Tag Archives: dahlia sabin

Amber Ruin countDown

We are at just over a month before the eighth book in The Blushing Death Series is released.

Here’s a small snippet to keep you ready. Be prepared this is adult content, a.k.a there’s are some grown up words in this snippet and if you can’t handle it, now’s the time to back out. Just saying…

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” I snarled from the doorway. I’d almost refused to come out of Jade’s bathroom, but this atrocity just couldn’t stand.

“Whatever do you mean?” Jade asked, her rich, chocolate-brown eyes wide with an innocence I didn’t believe for one good-god-damned minute. She’d done this on purpose. Also, she was a horrible liar.

“Have you lost your damned mind? This dress is Beauty and the Beast on crack!” I answered, trying to find a position where the fabric didn’t irritate the hell out of my skin. This thing was like wearing sandpaper. The lemon-yellow chiffon overlay in conjunction with all the layers of tulle, and nonsense underneath made this atrocity of a dress enormous to boot. There were ruffles everywhere and I had to tilt my body just to fit through the fucking door. There was a hoop skirt for Christ’s sakes, cause, of course, there was. Not only that, I was starting to sweat. A shiver of revulsion swept over me and I squirmed as the air conditioning chilled the sweat running down my back and the fabric turned cold and clammy against my armpit. A disgusting sensation I hadn’t anticipated.

“You don’t like it?” she asked, and her voice which was usually acerbic and, well, jaded was now sugary sweet.

I glanced around the room. Alex was lounging in a chair without a care in the world. Her hair was a Smurf blue color today and spiked up into a mohawk. She wore a black T-shirt that read ‘Meh’ in bright bubblegum pink letters. Her fingers drumming on the arm of the chair made my anger prickle higher. A smirk turned up the corner of the vampire’s elven lips. God damn it, she was laughing at me.

Brittany, the resident witch who was also standing in one of these horrifying dresses, was trying very hard to look anywhere but at me. The ruffles on her shoulders and around her chest began to float as far as that seam would let them. She floated shit when her emotions were high and whatever was going on here, Brittany knew and was edgy about it.

Niyati stood in front of the full-length mirror, her gaze returning to her own reflection as she too stood engulfed in the lemon-yellow monstrosity. “I like it,” she said without guile or pretense.

“Of course, you do, love,” Alex chimed in, her tone indulgent. Niyati liked everything because she didn’t look bad in anything. Tall and slender, Niyati’s long black hair slid down the center of her back in a silken waterfall and her dark South-Asian skin appeared almost radiant against the bright yellow fabric.

Amber Ruin Cover Reveal

If you got my newsletter, you got this on June 26th. Congrats on your awesome taste by following my newsletter. If not, then you get this two and a half weeks later.

Coming October 9, 2019

Cover Art by Rae Monet
Publisher Soul Mate Publishing

Dahlia, Dean, and Patrick are attempting a political coup of the supernatural world. Gathering allies to upset the balance and throw off the shackles of the ancients won’t be easy. But to live alongside humans instead of in their shadow, they’ll have to overcome enemies at every turn; vampires, shifters, the fae, and humans.

Baba Yaga, the queen of the dark fae, has her own designs for Dahlia. Moving her chess pieces on the board, the ancient witch has set a trap to draw The Blushing Death back into her clutches. To possess Dahlia and the power of Fertiri magic for her own purposes, Baba Yaga will do almost anything -sacrifice anyone – to rise to power once more.  

Racing to survive Baba Yaga’s traps and rescue two of her wolves, Dahlia enters Baba Yaga’s mountain understanding that she may never come out again.

Pre-Order Link Coming Soon!

Snippet – Amber Ruin

Amber Ruin is coming in October and I thought I’d give you a little glimpse into what is coming. Enjoy!

Patrick stood in our shared closet, lost. His back straight and his fingers walking across hangers, I could hear him mumbling to himself but couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. I sat on the floor with my back against the wall next to the door to our walk-in closet. Watching. This was fascinating. From the moment I’d met him, Patrick had always been perfect. He’d looked like GQ come to life and this flustered side of him was . . . cute.

“Figured it out yet?” I asked, not able to keep the smile from my lips.

“No,” he grumbled, running his hand through his thick, onyx hair. “What should I pack for this type of event?” he asked, frustration finally bleeding through.

“Jeans,” Dean called from our bedroom. He also sounded frustrated. That’s all Dean owned was jeans. Oh sure, he had a suit or two for meetings, but that was it. The moment the meeting was over, he was back in jeans and a t-shirt.

