Guest Post and Giveaway: Pouraka by Dianne Lynn Gardner

Guest Post: Romance Tales
by Diane Lynn Gardner

Love can have many faces. In a romance between two people, love is something very physical and intimate. Drawn to each other through chemistry, individuals discover a need they may not have been aware of. A need to be touched, to be caressed, to be treated kindly and gently. They also discover a need to share more than that intimacy. They want to share who they are, their hopes and desires, their strengths and weaknesses. When two people unite in such a way, they never wanting to let go. They find completion. They commit to spending a lifetime together.

For human beings, love is regarded as one of the most important fulfillments of a lifetime. Without love people can fall into despondency. With love they find joy.

Love can also be a kinship between family members, a loyalty, a bonding that cannot be severed. A brother fighting for the honor of his sister, and vice versa. A mother defending her children. A father protecting his family. Family love is what makes mom bear through her pregnancy and give up her career, or her sleep. Family love causes a man to go to work every day to put bread on the table. Living alone can be a lot simpler but people choose not to be alone because love binds them together.

Love can be a relationship with one’s environment stirring a nurturing and protecting response. People risk their lives to save forests, oceans, and the inhabitants therein. Tribes in the Amazon risk their lives to stop the threat of pollution in their lands and river. Environmentalist give up their time and efforts to campaign for a healthier environment. They have a passion for their cause.

Love is tender and kind and giving, protective and faithful. More and more men, in their studies of other creatures on this planet have come to realize that human sapiens are not the only species capable of love. Animals move about in herds protecting each other, defending each other. In some cases they rescue each other. Anyone visiting some viral YouTube videos can observe love between animals such as elephants, monkeys, lions, orcas, dolphins and many more.

That is the love affair in my newest novel Pouraka. A romance between two merpeople yes, but also a romance between their species and the creatures living with them. A romance with the environment and all things clean and good and natural. A romance between the sea creatures and the good people of the earth. And a romance between two lovers. They are all threatened with a common enemy and they must all fight together.


Book One
Dianne Lynn Gardner
Genre: Fantasy romance
Publisher: Dianne Lynn Gardner
Number of pages: 242
Word Count: 75369
Cover Artist: Dianne Lynn Gardner

Book Description: 

Pouraka is a magical sea cavern tucked under the rocky cliffs near Barnacle Bay. Cora, a Pouraka mer, is torn between her friends in the seaside town, and her true love Tas, a foreign mer whose people fled when men invaded their waters.

Life becomes difficult for all mers when an arrogant oil rigger's son, Tom, finds the bay and the rich aquatic life it harbors. When Tas attempts to rescue a pod of dolphins from Tom's gill net, he is captured and taken away as a prize to be sold to a theme park. When Cora hears of his capture she changes into human form and travels south to find him, risking her life to free him.

Time away from Pouraka leaves the cavern vulnerable, and a new threat arises when tourists discover its magic.

Book Trailer: 

Available at Amazon


About the Author:

Dianne is an author and illustrator of YA adventure fantasy with a dab of historical content thrown in. Building worlds that might resemble the forests of her home in the Pacific Northwest, or the shimmering deserts of Arizona, add to that a pinch of magic dust and a few million stars and you just might find the portal to another Realm.

Happily married to a man that puts up with her celestial wanderings and wonderings, she is the mother of seven lovely adult children and grandmother to sixteen gorgeous boys and girls.

Dianne loves writing, painting in oils and living in other dimensions. She finds life much more colorful that way! Her books are middle grade to young adult adventure fantasies with dragons and wizards and sorcery and battles on the high seas. Her grandchildren are a big inspiration for her stories. There’s a shared camaraderie, something akin to what C.S. Lewis said about someday being old enough to enjoy fairy tales again.

Dianne’s newest series Pouraka dives into the depths to explore life as a mer. She also has a series that is being re released by PDMI publishing called the Ian’s Realm Saga.

Stretching her tent stakes, she is working on an Indie Film production of her V book Cassandra’s Castle.



Twitter @DianneGardner

Rebel Mouse





Tour giveaway 

1 ebook copy of Sasha which introduces the story.

5 8 X 10 prints of Pouraka's cover without the text, authographed by the author

1 digital copy of dystopia novel Altered

1 pair of earrings open to US Shipping

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Foxglove in Springtime by Abigail Madison Chase

Foxglove In Springtime 
Short stories and Poems 
Abigail Madison Chase 
Genre: Poetry 
Date of Publication: February 28, 201
Number of pages: 30 

Cover Artist: Keri Knutson 

Book Description:

Foxgloves In Springtime, is a collection of beautiful lyrical expressions of love in the springtime. Lovers of romantic poetry can scarcely go wrong with this collection.

Many of the poems reflect on longing, loss and great passion. Written from the perspective of a lover, there are poems for every mood and occasion.

This thoughtful collection of poems is a treasure for connoisseur of poetry and those who are not big poetry readers.

Care Instructions for Springtime Love 

Prepare your heart for love.
Carefully weed through the dirt bags
till the best bachelor or bachelorette,
begins to shake free of those who are unworthy.
Set out each season carefully planting yourself
in your best light.
Don’t dig a hole with lies.
Sow the seeds of love and happiness,
as you watch love hop your way.

Spring Showers of Truelove

Truelove showers open hearts in the springtime,
the fertile earth gives birth to the gentle beauty of,
a blissful season of truelove.
Sweet rays of springtime
thaw the freeze heart.
Gone like the first day of winter,
Love Springs forth like the hands of time

About the Author:

Author Abigail-Madison Chase is a 20 something (ok, 40something) neurotic mother of two. A highly trained professional (ok, only in her mind she's Jane Bond super heroine), along the way she writes terrible poetry and illegible books.

bigail Madison Chase lives in the beautiful Mountains of the Western United States. Always a dreamer, Abigail has been writing since she was in Mrs. Turners 4th grade Language Arts class. There she won 1st prize in the Creative Writing Fair. Abigail holds a B.F.A and M.F.A in English and Literature.

Abigail's family, and her writing exist in a world of make-believe harmony. Each fighting for their right to become a character she want kill off. Sarcasm, quick wit and lots of laughs are the hallmark of Abigail's Wonderful World. A place were lots of peace and harmony descend upon, she and her two children is where Abigail-Madison Chase lives.


Tour Giveaway 

3 custom Bewitching Book Swag Items

Open to US Shipping

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview: Michelle Knight

About the Author:

To describe Michelle as, "average," is to say that Mount Snowdon is, "a bit of a hill in North West Wales." Writing is one of her passions, along with photography, music, computers and a host of other things. (She's a very passionate person.)

She had short stories published in '95 and released her first book in '96 because she thought outside the box and had the audacity to ask a publisher what they were short of.

With a career in IT, she spent a couple of years working in Europe, learning phrases like, "Ein weiss bier bitte," (A white bier please) and, "mein Freund bezahlt." (my friend pays) Michelle also got so good at saying, (in Dutch) that her, "Dutch was no good, could you speak English please;" that people nodded and acknowledged her ... in Dutch ... causing her to repeat the statement!

She has also spent a chunk of her life as a BDSM submissive and has decided to return to writing in an effort to give her audience a taste of her experiences, "in the scene," and some of the realities facing those who live this lifestyle, in present day British society.

Now living with her mother in Sussex, in the UK, Michelle spends her free time trying to catch a glimpse of the mysterious sign on her back that says, "Will repair computers for wine." Her idea of a relaxing time is with friends, in a riverside country pub, with a ploughman’s lunch and a nice, cold pint of cider. Most of her reading these days consists of very large I.T. technical manuals. She doesn't suffer from insomnia.


Thanks for having me!

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

I have an overarching plan, a beginning and an end. Occasionally I have a scene or two that I want to work in, but the details themselves tend to flow. Each of the books has its own message and they have their own flows to fulfil what was needed, so they are all different reads.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story? 

Not really. They’re British and very reserved!

What is your favourite food?

I think a good beef chow mein is my favourite. Failing that, chicken and rice!

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Definitely a morning person. I’m normally awake at about 3am to 4am. I leave home for work at 6:30am so that probably has something to do with it!

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

Actually, I don’t. I hate travelling. Or rather, I hate flying. Hang on, scratch that; I hate airports. When I spent two years working in Europe, I would drive from Folkestone to Muenchen, which is around seven hundred miles each way … that’s how much I hate airports! Commuting has tempered my desire to travel very far right now.

Do distant places feature in your books?

If the story is set in the present, like the Submissive Heart series, then I tend to stick to places that I know. When I deal with our world then it’s important that the locations feel real. Generally speaking, I don’t like to write about real places where I haven’t actually been. I feel awkward and insincere if I write about somewhere that I don't really know. I’ll do it if I have to, but I try not to. If I’m writing fantasy, then of course it could be anywhere at any time.

Do you listen to music while writing?

When I’m getting down some tricky detail then no; I have to see the scene in my head which needs concentration. If I’m editing and polishing then I do. My taste is all over the place from classic to rock. No real preference.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

The latest release is book 2 in the Submissive Heart series, titled, “The Reluctant Leader.” It deals with two things. The first is giving the reader a taste of the legal and censorship issues facing BDSM people in the UK right now, and the second is that it takes a look at the dominant side of D/s relationships. While the main characters are M/f, a different female character had to learn about what it means to take control of someone’s life and that is an F/m thread. Also, the story line from book one becomes stronger and things start to tangle in readiness for book three. Difficult to detail that without spoiling it!

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

I first started in the mid ‘90s with a few short stories and novellas. I was writing for a very closed audience. A small box full of the finished book would land on my doormat and it was breath taking to see my name in print! Then, life took a turn and most of my writing was for the Internet, although I did compile some earlier shorts in to a book in 2002 and then I wrote “Companion” as a film script in 2005. By the time it came to re-write Companion as the first book in the series and return to publishing properly, a lot had changed. Reviewing had gone on-line and the Internet had opened up the world. A whole new set of rules to learn and a lot of competition, plus seeing my name in print isn’t as magical; I’ve grown and now my excitement comes from reader feedback. Physical book production has also changed; we now have print-on-demand so there is no need for books to ever go out of print again, which is an incredible thing!

Is there anything you would do differently?

Yes. I wrote Companion as a film script because I thought that there would be control over the imagery, so that it would eliminate any misinterpretation. The series is more about fact and emotion rather than porn action. However, I should have taken the chance and released it as a book, because unless you’re already in the film industry then no one seems to want to know you and I wasted many years.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

Helping people. Long story short, I’m transsexual and when I put my experiences on the internet in the mid 90’s, people came back to me with reports of how my story helped them. I then spent two years in Germany where BDSM was more open and I gained the confidence to start the realbondage web site in 2002. I pretty much got the same response; what I was putting up, helped people. So the main drive for much of what I’ve done in my book and web site writing, has been dispelling myths and getting some truth out there.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

Oh, lots! One is don’t give up. I’m doing this and I’m dyslexic. Don’t expect success overnight. Some books have been there for decades before society has discovered them; your baby might be weaning for a while! There’s much more advice on my web site. The last thing I’d say is, do it your way. Take a look at other people’s techniques and take what works for you.

What are three words that describe you?

Listener, creative and pedantic.

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

Arm up my back, forced to pick one, “Blott On The Landscape,” by Tom Sharpe. The BBC made it in to a mini series and it was quite, “British funny,” if you know what I mean!

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book

Here's the blurb for book3, “From The Cradle,” due later this year - “The skeletons were out of the closet. So that they could spend more time together, L's closest friend, Kate, had gone through the nervewracking process of understanding the relationship that Mark and L enjoyed. As it turned out L would need all the friends she could muster as the skeletons were now trampling all over her life. They needed to be put into caskets and told forecefully to either rest in peace, or rest in pieces. In amongst herding the walking dead, L's life was going to change in a manner that she hadn't predicted...”

List of previous books if any

The previous books are, “Broken Spirits,” and “Genii In A Bottle and other stories,” but they were written when I was still learning and I cringe at my writing that early on!

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.

My main site is and there’s a few things up there which include a few other shorts and fan-fic that I’ve written.

There’s also the adult site – but that’s definitely not safe for work!


Title - The Companion - book 1 of the Submissive Heart series
Author - Michelle Knight
Genre - Erotic Romance
Book length - 170 pages physical approx
Available from Amazon UK | US

Book Description:

All she wanted was to make other people's lives better. All they did was make her life worse. 

A chance meeting was all it took and she was introduced to a different way of life. When it came to society's way or the highway, she had never considered what might come of choosing the highway.

This is the journey of a woman into sexual enlightenment. Follow her transition from vanilla to 'the scene' - it is a highly erotic journey and depicts a path that countless women have travelled down in the past and countless more wish they had done so. Maybe now is their chance to follow Susan as we discover her own passionate, submissive journey into the freedom she was so hungry to find.

Series Link:

Blog Tour/Guest Post by Nessie Strange

Guest Post
by Nessie Strange

It was only a couple years ago that I was a hopeful author with a rough draft of the manuscript for my book, Living Dead Girl. I’d already been through the process of submitting to agents and publishers with two other novels--one landed an agent; neither ever saw the light of day. I wasn’t looking forward to doing it again. Researching agents and tailoring query packages takes a lot of time. Then there’s the waiting...lots and lots of waiting. It’s a slow, frustrating process.

I considered self-publishing, but lacked the funds for a professional editor and cover designer. Instead, I joined a critique site and put Living Dead Girl through a pretty intense workshop. I met many fantastic and supportive people, many of whom I still keep in touch with today. Then I began the query process, starting with agents. It landed a few requests for more material, but ultimately, led nowhere. Finally I decided to start targeting small publishers directly.

It took roughly six months of querying before I signed the contract to publish Living Dead Girl. I was ecstatic--this was it, the thing I’d wanted for so long. I’d finally made it. But the reality was, I’d cleared one major obstacle only to find a mountain standing before me.

Now, a little over a year later, with two full-length books out, as well as two short stories in different anthologies, I’ve started to climb that mountain. It’s one thing to read about it and hear stories from other authors. Quite another when you’re experiencing it yourself.

Getting noticed isn’t easy. As an unpublished author, I truly had no idea how difficult this part of the process would be. Part of it was unrealistic expectations. Part of it was just not knowing what it would be like, because I had nothing to compare it to. Once release day passed, though, it hit: my book was just one out millions readers could choose.  How was I supposed to separate my work from everyone else’s? It’s probably one of the most sobering realities for any new author.

Obviously, gaining readers and building an audience is much more of a marathon than a sprint for the average newbie author. I’m okay with that because I enjoy the process and the challenges that go along with it. If I wasn’t, I would’ve jumped ship long ago. That said, there are times it can wear on you. It’s tiring work. By the time I’ve returned home from my day job and taken care of dinner, I often don’t feel like doing much with my social media accounts. I’ve taken the attitude that I’ll do what I can when I can, and that’s okay.

Writing is definitely not a money making endeavor for me yet. The sad truth is, I’ve probably spent more than I’ve made with any of my published books. Blog tours, advertising, etc. And between giveaways and review copies, I’ve probably gifted almost as many books as I’ve sold. I don’t mind. I figure it’s cumulative. Every review, every little bit of promotion is another place my books show up. And believe me, I’m extremely grateful for each and every helping hand I’ve received along the way.

Thankfully I’ve met some fantastic people. Other authors have become a huge support network, and to any aspiring author, I’d have to say this is invaluable. After all, you can accomplish much more with a team than with a single person.

I feel like I’m still learning, and often have to remind myself that it’s just been a little over a year since I began this journey. I’m just trying to figure out the best way to help my books succeed, and I’ve got enough stories in me that I plan to keep working at it. I have no idea what the future will hold, but I plan to keep on writing along the way.


Reaper Madness
Living Dead World 
Book 2
Nessie Strange
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Publisher: Etopia Press
Date of Publication: November 21, 2014
Number of pages: 223
Word Count: 71,385

Book Description:

This isn’t the afterlife she expected... 

Jen MacLellan can’t get the hang of being a reaper. She’s been separated from Jack, the man she loves, and is stuck with an annoying telepathic link to her ill-tempered mentor, Sam. Now Death is breathing down her neck, promising to remove that annoying link if she gives him what he wants. But when reapers begin to disappear back on earth, leaving behind walking, talking dead people, Jen and Sam are thrust into a dangerous mission to recapture the souls, and a passionate physical relationship that complicates everything.

Jack Norris has no memory prior to waking up on the half-demon Nulcifer’s couch six months earlier. As he begins to investigate his past, he discovers a string of past lives tied together by a beautiful, mysterious brunette. Who is she? And why does finding her seem like a life or death proposition?

When Sam falls victim to fate during a routine visit to earth, Jen’s devastated. Desperate to get him back, she runs smack into the man she never thought she’d see again—Jack. She tries to keep her distance, but there’s no time to be awkward if they want to save Sam. When sinister plots are revealed, and betrayals threaten everything, she’s forced to make some tough choices—and learns that life is just as difficult when you’re dead.

Available at | Amazon | BN | ARe | Etopia Press | Kobo | iTunes


About the Author:

Nessie is a Massachusetts native and mother of two who has dabbled in everything from abstract painting to freelance sports reporting. She also loves a good story, whether it’s reading or writing one.

Living Dead Girl and Reaper Madness, the first two novels in her urban fantasy Living Dead World series, were published by Etopia press in 2014.

Book Review: The Alchemist's Daughter by Mary Lawrence

The Alchemist's Daughter 
by Mary Lawrence
Book 1 of the Bianca Goddard Series
Publisher: Kensington
Expected Release Date: April 28 2015
4 Stars
Review Copy from Netgalley

In the year 1543 of King Henry VIII’s turbulent reign, the daughter of a notorious alchemist finds herself suspected of cold-blooded murder…

Bianca Goddard employs her knowledge of herbs and medicinal plants to concoct remedies for the disease-riddled poor in London’s squalid Southwark slum. But when her friend Jolyn comes to her complaining of severe stomach pains, Bianca’s prescription seems to kill her on the spot. Recovering from her shock, Bianca suspects Jolyn may have been poisoned before coming to her—but the local constable is not so easily convinced.

