Halloween has got to be one of my favorite times of year. Costumes, parties, ghosts, gouls. What’s not to love? I mean really.
I love the good scare. My daughter and I are constantly trying to startle each other. But I’ve found that scary movies don’t do it for me as much as they used to. Paranormal Activity bored me. I still love the good ‘ole movies…The Shinning, Poltergeist, and Jaws.
Jaws is the classic perfect scare. It’s as frightening today as it was 20 years ago. Why? Because it could really happen to you. I mean how many of you who have seen Jaws and no matter how long ago or rational you are, hesitate for just an instant before stepping in each time you stand on a shoreline. Admit it.
My Hot, Hard series has a little scary mixed with a little humor and whole lot of sexy. Hot, Hard & Howling is the first in a three book series about some very special, half-demon sisters. The poor Halflings, their human blood ties have diluted their magic, leaving them some very unreliable demon powers.
Nell Ambercroft is the smart, sassy heroine of this first book. She is the oldest and the most traveled of the three. Telekinesis is her demon magic. But her inability to control it leaves her frustrated, makes her the butt of many jokes, and eventually, it puts her life in danger.
Nell and the sexy, restrained Werewolf, Trent Nicholas, find themselves in New Orleans and lost in the bayou for some hot lovin’ and fast action while working to determine who is trying to kill Nell.
Her daring demon, his raging wolf… It gets wild when things go bump in the night.
And Just for Eliza and her D.A.M.M blog. I’m debuting the cover for the second in the series. Hot, Hard and Hexing.
Hexing returns us to New Orleans when Nell’s sister, Sonja, tries to use a blood magic talisman to boost her shaky psychic abilities. She want to save her kidnapped cousin on her own. Instead of stronger abilities, the spell gets Sonja smoldering sexual visions.
Sexy ex-police officer, Ray Burgess, stumbles onto the scene and he becomes the star of all Sonja’s erotic visions. Sonja struggles to know what’s reality and what’s fantasy. Are her feelings for Ray something real or an illusion created Dreamstalker?
Much more than her sanity is at stake on hot Louisiana nights.
Here’s an little treat from Hot, Hard and Howling to warm up your cool fall night…
Then, tell me your favorite scary movie and one lucky commenter will get a real treat: an ebook copy of Hot, Hard & Howling.
Half-Demons, Werewolfs, and Hot Mountain Evenings
Hot, Hard and Howling
Naked, covered in blood and in the shower with a dead human on the bathroom floor was not exactly how one wanted to greet guests. She tossed the toothbrush aside. All the scrubbing in the world wasn’t going to get the blood out. Nell looked in the mirror. Curly golden hair hung wild from partially drying on its own as she had tried to save the grout, her face was still flushed from the struggle and the scrubbing, and her cheeks and chin were scratched and bloody. The scratches didn’t matter, she was half demon and the small wounds would heal quickly. Nell rubbed with her fingers to try and get smears of blood off her face. She looked around for her robe and found it lying under the dead guy’s shoulder. Nell snorted. “Great.”
She scanned the rest of the contents of the vanity, nothing left. She’d tried all the cleaners under the sink, and none was getting the pink stains off. Her gaze crossed the floor. The pool of blood there would come up with no problem. She stood and propped her hands on her hips. “Damn.”
“What’s going on up there?” Her sister’s voice rang from the living room. “I had a funky vision.”
Vision? Yeah right. Nell’s and both her younger sisters were half demon, so their demon gifts were unpredictable, at best. The curse of the ‘halfling” their Mi-ma always said. When Sonya had visions, everyone was wary of the information in them. Usually the crazy things were so confusing that no one could decipher the things. However, every now and then, especially when the family was concerned, they were pretty darn accurate. Evidently, this one had been close enough to send Sonya into the night. Hadn’t the girl ever heard of a phone?
“And, of course, you rushed right over.” Nell found a dirty t-shirt behind the bathroom door and pulled it on. “Up here. Did you bring bleach?”