“That isn’t very helpful,” Patrick snorted.

Getting to my feet, I took the several steps to close the distance between us and wrapped my arms around his waist. I breathed in his scent of death, blood, and mysteriously . . . old books. Something in my brain clicked home. He stroked his fingers along my arm and his body relaxed against me. “You’ll be fine,” I whispered, understanding the underlying problem that he didn’t want to voice. Being mystically married, I got a little extra insight to the men I loved that normal humans didn’t get. It was really helpful to be able to see inside their soul and know what they were feeling, what they weren’t saying. Shit, I was married. Mystically or not. Sometimes it just hit me, a bolt of lightning to the brain. I was married.

Violet Abyss Snippet

I’ve got nothing today. So, instead, I thought I’d give you a little snippet from Violet Abyss coming in May. I’m working on the 1st round edits now.

This is the lazy way out…I know.

“As much as I appreciate the distraction, we need to talk about this.” I sighed, still feeling the endorphins coast through my system and unable to keep the grin from my face.

“Do we?” Dean growled.

“Yes.” I grabbed my T-shirt and slung it over my head, tossing it across the room. It was covered in sweat and sex. I couldn’t wear it downstairs in a house filled with shifters that would smell it a mile away. “You know it’s a trap, right?”

“Yes,” Dean growled beside me, sliding his hand across the lace of my bra.

My nipple puckered again under the warm caress of his hand.

“And yet, the only way to curry favor with the other Territorial Lieges is to attend.” Patrick stretched out beside me, lithe and lean like a satisfied cat.

“When was the last time a gathering of this type happened?” I asked Patrick, watching the muscles ripple beneath his alabaster skin, still marred by the scars caused by silver spikes when he’d been tortured in Faerie. I was getting used to them, almost not even seeing them anymore but when I did notice, a pang of guilt always twisted my stomach into knots. It wasn’t my fault, but I hadn’t saved him in time to stop it. For that, I would never forgive myself.

“Never.”

“Well, hell,” I snorted. “That can’t be good.”

“You said it,” Dean added, his voice a deep rumble in his chest.

“So, what’s our plan?” I asked, feeling the endorphins wearing off and the edge of anxiety making my blood pressure rise.

“Stay alive,” Dean snorted.

“We must demonstrate our power, our self-reliance, and resources to the Territorial Lieges. We must also show our superiority over the Lebensblut board. We must give the Territorial Lieges a reason to side with us or this entire endeavor will be fruitless. A rebellion of sorts is in order and this conclave is our best chance to gain support,” Patrick said, his voice harsh but firm. A sexy, gruff tone I recognized from that night in Crimson when he’d shoved me up against a wall, not knowing if he was going to kill me or kiss me. He’d kissed me and it had been one hell of a kiss.

“What you’re saying is that I shouldn’t hide who and what I am . . .”

“No, baby, no hiding this time,” Dean grumbled.

“Correct. No hiding. We want them to fear us. We want each of them to weigh their options and find Konyam and the board lacking.” Patrick brushed a strand of my long, blond hair from my face. His cool fingers brushed across my forehead and I shivered in the humid New Orleans air.

The Blushing Death

Ever wonder how Dahlia got her street name (aka the Blushing Death)?? Well, here’s your chance to find out. This short has not been professionally edited and contains graphic language and content. Read at your own risk. Enjoy!

 

*

What the hell was he doing here? He’d better things to do than watch over some imbecile who wasn’t intelligent enough to take his meal behind a dumpster or into an alley before he ate. Patrick closed his eyes and let the night breathe into him, fill him, and energize him. Waiting for Dmitri to exit the bar, he hadn’t fed yet and his fangs throbbed from want of a meal.

As Ethan’s right hand, he had too many responsibilities to be sitting on a roof top, monitoring Dmitri’s hunt. Ethan must be losing whatever sense he had left. Being 400 and some odd years old, Vampire Liege, and almost half a century without Margo – his mate of more than 300 years – had finally destroyed the last vestige of sanity his father had.

The breeze whipped around Patrick’s hair, pushing the scent of alcohol, oversexed college students, and grease from the nearby campus bars through his nostrils, barraging his senses with debauchery. Why Dmitri hunted the incredibly inebriated young coeds was understandable, however, why he couldn’t keep from drawing attention to himself and feeding in public was beyond his understanding.

