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Dindi is kidnapped to be the bride of a shark... To escape she must untangle a terrible curse caused by a love and magic gone wrong.
This stand-alone novella is set in Faearth, the world of The Unfinished Song. Available here ONLY.
The Unfinished Song - This Young Adult Epic Fantasy series has sold over 70,000 copies and has 1,072 Five Star Ratings on Goodreads.
If you’re looking for some paranormal romance to start off your weekend, download Connie Flynn’s Shadow of the Moon.
A woman bent on saving a pack of wild wolves crashes during a deadly snowstorm.
A man tormented by a secret he dare not reveal desperately needs her to free him.
Only a ceremony grounded in love can save them both . . .
And it must happen during the SHADOW OF THE MOON.
Whomp. Thump. Thump. The right front wheel scaled the edge of the ditch, jolting the Ranger to a stop.
“Dammit!” Dana Gibbs pressed her lips together, slammed the gears in reverse, and floor-boarded the gas pedal. The wheels spun impotently and she released the gas.
Throwing open the door, she stomped through the mud, dug out a lantern from the rear, and went to inspect the damage. Her back tires sat on a sheet of ice. The front passenger wheel was mired in the ditch.
The lantern splashed light on the underbrush. Birds flapped their wings and flew from dark shadows. Various creatures scurried and squeaked on…the ground. Finding the normality of the sounds reassuring, Dana hurried toward a broken branch, confident she’d soon be out of her predicament.
A howl shattered her serenity. The night creatures instantly hushed and only an undulating echo broke the silence. Dana froze midstep. Her breath misted, creating a heavy fog and the light quivered in her trembling hand.
Battling an urge to dash for the Ranger, Dana made herself creep toward the branch, snatched it up, then raced back to the Ranger.
Wedging the bough beneath the mired wheel, she scrambled inside the cab and applied gentle pressure to the gas pedal. After several tries the Ranger still didn’t budge. As she steadied herself once more try, the terrible wail sounded again. So loud, so close, it seemed just outside the SUV, and in the perimeter of the headlights, a blurred shape moved with superhuman speed.
Dana slammed down on the gas pedal. The Ranger lurched, shuddered, broke loose, and careened back at drag racing speed. She instinctively hit the brakes, all the while knowing it was the wrong thing to do. The Ranger zigzagged, then skidded. Behind, a wall of snow loomed larger and larger in the rear view mirror. Like a great white shark, the wall opened up and sucked in the four-by-four like a minnow until it jerked to a halt against the skeleton of solid earth. Dana flew out of her seat and into the windshield, then rebounded back and slumped like a rag doll.
Who will protect my wolves? Dana wondered as she passed into unconsciousness.
From the shadows of the forest, a pair of gold-green eyes witnessed her misfortune.
Beneath a towering pine stirred a man as huge and solid as the tree trunk that sheltered him. A long wool overcoat hung to his knees over heavy leggings that were tucked into bulky, serviceable boots, and his face was hidden in the abyss of a deep hood, allowing him to melt into the shadows.
What had possessed him to come this close to a major road so early in the evening? He knew better. But he’d heard the screams so often of late, could barely abide them, and a night such as this was made for death. They would be out, seeking lost travelers, and he somehow felt compelled to stop them.
He’d been observing the female, had seen her purposeful and confident movements become first alarmed, then panicked. Was she even now trying to claw her way free like a snared rabbit?Her vehicle had been so fully engulfed by the snowbank that only the hood and grille remained exposed. The night fell into deep stillness, save for the purr of the engine and the whap-whap-whap of the airborne tire. He strained to hear, anticipating what was to come. Soon a rustle arose from the underbrush. A soulful wail followed.
Why did those creatures howl so incessantly?
He calmly turned toward a tangle of brush and thickets. Within the dusky shadows, two sets of watchful eyes glinted red in the light from the woman’s abandoned lantern. He returned their gazes with a hard stare, but they held their ground. Slowly, his lip curled in threat.
“Back off,” he snarled.
The eyes retreated, leaving another squealing rodent in their wake.
