New Release: Leo – a Beauty and the Beast-inspired Navy SEAL Romance

Leo

Leo:  I hide in my Vermont cottage so nobody can see me.

I’ve seen the stares. I read their contemplation in their inquisitive expressions–how did I get those scars?

I refuse to spend the holidays with my parents as I’ll bring everyone down. Worried about me,  they send a caretaker. That’s not going to happen. I’ll turn her away at my front door..

When Rosanna arrives, she’s not the matron I expect. She’s young, pretty and curvy. And she comes with food to prepare dinner.

Hmm, it’s been a long time since I had a homecooked meal. Maybe I can tolerate her here for just one night.

Rosanna: I’ll do anything to avoid spending another Christmas with my stepfamily and this temporary job gives me an excuse.

When I arrive at the remote stone cottage in the woods, I’m stopped by a man with a scarred face and deep scowl. Leo turns me away. He didn’t agree to this arrangement.

I don’t have a backup plan. What am I going to do?

Fortunately, the groceries I brought to prepare dinner buy me some time. Leo agrees to let me cook for him (how generous) and to stay for one night.

Only we’re hit with more snow than expected, and I’m stuck there if I don’t want to freeze to death.

Leo will let me stay on one condition–never enter his studio.

If you like Beauty and the Beast, grumpy / sunshine, wounded heroes, dark secrets, and lost souls finding each other in romance, you’ll love escaping into Leo and Rosanna’s story!

Read now!

Kayla and Mason

An Excerpt from Knights of Stone: Mason

Chapter One

The crowd pushed Kayla closer to the stage as the last trails of fiery sunset faded. They knew what happened once darkness fell. She recovered her footing and focused again on the five life-sized stone gargoyles perched on pedestals on the perimeter of the stage. The space between them was set with instruments—guitars, a drum set, mic stands, and massive amplifiers, while a bonfire in a pit behind them cast the statues in a warm glow. 

A stagehand with tartan draped over one shoulder climbed onto the stage and walked to the closest statue. He fastened the kilt over its shoulder and around its waist with a thick belt, covering the statue’s massive thighs. Kayla flushed, picturing why the coverings were necessary once the transformation began. The kilt had become a key detail in her fantasies about the guitarist, since it was the only clothing he wore. The stagehand continued dressing each statue with the same brilliant blue tartan worn by the gargoyle clan.

The last vestige of sunlight disappeared from the sky, and night draped the stage like a closing curtain. The statues loomed, dark silhouettes barely discernible by the crescent moon with the backdrop of the craggy cliffs and the rugged peaks of waves in the Atlantic Ocean behind them. The murmur of voices was replaced by silence. Waiting…

Five torches blazed on the stage all at once, lit by an unseen force. The audience erupted in cheers as the dancing lights from the flickering fire basked the statues. The flames lowered, casting the gargoyles in an eerie, almost reverent glow. 

Movement. So slight, Kayla wondered if it was simply a play of light and shadows in her anticipation for the change. She fixed her gaze on the statue in front of her, the one she’d gravitated to each time she had sneaked out to see the show. Its massive gray form stood straight on two legs built for sturdiness. Its chest jutted out proudly. Gray wings with detailed feathers etched in the stone arched from a point below its shoulder blades. Eyes cast straight ahead on a face that appeared to be a mixture of canine and lion. Its right hand twitched, so slightly she would have missed it if she hadn’t stared so intently. Then a clawed foot inched forward. 

Murmurs of astonishment burst from the crowd as the transformation began. Their cries of fervor grew louder as the monstrous statues transformed into taller, slimmer figures with the bronzed skin of warriors who battled under the midday sun. The tartan fabric fell over their thighs as they stood erect, covering their nudity. 

Kayla barely blinked, mesmerized as always, as the statue before her stood to full height, taking on the form of a human male, but with beautiful raven wings. Hair just as black snaked rebelliously past his chin. The stony eyes flickered with animation, turning to a mossy green. His deep gaze seared the audience, seeming to burn anything in the path. When he found Kayla, he stopped. His expression was unreadable, but the intensity in his unblinking eyes made her swallow. She froze under the scrutiny as if hypnotized, unable to break eye contact. Her stomach lurched, heart pounded, and every muscle in her body tightened, fueled with blood now scorching through her veins. His penetrating appraisal affected her so. When his eyes took on a smoldering glint, her skin tingled and a red-hot awareness grew inside.

He broke the stare and continued to assess the audience. She gasped, not realizing she had been holding her breath, and panted while she tried to breathe at a normal rate.

He turned on robust legs and strode to a guitar stand. She tore her eyes from him to note the other gargoyles. They, too, had shifted into the form of striking males. One had black hair draped further down his back, one had long blond hair, and two had reddish-brown hair—one wavy and shaggy, the other straight. They took their place at other instruments. She sought the guitarist again and caught the first sound of the pick striking the strings. On hearing the guitar projected through the amp, the crowd roared again, pressing Kayla forward.

The freak show was about to begin. 

Spotlights flooded the musicians, powered by solar panels near a massive amplifier. The guitarist continued playing and the others joined in, playing a raucous crossover between hard rock and heavy metal. The one with long blond hair grabbed hold of the microphone and belted out a shattering cry that sounded like a call to battle. The crowd went pin drop silent to listen and then cheered in unison as the band played on. The front man sang piercing growls and low croons about the Knights in Stone, the protectors of the ancient forests, battling against the evil tree witches. 

Kayla’s coven.  

 

* * * * *

 

Blood pumped through Mason’s system, animating him during the transition to his human form. Every cell in his body ignited with the change from stone to flesh 

He scanned the crowd again for any threats. Since humans on nearby islands had discovered the island, it was only a matter of time before the government found out about it. If they discovered the shapeshifters on the island, no doubt they’d try to capture them and study them in a lab. 

Once reassured there were no threats, he searched the crowd for the woman he’d been thinking about. Energy from the change to human form invigorated him, especially his libido. He spotted the pixie-like female three rows back.  

She’d returned. 

This was the fifth night he’d seen her at the Knights of Stone shows. Each night, she’d moved a bit closer, braving the frantic energy of the audience. He searched for her every evening now, figuring she must be from the nearby islands. One of these nights, he would have to seduce her, to get this woman who’d penetrated his thoughts out of his system. He needed to find a way to get her alone, away from this crowd. At least she didn’t appear to be with anyone. Peculiar. How many trips had she taken to the Isle of Stone alone? 

Humans on nearby islands had only recently discovered the Isle of Stone. In decades past, the three clans of the island—tree witches, gargoyles, and wolves, had cloaked their land with many layers of protection. Their combined magic had created such a powerful force it had remained undetected by human technology. When a feud erupted between the witches and gargoyles twenty-five years ago it led to a division of land. Without reinforcements from the clans’ combined magic, the protection seeped away. Humans on nearby islands sailed over and discovered its mysterious inhabitants. 

His brother Calum shrieked a wild cry that began the next song, The Hunt. Mason and his brothers played a driving instrumental that quickened as Calum sang a tale. The object of the hunt was left ambiguous—it could be an enemy, an animal, or even a lass—but as the music rose to its climax, it left no question as to the outcome. 

The prey was captured. 

Tonight, Mason had a hunt with one particular human in mind. He played his guitar with more fervor as he envisioned taking the young beauty into the woods. He’d drill into her against an oak tree in the forest beyond, giving her an even better story for her to brag about to her friends when she returned home. If there was one thing he and his brothers had learned about females on his visits to cities like Edinburgh and London, it was that few could resist the bad boy appeal of a rock star. 

Mason and his four brothers were the only gargoyles who remained on the island. They didn’t cringe at their arrival as the rest of the clan had, but instead saw it as an opportunity to play for an audience as themselves—gargoyles—not masquerading as humans. They insisted the humans keep their existence a secret if they wanted the shows to continue. 

Word of mouth about the show spread to other islands and it was only a matter of time before it reached the mainland, eventually reaching the ears of government officials. Scientists would flock to the island to try to understand how the isle had remained hidden all this time. Mason and his brothers had discussed how the isle would puzzle scientists and stimulate the imaginations of conspiracy theorists. Humans would come up with all kinds of foolhardy explanations ranging from secret military installations to alien colonization. His brother, Gavin, had come up with the best reason yet, claiming the isle had arisen from the depths of the Atlantic, an ancient civilization reborn through the shifts of the tectonic plates. And as sure as humans would invent bizarre reasons for the isle, their greed for money would soon follow. Corporations would exploit the mysterious origins of the island as a way to make money. Perhaps with tourism and advertisements of extravagant trips to a mystical island—possibly with bizarre claims such as the water’s ability to cure ailments. 

The gargoyles knew their time here on the stage was limited and they had to have constant vigilance for human intrusion.

Mason kept watch for anything suspicious while he played, yet also kept his eyes peeled for attractive women. He scanned the audience to see the others who had come tonight, but his gaze returned to the dark-haired one. What was it about her? 

His gaze bore into her, and she stared back from wide eyes, almost too large for her heart-shaped face. Blood rushed right to his shaft as he thought about how he would take her in the woods.  

Why wait any longer? He’d try to get her alone tonight.

 

* * * * *

 

Kayla couldn’t tear her eyes off the guitarist. Something about the way he looked at her tonight overwhelmed any coherent thought. If her coven knew she was on this side of the island cavorting with the gargoyles, the punishment would be severe. He was one of the species her coven had warned her about. Vile, bloodthirsty creatures that had slaughtered many of her ancestors. She’d been cautioned to stay away from their lands since she was a child, forbidden to venture from the coven for fear of an encounter with one of these evil beings. But they didn’t appear evil or threatening. 

Her curiosity had grown once she heard of the gargoyle rock concerts, and she’d slipped over once to see what the talk was about. She’d never been to an actual concert before, only heard about them from other young witches with their fascination for human lifestyles. She’d never even left the island. The tree witches kept to themselves, a self-sufficient coven specializing in certain skills. The witches sang, played music, and danced at the gatherings around the fire, but nothing like what she’d experienced when the gargoyles transformed. After the first night, she was hooked. It was a risk to return but one she was willing to take. She’d ventured to that different world to hear the unique group, especially to watch the guitarist with hair as black as midnight.

For the past four nights, she’d left before the show ended, sneaking back to her coven under the dense cover of the trees. Tonight, foolish bravery coaxed her to stay to the end. If she wanted to watch a show, she damn well would. It wasn’t her coven’s business to know everything she did. She was a grown woman, twenty-one years of age, and shouldn’t be constrained by inexplicable feuds from years past she’d never quite grasped.

But, if they discovered her gone… 

The final song began with a march-like beat of the drums. It increased in speed as the guitarists and bass player joined in, and the singer wailed. Brilliant bursts of flame rose from the torches. The gargoyles put down their instruments and nodded to the crowd. Their black feathered wings spread wide, making them appear twice as large as the males in the audience. With a few flaps, they levitated a few feet above the stage and then soared into the star-filled night sky. She watched them zoom higher, captivated as their enormous wings gave them the appearance of dark angels watching over those on the earth below. The gargoyles shapes shrunk as they ascended, and soon even the tiny pinpricks were invisible. The unparalleled experience made her rebellion worthwhile.

The crowd dispersed and she crept back into the dark forest. It was much later tonight than the usual time she’d return home, and the darkness made navigating the root-filled terrain more difficult. Although it wasn’t prudent to draw attention to herself in an area inhabited by all kinds of wild creatures, she needed to see. Cupping her hands before her, she chanted a spell. A tiny orange light, no larger than the flame at the end of a match, flickered in her hands. She repeated ancient words, making the sphere grow to the size of an apple. The dim glow illuminated her way. After twenty feet or so, she noticed the dense thicket of trees and needed more light if she didn’t want to trip over a root or walk face first into a tree. She amped up the fiery glow with an incantation. 

The sounds of the forest grew louder the deeper she ventured in. Crickets chirred, frogs croaked, and insects rubbed their wings. A breeze ruffled through the leaves, and running water from a brook flowed. Rather than soothe her as they did during the day, the sounds seemed more ominous by night, setting all her senses on alert.

Her coven lived in tree houses in Caledonia a Tuath, or Northern Caledonia, named for the ancient Scottish forests where her ancestors had originated. It lay two miles from the gargoyle’s territory, only taking about forty minutes to walk by daylight. Navigating through the woods by night might take twice as long. She clutched her locket several times as she walked, trying to cast away images she conjured of creatures that would find a witch an appetizing meal. 

Nothing here will attack me. The gargoyles don’t appear evil. The wolf shifters stay in their territory. I will be fine.

Despite her attempts to reassure herself, rustling in the trees above startled her and she held back a squeal. Movement on her right was followed by a thump. She yelped, dropping the light. Sprinting in the opposite direction, she envisioned a monstrous predator. Before she made any headway, a dark figure flew overhead and landed in her path.

 

“Kayla and Mason fall in love despite their differences, despite being different. It is a new way of telling Romeo and Juliet. You cannot be with them because of something their ancestors did, and the kids saying I do not care about that, I want to be with them regardless. A lesson many of us need to learn. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting something a little different from their normal.”

~ 5* from Books and Beyond Fifty Shades

I love a paranormal book that has multiple beings, in this book there are Gargoyles, witches and  wolf shifters. The plot has twists and turns taking you through such a unique and mysterious world… Great story, great characters… Very unique!” 
~ Up All Night, Read All Day Book Reviews

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New Release: Sprite Wedding

The latest book in the Salem Supernaturals series is out!

Sprite Wedding

Cruises are supposed to be relaxing. This one took an awkward turn.

On the sail home, my fun-loving, dragon shifter mate jumps on a table to dance. And then strip. Why the pixie dust would Lucas do that? Yes, he used to be an exotic dancer, but this is a public venue. 

To make things worse, my ex is on board and witnessed the mortifying incident. The same elf broke my heart. Now he’s interested in getting cozy again.

Trouble follows us home. My ex continues to pursue me, a woman lurks around Lucas’s house, and he is ensnared by a spell. If I don’t figure out what’s causing this chaos, I could lose Lucas forever. 

Zoe, Lucas, and the gang are back in Sprite Wedding. If you like paranormal romantic comedies, you’ll love the Salem Supernaturals series with quirky characters, found family, magic, and mischief!
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Choose Your Gargoyle Guardian!

I love gargoyles and paranormal romance, so it’s no surprise that I write about many gargoyle shifters. Here are a few with different flavors in different series. All are available at Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited right now.

A rebellious rock star brother in the Knights of Stone

Few have ever dared to cross the boundaries–until now…

With a quarter century of burning hatred between the inhabitants of the Isle of Stone, Kayla knows all too well it is forbidden to cross boundaries. But, she’s tempted by a gargoyle guitarist and returns night after night.

One risk changes it all.

Temptation is strong. But, other elements command Mason and Kayla’s attention. Something much more dangerous haunts the wolf shifters of the isle.

With the magical veil thinning, there will be blood.

And the full moon is coming…

Don’t miss this Romance Reviews Top Pick!

Read more about the Knights of Stone!

 

Tempted by the GargoyleA Stone Sentry on patrol during the eclipse of the Supermoon

Roman, commander of the Stone Sentries, patrols from the rooftop of a club on the night of the eclipse.

The Supermoon bodes danger and he puts all his sentries on watch. When a blast of dark magic soars past him, he searches for its origin and fixes on a brunette. Something about her is different, demanding all senses be on high alert.

Is she dangerous? Or is she in danger?

Roman tracks her to find out.

And discovers something much more shocking…

Don’t miss this Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK!

Read more about Tempted by the Gargoyle! 

 

 

A Gargoyle Bouncer on Watch at an Underground Goth Club

A gargoyle statue that’s more than stone…

Tracy can’t explain why she’s drawn to a mysterious statue in the Goth club where she bartends. Stranger still, she’s been confiding her innermost secrets to it, as if it were an old friend.

But, when her ex shows up one night, drunk and aggressive, the solid stone statue turns to living, breathing, and scorchingly sexy flesh…

Gargoyle shifter Danton transforms to human form to protect Tracy, the woman he has yearned for. Now, he only has twenty-four hours before a curse returns him to stone. How can convince a woman who didn’t know he existed to spend those precious hours with him?

Don’t miss this Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK!

Read more about the Underground Encounters series! 

 

A Sculptor with a haunted past,

A musician with a shadowy secret,

A wolf shifter seeking a pack mate,

No one can survive the darkness alone….

Gargoyle shifter, Antoine, wants nothing more than to cultivate his art. But, tragedy strikes, destroying his dreams of being a world-renowned sculptor.

Grad student, Savannah, is thrilled to be accepted into a prestigious art colony. When she meets the mysterious French sculptor, Antoine, she’s distracted by unprofessional fantasies.

Until danger arrives on the island, and choices must be made. And the wrong decision could be fatal.

Escape into the world of the Chateau, a prestigious art colony that attracts more than artists and musicians…

Read more about Dark Desires! 

Another Sneak Peek into Dancing with My Elf

Here’s another sneak peek into my new release, Dancing with My Elf, this time from Lucas!
Dancing with My Elf
This firefighter performance was one of my favorites. Ladies loved a man who could rescue them from a blaze, and it riled them up. The scenario amused me as a half-dragon shifter, since I embraced fire rather than feared it.
 
Wait, who was that at the back of the club? My eyes bulged. Was that my—landlord? What in all of Hades Crazies was Nova doing here?
 
Awkward.
 
I wouldn’t let Nova distract me from my performance. This was how I made a living and enjoyed it. Who was the cute brunette sitting beside her? She scanned the club with a serious expression that stood counter to all the happy ones. Why wasn’t she paying attention to my performance? Forget avoiding Nova, now I wanted to know what was up with her friend.
 
As the next performer came out on stage, I stopped by tables, shaking my moneymaker. Ladies ran their hands down my chest and dangerously close to the thunder down under as they stuffed dollar bills into my G-string. The more women I danced with, the more fun we had.
 
That was what was so great about this job—everyone left happy.
As I headed toward the back of the club, Nova attempted to shield her face with her auburn hair. Too late, I’d already spotted her. Ah, I could have fun with this. I sauntered over to their table. The brunette’s gaze was now fixed on me. That was better. I put a lot into my performances.
 
I bent down and teased Nova, “What are you doing here? Making sure I make my rent money this month?”
 
Her face glowed like fiery lava even under the dim light of the club. “No, of course not. I’ll explain later.”
 
“That’s right. Now’s the time to dance.” I turned my backside toward her and twerked, laughing to myself as I pictured her mortification. This would be a great story to tell the other dancers at the end of the night.
 
I turned around to ensure I gave proper attention to Nova’s friend. As I moved closer, the lights reflected off red and golden streaks in her hair. I wanted to make sure every woman who came here had a good time—if they wanted it. I put my hands behind my head and rolled my body from shoulders to hips, watching her pupils widen.
 
I leaned forward and asked, “Hey, Nova’s friend. I’m Lucas. What’s your name?”
 
“Zoe.”
 
“Are you having a good time tonight, Zoe?”
 
“I am indeed.” She tipped her head. “You’re quite the dancer.”
 
Her praise encouraged me to show off, especially after her disinterest earlier. I bent down, putting my hands on either side of the seat cushion behind her, and maneuvered into a sensual body roll.
 
Her scent reached me, confirming her elf blood. But also, something else…
 
Something I never thought possible. My dragon woke with instant awareness, drinking this moment in. Every muscle inside me turned rigid. Mistake.
 
Instead of the seductive move I’d planned, my sudden stiffness knocked me off balance. As I fell on top of Zoe, she braced herself by raising her arms and darted aside. I still managed to pin her left shoulder.
 
“What are you doing?” She pushed my chest back with surprising force.
 
Bewildered, it took me a second too long to catch up to what was going on. Part of her was still pinned beneath me, and I pulled back. “Sorry, I stumbled.”
 
Stunned by the unfamiliar buzz flowing like a current beneath my skin, I blinked through the confusion. What in blazing saddles just happened? Whatever it was, it swept through me with the literal effect of knocking me off my feet.
 
My dragon rumbled with satisfaction. ????.
 
 
???? ???? ??????? ???? ?? ??????? ???? ?? ??? ?? ???? ????????.
 
?? ??? ???? ?????????? ????? ??? ???? ?????? ?????????, ?????? ???????, ??? ??????? ???????? ????????, ???’?? ???? ??? ????? ????????????? ??????!
 
????????? ?? ?????? ??? ?? ?????? ?????????.

https://readerlinks.com/l/2004283

A Sneak Peek of Dancing with My Elf

Here’s a sneak peek into my new release, Dancing with My Elf!
Dancing with My Elf
Zoe:
The call about a demon sighting led Nova and me to investigate at a club that could be described as Alice in Muscle-land. Half-naked men with tanned, ripped bodies, danced for women at various tables while another performed on the stage.
 
In all my time as a detective for the Salem Supernatural Network, I’d never investigated at a venue quite like this.
 
I inhaled, attuned to any unusual scents. Cheap perfume and cheaper beer invaded my nostrils. Nothing that heightened my wariness of a prowling baddie.
 
The closest dancer wore a silver banana hammock. He rolled his body in some sort of sensual grind that the nearby women responded to with raucous enthusiasm. After he maneuvered before each one, he slipped away with more dollar bills sticking out of his cloth.
 
Dragging my gaze from that show like a rubbernecker passing a highway pileup, I searched for dark magic or anyone suspicious.
 
A man wearing tight white spandex shorts with what appeared to be concealing a cucumber welcomed us and took our drink order. The current song faded out, and the cowboy on stage strutted away with far fewer clothes and several more dead presidents dangling from his briefs and boots.
 
The next song began, “I’m too Sexy.” An attractive guy with blond hair past his chin, dressed as a firefighter walked on stage. He pouted like a model and strutted as if working the catwalk.
 
Nova dropped her head into her hand. “Oh, no. It’s my tenant Lucas.”
 
She attempted to hide her face, but Lucas spotted us and danced in our direction.
 
Abs. What fine abs.
 
Focus. I was here to find demons, not conquer my dry spell.
 
???? ???? ??????? ???? ?? ??????? ???? ?? ??? ?? ???? ????????.
 
?? ??? ???? ?????????? ????? ??? ???? ?????? ?????????, ?????? ???????, ??? ??????? ???????? ????????, ???’?? ???? ??? ????? ????????????? ??????!
 
????????? ?? ?????? ??? ?? ?????? ?????????.
 

New Release – Dancing with My Elf!

Dancing with My Elf

Part of the Salem Supernaturals series.

A delusional dragon shifter thinks I need his help. 

Ha. I’m a detective. Why would I need help from an exotic dancer on a case that involves dark magic? We’re searching for demons, not dollars.

Lucas is persistent, as if he knocked some sense loose flying too close to the sun.

But I don’t need this scaly shifter’s help solving crimes. Or his all-too-personal attention.

Even if he entrances me while he dances by rolling his amazingly chiseled abs…

Such fine abs.

No, focus. Demons are a bigger threat than my dry spell.

So whatever he’s offering, is a big, fat nope.

Fated mates and awkward introductions.  Fans of New Girl and Lucifer will love the Salem Supernaturals series – paranormal chick lit with a splash of romance, comedy, and mystery!

Buy now from Amazon!