Patrick sat on the ledge of the roof along High Street watching young men and women stumble from bar to bar, laughing, touching, fondling each other. Patrick watched them with envy.  He hadn’t touched someone with abandon in decades. He’d occupied himself with quick fucks and blood whores, as those were the only ones safe and allowed him to hide his true nature and power.

“What are you doing to yourself?” Patrick whispered into the silence. He shouldn’t envy humans. Ever. Leaning over the edge, he kept his eyes open for Dmitri. The young one would have to come out sooner or later.

The wind shifted and brought a familiar musky scent to his nose. “How’d you find me?” Patrick asked without turning, knowing full well who was standing behind him.

“Wasn’t hard. You stink,” the deep, bass voice rumbled with what Patrick thought was a chuckle.  Patrick smiled to himself without turning. Dean, werewolf, alpha, Pack King, and friend was nothing if not precise. He never said two words when one would do.

“So you’ve said,” Patrick said as he turned to face his friend of decades. The two men were complete opposites in every way. Patrick was tall, lean, and muscular with a runner’s body, his movements were lithe as a cat’s. Dean was older than Patrick by almost fifty years, but you couldn’t tell to look at them since vampires and werewolves didn’t age. Patrick had dark hair and dark eyes that stood in stark contrast to his pale skin.

Dean, on the other hand, was tall and bulky like he could lift a car over his head as he would a sack of potatoes. He had deep olive-green eyes, dark Mediterranean skin, and a completely shaved head. He was kind, loyal and had the ability to read people in a way that staggered Patrick. In Patrick’s mind, everyone had an ulterior motive. He’d lived too long and seen too many vampires he’d trusted turn on him with the merest hint of power.

“Pat?” Dean’s deep voice rumbled behind him. Dean sounded unsure and Patrick knew it was his fault. Patrick had been avoiding his friend for weeks, months really. It wasn’t safe.  Ethan didn’t approve of his friendship with Dean. His Liege also didn’t appreciate that Dean had a power Ethan couldn’t control and couldn’t curtail. The old vampire was threatened by Dean, and he should be. The werewolf was more powerful than any Patrick had ever come across. But Unlike Ethan, Dean seemed content with what he had. That’s why Patrick trusted him.

“Yes,” Patrick answered, keeping his gaze on the street below.

“You alright?” Dean asked, stepping up beside him. Patrick glanced over at his friend.

Dean watched the street below, avoiding eye contact.

“Perfectly,” Patrick said. “I’m babysitting this evening.  And you?”

“Looking for you,” Dean mumbled.

“Is something wrong?” Patrick asked with dread filling him. Ethan was hiding more and more from Patrick and he suspected it was only a matter of time before his Liege made a move on the Pack and Patrick would have to move his timetable forward.

“Not anymore.”

Patrick looked back at his friend with sudden understanding. Dean had been worried.

“It wasn’t safe,” Patrick said. “It still isn’t.”

“Is that why you’re babysitting?”

Why was he babysitting? Ethan had been acting strange. He had been like Patrick’s father since he rose that first night but in the last few months, Ethan had been treating Patrick like he didn’t trust him. He’d been with Ethan for the better part of a century. Why would the man second guess his trust now?

“I don’t know why I’m babysitting, actually. Dmitri should have been put down long ago. He’s a danger to all of us and much too public,” Patrick scoffed.

“Hmph,” Dean snorted.

“What does that mean?” Patrick snapped.

“Just . . . hmph.”

Patrick turned his gaze back to the street. Where the hell was Dmitri?

Two women stumbled from the bar beneath Patrick and Dean. They both seemed unsteady, inebriated as the dark haired woman with hair down her back and hips just a bit too wide for Patrick’s tastes slammed into her friend. The other woman was tall, muscular, and voluptuous in a way that Patrick knew would overflow his palm with thick thighs and hips that swayed when she walked. She had shimmering blonde hair that caught his eye in the street light overhead. She seemed irritated as she aided, practically carried her friend down the sidewalk. Her steps were steady, sure and Patrick knew she wasn’t intoxicated in the least.

The wind shifted, blowing the scent of the two women up. Their scents mingled together like vinegar and oil. One was deeper, musky, tangled with the acidic scent of alcohol. The other was soft, carrying the scent of jasmine oil and something else . . . something old.

“What is that?” Dean asked, leaning over the edge. He took a deep breath, filling his nose with her scent again.

“She smells of magic,” Patrick whispered.

“None that I’ve smelled before. It’s old. Too old for either one of them.”

Patrick watched the blond as she and her friend crossed the street toward the university dorms.

“Dmitri,” Dean growled low in his chest.

Patrick’s eyes shot back to the sidewalk and the vampire he’d been following all night lurking in the shadows like a common vagrant. Dmitri crossed the street, following the two women down the sidewalk into the darkness. The streetlights grew farther and farther apart, snaking shadows across the parking lot.

“Stop him,” Dean growled.

“Why?” Patrick asked but a twinge in his gut agreed with his friend. He should stop Dmitri. Magic still tingled in his nose, pulling at his brain and his being for recognition, as if he should know it, know her. The magic seemed basic, primal, complex, and new all at the same time. What was she?

“I don’t know,” Dean answered, confused. “But something’s gnawing at me to stop him.” Before either could move, Dmitri was already on them.

*

Damn her!  My plan for the night had not been to carry her drunk ass across campus. I’d just met her a few weeks ago for Christ’s sakes and this was not my responsibility. I wasn’t her mother. But I couldn’t leave her either.

“I love you,” Lisa slurred up at me.

“Yeah, yeah,” I said. “Sure.”

She stumbled into me, again. Damn, she was heavy. I tripped on her clumsy feet but caught myself before both of us hit the ground. If we fell, I wasn’t picking her back up. I wasn’t. Okay, I probably would, but I wouldn’t like it.

We stumbled through triangles of shadows cast by the street lights as I tried not to break my neck on something unseen or uneven pavement. The street lights were getting farther apart, keeping us in darkness longer and longer which didn’t sit well with me. A chill swept up my spine that sent the hairs on the back of my neck on end and my heart raced in anticipation.

“I do, you know,” she slurred again.

“That’s great, Lisa. Now, hurry the hell up and get your ass moving,” I snapped. I had a bad feeling churning in my stomach and I wanted to be back in our rooms.

“Can I help?” a man asked behind me. His voice was rough, filled with gravel that rumbled around his thick Eastern European accent. He was too close. Much too close.

*

“Stop him,” Dean growled again, low in his chest. This time, it wasn’t a request.

“I think we’re too late,” Patrick whispered, panic filling him and he couldn’t even say why.

*

I dropped Lisa and turned.

“Hey,” she snarled as her ass hit the cement, hard.

“Shut up!” I snapped. We were in trouble. I could feel it down to my toes. I didn’t have any cash on me but then again, this guy didn’t look like he wanted cash.

“You should listen to your friend,” he said, smirking at Lisa and then fixing his gaze on me with a singularity that tightened my stomach in dread.

“What do you want?” I barked, stepping in front of Lisa who still sitting on the sidewalk.

“I think I’m going to be sick,” Lisa groaned behind me, just before she retched a few times, spilling the foul smell of vomit into the air. Perfect!

     The man looked down at her and then back up at me with a disgusted expression and his lips curling into a sneer. He turned his nose up at the stench. “I will leave that one.”

“You’ll be leaving both of us,” I said, thrusting every ounce of confidence and malice I had into that one sentence.

“I don’t think so,” he cooed as the corners of his mouth turned up in a lecherous, hungry smile.

He lunged at me.

He was quick. Too quick for my eyes to follow. His hands gripped my throat, squeezing until I couldn’t breathe and my lungs burned with the lack of oxygen. Lifting me from the ground with one hand as if I weighed nothing, my feet dangled from the ground. I kicked out at him, clutching his hand around my throat as I tried to wedge my fingers in-between his grip and my neck. His grip was iron tight around and pain surged through my entire being as his fingers dug into my flesh.

My heart pounded in my head, filling my ears with the steady thump-thump, thump-thump of its beat. I stared up into his face and caught his malicious grin spread across his lips, exposing a straight line of white teeth . . . and . . . fangs. SHIT! He couldn’t be . . . could he? I kicked at him again but each time I made contact, he shrugged it off.

“You smell too good to resist,” he drooled in his thick accent. He pushed his thumb up under my chin, tilting my head away, exposing my neck. Leaning into me, he ran his tongue up the long line of my throat in a languorous stroke of saliva. I shivered at the feel of him on my body and something clicked into place.

Alright, I’ve had enough. My instincts took over before I could think too much about it. I didn’t want to think. I wanted this thing’s hands off me and to get Lisa and me back to our dorms in one piece. I wanted this asshole to know he couldn’t just walk up to anyone and hurt them. I wouldn’t let him hurt me or anyone, ever again.

Kill him, a voice whispered in a deep, husky enticement from the back of my mind. Kill him, she said again. He’s not one of us.

No, he wasn’t. My body stilled and I stopped fighting.  My mind cleared and a peace I’d never known settled over me. I was going to kill him and I knew it as much as I knew my name was Dahlia Sabin.

He lapped at my neck one last time, bringing his tongue all the way up to my ear. “You taste like power,” he purred in my ear. As the last word left his lips, he reared his head back and exposed his fangs before he lurched at my exposed skin.

*

“What is that?” Patrick asked in a hush as he watched the blond woman struggle in Dmitri’s grasp. Dmitri was playing with her, in the open, in full view of anyone who wanted to watch.

“I don’t know,” Dean said as his fingers gripped the edge of the roof with white knuckled intensity. The three of them stood in shadows, far from the unnatural light of the streetlamps as Dmitri gripped her by the neck. Even with that fact, everywhere around her, illuminating the shadows like a beacon a soft, red glow emitted. Patrick watched Dmitri lick a long line up her neck, unaware of the blushing glow growing out from her body. Dmitri was a dead vampire. He’d kill that sonovabitch himself.

She stopped struggling.

“What’s she doing?” Dean snapped. His voiced rung with the same fear Patrick felt tighten his gut. He’d pegged that girl as a fighter and something inside him didn’t want her to give in, didn’t want her to just lie down and die. The soft red glow around her became a harsh red slash of light through the darkness as Dmitri reared his head back to strike and Patrick stood in awe of her. It would be a shame if this creature were to perish at Dmitri’s unworthy hands.

*

I reached out and grasped his head in my hands. Before he could think to push my hands away, I twisted his head sharply, snapping his neck. He released his grip on my throat and I dropped to the ground, crouching low. I caught my breath and waited for the sound of his body to hit the ground.

It never came.

I glanced up at the man still standing in front of me with his head twisted at an unnatural, uncomfortable angle.  He should’ve been dead.

“Fuck,” I breathed. He reached his hands up and placed them firmly on either side of his face. The man twisted his neck back into place, and cracked it back, shifting his chin up on either side.

“You stupid little BITCH! That hurt,” he growled. I scrambled backward on my hands, dragging my ass across the pavement as I climbed over Lisa’s passed out, limp body.

Kill him, kill him, through the heart, she whispered like a mantra.

My mind tried to grapple with the idea of a man who didn’t die when you broke his neck. I’d definitely felt the pop.

Through the heart? 

Why through the heart? Fangs . . . Fuck! Vampire!

If the attack had happened on anyone else, vampire would not have been the first guess. I was different. I’d seen spirits, ghosts, and poltergeists since the age of five, been attacked by a ghoul in a cemetery and felt the pull of magic too often to count. Just because I’d never encountered a vampire before, didn’t mean I couldn’t believe. Looking up into this guy’s eyes, I believed. Oh boy, did I believe.

“Through the heart then,” I whispered. I had to find something. I didn’t have any weapons, why would I? College students didn’t walk around with weapons. I moved to my right, tripping over Lisa’s outstretched arm. My ass hit hard, spilling into the soft, warm mound of vomit. Fanfuckingtastic!  It soaked through my jeans, turning my stomach. Now, I was pissed.  The vampire took careful steps toward me, slow, watching.

I reached out, spreading my arms wide, searching for anything that I could use to defend myself. My fingers wrapped around a long flimsy branch from the nearby dogwood tree. It was blunt and would probably snap on impact but it was all I had.

He stepped over Lisa, too casual and much to focused on me.  I hated her all the more for passing out. If I lived through this, I’d have to carry her back and covered in her vomit. I hated drunk people.

The vampire reached down and grabbed the front of my shirt, yanking me to my feet. My head whipped back with his strength. I was going to live. Damn it! If it was the last thing I did!

He snarled at me, exposing teeth and fangs in a glistening white sheen. I tightened my grip around the branch and thrust it up under his ribs. The branch pushed through his thin t-shirt, into his body, through flesh and muscle. The cool, sticky sensation of his blood spilling over my hand, turned my stomach. His eyes widened in disbelief as he met my glare. He released my shirt, shoving me away before he fell to his knees. Gasping for air, he scrambled to tug the branch from his chest.

I took a step back, out of reach as he swung his arms out to me, flailing.

“You stupid cunt!” he yelled. His skin moved over the flesh and bone, weakening to an almost paper thin transparency, stretching from his bones, and shriveling away from his face.

“Christ on Crutches,” I gasped.

His head, take his head that same voice whispered.

“His head? What the hell with?” I called out into the darkness, frustration making my anger seep into my blood and making it boil through my veins. I staggered back another step as he fell forward, trying to grab me. The vampire slammed face-first into the ground, driving the branch further into his chest, and up through his back.

*

“She killed him,” Dean said with an uncharacteristic smile pushing the corners of his mouth up.

“Yes, she did,” Patrick said as he watched her stand like a Fury over her kill. Her chest heaved with her heavy breath and her adrenaline made her scent a heady mixture of Jasmine, magic and power. The harsh red glow simmered down to a soft blushing pink as Dmitri decomposed on the ground.

“His head? What the hell with?” she seemed to cry out in frustration. To whom she spoke, Patrick didn’t know.

“Do you have your knife?” Patrick asked. Dean nodded and pulled the 8 inch silver plated bowie knife from the sheath in his boot. Dean flipped the knife in his hand, gripping the blade in his palm. “Be careful,” Patrick snapped.

“Hmph.”

Dean brought the knife back and threw it. The blade soared through the air, across the street, over the grass, sinking it into the ground a few feet behind her. She backed up another step, tripping over the knife with her foot. She stumbled but caught herself and glared down at the knife sticking out of the ground. She seemed frozen for a moment, but only long enough to blink. She grasped the exposed handle in her hand and ripped it from the ground and took the two long strides toward Dmitri.

The woman knelt down at the vampire’s shoulders. She raised the knife above her head without a single hesitation and brought it down hard. Sinking the knife’s blade through the shrinking flesh of Dmitiri’s neck, she severed his head from his body.

Once his head and heart were separated, Dmitri erupted in a puff of ash. His decomposition was sped up and had destroyed any existence that he ever existed.

“She didn’t even flinch,” Patrick said, transfixed.

“Except for the flicker in that red glow around her.”

The woman, a girl really, stood and brushed the ash from her jeans. She shoved the knife in her back pocket and glanced around. Glancing over her shoulder, she evaluated at the mess on her pert, round ass. She released a frustrated, defeated sigh up to the heavens and shook her head.

“Hey, Lisa,” she snapped at the woman passed out on the ground. She reached down and tugged at the woman’s shirt. When the girl didn’t wake, she struck her across the face. The crack of flesh on flesh rang in Patrick’s ears, making his body tingle from head to toe with the violence, the power, and the determination of this woman.

“I’m not carrying your heavy ass after the night I’ve had,” she hissed. The inebriated girl finally opened her eyes and staggered to her feet. Without another work, she strode off, leaving the girl to follow or not.

“That was . . .” Dean started.

“Incredible,” Patrick finished.

“What are you going to do?” Dean asked with a hush still in his voice.

“Nothing,” Patrick said with a mischievous grin cresting his lips. He had a plan that could turn the tide to everything he’d ever hoped. “If he’s stupid enough to get staked by a coed then he deserved it.”

“She’s a little more than just a coed.”

“Yes, she’s the Blushing Death,” Patrick said with a satisfied smile.

“What?” Dean asked, finally turning his glare at Patrick with that Alpha stare.

“Even little children have something they fear. It’s been a long time since we did. Spread the word. There’s a new boogey man in town,” Patrick said.

“No more babysitting then?” Dean asked with an understanding nod.

“No more babysitting. If I can make her a bigger threat, maybe he’ll forget about you for a while.”

“And give you a chance to keep an eye on her,” Dean scoffed at his friends semblance of goodwill.

“That too.”

The Best Laid Plans

The Golden Anidae is only 9 days away so here’s a freebie! This little short takes place from Dean’s perspective over  a scene in Midnight Ash. MidnightAsh2_850This consists of strong language and has not been professionally edited. Read at your own risk.

The Best Laid Plans

“There’ll have to be a change of plans,” Pat said as if his perfect little world wasn’t falling apart.

I understood the slight tick at the corner of Pat’s eye.  It was almost imperceptible but I knew Pat, knew what to look for.  Pat wanted to kill something, anything that moved to keep the Blushing Death safe.

“What plan?” the dangerous little mouse squeaked.

Danny glanced over at her with guilt written all over his face.  Stupid pup. She could eat Danny alive.  Her face flushed and the soft grey of her eyes swirled with anger, tugging at my insides.  The room filled with her, the soft floral, feminine scent mixed with the rich spiciness of her anger.  My cock hardened along my thigh as her scent permeated my brain, registering something deep in my synapses that I didn’t understand.  My wolf wanted to leap out to meet her, to run with her.  I fought to hold back my beast and keep control.  I had reacted to her like this from the first and it took everything I had not to rub up against her and mark her as mine.

Dear God, what is she?

She glanced over at me, her grey eyes churning with a secret. With a wicked smile on her face, that glint in her eye was as if she’d imagined something horrible in her mind and got satisfaction from it.  I liked that devious and predatory grin.  My wolf knew it for what it was, dangerous, protective, and mine.

Pat reached out and touched her, sliding his cold, dead hand against her cheek.  Something inside me wanted to rip that hand off. It didn’t make sense. Pat was my friend, had been for decades.

The Blushing Death jumped at his touch and my wolf was glad of it. Quicker than either I or Pat saw, she’d drew her knife.  The Blushing Death would never be a victim. She’d kill everyone and everything before she let that happen and I was glad of it. Humans didn’t live long in our world but then again, she wasn’t merely human.

Pat reached out, slow and cautious, touching her again. She dropped the knife but I could see the reluctance in her gaze.  I wished it was my hand on her cheek, wished I was comforting her.

Damn it!

Janey . . . I missed Janey.  That was all. I was lonely, so lonely.  Dahlia Sabin wasn’t mine.  She was Pat’s. My wolf growled deep in my being, arguing with my brain. She may be Pat’s but she would never be Danny’s.  That much, I knew for certain.  No matter how much that boy wanted it to be true, she would never be Danny’s.

“There’s something else?” Pat asked her.

“Later,” she said, turning to face the rest of the room with her shoulders back and her chin high.  That woman was every bit an Alpha and my cock throbbed at the thought of testing her.

“What’s the change in plan?  What’s the plan period?” she snapped, sliding that long silver blade back into it sheath.  I could read the tension in her body and something in me ached to ease it.  She caressed the blade as she would a lover, taking comfort from the weapon and her own sense of determination.  The Blushing Death was no shrinking violet and my cock twitched, imagining her fingers wrapped around my hard length, squeezing my shaft with the same tenderness.  My beast paced back and forth inside me like the caged animal it was, growling through my mind.  I was stronger than this.  I was stronger than whatever was tugging at my chest and riling up my beast.

“Alex and I had intended to confront the board in the Lebensblut New York offices to come up with a compromise,” Pat said with more words than needed. Too many words could get a guy in trouble. “I’d hoped we could stop this before it started.  Make amends somehow.  Now, I’m afraid we’re too late. We’ll make an appeal but I’m afraid that Dahlia needs to be protected.”

She was stiff, her hands balled into fists at her sides as if she wanted to punch everyone in the room. I couldn’t blame her.  Pat was heavy handed but he knew what he was doing.  She took a deep breath and forced her shoulders to relax.

“Okay.  I’ll need protection,” she agreed.

Before I could hold it in, I laughed.  Out loud. The raucous sound was so foreign, I startled myself.  Pat’s eyes were wider than dinner plates and I could almost see the wheels turning in her head.  She’d surprised everyone.  Including  me.

She and Pat both glared at me but I didn’t care.  I couldn’t remember the last time I’d laughed.   It felt good.  Better than I remembered. Who was this woman? My heart raced in my chest and what I could only describe as fear churned in my gut. She’d made me feel things in the last five minutes that I hadn’t felt . . . ever. Not even with Janey.

“Is something amusing, Dean?” Pat hissed.  His jaw was tight and his tone clipped as he glared at me.  I didn’t care.  I enjoyed the light feeling in my chest and even the fear.

“You said she was unpredictable,” I answered through strangled laughter and sunk back into the couch, relaxing.  I liked her more than I knew was good for me.

Fantasy Football…ARGH!

I’m going to tell you a little secret. I live in Columbus Ohio and I don’t really like football. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone. I might get run out of town. This town lives and dies by OSU Football. That is our “professional” sports team. I’m not saying this because the payers are paid or anything, merely because this town treats it like any NFL team.

I’ve grown to accept that on Saturday’s between August and January, I’m watching football in one form or another and maybe even attending a game or two. I’m married and we all have to sacrifice for our spouses. But I was blessed because Sundays were relatively free of football. That is until this year. 

Ross was encouraged to be on a fantasy football team by one of our friends who has just plummeted to the bottom of my shit list – that’s right! I’m talking to you Mark Aaron! Sunday afternoons have become one game after the other as Ross stares at his “board” and watches his points compared to someone else.

The worst part of all of this, is that he’s got me watching that damned board too. I can’t help it! I have to win. I don’t have the personality to lose graciously and I won’t allow Ross to lose either. First, he has to beat Mark Aaron simply for ruining my Sundays. I feel that’s just fair. Second, I didn’t marry a loser! And finally, I wouldn’t tell him this but if he wins maybe he’ll join next year too and stay out of my hair on Sunday afternoons. We are incredibly unproductive when we are alone together. I might be able to get shit done!

RT2013

Am I the only one not concerned with fame?

I don’t care that you’re famous.

If you’re an ass, you’re just a famous ass and I don’t have time to deal with that.

If you have fans (and don’t get me wrong, I’m totally jealous), but at least pay attention to them and don’t treat them like their shit. If they want to take a picture with you, smile and say “sure, that would be great!” Also, don’t hide who you are. If you started out as self-published, acknowledge it and embrace it. Be proud of where you came from. Yes, now you have a very VERY lucrative publishing contract but own up. You started out as fan-fiction, stole someone else’s characters and wrote a very subpar set of novels that the general masses adore. Own it!

Maybe its me but I can’t respect a person who doesn’t acknowledge who and what they are, the work they’ve done, and tries to be something they’re not.

As an author, I strive to be better every day, to make my characters as real for my readers as I can. I’m not going to lie. I’ve written some shit in my day, unabashed shit but I know that and acknowledge it. I learn from it and and develop not only as an author but as a person taking the good with the bad. I feel that most of us who are in the business for a while want to be proud of our work and we understand that rejection, development, and tears are all part of the process. If you catapult to stardom without the benefit of failure, you lose something. You lose the ability to be humble, thankful, and grow.

I realize this is a little late considering that RT was in April but better late than never…right?

Confrontations

Hi kiddies! I know I’m a day late. Nothing exciting happened in the last week but we are having a yard sale on Saturday so there’s the potential for alot of humorous incidents. In the mean time, I’m posting a little snippet from Midnight Ash. Its told from Dean’s point of view. This has not been professionally edited or reviewed so READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. If you want to read these little snippets earlier. Join my facebook group Damsel. Well, here goes.

Confrontations

I didn’t want her here. If Danny brought her into the Pack, Dahlia Sabin, the Blushing Death, would be a constant reminder of what I would never have. I sat on the bar, stiff, my body riddled with tension as I watched everything. Watched her.

Jackson and Kurt circled each other but I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. She stood just off to the side, rigid and at attention – a quiet intimidation in the background of a room full of dangerous beasts. Seeming like she was completely at ease, her hand rested on her cocked hip. I knew better. She had her hand ready for the draw. A knife was strapped at her back beneath the coat. I could smell the oil from the blade and had seen a glimpse of it in the darkened club. I could also smell her. The light floral scent of a shampoo or lotion mixed with her own natural scent was earthy and delicious. Grinding my teeth harder, I forced that smell from my nose.

She flung her golden blonde hair over her shoulder, out of her face and my cock jerked. What’s wrong with me? Danny’s my Beta, my friend, and a nice kid. More importantly, Dahlia Sabin was off limits. Pat didn’t share and neither did I.

Look at him! Coddling her. Trying to keep her out of harm’s way. Standing in front of her like she was weak.

The Blushing Death didn’t need coddled. She wasn’t weak or submissive. By the sidelong glances and irritated tension in her shoulders, I knew she’d had enough. She ground her teeth and the muscles in her neck tightened, strained. The angrier she got, the more her scent filled my nose. I wanted to make her angry and watch those grey eyes flash with emotion.

She turned on Danny, her fingers twitching as she fought not to draw that knife. Danny gazed down at her with a boyish, carefree smile I envied. It had been a long time since I’d been carefree. The Pack had needed me. Janey had needed me. When she’d been killed,I thought I’d lose his mind. But . . . the Pack had needed me.

I glanced away. Janey was gone. This woman could never, would never be mine. No matter how much I wanted her. Something deep inside me hummed with satisfaction every time she was near and that scared the shit out of me.

“Dahlia!” Danny bellowed and my ears perked up.

She sailed across the room as if she’d been shot from a cannon. My heart stopped as her limp body slammed into the floor. I fought not to jump from the bar and run to her. Gripping the edge of the bar, I squeezed until the wood cracked beneath my fingers. She wasn’t mine. She would never be mine. I had to remember that or everything I’d built would come tumbling down.

Midnight Ash Book Cover
Midnight Ash Book Cover