“Bleach?” Sonya’s voice echoed up the stairs. She stopped in the door of the master bath. “Oh. You know, I almost did.” She bent over the body on the floor to get a better look. “Nell,” she whispered in disgust “he’s human”.
“Duh. Do you smell blood magic? I did when he attacked, but since I started trying to save the grout, I lost track of the scent.”
Sonya raised her eyebrow. “Blood magic? Really? How would a human have the smell of that?” She stepped over the body, looking down at the object sticking out of the man’s chest. “Is that a…”
Nell cleared her throat. “Yeah.”
Sonya bit her lip, but failed her attempt to hold back laugh. “You killed a man with a Dildo?” With her sister lost control over her laughter and let it roll. Tears leaked from her eyes as she braced herself on the doorframe.
Nell straightened her spine. “It was close.” She protested and gestured wildly at the dead man. “And I think the scissors actually killed him.” So what, she had toys, everybody did. She just happened to have a very large collection of them. “I was in the shower. I had to use what was close.” Her demon gift of telekinesis was as inconsistent as Sonya’s visions. Sometimes she would move the wrong thing. Sometimes her power surged and whatever object she was moving ended up being hurled at he speed of…well a flying dildo. The toy had been on the counter, among other things, and it had just flown with everything else.
“You use those things in the shower? God, Nell. You are the strangest woman.”
“I wasn’t using it in the shower. I cleaned it before I got in the shower. Don’t you clean yours?”
Nell was the wild one, the extrovert, the only one of her sisters that had truly ventured out in the world. She had traveled, explored, and experienced things she wouldn’t ever be able to explain to her younger sisters. Her collection of sex toys came from all over the world, even a few from other realms. The piece that was currently sticking out of the chest of the human man on her floor was one of her favorites. She had gotten it from a demon sect in India and it was a beautiful work of art in Nell’s mind.
“Death by Dildo!” Sonya laughed. “Oh my, Nell, the Prime is going to have a field day with this.”
“Shut up.” Nell plopped down to sit on the closed toilet lid and put her head in her hands, her bloody knees pushed together. She didn’t want to see the Prime. Not yet. Her Mi-ma had probably had a vision too, and since their grandmother was in the neighborhood of three hundred years old, the crazy old woman’s visions were much more accurate than Sonya’s. Knowing her luck, Mi-ma was on her way over and had already contacted the local Prime.
Nell pulled herself off the toilet and started to pick up the mess that was scattered all over the bathroom floor, snatching up her makeup, which was fell causality of the assault. When she started using her telekinesis to throw things at her attacker, she didn’t pay much attention to what went flying, thus the very long, thick, dildo that was currently lodged between his ribs.
“Stop Nell. You killed a human. Blood magic on him or not, you have to report it.” Sonya’s voice stopped Nell in her tracks. The sudden change in her tone from amusement to panic making Nell curse. “You know the rules.”
Yeah, Nell knew the rules. They all knew the rules. THE RULES were jackhammered into the brain of ever supernatural being from their time of birth or creation. The rules were all part of keeping the magical world a secret and keeping peace between supernatural species. And rule number one was if you killed a human, even in self-defense, it had to be reported.
The Prime would come and be judge, jury, and hangman, if needed. But, it wasn’t the consequences she didn’t want to face, it was the Prime, Trent Nicholas. She needed more time before seeing him. She hadn’t come up with a good enough plan yet. Even after years of cavorting with some very powerful and amazing creatures, Trent made her knees weak and other things moist.
“You can’t smell the blood magic anymore.” Nell said as she paced into the hall. “I can’t prove it. This guy attacked me and someone or something put him up to it. Do you think the high and mighty Prime Nicholas is going to listen to me about that?”
“I’m calling Mi-ma. If she hasn’t already seen this, she’ll summon him.” Sonya put a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “We have to. The longer you wait the worse it’ll be. Calm down. This is work we’re talking about. He won’t be such an ass. Well, maybe he won’t be.” Sonya gave her a meager smile. “Okay he’ll be an ass, but we still have to report it.” Sonya headed down the stairs. “Don’t move anything else. Come on down and I’ll make tea.”
Nell looked around her wrecked bathroom. The blood would come off the walls and the tub and sink, but she still worried about the grout. She paused in the doorway to look over the body once more. She didn’t recognize the guy splayed dead on the floor. Didn’t know why he would attack her in her own home. She lived out in the woods, in her father’s old log cabin. When he died last year, she had inherited the place. Her sisters got chunks of money, but she had always wanted the house.
The smell of the old logs and the big fireplaces in the living room and the master bedroom brought back fond memories of her childhood. The deck overlooked the side of the mountain, so there were no lights from the city to block her view of the stars at night. After traveling the world for years, she was more than happy to settle here in the woods and just be home and quiet for a while. She thought about the dead guy. So much for quiet.
The doorbell rang as she headed down the stairs. Sonya beat her to it.
Trent stood stock still as Sonya flung the door open to him without a care. Nell Ambercroft was standing on the stairs, half dressed and covered in blood
“Jeeze, Sonya, do ya think you could have checked to see who it was, considering.” The demon motioned to her disheveled state.
“Well, who else would be out here at three in the morning but Mi-ma or him.” she gestured to him. Neither had actually acknowledged him. “Relax sis.”
“Relax. Relax? I swear. You don’t know who it could have been. Someone sent that guy here. What if it had been another crazy trying to kill me?”
“How likely is that? “ Sonya said, drawing her eyebrows together and putting her hands on her hips, completely ignoring him. “Whoever that was has only been dead, what, thirty minutes. Do you think his boss or whatever has even had time to realize he’s gone?”
Nell took two more steps down the stairs. “What if he had a partner? God knows what could have been hiding in the woods.”
“Would a partner ring the bell?”
Gritting his teeth, Trent Nicholas, stood and watched the discourse between the sisters. Nothing changed with this family. They were all nuts. Demon nuts to top it off. He was a Prime and if that wasn’t enough to command respect, he was a high ranking Were. Finding himself ignored by these two halflings was just about all he could take.
He let his gaze drifted past Sonya and back up the stairs. As much as he hated it, Nell had always stirred his wolf. He disliked demons in general. They pissed him off. Then again, everyone generally pissed him off. He did manage to tolerate and judge fairly when he was summoned as Prime, but he preferred his pack to other species. Lately the pack weren’t his favored company. He was his favored company, and he kept to himself whenever possible.
Then there was Nell. For years, she had lurked in his fantasies Tales of her travels, of her living in a vamp nest in Paris, or of her convincing a full demon in Scotland to take her across several realms haunted his dreams. Moons only knew what else the woman had gotten into. She was a wild thing.
There she stood, arguing and animated, wearing only a silky shirt that barely covered her. Trent could easily make out her curves, and he clenched his fists as his wolf growled in appreciation of her form. She wasn’t a Hollywood beauty. Far from it, even a little on the short side, but that did nothing to hide the wildness of her personality, which shone through her skin and sparkled in her eyes.
A mane of tawny golden curls hung past her shoulders and highlighted eyes that were the color of a fawn’s coat. A lush brown that Trent noticed darkened, as she got angry. Her legs were well shaped and the shirt almost let him get a look at her more private areas. Somehow, the little halfling got to him on a far deeper level than he was comfortable with. He’d fought it for years, and had hoped the time they had spent apart would cool that desire. It hadn’t. Nell made him want things that could only lead to disaster.
He eyed the blood that was drying on her legs, face and arms. There was none on the outside of the shirt, so he figured she had put it on after the incident. He would love to ask, but they wouldn’t…“Shut up!”
“Trent Nicholas, do you have any manners?” Sonya asked, her eyes widening at his tone.
Trent raised his eyebrows at the little imp. Manners? Who gave a shit about manners at a time like this? “Where’s the body?” He all but growled at Nell, ignoring the woman at his side.