He turned his back and sprinted to the road. With one leap, he scaled the ditch, landing nearly fifteen feet away beside the vehicle’s spinning wheel. Over a foot of snow covered the cab. The snow would act as insulation and undoubtedly would keep her warm, but the running engine would soon eat up her oxygen. She was still alive, though, very alive. He could smell her in there, the spicy scent of warm flesh, the tang of hot, rushing blood. Could hear the strong pulse in her veins.
He dug into the snow barehanded, heedless of the scratches he put in the paint, effortlessly deflecting the new chunks dislodged by his movements. When he’d cleared the snow off the driver’s side of the windshield, he leaned over and saw the slumped figure.
Unconscious. This came as no surprise. He’d seen her strike the windshield, seen her forehead turn crimson, knew she probably had a concussion.
Without his help, the others would finish her off before dawn. A guttural protest escaped his lips.
He must walk away. The risk was too great. Yet it had been written. On such a night, a maiden would come.
With a resigned sigh he dug through the remaining snow and opened the door. Blood was clotting in her dark, curly hair and the beginnings of a bruise already stained her forehead, yet he still saw how striking she was. High, well-defined cheekbones. Smooth, golden skin. A slender, well-developed body. A dislodged comb hung in her hair, letting her curls fall forward, which gave her a tumbled, morning-after look.
His heartbeat quickened and he realized then how long it had been since he’d touched a mortal woman. Fingers trembling, he moved a hand toward her fragile throat.
The wound still bled, the fresh blood trickling slowly down her face in tiny streams. He inhaled the tart odor and instantly salivated.
He jerked his hand back.
Do no harm. The ingrained dictum sprang to his mind and lodged there. He tried to dismiss it. Surely it didn’t mean he also had to prevent harm. This wasn’t his doing. How could he be blamed, when the female had foolishly driven down an unmarked dead-end road and bogged her truck?
A trill of laughter traveled through the night. He glanced up, sniffed the air. Was he even now being mocked by his indecision? Watched, to see if he’d leave the unconscious female so they could fulfill their dark needs?
Or worse, far worse, use her to fulfill his own?
Twenty-year-old Julia Wade, a young woman tragically widowed, is in the middle of a bizarre bid between two mythical species who are vying for the unique properties she offers; her blood. The vampires need her to balance the food load of the human species and give them their coveted “Lightwalkers.” The Were wish to be moonless changers; a Rare One can make that a reality.
Julia wants to belong to herself.
Can she free herself and begin a new life?
The vampire moved as a unit, talons extended, fangs sprung free of their houses of flesh.
They came to where the delectable smell of fresh blood was released. A quality without compare. It was as if a thousand year old bottle of wine lay breathing.
On a cold stone floor mere paces away from consumption.
William leaped in front of the Julia just as the first vampire would have been upon her.
Julia looked up and saw a monster, fangs the size of her pinky fingers, dripping a clear fluid tinged with red, talons as long as her forearms standing at deadly attention.
And then like small swords they began to slice whoever drew near.
Their motion in a blur of darkness, too fast for her to follow, Julia became aware of moisture falling on her bare skin like rain.
She opened her eyes and a head fell beside her shoulder with a meaty thump. The dead eyes, once gray, turned into a collapsing wall of flesh and bone. As she looked on in horror, it began to disintegrate into a mass of ash.
It was the eyes she’d never forget.
Or the creature William had become, fighting the vampires that would have killed her.
They came, one after another, as blood drenched her gown and she lay helplessly at his feet.
William slashed and stabbed as injuries were rained down on him and then five overcame him. Julia whimpered, having never envisioned herself dying this way.
At that moment, Julia realized she wanted to live.
Had always wanted to live.
Her eyes met Williams, pleading.
She knew she didn’t deserve his help.
But she was sorry. In that moment she didn’t want this life, this existence.
Nevertheless, he was dying to defend her.
William was overcome. He had dispatched fifteen, losing all hope of the guards helping him through the crowd of rabid vampire overrun with blood lust.
The higher functioning of their cerebral cortex was gone.
When the five overcame him, he saw Julia torn from beneath his feet by two fanged brethren, one held her as the other prepared to strike, losing his grip twice, her body slick with the blood of the massacred.
She was weak as a kitten, any fool could see, her wound not closing up. The blood clotting properties of the vampire saliva was not working.
Of course, Edna would have not used hers willingly. Julia was bleeding out.
William struggled against the vampire, beyond reason and rationale when he heard her soft whimper like a plea.
Her eyes met his again, the blood bond reverberating in his body, pressing him to take action beyond his capabilities.
William did, smashing two of the vampires’ heads together hard enough for their brains to splatter against the inside of their skulls and leak out their ears. He threw himself on his feet and launched to Julia’s side in a fluid gymnastic movement, his fist punching out as he did.
The vampire who had fangs a millimeter away from her throat, lost them from the impact of William’s fist even as his talons swung to take the head of the one that restrained her.
Julia saw William come. A shaky exhale escaped as she lay in the arms of one vampire while the other prepared to chew her throat out.
The one that held her dumped her head on the floor so hard she saw lights twinkle above her.
And then William was there.
Their heads fell on either side of her body and heat suffused her. Julia knew she would pass out and had but moments to express herself.
William crouched above her protectively and she raised her arm, weakly. She clutched onto his clothing.
He glanced at her then away, prepared for the next onslaught.
She tugged again.
“Julia, lay still. You have lost much blood.”
“Thank you,” she whispered on her final breath. Her vision dimmed to a pinpoint.
The last coherent image was William.
A face she didn’t hate anymore.
His mouth moved but she couldn’t hear him, an enveloping softness encased her as she floated away.
Like dandelion seed on the wind.
Julia slept in a pool of her own blood.
And that of others.
Vampires? Check. Werewolves? Check. Death prophecy to hang over your head? Double check. Seventeen year old Emma Hutchinson struggles to find her place in the world she has been born to as she tries to decide whether she should be with Michael, the boy she has been dreaming about since she was three or if she belongs with Dominic, her betrothed.
Download Bella Notte from Amazon, Barnes and Noble or iTunes. Print editions are available on Amazon and CreateSpace. Bella Notte is available in the box set that has the first three books in the series with their accompanying short stories as an Amazon exclusive.
The sky was growing dark crimson over the clearing in the forest behind our house as I drifted across the glen toward the edge of the trees. I walked as if I knew exactly what it was I was looking for, and where I was going to find it as well.
A small crackling noise caused me to stop halfway across the field. I turned to look in the direction the sound came from- that’s when I saw him.
Those dark green eyes and his dark auburn spikes were so familiar after seeing them for the past fourteen years, that it was always a relief to see him.
He walked towards me, and stopped at my side. The dry winter grass beneath our feet was barely audible as we took a step forward, lacing our fingers together.
The sky was no longer crimson, but had transformed into a deep indigo and a slight breeze had picked up. The hairs on my arms rose as the chill in the air assaulted my body. I moved closer to him out of instinct. His body temperature seemed to be so much higher than mine that just being near him kept me warm, strangely from the inside out. The moon had risen. The color was a frightening shade of blood red and the wind strewn clouds blew across the face of the cratered orb. He held suddenly, very still, as the breeze brought scents from across the clearing. With his eyes closed, he breathed in deeply. Those dark emeralds popped back into view and carried the fear that the grimace on his face displayed.
That’s when we heard it- the howl. The sound was terrifying, like a large wolf. Somehow, inside, I knew it wasn’t a wolf, at least not in the conventional sense, and that scared me more than anything. My body froze and my mind blanked with fear. I watched his grimace change to a visible snarl and those beautiful green eyes flash a dangerous shade of ruby. The next thing I knew he was pushing me out of the field and into the cover of the trees.
I wanted to plead to him, but no words would form with my dry tongue sticking to every ridge in my mouth. He grabbed hold of me and whispered “run” very softly into my ear- then he was gone. It took me a minute to get over the shock, but then my feet moved as quickly as possible.
I could not escape the sound of his scream as the forest closed its arms around me.
I knew it was a dream, not any dream but the dream. The dream I’ve had since I was a little girl. Every scene was memorized from beginning to end, and I again knew the sting of the silent tears that cascaded down my hot, flushed cheeks.