finally stopped swimming and stood up in the shallow end of the pool, the icy wind of
early fall shocked them both into quick action...he grabbed a huge beach towel and wrapped it round her and hugged her tightly, pressing her body against his own.

Shivering from the cold, Casey snuggled close to Tres. As her shaking eased, she became more aware of his body. He had one arm round her shoulders and the other lower. His hand was on her bottom, pressing her against him from head to toe. He wasn’t cold. His hot, full arousal pulsating against her abdomen fueled a new kind of shiver in her. She leaned into his maleness with primal need. His eyes, bright and feral, devoured her. As she wiggled to step away, he moved his hand from her shoulder to the back of her head. His lips brushed her temple and cheek, trailed down to her neck, then settled gently on her lips that had parted in awe at the sensations she felt. The motion of his mouth against hers sent sparks through her blood. His tongue traced her lips, slipping inside to touch her tongue as he moved his hand to palm her breast and smooth his thumb across the engorged nipple.

The towel slipped to the floor. He gently brushed aside a strap of her swimsuit. As his lips left hers and closed over her exposed breast, her eyes flew open in panic. Jerking her arms from around his waist, not remembering having put them there, she whispered, “Tres, please. I can’t handle this.” She breathed in shallow gasps.

Slowly, he released her breast and raised his head. Pulling the strap up and encasing her throbbing breast, he frowned. “You look like you’ve never been kissed before.”

In awe, she said, “Not like that.”

Tres studied her through a haze of thwarted desire and let her step away from him. His thoughts raced. Has she forgotten that part of her life, or is she telling the truth? 


Links:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thursday Threads: The S.E.R.A. Files, v. 1 by C.T. Green



The S.E.R.A. Files Volume I 
C.T. Green

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Heat Level: Scorching
This is a collection of short stories featuring the men and women of the Supernatural Entity Recovery Agency.

#1 RECOVERING GABRIEL
Angels are trouble. But a Fairy Godmother is The Law.
Callie Burns works for SERA, the Supernatural Entity Recovery Agency, aka the Scary Fairies. As a Fairy Godmother, it's Callie's job to grant wishes and deport supernatural creatures back to their plane of existence. Now she's got an angel in her sights... Gabriel's a gorgeous, sexy distraction to Callie doing her duty.  But she has a reputation to maintain and no smoking hot angel is going to mess that up. Gabriel is determined he's not going anywhere and he'll try everything he can to convince Callie he belongs on Earth. But she's equally determined to get the job done before the angel kills everything in sight - even if that means fulfilling Gabriel's deepest fantasy.

#2 HANDLING MERCURY
Vampires go for the throat. But a Fairy Godmother aims lower...
Elizabeth and Mercury both work for SERA, the Supernatural Entity Recovery Agency. Despite the fact Elizabeth's a Fairy Godmother and Mercury's a vampire, they make a deadly duo when it comes to deporting supernatural beings. But Mercury and Elizabeth's perfect partnership changes the night a wish is granted.
Now Elizabeth can’t think of Mercury without remembering how sexy the vampire is under his cool demeanour and designer clothes. And Mercury can't forget the taste of Elizabeth's blood nor the desire to have her in every other way as well. Can their partnership survive and will they find a way to grant their very own wishes?

#3 FINDING NAVARRE      
A lone wolf is about to find out old dogs can learn new tricks.
Navarre is a werewolf and the Director of SERA. It’s his job to oversee the agents who deport supernatural beings from Earth. He loves his work and his vaunted reputation for remaining calm under pressure. But all that is about to change. Tor is also a werewolf and SERA’s newest agent. He’s out to catch not only the bad guy, but his elusive boss as well. It’s love at first sight for Tor, but Navarre doesn’t seem willing to take another chance on a relationship. When a mission goes bad and suddenly it’s Tor’s life on the line, Navarre must overcome his fears if he’s going to experience true love before it’s too late.

#4 TASTING ABSINTHE
Two’s company, will three prove too much of a crowd?
Absinthe is a Fairy Godmother with SERA and Bryce is her irresistible partner. Absinthe is all about getting to know Bryce away from the job, but he comes with one big problem. His best friend Grey is a werewolf and Absinthe does not do wolves. Bryce is in love with Absinthe. Problem is, he’s also in love with Grey. It will take something extraordinary to bring Grey and Absinthe together. Tracking a cold-blooded killer may just be the start of a beautiful romance. Will Bryce’s stubborn wolf and prejudiced fairy overcome their differences enough to not only stay alive, but also form a bond strong enough to last a lifetime?

#5 CHASING SIN
A good SERA agent knows there’s only one Sin that matters.
As an agent and ‘evaluator’ for SERA, Jane is sent in to re-educate their only male Fairy Godmother before he does something even the Scary Fairies can’t ignore.
Sin’s sick of being the brunt of jokes and the latest pin-up after a nude picture scandal. He’s also indecently fascinated with his new ‘minder’, Jane. When a wish shows Sin a very different side to Jane, he’s desperate to find out more. On the hunt for a supernatural with a dangerous new toy and evil plans, Jane and Sin find out how well they work as a team. But can he get the prim and proper agent to loosen up enough to love a naughty fairy while she tries her very best to reform Sin?

Excerpts
Recovering Gabriel
Callie
…Time to do her job and get this guy home where he belonged. In fact, that’s what Callie’s work entailed. Helping Gabriel get back to Heaven. Literally. The last thing anyone needed were fallen angels tromping about on Earth, causing havoc in women’s underwear…
Gabriel
He’d been wracking his brains for six months while waiting for her to approach him. Every time he thought she was about to pin him down, she’d shy away. It’d gotten to the point he’d nearly blown his cool, stormed right up to her, and announced his plans.
Today she’d caught him by surprise, cornering him in the alley, all sass and starch, taking the big, bad angel down. So damn sexy.

Handling Mercury
Elizabeth
 “Enough is enough, vampire.” Elizabeth glared up at him, but he just stared back with those deep silver eyes of his glimmering from between thick black lashes.
“I’m sick of your overweening desire to be a hero all the time.” She gave him the hairy eyeball for a moment longer, but Mercury remained silent. And apparently unrepentant.
Mercury
…Mercury backed away, snatching up his clothes. He didn’t even bother to throw them on before he bolted into the darkness and away from his partner.
Because he knew that one taste of Elizabeth hadn’t been enough to satisfy him. It was never going to be enough.
Finding Navarre
Tor
Tor Whitfield stood in the shadowed alley, upwind of the Thai restaurant and the wolf having dinner al fresco. Alone.
He rubbed his shoulder where Navarre’s bite still tingled. Oh yeah, he’d gotten his wish all right. Just like Absinthe had promised…
Navarre
“There’s nothing wrong with you. I simply don’t feel the need to stare at you constantly.” Navarre chose to meet the dark eyes instead of gawking at the snug T-shirt and jeans outlining far too much tempting acreage.
Dieu, may I not get struck down for that blatant lie.
Tasting Absinthe
Absinthe
Absinthe sucked on an ice cube and ignored the squiggly feeling in her stomach. It reminded her an awful lot of jealousy and she simply didn’t care what Bryce did. Not one bit. There was no room in her life for a big, gorgeous, muscular, pain in the ass.
Bryce
“So beautiful.” Unable to resist the soft pink fullness of her lips, he leant over intending to sample them. Just once.
The gun muzzle against his head came as a bit of a surprise. “Okay, I’m going to sit up now. Would really appreciate it if you didn’t blow my brains out.”
“Believe me, I doubt anyone would notice.”
Grey
“Nothing to forgive. I understand.” Grey rubbed a thumb down her cheek, mildly surprised she let him. A lot more surprised when she turned her face into his palm and planted a kiss there.
“Thank you for saving my life.” Her words tickled his sensitive skin and caused his body to react the way it always did around her…
Chasing Sin
Sin
Those sky-high heels are not sexy. Especially when one’s tapping like a bloody drum.
Sin ground his teeth and ignored Miss Jane Pilkins, his SERA evaluator. He focussed on the grinning demon in front of him instead...
Who was he kidding? The heels were damn hot. So were those cute glasses Miss Pilkins kept peering at him so disapprovingly over.
Jane
It was just her imagination that she was the focus of all eyes because she was doing an illicit printout of a naked SERA agent. Well, Sin had been mostly naked.

Find C.T. Green at the following places:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

South Dakota SB 128: Kill the Bill

I recently wrote a poem in which I discussed the, um, dissonance between my liberal politics and the decidedly – heck, aggressively – un-liberal politics of South Dakota, my home for the past two years. I end the poem by saying something to the effect of, “I may be fluid and dynamic, but it’s you who will change thanks to me, South Dakota.”

I’m not a big believer in predestination or Big Plan stuff, but I figure there has to be some reason I’m in this super conservative state, right? Maybe it’s to hold the hand of beleaguered local liberals and tuck baby progressive activists under my wing; after all, I’ve been an activist for half my life. This Lefty was born and raised in Idaho, another uber-red state. Heck, if there was a progressive cause in Boise during the 90s, I was in on it. Once I moved to California in 2001, I immersed myself in fat politics, which was handy, since my dissertation is all about fat discrimination. I left the rallying and marching to my more spry sisters and brothers. Now that I’ve retreated from the blue-tinged margins of the U.S., I find myself back in the trenches, marching, rallying, protesting, writing letters, and just generally fighting the good fight Every. Single. Day.  

I didn’t really envision this. I figured I would lead a quiet South Dakota life, happily hanging with my local Equality Center, volunteering ever-so-often with the local women’s shelter. Then, section 3 of DOMA got itself cut and California’s Prop 8 died an unlamented death and all of a sudden, equal rights became the talk of everyone’s town. South Dakota legislators, terrified the rainbow surge would flood their homes and turn everyone into Pride-flag waving lesbians and gay men who actually have sex outside of dirty bathroom stalls, introduced a couple of bills to remind everyone who’s at the top of the sexual food chain. One bill has already died, thank goodness, but one still lives, breathes, and discriminates. Below is a summary of South Dakota Senate Bill 128:

1. It’s fine to verbally express disgust and hatred of LGBT folks as long as the language doesn’t incite physical violence;

2. Businesses who want to fire or not hire LGBT employees may do so; and

3. Any LGBT person who experiences one of the first two items may not bring a case against the person who verbally harassed or fired/did not hire them.

Let’s break this down, shall we? The first time items are pointless, since the First Amendment ensures free speech for anyone whose words don’t incite violence, whereupon it becomes hate speech. Also, since LGBT peeps have no protections in South Dakota, the second item is redundant. I’m not a lawyer and can’t tell you what the third one means, whether it’s a pretty big deal or just reiterating what’s already on the books. (Maybe my sister, a human rights lawyer, can enlighten us. Thanks, LJ.) Suffice to say, none of this is groundbreaking.

This is what I know for sure about SB 128: It’s a big “Eff you” to all queer folks in the state. As it stands now, without the Great Straight Hope of SB 128, South Dakota citizens can get their verbal hate on and fire members of lots of groups, -- fatties, “ugly” peeps, older or younger folks, little people, felons, veterans, dog groomers -- but it’s only LGBT ones that lawmakers have singled out in this bill. South Dakota Republicans, those fierce proponents of fiscal responsibility, are spending my tax dollars to draft a bill reminding us that queer folks are extra-super-duper undeserving of any protections. These legislators, two of whom are my very own state representatives (Hi, Representatives Kopp and Campbell!), want to make triply sure we all know it’s okay to hate queer folks… as long as we don’t beat them with sticks.  
 
I’m faculty advisor to a GSA (gay/straight alliance) at my school, and I volunteer with the local Equality Center. I’m also attending every rally and meeting I can to kill this bill. If any South Dakotan wants to join me, I’ll be attending a rally on February 17 at 5 pm. My GSA will be drafting signs for the rally on February 15. Wish us luck, and if you want to contact any of the state legislators who publicly support this bill, I bow to you and offer you a handy chart (above) with contact info and ways to determine your own state legislators.

May the rainbow force be with us. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thursday Threads: Fallen Redemption by R.B. Austin



Fallen Redemption 
by R B Austin

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Heat Level: Sizzling

Blurb

Killing Fallen to save mankind is Cade’s redemption for murder and only one human—mouthwatering and absolutely forbidden—stands in his way.

Cade committed himself to saving lives before he learned the full consequences of his life-altering decision. It wasn’t until he was tending his sick wife that he learned the enormity of what he’d done and he was unable to save her from the monster he had become. Consumed with guilt and praying for absolution, he threw himself into killing every Fallen he could find to save the humans he’d sworn to protect. But then Emma, deliciously mortal and completely forbidden, swept into his world, stirring an overpowering desire. Now he’s not only fighting soulless creatures, but also his inner cravings, trying to maintain his distance and continue on his path to forgiveness. He won’t lose control again and lose another love.


Excerpt

The cut was small and not deep; it would stop bleeding in a matter of minutes.
Blood seeped from the wound. It trickled down Sarah’s wrist and pooled in her upturned hand.
He froze.
Changes overcame his body. Uncontrollable. Unknown.
Breath quickened. Heart pounded as loud as a horse’s gallop. Sarah hadn’t awakened. The pain from her cut was insubstantial compared to the pain of her sickness.
The thick, crimson liquid flowing from the wound was anything but insubstantial to Caderyn. Still unable to move, his eyes hadn’t wavered from the blood. The tray left his hands and clattered to the ground. His knees buckled and he sank to the floor, bringing himself an inch from the cut. The scent of blood filled his nostrils. Consumed all thought. Sight. He wanted to close his eyes and savor the reverent aroma filling his senses. Something awakened inside of him.
Foreign.
Monstrous.
Wrong.
He was hungry, yet didn’t want food. Thirsty, but didn’t want to reach for a cup of water. Another drop of blood welled from the cut. A growl tore from his throat.
It was the switch and it had been thrown.
One moment he was himself. The monster inside separate. Next the wall between the two vanished. He was the Behnshma. His humanity gone. Another growl. It echoed around the house. Filled his ears.
He was ravenous. The fact he hadn’t eaten in a little over a week ached his empty belly and burned his dry, parched throat. There were two pricks of pain in his top gum. Finger in his mouth, he found two long, sharp as knives, teeth. Like Elias. Like the wolves in the forest when they tore into a deer carcass. Their muzzles bloody, meat dangling from their mouths. Blood.
He knew what he wanted to do, what his body demanded he do. Caderyn licked his lips and his tongue nicked an elongated tooth. His own blood melted decadently over his tongue. A flood of senses erupted. Never had he tasted anything this wonderful. His mouth zinged with flavor. The blood coated his throat. He’d been dying of thirst his whole life but hadn’t known it. Warmth spread through his body.
His hands shook as he brought them to Sarah’s arm. Grasping her wrist and forearm he leaned toward the blood. Inch by inch. He was a magnet and her arm was the polar opposite.
Her inaudible yelp of fright permeated through the rushing noise in his ears. He tore his eyes away and met her wide-eyed startled ones.
Stop.
Fear was an acrid, burning stench in his nostrils. Her thoughts a chaotic jumble weaving through his mind. She tried to move her lethargic limbs. Tried to escape. To break free.
He flexed his hands, squeezing her arm as his gaze trailed from the vein in her neck to the one in her wrist right below the cut. The blood slowed and the edges of the wound begun to dry. The tangy, copper scent of the fresh liquid underneath her skin reached his nose. Caderyn listened to it pass through her veins. Faster and faster.
Ignoring his wife’s futile attempts to escape, he leaned closer and inhaled. A growl erupted from his throat. He bent. Licked the wound. Groaned. His cock hardened.
Sarah, panicked now, tried to yank her arm free. It was the most she’d moved in days. Growling, like a dog with his bone, he held down her upper arm and her squirming hand. Pushed it back until her forearm bowed, and the cut extended to him like a present.
Caderyn. Please. I beg you.
He was hurting her arm. Scaring her. She was begging.
Flicking his tongue over her wrist, he caught another drop of the thick liquid gold. Then another and another. It wasn’t enough. He bared his teeth, striking fast to sink them deep into her wrist. She gave a weak jerk. Caderyn drew her blood into his mouth with long pulls. His cock jerked and warmth spread inside his breeches. There was no stopping. Her struggles to escape were an annoying insect buzzing around the room. The pleas to stop were shouts in his head. Both were easy to ignore. Sarah ceased to struggle.
He was killing her.
He couldn’t stop.
And didn’t stop until she was dead

Links: