Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Necessary End Egg-cerpt by Diana Rubino

A NECESSARY END is a paranormal twist on John Wilkes Booth's insane plot to assassinate President Lincoln. When Booth, under the guise of seeking spiritual advice, visits the President's medium to gather information about Lincoln's habits in order to kidnap him, a malevolent spirit begins to haunt and torment him, driving him to the brink of insanity. A mysterious coin also appears out of nowhere, and returns every time Booth tries to discard it. Each return of the bloodthirsty Roman coin brings increasingly terrifying events and eerie hauntings.

In the midst of these strange visitations, Booth falls in love with Alice Grey, a beautiful actress who's hired by the government to spy on him. She’s torn between her love for Booth and her duty to protect the President from assassination

It is a 'dark' paranormal because a malevolent spirit haunts Booth to assassinate the 'tyrant' as in Julius Caesar. But since I believe every situation, no matter how foreboding, allows for humor, I've added a few lighter scenes that offer the reader some much-needed relief. How can Booth's plot not leave itself wide open for humor? It was pure comic farce, how he recruited this motley band of adoring disciples and gave them each an assignment in his absurd conspiracy. Yes, Booth sure gets what's coming to him in the end.

I won a Romantic Times Top Pick award for a previous novel, and am the author of 13 paranormal and historical novels. The popularity of the Lincoln movie, Lincoln's birthday and Preident's Day inspired me to launch a giveaway of A NECESSARY END. Now it's on sale at Amazon for $.99.
You can see it here: http://amzn.com/B00AX9Y6NU


Washington City, November, 1864

I don’t believe in ghosts, Wilkes assured himself as he listened to the high keening of the medium. He shivered as a draft wafted over him. Smoky incense intensified the gloom. He wasn’t at this séance to seek omens or cryptic guidance from beyond the grave. He was attending this charade to learn of Abraham Lincoln’s future.
He still ached with grief over his boyhood friend’s death. A part of his soul died along with John Beall, who was everything the South stood for. Rage over the betrayal seized his heart and boiled his blood. How could Lincoln do this to another human being? How could the President look him in the eye and promise he’d let John live, then murder him?
Wilkes fought to subdue these emotions. No phantom held the answers he sought on this bone-chilling night, just the bird-like matron entranced before him, Nettie Colburn Maynard. The medium was Mrs. Lincoln’s spiritualist, famed for her evenings at the White House “bringing back” their dead boys, Eddie and Willie. Wilkes had to admit she put on a good show. One thing he appreciated was fine acting. But he was wary. The parlor felt haunted as shadows crept up the walls. The hairs at the back of his neck already stood on end, and a chill slithered through his body. Although his hands were icy, his palms sweated, making them even colder. The room stood silent and musty as a tomb. The dank staleness assaulted him. His throat aching for a trickle of brandy, he coughed.
Mrs. Maynard’s eyes were shut tight. His own gaze darted about, unable to settle. Candles flickered jagged shadows around the room. Wallpaper patterns swirled to impenetrable fog. And the curtains...did they flutter, even though the windows were closed? 
“A spirit is present, Mr. Booth.” Her voice, almost a whisper, barely reached his ears. She exhaled feathery tendrils of steam in the eerie half-light. “It watches over you, seeks to guide you.” He felt her shoulders shake with violent tremors. “He was powerful in life, but more powerful in death, released of mortal frailty.”

Wilkes felt the dread of approaching harm, but sat too spellbound to get up and quit the whole thing. He guessed it was raw fear that kept him frozen in his seat. His voice, trained in delivery of lines, was suddenly struck silent. He had to admit she was gifted, the perfect witch for Macbeth. The funereal black dress draped her gaunt figure like a shroud. Shadowed by the pale flames, Mrs. Maynard played her role to perfection. Once again, he convinced himself it was all an act. But if it was real and some being from beyond really did hover over him…

Just then he realized his jaw was tightly clenched. He struggled to slacken it.
“He lived many centuries ago, Mr. Booth, and knew you by another name. He revisits you now, drawn close by your pain and grief. She shuddered again. Her grip crushed his hand, her knuckles white as bleached bone. “I feel his essence very forcefully, right there…” Her hands turned to ice. “Behind you…”

He nearly ripped a tendon snapping his neck around, but saw neither phantom nor flesh, just movement at the edge of his vision flickering up the wall. Threads of fear tickled at his nerves. Nothing was as it seemed. Turning to face her again, he felt foolish for succumbing to her trickery. An embarrassed blush heated his cheeks as the room temperature plummeted. He breathed deeply to calm his pounding heart.

“He will thrust you towards your true destiny, young man.”

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DianaLRubino
Reach me at
and www.dianarubino.com


Thanks Diana for doing the egg-cerpt exchange with me,


Monday, February 25, 2013

Eggcerpt Exchange by Carol Marvell

Blurb for Slave Trader – In the Name of Freedom

For the past three years, young prostitutes and destitute women have been vanishing without trace. Their fates unknown, the only common links to their disappearances are their good looks and prison records.
Never before has a cop been taken.
Detective Billie McCoy, a member of an elite undercover squad, is on assignment when she stumbles onto a slavery racket that goes deeper than she could ever have imagined. Plunged into a web of corruption and evil, not only does she have to contend with the slave traders, but her fellow prisoners – all who hate cops.
Stretching from the streets of Sydney to the rainforests in far north Queensland, it’s a race against time. Filled with determination, disappointment and twists, the story follows Billie’s fight for freedom and her greatest ever challenge. She will need all her cunning and skill to get out alive and see justice done.

Blood will be spilt, hopes will be destroyed – all to uncover a plot so unpredictable that only fate can decide . . . .
Links to buy Slave Trader:

Wild Child Publishing


Billie turned away. She leaned on the wall and stared up at the ceiling, torn apart. She was here undercover about to set up a big gun dealer and bring him to justice. If she helped this girl, it could blow everything. All the work she'd put into getting this close to the gunrunners could be in jeopardy. Her nature compelled her to aid someone in trouble.

Damn it! Why did this have to happen now? She should just walk away and pretend she'd never seen it. After all, it had nothing to do with her. Yeah right. No way could she turn a blind eye to this. Turning back, she peered through the crack again.

The redhead in the suit coat had pulled a small syringe from his pocket. The sight of it upset the distressed girl even more. She stared at it over the big hand clamped across her mouth, her eyes widened in horror. In a desperate bid to deter his intentions, she kicked out. Only by chance her knee knocked the redhead's hand. The needle rolled across the floor. He cursed.

The ponytail man snarled. His large, gangly hand dropped from the girl's mouth, and he slugged her hard. The trapped girl grunted and sank in his grasp.

The blow sent Billie into action. She couldn't leave the girl to these thugs. With a little luck, she could pull off both operations.

Sneaking in, the detective picked up an old, wooden chair just inside the room. Although tempted to use her gun, silence was of the utmost importance. She couldn't afford to alert the men upstairs. They would be edgy enough, and the sound of a gunshot would certainly send them on a runner.

Both thugs had their backs to Billie, their attention on their captive. Mumbling curses, the redhead's rising temper dampened his cautiousness. The chase brought him into the closest position to her. With the chair gripped in her hands, Billie jumped at the punk and cracked it over his head. The chair shattered into pieces. He moaned and collapsed to the floor with a heavy thud.

His partner spun at the noise. He stared at her with a startled expression before turning a stunned look at his downed partner. Overcoming his surprise, he looked back up at her. The thug's lips twisted in a snarl. He dumped the girl to the floor. She fell in a heap. He lunged forward.

Billie turned and faced him full on. She kicked up. Her heel smashed into his nose well before he could touch her.

The guy's head rocked backwards. He recoiled with a couple of staggered steps. Billie followed, giving him no time to recover. Using the same foot, she buried it into his stomach. The impact doubled him over, driving the breath from his burning lungs. She stepped forward and brought up her knee, slamming it into the side of his jaw. He reeled sideways with a groan and collapsed, motionless.

Billie looked at him, and then glanced at the other guy. Neither looked like they'd be moving for a while. She blew out a sigh and tossed the busted chair to the side.

The detective crossed to the dazed girl and knelt beside her. She studied her face. A bruise already showed through on her cheek, marring her good looks. She lay relaxed in her enforced sleep, her features free from the strain they'd carried only a few moments before. Brown, shoulder-length hair bordered the girl's dainty face. A clean, fresh complexion enhanced her attractiveness. Long eyelashes guarded her closed eyes. She carried a 'girl next door' image, a guileless look that bathed her in a simplistic innocence yet held a disguised beauty to catch any man's eye. Her slender figure did her proud. Billie couldn't help wonder why she would be in a dive like this, or why these men were after her. She was a pretty girl and had a lot going for her, but something had definitely gone wrong for her to end up here and in this kind of trouble.

The girl stirred, bringing the detective out of her thoughts. Her head rolled towards Billie. Her eyes flickered open. They looked glazed and confused.

"Take it easy. You're safe now," Billie said, brushing a strand of the long, brown hair back off her face.

The girl's confused gaze focused on her rescuer, and she tensed. She sat upright. Her gaze darted around the room in search of her would-be attackers.

'Hey, it's okay!" Billie took hold of her by the shoulders in a comforting gesture.

Shooting her no more than a brief glance, the frightened girl stared at the unconscious men. They were no longer a threat. She turned back to the blonde kneeling beside her and relaxed in Billie's grip.

"Are you okay?" Billie dropped her hands from her shoulders yet maintained a wary eye on her.

The dishevelled girl nodded. "Yeah, I think so." She turned away from her and studied the men. After a lingering moment, she looked back at Billie. "Thank you very much," she said in a whisper. "Who-who are you?"

Before the detective could answer, a voice from the doorway interrupted them.

"So this is why they're taking so long."

Billie's head snapped around in surprise. Three men stood in the doorway. Billie gave them a quick, assessing look. The guy in the middle, a short, plump, half-bald man in his late fifties stood with a thin smile on his lips. His gaze was fixed on her. His bright Hawaiian shirt boldly expressed his personality, loud and dominant. Short tufts of curly grey hair overflowed from the vee of the collared shirt. His round, beach-ball face was clean-shaven, like the top of his head. Only a strip of grey-flecked hair ran from one ear around the back of his head to the other.

The other two flanked him, their bulky frames towering above him. Dressed like the two on the floor, they fell comfortably into their category: hired 'heavies'. These paid henchmen eyed her with guarded looks.

The guy on the left of the fat man carried a scar down his right cheek. His hair was slicked back out of his face, leaving the dark, distrusting eyes in clear view. The third guy, a curly-haired blond, was shorter yet bulkier than his comrade. He stared with a blank expression set on his bristled face, clearly expressing his dislike. They stood protectively by their boss's side, like dogs on a leash waiting for a command to please their master.

The little, fat man's gaze remained locked on the blonde girl in front of him. "My God."

His astonished tone snapped Billie's attention back to him. She looked more closely, sensing something familiar about him. Her nerves stiffened. Suddenly, she knew.

"Bates?" The name slipped through her lips before she could stop it. She'd failed to identify him in that first brief glimpse. The bright clothes and menacing conditions engulfing the tense situation had thrown her. He looked so different, and so out of place. She'd met this guy a couple of times, and both times he'd been dressed in a full suit, tie and all-back in police headquarters. So why would Captain Bates, head of Missing Persons, be here? Why would he be interested in this girl, especially in a place like this? And what was this well-respected police officer doing with these henchmen? Slowly, she stood, not taking her eyes off him.

"What's going on here?" The young cop took a step towards him.

"Ahh, what a pity, a sure pity." He sighed. His hand reached in through the open neck of his shirt and pulled a pistol out from under it. He dropped it to waist level, aiming at her chest. His tone may have held some remorse, but his actions didn't.

 Find me here:

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8xsjDsCdos&feature=share

Thanks Carol for dropping by today,


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Egg-cerpts with Anita Philmar

Naked Rebel

A spy that prefers to work alone, Nick Royster’s assignment is turned upside down when his superiors sends him a personal companion. Not appreciating the need to watch someone else’s back, he attends a dinner of Salsar’s inner group. Only to learn, he has to sacrifice Rane to get the information he needs to end the war.

Rane knows the important of winning. Her family slaughtered by Salsar, this is her homeland and she plans to do whatever it takes to win her peoples’ freedom.
With everything on the line, can these two have any future together or does love and war equal heartache?  

“I know it’s not much, but its home.” At least for the last few months it’d been. Once he’d reached the rank of top miner, it’d taken less than a year to make head foreman. Yet, he still didn’t know the location of nustru’s purification plant.
“Nice.” A muffled voice rang through his small two room unit.
He glanced around at the bare walls. She couldn’t be serious.
Yes, he didn’t have to live in a tent, but the place wasn’t a proper home for a woman either. An ugly brown couch stood right by the door while a yellow counter with a cooler and stove occupied the opposite wall. The doorway to the back led to a tiny bathroom and an even smaller bedroom.
Not willing to argue about how she never should have been sent here, Nick walked over and looked inside the cooler. “Would you like something to drink?”
“That would be great,” whispered through her veil.
Nick grabbed a protein drink and turned to see her struggling with the hood covering her head. He set down her drink and stepped to her side. The black cloak covering her really did its job. He couldn’t see any part of her except her small hands.
“Let’s see, how can we free you from this contraption?” He fingered the rough fabric covering her shoulders and lifted the lip of the cloth running along her biceps.
She stepped back and lowered her head.
He pulled. The hood fell away, revealing her reddish-gold hair.
A loud rip preceded a soft feminine scent, which filled the room. The cloak covering her body tore into long strips and crumbled to the floor at her feet.
A bullet of lust shot straight to his loins at the spectacular view. Full, creamy breasts covered by a skimpy piece of pink lace led to a narrow waist. Another strip hung on her curvy hips and restricted his view of her luscious center. A dark stain on her panties made him wonder if she was already wet with need. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Book Blast for Deanne Wilsted



Deanne Wilsted

“I did what?” 

Twenty-eight year old Gabriella Bessu is St. Therese’s meticulous wedding ceremony coordinator. So the fact that she has mistakenly signed her newest couple up for an annulment, rather than a wedding, sends her Catholic guilt into overdrive.  

But who can blame her? The groom is gorgeous and his two kids tug at Gabriella’s heart in a way that overcomes all her best intentions. Before long she’s in over her head, fixing her mixed-up plans and helping the children and dad come to terms with their haunting grief for the mother and wife they lost years earlier. 

Can Gabriella untangle her own fears and accept the messy life that God has handed them?

Mandy’s accusations rang through Gabriella’s mind and guilt practically doubled her over. She dropped her bags inside the door and went into the bathroom to splash cold water on her face. The image that met her in the mirror had shame written all over it.

What had she been thinking? Ryan and the kids belonged to Mandy and she had been acting like a lovesick teenager. Scenes from the beach flashed through her mind; Ryan’s smiles at her and the desire she’d had to reach out and kiss him. Filled with self-loathing, she shook her head to get rid of the images.  

Her dropped bags at the front door mocked her, so she picked them up and dragged them to her bedroom then crumpled onto the bed. One hand over her eyes, she let the images flood her. With her free hand she reached over and switched on her radio hoping to block out the accusing voices in her head. Her favorite news show was quizzing celebrities on the week’s news, but something about their conversation alarmed her. It took a moment to realize what it was.

She stared at the radio, stunned. If Whose News was on, it meant it was Sunday . . . Sunday!

And, for the first time in years, Gabriella had forgotten to go to Mass.



With an English teacher for a mom, DEANNE WILSTED, grew up reciting conjugation instead of nursery rhymes. Now, forty years later, she's sharing that special skill through her writing and her mothering. Her first book, a contemporary romance called BETTING JESSICA, was released October 2011. Her second Novel, UNTANGLING THE KNOT, is due out in February 2013 from Soul Mate Publishing. She is currently marketing her third book for publication and writing her fourth, fifth and sixth while blogging about the crazy stuff she overhears while writing.

Untangling the Knot - http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/untangling-the-knot/


Author Follow Links –

Amazon author page - http://amzn.com/e/B005YHFBQ2

Untangling the Knot Purchase Links – these will need to be updated when the direct POP links are live, Feb 13th. Also, we will add amazon, itunes, nook and smashwords. Thanks.

Deanne will be awarding a $10 Amazon or BN.com GC (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or BN.com GC (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn host.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Make sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/01/super-book-blast-untangling-knot-by.html
Thanks Deanne for being here today.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Egg-cerpt Exchange with Keta Diablo

Sky Tinted Water
A 'Sweet' Historical Romance
Keta Diablo

* Mystery
* Suspense

Note: This is a ‘sweet’ historical romance.
Familial bonds, malevolent schemes and passion collide in this sweet historical novel. Set in Minnesota during the Civil War and the Sioux uprising, this is the story of Rory Hudson, the exquisite Irish lass with an unbreakable spirit and the enigmatic Dawson Finch, a man bound by honor, duty and loyalty.

When Dawson enlists in the army to bring peace to nation divided, Rory’s world plummets into a tailspin. War, distance and time separate them, but nothing can dispel the haunting memories of their love. Not even death can destroy their fierce passion or a love so strong it beats the odds of the impossible.

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/UjeU4W

Watch for the sequel SKY DANCE coming to a kindle and nook near you in March 2013

EXCERPT from Sky Tinted Water:
(Rory and her sister Isabelle attempt to help Jane deliver her firstborn)
A log cabin, illuminated by a lonely lantern in the front window, welcomed them to the Miles' homestead. Inside, Hiram ushered Isabelle and Rory into a small bed chamber. Awash with strains of amber from two night table oil lamps, Rory almost missed the frail woman in the massive four–poster bed. On the plank walls, eerie shadows chased the dim light.
Hiram knelt beside the bed and took her hand. "Jane, I brought help."
Amid a sweat–drenched face, soft brown eyes fluttered open and then closed as if the
acknowledgment had sapped her strength. Jane reminded Rory of a wounded wren, wing–clipped and left to fend for herself against a cruel world.
Isabelle advanced toward the bed and placed a palm to the woman's forehead. Her voice a whisper she didn't bother to turn around. "Jon, take Hiram into the kitchen. I'll need a large tub of hot water and strong, black coffee."
Rory sensed her sister's dismay. The coffee wasn't for Jane, or them. Isabelle wanted Hiram out of the room while she worked.
"Lass, dig through my satchel for the white willow and burdock and then search for clean linens.
Rory retrieved the medicine bag Isabelle placed on a chair upon entering the room and rifled through the contents. "Found the willow and burdock, now what?"
"There's a pitcher of water on the bureau. Pour a glass of water and add three pinches of
Rory brought the concoction to Isabelle when she completed the task. "What will this do for her?"
"Cut the fever and the pain. Help me lift her shoulders high enough to get it down her throat."
Spasms of chortled coughs followed the liquid down. Easing her down to the pillow again, Rory looked up. "I'm off to search for the linens if you can spare me."
"Go on, lass, and hurry. We don't have much time."
With an arm load of cotton sheets, Rory returned to the room to Isabelle's soft voice near the woman's ear. "Jane, can you hear me?"
Garbled words spilled forth, not one sensible.
Rory gasped. "Isabelle, blood, it's everywhere. Look at the sheets!"
Isabelle swiveled her neck toward the bed. "Dear, God."
The crimson's stains fanned out on the white sheets like ripples in the water. Rory's stomach somersaulted. "Do something . . . anything."
"I think we're too late. Her pelvis is narrow and the babe is lodged in the birth canal, probably for hours by now."
Rory hugged her elbows. "Is she going to die?"
"I have to get the baby out. If I don't act now, we'll lose them both."
Isabelle crawled onto the bed between Jane's legs and her arms disappeared beneath the linen. Mournful wails split the air in the silent room. Bile rose in Rory's throat. Until now, never in her life had she wanted to evaporate like mist. Her heart ached for Isabelle, and the woman, unable to control her gut–wrenching screams.
Jon's voice came to Rory through a tunnel. "Don't open that door, lad. They're doing everything they can to help her."
Isabelle drew in a gulp of air, pushed it from her lungs and drove in deeper. "I feel the baby's head now. I need a shoulder, an arm. Dear, God, help me."
"Is the child alive?" Rory asked over the pitiful groans from Jane's lips.
"I don't know."
The child emerged, reminding Rory of a slippery eel. "It's a boy! Is he breathing?"
"Praise the Lord, he's breathing."
Feeling faint, Rory clutched the nearest poster of the bed. Blood seeped between Jane's thighs like a scarlet river. She'd never seen so much blood. The taste of rusty metal spiraled up her nose.
"Take the baby, Rory, wrap him in something warm."
"Her face is the color of gun metal." Rory took the child with an anguished sob.
Still on her knees, Isabelle leaned over Jane's lifeless body and placed two red–stained fingers against her throat. "We lost her, lass. She's gone." Folding her hands, she said a quiet prayer, climbed from the bed and collapsed into a chair. "What will I say to Hiram?"
"You did everything you could."
"Except spare her a wretched death."
Rory took a last look at Jane. She looked serene, peaceful. If one hadn't borne witness to
what passed moments before, they might think she'd drifted off into blissful slumber. Except for the blood. "You can't bring Hiram into this room until you remove the bed linen."
Isabelle rose from the chair, her face scalded with sorrow. She removed the blood–soaked linen and replaced it with the clean sheets Rory brought into the room. "Open the door. Let him hold his son and say goodbye to his wife."

Read a chapter here: http://www.freado.com/book/14426/sky-tinted-water

* * *
Tina, Include this below, please. My blog link and logo.

Click on link above to visit my Amazon page

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Egg-cerpt Exchange Lisa Carlisle

Fiery Nights by Lisa Carlisle

“…Get ready to be hooked on the series.” ~ Sizzling Hot Book Reviews.

Here’s my latest release with Ellora’s Cave, Fiery Nights.

Fiery Nights

He may own a goth nightclub, but Tristan Stone avoids people—the darkness that surrounds them drains him. When he sees Maya for the first time, alone on the dance floor, a light surrounds her. He must discover who she is and what gives her power. 

Maya sees a man with haunting eyes watching her from the back of the club. She feels their connection, but thinks it’s merely physical attraction. Their passion ignites, overpowering them, and they must work together to understand their connection. The heat of their passion reflects their fiery personalities, which could send their world up in flames. 



I hadn’t been back since the fire.

Whoever had bought the club had kept the black brick exterior with the painted black windows, ensconcing the club in mystery. Passersby down this hidden alley might think it an abandoned warehouse, unless they got close enough to look up into the recessed doorway to see it flanked by two watchful gargoyle statues.

I felt a moment of hesitation before I walked down the alley. When I used to come with Nike, I never felt threatened. We’d come after long shifts at the firehouse to unwind and dance off some steam. I’d practically bounce down the alleyway so I could get inside sooner.

But now, on my own, the creepiness of the alleyway set in. I wrapped my long black leather trench coat tightly around my body to shield my fishnet-covered legs as if protecting myself. It could be dangerous walking alone through warehouse alleys near the waterfront.

No wonder Vamps was hidden back here. You wouldn’t want an underground club on the main drag, would you?

My Mary Jane heels clicked loudly on the cement. The further I walked, the closer the clicks were.

Easy, Maya, I chastised myself. You’re going to break into a trot in a second.

Finally I made it to the front entrance and pulled on the heavy wooden doors with steel bars intersecting in the middle and was rewarded by a familiar figure.

“Byron, you’re still here!” I said to the extra-large bouncer who had an extra-large heart.

“Maya, where have ya been?” He threw his enormous arms wide and I rushed in, aware that I was grabbing him tighter than warranted, probably due to relief after my misgivings walking here alone.

“Whoa, girl, you must have really missed me,” he said before he let me go.

“Of course I did. It’s been forever. How have you been?”

“Been survivin’. Taking odd jobs here and there while they rebuilt this place. You saw the damage from the explosion.”

“Yes, I remember.” It wasn’t something I could forget any time soon.

“Why you here alone tonight?” he asked. “Where’s your partner in crime?”

“Nike? I haven’t seen her since the fire.”

“Are you kidding me? It’s been what—a year?”After I nodded, he asked, “What happened with her then? One of the bartenders told me how she saw her go upstairs with the former owner that night. What do you think—they hooked up?”

I didn’t know how much to tell about Nike and Michel, even though I was still hurt that I hadn’t seen heard from her in months. Sure, she sent postcards from time to time, but it wasn’t the same. We were like this—if you could see me, you’d know I was wrapping my index and middle fingers together. I know Byron was concerned about her, but I also didn’t want to perpetuate any rumors.

“Word spreads quickly around here, doesn’t it?” I chose to avoid the juicy part of the question and answered, “Last I heard she was traveling around Europe.” I left out the part that she was with Michel.

We were interrupted by a couple who opened the door. He was wearing a red velvet smoking jacket a la Gomez Addams, but didn’t pull off the look completely with his dirty-blond hair. While they showed their IDs to Byron and paid the cover charge, I looked at her outfit to see if she was sporting a Morticia-like dress. To my surprise, she was wearing a cowgirl outfit—hat, tassels, boots and a very short khaki shirt. Not a usual costume for a goth club, but she pulled it off.

 Note to self: see if you can pull off a sexy cowgirl outfit.

After they passed through the next set of doors, Byron asked, “So you’re solo tonight?”

“Hopefully not all night,” I lifted an eyebrow. “How’s the eye candy in there?”

“You know, the usual. Lots of weirdos.”

“Just my type.”

“Who you kiddin’? I’ve never seen you leave with anyone besides your girl Nike.”

“Byron. I haven’t been out in months. I went on some crappy dates this past year and realized I’m happier just being on my own. So all I’ve done lately is work. Which means the only males I’ve encountered are coworkers and they smell pretty rank after a twenty-four-hour shift. Since Halloween is on a Saturday this year, and Halloween was always the best night of the year here, I decided to climb out of my self-imposed isolation and make an appearance.”

“Well then, get in there and be a naughty girl.” Byron smacked me playfully on the ass to push me on. Then he said, “Wait.” He took my hands and extended them out to the side.

“Let me get a good look at you. See what outfit you’re sporting tonight. Are you wearing a costume under there?”

I cocked my head as I took my hands back to open my leather trench coat shawl, which could fit in just perfectly at a gothic club or a Renaissance fair, but not too many other places. Tonight I was wearing a sexy little pirate wench costume, with a laced-up corset top and short leather miniskirt. “Does this warrant your approval?”

He put his hand on his chin as he sized me up. “Not bad. I’ve seen you in worse. Still trying to forget the blue velvet gown, black combat boots debacle.”

“That was hot,” I protested.

He raised an eyebrow before his gaze moved up to my hair. “And you’ve gone back to black hair, I see?”

“Technically blue-black. There’s only so much color I can get away with at work, being a professional and all.” I winked. Lately, I’d been alternating between blue-black and a magenta tint, which was about as much as I could manage without the chief giving me the look. If I was feeling spunky and wanted to sport a hot pink or blue, I had to wear a wig. Could you imagine a firefighter with pink hair coming to your aid to deal with your distress call? I didn’t think so.

“All right, you get my seal of approval. And you know that’s not so easy, princess. Go on in.”

I kissed him on the cheek and walked down the dark tunnel lit by candelabras attached to the stone walls. A new sign adorned the door leading to the main club area. Dante’s quote was carved into the wood: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here.

“But Maya,” he called after me. “Leave some of the pretty boys for me.”

“Obviously,” I said, rolling my eyes. “So not my style.”

 * * * * *

Much of Vamps looked the same, yet much of it had changed. Gargoyles still guarded from their perches around the club. The three smaller dance platforms were replaced by one larger stage. They now had live bands perform up there as indicated by posters adorning the walls. Or when the stage was free as it was now, it was covered with uninhibited dancers who wanted to be watched.

I was worried that the vibe of the club wouldn’t survive the transition. Some clubs try too hard and end up seeming phony. Vamps always had its own style. Some called it goth for the prevalence of goth-inspired dress and music. But they played other music as well.

Others called it a fetish club for the freaky revealing outfits many chose to wear. Black duct tape pasted over nipples has been seen more than once. And the sexy futuristic outfits with hulking boots were a common choice. But to me a fetish club alluded to kinky sex out in the open, which wasn’t the case here. I’d never caught anyone doing it—but I have seen some couples get pretty close on the dance floor or in a corner.

I’d call it more of an underground club. One that was frequented by people who didn’t stick to conventional dress and music and followed their own path, rather than worrying what other people thought. Whatever the club was, it was where I fit in.

But I wouldn’t want my fellow firefighters to see me in my sexy pirate outfit tonight.

Continuing to look around and assess the club, I thought it still had an authentic feel. The red marble bar hadn’t survived the fire, I noted. But it was still manned—or womanned—by the hot bartender with pink hair and a nice rack. I looked over the drink menu posted above the draft beer.

“What’s in a Tempting Fate?” I asked her.

“Southern Comfort, Amaretto, vodka, pomegranate juice, pineapple juice, grenadine,” she rolled out in a velvety voice that was as sexy as she was.

“Sold,” I said, banging an imaginary gavel.

“You won’t regret it,” she said.

After she gave me my drink, I toasted nobody in particular, well, I guess myself, thinking here’s to tempting fate. Then I watched the crowd as I tasted the drink. It was exquisite and I took another large sip. Maybe I’d pay for it tomorrow, but it was gooood.

When I heard a remix of Type O Negative’s Cinnamon Girl, I left my drink at the bar to slink my way amid the gyrating bodies. My favorite band, one of my favorite songs. Tragic that the super-hot singer died so young.

In a sea of black-clad bodies, I blended right in. It had been months since I danced, but I quickly found my rhythm and lost myself in the music, dancing with the crowd. I didn’t feel the least bit self-conscious that I was alone.

That is—until I felt his eyes on me.

You know the feeling when someone is watching you and you’re suddenly aware of it? I felt that and looked up. A tall guy dressed all in black—naturally—stood alone at the right side of the bar.

Something about that gaze arrested me and I stopped dancing. Dark eyes, almost black, on a face that looked as angelic as a young Jim Morrison. The black hair was a devil-may-care length, past his chin but not quite to his shoulders. Instead of the rock star’s signature black leather pants, this guy was wearing a cape over dark clothing.

His eyes defied the angelic appearance. Dark, penetrating eyes. The eyes of someone who was troubled—maybe haunted.

Why was he staring at me like that? Didn’t he know my weakness was a dark, brooding bad boy?

My lips parted as if they wanted to say something. But what did I want to say? And he couldn’t hear me anyway.

And then with a swoop of his cape, he was gone.

I stood there for a few more moments trying to process what just happened. Was some hot guy in the corner watching me? Who then took off with a flourish of his cape?

It seemed very Bela Lugosi-ish—another dark, brooding bad boy. I tried to shake off my confusion as Cinnamon Girl ended.

The DJ mixed in a version of David Bowie and Trent Reznor’s I’m Afraid of Americans. It took me another moment or two to brush off the effect that dark stranger had on me. I thought to hell with that guy and then got back into my groove.

To learn more or buy now, visit:

Ellora’s Cave


Underground Encounters

Other books in the series include more lovable paranormal characters, including more vampires, shapeshifters, gargoyles, and more. I love to stay in touch with readers. Visit visit www.lisacarlislebooks.com and follow me on your social media of choice to stay tuned.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Egg-cerpt "I'm Sick Over YOU" from Baby Decision

Susan York faces the biggest decision of her life. "A baby or college?"

Unmarried and confused, Susan is not looking for a guy. She only wants to get through her classes without getting sick.

Colt Lefevour needs help with his English Lit homework until he discovers Susan is pregnant. Hurt from his ex-girlfriend aborting his baby, he wants to be the father of Susan’s baby, but can he convince her to let him help.
Excerpt from Baby Decision

Susan took in his relaxed stance. He stood, leaning back against their professor’s desk. With a strong, athletic body, he looked like good sex wrapped in soft worn jeans. His attitude, almost cocky, seemed to disappear when he smiled. Add in his sandy blond hair and green eyes, and she could easily see why women found him hard to resist. Her breasts tightened with longing. She marveled at the feeling, which had deserted her the last few months. Her stomach, on the other hand, rumbled loudly with distaste.

She’d noticed most of the girls in the class wanted to win his favor. He’d been nice to all, but he still remained unattached, which only added to his appeal.

A quick surge from her abdomen caused Susan to grab her purse. She couldn’t make it to the end of his speech. Bolting from her seat, she sped to the classroom door.

She ran down the hall, bent on getting to the bathroom. After six months of pregnancy, she should be used to getting sick at the drop of a hat.

Once in a bathroom stall, she dropped her purse and allowed her body its release. She gripped the cold, ceramic toilet with her hands to hold herself erect.

She gasped in air after her stomach emptied itself. “I hate this,” she mumbled, flushing the toilet.

Coming out of the stall, her reflection in the mirror hit her in the face. A sigh escaped. She looked awful. She swished back her dark brown hair and turned on the faucet. Cold water stung her face when she splashed it against her skin and rivulets slid down her pasty white cheeks. Her hair hung limply over her shoulders, lifeless and dull. The red lipstick she’d added to her lips this morning to give them color completed the picture...an ugly Gothic queen.

She couldn’t believe the girl in the mirror had been called beautiful only a few weeks ago. But then, the guy only wanted to get laid. He hadn’t known she wasn’t in the market for any man.

The door to the bathroom squeaked opened, and she turned.

“Gosh, Susan, are you all right?” Tracy, a cute blonde from Susan’s class, rushed forward.

“Yes, I’m fine.” Susan pulled paper towels from the dispenser and patted the moisture from her face.

“Well, you should have seen Colt’s face when you went barreling out of class. I thought he was going to take off after you. He just stood there, staring at the door.” Tracy dropped her jaw and opened her eyes wide in a parody of shock.

Tracy laughed at her silly face in the mirror. “Mrs. Murphy had to tell him to continue. Then when class was over, he helped me gather up your stuff.” She dropped Susan’s book bag on the counter with a thud. “The man must really have the hots for you.”

The admiration in Tracy’s eyes didn’t help Susan feel any better. She didn’t welcome his concern. Now, because of it, she’d have to apologize for running out on his speech.

Even worse, she’d have to endure the scent of his cologne again.

Purchase ebook at.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Egg-cerpt (A Proposal) from Birth

Executives' Wives' Club series
Four women...
One fatal car wreck...
Everyone's lives changed...
Blurb for Birth
Brie Sullivan has a new baby girl and there are a million things to do, but Brie doesn’t have the energy to keep up. Why? She’s still grieving for her husband and suffering from baby blues, but she won’t let that stop her. She’s come up with the answer--find a new husband to be the father of her kids.
Jason Clark has been doing everything he can to help Brie. He loves her but can he accept her proposal of marriage knowing she’s not thinking clearly about the future?

“There’s no reason why you can't get married again.”

Brie groaned, “Hey, right. What man in his right mind would want a ready-made family?”

“I think you’re just tired. How much sleep have you been getting?” Jason walked forward, holding out his hands. “Why don’t you let me take care of Isabella while you lie down and rest?”

Unable to resist, she stood and handed him the baby. “Thanks, Jason, the girl doesn't want to sleep. She wakes up every two hours and usually stays awake for at least an hour or more.”

Brie waited until Jason had Isabella settled in his arms before she stepped back. A smile fluttered across her daughter’s face. Brie wished he’d hold her in his arms too.

“If you like, you can sit over there in the rocker.” She pointed to the chair wedged in the corner by the head of the bed.

“Thanks. Now why don't you lie down?”

Brie dragged herself to the other side of the bed and slung back the covers. “Let me know when you get tired. I’ll take over. I know you have to work tomorrow.”

“Right, like you don't have to get up and take the kids to school.” Jason settled into the rocker. A slight whimper escaped from the baby, he quickly fed the bottle back into her daughter's mouth.

“Yes, but at least I don’t have to pick them up. I'm in a carpool with another mother down the street.” Brie fluffed her pillow and crawled into bed. The soft cushion of the mattress cupping her body, she melted against the sheets. Peace teased her mind at the luxury of not having to jump up again in two seconds.

“So you've been able to get some rest during the day?”

“No, that's when I try to get everything else done.” Brie reviewed the chores she hadn't accomplished today. Laundry—half done. Dishwasher—still not unloaded. Formula—damn she only had two bottles left.

“Why? What can't wait?” Jason’s question made it sound like she didn't have two other children to take care of.

“Well, there are meals to fix, which reminds me, I have to make a run to the grocery store tomorrow.” She quickly glanced at the night stand to see if there was any paper available. She better make a list.

“Don’t worry about it now. Just try to get some sleep.” The soothing tone of his voice lulling her senses, she closed her eyes.

Visions of Eric floated through her thoughts...him getting up at night, bringing the baby back to her, his help in the evening with the chores, his steady presence when she was too exhausted to go on. “I need a second set of hands.”

An idea popped into her head. The perfect solution. She just needed to get married.

Forcing her eyes open, she rolled to her side and stared at the man holding her daughter. He wasn’t married and didn't mind her kids. If they could join forces, all would be good.

Excited by the possibility, she sat, the covers falling to her waist. “That's it. I need a husband.” Lifting her voice, she stared into a pair of sexy brown eyes. “Jason, will you marry me?”

Purchase ebook at: