Sunday, June 25, 2017

Presenting the Cimmerian Shade authors: Angelica Dawson



Get ready for 22 doses of hot, heart-pumping romance from the darkside with heroes and heroines to keep you turning the pages! Grab this 24-author set now for only 99 pennies! This is a limited edition, and the steal-of-a-price is for a limited time featuring stories from award winning, bestselling authors. 

For your reading pleasure, we'll be featuring each author with a story of her choice for the next few weeks. Some will include interviews, and all will include excerpts. Today's featured author is Angelica Dawson.





1.   When did you start writing?
In Grade Six, as our final assignment, I outlined a three part play and wrote several chapter stories. I set the pen aside after University, though, and returned to it in 2010. Since then I haven’t taken more than a few months off.
2.   What makes your stories unique?
I like the flaws in my characters. There’s something to me that rings true when someone slurs their esses or eats sloppy or can’t seem to not drop things.
3.   Is there a common thread that runs through your books?
I have written in many genres and worlds, so I don’t know that there is one. Often they have Happy For Now endings. I believe stories don’t end, they just continue off the page.
4.   If money was of no concern, what would you envision as your perfect lifestyle? (where would you live, what would you do all day, etc.)
I’d love to live somewhere secluded with a good internet connection. That way I could enjoy wilderness and still feed my writing and reading goals.
5.   Besides writing, what things are you most passionate about?
I’m an environmental consultant, a botanist specifically, so I’m passionate about the damage we are doing to our world and how ecosystems and communities will be able to adapt. I’m also passionate about my daughter. She is my world most days.



Is her true love in her shadow?

Magic just became real for Paige Brown. Since she helped her roommate cast a spell, she has wanted to explore her new-found
talent. Flashback to her ancestor give her clues, specifically to a love spell that she hopes will snag the professor she has been fantasizing about. Both Paige and her previous incarnation, Jane, fine that controlling magic is more  than a simple recipe. Will Paige be able to break her own spell? Will she discover the love that is closer than she knows?




Summer dug in the garden, pulling weeds from desirable flowers and herbs. It was a slow and tedious task, but the sun warmed her arms and neck, prohibiting any ideas of going inside. Gwen and Paige were both on campus for differing reasons. Summer jealously held onto her weekends and refused to let anything from school invade them. Well, anything but the assignments that couldn’t be put off.

It still shocked her that she knew the names of so many of the plants. Her parents lived in an apartment, so they kept a few flowers in pots. Somehow she knew not only what each of the ones here were, but what Mary used them for. The dreams grew more vivid and detailed. She wouldn’t claim to be a witch, but she was glad to know a few teas, like chamomile, that helped to calm nerves and ease minds. Those would be very useful when she found a job.

Summer froze, her trowel still an inch above the bed. “How did you get out here?” she asked the air. There was no mistaking that presence. She still didn’t know who he had been, but after a month it seemed obvious to her that he was masculine. Something in his bearing, which she couldn’t see, and his stature gave the impression he was taller than her.

There was no answer, but a breeze rustled the leaves and the ghost sat next to her on the ledge.

“I refuse to be put off by you. You can haunt the house all you like. I’m not going anywhere. This is my family’s house. Who are you to haunt it anyway?”

It occurred to her that he might be a distant ancestor. Aunt Marge said no one had reported the house as haunted and that there was no record of a death in the house. Even Mary, tried as a witch, died in the square, not the house.

The ghost didn’t answer, but he did leave, not before touching her arm and making her shiver. Upstairs, washing the soil off her hands, he returned. It had become less oppressive all the time, and she was actually getting used to him, dammit.

She had the sense he was looking at her in the mirror. It felt like hands slipped around her waist, and she tipped her head to the side. Goosebumps flooded her skin and she could have sworn he kissed her neck. Shuddering, she leaned forward, gripping her vanity.

“Whoa. I don’t think I’m ready for a frisky ghost. Tell you what, you don’t do that again and I won’t try to push you away.”

There was no way of gauging his response, but he didn’t grab her again. Instead he brushed her hand, something she thought she could get used to in time.

For more from Angelica Dawson, visit her on the web:

Amazon Author Page - Facebook - Twitter - Website

Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Goodreads


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Presenting the Cimmerian Shade authors: Elvira Bathory

Get ready for 22 doses of hot, heart-pumping romance from the darkside with heroes and heroines to keep you turning the pages! Grab this 24-author set now for only 99 pennies! This is a limited edition, and the steal-of-a-price is for a limited time featuring stories from award winning, bestselling authors.

For your reading pleasure, we'll be featuring each author with a story of her choice for the next few weeks. Some will include interviews, and all will include excerpts. Today's featured author is Elvira Bathory.

  1. What makes your stories unique?

I try to take things that haven’t been written about much, for example my shifter stories have animals that haven’t been used before. I have made a WereFossa, WereServal-Genet, WereGharial just to name a few

  1. Is there a common thread that runs through your books?

The most common thread that runs through my books is the fact that I try to write about things, animals and myths that aren’t used or haven’t been used that often

  1. Besides writing, what things are you most passionate about?

I strongly believe in anti-bullying efforts and helping young people build self-esteem J

  1. Not limited to writing, what do you believe to be some of your greatest accomplishments so far?

I have helped raise some of the greatest little people that I have ever known. All five of my kiddos make me proud everyday

  1. Name a few of your favorites (colors, TV shows, movies, stars, songs, etc.)

My favorite color is green, my favorite TV Shows are: Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, The 100, Reign, The Originals, American Gods (just to name a few lol) and my all-time favorite movies are Labyrinth and Legend

 

What lengths would you go to prove yourself to your family?

What would you do if you found out that you weren’t like everyone else? That you were special but only in a way no one could find out about? What lengths would you go to prove yourself to your family? A family that you didn’t know you had?

Kymber was moving through life with a part-time minimum wage job and only a few friends. She was different from other people and they treated her that way. However, she was happy with her life until the day she met Kheelan; that is when her life was turned upside down. She finds out that she isn’t even human, and that a family she wasn’t aware she had needed her to complete a mission. As Kymber and Kheelan's adventure progresses, will their focus on business remain professional or will their growing passion take over?



As a show of good faith, I thought I would tell you what you really are. You’ve been feeling different than the people around you, right? Don’t have many, if any, friends? You keep to yourself; going to work and returning home, never going out on a girl’s night or even a date. You bring men home just to have them make excuses before entering the house or, if they’re brave enough to enter, you kick them out right after having sex. You live alone and people go to great lengths to avoid you whenever they can.

Would you like to know why that is? I can tell you. I know we’ve already made plans to meet after your shift however I felt you might like to know the answer to the question that burns brightest in your mind; If only to give you some time to prepare yourself, maybe jot down any questions you might have. I’m afraid this note will make you change your mind about meeting with me, but it’s a risk I’ll have to take. We’re both running out of time. It’s of the utmost urgency that you know ahead of time what you are, who you are, so this note will have to be the way that I lower that particular hammer.

I just pray to the Gods that I will still find you in the rear parking lot of the diner at seven this evening.

You’re Death, a Grim Reaper, Morrigana, your very name means Death and that’s why people avoid you. That’s why you’re always alone. Humans can sense the ‘otherness’ about you, even if they aren’t sure what is so off-putting, and that is why they give you wide berth.

Except there are other beings out in the world that can be around you; Hells, there are even some who would give their right nut to share your bed just for the thrill of being with Death and coming out alive on the other end. There are others still who would kill to be with you on your journeys; to see the world the way you see it.

I’ve said enough for now. As I said, time is of the essence and I wouldn’t blame you for not sticking around to keep our appointment, however I must insist that you meet me at your vehicle after your shift this evening so that we can discuss all of this in length and I can tell you why I’m here.

Kheelan

 

For more from Elvira Bathory, visit her on the web:

Amazon Author Page - Facebook - Twitter - Website - Blog

Amazon http://smarturl.it/CSBS

iBooks: http://hyperurl.co/CSiB

Nook: http://bit.ly/2rzHPIe

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2rEg9NA

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2sH9Ugw


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Dancing With Dragons - a chat with LC Alleyne



One more look into the world of dragon shifters and their writers, with an interview with LC Alleyne.


~ Author interview ~

What is it about dragons that made your muse decide ‘this is what we’re writing!’?

I’ve always loved fantasy novels ever since reading Lord of the Rings and Piers Anthony’s Xanth series. The endless “what if?” possibilities just set my mind on these wonderful, fantastic plot lines.

Dragons have this “I’m the best” attitude, which makes me laugh and shake my fists at the same time, LOL. Transpose that into a shifter, and well…you got yourself a character that needs to be knocked down a peg or two!

And I admit, I wonder what it would be like to date a guy who can shift into a fire-breathing lizard with wings O.o Would I run away? Smack him for scaring the crap out of me? Faint?? I honestly don’t know. That’s the kind of indecision I like to have my human characters go through.

But hey, dragons! They breath fire! And they can FLY! :D


Does your story/series take place on Earth, or is it in a different dimension/world? Are dragons ‘out’ in your world

My Lords of Lysuhóll series takes place on Earth, as my world-building skills for other planets is not the greatest, though I’d like to work on it. My boys are Icelandic. They keep their dragon selves under wraps; that part of them is strictly private. The only humans who know about their other half are their mates. Although there is an exception – in Dragon Reborn, Thorsson is Bal’s security guard. He knows the brothers are also dragon shifters because of an historic connection between his family and Bal’s.

If by some weird piece of bad luck someone saw one of them transform, they would deny it. Having humans learn of their special powers doesn’t sit well with them. However…during the Viking Era, their father earned his hoard by accepting valuables and presents from Viking royalty – he was considered their good luck charm when they went on a journey. The father also protected the Vikings during invasions. But the Vikings didn’t know his human identity, so the father managed to keep his dragon shifter identity a secret as well. So it is a personal choice. I haven’t delved too deeply into the past with this series, but a reader expressed interest in learning more, so I might do that in the near future.


Are there traditional characteristics you absolutely wanted your dragons to have, or did you want to give them new abilities or powers?

My dragons are traditional bad boys. Flight, fire, scales. Their coloring matches their eye color. They love their scaly half, and transform when they can. They don’t show off their abilities; that’s not their style, and they are secretive after all. They also “talk” to their other half – it’s not a consistent thing though. Their dragon will communicate only when necessary, like when they find their mate or need to defend themselves.


What’s the ‘fun’ part about writing dragons? 

The fun part is having them transform and do what they need to do to protect their ladies (I don’t want to give too much away). They do transform during their stories when it’s necessary. Although that can be a bit tricky, describing what they’re going through as they transform, but I want the reader to experience it, as well as understanding why they transform; whether to defend or just the sheer joy of all that incredible power flowing through them. The other tricky part, since the human and dragon reside together, is how they might fight for control if the dragon wants to emerge and kick ass, LOL.


Are there other paranormal beings you enjoy writing?

I’m working on a series of supernatural females fighting evil in the human world. The first book is written and gone through first edits. I have to find the time to sit down and go through them. But I’m SO looking forward to working on this series!

I also have an old first draft of a story based on an alien; I’ll have to dig that up and see if it has potential!

I also have a werewolf story that’s on a backburner. I have a rough outline and started writing it, but I found out quickly I can’t work on 2 projects at once, so it’ll have to wait. :P


Do you have an all-time favorite dragon from movies, TV or books?

Movies
Reign of Fire with Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey. Very stark and a vivid idea of what could happen to our world if dragon took over.
How to Train your Dragon. This was a fantastic animated movie!
And the Hobbit with Smaug, especially the 2nd DVD. Beautiful CGI rendering, and a dragon that didn’t put up with anyone or anything. This was an arrogant dragon, haha!

Books – Temeraire by Naomi Novik. An amazing blend of fantasy and alternate reality, where dragons fight during the Napoleonic Wars. I need to re-read this series!

TV – How to Train your Dragon animated series.
Savage Dragon This was an old cartoon from the 80s or 90s, about a dragon who was a cop. It wasn’t half bad! It’s also a comic book series, but darker I think.

Thank you for having me on your blog! It was a lot of fun answering your questions!


Thank you for playing with me!

And to let you know, DRAGON REDEEMED, book 2, will be out this year (earlier than later I hope!)

I'll keep an eye out for it!

http://amzn.to/2r7bsPW


~ Blurb: Dragon Reborn ~

Balthazar Andal lost his dragon scale centuries ago in a fight against his brother, shifting him permanently into a human. He has spent decades searching for it to no avail. As a wealthy business investor, he uses his financial influence to bring in archeological groups to assist in his search. Without the scale, he barely controls his dragon spirit Bal, who threatens to overpower him. If Balthazar is not careful in maintaining his restraint, they’ll die.

Archeologist Eva Haraldsdóttir discovers an Icelandic artifact that Balthazar Andal is very interested in, and during a charity event, she explains its importance. Eva is intrigued by Mr. Andal’s knowledge of history, and even more so with the handsome businessman.

An unexpected assault on her life propels Eva into Balthazar’s world of ancient folklore and disturbing legends. The strange noises coming from his basement reveals a truth that Eva never expects, and she must decide—either run away and allow Balthazar to fade into myth, or overcome her instinctive fears to help him reclaim his true identity.

Available from Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | iBooks


~ About the author ~

LC Alleyne started writing on a dare and hasn’t looked back. She is a fantasy author who adds romance and suspense to create compelling stories. She divides her time between work, reading, writing and watching her favorite television shows like Sherlock, Supernatural and Killjoys. While she currently works at a full-time corporate job, the siren call of the written word ensnares her in its grasp, and LC hopes to score her dream of becoming a full-time author.

LC also writes as Charlene Roberts to indulge her love of Regency romances.

LC and Charlene share the same space! Find out more at:

Sign up to find out more about LC’s upcoming releases: http://eepurl.com/bCVyVj

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Only With The Heart - Chapter 19 - A Paranormal Romance story by Kallysten

If you are new to this story, you can find chapter 1 here.
If you missed chapter 18, it's here.


ONLY WITH THE HEART
CHAPTER 19




What was it that attracted vampires to the same places, over and over? Was there a secret vampire app with the addresses of places that could serve as lair for a few nights or even a few months?

Lance had asked himself the question many times over the years, but if he asked it again now it was to distract himself more than because he was truly curious. As different as this place was to the alley downtown where Taylor had taken her last breath, he couldn’t help feeling awkward to know that she was only a few feet away, and the memory of their last hunt together kept resurfacing. He couldn’t think about that now, though. He couldn’t let the guilt of that day overwhelm him until he couldn’t keep Ellie and Taylor safe anymore.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Dancing With Dragons - Michelle Fox & her dragons



Another look into the world of dragon shifters and their writers today, with an interview with Michelle Fox.
Previous interviews featured Decadent Kane and K.C. Stewart, who like me are featured in the Prowlers & Growlers box set, as well as Anna Lowe, and Rinelle Grey.


~ Author interview ~

What is it about dragons that made your muse decide ‘this is what we’re writing!’?

The idea of dragon maidens wouldn't leave me alone, but I'm not one to write helpless damsels in distress so I inverted the trope a bit and created a female centric series where the women are kick ass in their own right, but have the kind of problems that take a dragon to solve. That's how my maidens series got its start. The series is romance, but written in more of an urban fantasy style...we spend a lot of time with the maidens and the main focus is their journey. If that makes anyone nervous...don't worry, you'll like it. I have proof. The first book, Kiss the Dragon, hit the USA Today bestseller list when it was part of the Highland Shifters boxed set and the story has been a reader favorite generating a ton of fan mail...even years after the book released.


Sounds great! Does your story/series take place on Earth, or is it in a different dimension/world? Are dragons ‘out’ in your world?

The Maidens series takes place on earth in the present day. More specifically Inverness Scotland. The series features four Scottish brothers who are cursed to remain in their human form until they find their maidens. The kicker is, they also can't leave home. They're stuck in Inverness which doesn't have any maidens around. As their curse has worn on, the magic of the world has faded and no one remembers dragons or anything else so the brothers are very much in the closet.


Are there traditional characteristics you absolutely wanted your dragons to have, or did you want to give them new abilities or powers?

Each of my dragons is different. Malcolm is also a mage. Gavin and Alec are warriors, but Gavin is a tortured soul and Alec is more level headed. Niall is a softer, more nurturing personality with a creative side that comes out in baking (of all things!), but he can also fight when needed. Or make the ultimate sacrifice to protect his maiden, which is what happens in book two Kissed by Fire. (Yes, I killed my hero. No, I didn't quite know how I was going to manage that, but the story ended up having many different twists and turns on its way to a HEA.)


(I just gasped at that 'killed my hero' bit!) 
What’s the ‘fun’ part about writing dragons?

They are always hot! LOL. That's both good and bad...imagine a belly full of Scotch and a fire filled burp. I love writing about how they shift and fly...that's the best part. And dragons are very honorable. They always do the right thing...at least in my imagination they do.


Are there other paranormal beings you enjoy writing? Do they live in the same universe as your dragons or are they strictly separate?

I tend to keep most of my shifters separate but will mix in vampires and witches etc... Hmmm. Maybe I should mix things up. We'll see. I write a lot of werewolves and have started adding in vampires as well.


Do you have an all-time favorite dragon from movies, TV or books?

Puff the magic dragon was, I think, my first dragon. Then The Neverending Story. With my kiddo it's How to Train Your Dragon. Oddly, I've not read too many dragons...I meet them in movies.

Oh, I remember the Neverending Story so fondly... Nostalgia just hit me hard!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today! 




~ Blurb: Kiss the Dragon ~

Would you trust a curse to save you?
Ever since Sara Clarke was hit by lightning and began to see the future, she’s lived a life on the run. Always hiding. Always hunted. She dreams of a different fate, but knows her only constant is the danger that stalks her. A lot of people want to harness what Sara can do and they aren’t above forcing her to do their bidding.

Dragon Alec MacTeine has been locked in his human form by a centuries old curse. If he doesn’t find his maiden, he’ll never stretch his wings again. A chance encounter, one fleeting kiss and he knows that Sara is his. Meeting his maiden is supposed to solve all his problems, but instead, it spawns new ones.



~ About the author ~

NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author Michelle Fox lives in the Midwest with her husband, kids, the occasional exchange student and one very hyper puppy. She loves fantasy and romance, which makes writing paranormal romance a natural fit. Occasionally, she goes through a maverick phase and writes contemporary romance. In her spare time, she's been known to shake her bon-bon at Zumba, make spectacular cheesecakes, hoard vintage costume jewelry and eat way too much ice cream (Ben and Jerry’s Karamel Sutra for the win!).

Where on the web is Michelle Fox?
Facebookeither friend me OR join my new releases group.
Twitter

Goodreads

Google+ Love audio books? Then check out   www.redhotaudiobooks.com

Friday, April 28, 2017

FREEBIE! Offer won't last so get to it now!




#Freebie! Amazon U*S*A Readers only. What is your lucky number?
Click below to grab a #FREE USA KINDLE copy of Prowlers & Growlers.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Only With The Heart - Chapter 18 - A Paranormal Romance story by Kallysten

If you are new to this story, you can find chapter 1 here.
If you missed chapter 17, it's here.


ONLY WITH THE HEART
CHAPTER 18




Ellie hadn’t been hiding. At least, not really.

She’d known it was her brother standing there from the moment Taylor opened the door and said his name, and she’d even—very briefly—considered making her presence known. She’d decided otherwise. He’d come to see Taylor, and Ellie’s presence here had nothing to do with him.

Besides, she had little desire to explain to him why she was visiting a friend after having begged off patrolling with him because she wasn’t feeling well.

The decision was taken out of her hands when both of their phones started ringing at the same time, giving her away. Even as she fumbled to pull the phone from the back pocket of her jeans, she could see from the corner of her eye the door opening more widely until Lance appeared on the doorstep. She held his gaze even as she answered the call, while he didn’t even bother taking his phone out.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New release! Prowlers & Growlers box set, including Mated by Kallysten



Grab this special price before it goes up!

99c

Join the dark side with ***ALL NEW*** stories from some of your favorite NY Times, USA Today, and Award Winning, Bestselling authors.
Step into the shadows with witches, werewolves, shifters, vampires, and soul mates: the sizzling hot alphas you love.
Are you fated to find your fantasy lover in these seductive, steamy pages bursting with danger and desire? 
Claim your book boyfriend now!




Nook     iBooks     Kobo



When The Snow Flies by Gina Kincade & Kiki Howell
USA Today Bestselling and Award Winning Authors

Dark Verité by Muffy Wilson
USA Today Bestselling and Award Winning Author

The Jaguar's Consort by Aliyah Burke
USA Today Bestselling and Award Winning Author

Hades Playground by Isis Pierce
USA Today Bestselling Author

Under The Crescent Moon by Amy Lee Burgess
USA Today Bestselling Author

The Demon The Witch and The Firebird by Phoenix Johnson
International Bestselling and Award Winning Author

Changes by Angelica Dawson
International Bestselling and Award Winning Author

Arcane by Erzabet Bishop
International Bestselling and Award Winning Author

Chicks Dig Scars by Kathleen Grieve
International Bestselling Author

Swelter by K.C. Stewart
International Bestselling Author

Dark Melody by Megan J Parker
International Bestselling Author

Starbright by Ashlynn Monroe
International Bestselling and Award Winning Author

Sorrows Beginning by S. E. Babin
International Bestselling and Award Winning Author

Shadows Mark by Nicole Morgan
International Bestselling Author

Mated by Kallysten
International Bestselling Author

Fallen In Sin by Marissa Farrar
International Bestselling Author

Lion by Her Side by Ever Coming
International Bestselling Author

Immortal Alchemy by Savannah Verte
International Bestselling and Award Winning Author

Stolen Magic by Joanna Mazurkiewicz
International Bestselling Author

Call Of The Beast by Erica Reeder
International Bestselling Author

Shifting Scales by Decadent Kane
International Bestselling Author

Mated by Kallysten
International Bestselling Author


 Mated

by

Kallysten

International Bestselling Author
@Kallysten



When the Ileos clan invites shifter clans from the Firelands to watch their new leader take power, Maikel Argonis doesn’t have much choice but to attend. As second in line
to the throne, his lack of interest for this kind of social function is not reason enough to stay home. His father, the king of the Firelands, rules over his sons with as firm a hand as he rules a realm where power-hungry shifters don’t
hesitate to start wars.

The chore, however, takes an unexpected turn for Maikel when he meets Celly Ileos. Second-born like he is, quick-witted and rebellious, she captures both Maikel’s interest and his dragon’s—even though she’s a phoenix.

Celly doesn’t mind seeing her older brother take power like he was always destined to. However, she does mind that he’s already trying to use her as a pawn in his power games,
intending to strengthen their clan through her marriage to one of his allies. Her heart is her own, and she wants to choose her own mate.

But if that mate happens to be a dragon prince, will she be strong enough to endure the fire of disapproval raging from his family and her own?



She joined him and they stood together close to the edge, with nothing in front of them but thin air all the way down to a five hundred feet drop. It was a place and a view of which she’d never tire, and she often came here early in the morning to watch the sun soar above the horizon—and soar with it. Today, however, she found herself watching Maikel rather than the play of colors lighting up distant clouds.
“What a wonderful place,” he murmured, his gaze sweeping the valley stretched down below them. “Perfect to take flight from, isn’t it?”

He turned to her as he finished and something must have showed on her face because he quickly added, “Which is what you came here to do, I’m guessing.”

She inclined her head.

“Nothing better to clear my head than to jump and let myself fall a couple hundred feet before I let myself shift.”

Maikel whistled softly.

“I didn’t realize phoenixes enjoy this kind of thing.”

She raised an eyebrow at him.

“What kind of thing is that?”

“Dangerous things. Like jumping from a cliff.”

“And here I thought dragons were supposed to be impulsive creatures,” she teased. “Are you telling me you’re afraid of what I was doing when I wasn’t even ten years old?”

Something shifted in his eyes, their dark auburn turning to gold for a split second, then to flames as brightly red as blood.

“I didn’t say I was afraid,” he pointed out in a mild voice as he shrugged out of his jacket and dropped it to the ground.

Next thing she knew, his shirt was already halfway unbuttoned and opening on a surprisingly tan and muscled chest.

“What—what are you doing?” she stammered, forcing her eyes back up to his. Her cheeks were burning up all of a sudden.

“Undressing,” he answered plainly. “So I don’t ruin my clothes when I shift and have to ride back to the fortress in the nude.”

That image probably shouldn’t have been so appealing.

“But…”

Whatever protest she wanted to offer disappeared when he shrugged his shoulders and his shirt slid off, exposing the smooth expanse of his chest and gently rippled abs that made her fingers curl with the desire to touch them. Apparently, he was still doing ‘grunt work’ in his vineyard—another intriguing image. He started reaching for the fastenings of his pants and she hurriedly turned her back to him.

“This doesn’t strike me as very appropriate,” she said, her words ending on a mortifying little squeak.

The whisper of a zipper being pulled down seemed to fill the space between them.

“Are you telling me you didn’t come here to shift? Because if that’s what you’re saying, we don’t believe you.”

His word choice confirmed what she had started to suspect: his dragon was close, very close to the surface. She’d always heard that dragons were impulsive and quick to act when they felt threatened or insulted… it certainly appeared to be true.

And if you’re saying part of you didn’t hope it’d end up this way, her phoenix supplied with a little laugh, I’m the one who won’t believe you. Why are you so flustered, girl?

He’s undressing! Right beside me!

The rustling sounds behind her were all she could hear.

No, I think he’s naked by now. Don’t be such a prude, it’s not like you’ve never seen a man in the nude, whether it was a shifter before or after his shift, or a plain-blood human ready to get naughty with you. But maybe you’d prefer the latter?

Will you shut up already? You’re supposed to be on my side!

Not your side, darling. Ours.

It wasn’t often that Celly’s phoenix exerted her will to control their shared body when they were in human form, and when she did it always took Celly by surprise to the point that she couldn’t stop her. The phoenix did that now, making her turn around even as running steps announced what Maikel was doing.

Celly didn’t have time to see much more than a naked blur before he was leaping right over the cliff with a yell that sounded like pure exhilaration.

She’d been here with a dozen different people over the years, and she’d come on her own on countless mornings. Whether someone jumped for the first time or the hundredth, even knowing that their phoenix was ready to take over long before they crashed, the instinctive fear never completely went away—but that was half the fun. Maikel seemed completely fearless.

Without thinking, Celly stepped closer to the edge, where she’d be able to watch him go down. His body was spread out, arms and legs extended on either side of him as he faced down.

Nice ass, her phoenix supplied, and Celly smiled.

The next second, her mouth fell open and she gaped. She’d watched dozens of phoenixes shift, and she knew intimately what it felt like to do so, both when standing on firm ground or when tumbling in the air, an illusion of flight without wings. Phoenixes were long and lithe, with powerful wings and five oversized feathers for a tail. A shifter taking their phoenix form had always looked to her like golden fire rippling through a human body and exploding outward into new, feathery limbs, a process as elegant as it was quick.
She’d seen dragons fly before, but she’d never seen one shift. She’d imagined it would look the same, just with a different shape, and in a way it was. At the same time, though, it felt entirely different. Maybe because dragons were almost twice as massive as phoenixes, or maybe because she wasn’t as familiar with their shape, the shifting seemed to happen in slow motion.

Maikel’s skin, already so far down below, darkened gradually until wings shot out of his back fully formed, while the rest of his body was still human. They spread out and hid part of him even as the shifting continued, limbs, body and head morphing into the imposing yet still elegant lines of a dragon. There was a moment when his wings folded and he tilted forward, head first into the dive. Celly couldn’t suppress a gasp, suddenly sure that something must have gone wrong.

She gasped again, this time in awe, as his wings extended and he veered in a fluid movement, following one of the strong winds that played along the cliff to stop his descent and glide back upward.

It had taken him long seconds to fall halfway down the cliff, but in the blink of an eye he was back at her level. She could have sworn one of his blood-red eyes winked at her before he dived back into the valley with a roar that would have been frightening had it not sounded like sheer delight.

He’d been so close she could almost have touched him if she’d only extended her hand, and while she hadn’t she could imagine the texture of his hide under her tingling fingertips. Leathery but smooth, warm from the heat of his blood, slick… It had seemed black when he’d first shifted, but from up close his coloring was more charcoal that pure black, with splatters of white and gray dots like freckles on his wings, his back, his underside.

He twirled and dropped down into the valley, occasionally beating his large wings once or twice but for the most part following the wind currents, before coming back to where she stood. He hovered there, close enough that the horses a few paces behind her, as accustomed as they were to being around winged beasts larger than they were, neighed unhappily and struck the ground with their hooves.

If that’s not an invitation to join him, her phoenix said, I’ll eat my own tail. What are you waiting for?




Hello and thank you so much for having me for a little chat
today! Here’s hoping I don’t start rambling too much… I’m wrangling my toddler as I do this interview and she can be a handful!

How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing?
The reason I became a writer – that is, wrote an entire
story and shared it with readers – was because of boredom. Not too glamorous, I  know! I wrote my first novella in middle school. We had 'study' classes in which we were supposed to just sit quietly and work on homework or study, but I always finished my work early and would get bored out of my mind. One day I brought a new notebook to school and started inventing a story... and another, and another after that. When I moved to the United States in 2001, everything felt so strange and new, I stopped writing for a while. When I started again about a year later, it was, for the first time, in English. The change was brutal and the learning curve pretty stiff… but after a few years, I started putting ‘writer’ on the occupation line when doing my taxes and it felt pretty special.


How did you come up with the storyline for Mated?
I was just finishing a different story which is set in the Fated & Forbidden series, a universe shared by 11 authors, and my mind was drifting over the ‘forbidden’ aspect of love, and how long writers have played with that storyline. Romeo and Juliet were hardly the first! Also I’d been wanting to write a shifter story for a while and couldn’t decide between phoenix and dragon. The two thoughts combined… forbidden love between dragon and phoenix shifters… now I just had to figure out who my characters were!


How did you figure it out? Do the characters ‘live’ with you as you write?
Absolutely. When I get the idea for a story and start
thinking of the characters, they take a life of their own and play out the story in my mind, the same scene repeated a dozen times until each word or action is just right. Writing is the only way to get them to quiet down and move on… to the next scene!


What inspires you to write?
Just about anything, really. I never know where my muse will look next to plot a new story. Let me think...

One of my vampire BDSM series (Carte Blanche and its sequels) was inspired by a real-life Domme whom I knew online and got to chat with face to face once. I was very proud that she gave the story her seal of approval.

My Ward of the Vampire serial came from a chat I had with a friend. She was bemoaning the 'billionaire boyfriend' trend and saying she had no interest in writing such a story but wished she could so she could get on the bandwagon. I told her to just write her thing and find her readers that way, and joked that I'd never write for that trend either. My muse took that as a challenge and within a few months I had 140,000
words of it...

My On The Edge series came from one throwaway line in another book. I'd mentioned this vampire friendly club, its
human owner and his vampire lovers, and suddenly I had to tell their story...
I have a YA shifter story with my other pen name (Beneath the Twin Moons of Haldae) that came from an article I read about a newly discovered tribe in the Amazon who'd never been in contact with 'civilization' before. The moment I finished the article I had the whole plot in my mind.


What is the hardest part of creating a book?
For me, it’s definitely the promoting part. Ask me to write
or rewrite and I’ll be happily typing away all day – and night – long. Ask me to toot my own horn and tell people why my stories are worth reading, and I freeze. Not that I don’t think they are worth reading; I just wasn’t raised into thinking my own accomplishments are something I ought to talk about. Just doing this interview is a painful process… but don’t worry, I’ll survive!



What are 3 of your favorite quotes from Mated?
Argh! You’re asking me to pick my favorite child! (If, you
know, I had more than one!)
All right, let me try…

Should I? she whispered in her own mind. If it comes out
that I’ve been flying with a dragon…
What’s the worst that could happen? Your mother will be
disappointed? Your brother will try to marry you off to the first phoenix who so much as expresses an interest in you? Nothing new, then.

*** 

Yes, I suppose she is rather pretty, for a human.

*** 

And you don’t mind that he is a dragon?
He can’t help what he is, her phoenix said. Why should I
blame him for what is not his fault?



What would your friends say is your best quality?
Probably that I’m loyal. When I make a friend, it’s for life. I’m still in touch with my very first real friend, Dje, whom I met when we were 6 and who lives in France.


Are reader reviews important to you? Why?
Yes and no. Yes because it’s always interesting to see what readers enjoyed (or didn’t like…) in a story – and because, for better or for worse, reviews are an important part of promotion. No because when I read a review I always want to engage the reader in a dialogue about it, see what they thought about this other bit or that other thing, but I’ve always been told it’s a big no-no.

What do you do when you don’t write? Like in “Real Life”
You mean other than wrangling Baby, taking her to the
museum, the zoo, the parc, the pool, and indoor and outdoor playgrounds? *grins* Well I do enjoy quilting a lot. I make a lot of lap-sized quilts because they’re fairly quick to make on my little machine. I even gave one in a reader giveaway last year… I might have to do it again this year!



Tell us about your other books?
Another ‘pick your favorite child’ question! My backlist is
growing so long, I’ve even lost count of how many books I actually have for sale. Most of what I’ve written to date was about vampires and/or magic. My last two releases were about magic – Blood Moon, in the Fated & Forbidden series I mentioned earlier, is about two power-wielding lovers who reunite after centuries of estrangement. Love & Magic is a box set of 3 short stories that are male/male relationships revolving around magic. The release before that was Switching Sides, a BDSM vampire short that’s a sequel to the Domme novel I told you about earlier.


M/F, M/M, ménages; sweet stories, sexy ones, kinky ones;
short stories, novellas, novels, long novels; standalone, series… You name it, I’ve probably written it!
        

If you read through this entire thing… thank you! Have a
gold star… oh wait, Baby took all my gold stars! How about a freebie instead? I find the best way to introduce myself to readers is to offer them something to read. I have several freebies on the major ebook stores, and extra ones available through my newsletter. Feel free to come
and say hi!




Kallysten’s most exciting accomplishment to date was to cross a few thousand miles and an ocean to pursue (and catch!) the love of her life. She has been writing since her teenage years, and always enjoyed sharing her stories and listening to the readers’ reactions. After playing with science fiction, short stories and poetry, she is now trying her hand, heart and words at paranormal romance novels.








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