To clear her name and keep her neck free of the gallows, Bianca must apply her knowledge of the healing arts to deduce exactly how her friend was murdered and by whom—before she herself falls victim to a similar fate…


Bianca Goddard is an alchemist's daughter, but don't ever call her an alchemist! Bianca has no interest in turning base metals into gold or searching for the elusive philosopher's stone. Rather, she is interested in herbs and concoctions and how they might heal the many poor of London and Southwark who seem more prone to diseases than those better off.

Her friend Jolyn visits her one day, and mentions stomach complaints that she's had for weeks. Bianca mixes up a herbal remedy for her friend, who then drops dead much to Bianca's shock. Did her remedy cause her friend's death? Or had she been poisoned before she came to see Bianca?

The local constable is determined to see Bianca hang for the death, he doesn't care whether she is innocent or not, just that someone pays for the crime, and Bianca is the easiest suspect.

Bianca is convinced her friend has been murdered, but who would murder her dear friend, and why?

The suspects are many and varied, from Mr. Wynders, Jolyn's married suitor, to her landlady Mrs. Beldam at Barke House. Pandy, one of the other girls in Barke house, who also loved Mr. Wynders. Or perhaps one of the muckrakers who accused Jolyn of stealing a ring he found. Banes, the handyman who spies on the women in Mrs. Beldam's establishment. Mrs. Beldam insists that Barke House is no longer a brothel and she is only acting out of charity, to give these poor girls somewhere to go.

But is anyone telling the whole truth? It's up to Bianca to keep one step ahead of the law as she tries to uncover the secrets everyone has been hiding.

Bianca is a wonderful heroine: strong, opinionated and her own woman. She doesn't rely on others for help, but goes after it herself using her scientific skills and observational skill to ferret out the truth.

The squalor of Tudor London is brought to life, from rat-catchers to ships quarantined due to plague. There are no fancy marble halls or silk dresses here, it's about the mud and the dirt and the determination of people to make a go of things no matter how poor or disadvantaged they are.

We get to see various parts of the book through different character's eyes, but I think I would have preferred more time with Bianca so that the reader could figure out things at the same time she did.

The author has obviously done a lot of research and nothing historical seemed inaccurate or jarring. But then American spelling was used, which brought me up short a bit. It's a pet peeve of mine with books set in Britain. It should have British spelling, not American.

The book is fast-paced and kept me intrigued the whole way through and I didn't guess who the murderer was until it was revealed, a rare treat for me.

A great read if you like your history spiced up with a bit of mystery.

Book Spotlight: Need You by Terra Kelly

Need You 
The Winters Family Series 
Book Two
Terra Kelly
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: March 16th
ISBN: Paperback - 978-0-9862356-4-1
Ebook - 978-0-9862356-3-4
Word Count: Around 54,000 words, still in editing process.
Cover Artist: Easton Place Design Studios

Book Description: 

Book  two of The Winters Family Series, a contemporary romance filled with emotion.

After Alyssa and her daughter experience a horrible tragedy, she realizes a change of scenery is needed to help move on from the past.  She ends up in Idaho, opens a cafe, and continues to live life in the past for the next two years.

Until Alex arrives in Boise.

Alex is the youngest Winters brother, a chef in Los Angeles.  When he loses his job, he decides it’s time to leave the big city behind.  He finds a job opening in Boise, Idaho for an Executive Chef position.  He lost his job and girlfriend in the same day, now it’s time to just focus on work, or so he thought.

With so much sadness, can Alex show Alyssa it’s okay to love again? Will Alyssa realize she needs Alex to help her let go of the past?

Recipes made at the Cafe “Lexie Eats” will be included in the back of the book.


About the Author:

A romance nerd at heart, I tend to find inspiration in my dreams, or when walking my dog.  My love for romance goes all the way back to when I was 15, and laying on my best friend’s bed reading romance books.  It only took me 25 years to start putting all my stories on paper….well actually a computer.  I was born and raised in Michigan, now live in the South in North Carolina.  So my accent sounds like a Yankee with a slight Southern drawl.  When I am not writing you will find me reading, or baking.

My real life romance started when I was just 19.  Now over 20 years later, my husband is not only my lover but my best friend.  We only raise furry kids, we have one dog and two cats.  Our animals are all rescues.

Over four years ago I started a food blog at CafeTerraBlog.  My love for food is why each of my books will always share new recipes made by the characters.

I love connecting with my followers.  You can find me on Facebook and Twitter.  I will keep you up to date on what I am writing, book release dates, and so much more on my website.








I am a foodie, who loves creating recipes.

Spotlight & Giveaway: Taken by a Dragon by Felicity Heaton

Taken by a Dragon Blog Barrage - Felicity Heaton
Taken by a Dragon, the seventh book in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot paranormal romance series, Eternal Mates, is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY at her website and sharing sneak peeks of the book.
Find out how to enter the Taken by a Dragon international giveaway (ends March 22nd) and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website, where you can also download a 5 chapter sample of the novel:
Here’s more about Taken by a Dragon, including an excerpt from this paranormal romance novel.
Taken by a Dragon by Felicity Heaton
Possessed by a need to save a beautiful Amazon warrior from the vision he witnessed, Loke snatched her from the midst of the battle between the Third and Fifth realm of the demons, and carried her to his home deep in the black mountains of Hell to protect her. But as the fierce little female awakens, he finds she’s anything but grateful, and his dragon instincts roar to life to warn she might be more to him than an enemy—she might be his fated female.
Anais remembers meeting a handsome warrior in the heat of battle, a man who was her enemy but who looked at her with eyes that held dark heat and wicked promises. When she wakes to find that same dragon shifter has taken her captive, desire is the last thing on her mind, but escaping him to return to Archangel, the hunter organisation she works for, sounds less than appealing when he reveals the reason he took her—to stop her from dying.
Can Loke protect Anais from the dangers of his realm and how far will he go to save her from the future he keeps witnessing? Can Anais resist the fierce attraction that burns between them as hot as fire and stay true to Archangel or will her heart be taken by the dragon?
Taken by a Dragon is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer at:


Anais straightened and looked him right in the eyes, refusing to let how beautiful they were distract her.
“Take me back.”
His eyes darkened and his lips compressed into a thin line. “No.”
Fine. He wanted to do things the hard way and she was good with that. If he wouldn’t take her back out of the kindness of his black dead heart, she would force him to do it at knifepoint.
Anais slowly shifted away from the wall of the cave, heading into the open area between the dragon and the fire. He countered her, turning on the spot, keeping his front to hers. A darker edge flickered in his eyes, one that warned he was on to her and knew she intended to attack now.
“Last chance. Take me back.” She was fairly certain that he wasn’t going to take her up on her offer. She knew stubborn when she saw it. She looked at it in the mirror each day. In a battle of stubbornness, he wouldn’t win.
He took a step towards her.
Anais kicked off, lunging towards him, her eyes on the knife sheathed against his left hip.
He snatched her wrist before she could reach it, his strong grip sending a hot bolt of electricity arcing along her bones. She twisted her arm in his grip, turning her back to him and coming around on his left side. She made another grab for the knife with her free hand and he whipped the arm he held her with forwards, shoving her away from him and making her miss her target.
His growl echoed around the cave and she ducked beneath his other hand as he tried to grab her.
She broke free of his grip but didn’t back off. She didn’t know what he wanted with her, but she wasn’t going to stick around to find out. He’d had his chance to play nice. Now she was going to play rough.
He stepped into her and she brought her knee up hard, slamming it straight into his balls.
He grunted and doubled over and victory flashed through her as he cupped himself, leaving his knife wide open.
Anais made a grab for it.
He reacted in an instant, his head coming up and his hands leaving his groin. In a lightning fast move, he had blocked her attempt, knocking her hand away. She unleashed a short noise of frustration and attacked him, swinging her fist at his face. He blocked again, and again, stopping every punch she threw or kick she swung at him. Her anger rose with each failed attempt to hit him, her temper fraying at the same time.
The bastard was humouring her.
It was there in his eyes as he blocked her, always defending and never attacking. Their bright jewel-blue depths shimmered with amusement. He knew he could stop her any time he wanted because he was far stronger and quicker than she was.
Son of a bitch.
She growled and went to kick him between his legs again, and he caught her shin with both hands, stopping her. She tried to take her leg back but he refused to let go.
Anais launched a solid right hook at him, lost her balance and almost fell. His hand on her upper arm stopped her. What the hell? She would have thought he would be pleased if she had landed face first on the black ground, humiliating herself, but he had saved her.
She had the strangest notion as she pulled free of his grip and faced him.
He didn’t want to hurt her.
His self-assuredness wasn’t the reason why he was only defending. He wasn’t doing it to amuse himself either. He was doing it because any other course of action might hurt her.
He cemented that feeling when she made another lunge for the knife and he grabbed her right upper arm. The cut beneath the sleeve of her black t-shirt burned and she flinched, biting her tongue to muffle the cry of pain that blazed up her throat.
He quickly released her and backed off, distancing himself.
“I am sorry.” He lowered his hands to his sides.
Anais wasn’t sure what to make of him, but she refused to let his behaviour sway her. He probably wanted that. He wanted her to lower her guard.
She rubbed her arm and he looked away from her, glancing down at the ground beside his bare feet.
Giving her one hell of a golden opportunity she wasn’t about to waste.
She made a break for it, her boots eating up the black ground between her and the cave mouth.
“No!” His roar deafened her and echoed around the cave and the mountains beyond.
Strong arms banded around her waist from behind before she could reach the exit of the cave. She caught a glimpse of a green-black world as he lifted her off the ground—a swath of thick forest that covered the valley below the side of the mountain she was in and the forbidding black mountains all around her. That view disappeared as he turned her in his powerful arms, twisting her to face him, and shocked her by pinning her to his very solid chest.
“Do not go that way, Little Amazon,” he husked, his deep voice strained and thick with emotion.
Anais shoved at his chest as panic burst through her, sending her pulse racing, and her mind screamed at her to escape his hold.
He didn’t fight her. He turned so she was closest to the fire and set her down. The moment he released her, she backed off, placing some distance between them again and breathing hard to quell the dizzying rush of her heart.
He remained where he was as she slowly pulled herself back together, towering over her, and she found herself staring up at his handsome face. He looked as raw with emotion as his voice had sounded. Why?
As much as she wanted to know the answer to that question, she wanted her freedom even more.
She tried to get around him again but he countered her each time, moving left or right to block her path, keeping her contained in the back half of the cave, away from the mouth.
“You cannot leave.”
Those three words chilled her to her bones and panic and fear surged back to the surface, an unstoppable force that she could no longer control. They shook her and she couldn’t stop them from chipping away at her strength, breaking down her courage and filling her mind with a thousand horrific scenarios she didn’t want to entertain but was powerless to shut out.
“What do you want with me?” she whispered, unable to find her voice as she stilled and stared at him, her heart hammering against her chest and her hands shaking. She curled her fingers into fists and drew down a deep breath, trying to steady herself when all she really wanted to do was collapse onto her knees and maybe even cry. “Why won’t you let me leave?”
“Others cannot see you.” He looked back over his bare shoulder, towards the cave mouth. “It is not safe for you out there, Little Amazon.”
“It’s not safe for me in here either.” She clenched her fists and narrowed her eyes on him.
He turned back to face her, his expression soft and a touch wounded. Bloody hell, she wasn’t sure what to make of him.
“What do you want with me?” She tried again, needing an answer this time, because she feared he intended to do something terrible to her, even when there was a part of her heart that said it was never going to happen.
He had been upset and had apologised when he had hurt her, and that reaction had been genuine. She had met enough good guys and enough bastards in her life to know them apart. A man who reacted in such a manner as he had wasn’t the sort of man who would then resort to physical abuse.
“I want to keep you safe.”
Of course, men who didn’t want to hurt women could also be dangerously possessive of them. He might be the type who was acting out an obsession, a deep need to nurture and take care of another person, despite how much it terrified that person or how little they wanted to be there with them.
“It’s hard for me to believe that when you kidnapped me.” She backed off another step and did a quick scan of the cave again, checking her options.
He had left the back of the cave open to her, which meant he didn’t think she could escape that way. Her only option was getting past him. Her hope tried to deflate but she refused to let it happen. She would get out of here and away from him.
It just might not be this instant.
His face softened again and he held his right hand out to her as his blue eyebrows furrowed. Like hell she was going to take it. He could want to comfort her all he liked, but she didn’t have to let him fulfil that need.
A flicker of resignation crossed his expression and he looked at his hand, smiled briefly, and lowered it to his side. “I had to. If I had not—”
Dread went through her like shards of ice.
“If you hadn’t… what?” Anais couldn’t stop herself from advancing a step towards him. She didn’t like how he had cut himself off or the flash of fear that had touched his face.
He dropped his gaze to the patch of ground between them and it turned distant. “Dragons have the gift of foresight. What I saw…”
A chill ran through her as she remembered how he had looked at her on the battlefield and how she had felt in that moment. A deep sense of connection had bloomed inside her and he had looked as if he had shared it, and then he had changed. The heat in his eyes had turned to darkness that had coloured his expression, making it grim. She had felt that same sharp stab of dread in that moment, a sickening sensation of her life draining from her.
A heartbeat later, he had grabbed her. No longer a man. He had been an enormous, and breathtakingly beautiful, blue dragon. He had tucked her against the paler blue plates of his chest, holding her gently in both huge front paws, as if he had wanted to shield her, and then he had attacked everyone.
Her side.
He had driven them all away from her.
Because of what he had seen?
“I cannot let you leave. Please, Little Amazon.” His blue eyes implored her to listen to him, flooded with sincerity, hope and a dash of fear. “I will return you… when I am sure you will be safe.”
Anais shook her head, reeling and trying to make sense of everything. It crashed over her, muddling her feelings and leaving her shaken.
“We were in a battle,” she said and shook her head again. “I knew the risks. You had no reason to save me. I wasn’t a damsel in distress. I was there to fight. Why save me? I was… am… your enemy.”
He stared at her, blinking slowly, unmoving as silence stretched between them. She couldn’t read him at all. She had no clue about how he felt or what he might say. His expression gave nothing away.
He held her gaze, his blue eyes locked with hers. “I did it because I had to.”
“That isn’t an answer.” She took another step towards him, growing frustrated with him and with herself. What was she doing? Did she want him to give her an answer that would sway her? Did she want him to say something that would make her trust him?
Hell, maybe she had been right on coming around. She had passed out from lack of oxygen and her brain had been starved of it, because nothing she was thinking or feeling was making any sense to her logical mind.
Something about the man standing before her had her throwing logic and all of her training out of the window, and listening to her heart over her head.
Anais shut down the softer part of herself and forced herself to focus again. She needed to get away from the dragon and this cave, but he was right. It was probably more dangerous out there. She needed to know what she would be up against and where she was in Hell. She needed a plan, or she would end up in an even worse position than she was now.
“It is the only answer I have,” he whispered and he looked as if it didn’t make sense to him either, but he had been unable to find another one to give to her. “I had a vision, and I responded to it. I had no choice. It was instinct. I wanted to protect you.”
Another sensation went through Anais, this one not altogether pleasant either, and it frightened her a lot more than the thought of dying.
She had seen how King Thorne of the demons had acted around Sable, driven by instinct to protect her at any cost because she was his fated mate. Some of the species of Hell had such mates, a person fated for them.
One in a lifetime.
She stared at the dragon where he stood with his back to the cave mouth, cragged black mountains as his backdrop and the light from the fire behind her shining on him, turning his skin golden as it flickered across his honed bare chest and arms, and his blue-leather-clad legs.
He was every bit as stunning as he had been on the battlefield.
A dark and alluring warrior who spoke to her on a deep and primal level.
The sense of fierce attraction and connection returned.
This time it filled her head with flashes of Sable and Thorne, of how they behaved around each other, driven by a possessive need of each other, a hunger that went beyond mere attraction and desire, defying all logic and reason.
Bloody hell.
She refused to allow herself to believe that the man standing before her, a dragon shifter, was such a thing for her. He was a means to an end. A source of information. She would bide her time, gather knowledge, and once she was ready she would escape and return to her world, the one that made sense to her. The one filled with logic and reason, just how she liked it.
“Swear you won’t hurt me and that you’ll return me to my people.” It never hurt to have a few assurances that she could use to quell her fears. He was a warrior. He wasn’t a team player by his own admission, but warriors always had a code. He would keep his vows.
He pressed his left hand to his bare chest and bowed his head. “You have my word. In return, you will swear you will not attempt to leave.”
Anais nodded. “You have my word.”
His hand drifted downwards, drawing her gaze with it, over honed muscles that delighted her eyes and heated her insides. His voice was rich and warm, as deep as an ocean as he spoke to her, cranking her temperature up another few degrees and making her forget she was meant to be afraid of him not attracted to him.
“Will you stay, Little Amazon?”
Anais raised her eyes back to his. They were bright, spotted with gold fire, entrancing her as much as his voice and his body.
She nodded, and for some reason it wasn’t as reluctant as it should have been.
Heaven help her.
She wasn’t sure it was such a great idea after all, because she was certain there wasn’t enough willpower in the entire planet that she could draw on to stop herself from succumbing to the desire that swept through her whenever she looked at him.
Taken by a Dragon is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback.
Find all the links, a fantastic 6 chapter downloadable sample of the book, and also how to enter the giveaway and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website:
Books in the Eternal Mates paranormal romance series:

Author Bio

Felicity Heaton
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.
If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.
If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Tsu | Pinterest | GoodReads | Amazon

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